Friday, November 30, 2007
Here is a very poor list from Metacritic.
Here is Paste Magazine's top 100 albums, books, 50 movies, and games.
Rolling Stone's Top DVD's of 2007.
Stephen King's Top 7 Albums. Wait a minute, why do we care what Stephen King's favorite music is? Speaking if, I'm scared of several things, but mist is not amongst them.
Christianity Today lists a bunch of artists no one's ever heard of.
Anyway, list season is here and I shall begin with books tomorrow and work my way into music. It's a little too early to be giving away the top ten music picks. I heard Devin was going to create some lists too which is very exciting. It's fun to make lists but it is even more fun to read other's lists so get crackin!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The primary questions that philosophy should (and used to) ask include five things:
1. God - Is there a God? How does he relate to the world? Is this God personal?
2. Metaphysics - These are questions of ultimate reality and purpose. Is our universe closed/open? Purposeful?
3. Anthropology - Are humans inherently good/evil? What is mankind?
4. Epistemology - How do we know what we know?
5. Ethics - How and why do we make moral decisions?
Unfortunately more current philosophical streams have gotten sidetracked with the minors and majored on little pieces like linguistics or epistemology without connecting the pieces to the larger puzzle. They may give us little bits of truth here and there, but unconnected to the whole, they have limited value. Without a larger, consistent framework, there is no way to evaluate reality, our worldview turns into a jumbled mess and our lives stop working.
I'm also excited in December to read through Atlas Shrugged and use some of the criteria to critique philosophy that Nash gives. These tests include:
1. The test of reason - Is this worldview internally consistent? Are there any logical contradictions? Do the five pieces of the puzzle (as listed above) fit together?
2. The test of outward experience - Is this worldview consistent with what I experience as to be reality within the world we live? Nash uses an example of what is not consistent with reality such as the claim, "pain and death are simply an illusion." That is obviously false and should be rejected since we experience pain and death!
3. The test of inward experience - Is this worldview consistent with what my conscious and brain tell me is true?
4. The test of practice - Is it possible to claim to adhere to this worldview and consistently practice it as a way of life daily?
I think these are helpful criteria to examine worldviews and world religions and I am excited to use Atlas Shrugged as a guinea pig for this. If you have not read "Life's Ultimate Questions", I highly recommend it as a primer on philosophy. I have found it very valuable.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I have recently read the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer about his summit of Mt. Everest in 1996 on the trip where several people died. It's a gripping and emotional story. I highly recommend it. I'm obsessed with Everest now. I've joked to Kelli about climbing it. But then I realized that I could see what it is like in the warmth and comfort of my home without even losing any toes! Just click HERE. By the way, statistically one in four people die trying to summit Everest. Not good odds! I highly recommend any of Krakauer's books. They've all been phenomenal! In other book news, I only have 2 books to finish before I start Ayn Rand's 1200 page monster Atlas Shrugged. Kelli read it a few months ago and I must catch up! Total that will bring me to 63 books completed this year, about seven less than last year but a better list overall. Yes, I am bragging and I don't feel bad about it at all.
During the month of December I'm going to go freaking nuts with lists. It will be that time of the year when we all reflect on what we've experienced, read, listened to, etc. over the past year and how they rank! Yes, it will be total overkill and I will love every second of it. There is nothing I love more than lists! I will do the top 20 albums of the year, top books, probably even make a list of books I will read next year, favorite moments, seriously, I'm going to go nuts with it. Be warned.
Only 4 class periods left, a few quizzes and a final. Woohoo! I just got done memorizing the paradigm for the Hitpael and the Niphal verb. It is getting easier to memorize the verbal paradigms as there are some common trends that apply to all of them but still brutal work. I didn't have to memorize near this amount of stuff for Greek! I still have no idea how I'm going to remember the paradigm for all seven strong verb forms. That remains to be seen.
We definitely know now that the Patriots are not invincible. Honestly, I haven't been real impressed with their schedule. Besides almost losing to Indianapolis, who have they played??? My prediction, they lose one regular season game and they don't win the Super Bowl.
They're awful, no doubt. But we did see a glimpse of hope yesterday as Hester remembered how awesome he is and won the game for the Bears to keep their playoff birth alive (at least until next week). Rex Grossman is still the worst QB in the league however so that poses a problem.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
What? But why can't you do that right now since I'm already paying 95 dollars?
I'm in shock right now. He gave no advice, no diagnoses, just a "we'll see you next week so I can charge you another 40 dollars".
I simply cannot believe the state of our countries medical world. Why couldn't he just tell me what was wrong and start treatment today? Was it really necessary to schedule another appointment next week since there was not even one other patient in the office? I honestly can't believe this. I wish I had a job where I could chat with someone for 10 or 15 minutes, give them no help AT ALL and make 95 dollars off of it. I guess i'm in the wrong field. I should be doing chiropractic work.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This is my favorite music magazine (unlike most music mags, I actually read the articles) and I highly recommend you give it a shot. After all, you only have to pay 1 dollar for 11 issues and 11 cd's! Pretty good!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
They are great tools and I will definitely ask for those for Christmas but here is my questions: is having those and using them next semester some sort of cheating??? After all, those tools pretty much do all the work for me, if I were just to refer to them constantly. But would it be foolish not to use the tools that are available to me?
After all, this book pretty much got me (and everyone else) through my fifth semester of Greek!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
NEW YORK -- The NBA has spoken with the Los Angeles Lakers about a sexual reference coach Phil Jackson made in a comment following Tuesday night's game in San Antonio.
The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.
"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."Whoa!
#1 - Super Tecmo Bowl
If I owned this game today I would still play it over Madden, NCAA Football, anything. Nothing compares or will ever compare to this game in the sports genre. In fact, I have a friend in Florida who last I checked was still battling it out with his brother in-law and was keeping a record book of everything they accomplished.
#2 - Mike Tyson's Punch Out
This was the great omission that I noticed on Devin's blog. I'm not sure I trust a man who doesn't have this in his top ten. Could have been a complete mind blip though. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
#3 - The Legend of Zelda
Granted I was shocked to find out that Zelda is a girl, but nonetheless, almost perfect game.
#4 - Super Mario Bros. 3
There was no greater hype in video game land then when this game came out. Arguably one of the greatest games of all time.
#5 - Contra
Any game that has a t-shirt with the cheat code on it, has to be in the top 5.
#6 - Double Dragon 2
#7 - Mega Man (any of them)
On sheer entertainment value, it's hard to beat Mega Man with anything.
#8 - Metal Gear
Besides Mario Bros. this might be the first game I owned.
#9 - Blades of Steel
I don't even like hockey and this game had me hooked.
#10 - Little League World Series
This game was my first introduction to globalization. I learned what major league teams have just started learning. Japanese pitchers are unhittable!
#11 - Baseball Stars
Is everyone happy now?
#12 - Double Dribble
Free throws are still impossible but a great game nonetheless.
#13 - Micro Machines
It's sad to note how many people never gave this game a shot. But while I could never afford to buy it, it was a top rental when I was 10.
#14 - Paperboy
This game honestly is not that good, but for some reason I still have to put it in this list. Kind of a requirement.
#15 - Ducktales
Make fun of me if you will but this was fun.
#16 - Excitebike
Another standard must be on the list game.
Quite a contrast with this year! Kelli has a full time assistant that is going to help her schedule the bell ringers and has another assistant who will be there to count every night so Kelli only has to be there about three nights instead of six. Plus she will not have to go in on those days until around noon or so. I am working part-time with Evergreen as you all know which I cannot express how much better that is than Hollywood Video! And we are not living in the basement! Granted, we live above a garage, but come on, one step at a time!
God has really shown us many blessings in the last year and a half and we are very thankful!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Can someone show me one important story on here? Are these seriously the most important events happening in our world? Or are these the stories that a majority of people will read? What does this say about our culture?
I'm not trying to sound harsh but it just seems that CNN intentionally tries to appeal to the dumbest 5% of our nation! Even the way they word things and shape the titles for the stories tries to appeal to the worst part of us as humans (the same part that watches reality TV shows).
Just looking at this list makes me feel stupid.
Sorry for the pic quality, I took them off the website and have not bought any yet!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Dashboard Confessional - Dusk and Summer
I'll admit it, I like this album. I'm not sure what this means but I can't keep it to myself anymore! It's just so frickin catchy. It's kind of like the candy Airheads. I love the taste but it still kind of makes me want to throw up.
For the record however, I still want to beat this guy up a little bit. But not as much as I would like a shot in the ring with Bright Eyes. Give me one round, that's all I want.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Not much to say today but one great resource to (highly) recommend and one that I just found online if you are looking for a different perspective on N.T. Wright's current thought. While I'm not a big Piper fan it would be interesting to hear another side, plus it's pretty cool that he puts his books online to read for free.
The Centrality of the Gospel - Tim Keller
The Future of Justification; a response to N.T. Wright - John Piper
Plus a random quote for free: if you are bored when you are alone, you're probably not in very good company.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
-I found a copy of Stanley Grenz "Theology for the Community of God" at Goodwill yesterday in perfect condition for 4 dollars! Glad I stopped in there!
-Devin Vaughn has a blog!
-All I have to do is get a 50% on my final to pass Hebrew with the way things are going! That's encouraging (although I hope to do a little better than 50% but nothing is guaranteed). I've really neglected Hebrew the last few weeks and feel pretty much lost in general. I can memorize junk for the weekly quizzes and pass with the best of them, but I'm still doing quite poorly on translation. I've found it quite bizarre that the major portion of the class is memorizing all seven verbal patterns perfectly and having to spit them out on the test when in about two days after the test I will forget them anyway. Plus I have a great little laminated card with every verbal paradigm on it for me! What's the point, you know? It is pretty cool being able to read the Hebrew Bible though and understand some of it. I've been reading through Genesis 12-14 and I can actually understand some of it.
-Kelli's crazy busy season with the Salvation Army is about to start but we're thankful that this year she has an assistant and we have a plan to make sure she doesn't exhaust herself and get sick again. Plus we're going to start the day together every one of the 40 days reading a Psalm together and praying. I'm excited to experience that with my wife.
-We've played Settlers of Catan (one of the greatest games on earth) about 20 times since I won it from Devin! I love it. Thanks Bob for introducing it to us.
-The only bad news I have is that I scheduled the Managing Money Workshop for Evergreen on the day and time that the Chicago Bears are playing the Seattle Seahawks. What was I thinking?!?!
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." 2:12
When we are wronged in some way (as the early Christians Peter was writing to surely were), it is almost natural to want to lash out or retaliate. We have been taught that we have rights and we should fight to the death for our rights to be honored! When we are wronged, sue! When we are cut off in traffic, go into a rage! When we are slighted by the boss at work, let bitterness stew up within us! But that is not the way of Jesus, and not the way Peter directs us.
Again Peter says, while talking to servants, "What credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God." 2:20
When I think of this verse (other than Jesus as the prime example) I think of Martin Luther King Jr., although not a perfect man, he was a man who lived by this motto and changed thousands and thousands of minds through his non-violent resistance. He was beaten, he was shot at, his home was bombed and he never retaliated!
As Philip Yancey says in his portrait of King:
"The civil rights movement gave King many opportunities to test his nonviolent philosophy. A deranged woman stabbed him in New York, her weapon lodging a fraction of an inch from his aorta. A white man in Birmingham rushed the platform and pummeled King with his fists. (Don't touch him! King cried to his supporters, who surrounded the attacker. "We have to pray for him.") Southern sheriffs delighted in roughing up their famous adversary as they handcuffed him and hauled him away in paddy wagons. They clubbed his marchers with nightsticks, sicced German shepherd dogs on them, blasted them with water cannons that cracked ribs and sent bodies sprawling on the streets."
When he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King referred yet again to the principles he has learned from the Sermon on the Mount: "When the years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live, men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization, because these humble children of God were willing to 'suffer for righteousness' sake."
I have a whole new respect for Martin Luther King Jr. and am challenged by his godly example.
Friday, November 02, 2007
“In making the specific character of this warranted success, we may observe that visible success is various. There are some that plant-others that water; some that lay the foundation-others that build upon it. Some are designed for immediate-some for ulterior, work. Yet all have their testimony and acceptance in the Lord’s own time and way. Success is not limited to the work of conversion. Where, therefore the Ministry fails to convert, we may still be assured, that it convinces, reproves, exhorts, enlightens, or consoles, some one in some measure at all times. It never “returns to God void,” when delivered in the simplicity of faith; nor will it, under the most unpromising circumstance, fail of accomplishing his unchangeable purpose.
But we must remember also, that present success is not always visible. Apparent must not be the measure of the real result. There is often an under-current of piety, which cannot be brought to the surface. There may be solid work advancing under ground, without any sensible excitement; as we observe the seed that produces the heaviest grain, lies the longest in the earth. We are not always the best judges of the result of our ministry.”Who knew that a book from the mid 1800's could be so relevant to today? Charles Bridges, I'm sorry that I judged your book due to it's oldness before I encountered it's timelessness.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I've recently started reading "The Forgotten Ways" by Alan Hirsch. He asks some very timely, probing questions. "The church is on massive, long-trended decline in the West. In this situation, we have to ask ourselves probing questions: "Will more of the same do the trick? Can we simply rework the tried and true Christendom understanding of the church that we so love and understand, and finally, in an ultimate tweak of the system, come up with the winning formula?"
He responds: "However, most of the new thinking as it relates to the future of Christianity in the West only highlights our dilemma and generally proposes solutions that are little more than revisions of past approaches and techniques. Even much of the thinking about the so-called emerging church leaves the prevailing assumptions of church and mission intact and simply focuses on the issue of theology and spirituality in a postmodern setting."
Hirsch has some fascinating insights drawn from times of extreme growth such as the growth from 25,000 disciples in 100 AD to 20,000,000 in 310 AD and seeks to draw answers from these types of movements to discover how to "reactivate the church."
The most critical insight so far has been that the church continues to try the "church growth model" (putting on a quality performance with great facilities, good parking, bagels, etc.) even though only 12% of the world has any interest in this consumeristic way of "doing church", which leads to people just church shopping around for whatever the flavor of the month is (to which Hirsch says:
"Statistics right across the Western world where this model holds sway indicate that the vast majority of the church's growth come from "switchers"-people who move from one church to another based on the perception and experience of the programming")
So the dilemma is this: you have 95% of the world's churches competing for 12% of the population and 88% of the population being absolutely untouched because we don't know how to do anything else!
"What is becoming increasingly clear is that if we are going to meaningfully reach this majority of people, we are not going to be able to do it by simply doing more of the same. And yet it seems that when faced with our problems of decline, we automatically reach for the latest church growth package to solve the problem-we seem to have nowhere else to go. But simply pumping up the programs, improving the music and audiovisual effects, or jiggering the ministry mix won't solve our missional crisis. Something far more fundamental is needed."
I highly recommend this book!