Archive for the Counter-culture Category


Posted in Christianity, church, Counter-culture, God, Humor, Jesus, Ministry, religion with tags , , , , on April 4, 2009 by Robaigh

Cool post on idolatry.


Tikkun Olam

Posted in Christianity, church, Coincidence, Counter-culture, God, Identity, Jesus, Ministry, pastor, religion with tags , , , , on December 7, 2008 by Robaigh

Heschel – or at least his ideas of guilt versus responsibility – have been on my mind lately.  It was serendipity that led me to this wee blog post this morning.

Interesting post on hell

Posted in Christianity, Counter-culture, Ministry, religion with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by Robaigh

Keller is fascinating to me.  Good writer, too.


Posted in Counter-culture, music, Random with tags , , , , on August 23, 2008 by Robaigh

It’s been a long 5 weeks.  This past Thursday and Friday we took the last “regular season” Greek vocab & translations tests.  I did OK, but not as well as I could have, had I been able to motivate myself a little better.  Eh, water under the bridge.  The final is coming this week, and I’m not overly stressed about it.  I’m missing some of the nuances of translation, but I’ve got a whole year to work on nuanced translation and exegesis.  It’ll be good, but I’m a bit “over” Greek for the time being.

As a means of decompression (not to mention the added bonus of wearing out the hounds and getting a bit of exercise ourselves), we took the pooches down to the farmers’ market again this week.  It’s become a ritual, rain or shine, and I’m really enjoying it.  Back in Indy, there were a few markets here and there, and even though the quality was usually pretty good, it should have been much better in Cornopolis, and there should have been more of them.  Anyway, this one is right downtown in DBQ, and it’s good.  We got one bad melon there, but everything else has been dreamy.  Heirloom tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, wicked-fresh (Plymouth Rock!) eggs, and even sausages and bacon.  There’s good music there, too.

Took a couple of pics.

Mayflower smiling on the jungle gym

Mayflower smiling on the jungle gym

Hildy bustin loose on the slide

Hildy bustin' loose on the slide


I repeat: WTF

Dont know this bands name, but these gents were good.

Don't know this band's name, but these gents were good.

Where’ve you been all my life, Tom Waits?!

Posted in Counter-culture, Identity, music, religion with tags , on August 9, 2008 by Robaigh

I’ve admired the concept of Tom Waits for a long time.  Loved his little cameo appearances in various films (esp. in Terry Gilliam’s incredible The Fisher King).  But I never really listened to Tom Waits or paid a whole lot of attention to him.  I think his voice – now a hint of Howlin’ Wolf, now a touch of Captain Beefheart – kind of kept me at bey.  But a few days ago, New Friend Mark lent me TW’s Mule Variations and I am HOOKED!

I’ve heard people refer to Waits as a brilliant theologian of sorts, but didn’t really believe it until now.  Here’s a wee sample.

Plain? Absolutely. Simple? That’s another question.

Posted in Christianity, church, Counter-culture, God, Identity, Jesus, religion with tags , , , , on April 4, 2008 by Robaigh

I just went over to the Theos Project website and ran across this post about the Amish and a bunch of really interesting comments.  The post speaks for itself, so I won’t rehash the themes too terribly much here.

I have a keen interest in Amish culture, having lived and worked for about 1.5 years in their vicinity in east-central Illinois.  My interest doesn’t consist of an appreciation of their “quaintness” or anything like that.  With my (albeit limited) exposure to Amish folks, I quickly came to realize that, while they are an intentional community of people striving for an ideal, they are nonetheless people.  That means that they are fallible, susceptible to the same temptations that the rest of us are, and all that stuff.  That’s why it doesn’t surprise me that Amish teens “pimp out” their buggies in the years leading up to their baptism, that they sneak away and flirt with (and often overindulge in) “worldly” pursuits such as sex, alcohol, drugs, rock & roll, etc.

I’m interested in the Amish because – like any culture one can look at somewhat objectively – they’re really, really interesting.  While I lived in Illinois, I did some work with an Amish guy who gave up farming in the 1950s in order to run a small engine repair business.  His eldest son decided not to join the community, but instead became a Mennonite and runs a trucking business in a near-by farm.  I’ve met a guy who used to build frame barns – the stereotypically Pennsylvania-German frame barns, using hewn timbers, mortise and tenons, and that whole schmear.  That guy was the last one in the community to have been actively engaged in that type of construction.  He was also used by the US government during WWII as a guinea pig in various medical experiments, which was a fate common among Amish conscientious objectors at the time.  I’ve met an Amish inventor who had just written a book on electronics and was working on a translation of the text from English into Hochdeutsch for sale in Europe.  I met a woman who makes and sells quilts and another lady, a re-married widow, who together with her second husband has 100 grand- and great-grandchildren.  I met horse farmers, auctioneers, hardware store owners and cabinet makers.

It was really interesting to learn what diversity exists within Amish society – how different one community is from another.  I was fascinated to find out that, whenever an argument arises among “progressive” and “conservative” Amishfolk over things like the adaptation of new technology, how the progressives tend to split off and form a new district while the conservatives – while certainly feeling the strain related to the loss of those families – become free to retrench themselves in (oftentimes even more) conservative practices.

It was extremely enlightening to observe relational struggles within families.  For example, the re-married couple I mentioned earlier were dealing with a certain amount of tension involved with blending two firmly entrenched personalities in order to form a “new” family.  When my friend and I dropped by one day to chat, the husband was away, so we had a chance to talk with the wife.  She said that he was out at the coffeeshop instead of being at home working on the cabinets he had been promising her since she moved in.  She had managed, she said, to get him to clean up all the engine parts he had left scattered about the house for who-knows-how-many years, but that she still didn’t have a place for her stuff.  She mentioned that, if he would just spend two weeks worth of coffeeshop visits working on her cabinets, she could stop bugging him.

Before my time in Illinois, my exposure to Amish culture was limited to movies like Witness and to the relatively infrequent encounters I had with them at the museum where I worked.* It was really nice to get to know some real, non-stereotypical, authentically striving yet occasionally failing, honestly Christian Amish folks, and to get a glimpse into some aspects of their culture.  I wish I could have spent more time with them.

* Quick story: I was working at a living history museum where we were portraying life on an Ohio farm in the mid-1880s.  We strove for authenticity in material culture to such a degree that we were always aware of areas where we failed to meet that high standard we had set for ourselves.  One day a group of Amish people came up to me as I was working in the barn.  An older woman – clearly the matriarch of this group – approached me and gave me a hard time about using square hay bales, since those were not appropriate to the time period we represented.  I explained to her that we were aware of the problem, and I mentioned that I had been considering buying round bales (those giant ones you see out in hayfields), and rolling them out in the loft, so that it would at least look like loose hay.  This woman got a surprised look on her face and said, “Oh!  Can you still get round bales here?”

“Yes,” I told her.  “Why do you ask?”

She said, “Well, where I come from, those are illegal.”  I was taken aback a bit, and it occurred to me that maybe her community had decided not to adopt the use of round bales for some reason.

“Huh.  How come they’re illegal,” I asked, completely innocently.

“Turns out,” she replied, “the cows weren’t getting a square meal.”  (Insert rimshot here.)

This is a true story.  I walked face first into that one.  We laughed for about 5 minutes straight.

Referral: Stuff White People Like

Posted in Counter-culture, Humor, Identity with tags , , on March 22, 2008 by Robaigh

Oh.  Holy.  Crap.  This is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. 

Now go and get some mayonnaise, put on your crocs and enjoy.