on idolising women

A dear friend of mine and I were recently talking about my singleness. I was telling him that I’m actually pretty scared that I’ll be single for the rest of my life.

Now God has been outrageously, scandalously generous to me all my life. And the takeaway from that, I tell myself, should be the knowledge that there is nothing good that God will withhold from me. The takeaway is not that God has given me all good things therefore he won’t withhold a wife, but the fact that no good thing has been withheld, and if singleness is my lot I won’t merely get by, I’ll thrive. Continue reading “on idolising women”

a collection of vaguely mean words with pretty mean origins

We all know racial slurs – chink, Frenchie/Frog, wog, the N-word, and such. And we know they’re unacceptable in pretty much any kind of communication, because they’re offensive and rude. But strangely there are a number of English words that have passed into acceptable usage, but have similar origins in ethno-national stereotypes. Below are a few, some are vaguely negative but most of them pretty harmless, yet they all conjure some less-than-flattering imagery:

1) Barbarian – these days barbarian is used to describe people or places that are crude, unrefined or otherwise lacking in manners or class. Back in ancient times it generally meant anyone who wasn’t ‘civilised’ – though interestingly it was mainly ‘civilised’ people who came up with these disparaging terms! The word’s origins are a bit hard to pinpoint (similar words are found in Mycenaean and Sanskrit writings), but by the time the classical Greeks popularised the word (barbaroi), it referred to people who didn’t speak Greek, whose speech sounded like so much gibberish (barbarbarbarbar). By the late 5th century BC barbaroi referred specifically to the Persians, who ironically probably regarded the Greeks as barbarians (in the modern sense of the word anyway). Continue reading “a collection of vaguely mean words with pretty mean origins”

on space jesus

I recently watched Man of Steel, and holy moly what a silly film, but fun. It was basically The Adventures of Space Jesus. The thing is I went into the cinema knowing that it had overt Christian themes, and I was looking out for them. And actually in the end I kind of liked seeing them there. A lot of the Jesus references were a bit ham-fisted, but it was fun, and there are plenty of explosions and fistfights. Plus it’s refreshing to see a big budget Hollywood film play around with Christian imagery and ideas.

Now apparently there are quite a few churches that are not happy at all about the Jesus imagery. Some of them have even labelled the Superman character anti-Christian, because the real Jesus would never fight back against the bad guys, punching and heat-raying them. The most Christ-like figure in the whole film, one critic says, is Kevin Costner’s self-sacrificial character, not Superman. Continue reading “on space jesus”

on lifelong things

How would you qualify a lifelong interest? Something that lasts ten years? Twenty?

In my entire life I would say the longest-running interest I’ve had is in dinosaurs. That interest ran probably from as early as I can remember till I was about 15. That’s 13 years of dinosaur mania.

On the other hand I only started getting interested in Roman history (and ancient history in general) when I was about 16, and that interest is still running. So that’s just shy of 10 years of interest in Roman history.

But I get the feeling that my passion for Roman history will last a long time, if not for the rest of my life. My interest in dinosaurs on the other hand has pretty much run dry. So despite its longer run in my life till now, dinosaur mania still lost out. Continue reading “on lifelong things”

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