Classical Christian Self-Ed


Doing some REAL reading

A while back I looked up the list of United States Poets Laureate just to see, out of curiosity, how many I'd ever read or heard of.  I figured, since I'd excelled in English and Literature in High School and college, that maybe I'd probably had some exposure to a bunch of them.  Little did I know... Literally...

Since the inception of the program in 1938, there have been 51 poets laureate, and my score was a rousing 4 (8%) (if you count Robert Penn Warren twice since he won it twice.)  I was ashamed.

So, I figured I'd look up the Nobel Laureates in Literature.  Those guys were more famous, so certainly I'd do better on that one.  Not really.  Of the 103 Nobel Laureates in the past 110 some-odd years, I'd read or heard of 28 (25%)

So, I moved on to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  Perhaps since those guys were all famous American authors, I'd do better on them.  Of about 87 Pulitzers awarded, I'd heard of about 19 ((22%).

I was triple-shamed.

So I decided to start at the beginning and rectify these apparent lapses in my education.  Starting with The Pulitzer list, I intend to read my way through the past century.  Then I figure to sample my way through the list of Nobel Laureates, followed by the Poets Laureate.

Perhaps just an obsessive streak in me, but I intend to improve on this facet and enjoy doing it!

Negotiating with terrorists?

Back in the 1980's, Reagan made famous the policy, "We do not negotiate with terrorists."  A lot has happened between then and now, and a lot of scandal about who has been supplying and equipping and training whom...

Today I was reading mark and came across this famous story...

Jesus and his disciples arrived on the other side of Lake Galilee, in the territory of Gerasa. As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, he was met by a man who came out of the burial caves there. This man had an evil spirit in him and lived among the tombs. Nobody could keep him tied with chains any more;          many times his feet and his hands had been tied, but every time he broke the chains and smashed the irons on his feet. He was too strong for anyone to control him. Day and night he wandered among the tombs and through the hills, screaming and cutting himself with stones.
He was some distance away when he saw Jesus; so he ran, fell on his knees before him, and screamed in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? For God's sake, I beg you, don't punish me!” (He said this because Jesus was saying, “Evil spirit, come out of this man!”) 

So Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”  The man answered, “My name is ‘Mob’—there are so many of us!” And he kept begging Jesus not to send the evil spirits out of that region. 
There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. So the spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs, and let us go into them.”          He let them go, and the evil spirits went out of the man and entered the pigs. The whole herd—about two thousand pigs in all—rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned. Mark 5:1-13 GNTD

So, my question is...why did the demons bother begging for concessions from Jesus, when they obviously knew him.  They knew that from day-one he has been about his father's work - about the coming of the kingdom of God...

Is it just demons' nature to grovel at the feet of the master?

Better get a boat!

I'm reading through Mark, and the following jumped out at me...

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. (Mark 3:7-12 ESV)

His disciples had to prepare an escape from Him, God Incarnate.  Reminiscent of the time that the people were trying to throw him off the cliff and he just slipped away.  It also brings to mind His instructions to His disciples that they'd better arm themselves...

And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors.' For what is written about me has its fulfillment." And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough." Luke 22:35-38 ESV

Why does God choose to do things through people (like wield swords and prepare escape boats) when he could just slip through the crowd and go about his business?

Who knows?