Saturday, August 20, 2011


Comic Art


With more incarnations and more "civilians" alter egos that Carter has pills (does anyone get that reference anymore?) Clayface has to be one of the most confusing villains in the Batman pantheon. A pile of mud with eyes comes at you and the first question you have to ask is not "How do I beat this?" but instead is "Which pile of mud with eyes is this?" The images here are mostly of the Preston Payne version of the character becasue, I think he looks the coolest with that goofy helmet and all.

What I would really love to know is if this excuse for a character was in Stan Le's mind when he came up with the ides for Sandman to face Spidey - the ideas are too similar to miss.

Clayface is one of the few villains where I think that idiot 60's Batman TV show got it right. Played by Cliff Robertson he was not the walking bog of the comics, but a master of disguise - as close as possible to a non-powered shape shifter. The producers undoubtedly made the choice to do that for budgetary purposes, but it made things a bit more interesting. I mean come on, to track the mudball down all you have to do is follow the muddy footprints.

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Friday, August 19, 2011


Setting Not Following

This is the post Blogger ate - I hope I can rewrite it as well as I did the first time.

Carl Trueman writes of trendiness:
A student recently asked why I hate trendiness so much. From my taste in music to my choice of shoes, I go for what I regard as the timeless (classic rock and brogues) rather than the contemporary (i.e. anything recorded or designed since about 1985).

I answered that we live a large part of our lives before the age of 25. By then, tastes are fixed. Further, the Lord has delivered me from the need to dress like a scruffy dropout, talking in embarrassingly fake street jargon to pretend that I can still connect with `the youth.’ I am, after all, an Orthodox Presbyterian minister. It is hard to imagine a less trendy or more culturally inept calling. Plus, anyone who has heard any rock music produced in the last twenty years knows what an utter insult it generally is to the genre.
He then goes on to write about the fact that there is concern that the current resurgence in interest in reformed theology is about a fad and not serious depth. He lists characteristics of what would be "real" interest. I think the term "real" is the key. The implication is that if we are following a fad, even if the fad is about something good and true, then we are not really following or interested in the underlying thing.

Which leads me to "trends" in evangelism and worship style. Do they lead to genuine commitment to Christ? They certainly lead to exposure to Christ, but do they lead to discipleship?

This I know, they cannot unless there is more to it than just those trends. IS there study, are their mentors, is there accountability? Those things are good as far as they go, but without the WHOLE church - sacrament, study, discipleship - they are just another fad.

Jesus Christ is not a fad. I don;t know many people that have died to start fads, let alone be resurrected.

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Friday Humor

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Thursday, August 18, 2011



I write on a Monday after attending a "contemporary" worship service on Sunday due to circumstances not normally at play. A couple of thoughts sprung from that experience.

The first is that given the lack of anything in such a service that is not "me centered," save perhaps for the sermon - such service put an extraordinary burden on the preacher. I wonder how many preacher anxious to change worship style to improve attendance think about that?

The second thought springs from this post by Mark Daniels:
God loves every member of the human race and wants to have an everlasting relationship with each of us.

But God will not force Himself on us.

God leaves us free to choose whether we'll take Him up on the new life He offers in Jesus Christ.

He leaves us free to choose other gods.

The fact is that, in this lifetime, when the sin in and around us keeps dogging us, we never get over being tempted to allow our particular "gods of choice" hold sway over our decision-making, priorities, and living. This is why it's so important to keep reading God's Word, praying, worshiping each week with a church family, receiving Christ's body and blood, and listening to the counsel of seasoned Christian friends. These are means by which God, among other things, will set off alarm bells in the consciences and minds of those who really seek Him alerting them to the ways in which they're wandering from God and life.
When we worship in a fashion that is pleasing to us, is this function of worship fulfilled? If worship is going to confront us with our choice should it not make us uncomfortable somehow? Should it not stretch us to learn new things?

Some would say that such is exactly what contemporary worship does to an old fuddy-duddy like me. There is a grain of truth there - and I have been so challenged in a few such services, but it seems to be the exception, not the rule. But it does seem like there is always something new to be found in the old worship forms that I am more comfortable with - if for no other reason that the older liturgical types of worship were designed asking the question "How best to worship God," not "How best to fill the pews."

Formality requires attention to things other than our own comfort.

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


What Shouldn't A Pastor Do?

Brian Croft @ 9Marks Blog:
Should a pastor preach or clean toilets?

Preach, of course. At least, that is how I would have answered almost 8 years ago when I first came to my current church. The problem was there was so much more to do than just preach and no one to do it.
He goes on to make two expanded points. His bullets:

On his second point I could not agree more. All of us are called to serve the church, and while we may be gifted in some areas and not others, we may even be called to some things and not others, it is the attitude of service that matters most. One cannot have an attitude of service unless one actually serves when it is necessary - and yes that may on occasion mean cleaning toilets.

I can recall a time when I had to excuse myself from worship to take care of some necessary business and the receptacle of that business overflowed. The janitor was in service - it would have been rude to disturb him. I knew where the mop bucket was....

On this first point; however, I disagree completely. All task are God's responsibility and his tools are the congregation. It's not the pastors church. Croft's point is a practical one, and I understand it, but there is no better teacher than stuff going undone. If a congregation wants something to happen they will make it happen - it is not the pastor's job to force it.

In my experience, pastor's that bend to the "pressure" to be responsible for everything do so not out of an attitude of service, but self-preservation - to keep their salary's flowing. I am not sure that is leadership at all. Leadership makes others capaable.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Right About That

Godspace quotes:
It comes as a jolt to some folks, but it is true. You do not need to go to seminary to follow Jesus, to draw close to Him.
Put that starkly, I really truly begin to think that we need "lay leadership" in the church more than we may ever know. People seem "peak" in spiritual development at the point where they are not ready to go into "professional ministry." That's because the mentors and leaders have followed that path.

What if we held people up - put people in front who followed a different path. Not just ordained staff, but serious Christians doing life seriously? You can't lead someone somewhere you have not been.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, August 15, 2011


Where You Going?

So, by the time this posts, I have no idea if anyone will still be talking about Rob Bell, Joe Carter wins the "best response line" award:
By the time I was ten years and three days old I had forever given up being a coffee drinker. Surprisingly, though I had developed a talent for watering down and sugarcoating the bitter, I never became a hip, young evangelical pastor.

Evangelicals may not have been the first Christians to dilute doctrine to make it palatable—but we’ve refined it into a fine art.
Now, you may be wondering why I have not joined the fray until this late time. simple - all that buzz, all that discussion, all that free advertising gave Rob Bell exactly what he was after - attention.

And with that - enough said.

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