We are not living in an age in which religious adherence has simply withered away before the parching wind of Enlightenment reason, but in one in which a new evangel has - over the course of a few centuries - displaced the old, and with it the cultural energy and rationale of Christian Europe: a new religion, whose most devout believers are as zealous, intolerant, and absolutist as any faith has ever produced, and whose vast silent constituency is as unreflective, passive, and pliant as any enfranchised clerisy could desire. It is probably good for Christians to grasp that, even in this hour, they struggle not with disillusion and demystification, but with strange gods.
He who did not know death descended into death so that we too might rise up with him to life. Our nature is enriched with incorruptibility in him, and death has been crushed since it launched a hostile attack against the body of Life itself. Just as death conquered in Adam, so was it ruined in Christ.
When Jesus expels demons and heals the sick, he is driving out of creation the powers of destruction, and is healing and restoring created beings who are hurt and sick. The lordship of God, to which the healings witness, restores creation to health. Jesus’ healings are not supernatural miracles in a natural world. They are the only truly ‘natural’ thing in a world that is unnatural, demonized and wounded… . Finally, with the resurrection of Christ, the new creation begins, pars pro toto, with the crucified one.
(via Ray Ortland)
There is dumb dumb and there is smart dumb. There is also smart smart. Dumb dumb is plain dumb and smart smart is plain smart. Smart dumb rejects both smart smart and dumb dumb, choosing instead to walk a tightrope between the two. Smart dumb is incisive and precise. In order to be smart dumb, you have to be really smart, but not in the smart smart way.
Dumb dumb is rednecks and racists, football hooligans, gum-snapping marketing girls, and thick-necked office boys. Dumb dumb is Microsoft, Disney, and Spielberg. Smart smart is TED talks, think tanks, NPR news, Ivy League universities, The New Yorker, and expensive five-star restaurants. By trying so hard, smart smart really misses the point. Smart dumb is The Fugs, punk rock, art schools, Gertrude Stein, Vito Acconci, Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, Seth Price, Tao Lin, Martin Margiela, Mike Kelley, and Sofia Coppola. Smart dumb plays at being dumb dumb but knows better.
Variants of smart dumb also miss the point but in a different way. Twee (McSweeney’s, Miranda July, Ira Glass, David Byrne) feigns dumb but won’t allow itself to be dumb, for fear that someone might actually think it’s dumb, god forbid. Hipster appropriates chunks of dumb (trucker hats, facial hair, tattoos) but as a fashion trend, refuses to theorize its dumbness, thereby falling squarely into dumb dumb. Smart dumb refuses to commit to either one state or the other. Smart dumb, for instance, incorporates elements of camp but refuses to be camp enough to actually be camp. Dumb vs. smart is not a rehash of hip vs. square. Dumb is both hip and square. Smart dumb has its theorists - de Certeau, Goffman, Debord - those who articulate the mysteries of the mundane and the extraordinariness of the everyday.
(via Peter Leithart)
The persecution of Christians today is even more virulent than in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs today than in that era.