Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sexy Church?

Ok I wouldn't normally click on any fb video with the word "sexy" in the title but this seemed like a genuinely interesting social experiment. It was eye-opening but not entirely surprising.

Documentary : Sexy Girls Have It Easy from Bright Hand Pictures on Vimeo.


Now I have not the remotest hope that anything I could do or say could change the fact that this is how our society works, and as a guy with two young daughters already obsessed with disney princesses I worry about how these social realities will affect and form my girls and their self understanding . . . whether they grow up to be "hot" or not. My question is how this social reality has affected the church? And I don't think it is just girls either, look around you at the people who are celebrated and encouraged at your fellowship, are many ugly, are many poorly dressed, or does God seem to only call the hip and good looking?

The truth is that those who do not fit the outside world's criteria of attractiveness will not be found to fit the church's implicit criteria of what will work and who God can use. I think of 1 Cor 1:28 and I think of Isaiah 53:1-3 and I have to wonder if good looking churches have any power to reach our broken world at all, or if they are merely hostage to the same lies.

What do you think?

Monday, May 23, 2011

JK Rowling on Failure and Imagination

Continuing my irregular series on good preachers who are not preachers . . .

This is well worth a listen not just for the message but also for the insight into the life of one of the few modern authors who is truly a household name.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.


Hat tip to Robyn and Sarah on FB!

Why Are Stupid Christians News?

Now I know the media has a general bias against Christians, fair enough, but there is something sinister about the desire to publicise every stupid Christian group they can find.  This month we had the idiots from California and not long before it was the idiots from Florida.  Now I have no desire to defend such stupidity but why should it be international news?  Do they say of every madman, murderer and fraudster in the news who isn't a Christian, "and of course this man never went to church" as if that has anything to do with his madness?  Why then does peoples' idiocy, which would otherwise not be newsworthy, suddenly becomes worthy of international attention because they are a "pastor" in the USA?

*headslap*

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bill Maher on Christian Violence

There is so much going on in this one that I don't know where to begin.  As atheist rants go this is a pretty good sermon.  BTW for those of you who read this blog with your kids, some foul language follows if you press play.  Let me know what you think. (HT to TB on FB)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Resonant Reading



. . . we must of course guard agains over-exegesis.  Under-exegesis, though, is also risky, sometimes even more so .  Historical exegesis is not simply a matter of laying out the lexicographical meanings of words and sentences.  It involves exploring the resonances those words and sentences would have had in their contexts.  Like anthropologists learning a language and culture simultaneously, we have to be prepared to hear more in a word or phrase than could be caught by a dictionary equivalent.  A small saying can function like a spyglass through which one can glimpse a large and turbulent world.  To object to this exercise, whether through pedantry or positivism, is like protesting that houses, fields and ships cannot be contained within the physical body of a telescope.
From NT Wright, JVG, xvii

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blowing in the wind: A parable


Bob Dylan recently came to NZ and put on a show, many of his oldest fans turned up to hear what they hoped would be a trip down memory lane, like listening to their old vinyl but with the added thrill of the man himself sitting there.  Instead they were shocked by the terrible racket being produced and dissapointed not to recognise more than a tiny handful of songs.  In disgust many fans walked out. 


Others though had followed Dylan's career a bit more closely and knew that he wasn't still rehearsing karaoke versions of his 60's material, some of them were still dissapointed with the performance, but others thrilled to find themselves in the presence of musical genius.

People who expect musicians to remain solidly stuck in the past, don't buy their later records but then complain when they don't know any songs at the concert strike me as being hopeless.  They are not fans of the musician at all but instead only fans of a recording, perhaps one that is tied to their youth or a different era, they weren't paying homage to Dylan, they were paying homage to their own nostalgia.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but how churlish to complain that Dylan had moved on without them, that he had a life of his own and hadn't stayed stuck in their past.

Like the wind, he had moved on.  "So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."  (John 3:8) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

brick-a-brack 05/10/11 Love Wins Special Edition

It is probably pretty obvious that I haven't had much time this year for reading or writing blogs, one day I'll tell you all about it.  But I really do appreciate you keeping me in your feedreaders, and promise (foolishly) that one day it will all be worth it . . . until then I give thanks for the creativity of others . . .
like Alex Baker . . .


. . . and Angus Wordsworth Duncan


. . . not to mention John Birch

And if you haven't yet read enough reviews of Love Wins you might like to check out my friend Rhett's review.  And BTW I have no opinion on the matter but I do wear glasses and try not to be too dogmatic about the ultimate fate of rabid Bible thumping fascists.