Christ Among the Partisans

There is an interesting Op-Ed in today’s New York Times written by Garry Wills, professor emeritus of history at Northwestern University, entitled Christ Among the Partisans.

Referencing certain political parties that try to hijack Jesus as their spokesman, he says:

The Gospels are scary, dark and demanding. It is not surprising that people want to tame them, dilute them, make them into generic encouragements to be loving and peaceful and fair. If that is all they are, then we may as well make Socrates our redeemer.

The institutional Jesus of the Republicans has no similarity to the Gospel figure. Neither will any institutional Jesus of the Democrats.

You can read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/opinion/09wills.html?th&emc=th (you’ll have to log on).

Better Blogs

Here are a couple blogs that caught my eye recently:

Planet Dozer has a post drawing attention to the lack of clean water in certain parts of the world. He says, in part:

…Water has always been magical to me. I love the reflection of the sunset on the water, like a mirror reflecting creation back to the heavens. I love the rush of water from a rushing river surrounding me in my kayak, feeling the energy coursing through the river. It amazes me the life that flows into and out of the water, ecosystems both microscopic and immense. Life does not work without water, the basic element for survival. (read full post)

And Striker_21 blogs about Protecting the Mind:

It’s tempting to approach protecting the mind by averting the eyes and covering the ears. There’s some validity in that approach. At the very least it recognizes that what you see, hear, and read affect you both positively and negatively. It’s also fairly simple to implement, as all you need is a relatively simple filter list, like the one you just mentioned, to screen out that which might affect you negatively. For those reasons and more, it’s probably the most popular method of protecting the mind. This is true not only of Christians, but also Muslims, and even atheists who feel a need to protect their mind from perceived harm….

Moreover, aggressive filtering of what we see, hear, and read, can go counter to the charge of the text to seek thing true and honest. Movies, music, and books stripped of sin certainly don’t reflect reality. Instead they’re a fantasy world, and often not a Christian one at all. And such filters would do away with large sections of the Bible as well, with its violence, adultery, pre-marital sex, lying, cheating, stealing, pride… (read full post)

The Velveteen Rabbit

If you are in the Nashville area this weekend, the Nashville Ballet Company is premiering a new ballet written by Nashville composer, arranger, and orchestrator Don Hart and choreographed by Paul Vasterling.

The ballet, based on the classic children’s story by Margery Williams, originally was supposed to have about 30 minutes of music, but by the time it was finished included more than twice that amount. The Nashville Symphony is performing the score, with Paul Gambill conducting.

Concerning the working process, Don related the following to nashvillecitypaper.com:

“We’ve moved it from England to the South, and I’ve utilized some things to reflect the period (early ‘20s),” Hart said. “There are some jazz and 20th century classical things, and it reflects the influences of composers like Gershwin, Ravel and Stravinsky. The story goes through some fantasy elements and it’s been done to be more of a family piece, rather than just a children’s story.”

Hart added that he’d been working on the piece about a year and a half, and that there were some alterations and adjustments that had to be made in order to make it compatible for dancers.

I have had the chance to attend rehearsals of the dancers and the orchestra, as well as the dress rehearsal, and can attest to its excellence and appeal. Don and Paul have done a wonderful job of transferring the story from book to stage and music. I’m looking forward to hearing the suites Don is planning on arranging of this music.

Coke Blak

Coke Blak, the newest offering from Coke which mixes coffee and coca cola, made it’s U.S. debut on Monday.

My verdict? I liked it. It has a pretty good balance of the coffee and coke flavors.

The biggest downside? It’s price. At $6.00 for 4 8-ounce bottles, I won’t be buying it very often. I don’t care if it does have coffe in it, I’m not going to pay more for a coke product than I do for Guinness.

Why “Rebelling Against Indifference”?

Why did I name this blog “Rebelling Against Indifference”? Because it is one of the maxims by which I try to live my life.

When I first heard the phrase “rebel against your own indifference” being tossed around about two years ago, it caught my attention. When www.relevantmagazine.com created a t-shirt with that phrase on the front, I immediately bought one.

I did some research to find out where it came from and found it originated (at least in recent memory) with Bono, the lead singer of U2 and a prophet for our generation, who uttered it during the 2001 Commencement address of Harvard University. Here is the relevant part of his speech:

Music was like an alarm clock for me as a teenager and still keeps me from falling asleep in the comfort of my freedom.

Rock music to me is rebel music. But rebelling against what? In the Fifties it was sexual mores and double standards. In the Sixties it was the Vietnam War and racial and social inequality. What are we rebelling against now?

If I am honest, I’m rebelling against my own indifference. I am rebelling against the idea that the world is the way the world is and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it. So I’m trying to do a damned thing.

So why did I name my blog “Rebelling Against Indifference”? Because I want to be someone who gives a damn. I want to live every day remembering I can change things, I don’t have to sit back and watch the world go by. I can help address social concerns, such as hunger and disease and lack of clean water. I can continue to grow in every area of my life; I don’t have to grow complacent. I don’t have to let my spiritual life become stagnant but can continue to seek the truth, can “hunger and thirst after righteousness”.

What about you? If you were asked to state the philosophies by which you live your life, what would you say?

New Blog

Welcome to my new blog, Rebelling Against Indifference.

Thanks for taking the time to read it. I hope you are given much to think about, are entertained, are educated, are challenged. I’ll write about all the things you’re not supposed to talk about, like religion and politics. Most of the posts will probably be about art (of all kinds), books, and theology, and how they affect and are applied to our everyday lives.

Join me as we strive to rebel against our indifference, both individually and collectively.

Quote of the week:

“In spite of these questions and issues [about the nature of art], I end up with the unshakable conviction that art truly exists, that a large portion of it is transcendently significant and that I need to partake of it regularly, to let it magnify and refine what I see minutely and coarsely and to challenge me to do everything as beautifully as I can.”
Dr. Harold Best – Unceasing Worship