Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bah! Humbug! As Far As the Curse Is Found

1. Humbug is an old word of indeterminate etymology meaning “spectacle” or “hoax” or “jest,” often referring to some unjustified reputation or publicity.

2. Of course, the word is most often associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens in The Christmas Carol. He famously dismissed Christmas declaring, “Bah! Humbug!” Interestingly, variations of the term make appearances in any number of European languages:

3. Humbug may well be derived from the Old Norse words hum, meaning “night” or “shadow” or “dark air,” and bugges, a variant of bogey, meaning “apparition” or "ghost."

4. In Icelandic, húm means “twilight.” 

5. In Faeroese, hómi means “unclear.” 

6. Humi in Swedish means “dark suspicion.” This word may well be derived from the Old Swedish verb hymla, still in use, which means “to conceal," "to hide," or "to evade the truth.”

7. In Old English and Anglo Saxon, hum means “to deceive.” And bugges is a word that appears in Wyclif’s earliest translation of the English Bible meaning “specter.” And that may well be derived from the much older Celtic word bwg, meaning “scarecrow.” 

8. But, it could also be derived from the Early Italian, uomo bugiardo, which literally means “lying man.”

9. Uim-bog is supposed to mean “soft copper” in Ancient Gaelic—still used in Ireland as slang for “worthless money.”

10. In other words, “Bah! Humbug!” may very well be an apt declaration for Christmas (much to the chagrin of Scrooge): it is the declaration that Christ has come to expose the fraudulence, the impotence, the bugaboo nonsense of this poor fallen world; but even more, He has come to replace the dark specters, the apparitional hoaxes of sin, the evasions of the truth at the heart of sin. 

11. Thus: He has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse is found.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Eleventary X3

Gëzuar Krishtlindja--Albanian
Een Plesierige Kerfees--Afrikaans
Schenorhavor Dzenount--Armenian
Chestita Koleda, весела коледа--Bulgarian
Felices Pascuas--Catalonian
Srecan Bozic--Croatian
Vesele Vanoce--Czech
Glaedelig Jul--Danish
Zalig Kerstfeest--Dutch
Roomsaid Joulu Puhi--Estonian
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah--Farsi

Hauskaa Joulu--Finnish
Vrolijke Kerstmis--Flemish
Joyeux Noel--French
Nodlaig Nait Cugat--Gaelic
Frohliche Weihnachten--German
Kala ChristooyennaΚαλά Χριστούγεννα--Greek
Mele Kalikimaka--Hawaiian
Khag Same'ach, חג שמח--Hebrew
Boldog Karacsony--Hungarian
Buon Natale--Italian
Meri Kurisumasu--Japanese

Selamat Hari Krismas--Malay
Kung His Hsin Nien, 圣诞快乐--Mandarin
Gledelig Jul--Norwegian
Boas Festas--Portuguese
Sarbatori Vesele--Romanian
Hristos se Rodi--Serbian
Feliz Navidad--Spanish
Glad Jul--Swedish
Maligayang Pasko--Tagalog
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun--Turkish
Chrystos Rozdzajetsia Slawyte Jeho--Ukranian

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I Won't Be Shopping on Black Friday

1. I just don't believe shopping should be a contact sport.
2. I don't do crowds.
3. Nothing I want is ever on sale (Have you ever actually seen a first edition Chalmers book at WalMart? Nope, me either).
4. I don't do lines.
5. Turkey sandwiches await at home.
6. I don't do malls.
7. I'd rather read.
8. I don't do big box stores.
9. I'll be asleep during the worst of it anyway.
10. I don't do coupons, price comparisons, store-hopping, or wheeling-and-dealing.
11.  I think I'd actually rather go to the dentist (or go to traffic court; or have a colonoscopy; or even be forced to watch an entire Obama speech).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Favorite Chalmers Quotes

1. "The wider a man's knowledge becomes, the deeper should be his humility; for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness."

2. “Regardless of how large, your vision is too small.”

3. "It is only through faith that we can find our way to love, and only through love that we can find our way to obedience."

4. "Live with the high aim and purpose of one who is in training for eternity."

5. “Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist.”

6. "Repentance is not one act of the mind; it is a course of acting by which we die daily unto sin."

7. "Obstacles, setbacks, and difficulties are but opportunities for courage and tenacity. Great victories demand fierce resistance. Otherwise, they would not be great."

8. "I would pray unto watching--and watch unto praying."

9. "Let us standfast and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered; let us be manly and strenuous in the vindication thereof; and yet, let all our things be done with charity."

10. "It is not by irregular efforts, however gigantic, that any great practical achievement is overtaken. It is by the constant recurrence and repetition of small efforts directed to a given object, and resolutely sustained and persevered in."

11. "Let us be neither over-sanguine nor over-melancholy of immediate results. Our perspective of time is only slowly synchronized to the clock of providence."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The "Solas" of Chalmers

Thinking about the "Five Solas of the Reformation," on this eve of Reformation Sunday, I couldn't help but also think of the reformational way Thomas Chalmers has shaped my thinking about life, grace, mercy, the Scriptures, and the beauty of the faith that the magisterial reformers bequeathed to us.  

It struck me that like them, Chalmers' influence has also produced a list of "solas." This is my first feeble attempt to somehow codify those "solas."

  1. Only the Triune God is truly holy.
  2. Only His holiness can offer grace.
  3. Only His grace can bring forth faith.
  4. Only faith bears the fruit of love.
  5. Only love produces hope.
  6. Only hope gives way to obedience.
  7. Only obedience results in service.
  8. Only service manifests mercy.
  9. Only mercy makes for justice.
  10. Only justice establishes peace.
  11. And, only peace can flower into Christian culture.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Essential Political Maxims

“The greatest political storm flutters only a fringe of humanity.” G.K. Chesterton

“Almost nothing is as important as almost everything in Washington is made to appear.  And the importance of a Washington event is apt to be inversely proportional to the attention it receives.” George Will

“Being in politics is like being a football coach; you have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.” Eugene McCarthy

“All politics is actually based on the indifference of the majority.” John Reston

“Americans view politics with boredom and detachment.  For most of us, politics is increasingly abstract, a spectator sport barely worth watching. Since the average voter believes that politics will do little to improve his life or that of his community, he votes defensively, if at all.” E. J. Dionne

“The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government‑‑lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Gouvenor Morris

“Liberty necessitates the diminutization of political ambition and concern.  Liberty necessitates concentration on other matters than mere civil governance.  Rather, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, freemen must think on these things.” Patrick Henry

“What frustrates many Americans about politics, I think, is that their hard-earned prosperity was supposed to produce widespread decency.  It didn’t.  And as a result, we’re mad.” James Q. Wilson

“Our national temper is sour, our attention span limited, our fuse short.  We yearn childishly, for a cowboy in a white hat to ride into town.  We are ripe for political disaster.” Simon Schama

“The voters think Washington is a whorehouse and every four years they get a chance to elect a new piano player.  They would rather burn the whorehouse down.” Peggy Noonan

“We are perpetually being told that what is wanted is a strong man who will do things.  What is really wanted is a strong man who will undo things; and that will be the real test of strength.” G.K. Chesterton

Friday, July 20, 2012

P Logomorphs

Paedocide:  Taking care of the next generation by nipping it in the bud.

Phonesia: Dialing a phone number and then suddenly forgetting who you’ve just called.

Platitudinarianism:  The sentimentalizing of all issues and conflicts; the gospel of nice.

Pornodoxy:  A new standard of truth confirmed by a perversiarchy.

Pornutopia:  The end result of an ACLU lawsuit.

Pow-woo:  A carefully choreographed diplomatic photo-op; a political version of “less filling-tastes great.”

Pox Americana:  The process of inflicting the worst of American pop culture on the rest of the world.

Pseudocracy:  The false illusion of magistratal order and cogency.

Psychosophism:  The bizarre religious sophistry propounded by psychotherapists.

Pucknuckler: A fight at a hockey game.

Pundictatorship:  The absolute rule of a land by the media pundits.

More P Logomorphs

Paedophobia:  An oddly modern antipathy toward children.

Perversiarchy:  A reprobate society governed by those committed to concupiscence.

Peterpantheism:  An environmentalist dogma that refuses to face facts or to grow up.

Pharmer:  A drug lord.

Piccasso Porn:  The images from scrambled adult cable channels.

Pietoid:  An adherent of Pietism; the opposite of someone committed to true piety.

Pluriscuity:  The promiscuous vision of radical pluralism that claims an equal standing for truth and error.

Politism:  The ideology that places governmentalism at the center of all things.

Pornocracy:  A debauched culture ruled first and foremost by its sensual impulses.

Promise Peepers:  Men who attend evangelical rallies, conventions, and crusades just to see what is going on; ethical lurkers.

Psychoprattle:  The pop psychological chit-chat that passes for intelligent analysis in our day.

O Logomorphs

Obaminable: Declaring as right what is undeniably wrong; post-modern bully pulpit.

Obstropulous: Seeming to be helpful while really making things more difficult.

Ohnosecond: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a big mistake, like accidentally sending a personal e-mail to everyone in the office.

Olibarky: Cranky, patronizing, and oh-so-pious sermonizing from the modern politically-correct elite.

OMG-iddy: Effusive enthusing on social networking sites.

Omnimoral:  The modern moralistic indifference to morality; Episcopalian ethics.

Onomatimusic: Music that actually is as bad as it sounds (with a tip of the hat to Wagner).

Oranter: The blurring of the distinction between oratory and a temper tantrum; a cable TV talk show host.

Oreosis: Eating the icing center of an Oreo before eating the cookie outside.

Osteopornosis: A disease of degeneracy.

Ozombied: Inhaling the rarefied air of the environmentalist ideologue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

N Logomorphs

Naftathoughts:  Lingering doubts about the economic and cultural benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreements.

Namenesia: Inexplicably forgetting the name of someone you know very well.

Nanachronym: Those instantly ubiquitous internet and texting abbreviations;

Narceclessia: A sleep disorder that afflicts modern Christians causing cultural detachment and irrelevance in times of grave societal danger; the church asleep in the light.

Nefariography: A biography of a notorious villain; the opposite of Hagiography.

Negalicious: Distasteful, nasty, and disgusting; the opposite of delicious and nutritious; American fast food.

Nehemiad: A bold declaration of encouragement, blessing, and optimism; the opposite of a woeful Jeremiad.

Nephitism: The bizarre historiographical and sociological claims of Mormonism that underlie its equally bizarre cultus.

Nerb: A noun misappropriated in a sentence as a verb.

Netnyet: A web search yielding only irrelevant and unrelated data; an information technology dead-end.

Newsertainment:  The reduction of broadcast and cable television news to mere entertainment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

M Logomorphs

Maastwrecked: The mess that the European Economic Community and the New World Order have made of Europe.

Machiavalium:  Political narcotics dispensed in an effort to control the people.

Macjob:  A mindless, tasteless, and valueless task undertaken merely for money.

Maledictaphobia:  A fear of saying anything offensive or negative even in the face of dire wickedness.

Mirthgirth: All that extra weight gained over the holidays.

Monkeythump: A bruise on a banana.

Monolatry:  A form of single-diety idolatry; the generic worship of the “Great Architect,” the “Divine Force,” or the “Big Guy Upstairs.”

Mopneutaxes: The current administration's economic plan in a nutshell.

Moscowrena:  The never-ending dance craze of totalitarian appeasement.

Multimediocrity:  The proliferation and diversification of brain candy in the media.

Mustbuster:  A cultural warrior specializing in the reversal of ethical necessities.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

L Logomorphs

Legalossolalia:  The strangely unintelligable “tongues” spoken only by lawyers.

Libnet:  The symbiotic network of fringe-left media, academia, and government that infests Washington's corridors of power.

Limbaughtomy:  The surgical removal of welfare-state piffle, drivel, and swill; performed by transmitted airwaves.

Litegeist:  The substantivelessness of American pop culture.

Lithurgy:  The wholesale denigration of tradition, glory, and substance in modern evangelical worship; the malady of lethargic liturgy.

Loathesome Dove:  The confidential military designation for what one two-star general called its “gay-loving, pot-smoking, draft-dodging, womanizing commander-in-chief.”

Loglo:  The nighttime reflection of franchise signs along an urban American freeway.

Logogogues:  Politically-correct speech police.

Logomorph:  A neologism.

Logonutriphilos:  A consuming love for words.

Lugurgitation: Luggage popping out onto the baggage claim belt at the airport.

K Logomorphs

Kahootenany: Reposting un-Snopesed silliness on the internet.

Kanoodledoodle: Whiling the hours away on sundry social media sites.

Kantankerosity: The inclination to argue about anything, to snark about everything.

Kavorked: To be on the receiving end of legalized euthanasia.

Kerfufflefluffle: A fierce controversy over nothing; a mountain out of a molehill; majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors. 

Keypal: An internet friend; a thoroughly modern version of the penpal.

Kidnapkining: Grabbing too many napkins at a fast-food restaurant.

Klutzietgiest: An awkward, clumsy, and comic culture.

Knolltroll: An unrecalcitrant conspiratorialist. 

Kultursmog: The smothering uniformity of pop culture's amoral morals.

Kwanhanamas: Kwanza plus Hanukkah plus Christmas; thus, the politically correct “Happy Kwanhanamas!” 

Friday, July 13, 2012

J Logomorphs

Jabberjockey: Radio talk show host.

Jargonauts:  The elites who steer the course of our language; logogogues.

Jaundaucracy: A culture devoid of courage; a society led by men without chests.

Jeopardous: Risky business; hazardous behavior.

Jiggywidget: A faddish doo-dad or dig-bat or thingamajig.

Jiterati:  A subset of the cultural elite; the professional whiners and worriers.

Jocosiation: A ridiculous or hilarious assocation.

Journalying:  The tendency of modern journalists to tell their story the way the want to tell it, regardless of the facts.

Judicaricature: A mockery of justice.

Jurasic Lark:  The revival of social-democratic ideals and power; the primordial dream of liberal social planners to make every aspect of life subservient to government.

Jurisfaction: Preferential and divisive legal proceedings 

I Logomorphs

Ideolatry:  The idolatrous worship of ideology.

Iducation:  The self-centered psychologicalization of modern secular education.

IMglish: The special abbreviated, acronymic language of instant messaging, sms, and texting: omg, lol, bff, btw, cya, galgal, igbok, etc.

Impuritan:  The modern ethical paradox: the new morality of immorality.

Indignatary:  A culturo-political celebrity who has built a career and a reputation on feigned moral outrage.

Infobahn:  The web’s information super-highway.

Intaxication: Gleeful celebration upon getting a tax refund--which only lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Intelligentry:  The shallow and insipid intellectual and cultural elite at American universities.

Iraqnaphobia:  An inordinate fear of third world tin-pot dictators.

Irritainment:  Deliberately distasteful and annoying entertainment.

iWant: The irresistible temptation that overcomes even the strongest constitution whenever Apple releases a new iGadget.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

H Logomorphs

Heretickle:  Popular falsehoods that are happily accommodated for the sake of church growth.

Heterodoctor:  A thoroughly modern and politically-correct university professor.

Hillarious:  A silly, shallow, superfluous, and statisfucating worldview.

Histonarcolepsy:  Sleep-walking through history.

Historectomy:  The surgical removal of any historical perspective from contemporary discussions.

Hollywired:  The marriage of the computer and entertainment industries.

Homodoxy:  The new homosexual orthodoxy taught in America’s schools

Homophilia:  Trendy depravity.

Homotextuality:  The awkward and preposterous androgyny of the new gender-neutral literary style.

Hyphenectomy:  The removal of superfluous punctuation from the last names of the thoroughly modern.

Hypocritics:  Liberals who criticize conservatives who cave into the pluralistic pressure of liberals.

G Logomorphs

Gadaboutag: An orphan HTML tag that's misdirects your web searches.

Garpage:  The editorial page of virtually all daily metropolitan newspapers; often useful, however, for the bottoms of bird cages.

Generica:  The smothering uniformity of pop American culture.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high on a bridge or a building.

Gleemail: Those inspirational emails forwarded by a friend or coworker that may or may not bring joy to your inbox.

Glibido: The impulse of someone who is all talk and no action.

Gliterati:  The high-faluting cultural elite.

Gobweb:  A catch-all internet site.

Googlegänger: Some other person who shares your name and who shows up when you google yourself.

Governrants:  The frequent—and ever increasing—lectures from Big Brother.

Gynodoxy:  The fundamentalist creed of a modern feminist ideology.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

F Logomorphs

Fascinate:  Enthusiasm for consolidating all of society and culture into the hands of Big Government and Big Business—the tell-tale signs of Mercantilism (aka National Socialism).

Fascindustrialism:  Cooperative monopolization between the public and private sectors; “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Fauxment:  An artificial controversy; the stock and trade of TV news.

Fauxpolitiks:  The dismal reduction of political discourse to the trite, the picayune, and the vapid.

Fawnics:  The most basic Washington posture of political celebrity adulation.

Fetalphobia:  Fear of children—often resulting in the “Disposable Tissue Syndrome,” or DTS.

Fiburnation:  The tactic of double-speak, reversals, and outright lying from our DC pals and pols.

Fictatation: Talking back to the TV.

Firmamentalist:  Someone gripped by the modern credulity complex; lost in the Post-Modernist cosmos of bad ideas and metaphysical monkeyshines.

Fornigate:  The latest in the never-ending string of Washington scandals.

Fraudian Slip:  A round-about admission of untruthfulness.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

E Logomorphs

Ecclesiophobia:  An inordinate fear of anything and everything to do with the church or people from the church actually getting involved in our communities.

Ecnalubma: A rescue vehicle which can only be seen in the rearview mirror.

Ecologian:  A theologian whose worldview is dominated by the world.

Ecominous:  The doomsaying vision of pessimistic economists.

Econausea:  One possible side-effect of an over-exposure to sundry environmentalists' greenspeak and eco-babble scare tactics.

Econtrivance:  A manipulation of the economic mechanism for political ends.

Ecstatology:  The tendency of some Christians to allow ecstatic concern about the "End Times" to distract them from their responsibilities.

Eekonomics:  The frightening financial projections of doom-and-gloom economists.

Elbonics:  The sometimes not so subtle maneuvering of two people for one armrest in a on an airplane.

Elleceleration:  Pressing an elevator button over and over again in an attempt to make it arrive quicker.

Elvistibule:  A small shrine to the King of Rock and Roll—complete with velvet portrait and Avon commemorative collectibles.