Looks like someone has been watching to many NOOMA videos.

If MD starts doing these type of video vinettes I will have to peel the skin of my body.


on the shelf/on pandora

Notice that for this inaugural edition of self/ipod I have changed ipod to Pandora. Feel free to use Pandora or ipod, I just happen to be listening to Pandora for about 5-6 hours a day right now, so its gets precedence. Besides, all I use my ipod right now for is sermons, so well anyway.

On the Self

Colossians Remixed

I have wanted to write about this book for some time. I both love and hate this book. Things I love about this book:
– It is phenomenal for hermeneutics. It really stretches you in a good Eugene Peterson/Dallas Willard, and not in a dangerous McLaren/Wright kind of way (note: Wright has a note on the back of the book. How’s that for irony?)
– It takes cultural context into consideration better than any commentary I have ever read.
– It breaks the text down as if Paul were writing a letter and not a textbook (wait, it is a letter? You mean the epistles aren’t mini-textbooks to be dissected through a systematic lens? Total mind blower!)
– It challenges many of the norms of life that we are so inoculated with that thusly prevents us from objectively viewing our lives in regards to godly living.
Things I hate about this book:
– The imperialistic slant against the United States. First of all, let me be the first to point out that a Canadian married couple, who refuses to share a last name, doesn’t have the first right to use a biblical commentary as a way to throw stones at the evil empire of the United States. If we say on the one hand that we don’t want our Hawaiian-shirt and chino pants wearing pastors to make snide comments about Democrats, then we cannot on the other hand use a commentary as a social commentary on the imperialistic right wing led American government (note: this is coming from someone who hates the right wing led imperialistic American government, so don’t say I’m sticking up for my team).
– The use of dialogue in a commentary ala Plato is very cool, but incredibly condescending. I will say that they did a good job not painting the other side as a straw man (McLaren, cough, cough), but at least Plato’s Glaucon had a mind of his own, and was not a mindless drone who only needed to be shown the way (ex. Dan being shown the light by Neo).

The Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon

A must read for people who want to lead others to Christ. Classic Spurgeon. I would highly recommend going to, and at least reading his chapter on sermons that win souls. Classic stuff on both contextualization and strong gospel preaching. It’s like a dead old Driscoll, really cool. If you don’t want to read the whole book, then simply read this chapter.

The Forgotten Ways by Alan Michael Hirsch Frost (is there a difference?)

A funny thing happened in regards to Kingdom building and evangelism in the 50-60’s. A few men figured out the best way to share the gospel to see the most people become Christians. The problem, their view of Kingdom building was primarily consumeristic, just like the modern culture they lived in, and wasn’t sustainable for any kind of consistent city-building type growth. Since then everyone from Josh McDowell to Mike Seaver has figured on the “New Best Way” to do evangelism. Alan Michael Hirsch Frost cleverly avoids the “New Best Way” shtick and instead opts for the “Old Forgotten/New Best Way Shtick”. Please. When you come up with new phrases like mDNA and missional genius you are trying to start a “New Best Thing”. The last time I checked the two case studies he uses have never heard of these terms, so they’re not forgotten, they’re new. And don’t get me started on how using China as a example spits in the face of everything emergent (the reason I say this is because China is being reached with the same gospel methods we used on this country in the 50’s and 60’s. Does this mean it will look like we do now” Probably not. But using a case study for a country that the jury is still out on is never a good idea). A better title for this book would have been, The Shaping of Things to Come 2. I liked that book.

On Pandora

We Are Scientists Radio

My favorite moment while listening to this station (besides the kick ass music) was when “Dead Man” by Jars of Clay came on. Now when this song comes on Christian radio, I can’t stand it. But do you know what happens when it is sandwiched between indie rock songs: it sounds like a really cool indie rock song. How many other great songs has Christian radio ruined for me? I blame Michael W. Smith.

Bob Marley Radio

I love reggae. There’s only one problem: how in the world am I supposed to know which reggae albums are good. Now I don’t have to. When I’m stressed out at work, or just need to chill I just pop on Bob Marley Radio and feel the good vibrations.

Mack the Knife Radio

Same argument as above, only this time in regards to cool old big band type music.

Matt out

Health Care?

Health care has long been a topic that I have been interested in. Mainly because I am human and mortal which means I have a need for it. Let me emphasize the word “need” this is different than want, want would be an iphone, need is health care. I point that out because I think the distinguishing between “need” and “want” goes to one of the central concerns of health care; access and affordability to all.

I will be upfront here, I have grown less captitalistic in the last couple of years. I believe that as my heart has grown for justice, I have a harder and harder time justifying unnecessary injustice for the sake of an economic system. Capitalism might be the best option out there but it still has its faults. Especially in light of the human condition from a biblical worldview. I say all of this to point out that much of the unassailable nature of health care is chalked up to right of insane profits by big perscription companies and hospitals. Of course I realize that the situation is not that simple and drug companies need to use the those profits to invest in research, and hospitals pay huge salaries to doctors, and spend billions of dollars on malpractice insurance. So in many ways the entire system is junked up and in need of reform. Ranging from profit regulation, just like a utility company faces, to federal malpractice limits. But none of this excuses that health care is often seen as an extra in our society. Over forty million Americans have no health care, and many are children. Why do they have no health insurance? Cost is the main factor. Unless one works for a large company and recieves health benefits at a hugely subsidized rate the cost of health insurance is quite prohibitive, especially when we talk a policy for a large family.

Why this seems okay to most Americans boggles my mind. If matt and the SNWA wanted to jack up rates of water to a dollar a gallon, there would be rightful outrage, and they would be stopped from being able to do so by a regulatory board. This is because water is not a “want” it is most certainly a “need.” The things in life and society that are essential needs are to important to leave the turbulant nature of capitalism. Water, power, sewage, all needed for a functional life in our country, may I suggest that we add health care? Now to what extent and how one uses health care, that is an entirely different conversation. Just like any other resource it should be used widely and be monitored for abuse, but it should still be given to those in need, and last time a checked all mortals are in need of it.

So let recap really quick; cute purses and ipods are best left to the free market and can be sold for a million dollars if demand dictates because they are wants. Vital medication and life saving surgeries should be affordable because they are needed to survive, just like water and power.  I am not done with this topic and will be posting more on it soon.