Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson's mourners: grieving as those who have no hope

According to this report, twelve grieving Michael Jackson fans have committed suicide in the wake of his death.

Think of that. Michael Jackson was a gifted, talented individual. He was also a famously and deeply troubled man, wounded and wounding. At worse, he was also a perpetrator of the worst sort. Now, we will likely never know the true sum of it.

There is no harm in appreciating a person's gifts and enjoying his art. But — again, I stress if the report is accurate — here are people so bound up with this broken shell of a man that their life loses meaning when he dies.

Contrast that will my brother and friend Phil Johnson's moving tribute to a dear friend and coworker. His title is "At Home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8)."

It is clear that Phil, and many others, are shocked and saddened at Mike Taylor's passing. Taylor didn't perform to sold-out arenas nor get his picture plastered over magazines and posters and billboards. He never had a video on MTV. He wasn't known for bizarre eccentricities. What he was known for was an infectious and hearty laugh, and for his love for Jesus Christ and for people.

The legacy Taylor leaves is lives touched for the Gospel, made better by encouragement and instruction in the Word, better-prepared for eternity. Jackson leaves people with nothing, except (in the case of the alleged twelve) a feeling that with him gone, they're empty, and life is too painful. (For some, it's even worse than that, if this isn't a pathetic joke.)

Taylor's parting saddens all who knew and loved them, but they have a hope that can't be shaken. Taylor's passing actually sweetens their appreciate of what he believed, taught, and lived for: which is to say the Gospel.

It all brings to mind this poignant passage from the apostle Paul:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Christians do grieve. We are sad. We weep. We miss the sweet fellowship of our brothers and sisters, friends, spouses, children, who die in the Lord. But we do not mourn as having no hope.

Nor is it a wispy hope, as pagans have. I am constantly saddened to read unbelieving or superstitious conservatives over at FreeRepublic. When someone whom they like (i.e. Farrah Fawcett, recently) dies, they immediately proclaim the person as "in a better place." Why? On what basis?

On no basis whatever, with no authority and on no solid grounds.

Yet Christians have the objective historical fact of Jesus' bodily resurrection, and of the whole mass of His teachings which that resurrection confirms. Our hope is solid, and grounded.

If you don't have that hope for yourself, do not have reason to believe on God's own authority that you have a real involvement with Jesus Christ, then you must seek Him. Now is only opportunity you're sure of.

You have no greater priority.

ADDENDUM: Pastor Chris Anderson comments on a report that Jackson prayed with Andre Crouch shortly before his death. As is always the case with Chris, his thoughts are pointed and solid.

There may be dumber games than "cheese rolling"...

...but I don't want to see them.

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Happy Monday... if that isn't a phrase too thick with irony.

Trivialest. Post. Ever.

My iPhone 3GS is supposed to arrive today.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hither and Thither — 6/26/09

One short stack, coming right up:
  • I think this nicely sums up a lot of the "reporting" this week:
  • Well, I'll be. Sometimes there s some justice. A Kansas teacher, seemingly dismissed for being too patriotic (and too conservative), is reinstated.
  • On Monday or Tuesday, I listened to a John Piper talk from the Resolved conference. I heard him say, "Sin makes you stupid." Then on Wednesday South Carolina governor Mark Sanford (GOP) admitted he'd spent his Father's Day weekend pursuing extramarital immorality. Sin makes you stupid.
  • Were Sanford a Democrat, this would be a career-enhancer. As it is, he is a Republican, so there should be a political price to pay. And this Brit correctly explains why Sanford must resign.
  • Oh, and btw, as we all quite correctly shake our heads and tsk! at Sanford's appalling, immoral idiocy, I say to us all: 1 Corinthians 10:12. The man did not wake up one day thinking, "You know, I think I'll betray every last person who has a shred of confidence in me, make nonsense of everything I've ever stood for, hurt everyone I love as well as people I've never met, and ruin not only my life and career but many others as well! Sounds like fun, let's go!" Reflect, and fear.
  • On the subject (sort of) of recently-observed Father's Day...
  • Another of Charismaticism's unpaid bills: how many things are wrong with this story? But here's the irony: the thing the media and world will think is most wrong is the only thing that isn't wrong. (See also here, and check the "church" web site... if you dare.)
  • CoE: since we can't offer the Gospel, let's give beer, bacon rolls, and chocolate bars. Yep, friends. This is outreach, Anglican-style. Bring in the men — for beer!
  • Thank an Obama voter if an ACORN census taker threatens you with the law to force you to give out information — on yourself or others — that the federal government has no business whatever having (click, click, click, click). One quick, foolish choice; years of progress undone, freedoms harmed. (Thanks to Carlo for some of that documentation.)
  • Just amen, and duh.

  • And then there's (click to enlarge)...

This week's troika of celebrity deaths: McMahon, Fawcett, Michael Jackson

Isn't it bizarre, how often celebrity deaths happen in threes? This week saw the passing of Johnny Carson's sidekick Ed McMahon, whose death was quickly overshadowed by the passing of actress Farrah Fawcett, who will now be pushed aside because of the death of Michael Jackson.

McMahon's celebrity largely rested on another's talent: the quick-witted quipster and twitchy talk-show host, Carson. He was the butt of Carson's affectionate jokes, and largely served to make Carson look good. (I once employed McMahon's role in a post about the ministry of the Holy Spirit.)

Farrah Fawcett grabbed the spotlight because of her great beauty, dazzling smile, a poster every teenaged boy (including me, as I recall) had on his wall, and some acting stints. Beyond the report that she was subjected to the (at-best) meaningless deathbed magic of Rome, I know nothing of her spiritual state.

Michael Jackson — well, what do you say? He definitely dwarfs the other two, in our culture, and for a strange amalgam of reasons.

He started out as a talented child in a talented family driven to success by a reportedly tyrannical father. He ended up as a bizarre, pitiable, enigmatic, repellent figure. Many question-marks will follow him to his grave.

Raised a Jehovah's Witness, Jackson appended a disclaimer to his history-making video for "Thriller" disavowing belief in the occult. In his later videos, Jackson went out of his way to distance himself from any notion of moral boundaries. They were a mixture of sweetness and creativity, and depravity. Catchy tunes and engaging inspiration were mixed with obscene or otherwise jarring imagery, in videos for such songs as "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Black or White" or "Bad." A Jackson video came to be like a dazzling table setting, spattered with dung.

I can't easily think of someone who less needed to degrade himself, who more eagerly seemed to invent ways to do so.

Nor can I easily think of a more talented figure who displayed his unhealed brokenness so openly and yet unwillingly at the same time.

All one need do is look at the succession of photos of Jackson as he aged (or see here) to observe the misery in which he clearly lived, and the self-despising and self-destructive steps he took in the misbegotten hopes of dealing with it. This was a man unable to find peace with himself or the world.

Jackson starts out as a handsome young black child; then a handsome young black man. Then both Jackson's face and his skin-tone, as well as his masculinity, morph and change, like some sad creature caught in a transporter accident on a Star Trek movie. But whatever harm Jackson endured at the hands of others, those changes were self-inflicted, experienced under his own hands, at his own command.

To rephrase my observation in the meta of Justin Taylor's sensitive note of Jackson's passing,
Jackson was an individual equally remarkable for his giftedness, and his brokenness. To see Jackson over the years is to see the chronicle of a man who did not take his pain and sin to the Cross, and instead of experiencing God's regenerating grace, attempted his own handmade makeover. It was sad, tragic, and painful to watch.

What Jackson did to himself is what we all do to ourselves outside of Christ. The difference is that Jackson's failed attempts were all worn obviously, in public view, on the changing tapestry of his face, while we may mask ours better.

As you shrink from the Frankenstein shock of Jackson's visage, reflect: mankind was created in God's image (Genesis 1:26-28), and still bears that image (Genesis 9:6). But in seeking to take God's place and make themselves gods (Genesis 3), our foreparents did to their whole beings what Michael Jackson did to his face: they horridly disfigured themselves and all of us, leaving a repulsive mockery of what we were meant to be.

The only solution for us is not a succession of endeavors to remake ourselves. Each attempt leaves a worse spectacle than the previous, and moves us further from what we truly need.

The only solution for us is the solution to which Michael Jackson never submitted himself, as far as is known: to be born anew, under the good hand of our Creator. We do not need new faces. We need new natures. We need the miracle of regeneration, not the tragedy of manmade makeovers.

And this can only come through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Anonymous people from at least six continents pass through these pages every day. My prayer for you, whoever you are, is that you will take your hurts and brokenness and crimes against God to the only place when you can find forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation: to the Lord Jesus Christ.

(This week's Hither and Thither should go up around noon, PST)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three AMAZING fan-made efforts

Some amazing works are being produced by fans. We recently had a gander at the fan-made Hunt for Gollum.

I just stumbled on three other remarkable fan-made efforts. These won't be for all of you, of course... but dude, if you've liked "super-heroes" at all, tell me you don't want to see this movie:

There's material for three movies in that trailer.

But that's not all. Another fan appreciated the work of actor Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity, Angel, Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Castle), and dreamed about how cool a Green Lantern movie might be if he starred. The result (Parental warning: bad word in last scene):

And if you've not seen it, here's one more surprise (watch it before you show your kids):

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Calling the Brain Trust: help me source an illustration on sovereign grace Gospel

I thought I knew where this came from, and evidently do not. It is a vivid way of depicting the fatal flaw in Arminian evangelism. It goes something like this:
Imagine that you walk into a morgue. Corpses on every slab, right and left. Ah, but you bring them a precious gift! You have the elixir of life in your hand! One sip, and they will live!

So you preach to them, you offer them the drink, you appeal to them, beg them, plead with them. At the climax of your utterly convincing, flawlessly-reasoned address, you set the golden chalice on a table in the center and issue an invitation. All they have to do is reach out, grasp the cup, and swallow its wondrous contents! All who will, may come and drink and live!

But that is exactly the problem. They can't. If they have to make the move that connects them to life, none will live, because they're all dead!
Now, I thought that was from van Til's Defense of the Faith. But I just scanned that, and can't find it. Was it from Murray's Redemption, Accomplished and Applied? I don't have that with me to check.

Can any of you brainiacs give me the book and the page?

Guitar chords for hymns

My first solo pastorate came to hurt for musical accompaniment. The hapless church's self-taught guitarist pastor reluctantly rose to the occasion by default.

Back in the 1980s there was no interwebs to speak of (Algore hadn't invented it), and limited music available. So, though unable to read music, I chorded familiar hymns by ear. We sang two hymns, two choruses at each service. I did the best I could.

Wish I'd had THIS!

(h-t m'mate Craig)

UPDATE: Gary in the meta also points to this resource. (Thanks, Gary!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dad is a pastor? Hunh; why didn't God think of that?

I mean, it seems like such a great analogy, and full of wonderful thoughts. Dad is a pastor. His family is his little tiny church. Cool!

Everybody's saying it. If I've read that assertion once, I've read or heard it dozens of times. Driscoll just released a book with that in the title, and you can read online for free.

Now, this isn't a bag-on-Driscoll post. It isn't even in any sense an about-Driscoll. post. The idea isn't original with him, and his book may have many great ideas. I'll probably look through it later.

But so many great people give this "Dad is a pastor" line that I'm a bit puzzled that no one has pointed out: the Bible never says anything like that.

Shouldn't that be significant? I mean, if it's such a great idea, how come God didn't come up with it first?

I remember in Pastoral Ministry class, reading the text by Criswell (I think it was this one). He talked about being a prophet, a priest, and a king, and how a pastor was all those things. As I recall, I wrote in my margin something like "Yeah, except that he's none of those things. That would be the Messiah."

Ditto dad-as-pastor. You may make the case that he should lead his family. True! And he should teach them the Word. True! And he should care for and pray for their souls. True! and true!

"Say," remarks some well-meaning sage. "A pastor does those things!" True again.

But the Bible never says the dad is a pastor, is like a pastor, is sort of a pastor. Never once. So it must not be an analogy we need.

And besides, Mom assists dad in many of those same things. Does that make her an associate-pastor?

The ugly side-effect of this popular, made-up notion is that it can encourage arrogant, self-absorbed, loveless isolationists to withdraw from the challenging nitty-gritty of actual church-fellowship. After all, why do they need to go to church? Dad is the pastor, the family is the church. Just stay at home, sing the hymns that The McGillicutty Family likes to sing, pray prayers the length The McGillicutty Family likes to pray, preach on texts and topics that The McGillicutty Family likes to hear, stay away from anything and everything The McGillicutty Family doesn't enjoy, and let The McGillicutty Family fellowship with The McGillicutty Family.


How can it be?!

Dad is the pastor!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jib Jab strikes again, with "He's Barack Obama"

JibJab has done some wonderful political parody.

Now... this.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Creative video: "Sorry I'm Late"

Keeping with our tradition of starting the week out with a lighter note:

Reader David Achilles pointed me to this very creative video, reminiscent of Her Morning Elegance. Enjoy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hither and Thither — 6/19/09 (special Admiral Ackbar edition)

Sorry, kids, it's just a little slim today (because of how this week was, in part). In fact, after this week, and some "stretching" I need to do to start the weekend — I'm ready for some serious silliness!

Going heavy on the eclectic, we start with our special...

Admiral Ackbar Feature!

Who's Admiral Ackbar, you ask? Let me refresh your memory:

Got it? Well, now maybe you're ready for — but first, a disclaimer. A reader says something about RSS (which I don't understand) not linking correctly to these videos, and so taking you to Adult Swim, which indeed has much inappropriate material So what is RSS, anyway? A way to read my posts without bringing my "hit" count up?

Anyway, now that I have that out of the way, maybe you're ready for this:

And this:

And this:

And this:


And this:

And finally this, which needs no title:

And now a bit more standard fare:
  • He was an uneven president, but he's an amazing octogenarian. What do you think you'll be doing at 85? Probably not this.
  • Geek alert: you know you want them. Star Trek cakes!
  • After I'd seen that, alert reader Berry Davis pointed out this and this.

  • Now for Lego fans: a truckload of scenes from movies, Legotized. Warning: I have not watched them all. Some are obviously from movies you don't want your kids watching. I'd say preview before you show them, or oversee.
  • Probably too late, but here are some Father's Day gifts.
  • Another reason to like Pixar: this. It teared me up; poor kid. So you know at least one highly-placed person at Pixar had to have told some pencil-pusher, bean-counter, and/or lawyer: "Yeah, forget that. Show the kid the movie, and do it now." HSAT, I hope you'll forgive me for saying, I do hope she also had something better to hang on to in those hours.
  • Help me out here: is it Christian to call someone a barking idiot? If not, it's going to be a lot harder to designate one of my state's great disgraces, a blight on our nation, the reason I can't mock Arkansas too heartily for inflicting Bill Clinton on the world. I would be speaking of the execrable Senatrix Barbara Boxer, whom I can mostly kindly describe as dumber than a box-full of hair. That woman, adding to the shame with which she's covered herself on the subject of abortion, publicly dressed down a brigadier general (who, in contrast to her, has served his country with distinction) for the great crime of calling her "Ma'am." At this point, a witty and arch comment would be appropriate, but I find myself more moved to bury my head in my hands and shake it.
  • Someone might argue that it would be more fitting to show the Senatrix sympathy. After all, we're all fools in some way or another, and we all do and say foolish things. And when we do, only a handful know it, usually. But the poor Senatrix, every time she has the poor judgment to open her mouth in public, unveils herself as "a glittering jewel of colossal ignorance" to the entire world. And that is sad.
  • And I do pray for her. But here's what keeps me from sympathy: that fatal combination of folly and power. Nobody thrust upon her this office for which she is so clearly and eminently unqualified. She "worked hard for" it, as she lectured the hapless general. Now, when I'm a fool, only a few are immediately affected, if even that many. But Boxer's follies potentially affect the entire world. And that's just bad.
  • Now to (almost) end on a lighter note, as usual:

  • And finally, for all of you about to get your brand-new iPhone 3GS today (please, don't gloat), I offer this reminder:

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Here's what my Facebook says right now:

I guess two posts on N. T. Wright in one day was just too much.


UPDATE: ah, now I have my 324 friends back.

Dialogue with a composite N. T. Wrightophile

I just posted what could be construed (correctly!) as a critical piece on N. T. Wright. Now, I've done this before, and I know how it goes. I still get a trickle of outraged vitriol over this nearly four-year-old post. I've had it at Pyro, I had a silly go-around with a couple of dainty souls over at Doug Wilson's blog who wanted to engage me in a bracing round of "He Who Is Offended First Wins."

So I know how it goes.

Therefore, unless they miss it altogether, or read this post first, or have already come athwart my responses in the past, here's how at least some cries of outrage will run — along with my responses.

You haven't read all of Wright's writings!


Then you can't criticize him!

Well. Did you read all of my online writings before criticizing me?

Er, no... but you're nobody!

True enough. But in that case, why are you bothering to argue with me? Why do you care how I criticize Wright?

And besides, let's be fair:
  • If I can't criticize anything Wright says without knowing everything Wright says...
  • ...then Wright should be required to say everything any time he says anything — or he should say nothing at all.
Unless it's your argument that Wright is really such a wretched failure of a communicator that nothing he says can be understood?

No no, of course not. But you should give him credit. At least he believes in some kind of Hell. That's very conservative for his milieu.

Well now, as a Christian, is that my standard of judgment? It seems to me that this would be playing the game Wright himself is playing: considering men's judgment as paramount. My goal isn't to be more conservative than... well, anyone; nor more liberal. My goal is to please God. To do that, I must fear God (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10, etc.). If I do that, I will not fear man (Proverbs 29:25), and will not be swayed by trying to be well-thought-of by the world (James 4:4).

But he's an international scholar, and you're nothing!

Not quite true. I am a child of God, part of a kingdom of priests, and no man's slave. I have no Pope, just a great high priest before whom both Wright and I are naked and vulnerable, and by whose word we are both judged (Hebrews 4:11-13). I have to test everything by that standard (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Even N. T. Wright.

Besides, since when did an academic degree constitute a "Get-Out-of-Criticism-for-Life" card? Doesn't that actually raise the standard of judgment for Wright (James 3;1)?

But that's the problem. Your lack of advanced education enslaves you to a Western mindset that blinds you to your own biases, and leaves you unable to appreciate the subtle nuances of Wright's position.

Yeah, about that. See, I don't think you need a PhD in Second Temple Judaism to get the imagery of fire and judgment and all. I think people sometimes use that to come up with dodges and covers that make them feel more respectable in the eyes of people who hate God. I think they sometimes use it to change the message, and be better-liked.

When I was a very young Christian, a coworker asked if I really believed in a literal Hell. I said I really did. He responded that Eskimoes would not see a Hell of fire as a bad thing.

I thought, even at the time, that if I took my hand, and an Eskimo's hand, and stuck them both in a blazing fire, we'd have pretty much the same experience, and come away with pretty much the same impression.

I don't think it's rocket science.

In this way, Wright strikes me as Emerg***'s do. They throw around words like "Western" and "Platonic" as code-words for "I know that what the Bible teaches is offensive, and I think I've found a way to say I'm a Christian, but look smarter and more sophisticated than other Christians, and be thought well of by the world."

Which is really not a healthy Christian goal — and isn't my goal (Galatians 1:10).

But Wright is reaching people you could never reach!

Absolutely right.

But I think the question, "Reaching them with what?", is inescapable, unavoidable, and central.

We need to reach people with the Gospel. And I remain unconvinced that that is what Wright clearly, accurately, and urgently is concerned to do.

Ooh. Free books. Free D.A. Carson books!

Free good D. A. Carson books!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Resolved 2009 Conference mp3s now online

MacArthur, Piper, Mahaney, more: click.

On Peter Masters' rant: in which I add only one small thought to Messrs. Turk and Wilson

I was very disappointed to read this rant by Pastor Peter Masters, who I think is a good brother, and who I know is successor to the great Charles H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. I had some thoughts I wanted to share. But for a couple of reasons, I held back temporarily.

Then I saw that Frank Turk said just about everything I wanted to say, only better. So I decided that, when I had the chance, I'd add the one little thing I wanted to add.

But then I saw that Doug Wilson pretty much covered that, as well, except for one specific. However, in his covering, Wilson did bring one little nag at the back of my mind to the forefront.

So, first, the specific:

As disappointing and largely wrongheaded as Masters' rant is (basically he dismisses "new Calvinists" because he doesn't like their music style and their worship style), I am afraid he is at least somewhat in Spurgeon's tradition.

Just, unfortunately, not in Spurgeon's best tradition.

It was an odd thing. Spurgeon enjoyed cigars, even though his practice scandalized orthodox brothers on (what they imagined were) grounds of morality and worldliness. He was bold and unapologetic. I think Spurgeon was right.

At the same time, Spurgeon was death on theater-going. The Bible says precisely as much about theater-going as it does about cigar-smoking: zero. Yet he was thunderously condemnatory. Perhaps his most memorable statement was this:
The evangelical faith in which you and Mr. Beecher agree is not the faith which I hold; and the view of religion which takes you to the theater is so far off from mine that I cannot commune with you therein.
Unless I badly misunderstand him (and have for years on this), Spurgeon is saying that Beecher cannot be a Christian. Is not saved. Why? Because of immorality (Biblically-defined), or defective views on the Bible or the person and work of Christ?

No. Because he feels free to go to the theater.

As I say, Masters is in that tradition. It just isn't a good tradition.

Now, here's the little thought Wilson brought to the forefront of my mind. Masters complains, of modern would-be Calvinist preachers:
They reject the concern for the personal guidance of God in the major decisions of Christians (true sovereignty), thereby striking a death-blow to wholehearted consecration.
To that, Wilson offers this tart and dead-on retort:
And this from a man who a moment before was chastizing the charismatic element in the behavior of the new Reformed! It is bad to lift hands to the Lord like the charismatics (and like John Calvin, but let that pass), but it is not bad to make personal life-decisions as though the gift of prophecy were still operative today? A personal word from God, your name on the envelope and all, is necessary to true consecration? Why can't you just do what the Bible tells you to do?
I wondered who Masters was thinking of when I read this. I know he knows Phil; I guess he might occasionally visit Pyromaniacs. The person in that neighborhood who has pounded this particular bongo-drum the most furiously lately would be the Calvinist Spurgeon-loving guy who wrote this and this and this and this.

But honestly, that guy is such a small fish (as commenter #11 on this meta quite correctly observes), that I realized it probably would be Kevin DeYoung, whose book (you may recall) I loved.

Making Kevin DeYoung another bad Calvinist.

In which case I say, "Please, God, more bad Calvinists!"

Attention: seminary wannabes

I believe I have a few readers at least who are (or may be) headed for seminary.

Check out the Logos scholarship. Apply, and you may receive a $1000 scholarship and a Logos Scholar's Library.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Luck or skill?"

Try watching this un-slack-jawed. A number of people here narrowly evaded their time to die...

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

...yet a sure and certain court-date does await. Best to be prepared.

You have got to use this: ChristianAudio sale

Last year I "scored" a couple of excellent buys. You'll be sorry if you pass it up: most of ChristianAudio's digital download books are on sale for $7.49.

Last year, I got Waltke's Biblical Theology. Normally $45.98, on sale for $7.49. Totally worth it. (It comes with Gordon Fee's NT Biblical Theology, which I found annoying and worthless, and on which I bailed out. But it's still worth it for Waltke.)

Don't miss it.

(h-t Challies)

Yeah, so... what verse are we on?

Prime example of what I said was the biggest problem facing evangelicalism today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ultimate resource on cessationism

Big title. Pretty good page!

Except —snif! — he doesn't link to any of my many posts on the subject, either here or on Pyro. Or my article!


In which I am interviewitized, and tell you of the coming week

Hi gang.

First, I mentioned a particularly probing interview to which I'd been treated. It's now up.

Second, this week at work I have the ugliest task in my job: working the email queue. They just made it harder, too. The effect on you is that I'll probably have less time to work up the usual kind posts. I do have on-tap a number of fun videos and such, so the blog won't sit idle.

Plus a big chunk of my writing time next weekend will be taken up by something that is Not; so I have to grab all I can get in my off-hours.

I just didn't want anyone thinking, "Has Dan lost interest in blogging? Has this become an all-video blog?" Those answers would be No, and No, respectively.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hither and thither — 6/12/09

Weird. I was thinking I'd not have much for you today. WRONG!
  • Who could have predicted that amoral, self-centered egoists would find a cult teaching that they are the universe, and that they are even bigger than themselves, appealing? I mean, besides everyone and anyone?
  • Another reason it doesn't surprise me too much: before Christ saved me, I did the exact same thing.
  • On the other hand, Hollywoodwise, I don't know if any studio has been as consistently excellent as Pixar studios. My family saw and enjoyed "Up," last Sunday. (I was home, sick.) Among other things, they single-handedly kill the argument that movies must be gritty and nasty to be successful. Check this out.
  • And then there's this:
  • By starkest contrast: an Oh, No, Really, No, Please — Try Not to Speak Alert. (Equally, it could be called a Valerie, Skip This One Alert, in homage to my dear wife's wise practice of trying to know absolutely nothing about the private lives and thoughts of media-types she otherwise enjoys... since they're pretty much invariably paint-thin, amoral idiots when they're not reading words written by someone else.) So, HSAT, I share with you all that plastic starlet Megan Fox probably thinks it would be best if you and I swiftly died a violent death. Ah, I love the smell of liberal love 'n' tolerance in the morning!
  • On the subject of "death," a Dinosaur MSM Death-watch Alert. Former Procter & Gamble vice-president Lou Pritchett submitted a letter to the New York Times. It was about Obama. Ah, but it dared to be critical, so they didn't print it. No matter. He took it to the internet, where it's been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Man just bypassed the MSM, and I'm loving it. The death-grip is loosening. Check out more here.
  • Title of the week. Now, who hasn't wondered this? How to Make a Fake Wall You Can Crash Through. Now you know. No need to thank me, comes with the meal.
  • Lead sentence of the week. "Alcohol has been the downfall of many ne’er-do-wells, but never quite like this." Read the rest.
  • Sobering (read "chilling," "disgusting") tale for pro-aborts. Just read it, it's short. (h-t- Challies)
  • Yet remember, being a human outside of Christ is not about objective processing of facts. I know someone who was somberly informed of grave, grave defects in her unborn child, and encouraged to abort. She didn't. Perfect, beautiful baby. Yet she is and remains completely pro-abortion. (So is that now-grown child, I am told.) It isn't about facts or truth, but rather about their suppression.
  • Aaaand now comes the first time my Lego feature will probably not delight my Lego-loving readers: this. Sorry. (Well... it was historical.)
  • "Say, honey, aren't those raindrops kind of large? What a minute... what th--?"
  • Hunh. Shooting things (under tight control) can be pretty.
  • Sometimes a familiar expression can become more than just an expression.
  • So whose functionary intoned to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu these insufferably arrogant words: "We are going to change the world. Please, don't interfere"? Oh, I probably gave it away when I said "insufferably arrogant," didn't I? Yep, it was a tool of The One who issued that directive. Here's an endearing photo of The One talking with Netanyahu, complete with graphic insult:
  • And while we're in the neighborhood, here's another insight into the sort of man President Obama selected to be his family's pastor, and stuck with for decades. Reflection on the President's judgment and character? Nahh! Of course not!
  • And again, in that neighborhood: remember how the MSM trumped what a Christian O was, and how wrong it was to make anything of his middle name, or to suggest he was in any way Muslim? Frank Gaffney make some sober (and alarming) observations about America's first Muslim president. We're either talking "contextualization" to a suicidally barking-mad degree, or Manchurian candidate. Another reason for professed Christians who put the scalpel in O's hand to repent.
  • And in that neighborhood, yet another reminder that when we observed that people treat O as if he were God, we weren't just blowing smoke (thanks, CR). But, as Rush Limbaugh observed, there are of course huge differences between the two. For one, God doesn't think He's Obama. For another, liberals love Obama.
  • Yikes. The one that really should have gotten away.
  • Here's a sobering and startling reminder of the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:2 (thanks, Julie). Do not forget, dear reader: your only opportunity to know God is NOW.
  • Here's the other side of the truth that when it's your time to go, you go.
  • For our techie readers: a number of these 13 apps worth downloading look as if they're actually worth downloading!
  • Also for our techie readers: a way you can make a minty fresh portable power-shot for some of your USB devices.
  • Oh, dear. Speaking in tongs. (Thanks to reader Berry Davis.)
  • And in case you ever want to "text" the Ten Commandments... well, don't. (Thanks, Becky.)
  • Well, lookie here. Someone built himself a real-life hobbit(-style) home in Wales.

  • And finally: