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