ornament 12 September 2007 ornament

Burger King tricks the kids

“Here little Johnny, eat your fries.”

“There’s something fishy about these mommy…”

In the biggest masquerade since candy cigarettes, Burger King is now attempting to fool kids into thinking that apples are really French fries:

The fast-food chain is also developing what it calls BK Fresh Apple Fries. The red apples are cut to resemble french fries and are served in the same containers as fries, but they are not fried and are served skinless and cold.

“We not only want to better inform parents and kids about these new menu options but also to demonstrate through product innovation that better-for-you foods can be fun and taste good,” said John Chidsey, Burger King’s chief executive.

Hmmm. I’m betting that the tiny little detail of the apples being “not fried and served skinless and cold” is going to cause a few problems. Not that kids dislike apples on their own account, but the BK marketing team apparently haven’t had much experience in the fine art of fooling children. Even when you get a baby to fall for the “airplane into the hangar” routine of eating the Gerber mush, it doesn’t last long. Kids are smart.

I imagine, however, that the next step is to fool the adults, who are generally much more easily manipulated. It won’t be long until we’re eating salads that look like Whoppers.

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ornament 11 September 2007 ornament

In Memoriam, 9/11/2001

Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame injustice by statute?

They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.

But the LORD has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.

He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the LORD our God will wipe them out.

Psalm 94:20-23, ESV

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[Link] Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: the long-awaited “Indy IV” gets a title.

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ornament 10 September 2007 ornament

Gator Hater Week 2007

Now With 30% Less Hatred

One point.

That’s the margin by which the Florida Gators won in last year’s game against Tennessee. Does such a slim margin mean that we should hate the Gators any less?

Absolutely not! There’s still plenty of hatred to go around.

One of the questions that I’m most often asked regarding the Gators is this: “Do you hate the Gators any less now that the Ol’ Ball Coach has moved on to the chicken coop?”

By no means! That would be unfair to the Gators to put all my hatred in to one visor-wearing coach.

Yes friends, this is the week that hatred reigns supreme. The Tennessee Vols take on the Florida Gators this Saturday in that completely asymmetrical arena they call the Swamp.

This week, do yourself some favors: hate the Gators.

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ornament 9 September 2007 ornament

Whence evangelical art?

In a brilliant essay in this month’s Touchstone magazine, Donald T. Williams examines an obvious missing product of evangelical writers: good literature.

Viewing this problem through the lens of one of my favorite writers, Flannery O’Connor, Williams observes:

O’Connor complained that too many Catholic writers were too utilitarian in their approach, but at least their theologians thought art a topic worthy of attention. Indeed, Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar made it the organizing principle of his systematics, with series entitled The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics and Theo-Drama.

So it is not surprising that, with no such emphasis coming from its leaders, the popular Evangelical subculture seems even more addicted to pragmatism in its approach, as a brief trip through the “Christian bookstore” will show. Fiction can only be justified if it has an overt evangelistic purpose; works of visual art must have a Scripture verse tacked under them.

Rather than merely griping about absent evangelical excellence in literature, Williams proposes, following O’Connor, that doctrine and dogma hold the key. Living by the whole counsel of the word of God can better train evangelical artists to better display these lost aspects of God’s glory.

Like I said, it’s a brilliant piece, and worthy of a read if you’re interested in evangelical Christianity and the arts.

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ornament 8 September 2007 ornament

Killing the Giant Killers

Vols 39, Golden Eagles 19

Following the typical playbook for a Tennessee pay-per-view game, the Vols started out shaky and rallied in the second half to win handily. Southern Mississippi is legendary for creating upsets, but five games with Tennessee have yet to perpetate the legend.

I didn’t see this game, but I listened to the often confusing successors to John Ward and Bill Anderson on a streaming webcast of the game. The offense sounded sound, and the defense sounded still shaky. I hope it’s just my ears failing me…

All in all, a good prep for next week’s foray into the swamplands.

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ornament 7 September 2007 ornament

Throwing Like a Girl

Throwing Like a Girl: an Atlantic Monthly article from 1996 takes on the task of examining why girls “throw like girls.”

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The Word, not words, changes the heart

Here’s a quote from Lesslie Newbigin that should give evangelical Christians both pause and comfort:

The radical conversion of the heart, the U-turn of the mind which the New Testament calls metanoia, can never be the calculable result of correct methods of communication. It is something mysterious for which we can only say that our methods of communication were, at most, among the occasions for the miracle.

Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, p. 6

It should give us pause in that we shouldn’t rely upon our fanciful methods of communication to change the hearts of people.

It should give us comfort in the knowledge that no matter how lacking in finesse our communication is, it is God who finishes the job.

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ornament 6 September 2007 ornament

Circus Maximus Larry Craigus

Ok, so let me get this straight:

  1. Sen. Larry Craig is arrested in June.
  2. He pleads guilty to disorderly conduct in August.
  3. Once made public, he claims he was not guilty.
  4. Then, under pressure, he says he will resign from the Senate.
  5. But then, once a misplaced voicemail is made public, he claims he is not really resigning.
  6. Now, he claims that he probably will resign after all.

Am I missing anything here?

Even if one takes a “wide stance” on this case, and speculates for a moment that Sen. Craig really was innocent of bathroom perversions, is this what Idahoans want in a U.S. Senator? Sure, the man has had a good voting record up to now, but the current situation could easily be mistaken for comedy.

The DNC must be loving this.

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Religion & Politics at American University

Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in “Table Talk Luncheon” at American University’s Kay Spiritual Life Center. The topic was “Religion & Politics in the US: Young Evangelicals in National Politics.” My worthy counterpart on the panel was Tim Kumfer from Sojourners, with whom I even found a few points of agreement (you’ll have to listen to the audio to find out exactly which points).

Before a packed room of American University students, we discussed “hot button” issues like same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, abortion, and the nation’s “right-left divide” and evangelicals’ involvement in politics. Although most of the audience seemed to lean left, they were gracious hosts, and I had a great time. Thanks to all the students who attended, and to the chaplains who organized the event.

I’ll post a link to the audio of the event here whenever it becomes available.

UPDATE (9/19): Here’s a link to the write-up on the event — it looks as if technical difficulties has kept the podcast from being made available.

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