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Awful; Just Awful

  02/28/16 , by Dissidens, Categories: Uncategorizable, it's so bad



Brian D. McLaren has written something so unbelievably bad, it is worth everyone’s sneering at for a moment. Brian has taken some sub-mediocre lyrics from Sabine Baring-Gould (Onward, Christian Soldiers), and because he is scandalized by their militancy, he has substituted a discredited ideology, using unimaginative diction, bad theology, and remarkably juvenile scansion, to make a political point not found anywhere in the Christian Bible.

This is what is known as a gesture. It will please all the pacifists in his mental age group, but it is bad at so many levels one would guess that it took a failed professor of college English to excrete it.

But I say it is worth sneering at. Why bother sneering at something because it is bad?

It is worth sneering at because there is something we can learn from its ugliness, and sneering is what your lips will do when your eyes confront it. If you enjoy reading poetry, if from poetry you find validation for the joys in your life and consolation in its sorrows, if you take pleasure in man’s best thoughts best expressed, if you enjoy the “overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility”, if you believe poetry “reproduces the common universe of which we are portions and percipients, and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being. It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know”, if you do anything at all serious with poetry, you will sneer.

This is not bad just because it was done by a kook and a heretic, this would be bad if it were done by Chaucer or Keats or Wordsworth or Pope or Rossetti or Blake or Cowper or…I mean really, this would be bad if it were done by Dr. Seuss.

This would be bad if it were done by Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, or Modernists. It would be bad if it were done by Satanists.


Culture is not gesture. Liturgy is not gesture. Doctrine is not gesture. Dogma is not gesture.



6 comments

Comment from: Unk [Visitor]

“To be nonjudgmental is already to make a kind of judgment: it is to suggest that it really doesn’t matter what you listen to or dance to.” - Scruton

02/29/16 @ 06:53
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

Yes, I was disgusted by the judgmental and critical attitude directed at Ms. Baring-Gould. How can one be so dismissive of someone’s choice of metaphor in expressing the values of her faith community?

Brian is such a discriminating swine.

What’s next, the Inquisition?!

02/29/16 @ 08:54
Comment from: Unk [Visitor]

“Born in 1956, he graduated from University of Maryland with degrees in English (BA, summa cum laude, 1978, and MA, in 1981).”

Not, it seems, the most reputable place for getting a degree in English.

02/29/16 @ 10:23
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

Right.

U of M clearly failed to fix something that is badly broken. Having said that, some good students come from bad schools, and some bad students come from good schools.

Given the dates, and taken with my experience in a humanities dept. of a state university, my best guess is that Brian didn’t excel in English at all; he probably got sucked in and spit out of programs in wimmin’s studies, queer studies, gender-redefinition twaddle….

02/29/16 @ 10:39
Comment from: Landtiller [Visitor]

“Makes our deserts bloom in Eden-like beau-TEE…

…Saving, not condemning, not cast-ING a stone”

Good night.
Not even Jesus Culture could tolerate that.

02/29/16 @ 15:36
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

This guy taught the English language to adults?

I think the word we are groping for here is fraud. No wonder he went into to the religion racket; it may well have kept him out of prison.

02/29/16 @ 16:58

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