Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On A Real Lonely Night - Warren Haynes (Man In Motion)

Tears, Tears, Tears - Gregg Allman

Rapture Flowchart

Fair Is A Four Letter Word

“That’s not fair.” 
It’s a child’s first sentence, perhaps a senior’s last, and it makes many appearances in between. So who would have thought that fair is a dirty word? It should never be spoken within the boundaries of the Kingdom of Heaven; it is never spoken there. You have to leave the throne room before it can be muttered.

Fight injustice not fairness
We know salvation is not merely about personal security, but it carries with it an obligation to stand against oppression. “Fair” wants justice, which, we would think, is a good thing.
Fairness usually takes aim at perceived injustices against ourselves. The danger is, we are better about identifying true injustices when they are against others than when they are against ourselves. When it is about me, a slight becomes an injustice. That is, you took my toy, and that was an egregious wrong, and I want revenge . . . I mean fairness.
Though we might be clumsy in our concerns for justice, we are right to pursue them. When we talk about fairness, however, we are actually speaking about something different from injustice. Fair, to us, is not so much about injustice as it is about symmetry. We want the pot divided evenly.

Don't sacrifice relationships in pursuit of your perception of "fair"
The other day my wife and I were out for dinner and her portion was bigger than my own. Maybe this wasn’t an injustice, but this, of course, was unfair on two counts. First, the portions should have been even. Second, if you take into account the portion-size to weight-of-the-eater ratio, and realize that I outweigh my wife considerably, then fairness meant, if there was going to be a larger portion, I should have it. Yet I was patient. I waited until dessert and took a big spoonful of her white chocolate ice cream. Life then returned to its harmonious balance, though it almost cost me a couple fingers.
Look around. Any time you hear the word fair you will find broken relationships and other forms of nasty fruit. Guaranteed. In other words, during our fine dinner, I was actually turning away from Jesus Christ to utter some profanity – “this waiter should know better; this isn’t fair” – while my wife continued on her normal course of sanctification, except for when she tried to stab my hand.
The danger is, we are better about identifying true injustices when they are against others than when they are against ourselves.
The problem with all this? There is no symmetry in the Kingdom of Heaven. Instead, God’s Kingdom is completely lopsided. God has done it all. He pursued, loved, forgave, blessed and promised a lavish inheritance. We can never meet God half-way, and we should stop trying.

Thank Jesus for imbalance
There is a kernel of something right in fair. In a close relationship, if one person always receives preference, the relationship becomes strongly hierarchical rather than mutual. The result is something less than a genuine relationship. In such situations we might speak out because of our interest in unity, but we do that in humility and gratefulness as we remember the unbalanced nature of real life.
If we keep in mind the story of the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18:21-35 we will see the asymmetrical kingdom. Jesus, the most asymmetrical human life was never angry when he was violated and abused. He always loved first and loved more, and he always will. Be thankful for imbalance.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Goin' Down - Jeff Beck (1972)

Harry Reid - No Stinking Budgets!

Blues Deluxe - Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart

Christ's Death and Resurrection Include The Whole People Of God

An illuminating few sentences, to be read slowly, from C. H. Dodd:
All that is said about the significance of the work of Christ presupposes that he includes in himself the whole people of God, or redeemed humanity. His death and resurrection are not to be understood if they are thought of as no more than the death and miraculous resuscitation of an individual, but only if they are seen as the fulfillment of the whole purpose of God to raise up for himself, through suffering, tribulation, and disaster, a people made wholly one in him and devoted to his righteous purpose. Christ 'rose the third day,' says the ancient formula quoted by Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians, 'according to the scriptures.' But in the Scriptures--videlicet, in Hosea 6:1-3--it is Israel whom God will raise on the third day. The bold application of that prophecy to the resurrection of Christ in the earliest Christian confession of faith known to us lies behind the Pauline doctrine of the church as dead and risen in Christ.
--C. H. Dodd, 'The Old Testament in the New,' in The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? (ed. G. K. Beale; Baker, 1994), 180 ('videlicet' = Latin for 'clearly,' 'plainly')
Dane Ortlund

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Snoopy on Twitter

The Devil Only Fears One Thing

Pastor, Satan doesn’t mind if you preach on the decrees of God with fervor and passion, reconciling all the tensions between sovereignty and freedom, as long as you don’t preach the gospel. Homeschooling mom, Satan doesn’t mind if your children can recite the catechism and translate the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” from English to Latin, as long as they don’t hear the gospel. Churches, Satan doesn’t care if your people vote for pro-life candidates, stay married, have sex with whom they’re supposed to, and tear up at all the praise choruses, as long as they don’t see the only power that cancels condemnation—the gospel of Christ crucified. Satan so fears that gospel, he was willing to surrender his entire empire just to stave it off. He still is.
- from Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ  by Russell Moore

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joe Bonamassa - Had To Cry Today (2006) Rockpalast

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Wham! (1983) Live at the El Mocambo

Do We Need All These Books on the Gospel?

Dane Ortlund writes at the Crossway Blog:
After all, after 2,000 years, don’t we know by now what the gospel is? Haven’t we “been-there-done-that”? Why do we need one book after another on the same old topic?

1. Because the gospel is “of first importance” (1 Cor 15:3). In describing his ministry—a ministry that communicated “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)—Paul described it as testifying “to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

2. Because you’re going to roll out of bed tomorrow a functional Pharisee. The instincts beneath your instincts, the impulses way down deep inside you, are law, not gospel. A good night’s sleep, not a heretical sermon, is all it takes to forget the gospel of grace.

3. Because the gospel is disputed and debated today. What is the gospel? What are the implications of the gospel? What is the relationship between the gospel and the kingdom of God? How does the gospel relate to growth in godliness? What is the connection between the gospel and community? These questions need answers from different people, with different voices and different backgrounds, who love the same gospel.

4. Because the church is always one generation away from losing the gospel. Every generation must rediscover the glories of free grace for itself.

5. Because for every book exulting in or explaining or defending the gospel, a hundred more roll off the press which, wittingly or unwittingly, distract us from that which is of first importance.

6. Because the gospel is the central message of the entire Bible. Jesus said that even Moses was writing, ultimately, about him (John 5:46). The last verse of the Bible sums up the core message of the Bible: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).

The gospel is the scandalous news that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, our disobedience cannot dent God’s approval of us and our obedience cannot help God’s approval of us, as we look in trusting faith to Christ. And the priority of this gospel, the functional need of the gospel, the contesting of the gospel, the retaining of the gospel, the constant sidelining of the gospel, and the unified biblical testimony to the gospel all unite to say—yes, we need more books on this gospel.

Harold Camping and Al Gore Both Nuts!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Everything That Isn't Gospel is Law

Everything that isn't gospel is law. Every way we try to make our kids (or ourselves) good that isn't rooted in the good news of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ is damnable, crushing, despair-breeding, Pharisee-producing law.
Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson, p. 36

All Shook Up - The Jeff Beck Group

Opening track from the band's sophomore 1969 album, Beck-Ola.

God & Country

Kevin DeYoung on patriotism in church:
We should pray for service men and women in our congregations. We should pray for the President. We should pray for the just cause to triumph over the evil one. We are not moral relativists. We do not believe just because all people are sinners and all nations are sinful that no person or no nation can be more righteous or more wicked than another. God may be on America’s side in some (not all) her endeavors.
But please think twice before putting on a Star Spangled gala in church this Sunday. I love to hear the national anthem and “God Bless America” and “My Country, Tis of Thee,” but not in church where the nations gather to worship the King of all peoples. I love to see the presentation of colors and salute our veterans, but these would be better at the Memorial Day parade or during a time of remembrance at the cemetery. Earthly worship should reflect the on-going worship in heaven. And while there are many Americans singing glorious songs to Jesus there, they are not singing songs about the glories of America. We must hold to the traditions of the Apostles in our worship, not the traditions of American history. The church should not ask of her people what is not required in Scripture. So how can we ask the Koreans and Chinese and Mexicans and South Africans in our churches to pledge allegiance to a flag that is not theirs? Are we gathered under the banner of Christ or another banner? Is the church of Jesus Christ–our Jewish Lord and Savior–for those draped in the red, white, and blue or for those washed in the blood of the Lamb?
In some parts of the church, every hint of patriotism makes you a jingoistic idolater. You are allowed to love every country except your own. But in other parts of the church, true religion blends too comfortably into civil religion. You are allowed to worship in our services as long as you love America as much as we do. I don’t claim to have arrived at the golden mean, but I imagine many churches could stand to think more carefully about their theology of God and country. Churches should be glad to have their members celebrate Memorial Day with gusto this Monday. We should be less sanguine about celebrating it with pomp and circumstance on Sunday.
You can read the read of his post, “Thinking Theologically about Memorial Day.”
Justin Taylor

Shocking before-and-after pictures of the Joplin, Missouri tornado devastation

Gnosticism in the Camp(ing)

Arguably the second oldest and most persistent Christian heresy is gnosticism (the first is legalism). Early forms of it were condemned in Colossians and possibly other Pauline letters, and also in 1 John. Gnosticism splits the “spiritual” world from the visible material world, saying that what really counts is not what we can see, but only what happens in the invisible realms. It seriously undermines God’s work in creation and especially in the Incarnation and Resurrection. It violates clear biblical teaching about the end times, the future state we call “heaven.”
Gnosticism is not Christianity.
Harold Camping says Judgment Day actually did happen last Saturday—in a “spiritual” sense. Can his teachings still be called Christian? Some of them, yes. But his most public ones are infected with deadly error.
I don’t want to draw the Gnostic connection more closely than it deserves, but it comes to mind that Gnosticism tends to promote spiritual pride, and vice-versa. One wonders if some humility might have helped Camping admit he made a mistake.
First Things

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Buddy Hacket Duck Hunting Joke On The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson

Deadly tornadoes strike again - The Big Picture

A deadly spring continued in the American South and Midwest as more tornadoes cut swaths of destruction through Missouri and Minnesota. The death toll in Joplin, Mo. was near 100 and expected to rise. As much as 30 percent of the town was damaged. In Minneapolis, a tornado killed one resident as it caused heavy damage and led to school closures and a curfew. The death toll from 2011 tornadoes stands now at 455, the deadliest year for tornados since 1953. -- Lane Turner (24 photos total)Click Here

BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Etta James - Midnight Hour

The Real Twister

Another Day Without the Return of the King

A good word in season from Mike Wittmer:
Even those who interviewed him didn’t take him seriously. One anchor closed her segment on Camping with a knowing smirk, “Let’s hope he’s wrong.”
That’s where all who love Jesus must disagree. We are the first to say that Camping’s aim and method were wrong. No one can predict when Jesus will return, and Camping’s convoluted and implausible argument for May 21, 2011, was not particularly promising. We were right to declare that Camping was wrong, but we also should have wished that he wasn’t.
Christians should feel a twinge of sadness every night when we turn in to bed, for we have lived another day without the return of our King. The Lord’s Prayer includes the line, “May your Kingdom come soon” (Luke 11:2). As far-fetched as Camping’s prediction was, his spectacular miss should prompt us to reassess our deepest longings. Will we only scoff at his delusion, or will we also remember that we should want our Lord to return?
Perhaps we aren’t excited for Jesus’ return because we’re too easily pleased with the present. As one preacher said, “It’s hard to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ when your kingdom has had a good year.” Thank God for the good life you presently enjoy, but don’t allow his current blessings to distract you from the Christian’s prayer: “Our Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Luther on Assurance

Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (Werkes, 33:288–289):
For my own part, I frankly confess that even if it were possible, I should not wish to have free choice given to me, or to have anything left in my own hands by which I might strive toward salvation. For, on the one hand, I should be unable to stand firm and keep hold of it amid so many adversities and perils and so many assaults of demons, seeing that even one demon is mightier, than all men, and no man at all could be saved; and on the other hand, even if there were no perils or adversities or demons, I should nevertheless have to labor under perpetual uncertainty and to fight as one beating the air, since even if I lived and worked to eternity, my conscience would never be assured and certain how much it ought to do to satisfy God.
For whatever work might be accomplished, there would always remain an anxious doubt whether it pleased God or whether he required something more, as the experience of all self-justifiers proves, and as I myself learned to my bitter cost through so many years.
But now, since God has taken my salvation out of my hands into his, making it depend on his choice and not mine, and has promised to save me, not by my own work or exertion but by his grace and mercy, I am assured and certain both that he is faithful and will not lie to me, and also that he is too great and powerful for any demons or any adversities to be able to break him or to snatch me from him.

Jeff Beck Group - Let Me Love You - with Rod Stewart

Albert Collins Buddy Guy Jeff Beck Eric Clapton BB King Sweet Little Angel Live

Grace is Alone by Definition

There is a sense in which "sola gratia" is redundant! If grace is not "alone" it is not grace! "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." (Romans 11:6) The grace of God by definition will not admit of any admixture of debt! "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." (Romans 4:4)
Reformation Theology

Hail To The Chief

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday, In A Multitude Of Languages

The iconic American singer and songwriter was born 70 years ago -- May 24, 1941 -- in the small town of Duluth, Minnesota. His paternal grandparents fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Odessa in 1905, while his maternal grandparents arrived in the United States from Lithuania.

Over the last five decades, Dylan has produced nearly 1,000 songs, many of them indispensible additions to the soundtrack of the 20th century.

It has been a career of shocking and unpredictable twists and turns -- from the anthemic protest songs of the early 1960s, to psychedelic rock poetry, to intensely personal and introspective lyrics, to songs that have been shaped by the roots traditions of American country and blues music.

And his influence has been truly global. One online database lists more than 32,000 cover versions of his songs, in languages from Catalan to Esperanto, from Icelandic to Khmer.

"I think Dylan's greatest achievement is that he taught musicians how to write lyrics, and he taught the whole world to listen to the lyrics," says Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, a musician with the Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy. "Before him, the lyrics in popular songs were just a supplement to a nice melody, simply a set of memorable words. After Bob Dylan's appearance, musicians started thinking that it was possible to convey their own thoughts through music and even carry out social experiments by playing guitar or through singing."

Kyrgyz rocker Bakyt Kydykbaev, leader of the band Salty Dog, agrees.

"Bob Dylan changed the nature of rock music. That's a great contribution," Kydykbaev says. "While people even in the West in the 1960s accepted rock music as a light, pop genre, Bob Dylan started using strong words with strong meanings."

Touring the world almost nonstop, Dylan performed a show in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in April.

Armenian singer and guitarist Ruben Hakhverdyan wrote his popular 1960s song "My White Dove" under the influence of Bob Dylan's classic "Blowing In The Wind."

"I think that song was about freedom -- that song had made such a huge impression on me," Hakhverdyan says. "I was impressed that freedom is sleeping on the wings of the wind and so on. And it was under that influence that I wrote that particular song."

Alexandru Andries is a Romanian folk singer and songwriter who has translated many of Dylan's songs into Romanian and put out an album of Dylan covers in 1999. He remembers first hearing Dylan during the darkest days of Nicolae Ceausescu's regime.

"For me, the first song that really impressed me was 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall,' first of all because it was incredibly long, which was not usual at that time," Andries says. "And second, because the words were really meaning something. Of course, on the other hand, we had [The Beatles'] 'Hey, Jude,' which was a very long song, but the words didn't mean so much."

Andries says Dylan represented "a special kind of freedom." Like many in the Soviet bloc, Andries first heard Dylan through a Radio Liberty program called "Metronome," which was wildly popular in Romania, as well as Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. It was hosted by jazz musician and music producer Cornel Chiriac.

Here is Chiriac on February 8, 1975, introducing Romanians to Dylan's classic album "Blood On The Tracks," released just a couple of weeks before:
Translation: "Today we'll listen to Bob Dylan's new album, an album received with mixed reactions by the critics. Nobody knows if it should be praised or criticized. While 'Melody Maker' and 'New Musical Express' reviewers struggle with this dilemma (to criticize or not), a journalist writing for the English magazine 'Disc' begins his article by expressing a truth that must be taken into account when we speak about 'Blood On The Tracks': listening to it is like listening to Dylan's music for the first time. Here's 'Tangled Up In Blue…'"

At the age of 70, Dylan is as active as ever, performing more than 150 concerts a year and still producing albums of powerful, original material. He is reportedly working on the second volume of his memoirs and has in recent years begun exhibiting his paintings.

In April, he played his first-ever concert in Beijing, opening the show with a song from his Christian period that begins:

"Gonna change my way of thinking / Make myself a different set of rules. / Gonna put my best foot forward / And stop being influenced by fools."

Last year, Russian rocker Yury Shevchuk got into a very public spat with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin over the state of human rights in Russia. In a show of support, the Irish band U2 invited Shevchuk onstage at their Moscow concert for an ecstatically received rendition of Dylan's ode to mortality, "Knocking On Heaven's Door."

Robert Nemecek plays bass for the Serbian rock band Pop Masina. He says that Dylan's concert last year in Belgrade was a major event that shows how the country has changed since 1991.

"I am sorry that when Dylan first came to Serbia in 1991, on the eve of the war and all those stupid things, the people at the concert didn't understand what Dylan was actually bringing to them," Nemecek says. "Among other things, that Belgrade concert was probably the best on that tour. For example, there was a fantastic version of the song 'New Morning,' which was maybe the best version of that song in that decade.

"My heart was full last year when Dylan came to Belgrade again and gave a fantastic concert. Things finally somehow fell into place because people finally understood that Dylan is something that cannot be compared to anything else. And when he is gone, he will remain a landmark against which developments in music and other forms of art will be compared."
Georgian music producer Giorgi Asanishvili is emphatic that Dylan's work, from throughout his long career, speaks to people in his country as well.

"Bob Dylan is one of those geniuses who are relevant in every time period and in every country," Asanishvili says. "He is very relevant to present-day Georgia, too. Sadly so, I would say, because a lot of injustice still takes place here."

Asanishvili welcomes the inward direction that Dylan's songwriting has taken in the last decade or so.

"I think today we are living in such times that singing about love has itself become kind of a protest act," he says. "Things have become so debauched -- so much pointless music and poetry and literature are being produced about love that to write a beautiful love song or a poem is, in itself, a protest against all this. And I think this is what Bob Dylan is doing at present."

RFE/RL's Armenian, Georgian, Moldovan, Kyrgyz, Balkans, and Ukrainian services contributed to this report

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone (ORIGINAL)

Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - The Times They are a-Changin

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower

Jimi created the greatest version of this Bob Dylan song

Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan by Bono

When I was 13, Bob Dylan started whispering in my ear... it was a hoarse whisper, jagged around the edges, not-too-plain truths...ideas blowing in the wind about how the world could be a better place if we could just get it out of the hands of the hypocrites.

When I was 16, Bob Dylan whispered in my ear about how the real enemy was not flesh and blood, but of a spiritual nature.
At 21, with the slow train of faith having picked up a little too much speed, I stood at a religious crossroads and heard "Every Grain Of Sand" stop time. When I got married at 22, Bob Dylan was whispering in my ear about love and infidelity. When I had my first child at 29, Bob Dylan wrote "Ring Them Bells" and "What Good Am I?" When I ran out of gas in the late '90s, I had Time Out Of Mind to hold on to.

When the world crumbled around two shining towers, and New York had its two front teeth knocked out, I had Love And Theft to hang on to. Now, having faced 50, I'm realizing I knew much more then than I do now. I'm returning to the brutal truth the "The Times They Are A-Changin'" - but you don't have to let them change you. In short, all my life, Bob Dylan has been there for me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

No Works!

"To those who believe in Christ there are no works so bad as to accuse and condemn us, but again, there are no works so good that they could save and defend us".
--Martin Luther, 'Judgment on Monastic Vows,' in Luther's Works, 44:301

Howlin' Wolf - Wang Dang Doodle

On Enjoying Not Envying Our Heroes in the Faith

John Piper on Charles Spurgeon and his mind-boggling productivity for the gospel:
What shall we make of such a man?
Neither a god nor a goal.
He should not be worshiped or envied.
He is too small for the one and too big for the other.
If we worship such men, we are idolaters.
If we envy them, we are fools.
Mountains are not meant to be envied. They are meant to be marveled at for the sake of their Maker. They are mountains of God. . . .
We are to benefit from them without craving to be like them. When we learn this, we can relax and enjoy them. . . .
Let us be, by the grace of God, all that we can be for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 15:10). In our smallness, let not become smaller by envy, but rather larger by humble admiration and gratitude for the gifts of others.
—John Piper, “Mountains Are Not Meant to Envy: Awed Thoughts on Charles Spurgeon,” in A Godward Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1997), pp. 264-265.
Justin Taylor

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Rant: Rob Bell and An Evangel-less Evangelicalism

Maybe he didn't mean to do this. Maybe he was taken out of context. Maybe the interviewer chopped his words up to better reflect a different agenda.

One can hope.

The title of the (very) short interview is "[Rob] Bell aims to restore the true meaning of evangelical."


Bell's printed definition is this:
I embrace the term evangelical, if by that we mean a belief that we together can actually work for change in the world, caring for the environment, extending to the poor generosity and kindness, a hopeful outlook. That’s a beautiful sort of thing.

I'd like to buy the world a Coke.

This definition is worthless for evangelical meaning. It could easily be the mission statement of Greenpeace, the United Way, your local vegans' co-op, or even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It is a definition of evangelical that contains zero evangel.
If you are unclear on why this is the case, the word "evangel" comes from the Greek word that means "gospel." An evangelical is a "person of the gospel." Or should be. Bell's definition contains no gospel.

"Well, sure it does," some are arguing in the comments at Out of Ur's post on the interview.
One of the commenters there, in appreciation of Bell's definition, writes:
We've gotten so used to reading the Bible without its historical and cultural context, that we've largely ignored its impact on its original hearers

Yes, because when first century readers read Paul's claim of the gospel's "first importance" in 1 Corinthians 15 and what comes after, they heard in their original context and culture that they really should recycle more.

That was sarcasm.

The problem with Bell's definition is not that it outlines a practical faith or that anything he's highlighting is bad or wrong, only that what he outlines contains no object of faith and highlights work to do rather than work completed. And I don't know about you, but work completed is always better news than work undone.

His definition of "good news people" lacks two very important good news ingredients: News and a Good Person.

Keller and Carson remind us to not speak of the gospel as if it is advice. That's good advice.

And there is no Jesus in Bell's evangelical outline. No work of Jesus. Just us bein' awesome.
Here's some bad news: we are not awesome.

The good news is that Jesus is.

At this point someone always wants to get to gospel definitions. Doesn't the gospel entail renewal of creation, etc.?
Yes, but it necessarily entails the announcement that it is being done by the great Renewer.
We're not seriously going to debate about whether Jesus' name and his finished work on the cross and out of the tomb should be in our definition of the gospel, are we? Is that where we are in evangelicalism? The cross and tomb are part of a "yes, but"?

The interviewer asks Bell about Jesus: "I’m struck by the fact that I don’t hear a lot of explicitly religious language, or mentions of Jesus, from you."

(Just to interject here, but this should always be a huge stinking red flag. People, if your preacher rarely mentions Jesus, ask him why. A preacher who does not preach Jesus is not a Christian preacher. By definition. I don't mean he isn't a Christian. I'm just saying he's not a "Christian preacher." He's probably a great motivational speaker or spirituality coach or something, though.)

Here is Bell's response to the interviewer's keen observation of Jesuslessness:
I don’t have any embarrassment about my religion, and it’s not that I’m too cool, but I would hope that the Jesus message would come through, hopefully through a full humanity.

I really don't even know what this means, but I think it means this:
a. You're right, I don't use Jesus' name that much.
b. That's okay because that can turn people off.
c. Nevertheless I still hope that somehow the Jesus message slips through.

Hey, how about we don't "hope" that to happen, but we just actually do it? If the Jesus in your preaching is subliminal, you're failing. I don't care how many people are in your church or buy your books or watch your videos. An implied Jesus is a FAIL.

And this is why this shade of the emerging thing -- and I know I can't lump them all in together; in some eyes, I'm a part of the emerging church and so is Mark Driscoll and so are McCoy and Thorn up there in Chi-town and so is Neil Cole, et.al. -- is really just our Boomers' seeker church metrosexualized. And why many of the seeker church guys are now embracing this shade of the emerging thing. It's their deal, only cooler. The feel-good legalism is still there and Jesus makes cameo appearances. That's an ecclesiological reconstruction FAIL. (Thank you, Jim Belcher.)

Jesus doesn't need you or me to be embarrassed for him or his followers. He doesn't need our help. We don't have to butter people up before we bring him out. He's not a time share or Amway or something.

If I get hit by a bus just after preaching a Jesusless exhortation to hold hands and be sweet to change the world with positivity, you have my permission to wish the bus had hit me before I preached.

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! And woe to you too, Rob Bell.
Jared Wilson

Howlin' Wolf - Who's Been Talkin'

Grace, One-Way Love

Paul F.M. Zahl, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life (pg. 36-38)
What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. It is being loved when you are the opposite of loveable.

Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualification the receiver may personally hold.

Grace is one-way love.

The one-way love of grace is the essence of any lasting transformation that takes place in human experience. . . . One-way love lifts up. One-way love cures. One-way love transforms. It is the change agent of life.

Grace depends on the fact that its origin is wholly outside myself. This is the heart of love; it comes to me from outside myself. Moreover, while it almost always elicits a response, which is my love in return, it comes toward me without any reference to my response. One-way love does not deviate on the basis of its goal. It is determined solely by its source.

One-way love is the change agent in everyday life because it speaks in a voice completely different from the voice of the law. It has nothing to do with its receiver’s characteristics. Its logic is hidden within the intention of its source. Theologically speaking, we can say it is the prime directive of God to love the world in no relation to the world’s fitness to be loved.

One-way love is also irrational because it reaches out to the specifically undeserving person. This is the beating heart of it. Grace is directed toward what the Scripture calls “the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Not just the lonely, not just the sick and disconsolate, but the “perpetrators,” the murders and abusers, the people who cross the line.
A. Orendorff
The more difficult it is to love someone – the less lovely and lovable they are in themselves – the more our love towards them reflects and images God’s love towards us. It is no credit to your faith to love those who are inherently lovely; it is when we love those who we would naturally and justly recoil from that we show the authenticity of our faith. To love in the name of Christ is to love those who Christ loved: not the well, but the sick, not the righteous, but sinners.

Not Serious About The Debt

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stay at Home Dad: Eat My Meat

Eric Clapton "crossroads" - a different take

The Pastoral Challenge and Opportunity When the Rapture Doesn’t Happen

Some wise words from Eric Landry:
We must be very careful about how we respond. Will we join our friends at the “Rapture Parties” that are planned for pubs and living rooms around the nation? Will we laugh at those who have spent the last several months of their lives dedicated to a true but untimely belief? What will we say on Saturday night or Sunday morning?
History teaches us that previous generations caught up in eschatological fervor often fell away from Christ when their deeply held beliefs about the end of the world didn’t pan out. While Camping must answer for his false teaching at the end of the age, Reformational Christians are facing a pastoral problem come Sunday morning: how can we apply the salve of the Gospel to the wounded sheep who will be wandering aimlessly, having discovered that what they thought was true (so true they were willing to upend their lives over it) was not? If this isn’t true, they might reason, then what other deeply held beliefs and convictions and doctrines and hopes might not be true?
It’s at this point that we need to be ready to provide a reasonable defense of our reasonable faith. Christianity is not founded upon some complex Bible code that needs years of analysis to reveal its secret. Christianity is about a man who claimed to be God, who died in full public view as a criminal, and was inexplicably raised from the dead three days later appearing to a multitude of witnesses. When his followers, who witnessed his resurrection, began speaking of it publicly, they connected the prophecies of the Old Testament to the life and death and resurrection of this man who claimed the power to forgive sins. This is the heart of the Christian faith, the message that deserves to be featured on billboards, sides of buses, and pamphlets all over the world.  It is also the message that needs to be reinvested into the hearts and lives of those who found hope and meaning in Harold Camping’s latest bad idea.
Justin Taylor

Didn't Make It In The Rapture

Friday, May 20, 2011

14 Year Old Jeff Freer in Greece

This is what happens when you leave a camcorder in the hands of a crazed 14 yr old. I forgot all the crazy stuff Jeff did. He was like this the whole trip to Greece. This is from the archives of the Freer family videos.

World Ends Tomorrow - A Punk Named Harold Camping

As you may have heard, a punk named Harold Camping is shooting his big mouth off about how the Bible supposedly guarantees that judgment day will be May 21. Right about the time we're going to be watching a play starring Jack Bauer, Jim Gaffigan, and one of the original cops from Law & Order, Jesus is guaranteed to return, because it's some certain time after the flood, and based on some numerology and awful theology, Camping has cracked the Bible code. And between the omnipresent billboards and the interviews with every media type willing to slander the church (by claiming he's part of us and speaks for us), his message is getting out. May 21 is judgment day.

So what is the Christian response to this?

First, understand that Harold Camping is a vile blasphemer. Jesus could not have been more clear that we cannot, will not, and have no business trying to figure out the date. Whenever he was asked about this, his response was always direct and unambiguous - it's none of our business, and we cannot know. Harold Camping claims that not only does he know, it is the duty of every Christian to know. In other words, he's calling Jesus Christ a liar. This is utter blasphemy. (For more on Camping's devolution, see this excellent five-part series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Second, we can't say for sure that May 21 is not the day (at least the day that everything starts, or the day of the rapture, or whatever your eschatology holds) any more than this guy can say that it is. Look - I understand the temptation to say that if some crackpot is predicting Christ's return on a certain date, we can be sure it won't be that date. But that simply doesn't follow. We won't know either way - we can never predict when it will be, nor can we say with certainty that it won't.

While we don't want to endorse Camping's sinful bluster in any way, we also don't want to go too far the other way, and pretend that Christ's return is not imminent. In denouncing Camping, it's far too easy to sound like the mockers and scoffers of 2 Peter 3. Jesus may not come back on May 21 - it may be May 17, or May 22, or some other day. We don't know - and it is a tragedy when our lack of knowledge here causes us to give comfort to the lost, or get complacent and act like it couldn't happen any moment. Jesus very explicitly warned against this, and Peter was clear about how we should live in light of Christ's imminent return.

Jesus could come back at any time - be ready! Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation!
One Man peanut Gallery

Frank Sinatra-The Way You Look Tonight

George Benson - The Shadow Of Your Smile [Live '72]

The Illegitimate Love Child

Sex as a Sign and Appetizer of Something More

A most provocative sentence in Bruce Marshall’s novel The World, the Flesh, and Father Smith (1944):
The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.
I think Peter Kreeft is on the right track in his analysis:
I think a secularist has only one substitute left for God, only one experience in a desacrilized world that still gives him something like the mystical, self-transcending thrill of ecstasy that God designed all souls to have forever, and to long for until they have it. Unless he is a surfer, that experience has to be sex. We’re designed for more than happiness; we’re designed for joy. Aquinas writes, with simple logic, “Man cannot live without joy. That is why one deprived of true spiritual joys must spill over to carnal pleasures.”
Drugs and alcohol are attractive because they claim to feed the same need. The lack the ontological greatness of sex, but they provide the same semi-mystical thrill: the transcendence of reason and self-consciousness. I do not mean this merely as moral condemnation, but as psychological analysis.
In fact, though they sound shocking, I think the addict is closer to the deepest truth than the mere moralist. He is looking for the very best thing in some of the very worst places. His demand for a state in which he transcends morality is very wrong, but it’s also very right. For we are designed for something beyond morality, something in which morality will be transformed. Mystical union with God. Sex is a sign and appetizer of that.
Moral absolutists must never forget that morality, though absolute, is not ultimate. It is not our Summum Bonum. Sinai is not the Promised Land; Jerusalem is. And in the New Jerusalem, what finally happens as the last chapter of human history is a wedding between the Lamb and His bride. Deprived of this Jerusalem, we must buy into Babylon. If we do not worship God, we will worship idols, for we are by nature worshippers.
Justin Taylor

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Blues With a Feeling

What Is the Book of Daniel Centrally About?

The central truth which Daniel taught Nebuchadnezzar in chapters 2 and 4, and of which he reminded Belshazzar in chapter 5 (vv. 18-23), and which Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged in chapter 4 (vv. 34-37), and which Darius confessed in chapter 6 (vv. 25-27), and which was the basis of Daniel's prayers in chapters 2 and 9, and of his confidence in defying authority in chapters 1 and 6, and of his friends' confidence in defying authority in chapter 3, and which formed the staple substance of all the disclosures which God made to Daniel in chapters 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11-12, is the truth that 'the most High rules in the kingdom of men' (4:25; cf. 5:21).

He knows, and foreknows, all things, and His foreknowledge is foreordination; He, therefore, will have the last word, both in world history and in the destiny of every man; His kingdom and righteousness will triumph in the end, for neither men nor angels shall be able to thwart Him.
--J. I. Packer, Knowing God (IVP 1973), 25
Dane Ortlund

The Little Engine That Couldn't

Get This Clear In Your Mind

Romans 5:20-21:
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Assurance (Banner of Truth, 1971), 299–300:
What grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. If grace had done just that, and that alone, it would still be something wonderful. If the effect of grace had merely been to wipe out, and to cancel, all that had happened on the other side, we should have had a theme for praising God sufficient to last us through all eternity.
But, says the Apostle, it is not an exact counterbalance; what I have on the right side does not exactly tally with what I have on the left. In fact there is no comparison; it is a superfluity, an abounding, and engulfing, it is an overflowing on the side of grace.
We must hold on to this truth at all costs and get it clear in our minds.

BOB DYLAN - Early Morning Rain (1970).MPG

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

B.B. King - There Must Be A Better World Some

Living Your Whole Life To The Glory Of God = Worship

There is no shortage of good books (and bad!) on the theology of worship. The best is David Peterson’s Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (IVP, 1992). Peterson’s book is not a practical how-to on worship planning, but rather an in-depth, exegetical look at the biblical understanding of worship.
Worship, according to Peterson, is first of all a whole life lived to the glory of God.
Throughout the Bible, acceptable worship means approaching or engaging with God on the terms he proposes and in the manner that he makes possible. It involves honouring, serving and respecting him, abandoning any loyalty or devotion that hinders an exclusive relationship with him. Although some of Scripture’s terms for worship may refer to specific gestures of homage, rituals of priestly ministrations, worship is more fundamentally faith expressing itself in obedience and adoration. Consequently, in both Testaments it is often shown to be a personal and moral fellowship with God relevant to every sphere of life.
Kevin DeYoung

Cartoonist's Mourn

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Albert King - Killing Floor - Wattstax cd3 _04

‘The Adjustment Bureau’ Adjusted

Our family recently went to see The Adjustment Bureau and thoroughly enjoyed it. Matt Damon leads in a fast-moving story about an aspiring politician who falls in love with a girl he was “not supposed to meet.”
The plan for his life is set by “the chairman” who, while never seen in the movie, operates from the top floor of a tall building. He is remote, invisible, and inaccessible. All of us, we are told, have met him, though we know him by different names.
The chairman has agents whose work is to make sure that people’s lives follow the chairman’s template, and if they get off course, to make an adjustment. That’s what happens to Damon after encountering a girl he was not supposed to meet. The agents make an adjustment to ensure that he does not meet her again, and Damon has to pit the power of his choices against the chairman’s plan.
I enjoyed the movie, not least because it provoked some great discussion, especially about free will and the sovereignty of God. But here is where The Adjustment Bureau needs to be . . . adjusted.
1. The chairman’s agents in The Adjustment Bureau are dark and shady characters.
One of them has redeeming features, but the overall picture is clear: the sovereign is sinister. The almighty has a plan, but your plan is better.
But what if the Sovereign is good? What if his plan for my life is better than any plan I could ever conceive? What if, knowing all things, the Sovereign protects me from choices with consequences and outcomes I cannot imagine or foresee? Far from rising up to resist his plan, my best interest would be to pursue it and submit to it in faith.
Those who have discovered that the Sovereign is good know that true wisdom lies in turning away from the impulsive arrogance that says, “I know what is best and I will pursue what I want at any cost,” and embracing the humility that says, “God knows what is best, and I will follow what he wants at any cost.”
2. The Adjustment Bureau raises good questions about free will. If God is sovereign, what kind of choices do we have?
The Bible never uses the phrase “free will,” but God calls on us to make choices and holds us accountable for them. So what kind of freedom do we have?
a. We make real choices, and we make them freely.
God created people, not puppets. The choices we make are real, and they shape the course of our lives. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15).
b. We are responsible for the choices that we make.
Adam tried blaming Eve for his sin, and Eve tried blaming the Devil. But God holds us responsible for our choices, and we cannot shift the blame (Gen. 3:12, 13; James 1:13-14).
c. We choose according to the prevailing desires of our hearts.
Your heart governs your choices, so the freedom you have is freedom to follow the deepest desires of your heart. Writing in his Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof states it well: “There is a certain liberty that is the inalienable possession of the free agent, namely, the liberty to choose as he pleases, in full accord with the prevailing dispositions and tendencies of his soul.”
The power governing our choices is not external (as if God were forcing you into something you would not choose) but internal. We choose according to the prevailing inclinations of our own hearts.
To put it more simply: you have the freedom to do what you most want to do. And therein lies the problem. I cannot be anything I want to be. I cannot do anything I want to do. My choices are governed by my heart, and my heart is the heart of a sinner, unless and until it is changed by the intervention of God.
“Free will” is a slippery term, and that is why I prefer not to use it. If you take it to mean that we make real choices for which we are responsible, there is no doubt that this is a gift we have been given. But if it means (as is usually the case) that we have the ability to pursue any path by the power of our choosing, then the Bible would surely correct us and remind us that sin puts this beyond our power. “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Only when the Son of God sets us free are we “free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).
3. The Adjustment Bureau presents a world in which a sinister power above us moves our lives along a certain path, and true happiness is found in freeing ourselves from this power by exercising the power of our own will. Freedom from the power above is found by the application of the power within.
But what if it’s entirely the other way round? Suppose the dark, sinister power is not above us but within us. What if that dark power has attached itself to you and become part of who you are? What if it has infiltrated your choices so that they are no longer as free as you would like to think, but are weighted and biased against your own best interest? What if the enemy is not above but within?
If that were true, everything would be reversed. Instead of finding freedom from the power above by exercising the power within, your hope would lie in finding freedom from the power within by the intervention of the power above. And that gets to the heart of the gospel.
The problem we face does not lie in God but in us. Our battle is not against a sinister sovereign but against the dark power of sin that lies in our own nature, affecting our thinking, feeling, remembering, imagining, and choosing.
The Adjustment Bureau suggests that you need to make choices that will deliver you from a dark and sinister God. But the real story is about how you need the sovereign God to deliver you from the dark and sinister power that inhabits your choices. The film suggests that your will is supremely good and that God cannot be trusted. But the real story is that God is supremely good and that you dare not trust your own will. The Adjustment Bureau suggests that the best plan for your life is the one that originates with you. The real story is that pleasures beyond anything you can imagine are at God’s right hand, and he is able to deliver you from the self indulgent choices that would keep you from them.
The Adjustment Bureau is a good film worth seeing, but it puts God in the place of man and man in the place of God. Its message needs not so much an adjustment as an inversion.
Colin Smith is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. For more resources by Colin Smith visit Unlocking the Bible

A man’s burden: Apologizing for being offended

Everyone can agree that this is pretty much exactly right, right?
Or maybe not. In which case…I’m sorry.
22 words

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing

Honest MTV Logo

Judgment Day: May 21, 2011?

Albert Mohler has some good background on Harold Camping’s latest claims (part of a larger pattern of false teaching), and closes his article with some helpful reminders:
First, Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge. In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” In Matthew 24:36, Christ taught similarly: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
To state the case plainly, these two verses explicitly forbid Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times. Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself. It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God’s timing by any means.
Second, the Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher. The Bible has been given to us in order that we might know the truth, and the truth is clearly revealed in its pages. We are not to look for hidden patterns of words, numbers, dates, or anything else. The Bible’s message is plain and requires no mathematical computation for its understanding. The claim that one has found a hidden code or system in the Bible is an insult to the Bible as the Word of God.
Third, Christians are indeed to be looking for Christ to return and seeking to be found faithful when Christ comes. We are not to draw a line in history and set a date, but we are to be about the Father’s business, sharing the Gospel and living faithful Christian lives. We are not to sit on rooftops like the Millerites, waiting for Christ’s return. We are to be busy doing what Christ has commanded us to do.
In Hebrews 9:28, we are taught that Christ will come a second time “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” That is the faithful Christian response to the New Testament teachings about Christ’s coming. The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.
Justin Taylor

Sunday, May 15, 2011

LITTLE WING (1970) by Derek and the Dominos live

Welcome To Our Twittering Present

5 Things You Can Stake Your Life On

1. God's words are true.

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
-- Psalm 33:4

2. Even if you let him down, he will never return the favor.

If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
-- 2 Timothy 2:13

3. He is never late.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
-- Romans 5:6

4. He is not slow.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
-- 2 Peter 3:9a

5. He loves you.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
-- 1 John 4:16a
Jared Wilson

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chet Atkins - 'Don't Think Twice It's Alright"

Chet and Terry from Sound stage. Great instrumental version.

Johnny Cash - Don't Think Twice, It's Alright

Johnny Cash singin a Bob Dylan song at Newport Folk Festival in 1964!

Bob Dylan writes a note to his fans

Allow me to clarify a couple of things about this so-called China controversy which has been going on for over a year. First of all, we were never denied permission to play in China. This was all drummed up by a Chinese promoter who was trying to get me to come there after playing Japan and Korea. My guess is that the guy printed up tickets and made promises to certain groups without any agreements being made. We had no intention of playing China at that time, and when it didn't happen most likely the promoter had to save face by issuing statements that the Chinese Ministry had refused permission for me to play there to get himself off the hook. If anybody had bothered to check with the Chinese authorities, it would have been clear that the Chinese authorities were unaware of the whole thing.
Read The rest here

Osama's Journal

The Only Thing that Matters

I walked in the sunshine with a scholar who had effectively forfeited his prospects of academic advancement by clashing with church dignitaries over the gospel of grace. 'But it doesn't matter,' he said at length, 'for I've known God and they haven't.'
--J. I. Packer, Knowing God, 25

Friday, May 13, 2011

Albert King - I'll Play The Blues For You

"The Devil Can Kiss My Backside"

“It is the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel.  If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside.  Even if I sinned I would say, ‘Should I deny the gospeI on this account?’ . . . Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished.  But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, ‘The forgiveness of sins covers it all,’ I have won.”-   
                                                                                                                                                                  Martin Luther, quoted in Reinhard Slenczka, “Luther’s Care of Souls for Our Times,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67 (2003): 42
Ray Ortlund

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” recreated with bacon

First It Was:

Then it was…

22 words

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sonny Boy Williamson I`m A Lonely Man

Sonny in Europe

Ethics 101

Considering True Grit

1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, … Proverbs 28
So begins True Grit.  The rest of it reads “… but the righteous are bold as a lion.”  Sounds like they have true grit.  The unseen narrator, an older Mattie Ross, informs us that a coward named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) shot and killed her father, and ran though no one followed.  Nothing in this life is free, she says, but the grace of God.  Like a lion, she is going to pursue.  The music in the background for much of the movie is the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”
The Coen brothers say it is not a remake of the John Wayne classic.  But it pretty much follows the plot line except for a few minor deviations.  It is far more stark, however.  It takes place during winter in the Midwest.  Gone is technicolor, and Glen Campbell singing.  But added is the Coen brothers’ flair for dialogue, and Mattie gives them a great opportunity.  Her delivery reminds me of Holly Hunter in their also brilliant Raising Arizona.
She is also tougher than in the 1969 version.  She spends a night in a coffin.  She is dogged in her persistence in negotiation as well as pursuit.  Before she pursues Chaney, she must pursue Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn.  What we discover is not a woman marked by grace, but by law.  The daughter of a Mason, she is a hard teenager.  Like Javert she is going to pursue Chaney, except she is not the long arm of the law.  This movie is about vengeance, not justice.
With the search for Osama bin Laden over, I couldn’t help but note the parallel.  I’m not sure if this was their intended message, but it sure fits.  Vengeance is accomplished, but the price was high both personally and collaterally.  The starkness of the Coen brothers’ cinematography is matched by the brutality in the movie, particularly Cogburn’s.  While not the best marshal in the territory, he is exactly the one Mattie wants.  Though a drunk, Rooster knows no fear and offers no compassion.  He’d rather bring back a corpse.
Jeff Bridges is not the Duke, but is a better actor than the Duke.  What he lacked in aura, he more than makes up for in acting chops.  The brothers Coen help create the aura of brutishness they need to sell the character.  We first “meet” him in the outhouse behind the saloon.  His testimony at trial seals the deal.  But he is not a monster.  He tries to leave Mattie behind so she is not a part of all that will follow.
Matt Damon is a huge improvement over Glen Campbell as Ranger LaBoeuf.  His is an odd character.  Though much older, he seems to have something for the teenaged Mattie.  He talks a good game, but he seems fairly incompetent when the pressure is on.  He and Rooster don’t get along, and there is much verbal sparring.  Every time they seem to part ways, something happens to bring them back on the same path.
LaBoeuf claims Chaney is very smart, and only acts stupid.  Could have fooled me.  Brolin does a great job playing the mentally challenged villain.  But to bring justice to Chaney, Rooster has to deal with the rest of Lucky Ned Pepper’s (Barry Pepper with really bad teeth) gang.  And that brings us to the most famous scene in the movie, with the lines I love so much.  They keep it intact much to my delight.  The Duke may have done it better, but Bridges pulls it off pretty well.
The brothers Coen excel at telling stories with an odd twist.  They do a great job telling this story.  It is not a pleasant story, but they usually aren’t.  Early on in the movie there is a hanging scene which sets part of the tone.  Sin brings misery, misery that spreads far and wide.  Yet, like another dying outlaw, we deceive ourselves into thinking we’re okay enough and going to get into heaven.  As usual, the Coens provide an interesting glimpse into the human heart and its fallenness.
Caveman Considers

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas Day (Behind the scenes) | Paul Simon

Getting Ready For Christmas Day | Paul Simon

I love this song.

When A Bomb Is not A Bomb

Thoughts From Monday - Thor and The True Story

Thank God for my tempurpedic bed, along with my trusty C-pap machine that keeps me breathing through the night so that I sleep well. I went to bed last night exhilarated from the Red Wings come from behind victory over the dreaded Sharks from San Jose. Yes I know the way to San Jose and I’m not going, thank you very much.

Anyway I went this afternoon to see the movie Thor in 3D. You can keep the 3D as far as I’m concerned I prefer 2D movies. I grew up reading the classic comic books, Batman, Superman and the rest. Can’t say that I’ve ever read Thor but I’m familiar with the legend and the basics of the story.

Odin the King of Asgard is about to make his son Thor King when the proceedings are interrupted by the Frost people. Thor in direct disobedience to the King goes to Frost land or whatever it’s called and provokes a war. After a very nasty conversation with his son Thor, which most fathers and sons can relate to in some way, the King banishes his son to earth and takes his power away from him, which resides in his hammer (Hum – “If I had a hammer”).  The King then sends the hammer to earth but Thor will not be able to use it until he learns humility.

Thor through a series of events and especially after meeting a beautiful earth girl, who is a scientist, falls in love and cares for earth people and learns humility. Thor’s Brother Loki betrayed his father and Thor and has taken the throne. Loki will not help Thor and lies to him telling him that his father is dead. Loki then sends a very mean robot to earth to kill Thor and blow a lot of stuff up. Prior to the robots arrival Thor's best friends and his sister all fellow warriors come to earth to bring Thor home. The mean robot starts to blow up the town and threatens Thor’s friends, earth people and the earth girl. In a moment of understanding Thor tells his brother to spare the lives of the earth people and kill him instead. He humbles himself and is willing to lay down his life to save others. At that moment the words that his father spoke when he banished his son that once he learned humility the hammer and his power would be restored come true. The hammer being guarded by S.H.I.E.L.D. a secret government agency comes loose and returns changing Thor from a powerless but very strong human back into superhero Thor. Thor goes on to save the day back home making his father proud but destroying the bridge device that would enable him to go back to earth and see the beautiful earth girl.

Hey, it’s a comic book made into a movie it’s not Shakespeare. People are drawn to myths and legends and heroic deeds. But there is a true story of a father who sends his son on a mission to save lives. This father is the true God who created everyone and everything that exists. He had created a perfect world and put a perfect man in charge named Adam. But Adam willfully sinned against God and was influenced by a fallen Angel. The entire human race was plunged into the darkness of sin. So the True Father sent his only son into the earth to redeem man from sin. This Son was always obedient and only did the will of the Father. He humbled himself by leaving heaven and coming to earth to be born of a virgin and to be made a man. This son lived a truly heroic life and was kind and compassionate to all. Knowing that no human being could save themselves because they were all sinners by nature, he came and lived a sinless life so he could take their place and be punished for their sins and win their freedom. He allowed himself to be taken captive, to be falsely accused and judged and then executed by being nailed to a tree. Through death he conquered death and on the third day after he was buried he rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven fully satisfying The Father's justice and judgment for sin. He is now the way back to the Father for anyone who believes in Him and accepts by faith that he took their place, he endured the punishment that was theirs and pays the price for the sins they had committed. He was the innocent dying for the guilty. In order to receive this gift you have to admit you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself. The guilty cannot save the guilty. 

There is someone who is both God and man, his name is Jesus and He is the only one who is the mediator between God and Man. He is the only one qualified to redeem people from their sin and the only one who can take sinners and make them acceptable to the True Father. Call on him today and you will be welcomed into the Fathers family as a child of God. You will be given the gift of eternal life and will live forever in the Father's house as a redeemed son or daughter.

This is the only true story.