The Beautiful Lives of Our Single Friends

Learning from your friends is one of the joys of life.

Good friends present alternative ways of doing things that challenge our own ideas. Our Wii- centered household must accept friends that have succumbed to the expensive and brutal delights of the Playstation, though we beg owners of the X-Box not to tell us so our friendship can remain intact.

Having more than Facebook friends is vital, because people who really know you, teach you by being themselves. A person can only be himself in three dimensions, since that is the way he truly lives!

When Fred Sanders refuses to glory in a Rossetti painting, I must admit that he knows much more about art than I and remember not to confuse my taste with true Beauty. When Melissa Schubert teaches me about Milton and Spenser, it is a reminder that my learning is never done. Paul Spears gives me wise guidance and teaches me what it is to be a leader by his good example.

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Tags | Single

Wresting With Evil and Hope

Christy Tennant continues her conversation with Makoto Fujimura about the third language…

CT: Tim Keller’s latest book, Reason For God, deals with addressing hard questions that all people grapple with. For example, he delves into the theology of suffering, and all the hard questions that arise simply because “good people” suffer tremendous evil, while “evil people” seem to get off scot free. How does the issue of suffering inform your art?

MF: Tim’s book is apologetical – it’s a resource aimed at defending our faith. But he’s been doing this since the ‘90’s – this book is not just because of “new atheism;” it’s not a response, as much as it is an addressing of genuine questions bubbling in culture for a long time.
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The 2008 Biola Media Conference, “BLUEPRINT HOLLYWOOD: Designing fo the Digital Age” arrives Saturday, May 3rd on the CBS lot in Studio City. The BMC is the largest gathering of Christians in film, TV, and new media. It always features top notch speakers and sneak previews of key projects. Last year, we honored Stephen McEveety, producer of Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Bella and Erwin McManus provided serious inspiration for artists of all types. This year, the Biola Media Conference moves to Hollywood for the first time--on the New York street set of CBS.

Carbonated Holiness

Laughter is serious business ...  

I recently agreed to write a regular column (bi-monthly) for Christianity Today Magazine. For the March issue, I borrowed a column I had earlier posted here, spit and polished just a touch. It's here -- I'd love to know how you think it came out.



Bananas with Larry Norman

For just over a month now I've been trying to come up with a proper response to the passing of Christian rock legend Larry Norman. Nothing's been adequate, so here are some memories instead:

The first time I ever played for a paying audience was as the opening act for a Larry Norman concert at Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver. My teen-aged brother was the concert promoter (now you know how I got the gig.)

To my brother Chris and me (and to many others), Larry was already a legend back then. We'd freaked out to "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", campfired to "Sweet Song of Salvation", felt dangerous and cutting edge to "Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music" and worn out our cassettes to "The Outlaw" and "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus". What blew our minds was that Larry agreed to stay at our house (which was our parents' house), and I have a particularly poignant memory of sitting on our couch watching Sesame Street and eating bananas with him.

Tags | Music

Poetry Friday: Liesel Mueller

Liesel Mueller is an acclaimed German-American poet - born in Hamburg in 1924, but raised in Evansville, Indiana after her parents left Germany to escape the Nazis in 1939.

Here she writes of romantic-era composers Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

Romantics: Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann

The modern biographers worry
“how far it went,” their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked

Apologetics and the Emerging Church

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share with you my continued conversations with Tony Jones, national coordinator for Emergent Village. As you recall, we write a regular column together for The Journal of Student Ministries. In this column, we discuss the role of apologetics in today’s postmodern culture.

Sean says:
The ancient church offers a powerful model for the role apologetics should play as we seek to be missional. There are two key aspects of the outreach of the early church. First, there was the content of the message and, secondly, the appeal of the message. Interestingly, the appeal of the message was not the community of believers, but rational persuasion which included evidences such as fulfilled prophecy and the resurrection.

Consider Acts 17:2-3: “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.” As a result, some of the Jews, Greeks, and prominent women were persuaded and joined the church. The goal of the early Christians was to change others’ beliefs before they became part of the Christian community.

Man Is the List-Making Animal

I’m biding my time until my review of Expelled hits the ‘net. Until then, here’s something to break the silence.

I recently discovered a website called YMDb (your movie database), which appears to be nothing more than a massive collection of favorite movie lists from users around the world. Anybody can join, so I quickly logged my top twenty. It’s fun, and it’s free!

Choosing favorites can be as painful as passing a kidney stone, but it’s also a healthful exercise in decision-making, and sometimes you discover things about yourself in the process. Here are my current choices, culled mostly from memory and subject to change at a moment’s notice.
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Tags | Film

Dr. John Mark Reynolds on the Christianity101 TV show

Do you like Philosophy? If so, check out John Mark Reynolds talk with Bruce & Stan about Jesus as a Savior, and more than just a good moral example.

Hey, Obama! What do you mean “Babies Are A Punishment?"

Right upfront I want to say that this not intended to be a political blog. I put Obama’s name in the title because he said what I’m going to talk about, but I’m much more interested in the philosophy behind the statement than who said it.

Here’s the back-story (just in case you’ve been living in a media-free cave since the last weekend in March). While campaigning in Pennsylvania, Obama appeared to back a hypothetical abortion by his daughters saying he wouldn't "punish" them with a baby. Here is a transcript of his comments:

"When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include -- which should include abstinence education and teaching the children -- teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include -- it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
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