And now, the worship DJ

Trying to be “contemporary,” as in contemporary worship, requires hitting a moving target, since, by definition, what is up to the minute changes every minute.  This is especially true when it comes to pop culture, which depends for its commercial success on spinning out fashions that rapidly go in and out of style.  And what is “out” becomes looked down upon even more than it was considered cool a few months ago.  (In contrast, what is “classic” never goes out of style.)

So what are churches that want to feature contemporary music supposed to do? Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post writes about a congregation that has gotten rid of its praise band and brought in a DJ.  Read about it after the jump, but here is the killer quote:

And to people younger than 30, the drums and electric guitars of the contemporary rock that dominates much of American Christianity are not only not edgy, “but for them, it’s like singing hymns,” [DJ Hans] Daniels said. “Why does the music you worship to and jam out to have to be completely separate?”

How would you answer that question?

And let’s test the premise:  Those of you who go to dance clubs, do you really want that same kind of music in church?  Wouldn’t you find that embarrassing? [Read more…]

News costs money

I like to read newspapers.  Those big floppy papery things.*  (*Who can catch that allusion?)  I am aware, though, that fewer and fewer people share my affection.  Among the young adults I know, including those who are very interested in current events, hardly any of them read a newspaper.  They have become technologically obsolete, so the newspaper industry is fading.  More and more people, maybe most people by now, get their news from the internet.

But you know what?  When you get your news from the internet, clicking links from Drudge or Google News or this blog, you are taken for the most part to articles from newspapers!  For us to have all of that information, somebody has to pay the reporters. [Read more…]

Religious hospitals may have to accept abortionists

One pro-life strategy on the state level is to require abortion clinics to meet the standards of legitimate medical facilities and to require abortionists to have admitting privileges in area hospitals.  This exposes the medically shoddy standards of the abortion industry, forcing many abortuaries out of business.  But some of them are trying to comply.

But a federal law is on the books that would require Roman Catholic and other religiously-affiliated hospitals that take federal funds to accept doctors who perform abortions.  Ironically, the law is the Church Amendment, which prevents federal funding for the procedure, but also provides certain protections for abortionists.  After the jump, a story about how this issue–which will surely be litigated–has come to a head in Wisconsin. [Read more…]

Radical Orthodoxy?

What are we to make of “radical orthodoxy”?  This isn’t people who are orthodox getting all radical about it, as in some sort of theological Tea Party.  It’s a distinct theological movement, as I understand it, that uses postmodern philosophy to shoot down theological liberalism, that challenges the fact/value nature/grace distinction, that makes use of the church fathers to critique modernity, and that looks at all areas of life from a theological lens. [Read more…]

Obamacare a step towards single-payer system

Critics of Obamacare have said that it is just a first step towards a single-payer system.  That is, the government provides everyone’s health care as in the socialized medicine of Great Britain and Canada.  Now Senate majority leader Harry Reid is admitting that this is, in fact, the plan.

And if Obamacare proves to be as difficult to implement as it seems,I suspect that instead of eliminating government involvement in health care altogether, the solution will be to just extend Medicare to everyone and we will have socialized medicine sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

A word-based management style

Nervous Washington Post employees are wondering what life will be like under their new boss, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com.  So some of the newspaper’s reporters did a bit of investigative journalism on what Bezos is like to work for.  The article is worth reading for his exploration of the distinctive management style of the man Warren Buffett calls “the ablest CEO in America.”

After discussing such things as Bezos’ long-term thinking, his willingness to experiment, his disdain for bureaucracy, his demand for efficiency, and his high standards for performance (which allow for productive failures), reporters Craig Timberg and Jia Lynn Yang tell about this ultimate book-seller’s  belief in the “power of words.”

They warm the cockles of this English professor’s heart when they describe how Bezos doesn’t allow PowerPoint, thinking the bullet-point approach leads to simplistic thinking, making his workers write papers instead, since the very act of writing forces them to focus their thinking and to explore their ideas. [Read more…]