Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quotes on Architecture

The following quotes on Architectural Theology come from Michal S. Rose.

Church architecture affects the way man worships; the way he worships affects what he believes; and what he believes affects not only his personal relationship with God but how he conducts himself in his daily life.

Architectural theology....simply means that church architecture is more than a matter of taste and more than a matter of tradition: what we build as a house of God should reflect what we believe about God.

One basic tenet that architects have accepted for millennia is that the built environment has the capacity to affect the human person deeply—the way he acts, the way he feels, and the way he is. Church architects of past and present understood that the atmosphere created by the church building affects not only how we worship, but also what we believe. Ultimately, what we believe affects how we live our lives. It’s difficult to separate theology and ecclesiology from the environment for worship, whether it's a traditional church or a modern church.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Music for Good Friday

One of the hymns we'll be singing at our Good Friday service, is this wonderful text by Isaac Watts newly set by Henry Owen.

Not all the blood of beasts On Jewish altars slain

Could give the guilty conscience peace Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb, Takes all our sins away;

A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand On that dear head of Thine,

While, like a penitent, I stand, And there confess my sin.
My soul looks back to see The burdens Thou didst bear

When hanging on the curs├Ęd tree, And hopes her guilt was there.

Not all the blood of beasts On Jewish altars slain

Could give the guilty conscience peace Or wash away the stain.
Believing, we rejoice To see the curse remove;

We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice, And sing His bleeding love.

Text: Isaac Watts, 1709; Music: Henry Owen, 2008.
© 2008 Greyfriars Press, Used by Permission.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NEA and Homeschooling

With the current and various battles raging against home schooling, I found the following quotes from an article posted on the National Education Association website to be quite enlightening:

Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning Amateurs
Schools With Good Teachers Are Best-Suited to Shape Young Minds
By Dave Arnold, Custodian and member of the Illinois Education Association

There's nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Certain jobs are best left to the pros, such as, formal education…

So, why would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children? You would think that they might leave this—the shaping of their children’s minds, careers, and futures—to trained professionals. That is, to those who have worked steadily at their profession for 10, 20, 30 years! Teachers!...

Don’t most parents have a tough enough job teaching their children social, disciplinary and behavioral skills? They would be wise to help their children and themselves by leaving the responsibility of teaching math, science, art, writing, history, geography and other subjects to those who are knowledgeable, trained and motivated to do the best job possible.

These statements indicate just how far some in the profession of teaching have drifted in their priorities with regard to what is true education.

Easter and Church Flyers

It’s nearing Easter, which means that we start getting the glossy flyers in the mail from non-denominational emergent “churches.” These are generally the gatherings that have slick photos of the husband and wife pastor-team.

“Flipped”—how Jesus flipped the world with his message.

Most of these flyers have an itemized list somewhere of what the assembly is like (note—these are actual quotes):

1. We dress for comfort
2. We have meaningful, moving music (no people in polyester singing sadly)
3. Kids have cool classes
4. Baby gets to hang out in our neat nursery
5. You can worship with real people just like you
6. You will feel wanted & welcomed, but not watched
7. You don’t get beat up

The kicker usually comes in where the flyers announces the core values:

“The Assembly (not the real name) is a new church in your area committed to helping you make real connections with God and other people. We are not into religion, but seek a relationship with God and others that can change the world.

“If you’re looking for a fun, non-nonsense, practical approach to faith, than you owe it to yourself to give the Assembly a try.”

It never ceases to amaze me that people try to package Yahweh, the Creator and Ruler of the universe and Most Holy God, into a neat, practical and fun time for the kids. And that church becomes nothing more than about your comfort, preferences, and ease.

At this time of year when the whole creation ripples with new life, our hearts do soar, but only through the realization of the absolute depravity of our own efforts, our need for a Redeemer—and hence the need for the blood and gore of the cross, AND the glorious Resurrection glory. Sin and death have been conquered and swallowed up in victory! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Modern Parables Interview

CBN did an interview with Modern Parables director and writer, Thomas Purifoy. Thomas talks through the purpose of the film series and how they bring the message of the parables to life in our own times.

Thomas is also offering free iTunes downloads of the six films for a limited time on his website. You can also purchase individual films as well.

Article about Museums and Disputed Art

A Cleveland Newspaper has a fascinating article about the acquisition of ancient art objects and the tactics that some countries are using to force the return of art with disputed ownership.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thomas Chalmers Quote

“In bygone days when God’s covenant people sought to strengthen their piety, to sharpen their effectual intercessions, and give passion to their supplications, they partook of the means of grace in all holiness with humble prayer and fasting. When intent upon seeking the Lord God’s guidance in difficult after-times, they partook of the means of grace in all holiness with humble prayer and fasting. When they were wont to express grief—whether over the consequences of their own sins or the sins of others—they partook of the means of grace in all holiness with humble prayer and fasting. When they sought deliverance or protection in times of trouble, they partook of the means of grace in all holiness with humble prayer and fasting. When they desired to express repentance, covenant renewal, and a return to the fold of faith, they partook of the means of grace in all holiness with humble prayer and fasting. Such is the call upon all who would name the Name of Jesus. Such is the ordinary Christian life.”

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cello Techniques

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle tells of two cellists who have extended the flexibility of the cello through either a curved bow or even two bows played at the same time.