Tuesday, December 30, 2008
UPDATE: 1.49 GB, 15.8 hours of music, and (for me) more than 90 minutes to download!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Seth is always worth listening to. Here's a video provided by TED (by the way, one of the most helpful Internet destinations I've found).
Friday, December 26, 2008
2. Open Theism
6. Social Issues
7. Red Letter Christians
Obviously, #3 seems to be the biggest one, judging by media stories these days. However, I've been convinced for some time now that perhaps the greatest threat which the Church has been/is/will be battling is #9. And not just Jesus Junk, as Schulenburg writes, but the consumerist mindset which seems to rule the thinking of most USAmericans.
(ht: Todd Rhoades at MMI)
You can have the hippest soul patch in town, and quote Coldplay lyrics till the cows come home; but oppose homosexuality and the only television program interested in having you appear will soon be The Jerry Springer Show when the audience has become bored of baiting the Klan crazies. Indeed, evangelicals will be the new freaks.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
There must be hundreds of thousands of movers and shakers out there, people of all ages who are smart and get things done. And more and more, they're being motivated by the quest, or the outcome, or the people they work with, not just the cash payout. It's exciting beyond words.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Americans really, really don’t have a clue what is coming down the pike. The present shift in intellectual capital in favor of the East has no precedent in world history.
American musical education remains the best in the world, the legacy of the European refugees who staffed the great conservatories, and the best Asian musicians come to America to study. Thirty to 40% of students at the top schools are Asian, and another 20 to 30% are Eastern European (or Israeli). There are few Americans or Western Europeans among the best instrumentalists. According to the head of one conservatory, Americans simply don't have the discipline to practice eight hours a day.
Except in a vague way, one cannot explain the uniqueness of Western classical music to non-musicians, and America is governed not by musicians, but by sports fans.
People don't believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
~Why We Need Movie Reviewers
~The Scourge of Padded Non-fiction
~Ben Stiller: Director
~The Internet Is Ruining America's Movies and Music
~The World's Disappointing Stimulants
~10 Free Resources Every Youth Marketer Should Be Using
~Does Globalization Trump Culture? The Future of Music...
~And Now for Something Completely Different
~Worst Country Song Titles
~The Pirates Can't Be Stopped
~We Watch TBN So You Won't Have To
~The Girl in the Window
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The song is a moving Christian counter-response to the way in which culture has responded to the failures of a so-called pop princess. How refreshing to hear an artist presenting biblical truths and exposing the bankruptcy of Western culture! (Full lyrics here.)
Britney I'm sorry for the lies we told
We took you into our arms and then left you cold
Britney I'm sorry for this cruel cruel world
We sell the beauty but destroy the girl
Britney I'm sorry for your broken heart
We stood aside and watched you fall apart
I'm sorry we told you fame would fill you up
And money moves the man so drink the cup
Friday, July 25, 2008
The day we fully realized it in our guts, I think, was the first time we were invited to appear with Johnny Carson. We were scared out of our minds. We'd been briefed on likely questions by one of the show's writers, but moments before airtime he popped his head into the dressing room and said, "Johnny may ask you for some of your favorite movies this year."It's doubtful that anyone will ever become the go to movie reviewer that Ebert has been for the past three decades.
Gene and I stared at each other in horror. "What was one of your favorite movies this year?" he asked me. "Gone With the Wind," I said. The Doc Severinsen orchestra had started playing the famous "Tonight Show" theme. Neither one of us could think of a single movie. Gene called our office in Chicago. "Tell me some movies we liked this year," he said. This is a true story.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Your expectations are further confounded by the menu. Don't look for conventional groupings of starters, main courses, and dessert. They're nowhere to be found on the Blue Hill at Stone Barns menu. Instead you are confronted by this:
On the left side is just a list of all the ingredients Barber and his cohorts have at their disposal in the kitchen that day. The right side has a list of prices that depend on how many courses you have. Your server will ask you if there are any ingredients you don't want the kitchen to use in your meal, and after that you are in the kitchen's hands. Eating this way adds elements of surprise and a even a little drama to your restaurant experience.
Also, I love the quote on the restaurant's website:
Monday, July 21, 2008
[I]t should be no surprise that the Jesus who has emerged from all of this professional scholarship and lay furor is as multiform and various as the scholars and concerned laity who have engaged the quest. The end result, in fact, of our dozen or so decades of scratching through history is such a multiplicity of Jesuses that one has to say, "Whoa! Let's just hold up here a minute and think this thing through a bit more clearly."And she tells a story, not necessarily one that's new, but a story nevertheless about perspectives which begins like this:
Story, perhaps, is better than intellectual argument in this kind of process.
Let us suppose then. Let us suppose that there is a huge, deadly wreck on busy Main Street, USA, in the midst of midday traffic. There are, technically speaking, several hundred witnesses, albeit from very different perspectives.
The story is good, and yet I believe it is misleading. The story is one of many postmodern styled stories which seems to exalt individual understanding and experience above all other things. For sure, something happened, but exactly what happened will forever be subject to interpretation. I think Tickle's story, and her ultimate point, leaves no room for the firm assertion of multiple passages of Scripture that God's Spirit is the means by which the truth about Jesus is finally arrived at.
Don't get me wrong, I like Tickle's story, and I especially like her conclusion:
[E]very single one of us, if we live another decade or so, is going to have to decide what he or she thinks not only about the crash, 2,000 years ago, of Messiah into space/time but also about how we understand and engage the records of that event that have come to us over the centuries. Pray God we do it well.
I for one believe, and am extremely grateful, that God didn't leave it entirely up to us to figure it out. The truth is out there, and God's Spirit is our chauffeur on the road to that truth.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Great site with great music - well worth checking out.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The teacher told me that she once had to explain to the class why her last name was the same as her father’s. She dusted off the whole ancient ritual of legitimacy for them—marriages, maiden names, and so on. When she was done, there was a short silence. Then one child piped up softly: “Yeah . . . I’ve heard of that.”
I’ve heard of that. It would break a heart of stone.
After delving more deeply into the heartbreak of the kids' situations, Klavan, a conservative, challenges:
Conservatives respond to this mostly with finger-wagging. But creativity has to
be answered with creativity. We need stories, histories, movies of our own. That
requires a structure of support—publishing houses, movie studios, review space,
awards, almost all of which we’ve ceded to the Left.
And he ends his story with these great words:
If you want to win their hearts, you have to tell them stories. I have reason to believe they’ll listen.
Interesting that for Henderson, justification and peace with God are individualistic (read: selfish) desires. And do you really think MLK would have done what he did without a firm grounding in the knowledge that he had obtained peace with God? The apostle Paul implored people with these words: "Be reconciled to God!" Was Paul selfish and individualistic to preach such a gospel? C'mon.
Once again, I think, leaders like Jim Henderson are straying from foundational Christianity into territory which has much less biblical support.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
It is thought provoking to note that while we blithely sing “He is Lord”. The notion of Jesus as Lord (rather than Jesus is Messiah) was initially a controversial one, borrowed from Pagan religious language.
Who says contextualization is improper for Christians?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
By 2050 there will be just 3,600 churchgoing Methodists left in Britain, Christian Research predicts. Anglicans will be down to 87,800, Catholics to 101,700, Presbyterians to 4,400, Baptists to 123,000 and independents to 168,000.
Actually, those statistics are for England. But can the U.S. be far behind?
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Joel Osteen must live a charmed life. His Become a Better You sold 1,181,173 copies, which is amazing when you consider the guy only has one sermon.
(ht: a blog I don't remember)
Our era is possessed by a small-minded rage against the very idea that imperfect men can still be heroes. But we badly need such heroes. In fact, we can’t live without them.
Perhaps, in the past, we have been too prone to place our forebears on a pedestal. But it is far worse, to feel compelled always to cut the storied past down to the size of the tabloid present. Perhaps the time has come for that to change. Perhaps we are wise enough now, to know that imperfect heroes are the only kind there ever are, or can be.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"A curious warning is given to us in Peter’s first epistle. There he tells us to be ready to give the reason for the hope that lies within us to everyone who asks (3:15). Now, what’s strange about that passage is this: no one ever asks. When was the last time someone stopped you to inquire about the reason for the hope that lies within you? You’re at the market, say, in the frozen food section. A friend you haven’t seen for some time comes up to you, grasps you by both shoulders and pleads, “Please, you’ve got to tell me. Be honest now. How can you live with such hope? Where does it come from? I must know the reason.” In talking with hundreds of Christians, I’ve met only one or two who have experienced something like this.
Yet God tells us to be ready, so what’s wrong? To be blunt, nothing about our lives is worth asking about. There’s nothing intriguing about our hopes, nothing to make anyone curious. Not that we don’t have hopes; we do. We hope we’ll have enough after taxes this year to take a summer vacation. We hope our kids don’t wreck the car. We hope our favorite team goes to the World Series. We hope our health doesn’t give out, and so on. Nothing wrong with any of those hopes; nothing unusual, either. Everyone has hopes like that, so why bother asking us? It’s life as usual. Sanctified resignation has become the new abiding place of contemporary Christians. No wonder nobody asks. Do you want the life of any Christian you know? (John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire, p. 64)
Friday, April 11, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Reaction to Obama's race speech was pretty much what I expected - those who support him gauged it to be one of the greatest speeches in their lifetime, and those who do not support him complained that he gave no answers and ultimately avoided the real questions which led to the speech. I don't think any ground was gained or lost.
I will say, however, that the best follow-up to Obama's speech I've come across is this open letter by Lionel Chetwynd. Agree or not with his concluding challenge to Obama, it's hard to deny the raw emotion of the letter.
(ht: Power Line)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Book, movie, and analysis are all great.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Also, here's a book which delves into the issue: This Is Your Brain on Music.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I have a dream of being part of a Christian community where you can be honest about your doubts and fears without being met with worn out clichés or empty platitudes; a place that recognizes faith as a time-laded growth process, not the product of an “instant pudding” altar prayer; a place where you can get help today but be challenged to grow so you’re better prepared to face tomorrow; a place of intimacy, where you can know and be known; a place where it is hard not to find God; a place where finding God is as corporate as it is personal; a place where you belong whether you’re single, married, divorced, widowed, young, old, rich, poor, smart, dull, thin, fat, beautiful, or ugly; a place where you can find meaningful service, where you commit to something bigger than yourself; a place that needs you; a place of safety; a place off-limits to witches, demons, and the walking dead – the safest place in the world.
We could call it church. (Nashville: Nelson Books, pp. 50-51)
What do you think? I'm struggling with Lolita as the book preference of the smartest kids.
However, I'm more inclined to believe the results of Music That Makes You Dumb, since Beethoven is by far the choice of the smartest. Also, it's amazing that the graph reveals how much mediocrity there is in college.
Here's an article to start with: The Rainbow Coalition Evaporates.