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Pagan Moontide of Mars 16, Anno Domini 2020

Oculi 3: God is Faithful even when We are Faithless

"The Lord, who is with me, is my helper.  What can mankind do to me?" Psalm 118

Christian LARP-Wizardry is a Blast

My new favorite toy is imagining that the actual God-given created order is, in truth, a procedurally-generated dystopian-fantasy-sci-fi FPS rogue-like (one life only!) video game in which I (and you, and all Christians everywhere,) do, in fact, get two lives.

In said uber-forever game I am currently a Cleric-Bard-Wizard-Paladin-Inventor. I need a better moniker for my class! More on that next time.

This can make even things like applying for a mortgage something a child may call “fun.” It's not just a meaningless chore anymore. It's essential experience points needed to level up my "upon whom the end of the ages has come” base-camp post-modern-homestead against the darkness.

What a rollick it can be to make convincing yourself that life actually is a game your primary homework assignment for a month. Christianity and the Christian life is the ultimate role-playing experience, intimately designed by the Almighty Creator for your “entertainment,” formally referred to in most other societies as "life.”

We shall see how long I can keep it up. But at the moment, I am treating the Greek of my confirmation verse like a Harry Potter spell for warding away self-doubt and shame, but with D&D-esque requirements such as focus and pronunciation for level of effect - which indeed is an authentic result of my own paying attention to the meaning of the verse itself as God's word for my life.

It seems to be expelliarmus-ing nicely. Treating each morning Psalm like a wand to cast over my day is equally as vivifying to the imagination born of the practice. I encourage your own gamification of everything in the world immediately.

Agoras-thaete gar timeis!

Rev. Fisk

When China sneezes, the world gets a cold*

Coronavirus has triggered panic in many parts of the world, however a particular strain of idiocy is infecting Australia. Our antipodean Mad Monday team member has reported outbreaks of Prepper-style madness with pasta, olive oil, sugar and of course, paper products being snapped up in large quantities. While it may go down in history as the “Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020”, we need to point out: it's not cholera, people.

*thanks to Helen Raleigh at The Federalist for this awesome quip

Going gets tough

Rev Fisk wrote last week about experiences during the Lenten season "amassing to preach to [us]” and this article ponders the way people without hope make ’totems’ for themselves when faced with the threat of sickness and death. Mad Christians know that we don’t need to succumb to Coronapanic, but cling to all Christ promised. As one pastor wisely said, “We take the Supper and we take precautions."

The CDC has issued a helpful guide to educate about how COVID-19 spreads, and Mr. Microsoft, Bill Gates, is developing home testing kits for people who suspect they may have contracted the virus.

Laughing in the face of danger, some clever clogs have devised out-of-the-box ways to help you stop touching your face (desktop computer only) and a UK teenager has made handwashing less prosaic. A little Luther makes the time fly by!

Can anything good come out of Wuhan?

Yes! A story emerged this week from the Chinese province at the heart of the coronavirus, proving a universal truth: kids hate homework. Quarantined Wuhan school students are required to log in to an app, DingTalk, to complete compulsory work set by teachers. However, the canny kids realized that rating the app with 1 star would make it drop out of the app store. That's an A for ingenuity.

Big tech, big grocery, big data

You may be aware that Amazon has been opening physical stores (Amazon Go), with the recent addition of the Go Grocery automated fresh food store in Seattle. Customers gain entry to the store by tapping their phones, then, by use of sensors and cameras, whatever they place in their carts or backpacks is charged to their Amazon account.

But rather than keep the cashierless tech to themselves, Amazon will license other retailers to install their Just Walk Out system. Is this a benevolent gesture from the online gargantua or another avenue for data harvesting? In any case, disappearing check-out operators Thanos-style may not be helpful for the job market or social capital, as encountering a real human while buying your milk can really change your day.

Lo-fi fun for the rest of us

John Collins, who set world records with his paper planes has released an instructional video showing how to fold one of his best aircraft. Named Susanne for his wife, this should fill a spring afternoon nicely.

Time to hit the coast

This may provoke some sand castle envy but these modernist creations might also inspire a beach vacation. Well, we can dream.

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Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

  1. LCMS has reported that all synod missionaries are safe.
  2. Wokeness is the mindkiller.
  3. Thieving bears become honey connoisseurs.
  4. Awesome hi-res panorama from Mars Rover.
  5. Bones and skin are being 3-D printed.

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Your Reaction Highlights

Secularum and the Defilement of the Epoch

Before you are speaking of the 1st article nature of "secular" and "worldly", and after Wolfmueller speaks of 2 stages of enlightening wisdom.

Both perspectives are well taken. But so far, up to 1:03, there's still no direct comment on the inherently negative aspect of the Greek "cosmos" all over the NT, at least as an explicit contrast to Christ. Wolfmueller comes near this, but he remains at "wisdom of the world", and you clarify that the idea is we should not idolize it, but nonetheless, the wisdom of the world still stands as a substance to be reckoned with over and against the abolition of reason in this age.

Again, all fair and well said.

Just thought a nice capstone to the discussion would have been an intentional handling of the meaning of cosmos. What does the NT say about the cosmos that goes beyond "reckon with cosmos-wisdom, but don't idolize it"?

I do appreciate your (so-called by some maybe) "unorthodox" takes on things, your "crazy" takes or whatever. They're generally helpful. But sometimes I think a little nuance is lost in the excitement. I suppose that if some of that transitional work was done up front for a lot of your takes, it would push your idea exponentially further.


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Let us pray: Ancient Joshua, like the son of Ephraim, who fulfills all that the Lord promises to do; even, Joshua, David’s Son, who, unlike the son of Ephraim, by unifying God and man has put an end to Baal worship once and for all, teach us to boast in you, even as you reign in scars of glory at the Maker’s right hand, by your Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Oculi 3:
God is Faithful even when We are Faithless