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.