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September 01, 2005

Katrina Relief

The blogosphere is banding together. Instapundit, NZ Bear, everybody is supporting the disaster relief efforts in the South.

Southern Baptists are there, though most media outlets aren't really covering it. Southern Baptist teams from all over the nation are heading south -- according to NAMB, 100 disaster units have been activated. I just found out that Ryan DeBarr is headed that way as part of an SBC team.

We can all help. Support the SBC efforts (we're serving over 300,000 meals a day in the disaster areas) by donating. Click here for more information, and to send your own contribution.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Katrina Relief Information

There are a LOT of hurting churches in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Thanks to The Pastor for this address.

If you want to send donations to the churches in N.O. metro area, send them to this address:

c/o Louisiana Baptist Foundation
P. O. Box 311
Alexandria, Louisiana 71303

Posted by Warren Kelly at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Way to Go, Pat!

Pat Robertson's latest idiocy is having some repercussions.

"Visas will be denied to American missionaries."

That was the headline in a Venezuelan newspaper Saturday in response to comments by Pat Robertson who recently called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The government of Venezuela, which was already investigating mission organizations in their country, has put a hold on all visas for missionary activity and is intensifying their investigation. NTM [New Tribes Missions] has several missionaries who have visas awaiting renewal.

So the Gospel is not going to be proclaimed in Venezuela because Pat Robertson is an idiot. Way to go, Pat.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BFL Draft

Well, my draft stunk. Here's the roster that will take the Pewie Podcasters into ... something.

At quarterback: Jake Plummer and Kurt Warner.
At runningback: Chris Cooley, Mike Anderson, and Chris Brown.
At wide receiver: Javon Walker, Santana Moss, Marcus Robinson, David Patten
At kicker: Matt Stover, Josh Scobee
On defense: Philadelphia and Kansas City

Yeah -- that's what I thought, too. But this is the perfect team for my plan -- lull the opposition into a false sense of security. I see great things for this team!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It's hard to write about the hurricane. I've been in one (a minor deal named Erin back in 1995). My parents went through a few more after I moved. My mom has survived Ivan and Dennis in Pensacola, FL. So I know what happens, and what the aftermath can be. If you haven't been there, it's hard to imagine.

When I go home, I still see the effects of Ivan. You can see straight through to the ocean in places where there used to be only trees. Restaurants I loved to go to don't exist any more. And Ivan was minor compared to Katrina. The damage was bad, but nowhere near the scale we've seen in this storm.

Dr. Russell Moore can relate. He's from Biloxi. And he's got an interesting perspective on hurricanes in general.

The Psalmist reminds us that God originally put all things under the feet of Adam (Psalm 8:6). But the writer of Hebrews reminds us that we do not yet see all things under the feet of humanity (Hebrews 2:8), although we do see a crucified and resurrected Jesus (Hebrews 2:9). The apostle Paul likewise reminds us that the creation itself groans under the reign of sin and death, waiting for its rightful rulers to assume their thrones in the resurrection (Romans 8:20-23). The storms and the waves are one more reminder that the "already" has not yet been replaced by the "not yet."
So, amid the noisy voices of those who are convinced that God is judging the US (and apparantly taking it out on thousands of innocents as well -- don't get me started on that idiocy), we can see whose fault it is.

Our own. We had it made, and we blew it. And we can't blame Adam and Eve, because if our history has shown us anything, it's that we wouldn't have done things any better than they did. Once, we were masters of all of creation, put in charge by God Himself. But we rebelled against God, and lost our authority.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21 ESV)

If Katrina can teach us anything, it's that we are not in control anymore.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Huge Response

As of 8PM Eastern time, the blogosphere has raised over $100,000 to help in disaster relief efforts in the southeast. Thank you.

If you've donated through a blog today, NZ Bear has set up a place for you to log your donation. You don't have to do this to donate -- I figure a LOT of people aren't logging their donations. But if you are so inclined, you can do it there.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

More Katrina Relief News

The blogosphere has generated donations of over half a million dollars in the past two days. That speaks volumes, I think.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us There's also an effort going on with webcomic artists. Click on the button to read more about this.

Al Mohler has an interesting article today. National Geographic talked about the devestation that a Cat-5 hurricane could bring to New Orleans over a year ago. So someone WAS able to predict this. We all should have been more prepared. My hope is that we can learn something from this, so that we are better prepared in the future.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just Braggin' a Bit

One of my reviews over at Blogcritics was picked to be sent to advance.net. That means it's been distributed to several different web sites. So far, I've found it at Cleveland.com, NJ.com, NOLA.com, SILive.com (Staten Island), and Syracuse.com. There are more in the advance.net group, but not all of them run the book reviews they get from Blogcritics, but I'm pretty excited that someone out there likes what I've written.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

Hello! It's Me Again!!

OK, so I took a long weekend. I'm union (OK, not really. Around here, I'm management. Of course, I'm also labor. Makes things interesting at contract renegotiation time, I'll tell you that!)

And now I'm telling you to read someone else's stuff. But it's good. In fact, I'm going to be leading a seminar next month that I'm calling "The Purpose Driven Pizza."

You'll get that after reading the post. Promise. And you'll LAUGH!!!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Post Worth Reading, A Prayer Worth Remembering

Found this just today, though it's made the rounds of the blogosphere a few times.

Our Father
who lives above and beyond the dimension of the internet

Give us this day a life worth blogging,
The access to words and images that express our journey with passion and integrity,
And a secure connection to publish your daily mercies.
Your Kingdom come into new spaces today,
As we make known your mysteries,
Posting by posting,
Blog by blog.

Give this day,
The same ability to those less privileged,
Whose lives speak louder than ours,
Whose sacrifice is greater,
Whose stories will last longer.

Forgive us our sins,
For blog-rolling strangers and pretending they are friends,
For counting unique visitors but not noticing unique people,
For delighting in the thousands of hits but ignoring the ONE who returns,
For luring viewers but sending them away empty handed,
For updating daily but repenting weekly.

As we forgive those who trespass on our sites to appropriate our thoughts without reference,
Our images without approval,
Our ideas without linking back to us.

Lead us not into the temptation to sell out our congregation,
To see people as links and not as lives,
To make our blogs look better than our actual story.

But deliver us from the evil of pimping ourselves instead of pointing to you,
From turning our guests into consumers of someone else's products,
From infatuation over the toys of technology,
From idolatry over techology
From fame before our time has come.

For Yours is the power to guide the destinies behind the web logs,
To bring hurting people into the sanctuaries of our sites,
To give us the stickiness to follow you, no matter who is watching or reading.
Yours is the glory that makes people second look our sites and our lives,
Yours is the heavy ambience,

For ever and ever,

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This Week in Church History

A double-shot in this post. This is a big week in Baptist history, especially.

September 5, 1651. Obadiah Holmes is whipped publically in Boston. Thirty lashes. The charge? Being a Baptist in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony. Holmes was arrested because he came to Boston to minister to a Baptist man who was dying.

Holmes became a convinced Baptist while living in Massachusetts, and actually was a leader of the early Baptist movement in that colony. Unfortunately, the colony leadership wasn't sympathetic (even though Puritans and Baptists worked together quite well in England, in the struggle against the established church there) -- he was forbidden to baptise or ordain, or even to meet on Sunday to observe communion. And this beating didn't discourage him -- he went to Rhode Island and became pastor of the first (or second, the jury is still out) Baptist church in the New World -- Newport Baptist Church.

This story is a perfect illustration of the dangers of an established church, and shows why Baptists have always been against the establishment of a government church. Baptists have also always been supporters of the right to everyone to practice his or her own faith. This doesn't mean that proseletyzing is out of the question -- it simply means that conversion can never be coerced. We still believe that; it's in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

The other major event this week happened on September 8, 1767. An incredibly important event in the history of Baptists. On that date, at one of George Whitefield's revival meetings, John Ryland, Jr. became a Chrisitian. Five days later his own father baptized him in the Nene River. Ryland Jr. was 14.

Within three years, he started preaching, eventually taking over his father's church. He baptized William Carey in 1783, and was instrumental in Carey's missionary work. With Carey, Andrew Fuller, Samuel Pearce, and John Sutcliffe, Ryland Jr. helped Particular Baptists in England to shake off the false, hyper Calvinism that had contributed to the church's stagnation in England, and led the way to a resurgance of evangelical Calvinism that is still going on today.

These five men have come to be heroes of mine, even though I'd never heard of any but Carey until two years ago. Reading their sermons and polemic writings is very productive, and it's amazing to see how much of what they faced over two hundred years ago is still being dealt with by the Church today.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Google-ing: A How-to, Back-to-School "Lesson"

Briefly for now -- I've been busier than I thought I would be the past couple of days!

I've been noticing a lot of hits through Google that have come because people are asking questions. I know exactly where this is coming from, because I've seen it before -- school's in session, and kids are doing Web Quests.

Web Quests are mini-projects that help students to learn how to do research on the Internet. I did them quite a bit when I taught Computer Apps a few years ago. They can be a lot of fun, but one thing the kids loved to do was simply type the question in to Google or ask.com and find the answer that way. I got burned once, because I copied the Web Quest from a Web site and the whole class found the site (with the answers!).

A tip for Web Questers. Key Words. For example, in the search query "The university was not always called tthe pennsylvania state university. do you know it's original name?" (which this site is the top result for on Google, by the way) the keywords are The Pennsylvania State University. The rest is superfluous.

Your next step is to decide what the question is asking, generally speaking. This question is asking about the history of The Pennsylvania State University, so a search for "The Pennsylvania State University" +history would probably narrow things down a LOT. Make sure you use quotation marks, kids!!

I've gotten this one a lot recently as well -- "What is the number of church of the brethren members in guilford county nc?" Check local census information for that one, kids; I doubt the Google search will give you much there.

That's all the help you're getting out of me -- I don't teach that anymore!! But, seriously, use quotes, and think about general key words that will get you the information you're looking for.

And teachers -- if you want my DHMO lesson plan, email me (the address is on the right). It worked really well, and taught the kids to be critical of what they read on the Internet. AND it can be done in one day.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

The Empire is Expanding ...

I posted a piece a long time ago about the media empire I wanted to create. It was an attempt at humor, and an entry post for the King of the Blogs tournament. I didn't realize then that I would come close to making that actually happen.

I'm now actively contributing to three blogs. This one (duh!), Blogcritics, Cinema Veritas, and starting today Theologica. Add that to the two podcasts I produce, and you've got a LOT of media.

I'm honored that David Wayne and Bill Wallo thought enough of my writing to ask me to contribute to Theologica and CV, respectively. And I'm enjoying myself writing at Blogcritics (and getting free stuff, too!!). The podcasts are fun to do. So I guess you could say that I've found a niche.

Now if I could only figure out how to make a living doing all that (lol).

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

Theologica Unveiled

Ok, I seem to have jumped the gun when I mentioned the newest World Magazine blog, Theologica. The official launch is today.

There are some great people who are taking part in this. Head over there and read. Read lots. Add it to your blogroll. Make your friends read it. Subscribe to the RSS feed. And comment on the posts there.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A New Perspective On ... Katrina

I had the opportunity to preach yesterday evening at Greenup First Baptist church, where my family has been members for a couple years now. I spoke on the reasons for Bible study. Midway through the sermon, I went off on a track that I didn't recognize from any of my preparation.

I was talking about the importance of being able to give an answer to people who are asking. That's a theme of mine, as you can see from the verse in the graphic at the top of the page. An example I used was the number of people asking "WHY?" in the wake of the hurricane.

I didn't say what I've been thinking. I didn't say what I've read, or written about before. Here, as best as I can remember, is what I actually said

Whatever the reason, we have been given an opportunity to minister to people. As I speak, thousands of Christians are in the disaster area, giving and ministering. Here at home, we've had the opportunity to give to disaster relief as an act of worship and ministry to those who are hurting.

But, there were poor people in New Orleans before Katrina. We see them now, but they've always been there. We hear stories about people who have lost everything -- but the everything they lost could fit in the back of one of our SUVs. Why does it take a disaster for us to become aware of our obligation to meet people's needs? Why do we wait until something tragic happens before we are motivated to service?

When we place blame for Katrina, we must look to ourselves. Because it took a disaster for us to get out of our seats and minister to people who were hurting long before a hurricane named Katrina was even a tropical storm. And we should be ashamed.

It's odd -- I'd never thought of it from that perspective before. But as soon as I said it, I knew that it was true. I could tell from the reaction I got from the church. I could tell from the reaction in my own heart. We have the poor with us always -- why do we wait until a tragedy to begin to minister to those who are in need?

A group of students at NOBTS is eagerly waiting to return to their city to minister to the hurting. These are students who have had a heart for the city all along -- maybe now they can get the support that they need to make a tremendous impact on that city. My prayer is that the needs of the Gulf Coast will not be forgotten in another month, or two, or even a year or two. People down there will continue to hurt, and we need to continue to minister to them.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 05:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ummm ... OK????

Latest hit from a Google search:

"+01"@yahoo.com email lists of all the rich female who live in old peoples home in america "2005"

I'm not kidding.

I'm #11.

I DO have to IP address, so if any of you rich females living in old people's homes are interested ...

Posted by Warren Kelly at 06:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BFL Week 1

Maybe that should be "weak one" -- as in, this was a weak game. The Pewie Podcasters fell to the NBB Twisters 62-35.

Dismal performance by my offense, so they're all being replaced. The entire "Recent Transactions" section on the front page of the league site is me, rebuilding my team.

Congrats to NBB Twisters on the win. Key performances by Priest Holmes and Larry Fitzgerald sealed the win.

Other games this week:

Nick's Roughnecks ran over brendoman.com 81-57.
The Rockets rocked the Houston Fire Ants 55-30.
The Highlanders outfought the Crusaders 59-32.
The Disgruntled Mimes walked into the wind and beat Daniel's Boyz 85-28.
And the Kung Fu Mamma's Boys laid the smack down on Holtsberry's Hacks 104-74.

If I knew everyone's blog URL, I'd include links. I know a few, but it doesn't seem fair to link to some and not everyone. Maybe next week.

This week, the Podcasters are attempting to redeem themselves as they face the Crusaders. THe early predictions have the Crusaders winning by 13 -- but what do they know, anyway?

Posted by Warren Kelly at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2005

Google Earth

So I finally managed to upgrade my computer so that I've got enough RAM to run Google Earth. It's fun, but I've already found some problems.

There are places that they have in the wrong place. {I'm tallking about where the label is and where the actual place is if you select "schools," for example}. Stockbridge High School and Stockbridge Elementary School (in Georgia) are two or three miles away from where they actually are. Southern Seminary is at least five miles further west than it's supposed to be -- looks like they have it at the OLD location (pre 1929!!).

The beauty of the thing is that I can look at the satellite picture and see where these places are. If I was trying to get directions? Forget it -- I'd be in the WRONG place.

Problem is, I don't know who to contact. Anybody know who I need to tell so that this gets fixed??

Posted by Warren Kelly at 06:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005


Agent Tim was interviewed on the Al Mohler program on Tuesday. He did an outstanding job -- except for not mentioning the SBC aggregator. That's OK, Tim -- I sent Dr. Mohler an email. ;-)

If you haven't read Tim's blog lately -- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? An invitation from God?

Would you settle for an endorsement by Al Mohler?

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

BFL Week 2

Another week, another crushing loss. 56-33 at the hands of the Crusaders. Neither QB has done anything for me, so Warner got the boot. Trent Dilfer is the latest Pewie Podcaster acquisition, though this week he will be on the bench. I'm giving Plummer one more chance ...

In other action around the BFL:

The Highlanders extinguished the Houston Fire Ants 88-63
The Rockets flew past Nick's Roughnecks 73-65
The NBB Twisters caught the Disgruntled Mimes in a box, winning 65-36
Brendoman.com clobbered Holtsberry's Hacks 82-46
And the Kung Fu Mamma's Boys whooped up on Daniel's Boyz 89-34, thus separating the Boys from the Boyz.

This weekend, I'm taking on the Houston Fire Ants. I've got some D-Con ready for you, boys!!

I'm putting in the URLs as I get them.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Announcing, the BHL

I've decided to start up a Fantasy Hockey League, that I'm calling the BHL -- Blogger Hockey League. Open enrollment starts NOW. The password is pewview, the league ID is 62232.

The draft is automated, so you don't have to worry about having to be online for a draft. 10 teams max, but if there is sufficient interest, I will change that.

So go sign up already!!!!!!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 08:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2005

Being a Baptist

I started on this track to write about John Piper's decision to adopt a more open membership stance, especially concerning baptism. But it's grown on me. It's become a huge monster that is asking the question that is really behind much of the controcersy in the Southern Baptist Convention today.

What is a Baptist? What defines a Baptist?

When I look back in Baptist history (and don't worry -- I'm no Landmarker), I can see certain Baptist distinctives, it's true. And they can even be turned into the handy acronym BAPTIST, so that we can remember them. But there is one thing that Baptists have been historically recognized for -- believer's baptism by immersion.

I'm not going to defend BBI (we DO like acronyms, after all) in this post. Books have been written that do not do the subject justice -- nothing I can write in the space of a few hundred words is going to make any addition to the corpus, or change anyone's mind. I have many friends who are Presbyterians, Anglicans, and other denominations who I fully believe are born again children of God but with whom I heartilly disagree on this subject.

What I am going to affirm here is that BBI is an essential Baptist doctrine. In other words, if you do not believe in believer's baptism by immersion, you are not a Baptist. It is one of the two ordinances/sacraments that makes the acronym as the first T.

I think the relevant statement from the 85 page "Baptism and Church Membership At Bethlehem Baptist Church" ODF file is point #10:

Therefore, where the belief in the Biblical validity of infant baptism does not involve baptismal regeneration or the guarantee of saving grace, this belief is not viewed by the elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church as a weighty or central enough departure from Biblical teaching to exclude a person from membership, if he meets all other relevant qualifications and is persuaded from Bible study and a clear conscience that his baptism is valid. In such a case we would not require baptism by immersion as a believer for membership but would teach and pray toward a change of mind that would lead such members eventually to such a baptism.

The question I have: Why would anyone who was not persuaded of the truth of believer's baptism by immersion join a Baptist church? There are a lot of Presbyterian churches out there that are conservative and evangelical that they could join. There are other churches that they could be a part of. Why would someone want to join a church while rejecting a foundational doctrine of that church?

This arguement has been going on in Baptist circles for hundreds of years. John Bunyan would have agreed with Bethlehem Baptist's position. I THINK Spurgeon would have agreed with it (though he did fence the communion table, and Metro Tabernacle still does from what I've heard). Many other historic Baptists would not agree.

I have relied on Piper's writings on baptism in my own life, and in discussions with others. His ministry is an incredible inspiration for me -- I've been listening to him on the radio all week this week. But I think in this, he is wrong. If you believe that the proper subjects for baptism are believers only, any baptism previous to conversion is an unScriptural one. I think the new policy at Bethlehem Baptist contradicts the historical Baptist understanding of what baptism is, and who it is for.

I think that the subject of baptism is an important one as well for Baptists deciding what exactly a Baptist is. I'll look at the rest of the acronym in later posts.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 05:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

BFL Week 3

The streak continues. Unfortunately, it's a losing streak.

The Pewie Podcasters took firm control of the basement of the BFL by losing 63-45 to the Houston Fire Ants. Lackluster performances all around contributed to the Podcasters' defeat, and I plan on making some changes this week, in preparation for my game against Nick Queen's Roughnecks, who suffered defeat this week at the hands of The Highlanders.

In other action:
Brendoman.com extinguished the Rockets 85-72.
The Disgruntled Mimes didn't have to say a word as they beat the Crusaders 55-48.
Bill Wallo's Kung Fu Mamma's Boys continued their domination of the BFL by trouncing the NBB Twisters 105-53.
And Daniel's Boyz notched their first win of the season, beating Holtsberry's Hacks 68-59.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And Now You Know!

I learned something interesting today, and just had to share it. The phrase "racking your brains" actually has its origins in the middle ages. The rack was used to torture people to get them to give whatever information that the torturers were after. So, to rack your brains meant to stretch your brain (figuratively) to try to remember something that you knew.

And now, you know!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 03:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

NAMB to FEMA -- No Thanks!

Ok, I can almost understand why FEMA wants to reimburse churches for their relief efforts. The government is trying to look good. But if any churches actually take the money, I'll be disappointed.

I'm proud of Bob Reccord, the president of the SBC's North American Missions Board. "Volunteer labor is just that: volunteer. We would never ask the government to pay for it." Charity means not getting paid back. My prayer is that more church organizations remember that -- especially when it comes time for Faith Based Initiative money. Churches don't need government money, and shouldn't go looking for it. Faith Based Initiative is a terrible idea.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- The Movie

I've talked about the book on the making of the movie elsewhere. Now, I'm going to talk about the DVD. WARNING -- There WILL be some spoilers ahead. If you'd rather not know how the movie turns out, don't go any further.

Ok -- you were warned. There is a lot to love about this movie. The Vogons look exactly the way I'd always expected them to. They didn't over high-tech the Guide itself. Marvin the Paranoid Android is perfect. Fans of the books will also appreciate some inside jokes -- when Ford "swears" at one point, he says "Belgium Bummer," thus qualifying the film for the Rory Award for Most Gratuitous Use of the Word "Belgium" in a Serious Screenplay. Ford is also called "Ix" repeatedly by those who didn't know him on Earth, referring to his adoptive name in the books (it means "boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven," and is a way-inside joke for those who read the books). Of course, Ford's name has always been an in-joke that American audiences never got, but I digress ...

The movie reflects Douglas Adams' low opinion of religion, as shown in the scenes on Viltvodle VI. The residents of that planet are unique in the universe, because they believe that the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arklesiezure, and live in fear of the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief. Adams never missed an opportunity to skewer organized religion in general in his books, but the movie includes only this example.

I did question something that I found out in reading about the filming of the movie that I didn't think was clear in the movie. Trillian's brain wasn't suitable for the mice's purposes because, in the movie, she is half alien. I didn't notice that ever being made clear in the movie itself -- Adams worked around that by saying that Trillian had been absent from Earth for too long before its destruction to be useful.

Fans will be disappointed in some scenes that were left out. There are no Dentrassis on the Vogon ships. There is no protracted argument with the guard over culture and career possibilities. The plotline with Deep Thought is highly abbreviated, as is the Magrathea plot line. But anyone who has followed the Hitchhiker's Guide in its many incarnations (radio series, books, TV series, computer game, and now movie) will be aware that no incarnation is totally faithful to the others; in fact, Adams seems to go out of his way to make the different forms ... different, and sometimes contradictory. So, while I missed the absence of some of my favorite Hitchhiker's bits, their absence wasn't enough to ruin the movie for me.

BUT there is a problem. One that I cannot think of as being faithful to Adams' original intent, and seems to contradict not only the other incarnations of the Guide but also the underlying theme.

Arthur Dent wins.

The point to the books seems to be that there is no point. No matter how hard you try, how much you think of other people, how much good you try to do, you won't win. The best thing you can possibly do is have as much fun as you possibly can without endangering yourself or anyone else. Arthur tries to do the Right Thing (tm), and consistently is let down. He is, in the words of Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged (from book 3 of the trilogy), "... a jerk. A complete kneebiter." Anything positive that happens to him ultimately results in more disappointment, and it is ultimately only the end of the entire universe (in the final book of the trilogy) that makes Arthur satisfied.

But in the movie, Arthur wins. He gets the girl. He beats the aliens. The Magratheans even rebuild the Earth and offer him the opportunity to make it the way he wants it. He picks the girl and adventure. The happy ending doesn't fit Adams' books, and almost contradicts his worldview as well. It shouldn't matter that Arthur does the right thing. Nothing should actually matter -- there is no point to our existence, and it is futile to actually spend time trying to find it. The books tell us that it is impossible to know both the Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer at the same time.

But the movie tells us that, ultimately, there is a reason. The movie leaves us with Deep Thought's admonition that "Only when you know the question will you understand the answer." There is a goal, even if it's not the goal that we would think at first. It is possible to understand. We just have to ask the right questions, and ask them of the right person.

(This was originally posted at Cinema Veritas. Head over there for movie/TV discussion from a Christian perspective. Christians DO go to the movies, after all!)

Posted by Warren Kelly at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Study of Mark: Mark 8:22-26

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village." (Mark 8:22-26 ESV)

There is an obvious question in this passage. Why did Christ have to make two 'attempts' to heal this man? Why didn't He heal him all at once, as He had before? I think that Christ did this to make a point.

In our natural state, we are blind, spiritually speaking. We can't see or truly understand spiritual matters. Even after we've been born again, we often do not see spiritual matters clearly. We must have the Holy Spirit in our lives, guiding us, and we must continue to follow the commands of Christ. When we do that, we mature spiritually.

John Gill explains it this way

This man, as before observed, was a very lively emblem of one that is spiritually enlightened by the grace of God: Christ first separated this man from the rest of the multitude; and such are first distinguished from others in election, and redemption, and calling, who are illuminated by the Spirit of God: means were made use of by Christ for healing this man; though the bare actions, without a divine power, would have been insufficient, as the spittle of his mouth, and the imposition of his hands: and, generally speaking, in the illumination of a sinner the word of Christ's mouth is a means; though this, without the efficacy of his grace, is not of itself sufficient.

I think that not enough is said of the people who brought this man to Christ. They had heard the rumors, and maybe people tried to discourage them. "It can't be true!" they'd say. "The stories cannot be true. He can't heal a blind man!" But they persevered. They brought their friend to Christ's presence, and knew that Jesus had the ability to heal his blindness. Are we such friends? Do we ignore the scoffers and critics to bring our friends and loved ones into the very presence of Christ? How can we not, when we know the result of a lifetime without Christ?

And finally, Christ instructs the man "Do not even enter the village." Go straight home to your family, don't make a spectacle of your healing. The people still are not ready for the full message of Christ, so He is not revealing Himself to them. Not even His disciples fully understand what the message of the Gospel is -- they can't, until the resurrection. So this is even an alegory of the disciples' lives up to that point -- they could see, but not clearly. That clarity of sight would only come to them when the Holy Spirit decended at Pentecost, when they received power to change the world.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fantasy Hockey Update

Ok, I goofed the original league, so I had to make up a new one. The password is still pewview, but the league number is 72966. Fantasysports.yahoo.com.

So far, we have five people. I'd like to get ten, so that means five more of you need to sign up. Don't make me beg. I know where most of you live ... OK, I know where your IP # says you live. Close enough.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 05:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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