Speaking randomly, I think…

Published 10:53 am Monday, December 27, 2010

Not every thought has been developed, and not every developed thought requires a full column. Occasionally, then, I’ll lay out some thoughts for initial consideration. These are not in my usual essay style commentary.

Almost always my commentaries are standard essay form with discrete introduction, body, and conclusion. I mean for the introduction to introduce the subject, and a thesis is most important.

Normally, the thesis is the final sentence in the first paragraph. Because newspapers use narrow columns, paragraphs can visually seem longer than they are in fact. So, when the introduction is necessarily longer than usual, the thesis can be the second paragraph. The thesis is usually a single sentence that asserts a concept of the subject.

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The body embodies the evidence or reasoning to support the thesis. The conclusion restates the thesis in a form to call for action.

What follows is not an essay but something of a potpourri or collection of various thoughts. These are undeveloped, and sometimes even incomplete, thoughts offered for what they might be worth for now. I will yet develop some into full essays. Others are rather self-contained and self-evident so do not require a full column. Rather than verbally padding them to create full-length, I prefer just to present them like this. So, here are some.

I am again impressed with being ready for death not in the usual sense of resignation to the inevitable but confidence when one’s life is complete. When it is complete, it is the natural, logical, and desirable thing to die. The best preparation for dying a Christian death, then, is living a Christian life.

Most separatist groups — whether political, religious, or cultural — dig for a hole themselves because they invent themselves and identify themselves by what they are not rather than what they are.

A system that makes annual teacher reappointments dependent on student evaluations isn’t likely to produce professors willing to challenge their students and uphold high academic standards.

Within religious circles, people range from naively Zionist to bitterly anti-Zionist. The former fail to recognize how thoroughly secular is current Israeli culture and law. Its anti-Christian action and rhetoric serves the purpose of placating the Orthodox, who are tolerated without being respected, in order to hold the nation together politically and economically. The eschatology-driven politics of the former renders them ineffective with Arabs. They seem to feel that God depends upon our political help to create an Israel to which it is safe for Christ to return.

On the other end are those who are politically anti-Zionist, because they are driven by emotional reaction to a radical Zionist position. They seem to think there are some promises God has made that he isn’t self-obliged to keep. It seems to me I have read in the Hebrew scriptures at least a few promises Yahweh made to Israel on which he could do better than he has done thus far.

The more successful a person becomes in bringing about change, the more he becomes invested in this change. Eventually, change calcifies into the status quo, but it is his status quo. Then he becomes the most opposed to any change.

Some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them, for no ordinary man could be such a fool. I heard Eric Hoffer say: “One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputations.”

Such random thoughts as these do not necessarily require an action step — unless it is to think them through to learn what you think.