Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flash Back to Back to the Future 2

Nike files patent for auto-lacing shoes.

"Hello? McFly?"

This is why I love sci-fi.

And io9 has as an excellent write up about Star Trek and the iPad.

Wall Graphics

Great collection of decals at Blik.

Anyone ever tried something like this?

Seems like a relatively cheap and easy way to spice up an apartment/rental.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"We are nothing short of idiots for getting rid of hymnals"

"...and I choose that word carefully. Who in the world decided that we would throw out two thousands years of worship because it didn’t fit in with our current plan to sound like the secular music of the last 40 years? Good grief, what a demolition job this has been. I know a lot of young people “like” the new music, but we have a responsibility to those who came before us, not to prefer or like what they did as much as they did, but to use it with respect and honor for the value that is in it. Handing the entire musical and lyrical heritage of two millenia of Christianity over to a “worship leader” to be eradicated in favor of contemporary music only is insane."
-Michael Spencer

Strong words that give us good reason to pause. If this strikes a chord with you, I recommend reading this article on not misunderstanding the Ancient-Future path.

Here's the first hymn I came across for your reflection.

A Debtor to Mercy Alone

As debtors to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy we sing;
Nor fear, with Christ’s righteousness on,
Our persons and off’rings to bring:
The terrors of Law and of God
With us can have nothing to do;
The Saviour’s obedience and blood
Hide all our transgressions from view.

The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete:
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet:
Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below nor above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo,
Or sever our souls from His love.

Our names from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase:
Impressed on His heart they remain
In marks of indelible grace:
And we to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The souls of the blessed in heaven.

• Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Two Years at Barberry

Steve Beaven wrote a great article for the Oregonian, capturing a good part of what has been happening at Barberry.

Grab a tissue for the conclusion, and safety gear if you dare to venture into the comments section:
A Christian initiative at a Gresham apartment complex bears fruit
When Steve told me it was going to be front page of the print copy, I thought "front page of the east county metro section". I was floored that the editor liked the article so much to make it FRONT PAGE front page.

My prayer is this article would be glorifying to God through His work in our lives and many would be encouraged and inspired. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Too Easily Pleased (Vid)

One of the more stirring passages from C.S. Lewis' The Weight of Glory set to video.

Thanks for the link Slavic.

You can get a free PDF of the whole sermon here.

I have also been working my way through his essays collected in a book published by the same name. A wealth of thought provoking insight exploding out of this tiny book.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Why Every Calvinist Should Love Inception

And why Arminians should get their own movie.

Inception makes a compelling argument, albeit unsettling for our self determined boot strap pulling culture, for the totally Sovereignty of God. This may seem totally out in left field. But if you can entertain my pet theory for a few moments you may find something of value.

All of this hinges on my home brewed interpretation of the movie. The claim is totally outside of the face value of the movie. You don't have to agree, I don't even know that I do. So here goes nothing.

We all all know Cobb and his team are seeking to perform Inception on Fischer Jr.

But Jr. is a tool. Anyone could perform Inception on him. In fact, I believe Jr is literally a tool. He is the tool being used to accomplish the more important Inception.

My interpretation is Cobb himself is on the receiving end of a intricately orchestrated Inception. Their is an orchestrated master plan (probably Grandpa Cain) seeking to redeem his Cobb who has a fractured view of reality. The fact that this Inception is never blatantly stated to the audience makes it even more compelling in my book. This is Inception at it's best.

It seems fairly clear that Grandpa Cain is the orchestrator of the Inception which all begins with the opening job. The architect and the Japanese business man have staged this premeditated failure and the following proposal for the big job that requires Cobb to perform inception. Grandpa Cain knows this will draw his son to him so that he can plant his hand picked architect to subtly and sometimes blatantly plant the seeds of Inception.

As I said in my review, all of this is for the purpose of Cobb being able to internalize the idea that Mal's death was not his fault and that he needed to let go of the haunting regret filled memories that had him in bondage, preventing him from (literally) facing his children. It's a story of the redemption, and restoration of life to be whole again.

In summary, the movies definition of Inception is simply the act of planting the seeds of an idea that the recipient wholly internalizes and embraces as their own. Another way to understand this is unwittingly walking in a path that is being chosen for you. This is not a stifling process of being robotically programmed. The difference is that through Inception, the recipient is being internally motivated to discovering the path laid out before him.

If the grand orchestrator is unwise, ill-informed, or has malicious intent, then there is reason to seek out this Inception and do everything in your power to defy it. However - and this is where I get all theological - if we trust that God is a present and wise creator that wants what is best for His creation, then Inception is beautifully humbling.

This is why I think Inception is a very appealing portrayal of a completely Sovereign God; a parallel to pre-destination.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:5-12)

Back to Inception - this perspective makes Cobb's story all the more beautiful. If my home brewed interpretation holds any water Cobb is walking in an orchestrated plan for his own good, for liberation from guilt and brokenness and restoration to a whole sense of reality. Yet as we witness this journey it in no way undermines the fullness of his person-hood or even his sense of autonomy. Even more so, I like the idea because it shows Cobb as a strong character, and it is humbling that he is incapable of redeeming his own fractured reality. Far from his own working, his restoration is being worked out by something greater and exterior to himself.

Oh, and the different dream levels and its effect on time - "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Okay, I'll save that for another time...

Again, written while listening to Inception (The Original Soundtrack).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Tolkien Must have Read Revelations

The thought crossed my mind as we read Revelations 1:12-18 at Solid Rock this morning.
"I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
At least I can't help thinking so in Peter Jackson's cinematic interpretation of this scene:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Physical Medium to Deliver Digital Music

Instead of a useless CD case, imagine displaying on your desk or bookshelf 6 or 7 carefully crafted totems that physically represent the sounds and themes of your favorite albums. Each totem contains the code for your digital download.

In regard to Matthew Dear's new album Black City the record label Ghostly explains:

The MDBC (Matthew Dear Black City) Totem is both a sculptural representation of the themes explored in Black City and a symbolic conduit to the music itself. Vaguely reminiscent of one of the soot-blackened skyscrapers that might populate Dear's creeping, nameless city, the stacks upon the totem also call to mind the many shaped prongs of a universal power adaptor. In this sense, the totem is not simply a miniature building, but an abstract key to an unknown door. The branding of the totem has been purposefully reduced to its bare essentials—only the letters MDBC and unique three-digit suffixes are included—so that the totem's meaning remains discernible only to its beholder.

Here's a video of the production of the totem set to a Matthew Dear track:

Matthew Dear - MDBC Totem from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Originally seen on Core77.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Double Rainbow Remix (Vid)

Rivals my all time favorite YouTube auto-tune remix: Slap Chop Remix

I may have been the last person in the world to have seen the original "Double Rainbow" last week, but in case you are the other 1 in 3.65 billion people on earth, watch it first:

And the epic remix:

Monday, August 02, 2010

These 2 Idiots Finally Got Their Hands on 3 Idiots! (Pic)

If you're wondering why we're so excited, I pre-ordered it the same night we watched it back in March. It has since dominated at the Bollywoods Oscars

Look for a Bollywood movie night at our new place soon!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

10 Principles of Good Design by Dieter Rams (Vid)

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long-lasting
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

There's a passing reference in the video to how Jon Ives/Apple has been influenced by Dieter Rams/Braun. See for yourself:

More pictures at Gizmodo