Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A quick note...

Watched "A Flock of Dodos" the other night. It's a documentary along the lines of a little seriousness mixed with one-off caricatures, awkward sound effects and the occasional comment from the camera guy whispered under his breath. While I'm generally not a fan of these new "pop-documentaries" this one is interesting in that the documentary's technique is to barely take a stance, by criticizing those supporting its own opinion. This method is used to confuse the viewer.

The technique works like this:

I'm Pro A you're anti-A
1) I create a documentary pointing out legitimate challenges to the Pro A party. (I build credibility)
2) I then point out legitimate challenges to the Anti A party (building more credibility)
3) **THEN** I sprinkle illegitimate claims about the Anti A party through out the documentary.

Thus when I reach the conclusion supporting the Pro A party at the end (with the credibility I've gained from points 1 and 2) , many viewers trust me.

While this has nothing to do with books... I thought it was interesting

The official website

The Discovery Institute's Rebuttal to the "pop-doc"

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Monday, June 1, 2009

A second book, a second post...

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m currently reading a few different books. One of them is God, Marriage and Family by Andreas J. Kostenberger. I like telling people that I read this book, primarily because I like saying his name. I could almost argue that Dr. Kostenberger’s name alone ranks him up there with the Nietzsches, Kants, Chestertons and Kierkegaards. But I won’t.

This particular book is considered by many to be the foremost compilation of the Bible’s view of marriage and family. Initially, I would have said the “Christian” view of marriage and family, but based on a recent Newsweek article (The End of Christian America), Christianity, as it is popularly known today is fading, while “Chistendom America” is growing (at least according to Mark Driscoll).

The interesting thing that I found so far in my reading was a clarification of the word patriarchy. You can find a number of definitions online, through Google, or Bing.. and you’ll basically find a definition that ranges from the father holding majority responsibility for the well being of this family and therefore majority authority, to the father holding absolute power and authority over women and children. In his book, Kostenberger cites Daniel Block in stating that “While most identify the ancient Israelite family structure by the term ‘patriarchy’ ... Block contends that the expression ‘patricentrism’... may be better suited for this type of arrangement, since first, feminism has permanently discredited patriarchy even in its non-abusive forms...” (94).

While not specifically dealing with the substantive areas of the book I just found it interesting how sometimes words are hijacked by different parties from time to time and used or abused or indirectly censored.

Regarding the book, so far Kostenberger has given thorough history of families in the Old and New Testaments examining an area that many non-christians bring up for debate in a number of discussions: The misunderstanding of what God has commanded and what people the Bible actually did. A more recent example would be non-christians pointing out the Crusades as evidence of the cruelty of religion, over looking the fact that Jesus never condoned such actions. The current chapter deals with the permanency of marriage. Kostenberger examines whether marriage is a sacrament (as put forth by organizations like the Catholic Church), a contract (as we view it in civil society), or a covenant. Initially, one might not see the distinction between contract and covenant, but there are major differences that have broad implications.

Maybe I’ll address this comparison later... Until then...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow, it's quiet around here.

So I remember Jon mentioning that I had hung him out to dry on this blog... seeing as he was the only one posting.. So I'm back.. Got some time over the next few weeks and thought I'd throw down a few words.

I'm currently reading a few books and today I happen to be reading Death by Love. So far it's an interesting read. A blend of some hard core theological mixed with the occasional "dude" reference. You'll find words like "Cristus Victor" and "Expiation" well laid out and defined using whole chapters.

However, I just wanted to write something that came to mind as I was reading today. Driscoll writes of Jesus' death on the cross, "...on the cross Jesus hid his victory in defeat, hid his glory in shame and hid our life in his death. Satan and the demons did not see this because they lacked the sight of faith and did not understand the humility of Jesus" (44).

As I stopped to think about this text, I started to question why Satan would miss such a thing? I was having a conversation the other day about the devil and whether or not he could repent. It's interesting because of all creatures, you would think that having lived and communed with The Holy God, having witnessed the creation of man, the playing out of the Old and New Testaments, if anyone had enough "proof" it would be Satan. But then I remembered a conversation I had with a good friend a while back. He was struggling in a relationship and wanted the opportunity to be able to explain himself to his ex. The challenge is that she believed that she "understood" everything and her decision was final. In our conversation he kept reiterating that she COULD NOT have understood what he was trying to say, for if she did, then she would see it his way.

I wonder how many times we don't see or understand things simply because we believe that we are right and that everyone who is right would see exactly what we see and respond the same way? And if they don't see it "our way," then THEY must be the ones that are wrong.. because everyone must be like us, or at least aspire to be like us.

I have to admit that I've felt this way many times and on occasion joked how the would be a better place if there were just more of me around. I wonder if Satan feels the same way? How much better would things be if everyone were just a bit more like him? A little more prideful, a little more deceiving, a little less gracious, a little more angry, a little more scornful, a little less forgiving... why? because then he would be god.

I wonder if Satan didn't see, and continues not to see his future because he believes that everyone, including God, is like him. When he saw Jesus broken and torn on the cross, he assumed that he was really defeated, not that he was simply masking his victory in defeat and his glory in humility...

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