Hymnus Deo

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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fireproof - Art, or Propaganda?

Here are some great thoughts from Doug Wilson on the latest Evangelical fad movie, Fireproof:

http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=6434

Friday, March 27, 2009

British minister beaten by Muslims

Who says Islam isn't a peaceful religion?

http://www.persecution.org/suffering/newsdetail.php?newscode=9769

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Prodigal Father

Here's a fantastic sermon on the Prodigal Father, given by Gene Helsel at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. Check it out if you get the chance:

http://www.canonpress.org/shop/custom.asp?recid=26

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Once...

...there was a pub in County Clare where the locals took their evening beverages. One particular night, a gentleman walks in who was unfamiliar to the rest of the patrons. Saddling up to the bar, he says to the bartender, "I'd like three beers." Wondering in his own mind, but not questioning the man, the bartender fills his request. The gentleman drinks the three beers, and leaves the bar.

The next night, the gentleman does the same. Pulling up to the bar, he requests his three beers, and after having drunk them, he leaves.

The third night comes, and the man once more comes in and requests his three beers. By this point, the bartender's curiosity is getting the best of him, so he asks the fellow, "say, bud, why is it that each evening you request exactly three beers?" The gentleman was glad to answer. "I have two brothers, you see. And we made a pact with one another that wherever we went and had a beer, we would also have a beer for each of our other two brothers, in honor of one another. So that's why, each time I order a beer for myself, I order two more as well."

The bartender thought this was one of the noblest things he had ever heard, and he began to tell it to those he knew. Soon word of the gentleman and his two brothers spread throughout the countryside.

Then one day, as the bartender was serving drinks, the gentleman came up to the bar and said, "bartender, give me two beers." With a heavy heart, the bartender brought the man two beers, and by the next day word had spread that one of the gentleman's brothers had died.

The next evening, when the gentleman came into the pub, the bartender, hesitant to bring the subject up, said, "I am sure sorry to hear about the death of your brother."

"My brother isn't dead! What made you think he was dead?" the man replied.

"Well, you've only been ordering two beers the past couple of nights," said the bartender.

"Oh, that," the gentleman said. "Actually, I've only been ordering two beers because I've given up drinking for Lent."

The Movement of the Spheres

Greg Wilbur quotes David Yearsley on the relationship between musical counterpoint and the motion of the heavenly bodies. Is this what Tolkien had in mind when he wrote Ainulindale?

He can create money out of thin air

In The Christian Almanac, George Grant and Greg Wilbur take the position that the movie version takes Baum's original intent and turns it on it's head. Unfortunately, I don't have the book at my disposal at the moment, so any interested may want to check it out. Nonetheless, this BBC article is a good introduction to the question of whether the Wizard of Oz was intended to be a political allegory:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7933175.stm

Monday, March 16, 2009

In lieu...

... of anything from me on music at the moment, here's an interesting post from Doug Wilson on a recent experience he had:

http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=6391

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A lesson from the life of Bernie Madoff

When choosing a crime to commit, take your last name into consideration first.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Getting the Ooshy-gooshies: Music, pt. 2

Let's rehearse, in a nutshell, the history of the recent worship wars. Until the late 1960's, music in the American church was pretty consistent across the board, no matter what denomination one was in. (There were some variations between traditions, some greater than others, but they weren't as great as the gap between what are now considered "traditional" and "contemporary" forms of worship.) But with the cultural revolution of the sixties came the beginnings of a revolution in church music. And now, there is scarcely a denomination that hasn't since been affected by the shift in music.

So has the change been for the good? It's a simple question that one might think would yield a simple answer, but I don't think it does.

Often when people address the question of whether or not a certain type of Christian music is good, the rationale that people will give is something along the lines of this: "It must be good, because the Lord blessed me through it." But just because the Lord uses something for good in a person's life, that doesn't mean that we should regularly seek that thing out. God once spoke through a donkey (Numbers 22), but that doesn't mean then that we should make a regular practice of ordaining jackasses to the ministry (though some denominations do this fairly frequently). Equally so, God uses all sorts of things to bless his children, whether or not those things are good in themselves (Romans 8:28).

This sort of thinking is what is called "pragmatism". Pragmatism says that a thing is justified by its effectiveness. If it works, then do it. But pragmatism excludes all other moral claims. The easiest way for me to get money may be to knock over a convenience store. But God says it is sin, and therefore it's wrong.

Also, when talking to people about worship music, I frequently find there is little rational thought behind why they like the kind of worship music they like. "It gets me pumped up," or some variation thereof, isn't a good argument for why a certain type of music is appropriate for worship. Based on that argument, maybe we should replace the bread and wine (or, I suppose for most, grape juice) with giant candy bars and Red Bull. This isn't to say there shouldn't be an emotional response to music in worship, or that worship music shouldn't be pleasing to the emotions. But when that is one's main focus in assessing worship music, then there is a need for them to do a little deeper thinking on the subject. This would also suggest an erroneous way of viewing the world in general that goes deeper than the question of music.

This isn't a problem confined to the younger generation of Christians, either. Part of the problem in the worship wars has been that the older generation hasn't been able to intelligently articulate why they think the music they were accustomed to worshiping with is superior. And in some cases, the music they were accustomed to wasn't superior. That's where we'll pick up next time.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Man's Library

Douglas Phillips, on why a father's library is an important part of any Christian home:

http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/education/a_mans_library.aspx