ornament 30 June 2004 ornament

Unleashing a Pummeling

Apparently having the Kentucky Derby was not enough of an premier sporting event for our fine city of Louisville—that’s why we’re inviting the world’s most famous ear-biting rapist to a come perform. That’s right, Iron Mike Tyson will be fighting here in Louisville on July 30.

Not to worry, however—Iron Mike has changed his evil ways:

Tyson disputed a story in a London tabloid that quoted him saying he was homeless and taking handouts from “unsavory characters.” But he admitted his move to a simpler, quieter life hasn’t been easy.

“I was addicted to chaos and that’s why I’ve had a very difficult time settling into the person I am now,” he said. “I never allowed chaos to stop being in my presence. Chaos was a really big influence on me.”

Hmmm…I assume this means Mike has beaten his Chaos addiction. Way to go Mike. But why are you here now?

“I slept with the devil for a long period of my life,” he said. “That didn’t kill me, so I guess I’m here to do something positive.”

Good thing he didn’t bite your ear off. So how do you think you’ll fare in this upcoming fight?

“I have a strong internal fortitude when I’m really interested in doing something,” he said. “Like when I have my mind made up to make a fool of myself, I’m very successful at doing that. If I have my mind made up to make a success of myself, I’m very able to do that as well.”

Which will show up July 30? The fool or the success? Whichever Tyson shows up, he’ll be sure to do it well.

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ornament 29 June 2004 ornament

Translation Misinformation

Go read Tim Berglund’s post on the new ONE translation of the New Testament, a version that promises a “‘new, fresh and adventurous’ translation of the early Christian scriptures…designed both for mature Christians and for those who have limited experience of traditional Christianity or ‘may have found it a barrier to an appreciation of Jesus.'”

It’s amazing to see how creative these translators get with something that has stayed the same for two millenia. I guess they just follow the old adage, “if you don’t like it, change it.”

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ornament 28 June 2004 ornament

Trailer Trash

I must admit that I’m a fan of movie trailers. After all, my undergraduate major was advertising—and movie trailers represent some of the best advertising in the market. The typical trailer gives the advertiser 2.5 minutes to introduce a film to a viewer, fall in love with its characters, be wowed by its action, bowled over by its humor, and be brought to tears by its emotion. The best trailers accomplish this feat well—often better than the movies themselves (see Jonathan Last’s May 25 WSJ piece).

This year, there are two films in particular that I’ve seen that fit this category. Most recently, Along Came Polly, whose trailer makes the movie look halfway funny. The sad part is that the trailer contains all the funny parts to the movie. There are no more—I promise you.

The winner this year for me though is Northfork, winner of The Golden Trailer Awards’ Golden Fleece Prize—the award for the trailer that most outdoes its movie. Northfork is so bad a film that I couldn’t bear to watch all of it. I ended up putting the DVD player on 24x speed over the last half hour. Even that took too long. The trailer, however makes it look like a halfway interesting movie.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

I remember reading somewhere (perhaps D.A. Carson’s The Gagging of God) that a sometimes effective tool when reasoning with the unreasonable is to repeat what they said to you back to them. The idea is that when they hear their illogic coming out of someone else’s mouth, they might be more prone to see their error.

Along these lines, I wonder if Barbara Streisand actually heard the words coming out of her mouth at her June 24 “John Kerry and Friends” fundraiser:

PEOPLE
I MEAN G – O – P – EOPLE –
WHO’D BELIEVE THERE’S SUCH PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD?
BUSH SEEZA
LOTTA CONDOLEEZA,
THEY’RE DIVIDING THE PLANET’S OIL
ACCORDING TO RICHARD “POIL”
AND THEY’RE ALL JUST TRAINEES
OF CHENEY’S…

…THEY’RE LYING –
WHILE THE GLOBE IS FRYING –
AND THE FISHES ARE DYING IN THE WORLD.
THEIR SOLUTION
FOR ALL OF THE POLLUTION:
IS JUST TO BEAR IT AND GRIN,
AND PRACTICE NOT BREATHING IN.
BUT THINGS ARE GONNA BE GREAT.

Yes, that’s the kind of stuff being sung at Democratic Party fundraisers—so much for “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Do they even realize how foolish things like this makes them look? It appears that not only the emperor of the Democratic party has “new clothes,” their jesters are unknowingly naked as well.

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ornament 27 June 2004 ornament

A Knot Off the Old Block

Sometimes the apple falls so far from the tree that it just plain rolls down the hill. Ron P. Reagan, the son of the late President, can’t get enough of the fifteen minutes of fame his father’s death has brought him. Unlike his brother Michael and even his eccentric sister Patti, Ron saw the funeral as a glowing opportunity to denounce Bush on the sly. He made veiled references to his father not wearing religion on his sleeve and not using it for political gain like some other presidents.

Most everyone knew what Reagan was talking about, as he is a supporter of neither Bush’s nor his father’s politcs. Reagan voted for Ralph Nader in the 2000 election and now seems bent on helping Bush to not get re-elected, using his father’s death as the platform.

The self-proclaimed atheist (who also aligns himself with Buddhism—making him an atheist Buddhist?) is now calling for outrage from Christians:

NYT: How do you account for all the glowing obituaries of [President Reagan]?

Ron P. Reagan: I think it was a relief for Americans to look at pictures of something besides men on leashes. If you are going to call yourself a Christian — and I don’t — then you have to ask yourself a fundamental question, and that is: Whom would Jesus torture? Whom would Jesus drag around on a dog’s leash? How can Christians tolerate it?
It is unconscionable. It has put our young men and women who are over there, fighting a war that they should not have been asked to fight — it has put them in greater danger.

Apparently Mr. Reagan is so distraught over his father’s death that he hasn’t realized that it’s pretty difficult to find a Christian who didn’t deplore the torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners. Mr. Reagan’s poorly crafted answer doesn’t even remotely fall within the scope of the question.

Outside, flags are at half-mast. It’s too bad that the son of the greatest president of the last century is reacting with half his wits.

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ornament 26 June 2004 ornament

Around the ‘Sphere

Here are a few interesting stops I’ve found in the blogosphere recently:

Rusty Lopez adroitly observes the selective ignorance of Ron Reagan when he expressed surprise that everyone thought he was talking about Bush in his not-so-veiled rant in the middle of his father’s funeral speech.

Jason Steffens, one of the few bloggers who have moved back to Blogger from Movable Type, examines an article sounding the call for Hollywood to return to Christian-themed entertainment.

Matt Hall reminds us about Theodore Beza, an oft-missed figure in Christian history—and follows up with an entry in the new wiki called Theopedia.

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To End All Wars

Saw the DVD To End All Wars this weekend. It’s based on the book Through the Valley of the Kwai by Ernest Gordon, and this film follows the book more closely than the classic The Bridge on the River Kwai of 1957. It’s a pretty heavy film, and if you’re averse realistic violence (think Mel Gibson style), you may want to pass. Other than that, it’s a film you really need to see and will have you evaluating things long after it finishes.

The actors are primarily unknowns (save for Kiefer Sutherland), and they do their job well. The Japanese are real Japanese speaking real Japanese. It was funny in the “making of” documentary to see them speaking through a translator.

Redemption and forgiveness are major themes in this WWII prison camp movie. It’s not a pacifist film, but it is an anti-war film. Even people like me, who support the current war on terror, would do well to be reminded that the goal of war is peace. To End All Wars is worth seeing.

8 out of 10

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ornament 24 June 2004 ornament

Lone Ranger Redux

It looks like while I was away, Mac Swift responded on his blog to my post dealing with the unintended arrogance of Lone Ranger Christianity. As you may recall, I took to task Christians who decided they had no need for church, citing arrogance as one of the (often unintended) outcomes of such a view. This from believers who think that their walk is above associating themselves with “lesser Christians.”

Mr. Swift, a self-proclaimed churchless Christian, disagrees:

The mistake is in inaccurately labeling these churches as being part of the body of Christ. If the church was partly filled with satanists, would you consider them part of the body of Christ as well? Church organisations should never be considered a legitimate part of the body of Christ, because the building and its hierarchy do not always reflect the spiritual makeup of its membership. Many members in the church, including the leadership may in truth not be a legitimate part of the body of Christ. Jesus had warned before that not everyone who calls him, “LORD, LORD” or in other words, not everyone who professes to be Christian will make it into heaven, but only those who do the will of his Father.

Bridges’ moronic reasoning basically tells us that if a church was being run by a pastor who is in reality a satanist, the church would still be a part of the body of Christ. How stupid is this? We wouldn’t be able to call the church run by Jim Jones evil if we followed this train of logic to its absurd conclusion.

It is individuals that define the church, not the other way around…

I’d like to correct this last sentence first. It is Christ who defines the church, Mr. Swift, not individuals. The New Testament pattern is one of churches comprised of those chosen by God unto salvation. Problems that occurred in these churches were addressed by the New Testament epistles to correct errors of the churches, not to disperse them.

As for the previous points, I’ve reread my post, and I’ve yet to see how my supposed “moronic reasoning” leads to such a conclusion. To answer Mr. Swift’s own question “How stupid is this?” I say, “very stupid indeed.” I’ve never known a satanist to confess Christ as Lord. Furthermore, a pastor does not constitute a church. The church is the body of believers. This is not some radical new idea, it is a biblical idea. The ekklesia are those who confess Christ. True there is a church invisible and a church visible—there will be some impostors, we are called to be the church nonetheless.

The idea that all churches are apostate sounds remarkably like the argument Mormons use. Mormons claim that all churches became apostate shortly after the death of the apostles. Throughout the ages the “true church” did not exist until Joseph Smith founded it anew.

I don’t think Mr. Swift is waiting to found the church anew, but I do think he has distanced himself from biblical Christianity in distancing himself from church. If there are no biblical churches in his area, why does he not seek to plant a biblically-based church? Why would one rather proudly proclaim his independence from the body?

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ornament 23 June 2004 ornament

The Respite Gives Way to the Real

Back in Louisville now after vacationing a few days in the south of that southern penninsula of a state. My wife and I had a good, restful time in the area surrounding Naples, FL—as well as a good rest from blogging.

I got to plunge headlong into David McCullough’s John Adams, which is just the book to read in the weeks before Independence Day. This could turn out to be the best biography I’ve ever read. I also started Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, because as we all know, one just can’t take a nice hardback like John Adams onto the beach with all that sand and water. Anyway, I’ll resume posting soon. Respite is always a blessing, however brief. It helps one enjoy the real world all the more.

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ornament 17 June 2004 ornament

Where Sea Meets Sand…

…is where I’ll be for the next few days. Time to read some books, kick back and catch some rays. Not too many rays, of course—it’s SPF 48 all the way for me this time. My last burning taught me a valuable lesson: God made me white in race, and I need not aspire to be pink.

Blogging will be on hiatus until late next week, when I hope to return with some fresh ideas. In the meantime, check out some of fine blogs on the right. You may not agree with everything you find, but they’ll surely get the juices flowing.

Until next week, God bless you all, and thanks for reading.

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