Monday, June 30, 2008

The New Narrative Printing Press?

'Grand,' but No 'Godfather' - "The new game took in more than $500 million in world-wide sales in its first week. The critical reaction has been widespread and adulatory and in certain corners beyond over-the-top: GTA IV is better than 'The Godfather,' better than 'The Sopranos,' better than say, a novel!"

Seriously, read this whole article if you want to get a taste of video game culture.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Undocumented" tracks

Piracy: Average Teen Stores 842 Stolen Tracks on Their iPod: "In a recent study by British Music Rights, 14- to 24-year-olds were polled as to how much stolen music they carried around on a daily basis. The finding was that almost half of said music was never purchased. 842 of the 1,770 tracks held on the average digital music player were reported as stolen—that's 48 percent."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What is a Revival?

The Reason for God by Tim Keller: "In an important history of the movement, David L. Chappell demonstrates that it was not a political but primarily a religious and spiritual movement... Chappell argues that black leaders were much more rooted in the Biblical understanding of the sinfulness of the human heart and in the denunciations of injustice that they read in the Hebrew prophets. Chappell also shows how it was the vibrant faith of rank-and-file African-Americans that empowered them to insist on justice despite the violent opposition to their demands. Thus Chappell says there is no way to understand what happened until you see the Civil Rights movement as a religious revival.

When evangelical Christians talk about revival we tend to go back to The Student Volunteer Movement or The Azusa Street Revival as the last revival in the United States.

Was the Civil Rights Movement a revival? Evangelicals tend to stress spiritual salvation over social and economic transformation. What do you think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Devil in the Details

Paradise Lost, Again and Again - "Mr. Jacobs presents an impressive gallery of thinkers convinced of the reality of a hereditary stain in human nature. He starts with St. Augustine, who saw evidence for Original Sin 'everywhere, from the angry cry of a baby to his own tendency to be distracted from prayer.' There are classic Protestants like Luther and John Bunyan, as well as the Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who in the Gulag came to realize that the real fault line ran not between the guards and prisoners but within each human soul.

Of course, they are all Christians. When we turn to modern thinkers who take a dim view of religion – Marx, Freud, the current batch of evolutionary psychologists – Mr. Jacobs sees a pattern: They dismiss the idea of Original Sin but then try to sneak it through the back door and give it another name.

Kant, who had little use for Christian revelation, talked about 'the crooked timber of humanity.' For Marx, human behavior was skewed by immemorial social arrangements. Freud talked about the dark forces of the subconscious. One way or another, these thinkers were wrestling with the question that God directed to Adam and Eve after the Fall: 'Where are you?' In other words: Why are we not where we ought to be?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How long O Lord?

Others are taking the Google plunge:

Salesforce and Google Apps partnership

Google and Salesforce announced Salesforce for Google
a new product that brings the collaboration and communications features of
Google Apps directly into As you might know, Salesforce is a
customer relations management (CRM) program used by hundreds of non-profits
to manage constituent relationships, raise money, organize volunteer
opportunities and more. Read more about the new integration on the Official
Google Blog<>

If you're already a Salesforce customer (which is free for eligible
non-profits <>), it's easy to
start integrating with your Google Apps account. If you don't have Google
Apps, it's also free for

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Gospel in All its Forms |

This article helps explain why The Four Spiritual Laws has been so successful and unsuccessful depending on the context. It also explains and recommends how Campus Crusade has grown and will grow in presenting the gospel effectively.

Read the whole thing.

The Gospel in All its Forms | "Just as Paul spoke about a gospel for the more religious (the "circumcised") and for the pagan, so I've found that my audience in Manhattan contains both those with moralist, religious backgrounds as well as those with postmodern, pluralistic worldviews.

There are people from other religions (Judaism, Islam), people with strong Catholic backgrounds, as well as those raised in conservative Protestant churches. People with a religious upbringing can grasp the idea of sin as the violation of God's moral law. That law can be explained in such a way that they realize they fall short of it. In that context, Christ and his salvation can be presented as the only hope of pardon for guilt. This, the traditional evangelical gospel of the last generation, is a "gospel for the circumcised."

However, Manhattan is also filled with postmodern listeners who consider all moral statements to be culturally relative and socially constructed. If you try to convict them of guilt for sexual lust, they will simply say, "You have your standards, and I have mine." If you respond with a diatribe on the dangers of relativism, your listeners will simply feel scolded and distanced. Of course, postmodern people must at some point be challenged about their mushy views of truth, but there is a way to make a credible and convicting gospel presentation to them even before you get into such apologetic issues.

I take a page from Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death and define sin as building your identity—your self-worth and happiness—on anything other than God. That is, I use the biblical definition of sin as idolatry. That puts the emphasis not as much on "doing bad things" but on "making good things into ultimate things."

Instead of telling them they are sinning because they are sleeping with their girlfriends or boyfriends, I tell them that they are sinning because they are looking to their romances to give their lives meaning, to justify and save them, to give them what they should be looking for from God. This idolatry leads to anxiety, obsessiveness, envy, and resentment. I have found that when you describe their lives in terms of idolatry, postmodern people do not give much resistance. Then Christ and his salvation can be presented not (at this point) so much as their only hope for forgiveness, but as their only hope for freedom. This is my "gospel for the uncircumcised."


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

6 "laws" to explain the Rebellion

two ways to live :: what is two ways to live?: "At the most basic level, Two Ways to Live is simply a memorable summary of the Christian gospel. Or to put it more accurately, it is the Christian gospel including some of its necessary presuppositions and background."

Monday, June 02, 2008

What is it with Americans and their guns?

Point and Shoot - "Gatling was the prototypical Yankee tinkerer, a self-educated deviser of farm implements, including a mechanical planter that fed seeds from a hopper. From seeds, creators of life, it was an easy jump to bullets: Death too could be fed from a hopper. Gatling employed six rifle barrels in a tight cluster. A crank positioned each barrel in turn to have a new bullet dropped into its breech.

It was an elegant solution to a problem that had bedeviled armorers for a century – the best of soldiers could fire only two or three rounds a minute."

We Don't Need a Climate Tax on the Poor

As if the Biofuel Famine wasn't bad enough, now comes the Carbon Tax on the poor.


We Don't Need a Climate Tax on the Poor - "Carbon caps will have an especially harmful impact on low-income Americans and those with fixed incomes. A recent CBO report found: 'Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households.'

The poor already face energy costs as a much higher percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4% of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19%. A 2006 survey of Colorado homeless families with children found that high energy bills were cited as one of the two main reasons they became homeless.

Lieberman-Warner will also hinder U.S. competitiveness, transferring American jobs overseas to places where environmental regulations are much more lenient. Instead of working to eliminate trade barriers on clean energy and lower emitting technologies, the bill imposes a 'green,' tariff-style tax on imported goods. This could provoke international retaliatory actions by our trade partners, threatening our own export markets and further driving up the costs of consumer goods."

God help me

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

The Hub of Recent Grads

10 best cities for recent college graduates - Work in Progress - Worklife - Workplace - TIME: " and evaluated the availability of entry-level job openings, rental prices for one-bedroom apartments and large resident populations of young adults in their early 20s to determine the top 10 cities for recent college grads. Here they are again, with average apartment rental prices for one-bedrooms:

1. Philadelphia, $962

2. Boston, $1,343

3. New York, $1,520

4. Phoenix, $741

5. Chicago, $1,029

6. Dallas-Fort Worth, $755

7. Los Angeles, $1,435

8. Houston, $778

9. Detroit, $699

10. Atlanta, $773"

MIDs and Chips "Chip suppliers for cellphones are moving aggressively to make products for the gadgets, dubbed MIDs, for mobile Internet devices."

Faster please.

Interesting Stuff