Sunday, July 31, 2011

"God look you full in the face and make you prosper" -Paul "work in progress" Hewson

Last night of the tour...

"My name is Bono, and I am a work in progress.  Lord, you know that!" (1:27ff below):

For the first time,  LARRY  had the last word (5:06ff) of the concert (not just the last drumbeat of '40": "Thank you Moncton. God bless you guys.  Good night."

Bono's last words, video 3:18ff, video below:

"God bless you, keep you.
God smile on you, and gift you/
God look  you full in the face
and make you prosper"
(it's Numbers 6:24-26, the priestly blessing(from The Message Bible of course...translation by Bono's other pastor)


Friday, July 29, 2011

Sarcastic Lutheran and Colbert on Lord of the Rings

--Sarcastic Lutheran:

My favorite characters in the Lord of the Rings are the Ents.  These were an ancient race of giant living talking breathing trees in Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  So I have a little confession to make: whenever I hear that reading we just heard from Isaiah 55 where it says The mountains and hills before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. I always picture the Giant Ents from Lord of the Rings.  And then I picture these clapping trees from Isaiah holding little Hobbits in their branch arms in what ends up bring a willful conflation of Middle Earth and Major Prophet.  I suppose to some people that might feel wrong.  Maybe a little like the visitor we had at Pentecost who was greatly dismayed at some people snickering during the reading from Acts.  You know, the one where Peter stands up and tells the crowd that clearly these men couldn’t be drunk since it’s only 9 o’clock in the morning.  Every year people laugh at that. My guess is because every year it’s funny.  But laughing in church can dismay some folks because sometimes it feels like religion has become more about decorum than delight.  It’s so often more about judgment than joy.
-link, Sermon on Isaiah 55, The Parable of the Sower and those big talking trees form Lord of the Rings
-- Colbert::

Monday, July 25, 2011

review: "Into God's Presence" by Liz Babbs

(a version of this review appears on Amazon here)

Liz Babbs, as this photo taken when she spoke for our church attests, is a saint.

Only a saint could open a book with:

"It's hard enough to pray, anyway.   Do I really need another book to make me feel guilty about my prayer life?"

What she has written instead is the definitive popular-level primer/ introduction to Christian meditative prayer; what she has written is  "Into God's Presence: Listening to God through Prayer and Meditation".

And kudos for more honesty: "The books I found on [meditation] were complicated, inaccessible....I wanted a simple 'how to' guide without any jargon....that fitted my lifestyle, not the lifestyle of a monk or a man." (p. 12).  Please don't read from that that this is a woman's book, or directed primarily at women.  It is not at all, it is simply one that she wrote from a place that resonated with her, and this approach delightfully makes the whole work more accessible to all (the more personalized/local, the more universal, as I learned from Andy ( as I posted elsewhere: "A pastor friend from a small town  [Andy] once shared his hesitancy to broadcast his sermons on the radio, as the references and st ries seemed so local and limited.  But he soon found that 'the more specific I was, the more universal the message was".  This brings the emotional narrative arc within reach of us all, and   touch and heal us in places we may not have known needed it".  See this for more on Andy) .  I am a man, and not a monk...and I loved this book.  Maybe women are far better at being honest...honestly! (By the way,  if you want another good prayer book by a woman, that is also not a  woman's prayers book, try out Margaret Feinberg's "Sacred Echo" and it's equally honest statements like "Though I pray repetitively, vehemently, I hear the thick silence, like that which follows the dropping of a heavy, leather-bound book onto a hard, wooden library floor."

Babbs helpfully defines meditation as a subset of prayer: "Christian meditation is a deep form of prayer that can lead to direct communion with God." (p. 15),  Her Celtic-sensitive approach (see her "Celtic Treasure"; but know that  Celtic Christianity is not at all a topic  in the book under discussion) allows her to approach meditation holistically and Hebraically.....and above all, honestly.

And honestly, honesty is a rare trait in books about prayer and meditation.

That she is candid about her own vulnerabilities, and the ironic circumstances of burnout while writing the book ("My Diary of Burnout," see pp. 142-145), wonderfully strengthens the book, and endears us toi her.

That she navigates complex theological concepts related to meditation; concepts that entire graduate classes are devoted to (Lectio Divina, p. 82.; Ignatian spirituality, especially how to use creative imagination  to meditate on  a Scripture like The Prodigal Son, p. 86-90),  and simplifies their explanations  and essence without cheapening their profundity for the sake or practicality is a  vital gift.

That she is (and her evangelical publisher, Zondervan) not afraid of what some would see as theological red flags (her complete healing from ME, or what we call in the US chronic fatigue syndrome/CFS; a visit to the Toronto Blessing, p. 69) is refreshing.  I also must thank Zondervan for not censoring the word "bastard" (p. 69), as that word alone, and its potentially shame,  is embedded in a story that is humbly honest and hugely healing.   Her theology is balanced and biblical, but also boldly gentle.

Suffice to say this book is strongly recommended, and will be included in the discipleship curriculum of our congregation. But a couple quotes I particularly enjoyed:

"Jesus could have healed many more people and been far busier....but he chose to listen to his Father and do what he said..His ministry was punctuated by withdrawal.  That was his action plan for effective ministry."  (p. 29) In this and other sections, she dismantles and deconstructs our idolatry of busy-ness.   The book itself is creatively framed by an inclusio: at the beginning (p. 17) she runs together a whole paragraph without spaces or punctuation, which she types out with spaces at the end, (pp, 183-184)so that we can read it, get it...and also get the point that we are far too overloaded, and need the punctuation and full stops of Christian meditation.

 I also  loved her testimony of "retreat on the streets."   "Jesus identified with those on the margins of society, and  we are called to do the same." No believer would argue with that thesis, how many of us have  intentionally experimented with"wandering the streets...{and} sensing God's heart for people." (p, 159).  This is what we call in our flock, "missional monastism," and key to a nondualistic meditation and biblical worldview.

One minor quibble; not with the content of the book, but with the way the publisher didn't "translate" several Britishisms (like "holiday," p, 148; and British spellings like "centre," p. 150 "programme," p. 161) in the American edition.  This would be a simple correction in any future editions.  I would hate for any Americans (or any non-British) to miss the point of some of her most helpful analogies and ideas; notably the "Who's in the Driving Seat-You Or God?" section (pp. 31-34, and note even in that title is a Brtishism, as Americans say "driver's seat").  The real problem is most Americans don't know that what we call the "trunk" of a car is a "boot" in the U.K (p. 142).   And I had to look up "M.O.T," (p. 150: "Going on retreat is a little like booking your car for an MOT." This is incomprehensible to Americans). Though I could figure out what it meant by the context, I had never heard of  it (It's "Ministry of Transport," and is an annual test of car safety in the U.K.)

Thanks St. Liz, for this valuable  Kingdom resource: a highly practical primer in something so basic to Christian spirituality, but so little practiced: Christian prayer and  meditation.

Nooma on steroids for Lutherans

This guy  (Jonathan Fisk) of
is nuts, manic (or at least his video persona is... Nooma on steroids for Lutherans).and often really good.
He can be annoying, not just for the pace of the video editing, but for the neo-Reformed tendency to see Arminianism as the enemy, etc..

\But, see for example, the great insight that "They worshipped him...and they doubted" could well be the intent of Matthew 28's Greek:

Or the insights into chiasm:

see also:

It's 2012 and I Feel Fine



yes, this is for real: video of prayer at NASCAR event

Do not delay. watch this now:

Thanks to Hacking Christianity 
for finding this, and also linking  us to this, which may be the source of one of the lines ("smokin' hot wife) in the NASCAR PRAYER...or did the NASCAR pastor steal it from Ignatius?

Peter Rollins on the rapture: subverting CHICK tracts

The Rapture from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

Pastor Gaga: "Jesus loves every {expletive deleted] one of you!” -- Congregation: "and also with you"

image credit
Here's a really great post by Peter Kline  comparing the liturgical flow of U2 and Lady Gaga concerts..

 Beth tipped us off  to the Kline article  with some  very helpful comments of her own.

To catch what the Rev. Lady Gaga does see as her purpose in life, as well as in the liturgical flow of her show, watch  this video interview,  3:334ff  when Barbara Walters asks, "What's the biggest misconception about you?"



U2 Elevator Music


we're not in PurposeDriven anymore, Toto...

I love University Christian Fellowship in one of my former hometowns, Syracuse, NY.
If you've never read their "order of worship," you are missing a real treat: hilarious and profound. It's here.
I dare you NOT to love them after you've read that!

And check out their Directional Document for 2011, which came out of their Strategic Planning Retreat.  Suffice to say while many churches come out of visioning retreats with ten year plans, programs laid out, and million dollar in "biotic" churches is a bit more organic and messy.  It's a PDF, here.


The Evil of Steering Cats: L. Sweet and R. McNeal

Jeremy Myers on inspiration of Scripture

A series of provocative posts by Jeremy Myers on the theology of inspiration of Scripture:

Bono: "I feel like a parish priest in this moment.."

Any pastor or priest who has a string of announcements to make can relate.  See  1:49-2:07 in video below.

Bono asks Adam (associate pastor) , or someone stage left, "What else [am I forgetting]?..  I feel like a parish priest in this moment."  Then he gets a bit annoyed, muttering, "I know, I know, I know...sheesh!"  when he is actually reminded of something he had already remembered).

You know, churchfolk, when we up front ask "What announcements am I forgetting." we don't really want to know (:

By the way, for the best church announcements ever, click:

Virgin Sacrifices...That's "postmodern" worship!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"a church that throws birthday parties for whores? i'd go to a church like that!~"

-"what kind of church do you preach at?"
-"the kind of a church that throws birthday parties for whores at

 3:30 in the morning in diners.."---


Click  this   to hear a great line that Campolo once said to me and my buddy Ellis.




"and in this vision, I angel wearing a beanie, creating chaos with a host of crazy harmonies"

Bono, introducing band members in Minneapolis:

"It’s amazing to be on stage with these people; really amazing.
At the end of the last show I thought I heard thunder and saw lightning flash from behind me,
I thought I'd been a truck had hit me
I thought Mike Tyson had hit me,
but it was none of these things

but it was Larry Mullen playing the drums.

Then, lo, I felt the ground shaking beneath my feet and i thought it was an earthquake
,,but  when I looked around it was the handsome Adam Clayton on bass, a force of nature.

Then I also saw angels, some friendly, some wearing beanies.. but all creating chaos with a host of crazy harmonies. Turned out it wasn’t angels at was The Edge on guitar and everything else…

And then I heard the voice of God .. and you know what God said?
He said, 'If you think you’re having fun now, wait till you get to Minneapolis…The end of tour party starts here…’'


Edge isn't an angel, but he made one, story here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

when Bono "smiles ever so slighty," something's up

Image from this link
I love that someone who is "not a religious person," picked up on what has long been one of my favorite U2 moments where Bono seems to let God take over prophetically (moments where you can give a minute and second mark on a YouTube U2 clip, and watch God about to show up/off...see, for just one  of many examples on this blog, "Rabbi Chazat Bono is hungry, so he pulls a nigun")

I'm not a religious person but sometimes a song -- or a single performance -- will make me want to believe. Not in an abstract, "religious experience" kind of way. No, I'm talking, "throw out the old worldview and embrace a new set of truths."

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, George Clooney and producer Joel Gallen quickly organized a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the attacks and their families. Airing Sept. 21, 2001, America: A Tribute To Heroes featured performances by a broad range of artists while actors and other notables offered short, spoken messages. It was, of course, a solemn affair, with no applause and no commercial interruptions.

U2 appeared early in the broadcast, joining the event from a soundstage in London, where it was already well past midnight. Looking bleary-eyed and perhaps a bit shell-shocked, they opened with a verse of "Peace On Earth" and then launched into a blistering performance of "Walk On," with Eurythmics' Dave Stewart providing additional guitar and backing vocals.

The performance ached with a sense of loss, but something happened with the "leave it behind" coda and the "Hallelujah" chorus. In this YouTube video, at about the 4:33 mark Bono smiles ever so slightly, as if some kind of weight has been lifted. A moment later he sings a new, improvised line against the stirring choruses of "Hallelujah" from Edge and Stewart, joined now by Natalie Imbruglia, Morleigh Steinberg and another singer. "I'll see you when I get home," he cries, shaking off all the sorrow and anguish of the rest of the song... -Gary Boas, continued.

sets: extrinsic/intrinsic; Greek/Hebrew

In a volume ("Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change") that is a culmination of many of his areas of study,
Paul Hiebert expands previous teaching on set theory (Bounded sets, centered sets, fuzzy sets) to break sets down into extrinsic and intrinsic.

See also "new nets: intrinsic or extrinsic sets?"

David Livermore, in "Cultural Intelligence:; Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World," picks up on this, suggesting  bounded sets as Greek, centered sets as Hebrew:

"it'll be so cool just to come to church, and not have to speak..."

We loved having Liz Babbs speak at our church this summer, we just so related to her message, her honesty, her insights and wisdom.  What a great word she gave!

Then we find out a week later that she had no idea she was expected to speak until she got there.. it was all a misunderstanding...which makes her message far more imprssive.

Liz is a Zondervan author from England, who was in town for the Celtic Ceili that Keltic Ken et al hosted.   I had told Ken that we would love to have her sepak Sunday morning, if he felt like he could ask her. At that event Saturday night, I said to the Keltics, "I'll bet Liz was awesome last night in southern California."  They said, "Oh yes, and she's going to be awesome tomorrow for our church, too!":  I was ecstatic: "You mean, you guys asked her to come speak, and she said 'yes'\"?

As you heard, she did an incredible job that Sunday morning.
And the next week, she sends a message to Ken, saying we might want to show the following clip (from a British TV show, "Miranda") in church..because it was kind of how she felt....thinking she was just coming to visit, and not planning to speak (:

It's a great clip...and Liz is greater:

audio interview with Dallas Elder by Laura Beth Jones: "The Value Giver"

Listen to internet radio with Laurie Beth Jones on Blog Talk Radio


Thanks to the amazing and avuncluar (literally, to my kids) Arnold for tipping me off to Alan Kirby's work on post-postmodernism.

In this 2006 article, he called our era "pseeudo-modernism":

The Death of Postmodernism And Beyond

Start with that article, plenty to wrestle with.

 That article eventually birthed the book "Digimodernism" (the name he later settled on for our era.  Google Preview here, full title: Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture

==From a review/summary:

What is this digimodernism? Put simply, it is the impact of computerization on all forms of art, culture and textuality. It is also the dominant cultural force field of the 21st century, the successor to a postmodernism which reigned supreme throughout the 1980s and 1990s but is now widely felt to have had its day.--

Postmodernism is out, digimodernism is in


PS ..A blog post by the author:

,,digimodernism does not choose to focus on either time or space in this manner, but that it combines and enmeshes two relatively new definitions of both. "Real time" and "cyberspace" are the twin axes of digimodernism. The digimodern appears at the intersection of the two. It's not so much a matter of choosing one term or the other, but first redefining then superimposing them. -Alan Kirby, Of space and time

theories of atonement: "all i know is it gives us a better picture"

Years ago, Robert Short wrote "The Gospel According to Peanuts" and "The Parables of Peanuts."
A lot of theological reflection in the books, actually.
(Click the titles for previews).

Here are two of my favorite Peanuts cartoons reflected on, I often use the first in classes after someone has answered a question completely and profoundly.  I use the second to talk about theories of the atonement (although with technology shift since the cartoon was released, there will be young people who don't fully  get the reference).

Click cartoons to enlarge

יעל נעים‎ (Yael Naim) sings in a bathroom: "Come Home"

Yael Naim, Come Home :
I'm flying far away to be really free
Tired hard to build myself independently
It's hard to always do what you expect from me
Saying come home
Come home

I try to understand why it hurts you

#08 Yael Naïm | SCENE DE BAIN ( Francofolies2011 ) by scenedebain
To see a difference in our points of view
Don't blame me for a thing that I didn't do
saying come home
Come home

It's insane
How feeling so much shame Will only bring you pain

And I no longer know how to explain
See I'm happy as can be
And you're my family, my ground
And I'm just hoping one day I will find you

You're holding back the tears when you kiss me
Smile smile when I'm back again as you see me
When years are passing by and you miss me
You're saying come home
Come home

Such a shame
You're feeling so much blame And yet I'm still the same
And I no longer know how to explain
See I'm grateful as can be
'Cause your my family, I'm bound
And I'm just hoping one day
you will shine through

Let's try to look at each other
Find one other
Asking how can it be fighting out all that we see
Is just not always what is real

That you come home
Come home
Just come home
Come home
My turn to understand what you lived through
Today I only feel how i miss you so it's only fair, when it's hard to bare
and you ask if I, I try to come home
Come home
She Was A Boy by yaelnaim

Friday, July 15, 2011

worship = singing?

image borrowed from the post, "Cavinism as 'The Big Tent?'"

Not long ago, our church had some documents to fill out for the IRS  (Why in the world is church connecting with IRS?..  But that's another post and topic for another day).  So I said to one of our leadership team, "can we have you sign a form after worship?"

Later, as we were signing, she said "I wondered wbat happened.  You said we should sign  after worship, so when we didn't sign after worship, I figured you forgot."

I had ansolutely no idea what she meant.

Then it hit me.  In many circles (and in her previous chiurch, the songs that are sung early in the gatherings  are called "worship" or the "worship time" or "worship songs."  So she thought i meant "after the music," and I meant "after the gathering (Of course, my definition was ecen more problematic)..

It is unbelievable that so few ever even notice, let alone challenge, this common practice in contemporary church.  As I blogged a few years ago:

A strange shift began about fifteen years ago,

Ask most evangelical or charismatic Christians in USAmerica about the place of "worship"
in a gathering. For some strange reason, the word has come to be synonymous with "the songs sung early in the meeting."

"Good morning! After the worship, the children will be dismissed, and Pastor Steve will share from God's word"

We even call the person leading the singing the "worship leader."
Whazzup with that?

Of course, this definition is foreign to Scripture, and to the church in all history and places..until our lifetime in the ... continued

So I was thrilled to catch Dan Kimball's post below (the "worship=music" reference is so accepted and entrenched that in spite of this post below, Kimball has another post called new worship music "Radiant")
I would love to get this topic on the table. It's not just semantics.  Well, actually it IS..but semantics matters.


Should the church accountant be the one called the "worship pastor"?

Accountant The title of this blog post and question that I ask is not one I am totally serious about - and not really suggesting we actually do call the accountant the worship pastor. But I do have the question of how we have overwhelmingly defined "worship" to primarily be music and singing.
I have become very aware of the power of words—and the power of defining words. In the Christian culture we have created I don't believe we can ever assume anymore when we say the terms "gospel", "Jesus", "salvation", "inspired",  "evangelical", "evangelism", "missional" etc. we all mean the same thing. I have learned (and sometimes the hard way) that you need to be asking definitions of terms with specific meaning to understand how someone else uses a term that may differ from your definition. 

One of these terms is "worship". 

If you were to ask most teenagers and young adults what comes to their minds when they hear the word "worship" it will likely be singing. I understand why they do, as we have pretty much defined worship to them over the past 20 years or more as worship = singing. Now it is totally true that we worship as we sing. But that is only one aspect of worship. We have subtly taught (in my opinion) a reductionist view of worship limiting it primarily to music and singing as what defines the word and practice.

I try to pay attention to reasons why we define worship mainly as music these days. And it is not too difficult to discover. What do we call the person in a church who leads the band or singing? It is normally the "worship pastor" or "worship leader". When our music leaders say, "Let's now worship," that is when the singing begins. When a sermon begins or when the offering is received we often don't say ""Let's now worship" like we do when the singing starts. When we think of Sunday gatherings of the church and when does worship happen, we generally think of the singing - not the teaching or the sacrifice of people who are worshiping by volunteering time in the children's ministry or other things happening. You look the Christian albums and as we call them "Best of Worship" or "Worship Greatest Hits"  that reinforce the idea that music is the primary—or even only—form of worship. I just read on a Facebook post how a group was bringing in a guest person to "lead worship" and of course this guest person was a musician.We constantly, constantly reinforce by how we use that word casually all the time that it primarily means music and singing.  
"Should the church accountant be the one called the "worship pastor"? " »

I Love what St. Mark Thomas posted on my original post:

Mark Thomas said... 

I teach a lot of younger people about worship and what it means. I usually start in the Old Testament and end somewhere in Revelation (chapter 4 or 5) are great examples of crazy and wild "throne room" worship. One thing that I always stress is that worship is not exclusively music. That worship can happen anywhere and not just the first 20-40 minutes of a Sunday/Saturday/Wednesday church service. In fact, there is no such thing as a "worship song"! A song is simply a song, a tool. One must be in the attitude and in the Spirit for the song to be even used in worship. Otherwise it's nothing different than what we might hear on our top 40 radio stations on any given Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. Does anyone still listen to FM radio? Worship (and revelation) happens when we're in a place of incomprehension, bedazzlement, and transformation. It has to. What do you expect after meeting God face to face and giving Him all the glory? -Mark Thomas

Rev. Sinead O'Connor: "i plead the blood of Jesus over you.."

It's chilling  and perhaps inevitable that Sinead O'Connor finally  begin a new song ("Take Off Your Shoes" )with "I plead the blood of Jesus over you."
No surprise, as Godhaunted as she is (see: Sinead Holds Back the Night, and Sinead on "dictating when God can come out and St. Sinead the Smokin') 

But don't call Christian radio quite yet.

It's s not really a  surprise, but still a jolt to hear the next line:
"..and over every f___ing thing you do"

It's not a throwaway profanity,  but another protest against sexual abuse within the system:
In concert, she suggests this is how she imagines "The Holy Spirit would address the Vatican"  (a response to child abuse, etc).

If you've never heard an earlier prophetic prayer-song by Rev. Sinead, one that did actually get recorded (by David Crowder) on a Christian album, watch the first  two videos (safe for church) you're ready for the newer, edgier one under discussion, play the other videos (and see if your priest will allow it at mass...):

I plead the blood of Jesus over you
I plead the blood of Jesus over you
And over every f---ing thing you do
Seven times I plead the blood of Jesus over you

Take off your shoes - you're on hallowed ground
Even you can't lie when I'm around
Take off your shoes - you're on hallowed ground

Behold on the last lamp light at the very end of your street
I'm whispering something
Come closer to me
Come closer to me

I say you're running out of battery, you're running out of battery
And I don't see no bunnies around here

If you believed at all in your breviary, if you believed even in just the ghost of me, you wouldn't now be so surprised to see me

In vanity you took the name of me
You brought me into infamy
And now you're so surprised to see me, and now you're so surprised to see me

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stories are verbal acts of hospitality

"Story is the most natural way of enlarging and deepening our sense of reality, and then enlisting us as participants in it. 
Stories open doors to areas or aspects of life that we didn't know were there, or had quit noticing out of over-familiarity, or supposed were out-of-bounds for us.
They then welcome us in.
Stories are verbal acts of hospitality."

thinking about thinking about thinking

Two good books:
  • "Everyday Survival:Why Smart People Do Stupid Things" by Laurence Gonzales
  • "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell

It would be an oversimplification to say "think before you think" is the motto of the first, and "don't think before you think" is the motto of the second, but that will get you started thinking about how these two books can complement and dovetail each other; it's refreshing to read them in tandem.

Book overview
Google Books Preview


What is Blink about?
Blink-Google Books Preview

Jesus and the Machine

>>Ever felt like the internet was "Big Brother?"

>>Ever feel like the Christian music industry is sometimes a machine?(See   "You only love me for my machine." , Art/Empire/Industry & "AntiMechanistic Gospel",  Maybe that's why country music sucks",  The machine strikes again CCM makes you lie and  machine economy)

Take some time with the song"br0thr," which fits brilliantly in the story of the new Violet Burning concept album.

The song is below, and here is some helpful background info, see the first comment there, it's by bandleader Michael J. Pritzl. 1-05 br0thr PT 1 by thevioletburning
From Phantom Tollbooth:
in “brothr part 1,” against a mechanical Stephen Hawking-type voice, Pritzl sings, “We met them in Nashville / Distribution knows just what you need /’We’ll make you safe for the whole family’ /Sing 'Jesus' a few more times /and we’ll all make a whole lot of money / Brother will guide you.” It is hard to hear this without thinking of Roger Waters, partly because of the vocal sound and partly the experience Pink Floyd had of the music machine (“The band is just fantastic… by the way, which one’s Pink?”). link

Here's part 2:
1-09 br0thr pART 2 by thevioletburning

Michael talks some more about these themes in our interview with him here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

more synesthesia: Cytowic et al

Cirque du U2

Second Montreal show: More evidence that Bono sees himslef as the clown (see " Bono: "Don't lose your faith in this holy clown ...")
in the improv prayer he sings in "Moment of Surrender":
We’ve taken our space station around the world,’ reflected Bono. ‘We’re nearly home, we’re going to have to find something else to do.
‘When we were kids joining U2 was like running away with the circus, maybe we need to find another circus…’
In the home city of Cirque du Soleil, ‘maybe there are a few jobs going’.  After all, Larry is a ‘fire-eater, a sword-swallower, the world’s strongest man.’ Adam? ‘The bearded lady…’  Edge? ‘Trapeze artist, high-wire act… and I will play the clown.’

See also:

GEEZ:adbusters, culture jamming, holy fools

Bazan box by David Bazan

Saturday, July 09, 2011

let your spire so they can see it at Denny's

"Holy crap!"

I confess.
Those are the words that slipped out of my mouth the first time I saw it.

I immediately repented...but somehow those words seemed the only possible response to what I was seeing.  They were involuntary and inevitable (at least I didn't say this again)!

Here's a pic of exactly what I saw (I didn't take it, St. Skib did from the same location), but that cannot do justice to what it looks like/feels like the first time you see the U2 " Clawthedral 
of the Sagrada Familia"


Photo credit: skib

What I love about the view was the Denny's in the foreground.
There's something about this cathedral spire protruding past the top of the coliseum, beckoning  the diners at Denny's to experience something that is ...well, a word for the church:

Get your spire outta the box.

I imagine, in the words of "Moment of Surrender," that  some "passersby...did not notice" it.
But it nonetheless was inviting them to worship in public.

Of course, once one gets in the gate, and gets up close, it's even more impressive.The other volunteer I was with when we first got a closeup said to me "Isn't it f____ing amazing?"  (I love being with people who don't know I'm a pastor in these situations  (:.....)

Then once the show starts, the Claw has such a major part in the leitourgia..
One of my favorite moments to watch up close  (THIS close) in Oakland was the prophetic moment during "With or Without You" when Bono says "goodbye" to his suit of lights/celebrity status via surrendering his lighted suit to the "steering wheel/life preserver" microphone, which receives it and   (see this video below, starting at 3:36, where the cross on the wheel becomes obvious) elevates to the heavens....

...or at least to the ceiling of the Clawthedral, as I found out..
I snapped this pic (but failed to grab the camera with the zoom so you could actually see more than a dot (upper right) where the suit hangs..