Pithy quotes from our current reading which give us pause to reflect

That’s what I get for blitzing through rather than reading slowly!

Yes, they do count, and the ambiguity is exactly why there is such a thing as “the Oxford comma”.

The final one is especially potent as without a comma it appears to be saying that the Queen is a well-known madam and also a prostitute.

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I don’t think they are always necessary though, and when speaking, a ‘commatic’ pause is rarely taken where they’re not.

Good words.

     Joy & Strength

From N.T. Wright’s sixth lecture (where he speaks of Love as a way of both knowing and understanding - and the same lecture which concluded with a poem already shared above).

The resurrection of Jesus, comprehensible as the fresh apocalypse within the Jewish world we’ve studied, announces itself as the new creation; not as a replacement for something which has been thrown away. But as the rescue and renewal of the old. This unveils not only the Creator’s power, but the Creator’s love. As in the covenant language of Deuteronomy or Isaiah, the resurrection reveals that the cross was the supreme act of love. And the resurrection itself declares that God so loved the world, the Creator loved the old creation itself and had all along been determined to rescue it. If we understand ‘resurrection’ in merely a Platonic sense, as with late 2nd or 3rd century gnosticicism with Jesus soul going to Heaven and other souls hoping to follow him, then the world of space-time and matter would not be ultimately important and we shouldn’t try to deduce from it anything about God’s ultimate truths. You don’t find gnostics doing natural theology.

But if Easter was the start of a new creation … and not a fresh creatio ex nihilo … if creation is therefore an act of love, God’s love for the old world and its image bearing inhabitants, then the old creation as it plays host to the new, is itself validated - reaffirmed retrospectively.


So I have finally imbibed some good (not great) fiction by reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, a clever tale woven around the many worlds hypothesis which looks at the experience of one 30 something young woman whose regrets pushes her to do herself in. It is well written for creating a context for that central idea which is easy to follow and making it easy, even fun, to do so. But while some laud it for the depth of its characters I have to lament that the depth is largely just gestured to and rather than being deeply embodied by the characters.

I have no excerpts from the book itself because it is a fun read which could be easily spoiled and because I just don’t find much to chew on here.

It took me while to get into it as I am so put off by the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics and the way that keeps getting folded into discussions of a multiverse. Interestingly I am no longer enamored with a multiverse. It maybe, and may not be but is not worth much consideration IMO. But the many worlds theory is even more suspect than multiverse speculation at least according to this article) by science writer Philip Ball in Quanta Magazine.

It is the most extraordinary, alluring and thought-provoking of all the ways in which quantum mechanics has been interpreted. In its most familiar guise, the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) suggests that we live in a near-infinity of universes, all superimposed in the same physical space but mutually isolated and evolving independently. In many of these universes there exist replicas of you and me, all but indistinguishable yet leading other lives.

The idea that the universe splits into multiple realities with every measurement has become an increasingly popular proposed solution to the mysteries of quantum mechanics. But this “many-worlds interpretation” is incoherent, Philip Ball argues in this adapted excerpt from his new book Beyond Weird.

After the Danish physicist Niels Bohr articulated and refined what became known as the Copenhagen interpretation — widely regarded as the orthodox view of quantum mechanics — in the 1930s and ’40s, it seemed that the central problem for quantum mechanics was the mysterious rupture created by observation or measurement, which was packaged up into the rubric of “collapse of the wave function.”

The wave function is a mathematical expression that defines all possible observable states of a quantum system, such as the various possible locations of a particle. Up until a measurement is made and the wave function collapses (whatever that means), there is no reason to attribute any greater a degree of reality to any of the possible states than to any other. It’s not that the quantum system is actually in one or other of these states but we don’t know which; we can confidently say that it is not in any one of these states, but is properly described by the wave function itself, which in some sense “permits” them all as observational outcomes. Where, then, do they all go, bar one, when the wave function collapses?

At first glance, the many-worlds interpretation looks like a delightfully simple answer to that mysterious vanishing act. It says that none of the states vanishes at all, except to our perception. It says, in essence, let’s just do away with wave function collapse altogether.

This solution was proposed by the young physicist Hugh Everett III in his 1957 doctoral thesis at Princeton, where he was supervised by John Wheeler. It purported to solve the “measurement problem” using only what we know already: that quantum mechanics works.

But Bohr and colleagues didn’t bring wave function collapse into the picture just to make things difficult. They did it because that’s what seems to happen. When we make a measurement, we really do get just one result out of the many that quantum mechanics offers. Wave function collapse seemed to be demanded in order to connect quantum theory to reality.

So what Everett was saying was that it’s our concept of reality that’s at fault. We only think that there’s a single outcome of a measurement. But in fact all of them occur. We only see one of those realities, but the others have a separate physical existence too.

In effect, this implies that the entire universe is described by a gigantic wave function that contains within it all possible realities. This “universal wave function,” as Everett called it in his thesis, begins as a combination, or superposition, of all possible states of its constituent particles. As it evolves, some of these superpositions break down, making certain realities distinct and isolated from one another. In this sense, worlds are not exactly “created” by measurements; they are just separated. This is why we shouldn’t, strictly speaking, talk of the “splitting” of worlds (even though Everett did), as though two have been produced from one. Rather, we should speak of the unraveling of two realities that were previously just possible futures of a single reality.

(The many-worlds interpretation is distinct from the multiverse hypothesis, which envisions other universes, born in separate Big Bangs, that have always been physically disconnected from our own.)

This novel depends on the portion I quoted, bolded and italicized in the first paragraph. But setting that aside as being no more nonsense than entering another world at the back of a wardrobe, the story moves along nicely. Very much a plot driven story reminiscent of one called Blood Music I read with @Kendel and @Klax not too long ago. More clever than profound unless the whole infinite selves playing out simultaneously carries more wonderlust for you than it did for me. A well crafted and fun read.


I’ve downloaded the sample and found it begins well, pulling the reader into the story, which is a gift I wish I had. I’ll probably have to read it later because I’ve started writing again, but the first pages have attracted my interest.


There are some nice perspectives that come out of it which require no physics but nothing remarkably new.

Not current reading, but I got around to watching the Jesus Revolution “docudrama” on Netflix about the start of the “Jesus Freak” phenomenon in the 70s and its influence on CCM, the Vineyard church movement, and charismatic evangelicalism in the coming decades. Well worth the time. My only criticism is they ignored the fact that Lonnie Frisbee was gay. It adds a whole 'nother dimension to the story.

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We were just talking about that over Thankgiving. They hinted at his sexuality and drug use, but did not really go there. It is interesting reading to look at the history of what followed. And the latest chapter of the Vineyard church is interesting, in not a good way, a well: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/november/vineyard-anaheim-wimber-scott-lawsuit-dwelling-place.html


I decided to watch it, and only minutes in I have a comment: I got to interview Smith once and on the topic of the Lord’s Supper and he avoided saying it “represented” Christ’s body and blood, he just looked at us and asked, “What is written?”

The scene where the girl passed out and had to be turned on her side hit me hard: that’s the same thing I had to do for a friend in high school. It was staff training weekend for us older kids who would be the counselors living in the cabins with the sixth graders at Outdoor School, and someone had hiked a mile and a half up the beach to bring back beer to the bonfire. Except it wasn’t just beer; someone thought it would be fun to pour out a quarter of each bottle and pour in 90-proof Everclear. For teens who’d never tried beer the taste didn’t warn them, and several ended up in serious condition, passing out. Apparently no one knew what to do so someone came and got me.

I also got to meet some of the Love Song members. I didn’t know they were such a crucial part of the Calvary Chapel phenomenon. Also didn’t know about the transformation of Chuck the movie shows. But I did know that when Chuck made his “the door is open both ways” announcement only two people walked! And I remember Chuck saying that Calvary Chapel happened to him.
One thing that hit me was that people I met there who were wearing three-piece suits were some of the first hippies who went to Calvary Chapel. It was kind of weird to hear them telling about laying hands on a car when it wouldn’t start! And they told about the tent, that they expected it to get filled in a month and it was already overflowing the first day!
(I’m trying to remember if I got to meet Frisbee)

This movie is bringing back some heavy memories. When I was there and interviewed Chuck (along with a friend) they were in their third building and still doing beach baptisms. They had several houses kind of like the group one in the movie (though with stricter discipline!); we got to stay at one to see how life there went.

Quite the memory journey.


Of course. It’s the usual “based on true events” Hollywood version. I grew up in that era but only vaguely aware of Jesus Freaks. I was 10 in 1972, and Christian music was never my thing. By the time I was 16 in 1978, I was listening to the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Clash, etc. On the other hand, I was reading Francis Schaeffer and Hal Lindsey. Ugh.

Appreciate your perspective.

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An interesting article on that angle:

Along the same lines, Greg Thornbury’s biography of Larry Norman

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  • Whoa! I’m having flashbacks and I’m not even drinkin; smokin’, or consuming any hallucinogenics! I went “home” to S.F. in August of 1971, after my discharge from the Navy, traveling to India, and returning to the U.S.

I remember reading Lindsey’s first book and thinking the guy was brilliant and crazy – that was as a counselor at a church summer camp; another counselor had become a Christian only months before because of that book and was handing out copies to everyone.

Schaeffer I didn’t encounter till later, and something always struck me as being somewhat off in his writings.


That sounds more like the way I understood it. The movie has Love Song there before the thing caught fire; I knew that wasn’t accurate – I met both Chuck Girard and Tom Coomes and knew they’d been a band before they were Christians. After the visit where a friend and I got to interview Pastor Smith and check out all the Calvary Chapel ministries I found myself wishing I’d been born earlier so I could have been a part of it all.

Love Song’s first album was the first cassette tape music I ever bought, and years later it was the first one I played on the stereo I’d scrimped and saved to afford to put in my car.

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And then, along came the evil Mike Warnke. Come to think of it, maybe he was my first real conspiracy theorist. Certainly strong on fabrication and spinning narratives.
He did a great deal to promote the CCM and related culture, by using the fear of hell to try to terrify us into giving up music that needed something to replace it.


You gonna be okay, Terry?

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  • Ha! yeah, fortunately I can laugh at myself, am humbled by the memories, and believe that Jesus is the substance of my hope and the evidence of things not seen.

That brings back memories! Not so much of what he said - though now that you mention it, yeah! I remember him as having that very kind of flavor! I remember sitting in an auditorium while he pounded the microphone into the palm of his hand - letting the deep ‘thumps’ make that impression on our gaping youthful minds of the nails going into Jesus’ hands. Or something like that. He was the orator of the moment for us! And so of course when it came to tales of his Satan-worshipping past, we totally drank the koolaide.


And the damage that people like him do! I don’t remember anyone with authority in our churches ever admitting that he was a liar and a fraud, either.

The nonsense carries on today, just with more respectable, understated style.