What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 11, 10:51:

"I'm now going to spend way too much time on YouTube over the next couple of weeks watching every single one of those Beato videos" I've watched three or four of them and they're informative, but his taste in music is fairly mainstream. He seems like a guy who was raised on classic rock and doesn't venture too far afield from stuff that's in that general stream. As such, some of his choices for "20 best..." whatever are a little bit predictable and mundane. He definitely knows his stuff though, and even ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Oct 10, 21:28:

Nice Marmot, "...I'd say that the general aesthetic goodness 'opens up' from or builds upon the more specific quality, which seems to come somewhat naturally to us humans." I disagree but I'm not sure how to argue against this except to point to music again. Beethoven's Grosse Fugue isn't beautiful at all, but it conveys a powerful sense of rough-hewn, jagged, visceral energy that never fails to astound me, even if I don't find it pleasant to listen to. Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima i ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Oct 10, 12:10:

Curse you Paul...I'm now going to spend way too much time on YouTube over the next couple of weeks watching every single one of those Beato videos! In all seriousness, this is an amazing find -- especially because like you I'm a big Rush fan (a particular thrill for me was seeing their 30th Anniversary tour back in the 2000s.) I think my own special "lizard brain" pop/rock music would have to be U2 -- hearing the opening riff of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (which was my introduction to them) or the later "Prid ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 10, 06:57:

"I was using it to mean general aesthetic goodness, as opposed to a more specific aesthetic quality, which seems to be how you're using it." True, but I'd say that the general aesthetic goodness "opens up" from or builds upon the more specific quality, which seems to come somewhat naturally to us humans. Of course, there is a sense in which "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." It does have a subjective element. It can't be entirely subjective, however, as that would lead to a complete inability to of ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Oct 9, 20:53:

Nice Marmot, It seems we're using "beauty" differently. I was using it to mean general aesthetic goodness, as opposed to a more specific aesthetic quality, which seems to be how you're using it. In your sense, I agree, atonal music isn't beautiful. But I'm reminded of this quote from philosopher Jerrold Levinson: "...some great music that is not narrowly beautiful, but instead powerful, disturbing, restless, or sublime: the outer movements of Beethoven’s 'Appassionata' Piano Sonata; the outer movements of ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 9, 18:32:

That Feldman clip is nice; I don't have a problem with atonality in small segments. Lots of modern tonal composers use it for effect or for "spice." But I doubt I'd be able to listen past three or four minutes. Since the music has no tonal center, it can't really "go" anywhere; there's no progression. And I just find that very uninteresting. I suspect that kids like it because it sounds "weird" or "spooky." I remember liking creepy-sounding music when I was little. But I don't think that means they f ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Sage McLaughlin on Oct 8, 08:38:

I'm just curious because in evangelical circles, when someone is admired, if you point out the obvious implications of what he writes in more stark terms, you often are told that (if it's some implication likely to upset readers) you have misrepresented him. But perhaps this doesn't happen with Catholics as much. This pretty well describes the entire intra-Catholic combat over the documents of Vatican II, the moden catechism(s), and the writings and statements of the subsequent popes. ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Oct 5, 01:30:

Nice Marmot, > It would obviously be a result of lack of prejudice, but in this case is that lack good or bad? Good question. I'd say it's a good thing, but it's hard to argue for this. If John can't hear the beauty of unfamiliar music due rigid listening habits, how can I ever convince him about that music's beauty? We don't even have to talk about atonal music - I've met classical musicians who can't hear beauty in Bach's music. I doubt we can argue each other into hearing beauty. I can only ask peopl ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 4, 05:46:

"he says, more often than not, they tend to appreciate the music more than adults." But surely that's not necessarily a good thing. The question for me would be why do they tend to appreciate it more? It would obviously be a result of lack of prejudice, but in this case is that lack good or bad? ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 3, 09:48:

I think we have to take into account the butterfly effect - the idea that a system may be so delicately balanced that the smallest disturbance will have huge effects. When Christianity began, it was a small movement that could have either prospered or fizzled out. At that stage, individual incidents might have been the difference between long-term success and failure. Paul's conversion is a spectacular example of a single incident that was undoubtedly crucial to the future of Christianity. But there may hav ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 3, 09:22:

If I were to pick a bit in Acts that I feel uncomfortable about on such grounds it would be the discarded clothing of Paul healing people (Acts 19:11) and Peter's shadow (Acts 5:15). ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 3, 08:38:

It doesn't bother me theologically. God was presumably trying to launch the early church, and in a scenario where they are selling property and passing money around and so forth, he doesn't want people lying to each other. Can you imagine how the treasurer must have felt after that? Not that I even know that there was a treasurer, or that he would have felt tempted to embezzlement, but there must have been people handling money and property in the Christian community with all this selling and distributing g ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Frankie on Oct 2, 17:21:

I didn't mean to give the impression that this was something Keener has said. This is my own view. It a difficult because I don't have any specific evidence against it's historicity, it just strikes me as a very troubling passage. I think it may be incompatible with God's character and I'm not sure what the point is. No one else is struck down for lying - is it a lesson about lying? A warning? If I was to speculate I'd give an embellishment explanation. Maybe Ananias died shortly after it was found out ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 2, 00:13:

The nice thing about Luke and chronology is that, when he doesn't know, he just doesn't say. This is the case with that whole central section of Luke. Chronologically it's akin to a document dump. But he doesn't go to much trouble to pretend that it's anything else. This is why the achronological narration category is so important. It's also why it makes me laugh a bit when people try to say that "in order" in the Lukan preface means "in chronological order." I don't think Luke was delusional. He knew quite ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 2, 00:05:

Frankie, I can see why you would say that about Luke but I think that John might actually be the most historically accurate. His chronology, for example, seems to be the correct one. Furthermore, John has the most extraordinary little details that really bring scenes to life. On the other hand, John has a narrower focus; there are fewer scenes in his Gospel. Luke is perhaps most useful to the historian because he goes to a lot of trouble to set the story in its political context. And, of course, it is inv ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 1, 23:47:

Sorry, my mistake. They wrote what they thought happened, but they also had flexibility Yes, that's bizarre. It seems that Keener really doesn't want to come out and say directly that the authors were making things up, so it has to be covered by some euphemism. But the example of the bread makes it clear. And changing the day of the Crucifixion would be making things up. ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 1, 22:31:

No, I knew it was someone else. To be totally fair and honest, I just looked up Ananias and Sapphira in the Acts commentary, and Keener is fairly definite about defending its historicity. So that apparently is commentator Frankie's own view. David, one thing that really struck me was that in that interview clip Keener says, "They wrote what they thought happened, but they also had flexibility." That's close to verbatim. I'll have to go back and transcribe it verbatim sometime. But that's really confusing, ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 1, 18:24:

Thanks for the clarification, Lydia. I can see now why Keener would refer to it as “tweaking”, since he posits a motive for deliberately changing the story. Completely unnecessary of course. BTW, that last comment wasn't actually from me. Perhaps I’m imagining things, but I got the impression that you thought it was. ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 1, 17:57:

I appreciate the distinction between Luke's making it up and Luke's reporting what he's been told. Undoubtedly Luke wasn't personally present at the scene, and it's a much more consistent view of Luke to say he reports with sources than that he makes things up. But I don't really know of any strong reason to think it didn't happen, absent a disbelief in such supernatural events. Now I have to go look up what Keener says about this scene. Sigh. Is it in that interview clip? Or is that not something you're ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Frankie on Oct 1, 17:17:

So I hold one position that would be a little more similar to Licona than Keener, though I think it could be tweaked to be like Keener's position. I think the pericope where Ananias and Saphira are struck dead for lying in acts is probably not historical. Here's the thing, Luke is my favourite author precisely because I think he is the most historically accurate. Historically speaking, Acts is my favourite book in the new testament. Still, it covers 30+ years of history and not all of it is going to be ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 1, 17:13:

Right, see what I mean about being unclear? Why is this "tweaking"? Well, if you read his commentaries you find out that he thinks there is some kind of conflict with Mark (in one commentary he refers to these as "direct conflicts" with the Synoptics!) because in Mark it says that the one who will betray Jesus is the one who dips the sop in with Jesus. He says that this shows that John is trying to emphasize that Jesus is "in control of" his own death. The implication, then, though he can't seem to bring hi ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 1, 11:56:

So here is the link to the interview: https://ibccourses.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Roundtable/Keener/Craig5.mp4 It’s only 11 minutes long but the interviewer takes ages just to ask the first question, so you might want to fast forward to 4:20. Keener thinks that the Passion narrative in particular reveals the “problems” of John. He talks about the “tweaking” that John does. One example is that John has Jesus handing the piece of bread to Judas and thereby revealing his betrayer – a detail not in the Synop ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Oct 1, 09:15:

David, can you link the interview and perhaps mention some time stamps where Keener gets down to specifics? That would be useful to me. I'm always looking for places where Keener gets down to specifics, since (as I mentioned) he often doesn't. Thanks! As far as making unnecessary concessions, my observation is that many of these scholars literally cannot conceive of the position that the objections and so-called "standards" of mainstream biblical scholarship should be criticized in a non-theological way as ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Oct 1, 04:23:

Why concede ground when you don’t have to? Perhaps the answer for conservative scholars is that they need to establish themselves as “critical” thinkers. At some point they need to say something uncomplimentary about the Gospels, otherwise they will seem too credulous. In reality, they are usually “admitting” to problems that aren’t actually there. None of the examples which Keener mentioned in the interview seemed particularly problematic. The one that might seem to pose a genuine problem is the question o ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Sep 30, 20:05:

ThomasL, I think every musician I know that enjoys atonal music also enjoys tonal music - from Bach to the Romantics. I myself still prefer tonal music to atonal music. Tonal music will never be old-fashioned. Even Schoenberg himself said there's still a lot of good music to be composed in C major! I once took a course surveying classical music composed in the last 30 years or so, and I'd say roughly half or more of the music was still tonal. Should kids listen to atonal music? I'd say, why not? I was e ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Sep 30, 13:39:

Yes, Keener does think that. What I have done is to go and find some *specifics* that he has in mind. It's rather astonishing how difficult this is to do. Keener's fairly consistent preference is to speak in generalities. Usually one has to read his commentaries to find specifics. And even there, much of the time he writes so equivocally that it is difficult to figure out his position. Here is a case in point: In his commentary on John and his commentary on Acts, Keener pretty definitely *calls into quest ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ThomasL on Sep 30, 12:01:

Lost between some brackets was my comment that I don't really listen to Mahler much anymore, my preferences having shifted to earlier music. I should get out the old albums though... But, since we are on the topic, it is interesting to think that you have at (roughly) the same time, lovely tonal music like being composed by Rachmaninov, very grand tonal symphonies with splashes of atonality as a kind of rhetorical flourish coming from Mahler, and completely atonal music like Schoenberg (I could have sworn ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 30, 11:24:

That's interesting. Clearly, some things must be non-negotiable, and a future bodily resurrection followed by judgement belongs in that category. In the case of Jesus’ prophecies, the key point, I think, is that Jesus’ prophetic ability has been established. He said that his words would never pass away and 2000 years later they are still remembered. That is a fulfilled prophecy, one that could not have been faked. That being the case, we should approach the other prophecies with a charitable spirit. It mak ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Sep 30, 10:36:

Just to show that I'm not making up the concern that the phrase "apocalyptic language" is being used to sweep all prophecies of the apocalypse into a basket where they don't ever refer to an actual apocalypse (!) consider that Michael Licona has cited Daniel 12:2 as an example of "apocalyptic language" that supposedly shows that we should expect such language to be non-literal! But why think that? As I said in an older post, It's probably worth saying: When apocalyptic language describes the actual apocaly ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Sep 30, 10:33:

Tony, You wrote: "What I wonder is whether he (or anybody) has a good grasp on why those chords, or why those progressions strike the soul as something to be liked very strongly." It depends on the specifics of the case. Sometimes we like a chord progression because it's associated with good memories. Or because, in conjunction with the lyrics, it brings to mind positive images or ideas. Or because of how it confirms or violates our musical expectations. And so on. See the following link for an influenti ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ML on Sep 30, 10:02:

ThomasL You wrote: "Completely agreed on the atonal Schoenburg style stuff. It is horrible, and no one has, and a hope never will, convince me otherwise." I understand your position on Schoenberg (not Schoenburg) and atonal music in general. Many classical musicians I know feel the same way. But personally, I enjoy many atonal works - there's an emotional intensity and otherworldly, dreamlike aura that appeals to me, and to many other classical musicians I know. It's like how some people enjoy fantasy ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 29, 15:38:

Yes, I agree that Jesus also talked about things which have not yet happened, and that there may have been some confusion between short and long term predictions. I still think that the language about the darkening of the sun and stars falling from the sky could refer to the fall of Jerusalem. But I take your point that the metaphorical use of apocalyptic language does not rule out a literal use of such language. And, of course, one must distinguish between Jesus’ own metaphorical talk (if that's what it ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Sep 29, 15:05:

I would say that what you're attributing to Wright there, David, is a preterist or semi-preterist interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. (I haven't read Wright directly on the subject, so I can't vouch for your interpretation of Wright.) I disagree with that interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. I think Jesus was talking about two different things--both the destruction of Jerusalem and the "real" end times, when the world will actually come to an end. After all, that "apocalyptic language" can be at time ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by David Madison on Sep 29, 06:40:

So basically a symbolic meaning from a fictional or highly embellished account, aka a literary device. No, that is not what N.T. Wright was saying. He was not claiming that incidents reported in the Gospels were invented; rather, he was saying that certain *language* was not meant to be taken literally. For example: the sun will be darkened,and the moon will not give its light;the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken That is the sort of language which Jesus could have used ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ThomasL on Sep 27, 14:58:

By "earlier" I meant Baroque and before. And that has pretty much stuck ever since then. ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by ThomasL on Sep 27, 14:56:

Our backgrounds are somewhat similar. As a kid it was Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Mozart's Requiem for me, then some Mahler. No one else in my family ever really listened to much classical music. They didn't dislike it, they just rarely played it, though I do recall my dad occasionally playing the Planets. As I got into my late teens and twenties, while Mozart's Requiem endured as a favorite, I shifted towards earlier music ( Completely agreed on the atonal Schoenburg style stuff. It is horrible, and ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 27, 09:56:

Paul, Superb! Thanks for this. ... [More]

The realism of Jesus' dialogues in John

Comment posted by Step2 on Sep 27, 09:53:

David, This way of looking at things was often portrayed with vivid imagery which was not usually meant to be taken literally. So basically a symbolic meaning from a fictional or highly embellished account, aka a literary device. All that is useful background knowledge. But the secular scholars who declare that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet don't believe that there is any heavenly realm or any divine plan. Nor do they think that anyone could have visions which actually predict the future. So their “sc ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 27, 02:26:

Beato is pretty amazing, in his ability to pull apart the elements in the song, and not only see them himself, but enable US to see them (errr, hear them) - including me, I who am a musical illiterate. Of course an important part of that seems to be having access to the separate tracks (at least some of them - I half suspect that he simply reproduced some of them by himself), but that's not the most important part. And he's clearly a musical talent of no small means himself. The song itself is instantl ... [More]

What makes this song great?

Comment posted by Scott W. on Sep 26, 09:50:

Actually met Geddy Lee wandering around the National Art Galley in DC on Rush's "Presto" tour. I'm embarrassed to say me and the friend that was with me acted every bit like fanbois that the lyrics of "Limelight" complain about. Ahh well, foolish youth. Beato is fun to listen to because he is a serious composer but hasn't let his tastes get too stuffy. Let me also recommend YouTuber Adam Neely, who has appeared on Beato videos I believe. You might start with his reaction to the film "Whiplash" of "Things ... [More]