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31 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    This is a link to a 40 year old article from The Atlantic magazine that explains a lot of things. The gist of it is that diamonds used to be extremely rare, with maybe a pound of them being produced in the world each year. Then an enormous source of diamonds was discovered in South Africa, so diamonds weren’t rare anymore. The value of the diamond was dependent on its scarcity, and now they aren’t scare anymore. The De Beers company controls most of the diamonds in the world and needed to find a way to sell its abundance of diamonds as well as keeping the price up. What follows is an advertising blitz that now has produced the recently-created “tradition” of the diamond engagement ring, etc. It is fascinating how we have been manipulated by De Beers and its advertising agents to determine how we think about diamonds, as in, every bride has to have one.

    While the article is about the manipulation of the populace in regards to diamonds, I suspect we are being manipulated in many, many areas.

  2. Michael says:


    Without a doubt…

  3. Alan says:

    Responds to Brooks whom he considers a friend.

  4. bob1 says:


    Fantastic article. Wow. Really indepth and well done.

    Don’t know if Brooks considers himself evangelical or not, not that it really matters. I do know he was witnessed to by John Stott and Brooks writes about it in one of his books.

    “The next stage in the renewal is what you might call the social reorganization of American Christianity. Denominational differences are becoming less important.”

    Thank God. Lord hasten the day. I don’t know how many people realize that there are more Americans who identify themselves mainline Protestants than evangelical. Evangelicals are often so full of themselves that they think everyone is either one of them or headed to hell.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    If you want an example of what can be communicated in a ten minute sermon, here you go…

  6. bob1 says:

    One (out of more about 2,000) response to David Brooks’s NYT piece about evangelicalism, from a reader:

    This is an extraordinary piece. I have had numerous discussions with my husband’s right-wing Catholic relatives about the former president’s morality and their only response is: “ABORTION! ABORTION! ABORTION!” As far as they are concerned, Trump could do anything he wanted “because of the babies.” He could break any of the Ten Commandments repeatedly as long as “he saved babies.”

    When I point out that he’s on tape saying he’s for “a woman’s right to choose,” they reply that he’s seen the light. When I point out his thousands of lies, they say, “Only the media says that. It’s the media’s fault.”

    My own sister, who gets her political news and commands from her evangelical church, has refused to be vaccinated (got COVID, by the way), because her pastor told her the vaccine was a way that this “corrupt Democrat (sic) administration wants to control you.” When I pointed out that it was developed under the former administration, she called me a liar.

    This op-ed piece, however, captures everything anyone needs to know about the fragility of the argument of evangelicals who say they can look beyond lying misogyny, racism and other forms of hate on behalf of “white privilege.” Jesus didn’t. He doesn’t.”

  7. Em says:

    A “reliable source”. 😉 reported to me that they saw a film of a group of men circled in prayer as snipers strategically placed had their rifles trained on them today…..
    Do we pray? I think so, but what do I know………
    God keep

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    Who were the men? Where did this take place? Who were they praying to? Who were the snipers? Did they fire? WHy or why not?

  9. Officerhoppy says:

    I’ve been in the church world since October of 1969. Been a pastor, youth leader, board member for a radio station, worship leader and music director at a fairly good sized church.

    I’m my years,, I’ve noticed a significant shift in preaching and corporate worship. Rather than teach theologically sound sermons where the application flows from the text, pastors are preaching like therapists and counselors instead of theologians. Most sermons I hear are more like self help messages. Many co8ld be given in a Muslim mosque because they want to be good people too.

    And in our worship, the focus of the songs we sing, or are at the top of the charts, have as their focus “self” not God.

    Forget style and look at the lyrics. We are either acknowledging our love for God, the gift we bring, offering a heartfelt prayer of devotion, encouraging ourselves in our walk, patting ourselves on the back for our faithful service, or, or, or….

    The point is it seems to me that the church has subtly thru the years reinforced or fallen prey to a drug. It’s more addictive than Heroin, Meth, or alcohol. It’s the self.

    Listen to the songs played on K-Love, for instance. They are a major peddler of the drunk of self IMO. Read the lyrics of the songs we sing in corporate worship. There are very few Revelation 4 type of worship songs. Our worship has become, IMO more of a transaction rather than as Ps 29 says, giving god the glory due his name.

    We may give but we expect some emotional gratification or encouragement in return.

    Like many addicts we are in denial.

    The cure to the addiction is simple but very difficult: Die to self.

    Just a passing drive by thought

  10. Em says:

    Josh, Canadian truckers…. since you ask…..

  11. Em says:

    Officerhoppy, last night I listened to a preacher (whose name must not be mentioned here) say exactly what you’ve expressed @ 12:23

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ah, I guess the Canadian government employs the snipers? Just gonna mow the truckers down, I guess? Doesn’t seem likely.

  13. pstrmike says:

    giving thought to hoppy’s post……………

    The addiction to self. It may be the hardest addiction to admit, and the most difficult to become free of.

    I read this book last semester in a counseling class I took. It presented a spiritual discipline based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. I believe that addiction is addiction, no matter what it is that we depend upon other than God. I don’t agree with everything in this book, but I think it gave a good pattern that can be implemented into a person’s life as a spiritual discipline that takes the focus off the self (or as Rohr and others would say, the false self) and place it upon God.

  14. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks for the response and the Link. Curious this comment you made: “ believe that addiction is addiction, no matter what it is that we depend upon other than God”

    So is it your believe that we were created to co-dependent? That may not be the best word. But love to hear your thoughts

  15. Em says:

    Josh, like the lower 48, the government is not their friend now

  16. Michael says:

    The Canadian discussion could go south in a hurry…best left elsewhere.

  17. Em says:

    Will comply, Michael
    God keep! ! ! 🙏

  18. Officerhoppy says:

    I am in a cohort of three scholars that meets weekly to discuss theological things. One of them is a Jewish man, a follower of Christ, and an engineer with two Ph.D’S

    He wanted to bring some clarity on Jesus’ use of the word “Abba”. While it can be used as an intimate term like “daddy” or “papa” that is not the general meaning of the word.

    It is more than that. Here is what my Jewish cohort member wrote, “ The real meaning of Abba
    When I landed at the Tel Aviv airport in June 2007, I had to use the restroom after a long delay: I had just been interrogated by the Israeli authorities—I’ll spare you the details—for three hours upon landing in Israel for the first time. Let’s just say I had to go.

    Washing my hands in the restroom, I overheard an exchange between a Jewish father and his son. You should know that they both knew English and Hebrew. The father said to his son (in English), “When I ask you to do something, I want you to call me Abba.”

    Hearing this, I was surprised by three things:

    That he was speaking in English and Hebrew in the same breath.
    That he was using an everyday experience for child training (good for him!).
    The real meaning of Abba is not what I had been taught.
    Most people think Abba means “Daddy,” but that’s not quite right.

    “Daddy” doesn’t have the bite of Abba.

    It’s personal, which is part of the meaning, but that’s not the whole story.

    Abba doesn’t mean “Daddy.”

    Abba doesn’t mean “Dad.”

    Abba means “Father, I will obey you.”

    Most people think Abba simply means having an intimate relationship with your father, but there are actually two elements, not just one.…

    And there is more.

    I found this information extremely helpful in understanding Jesus use of the term on the cross.

    Thought you guys might appreciate this info

  19. pstrmike says:


    I believe we were created for relationship, and the push toward self esteem and self actualization can actually alienate us from who we have been designed to be, and what we were designed for. If we do not have healthy relationships—which can be caused by numerous reasons—we will see other means to fill the void. Of course, that desire will be stronger with some than others. We all have desires which will be expressed and fulfilled either in healthy, wholistic, Godly ways, or will be met through some other means.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think we’ve read too much into the use of ABBA for centuries now. Most of the extrapolation is from pastors, but not from language textbooks. ABBA means father, and I think that is enough. At other times Jesus used Pater instead. I don’t think he was making a distinction between the two, only using different languages.

  21. Officerhoppy says:

    J the B
    Maybe. But I wonder if we haven’t reduced and deconstructed it’s meaning to make God more accessible to us in our thinking.

    Seems we have. I talk to people quite often to people who like to refer to God as “my papa”. It’s a bit too familiar a term for me to use and it marginalizes the holiness of God.

    But Josh, that’s just my opinion

  22. pstrmike says:

    “It’s a bit too familiar a term for me to use and it marginalizes the holiness of God.”

    I tend to agree, it feels a bit awkward, although Brennan Manning and others pushbacked on that idea. After spending a considerable time reading and rereading A Ragamuffin Gospel, I’m still processing what this word really means in the identification of my relationship with God.

    I would agree for the most part with J the B, however, and refer you to good references such as The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament or the BDAG, both which have surprisingly short entries on the word. Louw-Nida has a more detailed entry and underscores the emphasis upon close relationship, although neither as a “daddy” or “I will obey” concept. Incidentally, Abba is often used with the Greek words pater (father) including (at least in Romans 8:15) the definite article “ho” in Greek which is not translated into English.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    “to make God more accessible to us in our thinking.”

    That was Jesus’ point in using either Abba or Pater – that God IS accessible to us. He IS our father.

  24. Duane Arnold says:

    If it is an Aramaicism, אבא (abba) is simply the emphatic as “the father” or “my father”. Using it as a familiar term, however, is too great a temptation for most preachers… including me 😁

  25. Officerhoppy says:

    Love the feed back. I am no scholar. Just a perpetual student. The concept i presented of Abba was not the result of my own study but merely the comment of someone more familiar with the Jewish culture than me and a scholar.

  26. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m unconvinced. Its the word used in Daniel for the relationship between Belshazzar and Nebachudnezzar. I’m pretty sure it just means father. No need to read much more into it.

    In fact, it is the miracle that we call God father.

  27. Officerhoppy says:

    J the B
    Well, it’s fun to think about this kinda stuff. I’ll check it out further

    Thanks for reading it

  28. JtheB says:

    Yep. Tis fun 🙂 Always good talking to you hoppy.

  29. Officerhoppy says:


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