Just a few things I've been meaning to get to while I was on a blog vacation:
- I have very real daily and weekly deadlines as part of my career. Phillip Johnson is a guy that sits around reading comic books and talking about Spurgeon with John McArthur. His excuse to take a blogging break seems flimsy. This is a guy who narrowly avoided getting bombed in London and is brave enough to take on pomos and pacifists on two separate fronts. That's right, he's basically the Winston Churchill of the God blogs, and I don't recall Churchill taking a day off, although he had no qualms with drinking on the job. My suggestion for Phillip is to take two shots of bourbon, mail in whatever "deadline" work he has, and get back to his real job: entertaining me fee gratis.
- How we measure the change of the seasons in Arizona: It's the time of year when the grass turns green and the rattlesnakes head for hibernation. I still haven't figured out how to make friends with the coyote pups roaming the outer rim of my parents' hillside property, but I'm thinking a trip to the Costco butcher might win me an alliance. These guys are so cute ... except when I have to witness them ripping the heads off the cottontail rabbits my mother feeds. Talk about x-rated. Oof.
- My laptop is still down and I still don't have web space for the redesign, so the new look is probably delayed until November. It's a shame, because Brad did an outstanding job. I think it will be worth the wait.
- On two separate occasions, we've found baby scorpions in our shower. I lived in Arizona for 30 years without finding scorpions. That's because we lived in the city. Now I'm a desert rat and I'm becoming reacquainted with the local "wildlife." All things considered, I'm less concerned about the scorpions and more concerned with the beer-swilling militia crazies a mile or two down the street. If New York is the "melting pot," Phoenix is the omelet on the frying pan. We're talking free-style, whatever's-in-the-refrigerator omelet.
- No place is the Mormon vs. Christian debate more heated than this place. Phoenix attracts people from all over the country. Indeed, 1000 times more people have moved here in the last 50 years than people who lived here from the start. However, the highest growth populations are originally Mormon establishments, and we are beginning to see a real theological and cultural clash. I've actually heard of people asking their real estate agents to not relocate them to traditionally Mormon areas, because of institutional alienation. Then, of course, these same people are the ones who leaflet entire subdivisions with some very harsh and not-at-all "Christian" messages against Mormonism. I'm no Mormon, but there's a peaceful way to discuss theology with people in a pluralistic society that doesn't incite a mob (for or against). Somehow, this thoughtful method alludes many of the would-be proselytizers. Also, if you are coming to this area, please make sure you've sought sources beyond the firmly errant "Godmakers," because you discredit Christians everywhere.
- Saw the Firefly movie Serenity this weekend. If you've liked any of Josh Whedon's work, this is an excellent representation of his best stuff. It's a science fiction movie that has Christian characters in it -- not Christian themes, just recognition that you don't have to reconstruct an entire culture to make good sci-fi. On solely secular grounds, it's a strong story with well-developed characters. The heroes are actually required to make sacrifices, and one of them dies doing so. Whedon has always had an awareness of Christian themes in his work ... he never goes directly to the source, though, so we are left to think in metaphors. *shrug* It's not for everyone. I don't think Dan would like it because the primary heroes are clearly anti-heroes, but they don't revel in their badness, either. They seem painfully aware of it, and they're not at all murky on the ethics of their wrong decisions. This is not a glorification of phlegmatic morality.