Why Naturalism Is False (And Why It Matters) Part 2

In this concluding lecture, Dr Ordway reviews the concepts of naturalism and theism, and provides more reasons why it is rational to believe that theism, rather than naturalism, is true. (A teaser: mystery novels point to the existence of God -- and not in the way you might expect!) She concludes by reflecting on some of the negative consequences of naturalism as a worldview. Bad consequences do not themselves disprove naturalism, but they give a compelling reason why we should ask tough questions about naturalism rather than just accepting it without question. The truth matters.

Chesterton Keeps Me From Going Crazy

A business consultant once told me about 'crazymaking' cultures. She observed several corporations that posted their vision and mission on the wall, but it had little do with daily life in the company. People were rallied around things at the big sales meetings and management retreats that simply had nothing to do with the true day to day operations. What this leads to is a 'crazymaking' culture. Sometimes I feel like I am completely losing my mind as I listen to various 'pep rallies' around certain camps or issues. Maybe we live in a 'crazymaking' culture all the time?

Chesterton rescues me when he writes in his book The Everlasting Man that: "the sanity of the world was restored and the soul of man offered salvation by something which indeed satisfy the two warring tendencies of the past; which had never been satisfied in full and most certainly never satisfied together. It met the mythological search for romance by being a story and the philosophical search for truth by being a true story...." 

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Celebrate The Day

One of my responsibilities as a blogger is to start dialogue and conversation on controversial topics.  In order to effectively set up these conversations, it is important that I remain truthful, open, and honest.  In that spirit, I have a two confessions to make.  Here’s the first:  I am a choir boy.  


When I was in elementary school, my music teacher, Mrs. Neidringhaus (who, coincidentally, just became my Facebook friend last week), suggested I join a local professional boys choir, The All American Boys Chorus.  Lured by the promise of international travel and missed school days, I auditioned.  I was never really a singer before that moment, but that started a new journey for me as a chorister. 


AABC Group Photo 

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Some Screen Time for your Screen Time

I may not be a cock-eyed optimist. But something about So You Think You Can Dance makes me feel a little better about the world. Who doesn't love a show full of fun dance numbers? It's part talent show, part eye candy, and part artistic expression: a reality show that isn't about celebrity or idiocy but rather about talent and athleticism; stamina and creativity.

I was so excited for the season to really start, because I am not a fan of the audition weeks' Parade of Freaks, and was ready for the top twenty to show their stuff.   Now, I am a seriously sleep-deprived mom, and prone to a bit of the curmudgeondry as of late. but the new set on the show was sending me through the roof. To the point where, fifteen minutes in, I was already badgering my husband with, "Do you see this set? Are you SEEING this? What is with this, Mark? Whaaaat?"
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Patrick Dodson: God Is Not In Control

Patrick is a father first, then teacher/writer/cook/photographer and sometimes prophet. He lives and works with Heather in New Zealand and has four beautiful game designing (Josiah), film directing (Jordan), artistic (Jasmine), and acting (Levi) children. You can check them out at www.patrickdodson.net .


God Is Not In Control
Q: Why do the innocent suffer?
A: Because we don't take care of them.

Q: Why are there so many poor in the world?
A: We're selfish and don't share wealth or resources properly.

Post Soul Theology: Reversing The Hermeneutic with Tupac Amaru Shakur

Today marks the 13-year anniversary of Tupac’s violent and shocking exit of this world. He died September 13, 1996. His death was in no way short of controversy—as was almost his entire life. Yet, in death, his message became even stronger and global. Tupac has touched the lives of many and, as many people that I have interviewed told me, brought them closer to an understanding of who God was, is, and can be. Tupac presented a conundrum of sorts. On one hand, he represents the hope, vigor, and excitement of a post soul generation. Yet, on the other, he represents the despair, depression, and marginalization of several generations all gathered into one person. Tupac presented both sides. His half brother asserts that he represented both the good and evil in people.

Tupac spoke of the harsh realities of the street, and connected those realities to larger societal issues. If you were to sum up Tupac’s major “fault” it was that he “kept it real.” Tupac spoke about things as they were, and did not hold back. In the song “Blasphemy,” he calls out the pastor, the church, and urban Christians as he pushes for a new understanding of Jesuz.

First, beginning with Larry Krietzer’s concept of reversing the hermeneutical flow, we see how Tupac and his musical message can interpret the Bible and Jesuz. Krietzer uses film to analyze and study scripture; in essence, to interpret the Bible as opposed to using the Bible to interpret culture—hence, reversing the hermeneutical flow. In this work, he views several films to interpret different biblical messages from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Often when we hold the Canon of God in comparison with pop culture, we can—at first glance—not find any “Christological message” within the “mess.” However, if we were to hold that the meaning of a text is not some invisible substance inserted in at the moment of its origin (rather like the immortal soul that mysteriously appears in a human fetus), but rather that the meaning of the text must be negotiated and continually re-negotiated between that text and its reader, then Tupac’s crucifixion and image of Black Jesuz becomes a more interesting theme in order to study. And the hermeneutics could therefore be reversed using Tupac to study the Bible. The meaning, therefore, lies between the texts, within culture, and not ‘in’ the text at all. This, Krietzer would argue, is reversing the hermeneutical flow. We can apply not only the stories of Christ to interpret Tupac, but we can shift and use Tupac’s stories to interpret Jesuz.

Songs such as:

  • Young Black Male
  • Brendas Got A Baby
    How Long will They Mourn Me?
  • Cradle to the Grave
  • I Ain’t Mad at Ya
  • Hail Mary
  • Black Jesuz
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The Church Cannot Die: Poetic Figures, Misunderstanding, and Reality

This is taken from A.W. Tozer's book Man - The Dwelling Place of God.

Poetic Figures vs. Reality

The language of devotion has helped to create the impression that the church is supposed to be a band of warriors driving the enemy before them in plain sight and with plenty of color and drama to give a pleasing flourish to the whole thing. In our hymns and pulpit oratory we have commonly pictured the church as marching along to the sound of martial music and the plaudits of the multitude.

Of course this is but a poetic figure. The individual Christian may be likened to a soldier, but the picture of the church on earth as a conquering army is not realistic. Her true situation is more accurately portrayed as a flock of sheep in the midst of wolves, or as a company of despised pilgrims plodding toward home, or as a peculiar nation protected by the Passover blood waiting for the sound of the trumpet, or as a bride looking for the coming of her bridegroom.

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Shopping for a King

I recently discovered a gold mine. A little market sits just down the road from Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Super King Market's has by far the best prices for produce around. I can walk out of there with 5 pounds of apples for under $4.00. It’s a miracle.


Besides ridiculously great prices for delightful produce, I also enjoy the people who shop there. The market is owned by a local Armenian family. They own three of these markets in the southern CA area. The employees represent a host of ethnicities from around the world; predominately from the Arab nations.  The majority of the produce as well as other basic grocery items are representative of the global market. There are probably twenty different types of olive oils and grape seed oils to choose from. I have yet to purchase yogurt there simply because I cannot read the labels and I love it. It’s from all over. At the moment, I am hooked on the Syrian cheese. Words cannot express its heavenly taste.

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I've Joined CultureMaking!

Effective yesterday, I have joined the team behind Culture-Making.com, a hub of interesting cultural curatorial commentary. Check it out!

And if you haven't read Andy Crouch's book, Culture Making: Recoving Our Creative Calling, be sure to pick it up from Hearts and Minds or Amazon.

More Reasons Why People Are Leaving The Church

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck could be my favorite new writers.  I loved Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, I really enjoy everything DeYoung writes on his blog, and when they write paragraphs like this I can't help but cheer out loud like a fruitcake. 

"Perhaps Christians are leaving the church because it isn't tolerant and open-minded. But perhaps the church-leavers have their own intolerance too--intolerant of tradition, intolerant of authority, intolerant of imperfection except their own. Are you open-minded enough to give the church a chance--a chance for the church to be the church, not a coffee shop, not a mall, not a variety show, not Chuck E. Cheese, not a U2 concert, not a nature walk, but a wonderfully ordinary, blood-bought, Spirit-driven church with pastors, sermons, budgets, hymns, bad carpet and worse coffee?"

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