Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Babies Will Destroy Your Life (Kind of Like HIV)

Lovers Plus condoms in South Africa are encouraging customers to "protect your dreams". Because babies destroy lives.

Babies will take away your dream vacation.

Babies will let you buy that muscle car you always dreamed about, then SMASH IT AND YOUR DREAMS with their tiny baby feet.

Babies also take away your chance to get the corner office. Stupid babies.

Lovers Plus, by the way, is a non-profit NGO that operates like a for-profit. It is owned by the Society for Family Health in South Africa, which uses profits from sales to fund "health initiatives" particularly concerned with HIV prevention. But lest you doubt that it is positions itself as a competitive brand, behold:
The Lovers Plus brand has attained consistent growth since its launch in 1993, primarily as a result of the application of successful marketing and advertising strategies. Lovers Plus is positioned as a fun, affordable, high-quality condom for adults who have high self-esteem, are ambitious and stylish. The price point has also assisted in positioning the brand as a quality product in the consumers’ mind.
That price point comment means it's not the cheapest condom on the market. It's a relatively top-shelf product, as much as condoms can be. This breathy radio ad in Afrikaans demonstrates that simply by being in Afrikaans, a white-people language in South Africa.

If we accept that sexual promiscuity is inevitable, and babies undesirable, why not harness the power of sex to save people from themselves? Let the purchasers of Lovers Plus, who are worried about convertibles, or at least want to be the sort of people who worry about convertibles, pay for saving Africa from AIDS.

Never mind that the solution to AIDS/HIV is marriage and faithfulness. That's like saying Jesus is the answer to the HIV crisis, and that won't do at all. I suppose we should be grateful these aren't ads for abortions. The culture of promiscuity and the culture of death are one and the same, saying peace peace when there is no peace.

They are also, by the way, extremely misogynistic.

Lastly, this.


The Beatitudes of Beer

This is the red letter edition of the beatitudes of beer. Cheers and prost!

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How To Make The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich In The World

You should see how my wife reacts when I serve her this sandwich. Except you won't, because that would be indecent.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How To Know When To Take Communion: A Handy Guide

Knowing when and how to take communion can be difficult. After all, we want to do Christ's will, but fear to do so unworthily. For church leaders and pastors the issues are even more complex. How do we fence the table? Do we allow children and visitors to take the Lord's Supper? Do we open up to any professing Christians, or just to our members? Church leaders must not only safeguard themselves, but all their flock as well, lest any eat or drink unworthily.

In view of these complexities, we here at Joffre The Giant have taken the time to draw up two flow-charts to aid both lay-people and church leaders in their prayerful meditations over how and when to take the Supper of Jesus Christ. We hope that these are helpful, and not overly-complex.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Men You'll Find In The Perfect Church Men's Group

Thinking of starting a Christian men's group? Make sure that you have a group suitable to overcoming many challenges and defeating many bosses on your noble quest. Whether you're meeting at Waffle House at 6 a.m. for earnest prayer to Father God, for quiet coffee and confession at a coffee shop, or for Bible study at Jim's house, the right group is essential for spiritual success.

Would you, sir, take two fighters and no rogues on a dungeon crawl? Or worse, two rogues and no fighters? Of course not. And so it is with Christian men's groups. The right balance of personalities needs to be struck, the vices of one offset by the virtues of another, different skills and abilities brought to bear.

If you're about to start a men's small group, then your prayers for wisdom just might have been answered. Without further ado, the perfectly designed group, with each of the six men conveniently described as an easily recognizable archetype:

Friday, July 18, 2014

W. G. Grace: A Cricketer You Could Like

From reader Mike W:

W.G. Grace might be a cricketer you could like. He was once bowled (ball hit the stumps dislodging the bails) and he picked the bails up, put them back on the stumps, and continued his innings. Legend has it he told the umpire that the crowd had "come to see me bat, not you umpire."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Purity Movement Is Not Crazy Enough

This post is not really about the troubles with the purity movement. Instead, I am going to use the purity movement as an avenue to approach a more fundamental problem.

A recent article at National Review Online entitled A Sexual Revolution For Younger Evangelicals? No. concerned itself with a study showing that the great majority of young Christians who actually go to church live by the Christian sexual ethic.
As American culture secularizes, the most basic Christian tenets seem ever more detached from mainstream American culture. Those who identify with Christianity, and who gather with the people of God, have already decided to walk out of step with the culture. Beliefs aren’t assumed but are articulated over and against a culture that finds them implausible. Evangelical views on sexuality seem strange, but young Evangelicals in post-Christianizing America have already embraced strangeness by spending Sunday morning at church rather than at brunch. 
Moreover, sexuality isn’t ancillary to Christianity, in the way some other cultural or political issues are. Marriage and sex point, the Bible says, to a picture of the gospel itself, the union of Christ and his church. This is why the Bible spends so much time, as some critics would put it, “obsessed” with sex. That’s why, historically, churches that liberalize on sex tend to liberalize themselves right out of Christianity itself.
This strangeness embraced by young evangelicals is the key. A other culture that is completely distinct from the world's, a way of life that the world cannot hope to understand. Christians and non-Christians alike may eat pop tarts and do math, but their lives ought to be alien to each other. Our sexuality is other to the world's. As much as Christians might talk about engaging with the world, the truth is that the first step of a credible witness is the incredibleness of our lives. Incomprehension is a gate into enemy cities, a weak point for our gospel grond. (Sorry, couldn't resist the alliteration.)

The failure to recognize and embrace this otherness is, I believe, what feeds the frenzied culture of the "purity" movement. The purity movement (which I understand is well past its 90s heyday) largely springs from sections of evangelical culture that are difficult to tell apart from the world, except perhaps for the fact that they wear different t-shirts and go to MGM on Christian band night.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dear Christian Beer Hipster: How To Find A Church That Is Cool With Your Drinking

Dear Christian Beer Hipsters,

As Christians, we have much to celebrate in this God-given life. Our Lord commanded in Deuteronomy 14 that we be grateful and rejoice with wine and beer, and he has instituted a meal which includes wine to be taken weekly.

Obviously alcohol is from the Lord. Haters are going to hate. Let them. In celebration of our glorious freedom to be cooler than everyone else while drinking whatever we like, I here publish several verses. Let "whatever your soul desires" be our motto!

Here we go:

Review of C&D's Oak Alley

This is my second review of a tobacco from Cornell & Diehl's Cellar Series, three pipe tobaccos designed to be cellared for ten+ years. I reviewed Chenet's Cake here, and today we have Oak Alley.

This is, of course, a tobacco that is designed to grow on you. Over ten years or so. But even within the last month or two it has grown on me. I had to be convinced to like it; I've smoked about half the tin, and the tobacco has indeed convinced me to like it. On reading the description on the tin, the smoker might be tempted to think that Oak Alley would be an over-complex maze o' flaves. After all, Oak Alley is said to be "an impeccable partnership between sweet red Virginias and white/brown Burleys, discreet amounts of Perique and Katirini Turkish are added to enhance both the flavor, as well as promote the coolest smoke imaginable."

It is actually a subtle tobacco. (Except for the fact that it's a nicotine bomb.) The Perique and Katirini truly are added in discreet amounts, serving simply to stabilize and mature the Virginias and Burleys. It has a medium body with a campfire and gentle fruit note. There's a bit of sweet and earth, but really no spice at all. There's a distinct toasted pecan that emerges after a few puffs, with the baseline being a season of mellow fruitfulness I'd describe as white wine.

All in all a satisfying tobacco, particularly good as a robust morning smoke.


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