Wednesday, June 12, 2013

G.K. Chesterton and Iron Maiden

A classic song of Iron Maiden, Revelations, borrows a profound verse from one of G.K. Chesterton's hymns.

O God of earth and altar Bow down and hear our cry 
Our earthly rulers falter Our peolple drift and die 
The walls of gold entomb us 
The swords of scorn divide 
Take not thy thunder from us 
But take away our pride

Saturday, June 8, 2013

An Illustration of true Leadership

I got this from a friend's Facebook post. I don't know who designed it.

Too many people think leadership is about bossing others.  This picture bring clarity.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another D-Day Remembrance

Visiting the American Cemetery in Florence, Italy a few years back was one of the sobering events of my life. There, in one of the smaller such American cemeteries on European soil, lay the bodies of 5000 young Americans, including my Uncle Chris-all who died in the campaign to free Europe and rid it of the demonic Hitler, that began on D-Day in 1944.

Sadly, when my father and I got to Florence and asked some of the locals where the cemetery was, almost no one knew what we were talking about. They'd all be speaking German if it weren't for the U.S.A.

T. David Gordon on modern Praise Bands

Dr. Gordon hits the nail on the head in a recent post he authored about the modern "Praise Band" phenomenon.  Here's a snippet:

Functionally, the Praise Team has replaced the hymnal. When churches decided to sing contemporary music, they often could not find musical scores, and/or they could not reproduce them for the congregation for legal or financial reasons. So the Praise Team would rehearse ahead of time (at least they had the musical score) and sing the material. It was hoped that the congregation would “sing along with” the Praise Team; and it often did, picking up on the song as it went along. But the congregation—even if the members can sight-read music—cannot sing as vigorously or confidently as the Praise Team, for two reasons. First, the congregation does not have the musical score, and must learn the song by ear. Second, the Praise Team often varies its instrumental or harmonic parts (and worse, its instrumental bridges) between stanzas, so that the congregation is not entirely sure exactly how each stanza will be sung. And since the Praise Team alone has rehearsed beforehand, those who operate the microphones must be sure that the Praise Team is not drowned out by the congregation because, after all, only the Praise Team actually knows what is going on.

Another morsel:

I note that many defenders of the present liturgical model have coined the expression “contemporary worship music.” They did not call it “contemporary congregational praise,” and they really could not have done so, since it is evident that the current practice actually makes it difficult for the congregation to sing robustly since no musical score is provided and difficult even to hear them if they do. But the Scriptures do not command “worship music;” they command congregational praise. So even the label here is mildly misleading. If we required people to use the expression “contemporary congregational praise,” we would, in doing so, require them to do those things that enhance such congregational praise, and require them not to continue doing those things that worsen it or hide it.

You can read Dr. Gordon's entire post here. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ellis Potter on God as personal

"God alone is God, and God is not alone.  You cannot make this statement about any other God or original perfection.  You can say Buddha alone is Buddha, but that is all.  The rest is silence.  you can say Krishna alone is Krishna and Allah alone is Allah, but the rest again is silence.  

If the God of the bible (Christianity) wants to talk to somebody, He talks among Himself, because He is three persons.  A God who wasn't diversified could not talk among Himself.  He would have to create something else to talk with.  He would require a creation in order to be personal, whereas the God of the bible (Christianity) is intrinsically personal, independent of His creation.  His creation does not complete Him but rather expresses Him."

- Ellis Potter, from "Three Theories of Everything"