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David Porter » Entries tagged with "The Bible"

Male Baldness Need Be No Barrier to Success in Life

In an age of image obsession, technology to change appearances and to fight aging, strangely, baldness can be an asset, inspiring confidence and authority. There is an entire website devoted to famous baldies, or follicularly-challenged/hair disadvantaged as political correctness would have it, which lists, among many, bald actors (John Malkovich, Yul Bryner, Patrick Stewart, Telly Savalas); African Americans (Samuel L Jackson); musicians (Sinead O’Connor, Moby, Elton John); politicians (Winston Churchill, Gorbachev); and sportspeople (Duncan Mayhew, Michael Jordan). Clearly, in no way can their lack of hair have meant any shortfall in success during their careers. Bald Men Facing Fashion Issues In the article Embrace Your Baldness in 5 Steps, AskMen UK advised fashion conscious worried balding men to “embrace their baldness.” It said that “Michael Jordan made it cool for black men and … Read entire article »

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My Brother’s Keeper: The Reality of Filial Affection

Brotherly love is often used as justification for all sorts of loyalties, sacrifices, pressures and decisions, but is blood thicker than water in the end? Ed Miliband grabbed the leadership of the British Labour Party in September 2010 from under the nose of his older brother, David. He was not predicted to win, but did by a wafer-thin margin. It excited the media, made people wonder about ambition and brothers and exposed family divisions to public gaze. Trades Union members traditionally call each other ‘brothers’, as an equalizing, left-wing address, so no one is of higher importance than another. A joke runs that they hug and pat each others’ backs only to find the best spot to put the dagger in. In Christianity, ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’ speaks to the belief that … Read entire article »

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Sorry Seems to be the Hardest (Official) Word

‘Mea Culpa’ is formal admission of personal fault or error. It’s medicine that often many public figures and their organisations find hard to swallow. The chorus of Elton John/Bernie Taupin 1976 song Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word expresses a minority sentiment about personal apology. ‘It’s sad, so sad/It’s a sad, sad situation/And it’s getting more and more absurd/It’s sad, so sad/Why can’t we talk it over/Oh it seems to me/That sorry seems to be the hardest word’. Fair enough, individually; but corporately? Biblically, ‘sins of the father afflict unto several generations’. Some references to generational sin/punishment appear contradictory, though. In Leviticus 26:39: ‘because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away’; yet in 2 Chronicles 25:4: ‘fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to … Read entire article »

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The Bible as an Unexpected Source of Humour

Comedy, parody, sarcasm, wordplays, puns, irony are not the first Bible elements that spring to mind as literary devices, but they’re all there, and more. According to Practical Dreamers Drop-In Centre‘s Evan R Lewis ‘checks scriptures for jocular materials’ making connections, noting what was funny 3000 years ago, may not seem such today. He argues comic texts must be fictitious, not sober historical reporting, containing surprise or shock that make a point beyond expected ridiculous, irrational or exaggerated behaviour, which is the essence of basic comedy. Jonah is a prime candidate, he argues: it’s parody, funny because here is a prophet behaving in an un-prophet like way telling God what God should have done. Old Testament Sarcasm, Derisive Amusement Friedman’s and Stern’s 2000 … Read entire article »

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Bob Dylan, His Lyrics, The Bible, Scripture and Religion

The Bible sits in the centre of much of the world’s cultural heritage. So does Dylan, echoing or thundering its imagery, often in ways people don’t realise. Folk purists who booed him when he went electric in 1965/66, serious students of the man and his canon (Dylanologists) or friends/fans who feel they know him personally (Bobheads), have to agree to disagree about the importance of the Bible/Christianity in Dylan’s writing. Others might argue that music is the medium and words don’t work on the page anyway. Are the lyrics actually poetry? Aren’t they meant to be oral performance, not literary study? Dylan, the Well-Read Jewish Writer So how does a Jewish-American boy born of a father named Abram Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, raised in Hibbing, … Read entire article »

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The Bible in Popular Music

Biblical Quotes and References Inspire Songs While inspiration comes in many guises, both Christian and secular songwriters have always drawn deep from the well of Biblical imagery. They are still doing it. In paintings, novels, short stories and theatre, the Holy Bible has been a standard and long-lasting source of ideas, human stories and world-truths . The pop music industry is at it, and always has been. “The Rivers of Babylon”, the Boney M hit of 1978 is written out of Psalm 137, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion”. It is about the sadness of the Israelites asked to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land; a plaintive song of the exile. There Is a Season The Byrds had … Read entire article »

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The Bible in the Arts

Biggest, Richest Source Material for Creative Ideas Stories, images, morals, parables and history from the Holy Bible have long inspired artists of every description to portray the great sweep of our fallible human life. Because so much of the Bible is made up of narrative, solid story-telling, it is natural that its influences will find their ways into a range of literature down the years. On one level they are moral tales, history recorded, parables for living; on another they are the spoken word of the creator God and his plans for redemption. This is the stuff of fiction writing, too. The Bible in Literature CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia are a version of the message at the heart of the Christian story. In The Lion, the … Read entire article »

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