Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, just wrote a fascinating essay on understanding the Darwinism/Intelligent Design debate. No matter what you expect this essay to say, it’s different. (update: he published parts two, three, and four)
Presbyterian college minister Rhett Smith has a pretty lengthy essay about today’s students.
Lots of Stanford audio content is available online for free now. Check out Stanford iTunes for faculty lectures, conferences, guest speakers and more.
I just heard Guy Kawasaki speak at Straight Talk, a marketplace ministry hosted by Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. He uses humor well. For instance, he was offered a job in Atlanta but “couldn’t take a job where they call sushi bait.”
I really appreciated his intro:
When I was younger I used to go to a lot industry conferences, and I learned that most CEOs suck as speakers. And the only thing worse than listening to a speaker who sucks is not knowing how much longer they’re going to suck. So I’ve adopted a simple rule: all my presentations are in a top‐ten format. That way, if you decide I suck you at least know how much longer I’m going to do it.
Unfortunately, I know a few preachers who could use his advice. 🙂
His talk was The Art of the Start, based on his book. It’s a talk he’s given in a lot of different venues. You can find the notes online. He did a pretty good job of customizing it for the context of the meeting (Christian business professionals and their guests).
In honor of his speaking advice, here are ten things I learned about Guy Kawasaki:
- He’s a Christian.
- He went to Stanford (where he majored in “the easiest major I could find–psychology.”).
- He secularized the term evangelism while at Apple. Good for him–the word could really use a facelift.
- He loves Apple and disdains Microsoft. “DOS was a moral wrong.”
- He finds evidence for the existence of a personal God in the continued survival of Apple. He further concludes that God really likes digital music and wants you to pay for it.
- He went to law school and dropped out after ten days, “thereby inheriting 2,000 years of pent‐up Asian guilt.”
- He loves to play hockey–it sounds like an obsession.
- He is a CSI addict and is eagerly awaiting the day that they release CSI: Menlo Park.
- He loves first‐class in Singapore Airlines. In fact, that’s his working model of heaven.
- He thinks iStockPhoto.com rocks–he went out of his way to plug it at the end of his presentation and claimed to do so without any financial incentive (“I’m not an investor or anything, I just love their product.”)
If you’ve never had the pleasure before, you owe it to yourself to read something by Terry Pratchett. He’s a humor fantasy novelist who actually makes me laugh out loud on a fairly regular basis.
I just finished his most recent book and stumbled across these two little snippets that tickled me.
[Nobby said,] “There’s a lot that goes on that we don’t know about.”
“Like what, exactly?” Colon retorted. “Name me one thing that’s going on that you don’t know about. There–you can’t, can you?” (page 42)
“War, Nobby. Huh! What is it good for?” he said.
“Dunno, Sarge. Freeing slaves, maybe?”
“Defending yourself against a totalitarian aggressor?”
“All right, I’ll grant you that, but–”
“Saving civilization from a horde of–”
“It doesn’t do any good in the long run is what I’m saying, Nobby, if you’d listen for five seconds together, ” said Fred Colon sharply.
“Yeah, but in the long run, what does, Sarge?” (page 50)
The redesigned PreachingToday.com is really nice. The new media section is especially good (although it’s a bit hard to find the media browsing page–it’s http://preachingtoday.com/media/browse.html–and there are a few glitches they still need to work out).
Overall, I’m quite happy. I’m an annual subscriber and I’ve always gotten far more than my money’s worth. Now it’s doubly true.
I’ve been slowly stewing an idea in my brain for a few days now, and I finally decided to act on it. I noticed the creation of personalmba.com with interest, but didn’t think much about it until I saw that Jordon Cooper was inspired to create a comparable M. Div. list (thanks to Andrew Jones for pointing it out).
Anyway, I noticed that there was some criticism of the overall idea and of the specific book choices (some of the criticism was thoughtful, some was knee‐jerk). I thought it would be great to create a wiki to let the broader community craft a list of books, articles, and projects that would really make a difference in someone’s ministry.
So I did. I present PersonalMDiv.com.
Have at it.
I finally got my upgrade copy of MediaShout in the mail yesterday.
This release fixes everything I’ve ever disliked about MediaShout and adds tons of new features I’d never considered.
The three best upgrades:
* You can play just a specific, custom clip from a DVD. So you just want to play from 1.54.36 to 1.57.12? Done.
* All songs now have permanent formatting stored in the database. No need to reformat every stinking time you use the song!
* You can edit text cues directly from within the program–no more random RTF files lying about.
Also, it looks like they’re trying to break into the VJ market–the new version includes better support for mixing video feeds on the fly. Still, it just doesn’t compare to Arkaos in that department.
The one thing I really wish they had done was include the Greek & Hebrew Bibles (they include the Latin Vulgate–why not the original text?).
Overall, I’m thrilled.
I listen to MP3s when I bike to campus. Not music, as I really don’t like music all that much; rather, I soak up lecture/seminar/sermonic stuff. I get a lot of them from Discipleship Library and I’ve recently started downloading some from IT Conversations.
Anyway, I recently listened to Ben Saunders’ amazing story. He made a solo expedition to the North Pole and really knows how to spin the tale. I was agog. Highly recommended.
Periodically I get a chance to sit in a live studio audience for a CCN broadcast. I’ve seen Doug Fields, George Barna, Larry Osborne, Henry Cloud, etc. The best part is I can bring students and expose them to some of these leaders.
Anyway, I was particularly excited about the recent Worship In The Emerging Church seminar with Dan Kimball (he blogs!) and Sally Morgenthaler. If you’re going to hear two folks talk about this subject it’s hard to pick a better team. You can get the notes in PDF (although there are blanks).
Some thoughts I had:
- As I suspected, college ministry really is a behind‐the‐scenes driver for a lot of the “emerging church” “postmodern church” stuff. Dan launched the precursor to his current church as a college ministry. All the staff at Curtis’ church (including Curtis) are former college ministers.
- Dan mentioned that he had done a survey and 98% of UC Santa Cruz students were not part of either a church or a campus ministry. Hurry up, Brian & Cecilee!
- Curtis Chang was also there as an audience member. He wrote a book on methodology in apologetics (Engaging Unbelief) which I really like. He also pastors an uber‐cool church in nearby San Jose. I asked what he’s been reading lately and he said Mountains Beyond Mountains and that it had really stretched his vision. I’d never heard of the book, which just shows I really do know less than other people think I do.
- The weakest point in the seminar was a foray into the realms of multiple learning styles. I find the concept as it is usually expressed pretty bogus. I’m not sure the church should be taking its lead from America’s education system and the theories that underlie it. Let me rephrase that. I’m sure the church should not be taking its lead from America’s education system. My apologies to all the educational theorists in Chi Alpha who will now regard me as an enemy.
- Resources that were recommended:
- Ancient‐Future Faith by Robert Weber
- The essay Anti‐Excellence. I will very deliberately NOT email this to all the people who gathered with me in Salt Lake City and mocked my stance against excellence as a core value… (Sally mentioned that this and other great resources were also on the Fractals DVD)
- Worship in the Early Church by Ralph Martin.
- The Millennium Matrix by Rex Miller
- The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida (I’ve heard this one recommended by a lot of people).
- When Church Became Theatre, by Jeanne Kilde (this one sounded exceptionally interesting)
- Callahan Studios (evidently very cool church architects)
- Alternative Worship by Johnny Baker (he blogs!)
- Multi‐sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace
- alternativeworship.org (Dan: “They do some crazy stuff in Europe that I wouldn’t try in Santa Cruz.”)
- Spaces for Spirit by Nancy Chinn
- Angel House Media (videos for churches)
- In closing, I’d never seen Dan before this but I’d heard people rip on his hair. I like his hair. It suits his nose. He also plays with his wedding ring a lot, which I do myself.