I think Internetmonk hits the nail on the head with this post, but, there is one type of evangelicalism that will survive: Unapologetically catholic, covenantly full-orbed in all areas of life, and robustly geared toward Christendom churches. Denominations that still take the old faith seriously and conform their lives to a living liturgical and sacramental community will survive and thrive. They will also work closely with those who think like them on a global scale and emerge from the ashes to a new concensus.
We're here, we're growing, we're rigorously preparing, and by the powerful grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will survive and flourish through the storm that is gathering.
I just saw Gran Torino today. In this film (a very simple Eastwoodesque formula) Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a retired Ford factory worker and Korean War vet. He’s a man haunted by his war-time experiences, particularly, the day he killed a teenage Chinese soldier who was trying to surrender. Walt lives in a Detroit neighborhood that has changed (Southeast Asian Hmongs are moving in) and Walt is not happy.
The movie opens at the funeral of Walt’s wife and the new priest, a kid just out of seminary, tries to get Walt to come back to church and to go to confession. Into this simple tattered world drops Tau, a young Hmong boy who is trying to stay out of trouble. Walt meets Tau as he is in the midst of trying to steal Walt’s cheery 1972 Gran Torino, the only stable thing in his life that connects him to his past.
Unfortunately for Tau, the local Hmong gang won’t let him alone. Walt takes Tau under his wing but things become complicated when the gang targets Tau and his family for violence. Walt, who is dying of cancer, decides to take matters into his own hands. He finally goes to confession and confesses little through the confessional screen. But in a neat inversion, he locks the vengeance-seeking Tau in his basement and through the screened door, confesses the sin that has haunted him all his life. Tau, an Asian teenager, receives Walt’s confession of his earlier cold-blooded murder in the Korean War.
Walt, now partially absolved, goes out to the gang and allows himself to be killed. He lays down his life so that the gang, implicated in his murder, head off to prison. Tau can now begin his life anew. His last will and testament leaves behind his property to the church and his prized possession, the 1972 Gran Torino, to Tau.
The film is about life and death, sin and forgiveness. It also portrays the young priest as a lad with gravitas. It’s a great film. Go see it. A book that might give you some extra food for thought on Detroit and change is "Made in Detroit." I’ve read other reviews that warn against the crude language but for this ol’ former Marine it wasn’t nothing but a thing.
Okay, so we're starting to narrow down prospects for a potential home purchase near the end of this year but as I look at listings, I wonder, what exactly do these real estate agents do? I mean, don't they advise their clients to make their houses presentable for sale? That's just Marketing 101, right?
For the second Sunday of Epiphany the Gospel reading is John 1:43-51. Interestingly, the text has a sub-tectonic level thick with Jacob. One notices that when Nathaniel comes to Jesus he says in verse 47: "Behold an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" This seems to connect in with Jacob in two ways: (a) Jacob was the "deceiver" and (2) Jacob is the one from whom Israel derives her name.
Moving on, Jesus says to Nathaniel in verse 51: "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." This completes the connection as Nathaniel, the new Israelite (Jacob), will see fulfilled what Jacob only mysteriously beheld. And what would that be? Rather than men building a tower to heaven, God will send a ladder down...His Son.
Finally, German Reformed scholar JP Lange posited the possibility that this entire pericope is occurring on the same geographical spot where Jacob wrestled with the Angel of Lord.