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Posts Tagged ‘mockingbird’

This week: Ground zero and Christ, homeschool blind spots, Pat Robertson’s lack of understanding of the gospel, and a good one on fathers and sons.

Ground Zero & the American Dream (by Makoto Fujimura, Curator)

“Ground Zero,” in Christ, can also mean a cancellation point, a new beginning where we can stand on the ashes of the Wasteland we see and still seek renewal and “genesis moments.”

girl covering eyes ffound-1.jpeg

Homeschool Blindspots (by Reb Bradley via Joshua Harris’ Blog)

When I picked him up the second night of work, he got in the car with a big smile on his face and said "They like me!" As I dwelt on that comment, it suddenly came clear to me – my son had finally met someone who liked him for who he was. Few others in his entire life had shown him much acceptance, especially not his mother and I. It is no exaggeration – in our efforts to shape and improve him, all we did was find fault with everything he did.

Christ, the Church, and Pat Robertson (by Russell Moore)

A woman or a man with Alzheimer’s can’t do anything for you. There’s no romance, no sex, no partnership, not even companionship. That’s just the point. Because marriage is a Christ/church icon, a man loves his wife as his own flesh. He cannot sever her off from him simply because she isn’t “useful” anymore.

Fathers, Sons, and Fair Market Value (by David Browder, Mockingbird)

These two outlooks are on totally different planes. Who has the most rest? Who can actually play a game and enjoy it for what it is rather than having to increase their fair market value? Most of all, which one gives birth to a love that will be there long after the last pass is thrown?

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This week: The gospel and enjoyment of life, an interesting breakfast account, and doubting yourself is good.

The Gospel and It-ness (by Jared Wilson, Between 2 Worlds)

If coffee or chocolate or anything else other than God is the highlight of my day or the ultimate joy of my heart, my joy is temporary, hollow, thin.

But if I believe in the gospel, I can finally enjoy the chocolate-ness of chocolate and the coffee-ness of coffee. Only the gospel frees me to enjoy things as they truly are and as they someday will be.

Breakfast and Honesty (by Brant Hansen, Air1)

I asked him if he would do the same thing.  I told him I knew – it ? would be much, much harder for him.  But IF he were completely convinced that this was not what God wanted for his sexuality, that it was actually hindering him from being who God wants him to be, if he were somehow convinced…

Would he change?  Would he submit that aspect of his life to God?

He paused and said…no.

Do You Doubt Yourself? Good (by Tullian Tchividjian, The Resurgence)

The more I look into my own heart for peace, the less I find. On the other hand, the more I look to Christ and his promises for peace, the more I find.

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This week: twin pregnancy reductions, Christianity and the Crusades, spiritual entropy and big oil.

my twin girls

As a dad of 2 sets of twin girls, none of whom I could imagine my life without, it’s discouraging that this is where we’re at now:

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy (by Ruth Padawer, NY Times)

What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single fetus? After all, the math’s the same either way: one fewer fetus. Perhaps it’s because twin reduction (unlike abortion) involves selecting one fetus over another, when either one is equally wanted.

Was Christianity responsible for the crusades? (by David Murray)

It is very easy to fingerpoint at Christians of another generation. If the crusading Christians could see how self-serving, worldly, inconsiderate, gender-confused, lazy, and demanding the Christians of today are, I certainly hope that they would not think that our "Christianity" is responsible for that!

Spiritual Entropy, or: The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Fallacy of Self-Help Christianity
(by Mockingbird)

Trying to ‘will’ ourselves to spirituality by adhering to some form of law will always fail–we will tend to either stay the same or get worse, but certainly no better. Willpower is insufficient to overcome the natural decay of life. If we are left to our own devices, we tend to degenerate.

On Feeling Sorry for Exxon (by Doug Wilson)

For every gallon of gas that is sold in the United States, on average, the local, state and federal taxes come out to 48 cents. The average profit taken away from every gallon of gas by Exxon is –brace yourselves for unsavory news about the oil buccaneers — 2 cents.

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You’ve heard it all before: the movies are never as good as the book they are based on. But here’s the rub: reading is a very solitary experience. It’s just you and the author engaging in the story. When I finished the very last book in the Harry Potter series (the Deathly Hallows), it was pretty anticlimactic. It was a tremendous finish with certain secrets revealed and a very stirring end in the choices Harry makes. But I read it alone. Even when my wife read it shortly after I finished, it was different. Sure, we discussed it, but it didn’t feel like a shared experience. There’s something about closing out a series on the big screen. Maybe I’m too real time now with the advent of Twitter and the internet. It’s likely me being a product of my culture, but seeing a film with the anticipation that this one brought on with my wife on the opening Friday in a packed theater was a blast that was a fitting end to the series.

I don’t want to spoil it too much but the ending sequence starting with Snape’s argument with Voldemort and leading to the last crucial horcrux was everything I imagined it and better. Yes, they changed the ending a little and added to the drama, but I appreciate how the writers knew the significance of the ending and did not rush through it on screen. I was very impatient watching this film, I kept wanting it to speed up, but director built and built and built with solid precision.

The epilogue was too much though. If you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I mean.

I want to say more about Harry Potter and the story and the gospel within but I’ll save that for another time. Let’s just say that I’m a big fan. For now, check out some excellent articles below on Harry and the stories within…

From the Rabbit Room:

Harry Potter, Jesus, and Me by Andrew Peterson

What We’ve Learned From Harry, Part 1 by Travis Prinzi

What We’ve Learned From Harry, Part 2 by Travis Prinzi

From Mockingbird

The Seven Sacraments of Harry Potter:

Part 1: The Scar

Part 2: The Mirror of Erised

Part 3: The Dementor

Part 4: The Pensieve

Part 5: The Mudblood

Part 6: The Horcrux

Part 7: The Deathly Hallows

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Happy birthday to my sweet 5 year old twin girls today! It’s hard to believe I am the dad of a 6 year old and two 5 year olds (along with 2 other little ones)!

This week: better to be sorry than safe, Doug Wilson on time management, being a do-it-yourselfer in the gospel, and social animals.

“It is better to be safe, rather than sorry…ONLY IN AN AIRPORT SENSE!”
(Mockingbird Blog)

When safety is the goal, we stand on our own two feet.  This then puts us on the defensive because we must maintain our own perceived idea of perfection. In this posture, grace is a noun; it is what I need from God to help me maintain my perfection and stay safe. This is contrasted with being sorry, which places us on our knees. Grace then is a verb, God’s unmediated forgiveness and mercy towards the imperfect.  Therefore, the importance of being sorry, rather than safe, is central to understanding the Gospel.

Seven Thoughts on Time Management (by Doug Wilson)

The point is fruitfulness, not efficiency. You should want to be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine.

We Are Seasoned Do-It-Yourselfers (by Tullian Tchividjian)

As it was with Martha in Luke 10:38-42, so it is with us: we just have to be doing something. We can’t sit still. Achieving, not receiving, has become the mark of spiritual maturity. With this in mind, Martin Luther wrote, “To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.” The hardest thing to do even as believers in Christ is to simply sit down and receive something…

Looking for Joy in All the Right Places (by Collin Hansen)

Until we truly begin to understand and embrace the strong-group model of the church as a family, we will have neither the theological foundation nor the social capital necessary to act in a manner diametrically opposed to the dominant culture of radical individualism. We will successfully swim upstream against the raging river of personal sin and selfishness only in the context of community as God intends it.

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This week: a key part of the battle with anger, a key trait of a good teacher, how the quality of movies is declining, and the current cultural striving for perfection.

The Angry Person: Always the Last to Know (by Ed Welch)

The problem with anger is that those who don’t have the problem take it to heart; those who are angry are confident in their right-ness and over time can become massively, utterly, completely deluded, blind and (this is no exaggeration) can feel quite good about themselves after bludgeoning someone close them, as if they have set the world aright. Arrgghh. I hate anger.

The Key Trait of Successful Teachers (by Will Bankston)

Hendricks recalls an encounter with one of his own professors who models well the humble service of Christ. The professor’s habit of studying both early in the morning and late into the night piqued Hendricks’s curiosity. When he asked his professor about this practice, the professor replied, “Son, I would rather have my students drink from a running stream than a stagnant pool.”

The Day the Movies Died (by Mark Harris)

It has always been disheartening when good movies flop; it gives endless comfort to those who would rather not have to try to make them and can happily take cover behind a shield labeled "The people have spoken." But it’s really bad news when the industry essentially rejects a success, when a movie that should have spawned two dozen taste-based gambles on passion projects is instead greeted as an unanswerable anomaly. That kind of thinking is why Hollywood studio filmmaking, as 2010 came to its end, was at an all-time low—by which I don’t mean that there are fewer really good movies than ever before (last year had its share, and so will 2011) but that it has never been harder for an intelligent, moderately budgeted, original movie aimed at adults to get onto movie screens nationwide.

James Franco and Bradley Cooper are More Perfect Than You (Mockingbird Blog)

This idea (that man is perfectible and so should strive for perfection) has been around for 2,000 years, but it has lately been streamlined and turbo-charged: in its contemporary incarnation, it regards any unfulfilled human potentialities as a particularly sad and sclerotic form of entropy.

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This week: a good summary of the disaster in Japan from one of my pastors, talking to your kids about sex, and a unique Palin critique from Doug Wilson.

The Japanese Tsunami – Summary of Video, News, Opinion, Biblical Responses & Charitable Opportunities (by Mitch Majeski)

It all happened while we watched and gasped. Never before has the world been exposed to such vivid and comprehensive footage of a disaster of this magnitude.  The Japanese Tsunami is unique among all natural catastrophes in its power and exposure to the world. The images have been riveting but it is critical for us to remember they are indeed real. Real people were consumed. Real people were scrambling from those horrifying waters.

How to Talk Your to Your Kids About Sex (by Mark & Grace Driscoll)

The “sex talk” is not a one-off conversation. Regular dialog about sexuality should begin when children are young and last until they’re married for the sake of loving, biblical guidance. The fact is parents are not always able to shelter their kids from every single outside influence.

A Palin Critique (by Doug Wilson)

This is the one regnant corruption that a Palin presidency would likely make worse, and it is not a trivial point. She has a strong constitutionalist streak (GR. 143), and another libertarian streak, which, when combined with her feminism, could easily lead to a toxic mix on issues like women in combat, women being susceptible to the draft, DADT in the military, homosexual civil unions, and so on.

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