Friday, July 31, 2009

A Little Friday Humor

My wife and I love Brian Regan. Great stand-up comedian. Here's Brian discussing some of the differences between men and women.

And discussing his thoughts on books and movies.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rickey Henderson's HOF Speech

It took me a while to get around to posting this, but I thought this was very interesting. Rickey Henderson was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, and his speech was one of the most anticipated in the history of these ceremonies. Rickey is well-known for his "Rickey-isms," which usually include a reference to himself in the 3rd person combined with cocky, arrogant, albeit usually fairly accurate claims of his own greatness.

That's why I was pretty surprised from the clips I saw of his speech. I was expecting something like this (from Dan Abramson of the Huffington Post):

Rickey would like to thank the Hall of Fame for making a bronze statue of Rickey. Rickey looks dapper in bronze. Rickey looks even better in a uniform and neon-green Mizuno batting gloves. Would anybody like to hire Rickey?

Rickey can run. Not could run. Can run. Rickey keeps himself in "Rickey Shape" by lifting bases over Rickey's head and chanting "Rickey's The Greatest Of All Time."

When Rickey played for the A's, Rickey's teammates used performance enhancing drugs that made them almost as good as Rickey. If Rickey took those drugs, you'd get "Super-Rickey." "Super-Rickey" is too good and it wouldn't be fair for everyone who's not Rickey.

Rickey was a great a teammate. Just ask that guy who played second base when Rickey was in Oakland. He wasn't as good as Rickey, but Rickey got paid a lot more, so Rickey didn't mind. Rickey doesn't remember his name.

Instead, Rickey was genuine, humorous, fairly humbled (sort of), and mostly sincere. This story from the Onion captures the essence of all this:

COOPERSTOWN, NY—Baseball fans across the nation admitted to feeling "cheated" and "let down" by Rickey Henderson Sunday as the all-time stolen-base leader, known for his brash statements and bizarre turns of phrase, gave a humble and coherent Hall of Fame induction speech with overtones of humor and pathos. "He spoke pretty much like a normal human being," Oakland resident Darryl Kleinman said. "That’s not why I traveled across the country. I wanted him to get up there and, I don’t know, scream that he was the greatest athlete to ever grace God’s green earth, or announce that he was going to come back and play for the Nationals, or address the crowd in second person. Nobody wants to hear about how much he loves baseball."

You can read clips from the speech here, and here are some clips of it:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Review of "CompassionArt" - Various Artists

Album Release Date: January 27, 2009

Rating: 3/5

Involving a wide-range of wildly successful song-writers and singers, CompassionArt: Creating Art from Povertywas the brain-child of Martin Smith, lead singer of Delirious? and was designed to “connect the dots between art and poverty.” As a part of the larger CompassionArt organization, the album was created to raise money to fight poverty and hunger, helping to provide hope for some of poorest people in the world. With this as the driving force behind the album, it becomes somewhat more difficult to review, as it almost becomes impossible to separate the art from the extremely worthwhile cause for which it was made.

It is a task that must be undertaken, however, and I wish I could say the album completely rises to the challenge of capturing such weighty issues within the medium of music. Unfortunately, I was simply left feeling like they had assembled a hodgepodge album of songs, all somewhat connected around similar themes, but lacking a unifying thrust throughout.

Twelve different songwriters were involved, and seven other vocalists lent their voices. The talent involved was clearly top-notch (see tracklist below for the artists). The results, however, weren’t quite to the same level. I didn’t dislike most of the songs (even though many of the styles are not my favorite), but I didn’t find myself having enough moments where the music really brought me into the struggle of the people the album is trying to help.

One notable exception to this was “Friend of the Poor,” where Leeland Mooring made me feel the plight of the poor, inserting me emotionally into their world, feeling their pain and anguish. The song contains a beautiful melody to accomplish the emotional lyrics as well. I also thoroughly enjoyed the album opener, “Come to the Water,” which incorporates the Watoto Children’s Choir before launching into a nice, pulsating beat, while Chris Tomlin and others sing about coming to the Water of Life. I thought it was a great way to kick off an album about poverty and hunger, by pointing people to the Giver of Life (could have done without Kirk Franklin’s strange mixing of scriptures, though).

Really, other than a few songs here and there, much of album went by without highlight. I did enjoy their utilization of the world-famous Watoto Children’s Choir, as hearing children sing about Jesus always gets to me. There are so many different styles here, though (rock, gospel, adult contemporary, etc.) that it seemed more like someone put an iPod on shuffle than compiled a cohesive album. Sometimes the transitions between the songs were so jarring that it actually made otherwise solid songs seem so out of place it was distracting.

Stylistic critiques aside, this is simply a decent enough compilation album that happens to exist for an amazing cause in the fight against poverty. While I have to say the music was just average, the cause is not. Consider a purchase of this album a donation to an organization living out the words of Jesus, and the album is simply their gift back in return. I applaud those involved for continuing to bring light to important issues.

Learn more about CompassionArt and donate at

Track Listing:
1. “Come To The Water” - Chris Tomlin, Martin Smith, Kirk Franklin & Watoto Choir
2. “Shout Praise” - Israel Houghton, Darlene Zschech & tobyMac
3. “King Of Wonders” - Matt Redman, Tim Hughes & Joel Houston
4. “Lead Me To The Rock” - Paul Baloche & Lakewood Choir
5. “We Won't Stay Silent” - Tim Hughes & Steven Curtis Chapman
6. “Highly Favoured” - Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith & Watoto Choir
7. “Fill My Cup” - Martin Smith, CeCe Winans & Lakewood Choir
8. “Friend Of The Poor” - Andy Park & Leeland Mooring
9. “King Of The Broken” - Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton, Leeland Mooring & Lakewood Choir
10. “You Have Shown Us” - Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman & Chris Tomlin
11. “Until The Day” - Graham Kendrick & Darlene Zschech
12. “Let It Glow” - tobyMac & Kirk Franklin
13. “So Great” - Michael W. Smith, Christy Nockels & Israel Houghton
14. “There Is Always A Song” - Martin Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman & Watoto Choir

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amazing Guitar Playing

Just happened to come across these on YouTube and thought I would share. This kid is from South Korea and is only like 12 years old. His name is Sungha Jung. In the first video, he's playing Canon in D with Trace Bundy (another amazing guitarist - check out his website too). The second video is Sungha playing one of my all-time favorite songs, "Fields of Gold" by Sting. Great stuff.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Music Video of the Week

Going old school again today (with Seth's favorite song)...

DC Talk - "In The Light"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Painfully Beautiful Dance

Leah got me into the show "So You Think You Can Dance" during their last season. We've followed the show this year as well, though I don't think it's quite as good as last year. Anyway, this dance last night was really moving. 2 of the dancers performed a dance depicting the struggle against breast cancer. It was beautiful.

UPDATE: So apparently it's been deleted from YouTube. Bummer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Review of Jeremy Riddle's "The Now and Not Yet"

Album Release Date: March 3, 2009

Rating: 3.5/5

Back in 2006, it was pretty much impossible not to hear Jeremy Riddle’s “Sweetly Broken” off his debut album, Full Attention. I thoroughly enjoyed that song for its simplified beauty. It was a great worship song built around an acoustic guitar and a message of reliance upon God. Other than that song, however, I hadn’t been exposed to any of Riddle’s music, so I didn’t have much in the way of expectations when I sat down to listen to The Now and Not Yet, his latest album released back in March.

My first impression: if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Jeremy Riddle is extremely genuine and U2 should be extremely flattered. The similarities, from the atmospheric guitars, loud drums, and even the vocal style, the music sounds very familiar to that of the Dublin, Ireland rockers. It’s not extremely pronounced on every song, but some are just uncanny. “Prepare the Way of the Lord,” in particular, was a great song, but I found it difficult to not try and pick out all the U2-ness in it. By placing that track as the second song on the album, I was pre-disposed to view remaining songs through that lens.

I don’t necessarily think this is a horrible thing. After all, what’s really worse: an artist that is able to pretty successfully re-create the general sound of one of the greatest bands in history, or one that simply sounds pretty much like every other act out there? I’ll take Riddle’s approach over another generic pop/rock band in most cases, because, as I said, the song-writing and execution here is very good, even if it’s somewhat derivative.

“Christ is Risen” was a great opener and a song that I’m sure was used powerfully in many Easter morning services this past year. Other favorites included “Among the Poor,” which explores the meaning of Christ’s words that what we do for the poor we’ve done for him. I also really enjoyed “The One and Only,” with its powerful depiction of Isaiah 53, as well as “Joyful Noise,” which I’m sure goes over extremely well in a corporate worship setting. Possibly my favorite song, though, was “Prayer for the Church,” with its prayerful challenge to the bride of Christ to start acting like She should. Powerful.

While the album does contain a few forgettable songs, these are not the norm, as the music is powerful with Christ-exalting, God-honoring lyrics. There is solid worship here, with a good mix of non-worship tunes, demonstrating Riddle’s versatile song-writing ability. He mostly won me over with this consistency and almost made me forget he sounds like U2 making a worship album.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gospel Contradictions

Great post from iMonk on Friday that points out the ridiculousness of many things we, as evangelical Christians, do. I share his list not just to point out faults in fellow Christians, but as a reminder to myself, because I believe we all fall into many of these things from time to time. I especially loved and needed to hear 5,6, and 10.

“If we believe the Gospel, doesn’t it seem a bit contradictory to….”

1. Adopt a pious and pretty obviously phony kind of overly serious demeanor?

2. Always point out the sins of your favorite target groups like gays or political liberals or Hollywood?

3. Not have your beliefs about church challenged at all? Ever? For any reason?

4. Hold on to all of your money and possessions exactly like the non-Christians next door?

5. Not be able to explain the Gospel in any kind of coherent manner, or even to lay out the basics of the Gospel in a talk, lesson, conversation or (God help us) sermon?

6. Be more concerned about the culture war, the environment or politics than about missions in the 10/40 window or resourcing the church in Asia and Africa?

7. Still harbor the idea that most Christians are probably in your denomination, and while they may exist elsewhere, it’s kind of a miracle, because your church is really the only church that God actually uses in a serious way?

8. Not really care what’s in the song lyrics you use in worship?

9. Be so sure we know exactly how God is applying the Gospel through the Holy Spirit in the lives of other people?

10. To not be absolutely staggered with wonder, humility and awe?

See these points fleshed out a little more over at

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Video of the Week

Derek Webb - "What Matters More"

Wish I didn't, but I feel obligated to tell people there are 2 minor profanities in this. That's kind of the point, but there, I warned you.

A Review of Esterlyn's "Lamps"

Album Release Date: February 26, 2008

Rating: 4/5

Lamps was Esterlyn’s debut last year…sort of. Formerly known as Grand Prize, the band had released a debut before undergoing a few member changes as well as changing its sound from a southern-tinged style to more of a straight-up alternative rock feel. The result is a high-energy, very accessible collection of melodic rock sound that will appeal to most despite the fact that there’s not a whole lot here we haven’t heard before from many other bands.

The strength of this album is their ability to write catchy, instantly-memorable and familiar melodies. Once these melodies are layered over the straight-ahead chord-based rock sound, the sum is an album that you can’t help but find yourself singing along. In fact, the more listens I’ve given the album, the more I find myself uplifted by the sound, tapping my foot and bobbing my head.

It’s hard to pick out many favorites, because all of the songs are very solid, with only a few really standing out as especially great. “Tie The Leaves” is a great album opener, and actually reminded me quite a bit of something you’d hear from Run Kid Run. “We All Need” is simply a great rock song, providing a sweeping melody to accompany some great lyrics based on 1 Corinthians 13:

We all need faith, a faith to love all that You are

We all need love when there’s no hope beyond the door

We all need hope, a hope to live for something more.

“Like The Rain” could pass for a worship song, as singer Luke Caldwell pleads for God to make His presence felt. The song that really stood out to me, however, was the title track, which completely departs from the energetic pace, slowing things down and bringing a pensive tone, exploring what it means to submit your life to God’s plans and completely trust Him. The emotion is palpable, while not overpowering the simple melody. It just fits.

That track aside, the only complaint I would have is that Esterlyn never really strays from their formula. The songs are good, but there’s not a lot of variety on this short set of songs (under 40 minutes in total). I love the sound they’ve settled into, but I would really enjoy hearing them deviate slightly from the mold on upcoming releases. They did this somewhat on their follow-up EP in December, Mending the Meaning, which featured more stripped-down acoustic songs. I definitely recommend that EP as well.

I look forward to hearing them explore their sound more in the future. In the meantime, Lamps is an extremely enjoyable “debut” that has been getting a lot of playtime on my iPod.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was born on July 17th, 1674. One of the greatest hymn writers of all time, Watts' hymns are still sung today. During their series on Phillipians, Mars Hill Church in Seattle did short bios of famous Christians from history. Here's the one on Watts:



A related item - Sojourn has recently released a new album of entirely re-done Watts' hymns called Over The Grave. It's extremely good and I highly recommend checking it out. The first track alone, "Warrior" is worth the price of the album. Great stuff.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

C.J. Mahaney's Interview Series Indexed

Over the past 7 months, C.J. Mahaney has used his blog to periodically interview pastors and leaders to try and gain insights from 17 different men. Some of these men are "superstars" in the evangelical community (John Piper, Wayne Grudem, etc.) while other are what C.J. refers to as "ordinary pastors."

I've gained a lot of insight into how to live a godly life by following much of this series, and now it's easier to find things since they've indexed the series. Now, you can find all the interviews C.J. has done on a single page.

As an example - From his interview with John Piper:
C.J.: What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your effective use of time?

Piper: A great tree will fall with many small chops. Pray for daily grace to keep chopping.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More on Derek Webb's Stockholm Syndrome

I mentioned last week that you can pre-order Derek Webb's new album, Stockholm Syndrome, and get an immediate digital download. I've been listening the album a ton since I got my download, and I'm absolutely loving it. It is extremely different from anything Derek's done in the past musically, and lyrically, he's ratcheting up the in-your-faceness to 11. This isn't background music. It's jarring, controversial, truth-laced, "did-he-just-say-that?" music. Lots will be written about this album. Lots will be negative (many already have been). Hopefully, some will get the point and see things differently.

Derek tweeted a link to this article today, and I thought I'd share this example of someone who seems to get what Derek was trying to do.

In Webb's Christian venue, of course, words still have that power. The closest thing to an official explanation I've heard for why INO won't release the song "What Matters More" is that it includes a dirty word beginning with "s." (In some evangelical circles, the shot of Moore smoking tobacco on his own Texas porch is proof enough that "Stockholm Syndrome" grew out of an atmosphere of moral lassitude.) Another strike, obviously, is Webb's thorough-going critique of the evangelical culture's moral self-regard, particularly its "reckless" rejection of homosexuals. "If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out of your mouth," he sings on "What Matters More, "it sure seems like being straight is what this is all about."

But this kind of attack on Christian complacency is not news. In books, speeches and songs, evangelical thinkers and artists have been openly questioning their culture's strident emphasis on sexuality. The critique is not even a departure for Webb. His Dylan-esque 2007 album "The Ringing Bell" became notorious for its song "Savior on Capitol Hill," chiding Christians for trying to restore the Christian nation through politics. The news here is Webb's reinvention as a techno-beat wizard, and that, with his latest turnover in style, controversy has become Webb's only constant.

This makes for a slippery soapbox. Webb wants his fellow Christians to see how they have adopted the principles of the larger culture that has taken them hostage. (Stockholm Syndrome refers to the tendency of hostages to sympathize with the goals of their kidnappers.) Webb's refusal to fit a format, to accept what's merely working, to be hostage to an audience, is exciting to watch. But to see him do it while aiming for the Billboard Hot List risks confusion or, worse, disingenuousness. But the charge in "Stockholm Syndrome" is precisely its ambiguity, something few Christian artists have achieved, or even attempted.

Read the whole article at BeliefNet.

A Little Hump-Day Humor

I think laughing babies are just about the cutest, most hysterical things in the world. Now that my son is basically in this stage, it really cracks me up. Just try to watch this without at least smiling.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Chuck Norris Jokes

Saw these on a blog I frequent, and just had to share. Chuck Norris is awesome.

  • When taking the SAT, write “Chuck Norris” for every answer. You will score over 8000.
  • Chuck Norris kicked Neo out of Zion, now Neo is “The Two”.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet, water gets Chuck Norris
  • Chuck Norris always knows where Waldo is. Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is so hard to find.
  • When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris
  • Every year on his birthday Chuck selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.
  • Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
  • When Chuck Norris Does Long Division there is Never a Remainder
  • When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t need to swipe a card at an ATM, He just stares and the ATM empties itself.
  • In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records appendix it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.
  • When Chuck Norris had surgery, the anesthesia was applied to the doctors.
  • Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.
  • Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
  • Chuck Norris keeps a pillow under his gun.
  • Chuck Norris plays Russian Roulette with a full CLIP and wins.
  • Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.
  • Chuck Norris can fry ants with a magnifying glass. At night.
  • Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.
  • Only Chuck Norris can prevent forest fires.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t love Raymond.
  • Superman has Chuck Norris PJs.
  • Chuck Norris can make a snowman. From rain.
HT : Zach Nielsen

Monday, July 13, 2009

Music Video of the Week

Our Lady Peace - "All You Did Was Save My Life"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chris Paul on ESPN's My Wish

Great story here from ESPN's My Wish series. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets meets with a kid who had lymphoma. I'm amazed at the strength of this kid, and the humility and generosity of Chris Paul. Great stuff.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Review of Jordan Critz's EP

Album Release Date: April 7, 2009

Rating: 3.5/5

Jordan Critz has some clear musical talent. Proficient on numerous instruments and skilled in songwriting, this most recent EP is a nice sample of tunes that demonstrates those talents well. He has a soothing voice, and a knack for crafting melodies that evoke emotion on their own. Many of these songs would fit nicely on many mainstream radio stations, and I’m interested to hear more from Critz in the future. The potential is definitely there.

After a few listens to the Jordan Critz EP, I couldn’t figure out why I kept experiencing nostalgic feelings. Finally, I realized that I felt like I was listening to many of my favorites from the late 90s. Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Five For Fighting, and others are clearly influences here. That emotional pop/rock style is clearly present throughout these 6 songs, and if you liked any of the stuff by bands like those, you will find things to like here.

My other thought was that many of these songs would fit perfectly in a movie soundtrack. “Western Shore,” in particular, conjured up all kinds of images in me as it dealt with themes of moving on and starting over. I could easily picture that as the theme to a movie or playing during a montage of a TV show. In fact, I believe Critz has done some work in movies or TV in the past, and one of the songs from his previous album was featured on the show “Army Wives.”

The album follows with more piano-driven tracks, “Turn Away” and “To Be Me” (which clearly harkens back to songs like Five For Fighting’s “100 Years”). “Faded Lights,” with its acoustic rock sound, is where Critz voice started to sound a little like John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls on the chorus.

I think my favorite song on the album would be “Cold Sunshine.” This song begins with some beautiful work on the piano, before launching into a soaring chorus. Again, the feelings of nostalgia were thick for me. Many of the bands I enjoyed in high school had a similar sound here. For some reason, 8Stops7 (if anyone else even remembers them) kept coming to my mind here.

All of these comparisons are simply to give people a feel for Critz’s sound as I’m assuming many (like me) have never heard of him before. Is this EP worth checking out? If you like any of the bands I’ve mentioned, or just like emotionally driven acoustic/piano rock, you’ll likely enjoy this little collection. The lyrics are a little vague for my taste at times, but they evoke the desired emotions with poetic imagery where necessary. I believe Critz is a Christian, but you probably wouldn’t know that strictly from this EP. Redemptive themes are definitely there, however, and I enjoyed this more than I expected.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Derek Webb's Stockholm Syndrome

Derek Webb's new album, Stockholm Syndrome, is available for pre-order starting today. You get an immediate download of the album with the pre-order. He also has different packages you can choose from with cool extras (including a documentary and participation in choosing songs for Derek to cover). Cool stuff.

First thoughts on the album:

Wow. This is different. VERY different. I'm liking it so far, though. Seriously, though, we're not in "She Must And Shall Go Free" anymore, Toto. Derek has reinvented himself again. If you just heard this stuff, you'd never guess it was him, except maybe for the voice. He definitely keeps things interesting.

His website also had this trailer for the album. Check it out.

Stockholm Syndrome Trailer from Derek Webb on Vimeo.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Review of Emery's "In Shallow Seas We Sail"

Album Release Date: June 2, 2009

Rating: 4.5/5

One of the aspects of being a reviewer I’ve come to enjoy is the exposure to bands and artists you may have not heard otherwise. Emery will not be new to many of you. They’ve been with Tooth & Nail since their 2004 release, The Weak’s End. They’ve developed quite a following and have enjoyed a fair amount of critical acclaim as well. Somehow, I’ve managed to live the last 5 years of my existence without hearing any of their music. I’d heard of them, of course, but had never gotten around to actually listening to any of their music.

Luckily for me, as a reviewer, I was required to listen to their latest release, In Shallow Seas We Sail. As I said, this was my introduction to the band, so I can’t speak to comparisons to previous material, but if this album is indicative of the quality of that work, I’ll be checking out those releases in the near future.

I’m not normally a fan of bands that incorporate screaming into their vocals, so I was initially a little turned off when the opening track, “Cutthroat Collapse,” begins with some guttural proclamations. Very quickly, though, the vocals turn a different direction, combining catchy complimentary melodies with sugary-sweet harmonies amidst the screams. In fact, the screams almost serve to highlight what great voices these guys have. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2-voice multiple melodies being sung at the same time throughout many of the songs, which often then transitioned to harmonies.

These vocals are layered atop driving baselines and incredible guitar riffs within the intricately crafted rock songs. The writing here is extremely solid, both musically and lyrically, delving into multiple themes: broken relationships (“Curbside Goodbye,” “Piggy Bank Lies”), fighting against temptation to sin (“A Sin To Hold On To,” which also includes the best harmonies on the album), and death (“Dear Death” parts 1 and 2). “Dear Death Part 2” particularly hit me lyrically, especially these lines:

Oh, God, are you listening now? As this cancer dances through her, and then takes a bow. It won’t disappoint the crowd, whose word is a curse, as I hear them one-by-one. Please pull the string, and I come undone.


The music throughout creates the perfect backdrop to deliver the emotionally-charged vocals, which again, are the highlight of the album for me.

The music is charged with energy, but it’s a harnessed energy that keeps the tracks from losing control into chaos. The songs are constructed carefully, while avoiding the “over-produced” feeling that many veteran bands can suffer from at this point in their career. Maybe it’s the screaming and silky vocals, but there’s a polished abrasiveness to the music. Occasionally, it simultaneously pumps you up and gives you chills within the same section.

Emery has already proven they have staying power, and this album ensures they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I thoroughly enjoyed these songs, and this is definitely in the running for my favorite album of the year. They’re not exactly breaking entirely new ground here in the genre, but I’m a big fan of the piece of land where they’ve chosen to reside.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

DeYoung and Kluck on the Church

Kevin DeYoung and Tim Kluck, authors of Why We're Not Emergent (one of my all-time favorite books), have a new book called Why We Love the Church - In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion. I really love that subtitle by the way.

DeYoung and Kluck wrote a piece as part of the Guest Voices feature at the Washington Post. Here's a sample from that:

Here's what Bono, Oprah, and the guru speakers on PBS won't tell you: Jesus believed in organized religion and he founded an institution. Of course, Jesus had no patience for religious hacks and self-righteous wannabes, but he was still Jewish. And as Jew, he read the Holy Book, worshiped in the synagogue, and kept Torah. He did not start a movement of latte-drinking disciples who excelled in spiritual conversations. He founded the church (Matt. 16:18) and commissioned the apostles to proclaim the good news that Israel's Messiah had come and the sins of the world could be forgiven through his death on the cross (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:14-36)...

...We've been in the church our whole lives and are not blind to its failings. Churches can be boring, hypocritical, hurtful, and inept. The church is full of sinners. Which is kind of the point. Christians are worse than you think. Our Savior is better than you imagine.

Check out the rest of the article, and go buy their new book. I can't wait to read this one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Little Guy...

I think my son may be the happiest baby on earth at this point. Hope this temperament is here to stay...

Matt Chandler - The Gospel vs. Religion

How do we share the gospel with people who have been "inoculated" against it?

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