DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> 2007 January
Lo-Fi Monk

Monthly Archives: January 2007

Bebo Norman’s Contemporary Christian Art and Wisdom

Bebo Norman is one of my favorite contemporary Christian artists. His music sort of reminds me of Caedmon’s Call, which is probably why they (Caedmon’s Call) took him on tour early on in his career. The tour launched his career, in a huge way. Ultimately, Bebo has a sound all his own, but there are hints of influences which can be found in other fantastic Christian artists and groups. So, comparisons like this are most sincere compliments. I love his music. Music like this makes my private devotional and personal worship times all the sweeter. I also love the Christian wisdom in following quote which was born as Bebo talked about his latest album, a work of art titled Between The Dreaming and The Coming True: “You can’t understand light unless you understand darkness, because that’s where life is most often lived … somewhere between the two. It’s messy and it’s beautiful all at the same time.” The quote is as awesome as it is true.

Adventures in the Buying of Used Books!

My copy of Michael H. Barnes’ In the Presence of Mystery: An Introduction to Human Religiousness finally arrived from the equally mysterious and always entertaining Amazon Used and New Store. Purchasing a used book from an Amazon Seller is an adventure in grab-baggish surprise! One never knows what the packaging holds, until it is finally opened. My copy of In the Presence of Mystery came with a ridiculously huge and obnoxiously white circle immutably planted on the front cover. The bold, red text unceremoniously decorating the white circle reads: “DESK COPY.” Ah, DESK COPY! The fact that someone sold me a free book doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The perpetual white circle interrupting the book’s front cover is, however, an unacceptable aesthetic complication. Placing such an immovable blemish upon a book’s front cover is comparable to the senseless stringing of an endless line of cold aluminum and hard steel berm advertisements straight through the middle of an otherwise beautiful mid-western plain. It is sacrilegious, at least to an exuberant and picky book enthusiast, like me. This aesthetic mess isn’t a complete wash. The book’s body is in excellent condition. It contains no markings, highlights, or unidentifiable stains. Wonderful.

Theology In Popular Film: Contact

SCENE: Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway (Jodie Foster), Richard Rank , Palmer Joss, David Drumlin and President Lasker are assembled for an emergency advisory meeting with the President of the United States in the briefing room at Camp David. The emergency? A mysterious signal of unknown origin is being broadcast to earth in a mathematical sequence structured on prime numbers. The signal, as a result, is determined not to be artificial, but the intentional product of an advanced alien civilization. Read More »

Mapping New Testament Social Networks

So, are you interested in mapping New Testament social networks? I hope so! The days in which we live are all about social networks and social networking! You can also check the co-occurrences of names in the New Testament too, just in case you do not find networking as interesting as you should. Honestly, what this site accomplishes in a matter of clicks would have taken hours upon hours of study to accomplish a few years ago. Thanks to Many Eyes, you can look at these 1st Century social networks in a matter of seconds. Yes, you can examine all of the social networks formed in the New Testament, according to name. Be sure to click the names shown to highlight the social connections shared with others by that person. Jesus obviously has a lot of social connections, as does Paul and Moses. John the Baptist, desert-dwelling anti-social that he was, still shared a lot of social connections. Poor Melchizedek and Philip the Evangelist only had one friend - Jesus. Judas Iscariot was well connected too.

Against Partial and Useless RSS Feeds

I hope it’s not too late to join this movement launched by Ethan Kaplan of BlackRimGlasses. Ethan writes, “Everyone should unsubscribe to any blog or RSS feed source which does not provide a full-text feed for free. I’m sick and tired of being counted as a subscriber when the feed is next to useless.” I agree, 100%. Done & done. It’s better late than never, right? Thanks to Ben too, for spreading the good news.

Love Falls Down

There once lived a woman, in an age not too far removed from our own, who had not seen her children for sixteen years. The choice to leave them was her own. Her twenty year marriage to her husband was not a particularly healthy one. Jealousy, bitterness, rage, and a nagging feeling of nonacceptance gnawed at her fragile soul until it could no longer participate in such union. Her husband’s early drinking and philandering didn’t help matters either; he was a dog, in every sense of the word. Read More »

Julien Dykmans’s Way of Hope

The Way of Hope is an animated short by Julien Dykmans. It is is an absolute work of computer generated art born somewhere deep within a master story-teller’s imagination and vision. It is a masterpiece. I watched the short through twice and then closed my movie viewer & browser to spend some contemplative time with my dependably strong and again confirmed conviction that the real thing is always - always - better than imitation. This is universally true in every aspect of life (i.e., Christianity, relationships, family, food, clothes, etc). Thank you Zebulon (Zebulon is the small travelling merchant featured in the animated short)! Go and vote for Julien Dykmans’s The Way of Hope at the aniBoom awards!

A Resource for People Opposing Abortion

Abort73.com is a good resource for those who - like me - oppose abortion. This site actually provides testimony from women who have actually had abortions. The pain, anguish and guilt created by their decision to abort is tough, tough reading. Many can and should, however, learn from their experience. I thank God that these women are willing to share. I wish more women who actually have had an abortion would share their feelings on the matter. These testimonies not only declare an obvious and blatant human brokenness, but also speak of a God who forgives us all, no matter how far the distance we stray. These testimonies speak of a God who embraces individuals and reconstitutes & reinstitutes authentic relationship. Praise God we all have a Savior in Christ the Lord! Praise God!

Donald Crowdis 93 Year Old Blogger

I was just introduced to the wisdom-laden musings of a 93 year old blogger. Boing Boing gets hat tip credit for the introduction. Thanks Boing Boing! So, back to the 93 year old blogger, aka Don To Earth (aka Donald Crowdis). Yes, he’s a 93 year old blogger! You read that part correctly! So, we may as well get the whole ‘blogging isn’t just for kids thing’ out of the way right now (he is for real!). This blog is, from all I have read of it thus far, a treasure! Donald Crowdis’s post titled It Bothers Me That I Have To Go is a must read for all who are living this life. Go and read it and consider the points made deeply.

Six Miles Out

There once lived a man - a young man - who stumbled upon a familiar crowd of people sharing drink and food.

“Hey there!” The young man shouted. “What are you all doing gathered here like this? Is there nothing better for you to do today than gather together yet again in this tired, old courtyard? It is a beautiful day and the sun …” Read More »