Showing posts from 2014

Christianity as an Institution

Here’s a snapshot of a conversation I had about Rob Bell and his expulsion from Evangelicalism.  I think it provides a succinct view of my current take on Christianity, so it’s worth recording.
“To be fare, Bell has questioned important parts of the Gospel itself. Should questions be asked, sure. Should a person be allowed the freedom in church to discover the Gospel without legalism forced upon him, of course. Should the church expel those who disagree, absolutely not. Bell is not however just an "evangelical" or a "Christian". He was and is a Church leader which comes with higher standards and higher responsibilities when it comes to teaching and proclaiming the Gospel.”
Me: Saying a Christian leader has higher standards seems to me to imply that those who come to different conclusions have lower standards or are not as high quality. But your point is, I think, that to be a leader in a particular group, one must maintain most of the doctrines of said group. As true…

Sculpting Hollywood Style 2

One decade and two weeks ago I took a sculpting workshop from famous Hollywood creature designer Jordu Schell.  A friend at work had made all the arrangements.  Well over the years, and especially the last one or two Jordu and I kept in touch.  Thanks to Facebook we’ve had some pretty deep conversations, and at some point he asked if I’d arrange another workshop up here.  I’ve never done anything remotely like that before.  I don’t even remember ever buying my own plane tickets, let alone buy them for someone else.  (I don’t know how I made it to age 39 without ever having done so, but there you have it.)  Anyway, I figured it was a good chance to get some life experience and maybe make some contacts.  So I managed to figure out how to work my contacts to advertise, collect money from 30 people, coordinate with a local school (thanks DigiPen) for a room, buy plane tickets, hotel, oh, and I hadn’t even considered a rental car and daily stipend for the guest teacher!  

Well fortunately, …

A Grandfather I Never Knew

This won't be of interest to anyone but me and my immediate family.  (Or future historians who want more data on my roots, you know... because I'll be famous and all.)  This was written by my dad.  
John Foreman at 100 – September 19, 1914 By Frank Foreman on September 19, 2014                 John was born on September 19, 1914 in Bellaire, Ohio.   Europe had just fallen into Armageddon.  In the first six weeks of the Great War France had already suffered a quarter of a million casualties.  The Austrian army had been beaten back by little Serbia and was not doing well.  But the German war machine had run through Belgium and was pushing deep into France.   It had also pushed back the initial Russian army thrust into east Prussia.  They were winning victories at every turn. 
John’s father, Joe, had immigrated to Ohio a decade before to escape this horror.  His grandfather had fought in five German wars.  Most of Europe knew that a big war was only a matter time.  Joe must have …

Habit of Mind

Yesterday I decided to do one pig-out weekend before trying to go a whole month with virtually no carbs.  I’ve been trying this crazy Carb Backloading scheme because it let’s you eat donuts and stuff.  Turns out it seems to not be working for some reason.  I think you’re supposed to eat moderate amounts of sweets, but the way my brain works is that once I eat one tiny treat I turn into Cookie Monster. So I’m going to try the program (which includes no breakfast, evening weight lifting and under 30 grams of carbs a day) without the donuts part to see what happens.  
Anyway, the point is that while driving to get a haircut, when I was thinking of what delicious thing I’d have for lunch this cheaty weekend, the first thing my brain did was visualize the refrigerator and the things I had cooked that week.  This amazed me, because I remember that several years ago, before I got serious about my weight/health, every time I was in the car it was an opportunity to get fast food.  An opportunit…

Chivalry is Dead. Long live Chivalry!

A friend and coworker of mine prompted an interesting debate on Facebook by asking if it’s sexist for a man to offer his seat to a woman on the bus.  

It brings up all sorts of interesting issues, one of which is the concept of chivalry.  Chivalry is in itself a very interesting topic, with a fascinating history that pulls together a variety of institutions and world views, many of which are out of vogue amongst the cultures I circulate.

When I was composing a list of 12 virtues I wanted to articulate through a coming of age ceremony I created for my sons,  ( ) Chivalry was on the long list.  Though it got cut as I boiled the essence of  that giant list down to just 12.  And I think that same process I did can be used to “salvage” this anachronistic value for our post-modern gender-equality, post-Christian western cultures.

What I did was to break down what I thought the heart of chivalry was about.  Or a…

A Time to Listen

Last week some guy went on a murder rampage/suicide after posting a bunch of videos and a very long written diatribe about how unfair the world is and how he never got the women that he deserved.  These kinds of stories never interest me.  The specifics of particular crazy and/or evil people just don’t grab my imagination, shock me, or make me go through the processes that normal people do.  However, something that HAS interested me is the ripple this sent through the social media world.  His misogynist views sparked a giant ruckus amongst the feminist community, causing a lot of usually-closet feminists to come out loud. The interesting thing to me was the tenor of the messages I was seeing.  It seemed almost like a backlash against men qua man.  It seemed that way to others as well, which lead a lot of men to be become defensive.  No one likes to be painted with a broad brush or accused of aiding and abetting terrible things.
This is where things get tricky.  Because if I understand…