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I just returned from the events of a very challenging day. Friends, I’m very tired.
You know days like this, yes? I’m sure you do. Most people do; most normal folks, at least.
What showed itself as the premier challenge was the disheartening revelation during a theological discussion that my four years of seminary education just may have been a huge waste of money. Why do I say this? Because it would seem that so many people have somehow become renowned scholars in historical, exegetical, and systematic theology without a day of formal theological study.
Now, I don’t mean to sound as though I’m lording the academics of the pastoral office, but at a minimum level of sensibility, it makes little sense to argue the hermeneutics emerging from a particular Greek word used in the Gospel of Saint Matthew when you’ve never studied the Greek language. And then to go home, hop on Google, fashion a near-illogical exegesis, craft it into what you believe is a systematic absolute by way of an assemblage of various internet snippets, and then blast it to the pastor to prove him incorrect, well, it just seems so obviously foolish.
I don’t know everything, and I would never insinuate that I do, but in tandem, I would never challenge my doctor to a contest of wits regarding human anatomy and physiology, nor would I attempt to engage my lawyer in a Law debate. Both my doctor and my lawyer may have their opinions, but facts remain facts. At a minimum, the pastor employing the objective elements of his vocation deserves the same consideration.
The problem is that in a radically individualized society, no one considers theology to be a field of absolutes, and thusly, everyone is an expert. Interestingly, we’re beginning to see the same with medicine and law. Biology is becoming a preference. Subjective truths are becoming rights.
Oh well, believe whatever you want. I’m having a stiff drink, and while I sip, I intend to peruse Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
“Know how sublime a thing it is,” Longfellow muses, “to suffer and be strong.”
Yes, Henry, I’ll show up in the office tomorrow.
In the meantime, let tonight be tonight. The evening remains relatively young, and the glass in my hand contains an Absinthe pour from a bottle gifted to me about a year ago by a good friend who is now with the Lord. At 138 proof, there’s a good chance that I may join her very soon.
Before adding the water and sugar cube pictured in the image, the nose of this beastie is a thickset of black licorice. With the traditionally prescribed additions, there emerges a peck of sweetened lime.
The palate gives the same black licorice with and without water, of course with the water, it’s less pronounced. Interestingly, at full 138 proof strength, I notice very little burn. Impressive, and dangerous, as this is a sweet tea that pretends to be a thirst quencher.
The finish was a medium rinse of sugar with a swiftly receding waxy feel. Not great, but not necessarily unpleasant.
You know what would make it unpleasant? Another email from the aforementioned theological scholar.
(Let’s see…okay… Ah! Here we go! “How to block an email address in Outlook.” Hah! I am now an expert in all things email protocol.)