Monday, September 29, 2014

My favorite verse on Lecrae's "Anomaly"

In high school
we tried to act all tough
I remember a couple times
I couldn't back that up
Like when I ran from them vatos, scuffing up my zapatos
Scared of losing my hide
I was so embarrassed inside
If I could go back in time
I would stand and say something like
I ain't never scared, 
never scared, never scared
I'm lying, I'm scared of these thoughts in my head
I'm scared of possibly pushing people right over the ledge
When I say I pledge allegiance to the struggle
Then, I turn around and buckle
Under stress and under pressure
Bible on my dresser that can teach my pain a lesson
But I rather not address it
Address that's in depression
I'm scared if I confess it
That you gon' look at me like I'm something less
And I'm such a mess

"Fear" by Lecrae, from the "Anomaly" album

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My favorite Ceelo verse

Struggling's just a part of my day
Many obstacles been placed in my way
I know the only reason that I make it through
Is because I never stop believing in you
Some people wonder why we're here in the 1st place
They can't believe because they ain't never seen your face
But even when you pray, the next day you gotta try
Can it wait for nobody to come down out the sky
You've got to realize that the world's a test
You can only do your best and let him do the rest
You've got your life, you've got your health
So quit procrastinating and push it yourself
You've got to realize that the world's a test
You can only do your best and let him do the rest
You've got your life, you've got your health
So quit procrastinating

~Ceelo, From Outkast's "In Due Time" 1997

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lecrae's "Anomaly" remains just that despite contemporary influences

Albums exist in the idiom of their times.

Lecrae's new album, "Anomaly," is no different. It is very Outkast-ish on a few tracks, Ludacris-like on one song, Drake-ish on the hook of one song, parts of one song has a 2pac/West coast feel, and towards the end of the album it's gets pretty contemporary Christian; but to mention all of those is highly misleading. 

"Anomaly" remains very original even in those few--I stress the word "few"--times the beats, hooks, bridges (or whatever you call them) remind you of something off Aquemini or someone contemporary.  Lecrae's delivery sounds like his own for most of the time, except when he's interacting with a popular song, or at least using something modern to accomplish his own purposes. Overall, the album was more cohesive and polished than "Gravity." Still less theological than "Rebel" and not as raw. But it is a job well done. 

I'd give it an 8.5/10 at best, and reluctantly give it a 7.9/10 at worst. Reluctantly. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

John Owen on the Mortification of Sin

"Mortification from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, to the end of a self-righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religion in the world." ~John Owen, The Mortification of Sin

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Foreign Policy: It's time to give up Washington Wizardry

Just two weeks ago, President Obama didn't have a plan for fighting the terrorist group ISIL. Now this evening at 9 P.M., on TV screens and live streams everywhere, he will be giving us a plan for how the U.S. Military will be involved for 3 more years in the Middle East.

This means that since last week the best and brightest witches, warlocks and wizards in the Cabinet have steadily been adding all sorts of ingredients to the White House kitchen cauldron, all of which have been in the White House fridge since the Bush years.

"Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble." ~Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 1

But the lesson from the Obama presidency should be that politicians can't plan the outcomes of war anymore than they can plan the outcomes in the economy. The only person with intelligence that great is God.

Central planning, both in the realm of foreign policy and domestic policy, has evidently failed before our eyes these last 14 years. What hasn't been tried is freedom.

It's time to give Washington wonkery up.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The empire ain't loyal: The U.S. switch on ISIS

America is an empire in decline.

George Carlin was somewhat right when he said, "We like war, because we are good at it." Actually, we're only good at bombing random targets, as of late. We didn't win Iraq, for it's being taken over. We won't win in Syria. We won't win in Iran or any other country. We won't win against ISIS in whatever country they are in, at least not through the Empire's usual methods. And just think, ISIS was our partner just last year in the fight against Assad. One can only wonder when we are done with ISIS if we are going to then turn the gun on our potential partner Assad?

These bureaucrats ain't loyal.

To me Assad seems like another Saddam Hussein: if the U.S. Government ever decides to oust him again, which they did just last year, then something worse will come and fill the vacuum; and then soon we will be tempted to fight whatever comes to fill the vacuum -- just like we are tempted to fight ISIS in Syria now.

What seems to be occurring are modified versions of Bastiat's "Broken Window Fallacy," also referred to as the fallacy of the "seen and the unseen."

We see, for example, the bombs deployed, the targets in Israel hit, Osama Bin Laden killed, etc. That is, we fall victim to "the persistency of a given policy, or it's effects only on a special group, and neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences." 

But what we don't see are the those long-run effects: more hatred of America, more potential blowback, more leverage for the recruitment of Jihadists, all of which will be used to bomb more people and accelerate the cycle of violence.

And all of this attests to one thing: whether it's economic policy or foreign policy, which the economics should always be considered, the big wigs in Washington still have absolutely no clue what they're doing. 

WCF Chapter One "Of Holy Scripture" Sunday School (Sept.-Oct. 2021)

Our text for Sunday School (also "The Confession of Faith and Catechisms") Biblical Theology Bites What is "Biblical Theology...