Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol #5

Last night's episode was pretty good. I liked the genre and didn't hate any of the songs or performances. Here are my stats (last night, name, total score):

24 Allison Iraheta (134)

24 Adam Lambert (146)
24 Danny Goakey (137)
23 Kris Allen (138)
22 Matt Giraud (126)

To me, it would be absolutely shocking and a terrible pick if anybody but Matt Giraud goes home. He is a good 8 points behind Allison for 4th place and is a definite step below the other 4 participants. I think America will get it right.

UPDATE I was right about Matt getting voted out, but I was surprised Adam was in the bottom two. I think this is a very good thing, as it means the competition is wide open. I also think the 4 remaining people really are the best 4 from this season.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Comedy of Errors

Thursday is my 'school' day (at Houghton), but this particular Thursday morning ended up being a comedy of errors on my part. It started by totally forgetting about our district LDJ meeting, a once-per-month meeting that I usually go too. As I got ready (too slowly to get the garbage to the road on time) to go to Houghton, I realized that Katie had the iPod at work. But I really like having the iPod on Thursday's b/c I'm in the car for almost 4 hours, so I called her and asked if I could get it from her. She reminded me bring the cord so we could transfer my favorite show from the laptop (which I had) to the iPod. I finally got ready and went down to the car (we live in a 2nd story apartment). But I had forgotten my keys and so had to go back up. Then I got back to the car, started down the driveway, but remembered that I had forgotten the iPod cord. So I went up to get it and left home for a third time. I brought the laptop and cord into Katie so we could transfer stuff and she realized that I had brought the wrong white cord (it was a camera cord). So I took the laptop and iPod to church to tranfer songs there. I arrived at church, put the garbage in the dumpster, loaded the iPod, and took off. But I accidently left, at the church, my laptop cord (which Katie had specifically reminded me not to forget) AND my wallet (I didn't realize this until half-way to Houghton). So I couldn't use my laptop all day OR buy lunch or dinner (luckily I had enough gas).

But it all worked out. The garbage is gone. I listened to 4 episodes of Steve's show during the rides. I didn't need my laptop. I found some week-old wafers in my car. One of my classmates brought Latin American style food for us all to accompany his presentation, and Katie found my wallet down the coach cushion at home. The only downside, really, was that I couldn't drive very fast b/c I didn't want to get pulled over without a license.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Idol #6

I just realized that I forgot to watch Idol last night, so I watched it this morning. I was due for a post anyways:

24 Adam Lambert (122)
23 Kris Allen (115)
22 Danny Goakey (113)
22 Matt Giraud (104)
21 Allison Iraheta (110)
20 Anoop Desai (105)
20 Lil Rounds (102)

This week is a little different in that 2 people are being voted off. I think only Adam & Kris are perfectly safe. Danny & Allison are fairly safe. Anoop, Matt & Lil are in big trouble. In fact, I'd be shocked if 2 of those 3 aren't gone by the end of the day. My guess is that Anoop and Lil will be gone. But I hope it is Matt & Lil that leave.

Update: I was right again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I have a dream that I'm almost certain will never come to pass. I would love to pastor in a small community for many years, establish close friendships with the other pastors in the area, and decide together to merge. It is my conviction that until the church visibly unifies, she will not be able to adequately accomplish her mission.

But cross-denominational unity is a pipe-dream, isn't it? What would it even look like? Most Christians, today, would say we already have unity (we consider the congregation down the street 'brothers and sisters' in the Lord). But is that true unity? Would true unity necessarily involve meeting in one building? Getting rid of denominational titles? Spending more time together?

Do you feel unified with the other Christians in your town? Do you want to feel unified? What would unity look like to you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Idol #7

Tuesday's episode was a little better than last week, even though Tarantino is pretty strange. Here are my scores (this week, name, overall total):

24 Adam Lambert (98)
23 Anoop Desai (85)
22 Kris Allen (92)

21 Danny Goakey (91)
21 Allison Iraheta (89)
20 Lil Rounds (82)
20 Matt Giraud (82)

So, I predict that Adam, Kris, Danny, & Allison are safe. Anoop probably protected himself for an extra week at least. Either Lil or Matt will leave. I predict Matt will go home. In fact, I will make a bolder prediction. If anyone besides Matt or Lil gets voted off, the judges will use their veto.

Adam is assured a spot in the final 3. Alison has a good shot at making the final 3 b/c she'll be the only remaining girl. The real battle is b/w Kris, Danny & Anoop to claim the FINAL final 3 spot. I'd pick Kris.

*** Update. I was very surprised that they kept Matt Giraud on the show. He's definitely one of the weakest remaining contestants. And I just don't see a scenario where he survives into the final 4. Pretty stupid. Both Matt & Lil should go next week, no matter how they do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sports Talk

I have a variety of thoughts about recent sporting news which I will combine into 1 post:

1. The world baseball championship was dumb. Unless all the key players are involved, it just isn't very interesting to me. I didn't watch more than 5 minutes of it.
2. The Sabres missed the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row and fans are starting to call for coach Lindy Ruff to be fired. But I'd stick with him. I think he's a good coach and if you get the right group, he can get them to compete for the Cup.
3. I didn't watch the NCAA Championship game. Once all the Big East school's were out, I didn't care anymore, especially b/c I actually play basketball on Monday nights.
4. I probably won't watch any full games during the NHL Playoffs. Does this mean I'm not a true hockey fan?
5. I will watch a few hours of the NFL Draft later in April. This is one of my favorite sporting events.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama's Quote

President Obama's recent remarks about the US not being a 'Christian nation' have created quite a lot of discussion (almost always a good thing). Some of my readers think I like Obama (because they didn't 'get' my trickyness in THIS post). Others think I hate the guy (because I was an all out Ron Paul supporter). Really, I just don't care very much about the state of American politics (since I consider both major parties to be, currently, pretty awful). While I'd be interested to hear the President discuss what 'ideals' and 'values' he's referring to, I don't think the quote is all that upsetting:

"One of the great strengths of the United States is, ahhh, although as I mentioned, ahh, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation, ahhh, we consider ourselves, ah, a nation of citizens who are, ah, bound by ideals and a set of values."

The quote could mean a lot of different things for the very reason that the label "Christian nation" could mean a lot of different things. Does it mean we were founded on Christian 'ideals and values'? If so, then, yes, to some degree we are a Christian nation (and an "Enlightenment Nation" and many other things). Does it mean Christianity is the religion of the professing majority? If so, then yes, we are a Christian nation.

So in what sense can President Obama say that we don't think of ourselves as a Christian nation? First, I'd have to say that I DISAGREE with him that "we" do not consider ourselves a Christian nation. I think "we" (the majority of US citizens) DO IN FACT think of ourselves as a Christian nation (I dare Obama to take a poll!). But, frankly, I (as 1 specific US citizen) AGREE that we are not a Christian nation. I think a 'Christian nation' would look a lot different than what we look like. In my opinion, we are not a Christian nation in the sense that the majority of us are not following Christ. I think this is bad. Obama, certainly, thinks our non-Christian status is a good thing.

But, to be honest, I'm more concerned with whether we are a CHRISTIAN CHURCH than with whether or not we are a Christian nation!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Idol #8

I'm not a big fan of 80's music so this week was a fairly boring episode in my opinion. In fact, the only song I liked was 'mad world' and I had no idea it was from the 80's. Here are my statistics.

24 Adam Lambert (74)
23 Allison Iraheta (68)
23 Danny Goakey (70)
23 Anoop Desai (62)
22 Kris Allen (70)
22 Matt Giraud (62)
20 Lil Rounds (62)
19 Scott Macintyre (58)

So, I predict that Adam, Danny, Kris & Allison are safe. Anoop, Matt, Lil are in danger. Scott should go.

*** Update: I was right again. Scott went home and two of my 62's were in the bottom three.

Friday, April 03, 2009

2 Books

If I could research and write really fast, I'd write 2 books today (prompted by my 'contemporary theology' class at Houghton).

Learning from Losers
While I think most of the theologians we've studied are far too liberal for my liking, I do think they have some worthwhile motivations for their works. In this book, I would try to highlight the redeeming value of a handful of popular liberal theologians.

Theology from the Way
I've come to determine that it's very unfortunate that when we study contemporary theology we only study people with a collection of impressive degrees (but, sometimes, not very impressive lives). But if theology is about studying/knowing God, then surely some of the greatest theologians are Bible teachers/practitioners. I'd love to identify a handful of 'on the ground' theologians and write about their (non-systematic) theologies.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Idol #9

Last week my predictions were quite accurate. Michael Sarver was kicked off the show after receiving only 18 points from me (tied for last). Of my 4 lowest scores, 3 ended up in the 'bottom 3'. But now things get a little more difficult since we're dealing with weekly and accumulated scores. Here are my results:

This week's performance:
25 Adam Lambert (50)
24 Kris Allen (48)
24 Danny Gokey (47)
21 Allison Iraheta (45)
21 Scott Macintyre (39)
20 Matt Giraud (40)
20 Megan Joy (38)
20 Lil Rounds (42)
18 Anoop Desai (39)

Bottom 3

Based on these numbers, I feel only Adam, Kris, Danny & Allison are truly safe this week. I think Lil would be the next safest. The others are all in serious danger of being voted off.

* Update: Looks like the lowest overall score in my system earned Megan a trip home