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Friday, April 19, 2002

Morning Musings-Is the ring of Hell just above that reserved for tailgaters and telemarketers earmarked for the people with those annoying car alarms? My office is just across from the parking ramp, and one of those beasties goes off about every hour. At least I'm far enough away that it doesn't curl my hair or soil my pants. More Church Music-Louder Fenn chimed back in on the guitar-in-church issue. As a metalhead, he's not opposed to the guitar, but for him, it gets in the way of sanctity of the Mass. When songs I've grown use to hearing on Christian radio find their way into the worship service, I find myself being a critic rather than a worshiper. I wind up comparing the church band's performance with the profesional praisemeisters (often favorably, Joanne and the gang do a great job) and I'm taken somewhat away from worshiping God. After a few times in the rotation, the song becomes part of church and not an interloper from the radio rotation. I don't think a guitar is a "frivolous" instrument. It sure can be used in a frivolous manner, but isn't unsanctified in and of itself. I was reminded of the story of Silent Night, where the origional arrangement was for guitar. A well-played guitar doesn't drive God's Real Presence out of the building any more than a well-played piano or organ will. The music should be properly worshipfull and be designed to bring people into God's presence. A lot of modern praise music is too fluffy to do that well, but some of the better stuff could easily sub for the classic hymns. The music director and the pastorate need to choose their music wisely and not be contemporary for the sake of being contemporary. Personhood That's been an ongoing discussion in our corner of the Blogosphere, with Ben and Louder among others chiming in. I'm on board with the idea that personhood begins at conception. I most definitely think it happens before birth. Where before birth is the good question. I'm not sure but I know that erring on the side of life rather than destruction is the more godly option. If it isn't at conception, there isn't a good alternative starting point to hang your hat on. Thus, I'm going with conception as the least illogical alternative. "I'm a Cucumber, and I'm here to help"-Jude Wanniski has become more crankish over the years, and I don't read him much anymore. He used to be a regular read in the late 90s. However, I clicked on his bookmark by accident and found a good essay on the lack of family programming that can be clean enough for post-kndergardeners but interesting enough for parents to watch with their kids. Increasingly, you have to move to videos to do that these days. I'll put in a plug for Veggie Tales, a well-done cartuon series of Christian-themed stories that are (like some secular classics like Bullwinkle) funny on both the children's and adult levels while having a light-enough touch to not scare off the non-believers in the crowd. There's a Veggie Tales movie due out this fall. This one will likely catch a lot of secular media people with their pants down, as it may well be the "suprise hit of the fall". The built-in evangelical crowd will flock to see it, then the media will catch on and a flock of new fans for Bob and Larry will be born. When this does happen, you can say "Yeah, I was reading about that this spring."

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