Welcome to the Circus

*** Preface. My buddy Brent has given some inside info in regards to the Genesis of this debate that most of us were unaware of. His information seriously hinders the integrity of my pressupositions that brought about this post. This being the case, please read the comments to find out how big of an idiot I am. But also take Ryan’s comment into consideration regarding the few good points I actually make.***

 

A lot of Christians I know are excited about the recent Nightlight debate about “The Existence of Satan.” They shouldn’t be.

Like a bad reality television show, the producers arrganged a debate not to come to any conclusion about humanity, or in this case, Satan. Rather they put four polarizing quote machines on stage hoping that a mosaic of chaotic one-liners would ensue.

Mission accomplished.

Lobert and Driscoll on stage

 

Let me start off with my team. I know Mark Driscoll. I know people that know Annie Lobert. Here’s why they were chosen:

On stage Driscoll is a loud mouthed, excitable one-liner quote machine of Christian pop-culture (he is many other things as well, many of them I am fond of, but I am assuming that none of those were why he was chosen for this debate). Listen to about 50 sermons and you will notice the recycled one-liners and soon be able to call them out before they come (note: he would no doubt conclude this as well. His sermon outlines dictate that he simply recycle his well prepared analogies and jokes around the Big Idea [shout out to Haddon Robinson] of the passage.) As he has shown by his recent media appearances: this is one of the main things “Pastor Dude” is good for.

Side note: I believe Mark to be one of the smartest and most theologically equipped theologians I know. But his recent media appearances have fed into certain stereotypes of his persona. His quick one-liners mixed with theology are so good for news media because they illicit such a visceral gut reaction either good or bad. Mark is a great theologian, but that is not why he is being interviewed by the media. Just for the record, D.A. Carson isn’t making any major news outlets for quotes or interviews.

Lobert was not chosen because of her compelling testimony, rather for her image, the bombastic nature of her ministry (which I am not in disagreement with) and her great claim that she was raped by Satan/demons. Not a theologian, simply a piece of the circus, of whom I can only guess producers hoped would be emotionally driven.

Super side note: I am not trying to bad mouth or say I do not like these people. I love Mark and am very grateful for Annie. I am simply trying to show why I think they were chosen for this debate.

Chopra came off as a pretentious know-it-all, so I’m guessing that’s why he was involved. And the other guy seemed, and probably is, nuts so there you go (plus he was black, and ABC probably wanted to even the race card out).

I sent the link of this interview to someone I knew that didn’t really have a horse in the race and this was his response (note, I sent this to him before I had a chance to watch the debate):

“Bro, you MUST watch these, hilarity will ensue, I promise!
-First off, who the hell (pun intended) picked these four people expecting a true debate?”

I know that many Christians are very excited that the gospel was preached (very well by Pastor Dude), as am I. I know that many are excited by how Driscoll came off, which wasn’t that bad. But we must not miss the bigger picture. We as Christians, the idea of Satan, and one of the most prominent leaders of the “New Calvinism” were made a mockery of. And it is really dangerous when you are being made fun of and don’t realize it. When this happens your voice doesn’t carry much weight, and your topic is automatically straw-maned. It doesn’t matter if it is justified or not.

So Christians, Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert especially: you are being made a mockery of. You were picked to be a part of this circus because they thought you would make for entertainment. Not because they value our/your opinion.

Let’s reconsider how excited, and furthermore, how we promote these circuses.

– matt

I love the Olympics

I don’t know why but put the Olympics on TV and I will watch it non-stop.  I do not care if it is fencing or water polo, I am enthralled.  And if the USA is competing than I am even more interested.  Part of it is the grandiose stage, part of it, is the history, and part of it is nationalistic patriotism that the Olympics fosters in me.  I even check frequently throughout the day to see the medal count (right now the USA is second to China 14 to 12).

So how about you, do you like the Olympics?  If so, what is your favorite event to watch?  So far mine has been Volleyball.  It is non-stop action, incredible athleticism and the speed at which they spike the ball is amazing.  It is truly great TV.

GO USA!!

ryan

Does Mark Driscoll Have A Twin?

I was watching Sportscenter and the showed a picture of uber-talented Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain.  I swore when I saw him I thought they had mistakingly showed an image of Mark Driscoll.  Is it just me or do they look just alike?

ryan

LOST – acting like a newly married man

And I am left as the overly unsatisfied wife.

What has made LOST so wonderful in past seasons is its willingness to engage in foreplay. Not getting to the big shabang too quickly, dancing around the main ideas, developing smaller scenarios while giving us tastes of what to expect. But this season, I feel like my wife must have felt for the first few months of marriage. Seriously, I am desperately missing the LOST that wanted to tease me and leave me wanting more. This season has just been episode after episode of pump and run, big reveal after big reveal.

We just found out Mr. Whitmore was behind the coup on the island a few episodes ago, and already we know he is in a figurative chess match with Ben over the Island. Really J.J. Abrahms, really? This kind of reveal would have been saved for a series finale. We know you finished the storyline and have a deadline for flushing it out, but the rate of reveal lately has been so out of character with the norm the show has previously established.

Here the possible reasons I have conceived to explain what’s going on:

– The storyline is really this bad. What made the show great before was the building of characters and the ambiguity of the unknown. So all you emerging folks interested in the overarching story over the smaller connecting points, that idea is only valid if the overarching story doesn’t suck.

– Lost was having budget cuts and and to use the same people who wrote season 6 of 24.

– They are speeding things up because they want to show us the “Oceanic Six” and Ben getting back to the Island. This would be incredibly captivating and still allow for ambiguity. I am really hoping for this one, but am not optimistic.

– The flow of the show started slow like a snowball falling, but such as it goes further downhill does the momentum picks up, so has the shows storyline. Under this scenario we should expect this pace to continue, if not speed up as we head towards the series finale.

Now I am not saying that I am not enjoying the show. I am. But like a newly married woman, I just thought there would be more.

So LOST, can we at least cuddle?

American Idol goes…Christian?

Now I know the only person on this blog that watches America Idol in Adam H (actually the guy has watched it religiously for like 5 years). So I wanted to point your attention to the fact that Idol closed it’s Idol Gives Back show with a rendition of Shout to the Lord, the famous Christian worship song.

So here’s what happened. Apparently only three of the performers sung the opening line “My Jesus, My Savior”. Now even more strange is that on the “Live” show they amended the lyrics to say, “My Shepard, My Savior”, but when showing highlights on Thursday they sang, “My Jesus, My Savior”.

Now I know many Christians who are excited to see the name of Jesus proclaimed (well, at least on Thursday), but as many of you faithful readers have come to know, I am a skeptic. Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol are very shrewd business men. And if I had to make a comment, I would assume they were simply pandering to a large American demographic: Christians. Actually there is probably very little doubt this is what they were doing.

So is this a good or bad thing? Were the three contestants the only one’s willing to sing to Jesus (even though the girl was singing to the Jesus who used to be a man, but obtained God status and filled the earth with his spirit babies)? Why did they change the lyrics back and forth (legal no doubt)? Should Christian rejoice in the air time or disparage the fact we are being pandered to?

What say you?

matt

The Problem with Picking a Candidate

South Park – Turd Sandwich vs. Giant Douche

For further explanation of the Douche/Turd Sandwich phenomenon go here.

matt

Jack Bauer is Free!

Baffled that a jail could even hold him for 48 days, all of us can rest comfortably knowing that he is now out of jail.     Of course most of you know I am talking about Kiefer Sutherland getting out of jail after a 48 day stint.  Now if someone can just free us from the tyranny of this damn writer’s strike, and horrible reality TV.

ryan