Today’s Kudos! goes to Ben Witherington for this post on Descartes. It helped me realize a little bit more of what Descarte’s worldview actually was. I also thought that the presentation of Descartes was fair showing both the weaknesses and strengths of his positions.

I’ve been thinking lately about what might happen if the internet was cut off all around the world for just a day. I think that economies world wide would take a serious hit from such a thing. Not to mentioned that important communications between countries depends highly on this incredible thing that has been created within the past 20 or so years. It would be like cutting many lights off in a place where multiple enemies are present.

This thought also got me thinking about what it would be like for an individual to simply go without the internet for the rest of their life if they live here in America or some other 1st world country. Can it even be done? I have email that I must check and friends and events that I keep up with on facebook. What if all of that were to simply vanish from my life? I also have an account at the college I attend that I access almost entirely by internet. Even certain jobs can only be applied for online rather than by mail or in person.

I guess a positive side to losing the internet would be that I would have more constructive things to do. I tend to read books when I’m not watching television or on the internet. I also tend to get outside more often. I find it amazing that everywhere I go this thing is somewhere around. I’m usually only several feet or several yards away from someone that either has a laptop, blackberry, iPhone, or any other kind of device that accesses the internet. The more I see these things the more I honestly wonder what people would do if they lost them.

I think people honestly should take time off from the internet and figure out something to do. I’m not saying the internet isn’t constructive or useful. What I am saying is that more and more people are becoming dependent on it for their lives to function. I don’t think this dependency will turn out to be a good thing in the end.

One of the things of creation that astounds me more than anything is music. I find it incredible how different types of sound are so aesthetically pleasing and moving. On a physical level, it is only the air molecules being disturbed by a force moving them in a certain pattern (or wavelength). At the same time, this moving of air influences people to get up and dance, to cry, to laugh, and to sit completely in awed silence. 

I’m an amateur musician. I play several different instruments. Being bent towards theology as well, I’ve wondered what it is about music that makes people gather around a regular guy like me to hear me play one of my instruments or to listen to the band when they play worship music. Heck, why do we have worship music anyway? 

I think C.S. Lewis did a great job in explaining this in his sermon “The Weight of Glory.” He basically argued that such things like music, art, etc. contained a tiny glimpse of heaven itself. The incredible moment in the point of the song that makes the heart leap for joy is the glimpse of what forever will be for those who are of the kingdom of heaven when it finally arrives in full splendor. Music is wonderful because it communicates to our emotions in a way that no other art form can. It also helps us to worship God in a way that reflects His glory while glorifying Him at the same time. 

I also think that because music is so powerful that it can be used for very evil purposes. Quite frankly, it can be used to manipulate people into doing things that are wrong. I’ve also seen music used in manipulative tactics by New Agers in chat rooms that employ sound an microphone. I remember going in and a message was being played where a man was saying all kinds of illogical nonsense about how people are god and that resisting this type of thought was wrong. He said these things in a very friendly voice. What I noticed more than anything was the music being played in the background to his voice. It was the same thing over and over and over. Every thirty seconds it would begin again. I had to mentally fight it and I realized that it was actually a type of brainwashing. What it was doing was trying to bypass rational thought through manipulation with music.

To those of us who are musicians, I think we need to be careful with our own music and how we use it. I think it’s best to remember this verse: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). I think that God is well pleased with music that glorifies Him. I also think this can include music that is deemed “secular.” I have heard that J.S. Bach would always write “to the glory of God” on his musical notation, including his secular works. If that is the case, I think he ultimately had the right idea.

Today’s kudos! goes to Team Pyro for this really cool post on the Church’s relationship to politics. I’ve had the same types of thoughts and feelings for years. I really noticed something wrong when listening to Focus on the Family (note, I do think FoF does good things and provides excellent resources for people) and their constant political activity. I’ve often thought, “What sort of message does this send to unbelievers here?”  So again, Kudos to Team Pyro!

Ok, it’s apparent that I’m no fan of the Left Behind series. Years ago I read the first book and several of the first books of the Left Behind kids series (I was a teenager then). I didn’t really like the books very much. In my honest opinion, they were not well-written. I have several criticisms of it:

1. Low level vocabulary – There aren’t a lot of higher level words in here. I think your average middle schooler could read this stuff. This is good for people of that age, but not for adults like me. Readers need stimulation from creative use of vocabulary. It’s part of what makes the English language so wonderful: there’s so many possibilities with words.

2. Cliche phrases – Good night, there are so many of these. For anyone who wishes to be a writer, avoid these things like the plague in your writing. They’re ok if said by characters every once in a while. However, if they are constantly brought up, it makes the work look bad.

3. It’s just plain corny – I constantly got the feeling while reading this stuff that it’s, well, corny. The characters are not very deep and I got the feeling that the culture they were in was very surfacy American culture. In order to avoid corniness, read read read! Read all kinds of different books. It really does make writing better as influence from other writings impress the writer. 

So, there you have it. My thanks to Dee Dee Warren for making this podcast on her website (yes, some of my criticisms are the same as hers). Her thoughts on this are quite accurate, in my opinion.

This kudos goes to Glenn Peoples of Beretta-Online (say hello to my little friend) for this post. As an outsider to the NZ election, I find his viewpoints to be quite fascinating. It also makes me really afraid of socialism in America.

As a young and immature Christian I did not think very highly of traditional church services. I saw them as cold, regimented, and limiting God’s work to a mere service. As maturity came, I changed my view. I have attended what is known as contemporary services most of the time. I liked them because of the sense of freedom they provided. For instance, if the pastor felt like the most of the congregation was not really worshiping God, he could easily at the end of the song address the issue and the band could play again with the congregation refocused. 

Of course I have matured since then. I have attended several churches that my Methodist friends go to that are quite traditional. My prejudices were removed when the word of God was clearly preached and when I found that the reasoning for the structuring of the services were motivated by purity and dedication to God, not regimentation. This isn’t to say that there aren’t churches with traditional services out there that are not like this, but to classify all of them in this manner is a childish mistake. Likewise, I still greatly enjoy many of the things within contemporary services, but I have noticed weaknesses as well. The atmosphere in some churches can be made to seem too relaxed: this sort of thing makes people take the message less seriously. 

What is the factor that unites good churches, whether they have traditional or contemporary services? In my honest opinion, it is the Biblical and pure motivation for the the way they carry out ministry. If a church with a contemporary service truly loves God and it shows, the atmosphere will not be so lax that the laity doesn’t take what the pastor says seriously. If a church with a traditional service truly loves God, the structured service will seem alive like a living thing, not cold and uncaring like machinery.

So I deleted some of my prior posts. The main reason is that I cannot keep up with those where I need to make subsequent posts with more information. I guess I’m just not as good at blogging as I thought. Oh well, I’ll start small this time and won’t make huge goals that I can’t attain.

(SPOILER WARNING FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN SOME OF THESE MOVIES)

I usually do not go to the movies because I find that many of them are not really worth seeing. However, this summer I changed that and saw a lot more than usual. Normally I will see about 2 or 3 movies a year. Yes, that’s right, a YEAR. 

Here’s my rankings/thoughts on the movies I saw this summer:

1. The Dark Knight – A+

This movie truly was incredible. It is the best Batman and the best superhero movie I have ever seen. 

2. Iron Man – A+

I kept hearing from people that this movie was awesome. So, being curious, I found out for myself that it definitely was what they said. 

3. The Incredible Hulk – A

Not as good as Iron Man, but I really enjoyed the fact that they made the character of Bruce Banner more, well, human this time around. His character was much better than the movie “The Hulk” several years prior. The action was really intense as well.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian – A-

As a fan of C.S. Lewis and his books, I was quite disappointed when they took more liberty with the text this time. The action and drama were well played out. I thought the character of Miraz was played very well. 

5. Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – B

What can I say? I’m always up for an Indiana Jones flick. When I went I got what I was expecting: ridiculous fight scenes (I love that about IJ movies), witty humor (the fight in the restaurant was great!), and the character of Indie himself. My biggest complaint about the movie is the fact that it included aliens. Indiana Jones is supposed to be adventure, not sci-fi.

6. Kung Fu Panda – C+

I was rather disappointed that this movie wasn’t as humorous as I thought it would be. It’s fairly entertaining, but that’s about it.

7. Wall E – C

Pixar delivered really well on graphics in this movie. However, they did not deliver well on dialogue or storyline. Barely anything is said in the first 45 minutes of the movie besides “Eve” and “Wall E”. That is the main reason I give it a C.

8. Hancock – B

This movie had a really fascinating concept that I liked: an invincible superhero who is a hobo and can’t remember anything past the 1920′s in the beginning. I thought Hancock’s character was done very well. There is some really corny stuff in the movie, though. 

9. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer – C-

Yep, I saw this movie. Yep, it was as dumb as I thought it was going to be. In my honest opinion, there is a lost art of going to see dumb movies just to fully enjoy how ridiculous they really are. Although I give it a C- because of its quality, I actually enjoyed the movie and laughed at how dumb it was.

I’ve decided on giving a “kudos!” post on my blog to a great post by another blogger every once in a while.

Hey, it keeps me posting and attended on this thing at least.

Today’s Kudos! goes to Nick from Deeper Waters for this well thought-out post: http://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/the-problem-of-evil-a-perspective-from-the-dentists-chair/

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