No individual, no group of individuals, and no culture can fail to have an ultimate concern. When you have found their ultimate concern, you have found the object of their faith -- their foundational religious commitment.Douglas Wilson
Note: Just tonight, I realized that an essay that was first published elsewhere was no longer online. After some searching through the Wayback Machine, I found it again and post it here for posterity’s sake.
This essay is a response of sorts to a post on Scott Greider’s blog in which he criticizes a local Uno’s Pizzaria for looking like an old urban building but actually being a new suburban building. I agreed with Scott’s concerns, but offered a different perspective. The Uno’s in question has since closed.
My friend Scott is frustrated with a pizza place.
He enjoyed the food, he liked the prices, and he thought the service was acceptable.
But he still feels like he’s been lied to — by the building itself.
“What made this place so cool — primarily its atmosphere — was … well … inauthentic!” Scott said on his blog after his visit to Uno’s Chicago Grill in Fort Wayne.
“You see, this was a brand new building out in the sprawling suburbs on a lot surrounded by parking spaces that was intentionally trying to look and feel a hundred years old.”
He’s right, especially when he compares the Fort Wayne restaurant to the original Uno’s in Chicago.
My family and I ate at the original Uno’s last year, and while we ate deep-dish authentic Chicago pizza elbow-to-elbow around a table a bit too big for the tiny dining room, even the youngest of us knew we weren’t just taking in a pizza. We were taking in history.
If you don’t have time to read Newsweek’s cover story on how a reporter discovered that the Bible actually supports gay marriage when you squint really hard, here are the main points:
- The Bible’s examples of marriage are horrendous polygamous slave-owners.
- The Bible “offers inspiration and warning on the subjects of love, marriage, family and community.”
- The Bible doesn’t explicitly say marriage is between one man and one woman.
- The Bible doesn’t say David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers, but it’s fun to imagine they were.
- The Apostle Paul was tough on homosexuality.
- One guy the reporter knows says Paul was actually talking about something else. Violent people, maybe.
- The Bible “provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites.”
- Thankfully, newsmagazines have no similar problems mishandling Biblical texts.
- Despite what Newsweek thinks, almost all churches say that gay marriage is sinful.
- Newsweek does not own a phone book, and thus cannot call any of these churches for comment.
- When the Bible says something you want to do is wrong, then the Bible is outdated.
- When the Bible says something you want to do is right, then the Bible is beautiful.
Hope that helps.
A post from The Good City:
Wondering when all those farmers markets around the area are open and what they might have? And realizing that they’re not listed in the phone book?
The author of a new blog, The Crumb Trail, has as its stated purpose:
Sources for locally grown produce, meat, and dairy in Allen and surrounding counties in IN.
Find out about new and favorite farm markets by keeping to the Crumb Trail.
– Photo from The Crumb Trail
A post from The Good City:
How much is your happiness dependent on what country you live in?
That’s tough to say, but by and large, Americans are pretty happy; in fact, we’re ranked 16th in the world. From Science Daily:
Denmark tops the list of surveyed nations, along with Puerto Rico and Colombia. A dozen other countries, including Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden also rank above the United States, which maintains about the same relative position as it did in WVS’s 2000 survey.
“Though by no means the happiest country in the world, from a global perspective the U.S. looks pretty good,” says Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the university, who directs the study. “The country is not only prosperous; it ranks relatively high in gender equality, tolerance of ethnic and social diversity and has high levels of political freedom.”
And Richard Florida correctly points out the money quote, by Inglehart: “Ultimately, the most important determinant of happiness is the extent to which people have free choice in how to live their lives.”
It’s time to unveil my new project that I mentioned a few weeks ago.
The goal, as we say on the web site:
Calling Christians to consider the city and calling the city to consider Christ.
Scott and I love our city and want to see it succeed as a good city. Join us over at The Good City and comment.
Is a city-supported downtown baseball stadium and retail complex a good idea for Fort Wayne? Discussion about the proposed Harrison Square may be a moot point, with papers being drawn up and demolition in full swing, but still, the sides remain at loggerheads.
Opponents have been painted as cranky old conservatives. Supporters are portrayed as young optimistic professionals.
But the youngsters have a seemingly unlikely opponent in Richard Florida.
Florida is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” a best-selling book that studies the 38 million Americans he calls creatives: artists, scientists, musicians, architects and other such people. If anyone is in favor of attracting young creative professionals to cities, it’d be Prof Florida.
In his book, he’s critical of most cities’ efforts:
It’s not that these cities do not want to grow or encourage high-tech industries. In most cases, their leaders are doing everything they think they can to spur innovation and high-tech growth. But most of the time, they either can’t or won’t do the things required to create an environment or habitat that is attractive to the Creative Class.
Sounds like something any young creative person in Fort Wayne might say. But then Florida goes in a somewhat unexpected direction:
They pay lip service to the need to attract talent, but continue to pour resources into underwriting big-box retailers, subsidizing downtown malls, recruiting call centers and squandering precious taxpayer dollars on extravagant stadium complexes. (emphasis mine)
The most recent studies show that stadiums do not generate economic wealth and actually reduce local incomes.
Now, before I get flamed in the comments, I realize the differences in Harrison Square’s tax structure and private investment. But we can set that aside, because one big argument for building this stadium is supposed to be to attract and retain the young professional.
Florida begs to differ:
Not once during any of my focus groups and interviews did any member of the Creative Class mention professional sports as playing a role of any sort in their choice of where to live and work.
So why try to build stadiums?
The answer is simple. These cities are stuck in the past.
So Florida may very well call Harrison Square a step into the past, not the future.
I hope for great success for Harrison Square, despite Florida’s gloominess. But it is disingenous of Harrison Square supporters to be so cocky and dismissive of opponents as old stuck-in-the-muds. The very inventor of the term “creative class” may be the biggest critic of all.