Friday, April 28, 2006

Gailey Announces Nix Will Call Plays

How will this strategic decision pay off for Jacket football next season? Only time will tell. (Cynics might say that it couldn't make things worse.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Free Material from the SBTS Institute for Christian Worship

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has some great resources for Christian worship, including sessions with cool guys like Kevin Twit, Bob Kauflin and Reggie Kidd, to name a few.

(Note: unfortunately, only the recordings from the last couple of years are in mp3 format, with the older ones in *gasp* Real Media).

Within the Bounds of Orthodoxy?

Joseph Minich asks this question about the controversies swirling in Reformed-dom concerning the "Federal Vision" and the "New Perspective on Paul." His essay is well-documented and is a pretty fair look at both the theological issues and the need for much more charitable dialogue.

(H/T to Mark)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Where Does It Go?

The time, that is.

Plenty of blog-fodder these days, but there seems to be a real shortage of writing time. So, here are a few items that probably deserve posts of their own, but alas, this is probably the only notice they will ever get:

  • Our friends the Cranes pulled together a cool "Murder Mystery Dinner" over the weekend. Allison and I had never before participated in such an event, but man, was it fun! I got to be an 8th Century Chinese patriarch. But I wasn't the killer. That's a good thing, I think.

  • While searching for costume-age for the aforementioned dinner, I discovered the wonder that is "Used Books For Sale at Goodwill." We found some really cool stuff on those shelves (like a CHEAP copy -- in hardback! -- of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, which incidentally is the basis for the song "Bus 152" by the inimitable Eric Peters), but I fear we may have only strengthened our insatiable book-addiction.

  • Spirited Away is a weird movie. Visually, it was amazing, and I enjoyed watching it, but ... yeah, weird.

  • I've been enjoying Tom Wright's For Everyone series installments on the Gospels. Even though they are written at a popular level (as in, they're "for everyone"), they offer plenty of examples of Wright's knack for connecting the texts to their cultural and literary contexts. It's also refreshing to read the Bishop's pastoral works, as they provide a counterbalance to the criticisms that he neglects the personal aspects of Christian faith and discipleship.

  • Alias is back, and so far, I'm fairly underwhelmed.

  • (Actually, that last one probably doesn't deserve a post of its own.)

    Mapping Sufjan Stevens

    Chicago Public Radio recently produced a neat little special on Sufjan Stevens that aired this past weekend. From their website:
    Chicago Public Radio goes in depth with musician Sufjan Stevens. His album Illinois was one of the most critically acclaimed of 2005. It's the second installment of his project memorializing each of the 50 states in song, and cemented Stevens as a major American musical talent. So where did he come from? What other projects did he do on the way to Illinois? How did he get from his first band Marzuki, to being the recipient of the New Pantheon Music Award? And how did he get such a weird name? Eight Forty Eight's Steve Edwards has the answers to these questions and more in our hour-long special, Mapping Sufjan Stevens, including an interview with the artist and commentary from the critics at Pitchforkmedia. We'll also hear Stevens's collaboration with Long Haul Productions—a radio documentary on the town of Brinkley, Arkansas.

    Download the entire (27 MB) program.

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters

    Just in case you were ever wondering about the religious backgrounds of your favorite superheroes and villains, here is a handy compendium. There's probably more here than you ever wanted to know.

    Warning: some information may be apocryphal.

    (Courtesy of the BHT, via some other blog.)

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Flesh and Blood

    "I love the fact that it's a Communion song because of all the things that happen in a church service, I believe Communion is perhaps the most important. No one should leave a church meeting without at some point, in some way being confronted with the body and blood of Christ." (Andrew Peterson)

    Flesh and Blood
    Words and Music
    by Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive

    Flesh and blood
    Born a baby
    Flesh and blood
    You lived and breathed
    Amazing love
    You came and gave your flesh and blood
    To set me free

    Hallelujah for the bread it is His body
    And the wine it is the blood that binds us now
    And the living bread remains
    The communion of the saints
    Sing the mystery of faith
    Flesh and blood

    “Flesh and blood
    You are my children
    Flesh and blood
    If you believe
    So take this cup
    And when you taste my flesh and blood
    Remember me”

    Hallelujah for the bread it is His body
    And the wine it is the blood that binds us now
    And the living bread remains
    The communion of the saints
    Sing the mystery of faith
    Flesh and blood

    We remember blessed Jesus, we remember
    God help us all if ever we forget
    That the author of the story
    Cast off His crown of glory
    For a crown of thorns
    And flesh and blood

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Cruciform Reality

    Peter Leithart had a lot of great stuff to say this past weekend concerning the absolute centrality of the cross:

    Good Friday Homily
    Easter Sunday Exhortation

    Saturday, April 15, 2006


    Though I didn't purposefully refrain from blogging during Lent, the last few weeks my contributions have been few and far between. That has been a good thing, because I've made time to read more Scripture (mainly Genesis) and had a restful Spring Break in which I managed to completely avoid anything related to work, read a few books, enjoyed time spent with Gaines, visited old friends, and gloried in the grandeur of God displayed in His budding Creation. But something happened today that made me focus more intently on my expectation for tomorrow, when we celebrate the event that cleansed God's people and awakened the New Creation.

    Today, of course, is the long Saturday before Easter, "between His death and the rising day, when no one wrote a word, wondered 'Is this the end?'" And so on the day when the disciples were overcome with grief so personal and weighty that none of the gospel writers shared with us its events, I write.

    In my preparations for tomorrow's celebratory meal, an easy-to-make Easter pot roast (sorry, no lamb to be found in my local Kroger this afternoon), I needed to marinate my meat in some red wine. As I was pouring the wine and ladeling it over the nice round bottom roast, my spoon slipped and I splashed some of the crimson marinade. It went everywhere-- in my eye, on my face, on my arm, on the pot, on the counter, on the floor-- except, it somehow missed by blazing white t-shirt. If anything, you'd think it would've hit that target. Miraculously (for usually I come out of the kitchen covered in whatever I was cooking) my shirt was spared (and a good thing, too, it is one of my favorites).

    This simple little act of grace made me realize again my own weakness and clumsiness when it comes to living a life in Christ. I had been pretty thoughtless with my words earlier in the day, and at the least I deserved a smattering of wine across my shirt. I remembered and was shamed. However, the cleanliness of my clothes reminded me with a joyous release that the price has already been paid. Christ's sacrifice has made me spotless. In God's view, my shirt is always white. Of course I still sin, and will to my dying day, but my redemption is real, and on the final Day of the Lord I will be declared righteous. My hope is in the cross and in the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord, who died for the sin of the world. And for today, for one fleeting moment, I got a glimpse of that grace a stain-resistant shirt. A tangible reminder of my Redeemer. Thank you, Father.

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Another Bogus Mathematical Theorem

    Departmental Lunch + Chinese Buffet = Decreased Office Productivity

    or, otherwise stated:

    The likelihood of workplace napping increases proportionally with the number of plates eaten at the China Buffet.

    (We're still trying to determine whether it is merely a linear relationship, or whether an exponent should be added to account for the influence of General Tso.)

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    The Law and the Lord

    From a Wednesday of Holy Week reflection on Matthew 22:34-46 -
    The saying about David's Lord and David's son thus propels us back to the question about the great commandment. Not a jot or tittle, said Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, will pass from Torah until all is accomplished; and as he articulates the greatest commandment in Torah, so he is on the way to its ultimate accomplishment. The vertical commandment, that we should love God with all our heart, is joined together with the horizontal commandment, that we should love our neighbors as ourselves; and Jesus combines the vertical and the horizontal into the greatest symbol of triumphant love the world has ever seen, a symbol at once clear and obvious and yet fathomless in its profundity, all the more so for its having been up to that point a symbol of the triumph of Caesar, his coins and his empire. The cross stretches up to God in loving obedience, and out to the world in loving service, and all because it is not David's son but David's Lord who hangs there, so that the real stretching out is downwards, from God to us.
    (Tom Wright, The Scriptures, the Cross and the Power of God: Reflections for Holy Week)

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Appendix A: Bootlegs & B-Sides

    Appendix A: Bootlegs & B-Sides - Being A Retrospective Look At A Dubious Career In Storytelling And Singing Off-Key

    Andrew Peterson has finally released his collection of live recordings, demos and unreleased songs. We got our copy in the mail yesterday, and it is not to be missed. The liner notes alone are almost worth the price of the CD (which is quite a bargain, by the way). I mean, how many other CD's warn you in advance about potential vomiting caused by unprepared listening? Even if the sound quality isn't the best in some places (they are bootlegs, after all!), there are some real gems here. If you missed out on the pre-order, hurry up and snag a copy today! They won't be available forever.

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Sufjan To Release Illinois Outtakes

    From Asthmatic Kitty Records:
    Asthmatic Kitty is pleased to announce that we will officially release most of the unused material from the ILLINOIS album, featuring 21 songs, instrumentals, interludes and demos, including three alternate versions of Chicago, as well as cameos from Clyde Tombaugh (the man who discovered Pluto), Adlai Stevenson, Henry Darger, and Ann Landers, to name a few. We thought of calling it ILLINOIS PART II, Saul Bellow Strikes Back, or RETURN OF THE KILLER OUTTAKE, but common sense weighed in, and we decided to use the title song--THE AVALANCHE--as the centerpiece for a collection that gathers all the musical debris from an album that keeps on giving. The album features the original Illinoisemaker players, showcasing James McAlister on drums, Craig Montoro on trumpet, singers Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and Katrina Kerns, and several guest appearances by singer Rosie Thomas, who, contrary to popular rumor, is NOT carrying Sufjan's baby. The new baby is due in stores July 11, 2006.

    More info on The Avalanche.

    ... And We're Back

    It's a fact: we should always plan an extra vacation day to recover from our vacation, although we certainly enjoyed our time off. But alas, all good things must come to an end.

    Monday, April 03, 2006


    It's Spring Break for DeKalb County (in which Allison teaches), so we're taking off to the lake for a few days.

    Woo hoo!