Wednesday, December 22, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Fail

Well, I don't know if this qualifies as and epic fail or just your everyday, run-of-the-mill fail, but I'm not going to reach my goal. I'm not too sad. Actually, I'm not sad at all. I am utterly emotionless.

I did get through a few more books and might read a couple more by the first of the year. Here are the books that I completed (sort of) since the last update:

Shift, ApParent Privilege, and ReThink are all essentially the same book (I had to read them for a class). The only real difference is the intended audience: ApParent Privilege is for parents, ReThink is for youth/family pastors, and Shift is for both. All focus on the "family-equipping" model of family ministry in which parents are viewed as the primary disciple-makers of their children and the church is an equipping agent. The books are good, but if you read one, you read them all.

Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America was dry. Good information. Boring. If you are really interested in religion in America, check it out. Otherwise skip it.

Machen's Christianity and Liberalism is one of the best books I read this year. Although it was written over eighty years ago, it's incredibly relevant for today. You would benefit greatly from reading this book.

The next two books I did not read thoroughly, but I'm going to count them regardless. That's how I roll. God is Not Great is nothing more than a list of atrocities committed by religion wrapped up in delicious Christopher Hitchens verbiage.

According to Plan is masterfully written by Graeme Goldsworthy and is a simple introduction to biblical theology. Worth a look.

Finally, The Subtle Knife is the second book the Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series. The first book is The Golden Compass. Honestly I'm not quite done, but I only have a few pages left. Pullman is a great writer although his agenda is pretty bogus. Look him up if you want to know more.

With the titles listed above, the count stands at forty-three. And I am not going to read nine books by the end of the year. Fail.

Here are the others books I read this year:

Happy reading this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Leave This Game Behind

Is this a Christian video game or a trailer for the latest Tenacious D movie?

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Like Whatever

So there's this song on the radio. I don't get it.

The song is "More Like Falling in Love" by Jason Gray.

Here's the chorus:

Its gotta be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in.
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance.
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now.
Its like I'm falling, Ohhhh.
Its like I'm falling in love.

Um. What?

Is the song really saying that knowing Christ (or maybe a conversion experience?) is more like falling in love than believing in something?

What about, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12)? Or, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31)? And what about, like, the rest of the Bible?

I'm having a hard time finding a text that says, "Engage in a Twilight-like romantic experience with a middle-eastern dude who lived two-thousand years ago who may or may not have performed some miracles and you will be saved, you and your household."

Believe in the name of Jesus. Then you have the right to be called a child of God. And when you belong to God, then comes the command to love him. And how do you love the Lord your God?

The song is confusing:
Give me rules, I will break them.
Show me lines, I will cross them.
I need more than a truth to believe.
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet.

Hmmm. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). The song seems to be indicating that some dramatic experience needs to take place and then rules won't be broken and lines won't be crossed. But the biblical portrait of the Christian life is like this: repentance of sin, faith in Christ, obedience of commands.

But that formula is just too religiony.
Love, Love.
Deeper and deeper.
It was love that made me a believer.
In more than a name, a faith, a creed,
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me.

I guess this experience deal is more than the name that will incite the bowing of every knee and bring every tongue to confess "that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:11). Yeah. Definitely. More than that.

Atop the Christian music charts, Christian radio is playing "More Like Falling in Love" every fifteen minutes. But I guess Christian radio doesn't claim to be anything more than inspirational, encouraging, and positive.

I just thought that it might try and play songs that are--I don't know--Christian.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Autocomplete FTW

This map has been compiled with all of the first autocomplete suggestions given by Google when the state name is typed in the search field. Stellar.

(Click to enlarge) (Via)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Harry Pupper

He is the chosen one. Accio milk-bone!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bike Airbag

I would title this product "Airhead."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Here is the theological significance of beards as understood by Clement of Alexandria (via).

How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them!…For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane.
But He adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest–a sign of strength and rule.” 2.275
This, then, is the mark of the man, the beard. By this, he is seen to be a man. It is older than Eve. It is the token of the superior nature….It is therefore unholy to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness. 2.276
It is not lawful to pluck out the beard, man’s natural and noble adornment.” 2.277

I will support Clement of Alexandria with all my face.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Real Problems

What type of problem is not having heat in mid-November according to these Venn Diagrams? Not quite a real problem? More of a problem than a first-world problem?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sin is the Enemy, Not Religion

There has been a significant movement in the Christian sub-culture to do away with or downplay the term "religion." Unfortunately, the zeal is misplaced.

"It's not a religion, it's a relationship," is the motto of this group (although some are too cool for that phrase and just opt for a more blunt 'I hate religion' or something similar). The problem with that statement is that it assumes a non-existent dichotomy. Religion and relationship are not opposites; in fact, they exist simultaneously in Christianity. A Christian has a relationship with Christ and simultaneously subscribes to a religion.

Religion seeks to ask major questions that life poses concerning the purpose of life, what the future holds, and the like. Christianity does this by referencing one fixed point in history: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through this event we interpret our current and future existence. Religion, therefore, is the vehicle by which we experience the relationship that we have with Christ.

Religion is a means. We don't disregard it. We believe that God works providentially, that is, within natural laws and systems. Religion was created by God with the intent that he would operate within that structure to orchestrate the one true religion. In the same stream of thought, books function as an example. God created books with the intention that he would, at one point, directly reveal his word to his servants for them to record. Books were a structure set up by God so that he could use that means to communicate all that we need to know about him.

I think what people are trying to say when the talk about how much religion sucks, is that sin drives people to do dumb things. The quest for worldly power--which tends to be the motivation for the formation of a man-made religion--is a sinful pursuit and results in a work-based religion. Religion is manipulated by sinful men who desire to expand their borders and use it as a justification to attack an adjacent country. Religion is used to prove the "good enough" mentality that causes people to believe that heaven is in their future. The point is that religion is a tool, not the problem; the problem is the sin embedded in the hearts of men.

But when we as Christians fix our eyes on the cross of Christ and enjoy God for all that he is for us in Christ, then it becomes apparent that we have a true relationship with him and the result is the outpouring of true religion, mainly, love for others (James 1:27).  

As Christians, God saved us. But he used means. He uses sinful vessels all of the time to awaken the dead to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Religion can be twisted by sinful people to achieve a goal other than God's glory, but that does not mean we disregard it. We seek to show God's intention for it as we point out the sinfulness of those who have manipulated it. And then we show the hope that only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 15, 2010

True Grit

Forty-one years after the Duke starred in the original, the Cohen brothers have set out to remake True Grit and it looks great. Even with the first installment of the final Harry Potter film coming out, I think I am more excited for this film than any other this holiday season.

If you have not read the novel, do it before you see the movie. I was pretty young when picked it up, but I think that it is the best Western I have ever read. Why? Rooster Cogburn, a fantastic anti-hero.

Here's the trailer:

Oh, and I'm not much of a Johnny Cash fan, but did you hear that song right at the end of the trailer? It might be my favorite of his work, God's Gonna Cut You Down, which is a rendition of an American folk song. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Aug/Sep Report

So, I put off updating you on my progress for a couple of months since I had not really finished any books at the end of August. But now I'm good. I'm going to be crunched to get all 52 in by the end of the year, but I should get close. Hopefully.

    Fletcher's biography of Bill Wallace is a decent read. Not the first biography I would pick up if I were in a biography mood though.

    In contrast, Bainton's treatment of the life of Martin Luther may be the best biography that I have ever read. I would pick this biography up if I were in a biography mood.

    The Story of Christianity is a simple, readable, two volume set of church history books. If you are interested in church history I would recommend the set. Gonzalez is a liberal which shines through at some points, but overall his treatment is endorsed by the faculty here at Southern.

    Perspectives on Family Ministry is an unhelpful attack-fest by three people who want their individual family ministry model to be the coolest. If you are interested in family ministry types, don't read this book; the dialogue format does not do any of the models justice.

    C.J. Mahaney's Humility is a quick read. It is very beneficial in thinking through exactly what "true greatness" is according to Scripture. I highly recommend it and I think that it would make an excellent book study or teaching opportunity.

    Finally, Peacemaking for Families contains helpful information that is slightly disconnected from reality in its application. I would read it with that in mind.

    So with these six books the count stands at thirty-five. Here are the books I have read not including the ones mentioned above.

    Monday, October 04, 2010

    Hypocritical Povertery

    If you read David Platt's Radical and want to pretend like it impacted you, these items are for you.


    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Google Voice Transcription

    I pocket dialed a friend the other day while listening to the radio. He has Google Voice which transcribes voice mail messages. The transcription function is in its infancy and therefore not that accurate. Just see for yourself:

    What I mean for me if i wanna talk to you because tobacco sheet of paper cost of the key. But I need to pay higher taxes and work starts this is only 2 things are going to do. And in the valley in states across the country couple of both the were more I think the the state level. In the last fiscal year at the neck. I've been in the 20 everything. I'll talk to you for the pastor at the pretty funny. I'll print it out most of them.
    A call. Hey Pat. Very. Thank you, and expert in municipal finance. 3. It, You Can. Thanks to always say that I'm like it, so if you wake up the phone. It's a M in-state almost always find a way to pay off. The Devil support that's the kind of assurance, we had before the financial crisis. It's all this good reason to worry. Did somewhere along the line. If you could will. At. Speak not be able to pay their bill. Hey there, but hold of a good step of the But for now it's important note here at all at the love to speak. We have a chance that they'll at first, but he's from 8. For the federal government. Well, it certainly make a lead, Local officials happy. I think my now there's bill at 88 at their own problem. It's unlikely to meet the Washington will have the rest of the length of stay, local governments that have. At the at the minister Peres, here are lots of money if they're trapped it alright. I have for a while.
    David bustle of The Wall Street Journal. I think that package. And things like wouldn't business news That's. That. Socialite, and I was Eastern first hoping to catch Brett Palmer or anything. How you think that's crazy. You Know. I hope it apparently took out I'm trademark of before HI it's about. 7. So if you have to talk to you legal dramas finally come to my home right now. You have to do the big deal. So. There's no no word about the person. So, okay x 2, it's been sorry for FedEx is not what it is with the our I'm.
    Stevens I'm, archer, hey. Morning Edition. I just left the house. I just wanna call me on the BBC to distribute. I think call you 3. Hey this is. I'm off to the European today. Hello single completion pre I simply okay. Can you tell. Okay bye. I'm coming up on you. Ciao, the P D please give me a stock okay. Yeah. Bye bye. I'll be on the next on point before they'll anything ciao. Bye. More. Bye bye, looking forward to coming. For going coming up next. On. Ohh So I think that the some of the day Tuesday at 3 on on You 89.3 hello.

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Clash of the Titans: What Did You Expect?

    I was sick today so I finally got around to seeing Clash of the Titans. I posted earlier here and here that I was excited for this film since I have a special place in my heart for the original.

    I won't say a lot about it. There were some significant plot differences. If you're interested in reading about those, this article is helpful.

    I was entertained by the film. Visually it was cool. And I really liked the cast. Here's a sampling:

    Sam Worthington (Avatar) - Perseus
    Liam Neeson (You know his work) - Zeus
    Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) - Hades
    Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) - Draco

    It wasn't the greatest film ever; I'll admit that. But there seemed to be a lot of haters out there. So, I have a question and then a follow up question.

    Did you see the original? Because if you did I wouldn't think you would rip on the remake so much. The original story is not that intriguing, the dialogue is suspect, and the acting is so-so. And yet it was entertaining.

    My follow up question is if you answered "yes" to the first question. What did you expect? If you knew that this was a remake did you expect the plot to magically transform into awesomeness?

    This film followed in the tradition of the original while adding a little structure to the plot and way better visuals. I got what I asked for. What did you expect?

    World's Most Effective Ad

    I am inexplicably drawn to buy a Kia Soul after watching this commercial.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    National Punctuation Day

    Friday was National Punctuation Day. It's one of my favorite holidays.

    This guy celebrated with a Star Wars/Punctuation tweet.

    Technological Ten Years

    This picture is quite telling.

    My smartphone is definitely higher powered that the computer my family had in Y2K. It's kind of crazy to think about.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    It's a Trap!!

    You should follow Admiral Ackbar (@_admiral_ackbar) on Twitter. 

    It's really not a trap. I promise.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    A New Discussion: Church Revitalization

    I mentioned to a friend on Tuesday that I was waiting for someone step up and really begin a significant conversation about church revitalization. It may have happened this morning.

    Kevin Smith, associate professor of Church History here at Southern, preached a powerful message earlier today in chapel about ministering in difficult contexts. In a Christian culture where church planting and guaranteed salaries for pastors are becoming more and more prevalent, are young ministers willing to sacrifice security and comfort in order to revitalize dying churches full of difficult people?

    I have often wondered if I am called to such a field. I am beginning to think maybe I am... I pray that I will be willing if the call comes.

    Please watch this and pray that pastors will hear the call and begin a significant church revitalization movement in America.

    (If you are viewing this post in a feedreader or on Facebook, you will need to click though to the original post to view the video.)

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Words Theologians Like: Phrase Edition

    The founding principles that govern this blog series apply to both individual words and phrases. Thus:

    Wax Eloquent

    To speak in a beautiful fashion so much so that the audience enters into a heightened state of euphoria; to demonstrate superior skill and aptitude in speaking on a particular topic.

    "Whenever we talk about supralapsarianism, Billy always begins to wax eloquent."

    Ok Go: Truly Creative Music Videos

    The original.

    The intricate.

    The recent.

    Perfect Hair, Perfect Timing

    When you have hair this good...

    ...this comes easy.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Horror Film for Acrophobes

    This is pure insanity. What if it's windy? What if there is structural damage to the tower that no one knows about? Argh. Oh, but don't worry, OSHA says this is cool.

    The best part is the fact that he has a helmet-cam. That implies that he is wearing a helmet. Maybe it'll break his 1,768 foot fall.

    Give the man a parachute. Seriously.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    The Folly of Christian Celebrity

    The information age has brought forth many excellent opportunities for Christian leaders to multiply their influence in a gospel-centered manner.

    But recently I have become aware of a particular problem associated with the expanding impact of Christian leaders.

    The issue here--if you haven't already guessed--is Christian celebrity.

    Let me qualify what I mean by Christian celebrity really quickly: it is a Christian leader who has expanded their influence beyond the borders of their church or seminary or ministry and has gathered a national/international following to the point that followers are concerned as much about the Christian leader's personal life, his likes/dislikes, etc. as they are with his theology and his preaching/teaching.

    There are several problems here as I'm sure you can guess.

    First of all, consider allegiances. Paul was grateful that he did not baptize the believers in Corinth so that they would not hop his bandwagon or Apollos' bandwagon or Peter's bandwagon (1 Cor 1:10-17). He wanted the Corinthians to be unequivocally tied to Jesus Christ. A Christian leader is a Christian celebrity if he is not willing to say, when his new book has been published, to the particular region that he ministers in, "I am certainly glad that none of you have read my book because I don't want you to say I am of [insert Christian leader's name], but rather that you all are of Jesus Christ."

    Secondly, consider the distinction between gleaning from and mimicking a Christian leader. If a Christian leader is gleaned from in the area of biblical truth, he does not become a Christian celebrity. The Holy Spirit uses the Christian leader as a means to an end; the end is the glory of God through preaching/teaching/writing. But if the Christian leader is mimicked in preaching/teaching/writing style or in likes/dislikes then the Christian leader becomes a Christian celebrity. There is a popular professor here at Southern who listens to secular music and has defended it. Others have used the simple fact that he, as a Christian leader, listens to secular music as a justification for their own endeavors. They have turned him into a Christian celebrity.

    Finally, consider the Christian celebrity. By elevating some Christian leaders to celebrity status, we have put them in a difficult position. There are some that succumb to the temptation to act in particular ways because of the privilege that many Christians have led them to believe that they have. When we tie ourselves to the celebrity of a Christian leader and mimic them in our day to day actions and mimic them in our preaching/teaching/writing we have undermined a very important biblical principle that Paul also points out in 1 Corinthians 1:

    "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,"


    "So that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

    As Christians we should not give other Christians any inclination that they have the right to boast in the presence of God. None of us have the ability to do anything apart from God; not even Christian leaders who write gobs of books. We all wage war with the flesh; even the influential Christian leader who has been entrusted with the spiritual wellbeing of hundreds.

    Now, more than ever, is a time where Christians can go online and read and listen to resources of hundreds if not thousands of doctrinally sound preachers and teachers. Please be aware that the things said and done that bear the mark of a particular Christian leader have the power to turn that individual into a Christian celebrity. And that is a precarious position for both the follower and the followed.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010


    I am utterly ashamed. I started using "y'all."

    It's just so convenient and linguistically efficient. I can't help myself.

    I am a hypocrite.

    Ruining the Curve

    And you were worried that you were actually swallowing spiders in your sleep...


    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Thursday, September 09, 2010

    Burning Korans and Admitting Danger

    I think that a very good point has been made by Abraham Piper concerning the proposed Koran burning taking place this upcoming weekend.

    Here's the argument in a nutshell: if Islam is a religion of peace like so many of our leaders are claiming, then why are we scared of the potential fallout if a few Korans get burned?

    Photo courtesy of
    Don't get me wrong; I think this guy in Florida is a crazy who is ready to do something really stupid. But the level of uncertainty regarding the plausibility of a violent Islamic reaction that is being communicated by our leaders says to me that they are not ready to let their Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace mentality govern their true actions or concerns.

    Piper sums up the whole deal nicely by writing,
    How can we condemn Jones’s actions without also condemning the religion that makes his actions so dangerous? Sure, Jones is not being kind or prudent–He’s an absolute fool.–but the fact that he is causing legitimate worry about the safety of our soldiers, missionaries, expatriates, etc., is not his fault. It’s Islam’s.


    Islam is a religion of peace and Obama, along with America at large, is unfairly concerned. In that case, there’s nothing to worry about.
    One final thought.

    President Obama tweeted earlier today,
    Burning a Quran is contrary to our values—this country was built on the notions of religious freedom and tolerance.
    Indeed, religious freedom is an intricate part of the foundation of our country; but isn't the President's tweet working against him on some level? Our values include freedom, yes, and toleration, yes.

    But does President Obama hold Islam to the same standard? No. Not by my estimation. He says that Islam is a religion of peace (which I assume connotes both a level of freedom and a level of tolerance) but is concerned with the reaction of Islam when a whack-job in Florida burns a Koran. If there is a violent outbreak, then is it not true that Islam, on some level, is intolerant? The answer must be yes.

    I think that it is silly to call Islam a religion of peace. I refuse to paint the religion with a broad brush though. I think that there are many peaceful Muslims. But is Islam a religion of peace? This country's leadership has answered that question for us with their true concerns.

    Stark County: No Apologies for Tone Here

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    Garbage Bags + Air = Art

    This is an incredible idea. I would love to walk down the street and see one of these.

    Double Rainbow: Sell Out

    Remember the Double Rainbow Guy? He sold out and did, not one, but two ├╝ber-lame Windows commercials.

    Should've quit when he was on top.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Piper and Preaching

    This video was posted a week ago and I found it to be very encouraging. I have often thought that I will not be able to proclaim God's Word in an adequate way although I have an extreme passion and desire to do so. I wonder sometimes why the bridge from my mind to my mouth tends to collapse without warning.

    After watching this video, my prayer has become reinforcement and fortification of that bridge. And I have come to the conclusion that it starts in the heart.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Star Wars Escalation

    When Han Solo said, "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid," he might have been isolated from understanding the events on Alderaan 3,500 years earlier:

    But had he really never heard of Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice? I mean, I know he's a secret apprentice and all, but look at the stuff he does...

    All of those Force powers would be hard to keep under wraps.

    It seems to me that with all of the incredible things that these added characters can do, no one would ever doubt that there is a living Force in the Star Wars Universe.

    One thing I know for certain though: these video game trailers are much more exciting than The Phantom Menace.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    To Those Who Would Discourage Seminary

    I came across a blog post this week entitled, "Why You Shouldn't Go to Seminary." It made me sad. For a few reasons.

    First of all, the author did not indicate anything good about seminary. He painted all seminaries with a broad brush and lumped all seminarians into one big category. This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because not all seminaries are the same; and secondly, because not all people are the same. Sure, there are seminaries that are theologically sound but produce a glut of unprepared ministers and sure, there are stuck-up theology and ministry snobs who think they are invincible, but the author gives the idea that every seminary is a mess and every seminary student is a tool. This is not the case.

    Secondly, the author drew an absolute conclusion based on, what he admits to be, generalized premises. To say that "you should not go to seminary" is a leap from "over-generalizations." And an unwarranted leap.

    Finally, the author does not build up or encourage his brothers and sisters in seminary, but frowns upon their decision to pursue a seminary degree. This is the saddest part of the whole article to me. Are there not those out there who are attempting to become effective ministers of God's Word through seminary training? I assure you, there are; seminaries are not producing cookie-cutter pastors who possess no flexibility, are only concerned with theology and not the state of their people's souls, and are incapable of sharing the gospel. Some of those people may exist, but not every seminary grad is that way. The author's failure to demonstrate that there are positive aspects to seminary and a seminary education tears down and does not build up.

    So, if you are called to ministry should you go to seminary? Maybe; maybe not. Should you write off seminary because some people do it wrong? No. Examine your heart and its intentions before the living God. And please, please, whatever your persuasion may be, do not tear your brothers and sisters down.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Future Kids Say the Darndest Things

    Yesterday in my Leadership and Family Ministry class, as my prof was talking about his children, I daydreamed a dialogue that my future kids might have in fifteen years.

    Son 1: Dad is so lame.
    Son 2: Why?
    S1: I asked for a robot for my birthday, and he said that he would "think about it."
    S2: Lame.
    S1: I know. We have to be the only family in all of Cloud City that doesn't have a robot.
    S2: Yeah. And every time we point that out to him he says, "money, responsibility, blah, blah, blah."
    S1: For real. He doesn't know what's cool anymore. He thinks the internet is still relevant.
    S2: Yeah. And no one who thinks the internet is still relevant has any idea the benefits of a robot.
    S1: Seriously.
    S2: I mean, we wouldn't have to mow the cyber-lawn anymore. Wait, why do we even have a cyber-lawn if we have to maintain it?
    S1: I tried to manually uninstall the cyber-lawn application last week, but I couldn't figure out Dad's password.
    S2: It can't be that hard. He still thinks the internet in relevant, remember?
    S1: Yeah.
    S2: Hey. Go grab your hoverboard and we'll ride over to Lous Diner. 
    S1: Sweet idea.


    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Joe Theismann: Hebrew Motivator

    Today was my first day of elementary Hebrew. I was a little nervous. It would be an understatement to say that my Hebrew professor's reputation precedes him.

    He told us, "I'm coming after you. I'm Lawrence Taylor. You're Joe Theismann. I'm coming after that leg."

    And everyone in the class groaned as this image came to mind:

    We needed no further motivation.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    5 Twitter Accounts You Should Follow

    I like Twitter. You can follow me if you like Twitter.

    Here are 5 accounts that are fashionably followable.

    1. Lord Voldemort (@Lord_Voldemort7)
      Sample 1: "For those watching the meteor shower tonight, if you happen to see a Dark Mark in the sky don't panic. Haha I'm kidding, definitely Panic."
      Sample 2: "False. RT @ItsTheTeenLife R.O.F.L.S.H.V.U.A.K.O.M.A.I.L- Rolling On Floor Laughing So Hard Voldemort Uses Avada Kedavra On Me And I Live."
    2. Jimmy Jawa (@the_jawa)
      Sample 1: "Free Utinni for my 700th follower"
      Sample 2:  "Happy to announce the new Star Wars Blu Ray will have a Jawa commentary option. Utinnis all round"
    3. Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR)
      Sample 1: "Having a Death Star means never having to say you're sorry. #Lucasized #starwars"
      Sample 2: "We just saw JERSEY SHORE. This is entertainment on Earth? Your classification has been upgraded from 'Mostly Harmless' to 'Mostly Stupid'."
    4. Fake J.D. Greear (@FakeJDGreear)
      Sample 1: "I'm visiting the German Statue of Liberty. She's holding a beer and a bratwurst. That ain't kosher, or SBC."
      Sample 2: "It's 10:44:58 on 8/10/10. Gotta break out the end-times charts and see what that means."
      Sample 1: "LOCAL: Sunday service delayed after Pastor loses keys to "Church of the Open Door'"
      Sample 2: "EDUCATION: Tired of controversy and strong personalities, Liberty Seminary announces its next President, Lebron James"

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Colossians Chiasm... Maybe?

    So, I was reading through Colossians and thought that it might be profitable to outline the short letter. It took me a while, but I think that maybe the book is a neat little chiasm... maybe.

    I am not certain that I fully understand chiastic structure; I gave it a shot anyway. This is what I came up with:

    The more time I spent in the book, the more that I came to think that the pivot of Colossians is Paul's short aside concerning his ministry.
    Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

    For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
    This passage serves as a transition between a sharp already/not yet juxtaposition that lies within the heart of the book: you already have everything; you need to do these things.

    The Colossians had heard and believed and because of this fact Paul rejoices. However, false teaching had the potential to confound the Colossians and for that reason Paul had to demonstrate that the Colossians had continual spiritual needs, mainly, walking in Christ (2:6), spiritual captivity (2:8), imposition of new law (2:20-23), etc.

    Essentially, Paul tells the Colossians, "Everything that you needed to happen has indeed happened; however, those with the appearance of wisdom are out there, but you should not succumb to their ways. They are worldly. Rather do x, y, and z."

    So, 1:24-2:5 is a go-between. Paul wraps up his section about all that the Colossians have in Christ, then he says, "Oh, and btw, I am being heavily persecuted for your sake. Why? Because worldly wisdom opposes Godly wisdom. I am an advocate for the latter. But I care about you enough to suffer for you because just as it is vastly important that you understand your current position in Christ, so is it vastly important that you understand that means a particular way of living; and it's not automatic."

    If I had to sum up Colossians in three words I would simply say: done; now do.

    As for the chiasm I put together, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. But I think it lent some insight.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    The Geography of Social Networking

    I enjoyed this visual a great deal. Especially the "Google Information Gathering Outposts," the "Cape of Hitler's Downfall Remake Videos," and the "Receding Glaciers of AOL and Windows Live."

    Which geographical area do you spend the most time in? And how will this map look differently in two years?

    (Click to enlarge)
    I found the original at Flowtown.

    Biker Gang

    This is easily the coolest play-age kid mode of transportation ever. It's called the "Easy Rider" and you can read some details about the fancy two-wheeler at Design Milk.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    129,864,880 Books: Time to Read

    I have often wondered how many books I would have to read to read all of the books in the world. Obviously one lifetime wouldn't be enough.

    Well, Google says there are 129,864,880. That's a lot.

    Let's break it down a bit.

    • The average individual in the U.S. lives to be 78.2. At that rate, the individual would need to read approximately 4,550 books a day from the cradle to the grave.
    • Say an individual reads 10 books a year (which would be well above average), that person will have read about .0005% of all the world's books.
    • At the pace of 52 books a year--the pace which I have set for myself for 2010--it would take 2,497,4013 years to read all of the books in the world.
    • U.S. adults spend 200 billion hours watching TV a year. If 76% of Americans are over 18, that's about 886 hours of TV a year per U.S. adult. Say it takes 8 hours to read a book. If Americans all read instead of watched TV, each American could read approximately 110 books a year. At this rate, in a combined effort the U.S. adult population could read all of the books in the world in less than two days.
    In summary, there's a lot of reading to do. Get at it.

    Books vs E-Books

    Ever wonder what the differences between books and e-books are? This graphic may provide some clarity:

    (Click to enlarge)
    I found this chart at the blog Knowbodies.

    Monday, August 09, 2010

    8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    This post was written on 8/9/10 at 11:12.

    Friday, August 06, 2010

    Wealth Distribution in the U.S.

    Here's a nifty little graphic displaying how wealth is spread out in the U.S.

    An Incredible Catch

    This is simply too good not to post.

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Economics Lesson

    Do you know who this guy is?

    How about this guy?

    Watch this:

    Now you know.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010

    52 Books in 52 Weeks: July Report

    Alright. I am up to twenty-nine.

    The top three books on the list were the conclusion of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series which I started last month. The final three books were as entertaining as the first two and Riordan ended the series strongly. I would very much recommend the set as they are fun, exciting, and even educational. 

    Tozer's The Pursuit of God was a quick read. I have not read anything by Tozer in the past; I was not disappointed. His style is clear, concise, and convicting.

    The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson is an important book for Christians in a modern context. Watson discusses the nature of sin and what it means to truly be repentant before God. The topic is one that does not get discussed all that often and yet is fantastically important in the life of the Christian. 

    Finally, I read The Golden Compass. Philip Pullman is an outspoken atheist who claims to have written "His Dark Materials"--of which The Golden Compass is the first book--to offset Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia." I did not pick up on any themes that would cause me to think that the goal was being met; however, there may be more coming in the later installments. There was one blatant attempt to smear Scripture and its reliability, but ultimately I was left wondering how Pullman intended to achieve the offset. Regardless of Pullman's agenda, he produced an excellent story. He may be one of the most gifted authors that I have read this year.

    Here are all of the other books I have read so far:

    Monday, August 02, 2010