Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Is Josey Wales more orthodox than Rob Bell?

Bell is the founding pastor Mars Hill Bible Church, a megachurch in Michigan, and a popular author, most recently of Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

As you may know, there's much controversy concerning Bell, particularly accusations that he's officially left the realm of orthodoxy with his denial of hell.

I've not read the book, so I can't speak to that subject as of yet, but I would like to offer a few comments as well as a few links for further reading.

First, I'd like to address what's been termed "optimistic inclusivism," which is in contrast to an exclusivist view.

Evangelical (assuming for a moment that term still has meaning) Christians adhere to the biblical concept of exclusivity where salvation is concerned. That is, salvation from the wrath of God only comes through Jesus Christ, the crucified & risen Son of God (cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

As you might imagine, that's among the least popular tenants of Christianity. It's much more popular to assert that (a) because God is love/loving, (b) He saves everyone, regardless of their theological allegiances. Hence, love wins.

As Ed Stetzer points out, this is not an original thought with Bell, though his attempt as an alleged evangelical to seemingly persuade evangelicals is perhaps what's setting him apart.

The error, of course, is in starting with a concept of love and then attempting to conform God to it, including His actions. Rightly, we start with God and a recognition of His various attributes as well as an understanding that God's actions define love, rather than vice versa. We also must clarify whom it is God loves and how He loves various people in various ways.

As I understand it, the rationale is that we can hope that because God is loving that He will act in a certain way, particularly with regard to hell.

Second, I have to say I wonder if, at least practically speaking, many of us haven't unwittingly succumbed to such an optimistic inclusivism. Theoretically, sure, everyone who's not been saved from God's wrath by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone is justifiably sentenced to hell to pay for their sin.

Yet, when was the last time you heard a person say, "So and so is in hell"? Won't we more than likely say, "I don't think he/she was a Christian, so he/she might not be in heaven."

Even if folks are content to express such about public figures, with whom we typically have little firsthand knowledge, what about family members? What about people we are confident had little to no interest in the things of Christ?

Do we practically become optimistic inclusivists? "Well, I hope Uncle Fester's in heaven, though I have my doubts."

I ran across an interesting article accusing 99.9% of pastors of agreeing with Rob Bell, at funerals, at least.
"I think pastors honestly have the hope that — despite evidence to the contrary — the deceased finds himself or herself in the presence of God."
At some point, I intend to read Bell's book and to give a fair and informed assessment. Until that time, I will only contend that, according to the Scriptures, hell is not just an idea; it's a place, a place of eternal torment and punishment.
XX. The Judgment - God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds: the wicked, those apart from Christ, shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, those who are justified, into everlasting life. (Providence Church statement of faith)
To negate (universalism, even optimistic) or minimize (annihilationism) hell is to do disservice to the Scriptures and those in whom the fear of God needs surfacing. Additionally, the character of God is attacked, as He is portrayed as "more loving" than He portrays Himself.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Being a good reader's gonna help me get a good office job.

It was suggested to me that I share what I'm reading. So, in spite of the risk of appearing (even more) narcissistic, here's what I'm reading, what I've read, and what I intend to read in the near future, Deo volente.

(Incidentally, I'd be interested in your lists as well, especially if you've read something you'd highly recommend.)

Presently Reading:
  1. Holiness of God, Sproul* (Christian Audio's March free download of the month)
  2. The Castle in the Forest, Mailer
  3. When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search, Brauns
  4. Old Testament Theology, Waltke
  5. The Dragon's Treasure: A Dreamer's Guide to Inner Discovery through Dream Interpretation, Cole
  6. Less Clutter. Less Noise, Meyer
  7. A Theology of the New Testament, Ladd
  8. De Inventione, Cicero

Recently Read:
  1. God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Roberts - It's my favorite Bible overview book, tracing the theme of the King and His kingdom throughout Scripture: "God's people in God's place under God's rule and blessing." It's accessible to the rookie as well as advantageous to the veteran, reinforcing the unity of the Scriptures and motivating one to deeper research therein.

  2. Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, MacArthur - It's hard to go wrong with Johnny Mac, and here he gets it very right regarding the trenches and what's at stake. In his sights we see Postmodernism and its subsequent rampant skepticism. I do slightly take issue with the subtitle. I think the pursuit is of truth, not certainty, though the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. It's a nice attempt to exegete Jude 3-4 with an exhortation to follow through against our contemporary threats to apprehending truth.

  3. Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God, Harris* - If there was one extra-biblical reading I could require of (prospective) church members, this would be it. Most church members commit to a congregation until something better comes along or until feelings are hurt, etc. Serial monogamy is not the pattern for couples or churches. Harris challenges the reader to elevate the church in life's pecking order and to ultimately value it as Christ does, His bride for which He bled. What more can I say? Superlatives have been drained of their meaning through overuse, but this book really is all that and a bag of chips.

  4. Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People, Constantine - I wish I'd had this during or before seminary. It's a quick read, but is jammed packed with practical insights. I most appreciated his thoughts on the benefits of Greek study beyond showing it off in the sermon, all the while encouraging us not to be afraid to share things relevant from the Greek. He also reminds readers it's easier to resurrect Greek already learned than to get it the first time, an encouragement to backsliders to get back on the horse.

  5. Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing: How Leaders Can Overcome Costly Mistakes, Surratt - Clearly, there are more than 10, but some of these befall even those churches committed to the biblical authority in the church and a pursuit of God's glory above all else. My 3 favorite chapters were on "Promoting Talent over Integrity," "Letting Committees Steer the Ship," and "Copying Another Successful Church," and the author doesn't even suggest imitation of his church. I liked the interview component concluding each chapter wherein he shares insights of those with firsthand experience of the 10. There is much with which I disagree, but I do feel at least a little more prepared to avoid that which is stupid, though I make no guarantees.

  6. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Taraborrelli - I discerned an attempt to debunk some of the myths concerning Marilyn's life, particularly regarding her childhood and fostercare. I most enjoyed the accounts of her friendship/relationship with Frank Sinatra. The book was easier on the Kennedys than I think is prudent.

  7. Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples, Rainer & Geiger - It's a nice reminder to major in the majors, not caving to pressure to equate quantity of activity with the quality of ministry. The oft unrealized the consequence of such deviation is the minimization of the mission among lesser competitors. There are many questions the book doesn't answer, which could disappoint many, but I tend to prefer the questions to be raised with the onus on the reader to cogitate further.

Future Reading (D.V.):
  1. The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?, Rydelnik
  2. The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, Horne
  3. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow, Chappell
  4. The Shack, Young
  5. The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front, Hart
  6. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Bradberry & Greaves
  7. Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People, Metzger*
  8. Lonely Are the Shadows, Reece
  9. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell
  10. Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America, Norris
  11. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Foer
  12. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, Piper*
  13. Children of Fire: A History of African Americans, Holt
  14. Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tripp*
  15. Four Voices of Preaching, The: Connecting Purpose and Identity behind the Pulpit, Reid
  16. Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc., DeYoung
*Read before, but (re)reading for Providence Church book club.


Monday, March 21, 2011

That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection. Overruled.

For a while I was seriously interested in becoming a lawyer, including LSAT study. Perhaps that's why I have such an affinity for what we might call "courtroom" movies.

For your consideration, the Top 10 Courtroom Movies:
  1. A Few Good Men
  2. 12 Angry Men
  3. My Cousin Vinny
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Helter Skelter
  6. The Music Box
  7. A Time to Kill
  8. Miracle on 34th Street
  9. Men of Honor
  10. Runaway Jury


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant: The Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible.

This year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, authorized by King James for use in the Church of England.

Admittedly, there are times when a bias toward the KJV can be detrimental in translation. However, in honor of the 400th anniversary of what I affectionately call, "The King Jimmy," I offer you a few passages that I love and/or prefer in that version.

Isaiah 53:4-6
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 12:1-2
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Matthew 6:9-13
9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Matthew 7:13-14
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

James 4:8
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Psalm 23
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

1 Corinthians 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?


Monday, March 14, 2011

A boy's best friend is his mother.

An elderly woman walked through the doors of a church. The friendly usher greeted her and helped her up the flight of steps. He politely asked her, "Where would you like to sit?"

"The front row, please," she answered.

"You really don't want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."

"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.

"No," he said.

"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.

He asked her, "Do you know who I am?"

"No," she said.

"Good," he answered, as he hurriedly left.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

That's not a knife. This is a knife.

Because I want to address a topic next week that mentions the "spiritual one-upper," I thought I'd define and describe him or her ahead of time. I've mentioned the phenomenon previously with regard to modesty/pride, but wanted to elaborate.

The one-upper is a person who can do you one better, at a dinner party or wherever. You've been to Europe, he backpacked from New York to London to Berlin to Moscow and back again, never even needing transportation assistance.

Whatever the category, you're outdone. That's bad enough in regular life, but what about the spiritual one-upper? (cf. The "Jesus Juke")

This is the person who can be relied upon to say something more spiritual than what you said, often rebuking you for not being more spiritually minded. The spiritual one-upper seemingly waits for a chance to pounce on you when you seemingly say or do something, anything, that might give the appearance that you were thinking of something less than the eternal glory of God or the eternal destiny of a fellow human being.

Perhaps some dialogue examples will help.
  • Lovely warm weather today, isn't it?
  • Really, how can you even think about yourself and the warmth when you know there are those in hell right now who know what real heat is like?
  • I can't believe how expensive gasoline has become.
  • God is in control of the world, brother, don't lose your faith. OR I wouldn't know. I ride my bicycle instead. I sold my car and we donated that money and the money used to spend on fuel to the missionary giving out Bibles in the jungle. OR Brother, that's nothing compared to the cost of a human soul in danger of the fires of hell. You should thank God you had an opportunity to share Jesus with the cashier.
  • That was a great sermon today.
  • Whenever I hear the Word of God preached, I feed on it richly, so I don't evaluate the sermon. It evaluates me.
  • We had to get the air conditioner fixed at our house.
  • We gave our air conditioner away so we could better empathize with those on the path to an eternal and fiery hell. The money we used to spend on utilities we now send to the "innocent native in Africa" so he can have bus money for the 8 hour trip to church.
  • I've been praying that God would give me a husband.
  • I'm too busy dating Jesus to be concerned about a relationship with a mere mortal man.
You get the idea and may have heard some yourself.

This is a tough one to combat, because the spiritual one-upper can get you every time, unless you give that money to (a) your church, (b) international missions, or (c) the homeless, orphans, etc.

Hopefully, I've not given you the impression that the spiritual one-upper is the more spiritual person. Often, it's the opposite, though he or she will always see him or herself as the more spiritual.

Sometimes it's clear to others, though they are so lacking in self-awareness that they won't see it. I'm talking about the person who doesn't attend church stuff because only people like you need that. I'm talking about the person who might say with a straight face, "I don't have a problem with pride like you do." (inside joke)

Truth be told, we can all fall into this trip and come across as arrogant, or worse, as spiritual. Be careful that in your desire to be spiritual you're not becoming the spiritual one-upper, wearing your spiritual growth on your sleeve for all to see.

Let's face it. You really can't win with the spiritual one-upper, because even if you win, you lose.

The best you can do is beat him (or her) by being a better one-upper. Even if you lay in weight and spring one on him, all you've really done is inflate your pride and feed your dark side by making someone look like the hypocrite he is.

For your entertainment, I share with you the garden variety one-upper.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Read about Why We Have Children.

Check out how to provoke your children to anger.

Check out "Jokes I Like to Tell" collected by Doug Wilson.

Read about Charles Finney and his (an)other gospel.

Read Michael Card's thoughts on the biblical imagination.

Check out How Eating Breakfast Can Keep You Thin: Healthy Breakfast Ideas.

Read What To Choose For Home Defense: Pepper spray, Shotguns, Pistols, or What?

Read about alternative self-defense items.

Read about the "Christian America" of Martin Luther the King.

Check out 17 cute/ridiculous animal videos.

Read a summary of the book of Revelation in one sentence by Vern Poythress.

Read about the Iowa wrestler who forfeited his match rather than wrestle a girl. (HT Jade)

Read about 5 signs of a bad boss.

Check out 10 disturbingly violent biblical stories depicted with Legos.

Check out John Piper on the importance of church membership.

Read about being real.

Check out Stuff Christians Like: Saying you’re having a hard time “connecting” at church.

Read about Utah considering a return to gold & silver coins. (HT Oilcan)

Check out PeopleGroups.org.

Learn about "What is a People Group?"

Read about the recommendation of court martial for the Fort Hood terrorist.

Read about how to disarm an angry person.

Read 5 Steps That Can Change Your Life ... ”How To Buy A Gun Correctly.”

Read about Tom Elliff's nomination to be the next IMB president.

Check out 5 acronyms for ACRONYM.

Read 8 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About the Sermon.

Check out some thoughts on baptism & small children.

Read about why most self-help books stink, and which don't.

Read Chaplain Galyon's thoughts on "God's Will."

Read about how to encourage your pastor.

Check out the odds of a soldier dying in various American wars.

Read about what folks with great credit scores do right.

Check out Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the question of the public invitation system in evangelism.

Check out the recap of the short-term missions series on the Desiring God blog.

Check out Things Christians Like: The Jesus Juke.

Read about the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to not revisit the constitutionality of "Ten Commandments" displays. (HT Oilcan)

Check out these tips to help save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Read these Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage by John Piper.

Read about why not to mess with Texas women.

Check out the best 13 movies ever (according to votes at IMDB).

Read Top 10 Reasons I am Optimistically Pro-Life by Trevin Wax.

Check out this woman who survived an abortion attempt.

Check out various attempts at the message of the Bible in one sentence.

Read about the end of an era: RIP tape decks in cars.

Read one man's thoughts on our destinies: "Control is an illusion. Dependence is the reality."

Check out one person's thoughts on the type of people he likes to be around ... and the type he doesn't.

Read about Ten Tough Questions for a Personal Great Commission Resurgence by Thom Rainer.

Read what doctors wish their parents knew.

Check out D.A. Carson on the intolerance of tolerance.

Read this appeal to wives to be open to a husband's options regarding the safety and welfare of the family.

Check out this great song about church membership.

Read about how too few doctors tell their patients they're overweight.

Check out Ed Stetzer's series of posts on 7 Top Issues Church Planters Face.

Learn how to be ready for your pastor's next sermon dud.

Check out these questions to ask if you're thinking about going to seminary (or are already enrolled).

Check out this flow chart to help determine which baseball team you root for.

Read Things My Dad Didn’t Do: Act Surprised At My Sin.

Read about losing relationships due to coming out as a conservative and, consequently, a "racist."

Read about the Groundhog Day Preacher.

Check out the best 5 toys of all time. (HT Chris Brauns)


Friday, March 04, 2011

Well, it's one louder, isn't it?

Is it just me, or is 93% of the music in restaurants too loud and/or inappropriate ?

I mean, I can't hardly hear myself, let alone others close by.

It's like I'm at a seeker-sensitive church service or something. Zing!


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.

Some quotes Ann Coulter's book How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must)

"Torturing randomly chosen people on the off chance that they might be up to something -- as was routinely done in liberals' favorite country, the USSR -- clearly doesn't work. Torturing the guy you know for a fact is withholding information actually works quite well. There may be good and sufficient moral reasons for not torturing people for information, but efficacy is not among them." (6-7)

"When was the last time you heard someone say, 'The help here is way too slow and incompetent. Why don't they hire some civil service people?'" (79)

"Why is it so difficult for people to grasp the advantages of a free market? It's never going to get any easier than this. Only a little over a decade ago, the centralized planning of the Eastern bloc was exposed as having created a squalid, poverty-stricken abyss. Meanwhile, corrupt running-dog lackeys of the capitalist system here in American managed to produce a society in which the poorest citizens have televisions, refrigerators, telephones, and the opportunity to appear on the Jerry Springer Show." (135)

"Republicans made Southern Democrats drop the race nonsense when they entered the Republican Party. Democrats supported race discrimination, then for about three years they didn't, now they do again. They've just changed which race they think should be discriminated against." (145)

"In the United States, more than 30 million babies have been killed by abortion since Roe v. Wade versus seven abortion providers killed. Yeah -- keep your eye on those Christians!" (165)

"In fact and needless to say, it is the Democrats who have turned the Confederate flag into a federal issue, because they relish nothing more than being morally indignant. Not about abortion, adultery, illegitimacy, the divorce rate, or a president molesting an intern and lying to federal investigators. Indeed , not about anything of any practical consequence. Democrats stake out a clear moral position only on the issue of slavery. Of course, when it mattered, they were on the wrong side of that issue, too." (171)

"Demonstrating their famous appreciation of "nuance," liberals believe the Confederate flag is pure evil and anyone who flies the flag is pure evil -- and George Bush is a moron who sees the world in simplistic black-and-white terms of good and evil. I guess that's what liberals mean by 'nuance.'" (171)

"Guns are our friends because in a world without guns, I'm what's known as "prey." All females are. Any male -- the most sickly 98-pound-weakling -- could overpower me in a contest of brute force against brute force. For some reason, I'm always asked: Wouldn't I prefer a world without guns? No. I'd prefer a world in which everyone is armed, even the criminals who mean to cause me harm. Then I'd at least have a fighting chance." (306)

"What the arms-control faithful really want is a world without violence -- not a world without weapons. These are the ideological descendants of the authors of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which purported to outlaw war. But we can't have a world without violence, because the world is half male and testosterone causes homicide. A world with violence -- that is to say, with men -- but without weapons is the worst of all possible worlds for women. As the saying goes, God made man and woman; Colonel Colt made them equal." (306)

"Stupid Argument No. 2: Prohibition failed. No it didn't. Prohibition resulted in startling reductions of alcohol consumption (over 50 percent), cirrhosis of the liver (63 percent), admissions to mental health institutions for alcohol psychosis (60 percent), and arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct (50 percent). That doesn't mean Prohibition was a good thing. Christ's first miracle wasn't turning wine into water. But Prohibition is one of the strongest arguments against legalizing marijuana. The reason Prohibition failed was that alcohol had become a respectable libation, it was part of the social fabric in high society and low. Once the genie is out of the bottle (so to speak), it's hard to put it back in." (312)

"Whenever politicians say they want to restrict something by taxing it, you know they're lying: The very fact that they are taxing it means they need people to keep doing it. Otherwise they'd run out of revenue." (312)

"The quintessential Libertarian argument for drug legalization is that people should be allowed to do what they want with their own bodies even if it ruins their lives. But that's not true. Back on earth, we live in a country that will not allow people to live with their own stupid decisions. Ann has to pay for their stupid decisions." (313)

"The entire dating system runs on implicit understandings. If the hunter male doesn't like a girl, he doesn't call. That's the end of it. If the hunted female doesn't like the boy, she's unavailable without a good excuse three times in a row. No explanations, no hurt feelings. When you start fiddling with a centuries-old system like this, you're just asking for trouble." (315)

"Among the stupidest theories that liberals have about conservatives is the idea that we are a well-oiled political machine. Hillary Clinton somberly warns of a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. The New York Times has actually published a flowchart of the "neoconservative" cabal. Conservatives couldn't put together a three-car funeral without producing six books denouncing each other. It is doubtful two neoconservatives could agree on where to have lunch -- which is going to complicate their secret plans to trick the nation into perpetual war." (322)

Liberals never argue with one another over substance; their only dispute is how to prevent the public from figuring out what they really believe. Meanwhile, it is a source of constant alarm to conservatives that the public will not understand what they really believe." (322-323)

"Back in the prelapsarian fifties, women worked if they happened to fall into the .01 percent of the population who are able to have interesting jobs or they retired in their twenties to raise children and, incidentally, do what all serious people would like to do anyway -- be a dilettante in many subjects. As far as I'm concerned this was a division of labor nothing short of perfect. Men worked and women didn't. So when our benefactors come under attack as "patriarchs" and "oppressors," I realize, someone has to put in a kind word for the oppressors. For cocktails alone, I figure I owe the male population several thousand dollars. So I will be the one to step forward and say: To the extent one gender is oppressing the other, it's not women who should be complaining." (327)

"(L)et's say I don't care about my country, politics, or civil affairs. All I want to do is make porno movies. I could spend a million dollars producing speech of the Debbie Does Dallas variety. But if I want to engage in speech of the "Vote Against Chris Shays" variety, I can only spend $2000. It is easier to pander obscenity in this country than it is to engage in core First Amendment speech." (332)

"My argument is that the First Amendment doesn't just apply to working journalists. The First Amendment protects speech that is robust, wide open, etc. etc., and not just speech that is robust, wide open, etc., as between competing newspapers (like the Post and the Times). The First Amendment refers to 'the people,' not to 'the newspaper editors.'" (335)

"Perhaps the greatest disservice of Hollywood movies is their cartoonish villains. In real life, I promise you, the devil will look more like Julia Roberts than Snidely Whiplash. Evil does not arrive with a flashing neon sign: MEPHISTOPHELES! LUCIFER! SATAN! FOR ETERNAL DAMNANTION, APPLY HERE! Evil arrives packaged as a winsome movie about a long-legged brunette who manages to marry a rich, handsome bachelor and live happily ever after -- all by turning tricks on Hollywood Boulevard! There's a reason Beelzebub is known as the prince of lies." (342)

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