Archive for September, 2005

The Wiki Gnomes

The Wiki Gnomes


Last night Carol and I were chatting right before we fall asleep.  Something I used to enjoy doing with my brother when we were kids and had to share a room.  I started talking about my new fascination with Wiki’s.  I tried to explain what a Wiki was to my wife and told her about wikipedia. 

LT: Yeah it’s great.  There is tons of information and anyone can add to it
Carol: Can anyone write anything they want
LT: Yes
Carol: Well that is stupid.  What is going to stop people from putting up misinformation
LT: Nothing, people check it for accuracy, the system keeps a revision history, good content can be restored at any time
Carol: Who controls it
LT: It’s self policing
Carol: Who makes sure the information is accurate
LT: Regular people
Carol: What regular people
LT: [Exasperated] The wiki people, the wiki gnomes
Both: Laughter

End of Conversation

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Liberals for Harper

Liberals for Harper


I can’t think of better guy to ensure the Liberals get a majority in the next election
Thank you Torontoist

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Nylons and joys of marriage

Nylons and joys of marriage


Over the weekend my wife sent me out to pick up some groceries.  On this list was some hair spray and a pair of nylons.  I didn’t find any nylons in the grocery store so I walked next door to the new Shoppers drug mart.  I found the Nylons and searched dilligently for a pair that met all the specificications I was given.  Size check, colour check, reinforced toe check etc…  It took a long time and I was starting feel a bit weird deep behind feminine lines.  When I finally discovered the perfect pair I headed straight for the counter relieved that I had no unfortunate mishaps or awkward questions.  I picked up a Coke for something to drink and something else to give the cashier.  I get to the cashier and she startings ringing me through.  Then it came.  A question that I really didn’t want to have to answer.  “Are you sure these are going to fit you?”  How do you answer that?  I fumbled something about how I just got married and my wife had sent me out to pick up this stuff.  Did she believe me?  Did she think I was a cross-dresser…probably not, I’m 6′ 6″ and I’d probably have get some oppressed sweatshop workers in Indonesia to create nylons that would fit me.

Needless to say Carol can get her own nylons from now on.

When I told her this story she didn’t comfort me, she just laughed at me until she couldn’t move anymore.  Later on that weekend she beat me at Stockticker and has been reminding me ever since.

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Pink Floyd Reincarnated!

Pink Floyd Reincarnated!


If you love Floyd you gotta check out these guys. They are called the worlds best tribute band and they just might live up to the hype. I caught these guys on PBS and they are incredibly tight live. The vocals aren’t exactly the same but for everything else it would be hard to tell the difference. They are coming to Canada! They haven’t announced the when and where. If they come to Calgary, Edmonton or Winnipeg I’d probably go. Check out the site and download the free MP3s.

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Stanley Hauerwas is smarter than me

Stanley Hauerwas is smarter than me


On Thursday and Friday I was in Regina to see Stanley present in this year’s Luther Lecture.  Jordon and I managed to navigate Regina despite is deficient road signage and the failings of my mapping software.

Both lectures I attended were very good.  You can tell someone is really smart when they talk competently about areas of your expertise and you find yourself in intrigued by what they say.  When they speak of things you have very little understanding in you are just trying to grasp what they are getting at.  When Stanley talked about rescuing the bible from the individual and yet avoiding hierarchy I had a good idea of what he was talking about.  He even called himself a high church Anabaptist.  There were several other issues in which I found myself in intrigued but would have need more explanation to really understand what he was getting at.

 

I really liked Hauerwas because he plotted an ethical course far from the traps of protestant liberalism and fundamentalist evangelicalism.  I took great joy in hearing him slam both sides with equal vigour.  He called right wing evangelicalism an idolatrous and truncated religion made in an effort to make sense of America’s moral and civil religion.  He predicted the demise of the Protestant church and identified pluralism and tolerance as language of power and control. 

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Well Darryl I'm kinda in transition

Well Darryl I’m kinda in transition


My friend Darryl Dash is curious to know why I haven’t been posting.
The easy answer is that I’m busy.  Too busy to remind Darryl that
Paul Martin
seems to be getting his act together while Harper is dying a slow death
from a
thousand cuts.  

I’m enjoying many aspects of married life but at times it is a difficult
transition.  I was single for a long time
and it can be difficult rearranging my life around a handful of other
priorities.  Many people ask me how the
kids are adjusting.  They are fine.  Both of my new boys really love me like I was
their original dad.  The adjustment to
marriage is more difficult than fatherhood but things are going well.  I love my wife more and more each day.

One of the hardest parts of the transition has been missing my old friends and roommates.  Mark Trew is in El
Salvador and he is one of the best heart to
heart kind of friends a guy could have. 
I’m not living with my roommates anymore and the last one just moved out
from our old place.  The landlords are
giving the place quite the overall.  I
hope I can convince some cool people to move in and be our neighbours. 

Although house church keeps on going well, and I still like it a lot
more than
regular church I’ve been feeling very pessimistic about the church in
general.  I keep looking at the trends and the warning
signs.  The church is just about as
prepared for the next 20 years as New Orleans
was ready for Katrina.  In New Orleans the people that mattered
didn’t want to act on
what they knew about those levees.  In
the church it is the same.  We comfort
ourselves with what Jesus said about hades not prevailing against the
church
while ignoring what happened in North Africa, the dark
ages or modern day Europe. 

Deep down I doubt whether people will risk their careers or their income to
make real change happen.  I’m saddened by
each example of selfishness that I come across.  I’m saddened that Christianity has been
redefined in such away that there is no expectation that a follower of Christ
would be more loving, patient, peaceful or joyful. 

Some folks from MCC Saskatchewan spoke in chapel today at Bethany.  I think I’m going to walk down to their
office and see how I can volunteer in the city. 
Maybe I’ll be “missional” after all. 
I’m not sure my last post really captured how I feel about all that
stuff.  I’m just tired of people talking
about how they know what most churches should be like.  I think the real hard work wouldn’t be to
follow a trend or copy someone else’s ideas but to honestly and prayerfully
work things out.  Learn as you go.  Listen to others and not just absorb the
information transfer from the superstars. 
For all the talk about church I still think the bible is a vast untapped
resource the church is ignoring.  If we
could just get ourselves to the place where we actually listen to scripture
rather than getting it to say what we want it to say. 

Enough rambling

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Being missional and other house church reflections

Being missional and other house church reflections


I don’t think being missional is the answer. At least it isn’t the only answer.  We are coming up on a year as
a house church and I must admit we really haven’t done any corporate
“missional” activity.  It isn’t that I or the rest of the group
don’t believe in mission.  The make up of the house church made it
very necessary to just spend time together recovering.  There were
some people in the group who were still sorting out what they believed
in the aftermath of their life experiences.

I
honestly believe that each leader or leadership group in a local church
should work out what is best for their church at their
time.   We shouldn’t follow any fad or trendy theology with
out thinking it through thoroughly.  At this point one of my
personal goals is to figure out how to do church right here with little
or no resources. 

There is a real need to figure out how
to do function as a church with little or no finances.   The
church is alive financially because medical science has lengthened our
life span.  When all those generous seniors move on to glory there
is going to be a huge shortage of money in the church. 

One of the most expensive things is helping people mature in
their walk with God.  Right now the church has largely abandoned
effective teaching.  We rely far too much on the free market for
the distribution of music, teaching and other resources.  I’d like
to see internet technology evolve to the point where we efficiently
transfer resources and work collaboratively.  We need the church
equivalent to sourceforge

We
really do need to recover the idea of the priesthood of all
believers.  Everyone should be a real functioning part of the
church with a sense of responsibility and ownership.  Leaders
should be servants that set the stage for the “body” to function as it
should.  Allow people the room to grow and reach maturity and then
bless them to do what they couldn’t do before.  For the church to
survive the next 50 years its going to have to learn how to let people
find their role in the body.

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Highly charged debate on the War in Iraq

Highly charged debate on the war in Iraq


Maverick British MP George Galloway and journalist Christopher Hitchens engage in a spirited debate that kept me captivated. 

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On the turning away

On the turning away


On the turning away
from the pale and downtrodden
and the words they say
which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
is just a case of others suffering
or you’ll find that you’re joining in
the turning away”

It’s a sin that somehow
light is changing to shadow
and casting it’s shroud
over all we have known
unaware how the ranks have grown
driven on by a heart of stone
we could find that we’re all alone
in the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
as the daytime is stirring
where the speechless unite
in a silent accord
using words you will find are strange
and mesmerised as they light the flame
feel the new wind of change
on the wings of the night

No more turning away
from the weak and the weary
no more turning away
from the coldness inside
just a world that we all must share
it’s not enough just to stand and stare
is it only a dream that there’ll be
no more turning away?

Pink Floyd
Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)

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My response to "What is postmodernism?"

My response to Benson’s “What is ‘Postmodernism’?


I think a better question might be “why is there postmodernism?” I see
the author’s point in saying there is no such thing as postmodernism
but there is something very real happening in western society today.
That is why a number of missionaries and church planters have
reexamined the church structure, the focus of our mission and even the
authenticity of our message. The sad reality is, whatever age we are in
seems to have caustic effect on evangelical churches. Those who are
more likely to be labeled “postmodern” are less likely to be
evangelical. The big question for many of us is why.

As
a member of a generation that is often labeled “postmodern” I’d say my
“Incredulity to a metanarrative” comes from two main things:

Hundreds of conflicting metanarratives demanding my exclusive allegiance
A loss of trust in established authority (family, school, government, church, media etc…)

The
first one is easy to understand. If I were try to buy a car and I
consulted salespeople from Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Ford, Lincoln,
Toyota, Honda, Acura, BMW and Volkswagen and each of them told me they
had the best car for me which one would I believe?

I am most
likely to view all the data from my biased perspective. I’m a Chev man
with a grudging respect for Toyotas and Hondas. The Ford guy might have
offered me the best deal possible on a Taurus but because I’m a Chev
guy and I’d have to eat way too many words if I drove a Ford I would
convince myself some other car is the better deal.

I am also
likely to have a inherent distrust of anyone telling me something in
order to make money. I know the salesperson is highly motivated to get
me to make a decision and strongly biased.

Ultimately I wouldn’t know who to believe.

I
think this illustrates why “postmodernism” exists. We have hundreds if
not thousands of competing ideologies, approaches, and philosophies in
an increasingly pluralistic culture and people don’t know what to
believe. Logically either one of these voices is right or none of them
are right. Some are more right than others. In response to this people
begin to pick and choose what they want from each stream of thought and
cobble together their own worldview.

The second factor stems
from a distrust of accepted sources of authority and truth. If
politicians lie, and the media misrepresent, and one of the people who
were supposed to raise me left it begins to wear down ones confidence
in any voice claiming to hold an exclusive claim to the truth. When a
significant portion of a generation loses a parent in childhood it has
a dramatic affect on how society views authority and truth. Even though
kids may not be able to articulate it, deep down they know they were
wronged. If they are wronged by those who ought to have been the most
faithful to them they are naturally disinclined to trust others in the
same way.

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