A great rant on an Evangel-less Evangelicalism

Just read a great and heart-felt post by Jared Wilson. I recommend you read the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt.

Hey, how about we don’t “hope” that to happen, but we just actually do it? If the Jesus in your preaching is subliminal, you’re failing. I don’t care how many people are in your church or buy your books or watch your videos. An implied Jesus is a FAIL.

And this is why this shade of the emerging thing — and I know I can’t lump them all in together; in some eyes, I’m a part of the emerging church and so is Mark Driscoll and so are McCoy and Thorn up there in Chi-town and so is Neil Cole, et.al. — is really just our Boomers’ seeker church metrosexualized. And why many of the seeker church guys are now embracing this shade of the emerging thing. It’s their deal, only cooler. The feel-good legalism is still there and Jesus makes cameo appearances. That’s an ecclesiological reconstruction FAIL. (Thank you, Jim Belcher.)

Jesus doesn’t need you or me to be embarrassed for him or his followers. He doesn’t need our help. We don’t have to butter people up before we bring him out. He’s not a time share or Amway or something.

If I get hit by a bus just after preaching a Jesusless exhortation to hold hands and be sweet to change the world with positivity, you have my permission to wish the bus had hit me before I preached.

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! And woe to you too, Rob Bell.

This sums up what I think of the Polanski affair

“When Orwell says that even a reborn Shakespeare couldn’t get away with “raping little girls,” he was either reflecting the mores of the times (1944) – or he forgot about Hollywood.”Jim Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy (commenting on an Orwell essay on Salvador Dali)

[H/T The Anchoress, who also has a great post on this subject]

There’s a zombie on your lawn

Well, I still have little to no imagination so YouTube videos will have to do.

Here’s a quirky little gem from someone I’ve never heard of (Laura Shigihara) but hope to hear more from. My mom is a retired English teacher and I think she just fainted after reading that last sentence.

From what I can gather, the people in the video are not the actual artists that created this song. They’re just having fun.

[H/T dustbury.com]

Update: Using my thorough, in-depth and deep-undercover investigative skills I have discovered the website of the person who created this video with his friends (plus, at the end of the video the website url is shown on the screen): Wild Particle. The actors in the video appear to be an eclectic group of video gamers, artists and writers from down under. All of them are more interesting than I am.

The present is the past

I can’t seem to learn anything about [the president’s] health care reform plan. I watch the network news and discover that the plan cannot be summarized briefly. I read the papers and find the plan cannot be explained at length. I listen to the president himself and he seems at least as confused as I am, though less succinctly.

. . .

I gather, from the president’s sales pitch, we’re supposed to come up with a large sum of money to invest in a vaguely described deal that’s going to have a huge payoff someday. Isn’t the SEC trying to crack down on this sort of thing?

. . .

Understanding government programs is like looking at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Form is more important than content. The plan is 1,400 pages long, detailed specifics to come. You can stand on this thing to paint the ceiling. In my copy of The World Almanac, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights occupy 4 1/2 pages. That’s 4 1/2 pages to run an entire country for more than two hundred years and three reams of federal pig Latin if I slam my thumb in a car door.

Is this some recent quote from a blog or pundit about the Obama health care plan?

No. This is excerpted from a P.J. O’Rourke column, written for the Wall Street Journal in 1993, about the Clinton health care plan.

The last refuge of a (temporarily bereft of post ideas) scoundrel

Of course . . . I’m posting a YouTube video.

But this one is particularly electrifying. It is one of my favorite moments from the sixties (not that I remember this moment. I was five and living in Japan).

This was an age when – think about this in our dinosaurs-of-rock crammed culture – nearly every popular musician was young.

These guys really bring it here.

And amen. “No man is a failure who has friends.” – Clarence Oddbody

Open House

Tonight I attended Open House at Bethany’s high school. I always enjoy these things, and it’s good to meet the teachers. Bethany goes to a great high school, and nearly every teacher she has is obviously in love with teaching and devoted to the kids.

As I walked the halls with the other parents, prodded along helpfully by student volunteers, it occurred to me that, for our society, people in my age bracket are basically done. Our culture worships youth: young, healthy, in shape, beautiful youth. Our celebrities are either young or they are surgically nipped and tucked (and injected and stretched and suctioned) to look young. Our athletes are young. Our artists and musicians are young. Even our President is young, as Presidents go (though he still has a few years on me). I, on the other hand, have crossed the line where I now work out to feel better, rather than to look better. Looking better became an impossibility quite awhile ago. But twenty minutes on an elliptical at level five makes me feel slightly more alive, provided it doesn’t kill me.

So there we were, we middle agers, moving like the lumpen masses we are through the halls of this enormous, modern high school, squinting at the impossibly small print on the school map as we huffed our way to third period.

And the thought hit me: not done. I’m a parent. Jill and I have been parenting now for twenty years, and we’ve got, well, we don’t know how many years left. Technically, in theory, eight more until all the kids are out of the house, four years after that until the last one’s done with college, and, presumably, there will be some weddings sprinkled in there as well, and a grandchild or two or a dozen. But, as the movie Parenthood so wisely put it, you’re never really done. You never cross the goal line and spike the ball. Parenthood is like your Aunt Edna’s [backside]: it goes on forever and it’s twice as frightening.

This is the task. This is the great Odyssey Jill and I are on, and we drive an Odyssey to prove it. We’re in the thick of things, and time will tell how well we did. Time will display our diligence, and it will expose our sloth and passivity, wreathed in regret, should we fail as parents. We’ve either trained up our children in the way they should go, and prepared them for life, or we haven’t. Lord have mercy.

On a side note, I believe firmly that a real man rejects passivity (that’s from Robert Lewis’ Raising a Modern Day Knight – a good study). But I’ve found that passivity is a puzzle. I have large regrets over times I was passive in my children’s lives when I should have been active – I should have seen the storms coming and done . . . something. But I also know that I have a tendency to go off half-cocked and three sheets to the wind as well. After all, being a parent is an exercise in the art of letting go. There comes a time when, as a parent, you’re sidelined and you just get to watch the game, however it goes. The trick is knowing when. Go Team.

Here’s where I’m supposed to insert the obligatory “parenting is hard” statement, along with a lament about “how time flies” and “where did the years go”. Well, fie on that (I’ve been wanting to work “fie” into my conversation recently). Parenting is what it is. It is what God has made it, and parenting plays its role in Christ’s work of grace in salvaging lives and societies in our fallen world. By golly, there’s no sense in either bemoaning it when times are bad or getting complacent when times are good (as they are now, by the way). Because the times will change. This isn’t a job for cowards. It’s also not a job for those with too much bravado. We are dependent.

Parenting is the most important thing I’ve ever done, and probably will ever do. Compared to being a dad, my day job fades to insignificance (other than, of course, as a means to the end of feeding my family). And I’m not done yet. As the kids grow up and I (surprise!) get older, new enemies join the battle, namely the enemies of “boy, am I tired” and “ow, my back hurts”. But all the more reason to strap on the old armor and slog up the hill again. Battles do, after all, have their element of fun, and I have a goal to be old and crotchety, yet hale. We’ll see.

Did I mention that I went to Open House tonight?