Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dylan :"these are people that aren’t familiar with the Book of Acts"

Amazing new interview with Dylan in the new Rolling Stone..including his thoughts on his being transfigured!

It's not online. but here are some excerpts; thanks to David Zahl, who notes that  Dylan "stands almost prophetically outside of time and circumstance. The man thinks in eternal terms":

Do you ever worry that people interpreted your work in misguided ways? For example, some people still see “Rainy Day Women” as coded about getting high.

  It doesn’t surprise me that some people would see it that way. But these are people that   aren’t familiar with the Book of Acts…

When you say religious songs…

Newly written songs, but one that are traditionally motivated.

More like “Slow Train Coming”?

       No. No. Not at all. They’re more like “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”

No kind of life is fulfilling if your soul hasn’t been redeemed…

...These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil m-----s can rot in hell. 

See also:

The Dark Side of Dylan | Christianity Today Yes, his new album delves deeply into the shadows. But then, so does the gospel. by John J. Thompson


Bob Dylan: a pilgrim caught in a Tempest byJohn J. Thompson


Dylan at the Foot of the Cross :Longtime disciple? Converted soldier? Secular prophet? The questions linger as the troubadour turns 70.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Einstein's Jewish Science

'Einstein's Jewish Science:Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion":  


"Steve Gimbel discusses the idea that people love Albert Einstein because he represents the notion of intellectual cosmopolitanism; each of us has a perspective that has some access to insight.":

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Unleader: Reclaiming Leadership and Why We Must."

I have been looking/praying for some books on  Christian leadership for the next time I teach Christian leadership.

The key  problem here is that such is not a biblical least as usually defined.

The key good news is I have a great book to use...and it is biblically refined.

I heartily recommend  Lance Ford's "Unleader: Reclaiming Leadership and Why We Must."

An encouraging aside: Other books in  this vein  are on the way. Richard Kriegbaum (who wrote  the first book on Christian leadership which is primarily prayer...hmmm)'s next book is dedicated to Christian followership (Full disclosure: Kriegbaum is my father-in law, but  who else is even writing on followership?) .

 Lance Ford's brave volume must be wrestled with: yet I  can only dread how many who need this book will  write it off before reading it.  The equally brave Beacon Hill Press must be thanked; I can only imagine how many Christian publishers did (or would have) turned it down for a well-meaning but dead-wrong reason.

You see, the book, though very pastoral and gracious,  pulls no punches on questioning the status quo:

"Twice as many books on Christian leadership are available on as compared to titles on discipleship...I have not found one Christian book on serving as a coveted position in and of itself. When they do  get close to it, authors....cannot hep themselves but to use  the phrase 'servant-leader.'...
Perhaps the biggest mix-up concerning the current leadership obsession is that Jesus himself directly contradicts much--if not most--of what is being imported into the church under the leadership mantra.  Better put, much of it is expressly forbidden  by Jesus.  Cam you imagine the apostle Paul hosting a leadership conference for the early church with a lineup of speakers such as Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus...?"  (pp.20-21)

Neither can I.

But neither can I imagine a church culture that  basically fears/refuses even the considering of such questions.  That is the day we live in.

By the way, Ford is clear:. "This book is not about eliminating leadership in the church. Far from that.."  The book is a clamant wake-up and shake up call to a  "redefining and recalibrating leadership according to 'Jesusian' coordinates."  (p.21)

Suffice to say the comments about "Jesus jerks" simply must be read ( p. 71 ). This hilario-tragic analysis summaries how deep the rabbit hole goes.  I am afraid I recognize myself   in it!

The quotes so far have been from the first and "descriptive" half of the book, "Abandoning Leadership."  But even this section is not all detox and critique, and very balanced.

The second, prescriptive, half is prophetic, practical, and worthy of reading thrice before coming to a judgement.

A few starter quotes to wholly and holy provoke:

"following  him means seeking to be servants, not leaders.  Then,  when we do lead , it is  born from the person of Jesus  (85)..."

"Leadership is the fruit not the tree."  (p.86)

Don't even get me started on a sentence (p. 164) you have never heard before:

"Jesus was a follower."

And my favorite, related to the what I have often blogged on, as  "All American pastors know that  the Bible knows nothing of a weekly meeting where a pastor preaches a sermon.":.

"No pattern is found of a single-decider leadership the New  Testament.  The notion of a single leader  overseeing a church has no foundation in the New Testament  (121).


But this is what even those of us who know better (all of us!) we do by default if not design.


I am tempted to quote the section on the senior pastor and sola pastora .  But instead, sell everything you have,  buy thirty copies of the book for senior pastor friends  and immediately have all read page 144.

They may hate you, or argue violently, but I dare anyone to argue the case Ford makes.

Bottom line to underline:

"The  'not so among you; declaration by Jesus pushes us  into the reign of love--the domain of his kingdom--a different kingdom from the domain of humans." (p.87)


Once you have finished the book, especially if you are still unconvinced, start here:

-- Re-read the C/S. Lewis  quote on page 72, and let it read you,

---Take the  simple, and simply profound, self-analysis  on page  87

---prayerfully and carefully weigh the book's Scriptural studies

Then you'll be ready to

-order those twenty nine additional copies

-order your "associate pastor" business cards (see p. 144)

-host the first (first annual, at least) "Christian servanthood conference."

Somebody's got to do it.

It might as well be a new unleader like you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

the xx: "respectful, almost ethical... structural architecture"

Intriguing band...

NY Times article:


"Lowercase Minimalists"

-The New York Times By 

Not that you can tell from a quick glance. Mr. Smith and Mr. Sim got two small X’s on their inner wrists, and Ms. Croft, an X on each outer wrist. They are loyal, not ostentatious.
Such small gestures speak loudly, like most things in the xx universe. “Coexist” (Young Turks/XL), which will be released on Tuesday, is as insular and micro as ambitious pop music can be. The group has built its own idiosyncratic musical grammar, one in which each element stands on its own and commands attention, in gothic-electronic soul songs that are sometimes not much more than collections of hushes and gasps, brought together at an oozing pace.
This is music as structural architecture, like buildings at the steel girders and concrete phase, long before anyone picks out sink fixtures or doorknobs. And yet, what the xx makes is unmistakably pop music, even absent 95 percent of the usual component parts that would usually go into such a venture. Ms. Croft and Mr. Sim are slinky if chilly singers and songwriters, always aiming for the most efficient path to feeling. And Mr. Smith glues it all together, which is impressive, given how few elements he typically works with — trebly guitars that appear to be melting in real time, a spare four-on-the-floor beat, and that’s about it.
“It was an aesthetic that came out of the only way we knew how to make music, which was live,” Mr. Smith said last month, in the bar of the Bowery Hotel in the East Village, on a damp afternoon in between area concerts.
“There was only ever three or four things that could actually be going on at the same time,” he continued. “We didn’t want to add anything in the studio. If anything, in the studio we’re always just taking things away.”
The xx is all negative space, reminiscent of how some early Rick Rubin productions were billed as “reduced,” not produced. All the parts can be heard, nothing competes for attention.
It’s respectful, almost ethical. This is how friends treat one another, allowing one another to be heard. In person the band members are quiet and gentle, in keeping with...continued here

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Worshp 101 videos by Seedbed

Click here to see the entire list of videos (including "Worship and Mexican Food," "Doughnut Churches" and "Ranting and Raving on Worship").. ...Or play all episodes in order below:

Seven Minute Seminary: Romans

"How does Paul frame salvation in the book of Romans, and what do ethnicity and the historical circumstances of the 1st century have to do with it?  Seven Minute Seminary by Craig Keener.

NT Wright on women as pastors/bishops

Article: NT Wright’s Women’s Service in the Church: The Biblical Basis.
 Video: below

HT: Pangea

"How could girls invent something so technical?"

nvisible Bicycle Helmet' Acts Like an Air Bag Focus Forward Films documentary shows The Hovding, invented by two women in Sweden

"The Roots of The Matrix"

Monday, September 03, 2012

language, literalists and lemmings

Eugene Peterson in conversation, see video from 13:58ff (same great interview with  the "Who's Bono?" line, section right before this).  Context is "translation is betrayal":

  • EP: "..the worst translations are those that try to be literal"
  • Interviewer: "Wasn't it Luther who said, "Literalists are lemmings'"?
  • EP: "That's right... We're translating all the time. Preachers translate Scripture every time they preach. Reading is a type of translating. I have come to believe that people who call for "literal" translations prefer unthinking to thinking. "

"you'll surely have to work down to me someday"

new song: "Narrow Way" by Bob Dylan;
complete audio here

I'm gonna walk across the desert, 'til I'm in my right mind.
I won't even thing about, what I left behind
Nothing back there anyway, that I can call my own
Go back home, leave me alone
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

Ever since the British, burned the White House down
There's a bleeding wound, in the heart of town
I saw you drinking, from an empty cup
I saw you buried, and I saw you dug up
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

Look down angel, from the skies
Help my, weary soul to rise
I kissed her cheek, I dragged your plow
You broke my heart, I was your friend 'til now.
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

In the courtyard, of the golden sun
You stand and fight, or you break and run
You went and lost, your lovely head
For a drink of wine, and a crust of bread
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

We neutered(?) and we plundered, on distant shores
Why is my share, not equal to yours
Your father left you, your mother too
Even death has, washed it's hands of you
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

This is hard country, to stay alive in
Blades are everywhere, and they're breaking my skin
I'm armed to the hilt, and I'm struggling hard
You won't get out, of here unscarred.
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

You got too many lovers, waiting at the wall
About a thousand tons, I couldn't count them all
Yesterday, I could've thrown them all in the sea
Today, even one, may be too much for me
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

Can't walk them baby, you could do no wrong
Put your arms around me, where they belong
I won't take you under, for the ghost to ride(?)
Lay my hands all over ya, tie you to my side
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

I've got a heavy stacked woman, with a smile on her face
And she has crowned, my soul with grace
Im still hurting from an arrow, that pierced my chest
I'm gonna have to take my head, and bury it between your breasts
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

Been dark all night, but now it's dawn
The moving finger, is moving on
You can guard me, while I sleep
Piss away, the tears I weep
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

I love women, and she loves men
We've been to the west, and we going back again
I heard a voice, at the dusk of day
Saying, "Be gentle brother, be gentle and pray."
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I cant work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday

doesn't EVERYBODY like these facebook pages?