Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.
Lyrics by Robert Grant, 1833
Friday, June 26, 2009
Members of the United States House of Representatives,
Before you vote on the impending cap and trade bill, I urge you to carefully and thoughtfully consider your position on the matter. President Obama and others have enthusiastically pushed this bill as a necessary one that will be of great help to the environment, an assertion that is far from certain. Moreover, this time of economic difficulty is an exceedingly poor occasion to be hurriedly working to pass an environmental bill of such “historic” proportions. Any bill that carries such a disturbingly high likelihood of financially encumbering business owners and, consequently, threatening any more jobs has no business being seriously considered. However, it appears that Washington theory has long detached itself from American reality, and therefore I will attempt to reconnect the former with the latter. There are multitudes of hard working, tax-paying and voting Americans, your constituents, who stand in strong opposition to this bill. We recognize that in the end it is no less than another tax, a gargantuan tax at that, and we do not appreciate having our economic interests sacrificed for a romanticized theory that may or may not save a questionably endangered environment.
Perhaps some of you simply do not care about the concerns I have put forth here. For those of you who have worked diligently to truly represent and listen to your constituents, thank you. But as for the rest of you, know this: the President did not elect you, and as such his arguments in favor of this bill should be a mere afterthought against the backdrop of the citizen’s voice. In case some of you have forgotten, you are in Washington by the people and for the people. Frankly, we hold your jobs in our hands, and thus our voices will eventually be heard. Representatives of American taxpayers, listen to the people, or we will find representatives who will. On behalf of many concerned American citizens, I implore you to take a stand for what is right. Vote no on this bill and all others like it that put a vastly unnecessary and exorbitant burden on those whose best interests you are elected to have in mind.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Yes, the event frequently focused on Obama, but contrary to the claims of progressive critics on Capitol Hill, protesters also acknowledged and lamented that Bush had opened the door for Obama to gleefully skip through. We know this, but it does no practical good to rally against Bush as he is no longer in office. Moreover, Obama's policies are a highly concentrated, blindingly fast-moving (and far more morally debased) version of what Bush flirted with.
But rather than dealing with the arguments presented, the radical left insisted on marginalizing the opposition with ad-hominem labels such as "terrorist," "right-wing extremist," "disgruntled war veteran," and "white supremacist."
And why should Christians care about all of this? For this reason: ministries and nonprofits that we so love are currently in jeopardy; statism in its fully developed form simply will not allow these to operate outside the range of its oppressive and politically correct eye. Free speech such as campus evangelism, Christian public speaking, and the ability to publicly vocalize certain moral convictions is also at stake. This we know from a wonderful but oft ignored teacher: history. To be aware of and concerned about these possibilities is hardly extremist but wise.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
1) Alison Krauss and Union Station playing "Choctaw Hayride"
2) Dobro legend Jerry Douglas and band playing "We Hide and Seek"
And most Americans settle for "pop." How ludicrous. (This goes for "pop country" as well, with repeat offenders such as Rascal Flatts and Shania Twain.)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
-J. Gresham Machen, "Christianity and Culture," 1912
The essay in its entirety can be found here: http://www.marshillaudio.org/pdf/documents/ChristianityCulture.pdf
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
-Henry Francis Lyte, 1847
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Spiritual formation should never be an excuse for more self-absorption in our already ego-saturated culture, for seeking extra-Biblical ways to "get to God," or for theological subjectivism.
*This phrase should be redundant
Sunday, January 25, 2009
"The new technologies have also opened the way for dialogue between people from different countries, cultures and religions. The new digital arena, the so-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions and values. Such encounters, if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening. The dialogue must be rooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential to promote growth in understanding and tolerance. Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.
The concept of friendship has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the vocabulary of the new digital social networks that have emerged in the last few years. The concept is one of the noblest achievements of human culture. It is in and through our friendships that we grow and develop as humans. For this reason, true friendship has always been seen as one of the greatest goods any human person can experience. We should be careful, therefore, never to trivialize the concept or the experience of friendship. It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop on-line friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbours and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation. If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.
Friendship is a great human good, but it would be emptied of its ultimate value if it were to be understood as an end in itself. Friends should support and encourage each other in developing their gifts and talents and in putting them at the service of the human community. In this context, it is gratifying to note the emergence of new digital networks that seek to promote human solidarity, peace and justice, human rights and respect for human life and the good of creation. These networks can facilitate forms of co-operation between people from different geographical and cultural contexts that enable them to deepen their common humanity and their sense of shared responsibility for the good of all. "
The entire address can be found here.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Shack: The Good, The Bad, and the Controversial