Archive for March 2007

The Pope of America Takes on Reality TV

What? You mean you didn’t realize America had a pope?? Say it with me – “Oprah.” Massive financial success and power, fiercely loyal following, self-styled spirituality for sale, generosity to others, literacy, oh the list goes on. Her latest venture is sure to be an interesting one: unscripted drama (read “reality TV”). Variety.com is reporting that her company is developing a show for ABC called “The Big Give,” which “follows a group of 10 people who will be handed money and resources — and then challenged to find dramatic and emotional ways to use the coin to help others.” Whoever wins gets one of their own wildest wishes granted. So many interesting questions here. Like this one – “Is this the commodification of generosity?” – or another way of putting it, “Who’s making money from other people giving it away? ABC? Oprah? Advertisers?” Or how about this one – “Are […]



Perkatory Cafe

Earlier this week, the Perkatory Cafe went live at The Purple Door. It’s a partnership between the college ministry I’m a part of, and a local church. We’re open for some limited hours to start with, but hopefully we’ll expand those as time goes. Good, fairly traded coffee will be served, along with a homey vibe, free wi-fi, and 15% more love than the other guys’ coffee shops. If you’re in Seattle, come on by and say hello. One hint, though – take the bus . . . sadly, vast amounts of parking isn’t on the menu.



And now for something completely different

I quote the entirety of a local television “news” story: A blind woman in Texas said she is coming under fire for her choice of a service animal. Tabitha Darling said she is being harassed by her property management because she and her 12-year-old pony, Trixi, live in a one-bedroom apartment in suburban Fort Worth. Darling said Trixi is a seeing eye “dog” and wheelchair combined and is protected by federal law as a service animal. The woman rides Trixi several miles to work at Wal-Mart everyday, and Wal-Mart managers accommodate the pony with a specially built pen behind the store. Darling hopes to move to a house soon and said she got similar hassles when she lived in Idaho.



Denmark Observations – entry 4

This will probably be my last entry in this series. I may have a random thought here or there, but this’ll do for now. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be ending the series on an “up” note. Oh well. While at a conference that involved missiologists, denominational seat holders, and other sorts of theological types, I was struck at how very stale the spiritual dynamics were there. Apparently, there was more interest in the state of Christianity at work in the world than interest in the way the Triune God is at world in the world. One could argue about the inevitability of an institutional feel at an academic conference of scholars, but if that’s truly the case, then I’d like to opt out of the academy. I just don’t believe that academics, and the dynamics of a living, working, redemptive God, are mutually exclusive. It’s far too easy to […]



Denmark Observations – entry 3

At the conference I attended at University of Aarhus last week, I very quickly noticed that I was the only person there that didn’t have some sort of affiliation with some form of the Lutheran church. There were faculty members from a few “public” universities in Denmark and Sweden, but by virtue of these countries having state-endorsed churches, they’re connected. Also, a couple of participants were there from the Lutheran World Federation mothership in Geneva. I had one very interesting discussion over lunch with a couple of professors – one of whom has served at very high levels in the World Council of Churches. I was asked about the nature of the emerging church movement in North America, so we talked about that for a while. We also talked about the degree to which this kind of a renewal movement would be possible/likely within the Scandinavian context. They didn’t give […]



Denmark Observations – entry 2

I think it’s because my trip was so short that I never adjusted fully to the time shift, but I slept very poorly while in Denmark – average of about 3, maybe 4 hours of sleep. So I did a bit of Danish/German TV channel surfing. I watched a fair bit of CNN Europe (or whatever they call it). Anyway, this “world” news was extremely U.S.-centric. I wasn’t that surprised about it, but there were a couple of times where I thought, “Why do people in Denmark or Sweden or Germany need to know about an anti-meth ad campaign in Montana?” The funny thing was that there were all these U.S. news stories, with a few world (as in non-Iraq) stories mixed in . . . and then they went to the sports update. Rugby, soccer, cricket, sailing, formula one car racing . . . and one quick Kobe-Bryant-had-a-big-game basketball […]



Denmark Observations – entry 1

While only in Denmark for a few short days, I noticed some cultural stuff that surprised me. First, I was surprised at just how similar the popular clothing fashions are. In one sense, because of the global media and marketplace I shouldn’t be surprised, but my past experience traveling to Europe has been that there are a lot of similarities, with a few distinct oddities mixed in. This time there was an almost total lack of those oddities – about the only thing I noticed was that the females there LOVE the look of form fitting jeans tucked into calf to knee high boots (most with high heels). As for the guys, all I noticed was that they like scarves . . . oh, and all the shoe stores I saw were well stocked with these dress shoes that have extra long toe space with a squared off front. Anyway, […]



Denmark and back

Well, I’m back home after a few days away in Denmark. It was a good trip, but too short and too lonely (in other words, I wish Michelle had been able to go with me). I went to a conference on Church, Religion, and Politics in the Global South – it was a school related thing for me. Basically, I was looking for a conference to go to, and this came up on an internet search, and when I looked into it, I found a phenomenal price for a nonstop flight from Seattle to Copenhagen. So, I went to this thing in Denmark for less money than I would have paid to go to a conference in Los Angeles or Atlanta or Boston. Cool deal. The conference was held at the University of Aarhus – a very large school about 3 hours by train from Copenhagen. Aarhus is a great […]



Double whiplash

I just surfed a good handful of blogs for this story, but it doesn’t seem to have surfaced. I was watching CNN Europe ealier today (I’ll explain this in another post) and they aired a story about Al Mohler. This is a guy with huge influence in my denomination, and surprisingly enough, huge influence with a number of young “emerging” leaders. I don’t count myself one of them . . . nope, not a fan (granted, I’m overly sensitive, given that he essentially called my wife, and me, “morally rebellious“). Anyway, this news story called attention to Mohler’s commentary on the potential of a homosexual gene, and whether Christian parents-to-be should “fix” the gene if found in their pre-born children. My first case of whiplash was connected to Mohler’s seemingly open mind to a genetic factor when it comes to homosexuality. I’ve long believed that this is a likely scenario, […]



Passport success

Since I hinted at whining about my passport last week, I thought I’d give a quick update. I got it. Finally. After 7 weeks, an extra $60 for so-called expedited service, well over 3 hours on the telephone, and a four hour trip to the Seattle Passport Agency. Sheesh.