nonimmunitaecclesias.jpg Update 7-Oct-08: If you’re arriving via the link from Kelly “Beefcake” Hughes’ weekly email update, welcome. And just so you know, cat blogging is *not* the norm around here. Poke around and see for yourself.

The sign in the photo reads “Non gode l’immunita ecclesias,” which means, “Does not enjoy ecclesiastical immunity.” The sign removed a church’s right to offer asylum. The image just struck me though… the phrase “ecclesiastical immunity” hit me in a very different way when I discovered it mid-week with the photo, and I wanted to do something with it but didn’t know what. So which of us is immune, or can do whatever we want by virtue of our position in the church? Sadly, there are those who feel they are entitled, and who act that way even if they wouldn’t come right out and say it in those terms. These are the type who take God’s name in vain, which is what clicked for me at the end of the week.

The week ended with a full weekend.


  • Spent time pricing out shingles for our roof. Got 27 years out of the present ones, so they don’t owe me anything. Delivery scheduled for Monday afternoon next week, when it’s supposed to rain. This week has great weather, of course. Installing them myself with the aid of whatever friendships I can abuse.
  • Lots of web development on my plate near the end of the week… and need to be writing too.
  • Probably spent too much time writing my post, Emergent Terminology: It’s Not About Fracturing and it’s introductory predecessor, but I feel there’s an important insight in there that I hope spreads around a little. Turns out I’m representing my country, so I hope it’s at least on the mark.
  • Friday

  • How does this happen? One kid has a sleepover and one has a birthday party after school. We’re kidless for the evening and don’t know what to do! We skip the movie, the wife has a nap while I do some work, then we go out for dinner with some friends. Nice, quiet, enjoyable.
  • Saturday

  • Took youngest daughter out for breakfast. Me: buffet. Her: Oreo Cookie Pancakes. Amazing what they dream up for the kids menu. Had a great time together; she wanted to sit beside me, so we sat beside each other in the booth, across from an empty bench. After we finished eating, we each got out our books and read while I finished my coffee. Her: something with fairies. Me: Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, which I had just started and am really enjoying.
  • Picked up oldest daughter from a sleepover. Youngest daughter finishes her book… at seven years old, she goes through more than two “chapter books” geared to her age per day. I always tell them to bring a book in the car with them, but now I have to tell her to bring two. At least. Thank God for the library.
  • Drop youngest daughter off at medieval-themed birthday party, her dressed as a princess. I suspect she won’t be alone in this. No gifts to the party, just foodbank donations instead.
  • Take oldest daughter to The Fyxx, where we sipped coffee and hot chocolate and played a game of chess. She’s ten, so I figured it’s time to teach her. This was her first “real” game, and she did well remembering how all the pieces moved. We played the game down to the point where we could each gain checkmate in one move, so I challenged her to find it for each of us. It was her turn next…
  • Trip to Home Depot for some construction/renovation supplies before picking up youngest daughter and heading back home.
  • Idea Exchange at Aqua Books. This one was titled “God’s Mind in the Music: John Coltrane’s search for truth,” and featured excerpts from Coltrane and some good conversation. Hung around afterward to browse and buy books and have a good chat with Mr. Aqua Books, Kelly Hughes, who guessed my secret identity. How did he do that?
  • Sunday

  • Blueberry pancakes. ’nuff said.
  • More reading, McKnight. Back to Home Depot, followed by a stop at the new Indigo Books where they were featuring author signings, and I got a couple of books signed… ones that I’d already purchased and now have inscribed copies. And no stalking was involved. No Sebastian Barry though.
  • I have a thought while reading McKnight, a bit of linguistic/theological humour: “There is possibly one thing more explosive than splitting the atom — splitting The Adam into Ish and Ishah. I’m not certain we’ve had peace ever since.”
  • Off to St. Ben’s in the evening, where Jamie preaches on the Decalogue. He describes how radical these would have been in their original setting, and I jot down some snippet of what he said about taking the Lord’s name in vain… about how it means invoking God’s name as a source of power for your own ends, to seal your oath, or to gain you some kind of position. It makes me think about charismatics and prosperity preachers and wonder how much of their message and their prayer lives are dedicated to taking the Lord’s name in vain through “claiming” this, that, or the other.

Earlier this evening, I remembered some old gospel bluegrass lyrics from a tune called “Death Couldn’t Keep my Jesus Down.”

Death couldn’t keep my Jesus down,
When they laid him in the ground.
The Spirit of God,
Raised him from the sod,
No, death couldn’t keep him in the tomb.

If anyone knows who the band is or where to find it, let me know. It’s been driving me nuts for years already.

Jotted down on Saturday evening:

— “If you think you understand it, it isn’t God.” — Augustine

— “Imagination is evidence of the divine.” — John Donne

Well, it’s Sunday evening, just after midnight now.

A Canticle for Compline:

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

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