Distractions: February 2011 Edition

Some Recent Distractions from the Web:


  • Stream new albums from Over the Rhine, Radiohead, and Red Mountain Music
  • Follow the progress of Son Lux and his attempt to create and mix an entire album in the course of one month.  I think you will agree that the early samples sound amazing .
  • See recent footage of Sufjan Stevens live at the Sydney Opera House.  You will find an interesting version of “All Delighted People” among the clips.
  • Free download of a wonderful winter mix of electronic music from the folks over at Gorilla vs. Bear.  Perfect for study or work.
  • View a full documentary of the recently departed modern composer Milton Babbitt.  An extremely important figure in the development of modern music and the use of electronic technology in composition.  The first “real” American modern composer to take the 12 tone system and run with it, often in very rhythmic ways.


  • Stanley Hauerwas in a series of articles on the ABC website about the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifices of war.
  • Wonderful insight from Kent Eilers for those who might attempt to read Karl Barth.  I am currently working my way through his volumes on the Doctrine of God in the Dogmatics and find Eiler’s comments really helpful.  Reading Barth really is like listening to music.  Here are “4 handles” to get you started.
  • A new book entitled, “Oprah?: The Gospel of an Icon,” looks intriguing.  You can find an interview with the author here.
  • David Fitch has just released a new book entitled The End of Evangelicalism: Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission


  • Finally, a peek into Pixar Studios!  A few blocks from our previous house in Oakland.
  • You could spend hours touring some of the finest art museums in the world on Googles new Art Project.
  • Creation Swap is a just launched collaborative site for artist working within the church context.  Great for PPT ideas.

Cultural Loose Ends

  • Slavoj Zizek on the miracle of Tahrir Square
  • This American Life examines the power of “The Fed” and the idea of money in a podcast entitled “The Invention of Money.”  Hum…you mean money isn’t real?:)
  • Do you tire of the “organic crusade”?  Check out this article in the Atlantic entitled”The Moral Crusade Against Foodies”

And Finally…

A prayer from the recently departed John Cardinal Dearden that puts just about everything back into perspective.  I hope that my friends who find themselves in the crucible of “professional ministry” will take a good look at this one…

The Romero Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.