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.


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.


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.


Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Random links