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Out of the Closet June 26, 2007

Posted by Matt in Matt, Meme.
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Tagged by Rob, this meme comes from Ben Myers’ wonderful blog, Faith and Theology.

For this meme, we are to make our theological confessions. So here we go…

I confess that I simply cannot stand Christian music and really wish that every Christian would learn to read music and sing in 4 part harmony .

I confess that I still do not understand what the big deal with Barth is, other than he wrote long dense books that lots of people talk about.

I confess that even if I had the Eucharist every day that I still wouldn’t think that I was observing it enough.

I confess that I call myself “emergent”, but seriously doubt that it really means anything at all.

I confess that I think that the proper Christian response to politics is simply to withdraw from such practices.

I confess that I don’t fully buy N.T. Wright’s version of the New Perspective, but am eternally grateful for him for allowing me to move past my own upbringng.

I confess that I think that mission is essential to the Christian experience, but my current mission is to do paper work.

I confess that I’ve read the catholic epistles once and have never read a single book or commentary on any of them.

I confess that if my Bible contained just the gospels I wouldn’t be all that upset.

And those are my theological confessions, more if I bother to think of them… :-)

The Mini MEme September 25, 2006

Posted by Matt in Matt, Meme.
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This meme comes courtesy of Roberto of New Perspective fame… Though I must admit that I originally saw it on Nothing New Under The Sun, a simply superb theo-blog.

Anywho, onward to the actual meme:
Name a piece of Art that you love.

The Godfather

My pick would have to The Godfather, the film directed by Francis Ford Coppola based on the novel by Mario Puzo. Simply a masterpiece of American Cinema, this is a film that simply takes its own time to tell the story that it desires to tell. Add that with the fact that it happens to be one of the most manly films ever. How could you possibly go wrong? (*cough* GF3)

A Line of a Song or Line of Poetry that Reaches Your Core

[…]
Isn’t it love
This rain that falls on the sinner and the saint
Isn’t it love
This well that won’t run dry
Isn’t it love
These mercies are made new every morning […]

Isn’t it love to look down from the sky
And see your only son on the cross asking why
And somehow let him die that way
And not call the whole thing off

All for a man here in Kalamazoo
Who loses his bags and his way sometimes, too
But that was something that you already knew
And still you died for me

From Andrew Peterson‘s Isn’t It Love, originally from his Clear to Venus album, but most recently (and the best cut I think) from his Appendix A. You have my permission to buy every record Andy has ever made and any ones he will release into the future. In fact, buy several and pass them around to your friends.

An Experience in Nature that was really special and/or Spiritual

Not that I am one to “commune with Nature” all that much… However, I would have to say that there is the place in the North Carolina mountains called Sterchi Lodge that I can’t help but have a spiritual connection with. I’ve traveled there for several retreats, all of which were memorable for one reason or another.

Lake Junaluska might become a close second some day if I ever get to spend enough time there doing something other than business.

The Movie(s) that Changed the Way You Saw the World

I’m going to cheat and throw two films up here. I feel justified since they are related.

Most recently, I would have to say Hotel Rwanda. This film is about Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan native who managed a hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. Paul was instrumental in allowing over 1200 refugees flee the genocide that gripped Rwanda at the time. This film solidified my resolve to help the people of Africa (and the rest of the world) in any way that I could. One cannot walk away from this film without being affected to change. Psst… Surely Amnesty International is not the only folks that have caught the modern day parallel (Darfur).

Relatedly, I will select Schindler’s List, a film about Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who ran ceramics factory in Poland and the modern Czech Republic. Schindler was instrumental in allowing over 1200 Jews escape the genocide that gripped Europe at the time. I must admit that I wasn’t old enough to fully appreciate this film the first time I saw it. It is one of the few films that I spend the last half crying through. It introduced me to the notion that film could impact the way that I saw the world. I suppose that is a touch “meta” to the meme’s question… :-)

A Piece of Music that Makes You Cry

As much as I love music (both to listen and perform), I have never cried at a musical performance or recording. However, I always get a good kick in the gut when the church sings Amazing Grace. I sang four verses from Amazing Grace at my maternal grandfather’s funeral. I can’t say that I ever cared much for the man, but in my mind that is forever where Amazing Grace will be found, at the graveside of my mother’s father.

This concludeth the meme. If you are reading this line, consider yourself tagged to complete this meme at your blog or place of posting residence (*cough* TWebbers). Just remember to drop a trackback or comment with a link.

Seven Songs August 6, 2006

Posted by Matt in Matt, Meme.
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Woohoo, another meme… This one comes once again from Rob.

So, seven songs that I am enjoying right now…
1) Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 by Chopin (for quiet reflection)
2) Flesh and Blood by Andrew Peterson (Song about the Eucharist)
3) Fair Phyllis, a English madrigal, performed by The King’s Singers (I love to sing)
4) Carolina by Andrew Peterson (Song about Carolina and relevant just now)
5) Piano Man by Billy Joel (Long story, Jellyrolls)
6) Mohawks on the Scaffold by Andrew Peterson (Song about Church and “not getting it”)
7) Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright (just a great song)

And there you have it, seven songs that I am enjoying right now. If you are reading this and have a blog, consider yourself tagged.

Yours,
Matt

The One Book Meme July 27, 2006

Posted by Matt in Matt, Meme.
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Rob of the New Perspective on Robb fame recently tagged me to complete another fun little meme…

1. One Book that changed your life:
Popular response it seems, but I would have to say N.T. Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God. Not so much for any specific content of the book, but just the way that it affected the way that I view Jesus, the Gospels and the Kingdom of God.

2. One Book that you have read more than once:
Easy… The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis. I’ve read the entire series several times and recommend it to everyone.

3. One Book you’d want on a desert island:
Hrmn… Tough one… But I think I would take Dune by Frank Herbert. I can keep reading that book and get new things out of it every time that I do so.

4. One Book that made you laugh:
The book that has made me laugh the most would probably be Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. If you’ve read it, you understand. If not, you should… ;-)

5. One Book that made me cry:
A repeat… The Lion, The Witch, and The Waredrobe. If you can make it through the Stone Table scene without breaking down, I’m not sure that you are human.

6. One Book that you wish had been written:
An Open Letter to Matt Lemieux by Jesus of Nazareth. The Church in the Kingdom, or ‘Getting’ Church by any theologian prior to this century.

7. One Book that you wish had never been written:
Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer. If there is one book (which, I’ve not even read all of) that challenges me than any other, it is this one. I think that my life would have been much simpler and more complacent if I had never heard of Bonhoffer. That being said, everyone MUST go read this book… ;-)

8. One Book that you are currently reading:
The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLearen.

9. One Book that you have been meaning to read:
Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon

10. Tag 5 other people:
Well, you see, I’m new to this whole blogosphere, so for the time being this is a dead-end, but eventually I hope that it is not… :-)

Yours,
Matt