Monday, May 26, 2008

Summa Summa Time

Long time no post. That's because I have been wicked busy up at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. It's located in Andrews, NC (aka the middle of nowhere) and is an amazing place. Each summer, thousands of kids come here with their church groups and are challenged both spiritually and physically. I don't think I have been around people who resemble community and the body of Christ like SWO staff. This summer I work "Puddle Jumping," which is playing in swimming holes in the Nantahala River, and I will also work at the 3-Man swing, which is a swing that swings 3 men. Or women. It's great. I'm also the sound man, which is fun.

I'm missing Chapel Hill, but I am really excited for this season of my life. The teaching here is superb and very honest, and it's fun to not have a real job yet still make money. Plus people here are buying rockstar t-shirts like crazy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hey, are you guys gonna play some cover songs?

So I rocked out one last time with my boys on Saturday at the Wild Wing Cafe in Raleigh. It was great. It was three hours of mostly cover tunes. We played our favorites, including "Don't Forget Me" by the Chili Peppers. (If you haven't heard it, listen to it now. Incredible.) It was probably the 5th song of the night. When we got done, one of the bartenders comes up to me and says, "Hey are you guys gonna play some cover songs?" I looked at him like an idiot, because every song we had played so far was a cover song.

Also there was this guy at the bar who could whistle really, really loud. Like, he would whistle while we were playing and I could hear him. He almost got kicked out because he whistled so loud. Afterwards, he comes up to us and tells us how great we were. He then decided to whistle at one of the bartenders, who responded, "I'm busy, I'll be with you in a minute. And don't ever whistle at me again. Ever."

Good times. RIP Nine PM

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sticks and Stones and Mean Words

Time for the fresh-out-college-kid-criticizes-American-culture-and-society post. I was listening to G105 the other morning. (NOTE: My iPod tape adaptor broke, forcing me listen to the radio. Although I enjoy the morning show, I thought I would try to save some face for those top 40-haters out there). They have a segment where people call in and talk about their dilemma. This woman calls in all upset, because she doesn’t know what to do with her boyfriend and husband. Yes, she has both. She left her husband (but not divorced), and moved in with another guy. Then she calls in crying about how she loves her husband so much and he’s perfect and she doesn’t know how to leave her boyfriend because he already has some depression problems and she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings, yadda yadda yadda.

I was in disbelief. There are so many problems I see in that. The first is that the sanctity of marriage has almost gone down the tubes in America. What started a religious and spiritual covenant (it’s the truth like it or not) which was meant to bind two people in the most intimate and serious way has become something that people enter into with far too less planned commitment. I mean, most vows say “until death do us part.” That’s freakin intense. Imagine looking for a college roommate. Think of how serious some people take that. For a year long thing. What if was like, “Hey man, you trying to move into Mangum dorm?” “Maybe, how long you living there?” “Until one of us dies dude.” Crazy. I don’t think people have that mindset as much entering marriage. The numbers vary, but pretty consistently I hear that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. So sad.

The other issue here is “not wanting to hurt feelings.” It seems to me that emotionalism has run rampant. People often express their thoughts as “I feel like…” Think about it; should you trust your feelings? Ask my housemates, all it takes to wildly alter my mood is either a stellar or piss poor game of Halo on-line. I mean, if I own some rocket-hugging noob with a battle rifle in The Pit, I’m jacked. But if I miss what should have been an easy takedown with the shotgun and get a sticky right in the face, I’m furious. We actually have a piece of acoustic foam near the X-Box that I can hit in my moments of rage so I don’t do something dumb like punching the wall. I know, I need to work on it. But I digress. All that to show the treachery of “living by your emotions.” And people are especially wary of others’ emotions. Now I’m not saying to just have no disregard for people and be a total clown about it. But in situations like this, when the lady already knows what she wants to (and should) do, she just needs to do it. For the most part, people are big boys and girls. They can take it. Just tell them the truth.

Well, this post didn’t really end up where I thought it would. But I’m tired of typing. Sorry if that hurts your feelings; get over it. Kidding. Or am I?

The Problem of Pain and Suffering

I suppose it’s time for some deep thoughts…

I spent some time yesterday reading a blog-debate between two New Testament scholars. Bart Ehrman is a professer at UNC, very smart, and a born-again-but-then-gave-it-up Christian-turned-Agnostic. I had a class with him, it was amazing. N.T. Wright is a Bishop in the Church of England. Both are prolific writers and know way more about the New Testament than I thought possible. They debated “the problem of evil/pain/suffering,” which you can read here.

I consider myself to have a decent hold of the intellectual side of my theology. I have read some “classic” by Lewis, Packer, Piper, Tozer, etc., and have had stimulating theological conversation and have heard both the problems and solutions for the big questions of the faith. However, as I read Ehrman’s first post, I found myself being very persuaded and agreeing with most of the the things he said. Then I read Wright’s response, in which I found myself persuaded again. This went on through the entirety of the debate; each post’s argument seemed to both (for the most part) persuade and humble me, as I found myself being exposed to new thoughts that sounded good.

My aim here is not to spill my intellectual guts for you, but rather to highlight the frailty of logic and reason. The scholars were arguing for vastly different things, yet supported them with arguments that seemed very solid and thought out. But isn’t truth by definition exclusive? As in my past experiences with viewing/reading debates, I am alarmed at how easily my own mind can latch onto an argument and run with it, then embrace something totally different 5 minutes later, especially concerning spiritual things.

While in the end I agree with the majority of Wright’s stances, one must admit there are still challenges to human logic presented in Scripture and the story of God and his people. I am thankful that my hope rests not on my ability to think, reason, or argue, but to trust and believe in the omniscient Christ.