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Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

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Patience and Hurry

by Jamey Bennett

When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher played the guitar and used to sing many songs with us. In fact, his songs were so notoriously special, that on occasion he would come around to the other classes (as we got older) and sing them with those kids - who still remembered the songs from their time in Kindergarten. We'd sing about pies, being happy, and even thematic life-lessons on patience.

One such song sticks in my head today:

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
Remember, remember
You'll only start to worry...

My mother, being a fast-paced modern American, was notoriously impatient. Especially in traffic. I can't tell you how many times as an eight or nine year old I would be sitting in the car, with my favorite beard trimmer without a care in the world while my mother would mumble under her breath various and sundry things about people in traffic, who, at least according to my mom, did not know how to drive! When it got really tense - perhaps when we were fifteen minutes late for an appointment - I would spontaneously break out into song: "Have patience, have patience, Don't be in such a hurry..

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When Sorrow is Better Than Laughter
Role Call:

by Monte Wilson

One of the many things that intrigue me about Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is how he frequently juxtaposed the joy of the elves with a degree of sadness. For example, "The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful." However joy-filled the elves were by nature, there was always a degree of sadness: sadness over what Middle Earth had lost since its creation, as well as for the fact that they were as yet to reach the grey havens. They were defined by joy, not by sadness...nevertheless, there were things and memories that elicited sorrow.

The reason this intrigues me is that I believe it is a useful metaphor for life on this earth.

Years ago, I used to hangout with some Christians who believed sadness was an evidence of a lack of faith. As this was the year Elvis was rocking in Hawaii in front of a worldwide audience of one billion people,

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Death in a Two-Storey Universe

by Fr. Stephen Freeman

I have written before about the two-storey universe that is part of our cultural inheritance in the modern world. I have noted that the default position of our culture is secular protestantism. I have explained that I mean not that we do not believe in God, but that in our dominant cultural metaphor the God we believe in is removed from our everyday affairs. Often what we are left with is a collection of doctrines to which, for one reason or another, we have given allegiance. But there remains the two-storey universe.

Now the primary difficulty of the two storey universe is that we live on the first floor while (our metaphor would have it) God lives on the second floor. The great unspoken fear for all on the first floor is that no one actually lives on the second floor. Everytime a board creaks we quickly rush to proclaim, "Miracle," mostly

... Continue Reading

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Anglicanism as Sect

by Peter Toon

The Anglican Way as the Church-type or Denomination-type but not Sect-type - a discussion starter

Here I shall use the terms used by sociologists when describing different types of churches. The terms are not meant to be pejorative but function descriptively only.

1.Ecclesia Anglicana, the ancient church in England , was and is a National, Established Church and has two provinces, Canterbury and York. It was a Church-type both before and after the Reformation of the sixteenth century.

2. In Scotland, Wales and Ireland, "the Anglican Church" eventually became a national denomination, existing alongside Presbyterian and R.C. churches. Yet is was territorial, arranged into dioceses geographically. It was thus a Denomination-type in all parts of the United Kingdom, except in England.

3. In the USA what came to be called The Protestant Episcopal Church [PECUSA] was from the 1780s a Deno

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Taylor's Restaurant & Brewery, San Diego

by Jamey Bennett

Taylor's in San Diego is an enjoyable place to "excurt" on your next excursion to the southtown, West Coast. It's easy to be drawn into Taylor's by their gigantic crab leg banners outside and banners that boast beer for the beach. Oh, and Taylor's is right at the beach.beautiful. The best place to sit is on the top floor. It is outdoor dining, and allows a gorgeous view of the crashing waves with the pier in nearby sight. I was not thrilled with our service up there (the service was much better at the bar), but the waves are distracting enough to barely notice. (I understand that Taylor's has remodeled and changed a few things since I was there last, so this review is correct to the best of my knowledge.)

The 411 on the food.The calamari was decent but not a repeat dish; the lobster bisque was fantastic; the Caesar salad was mediocre at best; onion rings were about two notches above Burger King (which is not terrible, but less than you expect from a beachfront restaurant); the fish 'n chips were very good (the high quality of the fish was obvious); and the crab was great. Basically, it was hit and miss.

The beer was a little more consistent, though not my favorite microbrewery. The Gold Light Ale is basically lite done right. I don't care for light beer too much, but this one has notes of fruit (cranberry and blueberry) and is fairly complex. Nevertheless, it is familiar enough that a recovering, bad beer drinker could appreciate it. Their IPA is not quite hopped enough for me, but the flavor is well-rounded. The Hefeweizen is less sweet than many - which might win the Hefe-skeptics over - but the fruit, spice, and floral aroma all come through in a very happy way. The Amber is not very memorable. I do remember thinking that the malt came through rather nicely. But who could say?

The best part? The beer is served at cellar temperature, rather than the American "freeze the dang beer" tradition. Food, beer, service, and cellar temp all considered.I give Taylor's three solid cheers!

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Standing in Awe
Role Call:

by Monte Wilson

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around him. - Psalms 89.7

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. - John Milton

What do these scenarios all have in common?

  • A minister describes God as The Big Guy 
  • An elderly person enters the room, and not one young man or woman stands up in respect 
  • A young woman speaks to an older woman as if she (the younger woman) were at least her equal, if not her superior 
  • A Junior High School Student slumping down in chair, hat pulled down over his eyes, answering his teacher's query with a, "Yup."

Each is an expression of irreverence.

One of the more common characteristics of adolescence is nonchalance: an en passant attitude toward everyone and everything. This is the silly season of hysteria, of independence, of bluff. The adolescent craves independence and superiority. He refuses to ad

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The Great Tribulation of the 1st Century
Role Call:

by Jamey Bennett

Part 1 - Not A Snowball's Chance This Will Ever Happen!
Part 2 - Soon, Near, & Hey, I'm Here

So that brings us to an important question: if many of the New Testament's prophetic events were near to the first century audience, does that mean that the tribulation is a past event? To answer this question, it is helpful if we start with Jesus' teaching in the Olivet Discourse, found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.14 Since Matthew 24 is the fullest account, we will deal primarily with that text. There is no room for a full exegesis, but certain observations must be made before we proceed.

In Matthew 23, Jesus gives the Scribes and Pharisees a good verbal back-alley whacking for their hypocrisy. He predicts that they will persecute, scourge, kill and crucify His disciples in the coming times (v. 34); and in judgment, punishment for "all the righteous blood shed on the earth" will come upon the 

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The Politics of Poverty
Role Call:

Guest: P. Andrew Sandlin

Jim Wallis and Sojourners (Sojo) are calling on Christians to "Vote Out Poverty," by which they denote voting for Presidential candidates who will commit to "cutting in half over the next 10 years the number of Americans living in poverty." Though Wallis and Sojo include in their program a petition for the Republican Presidential candidates, Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards - all Democrats - are the only Presidential candidates whose views are highlighted. Sojo apparently believes that Democrats can do a better job of eliminating poverty than Republicans.

Unfortunately, it is not at all evident that politics (whether Republican or Democrat) is a chief factor in eliminating poverty - though it can be a chief factor in fostering poverty, a fact to which the Marxist regimes of the 20th century bear abundant testimony. Poverty, in fact, is the result of a delicate interplay between the providence and law of God, human action (or inac

Posted by Jamey W. Bennett - 8/9/2007 | Link to this post | Print this post | 0 Responses

McCreary's Irish Pub and Eatery, Franklin, TN

by Jamey Bennett

McCreary's Irish Pub and Eatery, Franklin, TN In the heart of downtown Franklin, Tennessee, is one of my favorite places on earth: McCreary's Irish Pub. McCreary's was started by a couple of great Christian folks who have a passion for life and a love for good beer. McCreary's has five things on tap at all times: Guinness, Smithwick's, Harp, Woodchuck Cider, and a rotating tap for good measure (local brews, Paulaner Hefe, and so forth). A couple dozen other delicious beers sit in good faith in a refrigerator, and a number of wines are stored waiting for a friend.

While the 2-for-1 (Imperial!) pints during Happy Hour attract many, the food is what keeps everyone hooked. I have never had a dish that I didn't like at McCreary's, though I haven't had the whole menu yet because I keep going back to the same things. Everything from the Guinness Stew to the Shepherd's Pie to the Bangers and Mash - all goes down so easily. Even the veggie plate is a winner. So while it is difficult to narrow the food down to my favorites, I'll give it my best. My four favorite dinners are as follows: Corned-Beef Sandwich, Main Street Club Burger, Fish n Chips, and the Wings. The Corned-Beef Sandwich is just out of this world. It is what it sounds like - plus 100 points for flavor. The Club Burger is bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a great beef patty (topped with cheese) sandwiched by delicious buns - oh, and slathered with their signature barbeque sauce. Speaking of the barbeque sauce, their BBQ Wings are amazing. I used to order only their extra-spicy Buffalo Wings (wonderful!), but the barbeque sauce keeps me changing. Oh, and the fish and chips? I've only had fish this good in Kona, Hawaii. And how did I neglect to mention the fries (chips)? At one point in my life I pretty much only drank their beer and ate their fries (adding vinegar and ketchup, of course), and consequently gained at least 10 pounds in three months.

Now, all this would be enough for me to give five cheers to McCreary's. But the atmosphere is fun and family friendly, classy but relaxed. Heck, I love the place so much I got engaged there (and have had birthdays, reunions, celebrations, and so on.).

Previously, I have allowed four cheers to be the maximum for an earthly establishment. The fifth cheer has always been reserved for particular beers - not establishments - that are "out of this world." For the first time ever, I am going to give five cheers to an establishment, because I tend to believe that McCreary's will be a prominent watering-hole in the eschatological new heavens and new earth. So, here goes. Five cheers to The Pub!

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Soon, Near, and Hey, I'm Here

by Jamey Bennett

See part 1, Not A Snowball's Chance This Will Ever Happen

A Snowball's Chance is written from a contemporary perspective, with mostly contemporary organizations, circumstances, and places. Though Duncan is willing to admit that the end-times events portrayed in the novel could be "delayed for years, or even for decades" (4), throughout the novel and in the appendices, the doctrine of imminence, or nearness, of the return of Christ is nearly taken for granted. In Left Behind, one church's "pastor spoke 'often' about 'the rapture'" as if "this is such a common/obvious doctrine in the Bible." There is no indication that ASC's Pastor Bobby is any different, especially since he led an evangelistic study through Revelation and had an antichrist figure pinpointed!

While the book is

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BCP 1662 and USA Editions

by Peter Toon

BCP 1662 (C of E edition) and BCP 1789-1928 (PECUSA edition) are identical in doctrine, discipline and worship

If we are to take the words of the Founding Fathers of The Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. at their face value, then we can assert with confidence with them that there are no substantial differences of doctrine, discipline and worship between The BCP 1662 and The BCP 1789 (1892/1928). Further, we know that the English Archbishops also held this opinion. However, and importantly, this positive assertion cannot be made of the American 1979 Book which is an altogether different kind of collection of services and prayers.

The Preface to the 1789 (also in the 1892 & 1928 editions) states very clearly that there a

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