Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yes, Yes, Yes, Oh Yes!

Are you a Christian man?
When it come to understanding women and your emotions regarding women are you as dumb as a stump?
When it comes to being a man do you default to "behaving badly"?
Did you read "Wild at Heart" and like it?
You need help.

... after two years...
...and a tour of the subcontinent...
March 29, 2008

Seminar Schedule: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Are there basic reasons for everything every man does? The first session explores the claim that we are all after something simply obvious. It is the underpinning of a rationally sound pursuit of being a man.
Sandwich lunch — Noon
As the prerequisite to honour and dignity, a philosophy of position has been lost in modern America. Regaining that mode of thought is essential to becoming the gentleman.
15 minute break
The more masculine virtues of Honour, Dignity, Integrity, and Gravity are the oft ignored virtues, and are not friendly to the modern egalitarian outlook.
15 minute break
Fourth Session: THE MOJO
The Biblical understanding of the Attraction called “Woman” and the benefits of that understanding in resisting temptation and winning a wife.
15 minute break
Fifth Session: The Word of A GENTLEMAN
Gathered from the teachings of that penultimate gentleman, Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield,
and the Book of the Courtier by Count Balthazar Castiglione.
1 hour break

Roast Beast Dinner— 7:00
Attire: Casual
with after dinner

FIN — 10 p.m.

It costs $50.

If you would like to attend click here to reach a PDF of the brochure and registration.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For the Philistine

A couple of posts back I put up a picture of the house across the corner from ours, to which Philistine asked if the Big Haus had mutated into something he did not remember. His memory had to stretch over two decades into the humbler times when he and I spread polyurethane on the oaken floors of the dining room... this,...
(thunder and numinous light blinds us momentarily)

...the Big Haus.

The Conscience of Art

With such a title one would half expect some gasbag arranging an event o'erwhelmed with artistes, while standing under, around, between articles and banners with the word "Darfur" emblazoned thereon. There is something about the claimants to art, who, facing doubts and questions rightly posed about their actual gifts, must prove that they have the soul of an artist. A car mechanic would never think of traveling to some sandy place to walk their artificially tanned arse through starving crowds while mentally composing their U.N. testimony. Yep, mechanics can't do that. And, nope, I am not talking about this conscience posing as an artistic soul leaking out of fleshly finite containers due to over filling (but I did enjoy describing it).
Each part of any art betrays that it is art by this function of conscience. Like the conscience that bothers you when you lie to you friends, this conscience is "with (con) knowledge (science). When any portion (a tone, a color, a shape, a placement, a timing) shows that its participation is with knowledge of the other participants, art's conscience has been expressed.
I used to say the parts of arts functioned "in agreement" but, though that explains a lot of successful works (if not most) I think that parts in disagreement can be valid if that disagreement shows knowledge of the other (rather than mere chaos). Art has a conscience. It wrestles across a medium in or on which the artist shows that the various parts can nod politely, rudely, or amorously at the others,... but they will nod.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Credit where Credit is Due

It is apparent that the faith of a man (his coming to a belief regarding the Gospel) is the thing which God asks to see and subsequently graces the man of faith unto salvation. Some would say that if a man's faith is of himself it is a work and as a work cannot save. But what would keep it from being his work? The answer comes that God gives him the faith as well as the grace.
I ask (as a humble seeker after truth) on what basis was that removal of credit? I answer (because this is a blog and not a forum) that the appeal of the credit removal is our fully functional common sense. It is based on the fundamental nature of justice stated thusly: The agent responsible (and thereby credited) is the agent causal to the degree causal. If God is 100% causal to a man's faith, God is 100% to be credited and man can claim 0%. I believe that is fair, don't you?

But hold on! But wait a dang minute!

Those that claim such a "who do believe, me or your own lyin' eyes" explanation for the source of faith are doing so to protect a broader system in which God is exhaustively sovereign. In such a view, all things, from monad to mood to movements of the heavens, are decreed by God and His will is 100% and no other thing contributes an iota of autonomous causality.
If that is so, and for the sake of taking from a man his own faith, supporters of this broader view have assented to the definition of justice, how is it that any works (denied as a source of salvation) can be works at all? How is it man receives 100% credit for his sins although he is 0% causal? If a man is credited for one, why not the other? If sins are credited because they look like they are done in the here and now by the man willing them and doing them, why not his faith which looked like he had done actually within himself?

I don't ask that that my brothers in Christ who hold such a notion abandon their system of sovereignty but that they admit to proposing a sophistry regarding faith. Its strength as an argument is based on an idea of justice to which they do not subscribe.

Monday, February 04, 2008

On Story

In any narrative laid out before us, we are drawn to inhabit varying degrees of audience-ness. On one pole, that of entirely audience, are those which watch, read or listen to the story from without. They do not identify with any aspect of the story. That is extremely disconnected to what stories involve and reflects on the story (if it managed to represent nothing that is "true" to us) or on the audience (who lives as a practical solipsist). One the other pole is the complete identification with the story. This characteristic in ourselves finds us taking a role in the story like some plain, intellectually self gratifying female of perpetual singleness finding that she breathes the very atman of Elizabeth Bennett. Again this reflects either on the quality of the story or its audience.
The first pole mentioned is pointless to story as stories seek to convey and nothing was conveyed. It was just some thing, an article, like a rock, but a rock has no intention of communication. The second or other pole matters a great deal. The actualness of the story, its truth regarding objective truth, calls to everyone to align themselves truly to the parts they ought. There are women just like Elizabeth Bennett and they should see themselves in her. Tragically there are more Mr. Collins than those who recognize it and equally tragic, fewer Mr Darcys than the actual Elizabeths would like.
But for all this I think about the Gospel. The narrative told us by God is that we are sinners, every man jack of us, and as sinners damned eternally. Now the above description of audience applies. Within Christendom (not Christianity) there are many who see the narrative of God's salvific purpose without seeing their participation in the story. They may advance the story. They may say the story is true. Certainly they, in this advocacy of the story (remember they inhabit Christendom), are not at the first polar extreme. They have heard the story with the attendance and enjoyment of a Stars Wars fan. They have willfully suspended their disbelief and they pretend that the story is true and the equally pretend (for the serious fans) that they are like one or more of the characters. While at a Christian church or conference or concert they participate in the story with the back or nature of their mind ready to realize, on leaving the "theater", that they are not Han Solo. Christianity asks for something more. It tells a story that we are not supposed to enjoy temporarily as if only meeting it with story and audience clearly distinct. It tells a story that is about us. We don't just find that we are "like" a character in it, we "are" a character in it. Those sinners it speaks of are all of us who hear it. To fail in this identification is to fail to have a faith that will beseech God for forgiveness of Our Sins.

The great thing, if we wish to visit our Jane Austen motif again, is that once we discover that we are, actually are, Elizabeth Bennett we know that the story has promised Mr Darcy. We are the sinners in the story of the Gospel and Jesus Christ has died for us.