Tuesday, August 07, 2007

You're really not going to believe this

Okay, if you read that last post, you might be thinking as follows: Suppose, Dan, that I go along with your crazy ideas about not reading too much into the text of the Bible, and I decide not to play cryptic crossword with parallel passages, or impart too much knowingly significant double entendre to the ones that just happen to support my worldview. Tell me, Dan, is anything left of the Bible at all? Is Christian faith possible? I'm glad you asked. Without having the time to go into it tonight, let me just say a quick yes and definitely to that. There are views of inspiration, of the spiritual intervention of God in shaping the Bible, that do not require us to construct Bible codes to divine God's intent (such as we can).

I also had an interesting talk with Sarah about whether or not it is right to take these positions on marriage and the Bible when so many other people disagree with you. Are you crazy? I think she felt better to get that out there, not in so many words. I guess this is a question that can challenge any Christian thinking. Is it important to be right, in the doctrinal sense? Does right in the doctrinal sense mean right with God? And if not, what good is it? As a related issue, how can we tell Christian orthodoxy from Christian heresy? Are you a heretic? And if so, what should you do about it?

I hope to get to these questions this week, so berate me if I am being slow.

But now for something completely different. Long-time readers of this blog will have heard ad nauseam about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and its related spinoff show Angel. It took Sarah and I most of a year to watch them all. Once, under the weather, we did 8 episodes in a day. Well, a few days ago, having no Harry Potter to read and no obvious substitutes (yet; we are taking a trip to the library soon) without much discussion, Sarah and I decided to start watching them again. 3 episodes down, 251 to go.



Well, I'm reminded of Dorothy L Sayers on Dante's Divine Comedy. She said, more or less, "Once I cracked the book, all my prejudices were dispelled. I read it as fast as I could. When I came up for air, I looked around and saw nothing better to read out there. So, I started it again as breathlessly as the first time."

Except for The Simpsons, which pile on to the DVR about three times a day (and some of the newer episodes are getting pretty good again), there's nothing better to watch this summer than Buffy and Angel. Period. Ok, ok, so Season 1 is pretty hokey-fenokee and everybody looks so young. But it's the best.


Tina - Ladydove said...

When I'm up late night or early morning with Baby Marissa I catch some of Angel. It looks good, but I'm totally lost at what is going on. We are finishing up Forever Knight marathon from Netflix (yeah vampire show, go figure, us weird Christians) and thinking of following what you've said and try out Buffy. We are a little anxious about it, it seems a bit chickflick like, because well it's called Buffy, ya know? Would you recommend any order of watching though. I know you said Angel actually happens during Buffy in one post (yep I do read your post)
If we don't do Buffy, perhaps catch up on Stargate or delve into Farscape another show that is on many times a week but I don't know the story line.

About all the dogma and doctrine stuff, I'll leave Jonathan to deal with that lol.

vince said...

The combination of Buffy and the Bible is boggling.

Personal gripping of truth is unwise even if it is Bible-based. I do not have perfect understanding of God or of the testaments of His Word. Perhaps I need to move with a bit of humility in my interpretations. A help to understanding is found when I submit myself to the Spirit and my siblings in Christ (The Church).

Anonymous said...

Ever read any of the Dorthy Sayers murder stories? Lord Peter Whimsey is a great read and better than rehashing Buffy if I dare say so myself. Or you could read some decent fairy tales like the ones by George MacDonald. Go do some classics! Harry Potter was okay and I am indebted to Rowling for getting a generation of kids to read but there is such a wealth of material out there that is BETTER than Harry Potter. The old shows are best because back "then" you could actually take time to tell a story without having to shoot someone every other minute or hop into bed with every possible character involved.

I think I will go see Live free or Die tonight just to remind me of what bad pictures do to us. Totally selfless of me to do this action study for the greater good!


Dan Lewis said...

Tina - Buffy isn't really a girly show. It's really a genre urban fantasy show that happens to be set, at first, in a high school. I'd say if you liked Forever Knight, you would be likely to like Buffy.

The story is a little gothic and you would get the most pleasure starting at the beginning. Angel split off from Buffy after season 3. Seasons 4 through 7 of Buffy aired simultaneously with seasons 1 through 4 of Angel, Buffy episode x airing the hour before Angel episode x. Then, Angel did a season 5 after Buffy ended. I think chronological would be the best way to go; Sarah and I watched all of Buffy, then all of Angel, which also worked pretty well.

And hey, if vampire TV is all it takes, I guess I'm a weird Christian too.

I haven't seen Stargate, but it has been catching my eye at Costco.

Vince - I agree with the need to find a spiritual community within which to read the Bible. John Michael Talbot pointed out in his book that Catholics and the Orthodox would prefer that instead of reading the Bible directly, you do sacred reading (especially as a part of meditation) by starting with the Fathers' interpretations.

Community is at the heart of the issue when it comes to heresy and orthodoxy, something I'll get around to soon.

Anon - I am a big fan of Lord Peter Wimsey. I am just now recovering from being a poor college student, so instead of owning them, I read my parents' copies... until, that is, I found a bunch of them for 50 cents apiece at the Logan Library used book rack.

My wife has glaucoma, so we usually do audiobooks, or I read aloud to her. Sarah reads, but not in quantity. Harry Potter was a great convergence between sf and entertainment for both of us.
Buffy is kind of the same. But I'll propose Dorothy Sayers too... Murder Must Advertise is one of my favorites.

Classics are kind of my department.

Thanks for watching Die Hard for the rest of us. Due to an accident of history, I've only seen the first one... I'll be with you in spirit. :)

vince said...

Some of my best 'discussions' on Scripture have been with some dead people ... through books. Though I am pretty certain that they really are just asleep in Christ.

I agree that the community extends though space and time.