Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rob Bell Says Everything is Spiritual

I got to see Rob Bell's Eveything is Spiritual Tour thursday night at the Cat's Cradle. I loved it, of course. I won't recap the whole thing, because others have done that across the information superhighway, probably much better than I can. It was basically an almost two hour lecture (I wouldn't call it a sermon, it was more philosophy than preaching) on Genesis 1, examining it as an ancient, subversive, multilayered Hebrew poem (since it is). I thought I would just write about how Rob Bell's ministry affects me.
  • He makes me love the Bible. Despite being a Christian for basically my whole life, I don't really like the Bible that much. It's confusing and contradicts itself; it's old and hard to understand. Bell's passion for the Bible and his scholarly approach is infectious and leaves me wanting to know more.
  • He makes me understand my parents a little bit better. Growing up, they watched Billy Graham (one of Bell's heroes) on TV all the time, and I thought those crusades were the most boring thing ever. Maybe to them, Graham is like Bell is to me: they both gave Christianity a modern, progressive voice (but to different generations?). Maybe they're both revolutionary
  • He hold my attention. As much as I love my pastor, sometimes, If he speaks for more than 15-20 minutes, he loses me. I listened to Bell for 100 minutes, and would have stuck around for 100 more if I could.
  • He makes me believe. While he's speaking, the doubt melts away and it all makes sense.
  • He makes me want to act. He's very focused on the facts that we're God's plan for redemption of the world and that Jesus said the kingdom of God is here and now.
  • He makes me see the connections. Between the old and new testament. Between the words of the bible and what they call us to. Between God and man.
  • He makes me unashamed. He's not trying to pass off bad news as the Good News. He's not trying to convince people not to doubt something that no one can be sure of. He was very clear Thursday night that he thinks it is intellectually sound to look around and say "Yep, this is all there is." But it's equally sound to believe that there is more. That is the message of Genesis 1, and the message of Jesus. There is more to life than we see. God created us because that's what he does, he creates and loves and redeems. And to believe that gives us hope for this life, and maybe even something more.

Update 7/31: Here is another good article on the tour from the Detroit Free Press

Tyrod Taylor commits to the Hokies

The player that the VT coaches wanted most this year, Hampton QB Tyrod Taylor announced his intention to play for the Hokies following his senior season. Taylor is ranked the #2 high school quarterback in the nation by and his athletic skills have brought comparisons to former Hokie QB's Michael and Marcus Vick, who also played their high school football in the Penninsula District. The Hokies are having a great recruiting year this far, including two offensive linemen that are ranked as top 10 recruits from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Guster Review

I travelled to Cary last night to see Guster with my friends Laura and Tyson (Debbie is out of town taking the middle school kids at church to camp). I'm not sure why I like Guster, but I really do. Maybe they give me hope, because they don't sing that well and they don't play their instruments that well, and the production isn't that great, but they make pretty darn enjoyable music. They seem like regular guys. They put on a good show and were clever, however, asking the audience to boo them after their set ended. He promised to do an encore anyway, but wanted to know how it felt if the crowd booed. Good fun. They mostly played songs I knew, but I was also really impressed with their last song "Hold On" from their new album. I might have to pick it up.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Fun

There are a couple big events for me coming up in the next few weeks that I'm looking forward to. Tomorrow night is the Guster concert at Regency Park in Cary. Ticketmaster is charging me way to much for the show (I'm sorry, but the $8 convenience fee is not convenient to me), but a show that starts before 11 pm is too good for this 36 year old wannabe to pass up. I used to be cool enough to stay up that late, but not anymore.
Thursday night, Rob Bell is coming to the Cat's Cradle in Carboro. He is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan. It's a sold out show, and I'm the only one I know who got tickets. My brother-in-law has a hypothesis that one of the bigger churches in town bought up all the tickets in a block, which is probably a good bet. Anyway, I'm really excited because Bell is a great preacher who brings a positive, activist message to my generation and younger generations (Bell himself is 35). He has a passion for the bible, but has a very different take on it than most who claim a passion for the bible. He really links the words of the new testament to the traditions of Rabbinic Judaism that were the setting of the life of Christ. If you're interested, you can download his sermons online at the Mars Hill website. I listened to his "So, Anyway, Who Wants To Change The World?" sermon from May 14th this morning (driving to work) and it blew me away. I promise to post a review of the event here.
In August, Debbie's brother Tim is coming to visit for a week, and we are heading to Busch Gardens for a day and Nags Head for 2 days during his visit. Also, I have a ticket to see Jeff Tweedy at the NC Museum of Art on August 16.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trip to NoVa and DC, and Washington Nationals thoughts

Debbie and I visited my friends Andy and Brooke the weekend before July 4th. We were able to go to the International Spy Museum (which was fun-we recommend it) and also a Washington Nationals game (pictured here is Holmes and I at RFK stadium).
For those who don't know, for some reason I was always a big Montreal Expos fan, and now the Expos have moved to DC they are much closer to being my hometown team. Last week they made a pretty good trade, getting two young everday position players for some middle relievers and minor leaguers. Even though they lost 2 decent pitchers, they got some young bats and middle relief pitchers are only worth something if you're in a pennant race. They're in rebuilding mode and you need to build with starters and position players.
The rumor is that they may trade Alfonso Soriano may go to the Angels for a package including former Hokie Joe Saunders. Saunders is a left hander and former first rounder (#12 in 2002) who is 10-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 19 starts in AAA, and would give the Nats a Hokie, which would make my day. The only knocks are he doesn't strike out a lot of guys and he missed 2004 with a torn muscle in his chest. As much as I would hate for Soriano to go, it's inevitable and the right thing to do, and if they can get a couple of young pitchers, the team might look good when they're ready to move to their new stadium in a couple of years.