1. I found this CNN article on the significance of the font, ‘Impact’, in memes interesting. (the comments are just as entertaining).
2. I read this week that DC talk vocalist, Kevin Max, joined Audio Adrenaline. This particular article is dated from August, 2012…still it’s worth a mention. Great choice for a lead singer, and according to multiple reads on the net they have an album due for release soon. Click here for a youtube video of them performing @ K-LOVE.
3. Crisis magazine had an interesting article on ‘the anatomy of sloth’. This comes from a Roman Catholic perspective and is enlightening, although, I’m not sure I agree with number 8 – still processing that one. The symptoms of sloth are listed as being:
”1. Habitual procrastination 2. Disdain of details 3. Abhorrence of complexity 4. Unfinished symphonies 5. “Leaving it to Beaver” (or whomever) 6. Fashionable, or at least tolerable, lateness 7. Opposition in principle to any form of haste or accelerated performance 8. Preference for motherly love, which is unconditional, rather than fatherly love 9. Probably most important, insistence on the inalienable right to do what one likes, and refrain from what one dislikes” (Howard Kainz)
4. On my news feed a few days back someone linked an Australian interview that the Rock band Stryper gave in 1989. They talk about faith, music and provide a well argued defence against criticisms which accused them of compromising as Christians, because of their particular style of contextual mission. Click here – 10min long but worth it! The Pastor talking with them was fair – Michael, Timothy, Oz and Robert did well in explaining their position.
5. Bono from U2 gave this interview on Focus on the family – liked it so much I figured, “hey even if everyone knows about – post it anyway”…click here for more.
6. Since doing some O.T study for my degree I have become sensitive to unusual, but interesting finds from the Middle East. I was VERY interested in this one. Fox news reported on a possible archaeological find that appears be from the time of King David. If this proves true think of the ripple effects that this would have on the international community?…read more here.
Some time ago we did some art theory, and then put it all together on paper. I had a general idea, and wanted to help my wife with home-school.
The theme I choose was ‘hands of praise’, which was drawn from Neh.8:6.
‘And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands’ (ESV).
We used non-toxic acrylic paint, post-it-notes and five sheets of butchers paper. We made circles with our hand prints, gradually moving from the outside in towards the centre. Once this was complete we used the post-it-notes to create the words hands & praise.
John Calvin wrote that ‘…..Thanksgiving, is the gratitude which ascribes to God the praise of all our blessings…..’ (‘Institutes’, II.8:392)….
A job well done.
The word ‘rape’ is a negative term. It rightly defines the abhorrent act of sexual violence committed by one human being against another human being.
a) Destroy and strip of its possession
b) Force (someone) to have sex against their will
(etymologically speaking it means = to seize prey, take by force)
Most psychologically balanced individuals would agree that the integrity of this definition should be upheld in no uncertain terms. The term ‘rape’ describes the act of rape. That is it describes an act of sexual violence, which most Western societies uphold as unacceptable and abhorrent.
However, in some online gaming subcultures the term is tolerated, and in some cases encouraged. For example: some gamers “beat their chests” by frequently ‘smacking’ (verbal taunting/bragging), their opponents with the words ‘rape’, ‘own’ and ‘pawned’ . These are often accompanied by the phrase ‘I just made you my b%#tch’, which is specifically used when one gamer wins or perceives some form of victory – dominance – over their online opponent.
This could just be dismissed as harmless immature, adolescent fun; a reflection of the fact that the online gaming context is predominantly occupied by men, most who feel as though their masculinity, has been forced underground by radical feminism. This would be accurate up to a point, but it cannot justify the online gaming trend that makes the misappropriation, and therefore watering down, of the term ‘rape’ acceptable.
Yesterday a mate of mine on Facebook linked a 2hr lecture by John Stackhouse (Regent College, Canada) about ‘Sexual Morality, Pastoral Implications, and Public Policy’. (I cautiously agree with his developing theology on this issue and recommend it.You can listen to that lecture here)…
As far as politicians go, on this issue, today most seem to be content to just ‘go with the flow’ of the plebiscite, so the real leader in Western democratic societies becomes popular opinion – or as Stackhouse pointed out: 51% of the population.
He then goes on to suggest resourceful ways the church can better decode those messages and respond in a balanced and respectful way.
One high point, among many, was when Stackhouse points out a problem with the messages about morality that society as a whole, is sending to the church…using the comedy genre as an example, he stated that the messages the world sends the church regarding sexuality are inconsistent e.g.: hot/cold/hot/cold .. yes…no..maybe…My concern here is that the misuse of the term ‘rape’ communicates an inconsistent message that, to varying degrees, minimises or worse, discounts the significance of its impact on victims of ‘rape’ – potential or actual; physical or virtual.
An example of the inconsistency identified by Stackhouse is found in a recent news report from CNNMoney. The article outlined the decline of a business because it used the word ‘rape’ on one of their products…
‘’Fierce public backlash brought down Solid Gold Bomb, which made headlines in March for offering shirts that said “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot.” The company closed its doors last week and let go its remaining three employees. Company founder Michael Fowler is now swimming in debt and he says he’s still getting death threats, including one caller who hounded him for months insisting on meeting him in person’’ (Jose Pagliery)….read more here
For me, this unveils the brilliance of Stackhouse’s observations.
If anything exemplifies his point about the Church receiving mixed messages from society, about what should be morally acceptable, then surely this is an example which makes it to the top of the list.
The business that decided to put the phrase ‘’keep calm and rape a lot’’ on a t-shirt showed poor judgement. It was a bad decision. Nevertheless, before the men and women involved were crucified, and their livelihoods destroyed, shouldn’t those who protested, have wondered what prompted them to do it?
To say that rape is wrong, is to make an absolute moral statement – in this instance Kant’s categorical imperative is more than welcome. Rape is wrong. Therefore, given that the term ‘rape’ is having its meaning watered down by its seemingly jovial and harmless misappropriation in online-gaming. Perhaps society needs to re-examine its own post-modern allegiance to the ideological lie which considers ALL morality to be relative?
In their defence some dedicated game developers and gamers may simply accuse me of ‘’taking it way too seriously’ – dude – ‘it’s just a game’ ”don’t remove it from its context – [then insert the irritating covert aggressive statement] – just say’n”. If this is an adequate defence, then the same ethical principle should be applied to the company that made the t-shirt, after all ”it’s just a t-shirt right? – just say’n”.
If not, does this show that there is a double standard at work here?
The online-gamers’ acquiescent use of the word ‘rape’ makes it a mantra, and waters down the severity of it’s meaning. Essentially the word is deconstructed to a point where it’s meaning bestows a sense of honour on the perpetrator and reinforces a sense of shame on their victims. In the online-gaming context it is a favourable word, one used to illustrate an extension of a gamers real life ability to competitively subdue other human beings. Putting the ‘false sense of accomplishment (re: Jm.4:14-17)’ tangent aside, the fact that the term ‘rape’ is an acceptable word in some virtual online gaming communities, should not change the way we view the seriousness of the physical crime that it defines.
Reading through Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonheoffer I have discovered the importance of the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church’ in Berlin. It seems that Bonheoffer preached there quite a bit.
The church was built in the 1890’s, and damaged by Allied bombing during 1943.Today, the church is a reminder of the devastation associated with war. In some respects it also stands as a visual metaphor for what happens when the Church capitulates theology to ideology. Instead of theology being held up as a critique of ideology.
The more I look at these pictures, the more I find myself taking in the serious message that each image conveys.
Sorrow is a corrective. Ambrose of Milan write that:
93. Let, then, nothing call you away from penitence, for this you have in common with the saints, and would that such sorrowing for sin as that of the saints were copied by you. David, as it were, ate ashes for bread, and mingled his drink with weeping, and therefore now rejoices the more because he wept the more.
(‘Concerning Repentance’ L:942-944)
Sorrow doesn’t allow us to ‘abdicate responsibility’ (Lesley Houston, 2013). It compels us to take responsibility by remembering what we did and where we come from. Sorrow involves confession. It is more sobering than sentimentality, nostalgia or having a morbid fascination with the past. Sorrow calls for authentic reflection. It requires crawling, walking, thinking, waiting, talking, sitting, crying, grieving, apologizing to ourselves and to others. It means running towards the future with a cautious abandon, and having faith as-a-curious-obedience that accepts, as much as, gives mercy.
Sorrow disarms our pride and negativity. It aligns us towards repentance and forgiveness. Although this comes with a caveat. For example: World War One army Chaplain , Oswald Chambers, wrote:
”There is more pride in human grief and misery than in joy and health; certain elements in human sorrow are as proud as the devil himself. There are people who indulge in the luxury of misery; they are always talking of the agonising and distressing things—“No one ever suffered as I do; there is a special element in my suffering, it is isolated.” At the back of it is terrific pride; it is weeping that will not stop”.
– He Shall Glorify Me, 489
When I look at the remnants of what was the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church’, I am saddened and reminded of the churches failure, at that time, to accept ‘calls to behave like the church’ (Metaxas 2010:179). As a result its artistic beauty is left in ruins. The ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church’ is no longer a whole building, it is disunified, much like the church was in Germany during the 1930’s. Therefore, this becomes a an architectural metaphor that perfectly illustrates what happens when the church compromises on its confession of Christ.
Still, Christians are like salvage merchants. We are called to own the past, deal with it and make progress towards restoration through devastation. Often in spite of the expectations that fall on us to surrender to spirit of the age (the zeitgeist). All the while believing and hoping that what remains as the result of our actions, or the actions of others, is redeemable.
This action turns a static monument into a monumental movement. Since it is only in Him that we ‘live, move and have our being’ (Acts.17:28), scars become beautiful stories of healing, repentance and redemption – ‘God never creates evil out of good, but good out of evil’ (Karl Barth, CD.II.2, 1957:757). The redeemer is behind this creative impetus. Art can direct us towards God, and is itself empowered by Father, revealed through Son and present in the Holy Spirit.
Barth.K, 1957 Church Dogmatics.II.2 Hendrickson Publishers
Carson, D. A. 2010, God Who Is There, The: Finding Your Place in God’s Story Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Chambers, O., & McCasland, D. (2008). The quotable Oswald Chambers (214). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.hambers
Ambrose Of Milan, 2013. Concerning Repentance (Kindle Locations 942-944). Kindle Edition.
Houston,L 2013 Christian Leadership lectures, Tabor Adelaide
Metaxas, E.2010 Bonheoffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville, USA
PDF Good NEWS, 1964 Edition featuring KWMC
corinekm.blogspot THE GEDÄCHTNISKIRCHE OR KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH, 2009