ornament 19 June 2007 ornament

[Link] Sen. Mike Gravel is a rock

You’ll never see a stranger presidential campaign ad than Sen. Mike Gravel’s “Rock” spot.

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ornament 18 June 2007 ornament

Fountain of confusion

The Fountain

In order to give his film The Fountain longevity, director Darren Aronofsky reportedly refused to use CGI effects to create the beautiful, nebula-like atmosphere that serves as a the story’s backdrop. Aronofsky might as well have gone with the CGI. Taking its name from a reference to the mythical Fountain of Youth, the lifespan of The Fountain is sure to be brief.

Beautifully shot and adequately acted by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, The Fountain fails in offering the viewer a plot that is a little too multifaceted. Within the context of a search for eternal life, we see allegories to the Christian Eucharist, Buddhist nirvana, and Mayan pagan rituals. Needless to say, none of these disparate themes blend together, leaving the viewer (this one, anyway) scratching his head.

The Fountain tries too hard to be deep, and ends up a bubbling brook.

[5 out of 10]

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ornament 17 June 2007 ornament

You know you’ve been in the city too long…

I took my family hiking yesterday, and once on the trail, my 2½ year-old son looked around with a puzzled expression, and said to me:

There aren’t any cars out here Daddy!

Definitely going again soon this summer.

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ornament 15 June 2007 ornament

[Link]: Fred Thompson Pro-Life Video Address

If you were confused about Fred Thompson’s pro-life stance, this clip might help clear things up.

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Bear Grylls Facts

I’m excited about the return tonight of the Discovery Channel series, “Man vs. Wild.” If you haven’t seen it, you should. Former British special forces adventurer-extraordinaire Bear Grylls parachutes into a remote location with only a knife, a flint, a water bottle (and a camera crew that refuses to give him aid). His goal is to survive long enough to find civilization, and along the way show us, the viewers, how to survive in the wild. It’s great fun to see just how Bear Grylls will find food, shelter, and fend off the wildlife.

Bear Grylls is a tough guy. Anybody who can drink water out of elephant dung or kill a fish by breaking its back — with his mouth — is a force with which to be reckoned.

That’s why, in the spirit of Chuck Norris Facts, Jack Bauer Facts, and Fred Thompson Facts, I’ve decided to enter the realm of internet copycatism and create a list of Bear Grylls Facts. Here they are:

  • It is a known fact that Bear Grylls once broke his back during a parachute accident while in the British Special Forces. Lesser known is the fact that he built a makeshift hospital in the wilderness and performed back surgery on himself using only a knife, a flint, and a water bottle.
  • In the wild, Bear Grylls eats all kinds of bugs and twigs for the protein. In civilization, he eats spare car parts for the iron.
  • Bear Grylls’ peculiar name is derived from two things: his favorite food, and the manner in which he likes to cook it.
  • When Bear Grylls got married, he was so excited that he forgot to bring his wife on the honeymoon — but he did remember to bring his knife, a flint, and a water bottle.

Those are just a few (I know, I could do better…). I’ll try to add other facts as I “discover” them. Anyone else know any “facts” about Bear Grylls?

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ornament 14 June 2007 ornament

Don’t apply the Bible to your life

For evangelical Christians, the Bible is authoritative. We use tradition and the church to wisely guide our appropriation of the Scriptures, but the authority of the written word of God is supreme. The doctrine of sola scriptura is based upon biblical principles and precedent. For this reason, evangelicals rightly pay close attention to the Bible.

One of the more common ways in which Christians approach the Bible is to “apply it to their lives.” It’s difficult to visit an evangelical church these days where one wouldn’t hear such a phrase in some form or fashion. Take, for example, a recent Google experiment I completed. A search for the terms “apply it to your life” revealed that 30 of the first 100 search results were related in some way to Christianity and the Bible.

What we evangelicals generally mean when we say that we want to “apply the Bible to our lives” is that we should take the principles found in Scripture, and put them into practice. Simple and orthodox enough, right?

Well, maybe not. The words we use to describe the practice of a Christian life convey much more than we intend to say. When we “apply the Bible to our lives,” we explicitly make our lives — as they are now — the standard. Our lives become like a house that needs a fresh coat of paint applied to its aging walls. Wherever there’s a dull, damaged, or decaying spot, we apply the paint that is the Scriptures.

Such an analogy might make for a good church newsletter story, but it’s a dangerously false way for a Christian to live. What my Google search experiment also found was that 34 of the 100 results used the “apply it to your life” expression in the context of a new age, psychotherapy, or self-help scheme (the top result was for Oprah’s favorite new book, The Secret). Unlike the new age view, the Bible tells us that our lives are not merely in need of a few touch-ups — they need a complete overhaul. We don’t need to apply the Scriptures to the peeling exterior, we need them flowing through our veins. As Jesus once warned:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. [Matthew 23:27-28]

Christians should not apply the Bible to our lives so much as we should apply our lives to the Bible. We are not the center of the universe, but followers of that Word whom to us was revealed. We should stop using the Bible as the touch-up paint of our lives, and paint ourselves to the truth of the Scriptures.

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[Link] 100 Greatest Adventure Books of all time

National Geographic ranks the 100 greatest adventure books of all time. I’ve read #9, #19, #53, and I’ve got a copy of #83 waiting to be read.

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ornament 11 June 2007 ornament

[Link] If Chuck Norris is elected president…

If Chuck Norris is elected president, he’ll…

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ornament 7 June 2007 ornament

[link] Patients, not Politics: Support ethical stem-cell research that works

My friend and colleague David Christensen on how we should support ethical stem cell research that works.

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ornament 6 June 2007 ornament

[Link] In Tennessee, Goats Eat the ‘Vine That Ate the South’

In Chattanooga, kudzu is for the goats.

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