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Showing posts from March, 2009

Crackbook

Five years ago, Mark Zuckerberg launched his Harvard dorm room project and now it’s a worldwide “genuine cultural phenomenon.” (Source: “Lost in Transit,” Paolo R. Reyes. Phil. Daily Inquirer, March 21, 2009) Now, it has “175 million active users, over 18 million daily status updates and 850 million monthly photo uploads”. Yes, as you guessed it, I am talking about Facebook.

Recently, Facebook made Friendster and MySpace eat a lot of dust as it pulled away in the number one spot in online social networking. Sony Pictures recently signed up Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (of “A Few Good Men” and “West Wing”) and Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin (“No Country for Old Men”) to come up with a Facebook movie. Stanford University has offered US$2,500 courses on “Facebook: Persuasive Apps and Metrics,” “The Psychology of Facebook,” and “Facebook for Parents.” Since I opened my Facebook account, I am amazed at how my network grew. I am nearing 500 in my friends list. But I know others ha…

An Idea That Is World Changing

In Time Magazine recent cover story, “10 Ideas Changing the World Now,” it posted “The New Calvinism” at the number three spot. Unfortunately, Time has caricatured the teachings of Calvinism: “an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination’s logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.” To put it simply, Calvinism is a conservative system of theology. Though reformer John Calvin is credited with it (Calvin by the way is celebrating his 500th birthday on July this year), I believe Calvinism reflects historic, Biblical Christianity. Big names such as John Piper and Louie Giglio of the Passion conference fame espouse Calvinism nowadays.

Time traced the slide from Calvinism to “Evangelicalism’s loss of appetite for rigid doctrine—and the triumph of that friendly, fuzzy Jesus” or the so-called “Jesus-is-my-buddy intimacy…

Mystery Worshiper

Since 1998, a group of people calling themselves “mystery worshipers” visited churches incognito to “ask those questions which go to the heart of church life: How long was the sermon? How hard the pew? How cold was the coffee? How warm the welcome?” (Source: http://shipoffools.com/) Then the mystery worshiper will post a report on the website. Depending on the worship experience, the report would either rave or rant about the church. For example, it gave a scale of 1 to 10 rating on how good the preacher was. Other items in the report included “How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?” and “What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days’ time?”

Not surprisingly, mystery worshipers have visited famous churches in our country. What struck me are not the comments about the preachers (I think it unfairly criticized a mega church pastor for having a thick accent and another for mouthing “prom” whenever he would say “from.”)…

Fireproof

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It seemed to be a formula for a film flop. “It was written by novice screenwriters, cast nearly entirely with amateurs, staffed largely by volunteers, and shot almost all on location.” (Source: “What Christians Watch,” Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2009) Yet, “Fireproof” earned more than US$33 million, making it “the biggest-grossing indie movie of 2008”. Not bad for a low budget movie by Hollywood standards. (“…a total outlay of only $500,000.”) “Fireproof” is all about firefighter Capt. Caleb Holt, a local hero for saving people trapped in a fire. But he faces the toughest rescue challenge ever: “…rescuing his wife’s heart.” (“Fireproof” DVD blurb) But it is not your usual “feel-good,” family-oriented movie. In fact, producers Stephen and Alex Kendrick, both Sherwood Baptist Church pastors, took the message of this movie so seriously that, before casting sitcom actor Kirk Cameron, they grilled him about his moral integrity. Cameron understood why they did it, “If you’re cheating …