Tuesday, June 30, 2009

new U2 Song (of Ascent?) :"Sing yourself right off your feet"

setlist link,
click the photo at left to enlarge

Two updates:


"Soon! Soon!..

"Sing yourself on down the street

Sing yourself right off your feet
Sing yourself away from victory and from defeat
Sing yourself with fife and drum
Sing yourself to overcome
the thought that someone's lost, and someone else has won"

-new U2 song

The real news about the second video clip of the U2 claw I posted yesterday ("The U2 Claw and the Large Hydron Collider") turns out to be the intro and outro was a new U2 song, likely from the yet-to-be released "Songs of Ascent," an album spoken of by Bono as a pilgrimage album, patterned after the biblical Psalms of Ascent.

YouTube has since turned off the audio (later note: it's back), but it has been captured by the RTE (sort of the Irish PBS)
here (for now!) See the middle column, scroll down a bit...Intro: 00-00:39, outro: 6:43 to end.

Our church will be all over this song.

{Later note: The song turns up as the recorded intro to U2's appearance on stage, at least on opening night, and likely for the whole tour...Audio here, hat tip Beth....Also, the song appears to be called "Kingdom," Soon," or "Kingdom Soon," most likely "Kingdom of Your Love,"...per Willie Williams..and could be a Gavin Friday-related song...see this and this. And here's a video ...1:40ff...of Gavin talking about how "God in the house" on this tour, especially as the "Kingdom" song comes on.

{Later: Beth lets us know:
"Apparently (in case you have not heard this) Caroline vonB (associate of Gavin Friday; runs U2Log asked him, and Gavin Friday said it was not him, he doesn't even sing on it, it's all U2. "

Here is a new video with as much of the song as we have so far}:

We are doing this song for church...chords here..

follow-up:Mother Saint Beth found this image (below and
(here) of the Sagrada Familia
interior columns. Wow, the Claw IS a cathedral/clawthedral. Bono himself has basically admitted so, and called it a "worship space."

(New article on the claw as cathedral here,
see also here)

See also:

banks, cathedrals, church

The Spanish have saying:

"Es una mentira como una catedral."


Monday, June 29, 2009

US States Renamed For Countries W/ Similar GDPs

Thanks to St. Arn of Hunselberry for finding this map...note it's a couple years old now.

"Strange Map #131 – US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs":

Click the photo to enlarge and this link to read the details..

Letterman's not laughing at God

Letterman got a dose of Godhauntedness again the other night.

Letterman Lusts; Thinks Gospel is "Beautiful"
"put Your right hand on my heart"
"watching Letterman getting convicted...again

This time?

Regina Spektor's "Laugh With"

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God when the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one's laughing at God when it's gotten real late and their kid's not back from that party yet

No one laughs at God when their airplane starts to uncontrollably shake
No one's laughing at God when they

see the one they love hand in hand with someone else and they hope that they're mistaken
No one laughs at God when the cops knock on their door and they say "We've got some bad new, sir,"
No one's laughing at God when there's a famine, fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party while listening to a good God-themed joke or
Or when the crazies say he hates us and they get so red in the head you think that they're about to choke

God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie
Who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus

God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they've lost all they got and they don't know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize that the last sight they'll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one's laughing at God when they're saying their goodbyes

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party while listening to a good God-themed joke or
Or when the crazies say he hates us and they get so red in the head you think that they're about to choke

God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie
Who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus

God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war

No one's laughing at God in a hospital
No one's laughing at God in a war

No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God
We're all laughing with God


tip of the toque: St. Mike Todd

The Fat Pastor: "Thinking about Chicken & Church"

Coming out of the United Methodist tradition,
I have appreciated and laughed at their most recent attempt to apprear reelvant. Some of the ads in their new series are wonderful, I just hope they reflect the reality any seekers find if they knock on the door of a church to test the promises out.

The Fat Pastor has made quite a discovery, though:

The United Methodist Church has come out with a new marketing campaign. You may have seen one of the commercials. “RETHINK CHURCH” they declare. The idea is to think of church as a verb instead of a noun – a thing we do instead of a place we go. It is a compelling idea, and it was clearly put together by a slick marketing team. A team so slick, that I think KFC probably hired them to.

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between RETHINK CHURCH and UNTHINK CHICKEN? Besides the fact that, short of a Men in Black mind sweeping gadget or a lobotomy, I’m not sure how to unthink or rethink something (I mean, I know how to think, and I know how to change my mind, but isn’t changing one’s mind actually just another new thought?), couldn’t they have at least come up with different fonts – maybe something in a seriff.

-The fat Pastor, Thinking about Chicken and Church

The U2 Claw and the Large Hadron Collider

All machines are spiritual.

And Kurzweil has suggested we are already enmeshed in the spiritual machines age.

Of course, this can be good news and or bad news..


The U2 Claw is not the most expensive and complex machine ever built.
But it might be one of the most prophetic; and a word from God to the church...via U2 again.

For one, it expresses the next step in U2's stage progression:
from the extended ramps of the 90s to the "heart" an "ellipse"of recent tours,
do whatever it takes to be with/among the people.

That is spiritual. And a machine facilitates it all.

The Claw may even reveal some hidden powers when it is switched on Tuesday in Barcelona.

Bono suggests it was inspired in part by Gaudi's Sagrada Famillia Church.
(see videos below, and this article):

"The Claw" is built, rehearsals have started, and in just a couple days, the first cast of thousands will show up in Barcelona to bear witness in the Church of U2. In an interview for Barcelona TV this week, Bono says, "Music is worship," and tells the reporters that the massive structure in the middle of the stadium was inspired by one of the world's most famous unfinished structures and one of Barcelona's biggest tourist attractions, La Sagrada Familia church, designed by Antoni Gaudi.
-Marilym Maione

He always tells us the concerts will take us to church. Maybe they've now gone completely missional and messianic and manic...and are bringing church to us.

ANYWAY, the device that IS one of the most expensive and complex machines ever built, the Large Hadron Collider, is also due to be activated this year. Even if it really doesn't

  • discover the God particle,
  • become a time machine,
  • rip the fabric of spacetime
  • provide evidence of creation ex nihilo,
  • or (at least) usher in the end of the world,

when it is kickstarted again in October..

something significant...if not quite as immediately dramatic or obviously theological as all the above will eventually happen.

It may not bring Jack Benny back, or convert thousands to Christ.

But it might. (:

It may even equal a U2 concert (which often does both, and is in fact time travel (see Time Travel part 2 and "Music is time travel" ).

Would the discovery of "the God particle" bring us any closer to the discovery of God? Not really. The God particle is merely a particle, not God. It would be an exciting discovery in the highly specialized field of particle physics. But our ordinary world would go on just as it did before.
-Vern Polythress

Or would it?

Somehow or another, the paranoid among us think that carrying out those tasks will rip the world wide open or leave you stuck in 1990 with nothing in your CD player but Ice Ice Baby. Okay, so maybe that last scenario is worth getting worked up about.

At least there is a rap video about it:

Uh, maybe the Claw IS the Collider. (:
See you Tuesday..here, there,or in the air(:

Unamuno on believing in God

"Those who believe they believe in God,

but without

passion in the heart,

without anguish of mind,

without uncertainty,

without doubt,

and even at times without despair,

believe only in the idea of God,

and not in God himself.

~Miguel de Unamuno

ht-Brian Zahnd

Friday, June 26, 2009

this title says it all..a word to the church

"The New New Economy:

More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity"

-article in Wired Magazine

St. Leonard nails our dilemma

"...asking church questions of the kingdom
instead of
asking kingdom questions of the church."
-Len, context

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apologetix and Santana's Sunday School song

Anyone who grew up evangelical has likely learned a Sunday School song or three to memorize the books of the Bible...

...but it's a new day..

If the names of the books don't roll out of your memory banks on cue, surely this version of "La Bamba," by Apologetix and Carlos Santana( !) will do the trick:

-hat tip to Mike, who is on coffee, and has it all memorized..

Friday, June 19, 2009

No Line's Infinity: the “cogency of all possibilities, potential and actual”

No Line: the “cogency of all possibilities, potential and actual”

It’s no wonder the French motorcycle cop in the U2 song "No Line on the Horizon" ditches his Rue de Marrais beat for an unplanned, Spiritaneous trip down to Morocco to see that amazing “girl…with a hole in her heart.” There is just such an attraction to someone who knows the secret of the universe: “Infinity’s a great place to start.”

She’s not only an optimist, but a
good physicist: “Time is irrelevant; it’s not linear.”

We usually think of time as linear. Time travel is equivalent to this line closing up into a circle.” (John D. Barrow, “The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Infinite,” 271)

Ahh, No wonder there is no line on the horizon! It’s a circle, as this record’s trajectory is inevitably a plunge into nonlinear time travel..

The girl is no slouch. She follows God. She may even be (as often in the U2 lexicon) God. She sure feels like a version of the girl in “Mysterious Ways” (“She moves in mysterious ways…Spirit moves in mysterious ways”) Of course , for Bono, the ‘she’ can respresent (wife)Ali, for Christ’s sake…and/or Christ, for Ali’s sake.
Follow her, for she follows Christ.

She is such a draw for the unnamed cop that he seems to self-hijack his work motorbike
(“Siren’s wailing, but it’s me that wants to get away”).
for his determined drive to meet her/God…which he does a few songs later in “Fez/Being Born.”

You know, that tongue in the ear thing might have also partly motivated his pilgrimage…but it’s all good, it’s all elevation.

Why is infinity such a great place to start?

Infinity has haunted human minds for thousands of years. It challenges theologians…Is it part of the problem, or part of the solution?...It is also a live issue. Physicists’ accelerating quest for a Theory of Everything has been primarily guided by an attitude about infinities. Their appearance can be a warning that you have entered a blind alley on the road to the truth. The enthusiasm with which superstring theories were embraced was a consequence of their ingenious evasion of the problem of infinities that had plagued all their predecessors (preface)…
Aristotle thinks the infinite is incomplete… it is the unending character of the flow of time that makes it… infinite (30)...Augustine’s idea of the humanly infinite appearing finite to the mind of God is intriguing…the ‘threat to God from the infinite world’….Not all philosophers saw the infinite as a theological problem. Nicholas of Cusa embraced the infinite as a place where opposites could be reconciled [a quest Bono has been on, and on about, for years] ..
Pascal [whom Bono quotes fairly often , even paraphrases in the song at hand: “hole in her heart” ] confronted the problem of time and ‘double infinity: infinite largeness and infinite smallness in all things.(35) ..
Infinity is a player of great significance who appears on the stage only when the crucial questions of existence are raised...Infinity challenges us to contemplate the duplication of ourselves….and ponder the the cogency of all possibilities, potential and actual. (273)
-Barrow, “The Infinite Book"

The cover story of June 2009 Wired magazine dovetails here: “The NEW New Economy: More Startups. Fewer Giants. Infinite Opportunity.” I see that title as a word for the church..and the world..in this current economy and “weird moment in history.”

If we are bold and innocent enough to see correctly in this day and age, there is no line at all on the horizon….Bono has made clear this is not the disorientation of the pilot who has lost site of the line…. but the boundless, infinite optimism of a surprisingly “realized eschatology” where heaven invades earth, the future Kingdom travels “backwards” in time to meet us. The new and creative creation has creatively arrived. It used to be “High Street never looked so low”..but now, from our new vantage point, even streets like Rue de Marais already have no name .

Read NT Wright, and get to work while the horizon is lineless.

Borrow your motorcycle, and get to Fez; speed to Infinity.

Not a bad place to start... “cogency of all possibilites,” indeed.

May it shape our ethos, ethics, eschatology….and epistemology:
Once infinity seemed like an evil spirit that was determined to confuse our way, but we have come to see that it is a surer guide than we ever thought to the true path….the quest to understand the nature of matte and the universe of space and time may come to rely uniquely and completely upon the beckoning or the avoidance of the infinite. We will need to know it better than we know ourselves. (Barrow,274)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

McLaren speaks to Episcopalians in DC

Video here of Brian McLaren encouraging Episcopalians for such a time as this;
includes his famous New Choluteca bridge illustration.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sarcastic Lutheran

"....We all want to say 'sure, you're emerging too, everyone is emerging...now let's hold hands and sing a song', but how accurate is that if almost all of the communities who are seen as emerging are young urban and post-modern? If the movement started out in this urban, postmodern cultural context, then do we use the same term for ministries outside of that cultural context, who are also missional? Now, I know this isn't the most profound thing to be thinking about, but I just find it weird. If the Spanish speaking Latino ministries are missional and contextual, then can I call my postmodern emerging church a Latino ministry because we are missional and contextual?
Am I just trying to be an elitest asshole? Don't get me wrong, I think all of the church should be missional and contextual. I suspect that the way in which the emerging church will, in the end, influence the broader church is in this post-Christendom reorientation toward mission and context...which would be an amazing contribution. For myself, all I can do is swear that I will not use the words "missional" and "contextual" again for a long, long time....I've clearly used my quota."
-Nadia Bolz-Weber, link

the ugly side

"The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side."
- James Baldwin

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"There IS no theory of atonement "

Andrew Perriman:

The very fact that this controversy is so often approached as a debate about ‘theories’ of atonement has the effect of confining us to a rationalizing, modernist mentality that will inevitably miss the point. There is no theory of atonement – there are no theories of atonement – in the New Testament. What we have is a story about how the people of God found a means of escape from the historical impasse into which they were being driven by their persistent state of revolt against YHWH..

What we cannot do is discard the narrative-historical setting as though it were merely the husk around some essential theory of atonement. Indeed the opposite is true: the narrative is at the heart of the matter, the theology is merely interpretation.

Evangelicalism will not settle the debate over the atonement, in my view, until it grasps the fact that not only is it the product of the narrative, it remains subject to the narrative. As long as it insists in dealing with abstractions, it remains a sub-biblical movement.

-link ,Andrew Perriman:

Friday, June 12, 2009

interview w/Miroslav Volf

interview w/Miroslav Volf:

Q. Since you bring up 9/11 I would like to hear what you think some of
the lessons have been from that tragedy. Your book, Exclusion and
Embrace, which won the Grawemeyer Award, was obviously written
before 9/11, but what you say in the book has such meaning in light of
those events.

A. One of the things I point out in the book is that we all seem to like our
identities pure and so we push out others who disturb the way that we have
our world organized. And of course, competition for goods is an issue that
enters into this discussion. When we look at the terrorists who were
responsible for the 9/11 tragedy we see people who see American culture as
threatening to a form of Islam that they want to keep pure. Various
fundamentalist ways of thinking are dominated by desire for purity, although
most do not act in a violent manner.

Of course, boundaries that mark our identities are important. The world would
be a swamp without boundaries and we need to nurture those boundaries in
order to preserve our own identities. With that said, however, we then need to
ensure that there are gates in those boundaries that can open and close in a
way that we can control but also in a way that is hospitable to the others. Our
personal identities need to be so structured, and so strong, that we can
appreciate the fact that the gifts to us from persons who exist outside of our
boundaries will enrich us. As a metaphor, I think for example of my home. I
have artwork and books from numerous cultures, and I welcome to my home
many items and individuals that are foreign to my own identity. These
openings into my home by others enrich my family and me; in return I pray
that my hospitality enriches them.

Q. As you look back at the last couple of decades here in America, what
are the trends in American religion that you see as holding the most
promise for the future?

A. I think the most promising feature is something that has been part of the
American religious scene for centuries. And that is the incredible ability of
American religion to reinvent itself. This is something that is unique in western
cultures. Certainly we do not see this in Europe, at least not on the same
scale. All over this country we see people with religious motivation from all
walks of life setting up their own little shop so to speak. Churches and
denominations pop up all over. This shows immense vitality and it is a way
that religion is passed on from generation to generation in this fast-paced
culture. We academics tend to look down on this aspect of American religion.
Many academics are fearful of such new religious beginnings – which
admittedly can be theologically unformed and sometimes even weird. The
positive side of this, however, is that religion is being transmitted within the
cultural medium within which specific groups of people speak and live. It is a
phenomenon that is in keeping with the American way of life and its market
economy. The flexibility that is a characteristic of economic life transfers to
religious life and the result is constant innovation, as a blessing and as a

Q. What is the downside of this?

A. A possible consequence is the cultural captivity of religion. Religion is
sold; it becomes just another commodity. When this happens it can be empty
of content and religious personages can simply peddle what people want.
The customer cannot be king when it comes to religion. When the content of
religion is hi-jacked the symbols and narratives of religion are emptied of their
genuine meaning.

ewe two lynx

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sick of Christians?

Tom has set it wonderfully and well, so head over to his Dream Factory and read it all.....Of course, no surprise the post is titled:

"Sick of Christians?"

The pot is being stirred and there is a lot of spillage. The church is struggling with its identity in a rapidly changing world. Everyone, inside and outside, has an opinion - maybe more than one. Sometimes we are fighting the world. Sometimes we are fighting each other. Sometimes we put our collective feet in our mouths.

Sometimes I get sick of Christians.

Sometimes I get sick of myself.

Many recent conversations have not brought out the best in me.

It is hard to hang out with people who have more answers than questions. This has been building up. Others are making definitions of who is what and codifying them with really long and specific lists.

Sometimes I find it easier to relate to non-Christians who don't claim to have all the answers than to my brothers who are sure that they do.

"Are you biblical, traditional, emergent, liberal, conservative, seeker-sensitive, or what? Careful. Consult the list of criteria before answering."

"Pick a category. Hurry!"

I take Jesus' words, "Seek and ye shall find" to point toward an ongoing process of....

-Tom Sims, continued: click here

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"gets confusing when poets do start to preach"

"Of course it gets confusing when poets do start to preach.."

I love that quote from Mark Maynell about Bono.
(full article, "U2: The Stadium Psalmists and Prophets," HT: Beth)

We need more poets immediately to speak into the church, as the church, or against the church.
We need Mark DeRaud to resurrect, re-surrect and remix Art N Soul yesterday.

We don't need to bring back modernity's "three points and a poem" sermons.
(Maynell: "Therefore their creations are often vague, elusive, hard to pin down. They seek to
articulate experience, perhaps, more than doctrines. But that doesn’t render their creations
false, necessarily! Truth, after all, is not less than propositional; but nor can it ever be
exclusively propositional.")

Or another "Footprints" (although the renegade sequel "Butt Prints" is profound..and will preach..yes, I have preached it!).

But we do need more tribesters like Bruce Cockburn, who has said/sung/prophesied well :

Maybe the poet is gay
Let him be heard anyway
Maybe the poet is drugged
But he won't stay under the rug
Maybe the voice of the Spirit
In which case you'd better hear it
Maybe he's a woman
Who can touch you where you're human
Male female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see
Don't let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet

You need him and you know it
Put him up against the wall
Shoot him up with pentothal
Shoot him up with lead
You won't call back what's been said
Put him in the ground
But one day you'll look around
There'll be a face you don't know
Voicing thoughts you've heard before
Male female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see
Don't let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet
You need him and you know it
_Bruce Cockburn 1982

Self-effacing Martin Smith told us last month (full audio interview: "Martin Smith: 'only in America do they do that!'"):
"I'm a poet, not a church leader,"

but I maintain poets are church leaders.
will be church leaders.
cannot not be heard.

A Valentines poem I wrote in high school Spanish class delighted my teacher with it's Poe-like twist:

Toma mi corazon, mi querida
Haz esto, y me causa alegria
Toma mi corazon, mi querida
Completo con sangre y arteria.

It may not translate well...you know what EP says, and BB says , about translation...but here goes. She read the first three lines aloud for the class, with all the exaggerated romantic flourish
they deserved:

Take my heart, my love
Do this, and cause me great joy
Take my heart, my love..

And the final (punch)line with it's non-sequitur shock:

Complete with blood and artery.

My more recent poems (some rhyme , some don't have been a bit more..uh, theological.
But back to blood and artery..

Maybe I was onto something..

Bono, the stadium poet-prophet has suggested a useful method of song/poem (and thus sermon) writing:

"sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.."


"Walter Brueggemann: Finally comes the poet - daring speech for proclamation"

Jesus: "My kingdom IS of this world"

"People often read John 18:36 as saying that Jesus said 'my kingdom is not of this world,' but as the influential British theologian N.T. Wright pointed out in a recent Christianity Today interview, what Jesus actually said is 'My kingdom is not from this world.'

'That’s ek tou kosmoutoutou,' said Wright. 'It’s quite clear in the text that Jesus’ kingdom doesn’t start with this world. It isn’t a worldly kingdom, but it is for this world. It’s from somewhere else, but it’s for this world.'
-Brett McCracken

what people fear most

" Taking a new step,

uttering a new word,

is what people



-Dostoevsky (Raskolnilov in 'Crime and Punishment")

Just tell me: is emerging good or bad?

Mike Erre:

The danger with labels is that you can smack a label on someone and never have to do more than that.

I was speaking at Biola, and I had somebody come up and say, ‘Um, I just want you to tell me is the emerging church good or bad.’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ Cause there are some parts that are really harmful and there are some parts that seem (like) positive contributions.

And he said, ‘No, no. no. I don’t want to have to read it to know. I don’t want to have to study it know. I just want you to tell me.’

-Mike Erre, link



shift happens for Emergent Village

shift happens for Emergent Village..

Monday, June 08, 2009

"let's not go into THAT shack..."

Maybe The Shack was written just so author Paul Young could go on TV to tell his interviewer what God thinks about him! See 12:20ff:

Colbert in Iraq...and "I don't get Colbert"

“I love my Church, and I’m a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals, who were very devout. I was raised to believe that you could question the Church and still be a Catholic. What is worthy of satire is the misuse of religion for destructive or political gains. That’s totally different from the Word, the blood, the body and the Christ. His kingdom is not of this earth.”
-Colbert, link

A Sunday School teacher who may not be alive without having read Tolkein, and next week's guest editor of Newsweek, Stephen Colbert is a prophetic genius, and an important sign of our times.

He's broadcasting his show from Iraq this week..the first episode includes him obeying an order from the president to get a buzz cut... not to be missed.

"Claiming the war must be over because
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - Where and When Is Stephen Going to the Persian Gulf - Iraq Announcement
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat
nobody's talking about it anymore, Colbert announced that it was time to 'officially declare we won the Iraq war.'"


Rolling Stone:A fake news show, "The Daily Show," spawned a fake commentator, Colbert, who makes his own fake reality defending the fake reality of a real president, and has government officials on who know the joke but are still willing to be mocked by someone fake. Your shows are like mirrors within mirrors, using a cycle of fakery to get to the truth. You've tapped into a sense in society that nothing, from reality shows to Bushworld, is real anymore. Do you guys ever get confused by your hall of mirrors?

STEWART: I didn't know we were going to have to be high to do this interview.

COLBERT: I think we see it less as a hall of mirrors and more as one of those slenderizing mirrors you can buy that you see in catalogs that make you feel good about yourself before you go out the door.


Rolling Stone:Stephen, have you met Bill O'Reilly? He says you owe him a royalty check.

COLBERT: I met him at the Time 100 Dinner. I turned around and he was right behind my chair, and he said, "Oh, it had to happen sometime." He was very nice. He said, "I like you. You know why? You're not mean-spirited like most of 'em." And I said, "That's nice, I'm glad you like it." He said, "Can I give you some advice?" And I said, "I would love it.'' He said, "Watch your guests. You have an Olbermann on, you have a Franken on, that's a pattern. Your audience may not think about it, but they have a sense of it." And I said, "But you saw how I played with Olbermann. I didn't take him seriously." And he said, "Not everybody watches your show as closely as I do." And I thought, "Take me now, Jesus." I was so thrilled.


Rolling Stone: I don't understand why you always say, "I'm just a comedian," because from Shakespeare to Jonathan Swift, humor is the best way to get through to people.

COLBERT: Peter Cook was once asked if he thought that satire had a political effect. He said, "Absolutely. The greatest satire of the twentieth century was the Weimar cabaret, and they stopped Hitler in his tracks." It doesn't mean that what we do is worthless. It's hard to do, and people like it, and it's great. But it doesn't mean that it has an effect politically.


Burning Man's “liminoid counterworld of permission"

John W. Morehead has written a couple papers on Burning Man, weaving communitas, limimality, heterotopy and "What Can the Emerging Church Learn From Burning Man":

"Hey God: I watched the news tonight.."

Is there such a thing as a psalm of lament that can't be played in church?

(Is there such category in Scripture as "in church"?)

So maybe King's X has to settle for sing their "Get Away" song "as church."

Or maybe "in the church but not of it."
(of the church but not in it?)

Antone who has followed King's X (click the "kings x" label at bottom of this post to learn more)
from the days when some of them played with Phil Keaggy and Petra; were sold in Christian bookstores (and sung in churches) ..

...through one of their singers (Doug Pinnick) coming out...

to this new song..

will not be surprised at the first line of the song/prayer...or the roadie's (or someone's) T -shirt in this video. For the fundies, the T shirt be all the evidence they need! But I dare say it does not speak for Doug Pinnick or the band.

This does (click "play" below, click here for "not ready for church" lyrics):

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Herzog's obscene jungle

"Martin Luther said something very beautiful when he was asked once, 'What would you do if tomorrow the world would disappear?' He said, 'I would plant an apple tree.'"

-Werner Herzog

Still haven't seen Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo."
Still am haunted by the Frames song inspired by it.

It's always a "long way to the house of Fitzcarraldo."
We're always "pulling stuff up mountains."

Now a book,
"Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo,"
releases journals from Herzog and team's time living/filming in the Amazon jungle.

Excerpts in Harper's as

"The jungle is obscene":

“The jungle is obscene. Everything about it is sinful, for which reason the sin does not stand out as sin.”


“This morning I woke up to terror such as I have never experienced before: I was entirely stripped of feeling. Everything was gone; it was as if I had lost something that had been entrusted to me the previous evening, something I was supposed to take special care of overnight. I was in the position of someone who has been assigned to guard an entire sleeping army, but suddenly finds himself mysteriously blinded, deaf, and effaced. Everything was gone. I was completely empty, without pain, without longing, without love, without warmth and friendship, without anger, without hate. Nothing, nothing was there anymore, and I was left like a suit of armor with no knight inside. It took a long time before I even felt alarmed.”

"I would gladly do without the..bread for baking, but please restore my lack of faith! I did not see God today. According to the statistics, 98 percent of all existing species are beetles and insects of various sorts, so where are we on the scale of God's favorites?"

"Jesus didn't come to make us Christian.."

"Jesus didn't come to make us Christian, he came to make us fully human."
-Hans Rookmaaker

"As much as I detest it, zero time and energy should be spent on curbing 'the pop economy that is evangelicalism' Instead our time should be spent changing appetites, which requires going deeper in God. It also requires recovering a theology of creation that accurately defines salvation as the restoration of God’s spiritual, intellectual, creative, relational and moral image imprinted on humans, instead of defining salvation as protection against hell. Hans Rookmaaker said Jesus didn’t come to make us Christian, Jesus came to make us 'fully human.' Those who are fully human have no appetite for the crap pumped out in culture and the Christian subculture. Fully human—created in the image of God—such souls hunger for God and a richer culture and set about producing it. This remnant of fully human individuals is the hope."
-Dick Staub

Thursday, June 04, 2009

what to do when "nothing at all Christian about this man's action..."

Gotta love a (1999) book that begins:

"Rarely, if ever, in the annals of human history, have so many with so much to give to their society actually given so little and done it so maladroitly as have American Christians over the past fifty years. Speaking as only one Christian, I feel the need to apologize."

Even more shocking is the inner flap that declares it is "Briner's posthumous book" !!

I do wonder though, if Briner, the lion-teddy bear behind ""Roaring Lambs," and this uh, posthumous sequel, "Final Roar," had not died in 1999, Squint would not have imploded.

And we wouldn't need this book clamant call a decade later!

"If Squint works, it could help change the focus of Christian music companies. So far it's worked pretty well."
(p, 145)

Bad news. It continued to work well for a few months after Briner passed, and then it was eaten by the Matrix.

Here we are.

But back to 1999.

No surprise I found the book on a discount rack at a Christian bookstore.
Better news: it's a penny on Amazon.


The 1999 Presidential Prayer Breakfast, of all events, was the occasion for another debacle for American Christians requiring another apology from sensitive believers. This time, the leader of the so-called Christian Coalition refused to attend the breakfast because Yasir Arafat, the PLO leader,was going to be in attendance.

This is an event where Scripture is read, where sincere prayers for our nation and leaders are prayed (well., maybe , some insincere, showboating prayers are also prayed....It is one of the last major national events where Scripture is honored and prayer is seen as something real and efficacious, For the egregious state of affairs Christians all over the nation need to apologize to our contemporaries fpr the thoughtlessness of one of our number.

You don't have to be any sort of theologian or Bible student to know there is nothing at all Christian about this mans' action....It is roughly akin to holding a revival meeting, and then when unbelievers show up, the very people for whom the event is produced, the organizers boycott it!..

No one needs to blast the head of this organization. What is needed when one of these shameful distorting events happens, which they do far too often, is for every Christian to feel the need to correct it where they live. For some this would be with fellow workers, our barber or beauty operator, or neighbor.....op-ed pieces in major publications should be the norm..Again, it is not necesary to attack the perpetrator, but it is very necessary to attack the errors and mispreceptions...

The basic, undberlying, perplexing problem with (this episode) is that it demonstrates two
of the very biggest failures of American Christians vis-a-vis our fellow citizens: the designation of those with whom we disagree as enemies, and allowing ourselves to be tagged as something other than simply followers of Christ..

Obedeient Christians do not have enemies, and cannot see anyone else as an enemy..
I believe the enemies referred to in the fifth chapter of Matthew are not people Christians are to see as enemies but rather those who see Christians as enemies...

Thinking Christians should be quick to voice concern to the leaders of those very worthy ministries we do support when we see then drifting into scrorekeeping and the purveying of overly negative views. Chuch Colson's Prison Fesllowhip and James Dobson's Focus on the Family ministries are both godly works led by two of our greatest evangelical lreaders. When Prison Fesllowhip stays true to its mission statenment and when Focus on the Family really does focus on the American Christian Family..theyy provide wondertful services...When they drift off into scorekeeping, the purveying of overly negative news, and the creation of enemies, they need to be called into account..

The only enemies obedient Christians are oermitted to have are those who see us as enemies, and we are to love and pray for them. The only labels or tags Christians need tiohave are those that designate us as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The others load us up with baggage we don't need and cant use."

(25, 35)

We miss you, Bob.

Makes you wonder he was sill here, Chuck Colson might not have written his "shameful and distorting" letter ("You don't have to be any sort of theologian or Bible student to know there is nothing at all Christian about this mans' action") to Christianity Today...or at least would have apologized.

He never wrote back to me, for some reason.

I don't feel too bad, though, he never wrote back to Brian McLaren, either.

And he's not my enemy, even though I hope to continuallyy apologize for him in the gracious Briner-recommended


pastor: leader or shepherd?

Scott Cormode:
'Should a pastor be an entrepreneurial leader or a loving shepherd,' the popular Christian magazine asked, 'a person who casts a vision or cares for broken people? The editors had assembled a special issue on leadership development and they wished to know which leadership style was more appropriate for a minister. So they set up a debate. The first..
continued here

Thanks to Len for finding this.