Archive for February, 2008

“It’s an ambitious book written to engage the regular church-goer and scholar alike. Yet the book is a somewhat uneven performance. In attempting to walk the tight-rope of reaching a wide audience in what might be called “laymen’s terms” while remaining philosophically robust, Fitch at several points relies on what can only be oversimplifications and generalizations.  In so far as he does this however, The Great Giveaway nonetheless remains a useful introduction to thinking about the church in the twenty-first century” [links added].

My good friend Kenny Sheppard is working on his Ph.D. in Intellectual History at Johns Hopkins University.   It’s our goal to visit as many Baltimore area diners as we can while he’s in Baltimore.  We’ve been at it for a couple of years now but we have a ton of diners to go.

Read his entire book review here.


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I added this Christianity Today article to the Larry Norman Metapost I’ve been building since he passed, but I wanted to post it separately here to highlight the quote:

“This was the first time I had ever heard what is called “the gospel.” Well, I let Larry know I was Jewish and that Jews don’t believe in Jesus. I figured there might be an awkward moment, maybe even a mumbled apology, and then we would talk about something else. Maybe he’d invite me out on a date.

But Larry continued to talk as if Jesus were still relevant to the discussion. Instead of a date, he invited me to a church in New Jersey where he was giving a concert. I didn’t know that he was a well-known Christian artist, songwriter, and producer extraordinaire. I guess I didn’t know because Larry was not full of himself. He was full of a heart to reach people whom God wanted to reach — and that included me.”

The whole article is well worth reading.

Susan Perlman in Christianity Today

– the Larry Norman Metapost

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“1. grab your preferred digital media player.
2. push play in shuffle mode.
3. report … the first 10 tunes that pop up.

5. cheating is prohibited, as it would be in poor taste.
6. this will decide whether you are a likeable person or not.
7. at least that’s what my friend steve told me.
8. when he said this, the part about being a likeable person, i panicked.
9. but it turned out he was kidding.
10. sort of.

15. you’re still a great person.”

– see the entire challenge with the 424 comments (so far) here.

I’m going to change it a bit:

Here are the 10 tunes that come up now as I shuffle my Nano. I’m now going to tag five folks, challenge them to do the same shuffle, post their 10 selections on their blog, and tag 5 other folks. Let’s see if we can get something viral going.

  1. I’m Slowly Turning – Icky Thump – The White Stripes
  2. Vexed and Glorious – New Sacred Cow – Kenna
  3. Hell Bent – New Sacred Cow – Kenna
  4. Into the Fire (Extended Remix) – Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff – Sarah McLachlan
  5. Part One – The Way Up – Pat Metheny
  6. Minuano – Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny
  7. Elsewhere – The Freedom Sessions – Sarah McLachlan
  8. Can You Feel It? – Remedy – David Crowder Band (ha!)
  9. Opening – The Way Up – Pat Metheny
  10. Eighteen – Offramp – Pat Metheny

And I’m tagging:

Ok, guys, you’re it!


graphic from Roland Users Group Insider

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We received some bad news this morning. Our surgeon let us know that the test they did Monday for Skye’s left kidney indicated that its functioning was extremely compromised. Her right kidney is doing 96% of the work. And our doctor recommended no other intervention at this time since the stint that they placed in her left kidney on 12 February and was removed Monday precipitated no significant improvement of left kidney function.

The good news is that you can live to be 100 on one kidney and her right kidney is working fine. What’s also good is that Skye is in no pain at all and is back in school. We thank God for these blessings.

The bad news is that Skye is only 9 years old with only one working kidney (at least for now) and – more concerning – there is also calcification of the deflux on her right kidney as well. We do not know for certain that the deflux complication of calcification on her left kidney is what precipitated the loss of function, but it seems clear to me that it’s a possibility. I asked Dr. Mathews about monitoring this for the right kidney and he wants us to get it tested every 3 mos for at least a year so that we can monitor for this.

Dr. Mathews let Q-Med, the manufacturer of Deflux, know about the deflux complication and they’ve notified the Food and Drug Administration. We had heard of one other instance of this and today we learned that there is a grand total of three incidences of Deflux calcifying. I think this is just in the US where the FDA approved this procedure in 2001 (they’ve been doing this surgery for 15 years in Europe).

So we’re in uncharted territory here and we will speak to God about this and ask for his help. He made Skye and He loves her and He is good even when we don’t get it.

When you think of it, please ask God to protect Skye. She is such a precious little girl and our hearts are very sad at this turn of events. Please also pray for Beth, especially; she’s pretty discouraged. I should say that we are not “giving up” on the left kidney and are exploring with Skye’s surgeon the possibility of it starting to function. We know that sometimes kidneys do stop functioning temporarily.

Again, thanks to all of you for prayers, visits, cards, calls, emails, help, etc. I sincerely believe your prayers especially have made a difference.


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Os Guinness, who served as best man at Frank Schaeffer’s wedding takes issue with his recent biographical critique of his famous parents:

Francis Schaeffer, in his son’s portrait, lacked intellectual integrity. There was a lie at the very heart of the work of L’Abri, and the thousands of people who over the decades came to L’Abri and came to faith or deepened in faith, were obviously conned too.

I challenge this central charge of Frank’s with everything in me. I and many of my closest friends, who knew the Schaeffers well, are certain beyond a shadow of doubt that they would challenge it too. Defenders of truth to others, Francis and Edith Schaeffer were people of truth themselves” [links added].

– see the entire Books & Culture review of Frank Schaeffer’s Crazy for God


ht: justin taylor

image from Musings of a Pertinacious Papist

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c michael patton has helpfully provided a metapost of blogosphere comment to his recent contribution to discerning the various flavors of emerging.

i had also commented, linking to other ec categorizations here.

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skye update


Skye has been doing well and is largely pain-free. She’s been back to school since Tues 19 Feb.

Skye is headed to Johns Hopkins this AM for three outpatient procedures:

  • They’re going to take the stint out of Skye’s left kidney. This stint was put in an effort to improve the functioning of that kidney. The stint has been the only thing making Skye uncomfortable, so it’ll be great that this is finally coming out. They’ll be able to remove the stint non-surgically.
  • We’ll also be doing two tests to help evaluate Skye’s kidneys:
    • A Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA) Renal Scan

      For this test, Skye will get be given a radioisotope through an IV and they will be able to take a picture of how things are flowing through her system 2-3 hours later.

    • A Renal Ultrasound

      Similar to what women experience when doctors evaluate their pregancies, the doctors will be able to use sound waves to evaluate Skye’s kidneys.

    I’m not sure how much we’ll learn today but when we know something I’ll post it.

Earlier, I had posted about concerns with Skye’s thyroid functioning. We were happy to learn that all the panels came back normal.

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