Dr. Phil It’s Not

Just happened to note N. T. Wright’s sermon from the day of Pentecost, 2009.  One hears within it many, many echoes of his writing, above all his insistence on understanding what the early hearers and readers would have understood, what OT references would have been evoked, from those who heard Jesus and Paul and read the evangelists and the epistles…rather than the cheap, pre-millennial garbage or the unrelenting obsession with pop-therapeutic self-help.  


One thought on “Dr. Phil It’s Not

  1. qb,

    Thanks for the Wright headsup. On the Wednesday before Pentecost, I spoke to my Vets about the power of the Spirit and the presence of God for each of us, here and now. I concluded it with this poem by Walter McDonald (also a Vet–Air Force).

    “Faith Is a Radical Master”

    by Walt McDonald

    God bats on the side of the scrubs.
    With a clean-up hitter like that, who needs
    to worry about stealing home, a double squeeze,
    cleat-pounding triples? If nothing else works,

    take a walk, lean into the wicked pitch
    careening inside at ninety miles an hour.
    At bat, just get on base and pray the next nerd
    doesn’t pop up. When someone’s already on, the coach

    never calls me Mr. October, seldom signals Hit away.
    If Johnson with the wicked curve owns the strike zone
    or the ump, I’ll bunt. No crack of the bat,
    no wildly cheered Bambino everyone loves.

    Lay it down the line like the weakest kid in school,
    disciple of the sacrifice. Some hour my time will come,
    late in the game, and I’m on third, wheezing from the run
    from first after a wild pitch, and Crazy Elmore

    waving like a windmill by the third-base line.
    Hands on my knees, I’ll watch the pitcher
    lick two fingers, wipe them on his fancy pin stripes
    and try to stare me dead. I’ll be almost dead,

    gasping, wondering how I’ll wobble home if someone bunts
    or dribbles a slow roller and the coach yells
    Go! But there, there in the box is God,
    who doesn’t pound home plate like an earthquake

    but slowly points the bat like the Babe toward center field,
    and all my family in the clouds go wild, all friends
    I’ve loved and lost, even the four-eyed scrubs
    in the dugout slugging each other and laughing,

    tossing their gloves like wild hosannas, and why not–
    it’s bottom of the ninth, two outs, a run behind
    and a hall-of-fame fast baller on the mound,
    but I’m on third and leaning home, and look who’s up.

    from Whatever the Wind Delivers
    Copyright © 1999

    His poetry is worth getting to know.


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