Humor

The Death of Television by an Ax

The Death of Television by an Ax

This may seem too overwhelming for some. It really is extremely violent. One reader referred to it as one of the “most egregious acts done to technology in the 21st century.” You are about to witness the persuasive death of the world’s most beloved tube through an ax. I confess: this was hard to watch, listen, and watch a couple more times. Entertainment comes through the most bizarre acts. I have a profound admiration for Neil Postman. I understand the addiction of amusing ourselves to death. But not even Postman would propose such violence. Watch. At the end realize that this brief paragraph was meant as a sort of warning. Wives: do not let your husbands see this video!

Book Review: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for your Heart by Kyle Idleman

These days I rarely finish a book. I am currently reading through so many books I can barely keep track of which ones. I usually peruse a book, find what I want, and leave it buried in my increasing treasury of books on Kindle. This changed recently. In preparation for a sermon on idolatry I came across Kyle Idleman’s book entitled Gods at War. The book title caught my attention and so I downloaded it into my kindle and two seconds later there it was. I confess I had never heard of Pastor Idleman, and my first impressions of a mega pastor (which he is; pastor of the fourth largest church in the country) have not changed. The writing style filled with little stories and illustrations hurt my intellectual feelings from the start. But then I just kept reading it. The side bars with research and even the funny footnotes kept me reading it.

The reading is meant for a lay audience, but I confess this pastor needed it just as much. Idleman argues that “until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes his rightful place, you will not have victory” (22). I am not even sure where to start. I have had so many idols over the years.

As I read the book I realized that the premise was not much different than the biblical theological work of G.K. Beale who wrote that we are what we worship, whether for our ruin or for our good. Beale wrote his work in an academically driven style. Idleman is Beale for Dummies.

The time I waste. The things I treasure. Everything had become a god. “Never in the history of humanity has there been so much entertainment and so little satisfaction” (121). I am so easily entertained, and yet that entertainment fails to find the satisfaction that it intends to give. Why? because it is not meant to give it.

Who is your god? That question kept coming back again and again to haunt me. I have read Keller and I am quite aware that the second commandment is more thorough than simply constructing a physical icon, it also deals with the heart of the matter; really, the heart is the matter.

What a simple, at times silly, but overall profoundly revealing book. Don’t read this book. If you do, you will start hunting more effectively for those gods that tempt you in every direction. Come to think of it, read it. Be a hunter. Choose this day whom you will serve. “You shall have no other gods before me,” says Yahweh.

*See also, We Become What We Worship by G.K. Beale

Bring Out the Champagne! The Party Has Just Begun!

Easter is gone, right? Actually Easter has just begun! The Easter Season lasts for 50 days. It is glorified in the PENT-ecost season. According to the Christian Calendar, Easter lasts until May 19th (Pentecost Sunday). But didn’t we spend ourselves bodily and spiritually this past Lord’s Day? If that’s the case, stir yourselves unto good works. The party has just begun!

We–who are liturgically minded–tend to carefully attend to the Lenten and Advent Calendar, but yet we forget that apart from the Resurrection Lent and Advent would not make any sense. After all, what are we expecting? A virgin birth to a son who would simply die at the age of 33? What are we expecting? A perpetually closed tomb? A sight for annual pilgrimages to Israel?

I am suggesting we need to stock up in our champagne bottles. Every Sunday meal needs to start with the popping of a champagne bottle. “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! POP! “Children, that’s the sound of victory!”

For every day of Easter, set aside a little gift for your little ones or your spouse. We set 100 Easter eggs aside for our two oldest children and let them open them up each day. Other traditions can be added, of course. We indulge in Easter hymnody and Psalmnody.  Easter is no time to get back to business as usual, it’s time to elevate the party spirit.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for these next 46 days:

First, for evening family readings, meditate specifically on the Resurrection account and the post-resurrection accounts. Digest every detail of the gospels, and also allow St. Paul to add his resurrection theology in I Corinthians 15.

Second, teach one another the art of hope. We live in a hopeless culture. We walk around with little enthusiasm for what God is doing in our midst. We also don’t believe that God is changing us and conforming us to the image of His son. We need to–especially in this season–to rejoice more with those who rejoice and encourage more those who weep with the hope granted to us in the Resurrection of our Messiah.

Third, invest in changing your community. Ask your pastor in what ways can you be more fruitful in your service to the congregation. Consider also your neighbors. Do you know them? If you do, how many have been in your homes for a meal or a drink, or simply to talk?

Fourth, play Easter music in your home and in the office. Here are some selections of great CDs or MP3’s.

Finally, avoid the introspective rituals that are so prevalent in our Christian culture. Do not allow doubts to overtake you. Think of your Triune baptism. Trust in Christ fervently. Allow the Covenant of Grace to shape your identity. The resurrection of Jesus was the confirmation that those in Christ are made for glory. Look to Jesus and serve Jesus by serving others. By doing so, you will not grow weary in doing well, and you will learn to party beside the empty tomb.

Christ is Risen!

Pagans Defined

Michael Bird is a real theological comedian. We need more like him. Here is an FB sample:

Dear pagans, when I talk about “paganism,” I mean the religious wing of the Roman empire, not modern paganism. I have no problem with a few Berkley grads rolling around the forest naked, playing a home-made flute, riding a goat, sacrificing a pineapple to the moon, drinking some medicinal herbal tea, and french kissing an oak tree. You people amuse me more than bother me!

 

Trinitarian Laughter

One principle of presuppositionalism is that man is fully dependent on God. He thinks and meditates based on God’s creative standard of thinking and meditation. Ungodly man cannot do either without first borrowing from God. As Van Til once put it: “Unbelieving man must first sit on God’s lap before they can spit on Him.”

The same principle also applies to humor and laughter. As Psalm 2 & 37 so clearly demonstrates, while the wicked glories in their agendas, Yahweh laughs. History is God’s laughter. The greater the plans against Yahweh and His people, the greater the divine laughter.

As I have observed recently, “humor and laughter only rightly belongs to Trinitarians. when pagans are funny they are borrowing from God’s humor.” Even the simple joy of laughter is originated in the Trinitarian life. The Trinitarian community delights and laughs. The kingdom is a joyful kingdom because God is a joyful God. He gives us every good thing for our enjoyment and pleasure. He makes His creation very good. Laughter is Trinitarian.

Modernism=Atheism

Pachelbel Rant. Pagagnini

{HT: Jim Jordan}

Barack Obama and Ryan Seacrest

Concerning Barack Obama’s coming interview with American Idol’s Co-Host Ryan Seacrest, Greg Pollowitz has this to say:

Maybe Seacrest will tell the president that America has spoken, he will not be the next American Idol.

Dude Obama…

Dana Milbank’s review of Obama’s interview in the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is devastating.

Brilliant!