Friday, January 27, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup

I haven't read a book in almost an entire week. Tillich is still going strong, but there's a lull in the discussion. I start Part 1 of his Systematics today. I have, of course, been spending lots of time with 1 Corinthians 8 this week, which is a great text. Okay, I'll switch out of theo-nerd mode now...

We've seen two movies this week. The first was
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which had just the right amount of comedy and action. It was over the top, but it knew it was over the top. The argument they have during a high-speed chase while they shoot at bad guys, for instance, is something that's been used before, but they make it work so well. In fact, by the end I thought to myself, 'This whole thing has been done before, hasn't it?' But you don't think about that until the end because you're too busy enjoying yourself. And Vince Vaughn is gold.

That leads me to the second movie we've seen this week, which was
Wedding Crashers (the Uncorked Version, of course). Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash weddings, stuff themselves, get drunk, and take advantage of weddinged-up women. The majority of the movie is about their learning life lessons about true love, but of course it doesn't come easy (especially in Vince's case). There is the Finding Out, followed by the happy ending. It's how we get there that's fun. And what would a movie starring Wilson and Vaughn be without at least one of their other buddies making a cameo?

I picked up Keller Williams'
Stage (a double live CD) and have been listening to it in the car non-stop. Williams is an amazing acoustic guitar player, and his lyrics are a wacky sort of clever. He does a lot of instrumentation with his voice, but I didn't realize the extent of that until I started listening to this album.

As I was putting together this week's Roundup, I thought to myself, 'What if some of the Christians who frequent other blogs I read stumble onto this one and see a pastor enjoying movies like Wedding Crashers?' On two separate blogs I've seen controversies arise over one blogger's moderate drinking and another's using an occasional George Carlin word. Then I read
LutheranChik's rant on reactions to Book of Daniel (a show that sounded god-awful to me) and found that she raised some decent questions.


Wadena said...

I guess the folks at X always knew you were an apostate waiting to happen, so I doubt that you seeing this Satanic movie will surprise anyone there.


My church has rejected the idea of a multi-media service in the Sanctuary, but is planning such a service in the Fellowship Hall (which has an old movie screen already installed). perhaps too optimistic. Struggling with the idea of such a service in the Fellowship Hall is more like it.

I learned an interesting thing at our last meeting. The far-away church that has been mentoring us in this exploration of the multi-media idea does things in a surprising way.

I had always assumed they used contemporary Christian music. Oh no, I am told.....they use only secular music and the congregation does not sing.

They sit like couch potatoes....and they like it. Their multi-media service is drawing a lot of people and only a few choose the traditional service.

For them, church has become a totally passive experience.....very similar to watching t.v. or a movie, I guess. Images on a screen. Secular music.

Why do they use secular music?

Well, my guess is that they recognized that they needed better music than their normal oldies (hits of the 1750s)......yet they have an urgent need to maintain their perceived superiority over the rather primitive FundaGelicals.....therefore, they COULD NOT stomach the idea of using the same music as "those people" use.

So....they have no singing, they just listen to secular music with images on a screen and have a sermon enhanced by images on a screen. Totally passive church.

And they love it.

That's the big tent of the future.

Not much different from watching a movie.

I can't imagine what the Corinthians would think of this.

Jeff Nelson said...

I've actually been to a service like that. It was part of an MLK celebration. We watched images of the civil rights movement as a U2 song played in the background. Then we were encouraged to sing two 'hymns,' one by Joan Osbourne and one by The Byrds, with more images on the screen. It was very passive, and very unsatisfying.