The Evolution of Worship Gear!

Earlier today I had the chance to team up with Ryan Axtell to really dive into the nuts and bolts of the evolution of the Acoustic Guitar for the Worship Leader. In this video, Ryan uncovers a new discovery of ours that we think could shape the culture of equipment for Worship Leaders, internationally. Have a listen and let me know your thoughts! This will also be featured on our Cornerstone Worship Arts Blog.

 

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Advice for Atheists Who Want to Engage Theists

Atheists recognize that taking a strong position--absolutely, positively, there is no god--comes across as dogmatic and intolerant.  Although many atheists espouse the strong position, the leaders of the atheism movement prefer the weak definition--there is no credible evidence showing that God exists--not only  because the strong position appears intolerant, but also because "it does sound rather untenable."  They acknowledge that the most persistent objection to the strong position of atheism is that it sounds dogmatic and unscientific.  Advancing the strong position in public debate forces all atheists (both strong-position and weak-position) to prove the nonexistence of God, invoking the burden of proof. 

Atheists are quick to acknowledge that the strong position has disadvantages in public discussions at the popular level because it is easy to portray as dogmatic, unreasonable, and thus unscientific. To avoid public relations and marketing embarrassments, the atheism movement tries to show that the strong position of atheism, far from being the only form of atheism, is the rarest among atheistic positions.  Instead, they advance the weak position of atheism.  From this perspective, they shift the burden of proof to the theists.  Here is how Positive Atheism magazine describes the ideal sequence when an atheist talks to a theist about the existence of God.

  • It must be realized that we are dealing entirely with claims -- claims that various deities exist.
  • In discussing such claims, it is always the person making the claim [the theist] who is responsible for providing evidence and strong argument. 
  • The person listening to the claim [the atheist] need not make any argument at all. 
  • The listener [the atheist] does not need to disprove a claim in order to reject it. 
  • If the person making the claim [the theist] fails to make a convincing case, the listener rightly rejects the claim as falsehood (or suspends judgment, based upon the strength of the claim).   In either event, the listener ends up lacking a belief in the object of the claim.
  • It is never the negative [weak-position] atheist's responsibility to prove or disprove anything. That job belongs to the person making the claim, which is the theist.
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The Pendulum of the Kingdom

I've been living overseas for a year and two months now.  One of the unique aspects of being abroad is being outside of the din of American life.  This perspective, in a way, is like one of those Wordle maps.  You start to hear how often and in how many places a concept or word is being used.  If I could say that there was one concept that I've noticed being constantly pounded upon in Christian podcasts, blogs, books, and articles, the largest phrase in the 2008-2009 Christian vocabulary Wordle would be "The Kingdom of God".  Somewhere in the midrange frequency font size would be some form of "cultural renewal" or "redeeming culture".

A Heroic Compromise

The recent firestorm over the just-released torture memos has elicited opinions from anyone and everyone. Is it torture? Is it not torture? Is torture every justified, and if so when? The questions that have germinated from the memos are not new ones. They are questions that look at the heart of what we value as a culture and as values change so does our interpretation of the actions of others.

Along with this debate of what actions are justified in war, there's a lesser struggle that is undergirding the discussion. In times past, people would point to the military as instruments on justice, truth, and courage. As questions have arisen over tactics used, one might wonder who our new heroes should be. Again, the culture is quick with an answer. An answer, I'm afraid, that is often found wanting.

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Reflections on the Cell Phone Industry and questions for the Church

As a certified mac nerd, I frequently check what is going on in the mac world.  Yesterday, I ran across this interesting article on macrumors.com.  There has long been a battle between cell phone carriers and consumers related to how consumers are allowed to use cellular networks.  Consumers desire to be able to utilize cellular networks for any multitude of things including music, media, and various types of communications.  Instead of "opening" the networks, most carriers have insisted on building some of the desired features and technologies into their own phones.  Cell phone carriers have long avoided becoming what many call a "dumb pipe" that is just a network to be utilized, regardless of the handset being used.  The have instead preferred to control the flow of information through their own devices.

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Not So Fast: A Lesson For the New Calvinists

Time recently did an article on big ideas that are changing the world right now and ranked "New Calvinism" as the third biggest.  Though the article itself was a bit snide, I wasn't so concerned with it as with Mark Driscoll's response.

"What?!", you say.  Those who know me at all will probably be shocked at this.  I have a lot of respect for Driscoll, have read his books, and have been listening to his sermons weekly for about two years.  I appreciate all that he has done for the Gospel in one of the most secular cities in America, not to mention how he has served the international Church by speaking around the world and offering his sermons, ebooks, and teaching materials for free.  He has inspired a lot of young men (myself included) to, as he might say, man-up and be a Christian man.  I'm genuinely thankful for the man and his ministry.

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IAM Podcast: A Conversation with Andy Crouch

Originally published on the IAM Podcast (internationalartsmovement.org/podcasts), this is my latest interview - featuring author and documentary filmmaker Andy Crouch (culture-making.com)


You Down with GOP? Yeah You Know ME!

I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. I was stunned and shocked when the news came across my Facebook account. The wind had been taken out from underneath me. I just sat there in a bit of amazement. What was the news you say? The Republican Party is going Hip Hop! Wow! A good friend of mine had sent me a link regarding this branding decision made by the GOP. You can read one of the articles here. Now, I am an open brotha when it comes to Hip Hop. I am in no way shape or form thinking that Hip Hop is solely a “Black Thing” or an “Urban thing.” However, that being said, for me, and for other Hip Hoppers I’ve spoken with over the last week, it’s a slap in the face. The very idea of having GOP/Republican and Hip Hop in the same sentence is almost a blasphemy.
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Calling for a Truce With Homeschoolers

Twenty miles from my house stands a huge open field with a set of train tracks laying down its forged rails all the way to the horizon. But what’s this? A parallel set of tracks, maybe fifty yards to the right of the original, runs its course alongside the first. Two trains are obviously welcome to clatter their way up and down the valley, carrying their agricultural treasures to the rest of the state. 

I guess we need two of them. But so close together? I wonder if eighty years ago the men who first hammered those iron rails into place didn’t see the other work crew from across the field and wave from time to time. Why, look at that team of workers over there. Seems we could’ve collaborated somehow, saved ourselves a few blisters and a fortune.

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