Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What's your story?

Parenting the Heart - byFaith Online: "Every person adopts a "“story"” to explain his or her view of the world. All stories that rational people believe claim to explain human suffering and human happiness. In other words, if a story did not have some degree of plausibility and believability nobody would listen to it. Nobody gives their life to a story or a system they don't think works. And yet many 30, 40 or 50 year-old adults suddenly wake up one to realize they have been giving their lives to a system that had no possibility of making them happy.

What are the dominant stories in our culture today? What is competing with the Christian story for the allegiance of our children? What stories are capturing their hearts? Pat Morley outlined the following stories in his book for high school boys, The Young Man in the Mirror, which he adapted from Postman and Mardi Keyes.

The Story of the American Dream: Remember when you were in third grade and your teacher told you that someone in the class might grow up to be President one day? That'’s the American Dream. "
It goes on from there listing many other stories that compete with the Christian story in the minds of all Americans.

Definitely worth a read. Thanks again Cathy Groves. You need to start your own blog!

Code Tools

Campus Crusade has developed two tools to help students understand and explain the myriad errors in The Da Vinci Code.

They have rightly seen this as a great opportunity. The arrogance of Sir Leigh Teabing in the novel is a set up for the ignorant to trumpet claims of a conspiracy against the divine feminine by the Christian Church.

The reality is so devastating to Dan Brown's absurd novel that if properly explained it might shame some from ever questioning the veracity of the Bible again. It's humiliating being so wrong so many times and no one wants to be ridiculed. I can just hear students parroting Teabing as if he was a real person or claimed real history. When they find out that the Priory of Sion is a bald hoax, the dam of ignorance will crack and then a flood of errors, omissions and falsehoods will burst forth in deluge. Humiliations galore.

To aid this exercise in shaming the obstreperous, CCC has these resources.

The first is a mini-magazine that briefly and elegantly addresses issues in the book and film and offers an explanation of the gospel at the end. This is a great tool to hand someone with casual questions about the film or book.

The second is a brief narrative of 3 students investigating the claims of the movie and book and finding out what I mentioned above. It has enough details to satisfy the curious about the absurd claims of The Da Vinci Code but is an easy read and brief. It even has the famous quote from the Gospel of Thomas that should have been number one on the Constantinian Misogyny Hit Parade. Bwaaahaaa! But I digress.

I'll post more from my talk on the Code this last week as I have time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

United 93 and thoughts on Heroism

Kesher Talk: An army of Davids: Flight 93

The link above is a discussion of United 93. Read the discussion of this upcoming film and then tell me how it makes you feel. I am moved to tears by the trailer alone. I rarely attend a movie on opening night but I plan to be there for this one.

Those mentioned who question the veracity of the Flight 93 story seem to think that ordinary people are incapable of rising to such heroism in the face of certain death.

Flight 93 reminds me of an event from my childhood that remains vivid in my memory. I sat down on the coach next to may Dad and discovered that he was watching a terrible scene unfold on television. A plane had crashed into the Potomac River and there were poor souls drowning in the icy January river live on my TV set.

The camera focused on a woman who was freezing to death in the river. A life preserver was dropped down next to her from a helicopter above. The woman, freezing to death, could not grab the preserver and began to float away to her doom.

Suddenly, to my shock and amazement, a man on the bridge over the river jumped in the freezing water and helped the woman cling to the life preserver, saving her life.

My Dad looked at me and said, "If you were ever in that situation, what would you do?"

Through my mind ran both the deep desire to save the life of this poor woman and the fear of my own death. I paused, and said, "I don't know".

My Dad looked at me and smiled, "Good answer", he said. I realized even then that it would have been cowardly to say that I wouldn't risk my life in that hour of trial, yet arrogant to claim confidently that I would.

As I think on the passengers of Flight 93, I pray, with all the conviction and passion that I can muster in this present hour of comfort, that I would not be found wanting in an hour of life threatening sacrifice similar to the one that took their lives. I pray to the God of Abraham who sent his own son into that hour of sacrifice, that I would lay down my life when necessary in the last full measure of devotion.

I realize this might seem terribly grandiose, but the life that I live stands on the offering of Isaac, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Washington, the 20th Maine, Easy Company, Pat Tillman, Jeffrey Swanson and the brave souls of United 93. May I walk in their footsteps.

Stunning Footage

While in Kearney, NE this week (speaking on the Da Vinci Code) I was shown these two videos by friend and ally Cathy Groves:

Dixie Chicks :Taking the Long Way :'Not Ready to Make Nice'

Nickelback :All the Right Reasons :'Savin' Me'

Both are pregnant with religious significance. They deliver!

Thanks Cathy.

Media Blog on National Review Online

Media Blog on National Review Online: "I'm not sure if it's been reported yet, but for what it's worth, I just got off the phone with a Comedy Central spokesman. I asked him about last night's episode of South Park in which, at a moment right before the prophet Mohammed was supposed to make a cameo, the words, 'Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network' appeared on the screen.

I asked him whether this truly was Comedy Central's decision or whether this was just another gag (with South Park, you never know). He said:

They reflected it accurately. That was a Comedy Central decision."
If you kill people and blow things up, Comedy Central will respect your religion. In the same episode, Jesus is depicted taking a crap on George Bush's picture. That, of course, is not offensive and fit for broadcast, because Christians don't riot when their religion is mocked.

Maybe George Clooney will make a movie in black and white about censorship at Comedy Central?

Almost Home...

I flew into Boston, my soon to be hometown, today for a week of meetings. The trees are budding, spring is in the moist and still chill air. I'm going to love it here.

Rich's Blog: Day Three at Bakke

Rich's Blog: Day Three at Bakke: "Any church that has been effective has been able to create liminal space. That is, they have created a way for people to be around the church or the truth (neither in nor out) and investigate without having to make a decision right away. They have read their culture correctly. "
This post is gold. Liminal Space is a concept by Thom Wolf, outlined by Rich Swanson, submitted for your approval. It strikes me as obviously true.

Seek the Truth

Power Line: "Climate of Fear": "One sinister aspect of the global warming industry is the extent to which it bullies those who employ scientific methods to critique its claims. Richard Lindzen of MIT writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis."
Hmm. I thought only albino monks used fear and intimidation to suppress the truth. Fascinating.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Why he's a Democrat: Jimmy Carter

Creative Loafing Atlanta: News: Fishwrapper: Listen up, Democrats: "Carter fittingly used a parable to illustrate how he'd like to see the political/religious debate unfold.

'I was teaching a Sunday school class two weeks ago,' he recalls. 'A girl, she was about 16 years old from Panama City [Fla.], asked me about the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

'I asked her, 'Are you for peace, or do you want more war?' Then I asked her, 'Do you favor government helping the rich, or should it seek to help the poorest members of society? Do you want to preserve the environment, or do you want to destroy it? Do you believe this nation should engage in torture, or should we condemn it? Do you think each child today should start life responsible for $28,000 in [federal government] debt, or do you think we should be fiscally responsible?'

'I told her that if she answered all of those questions, that she believed in peace, aiding the poor and weak, saving the environment, opposing torture ... then I told her, 'You should be a Democrat.''"
And if your a rat fink bastard, no good, low down, absolute horror of a human being? Well you figure out which party Carter thinks is for you.

Pretty simple, really.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Judas Code

NCTimes.com - Californian.com: "In the manuscript, Jesus tells Judas that he will teach him about secrets no person has ever seen. Jesus also is quoted as telling Judas: 'You will be cursed by the other generations, and you will come to rule over them.'

In another key passage, Jesus says to Judas: 'You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.'

Scholars interpreted the passage as saying that Jesus meant for Judas to help him get rid of his physical body, which would liberate his true spiritual, divine self.

Gnostic heresy

The announcement of the manuscript's discovery may have left laymen believing Judas had been exonerated and his gospel would take its place alongside those of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But theologians quickly responded that the ancient document should not be seen as a new revelation about the Passion of Christ.

Jones and other theologians said several portions of the Gospel of Judas reveal it to be written by the Gnostics, who took a reverse view of many of the events and characters in the Bible.

'The Sodomites become God's special people,' Jones said of one example. 'When the Gnostics interpret Genesis 1, they identify the serpent as the bringer of truth. So God the Creator is evil, and the serpent speaks truth. So the point is that the Gnostics turn everything upside down. Everyone who is bad in the Old Testament is good, everyone who is good is bad. Is it surprising that in the Gospel of Judas, Judas turns out to be good?'"

Dr. Jones is one of my old seminary professors.

Finally Home

I'm finally back in town for a few days.

Oh wait, now I'm going over to DiscussDaVinci.com.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Get to know me!

ENTP Profile: This is me for better or worse I'm afraid.

How to kill your blog...

Don't post for two weeks and even your Dad will stop checking your blog.

I've been traveling for 7 days and right now I'm up late preparing for a talk I'm giving tomorrow night on The Da Vinci Code at the University of Nebraska Kearney.

I'll post my talk later this week. In the mean time, if your interested in all things Da Vinci, read the article below. It's far more exhaustive than anything that you're going to get from me.

James Patrick Holding on The Da Vinci Code: "Not InDavincible "

Sunday, April 09, 2006

David Horowitz vs. Ward Churchill

David Horowitz vs. Ward Churchill: "HERNDON, VA – Embattled Professor Ward Churchill has agreed to engage bestselling author and sought after speaker David Horowitz in a series of formal debates organized by Young America’s Foundation and Students for Academic Freedom. The series of debates will kick off at George Washington University in Washington D.C. on April 6 in the Continental Ballroom with the other campus locations yet to be announced. "
This should be enlightening. I haven't had time to listen yet but there is full audio linked at the site.


Gateway Pundit: Iraqis March for Unity, Three Years After the Fall of Saddam: After the suicide bombings yesterday at the Buratha mosque in Baghdad that killed over 70 people, Shiites protested for unity today in Iraq,

Shiites protested against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi today in Iraq.

Civil War? May they find peace.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Can't wait for the Da Vinci Code? Try Judas

Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels: "So, there's nothing new in the Gospel of Judas...and nothing particularly useful in it, beyond satisfying a certain historical curiosity."

But if you read the whole post, you'll have "secret" knowledge.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Barely Blogging

Well it's been pretty light on time to blog lately. I'm headed to Boston today with my wife to buy a house and move there by the end of May.

We should know something by the end of the week.

God help us.

Interesting Stuff