Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.


Wednesday, July 03, 2002  

Wax Nose Department: Antithesis has an article on the growing acceptance of homosexuality by the church. The authors, James White and Jeffrey Niell, state that the roots of this phenomenon can be traced to something Francis Schaeffer observed in the 1970s: our society's lack of overriding principles, and a relativistic approach that infuses our thinking. This leads to what White and Niell call "wax nose morality."

A humanistic approach to morality suffers from the “immaculate perception” that says, “My ways are always right and everything else must fit.” This approach has the effect (whether admitted or not) of viewing God’s standards of morality to be the equivalent of a wax nose—capable of being shaped according to the whim of the shaper. “Wax nose” morality renders God’s moral pronouncements to be temporary and optional. In all of this, God’s authority is questioned (“Has God said?”) [4], and! therefore, what God has declared about righteous behavior may make for nice history (for other people!) and perhaps exhibit keen insights from which we may glean some guidance, but is, according to this new (im-)morality, archaic and repressive. We are witnessing what happens when God’s absolute, authoritative standard is removed or redefined. Sliding into some kind of “new morality,” some kind of the unthinkable, and doing it without a jolt becomes easy.

[Note: This article is adapted from the introduction to White and Niell's book, The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible's Message about Homosexuality.]
This article is particularly interesting to me right now, as I'm in the midst of preparing a sermon on the Authority of Scripture.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:37 AM
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Sorry, Wrong Number Department: Checking my Sitemeter referrals reveals that DFO is the number one result when you Google lewis carrol pedophilia. I don't think this is a thing I really want.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:27 AM
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Tuesday, July 02, 2002  

Links! We've Got Links! Department: Observant readers of DFO (probably both of them) have no doubt noticed Hippocampus Extensions has been added to the links. Issue number 4, "The Suffering of God" is now available.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:23 PM
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Monday, July 01, 2002  

Ben Beilharz offers some advice on "how to be at least as rude as Jesus," which he sums up thus:

Here is my polite advice: If you're being rude to be interesting, start again. If you're being rude to boost your ego, start again. But above all, don't cause divisions that haven't already been caused by heresy. You need to be clear in your own mind about which doctrines cannot be compromised. If someone stands opposed to the truth in these areas then the division has already occurred, whether they are being nice about it or not. But don't cause division by being rude about the smaller, disputable matters.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:56 PM
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Outland Unplugged! Department: One of the most refreshing things about my two-week hiatus from home and work was the fact that I was also disconnected from The News (TM). Didn't see newspapers, didn't watch the news, didn't listen to radio (well, once, when I was wondering about some clouds looming on the horizon), didn't read any pundits, or blogs.

Yeah, there were some interesting discussions going on in the blogosphere that I missed, but I got caught up on those fairly quickly. But when it comes right down to it, I didn't miss much of real importance.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:41 PM
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The Brothers Judd have some choice words regarding Mike Newdow and his effort to have the Pledge of Allegiance banned.

If you've ever been to an AA meeting or some other Twelve Step Program you may be familiar with the idea that one of the ways in which a family becomes dysfunctional is that rather than requiring the person with the problem to meet social norms everyone else starts warping their own behavior to try to minimize conflict with him. Soon you have a solar system where the previously normal planets revolve around the diseased star, which exerts an unhealthy gravitational pull on the whole family. Daniel Patrick Moynihan has referred to how this is happening on a national level with the felicitous phrase : "defining deviancy downward".

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:22 PM
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We're Back From The Shadows Again Department: Make that back from vacation. A moderately good time was had by all. The only real crimp in our plans came when my eldest daughter chipped her heelbone three days into the trip. We had to pay a visit to the Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace for x-rays. She was fitted with a splint (now one of those Velcro (TM) -fastened walking casts) and we tossed out our plans to bike around on Mackinac Island. In spite of all that, we did have a nice time on the island, and also visiting my brother and his family.

But it is good to be back.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:36 AM
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