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July 06, 2009

Stop the Tweets!

Twitter A few weeks ago I blogged about the perils of Twitter. Nice to know that there are at least 18 possible arguments against microblogging from moral philosophy.

Take a look and have a laugh. 

July 02, 2009

When Python met Spock

I was saving this for a fun Friday video, but we have tomorrow off, so it can be a fun Thursday video instead. (But do stop back in tomorrow morning for a couple of Independence Day posts.) Enjoy!

H/T Roger Overton

For our fellow hymn-lovers

250px-'A'_(PSF) The following was printed in my choir bulletin last night. I thought you all would appreciate it.

THANK YOU to our men vocalists and brass players for their inspiring presentation of the great hymns, including "Immortal, Invisible" last Sunday, June 28. The following are additional verses to [the] same tune.

Immoral, impossible, God only knows
How tenors and basses, sopranos, altos
At service on Sunday are rarely the same
As those who on Wednesday to choir practice came.

Unready, unable to sight-read the notes,
Nor counting, nor blending, they tighten their throats:
The descant so piercing is soaring above
A melody only a mother could love.

They have a director, but one wonders why:
No one in the choir deigns turn him an eye.
It's clear by his flailing, he wants them to look,
But each singer slouches with nose in the book.

Despite the offenses, the music rings out.
The folks in the pews are enraptured, no doubt.
Their faces are blissful, their thoughts appear deep,
But it is no wonder, for they are asleep.

(Author, unknown. We will be accepting equally abusive verses for instrumentalists.)

(Note: If anyone wants to take up that challenge, I'll be happy to pass the results along to our music and worship administrator/newsletter editor, Karen Maxfield.)

June 29, 2009

’Helllllllp me! Hellllllp me!’

300px-CharlesHerbert2 I couldn't help but think, after reading a recent BreakPoint commentary, of another famous fly in American history. You science fiction/horror film buffs know what fly I mean: This one.

For those not familiar with The Fly (spoiler alert), it's about a scientist named Andre who is attempting to perfect a teleportation machine. Convinced that it will work, after experiments teleporting the family cat and a rodent, he decides to teleport himself. Unbeknownst to Andre, a common house fly flies into the cabin. The horrifying result: Both Andre and the fly became hybrids. The scientist has the fly's head, arm/claw, and leg, while the fly has a human head (although, bizarrely, both the scientist and the fly appear to have at least a portion of the scientist's brains).

In the end, the scientist asks his wife to help him commit suicide, which she does. But  what about the hybrid fly? The scientist's brother, Francois, and Inspector Charas, who is investigating Andre's death, are out in the garden. As Wikipedia puts it, they "hear a tiny voice coming from a nearby spider's web. They make the dreadful discovery of a tiny creature with Andre's emaciated head and arm with the body of a fly, screaming 'Help me! Help me!' as it is about to be devoured by a large spider. The inspector, horrified by the sight, mercifully crushes the prey and the predator with a stone, putting the fly out of its misery."

Francois (played by Vincent Price) tells the inspector that he is as guilty of murder as Andre's wife, who helped Andre commit suicide. Both of them killed a human being.

The same argument cannot be made for Obama's fly, who was....just a fly, destined to die within 20-30 days, anyway. Absolutely no moral equivalence with humans. I'm glad Obama killed it--flies carry germs.

(Image © 20th Century Fox)

Amish crime suspense parody

I think Mary DeMuth may have invented a new subgenre.

June 22, 2009


That's one way to get 'em to church.

(via Dave Barry)

June 19, 2009

Daily roundup

June 18, 2009

Daily roundup

President Obama Thwarts a Terrorist Attack

President Obama thwarted the attack while he was conducting an interview on CNBC. At first he tried diplomacy by saying, "Get out of here." When that didn't work, he resorted to violence, while the camera was still rolling.

Okay, it really wasn't a terrorist attack, but the way mainstream media is fawning all over the President, you'd think that's what he did.

But not everyone is happy. The PETA folks were in shock. They couldn't believe their admired President had killed a helpless animal. They thought he should have continued his diplomacy effort.

Of course, the Democrats blamed President Bush for introducing the fly into the studio, while Nancy Pelosi, in a hastily called news conference, blamed the CIA for lying to her about whether the fly had any WMDs on it. She also said Americans don't torture flies.*

Despite all of the hoopla, President Obama was quite pleased with himself and said, "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it?"

So look out, Bin Laden. We have a President that will smack you down.

*Not really.

June 17, 2009

Hope Sprouts in Britain

BrusselSprouts_1424514c For months, I've been thinking that not only will the sun finally set on the British Empire, it will set on Britain itself. The country seems to be losing its mind: from the Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that British Muslims be able to live under Sharia Law, to a new law that will force religious organizations--including churches--to hire people who do not share their beliefs.

But now, I see a sprout of hope--and good old common sense. 

(Image © James Fraser for the Telegraph)

June 10, 2009

Daily roundup

Preach it, brother

Jon Acuff recently has had some excellent posts at Stuff Christians Like, poking some gentle but thought-provoking fun at how the church tends to treat singles. Yesterday there was this, under the title "Asking our kids to be a mini Jesus":

A lady I work with once enlightened me, “You just wait until you have kids.” I’m not sure what she thought would magically happen the instant I became a father, but it didn’t (apparently). I know this because at the time she uttered her prophetic words to me, I already had two kids… precisely twice as many as she had. . . .

There’s a million ways to express “Kids = Big Faith.” And if you’re single or childless, there has to be a part of you that thinks, “Fantastic! The missing link in my faith is having a kid. I have zero kids and zero prospects. I’ll just be over here with my small, incomplete faith. Awesome.”

Jon, if you read this -- THANK YOU.

June 05, 2009

Thought for the Day: C.S. Lewis

"I must often be glad that certain past prayers of my own were not granted." -- C.S. Lewis in Christian Reflections

June 01, 2009

Daily roundup

May 28, 2009

Worst car review ever

In_Gear_556559a My friend Mike sent me Jeremy Clarkson's review of the new Honda Insight. I understand the article has been making the rounds lately, so you may have already seen it. For those of you who haven't, it's a must read.

Mike's favorite part was "It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more."

Me, I was rather partial to "The Honda’s petrol engine . . . makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer."

But you have to read the whole thing to get the full (hilarious) effect.

(Image courtesy of the Times Online)

May 22, 2009

Banjo workout

Today's fun Friday video comes courtesy of the Blog Dad, who lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes bluegrass. Maybe it'll serve as inspiration for all of us who need to exercise more.

May 15, 2009

Daily roundup

Quit hiding stuff from Nancy!

Nancy Pelosi House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps insisting that even though she and her aides and associates were briefed on CIA interrogation techniques, she wasn't fully aware of what was going on. Most uninformative briefings those must have been.

This raises the question: What else hasn't the Speaker been told?

(Image © Lauren Victoria Burke for the AP)

May 11, 2009

A new era of civility?

Sykes So much for that idea.

(Image © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

May 08, 2009

’Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ was right

Commas make all the difference.

I’ll just stay down, thanks

Up Here's a fun Friday video: Lileks demonstrates exactly how yours truly feels about heights.

Well, not exactly. I wouldn't have made it six or eight feet off the ground. Heck, I wouldn't have made it within twenty feet of the chair.

(Image courtesy of James Lileks)

May 07, 2009

Barnyard reign of terror halted

Animal farm . . . and other unexpected results of the swine flu.

(Image courtesy of WORD)

May 06, 2009

No comment


(Image © Brian Crane)

May 01, 2009

This should be a comfort

Click here to find out if you have swine flu.

(Courtesy of Dave Barry)

April 30, 2009

Daily roundup

April 29, 2009

Biblical Smacktalk

Joakim Noah You know, you really can find everything in the Bible, including some good examples of smacktalk. I think I'm going to use this the next time I want to intimidate someone in a good game of Settlers of Catan. (Lori, this needs to be your quiet time as you work on your smacktalk skills; you know I'm talking to you. Don't bring me anymore of the Pride and Prejudice trash talk next time you come to my house; "no compliments to your mother" is not the same thing as saying "your momma's so old she still owes Moses a dollar.")

But seriously, or at least somewhat seriously, I was just thinking today that I need a little more swag. The thought popped up rather suprisingly as I was reading about one of the Gators I liked watching most, and how his college antics are playing out now that he's playing for the Bulls in the NBA. Apparently, while I love to love Joakim Noah, other people love to hate him. Noah doesn't let it bother him; he thrives on the jeers. In fact, Greenburg tells us that the seersucker-wearing, 6-foot-11 center with the hair that just won't quit is pretty comfortable in his skin. And that's where the swagger comes in. It's game-play.

It's sort of shocking really to find that boasting has a place in the Bible. I don't expect it there. But when I do a search I discover that while most kinds of boasting are bad, there are a few kinds that get a holy high five. Here's the low-down on the swag that's legit:

1) When behemoth Philistines insist on dissing your God, it's okay to holler back. Come prepared with a slingshot, though.

2)  When you know your Dad really can beat up their dad, but that He chooses to show justice, kindness, and righteousness instead.

3) When your homeskillet gets it right, it's okay to boast on the day of the Lord.

Now, I need to get back to my hoop shot. As one king said (at least in my translation), it's one thing to boast when you're putting on the jersey, it's another thing when you're taking it off.

(Image © Kathy Willens for the AP)

Prayer isn’t a crime

But it might look like one

A motorist passing by a dilapidated Lowcountry business mistook three people walking about with their hands raised in the air for victims of a robbery in progress.

With their hands held high in prayer, Love House Ministries Pastor Randy Roberts and The Parish Church of St. Helena (Episcopal) lay prayer members Roz Dixon and Karen Kusko — all wearing business attire — were walking outside a run-down building they hope to turn into a respite. The group was praying that God would deliver the building for their needs.

Five Beaufort County Sheriff's Office vehicles responded in minutes after the call came into dispatch. Cpl. Robin McIntosh said it was reported as an armed robbery.

April 22, 2009

Daily roundup

April 17, 2009

Gift idea

Elementscover For those of you who like to do your Christmas shopping early (what is wrong with you?), here's one you can add to your list for Gina, Catherine, Lori, me and all the other book nerds of your acquaintance.

The Elements of Style, the definitive writing guide by E.B. White and William Strunk Jr., turns 50 on Thursday. To mark the anniversary, its publisher has released an elegantly bound, gold-embossed hardcover edition containing notes about the book's history.

This would be a much better gift than the one suggested by the Dorothy Parker quote at the end of the NPR piece:

"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy."

(Image © Longman)

April 16, 2009

If CNN had been at the Boston Tea Party

Inspired by the following video:

Reporter: Hi, I'm with Colonial News Network. Why are you here tonight, sir?

Colonist: Because I hear the king say that we colonists must pay taxes even without Parliamentary representation. We believe in the right to liberty.

Reporter: Sir, what does liberty have to do with taxes? Do you realize that the king wants to make sure that all his people get the very best tea available?

Colonist: Let me finish. We believe that we should be taxed only by our own representatives and that a government on the other side of the world should not take our money.

Reporter: Wait. Did you know that Massachusetts gets a greater amount of tea than any other colony?

Colonist: I --

Reporter: Well, Prudence, I think you get the general tenor of this. It's anti-royalty, anti-Colonial News Network (since this is highly promoted by the pro-liberty Thomas Paine Network), and clearly intended to mock the Indians as well. As this blatant tea-tossing is not really family viewing, back to you, Prudence.

April 13, 2009

People who need Peeple

Peeps If you're having as much trouble easing into the post-Easter work week as I am, take a break and enjoy some Peep art. I hope that somewhere, Captain Sullenberger is enjoying all the marshmallowy tributes.

(Image © James M. Thresher for the Washington Post)

April 03, 2009

The Exodus for the twenty-first century

Pharaoh Please stand well back from the computer as you read this. If someone's going to get struck by lightning over it, I'd rather it be me than you guys. (Thanks for the link, Allen!)

April 02, 2009

Daily roundup

March 30, 2009

Twitter and TMI

The Agony and the Ecstasy Continuing the Twitter conversation -- this is priceless:

Imagine the informational misery previous generations were spared because Twitter wasn't around yet.

Michelangelo: "Sistine Chapel ceiling larger than it looks; back is killing me."

Christopher Columbus: "No sign of land yet."

Robert Peary: "Man, it's cold up here."

(Image  © 20th Century Fox)

March 24, 2009

When all else fails...

Spiderman ...dress up like Spider-Man.

(Image © AFP)

March 20, 2009

The Twouble with Twitter

Twitter Gina's video post on Twitter shows a good example of using humor to expose the flaws of mankind -- see also Zoe's article in BreakPoint WorldView Magazine (click here for a free subscription). 

People are jumping on the social media bandwagon in big numbers, and businesses and organizations are discovering it as an effective communication or public relations tool (check out BreakPoint on FaceBook and Twitter). With all its popularity, one can’t still avoid the truth that if uncontrolled, social networking sites can be isolating and addicting -- just as in the video, where many are “randomly bragging about our unexceptional lives… and have become reliant on this constant state of self-affirmation.” Or in Biblical terms, committing idolatry.

Genius book titles

Mister Ego It's been a pretty good week for these. First there was Mister Ego and the Bubble of Love (thanks, again, to Bookshelves of Doom for that one). I don't even begin to know what to make of that. Then there was Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul, which wins the award in the subcategory of Genius Subtitle.

Anyone got any more?

(Image © Namaste Publishing)

March 19, 2009

Daily roundup

In the land of the twits

Despite the fact that BreakPoint has its own Twitter (Twitterpage? Twitterspot? Twitterspace?), this video from BoingBoing is too funny not to post. (Contains profanity.)

March 17, 2009

Daily roundup

March 16, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Go to Church

Church1914 Bill Shuler, the pastor of the Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia, posted the following on the Fox Forum:

1. It’s a way to get a healthy glow without makeup.

2. Elvis started out in a church choir … so can you.

3. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the rest of your life–which are better than the IRS or FBI.

4. In this economy, it might be good to be hooked up with Someone who can turn water into wine. . . .

Read the rest here!

(Image © FourthChurch.org)

March 11, 2009

I’m a Loner, Dottie. A Rebel.

As many claims as there are of how "dirty" and "mean-spirited" presidential campaigns have become, I beg to differ, based upon one photo alone. The fact that I have never before been made aware of this photo of now-President Obama riding the X-1 is proof-positive that, however "nasty" political campaigns may have been in the past, they have quite clearly become downright genteel.

March 10, 2009

Daily roundup


EquationsYou math geniuses thought I was just being a ditz when I talked about expressing ideas in equations. Now look -- they've built a whole contest around it!

I think some of our Pointificators ought to try for this. If you get one published, maybe we'll throw in a prize of our own.

(Image © Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

March 09, 2009

How Violent Video Games Prepare Our Children for Armageddon

My college-age son sent me this funny Onion "news" report, possibly because I'm frequently on his case about playing violent video games. Something to make you laugh on a Monday....

(Note: Page contains some profanity and sexually themed content.)

February 27, 2009

Daily roundup

February 25, 2009


Temp_gavin In these days of officials committing ethical violations left and right, you gotta love a headline that reads, "[San Francisco's] Mayor Caught with Bottled Water!"

Lileks handles the non-story nicely:

This sums up with exquisite precision the people we elect to guide our institutions: 

Fix on something small and symbolic, and demonize it;

Propose a response that does little to address the fundamental problem;

Forbid the thing to others;

Reserve its use for yourself;

Adopt a penitent tone when caught which underscores the hypocrisy and makes you look like a dweeb for apologizing for something which, while petty, you have infused with moral failings. 

(Image © Newsom for California)

February 24, 2009

This explains a lot


(Image © Scott Adams, Inc.)

February 20, 2009

BreakPoint Worldview Magazine: Against the Flow

Ocean_river Growing up near the ocean, I learned early on about currents, the kind that can pull a child under and leave her choking on a mouthful of salt water. A childhood friend of mine misunderstood her parents once when they warned her about the undertow. She heard “under toad.” And the explanation of something which can pull you under and drag you off course fit her mental picture of a large underwater toad grabbing at her ankles. It frightened her from enjoying the ocean for years to come. Later on, when she realized her mistake, we used to laugh about the evil “under toad.” And though her mental picture changed, she never underestimated its strength.

When I got to college, one of my mentors used to often talk about Christian discipleship in terms of currents in a river. He would say that you learn quickly that staying still is actually moving backward. The only way to move against the flow is to paddle hard.

This month’s issue of BreakPoint Worldview Magazine reminds me just how much we need to paddle hard to live in alignment with God’s ways. Thankfully, we don’t paddle in our own strength. The Holy Spirit empowers us in this difficult counter-cultural journey. But paddle we must.

Continue reading "BreakPoint Worldview Magazine: Against the Flow" »

February 19, 2009

Bloggers Anonymous

Fess up, Allen -- you're moonlighting as a comic strip artist named Wiley, aren't you?