February 2009


24 Feb 2009

I’ve noted before that I believe that our debt-laden economy is headed toward collapse, and that this collapse will be worse than the Great Depression.

To digress a bit, I’ve noticed that churches that believe strongly in word, sacrament, and godly discipline attract solid, godly people. They also attract the occasional oddball, the kind of person you just won’t run into at your average (worldly) megachurch. Similarly, principled political movements attract great people, but also a few folks who are off-kilter. You’ll see eccentrics at a Ron Paul rally that you wouldn’t have seen at a McCain rally.

In Intellectuals, Paul Johnson noted Karl Marx’s journalism background and his apocalyptic, melodramatic tendencies. If you’ve read boards about surviving a crisis, you’ll find similarly apocalyptic folks who spread (imo) as much chaff as wheat (e.g. Alex Jones). Folks whose imaginations seem a bit overheated, who’ve maybe watched a few too many zombie movies and read a few too many novels. Just the other day I came across a thread where a man polled others to ask if they would eat another person if things were bad enough. The majority of the poll respondents would not rule it out. Alrrrrighty.

How do we approach the topic of “surviving an economic collapse” which is so attractive to crackpots and unstable people? First, one should be discerning, because history shows that strange people attract followings in hard times (a good church will aid in your discernment). Second, though, don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater by closing your eyes to the real possibility of economic collapse. The road we’re headed down– the destruction of the currency– is a road other countries have taken. The result isn’t pretty. Although I don’t agree with everything this guy says, including his occasional profanity, posts like this are instructive (note: not for the squeamish) as we face a possible time of troubles in the next few years unlike any we’ve known.

18 Feb 2009

Pastors: This will add some real power to your next sermon. So much for Romans 10:17.

09 Feb 2009

Its hard to imagine that the popular culture in American once embraced elegant, adult (in the good sense of the word) entertainment like this. Imagine people going out for an evening in a suit and tie. I’m not sure if I even have a suit that fits.

This isn’t a call to return to the 1940s, but just to note that we have become a society that venerates youth. Instead of young singers singing adult songs to adult audiences, we have classic rock geezers still making futile attempts to hit notes they haven’t hit since 1974. Compare that to a Tony Bennett who is singing the same standards he sang 50 years ago. Bennett’s arrangements may be in a different key, but it still sounds “right” because it’s timelessly clever pop music instead of youthful fantasies about a scarred old slaver whipping his “brown sugar” around midnight. An old man just can’t do a credible version of, say, Black Dog.

Have you heard this? Surreal satire like this must make even rock music fans admit that pulling a rock vocal from its context generally reveals the essential ridiculousness of it all.

03 Feb 2009

What’s the most popular post in the illustrious history of Jack’s Pipe?

“Who cares?” you say. Now you be nice!

The most popular post in the history of Jack’s Pipe is this one. Two years after it was originally posted, it received 280 hits last month. Who woulda thunk it?

The credit for the post goes to the man whose writing I simply rearranged. Bill Mouser, take a bow. Your scribblings have undoubtedly blessed many, including me.

It’s kind of exciting because I like Anglicans very much. I love the music and the 1928 prayer book. I prefer the Thirty Nine Articles, J.C. Ryle and Church Society variety of Anglican to the Rowan Williams variety. I think Anglicans should’ve adopted the Westminster standards, but it’s probably time to let that go. I have a good friend who is Anglican. He sometimes laughs at me instead of with me, but I won’t hold that against the rest of you.

Psalm chanting (and no, this isn’t New Age chanting) is something all of God’s church could learn from our Anglican brethren. I don’t know of a better way to memorize the Psalms. I much prefer chants to the metrical Psalter because you read them right out of Scripture.