Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Conservative Movies of the Last Decade

The Telegraph's Nile Gardiner creates a list I largely agree with, and I've seen every movie mentioned except one:

1. Master and Commander
2. Black Hawk Down
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
4. Gladiator
5. The Pursuit of Happyness
6. The Dark Knight
7. The Hurt Locker
8. Hotel Rwanda
9. The Lives of Others
10. 300

Honorable mentions: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Cinderella Man; Gran Torino; Juno; The Passion of the Christ; Rocky Balboa; Tears of the Sun; United 93; We Were Soldiers

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books Roundup

As I do every year, here is my list of the top books that I read this past year. Reading a lot (around 65 books) gave me more books to choose from but these titles stood out:

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl
The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin

What were your favorites?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Why Church Membership Matters

Kevin DeYoung recently wrote a book I plan on reading called Why We Love The Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion and here are some of his thoughts on that topic.

Why Membership Matters

More Thoughts On Membership

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Technology Soup: Benjamin Button

A great visual presentation on the "Holy Grail" of visual effects - the fully animated head used in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Complete List Of Things Caused By Global Warming

I heard about this list by Dr. John Brignell some time ago but was reintroduced to it through Mark Levin's new book, Liberty and Tyranny. You can find the list here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blue Like Jazz - Book Review

Miller's book is less a treatise of emergent thinking as a conversational and diary-like experience. He values transparency and authenticity and is transparent himself as he talks about his own failings with honesty and humor. This thing he calls Christian spirituality (because Christianity has bad PR) is personal and introspective. One thing I like about Don Miller and the emergents in general is how they want to get rid of the cliché in the church and that is often needed.

But this introspection has them turning to narrative truth instead of propositional truth and you find sensitive passages like this one: "...for so long religion was my false gospel. But there was no magic in it, no wonder, no awe, no kingdom life burning in my chest." In other words, no feeling there. The postmoderns that we call emergent, love to talk about their feelings and experiences and here is another exchange where he's talking about a friend who is thinking about God and Christ: "She wanted God to make sense. He doesn't. He will make no more sense to me than I will make sense to an ant." "I love this about Christian spirituality. It cannot be explained, and yet it is beautiful and true. It is something you feel, and it comes from the soul."

There is a lot of heart talk and not much head talk. Truth be told they mistrust the head and intellect. At one point he writes "My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect" and it make me chuckle because not once in this entire book does he discuss his intellect in relation to this Christian spirituality. Where the head can't understand the heart feels wonder. And if those are reversed he will simply label it "religion" and try to get the heart (feelings) back.

He doesn't touch on the cross much and what the atonement is for (this is a contested area in emergent circles) but he does touch on the Bible and doesn't seem to think much of its answers. In a period of doubt he writes "I suppose what I what every Christian wants...I wanted tangible interaction. I believed if I could contact God, He would be able to explain who and why I was." And approaches God in prayer to say "I'm sorry God...I don't really know who I am, who You are, or what faith looks like. But if You want to talk, I'm here now."

As for the missional aspects of his existence it is strained through this paradigm: "For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical system that can be experienced but not explained. And I could not in good conscious [sic] tell a friend about a faith that didn't excite me. I couldn't share something I wasn't experiencing. And I wasn't experiencing Christianity." And speaking of apologetics he says "Ravi Zacharias says that what the heart is really longing to do is worship, to stand in awe of a God we don't understand and can't explain." Would Ravi say that we don't understand and can't explain God? I doubt that, because if he did what would that mean for his apologetics enterprise?

And for all this probably the worst thing about this book is the amount of silly, immature thinking enclosed. I don't know how wide Miller is in his thinking but this book is about an inch deep and you will come across passages like "It never occurred to me that if Christianity was not rational, neither were other religions" and "America is one of the most immoral countries in the world" and in a surprised way that "we have a sin nature, like the fundamentalist Christians say." By my reckoning Don Miller was in his early thirties when he published this book and I would be ashamed to say things like I'm afraid to read the Bible because I don't want to become like Pat Buchanan. Though he talks about truth, for Miller, and the emergent Christians he's aligned with, it is really about the experience. And what happens when those experiences cease and the feelings subside?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Blue Like Jazz - The Movie

I just finished the book and now I'm finding out that Steve Taylor is filming a movie of it. More info on Don Miller's blog.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Aircraft Black Box Recorders

Ever wonder exactly what data is stored on the black box recorders? They are the most sought after item at a plane crash site and Wired did a short, informative piece about this recently. One revelation: the black box is not black.