Sunday, January 31, 2010


...the social supports ... for guidance--churches, ethnic communities, patriotic activities, and a liberal arts education--have either disappeared or now appear ‘plastic’ and unreal. Enduring this kind of acutely felt tension, these young people yearn for a quick cure for their sense of isolation and confusion (Lofland and Stark, 1965). They seek a sense of full belonging and purpose in life, independent of their familes, but without engaging in the struggle to achieve true "mutual understanding" between individuals or the serious "analysis" of their situation required to find and shape their own identity. ... Then at a moment of crisis, a "turning point"... they encounter the missionaries of one or another New Religious Movement offering just such an alternative path to (or temporary detour from) maturity. (Comprehending the Cults: The Sociology of New Religious Movements, 91) 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

theological speculating on Haiti

Reading my daily Ross Douthat prompted me to dig up a comment I had at first opted to file away.

Monday, January 25, 2010

David Stern and Jewish Literacy

Continuing a round of honor going to Messianic Jewish pioneer David Stern (always a good idea), I found Yahnatan's quote choice (its from the book that used to be called Messianic Jewish Manifesto): 
Jewish history is mine because I am Jewish. I reject the claim that I am not. Jewish history leads to me and explains who I am.

Second, Jewish history is important for me because Judaism has preserved some elements of truth...

And third, Jewish history is mine because if we Messianic Jews are to undertake our task to help heal the split between the Church and the Jews, as insiders to both, we must be fully identified with Jewish as well as Christian history.

So the Rambam is my Rambam, and David Ben-Gurion is my Ben-Gurion, and so are Moses Mendelssohn and Moshe Feinstein and Solomon Schechter and Stephen Wise and Judah HaNasi and the Raba and Abaye and Meyer Lansky and Albert Einstein and the Marxes--Karl and Groucho--and Peres and Shamir and Rav Kahane and Charlie Biton. All mine! And I, a Jew who honors the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, am theirs.