Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Booming Pentecostalism

Okay, this is a partial interview (unless you have a membership to Books & Culture), but it's still pretty cool, from Donald E. Miller, Firestone Professor of Religion at USC:

". . . (I was) wanting to try to explain why Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religious movement in the world. That was based on what I felt were extremely authentic individuals that we were encountering—not just clergy, but hundreds of lay persons as well. And seeing how the lives of individuals were being transformed, not just religiously, but economically, physically. I think that one thing that continually impressed me was the vision of Pentecostals—and that they were often able to go against all odds to realize these visions. To see that this was not hype; these were people who were putting their own lives on the line, who were getting their hands dirty in the slums of Cairo or in the townships of South Africa."

It also provides a cool link to the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

Monday, March 29, 2010

They found the face of Christ!

Anyone familiar with Catholicism knows that there are articles of clothing floating around in various places claiming to be from a certain event in Christ's life. The most famous of which is the Shroud of Turin which allegedly was the shroud used to cover Jesus' face as he lay in the tomb for 3 days (pictured). Anyways on the Shroud is the face of a very distinguishable face....

Most think the shroud is a 14th century creation (such inventions were quite common then)...

However, one man is saying the Shroud is authentic. And he set about the task to find out exactly what Jesus looked like using the imprint on the Shroud to recreate a 3-d representation of Jesus. And this brings us to a two hour special on the History channel tomorrow night where we finally get to see exactly what Jesus looked like (oh the tension, I cannot wait!).

Of course I care not much for the show itself, but rather to see the academic reaction to the piece. If you remember, the last time something like this came out, it was James Cameron revealing that they found the tomb of Jesus buried with his family on the Discovery Channel back in 2007. The science and honesty behind the documentary was so bad that the Discovery channel refused to show it again amidst sharp, but well deserved critics of academia.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sign O' The Times

So NPR is changing the terms of abortion. Says the memo at LA Fishbowl:

"On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion", but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights"."

I don't see anything especially sinister in this change, as "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice" are hardly opposites, though certainly accurate.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Got a Fivver?

Seen this hot new site, where anyone can offer their services to anyone else for $5?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We've got an eating problem and the Last Supper is paying for it...

In the today's link of the day, we see a fascinating article based on some research that demonstrates that over the course of the past millennium, that paintings of the Last Supper demonstrate that the portions of food painted have increased in size over time.

The running hypothesis is that the paintings of increased portions reflect the culture surrounding the painter and thus larger portions in Last Supper paintings reflect larger portions of food in the day of the painter.

In the 52 paintings scrutinized, the researchers says the size of the portions of food grew by 2/3 over time.

J.T. Pugh Passing

Rev. J. T. Pugh, honorary member of the General Board of the United Pentecostal Church International, passed away early this morning. Brother Pugh was born in 1923 pastored in Odessa, Texas, but served in many positions throughout the UPCI.

Further details will be made available at the First UPC of Odessa website. Please pray for the family and the church during this time of loss

Sis. Bessie Pugh died within 36 hours or so of her husband, making this write-up all the more beautiful.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Can Pentecostals Be Introverts?

So it's satisfying to see so many Pentecostal Introverts voicing their thoughts on how Pentecostal services do and don't meet their needs.

The Atlantic Monthly, long before it became just another left-leaning political mag, offered a great (and quite popular) article on introverts here, as well as a related interview and follow-up article.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Madness!

Join our March Madness matrix! Says our Sports blog, Momo's Musings:

I have setup a league to play March Mania. You can sign up and pick against me:) Not bragging but I am pretty good. Here is the link. (or try this one if that one is overloaded!)

Marchin On is league name

sports is the password

We might even have some prizes if a non-staffer wins!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pentecost: Only Extroverts Need Apply?

Just like we assume every Pentecostal loves to sing fast-paced songs for 25 minutes every service, do we also assume every Pentecostal should be extroverted once they're Holy Ghost-filled?

A book review of Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh in the January issue of Christianity Today shares some salient thoughts:

For instance:

"... introverts are energized by solitude and drained by social interaction. (Extroverts, on the other hand, derive energy from external sources and find both inactivity and too much solitude draining.) Second, introverts tend to filter information and experiences internally; thinking generally precedes speaking. Third, introverts prefer depth over breadth in both relationships and interests. They may look calm on the surface, but their brains are "bubbling with activity"; thus, they require less external stimulation than their extroverted neighbors."

On involvement, extroverts often make a straight-line commitment. Not Introverts:

"The journey of introverts into a community, however, is better conceptualized as a spiral. They take steps into a community, but then spiral out of it in order to regain energy, to reflect on their experiences and to determine if they are comfortable in that community. They move between entry, retreat and reentry, gradually moving deeper into the community on each loop. The introverted path into community, much to the confusion of many extroverts, never reaches a point in which the spiraling form is shed."

So are we a religion for extroverts, by extroverts, and to extroverts, or do our services allow for the full care and feeding of introverts as well? Do we even think about it?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Bible is True: Case 6,496

AOL tells us:

“An Israeli archaeologist said Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era.”

I remember reading a Christianity Today article that King David wasn’t proven by archaeological evidence until 1994. That shocked me at the time. Still, the more evidence they find, the more it points to the Holy Bible being an honest account of life, muddling the counter-arguments from the “Bible as myth” school that always seems to get the media attention.

When I'm President . . .

. . . Daily Savings Time will be split into 15 minute increments over 4 weeks.

This losing an hour of sleep on a busy weekend is wrong!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness!

So, per usual, 90&9 will be sponsoring a college hoops bracket.

Says our Sports blog, Momo's Musings:

I have setup a league to play March Mania. You can sign up and pick against me:) Not bragging but I am pretty good. Here is the link.

Marchin On is league name

sports is the password

We've been doing this for most of our 10+ years. Join up & maybe we'll rustle up some prizes for the winners! Don't miss it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Praying for Obama....

Alright, Just go to this link where we find that there is a miniature movement amongst southern baptists to pray Psalms 109:8 in regards to our president:

May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
 Yeah, I am speechless. I would think some of us have more common sense by now than to find such prayers "justified" but as per usual, I am wrong.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Glenn Beck Hates Jesus (that was slight hyperbole)

Last week, I briefly discussed a very liberal anti-Christian stance by Elton John wherein he called Jesus gay.

Well now, let's go to the other side of the spectrum where conservative Fox News pundit, Glenn Beck is warring against a call for "social justice" that is preached about in church.  He says, 
I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!
The idea goes that Glenn Beck thinks social justice is wrong to preach about in churches because the Nazi's and communists both used such a term to further their agendas. Of course it is completely horrifying to imagine that a term or a concept by outlawed because it was wrongly applied in history's past.

And as for social justice in the church, I really do not understand how it's not preached more. Matthew 25 and the story of the Good Samaritan seem pretty self-explanatory on who exactly our neighbors are and with that, our obligation to help them out.

I am always left befuddled when I hear apostolics argue against the necessity of giving to the poor and making your presence felt economically and spiritually in your area.

Jim Wallis is calling for Christians to ban Glenn Beck in response to his statements against "social justice" in churches.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Bernard Installation Tonight

We'll be snapping pix and taking notes at the David K. Bernard Installation tonight in St. Louis.

Live streaming here.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

U.S. Culture Keeps Young Men Immature

Or is the headline: 20something Men Choose Immaruity over Responsibility?

George Will tells us:

"In 1956, the median age of men marrying was 22.5. But between 1980 and 2004, the percentage of men reaching age 40 without marrying increased from 6 to 16.5. A recent study found that 55 percent of men 18 to 24 are living in their parents' homes, as are 13 percent of men 25 to 34, compared to 8 percent of women."

Forgive me for sounding harsh, but it seems no different in the ranks of Pentecost: 20something males who want the cachet of a college degree but still want to act like high schoolers. Instead of using their abundance of time and energy in a ministry that matters, it's lost on all manners of frivolity. (Not sin, frivolity.) Yes, that's a generalization, but it's grounded in a few too many examples to be inaccurate.

Sign of the Apocalypse #1,930: Exorcism of Trees.

Your link is here, but the article is short, so i'll paste it here:
"A man who believes trees contain evil woodland spirits has been arrested after attacking 100 trees near the Eiffel tower.
Police say the 38-year-old was spotted by gardeners at 4.30am hammering nails into the branches and painting the trunks of the trees.
Once they convinced him to climb down from a large chestnut tree on the Champs de Mars, he explained his action to them.
He said the nail and paint attack was the only way to rid the trees of the "demon forces" contained within."
I just want to know what the Eiffel tower ever did to this guy. It becomes a fun world when you can begin to blame physical objects such as trees as a source of the demoniac. Plato would be proud.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Yes, in the latest sign of the apocalypse from the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In a bookstore near you. (More on reimagined classics at USA Today - Little Women and Werewolves anyone?)

E-Bibles Thrive as Apps!

Fascinating article on how the cutting edge in ebooks right now are e-Bibles! The Boston Phoenix tell us:

“It is somewhat ironic that religious Christians, whose most politically aggressive, evangelical factions are vociferously anti-science, are spurring this evolution. Equally humorous is that the industry that has traditionally driven technological advancements — from luring consumers away from Betamax to VHS, to developing interactive DVDs that utilize the full-functionality of digital home cinema — has been pornography. This time around, though, Christians are the torchbearers, and so it is thus: when it comes to e-Books and the digital revolution, they shall be led by holy warriors.”

This is yet another example that the secular world will (almost) always recognize excellence, be it religious or not. If you accept that as true, then the hard question we need to ask ourselves is why our artistic and spiritual efforts aren’t recognized more by a world hungry for beauty and excellence.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bernard Installation

Bro. David Bernard will be installed as the UPCI's General Superintendent this Friday night at 7 p.m.

Special speakers will include Rodney Shaw, Darrell Johns, Ken Gurley, Elton Bernard and the new General Superintendent himself.

From the look of things, it will be a simpler service than Bro. Kenneth Haney's installation 8 years ago.

Naturally, we will be on hand with pictures and commentary, but you can also see the service streamed live here.