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Posts tagged "Imputation"

Through Thick N' Thin: Imputation in Paul

Through Thick N’ Thin: Imputation in Paul

To survey much of theology and biblical scholarship nowadays, you’d think that “imputation”, or the idea that God gives/reckons a moral status of righteousness to the otherwise ungodly believer, is a passé relic of former ignorance. On the biblical studies side, N.T. Wright has made half of a career out of refuting imputation. Peppered throughout his otherwise circuitously Reformed theology (surprise!) are direct refutations and veiled damnations of this reformational doctrine. For Wright, imputation is a grave misunderstanding of Paul’s theology and aims; imputation is “mistaken” (Paul in Fresh Perspective, p. 25), “misleading”, “a straightforward category mistake” (Justification, p. 232),…

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From Ruth Graham: Why Imputation Parenting Books Will Never Sell

From Ruth Graham: Why Imputation Parenting Books Will Never Sell

Some years ago, when we had our first child, the trend of putting babies in a kind of “truth telling” onesie had begun. We got several as well meaning gifts. You know the ones. They blaze phrases like, Loud and Proud or Troublemaker in Training across an infant’s tiny chest. Interestingly, I was given many more of these for our son than I was for our daughter. But in either case, I could not bear to put my newborn into a onesie that read, IN CHARGE. And not because I felt like I was in charge. In the first few weeks of having a baby…

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“You Impute Me”: Thoughts on Rude Patients and Kind Teachers

“You Impute Me”: Thoughts on Rude Patients and Kind Teachers

I’m still reflecting on Sarah Condon’s excellent talk at Mockingbird Tyler last week, particularly her discussion of imputation. Once you see imputation in action, it is hard not to notice its presence and absence all over the place.

Take my newsfeed this week. The New York Times ran an article called, “What Happens When Parents are Rude in the Hospital.” A researcher at Tel Aviv University investigated simulated crisis scenarios in a neonatal ICU. Actors, posing as parents of tiny patients, gave a variety of feedback to the medical staff. For example, one rude “mother” in the study emoted…

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Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) Hard not to start off with this amazing story of grace in practice, of an accused criminal sentenced to 24 hours in jail, and accompanied the whole time by his judge. The Washington Post tells the story of Green Beret veteran Sgt. Joseph Serna and District Court Judge Lou Olivera, and the Veterans Treatment Court over which he presides. The story describes Serna’s three tours of duty, the friends he lost, the multiple times he almost died himself. And the consequential PTSD he faces today.

While Serna’s years in combat…

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Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

A doozie of a story from the wild world of sports last Sunday as John Scott took the ice in NHL hockey’s 2016 All-Star game. To bring you up to speed, the trixy hobbits of the internet got involved with the sport’s All-Star voting this year, where top voted hockey players would be sent to the annual best-of-the-best event. Like the NFL’s pro-bowl, it’s more of an honor to be invited than to play, or more of a PR exhibition than a competition. Taking advantage of the online voting, a legion of hockey fans and internet trolls found the remarkably…

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Scripting Others: Stephen Covey on Imputation?

Scripting Others: Stephen Covey on Imputation?

Despite my instincts to steer clear of self help literature, I recently read Stephen R. Covey’s classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Can anything good come from the self help genre? To my surprise, yes, especially this excerpted section below on “Scripting Others” from Habit 7: Sharpening the Saw (basically, self care). In the following section he talks about something akin to imputation—the act of attributing to someone a trait not otherwise natural to themselves.

At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself. They scripted you. Did that…

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Ricky Linderman Is Among Friends

Have you ever seen My Bodyguard (1980)? Not exactly the apex of American movie-making, but it does contain a pretty powerful instance of grace. The movie tells the story of a teenager named Clifford who moves to a new school and immediately runs into trouble with bullies (the lead one played by Matt Dillon, in a dry run for his Outsiders peak). Out of desperation Clifford decides to befriend a kid that even the bullies are afraid of, a guy named Ricky Linderman (a young Adam Balwin aka Jayne in Firefly). Rumors are that Ricky killed someone. As their touching friendship develops, it becomes clear that Ricky is a tortured kid, extremely withdrawn and unhappy. Come to find out, Ricky accidentally shot and killed his younger brother when they were playing with guns as boys.

Clifford takes Ricky to meet his hotel-dwelling family, warning him beforehand about his eccentric Gramma, played by the immortal Ruth Gordon (also known as Maude from Harold and Maude). The following interaction ensues, ht JAZ:

Where Clifford (and Ricky) see death, Gramma sees life (Luke 20:37-38), and that small act of imputation, which even has the slight ring of dementia to it, is the beginning of healing. The brief smile we catch in that last shot is the first we see on Ricky’s face in the movie.

From Stickers to Likes: Validation, Authenticity, and Social Media for the Children of the 90s

From Stickers to Likes: Validation, Authenticity, and Social Media for the Children of the 90s

Modern Reformation’s May-June issue is out! If you haven’t already picked up a copy, this issue, entitled “Wired and Tired,” deals mostly with this our age of technology, and the unexpected weight it has brought to its users. Coming from the angle of identity and authenticity, one of the featured articles comes from yours truly. In it I’m discussing the era of social media, and its connection to the era (my era) of the validated child. For children raised in the 80s and 90s, with destiny- and distinction-talk portioned at the dinner table and decorating public school banners, these same…

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The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 2: Hickory's Leper and the Love that Takes No Account

The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 2: Hickory’s Leper and the Love that Takes No Account

In part 1, we touched on the moment where Coach Dale experienced grace from i-dotting and t-crossing extraordinaire, Ms. Myra Fleener. This installment will focus on another unlikely, yet incredibly encouraging relationship in the classic 1986 film.

The town of Hickory has a town drunk and his name is “Shooter” Flatch, who is also one of Coach Dale’s players’ father. Not only is Shooter an impossible alcoholic, he loves the game of basketball with endearing zeal, and has impressive insight into the sport. Coach Dale and Shooter have a very interesting (and hilarious) relationship. As noted in the last post, the…

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That's What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown: Law and Gospel According to Peanuts, Pt. 2

That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown: Law and Gospel According to Peanuts, Pt. 2

Christmas is fast approaching, so I find myself thinking about the very first—and arguably most famous—of the Peanuts‘ television specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which is already airing on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu. Frankly, this post is long overdue: I have intended to write more about Charles Schulz’s Peanuts and its relationship to the theological categories of Law and Gospel since my previous post on the subject months ago. This time I take a look at Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

I can’t help but notice some important Christian themes in the special. There is, of course, the very famous scene in…

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My Lunch at Subway with an Angry George Michael

My Lunch at Subway with an Angry George Michael

This short memoir comes from our friend Curt Benham.

I was minding my own business this weekend eating a sandwich with a friend when George Michael sucker-punched me in the face.

I hadn’t heard the song “Everything She Wants” by Wham! in probably 15 years when it came on the “house mix” at Subway. Two things struck me, and struck me hard.

First, this is a fantastic song – the epitome of 80s pop. And second, it’s a graphic depiction of the anger, despair and sadness that come from trying to work your way into someone’s acceptance and love.

It’s a song about a…

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Kierkegaard on Erotic Love, Divine Sorrow and True Imputation

Kierkegaard on Erotic Love, Divine Sorrow and True Imputation

We’re embarking on one of Kierkegaard’s bizarre thought-experiments here, on the love of God in Christ. It’s anthropomorphic, it’s controversial, and it’s all possibly a crock of you-know-what…but it’s deeply moving and, to this blogger’s mind, it brings out some brilliant aspects of God’s love and imputation’s reality.

God’s eternal motive with regard to man is to make His love understood – just to communicate it, in the same way a romantic feels compulsion to send a love letter or an avid fan absolutely must praise the author of a book or song. God’s love for us compels him to make that…

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