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Issue 032
Pagan Moontide of Augustus 10, Anno Domini 2020
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51

Artwork: "Tea Party"  Artist: alexiuss

This week I wrote a book.

I wasn’t really planning to until last Sunday night when it hit me. Rather than apply TEA noting to seven emerging life’s work book series on TEA notes, what if I just applied it to a topic needing a bit of spit and polish in today’s American climate?

BROKEN was a gift in so many ways, and remains a great resource.  Echo is unquestionably one of the best parenting in the faith resources out there. Ignore Without Flesh at your Sacramentarian peril. 

Talk Them Into It: The Truth about Making Christians is the most exciting book I’ve ever written.

And I’m going to give it to you for free.

Simply stay subscribed to MadPx Mondays a few more weeks, and your preferred eBook format will be a click away from your inbox.

I could say more about how many birds with one stone we at the MadPx High Command are aiming for. But I’d rather get on it. 

Because I really believe this book will be the life changer many of you have been waiting for.

Oh! One more thought for our former-evangelicalism exiles: Put down the paper bag, and put a little trust in the guy you’ve been watching hack attack the white noise in the name of Jesus since I was young (looking) enough to be confused with Doogie Howser. After doing all this work to help see you saved from legalism and the Pelagian despair, do you think I’m really going to leverage my one best shot at breaking the quietist LCMS mold by abandoning bait-switching out the Gospel preaching quest that launched me in this direction all those years ago?

Feel free to be my watchdog. I think you will be glad I found a good plan for sharing crumbs with those still stuck in the muck.

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🔹 A Tesla engineer redesigned the chocolate chip
🔹 Japanese artist makes fun miniature scenes from masks
🔹 ROBLOX is a behemoth
🔹 A.I. makes selfies look like they were taken by someone else
🔹 A carved wooden Toyota
🔹 Dads are awesome! (watch til the end ❤️)

Assume crash position
Clickbait Paradise

There’s Plenty More Stuff in the Sea

A shipwreck from the 5th century B.C. has become the site of an underwater “museum” in Greece, with amphoras aplenty. A marine conservationist has designed a “greenhouse” which he hopes will eventually look like a shipwreck, as it becomes a habitat for coral.

Scientists have found a critter below the sea floor which is so “low energy,” they are having to redefine what it means to be alive. The organism exists on an “energy budget” 50 quintillion times less than that of a human.

Half a World Away

Elon Musk’s Space X Dragon crew touched down successfully this week off the coast of Florida. Lots of folks went out to meet them in boats, causing a bit of chaos for the official recovery team. While waiting to be picked up, the two astronauts made prank calls. As you do.

Challenge Accepted

You may or may not have heard:  A new podcast is coming to Rev. Fisk's podbean.  The channel has been renamed in hopes of using the platform to launch Dr. Adam Koontz, co-host of A Brief History of Power and regular guest on the Saturday Morning Chill, into the intellectual dark web.  How cool would it be if Ben Shapiro reached out to Dr. Koontz to ask "Did you see that?"  Our goal is to turn the channel into the stepstool he needs.

What you can do: Follow the channel, and better yet, leave a review on iTunes!

Green Lights and Deeds Dark

Dutch hackers have tested the vulnerability of traffic light systems against cyber attack and shown that wreaking havoc is not that hard. Wired has reported on the "dark patterns" online retailers use to trick you into buying. Don’t check your brain at the landing page! BTW A Dutch newspaper dispensed with advertising “cookies” from its website (which track activity online and help tailor advertising) and saw an increase in revenue. The clock is ticking for Microsoft to buy TikTok from its Chinese parent company. 

To the darkness of human nature… In Japan you can hire a saboteur to break up your relationship. Where divorce is not entirely “no fault”, some partners might need the extra push to leave the marriage. So deceiving the reluctant spouse into an adulterous relationship may do the trick. It would seem all’s fair in love and war…

Contribute to Mad Christianity

Someone Was Wrong on the Internet

At The Week, Damon Linker wrote an opinion piece on how Twitter brings out the worst in people, which won’t surprise anyone. While he doesn’t delve into our sin nature as much as might be suggested by the title "What Twitter Tells us About Human Nature," he does highlight some of the ways the social media giant has changed our public discourse. While some argue that our “tribalism” drives us to curate our newsfeed in certain ways, reinforcing what we already know, Linker wonders if maybe causality runs the other way. What if people just crave conflict, leading them to form tribes and find "monsters to destroy”? 

Perhaps we Mad Christians would recognize this desire to agitate as more self-justification, keeping the man-made laws of progressive culture helps satisfy the need for righteousness. Comparing ourselves with some virtual villain leaves us feeling less culpable for our own wickedness, while all of our “virtue" is reinforced by like-minded tribe members. Linker is not optimistic that we can keep "online toxins cordoned off in the digital world” and worries that we are "developing intellectual and moral habits more common and suitable to the battlefield than the voting booth.” 

Legislative actions might help break up the domination of social media in our lives, but it is always good to take stock of which “white noise” we let into our heads. The cure for all the rage ultimately is the refreshing Gospel of grace and peace - we don’t have to find monsters to destroy nor live up to an ever shifting list of rules. Our Savior says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Living out of a Suitcase

You may by now have read about Italy’s oldest graduate, 96 year old, Guiseppe Paterno, who recently completed a degree in History and Philosophy. He says “Knowledge is like a suitcase that I carry with me, it is a treasure.” 

We have such a treasure in God’s Word and this man’s devotion to his learning reminded us of Rev. Fisk’s exhortations to commit Scripture to memory, and to “smart note” your Bible reading. Now that he’s finished studying, Mr. Paterno said “My project for the future is to devote myself to writing.” Yes! As Rev. Fisk has pointed out, whatever the future holds for civilization, good writing will be a gift to the world, and an invaluable resource for the church. 

So, maybe get off Twitter, (if you can) and build a library!

Thanks to Us The Chillizen, Josh Radke for reminding us of this gem.. A vintage episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Obsolete Man" is one of those that could have been made today. In a society that has no books, and “truth is a menace”, Mr. Wordsworth the librarian, finds his life is declared “obsolete” by the State. As he is facing his death, he finds great comfort in his shelves of books, reading Psalm 23 from his Bible, as the Chancellor marvels at him wasting his time on such a pursuit.

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

Thank you Justin for this insightful comment on this week's SMChill.

"I just watched your most recent SMChill, in which a viewer mentioned that comic book heroes weren't particularly heroic or good anymore and questioned why it was like that. For the most part, you can blame Alan Moore's Watchmen. While it is a great work in its own right the whole story is a deconstruction of the superhero genre. That's not problematic in and of itself, except for the fact that the comics industry has been trying to deconstruct the superhero ever since, because everyone wants to write "the next Watchmen." If you add to that descontructionist tendency things like cultural Marxism and intersectional politics, you get very bleak and/or shallow stories, at best."

Rev Fisk had a lot of to say in reaction to your thoughts on SMChill. The bottom line? The world needs real heroes, and Mad Christians are in a great position to create them.

A Good Word: Rec's from Rev. Fisk

This week's recommendation is this leather-bound Bible. I'd tell you to go order one right now, but I'd rather you send an e-mail saying Rev. Fisk sent you. Enough Mad Christian traffic may show him the power of this community of Christians. I'm not in it for the money, but I sure wouldn't mind a Mad Christian discount for my listeners. I'll promote him either way.  So, write him an email. Tell him the Mad Christian sent you. Let's see if we can all benefit.


🦸‍♂️ Mutants! Assemble! Movie producer says he’d happily bring XMen into the MCU

🇱🇧 ICYMI: Astonishing footage of the chemical explosion in Beirut

🧵 Cutting out the middle man: scientists grow colored cotton

🦠 Students protest compulsory wearable COVID tracker

🇳🇿 New Zealand company trials long-range wireless electricity transmission

😼 What’s new, pussy cat? Drug smuggling cat escaped Sri Lankan prison

🇪🇸 Former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I has exiled himself after controversy

Sweetness You May Have Missed

This Week Preached

God and Mammon

Recent Release

The Culture War We Haven't Fought

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In the end, it's all Dust anyway:
Creative Meanderings in the Fictional Mind of Jonathan Fisk

New book coming.  I know it's not what you thought.

Let us pray:  Almighty and most merciful God, preserve us from all harm and danger that we, being ready in both body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish what You want done; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.