Saturday, December 30, 2006

Readings:
Jonathan:
The Coming of the Kingdom

Stay tuned for reviews on this Herman Ridderbos classic.

Maggie's reads:
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad



Maggie is bound to have much more incite into this favorite of mine than I could ever hope to attain, thus I leave it to her to write the review:

"Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person...what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person." ---Matthew 15:10...18

It is so tempting to make an issue of race in "Heart of Darkness." Doubtless Conrad does use the continent of Africa, a large land mass filled with non-white people, specifically the Belgian Congo, to symbolize the depth of darkness, the heart of darkness. Chinua Achebe makes a convincing argument in his essay as to Conrad's profound and perhaps partly unknowing racism. He suggests that Conrad's hatred should color our reading of the novella. And of course, the argument is irrefutable--the text is rather racist. This is hurtful, at best.

Nonetheless, it is more complex (as if often is) than just a novella written by a racist white man, lauded by more racist white people for a hundred years and only recently discovered to be a racially discriminatory text. There is a message of truth that, while it does not diminish Conrad's racism, should outlast whatever contextual hatred Conrad (purposely or accidentally) weaves into the paragraphs and pages of his book. Perhaps the hateful tenor serves to further his ultimate moral: all human hearts are dark. Dark hearts are the predicament of person-kind, not Africa alone. Surely, the Belgian Congo was a dark place, perhaps the heart of all dark places; but it is the organ itself, the depths of man's soul from which the darkness emanates. Most agree, white, black, yellow or purple, the color of your skin does not determine the darkness of your heart.

And all this brings me back, thankful, to the foot of the cross.

Listenings:
Being that it is Christmas, we have ushered in the season of yuletide cheer with the sounds of Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas
Other listenings include, but are not limited to,
The Libertines, Hot Hot Heat, Mewithoutyou, and even a little Matisyahu.

Eats:
Maggie enjoys experimenting with her More with Less cookbook. She does a good job.

Watchings:
Our two most recent films are
Apocalypto, by Mel Gibson,
and The History Boys, by Nicholas Hytner.
Stay tuned for our reviews and recommendations.

Partially in response to the ascendant demand (as well as the subtle conviction) to detail our lives at present, we begin yet again, as it seems best given the modern mediums, this blog. At one point, determining that blogs are a self-gratifying, narcissistic indulgence, we purposed to refrain from the same, however, we have come to see the usefulness that might outweigh our original convictions. Never mind moral principles, let's get things done. In light of our recent acceptance to raise support through Student Ministries Inc, keeping in touch vis-a-vis a weblog might facilitate my perpetual inconsistancy in communicating to those who may, or may not, be interested. Thus we reengage our captive audience with this new entry that breaks the long-held silence in not my own.

Sidebar: it was recently made known to me that we have had a total of 5 visitors to our site. No further comment

Friday, November 17, 2006

"He who finds a wife, finds a good thing."
The brother, cousin, and beautiful wives.

“…this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.” --George W Bush

In recent years the American political stance on Middle Eastern policy has been taking a terminological overhaul. From “war on terror” to “war on Islamic fascists”, the respective contenders define degrees of commitments while the proverbial line in the sand is being drawn. As the victims of radical Islamic atrocities implore the governments to call it what it is, as the politically corrects of the international theater beg for tolerable verbiage and empty euphemisms, and as the war on a tactic is no longer implicit, we find the leader of the free world drawing inconclusive assumptions between the state of American safety and Mussolini controlled Italy. Furthermore the concession is made that assumes Islamic leaders are adverse to the freedom we enjoy and therefore are necessarily at war with Americans. Are such allegations merited or are they merely derisive taunts? For those rubbernecking the polarizing world, such a demarcation of terminology as this is monumental. Insomuch that implications of this wording will have far reaching political consequences, so are the effects rippling into the religious spheres as the Christian and Islamic horns lock even tighter.

Defining Islam in terms that honor both its history and implicate its violence has always been arduous. Consequently, the setting forth of a respectful modus operandi toward Muslims (and how much more a national policy toward Islamic authorities?) can be equally tiresome. However, setting forth a Christian agenda regarding this institution can in fact influence both regimes: the Islamic authorities and the Western powers that seek to quell their advances. This approach to establish a Christian agenda bases its contentions on a biblically developed view of those without Christ, an analysis of Islam, and draws upon divine principles of a conquering love. Perhaps a more informed Christian view could be a viable alternative, if not entirely juxtaposed, to George W. Bush’s battle cry. Perhaps while seeking a clearer understanding without compromising truth, one might find this a more hopeful response or explanation to this seemingly ascendant movement that is Islam and its advances, both active and passive...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
Here with Antonlul and his family; ex-freedom fighter, turned evangelist.