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Issue 030

Mad Mondays Issue 017
Pagan Moontide of Julius 27, Anno Domini 2020
"For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does." Psalm 33

Artwork: Big Bad Wolf   Artist: Ninjatic

Do you have a hero?

Who is he?

What is your favorite story about him?


Please, take a moment to stop the white noise you're getting out of the blue light to answer those three questions in writing. Then, come back. Trust me, the internet will still be here, obnoxious as ever. But, what I say next will mean that much more as well.

What you have just achieved is the establishment of your own value hierarchy. This is very much something worth paying attention to, both in the concept, and in what it means to you personally. 

A value hierarchy is a set of ideals that you love. They are an ordering of things you find lovable. There is something in them all that you find to be larger than yourself, and in so doing, you draw and build your sense of personal wealth around them.

One moment of note about this is that, in an instant, you can see that all the talk about relativistic moralism is onomatopoeiatic in substance from the start. It takes a value hierarchy to decry value hierarchies. If you like a good story, you can’t be an honest anarchist.

It is important also to see that the histories of men who have intentionally dismantled their ideals through philosophy and word games, (men like F. Nietzsche, for example) live to regret it in their personal lives. Only chaos ensues in a world with no more heroes. But the intellectual bankruptcy of so-called “post” modernism is old hat to anyone watching: we are all cynics now, unless we are born again.

The cool thing is that, because you are a Christian, and thus care less about arguing for the existence of value hierarchies with faithless, loud skeptics, and you care more about building a life in harmony with the values that you know to be true. 

That is, you already know your value hierarchy, the answers to my opening questions. It, and all great symbols, stories and songs, are a molding artistry that has, by the power of words, grown your self-image as a reflection of these most explicit ideals

It is one thing to have this happen to you. It is another to be aware of it and control it for your own benefit. It is a third to apply the thinking to raising Christians. 

Starting at square one: learn your own explicit ideals by translating the 1st note you already took into something more elaborate. 

Secondly, discovering that you are disappointed with your ideals is the first step to changing them. 

Better than all, as long as Christians draw breath, this world will not be void of heroes, both people, like you, who find your hopes enlivened by all truly good stories and people, like you, who head off to the heavenly war against the darkness every day, because that is the story you’ve been given by a God whom you trust implicitly, thanks, of course, to the union you have with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Therefore be imitators of … Christ [who] loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Until next time,

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

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

Thinking is so gangsta
Clickbait Paradise

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

We came across an awesome interview from the Unherd podcast with philosopher Matthew B Crawford, who is a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia. He was formerly a motorcycle mechanic and has used his love of motoring to write, as he describes, a “meditation” on self-government, agency, and community. He sees driving as a perfect metaphor for current cultural changes - automation and ride sharing in the transport industry mirror the march of the new technocratic social order. Both threaten to render us “passengers” in our own lives. 

The danger that Crawford highlights is an idea he calls “safetyism”. It is the subject of his newest book “Why We Drive” and he lays out the ideology of safetyism as: the safer we become, the more intolerable any remaining risk appears. While there is nothing sinister about wanting to eliminate risk or keep people safe, going off the beaten path is often what freedom looks like. Crawford warns that if our desire to be safe is left to “colonize" every human activity, it has an infantilizing effect on society, under the cover of "equality". 

We justify our desire to keep everyone safe by pointing to "the least competent among us” -  the most inept motorists make self-driving cars necessary, see? Yet Crawford argues that a free society only remains viable if we extend to each other the benefit of the doubt. Esteeming someone better than yourself is a gamble, but it is one worth taking to reach a grown-up society of free citizens.

Crawford cites reading about a Waymo car that waited at an intersection until all other cars had gone through. Reflecting on what went wrong, the Google engineer in charge of the trial concluded that humans just need to be “less idiotic.”  That’s if you regard the human mind as an "inferior version of a computer.” Thinking this way misses the “social intelligence” of people and how they interact.

Compare that story to Crawford's experiences in Rome and in London where, at busy intersections, drivers wave each other through, and work things out together. He draws a contrast between following rules vs following the “flow”, which grows out of a community where people respect each other enough to let them try things. He concludes that this is not something that can be mandated from the top, down. 

Crawford has previously written on the value of working with your hands and also on the rise of entities that profit from “harvesting" our attention.  He sees all these things as connected - automation robbing labor of its dignity, the distracting drain on our attention from media, and now, the desire of big tech and government to put everything on training wheels. Retaining our agency, taking control over these aspects of our lives, is pivotal to vocation, marriage, family life, and freedom. 

While the naysayers will make accusations that he is “clinging to the past,” Crawford is not a technophobe.  He just asks that people consider the "adequacy of the status quo” and question the assertion that “The Future" is inevitable, as Progressives say. As Rev Fisk might put it, “Cui bono?" In this case, it’s not about nostalgia for a past era, but satisfaction with the present that Crawford is defending.

Noisy elites today seem to want society to exist as a neat “bundle of sticks”, all cut to size (see SMChill July 25th), yet communities are more like trees, as Pastor Fisk pointed out. While the powerful will use their wealth, influence and cancel culture (perhaps “cultural Leninism?") to make us care, humans are not robots and freedom doesn’t come as a flat-pack. 

Mad Christians can hear the warning being sounded here - whether we see “1984” or “Brave New World” being played out, we need to be clear-headed. There is a difference between what a tool does for us and what it does to us. If a new technology makes us less free, steals our peace or dulls our faith, maybe we should pull the plug.

Shout It Out

An experimental blood test could detect cancer years before symptoms appear. Also in early development, researchers think that they may be able to find out who has COVID by the changes to people’s voices.

Speaking of changes to voices, Iceland has launched a tourist promotion where people’s screams are played over loudspeakers placed in remote areas of the country. If screaming at glaciers is not enough, National Geographic published a little history, showing how long we’ve screamed for ice cream. Well, maybe just eaten it...

Also, The Federalist podcast laid out reasons why schools should reopen, sooner rather than later

Back the Mad Christian

A Bird's Eye View

South of the border… Mexican drug cartels use cell phone towers for their own equipment.

And across the sea.. China seems to love building crazy glass structures: cue this monstrously long glass foot bridge. A couple of cars were driven over it just to prove how strong it is. But not everything is roses in that nation, as the Chinese Communist Party has ordered people to replace any posters of Jesus with portraits of Chairman Mao. There are also calls for boycotting of Chinese grown cotton, as it is produced using the forced labor of the Uighur population. Back in the West though, the distraction of the pandemic means we’re not reading the Bible as much as we were.

We, the Woke

Sometimes, politics can be so absurd, it makes you laugh. A GOP Congressman has suggested that the Democrats should be banned, based on their own standards of who deserves to be canceled. The writer also points out that the founding family of the New York Times owned slaves, which should raise questions for Woke progressives. But, it probably won’t...

In case you missed it, Canadian comedian Ryan Long made a funny (in a sucker punch kind of way) viral video, outlining how the Woke and the racist agree on quite a lot.

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

A SuperChat from Jedi Knight Anakin Cringewalker:

I’m gonna recommend "A Gentle Introduction to Mencius Moldbug" by The Distributist. It's about an hour long and touches on this topic of libraries and dark ages.


Hey Pastor,

I have been digging through the Intellectual Dark Web trying to understand the ideology behind what is going on with the riots and why BLM are self professed Marxists. I have collected the stuff I found into a playlist and have been passing it along to friends and family members.

I thought I would go ahead and pass it along to you as well.

God bless,

Promo of Friends

"A Day of Joy in Kenya"

Naudot, Kenya. "Pastor May concluded by reading verse 39 [Acts 2] again, saying that he was there to offer baptism to anyone 'whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.' The patriarch of the household, elderly father of Abraham and Daniel, raised his hand indicating his desire to be included into Christ’s family. He was baptized first, which was a matter of great importance. Traditionally in Maasai culture, many elders consider Christianity for women and children and the men hold to their traditional gods. What an exultant joy it was to welcome him in the throng of saints through the rite of the Holy Baptism! Following their father and grandfather, thirty others moved forward to line up by the baptismal font. Parents with beaming faces carried their little ones to be wrapped in the loving arms of the Heavenly Father. Clapping and happy laughs followed each baptism as the salvation was extended to these beloved members of the family."


🏪 Micro: rezoning residential neighborhoods could mean tiny businesses could open there. It might be nice to see the return of corner stores! 

🚥 Macro: Elon Musk’s Boring Company is proposing piping cars through tunnels on electric skates at 155 mph to ease city traffic.

🧶 Somebody's got time for that: realistic cats made from felted wool and meticulous stop motion animation (with behind the scenes at the end).

🦸 Superman builds super computers: Henry Cavill’s favorite hobby

🔒 The first "uncuttable material" could be used for armor and more prosaically, bike locks.

🇵🇱🏗️Polish motorsport fans used cherry pickers and cranes to watch their favorite teams.

Sweetness You May Have Missed

This Week Preached

The Good Kind of Slavery

Recent Release

A Call for Brotherly Justice

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

Rev. Fisk is travelling to the Bugenhagen Conference in Wisconsin this week, so Creative Meanderings is on pause.  Come back next week for a rewritten intro and the first two chapters of Emberfall.

Let us pray:  Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope, and love, that, receiving what You have promised, we may love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.