28 June 2005 

1st_bedecard_posted_to_web

So apparently I was the first person to post a BeDeCard to the web. This is exciting. FYI, it was posted from Col's friend Becca's apartment in Philadelphia using their WiFi.

When they write the book about BeDeCard theory and praxis, I sure hope this makes it in.


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27 June 2005 

Zombie Thoughts #1

zombie_thoughts

I may occassionally try to relate theological/philosophical issues to zombies. I don't mean namby-pamby "I'm not aware of myself" academic zombies, I mean flesh eating, totally undead, smelly hordes.

Zombies & Liberalism



Are zombies an apt metaphor for the problems of liberalism? Roaming monads wearing the costumes of individualistic capitalism ("Hark! There roams zombie butcher, baker, stewardess, cop!") Modernity is implicitly nihilistic, so-called post-modernity is explicitly so, and the roaming zombies project those worldviews in graphic materiality.

Zombies don't have ethics because they don't have a story.


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Hauerwas

"9. In our attempt to control our society, Christians in America have too readily accepted liberalism as a social strategy appropriate to the Christian story."

Liberalism, in its many forms and versions, presupposes that society can be organized without any narrative that is commonly held to be true. As a result it tempts us to believe that freedom and rationality are independent of narrative- that is, we are free to the extent that we have no story. Liberalism is, therefore, particularly pernicious to the extent it prevents us from understanding how deeply we are captured by its account of existance."

-Stanley Hauerwas
"Reforming Christian Social Ethics: Ten Theses" (1981)

It kinda creeps me out anytime someone says "I'm a child of the Enlightenment." It seems to be a big stamp of approval for liberalism, and it has a weird semantic relationship to "child of God." Eeeek!


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24 June 2005 

The Tyranny of Distance

amherst
oxford
transatlanticism


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23 June 2005 

Evangelicals in Iraq

from the Washington Post:
"The way the preachers arrived here . . . with soldiers . . . was not a good thing," said Baghdad's Roman Catholic archbishop, Jean Sleiman. "I think they had the intention that they could convert Muslims, though Christians didn't do it here for 2,000 years."(page 1)


Delly said that "even if a Muslim comes to me and said, 'I want to be Christian,' I would not accept. I would tell him to go back and try to be a good Muslim and God will accept you." Trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, he added, "is not acceptable."(page 2)


What do we have to learn about Kingdom building from Iraq? I would really like to learn more about the status of Christian/Muslim relationships there. Did the relative liberalism of Saddam Hussein have the same sort of theologically liberalizing trends liberalism has had in the West? Or is Delly's comment simply a symptom of being a minority population? (Somehow, though, I don't think early Christians would have sent willing converts back to their Pantheon. Does the fact that Islam considers itself an heir to Abrahamic faith nullify that comparison?)


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20 June 2005 

Ze Trip

theroute
I haven't forgotten about this thing. See! I'm posting a new picture. This is just going to have to be piecemeal.
Stolen Sharpie Revolution
Another update!

So, Col and I learned quite a bit on this miniature road trip. This included things about art, being people who would like to marry each other, maps, and of course, indie/diy culture at the Allied Media conference. We attended various workshops (myself: Making your own short radio piece, starting a youth media center, A/V improv, indie fundraising; Colleen: Indie marketing, Hip-hop and organizing, some video screenings and starting your own alternative publication.) Some were better than others, but we agreed that, even if the content of the workshops was limited, they definitely provided us with, to get chemical about things, "activation energy."

We both felt like we really didn't quite fit in to the scene there. There is an indie culture that is distinct but, as it is very definitely a reaction against the mainstream (and one, I might add, that is frequently swallowed up my the mainstream) it has its own conformist tendencies as well. The t-shirt pictured below, along with another classic that said "Defend Fallujah" and featured a shoulder mounted rocket launcher, are reflective of a trend amongst this crowd to be awfully confused about how one should engage in ethical discourse. "What the heck is justice or love?", and "How did you come to such a clear understanding of the way the world should be?" were questions that the two of us were asking inside our heads frequently. It is a confusing picture that is painted when streams of thoroughly modern Marxism and postmodern deconstruction come together and get expressed most succinctly in hip t-shirts.

Like I said, though, we did learn quite a bit. Col and I talked on the ride home about how important genuinely Christian, and genuinely independent, media could be. This means stuff that doesn't come through Zondervan, or Thomas Nelson, or any of the other big Christian publishers and content producers (never mind the big time, mainstream stuff.) Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate a lot of the things that they put out, but I think there is just a tremendous potential for totally independent, very cheap information sharing. This is not, of course, a new idea, and there is plenty of good stuff out there already. (Online sermons, theology blogs, etc) This can be dangerous, too (look at a lot of tracts, for instance.) But it does seem to me that there's plenty more room for healthy, Christian critiques of sexual mores, news media; the distribution of art, etc, that is more accessible to more people. (Baird has a great idea for a sort of Christian reading list PDF zine.) I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I feel convicted to start experimenting (with Colleen and my friends at FBC Amherst.)


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was a great trip. I miss Colleen.

Some more pictures:
AMC Wristband
These served as conference passes.

col and i
Col and I in a very cheap and tasty Mexican restaurant. They had apple soda that was delicious.


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AMC 2k5


T-SHIRT
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.
To be updated sporadically over the next few days.


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19 June 2005 

this is an audio post - click to play


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18 June 2005 

Boo.

I forgot my USB cable in the dorm room. I am a doody-head. (I'm not sure if that is spelled correctly.)

I have some interesting pictures to post, unfortunately.

I can say this: Col and I are a bit tired of "indie" stuff, the culture is tough, but we have learned a lot.

We miss friends. I'll probably write the conference up while we're in the car tomorrow, and put the pictures in later.


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17 June 2005 

this is an audio post - click to play


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A BeDeCard to Start the Day


BeDeCard
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.
Thanks, Baird! We're about to drive 8.5 hours to Bowling Green, Ohio. Prayers for travelling mercies appreciated.


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16 June 2005 

this is an audio post - click to play


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Colleen and I Adventure in Philadelphia

We took a SEPTA train into City Hall and then searched in vain for a so-called "Phlash" bus. It ended up being more like a "Phantom" bus...we couldn't find it anywhere! (ha-yuck, ha-yuck.)

We did, however, eventually find our way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We did not have much time, but we did manage to get through the modern & contemporary wing. (On our way into it, we got to see some Cezanne, Van Gogh and Renoir, Monet. Art history textbook stuff. Beautiful.)

The modern stuff (Picasso, Johns, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Warhol, Duchamp!) was particularly exciting to me because of Baird's recent presentation on the ideas that have influenced his brainchild, BeDeCards. Baird and I had a brief conversation relating Dada to postmodernism and theology generally, pulling on N.T. Wright's framing of postmodernism as a manifestation of God's judgment on the arrogance of modernity. Baird related that to God's use of invading Assyrians to deliver judgment upon Israel.

"Wake up and smell the Torah."

Brilliant.

Enjoy the pictures below.


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Graves on Federal Street


Graves on Federal Street
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.


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Kandinsky


Kandinsky
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.


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Duchampnotes.JPG


readymades
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.


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dead fountain


fishvomit.JPG
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.


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Where is Warhol?


IMG_0071
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.


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IMG_0080


IMG_0080
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.
The world's most famous urinal.


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duchampnotes.JPG


duchampnotes.JPG
Originally uploaded by papertransaction.
These, my dear friends...the notes of Marcel Duchamp!


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15 June 2005 

We Mades It

We have arrived in Philadelphia.

On the way down, Colleen and I saw two trucks worth talking about here. The first of these was a "Covenant Transport" branded tractor trailer. I would not have thought anything of it, save for the fact that on its rear doors there were, in small but perfectly legible type, the words "It's not a choice / It's a child." There was more text, higher up, in bigger letters, that said "More Hours / More Pay / Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX."

The second truck of note was spotted by Col. The "Transport for Christ" truck had "Jesus is Lord" mudflaps.

I am thankful to God for our safe passage to the City of the Two M. Night Shyamalan Movies I Have Seen.

P.S. I forgot my cable bag in the car, so no pictures yet.


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14 June 2005 

The Internet Monk on Rome

Oh, I agree.


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