You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You can roll down the sleeves on your red leather jackets now, men...

... the Jackson gang ain't gonna be rumblin' on yo' turf no more, know what ah'm sayin'?

Instead, they be beatin' it back to they homes:

POLICE are preparing for a fan riot if Michael Jackson is found guilty of child molestation. A rapid deployment plan has been prepared by Santa Barbara sheriffs following an increase in tension outside the court. Riot police, mounted police and dog squads are on standby. [...]

- Nick Papps, "Police fear riot if superstar found guilty", Courier-Mail (11 June 2005)

Revenge of the Kiwis

Why does it seem that many of the movers in the Emerging Church scene are Kiwis? Is is that those from the Shaky Isles feel the need to make their mark on the world, as did the most esteemed bee-keeper, Hilary of Auckland? Or is there something more afoot in the land of the Long White Cloud?

For example:

Mark Pierson - Executive Director of Urban Seed, - "Mark Pierson has been a minister in NZ Baptist Churches for 22 years".

Tallskinnykiwi - the name says it all (actually it doesn't - his name is Andrew Jones

Postkiwi - "Duncan Macleod, a Kiwi living on the Gold Coast, Australia"

e~mergentkiwi - "Steve Taylor...a role as lead pastor at Opawa Baptist in aotearoa new zealand."

Perhaps this is a result of NZ's bold "free trade agreement" - IMPORTING FROM THE WORLD.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Under the Lavalamp

I missed the weekend posts on the Youthmultimedia list and only picked up on them today.

Among them was this message that caught my eye from Jonny Baker:

Subject: Digital prayer lavalamp
Check out the current issue of which has a digital prayer lavalamp in flash which I absolutely love...jonny baker

I absolutely love it too - as a flash animation. The animation itself is actually a modified version of one the the earlier projects in a book called Flash 4 Magic. I made it myself - part of the challege when I made the lavalamp was the need to modify the action script from Flash 4 to Flash MX.

Fun to do. But not fun to see how the project has been turned into what I would call an exanple of a "faith fascinator" ie a distraction from true prayer. The "virtual lava lamp" is described as an opportunity to add a prayer and have it revolve around in the lava lamp along with all the other blobs.

I could go on about the lava lamp as cultural kitsch vs revolutionary design, and weigh into a critique of the value of cultural objects and their relative corruption (rather than as novel applications for s(t)imulating piety), but its probably better to quote Jesus:

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and switch on your lava lamp. Imagine your prayers floating around as the blobs. Up and down they go with no particular direction or purpose. They all just meld together with all the other blob-prayers into one seamless unity of blobbiness. And your power company, who records the electricity you use in secret, will charge you."

David Tacey Watch #3 / Woe to you, blind guides!

I knew I wasn't wasting my time at the David Tacey seminar back in April. Now the Uniting Church in Queensland has devoted almost a whole issue of Journey to the event.

Amongst the confusion that inevitably emerges in Uniting Chuch minds over what is and isn't the pure unsullied Word of God, comes an insightful piece from Rev Dr Geoff Thompson, Director of Studies in Systematic Theology, Trinity Theological College.

Here's the punchline:

Tacey’s rejection of Jesus’ identity with God is a reminder that, for all his rhetoric about privileging ‘experience’ over ‘belief’, he holds some quite particular beliefs about what may and may not be believed within the circle of contemporary spirituality.

You'll have to read the whole article, the general article on David Tacey and maybe the whole edition of Journey to grab the context of the quote, but it really jumped out at me.

For all the claims of "multiplicity and diversity of faith and belief", there is only one which consistently gets marginalised in such circles - traditional, conservative Christiainity.

Friday, June 03, 2005

At last we will reveal ourselves - Mark Steyn on ROTS

And what a rotter it is...

"Lucas characters always have to spell out what they’re thinking and feeling because he’s incapable of showing it. You can’t make the core of the story the absolute overpowering love of boy for girl when the two of them have all the sexual chemistry of their Burger King merchandising tie-in action figures."