Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gotta love springtime

Stand up and cheer

Every once in a great while, a commercial comes along that makes you smile, stand up, and cheer. After a long void, here is that commercial:

(ht: Beside the Queue via Opus)

One sermon wonder

If you're interested in some breakdowns of top-selling books and authors in 2007, this post is a great read. I especially liked the comment on Joel Osteen's book:
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.

Line of the day 04/19/08

"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid." (G.K. Chesterton)

(ht: a blog I don't remember)

Athenians we shall be!

Were Neil Postman to be invited to speak at a graduation ceremony, he would briefly summarize the worldviews of the Athenians and the Visigoths, and he would challenge graduates to aspire to become Athenians. What a speech!

Birth - to be there or not to be there

Iwas present for the birth of both of my children. Each experience was unique and miraculous and overwhelming. However, reading "A top obstetrician on why men should NEVER be at the birth of their child" almost persuades me that Michel Odent's position is the correct one. And he has science and history on his side.

Imperfect heroes

Power Line has the transcript of a speech given at the White House by Wilfred McClay in honor of the 265th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth. The whole speech is worth reading, but these lines are extraordinary:
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

Line of the day 04/12/08

As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker. (Annie Dillard)

(ht: Jeffrey Overstreet)

Sanctified resignation


"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

Laughing to the Prize

Is there a funnier, more biting political commentator out there than Michael Ramirez? The cartoon below was my favorite from the past year, but given that he just won a Pulitzer Prize, it's worth checking out the archives, starting with his winners here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Plank in eye

This article starts out as a strong criticism against prosperity preachers, but ends up with the author gazing into the mirror. Well done, sarcastic lutheran.