28 May 2018
For about a year, I’ve been thinking about changing this page. Today’s as good a day as any.
I’m still paddling folding kayaks, still looking for a serviceable Seavivor Greenland Solo, still riding bikes, still reading books. This past year, I’ve read (truthfully) dozens and dozens of Star Wars novels. (Update 11/23/20 – got a 99 cent Kindle Unlimited deal and have been spending a lot of free time reading numerous Galaxy’s Edge novels) That’s (binge-reading Star Wars novels), mentally, like laying on the couch and eating ice-cream out of the carton. I still don’t quite fit in, still almost entirely without social skills, and still tend not to care much about that most of the time.
While most of what I wrote about myself about eight years ago is still true, age has tempered me a bit and I’m a little less comfortable with grandiose, bombastic self-description now than formerly. For instance, I still have a “tendency to disvalue conventional authority while overvaluing my own experience and cognitive faculty when faced with what is usually referred to as an ethical dilemma,” but I’m a little more likely to reflect before acting. My political views are even more anti-communist and I’ve become more Reformed in my thinking and theology.
I’m still unashamedly White, actually happy and proud of the heritage God’s chosen for me. Here’re a few reasons why: “...what I posit are the best features of my Northern and Southern European heritage: again, the value placed upon education, both formal and informal; the value intrinsic to the individual; the value of work; the value of thrift. I see these values resulting in functional vocational and living outcomes, and therefore superior to those fostering dependence and the acquisition of unearned or unmerited gain.” Christian people of European descent are not the only ones who value the foregoing. Also, not all of my co-religionists share my values. Oh well.
Carry on bravely, do the next right thing, do the next smart thing.
ok Now it’s all coming back to me. I remember when I first came by your blog. Speaking of, I gotta get my blogroll back up and in action. After I finish forgiving the world…
very interesting web-site. please don’t tell anyone (aka hubby) that i’ve visited here though, he thinks i should be working, not surfing.
thanks so much for posting theflatironarchive.com on your blogroll. also i told you an incorrect fact. the facebook i.d. you want for us is doodle bug. i apologize for this. theflatironcafe is what we use on myspace. i was confused (as usual). i looked for you on facebook under christov10 and christov_tenn but i didn’t find you. but, i’m not very savvy on facebook so i do well just to log in! anyway, hope all is well with you and yours!
I linked here from some comments on Steve Brown’s blog. I’ve been struggling through some of his stuff, wanting to believe it but afraid of being led astray, and more than a little overwhelmed by the intensity of some of his blog commenters. You seemed to have a reasonable head on your shoulders, so I thought I’d stop by. (I’ve already been driven from a church for being a Calivinist. Lord knows I don’t want to be antinomian, or “emergent” – but the Church is driving me nuts, and I’m tired from making resolutions like Edwards, and feeling guilty all the time, like God’s never really pleased with me.) How’s that for an introduction?
So my husband and I are HUGE Dr. Who fans. We’re actually watching the original series at the moment, because we ran out of new ones to watch. (We don’t have cable or satellite, but wait til holidays and ask for the latest sets as gifts!)
That’s all I’ve got. Hope you don’t mind if I drop by from time to time.
You guys are always welcome here.
I wasn’t actually driven out of the church where my wife and I served as Sunday School teachers and I as a deacon for several years. We voluntarily left that congregation because I perceived it had become sort of a niche or boutique congregation deliberately, but not openly, catering to a particular demographic – and I didn’t see any of that as having more than vestigial relation to Christ and the Gospel. Actually, that group reckons itself very Calvinist. Unfortunately, that seems to mean they are rigidly clericalist in their ecclesiology (I may have misspelled that word). Functionally, they are in lock-step with the folks over at The Whitehorse Inn who reckon cleric-less Christianity the same as Christless Christianity.
I’m not sure where I stand on the whole emergent movement. Strikes me as just another club with somewhat different means of establishing bona fides: Little beards, square narrow glasses, doctorates, “don’t read their books, read mine,” etc. Where the folks from either side of that war are capable of honest reflection and communicating the sense arising therefrom, then I’ll listen to or read what they’ve got to say.
I guess I gradually came to a reformed understanding of scripture on the fourth or fifth reading of the New Testament, over a long period of time.
Having little respect for what passes for authority in or out of what passes for the church, I have some real antinomian tendencies, can’t justify making resolutions I know that without divine intervention on a bone-nerve-joint-synaptic level I will not keep.
To keep from being led astray, here is my completely unasked-for advice: I can only suggest reading the gospels again and again, then the rest of the New and also the Old Testaments in some kind of systematic way that makes sense to you. Ask critical question while you’re reading like, “Why was that included?” and “Who would have known and then communicated this information to the author or to someone from whom the author got the information?” then “What did it mean then (to the original readers or hearers)?” and “What does it mean now? (which is a variation on ‘why was that included?’)” Be honest with yourself and God in prayer as you read the scriptures about what you think, feel, and question about them, and trust God to provide you with some real insight through time.
One of the best things reformed theology teaches is that the only thing any of us bring to contact with the Living God is his having called us, our sin and guilt – the work of salvation is all God’s.
I’ve been trying to get through a 1964 set of Dr. Who episodes entitled The Aztecs. It’s in black and white, and the first doctor is an old man who has a granddaughter. I’m going to have to check Wikipedia to get the story on Who’s granddaughter. Some of the shows from the 70s appear to have daytime drama production values – pretty claustrophobic for this viewer. I’m hoping Netflix uploads the 2008 series so I can get back to the current set of stories and conflicts.
Thanks for your response. We’re on the original 1963-66 shows, with the old doctor and granddaughter. It seems the doctor gets slightly younger with each regeneration. Definite soap opera production quality but wildly entertaining, though some of the laughs were clearly not intended. (The running scenes are a riot.) We’ve recently finished watching a set of the very early Twilight Zones, and feel they may have influenced Dr. Who. One of the episodes reminded us an awful lot of the bomb shelter Twilight Zone – exploring the dark side of human nature and all that. We too can hardly wait to get the next new episodes.
I overstated my case when I said we were driven out. It felt that way, but technically it was my brother-in-law, who was an associate pastor, and several others who were heavily pressured into leaving “willingly”. So they did, hoping to avoid splitting the church. The way they were treated, compounded with the fact that you had to sign a form stating, among other things, that you were not a Calvinist in order to serve in the church, led us to feel that church was no longer the place for us.
I’m not familiar with the “clerical” business you’re speaking of. Probably because our church is independent and baptist. We’re congregational, and so small and new we barely know what we’re doing – which brings its own set of problems.
Again, thanks for your response. I’ll be back to visit.
I get pretty long-winded – sorry about that.
So what is the story with the doctor having a granddaughter?
I can more than equal your wind – no doubt about it. It’s only immense self-control (is there an emoticon for tongue-in-cheek?) that keeps my comments as brief as they are.
I haven’t come across an explanation for the grand-daughter yet. If I find one, I’ll let you know. My husband knows way more about all this than I do, but I haven’t asked him about that. He doesn’t like to give me spoilers. My goal is to eventually see them all – even the ones from the eighties (that’s where that character K-9, the robotic dog, came from, in case you didn’t know).
I love your site. Keep it up !
Cool, I’ll have to learn a bit about blogging from you. I can see this getting as adicting as FB.
Love your blog and your writing style. I like your personal stories, sense of humour and parenting insights and experiences – essential elements of humanity I think. Also all the pics of the waterways where you go kayaking look gorgeous – you seem to be surrounded by lots of beautiful nature. I’m impressed by how you find the time to maintain and regularly update the blog as well as find time to parent, go kayaking etc etc. Well done on a fabulous lifestyle and home-family life!
Your kind words make me blush.
We have got a lot of water around here. One of the great things about Tennessee, as opposed to my native California, is that words like “creek,” “stream,” “river,” and “lake” have more than dictionary meanings, have existence outside the bindings of books.
Finding time gets to be a chore, but it is a creative expression without which I’d probably develop temper problems.
Our lifestyle probably only looks fabulous from a distance. Living is cheaper here, and we tell ourselves “No” a lot.
Hi, nice to meet you !
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You apparently fail to even consider truth in history. The first of our ancestors began walking upright 3.2 million years ago in Hadar, Ethiopia. That is Africa by the way. The white race evolved only after our ancestors moved North out of Africa into present day Europe. Lighter skin is an evolutionary trait developed because of the limited amount of sun in those northern regions. Lighter skin allowed humans to synthesize more vitamin D in places with far less sunlight. You praise your white heritage but you fail to understand that there is no such thing. You fail to understand truth and reality.. Also your christian beliefs were invented hundreds of thousands of years later by wealthy humans that wanted to maintain control over the masses that had nothing. I’m always fascinated by the complete lack of understanding, and inability to learn by christian racists like yourself, but it is truly fucking scary!
Hi Tony, sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you on this. From what you’ve written, it appears you feel irked that as a citizen-resident of the United States of America who resides in one of the republic’s Southern states I’m satisfied with and unashamed of my European heritage. I know, weird, right? I like being who I am.
Your climb down the evolutionary ladder to discuss an ape-like creature nicknamed “Lucy” some bones of which were discovered in the early 1970s in Africa-by-the-way struck me as somewhat non-sequitur but funny. Funny because you insist that’s where human-like ambulation began and you write about that seminal “event” and about that long dead individual as if you have her full particulars and contact information. Such certainty must be comforting, yes?
I did enjoy your remarks about the evolution of lighter skin, Vitamin D, and limited sunlight. When you make the effort to communicate without vitriol, it seems you are able to communicate in a way that can be understood.
Less clear, however, were your remarks about “truth and reality.” Regarding the term “White,” I’d say it’s about as relevant as “Black” as a social descriptor of a segment of the human population living on Earth as of this writing. To say that a fairly easy to define societal subset has no heritage – that is, commonality of cultural elements, migratory patterns over time, or even shared religious beliefs and typical expressions of same – is absurd. Back to Africa-by-the-way, would you describe me as an African American? That’s kind of silly.
As to my Christian faith, it was initially and virulently opposed by those whose goal was to exercise some control over Jews inhabiting Roman Palestine. And wealth? Jesus of Nazareth died shamefully – naked and poor, his body doubtless leaking excrement, blood, and urine in public view. Really, in the eyes of the Jewish and Roman ruling classes, that was abject failure, although good for them at the time.
The way you write about wealth and masses appears indicative of a Marxist bias, yes? One of the things that amazes me about Marxists or those adhering to some version of Marxist political/economic/social theory is that they often actively work against their own best interests, profess shame regarding their own background unless that background grants them “victim status,” have trouble learning from its many failures at nation-state levels, and do not seem to recognize its parasitism.
And your anger – what’s that about? I appreciate that you took the time to respond to something you don’t like that you found on the Internet, but what’s the backstory to your intensity here? Are you a fledgling “social justice warrior” eager to cast upon anyone who dares to identify as a White Christian male the aspersion of Racist? I know, back again to this how-dare-I-not-apologize-and-perform-ritual-dance-of-public-shame? And how do you get to racist from my remarks? Is any White person unwilling to self-pillory racist?
I haven’t disparaged any people or language groups in my remarks. I have disparaged cultural failures, among them those foisted upon humanity by other people of European descent. Those that foster reliance upon government largesse, for instance. I have upheld as superior those cultural and Christian distinctives that promote health, rationality, self-reliance, thrift, and that value the individual. And, if you were paying attention, you may have noticed that I acknowledge that those values are not exclusive to the group(s) with which I most easily identify as well as that others who share my heritage and Christianity hold different points of view.
So, Tony, I hope you have a fulfilling and meaningful life and that you find a healthy way to overcome your anger and impulsivity when you encounter others who do not share your views.
I like your blog and your views. I hope that you start publishing more info very soon. Terry in Texas.