The XXX â€˜Churchâ€™ is back in the News this week. I wrote a series of posts on the XXX â€˜Churchâ€™ last summer and questioned the wisdom of attending porn conventions in order to do evangelism.On Wednesday, Dr. Albert Mohler raised the same question about the XXX â€˜Churchâ€™sâ€™ ministry methods at this summerâ€™s erotica convention in Los Angeles. On the program, Dr. Mohler said, â€œI can tell you, I donâ€™t think I could be at this convention without sin. Think I can pretty much promise you thatâ€ (source). Continue Reading →
You know youâ€™re getting old when sports stars your age begin to slow down and retire. I was reminded of this last week during the NBA finals as the commentators noted that the â€œelderâ€ Shaq doesnâ€™t play like he used to.Today Andre Agassi announced that he would be retiring from professional Tennis. He said that his last tournament would be this yearâ€™s U. S. Open.
I feel like I grew up watching Agassi play tennis (or maybe I should say, grew up with him). When I played on my high school tennis team back in the late â€™80â€™s, Agassi was the man. He was the James Dean of tennis. He was to tennis was rock â€˜n roll is to music. He was the proverbial rebel who exuded cool.
Itâ€™s been interesting to watch him grow out of that over the years into an â€œelder statesmanâ€ of the game. What a great career heâ€™s had, what a great contribution heâ€™s made to the sport, and what a great champion.
Agassi, you will be missed.
If you were wondering whether the Mainstream Media (MSM) are biased in their coverage of the Iraq War, wonder no more. The MSM have been largely silent on the biggest Iraq War story since the capture of Saddam Hussein.On Wednesday John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, provided â€œan unclassified overview of chemical munitions recovered in Iraq since May 2004.â€ The following is direct quotation from the overview:
â€“Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.
â€“Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraqâ€™s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.
â€“Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.
â€“The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.
â€“The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.
â€“It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.
This report makes clear that Saddam Hussein did not in fact destroy all of his pre-war stockpiles of WMD. Moreover, it shows that the 500 munitions that we have found are likely just the tip of the iceberg and that more are likely still in existence in Iraq.
The political significance of this revelation is monumental. It shows that the â€œBush liedâ€ mantra of the MSM will no longer work. I suspect that this is why the MSM are not covering the story, as it undermines the fictional narrative that they have been propagating since the beginning of the war.
For more on this story, please see the following sources:
â€œRick Santorum announces WMD has been found in Iraqâ€ – Radio Blogger
â€œBack Storyâ€ – In from the Cold
â€œLawmakers Cite Weapons Found in Iraqâ€ – Washington Post
â€œHundreds of WMDs Found in Iraqâ€ – Fox News
â€œHundreds of Chemical Weapons Found in Iraqâ€ – Agence France-Presse
â€œThe real story on WMDs needs to be told â€” but carefullyâ€ – Hugh Hewitt
The story coming out of this depressing series will be all about Dwayne Wadeâ€™s rising star, but the real story should be about how the referees handed some close games to the Miami Heat. The Mavericks had their hands full with the Heat, and itâ€™s a shame that they had to compete against the refs as well. I have to say that the officiating was disgusting at some critical moments, and it cost the Mavs a championship.
Congratulations to the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade is an amazing player, and they couldnâ€™t have done it without him. Also (and I mean this with all sincerity), I am always happy when great players in the twilight of their careers win a championship. I am thrilled that both Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning will leave the league with a championship under their belt. Well done.
Nevertheless, I am now going to put on my sackcloth and ashes. If anyone needs me, Iâ€™ll be crying myself to sleep.
Just when I thought it couldnâ€™t get any worse than the fact that the Mavs lost last night, I came across this story in the Dallas Morning News: â€œPastor turns service into pep rally for God, Mavs.â€Apparently, this pastor in this Dallas area doesnâ€™t know the difference between a worship service and a pep rally. Can you guess what his justification is for profaning Sunday morning worship? Itâ€™s pretty predictable.
â€œWe put God in a box. Why canâ€™t we bring life into the house of worship? More people will come to church if you have these kinds of things.â€
I am way too emotionally invested in this series. I am dejected. What a heartbreaker.Though Dirk Nowitzki didnâ€™t seem to be channeling David Hasselhoff (see previous post), Josh Howard seemed to be channeling Chris Webber. Josh Howard really messed up in calling the time-out when he did.
Anyway, hereâ€™s the coverage of game 5 of the NBA Finals in the Dallas Morning News: â€œBurned: Heat outlasts Mavs, 101-100.â€
P.S. The officiating was horrible. Wade didnâ€™t deserve that last foul. He went in clean and just missed a lay-up.
I am a sucker for the underdog, and therefore I am a sucker for our hometeam, the Dallas Mavericks. I was a manager at the Mavericksâ€™ practice facility back in the bad old days when they used to lose all the time. It was really sad back then when they just couldnâ€™t get a break.But now things have changed, and all of us here in Dallas have our hopes set on a championship. Yet after watching the Mavs lose a heartbreaker on Tuesday and an ego-crusher on Thursday, many of us are beginning to feel that sinking feeling in our stomachs again.
Those of us who are fans know that the sinking stomach might be more than a feeling as long as our players are getting suspended and Dirk Nowitzki is shooting poorly from the field. Right now, what we really need is for Dirk Nowitzki to bring his A-game. And that means that we need him to channel David Hasselhoff not only at the foul line, but also when heâ€™s shooting jump shots.
I think he can do it, and Iâ€™m still holding out hope for a championship. What I donâ€™t want is for our main memory of the 2005-2006 season to be Nowitzkiâ€™s fondness for this.
In any case, if the Mavs will just bring home a championship, Iâ€™ll even listen to some Hasselhoff.
Actually, itâ€™s not just E. J. Dionne whoâ€™s offering an incorrect analysis of Frank Pageâ€™s election to the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Dionne and others are mistaking the dark horse for a trojan horse that would signal the beginning of the end of the conservative movement in the SBC. In a Washington Post editorial today, Dionne writes:
Pageâ€™s upset victory could be very significant, both to the nationâ€™s religious life and to politics. He defeated candidates supported by the conventionâ€™s staunchly conservative establishment, which has dominated the organization since the mid-1980s. His triumph is one of many signs that new breezes are blowing through the broader evangelical Christian world . . . The mellowing of evangelical Christianity may well be the big American religious story of this decade. . . The evangelical world is going through a quiet evolution as believers reflect on the perils of partisanship and ideology and their reasons for being Christian. This will probably affect the nationâ€™s political life, but it will certainly affect the countryâ€™s spiritual direction. My hunch is that not only moderates and liberals but also many solid conservatives welcome the departure (source).
Yes, Frank Page is a bit of an outsider and was not involved in the conservative resurgence of the 1980â€™s and 1990â€™s that rescued the SBC from creeping theological liberalism. And, yes, Page desires â€œto pull together various factionsâ€ within the SBC, including â€œemergent pastorsâ€ and â€œthe few remaining moderatesâ€ (source).
But Dionne is completely off the mark in suggesting that Pageâ€™s election means that Southern Baptists are backing away from their â€œideologyâ€ as he calls it. We are and will remain theologically conservative, at least for the foreseeable future.
Make no mistake, if SBC messengers would have had reason to question Pageâ€™s conservative bona fides (specifically, his committment to the inerrancy of scripture), his candidacy never would have been considered.
Iâ€™m afraid that Dionneâ€™s eagerness to see the SBC drift leftward has skewed his analysis.
The Bloggersâ€™ Favorite Southern Baptist: The upset victory of a non-anointed candidate to lead Americaâ€™s largest Protestant denomination signals the growing power of online activists, even in old-line churches . . . For those who follow the internal politics of the Southern Baptist Convention . . . the most interesting news out of their annual meeting, held this week in Greensboro, N.C., is that bloggers elected a president (source).
I donâ€™t think that this analysis of the election is on target. The Baptist Press reports that fewer than 200 people showed up to the â€œYounger Leaders Summitâ€ at the Southern Baptist Convention. These younger leaders are the ones who are most associated with all the sound and fury in the SBC blogosphere, and â€œfewer than two hundredâ€ doesnâ€™t not amount to much in an election in which 8,961 votes were cast. Put simply, there likely were not enough bloggers at the convention to have a significant impact on the vote.
So technically speaking, the bloggers didnâ€™t â€œelectâ€ a president, as the Time article suggests. What their influence was on messengers who did cast votes remains to be seen.
(HT: Missional Baptist Blog)
Readers of this blog know that Derek Webb and I are not on the same page politically and sometimes theologically (previous posts). Nevertheless, in an interview with Relevant magazine Webb has some salient reflections on the so-called â€œChristianâ€ music industry. Here are the money lines:
The whole secular/Christian thingâ€¦is a total fictionâ€¦
Donâ€™t let your local Christian bookstore do your thinking for you and believe that everything they have there for sale is good and spiritually beneficial to you. Continue Reading →
Denny’s Twitter Feed
- Curt Day on Rob Bell has left the church for a “quasi-intentional spiritual community”?
- Midweek Roundup – 12/11/13 | Crossway on Rob Bell has left the church for a “quasi-intentional spiritual community”?
- Andrew Orlovsky on Rob Bell has left the church for a “quasi-intentional spiritual community”?
- Mike Gantt on Rob Bell has left the church for a “quasi-intentional spiritual community”?
- Ian Shaw on Rob Bell has left the church for a “quasi-intentional spiritual community”?