Kids Names

March 7, 2008

Over at Textuallly.org (via Engadget), I found this article on recent trends in naming children. Here is a quote from the article:

“Most parents these days are drawing on the cool SMS and email spellings, by eschewing traditional spellings for versions such as Alex-Zander, Cam’ron, Emma-Lee, Ozkah, Thaillah and Ameleiyah.”

I have noticed this trend in my ministry. Students are no longer showing up with “normal” names like Michael or John. Rather, their names are a hodgepodge of consonants and vowels with a unique pronunciation. If they do have a semi-regular name, it is either spelled with an extra letter or is pronounced completely different.

On a personal note, I guess that when the time comes to name my offspring, I might as well pick up a Scrabble set, jumble all the letters together, and pick letters at random. They are bound to form a name.

Scrabble Name Game

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Hillary Clinton and the Holy Spirit

March 6, 2008

Hillary Clinton Holy Spirit

Last month Hillary Clinton gave an interview with the New York Times about her religious beliefs. Read the transcript here: Transcript with Hillary Clinton.

Points from her interview:

  • Her discussion of the Trinity. She said “I believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions.” I am glad she recognizes the Trinity, but I wonder why she mentions her “feelings” of the Holy Spirit. But it’s not like Christians keep a running tally of how many times times they “felt” the Holy Spirit.
  • Her description of faith. She described faith as “…the background music. It’s there all the time. It’s not something you have to think about, you believe it.” Sorry, but I think about my faith all the time. I thank God for my faith, and I try to live it out daily.
  • Her Beliefs on Salvation. When asked if belief in Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven, she responded with “That one I’m a little more open to. I think that it is, as we understand our relationship to God as Christians, it is how we see our way forward, and it is the way” She then goes on to say that she accepts others who do not believe Jesus is the way to salvation.
  • Her Thoughts on Isaiah. I wonder what parts of Isaiah she finds “very intriguing and provocative.” Interesting.

I am not here to judge her. I mean, it sounds like she knows what she is talking about, or she at least knows what Evangelicals want to hear. Her rejection of Jesus as the ONLY way to Heaven disturbs me, and it is not what Evangelicals want to hear. I cannot stand the woman and may move to Canada if she is President, but I am glad that she at least talks about Christianity. Heck, I voted for the guy who believes Jesus came to America!


TV Shows are back!

February 14, 2008

I am very excited that the Writers’ Strike is over.  This means that The Office and The Big Bang Theory will have new episodes!  As found here in the New York Times, the first new Office episode will air on April 10 at 9 pm.  This episode is called “Dinner Party.”  Who knows what will happen in this episode?  Will Pam and Jim be engaged? Dwight and Angela? Andy and Angela? I know it is still 2 months away, but I am SO excited!


The Bible as Manga

February 12, 2008

Just read in the New York Times that Doubleday is releasing a graphic novel (or manga) of the Bible.  Entitled The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation, this Bible is designed to introduce teens and tweens (the manga obsessed ones, at least) to the Word of God.  While I am all about reaching unchurched students with God’s Word, I am sad to hear that the text itself is being compromised.  From the Times’ article:

The medium shapes the message. Manga often focuses on action and epic. Much of the Bible, as a result, ends up on the cutting room floor, and what remains is darker.

 The article’s author (Neela Banerjee) goes on to explain how the Manga Bible modifies Biblical stories to give them the graphic novel feel.  Battles and action sequences are more dramatic, while laws, wisdom, and teaching sections are removed.  Here is a sad quote from the article:

The Sermon on the Mount did not make the book, though, because there was not enough action to it.

I remember way back in elementary Sunday School receiving each week a short cartoon depicting a Biblical scene.   This introduced me to the Bible stories in bite-size chunks.  This graphic novel is a similar idea for modern students.  I could see the Manga Bible being marketed as an overview of the Biblical story.  However, I do take issue with it being marketed as a Bible.   With a majority of the Biblical text not included, this graphic novel gives the reader a false impression.  If it were being pushed as a companion to the Bible, then I think this would be a powerful tool to reach today’s students.  I can still see using this in a youth ministry setting, so long as it does not replace one’s Bible.

Update: Zondervan is releasing their own Christian graphic novels (Big Z calls them “Biblical Epics”).  Each works through a book of the Bible, yet they are not being marketed as Bibles.