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February 02, 2006

I Call It ... The Last Temptation of Christ Syndrome

So we're all flying high because 'The Book of Daniel' was cancelled. Never mind it was cancelled because it was a bad show, and not because Christians complained about it -- we'll take it as a victory, mainly because nobody cares enough to disagree with us.

Now, 'Will and Grace' is trying to get the evangelical "Stamp of Evilness" affixed to their latest effort:

Britney Spears will guest star on an episode of "Will & Grace," NBC announced Tuesday.

The pop star will appear as a Christian conservative sidekick to Sean Hayes' character, Jack, who hosts his own talk show, on the April 13 episode, the network said.

Jack's fictional network, Out TV, is bought by a Christian TV network, leading to Spears contributing a cooking segment called "Cruci-fixin's."

I'm used to the GOP pandering to Christians. I'm not used to Hollywood doing it.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think the folks at 'Will and Grace' like us at all. (Don't really care what they think about me, but that's another post.) And they're hoping that we'll hate them now more than ever, and will demand boycotts and everything, so that maybe someone will say "Hey -- those evangelicals don't like that show very much. Must be pretty good! Think I'll tune in."

We need to get a clue. There is no such thing as bad publicity to a TV show. All they care about is that we spell the name right, and link to the web site. The less attention we pay to the idiots in Hollywood who want a reaction from us, the better off everyone will be.

After all, it was our complaining that led them to even think about airing 'The Book of Daniel' to begin with.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2006

The Priesthood of the Believer: The 'P' in Baptist

Part three in a continuing series on Baptist distinctives. Part 1 is on Biblical Authority, and Part 2 is on the Autonomous Local Church

One thing that sets Protestants in general apart from Catholics is the idea that each believer is a priest in his own right, and can approach God directly through prayer with no intermediary. Unfortunately, many Protestants who believe this in theory don't believe it in practice.

How often do we rely on ministers to pray for us, as if their prayers get answered first? How many televangelists have made fortunes from people buying prayer cloths that somehow give them "special access" to God? How many of us believe that the pastor has some form of special revelation from God because he is the pastor? How often do we neglect personal ministry because we think that's the pastor's job?

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6 ESV)
Christ has made us all priests, according to this passage. Peter writes that we are "... a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

What does that mean? The priests offered sacrifices to God in the temple -- they were the only ones who could do that. This function of the priest is no longer needed, though, as the greatest sacrifice of all has been made for us. The atoning sacrifice has already been made for us by Christ.

Priests were also set apart for service. Paul makes it clear in his letter to the church at Ephasus that we are all called to service: "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, "(Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV). The work of the ministry is the job of every believer -- not just a priestly class.

The priesthood of all believers places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of all believers -- we are all responsible for the ministry of the Gospel. If you know of a ministry that your own local church needs, the question shouldn't be "Why isn't anyone doing that?" but "How can I help start that?" If we all had that attitude, Christian churches would be far more effective in ministering to their communities.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

Viva la Differance!!

I've been musing about the turmoil over the now-infamous cartoons in Europe, trying to decide how best to put my own sentiments, and now I've found that someone else has done it for me. Tip o' the hat to Tim Challies. Tim offers a quote from Paul Marten:

Our God is sovereign and will meet out a perfect justice in the great and final judgement. He doesn't need me to burn your house down just because you blaspheme Him. In fact, He calls on me to warn you of your sin and (wonder of all wonders) to urge you to embrace the One you have mocked and disgraced as your own Saviour from sin and its punishment.

And that is the bottom line. Christians get upset when our faith is mocked and ridiculed (and ponder the irony of the tolerant ones who mock it). Christians will protest to the powers that be. We will boycot. But save in the isolated examples of a few whack-jobs that decided to demonstrate their pro-life sentiments by killing someone, we don't kill people over it. Haven't since the Inquisition (and before you start on THAT -- my forefathers were killed in those, too. My spiritual heritage includes a lot of Lollard blood.). We follow closely the words of the apostle Paul in Romans
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:14-21 ESV)

Posted by Warren Kelly at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

Study of Mark: Mark 8:27-31

And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:27-31 ESV)

The most important question that anyone can ever ask is in verse 29. "Who do you say that I am?"

Christ starts with who everyone else was saying He was. And people had a lot of things that they thought about Him. A lot of wrong things.

People still do that today. We see it in the Jesus Seminar. We see it in the writings of Elaine Pagels and Bart Ehrman. The Jesus that they create is a Jesus that reflects what they want. A wise teacher. A moral philosopher. A social revolutionary. A political visionary.

Our own personal Jesus.

One of the contributors over at Blogcritics has a tagline that he adds to almost every comment he makes -- gnosis > dogma. Individual truth trumps the teachings of any religion or religious group. And he and I have had some fun discussions over there about Christianity and faith. It's hard, though, to debate someone who rejects basic principles of Christianity out of hand. I guess I'd have to call myself a presuppositionalist -- I think that there are basic presuppositions that have to be assumed, kind of like Plantinga's properly basic belief.

This is one of the passages that I think often gets overlooked by the folks seeking to paint their own picture of Jesus. Even though there is no affirmation given to Peter as there is in the other Gospel accounts, there is no rebuke. Peter is clearly proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah, and Jesus is accepting Peter's proclamation. There's a difference between the Jesus that everyone else sees and the Jesus that Peter sees. That difference is in the mission of Jesus Christ. And it's at this point that Jesus starts to show His followers exactly what is going to be happening in the near future.

This is another example of Jesus telling His disciples not to let people know about Him. He knew what the reaction would be -- the people would declare Him their King, and try to overthrow the Roman rule in Israel. That wasn't His mission. So He had to educate His disciples, and give them the tools they needed to go into the entire world and preach the Gospel.

But they couldn't do that until He rose again. If they had told people what was about to happen, they would have tried to prevent it. It makes no sense to us -- God having to sacrifice His own Son to pay our sin debt for us. Once the atoning sacrifice was made, the disciples had a message for the world that everyone could verify. The empty tomb was there. The trial records were there. The eyewitnesses were there. Everything was there for people to investigate for themselves.

And yet we still deny it. We refuse to believe that it's true. Why?

One, because it requires us to admit that there is something supernatural. Christ's ministry was full of miracles. Miracles are inconvenient things for someone whose worldview is tied so closely to science -- they cannot be duplicated in a laboratory setting, the witnesses to them are usually unreliable (often "true believers" themselves). The accounts of Christ's miracles are unscientific, written by uneducated peasants in a backwater part of the Roman empire. Miracles are things that are thrown out easilly -- even by Christians. And the miracles allow us to throw out all the historic information that we have in the Gospels. If the writers include such unhistorical accounts in their narrative, how can we really buy any of it? And once we do that, we don't really have to believe anything but our own gnossis.

And two, because it requires us to be accountable to someone else for our actions. If there is a God that required a sacrifice, and then was merciful enough to provide that sacrifice for those who would believe, we have an obligation to believe. There's no other option -- we don't get in through a back door. We get in His way, or not at all. That offends our pluralism. That offends out "tolerance." And, bottom line, it offends our self-reliance.

I've heard it before -- "I didn't ask God to sacrifice His son for me. I don't accept it -- I didn't want it. If I can't get in on my own merit, then I'll just go to Hell." Right before they say they don't believe God will send them to Hell, of course -- they don't really want to believe that there is a consequence for their actions. We want to believe that we can handle it all ourselves, and the idea of the substitutionary atonement offends that belief. It shows us that there is something of eternal, ultimate importance that we cannot handle ourselves. It shows us that we need a Savior.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 08:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 10, 2006

Contemplating Web Comics

This will not be a deep theological post. I will not be engaged in gripping social satire, or commenting on the latest example of cultural stupidity.

I will be talking about webcomics.

Those readers who have been around since before the move to mu.nu will remember that I had linked to several webcomics that I read regularly. I have no clue if anyone actually ever started reading one because they followed the link, but they were there.

One of the really fun things about reading webcomics is to see how the artist's style and skill develop as they draw. Read the first comic of any run, then read the newest, and you'll notice a difference.

Sluggy Freelance, for example. First comic, most recent comic. And the storytelling has changed there, too. Pete has gone from a gag-a-strip to huge story arcs. Jury's still out on if that's a good thing or not.

My newest find is a comic called Questionable Content. And there's a HUGE difference in artwork between the first comic and today's. (I read the archives of that one last weekend). I don't know most of the bands that are mentioned, but that doesn't always matter (and sometimes I can figure out the in-joke without really knowing a lot about the band). And I always end up feeling "in" when I do recognize a band that is mentioned.

I like independent music, and I like the "independent artist" feel of webcomics. Maybe I need to put those links back in one of the sidebars once I get the new template finished.... Let me know what you think.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 05:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

When "the Man" Gets it Wrong

Found this article on Podcasting at forbes.com, and read with anticipation. I love getting a more mainstream take on podcasting and podcasters.

Unfortunately, Forbes didn't do it's homework. At all.

The term "podcasting" refers to a rebranding and formalization of an established medium for the delivery of digital content over the Internet:

-- For many years, Internet users have been able to download content in the form of digital-audio files from a range of sources.

-- Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) introduced the term when it launched an application that simplifies and automates the process of receiving this content within its standard software.

Uh, no.
The term podcasting refers to the delivery of audio content by way of RSS feeds, so that end users can utilize specialized software to download the content automatically. Yes, internet users have been able to download audio for a long time -- the innovation of podcasting was that the user could subscribe to a provider's content and have new content downloaded automatically as it was made available. The term podcasting was popularized by Adam Curry, among others, long before Apple updated iTunes to take advantage of the technology. In fact, iTunes 4.9 was a rection to the trend, not an innovation.

Apple took advantage of podcasting. They recognized that most podcast subscribers were using their iPods to listen to their podcasts, and that many were using software like iPodder (now called Juice) along with iTunes to download and play the podcasts on their computers. So they upgraded iTunes to include podcasting support. But they weren't involved at the inception of podcasting.

It's sad that the article came from Oxford Analytica. It seems like a "strategic-consulting firm drawing on a network of more than 1,000 scholar experts at Oxford and other leading universities and research institutions around the world" would do a better job of fact-checking.

{edit}: Don't take my word for it -- Digital Podcast News agrees that it's a bad article. In no uncertain terms, I might add.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 06:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

Kanye West: More Idiocy

So we've seen the Rolling Stone cover. Now Kanye West is shooting his mouth off again.

Cocky rap star KANYE WEST is calling for a revised edition of THE BIBLE, because he thinks he should be a character in it.

The JESUS WALKS hitmaker, who picked up three Grammy Awards last night, feels sure he'd be "a griot" (West African storyteller) in a modern Bible.

He says, "I bring up historical subjects in a way that makes kids want to learn about them. I'm an inspirational speaker.

"I changed the sound of music more than one time... For all those reasons, I'd be a part of the Bible. I'm definitely in the history books already."

(from here)

Not even going to go there, Kanye. Anyone who thinks it's OK to appropriate the image of Christ to sell records (and before you comment, read what I've said about Jesus Junk elsewhere on this blog) doesn't get it. Maybe he should actually read the Bible (especially Matthew 21:12-13), rather than plotting how to get added to it.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US Olympic Team Podcasts ... Sorta

I was thrilled to see that the US Olympic Team has a podcast site. I got there, fired up iTunes, and was ready to add the feed to my already growing collection of Olympic podcasting goodness.

But there's no feed address. The US Olympic Team must have read the same misinformation that Forbes magazine did, because all that they have on the site are a bunch of .m3u files -- MP3 playlists. You can't even download the thing to your iPod, much less subscribe to a feed and have the content automatically downloaded for you. All it is is an audio diary, with no way to listen if you aren't connected to the internet. Disappointing.

But there are a bunch of Olympic podcasts out there. You can see a list at the Podcasting News site.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, DUH!!

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)
You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.
You'd make a talented professor or writer.
What Advanced Degree Should You Get?
Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Question

When I started this blog, my career plans included teaching. Ultimately, I was going to teach at the university or seminary level. I was headed for lay ministry.

So God has altered my immediate plans. I've been preaching at a small Southern Baptist church nearby and they are considering me for pastor. And the more I do it, the more I realize that God is calling me in that direction.

Of course, if I become a pastor, this wouldn't really be the view from a pew, would it? And A View from the Pastor's Study is already taken (by a very good blog, by the way -- you should read it). But I like the name, and I've even used it for my podcast. To change the name would mean an entire rebranding of my Internet pressence.

So what do YOU say? Keep it, change it, or some other idea I haven't even thought of yet?

Posted by Warren Kelly at 10:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2006

CONTEXT, People! Context!

Hat tip to Aaron over at Aaron's Corner for this one. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

At the very top of the web site for St. James United Church of Christ in Limerick, PA is a Scripture quotation. Luke 4:7 -- "If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Sounds like a great promise to claim, doesn't it?

But there's a problem, and it involves taking verses out of their Scriptural context.

4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’
So St. James UCC is, on it's web site, quoting the words of Satan as he tempted Christ in the wilderness. I leave you to write your own punchline.

{edit: I was not able to find an email address for the webmaster of the site. I just did, and have emailed him to let him know that he might want to change the verse. I was NOT sarcastic or anything like that to him -- I approached him the way a Christian should a fellow Christian.}

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

Daily Observations

A media storm surrounds the accidental shooting of a fellow hunter by "Deadeye" Dick Cheney. NOT because he shot someone by accident, but because they didn't issue an immediate press release. The MSM is just mad because they got scooped by the local paper.

St. James UCC felt the power of the Godblogosphere yesterday. The banner that I reported on (in the previous post) has been changed. It now features the name of the church and their phone number. I haven't received an email from their webmaster yet, but I know they got a lot of email about it yesterday, so I'm not expecting anything. I'd have loved to see the look on their face when they realized whose quote they were using to promote their church.

The Christian Carnival this week is at Pursuing Holiness. You need to enter. Send your submission to ChristianCarnival AT gmail DOT com. YOu need to include the following information:

  • The name of your blog and a link to your main site. (Adding the name with a hyperlink would be a nice courtesy to the host.)
  • The title of your post and the URL of the post. (Again, adding the title with a hyperlink would be helpful.)
  • If you want a trackback, include a trackback link. (Tracking back is optional. Some hosts may oblige you; others may not have the time or ability.)
  • Include a short (one or two sentence) description of the post. Your description may be edited by the host, but many hosts often use just what you give them. (So don't say anything you wouldn't want published.)

Deadline is midnight tomorrow, so get on it!!

One more observation about Cheney and the shooting. I'm really surprised that more hasn't been made of the fact that he was hunting Quayle. He's going to be a former VP too, and it seems he'd have more respect for ....

Oh. THAT kind of quail. Nevermind.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Final Update on the UCC Church Banner Thing

Bene Diction is reporting that the St. James UCC site has been hacked, and that the church was going to be putting a statement on their page. Bene heard from the pastor of the church via email, and he confirmed that.

I haven't heard anything in response to my email -- of course, I wasn't expecting to, because I know they got a LOT of email about it, and they probably don't have the time to answer everyone. If it was a hacker, it was a pretty clever hacker who knew enough about the Bible to pick that verse out. It's not a verse that would necessarilly set off alarms, unless it was read in context.

We can react to something like this in several ways. We can laugh and move on, we can laugh and let the people in charge know, and we can sit in outrage and judgement, only to feel foolish when the real story is told. Thankfully, in this case, it looks like the blogosphere did the second -- we laughed, but we let them know something was up.

{EDIT: Hack or not? That's still the question.

We were recently made aware that the former quote we had posted in the header on our site was actually not based on the word of Jesus but was a quote posed to him during his temptation. As soon as we were made aware of this we removed the quote from our site. We removed it...not hackers as some ill-informed bloggers would have you believe.
Haven't heard anyone who was saying the hackers took it down -- we were saying that a hacker put it there in the first place. I don't know if that's true anymore or not. It just sounds like someone picked the quote out and didn't check the context before they posted it.

FURTHER update -- just received a VERY nice email from the webmaster of the site. The verse was pulled from a Scripture quote search engine, and the context wasn't checked until after they were informed about the problem. I figure half the Christian blogosphere emailed them yesterday. Innocent mistake on their part -- it happens. Let he who hasn't messed up in public cast the first stone -- and that certainly isn't me.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 08:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

My Favorite Firefox Extensions

Inspired by this post at TheCSSWeblog:

  • ForecastFox: Weather reports right on the status bar! Includes a pop-up radar screen and weather alerts. VERY customizable. They have just released the enhanced version, which I haven't tried yet.
  • FoxyTunes: Control your music player of choice from the browser. I like not having to pull up the player when I want to skip a song. I don't use it quite as much now that I have my Nano, but it still comes in handy.
  • DownThemAll: Mass download all files with a certain extension (.pdf, .mp3, etc.). I get a lot of use out of this one when I'm getting material for my podcast, and it also came in handy when I was downloading PDFs for research papers at school. It's also faster, because it will download multiple files at the same time.
  • GMail Manager: I have three Gmail accounts that I need to check every day: one for the blog, one for the podcast, and one for the SBC Aggregator. This alerts me when I have mail in each account, and lets me go straight to it in a new tab. Google should have come up with this first!
  • SpellBound: Unfortunately, the latest update for Firefox isn't compatible with this. I LOVE being able to spell-check blog posts, for example, and haven't been able to since I upgraded to I'm hoping that they'll update this valuable sxtension soon.
  • Xray: this is a new one, and it also doesn't work with the new version of Firefox. It has helped me understand CSS a lot better -- right-click on the page and select Xray to see the markup for the page you're looking at.
  • Bible Toolbar: Search various translations at Bible Gateway, and even compare two translations. This is a VERY useful tool -- I can do quick verse checks and comparisons without having to fire up eSword every time.

Speaking of browsers, I've been informed that the blog looks the way it's supposed to in IE7.0. So I'm not going to have to do as much fixing as I'd thought I would. I think there are still some issues with lower resolution monitor settings, but that's all. So if you won't switch to Firefox, go get the IE7 beta.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Breaking News!

Azerbaijan’s weekly Yeni Habar has published cartoons of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary in response to the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in Danish and other European countries’ press.

The first response was, of course, in Italy, where thousands of Christians failed to march on the Azerbaijani Embassy. The throng totally failed to burn anyone in effigy.

Next, we move on to England, where congregants at churches all over the country completely and totally failed to notice the cartoons at all. Hundreds of mosques were left completely intact.

And in the Bible Belt in the United States, thousands of crazed evangelicals showed a surprising amount of unity as they utterly failed to march on state capitals. Hundreds of signs reading "Death to the Blasphemers" and other slogans were totally not held.

And yes, if anyone is wondering, this is satire. I am making fun. Thanks to Scott at The Crusty Curmudgeon for the heads up on this breaking story.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 15, 2006

Good News from the IMB

The Florida Baptist Witness is reporting that the Executive Committee of the IMB is recommending that the motion to remove Wade Burleson from his trustee position be withdrawn.

Several weeks from now [IMB trustee chairman Thomas] Hatley will release an historical and theological explanation of the board's November decision to assess missionary candidates' use of "private prayer language" and mode of baptism.

Misinformation disseminated through informal weblogs caused confusion in the minds of some Southern Baptists, Hatley said. He said he hopes a detailed accounting of the timeline and rationale for those standards will help separate those issues from the matter of Burleson's personal conduct as a trustee and answer questions that have arisen.

Misinformation? Where? Accusations of misinformation and breach of confidence have flown ever since the trustees decided to ask the covnention to dismiss Burleson, and I've never seen anything more than vague accusations. If misinformation has been disseminated through blogs, it's very easy to show it -- blogs are public documents, and they are archived. Even if posts are edited, you can always head over to the Internet Wayback Machine and pull up the original posts, if you know when they were posted. Show us the misinformation -- and show us where you tried to correct it. Blogs are easy to set up; the IMB trustees would have been advised to have started their own, and made sure their version of things was out there for public perusal.

I'd have even linked to them.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Book Review: Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler

I actually read this a while ago, and the review has been up at Blogcritics, but I got a search engine hit from someone looking for a critique of the book, and realized I'd never posted the review here. I enjoyed the book, though Feiler is far from evangelical in his conclusions. In fact, by the end of the book I was convinced that he'd embraced Zoroastrianism, but he never actually comes out and says it. Here's my review, as it appeared on the first of November last year:

Bruce Feiler's Where God Was Born takes us on a journey that is both physical and spiritual. Physically, we follow Feiler as he explores Israel in search of Biblical locations, map in one hand, Bible in the other. Spiritually, we accompany Feiler as he tries to rediscover the spiritual peace he found after his first book, Walking the Bible.

From the outset, we encounter an Israel that is very diferent from the one we see in Feiler's other books. His group is beset with obstacles thrown up by the Israeli Army in the name of 'security.' He encounters victims of suicide bombings first hand. He is watched by armed gunmen (Israeli and Palestinian) everywhere he goes.

The journey starts with the seath of Moses and the conquest of Canaan. We see Joshua's battles from the perspective of Yoram Yair -- one of the most decorated generals in Israel's history. He gives us a valuable perspective, especially on the battle of Jericho. We then follow the life of David, from shepherd to hero to renegade, revolutionary, possibly even terrorist, to (finally) king of a unified nation. We wade through the tunnels under Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of Biblical archaeologists like Edward Robinson, Charles Warren, even Montague Parker and Father Hughes Vincent. We encounter the vertical shaft that David allegedly used to invade the city of Jerusalem, and find ourselves wondering exdactly how he did it. We see David's failings and shortcomings, and find ourselves relieved that he was, after all, human.

Feiler then turns from the political center of the nation to it's spritual center -- the Temple Mount.

"What if we try to circumnavigate the Temple Mount?"
"It can't be done. It's too dangerous"
"So where do we start?"
We learn a great irony -- while Jews and Christians are incensed that the Muslims have co-opted their sacred site at the Temple Mount, David did the same thing with an existing Jebusite sacred site when he selected the location for the Temple. Feiler reminds us that "religious rights and wrongs cannot be refereed by claiming first dibs," -- something that should be remembered when considering the conflict in the Middle East. Feiler elsewhere notes that, in the Bible, it isn't living in the land that is important -- it is living in obedience to God in the land. Christians who pledge their unconditional loyalty to the current secular state of Israel would do well to remember that.

We also see that, as magnificent as Solomon's temple seems to us, it wasn't significantly different from other contemporary religious structures. It's as if the point is to teach us that God's greatness isn't proclaimed by the grandeur of the buildings we build for Him. We also see the problems that politics can create for archaeologists, especially around the highly-charged Temple Mount -- even to the point of creating buildings that are structurally unstable in order to keep others off the mount.

As if exploring the Temple Mount area wasn't dangerous enough, Feiler decides to head to Babylon -- modern day Iraq. He looks to the land of Israel's exile, where the leaders weren't judges or kings, but the prophets. Feiler spends a good bit of time in the book exploring the Babylonian connection, and he ties the beliefs and traditions of the Babylonians in to the creation of the faith that we know today as Judaism -- though there is still a lot of discussion among scholars as to how much influence there really was.

The theme that seems to run through each of Feiler's books is a quest for unity in the midst of diversity. Feiler treats the Bible with great respect, often skewering liberal criticisms of the texts, but just as often questioning conservative interpretations. Each time I read one of his books, I gain a greater appreciation for the Biblical texts that I hadn't before. I don't always agree with Feiler's interpretations or decisions regarding the text, but I always find his assertions to be thought provoking. And that is far more important.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hate Crimes? Depends ...

I've not commented much on the church bombings in Alabama, mainly because information has been sketchy. 10 Baptist churches burned. Some of the churches were predominantly white, so no racism angle. And no reporting of a hate crime.

Read this report in the Boston Globe (I get their RSS feed for Religion stories -- they usually do a decent job there). I encourage you all to read it, but there's one part I just have to quote here:

Suppose that in 2005 unknown hoodlums had firebombed 10 gay bookstores and bars in San Francisco, reducing several of them to smoking rubble. It takes no effort to imagine the alarm that would have spread through the Bay Area’s gay community or the manhunt that would have been launched to find the attackers. The blasts would have been described everywhere as ”hate crimes,” editorial pages would have thundered with condemnation, and public officials would have vowed to crack down on crimes against gays with unprecedented severity.

Suppose that vandals last month had attacked 10 Detroit-area mosques and halal restaurants, leaving behind shattered windows, wrecked furniture, and walls defaced with graffiti. The violence would be national front-page news. On blogs and talk radio, the horrifying outbreak of anti-Muslim bigotry would be Topic No. 1. Bills would be introduced in Congress to increase the penalties for violent ”hate crimes” — no one would hesitate to call them by that term — and millions of Americans would rally in solidarity with Detroit’s Islamic community.

Now, the FBI officially has opened a civil rights case for the fires in Bibb county -- which are white churches. Special Agent Nancv Nelson told CNN that the civil rights case is based on religious discrimination. So the FBI seems to think of it as a hate crime, even thought I haven't seen them use those exact words. But not even FBI agenst are sure about that:

''We're looking to make sure this is not a hate crime and that we do everything that we need to do," FBI Special Agent Charles Regantold reporters in Birmingham.

I'm not sure what that means. Are they trying to prove it IS a hate crime, or are they treating it as if it ISN'T, or what?
''I don't see any evidence that these fires are hate crimes," Mark Potok, a director of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, told the Los Angeles Times. ''Anti-Christian crimes are exceedingly rare in the South."

This one irritates me. Jacoby shows in his article that the SPLC doesn't have many obvious cases of anti-Christian hate crimes in their records. Just because they are rare doesn't mean they don't happen -- the south isn't the stereotypic WASP paradise that it's painted to be.

The fact remains -- somebody is burning Baptist churches, and only Baptist churches. They are, in fact, driving past other denominations in their quest for Baptist churches. If there are going to be special punishments for hate crimes, and special efforts made to catch perpetrators of hate crimes, then I think this certainly qualifies.

Unfortunately, the very idea of "hate crimes" is nebulous. Nobody can tell what a hate crime is, and what it isn't, so it ends up that the public judges what a hate crime is. And it seems that not many people care that Baptist churches are being burned down in Alabama.

I find the idea of a "hate crime" to be needlessly redundant. People aren't burning down churches because they love Baptists so much they just can't stand it, are they? People don't shoot cops to show their appreciation for the job the police do, do they?

Read Jeff Jacoby's article. The very concept of hate crimes are, in my own opinion, ridiculous. But if we're going to have hate crime legislation on the books, the least we can do is actually prosecute them when they occurr.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RIAA Goes Off the Deep End

Space-shifting (moving media from one location to another, ie. making backups), and format-shifting (changing a CD to MP3s to play on an iPod) are not fair-use, according to RIAA.

"Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorization, not about fair use."
(from the EFF site)

In other words, just because you buy a CD, you may not have the rights to rip that CD to MP3 format so you can play it in your iPod. If the record companies want to, they can restrict that ability and sue you if you do it anyway.

Now, a year ago, they said this:

The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.

I'm starting to think that the record companies and RIAA want to make this issue as clear as mud, so that they can sue anyone they want to whenever they want to. I'm all for making money on intellectual property -- but I know how little most artists actually make on their intellectual property compared to what the record companies make.

What will eventually happen is that music fans will start finding independent bands and listening to them. It's far too easy for bands to produce and sell their own CDs now, especially when you have podcasters who are eager for podsafe music to play on their shows. RIAA will recognize this sooner or later -- and it looks like it will be later. They are slowly killing the music industry in the United States.

Maybe we should be thanking them. They are a parasite that is slowly killing off it's host, and they're too stupid to realize it.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Great New Book

I got a neat book in the mail a few days ago. I've been doing a lot of reviews of O'Reilly books, and they've started sending me press releases for new offerings.

Most of the time, they have tech books, but when I saw a release for a book called Baseball Hacks, I had to get it. I'm not abig baseball fan, but my wife is, and I've picked it up a little bit. So I was curious.

The book is WAY cool. All about statistics, and stat management. The principles that the book teaches can be applied to a LOT of different areas, and I could see this book used to teach statistics in high school. In fact, I'll probably take the book over and show it to one of the math teachers I used to work with -- he's a basketball nut, and this book looks like something he'd really enjoy. I can see him using something like this in the classroom -- he's done it before.

I'll have a review up for the book at Blogcritics in the next week or so, and I'll post a link to it here. I've already downloaded some of the software that they recommend, and have played with it a little bit. I'm looking forward to digging into this book.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2006

What Kind of Jesus?

I was pondering this on the way home, after hearing some drivel that called itself a Christian song on the radio. It may turn into a sermon some weekend soon, but I have to get it out of my head and onto "paper" before I go nuts.

Matthew 16:13-16 (ESV)
13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Who do WE say that Jesus Christ is? Unfortunately, we often portray Him as something other than what He is.

1. The Optional Jesus.
I used to listen to a great Christian rock radio station. They played great music, but when it came time for a presentation of the Gospel, this is what they said:

Life can be rough. We all have problems and discouragements, and sometimes it seems like we just can't do it alone.

You don't have to do it alone -- there's always Jesus. If you ask Him, He'll help you out when life is too hard.

Obviously, it's not word-for-word, but that's the sentiment. Life too hard? Give Jesus a try. Does your life stink? It'll stink a whole lot less with Jesus.

That's true, but it's not enough. Most kids I know would say "Nope, my life's pretty good right now. Guess I don't need Jesus yet. Give me a few years, though." I was saved when I was 8 -- life wasn't tough back then. The biggest decision I had was whether to get the new Biotron or four or five new Time Traveller figures for my Micronauts collection. Thankfully, this isn't the Jesus that was presented to me back then.

We present Jesus as an option. "You've tried Buddah. You've tried pot. You've tried alcohol. Now try Jesus." Reminds me of a bumper sticker I used to see -- "Try Jesus. If you don't like Him, Satan will always take you back." NO!!! That's wrong on so many levels I cannot even begin to talk about it. Every time I saw that bumper sticker, I wanted to grab a razor and a bottle of Goo Gone and get rid of that garbage. But when we portray Jesus as an option, that's what we can expect -- junk.

2. Jesus as a "what if" solution.
The song I referred to earlier is Nicole Nordeman's "What If?" but the concept is old. In philosophical circles it's known as Paschal's Wager.

But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?

Ugh. I had to cut and paste that, and I feel like I need to clean my computer. Is that all Jesus is? "Just in case you're wrong, you'd better get saved. You don't want to die and end up in Hell, do you?" This Jesus is nothing more than eternal fire insurance. It cheapens what Christ did at Calvary -- "Maybe it's all fake. But what if it's not?" The most important thing about Christianity is the historical fact that it did happen. Christ died a gruesom, horrible death. He was buried by His disciples. And three days later the tomb was empty and He had risen. That is the essence of the Gospel. Without the fact of the resurrection, our hope is in vain. It's not a matter of "Maybe it didn't happen, but if it really did and you reject it, you're in DEEP trouble." There's no maybe. It happened!

We have to anchor our presentation of the Gospel on the fact of the finished work of Christ. The Jesus that we show to people must be worthy of our worship and praise. He must be more than just another option that's available to us after everything else has been tried. He has to be more than a "worst case scenario" where we're holding out hope that we're right, but just in case we'll have this Jesus dude.

The Jesus we serve is the Creator, the Sustainer. He is the Messiah -- the very Son of God, who was crucified but rose. He was sacrificed on our behalf, so that we could be reconciled with God. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He alone is worthy of our worship. He's not an option -- He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Nobody gets into heaven unless they go through Him -- covered in the blood He shed for us. No what ifs. No options.

No other way.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 21, 2006

Deleted Post!!

I've just done something that I REALLY hate doing -- even more than deleting a comment. I deleted a post.

It wasn't much of a post -- it was the SNL "Chronic (WHAT?) cles of Narnia" video and the "West Coast" answer. But I really have a good reason for doing it.

I don't want to get sued.

Youtube.com hosted the files I was sharing. I THOUGHT they had permission (duh!) from SNL -- the thing was all over the place! So now they're gone.

{Update: another great source for info.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Young is Young?

There's going to be a Young Leader's meeting at this year's SBC Convention. Wade Burleson is speaking, and a lot of people who I'd like to meet are going to be there. But I have a question:

How old is too old to be a young leader? Last year on my birthday, I got to use the Monty Python quote "I'm 37 -- I'm not old!" This year, is it "I'm 38 -- I'm not young!"? I may be a pastor by then, so I'd be a leader, but the "young" part is in decided dispute.

Maybe I'll just show up anyway. If nothing else, then they'd call me Caleb.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 11:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pay to Play Podcasting?

There are some podcasts that are going to a subscription-only format. The Earthcore podcast, which was originally presented as a free weekly podcast, is now available in the iTunes music store for $9.99 for a complete download. Also, one of the most popular podcasts in the BBC's recent podcasting experiment, The Ricky Gervais Show, is going to a subscription-based format starting on the 28th of February. The show will cost $2 per fownload from Audible.co.uk and iTunes.

I've known podcasters who have done similar things. The Richard Vobes Show has some things that are available to everyone, but has special subscriber content that makes people want to pay the $20 to become a member. I like that business model better. Give people a reason to give you money, rather than simply assume that they're willing to start paying for something that you've previously given them for free.

Earthcore is a different case, though, and I agree witht he way it was handled -- though here, again, is an example of something that would be better served with some value-added content. I'm sure people have saved the episodes of the original podcast on their computers, or burned them to CDs. I can see these being passed around by fans, bypassing the pay-per-listen downloads. But if the new downloads gave users something more for their ten bucks, there might be more people downloading.

Of course, I've said for a while now that the answer for the record industry isn't going after people who rip CDs, or making CDs unrippable, but to make some value-added content available only on the original CD. Coupons for free stuff, codes for free downloads, drawings for free concert tickets, etc. would be a great idea here, and there are fans who would shell out the money for these extras.

Think value added -- it's the way to go. This is one area where my former marketing weasel self shines through -- people will pay more if they think they're getting more. Don't believe me? Hang out at the local Sams one Saturday morning, and watch the people buying 20 gallon drums of Mustard because it's cheaper per serving than buying it by the squeeze bottle. There's a perceived value. And it works everywhere -- even in the recording industry, if they'll let it.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

ESV Controversy?

On his blog, Ben Witherington is talking about translation "problems" with the ESV, and advocates the TNIV as an alternative. He specifically mentions in the comments

My concern is with translations of texts like: 1) Rom. 16.7; 2) 1 Tim. 2.12; 3) Ephes. 5.21-22 and the like. So far as I can see, the ESV doesn't do justice to any of these texts, and at the expense of women.
So, I fired up e-Sword to take a look at these passages, and see exactly what the problem is. The TNIV text I am using is from the TNIV site at http://www.tniv.info.

Romans 16:7
TNIV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

ESV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.
(The ESV does include a note concerning translation of Junia as Junias.)

The problem is the phrase "outstanding among the apostles," which I'm guessing is interpreted as saying Junias and Andronicus were apostles. Were there only 12 apostles? Or 13, if you include Paul? What are the qualifications of apostleship? I don't see the ESV translation as directly affecting women -- Andronicus is left out, too. I'll let Gill do my talking here -- and he's using a translation that phrases it the same as the TNIV:

who are of note among the apostles; were well known by, and in great account with the twelve apostles, though not of their number; they might be converted by them, and be followers of them in Judea; they are thought by some to be of the number of the seventy disciples, whom Christ himself sent forth to preach:

It seems that the ESV has translated the verse according to the prevailing interpretation. This kind of runs counter to the transparent translation philosophy of the ESV, but isn't a direct attack on women's role in the church.

1 Timothy 2:12

TNIV: 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

ESV: I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Is the problem 'assume' vs. 'exercise'? The word literally means 'to usurp', so I can see this one. The emphasis is on taking over from a man, rather than simply teaching men.

Ephesians 5:22

TNIV: 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

ESV: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

??? I see no difference here. The verses are virtually identical.

I admit I am not a fan of the TNIV, but that's mainly because I'm not a fan of the NIV. And a lot of that is left over from my KJVO upbringing. I'm not saying that the ESV is THE version people should use, but it should certainly be one of the versions we use.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2006

For Those who Love Southern Gospel Music

From Gaither.com:

During the evening of Wednesday, February 22, while in concert on the Gaither Homecoming Cruise, Anthony Burger collapsed on-stage. He was taken backstage but was unable to be revived. The exact cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but is thought to have been a heart attack. Anthonoy was 44 years of age.

Please keep Anthony's family in your prayers during this unexpected and tragic loss.

Further details and arrangements will be provided as they become available.

Burger's web site, www.anthonyburger.com, isn't responding right now -- probably getting flooded. I've seen him in concert before, at Jubilate in Charlotte, NC -- he was an incredible musician. Pray for his family as they go through this very difficult time.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 10:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 24, 2006

It WAS a Good Idea!!

So, not too long ago, I told my wife I had a great idea. I was going to talk to the folks at Lifeway about setting up a podcast service for Christians, especially churches, who wanted to podcast but wanted to keep costs to a minimum. The service would be free for Southern Baptists -- supported by the Cooperative Program -- and of minimal expense (less than $5 a month) for non SBC folks. NOT because we're better than the rest of ya', but because we already pay into the CP, so in effect we'd really be paying something, just more indirectly.

Today I learned, thanks to Podcasting News, that Lifeway has done it already, or at least they are supporting the folks who are doing it. Christian Podder even goes me a step better - they're free for everyone who wants to d a Christian podcast. They'l host your MP3 files and everything.

The only drawback is that to listen to podcasts on their system, you have to download their software. There's no RSS feed to plug into iTunes or anything like that. MOST of the podcasts that are listed have their own web sites, and assumably an RSS feed for the podcast, but people who are new to podcasting may not have that. If the idea is to get the word out to everyone, I'm not sure that Christian Podder will be the most effective, though for edification it will be an outstanding resource. I think that podcasts need to be available to iTunes users, and publicizing an RSS feed can only increase the number of listeners to the podcast.

I've signed up, and both my podcasts will be added to their directory, but I'm not abandoning the hosting I already have at podOmatic. I get an RSS feed there, and my shows will show up in iTunes and all the other podcast directories that I've submitted them to. One thing I've learned in podcasting -- don't put all your eggs in one basket, nor all your hopes in one podcasting directory or service. But Christian Podder is a valuable service, and I can now honestly say that one of my great ideas really was a great idea. So great that it's already been done!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fred Phelps Is an Idiot

I think that about covers it. He and his followers are total, complete idiots.

They have awarped sense of God, and a warped interpretation of Scripture. They have missed the purpose of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. They've missed the purpose of the Church on earth.

Their God is not Jehovah. Their "Christ" is not the Christ of the Bible. And it pains me that they call themselves a "Baptist" church. They bear no resemblance to any historical Baptist church that has ever existed, whether Anabaptist or English Baptist, General or Particular, Sandy Creek or Charlotte.

And in the end, they will have to face the Almighty God they claim to serve, and give an accounting for what they have done. For their hatred. For their bigotry. And they will weep.

Unfortunately, we have to deal with them here. Free speach means just that -- they can run their mouths all they want. But we don't have to listen. That's why this is the last post you'll hear about them, unless they attack me personally.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 02:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Study of Mark: Mark 8:31-38

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:31-38 ESV)

Peter didn't like what Jesus had to tell them. Actually, I would say that none of them did, but Peter was the one who was bold enough to actually say it out loud. They hadn't signed on to watch Him die, and probably die themselves. Peter was convinced that He was wrong.

Jesus wanted to make sure there was no mistake about how His mission would ultimately end, and what it would mean for them to follow Him. "Let him ... take up his cross and follow me." Right there, Jesus is telling them where He is going to end up, and where they are going to end up if they follow Him. The cross -- crucifixion. The most brutal means of death imaginable. That's what they had to look forward to.

That's not what they were planning on. They were planning on a revolution, the overthrow of Roman rule in Judea, and a new government in which they would be rulers. They weren't looking to become martyrs -- they'd seen enough of those.

This is where Jesus starts to teach them about the Gospel. This is where the disciples learn the message that they were going to take to the entire world. This is where they get the message that would change the world.

Jesus taught them many things before this. Things that are important for us to remember. But unless we take this Gospel to the world, we don't have the message that Jesus wants us to share. Too many people water the message down to "Be nice. Don't fight. Respect each other." And that is important for us to remember -- but it's not the Gospel.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you -- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-8 ESV)

That's the Gospel. Christ killed, buried, and risen. The atoning sacrifice made for us, so that we can be reconciled with God. Without that truth, we have no message. There are preachers who don't have this message, and yet have thousands of followers. Their churches are packed every week, but they have nothing to offer. They preach goodness, but not the Good News. Their Christ had nothing to offer but platitudes. Their faith is empty; their success based only in what they accomplish here on earth.

Our goals must be greater. Our success based on eternity, and lives changed by the power of Christ risen. He is our only hope.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 08:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 25, 2006

Bye, Barney

Don Knotts died today at 81.

In a jailhouse, down in Dixie
Fightin' crime and riskin' lives
Dwelled a Sheriff and his buddy
Pistol Packin' Barney Fife

Oh my darlin', oh my darlin',
Oh my darlin' Barney Fife
He's a deadly crime-stopper
What a copper, Barney Fife

Then one day there come-a-ridin'
Two bad men to rob a bank
But Fife was tricky, a dead-eye dickie
And now they're locked up in the tank

Oh my Barney, oh my Barney
had a jail and couldn't lock it
had one bullet for his pistol
had to keep it in his pocket.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 26, 2006

SBC Bloggers Aggregator Update

So there are now 42 bloggers listed on the SBC aggregator. I haven't been promoting it much, but 42 is a pretty important number.

The headlines that used to be at the top of the page aren't working right now. I used to have the five most recent posts up there, but Blogdigger doesn't like me much at all, and it only ever worked on about half the feeds. Mine was one that it didn't like much, for some reason. I've been looking for a better alternative, but nothing so far. I combined all the feeds into one XML file, but it won't validate (too long), so it's not FeedtoJS comliant -- otherwise, there'd be no problem. I even set up a Bloglines account with the entire aggregator in it to see if I could use that somehow, but no dice.

I'd LOVE it if I could find something that would take the Bloglines OPML file and let me take the five or ten top headlines and put it at the top of the page. That way, I could add the new blogs to bloglines and have them added to the rotation right away, and add the individual entry when I get a chance. But I have no clue how to do it. I've even got a Perl book to see if I can learn a nifty script to do it, but I don't even know if that's the best language to use. Any web gurus out there want to help a brother out?

Posted by Warren Kelly at 09:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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