Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Adolescence

Here’s a quick quote from a recent sermon called “Joseph: Man of Quiet Nobility” by Bryan Loritts of Fellowship Memphis Church. I think he is quoting someone else, but I can’t remember who. It’s a terrific sermon on what we can learn from Joseph about what it means to be a Godly man.

Adolescence is desiring all of the benefits of adulthood without embracing the responsibilities of adulthood.

Read Full Post »

Lucky

I just read a column by Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) called “This Is What Luck Smells Like“. Foreman talks about how being next to a guy who smells bad on a transAtlantic flight leads him to meditating on how thankful he should be that he can smell. And how we choose to see our lives,

“Maybe luck is a choice. Yeah, maybe luck is a choice. A choice to be thankful for the myriad blessings that you have rather than complain about the few smells that are unpleasant. Seems like luck doesn’t pour out like it does on the beer commercials: the young, rich, good looking, famously lucky few turn out to complain more often than their “unlucky” contemporaries. Maybe luck is a choice chosen by those whose roots sink deep into the grounds of community, sacrifice, family, worship and service. Yes, maybe luck is a choice.”

He was getting personal with me, I know what he’s talking about. I mean, I’m not a pessimist, but it doesn’t take much to set me grumbling. Then he ends it with this, which finished me off:

“But I’d like turn in my grumbling rights. I’d like to burn the authorization that I was born with, the authorization to complain, moan, and sigh heavily. I’d like to surrender my weapons of privilege. Here and now, I lay them down.”

This is something to think on, maybe a great New Year’s Resolution: to surrender my weapons of privilege.

Read Full Post »

I watched a video today by Tim Keller called “Grace and the City”. It is a really interesting discussion of what a City is and what that means for us as Christians. He covers alot of ground in 40 minutes, from how Christians engage the culture to the basic characteristics of a City to a Biblical view of work. It’s a thoughtful look at how we as Christians relate to the City, and how we should relate to the City. At one point he points out that the population density in Manhattan is higher than almost anywhere in North America, and that therefore it has the highest concentration of the image of God! Funny, interesting, and the more you think about it the more challenging a comment it is. Here’s the link to the video:

http://vodpod.com/watch/4518579-grace-and-the-city-tim-keller

Read Full Post »

Guilty Pleasures

Here’s a quote from an article by Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) called “Outside the Fences” .

“Only in humility can we begin to find the beauty in everything. Do you have the
barefaced wonder to drift outside the lines? If you dare, you could rise up to be
the shameless architect of the unknown, charting new ground that the critics will
never know. For the rest of the crowd, there’s safety in numbers. But for you- you
and your brave soul, there are no guilty pleasures. Just pleasures.”

Jon Foreman

Read Full Post »

Brave New World

Jason e-mailed this to me earlier in the week, and I thought it was well worth passing along. It’s important to note that this book was written in 1986 (!), long before DirecTV, reality shows, etc. and the explosion of cell phones and the internet. His comment about the truth drowning in a sea of irrelevance is frighteningly timely.

In the foreword to the book (Amusing Ourselves To Death) Postman contrasts the visions offered in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949):

Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.

Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.

Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.

Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.

In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

Read Full Post »

 Here’s an e-mail I received from a friend about a news service being offered by Ravi Zacharias ministries. Their website and daily podcasts are goldmines.  

RZIM Zacharias Trust and the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics are launching a ‘breaking news’ service aimed at providing up to the minute Christian responses to public challenges to the faith. Our speaking team includes John Lennox, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, Amy Orr-Ewing, Michael Ramsden and Os Guinness. We hope that their responses will benefit you in your conversations with others.

A good example of what we would include is last month’s full-page article written by Oxford Professor John Lennox in The Daily Mail responding to Stephen Hawking’s new book The Grand Design. The article entitled ‘As a scientist I’m certain Stephen Hawking is wrong. You can’t explain the universe without God’ can be viewed at http://www.rzim.eu/stephen-hawking-and-god <http://www.rzim.eu/stephen-hawking-and-god>

I thought you would be interested in this service. If so, all you need to do is go to this link http://www.rzim.eu/breaking-news-signup <http://www.rzim.eu/breaking-news-signup> <http://www.rzim.eu/breaking-news-signup <http://www.rzim.eu/breaking-news-signup> > and register. We only anticipate sending these emails from time to time as challenges arise.

Read Full Post »

Couldn’t Be Happier

We went to see “Wicked” at the Orpheum last week. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a musical that tells the “untold story of the witches of Oz”. I won’t try to explain the whole story, but there is a song towards the end of the show called “Thank Goodness” sung by Glinda, the “good” witch, that is pretty poignant: 

That’s why I couldn’t be happier
No, I couldn’t be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated
But I couldn’t be happier
Simply couldn’t be happier
 Well – not “simply”:
‘Cause getting your dreams
It’s strange, but it seems
A little – well – complicated
There’s a kind of a sort of : cost
There’s a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn’t know you crossed
Until you’ve crossed…

And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn’t thrill you like you think it will
Still –
With this perfect finale
The cheers and ballyhoo
Who
Wouldn’t be happier?
So I couldn’t be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true
Well, isn’t it?

Glinda finds herself being celebrated by all of Oz and seemingly about to marry the man of her dreams. But in the midst of it all, she begins to realize what she has given up to get “what she wants”, the compromises that she has made. It is an all too familiar picture of our culture. We are promised “happiness” just right around the corner, in a bigger house, a sexual encounter, winning the big game, … only to find that it all ultimately leaves us wanting just a little bit more. As Paul told the Philippians let us “lay hold” of the “prize” that will give us true joy.

12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

17Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”     Philippians 3:12-21

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »