They’re calling 2014 “The Year of the Wearable” in the tech world. Love or hate Google glass, it seems as if wearable tech is in the future- if not for us, then perhaps for our kids. Smart watches want to replace your smart phone. Smart wristbands want to track all your steps and exercise movements. Over 100 apps exist to quantify the quality of your sleep. There’s even a tiny camera that you can clip to your shirt pocket that takes photos every five seconds and uploads the photos to your social network of choice. It used to be that…
You gotta love Jeremy Lin, and I say that not only as a recently minted Houstonian who is looking forward to some serious Harden/Howard/Parsons beatdowns. In an article posted yesterday, ESPN reports on Lin’s unusual candor before a crowd of Taiwanese (presumably) Christian youth:
Lin went as far to say that he experienced “emptiness, confusion and misery” at points last season. ”The one thing I learned was how empty fame and worldly success really are. … The desire for success never stopped,” Lin said. “If the voice that you listen to the most isn’t God’s voice, then eventually you will experience that…
Langston Hughes’ poem, “Who but the Lord?”–though explicitly written about and within a period of deep racial unrest in America and the fight for civil rights for African Americans–seems to strike a profound metaphorical chord within the theological discussion of the role of the law and the intense suffering, lament and doubt inhabiting the area between the work of the law and the beginning of grace.
I looked and I saw
That man they call the Law.
He was coming
Down the street at me!
I had visions in my head
Of being laid out cold and dead,
Or else murdered
By the third degree.
I said, O, Lord, if you can,
Save me from that man!
Don’t let him make a pulp out of me!
But the Lord he was not quick.
The Law raised up his stick
And beat the living hell
Out of me!
Now, I do not understand
Why God don’t protect a man
From police brutality.
Being poor and black,
I’ve no weapon to strike back
So who but the Lord
Can protect me?
Over at Aeon Magazine, a tremendously insightful essay was published a couple of weeks ago on the rising obesity trend – one that’s gone way beyond America, and one whose potential solutions are fast becoming a major policy issue for governments, as well as a booming industry (soon to become a trillion-dollar one, McKinsey & Co reported). And at The New York Times, Stephanie Clifford chimes in on how little impact health-related labeling and advertising actually has. Of course, people unhelpfully tend to define the problems in terms of a deficiency in willpower, and so attempts to address it cluster around…
1. Is Arrested Development a Christian show? At the risk of over-criticizing, if it weren’t, they probably wouldn’t have botched the ending the way they did. We all wanted les cousins dangereux to find love at last, but instead we witness a series of falls, especially with Michael and George Michael, up ’til now the show’s everymen/heroes, sinking further and further to pursue their own justification, most notably in a girl who thrives off neglect (see Always Sunny’s “DENNIS System” – but actually don’t). But perhaps the ending is so abrupt and disconcerting because Hurwitz is trying so much to make a point that…
If you are a fan of college athletics, you are no doubt aware that the University of Alabama – my alma mater – lost one of its most beloved sons this past weekend. Mal Moore, who recently stepped down as athletics director , passed away on Saturday, March 30. A gentle, unassuming man in many respects, Coach Moore was a giant. As a player, coach and administrator, the man was part of ten – ten! – national championships in football. The athletics programs at the University are performing at a very high level, with excellent coaches and strong revenue streams….
When I’m in the studio I have the opportunity to do things in a certain way, and I try to make records more pleasant sounding, records that you can listen to while you’re sitting in your room. But live, I want to rip your throat off with the music, I want to beat you into a pulp with the law. I bring the law, I bring it! So you wanted to live by it? You want to know what’s good and evil? OK, let’s talk about it, if you wanna live by your expectations or someone else’s. But I know…
From the modern bard’s short story collection, Oblivion, specifically the beginning to the stream of consciousness tour-de-force, “Good Old Neon”, ht DJ:
My whole life I’ve been a fraud. I’m not exaggerating. Pretty much all I’ve ever done all the time is try to create a certain impression of me in other people. Mostly to be liked or admired. It’s a little more complicated than that, maybe. But when you come right down to it it’s to be liked, loved. Admired, approved of, applauded, whatever. You get the idea. I did well in school, but deep down the whole thing’s motive wasn’t to learn or improve myself but just to…
This is a little tardy since the most recent episode of Parenthood (“There’s Something I Need to Tell You …”) aired over a week ago, but I—perhaps like many of you—typically watch shows online several days later. Nevertheless, this is a follow up to a recent post regarding new developments in the Braverman clan. I am really enjoying season 4 for all its insight into human nature (and relationships, and suffering, and grace…), and this time I want to highlight what is happening with the Julia Braverman-Graham, the hard charging lawyer in the family played by Erika Christensen.
Spoiler alert: Don’t…
Throughout the history of the church, the question of the role of the law in the Christian life has been of paramount importance. Indeed, as witnessed to by the writers of the New Testament themselves, the issue was of pressing concern to all involved. In the prologue to John’s Gospel, we hear the radical profession that “the Law came through Moses, but Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” What exactly is this distinction between the two about? Why didn’t he simply say, “The Old Law prohibiting shellfish and bacon came through Moses and the New Law of Love came through Jesus?”…
Yesterday, while preparing for a sermon, I came across a beautiful description of both Law and Gospel in the Old Testament that I’d never noticed before. Job 33.14-28:
For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword…
26 …then man prays to God, and he accepts him;
he sees his face with a shout of…
A quick zinger from Paul Tillich in 1963, characterizing the “new” (and yet strangely familiar) challenges for the Church in practice, specifically its inveterate tendency towards decay to legalism:
The moral ‘yoke’ that Jesus wished to make easy has only been made heavier, and the message of grace has largely been lost, despite the numerous liturgical prayers for the forgiveness of sins. They do not express the vision that appears in Paul’s letters and John’s Gospel, or is expressed in the seventh petition of the Lord’s Prayer – “save us from the evil one” – namely, the image of a demonic…