Theology Amplified

Saturday, December 12, 2009

No More Theology Amplified

This will be my last post at TA. It has been a fun ride here, but it's time for a change. My new blog is called Coming Clean and you can access it by going to That is also the RSS feed address.

TA will stay up indefinitely if you want to access any old material (there's currently no way to import this blog into the other one). The new blog already has a few posts and a GREAT video!

See you there!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quotes of the Day

"I said to Antoine Winfield on the sideline, 'I think he just broke his leg,' Erin Henderson said. 'That's my blood out there. My brother.' It took me a second, but I got it together and my brotherly instinct kicked in.

"When I got out there, I just kept saying, 'I'm right here with you, I'm here with you.' Don't know why I did this, but I'm telling him to breathe ... 'In your nose, out your mouth, in your nose, out your mouth.' He was in quite a bit of pain, so I said, 'Grab my hand. Squeeze my hand if you've got pain.' He squeezed so hard I thought he was gonna break my hand."


"But it is ethos—the persuasive appeal of one’s character—that is responsible for both his inflated reputation as an orator and the disillusionment and disappointment many of his supporters have after hearing him speak. Unlike logos and pathos, ethos is a property of communication that belongs not to the speaker, but to the audience. The listener, rather than the rhetor, determines whether the speaker’s ethos is high or low. Before the election, when he was the embodiment of hope and change, Obama’s supporters imbued him with a high ethotic value. Now that he is President, and making unpopular decisions based on the realities of governing, many of these same fans are finding him less persuasive.

"In some ways, conservatives should be pleased by Obama’s lack of rhetorical ability. Those of us who oppose much of his domestic agenda are relieved that he can’t simply go on a speaking tour and convince large segments of the skeptical populace to support his policies. But in some ways, his failure to persuade may be detrimental to the aspirations and objectives of the nation. As the elected political leader of the United States—and the unofficial spokesman for the West—the President holds the most powerful bully pulpit in the world."


"Generations of Sunday school teachers have turned Hanukkah into the story of unified Jewish bravery against an anti-Semitic Hellenic empire. Settlers in the West Bank tell it as a story of how the Jewish hard-core defeated the corrupt, assimilated Jewish masses. Rabbis later added the lamp miracle to give God at least a bit part in the proceedings.

"But there is no erasing the complex ironies of the events, the way progress, heroism and brutality weave through all sides. The Maccabees heroically preserved the Jewish faith. But there is no honest way to tell their story as a self-congratulatory morality tale. The lesson of Hanukkah is that even the struggles that saved a people are dappled with tragic irony, complexity and unattractive choices."


"Factory-farmed food is an elitist food; it's a food that's making hundreds of millions of dollars for CEOs of corporations at the expense of normal people. Yes, it seems cheap when we go to the supermarket, but that's because we're being lied to about the true costs. We pay for them in our health care costs, the destruction of the environment and our values. What we call cheap food is the most expensive food in American history."

Movie: To Save a Life

Church made teen movie; looks pretty good:

Change Your World for Orphans


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quotes of the Day

"Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor."


"Pornography is a visual representation of sexuality which distorts an individual's concept of the nature of conjugal relations. This, in turn, alters both sexual attitudes and behavior. It is a major threat to marriage, to family, to children and to individual happiness. In undermining marriage it is one of the factors in undermining social stability.

"Social scientists, clinical psychologists, and biologists have begun to clarify some of the social and psychological effects, and neurologists are beginning to delineate the biological mechanisms through which pornography produces its powerful negative effects."


"54 Senators voted to use your money to fund abortions; 45 voted to protect the unborn. Elections matter."


"As it turns out, the strain of the downturn hasn’t pushed the divorce rate higher; instead, economic stress seems to have made American marriages slightly more stable overall, as couples develop a “new appreciation for the economic and social support that marriage can provide in tough times,” as the study’s lead author, Brad Wilcox, puts it. Americans are also turning thriftier (saving more, cutting down on credit card debt, reviving home-based economies, etc.), which is good news for wedlock, since financial stability correlates with marital stability, and with marital happiness as well.

"Here’s the pessimistic take. Yes, divorce rates are dropping, but marriage rates are down as well. People aren’t getting divorced because they can’t afford it, not because they’re suddenly happier with their spouses."

The Black Keys/Blakroc w/ Mos Def

White people love Mos Def.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Got a Mac

Well, that's what it feels like now that I have Windows 7 installed. Night and day.

"Now...Barack Obama"

Neil Postman, writing in 1985, on the culture of TV news in America and the affect it has had on reason, context and presidential politics, in Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 110:
My point is that we are by now so thoroughly adjusted to the "Now...this" world of news--a world of fragments, where events stand alone, stripped of any connection to the past, or to the future, or to other events--that all assumptions of coherence have vanished. And so, perforce, has contradiction. In the context of no context, so to speak, it simply disappears. And in its absence, what possible interest could there be in a list of what the President [of the United States] says now and what he said then? It is merely a rehash of old news, and there is nothing interesting or entertaining in that. The only thing to be amused about is the bafflement of reporters at the public's indifference. There is an irony in the fact that the very group that has taken the world apart should, on trying to piece it back together again, be surprised that no one notices much, or cares.
Is this not the perfect soil in which a President like Barack Obama could gain root? Beyond the difference one might have with him on policy is the glaring way in which he can say one thing and the opposite thing in the same sentence. There is firmly held liberal ideology, but then there is crass disinformation. And, sadly, this has little to do with Obama himself (though he perhaps is the grandest exploiter yet) but with we who vote for him. And lest you think that I am harping only on Obama, as Postman makes clear, it all began with Reagan (quoting from a NYT article in 1983):
President Reagan's aides used to become visibly alarmed at suggestions that he had given mangled and perhaps misleading accounts of his policies or of current events in general. That doesn't seem to happen much anymore.

Indeed, the President continues to make debatable assertions of fact but news accounts do not deal with them as extensively as they once did. In the view of White House officials, the declining news coverage mirrors a decline in interest by the general public.
Today news organizations do have "fact checkers" who pour over speeches and press releases. Some twelve AP reporters were assigned to fact check the new Sarah Palin book. But for all the fact checking going on no one seems to care. There is no outrage, no protesting. Presidents, senators and, God help us, preachers, relay contradiction after contradiction and we the people do not bat an eye lash. Unless, of course, they lie about sex.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Microphone Fail

So Many Links (08 DEC 2009)

Top ten book lists from Wax and Challies.

CT: Modern day lepers are sex offenders.

Five crazy over-achievers.

Gary Thomas on the most effective way to influence your children.

EW's best movies of the decade (I'm sorry, but #2, despite its subject matter, was a terrible movie).

Now I really want one.

Best Christmas decorations of the year:

epic fail pictures