I love the dialogue in the early episodes of The Big Bang Theory. A sentence expresses a complete thought. Sometimes the script’s sentences are long and complex, and sometimes they are short and to the point.
Sheldon: Ah, yes, well that may be the proximal cause of our journey, but we both know it only exists in contradistinction to the higher level distal cause.
Leonard: Which is?
Sheldon: You think with your penis.
I was one of the people who “got this” the first time. I then laughed at myself for missing the obvious punchline.
Leonard: What did Penny mean, you’d make a cute couple?
Sheldon: Well I assume she meant that the two of you together would constitute a couple that others might consider cute. An alternate, and somewhat less likely interpretation, is that you could manufacture one. As in, oh look, Leonard and Lesley made Mr and Mrs Goldfarb, aren’t they adorable.
Leonard: If Penny didn’t know that Lesley had already turned me down then that would unambiguously mean that she, Penny, thought that I should her, Lesley, out, indicating that she, Penny, had no interest in me asking her, Penny, out. But because she did know that I had asked Lesley out and that she, Lesley, had turned me down then she, Penny, could be offering consolation. That’s too bad, you would have made a cute couple. But while thinking, good, Leonard remains available.
Sheldon: You’re a lucky man, Leonard.
Leonard: How so?
Sheldon: You’re talking to one of the three men in the Western hemisphere capable of following that train of thought.
Leonard: Well, what do you think.
Sheldon: I said I could follow it, I didn’t say I cared.
The writers put a lot of work into the early episodes. I could believe Sheldon and Leonard had a combined IQ of 360. The style of speech matched some very smart people I have known. Short sentences slapping sentences Dickens would have to read thrice, with humor so dry it’s a fire hazard. Brilliant!
Leonard: Excuse me, if I were to give up at the first little hitch I never would have been able to identify the fingerprints of string theory in the aftermath of the big bang.
Sheldon: My apologies. What’s your plan.
(Leonard starts rattling the doors violently.)
Sheldon: It’s just a privilege to watch your mind at work.
Leonard: Come on, we have a combined IQ of 360, we should be able to figure out how to get into a stupid building.
(Two girl scouts arrive carrying bags of cookies. One runs her hand down the intercom, pushing all the buttons. The door is buzzed open.)
Sheldon: What do you think their combined IQ is?
Leonard: Just grab the door.
In later seasons the writers phoned it in, somewhat. The writing is not as good. But they added a couple smart, pretty girls, who are somewhat ignorant of their areas of incompetence. So the series stayed entertaining for me.
The Big Bang Theory became the DVD version of my Rex Stout Nero Wolfe paperback “sleeping pills.” Sometimes when I lie down for the night the hamsters in my brain are running 100 miles per hour in their wheels-to-nowhere, and I know sleep is at least a couple hours away. But if I give the hamsters something familiar, they get out of the wheels and lie down. I’ve read most of the Nero Wolfe books. I know them very well. But I like the writing, so I don’t mind rereading them. It’s familiar. I can fall asleep quickly while reading them, right in the middle of a paragraph, the hamsters having fallen asleep too.
I prefer to fall asleep in a dark room. But on nights when my brain was going and going, I’d put in a The Big Bang Theory DVD. With the volume very low (I know the dialog) the hamsters and I would usually be sawing logs before the 3rd episode.
But my own writing is convicting me. The setting of TBBT is modern. The characters have no objection to sex outside of marriage. In I Don’t Watch CNN I wrote about the importance of what we see and hear. By watching TBBT I was programming myself to fail via Lemming Theology. Fortunately I woke up in time and repented. I knew better, but did it anyway — like Adam I sinned with my eyes wide open. I ignored Romans 12:2, which is especially easy to understand in the Phillips translation.
Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
Romans 12:2 Phillips
When I got saved in 1979 I had a lot of rock albums. I got rid of them. I’m going to do the same with my TBBT DVDs. Like the rock music, I can’t give them away: “Here. Have some mental poison to help you on your journey to eternal damnation.” Just getting rid of bad stuff is Biblical.
A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
Acts 19:19 NIV
Hebrews 12:14 is an interesting verse. Many translations use the word “holiness,” which connotes to me a state, a condition in which I play perhaps a minor part, if any. There is no one English language. Each of us has our own unique dialect.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14 KVJ
To me, sanctification suggests that I have a large role to play in the process the Lord uses to get Him reflected in me, for the benefit of others.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 NAS-1977
When I’m digging, I turn to the Amplified Bible.
Continually pursue peace with everyone, and the sanctification without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
HEBREWS 12:14 Amplified
The Classic version uses consecration, which connotes to me the necessity of actions on my part that border on downright painful! It also has “and holiness,” confirming to me that there is a difference between consecration and holiness. Consecration is more what I do. Holiness is more the result. It’s “tion” v “ness.” Action v State.
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 Amplified, Classic
The greek is interesting. Which leads to hagiasmos, and has this definition.
Definition: the process of making or becoming holy, set apart, sanctification, holiness, consecration.
Ah ha! It is a process! The word holiness connotes a more passive activity to me. Sanctification is a more accurate word in the Mark Jerde Dialect of American English.
In Bible Reading & Bible Study I say that I can spend a lot of time in Bible study, but not cover very much of the Bible. I thought I’d provide a sample. 🙂
Postscript. I took action. It wasn’t trivial.
Are you following God's plan for your life?
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.