October 31, 2005

Reformation Day, 2005

I actually had to work today, so this is the first opportunity I've had to talk about the real October 31st holiday -- Reformation Day.

This is the date that, in 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg. Or maybe he didn't. The first known account of the actual nailing of the Theses didn't appear until after Luther's death, and there is some discussion among historians over whether it actually happened or not. It is in keeping with the practice of the day -- theses were traditionally nailed up when they were to be presented for debate, and Luther could have done just that, hoping for a debate that would spark reform within the Catholic church. At the very least, Luther's concerns as expressed in the Theses were made known to his superiors -- his opposition to Papal indulgences and many of the other problems in the church resulted in his condemnation and the beginning of the Lutheran church and Protestant Christianity.

I think it's interesting that one of the web sites that you find when searching for "Reformation Day" includes the question "Why is Reformation Day such an important Christian festival?" I would say that it is an ignored Christian festival. Ask the average Christian in the street what Reformation Day is, and they probably won't have much of a clue. Most churches are more concerned with organizing their Hell House and having hayrides for their Fall Festival than they are in teaching the historic origins of Protestant Christianity, or teaching what they were protesting to begin with.

It's a perfect opportunity to remember the Reformation slogan -- Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda -- The church reformed and always to be reformed. We need to always be careful that our beliefs and practices are based firmly on Scripture, and not on traditions, and we need to be willing to make changes when we are out of line. That, if nothing else, is what we must learn from the Reformation.

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October 27, 2005

The Many Faces of iPod

There are a lot of accessories for iPods. And today seems to be the day that the strange ones come out.

First, I read about the BrixPod case. Looks like something made out of Legos, right? 'Cause it is.

The BrixPod Classic is a signed and numbered limited edition of 300 units. Each BrixPod is assembled by hand from 59 genuine LEGO® parts. The BrixPod Classic can be displayed alone but is intended for use with the iPod shuffle (not included). By inserting the shuffle into the top of the BrixPod you get the effect of a fully functional music player constructed from LEGO®. The shuffle is held securely and protected inside the BrixPod. By pushing on the screen area of the BrixPod the shuffle can be paused/played. An eject slider on the back of the BrixPod allows you to remove the shuffle easily.
But this is what really caught my attention:
Inspired by the world's obsession and devotion to the iPod, iBelieve is a replacement lanyard for your iPod Shuffle. It is a social commentary on the fastest growing religion in the world.
My only question is -- what religion would that be, exactly?

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:47 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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New Blogroll Member

While reading Tim Challies blog today, I happened across the link to Dr. Michael Haykin's blog. I've taken two classes with Dr. Haykin at Southern, and learned a lot from both. He introduced me to Andrew Fuller (which my wife really appreciates) and the early Baptists in England. Even though my church history studies will focus more on the Medieval church (especially the late Middle Ages, shortly before the Reformation), I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and understanding from Dr. Haykin's classes. His blog has quickly been placed in the blogroll, and the RSS feed added to my feed reader.

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Harriet Miers: My Two Cents

I've left this story alone, for a lot of reasons -- mainly because I don't like blogging politics, partially because I've not been impressed with the nominee. But now that the nomination is gone, I want to talk a little bit about why I'm glad.

I know nothing about Harriet Miers. She may be hugely qualified. SHe may have gone on to be the best justice we've had in a long time. But the only thing we really know about her is that she used to be Roman Catholic, and converted to evangelical, Protestant Christianity.

In the Roberts nomination, religion was off the table. Anyone who mentioned his faith was chastened, because it should only matter how good a justice he would be. And I agree with that -- there should be no litmus test of faith. We all wanted Roberts to be judged on his ability.

But not Miers. It's almost like Bush was saying to us, "Don't worry about what she thinks -- she's one of us! {wink, wink, nudge, nudge}" Christians were expected to support her because she's a Christian.

I don't like that attitude. I don't like being pandered to by the GOP, as if I'm some immature kid who has to have a candy bar thrown to him every so often so he doesn't act up. There are plenty of highly qualified, conservative judges out there who would be a slam-dunk nominee.

I almost thing that the President set Miers up for failure. It's as if he decided to give everyone the nominee that everyone feared the most, and then at the last minute pull her back and give us something else. And that's not fair to Harriet Miers, it's not fair to conservative Christians, and it's not fair to the counrty.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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The New Do It Yourself Industry

Do it yourself .... sodas.

Soda Club is introducing their line of countertop brewing appliances to the United States. The press release, web site, and everything I've read about them says that they're pretty popular in Europe, and are expecting great things from their entry into the US market. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 11:42 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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October 26, 2005

A Victory for ... Whom, Exactly?

So McDonalds is going to start putting nutritional information right on the packaging of its food, huh? And this is some kind of a victory for the fast-food-eating public, huh?

more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 24, 2005

Post-Con: What I Wish I had Done at GodBlogCon 2005

So I didn't get to go to GodBloggerCon 2005. And now I have to sit and read all the posts about how cool it was, and what a wonderful time everyone had, and how good-looking David Wayne is. Next year, maybe I can talk about podcasting (HINT HINT TO ANYONE LISTENING!!!! I'M VOLUNTEERING!!!). Ahem. Anyway, while reading the various accounts, I found this post that asks some good questions. The aforementioned Mr. Wayne has tackled a couple, but I'd like to add my two bits to the mix. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 11:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Blog For Sale!!!

Ok, not really, but I've seen this pop up all over the place -- the whole "My Blog is worth $) thing, and so many blogs I've seen are worth $0. So I decided to try it, and I was shocked.


My blog is worth $76,777.44.
How much is your blog worth?


So if anyone's interested, I can go as low as $60,000. Email me! more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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A Bloggy Game

Maybe this will become the next blogosphere meme -- and it will have started right here!! Cool, huh?

I'm going to think of 5 numbers, 1-10 (if you're cool, you can roll a D10 for this, but my dice are missing and presumed lost). I'm going to start at my blogroll, count down the first number, and go to that blog. Then count down the next number on their blogroll, and so on. +NOTE -- the numbers CAN duplicate, and you should use the first blogroll on the page as you scroll down.

My numbers are: 3, 8, 2, 9, and 4. So here we go!

more...

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October 22, 2005

Movie Time

Just took my daughter to see Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. My review is over at Cinema Veritas.

Short story -- go see it. Get your kids the DVD, and watch it again. Outstanding movie.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 21, 2005

NaNoWriMo

OK, this will sound really funny to anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time at all, given my occasional lack of posting, but I'm going for it this year. I've registered for National Novel Writing Month.

My goal is to prove to myself that I can actually sustain writing the same story for one month. At this point, the 50,000 words is a bonus. I've had ideas running through my head in the past, but never did much of anything with them. Now is the time.

My wife has also decided to do it, though she hasn't registered yet. Of course, she's had a short story published already, and has two novel ideas, so she's got a head start on me.

I just wish it wasn't strictly a novel writing thing -- I've got an awesome nonfiction idea that I've been playing with for the past few weeks, and I'd like to get that going. But I guess I can do the proposal this month, and do some serious work on it in December and January.

Anybody else doing this? Maybe we should form a "support group" to keep each other going!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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October 20, 2005

The New Meme

So I'm a sucker for memes, sometimes. This comes from Rebecca Writes and The Crusty Curmudgeon.

Google "Your first nameneeds" and list the first ten hits. Underline the ones that are true.

1. Warren needs repair (actually talking about a road somewhere)
2. Warren needs new ... (some message board. The description doesn't tell me what I need!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!)
3. Warren needs to be first and best (from an article about Warren Beatty and Annette Benning).
4. Warren needs people with him all the time to help with his decisions and choices. (NOT)
5. Warren needs to focus on the younger group instead of the older group.
6. Warren needs to show up everywhere in his gay as black button downs with dragons and flames on them. (HUH??!!)
7. Warren needs to get the public involved in the same way Youngstown did. (Who is this Youngstown guy, anyway? lol)
8. Warren needs glass windows.
9. Warren needs a pharmacy.
10. Warren needs better “life sustaining” jobs

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 19, 2005

No Thanks!!!

This one via Al Mohler. Today's Washington Post:

The federal government will help rebuild parochial schools, nursing homes and similar religious institutions but will not pay for reconstruction of churches or other houses of worship destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, administration officials said yesterday.
I call on every religious institution who was hurt by Katrina to refuse this "help." We're being reassured that any building used for "essentially religious activities" will not receive this help. I'm with Dr. Mohler when he says
Well, here's one Southern Baptist who sincerely hopes that every one of our buildings is used for "inherently religious activities." This looks like a genuinely bad idea. Government money means government entanglement. Who will decide what constitutes "inherently religious activities?"
NAMB has already rejected any federal reimbursement for the aid that the convention provided after Katrina. I hope that, as attractive as this offer is, we refuse it as well.

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Jesus Loves .... Ninjas??

OK, another hat tip to Tim Challies for this one.

I think that one paragraph says it all about this:

Capitalizing on the ultra-trendy Jesus clothing movement, we proudly introduce Jesus Loves T-Shirts: an edgy collection of T-shirts featuring all the people we are afraid to love.
{emphasis mine}
Ultra-trendy Jesus clothing movement??? I don't recall Jesus ever telling us that we'd be "ultra-trendy." I seem to recall something about people despising us for His name's sake, or something like that ...


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Christian Thoughts on Halloween

Tim Challies had a great post on this yesterday, and I was planning on writing this yesterday evening, but you know what they say about "best laid plans." Tim talks about John MacArthur's response to Halloween, and talks about his own efforts. He points out that, to many neighborhood kids, a dark house at Halloween isn't taking a stand against Satanism or paganism -- it's a house full of people who can't (or won't) have any fun.
more...

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Comment Update

Comments are back. MAJOR spammer yesterday evening, with some seriously nasty pr0n spammage. Got rid of it, and hopefully have the site locked down so they can't get back in.

For now, HTML is disabled in comments. I will probably restore it later, but I figure if the link doesn't work, the spammers can't get Google 'credit' for having a link to their site. Maybe that will make them go somewhere else.

I'd planned on actually writing last night, but the spam distracted me. Later today, and maybe tonight after church. Be in prayer for me, because I'm preaching this evening (Galatians chapter 6).

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October 18, 2005

Comments Closed for now

The site has been hit with a LOT of really nasty Internet porn spam. Until I can get it under control, comments are, unfortunately, turned off. I'm hoping to get this taken care of quickly (with the help of the mu.nu resident experts), so this will be a minor inconvenience.

If you really need to comment on something, email me (it's in the sidebar). When comments come back, I'll put your comment in the appropriate place.

Thanks, and sorry!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:49 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 14, 2005

What Price for a Soul?

$48, cash or check.

I'm not going to go into a long critique of this method of evangelism. As I reflect on my own life, I can see many times I've done something similar. I can remember the Saturdays that I spent with my youth group, playing kickball and sharing Jesus with kids. And seeing the same kids get saved every single week.

The problem with so many modern evangelism methods is that there is no discipleship. No connect with a local church. No clue what they believe, or why. Then ten years later, they have nothing to do with the church. Did they lose their salvation? No -- you can't lose something that you never had in the first place. We failed them. Our emphasis on numbers has resulted in our missing one important fact -- these are people. They are souls that Christ died for. They will spend eternity somewhere, and we are giving them false hope. Their hope is in a repeated prayer, rather than Christ.

I question any directive that places a greater emphasis on numbers than on discipleship. Quality over quantity. And I am willing to invest whatever I need to -- time, money, tears, whatever.

$48 just seems a little cheap to me.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:54 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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On The Bookshelf

I've got a bunch of books I'm digging into -- one of the benefits of Blogcritics and Mind and Media.

Bruce Feiler's book Where God Was Born looks interesting. I've read Walking the Bible, and I'm looking forward to reading this. A review will show up here and at BC.

Got my own copy of John Piper's God is the Gospel the other day. I'm late for the controversy that erupted in the godblogosphere, but I figure I'll have a few words about it, and give my take on some of the discussion that happened a month or so ago. Maybe I can even start another discussion!

AND the third book I wanted to mention (I've got more waiting to be read and reviewed -- check in with Blogcritics in the next few days for more on those books ...). I got an email from a very nice lady at Chelsea Green Publishing about a book they wanted me to review. God, America, and Fascism -- all about how terrible the religious right is, and how Christianity has it's priorities wrong, and all that good stuff. I almost passed on the book, but then I heard something that I told someone not long ago. "We should be willing to read things we disagree with," I said, "because there's always the chance that we'll learn something. If nothing else, intellectual honesty says that we need to get their arguments straight from them -- not second or third hand."

So I agreed to read it. I plan on reviewing each of the "sermons" in a post here, with a general review over at BC. I'm still not sure why they wanted me to review the book, unless they just haven't read much of this blog.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 12, 2005

In Memory

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV)

It's been a long week and a half. Last Sunday (the 2nd of October), we received a phone call as we got home from church. My wife's aunt and uncle were wondering if we knew where her grandparents were. We found out they were at the hospital, and it didn't look good at all. My wife's grandmother had fallen at church -- not a bad fall, more of a sinking to the ground. She had a brain hemmorage because of some previous falls. When we got to the hospital, we were told it was only a matter of hours.

It was actually a week, almost exactly. We spent the past week at the hospital most of the day. My wife and her mother spent the night every night, sleeping on couches or recliners, staying until her grandfather came in the mornings. She had a living will, so there was little anyone could do once it was determined that she was terminal: no life support, just pain medicine and saline drip, and waiting.

I've never actually watched someone die. My dad was gone before I made it home, and both my grandparents died when I was living out of state. It's not something I want to repeat.

She died this past Sunday, at about the same time she was admitted the week before. Her viewing and funeral were last night, and the burial was today, with a small service for the family at the grave.

We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. We miss her, but we know that we will meet again. It's not goodbye, it's "See you later>'

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:11 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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