Blog Archive


Thursday, December 30, 2010
"Christian" musician Derek Webb had an interview recently with the Huffington Post where he continued his campaign of complaint against the evangelical Church in America. In response, Frank Turk over at Pyromaniacs called him out in an open letter this week. It's charitable where it can be, yet hard-hitting and Gospel-illuminating.

Webb is quickly coming to a point where he will have to decide if he is a Christian or a poser... the next Amy Grant, if you will. Probably the most pathetic part of Webb's interview was where he said that because he's an "artist," he is better equipped at making moral pronouncements than the average person because he thinks through issues. Pretentious much?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
“The idea that God, if there is a force of Logic and Love in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in [manure] and straw a child I just thought: Wow! Just the poetry. Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and it’s not that it hadn’t struck me before, but tears came streaming down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this." - Bono
(HT: VZ)
Well, now it seems that the governmental health food kick is getting to the point of absurdity and self-parody. Here in Minnesota, the St. Paul school district has decided to ban all sweets. And not just ban it as the recent Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act did by removing candy vending machines from the schools. Kids who brings snacks to school will not be allowed to eat them. It's one thing to help kids make healthy choices by giving them better options, but to specifically contradict what the parents are choosing for their kids' lunches... this tyranny has no end it seems. One more example of why public schools are ultimately corrosive to society: they undermine the role and authority of the parents and teach that the State is the ultimate authority. I pray for the demise of the public school system, its end cannot come soon enough.

On a side note, anyone want to guess how many years we have left before Halloween candy is banned? I'd probably guess in the 5-10 year range... after all, it takes these people a little while to figure out the logical end to their thinking.
Monday, December 20, 2010
"[Our present sufferings in these bodies] will not be worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed in us."
Here are a couple ("O Come, O Come Emmanuel" pt 1 & 2) excellent sermons from my church this Christmas season. Even if you've heard them already, they worth a second listen. The above quote comes from the second sermon discussing the glory to come in eternity. It reminded me somewhat of what Dostoevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamazov:
I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage... that in the world’s finale... something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, of the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they’ve shed; and it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify what has happened.
Friday, December 17, 2010
This is a really interesting discussion between Robert George and Cornell West.
Here is Roger Ebert's list of the best movies of 2010.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Just when it seems like the federal government's ever-expanding power and reach has finally hit terminal velocity, up pops even more absurd new laws and legislation. First this week was the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and its ridiculous ban of snack food in public schools. And now today, the utterly corrupt Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the fabrication of any cribs with sides that drop... all because 30 babies have died in crib-related accidents in the last decade. In that same time period, 15 MILLION babies were killed by a little procedure called abortion... but no one is banning that. Also in the last ten years, approximately 30 children have died because they swallowed balloons. So I'd imagine that we very well may see balloons made illegal next week (I wish I were joking). The CPSC is the same organization that brought us the horrendous Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008 and the "Year of the Recall" in 2007. If we're going to try to reduce the federal deficit, I'd recommend starting by defunding the CPSC, since it has single-handedly put thousands of people out of work and destroyed hundreds of companies.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Perhaps one of the most perplexing life stories in the Bible is that of Solomon. Initially gifted with wisdom beyond measure, he steadily grew more and more corrupt and perverse, both in his personal life (1 Kings 11:3) and in his political life (1 Kings 12:4). I've always wondered how Solomon who was given GODLY wisdom and could write the book of Proverbs with all the wisdom contained there, how he could go so wrong and lose all wise insight into his own life.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias this morning on this topic and he pointed out something I never noticed before. Pretty much every single king of God's people, good or bad (particularly the notable ones), had a prophet in his life to correct him when he was wrong. Ahab had Elijah, Saul had Samuel, Josiah had Jeremiah, Hezekiah had Isaiah. Yet we hear no mention of a prophet speaking directly to Solomon (perhaps 1 Kings 11:11 is spoken through a prophet). Ravi surmised that perhaps this is because Solomon was himself considered a prophet, and maybe the hype had gone to his head. After all, if you're the wisest person in the world and you talk to God, then what use would be an adviser to keep you accountable?

Ravi took that as a lesson to us all, particularly leaders. Everyone, no matter how gifted and "in tune" with God, needs a Nathan; someone who will speak loving truth into their lives and hold them accountable... someone to tell them when they've killed their neighbor's lamb, so to speak. Solomon didn't have a Nathan and that was (in part) his downfall. Who's your Nathan?
Monday, December 13, 2010
This is good news! Huge, in fact, as it has much broader implications than just gutting ObamaCare. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide this though.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
This is funny.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
John Stossel has a great piece on the importance of property rights in growing and sustaining wealth and prosperity. It all comes down to the simplicity of having one's own mailing address... something Americans take for granted. I have an address because I own a plot of land in Crystal, Minnesota. As Stossel points out, because of that, I can borrow money for investment and any business I start out of my home can be legally recognized. In developing countries, due to the lack of rule of law, property rights are either non-existent or capricious in nature. You may live in a home, but nothing is legally stopping the government or an individual from claiming that home for himself**. That is why if poor countries are ever going to begin to prosper, they need property rights. And to get those rights, they need a stable rule of law. And to get that rule of law, tyrants and dictators need to be removed and struggling democracies need to be strengthened. Which is why a simple government military intervention can sometimes do more long-term good in one day in a particular country than all of the Western charties can in a year. Or it can do much harm.

** Of course, in this country, we're steadily losing our property rights. Because of serious abuses of eminent domain, American bodies of government (local or federal) have been taking people's homes and property from them without consent and sometimes without proper compensation.
As many people know by now, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of one-time senator and full-time scoundrel John Edwards, passed away this week from cancer. I hope she finds in the next life the faithful Husband that she never found in this life. Unfortunately, this interview doesn't give much hope that she knew Christ as her savior. In it, she says that she decided that God wasn't one who intervenes but one that "promises salvation and enlightenment." Now that last part is true (though what she meant by that is anyone's guess), but the first part shows that she had a confused understanding of God, probably stemming from a Prosperity Gospel-ish view of Him. If God doesn't heal you when you ask, then it must mean that He is either unable to heal you or that you don't have enough faith. The Prosperity Gospel never bothers to ask if perhaps it is not His will to heal you. This is a sad example of wrong theology leading to wasted suffering. Praise God for those who don't lose faith in the God that intervenes when they suffer.
It didn't take long for the totalitarian urge to travel from California to the Midwest. At least in the latter case, enough common sense remained to snuff out the tyranny. But for how long?

It's December, so you know what that means, right? Yep, the latest thoughtless campaign against the so-called "War on Christmas." Yes, because Christmas is about forcing retailers (who are selling junk to people with the implication that gift-giving is the heart and soul of Christmas) to say "Merry Christmas" to all. If anything, I'd prefer that the consumerism of this season was LESS attached to the idea of Christmas.

But then again, a church spending $110 million on a garish new church campus while the country struggles through an economic downturn (the likes of which have not been seen in 80 years) is probably not the best place to look for a prophetic voice against materialism.
A good God judges. A bad one doesn't. - Dennis Prager on his radio show, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
If you're like me, your first reaction to last week's huge WikiLeaks disclosure was either one of ambivalence or even a little feeling of "about time." But in truth, such leaks as these will likely do much harm and little good for the world. Theodore Dalrymple explains:
The actual effect of WikiLeaks is likely to be profound and precisely the opposite of what it supposedly sets out to achieve. Far from making for a more open world, it could make for a much more closed one. Secrecy, or rather the possibility of secrecy, is not the enemy but the precondition of frankness. WikiLeaks will sow distrust and fear, indeed paranoia; people will be increasingly unwilling to express themselves openly in case what they say is taken down by their interlocutor and used in evidence against them, not necessarily by the interlocutor himself. This could happen not in the official sphere alone, but also in the private sphere, which it works to destroy. An Iron Curtain could descend, not just on Eastern Europe, but over the whole world. A reign of assumed virtue would be imposed, in which people would say only what they do not think and think only what they do not say.

The dissolution of the distinction between the private and public spheres was one of the great aims of totalitarianism. Opening and reading other people’s e-mails is not different in principle from opening and reading other people’s letters. In effect, WikiLeaks has assumed the role of censor to the world, a role that requires an astonishing moral grandiosity and arrogance to have assumed. Even if some evils are exposed by it, or some necessary truths aired, the end does not justify the means.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wow. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
It's that time again... a chance to look back at this year's (or, in some cases, recent) films and give a few recommendations and perhaps some denunciations as well. As a whole, 2010 was a pretty average year movie-wise, at least compared to 2009. Here are a few that stood out. As always, several of these may have crude language, violence, and/or sexual situations. If you want to know the content of any of these films, go to or

Best Drama

Crazy Heart

~ While ultimately failing to point the viewer to Christ as the answer, this moving tale of redemption does offer some good messages and great performances, particularly by Jeff Bridges. **** out of 5 stars

Honorable mention: The Road, Invictus, The Town, The Visitor, The Blind Side, Shutter Island

Best Comedy

Date Night

~ The considerable comedic talents of Steve Carell and Tina Fey made this a very funny and enjoyable film about a married couple who try to just get away from their kids for one peaceful date night and instead find themselves caught up in a mistaken identity problem with the mafia. **** out of 5 stars

Honorable mention: Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Other Guys, the first half of The Invention of Lying

Best Action


~ If you haven't yet seen this Chris Nolan masterpiece, do so immediately! Not only is it a brilliant and mind-blowing walk through the human understanding of mind, memory, and dreams (similar to Memento, another superb Nolan flick), it also has probably the best and most ground-breaking action sequences since The Matrix. Very original (unless you believe the plot was stolen from a Donald Duck comic book). For those who have seen it, one question for you. Does the top stop spinning? ***** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man 2, Salt, Unstoppable, Body of Lies, Edge of Darkness, Daybreakers

Best Family/Kids

How to Train Your Dragon

~ I've already posted about this movie before, but let me once again strongly recommend this film as one that both adults and children will love. ***** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Toy Story 3, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Christmas Carol, Megamind

Best Chick Flick

Remember Me

~ When it comes to chick flicks, I am pretty picky but also don't consider all of them to be vapid piles of pig snot. Many are, but some actually attain a level of depth and realism that make them worth watching. Which leads me to this pick... while some may hate the entirely unexpected ending (I liked it), Remember Me was on the whole a good (though kinda dark) movie. It was definitely not what I was expecting and barely counts as a chick flick at all. **** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Dear John, Leap Year

Best Foreign

Red Cliff

~ This epic Chinese film is based on the true story of the Battle of Chibi back around 200 AD. I found it on the recommendation of a blogger friend and it ended up at the top of my favorite Chinese movies list, which says a lot considering Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle, and House of the Flying Daggers are on that list. While Red Cliff doesn't involve the same type of qinggong martial arts that those other films do, it does have some great action scenes along with a wonderful and engaging story.

NOTE: The international version is actually two DVDs and nearly five hours long, while the version released outside of Asia is only one DVD and two and a half hours long. Take the time to watch the full international version, you'll thank me. ***** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: North Face, The Stoning of Soraya M.

Best Indie


~ This great little sci-fi film consists basically of a cast of one, Sam Rockwell. And he does a fantastic job. The plot follows his character (Sam Bell) in his 3-year stint mining helium-3 on the surface of the moon. Things are going smoothly as he approaches a return to Earth and his wife and daughter when suddenly everything goes haywire. To say more would spoil the plot, but suffice it to say that things are not quite as they seem. Kevin Spacey lends his voice as the robotic computer assistant GERTY. **** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Grizzly Man

Best Movie You've Never Heard Of

The Visitor

~ This film is actually from 2007, but I saw it for the first time a few months ago and found it a very touching and well-acted story of two very different cultures coming together. **** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Daybreakers, The Messenger, Defendor, Following, Felon

Worst Movie of the Year


~ This comedy is just not funny. It had so much potential and just fell flat. Avoid it. ** out of 5 stars

Honorable Mention: Avatar, second half of The Invention of Lying

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »