Sunday, June 30, 2013

What size do you imagine the tablets of the Ten Commandments being, and why?

Awesome article by Lawson Stone..Four surprises to most people (and most movies) about the Ten Commandments


First, size matters. It’s highly unlikely that they were as large as portrayed in any movie. Likely they were smaller than a standard piece of notebook paper. All the ancient covenant documents we have run much, much smaller than the big slabs we see in the movies.

Link: Turning the Tables-The ABC’s of the Ten Commandments

Quiz: “What does Paul explicitly say that he teaches ‘everywhere in every church’?”

Easy quiz?

Into to "What Paul Taught Everywhere: Imitating God in Christby "


When I was in seminary, a friend of mine asked a question about the Bible that changed my life. I’m not much for trivia, but this question struck home: “What does Paul explicitly say that he teaches ‘everywhere in every church’?”
Paul taught a number of things “everywhere in every church”: Jesus as the Son of David, the atoning death of Jesus on a cross, his resurrection and enthronement as Lord, justification by faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the unity of the family of God across racial and social lines, the law of love, future judgment at the feet of Jesus. Paul taught these things with enough consistency that we can safely say he never failed to communicate them to his congregations.
Yet none of these things is the correct answer. Since my seminary days I’ve asked this question of many students and colleagues, but I’ve never gotten the correct answer from an evangelical.  -continued here

betraying Jesus with "the treason of stupidity": Kierkegaard on defending Christianity via apologetics


Now we see how extraordinarily stupid (so that there can still be a remnant of something extraordinary ) it is to defend Christianity, how little knowledge of human nature it manifests, how it connives even if unconsciously, with offense by making Christianity out to be some poor, miserable thing that in the end has to be rescued by a champion.  Therefore, it is certain and true that the first one to come up with the idea of defending Christianity in Christendom is  de facto a Judas No. 2: he, too, betrays with a kiss, except that his treason is the treason of stupidity.  To defend something is always to disparage it....He who defends it has never believed it-Sickness unto Death, link

The above is quoted in Myron Penner's The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bono video interview "The Meaning of Life"

Bono interviewed by Gay Byrne re: "The Meaning of Life "complete video:
If above video is out, click here, go to Archives, page 3, June 25, 2013 episode

(For fun, watch the same pair in a 1983 interview here

Preview here:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

:"It’s very annoying following this person of Christ around, because He’s very demanding of your life.” (complete Bono interview on Focus on the Family)

complete audio of Bono of Focus on the Family here  and below.

In a lighthearted portion of the discussion about the challenges ass

Pastor: "you won't get this anywhere else"

video description:: "On May 19th, 2013, Pastor Dr. Jim Standridge stood in the pulpit of Immanuel Baptist Church of Skiatook and did this."     .Yes, this is real-- complete sermon here on the church's website. (and if you watch from 59 min, you'll see the context)

Keltic Ken's response:

Check this out on Chirbit

Interview with the pastor about this:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bono and Peace Child

see7:42ff-Looks like someone gave Bono a copy of Don Richardson's  classic missions book
"Peace Child."  I bet he already had it...


"catholic parish rallies behind child-molesting priest"...and other William Lobdell stories

If video doesn't show, click here

  1. How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America ~ William Lobdell

    William Lobdell describes how he lost his faith while reporting on religion in America.
  2. William Lobdell Slams Benny Hinn, Faith Healers

    • by ForaTv
    • 4 years ago
    Complete video at: William Lobdel

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jacob's Ladder/This Train Revised

written by Indigo Girls after a visit to Holocaust Museum:

Jacob's Ladder/This Train Revised
We are climbing
Jacob's ladder
We are climbing
Jacob's ladder
Out of these boxcars
And out of these chambers
Out of the bed where we lay
With ten strangers
We are climbing
Jacob's ladder
We are climbing
On jacob, jacob's ladder

It's a fish white belly
A lump in my throat
Razor on the wire
Skin and bone
Piss and blood
In a railroad car
One hundred people
Gypsies queers
And david's star

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory now
This train

Measure the bones
Count the face
Pull out the teeth
Did you get them all?
Do you belong
To the human race
Doctor doctor
Are you unkind
Do you shock the monkeys
Cover our eyes
With clear blue skies

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory now
Ah ah
This train

Here is a dancer
Who has no legs
Here is a teacher
Who has no face
Here is a healer
Who has no hands
Here is a runner
Who has no feet
Here is a thinker
Who has no head
Here is a builder
Who has no back
Here is a writer
Who has no voice
These are the questions
These are the answers
Stacked like wood

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory now
This train

This train is bound for glory
This train it carried your mothers
This train is bound for glory
This train it, it carried your fathers
This train is bound for glory now
This train it, it carried your sisters
This train
This train it, it carried your brothers
(Here is a teacher)
This train it, it carried my sisters
(Here is a writer)
This train it, it carried my brother
(Here is a thinker)
This train is
This train is bound for glory

These are the questions 
Stacked like wood
These are the answers
Here is potential
And it's gone for good

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Starbucks Verisimo

"The Hobbit (2): The Desolation of Smaug"Official Teaser Trailer...also Hobbit #18


Golden Youth: "music that we could play in a church or in a bar"

When I saw in my RSS feed that both Katy Lee Ann H and Rob Bell  were recommending Golden Youth..
That was enough to check them out.
(Brian) Who are Golden Youth's biggest inspirations?(Stephanie) SIGUR ROS! We love that band! They put their hearts and souls into everything they write and it really shows through their music. We also listen to Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, Stars, M83, plus many, many more!
(Brian) I ask almost everybody this question; it's because it always gets a cool answer. Would you call your band Christian or Christians-in-a-band?  Why?(Stephanie) Christians in a band for sure! We wanted to write music that we could play in a church or in a bar, music that everyone could listen to and want to share with their friends! I hope that people will be able to see a difference in our actions and see Christ through us in that way!  -link

CUSH new album: SP3

CUSH new album: SP3  (Third in the "Spirituals" series)>
Biggest  (?)surprise: a "cover" (or something like that, "a cover like no other") of U2's "The First Time."
Here's the whole album below (or YouTube here),  Lyrics here

"Jamie The Very Worst Missionary" interviewed

Shane Blackshear interviews "Jamie The Very Worst Missionary."
Topics: short term missions/living in Costa Rica & then returning to California./her relationship with cursing. LinkLink

Monday, June 10, 2013

"The problem with worship is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough.."

Carl R. Trueman:
The problem with much Christian worship in the contemporary world, Catholic and Protestant alike, is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough. Worship characterized by upbeat rock music, stand-up comedy, beautiful people taking center stage, and a certain amount of Hallmark Channel sentimentality neglects one classic form of entertainment:  It neglects tragedy.

"Here is What Is" complete film by Daniel Lanois

"the best documentary film about music that I have ever seen": - JavaCrossKnit, full review here
HERE IS WHAT IS from Daniel Lanois on Vimeo.

"Modern parables" retain the offense

Great scoop:

One of the great injustices a reader can do to the parables of Jesus is not to be offended by them...Thomas Purifoy, head of Compass Cinema, is doing his part to bring back the peculiarity, and in some cases the offensiveness, of the parables of Jesus. Modern Parables (Series 1) is six short films, each of which retells a parable of Jesus in a modern setting and in so doing awakens us to realities we may have missed.In Samaritan (for example), an old man who has been robbed and beaten is ignored by a deacon and then by a pastor, and for the same reasons that you or I might look past a grizzled, glassy-eyed old man lying in a pile of trash on a city street. The person who finally comes to the old man’s aid is a Middle Eastern taxi driver who reads Arabic-language newspapers and smokes cigarettes. I know the parable well enough to side automatically with the Samaritan and view the scribes and priests as villains to be booed and hissed. The film reminds me that I have more in common with the story’s villains than with its hero.

..Prodigal Sons depicts a young man blowing his half of the family fortune in riotous living in New York City. In the final scene, it is easy to see why the bitter older brother is so bitter. And in his bitterness it is obvious this parable is about two rebellious sons, not one. 

...Through the month of June, Compass Cinema is making the six films of the first Modern Parables series available on the Modern Parables Facebook pageSamaritanand Hidden Treasure are already available. The other four (Prodigal Sons, plus films based on the parables of the importunate widow and the sower) will be trickling onto the Facebook page as the month progresses. ,,,

Compass Cinema is making these movies available this month because they are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a a second series of Modern Parables, beginning with the parable of the workers. If you like what you see and are in a position to help, here’s the link to the project’s Kickstarter page.   LINK

Rest of the parable previews here 

Pope Francis on wearing a clerical cassock

From John Allen at the NCR, “Book indicates pope is a moderate realist“:
 “The problem is not whether you wear a cassock, but rather if you roll up its sleeves when you have to work for the good of others,” Pope Francis says, quoting another priest he respects.  LINK
And this:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

"Armenians Protest Being Called Arminians"

It is amazing how often (even/especially from sources that should know better) the word "Armenian" is used when folks mean "Arminian."

See this article

Armenians Protest Being Called Arminians


P.S.Yes, these books are for real:


Help! Arminians are giving me nightmares again! 

Preaching about money on Easter Sunday/"Congregational Government is From Satan"

It may sound shocking to say that a prominent megachurch pastor preached about money, and not the resurrection, on Easter Sunday..


Our church is so organic that I am sure on many recent Easters that the teaching/sharing didn't have a whole lot to do (directly) with the resurrection.  I am also sure it was mentioned (Kind of like do you NOT?).  
See also Special Days Trump Preaching Series: Andy Stanley):
…On an Easter Sunday in Dallas Texas, I visited a Bible Church with some friends. On the way they explained that their pastor was preaching through the book of Psalms.  They were in their 43d week. Easter would be week 44.  And sure enough, on Easter Sunday, this guy picked up with Psalm 44.  He made a reference to Easter at some point along the way.  But it was a stretch.  In his defense, he was teaching the Bible to people and his approach matched his goal.”
~Andy Stanley,Communicating for a Change, 2006, Multnomah Publishing, p.94

The story is about James MacDonald, pastor of 13,000 member Harvest Bible Chapel.
And for those watching the MacDonald sermon below, and realizing "Oh, my, he really did preach about money on Easter"  ( "for those who think "You can’t start a new series on Easter about money!": WATCH ME!!", 2:04ff) what doesn't show in the video is all kinds of resurrection-themed songs and skits that surrounded the sermon.

BUT there still seems to be quite an interesting backstory.

And you may not trip up the way I did, but what hit me about MacDonald's blog post is that fact that he capitalizes the word "pastor" throughout the post.  I don't mean pastor as a title ("Pastor James"), but
phrases like "Statistics tell us that Pastors move every 2-3 years"  and "Many of the Pastors who have come into Harvest Bible Fellowship these past years have." 
Every one knows (or should) that this is just wrong, according to any grammar book (It's true of "president," etc.)It may seen like a subtle thing, or a typo, but I wonder if it is just the inevitable result of wanting a pastor-led church.

James MacDonald blog:Congregational Government is From Satan

Comments  on Jesus Creed: James Macdonald: Congregationalism from Satan?

Harvest website: statements from the elders


Friday, June 07, 2013

gesture differences around the this and you'll never leave home

As anyone who has lived in another country knows:

  • signs are significant
  • gestures differences are huge
  • hand signals are signally handy
The catch is what does a gesture or hand motion mean/sign-ify in the nation you are in.
Using the wrong one could get you stared at, laughed at, married,  though to be a Gaither on crack, arrested.....or worse.

The internet/facebook is full of popularized memes/videos portraying the differences.

Here are two classic examples from better-trusted sources.

1)Going Dutch in Beijing: How to Behave Properly When Far Away from Home

 By Mark McCrum,scroll to pages 12-22 HERE

2)The chapter on gestures from 

Hannah Montana pastorates:"When the venue is set up as a performance hall, the person on the stage is expected to perform"

Great post by Kathleen Ward:
....and yet, week after week, they get up on the stage and give it their best shot. They smile, they dress up (or dress down – depends on the church), and they tell us that they have all the answers.

Why? Why is there this mismatch between “ordinary human” and “know-it-all pastor”? Because that's what the system turns them into. When the venue is set up as a performance hall, the guy (or girl) on the stage is expected to perform for the audience. Hannah Montana’s fans don’t want to know that she’s behind in her homework, or having a fight with her best friend – they want to see her dance and hear her sing. When the church members sit passively in rows, they expect the guy they hired to spend his week studying the Scriptures and listening to the Spirit, and to package it neatly for Sunday morning and present it in a challenging-but-enjoyable format.

How do I know all this? Because I’m the pastor’s wife. For 6 years, we drove to church each Sunday, psyching ourselves into performance mode despite whatever stresses and morning-time mishaps were on our mind. It wasn’t until we moved out of established church ministry and started gathering as equals in an interactive, participatory community, that we could relax and lay aside the act, and start being ourselves.

Meeting in rows sets one person up to be a role model, to have all the answers and to take responsibility for the spiritual growth and well-being of the whole community. Meeting in a circle puts everybody on an equal footing, allows us to admit we don’t have all the answers, and to share the burdens of the whole community as we grow together. Changing the layout doesn’t just reduce the pressure on the pastor – it also empowers the rest of us to discover our voice, discover our gifts, and minister to one another as Jesus told us to.  LINK

Eugene Peterson audio: "When I read the Bible for the first time, I realized the Holy Spirit left out most of the good parts.”

Cathleen Falsani:

/....Peterson’s passion and love of the Bible is palpable when he talks about it. It’s not an academic or intellectual pursuit for him. It’s a romance. A love story between God and Eugene, between God and all of us. And we are part of the ongoing narrative that the scriptures tell.
Early on in our discussions of the Bible at the Q Practices gathering, Peterson made a passing comment that piqued my imagination. He said: “When I read the Bible for the first time, I realized the Holy Spirit left out most of the good parts.”
During a question-and-answer period, I asked him which parts the Holy Spirit had, in fact, left out. He laughed and then launched into another story.
I could never do it justice here in writing, so click the button below and listen to Peterson tell it in his own words.  (complete article here)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

"a love song that can double as devotional"

The NY Times called  U2's "Ultraviolet" (after its 2009 performance below) "a love song that can double as devotional."

Good catch!  Or is it (also) the other way around? 

 Oh, another chiasm:
I love that the article is called "Fun with a mission."  Is THAT the other way around?

Where's the Sanctuary?

Be sure to read Jamie The Very Worst Missionary's post:

Where's the Sanctuary?

"believe in Jesus because you believe in the Bible as the Word , or believe in the Bible because you believe in Jesus as the Word"?

Two reponses to Andy Stanley and Denny Burke:



"Denny believes in Jesus because he believes in the Bible as the Word and Andy believes in the Bible because he believes in Jesus as the Word...."

Mingus' volcanic center

“It has been said that Charles Mingus was a violent man. It would be truer to say that he was a passionate man, a man of great imagination and with desires to match…Mingus’ center was not a vortex of self–contemplation that sucked in, absorbed, or stifled otherness, but a volcanic center from which flowed a procreative lava, interacting with everything it touched. Not a black hole, but a bursting sun, with rays that could scorch.”

— Dan Morgenstern, “Charles Mingus,” from Living With Jazz, ed. Sheldon Meyer (Pantheon, New York, 2004)  HTL Scott PenisveSpyJazzman