The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Thursday, July 28, 2005
In My Inbox this Morning
from Goodmorning Silicon Valley:

"Dear Sen. Clinton:

I'm writing to commend you for calling for a $90-million study on the effects of video games on children, and in particular the courageous stand you have taken in recent weeks against the notorious 'Grand Theft Auto' series.

I'd like to draw your attention to another game whose nonstop violence and hostility has captured the attention of millions of kids -- a game that instills aggressive thoughts in the minds of its players, some of whom have gone on to commit real-world acts of violence and sexual assault after playing.

I'm talking, of course, about high school football."

-- Steven Johnson, author of the book "Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter," calls BS on Sen. Hillary Clinton in an open letter

At this rate we should be the most intellegent culture in the world in no time. Now I can stop paying all that money to send my kids to a Classical Christian school...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I Procrastinated Long Enough...
Its high time I posted on this fine series by Rick Saenz on "Getting Things Done". Some real good wisdom here.

Rick also has posted a list of blogs on agrarianism which I plan to check out.

Oh No!
It looks like Christ Church in Moscow, ID is putting out a cookbook. Does this mean that hundreds of families (maybe thousands?) will now be eating the same thing for dinner?

(I wonder if each recipe comes with a suggested wine selection...)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
More Schilder
Matt posts another installment of his precis of Schilder's Christ & Culture.

Really, really helpful.

Friday, July 22, 2005
Speaking of Plows
and pictures of plows, check this article on Yahoo news. (Has an Oregon connection too!)

Cultural Algebra
I came across this engaging post on the possible interface between Reformed theology and the "emergent" church movement via Mark Horne. which in turn led me to this article by Mark Driscoll who has written an "emergent" book Radical Reformation. Driscoll is on the staff of Mars Hill church in Seattle which is very large and hip. The subtile says it all:

Reaching Out without Selling Out

Reformed folk have much to learn (or better we need to take notice and emulate) from the "emergent's" real concern for the hurting souls that are all around us - especially those in the inner city. But do we need to totally redesign our liturgy and even our theology to reach these people? Or do we need to simply REACH OUT to them, period.

Anyway, one thing in Driscoll's article I really liked was his algebraic analysis of the church:

Gospel + Culture - Church = Parachurch

Culture + Church - Gospel = Liberalism

Church + Gospel - Culture - Fundamentalism

I think we need to be careful to define culture as "cultural involvement in culture making" rather that "engagement" with the existing increasingly post-Christian culture. I also wonder if the is any real way that the gospel can be abstracted from the institutional church. But this is really good stuff.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Monday, July 18, 2005
One Man's Junk...
I was busy this past weekend with a garage sale, hence the absense of posts lately. Alas, it was also the same weekend as the giant Portland Antique & Collectable Show so the high powered buyers were absent. Superb weather though.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
One of my favorite artists of the moment is Jacob van Ruisdael, Dutch landscape painter par excellence. As I have noted, there is a major show of his work in LA right now which will also be in Philadelphia in the fall.

You can read an LA Times article on the exhibition here or the press release here.

One of the things that makes me laugh are all the people crowding to the see the King Tut exibit which is showing the same time as the Ruisdael exhibit. Alas, Ruisdael is may not be glamorous enough for Southern California...

Monday, July 11, 2005
Speaking of Fat...
Here's an article about an artist who made soap from fat -- but not just any fat. Bizarre.

Make Gideon Strauss recent post on the need for a definition of art all the more apropot.

Friday, July 08, 2005
Fat of the Land
I was struck this morning on my ride to work (I drive approx. 30 miles from Newberg to Salem, mostly through beautiful farmland in the heart of the Willamette Valley) of the agricultural variety and bounty of the land here. What a delightful fulfillment of Gen. 2:15. The earth's potential is brought forth.

Here is a list of what I see growing on any given morning:

Filbert and Cherry Orchards


Nursery stock


Dairy cows and sheep at pasture

Grass (this area is a big into grass seed)


Assorted vegtables


Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Just in Case You Haven't Heard
that big city in my back yard is perfect.

Well, a city with 34 microbreweries can't be all bad...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Building Advice
One book that was brought to the attention of the trustees at our church and the building committee is When Not to Build by Bowman and Hall. While I don't agree with everything in the book (esp. the the chapter "The Myth of Sacred Space" which I thought was gnostic), the book helped me look at our church facility situation in a new light.

We are still moving a ahead with a master plan which will give us an idea of what the costs and possibilites are with our property. Then we can make some real decisions.