Saturday, March 31, 2007

Finally! Finally! Finally!

This is guitar news, not University news!

I bought a cool lefty guitar body back in 2001 and started working on it slowly because I don't know anything about electronics or wiring.

I built it the way I wanted a guitar tone-wise (bright), and I customized the switches where the three pickups are independent of one another, giving me a tone range that you cannot typically get from electric guitars.

When I thought I was finished, I started to play it and the sound kept cutting out. Well, seminary got in the way, I blew the tip of one of my fingers off in 2004 (it was fixed and you can't tell now), and general time contraints kept me from working on it.
I called a shop yesterday to schedule a time to drop it off, but this morning decided I would try and fix the wiring problem myself just in case.

I fixed it and the guitar rocks!

Oh man....

Here is a pictoral overview of the transformation.

I did everything myself except the machine work Lone Wolf Guitars in OKC did on the Floyd Rose Tremelo (making a righty into a lefty for me).

It is the guitar body on the right.

Before wiring, paint, etc.

And from today...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Kingdom of Priests in America

In the US Christianity is a strange thing. Often I wonder how we went from a supposed "Christian" nation to the present culture war. Many offer opinions as to why Christianity went from cultural domination in the early days of the U.S. to fighing the so-called culture wars of today.

Honestly, I don't think the answers are as clear cut as many may think, but there is a lot to be said for the manner in which the Christian faith is to be lived out in the American context. Politically, many Christians bowed out of the political process in the 20th century. Some of the temperance crusades of the 19th century and the social Gospel movement led to a moralist bent by many, so Government replaced a lot of what the Church could do. On the other end of the spectrum individualism and Americanism replaced a lot of the social good the Church has been known for in the past.

In other areas, Christians became fascinated with the End Times. This was because of the growing popularity of the Dispensational view of Scripture that seemed to be able to "explain" how the future would unfold. This took off like a wildfire in many Fundamentalist circles and created a lot of problems socially in my opinion.

For one, there was an exodus from Christians in the political process. Carl McIntire, a Fundamentalist Presbyterian leader and culture warrior, made this point in a 1939 editorial in the Christian Beacon titled "Collingswood." In 300 or so words he argued that if Christians became involved in the political process from voting to holding office, the culture would change. Many today would read this and say, "of course, he's Presbyterian. That's why he says that," but McIntire was ardently premillennial and this view was inconsistent with his worldview because he argued many times in the Beacon that conditions in the world needed to become worse in order for Christ to return.

Another problem in the 20th century is something that is still a problem. Christians retreated from the broader conversations in culture. D.G. Hart puts it best when he says, "The difference between the relatively homogenous culture of 19th century America and the multicultural United States of the late 20th century has been at the heart of evangelicals' sense of alienation from the secular media, public education, and American politics." (That Old Time Religion in Modern America, 21) To put it bluntly, Christians lost their standing in culture. In my opinion this is due in part to many of the subcultures we Christians have from a music industry to publishing to even education. There is a place for "Christian" music and writing, but what happens when it is completely foreign and unapproachable to non-Christians? What happens when it fails to impact broader culture?

I don't have a definitive answer to those questions, really. What I do know is that somehow we are supposed to be a Kingdom of Priests in our culture. Often, we emphasize the words, "alien," "stranger," or "sojourner" which allows us to be ignorant of our surroundings and seemingly lets us off the hook from impacting our communities. No matter how hard we try, we are still to be a Kingdom of Priests and are even called to "live among the pagans" so they are able to see our lives. Our lives aren't to be these things that show we are so heavenly minded we are no earthly good, but are to be incarnationally living out the message of Jesus. Sometimes this means we hang out with the worst of society instead of closing our doors to them. Other times it means we have to put up with annoying family members who don't follow "our" morals, but we still show them grace and treat them as people made in the image of God.

Maybe it's time we start looking into some of the names we Christians are given in Scripture such as Kingdom of Priests, and so forth. I guess the danger could be getting out of our comfort zone.....

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Missional Life and John 17

Yesterday, Jen & I were priveleged to worship with Christ Community Church (PCA) in Franklin, TN. We enjoyed our time there and appreciated the sermon, Rev. Scotty Smith preached on a few verses out of John 17. He pointed out some things from the text I had never thought of and I wonder if it could be that I haven't taken the entire story of redemption into account when I read this passage. (the sermon audio will be at this link soon, I think)

The gist of the sermon was this: Jesus' High Priestly Prayer is missional. Disciples, as agents of redemption, are entrusted to engage the culture because we are left in the culture! We are not supposed to form our own subcultures to hide from "the world," but rather recognized that we are in this world as disciples.

He also pointed out that this prayer (mind you megachurch pastor, 3,000 every sunday) was not for our comfort or prosperity, but for our unity (among many other things) and work IN THE CULTURE we have been placed into.

This completely blew my mind. Not because I never thought of it before, because I believe Christians are to engage culture because Jesus is King and we are his representatives on this earth, but because I had not connected this prayer to the larger story of Redemption. It's quite a thing to ponder, really. We are left on this earth to engage culture and Jesus himself prayed for that. Wow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Great Week Ahead

We'll be at Kentucky Lake tomorrow for a few days of R&R, Thursday is our 4th wedding Anniversary and we'll be in Nashville by then until Sunday.

Fishing, food and fun. Not a bad plan at all.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Help us!

I have just been introduced to the world of home karaoke. I now have a new PS2 game, Country Karaoke Revolution!
Let the fun begin!

Covenant Seminary Logo
Online Resources Search

Search and download hundreds of print and audio resources from the Covenant Seminary Web site -- free! - Reliable eBay Bidding.
Reliable eBay Bidding. It's awesome!