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Monthly Archives: August 2010

A growing Riley

I was able to go with Alicia for her ultrasound last week. So far, all seems to be well with our little one. One highlight, captured here: we got to see the baby sucking its thumb. It was quite amazing to see its little jaw moving.

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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Personal

 

On the general intelligence of folks

Once upon a time, on some discussion website, I saw a commenter’s signature that included this gem:

Consider how dumb the average person is. And now consider that half of the people are dumber than that.

Now, in all honesty, I find this quite funny; I also recognize that it’s supposed to be funny, and that it’s not intended to be subjected to analysis. But analysis is what I do, so let’s consider why it’s funny.

It seems to me that this quip works only because of the Lake Wobegon effect: many people tend to think that “most folks” (a category from which we exclude ourselves, naturally) ain’t too bright.

Making a quick application, it seems to me that this (mis)perception diminishes expectations for our congregations. I have heard, on many occasions, that some hymn or teaching or book or whatnot ought not be thrust upon a congregation, because, after all, “Most people just wouldn’t get it.” Our helpful advisor nearly always exempts himself from great unlearned hoard; he would understand, of course, but they wouldn’t.

I’m certainly not prepared to base an entire philosophy of ministry on this observation: I’m merely contending that too many ministries have built their philosophies of ministry on the assumption that average people are below average.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2010 in Society

 

A link, posted with envy

I don’t own a real smartphone, but that doesn’t stop me from being jealous of this writer, who managed to turn off his phone. Some thoughts worthy of consideration there.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Random links, Society

 

The illustrated guide to facial hair

Note with particular attention the entirely accurate description of the full beard. I think that the illustrated guide in tandem with Ryan Martin’s timeless historical theology of beards are sufficient arguments to draw into the question the spiritual wisdom of the clean shaven.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Random links