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May 01, 2013 5:17 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

I’m leading another History of Christianity class tonight, and the topic is Creeds & Doctrines. That should be non-controversial.

Anyway, here are some remainders of the news/views day:

* WaPo’s Sari Horwitz summarizes what we know about the three new suspects arrested in Boston for aiding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the Boston bombings.

* Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott offer Mark Sanford long-distance endorsements; Nikki Haley actually attending fundraiser.

* Matt Lewis answers question no one was asking: why he could never, ever be a liberal.

* At Ten Miles Square, Jonathan Bernstein notes that Bill Clinton recovered pretty fast from his own moment of “helplessness.”

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports on Cooper Union’s abandonment of its ancient “no-tuition” policy.

And in non-political news:

* Yikes: skeleton provides strong evidence of cannibalism in Jamestown Colony.

To close out May Day, here’s a tune for workers just trying to get through another day: Pylon performing “Working Is No Problem (Just As Long As I Keep My Mind In a Factory),” in Athens, GA in 2008. It celebrates the small rebellions: “I’ll go to work tomorrow morning; I’ll be clean but not neat.” Ah, I love Pylon.

Selah.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Joe Friday on May 01, 2013 6:59 PM:

    Apparently, the reason behind the recent urgency for the U.S. intervening in Syria is because the Syrian military has been rolling-back opposition forces, as well as seriously severing their major resupply route.

    The Likud's dream of a Greater Israel is grinding to a halt.

    Enter, Stage Right, the chemical weapons gambit.

  • TR on May 01, 2013 8:40 PM:

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    There. Now the people who run the site can get a taste of what it's like to try to read the site.

    If you all ever fix this, run a notice over at Talkingpointsmemo.com or some other site so I'll know it's safe to come back. Until then, have fun writing for your advertisers. They're going to be the only ones here soon.

  • suitworld on May 01, 2013 10:48 PM:

    If you are teaching the history of Christianity, then I strongly recommend Charles Freeman's "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason." The best book about early Christianity that I ever read.

  • David Martin on May 02, 2013 10:52 AM:

    The creeds (mainly Nicene and Apostles') seem to have been major accomplishments of the early church councils, but dissension built up and the eastern and western churches (Constantinople and Rome) split, using the Nicene Creed as an excuse. In much more recent years, Methodists kicked Christ's Descent to Hell out of the Apostles' Creed, but they (like lots of other groups) merely consider the creed an "historic confession."

    An Emory prof, Luke Timothy Johnson, did a book, "The Creed".

  • gratuitous on May 02, 2013 11:52 AM:

    We were discussing creeds a few months ago in Sunday School. Our denomination professes no creed but the entire New Testament, which is supposed to short-circuit those doctrinaire disputes over one iota of difference. Not.

    Anyway, one of the persons in the discussion, who had worked for years in the Sudan, said that creeds were very useful in pre-literate or non-literate societies. Creeedal statements are easily memorized, rotely recited, and serve as a shibboleth for identifying like-minded folks. I hadn't thought of the creed that way, but upon reflection over time, I remembered my bygone Catholic days, and the recitation in every worship service of the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed.

    It's an interesting (to me) angle on why creeds are promulgated, and why they endure for so long, passed from generation to generation even if the questions they were supposed to resolve have long since ceased to be quite so vital.

  • PTate in MN on May 02, 2013 2:37 PM:

    Creeds also serve to nicely establish orthodoxy. All those rolling phrases in the Nicene Creed--"We believe...in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father" --were included to make it clear which beliefs were heretical. For example, you could be burned at the stake for believing that Jesus might be just a super-duper wise man, adopted as "son of God" at his baptism.

    Since science has emerged with better explanations for many things, its orthodoxies are causing major issues for the Christian church. Really, born of a virgin? Died for our sins, really? Rose from the dead? ascended into heaven? Sitteth at the right hand of God? Are you kidding me?

    Most modern Christians are either delusional fundamentalists, traditionalists who are just happy to go through the motions because it is what they have always done or Freestyle Christians who embrace feel-good attitudes (consistent with their political ideology) as a substitute for actually reading the Bible or grappling with church doctrines (I'm looking at you, Paul Ryan.)

    Every time I read about Ed Kilgore's church activities I wonder how long he is going to last.