Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stuff around the net

TORN has an essay on Tolkien, and the Christian themes in the hobbit.
While a number of Christian elements can be found in The Hobbit, three of the most important are its Christian sense of purpose, its Christian sense of Providence, and its Christian sense of morality.
Tolkien’s contemporaries — writers such as Sartre, Beckett, and Camus — show us characters whose lives have no meaning or purpose other than what they themselves invent. By contrast, Bilbo is chosen for a specific purpose — one he did not create and even rejects at first....
If in The Hobbit we find a special sense of purpose Christians can identify with, we also find a Christian sense of Providence which also can be traced to Tolkien’s view of the world.

All those modern elites who proclaimed how brave and countercultural they were, are actually walking in lockstep with the other elites. What they have in common is that they hate the bourgeoisie and the virtues and pleasures of ordinary folk (and often wanted to eliminate them. Don't believe me? just check out the headlines that ridicule ordinary folks for going to church, or just for enjoying a Christmas feast because they figure that even Jesus enjoyed a good party.)
And Tolkien, like the Beowulf writer, sees no problem in mixing the good elements of northern myth with the Christian idea of hope...

so what does that have to do with Christmas? The GermanShepherd explains:

 God has appeared – as a child. It is in this guise that he pits himself against all violence and brings a message that is peace...(Saint)Francis loved the child Jesus, because for him it was in this childish estate that God’s humility shone forth. God became poor. His Son was born in the poverty of the stable. In the child Jesus, God made himself dependent, in need of human love, he put himself in the position of asking for human love – our love.

Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God’s humility...Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light...

Canadian paper sarcastically compares the Queen of England's greeting with the Pope's sermon.

apple and oranges, but they are too stupid to know the difference.

Includes this factoid: the queen spoke in 3D (!)

Queen:Her message was pretaped, but broadcast in 3D. She (presumably) used a teleprompter.

Pope:It was a live sermon, so he had to own any verbal stumbles. He read his sermon off actual paper, with the video posted to the Vatican’s YouTube channel – less than 500 views by 6:30 p.m. (ET) Tuesday.

Advantage:The Archbishops of Canterbury and York trumped them both by tweeting their sermons.

Holly Ordway's Christmas poem 


good news for the Philippines: Latest typhoon did little damage.

here, only rain. The good news? No floods. The bad news? The roof started to leak again.

Harbin's Ice festival


they have a computerized LED in the ice sculptures.

Rihanna gives over a million dollars to a hospital in her native Barbados to buy new equipment.


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