Sunday, February 28, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: February Report

The only resolution I made this year was to read 50 books. I am going to go ahead and up that number to 52 to make it a book a week.

So, I figured that I will update you at the end of each month as to how I am doing with my goal and to give you recommendations based on my reading.

So far, there have been about nine weeks in 2010 and I have completed five books (don't worry, I am not behind as I am currently working on about five or six other books which should be close to completion by March's end).

In 2010 I have read:

I would recommend all of these books, but not equally. Pilgrim's Progress is an absolute must read for all Christians and a book everyone should have in their library. This is my second time reading it and I was struck again by its how insightful it is on every level. I would check out each of the others as well, but I want to encourage reading Leithart's Deep Exegesis. It is a very good read if you are interested at all in biblical interpretation (which you should be).

There you have it. More to come at the end of March.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Like, Twenty Hours

Imagine two miniature people in car-seats, one of whom was just picked up from daycare and awoken from a nap. Now imagine them saying this:

Six-year-old: Were you sleeping?
Four-year-old: Yes.
Six-year-old: How long did they make you sleep?
Four-year-old: Like, twenty hours.
Six-year-old: Twenty hours?! What the heck?!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Second Coming

We have been studying the book of Revelation in our Sunday School class. Consequently, I have been thinking about final things a lot recently. This weekend I stumbled across a Yeats poem that I found to be interesting and relevant.

In the aftermath of the first world war, Yeats saw an apocalyptic meaning behind the current times; he postulated that something very soon was coming that would supplant Christianity. Therefore he wrote "The Second Coming" which is (as best I can tell) a poem about the coming of the Antichrist. The poem is rich, drawing from many sources, but I was struck by the parallels with a modern day novel seemingly crafted after Yeats' work, Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men (which gets its title from another Yeats poem, "Sailing to Byzantium").

Anyway, here is the poem.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love the Lord Your God: Luke 11:38-42

Invited in a home abroad,
Receiving all of Mary's laud,
And even in a Marthan vex,
Disparaged not her own sex,
But instructed love for God.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Liberal Scholar's Motto: Everybody Lies

It never ceases to amaze me how liberal biblical scholars can hypothesize that deception was so rampant when considering the composition of the Bible. They want to say that every book of the Bible was written at a later date by someone who thought they wouldn't be taken seriously unless they stole someone else's name.

I can understand the identity theft part. It's not entirely clear that Matthew wrote Matthew or Mark wrote Mark or Moses wrote Deuteronomy (although I am convinced that the internal and external evidence points to the veracity of the traditional authorship ascription). But don't you think that liberal scholarship would draw the line somewhere? Not everyone can be lying, right? Believe it or not, some people in this world have standards.

I sense a projection of the liberal scholar's own morally-bankrupt view of lying onto his or her identification of the biblical writers.

Or maybe they have just been watching too much House.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Facebook Stalker

"Facebook stalker" is now a universal term used to describe people who look at all of the stuff that another person makes public on Facebook.

I am a little confused about this. Aren't you inviting people to look at your pictures, status updates, links, wall-to-walls, notes, events, friend additions, Farmville scores, groups, and other things when you post them on Facebook?

It's like saying, "I am going to make all of these things public, but you, you, and you can't spend more than five minutes looking at them or you are a stalker."

Stalkers want to find out private things about a person when that person does not wish to make those private things public. People who want to make things public can't really refer to those who browse things in the public domain as stalkers.

Am I missing something here? It seems a little unjust to call someone who looks at items made public by another a stalker.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Louisville: Winter Driving Isn't Hard

In the past week we have had three snow days. Louisville has accumulated about a foot of snow.

I used to make fun of the South for canceling school every time a snow flake threatened to fall, but now I understand why: they cannot remove snow. I have yet to see a snow-plow in Louisville. That's insane. But what's more insane is the way people react in their vehicles when snow is falling.

So here is my advice to Louisville drivers: don't drive into the snow, don't tailgate, and clean all of the windows off on your vehicle. That will prevent all of the problems I saw on the roads today.

We're all in this together. You can do it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reality and Hope

I never battle against melancholy; I embrace it.

The world is a real place with real people with real problems. Why are we sometimes quick to keep that hidden? I mean, it can be cliché, but do we know it?

When my thoughts dwell on sad things, my heart goes to God. Reality is hard, but brushing off hard things doesn't keep us going. Hope in God does.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Illinois Earthquakes

Strangely, an earthquake shook Northern Illinois early this morning. Tune into The 700 Club for outlandish claims.

In other The 700 Club news, Pat Robertson appears to be a gnostic.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Don't Waste Your Super-Bowl Ad

Well, here is my first blog post of 2010. I was going to put it off, but I can't.

Who saw the over-hyped, completely missable Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family "pro-life" ad? Yeah; me neither.

Well, here it is:

The clock is ticking, Focus on the Family. I don't know if you've noticed, but our nation has entered into a post-Christian age where mandolin music and white, middle-class people telling watered-down anecdotes isn't going to cut it when addressing one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history.

When it comes to abortion, we need the facts; we do not need heart-warming stories detached from valuable information while thousands of babies' lives hang in the balance.

An opportunity like a 30 second Super-Bowl ad is not going to be an excessive commodity in the future for the evangelical community in America. Focus on the Family spilled some of the precious water in the dirt with last night's TV spot. And we don't know how many more draws we can get before the well is dry.