Thinking Out Loud

January 6, 2010

Think Links

Once again the lynx is back, so it must be a Wednesday link list:

  • Jim Martin wrote this letter to a young girl graduating from college, but it’s great new year’s advice for anyone in their teens or twenties, from the blog, A Place for the God-Hungry, check out Dear Son/Dear Daughter
  • Scott Russ has a long piece on his blog looking back at 2009 — the whole decade actually — and forward to 2010 and what follows.   There’s some good stuff here, but if you have to choose, scroll down halfway to the “future” section of Looking Back, Looking Forward.
  • Abba Productions  of West Palm Beach, Florida is committed to doing a film version of Francine Rivers most popular book, Redeeming Love. You can navigate around their site from this page.
  • N. T. Wright explains to Trevin Wax at Kingdom People why his new book is titled After You Believe in North America, but titled Virtue Reborn in the U.K., in this blog interview.
  • Quitting Church author Julia Duin reports that the next film in the Narnia series will appear with much of its Christian sentiment somewhat compromised in the screenplay.   Read her article for The Washington Post about the picture, releasing Christmas 2010.
  • Kent Shaffer at analyzes the Top 100 search criteria used by kids — including kids under age seven — on the internet.   Then again, you may not want to know.    Otherwise, continue here.
  • On a not too dissimilar theme, a number of bloggers have linked to this article by Carolyn Plocher at NewsBusters concerning the “not so hidden agenda” of the American Library Association.   Their buzzterm, “Authentic Literature” masks another agenda.  She writes, “…  The ALA, for whatever reason, has taken up the cause of normalizing homosexuality and advancing the gay agenda.  Just this year alone, the ALA awarded more than forty pro-homosexual books; at least seven of those books received two or even three ALA awards.”   Check out this important article here.
  • In the search for a weekly cartoon (or two) with a Christian perspective, it’s easy to forget how many times Charles Schulz touched on church-related or Biblical subjects.  Assembled in one place, the sheer volume of his output on religious subjects probably exceeds most of our contemporary Christian cartoonists. (See below)
  • No link on this one, just a warning:  If you’re a fan of John Ortberg as I am, and you purchased his Faith and Doubt last year, do NOT purchase the new Know Doubt as it’s the same book.  (Both Zondervan.)   Why do publishers do this?
  • I don’t know anyone who puts more work into their daily devotional website than Stephen and Brooksyne Weber writing daily from Amish country in Pennsylvania.   Each day’s readings contain spectacular photography, music tracks (optional), or you can hear an audio version of the thought for each day.   The link is always in the sidebar here, or you can connect here for Daily Encouragement.

    February 10, 2009

    The Gospel According to William Shakespeare

    My wife is currently reading the book, The Unnecessary Pastor (Eerdman’s 2000) in which Eugene Peterson and Marva Dawn alternate chapters intended to give encouragement to pastors.  I checked out where it was bookmarked this morning and in her first chapter, Marva Dawn borrows an analogy from N. T. Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God (Fortress Press, 1992) which she mentions has also been picked up in a variety of other books.   (If they were bloggers they could just insert an “HT” or a “via”!)

    shakespeare91Suppose we found an incomplete play by William Shakespeare, how could we produce it?  If we discovered the first five acts and the last bit of the seventh, we could try to write the missing parts — but who could ever write as well as Shakespeare?  Besides, Shakespeare is no longer alive for us to check out our attempts with him.

    She later defines the analogy, the acts in question are:

    • Act I – creation
    • Act II – the fall
    • Acts III and V – stories of Israel and early Christians
    • Act IV – the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus
    • Act VI – missing
    • Act VII – we have only a fragment of the drama’s ending from the book of Revelation

    But I’ve jumped the gun and introduced the analogy before she was finished setting up the premise; but you already had that figured out, right?   Which makes this paragraph that much more interesting:

    Instead we could go to Ashland, Oregon which has one of the finest Shakespeare festivals in the world and there we would secure the best Shakespearean actors we could find — people who have performed lots of his plays, who know his ways, his idiosyncrasies, his twists of language.  They would immerse themselves in the acts that we do have and then we’d let them improvise the parts that are missing.   Since the audience would be different every time the play was performed, it would be improvised differently every day according to who is there and what is happening.   Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

    (She also suggests that Christians have an advantage because we can, in fact, check with the Author as we go!)   Basically, that’s what we’re doing; improvising Act VI. As Christ-followers we know how the play began and how the play ends.  Our job is to live out Act VI.

    [In case you’re wondering, my wife isn’t a pastor in that sense, but fulfils a pastoral role to some of the people she serves in ministry.   Instead of wondering about her, a better question for everyone reading this to answer is, “Who are you a pastor to?”]

    December 9, 2008

    N. T. Wright Interview Banned in Canada by Comedy Central; But Why?

    Filed under: Christianity, internet, theology — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:52 pm

    nt_wrightOn December 19th it will be six months after the fact that The Colbert Report on Comedy Central did an interview with author and theologian N. T. Wright.

    Comedy Central video content is not available on the internet to viewers outside the U.S.A.  Their server senses my ISP domain, and refers me to their Canadian equivalent, The Comedy Network, which has Colbert interviews available, but doesn’t think that anyone in what is basically a pagan nation would want to watch the N. T. Wright clip.

    Nonetheless, I keep hearing about this interview, and therefore I am begging, pleading, imploring anyone in the United States who has the means to do so to send me even the audio of this interview. see update…

    BTW, Comedy Central isn’t the only one.   All those “bonus features” that NBC offers U.S. viewers are also prevented from being screened on computers outside the U.S.   Why?  You tell me.   But I’m thinking of giving up watching The Office because it’s just too darned frustrating.   Especially when the newer features are direct plot tie-ins.

    So please, anyone, an audio wave file would be fine; I don’t need to see the pictures…  You can mail me a cassette…  An eight-track…   Cut me a vinyl disc…  And if anyone from Comedy Central is reading this; feel free to offer an explanation but it better be believable…

    [and no, it’s not on YouTube…]

    Update:  Well, once the rant was officially published, I went back to The Comedy Network to shut the window down, and discovered the section “Interviews: W” seemed to have loaded more options.   I scrolled down and there it was.   Six months later, I was finally rewarded with seeing this strange appearance by a theologian on a comedy show.   (What’s next, Ben Witherington on Conan O’Brien?)   But halfway through, the thing crashed.

    It had been lagging constantly and so I decided to go back to the beginning and give the buffering time to catch up.   Bad move.   I offended it.     It was playing in a Firefox viewer, not a standard web page, so I couldn’t refresh the page.

    At this writing, I’m trying to start the entire process from scratch.  I guess it was too good to be true.

    UPDATE # 2 — Absolute desperation has been rewarded.   Fifty five minutes after reaching the peak of frustration, I have finally seen this much-talked-about six minutes and two seconds of interview.   Why N. T. Wright agreed to play straight man on this eludes me, but Colbert’s home television audience is deserving of someone of Wright’s intellect, even if the live studio audience was a little giddy.  His comments on “new earth” certainly gel with the Randy Alcorn material I blogged about this summer.  So… Should it have taken six months to finally track this down?   Should it have taken fifteen minutes to watch six minutes of video on high speed internet?   That’s up to someone else to decide.   I won’t be visiting The Colbert Report again.   Too much anticipation for too little actual content.

    FOOTNOTE:  Thanks to those of you who were busy putting a care package together for me.   My problem was resolved with the Canadian Comedy Network; but what of people in Australia, or New Zealand, or the U.K. who would want to view this?

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