Episode 330 – Tulsa Turnaround

Most “celebrations of life” that I attend seem to almost capitalize on false encomium. You come away feeling that the person you knew wouldn’t recognize himself if he had been there. I’m not arguing for negativity, but I am pleading for accuracy, with humor and compassion — Christ’s compassion.

PZ’s Podcast / 1.24.22

I was “thrown” a little recently by a liturgical service that felt confused at a pretty deep level, and maybe even untruthful. The service was trying to honor someone but “too many cooks” (theologically and personally) “spoiled the broth”.
That is true of many services when they are not rooted in the Gospel. I mean the Gospel that brings together accurate, i.e. “low” anthropology and the hope of God’s mercy. Most “celebrations of life” that Mary and I attend seem to almost capitalize on false encomium. You come away feeling that the person you knew wouldn’t recognize himself if he had been there.
I’m not arguing for negativity, but I am pleading for accuracy, with humor and compassion — Christ’s compassion.
As I came away from the service I have in mind, I suddenly thought of The Music Man! That’s a musical about a con man who specializes in imputation not rooted remotely in truth. And only when a woman falls in love with him, and really does impute goodness to him — for she was the first person in the town to find out the truth about him — does everything change. He, the con man, changes; the townspeople forgive and unite; and the “at-risk” young people of the town form a marching band that does, miraculously, find its true and powerful voice. The Music Man is about real transformation. For PZ, it was the antidote to the discomfiture I felt during the service.
The Music Man healed me.
This podcast is dedicated to David Zahl, Mockingbird, and the 2022 Tulsa Conference.

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