Monday, October 29, 2012

"gravity always wins:" Radiohead and Christianity Part II

View Part I here.
                Outside of Christ we are all under the law.  Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, this is a universal fact of existence.
  Now, when I say law, I’m not speaking of any particular laws found in the Bible, but rather any form of outward standard that plays the voice of accusation in our lives.  Sure, the laws found in the Bible are included in this, but the fact of us being under the law is something we all know deep down (Romans 2:14-16).  Paul Zahl is insightful here:
The principle of the divine demand for perfection upon the human being is reflected concretely in the countless and external demands that human beings device for themselves.  In practice, the requirement of perfect submission to the commandments of God is exactly the same as the requirement of perfect submission to the innumerable drives for perfection that drive everyday people’s crippled and crippling lives.  The commandment of God that we should honor our mother and father is no different in impact, for example, than the commandment of fashion that a woman be beautiful or the commandment of culture that a man be boldly decisive and at the same time utterly tender.[i]  
Simply put, the world is full of laws.  We can see this in every facet of life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"gravity always wins": Radiohead and Christianity Part I

                I really like Radiohead.  They’re not my favorite, but they never fail to move me.  The first reason is because their music is from another planet.  From the aggressive guitar work and multi-instrumental genius of Jonny Greenwood, to the rhythmic bass of his brother Colin, to the subtle brilliance of Ed O’Brien’s guitar creativity, to the drum machine precision of Phil Selway, and the utter id like artistry of Thom Yorke; Radiohead is second to none when it comes to stretching the musical horizons of rock.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Afterthought: "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"

To last week's Colbert inspired post on Pulpit Freedom Sunday I'd like to add this bombshell of a quote from Kierkegaard:
"What Christianity needs is not the suffocating protection of the state; no, it needs fresh air, it needs persecution, and it needs God's protection.  The state only works disaster, it wards off persecution and thus is not the medium through which God's protection can be conducted.  Above all, save Christianity from the state.  By its protection it smothers it to death."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Colbert on "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"

I thought Colbert had some interesting insights last night into the intersection of politics and religion.  This is true particularly in his interview (see second clip).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Keller, "Center Church"

"Though we may have an area or ministry that we tend to focus on, the gospel is what brings unity to all we do.  Every form of ministry is empowered by the gospel, based on the gospel, and is the result of the gospel...

When the preaching of the gospel is either confused or separated from the other endeavors of the church, preaching becomes mere exhortation (to get with the church's program or a biblical standard of ethics) or informational instruction (to inculcate the church's values and beliefs).  When the proper connection between the gospel and any aspect of ministry is severed, both are shortchanged"

-Timothy Keller "Center Church" pg. 36, 37

Thoughts on the "Parody Of Our Modern Church Service" Video

Yesterday I came across a rather hilarious video that parodies the "Seeker Sensitive" or "Willow Creek" formula of Church.  Here it is:

Besides making me bust a gut laughing, this video also got me thinking.  How do you avoid this trap in your typical modern worship service?  Can you seek to speak to a culture in its own language without looking like this?  If so, how do you do it?  Have you ever actually seen it work?

I ask these questions as one who firmly believes the local church should worship in a way that engages its surrounding culture.  To argue that in one particular time and space worship was right, as those who argue for going back to a organ/hymn based worship do, is a misnomer.  This mindset often tends to be both ethnocentric and idolatrous of a particular time, style, and culture (Although I do agree that the words were much better in those hymns).  This said, we're back at square one.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.