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Showing posts from March, 2013

Easter Egg Hunters

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If I was more pious, I would say that my favorite part of Easter was all of the people that inevitably came to know Christ during that season.

But I'm not.

And my favorite part has always been the Easter egg hunt. My sister and I used to have an annual hunt with two of our cousins that was the absolute highlight of the spring. It was a rather socialist Easter egg hunt in that the eggs were divided evenly afterward regardless of who collected what. But that's what made it great because every egg was different.

Some had the obligatory Cadbury eggs and jelly beans, others a Peep bunny, some even had circus peanuts, not to mention everyone’s favorite: the dollar bill egg. Of course, there was at least one hard-boiled egg. And while I loved these equally (and even more so as an adult), the only downside to the hunt was if you happened to crack a not-quite-hard-boiled egg. That could wreck your day as a kid. As well as all your candy. Good thing Christians aren't as difficult to…

Top 5 Most Influential Metal Bands

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When it comes right down to it, people listen to the music that they do simply because they like it. I try to make lots of philosophical cases for why rap is terrible; but ultimately, it just bores me. And as much as heavy metal's opponents can conjure up an army of strawmen against it, they just don't like the way it sounds either.

Most of the time, I hear folks like this refer to metal as "noise." It's true, metal is intentionally louder than most other forms of music. But I'd argue that many in my generation would consider the dissonance of some of Mahler's finer symphonies "noise," as well. It's easy to attach disparaging adjectives to things we don't understand. For example, I know that rap doesn't actually suck. It's just built around things for which I have no appreciation (such as street poetry and beats with the repeat button stuck).

So in an effort not to gain more supporters but at least fewer detractors, I give you my…

In Good Company

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When Job's three friends...heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance...they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:11-13 I like to call this my bad day song. Whenever I'm feeling particularly angry or frustrated at the world (I think big), this is my go-to. Most people have something like this. It could be a song, or a TV show, or for many a glass of wine. Something to mellow you out when it just feels like life is against you.
Now if you listen to that song, it's far from chill. And apart from being a cheap Neurosis knockoff, it doesn't sound much different from those bad days we desperately want to escape. That's intentional. It would be nice if I could play a song and flip the switch on how I feel. But people aren…

Crumbling Maidens

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One of the first things a lot of Christians will ask about questionable content or activities is, "Does it glorify God?" As I discussed in my last post, this is problematic in that it does injustice to both God and his glory. But the rhetoric doesn't end there.

A good friend pointed out that many Christians are concerned about whether or not their activities are edifying. And that's a valid point. As much as I refuse to say that any heavy metal is innately evil, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's beneficial to one's relationship with Jesus. After all, this should be a goal of ours, right? That we engage only in things that prosper our spiritual life. I might agree with that if the people saying it understood what edification meant. All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 Enter the oft-quoted verse on the subject. And like most "quoted" verses, notice the lac…

The Good, the Bad and the Metal

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I don't think it's a secret that I don't care for Christian music. It's bad enough that most of it is tailored to the lowest common denominator of pop accessibility and musical form. This is also true of the Billboard Hot 100. I mean when was the last time you knew someone who didn't refer to their music collection in terms of 3½-minute sound bytes complete with forced rhyme schemes? Besides, pop music needs only a pretty face that can hold a tune and strum a G chord. And this description can easily be applied to both seasoned musicians and grade school children.

Perhaps Christians simply can't compete in the more artistic arenas. Few of the world's greatest musical forces have confessed Christ, and Christian music in general is about as up-to-date with trends as Eastern Europe. But all of these things are forgivable for one simple reason: they're ignorant. And ignorance can be fixed. In fact, a simple seminar on music history before the 1950's cou…

Deconstructing the Fat Man

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Pearl Harbor is memorialized as a great American tragedy. The surprise bombing resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. And while Japan was shrewdly anticipating the United States' involvement in World War II, this event is remembered primarily as an unprovoked attack.

Some say it was a false start on Japan's part and a serious tactical mistake. Regardless, world history will never defend such a blatant disregard for the rules of combat. On the other hand, the final stroke that ended the war, well, the ends justify the means.

The phrase itself is replete with paradox. It's not unlike saying, "two wrongs make a right." In this case, the two wrongs were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there couldn't be a much nobler right than ending a war, but in this context it makes me feel sick even suggesting it. I suppose that's what happens when we begin counting the cost in human lives.

Still, history has declared Pearl Harbor heinous and Fat Man necessary. Even…