Bonhoeffer Monday, Mar 31 2008 

The other day I watched “Bonhoeffer” on DVD, about German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed by the Nazis near the end of WWII. I also have one of his books — I hope I don’t have the wrong title here, but I think it’s Discipleship.

Bonhoeffer is quite the interesting individual. He had some ideas that were quite unorthodox in his day — and some of which would still be considered unorthodox today! (Not necessarily un-Orthodox, mind you — lower-case “o”.) To give one example, according to the documentary, in German Evangelical (Lutheran) churches of the day, the Sermon on the Mount was something to convince you how sinful you are, but not something to strive to live up to because it was clearly not possible, and was therefore not what Jesus intended. Bonhoeffer disagreed and placed great emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount as a guide to what it means to be a Christian.

To give another, Bonhoeffer came to believe that Christian ethics and the will of God were not something to be found in a list or a simple set of rules, but rather have to be sought, and may not be immediately obvious. You can see here the struggles he had to deal with personally in Christian ethics, as he moved from a strong interest (perhaps even belief) in pacifism (perhaps as a reaction to WWI), to being a part of a conspiracy seeking to murder Hitler. According to the film, when his fellow conspirators worried if they were acting correctly, if it was in fact ethical to do what they sought to do, Bonhoeffer encouraged them that it was.

I have found the book difficult to read — 1940’s style prose is not my favorite, and Bonhoeffer definitely writes like a philosopher, not my favorite subject matter — so I’m glad I got the DVD. On a sad note, the director of the documentary says that for several of the friends/family members interviewed in the film, this was actually their last interview. And, if nothing else, it should give us all something to ponder…and pray that we, unlike Bonhoeffer and his friends and family, never have to move our pondering out of the realm of ideas.

Interesting Clip From Al-Jazeera Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

And, finally, check out this interesting video clip from Al-Jazeera, posted to a blog by Peter, who, as you will quickly see, is quite likely Baptist. = ) The speaker makes points which are politically incorrect in this country, much less in Qatar and other places in the Islamic world. Interesting that she was able to give them voice in this forum.

Why Blogging Anew Today? Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

Because I’m so excited that Battlestar Galactica’s about to start up again!

I love-love-love this show, one of my very few remaining “appointment viewing” shows these days. And, actually, I haven’t loved it as much the last season or so, I guess, too much of the weird-o mythology stuff. The 2003 miniseries and Season1 was some of the most gripping TV drama I’ve ever seen. BG, for my taste anyway, is at its best when dealing with how these flawed, very human characters themselves deal with all the tragedy and trauma around them…not when having drug-induced visions or finding Athena’s (or whoever’s) arrow, etc. I am glued to the TV when it’s about people pressed in at every side and forced to make difficult decisions…the Cylons are interesting but I find the human characters much more engaging.

And, wow, the closer of the last season…like…a year ago already???!!!, season…3.46 or something like that probably…wow. Tori, Tyrol, Anders, Tigh, all Cylons?

Huh?

What?

I hope this is some kind of hoax, because it really sucks the believability right out of the show if this is really true. If there are only 12 models of Cylons, and presumably (?) there was no way to predict which ship/s might survive the initial devastating attack, how is at all possible that BG could be so thoroughly penetrated? Dontcha think somone would have noticed if the same 8 or 10 people were on every ship in the fleet? Not to mention the age issue brought up in someone else’s blog I saw — Col. Tigh served with Adama way back when, before there were human-model Cylons. So…how could he be a Cylon? Lest you say that maybe this has been a big part of a plan, and BG was supposed to survive all along, well, besides making most everything that’s happened on the series pretty much from day 1 essentially pointless (I guess if they’d really run out of water the Cylons would’ve had to secretly ship them some…?), recall also that the other Cylons didn’t know these guys were Cylons either, and were in positions to kill them (and nearly did in some cases) at various points in the series. I don’t see how it’s possible that there could’ve been any grand plan in getting Anders on the ship; that one was pretty darn fluky (and out of Cylon control).

Another problem with this is the issue of the babies on the show. So we know Hera is half-Cylon…and what a big hoopla there’s been over that. This would make Tyrol and Callie’s baby half-Cylon too. But there was no bizarre-o imagery of Six and Baltar and theaters and baby cribs involving that baby. Or could it have been that baby…?

This is the murky road I don’t like going down. Or could it be this, or could it be that? X-Files (one of my fave shows) went too far down that path, so that eventually I completely lost track of where the mythology stood. (Wait, was it really aliens kidnapping people, or evil government agents, or evil businessmen, or evil tobacco companies…?) At the point where I get too confused to follow what’s going on I also pretty much stop caring.

So…if this were all some kind of hoax, something done to these people while they were on New Caprica, that could be pretty cool. One week until we find out…potentially…yeah, probably not.

Venturing into Blogging Anew Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

I’ve given up hope of ever again being able to access my old blog (point-nine.blogspot.com). So I’m back…not that anyone has actually missed me here! But it was kind of fun. Oh, and the “import” into WordPress function? Yeah, gotta have a Google Account for that one too. Blast that Google Account baloney. I had no problems until that issue arose… ah well.

And, why .9 Repeating Decimal, should anyone wander across this who hasn’t already heard the impetus-for-blogging story? Check out the original blog, original post. My world has righted itself since then. = )

And BTW, can I just say, I don’t have a clue what half (more actually) the functions on this blog hosting site are. Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out. But, bummer, apparently I can’t type in color here like I could on my original blog. I like typing in color. Beats me what the point of a tag is, but color looks pretty.

Hello world! Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

The Real Footage from Hillary’s Trip to Bosnia Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

Came across this as a total fluke.

[Warning: one shot is a wee bit graphic. But not fake. Not in the slightest.]

Old News on Christian Apology to Muslims Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

…which was new to me.

Actually I think I’d read about this before, but hadn’t seen the specifics, or the names of those who signed it. The letter itself didn’t shock me (as the title to the blog post said “liberal” Christians), but the signers did.

I’m not a big fan of apologizing for someone else’s actions (not to mention someone on another continent some…700 years ago or something, as in the Crusades?). I think it cheapens the sense of what an apology actually is. How can “I’m sorry that I spoke harshly to you yesterday” and “I’m sorry that (I? we? my/our ancestors? they? some European Americans?) unjustly drove (you? your ancestors? them? some American Indians?) off their land” really be the same thing? I don’t have the power to apologize for (atone for, rectify) what someone else did. (I can, of course, acknowledge that it was wrong.)

And I’m all for expressing cultural sensitivity and for loving one’s neighbor, no matter their religion or anything else about them (it’s kinda in the Bible). But I can love my neighbor while not agreeing with all the choices my neighbor makes; it’s not my place to condemn a person for his/her decisions, but nor is it appropriate for me to adopt those decisions myself or accept them as equally good. Equating Christ and Mohammed (or any other person), or the Bible and the Koran (or any other book) is…well…I can certainly understand how a non-Christian might do this, but I’m not quite sure how a Christian can. How can you claim the name of Christ, and place Mohammed’s teachings alongside Christ’s as if they are equally valid and essentially the same? This is an aspect of liberal Christianity that I just haven’t been able to wrap my head around.

So…the signers? They included Bill Hybels (Wilow Creek) and Rick Warren (Saddleback), neither of whom I would consider liberal (at least before this!). I can’t put my finger on what specifically I know about Hybels, but clearly I’ve absorbed enough about him to be shocked that he would put his name on this document. And Rick Warren? I had some concerns, or call them quibbles, about him, but I try very hard to avoid the vitriol and witch-hunting that has so infected some corners of Christianity, and assume the best about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Reading this post has, shall we say, greatly increased the concern, and “quibble” is probably no longer the appropriate word.