Rather than the resurrected Lord who willingly offers his own sacrificed body and blood to give humans eternal life, Vampires are resurrected lords who sacrifice unwilling humans to take their blood for eternal life for themselves.
“Yet there is a sense in which a focus on today’s obedience makes a long view possible: it does not yield a map, but it does yield a confidence that he who has called us is faithful, and will conduct the whole Church to her journey’s end. About a dozen years ago, Pope John Paul II agreed to answer some questions posed to him by an Italian journalist named Vittorio Messori. (His answers ultimately became the book Crossing the Threshold of Hope.) One of those questions concerned demographic predictions that Muslims would outnumber Catholics by the year 2000: “How do you feel when faced with this reality, after twenty centuries of evangelization?”
To this inquiry – with its freight of implicit worry – the pope replied placidly. After all, Jesus Christ himself proposed a still more frightening question: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) – will there be any faithful believers at all?”
Alan Jacobs. Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant, “Choose Life.
“Therapeutic theology raises expectations, and it raises self-regard. It isn’t surprising that people taught to be constantly enamored with their own godlike qualities would have difficulty forging relationships with ordinary human beings.”Ross Douthat
“Well, these are sobering thoughts, indeed, and we should take them seriously—as seriously as we can take any thoughts. The immensely difficult trick is to do so without taking ourselves seriously, because one could argue that at or near the very heart of our bent wills is a determination to uphold our own dignity. Milton tells us that Satan decided to rebel against the Almighty because of his sense of ‘injured merit’: he was the one who deserved to be named Messiah, not God’s Son who surely was chosen not because of his ‘merit’ but on account of some divine nepotism. Looked at in the proper way, this idea of Satan’s is simply laughable, which is what G.K. Chesterton was indicating in one of his wisest aphorisms: ‘Satan fell by force of gravity.’”Alan Jacobs, Original Sin
“Comedy … is not only possible within a Christian society, but capable of a much greater breadth and depth than classical comedy. Greater in breadth because classical comedy is based upon a division of mankind into two classes, those who have arete and those who do not, and only the second class, fools, shameless rascals, slaves, are fit subjects for comedy. But Christian comedy is based upon the belief that all men are sinners; no one, therefore, whatever his rank or talents, can claim immunity from the comic exposure and, indeed, the more virtuous, in the Greek sense, a man is, the more he realizes that he deserves to be exposed. Greater in depth because, while classical comedy believes that rascals should get the drubbing they deserve, Christian comedy believes that we are forbidden to judge others and that it is our duty to forgive each other. In classical comedy the characters are exposed and punished: when the curtain falls, the audience is laughing and those on stage are in tears. In Christian comedy the characters are exposed and forgiven: when the curtain falls, the audience and the characters are laughing together.”W. H. Auden
And, after Christmas, I will celebrate Twelfth Night by watching a play entitled the same. In Twelfth Night one finds one of the gravest of Shakespeare’s characters, Malvolio who is the virtuous rascal classified by Auden.
(HT: Alan Jacobs)
A quote sent from a friend…
Am I being unreasonable in thinking that there are some parallels to the contemporary church here? Not, of course, that the pastors are the parents and the congregations are the children. That is a Catholic idea. The parallel, though, does seem to hold at the point of who has the psychological edge.
It would be quite wrong to suggest that pastors and other leaders in a local church have an authority that operates with near certain infallibility, or that what they think should be beyond question, or that their teaching, if they still offer such in church, cannot be questioned. All should be held to account before the same standard that is the Word of God.
By the same token, no congregation can take to itself this authority, and that is what is happening implicitly as consumer impulses take root in the evangelical psyche. All consumers, we need to remember, are sovereign, and the consuming impulse, once it enters a church, makes individual preferences the deciding factor, the driving factor in what that church becomes. These preferences become the standard by which the church is measured.
The moment disaffection with the church’s music, message, style, ethos, amenities, programs, or parking lot(s) begins to take root in a congregation, these new market-savvy pastors fear, they can anticipate dark glances directed toward the front of the church signaling consumer dissatisfaction. The glances will then mature into displeasure, the displeasure will become a seed, the seed will germinate in the internal soil that is ready to receive it, and the decision to walk away will be made. That is the (post)modern version of damnation, at least from a pastor’s point of view!
Never mind. Is it not better to have these people in the church on their own terms than not at all? Is it not possible that they will hear something there that might “click” with them? Why offend them, then, and guarantee that their weekends will be spent away from church? So, make it all as simple as an advertisement, as pleasing as an ice cream in the heat of summer. Make it as easy on the mind as a relaxing show on television. Only give something that works. Do not talk doctrine. Do not hold forth about anything that takes serious effort to follow. Do not sound churchy.”
David F. Wells. The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World (Kindle Locations 528-535). Kindle Edition.