The First Fists Open Up Friday Linkage

Three-fourths of the First Family hard at play on the Gulf Coast:

“What coast?  GULF COAST!”

The other fourth? She’s probably too busy focusing on her future presidency (a preview here) and has no time for such trivialities as putt-putt.

Here are the week’s links:


Residents of Sac-town, hide your kids, hide your wife, there are zebras on the loose… Mark Driscoll’s helpful  thoughts on Anne Rice’s departure from the shores of Christianity…  You gotta use Starbucks’ designated size names (Tall, Grande, Venti) or face getting the boot like this prof did…  Ann Coulter?  She’s complicated…  Chicharito made his Man U home debut last Monday and was greeted with “rapturous applause”… A Houston teenager is slain by a tag team consisting of a permanent resident and an undocumented alien, her uncle “would like to see what they’re doing in Arizona done here” so clearly, he must clearly be a racist…This week’s entry into the “Best Illustration of Romans 1:21-24”  sweepstakes.  A contest which unfortunately we have all submitted an entry to…

Green Power Ranger Fights For Jesus Not Al Gore

The phenomenon that was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came on the scene too late in my life for me to bite into and enjoy its cheesy and goofy goodness. Never understood the concept of the show, though I may or may not have had a thing for the Pink Power Ranger, too bad she only had eyes for the Green Power Ranger.

Speaking of which, the man who played the GPR, Jason David Frank, is an MMA fighter. I’m sure that to Mr. Frank, MMA fighters must seem like chopped liver compared to the giant invertebrates he had to tussle with when with the MMPRs.

Frank is also a Christian and has meshed the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints with his chosen profession. The Houston Chronicle did a piece on him:

Jesus as the ultimate ultimate fighter

I get what he’s trying to do and to some degree it is commendable but resorting to slogans such as “Putting the Jew in jiu jitsu” is unfortunate.

With a nod to another mid 90s staple, Animaniacs, is the message of this karate studio a good idea or bad idea?

Speaking of 90s staples we all know that though the GPR might not fight for Al Gore, these guys would chomp at the bit:

Though I’m sure they’re also wondering why Mr. Gore has been strangely silent about the mess in the Gulf.

Wayne, Garth and John Calvin

My attitude towards  Top 10 lists may be summed up with one word, to quote Brick Top, “Ehh.”

However that didn’t stop me from recruiting Wayne and Garth to present my Top 10 dishes (below) or previously posting the Top 10 quotes of 2007.

waynes-top10-list
A list only a cardiologist and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals could love.

In my previous post I intimated that 2009, for me, would be the year of Calvin, this in reference to my stated goal of getting through his Institutes of the Christian Religion.

I’m roughly following the reading plan found here.

The same folks (Reformation21) also published a post titled, Why read through Calvin’s Institutes in 2009? , in which Pastor Ligon Duncan gives his Top 10 answers to that very question.

My ehhness toward Top 10 lists doesn’t prevent me from listing Pastor Duncan’s Top 10, they are as follows:

  1. Because it is the most important book written in the last 500 years.
  2. Because it is foundational for every Reformed systematic theology ever since.
  3. Because Calvin was the best exegete in the history of Christianity.
  4. Because Calvin is one of the five greatest theologians in Christian history.
  5. Because he wrote it as a “sum of piety” not as an arid, speculative dogmatic treatise.
  6. Because it gave J.I. Packer the idea for “Knowing God.”
  7. Because Calvin thought and wrote succintly and clearly. “Brevitas et claritas” was his motto – brief and clear!
  8. Because you will know God better, if you read it prayerfully and believingly.
  9. Because it’s the 500th anniversary year of Calvin’s birthday. Don’t be a party pooper.
  10. Because I agree with what Derek and Iain say in their posts.

Michael Vick’s Pay Cut

Our economy is not the strongest that much is clear. Perhaps no one has taken a bigger pay cut in the last couple of years than former Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick.

Granted, his “pay cut” was due to a rash of bad decisions he made which subsequently landed him in the clink.

According to this story, “Vick wants to play, but what team would risk it?”,

In 2006 [Vick] made nearly $15 million. Recently he reported total income of $12.89 for an entire month.

That’s $12.89 as in 12 dollars and 89 cents. This from someone who, before things went terribly bad, categorized a $1,000 check to his mother as “chump change.”

Guau… Provided my math is correct, that is a 97,000% pay cut. Ouch!

Here’s Vick making $7211/hr.

michael-vickStreeter Lecka / Getty Images

Here is an excerpt from Vick’s statement after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges,

I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.

Here’s hoping that during his time in prison was spent fruitfully in nurturing the relationship he claims to have found, though to be sure it is Jesus who found him and not the other way around.

As for his return to the NFL, why not? It’s not like dog fighting is the unforgivable sin

Still Waiting on Rioting Hindus…

Some facts:

It has been 2 weeks since Halloween

This is supermodel Heidi Klum:
klum

This was supermodel Heidi Klum on Halloween dressed up as Kali:
klum halloween 011108

Predictably, Heidi won best costume according to this story:

Heidi Klum faces flak from Hindus for posing as Goddess Kali in Halloween bash

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Black Pride

It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly… — CS Lewis on Pride

No, the title of this post is not in reference to any racial identity movement, but rather to what Lewis references in the above quote from his classic, Mere Christianity.

It is in reference to the sickening and soul-sucking sense of superiority one feels upon hearing the consequences that result from the poor choices of others.

Yesterday, our youth pastor (JB) came in from the bullpen and preached a stirring sermon on a familiar story, Jesus’ parable of the so-called prodigal son.

JB described the older son in the parable, who couldn’t bring himself to celebrate his younger brother’s return from the figurative dead, as the son who wanted nothing more than to please his dad, by abstaining from as many things as humanly possible. He followed the description by faux applause.

With this son, it was about externals, the easy way to perdition, as the unrepentant Pharisees Jesus scolded came to find out.

Personally, at this point in my A.D. life, I find myself more like the older son. As JB aptly observed, “maybe we have forgotten what it’s like without God.”

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Coexist

I’m not sure what the artist who created this sticker had in mind. If his point is to call (command? Gasp!) upon people who hold these differing worldviews to get along, who can argue with that?

Hopefully our artist realizes that this is nothing new. In fact in the Gospels, Jesus ups the ante by commanding us to love God and to love our neighbor. Of course, “neighbor” encompasses unregenerate people of any stripe (Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, etc).

However if his point is that these worldviews are ultimately reconcilable (let us not forget that the same Jesus who told us to love God and our neighbor firmly stated this), then I’m afraid he is sadly mistaken and tragically anachronistic in the sense of extrapolating current moods to older traditions. As noted Christians apologist Ravi Zacharias said,

Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.

Whatever the artist’s motivation, this story might be an example of my first speculation:
Fighting for their whiskers

The story is about the D.C. Fire Department making their firefighters shave their beards. However there are Christian, Jewish and Muslim firefighters that for religious reasons will keep theirs. In a sense they are banding together to keep their fuzz.

What better way to Coexist than standing up for beards?