Friday, May 26, 2006

Baseball Blog

I have begun a SportsBlog with a couple of friends.

The blog is titled Tripl3 Play.

Check it out.

Moral Insanity

I've written on George Galloway a couple times in the past year, but this new admission by George Galloway takes the cake--by a long shot. In an interview with GQ magazine, Galloway responded to the question, "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?" by saying:

"Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable. And morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Blair did."

Now, Galloway is a moonbat, granted, but a man in the British Parliament should never--ever be able to get away with such an irresponsible, morally insane, and wicked statement. Galloway needs to be held accountable for what he says and what he does. Does the UK have the intestinal fortitude to do it? Not likely...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Paul: Fresh Perspectives

I recently finished reading N.T. Wright's Paul: Fresh Perspectives. It is a book that I cannot recommend highly enough. Wright masterfully ties together the Old and New Testaments to contextualize Paul's conversion, ministry, and times.

He shows us that there is much more to Paul than we'd ever imagined. Rather than place Paul in the context of the Reformation thinkers--he uses the Old Testament and Paul's own words to recast Paul's theology in hopes of creating a foundation for post-modern ministry.

I have had fairly limited interaction with Wright, as I have only read essays and listened to lectures by Wright until reading Paul. But I am very aware of the controversy surrounding Wright and the New Perspective on Paul.

Perhaps I am naive, but Wright seems to have spent little time in the book arguing for what others would label controversial. His intent seems to be demonstrating an understanding of orthodox Christianity, and showing that to decontextualize Paul from Second Temple Judaism, is to do violence to both the Bible and Paul.

Unless you're the type to read The New Testament and the People of God sometime soon, get this book!

When Bad is Good and Good is Bad...

Ever feel like you need a pick-me-up at the end of the week, after absorbing never ending negativity from the mainstream media? Victor Davis Hanson is your cure for the Friday blues.

Rather than libel America as so many others do, Hanson demonstrates that it is not us that are agents of evil, but that the world itself is upside down.

He begins his column today by attempting to answer his own question, "How does the United States deal with a corrupt world in which we are blamed even for the good we do, while others are praised when they do wrong or remain indifferent to suffering?"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Our National Funk

In the spirit of Justin Taylor's post on American Pessimism, I give you the Top 11 Liberal Complaints About the Economy, as written by Nihilist in Golf Pants.

11. Record level Dow Jones Index makes it hard to buy low

10. Low unemployment could trigger inflation

9. Teachers make less than NBA players

8. Gas taxes should be higher and gas prices should be lower

7. Not everyone is willing to pay for a better Minnesota

6. Women on maternity leave don't get equal pay for no work

5. President Bush probably doesn't know what a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread costs

4. Someone out there is still making more money than me

3. Although he's less scary than Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke is still pretty scary

2. Modern art is too expensive

1. The free market doesn't price all goods and services at exactly the level I think they should be, so we need to invoke government power to correct that error

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Studio Church

I have written on Video Church in previous posts, but this story from CNet writer Greg Sandoval is even more horrific. Here is the lead to the story:

Companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Avid and Hitachi are helping churches spread the gospel as part of an effort to cash in on an exploding market known as "house of worship technology."

It only gets worse from there. Church is steadily becoming a form of entertainment:

"Let's face it, we've all experienced the occasional sleeper on Sunday morning," says an Internet advertisement from Audio Visual Mart, an online media tools store. "But it doesn't have to be that way. Technology can inspire your congregation in new ways."

What we are beginning to see is a new manifestation of Finneyism--a brand of "evangelism" that focuses on results and the means to those ends. Churches are becoming like theaters or arenas--no longer places of reverent worship and communion.

Emotions are tugged, theatrical techniques, dramatic lighting, and sound equipment are all designed to supply an emotional experience to the churchgoer. The artificial is used to create an illusion of the real. Sandoval writes, "Sometimes special lighting and sound can turn a larger venue into an intimate setting, said technicians."

How long will it take for the church to realize that technology does not come without strings attached? How long will it take for us to recognize the dangers of technologizing church?

I haven't read Mark Dever and Paul Alexander's The Deliberate Church yet, but I have heard some good things about it. Perhaps books like these will bring true revival to our Lord's church.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Sun Also Rises

Yes, it has been a while since I have posted about books. That is because I have done what I mock others for doing. I have been reading multiple books concurrently. As usual, this makes it difficult to finish one book, let alone all of them.

The most recent book club selection was Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, which followed J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey. I read The Sun Also Rises in my 20th century literature class in college, so I was familiar with the novel, though I'd forgotten much of the story. That book led me to read all of Hemingway's important novels in the span of a few years, including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast, and the recently released True at First Light. So it had been several years since I'd read Hemingway.

I remembered the novel sentimentally, as I was planning on participating in Bethel's England Term program the following year. I was to study abroad for a semester in England and continental Europe. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to travel Europe as Hemingway and his friends.

In my second reading, seven years later, I found a novel of despair, angst, and hopelessness. A more mature reading of the novel revealed the cycle of despair in Hemingway's novel--and has cast his body of work in a new light for me.

It was interesting to hear the reactions to the novel--particularly those of women. Naomi and another friend were both unable to "get" the novel. Of course the novel does not provide the kind of plot or story that many readers look for. The novel is meant to reveal the milieu of modern life and the human condition. We are told a story of several friends who drink wine like water and absinthe like wine, go to Pamplona, Spain for the fiesta and running of the bulls.

Hemingway's world is one of cold naturalism. Death and decay rule the earth. There is no renewal. Joy is found in overpowering nature by sport, alcoholism, hearing or telling a good story, and little else.

This is not the world we, as Christians know. Death and decay did rule the earth, but Christ has come to redeem and renew his creation. Joy is found in serving and delighting our King. By this, we live our lives, delighting in all God's creation, knowing that death has been defeated and there is new life found in Jesus Christ.