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April 30th, 2005 1 comment

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Categories: Blogging Tags:

Cameron Diaz is Trippin'

April 27th, 2005 No comments

After reading Antiprotester Journal's article “Hollywood Moonbats go Trippin'” I felt the need to share my thoughts on the topic.

Cameron Diaz and MTV have joined together to bring us a “reality” show called Trippin' .

Cameron Diaz and a group of her close, personal friends think globally and act globally too as they travel to unlikely getaways…from Chile to Yellowstone, on a quest to safeguard the environment. No Hotel, no Pilates instructors…they will pack their own bags and carry them into the wild.

So we are supposed to believe that because Diaz and her pals travel to far off, exotic places, we should take their cause seriously? Diaz says, “You can get a solar charger for your iPod. That way you can listen to the hottest songs and help the environment.” The environment is definitely an important issue and I think their intentions are good, but their ignorance doesn’t play well. Rich celebs are living in a “reality” that doesn’t really match up with the way things really are.

Slate’s Dana Stevens has this to say:

Trippin’ is about ecology in the same way that Charlie’s Angels is about feminism: it obliquely reminds you how kick-ass it would be if the problem didn’t exist in the first place, while simultaneously allowing you to watch blond girls take their clothes off.

Diaz says, “They (children) might start looking about how they consume, what they consume, how they consume it, where they consume it from.” Yes, thanks for that. And we are to learn that from you spending loads and loads of money to experience third world countries? Extravagance is nearly synonymous with celebrity so it is hard to take anything she says seriously. Oh, right, she drives a hybrid, she really walks the walk.

There’s something perverse and immoral when multi-millionaire Hollywood celebrities head off on junkets in the jungle - and then preach to us lesser mortals about the joys of the simple life, and how we should protect the Earth, conserve energy, prevent global warming, and help the poorest people on our planet continue ‘enjoying’ their poverty, malnutrition and premature death.

Life in these developing countries is still nasty, brutish and short. And that there is a reason our parents and grandparents worked so hard to create modern homes and hospitals and technologies, so they could leave behind the unsafe water, dung fires, pollution, rotted teeth, infant mortality and life expectancies half of ours. This entire MTV series totally glosses over the hardships and premature death that is right before their eyes. Even mentioning these facts would obviously get in the way of their ideological message, and their determination to turn [MTV viewers] into little ventriloquist’s dummies for the sustainable development movement. (Paul Dreissen quoted at Antiprotester Journal)

Diaz and her pals seems to appreciate how many living in third world countries can really connect to nature. Yes, that is great, but I bet many of them would be willing to give some of that up for a good meal, or fewer diseases, or maybe the ability to read a nice book, not to mention getting away from high infant mortality and low life expectancy.

The reality of life is this: we need to learn to appreciate creation and nature in all its glory and beauty. We don’t have to do this by spending gobs of money to follow in the footsteps of a celeb. Take a look out your back door, look in the face of a friend, take a vacation to a favorite get-a-way. Yes, many of the far off and exotic sites are gorgeous and it would be great to experience them, but it is not needed to experience nature or learn about environmental issues.

In Trippin’, Diaz clearly wants to emulate entertainers like Bono who parlay their celebrity into serious activism. But her series is patronizing, implying that stars can save the little people of the world — through reality TV, no less. Even though its message is pro-environment, the show is still just Ugly American tourism.

The reality of Diaz and what you can learn in the show is this (quoted in Slate):

Barrymore: I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal, awesome.

Diaz: (laughing) I’m so jealous right now. I’m going to the woods tomorrow.

Barrymore: It was awesome.

After the two return from separate guided hikes:

Diaz: Did you learn so much?

Barrymore: Oh my God yeah. So intense, with the loving and feeling and tree-touching and the learning.

I think I am going to learn about the envirnment in other ways, how about you?

Shalom

Also, check out the comments at the original post [NOTE: the original post and comments no longer exists, sorry!].

Categories: Social Commentary Tags:

1 Peter 2.24-25

April 20th, 2005 No comments

I am finally done with my second semester at Regent! The last few weeks have been consumed with finals and my Exegesis paper. The images show what my life has consisted of especially these last few days (I think I used almost every one of those books, plus numerous articles and copies, in the paper!).

My final paper in Rikk Watts' Biblical Interpretation was on 1 Peter 2.24 and 25. I disucssed how Peter used the suffering servant imagery in Isaiah 53 to encourage Christians to persevere through suffering and persecution.

If you would like to read the paper, click here for more information than you could ever want to know about 1 Peter 2.24-25 and the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. (PDF format, 113KB) If you happen to read it, I would love to hear your comments on the paper. I think it turned out ok for my first exegesis paper but I feel like I repeated myself unnecessarily in a few places, I guess I will see how it goes.

Now I need to figure out what to pack!

Shalom

[UPDATE: Original post and comments are no longer available. :( sorry!]

Categories: Regent College, Religion, Theology, Writings Tags:

Almost out of time!

April 16th, 2005 No comments

Ok, there is actually more time, but the cheap registration deadline is almost here.

Regent College is having a conference in May (the 21st) entitled Regent Tradition Conference: Saints, Wisdom, Money…and Other Ordinary Stuff. This weekend event will offer teaching and discussion with Eugene Peterson and Bruce Waltke both who hold the title of Emeritus faculty here at Regent. Peterson you may know from his translation of the Bible, The Message as well as his numerous other books, sermons, and pastor resources. Waltke is an Old Testament scholar who has written many things including the “New International Commentary on the Old Testament” commentaries on Proverbs as well as being on the translation committee for the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

Here is some brief information on what Peterson and Waltke will be teaching on:

Saints-in-the-Making
Eugene Peterson will focus attention on the long, patient, intricate work given to becoming mature, and growing up to the stature of Christ. In the hurry and impatience endemic to our culture that has seeped into the evangelical church, Dr. Peterson offers hope for recovering the practice of holiness in the ordinary, among ordinary Christians.

and

Wise Advice About Smart Money
Bruce Waltke will explore what God’s inspired sages have to say about money. Drawing on the wisdom of the book of Proverbs, Dr. Waltke addresses dangers and limitations of money, as well as its benefits and how to get it.

Good stuff eh? These are two of the brightest minds in scholarship as well as ministry and I highly recommend taking advantage of this event if you are able!

Please see this page for registration information. The cost is $75 or only $40 for a full time student (if you register before April 22nd)! I will be there, hope you will be too!

Shalom

Categories: Regent College Tags:

Four Important Questions

April 11th, 2005 2 comments

Taking cue from John Stackhouse in my World Religions class I want to pose these four questions to you:

1. What is the nature of ultimate reality?

2. What is the most we can hope for? The Highest Good

3. What keeps us from it?

4. How can we reach it?

I had to answer these questions as part of the essay section on today’s three hour final. I answered it (or attempted to) for Hinduism and Islam (don’t thin I did very good for the Hunduism section). I hope you think about these questions even if you don’t choose to answer them here.

I probably won’t be around too much over the next few days as I have more finals and my paper to work on.

Shalom

Addendum - here are some of the comments from my previous blog. [UPDATE: Original post and comments are no longer available. :( sorry!]:

SeniorGato
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 4:59 pm

1. I think therefore I am.
2. I believe faith in people has something to do with it.
3. Fanatics who don’t understand 1, or 2.
4. See number 2.

Andrew
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 at 8:15 pm

1. The Spiritual Realm (God at the Center)
2. To be perfect upon death
3. pride and not accepting Christs sacrifice
4. Accept Christ and live by Faith.

blueskelton
Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 5:21 pm

1. Everything is Nothing
2. The Obliteration of Consciousness
3. Karma
4. Die

salmypal
Friday, April 15, 2005 at 1:39 pm

That last one sounds sooooo depressing.

Matt
Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 7:28 pm

Yeah, that is part of Buddhism (at least some froms of it). The concept of Nirvana isn’t the good feeling, happy place many people make it out to be. In traditional Buddhism (as well as other Buddhist traditions) Nirvana is essentially nothing. It is release, it is not better than heaven, it is just nothingness. Some of the more current and popular (not surprisingly) have made it into a more “blissful” place.

jill dipippo
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at 4:39 pm

1.life
2.love
3.judgement
4.be

Swami Atma
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at 4:52 pm

Hi there,

Here is the traditional Hindu/Vedantic view:

1) Consciousness.
Prajnanam Brahma. Brahman (the Absolute) is Consciousness.
Other definition is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence-Knowsledge-Bliss. Each ot them pure and absolute.

2)Realize our True Self which is none other than Brahman and the same Self dwelling in all beings.

3)Practically, our own mind, our own thoughts.
Philosophically, spiritual ignorance, or not knowing our true self.

4) Practically, totally controling our mind, or stopping it. Philosophically, knowledge of the Self.

Matt
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at 6:09 pm

The Hindu and Vedic traditions are quite varied and rich, they have been very interesting to study for sure. The nature of dharma and kharma and how the different traditions see those terms is pretty interesting.

Kevin
Thursday, April 21, 2005 at 6:30 pm

1. Theosis
2. Theosis
3. Pride
4. Humility

Kevin
Thursday, April 21, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Definition of Theosis
literally, the condition or the state of deity; also, the deification of man

——————————————————————————-

“…while God’s inner essence is forever beyond our comprehension, His energies, grace, life and power fill the whole universe, and are directly accessible to us…When Orthodox [Christians] speak of the divine energies, they do not mean by this an emanation from God, an intermediary between God and man, or a thing or gift that God bestows. On the contrary, the energies are God Himself in His activity and self-manifestation. When a man knows or participates in the divine energies, he truly knows or particpates in God Himself, so far as this is possible for a created being…we are able to affirm the possibility of a direct or mystical union betweeen man and God - what the Greek Fathers term the theosis of man, his deification…There is union, but not fusion or confusion. Although oned with the divine, man still remains man; he is not swallowed up or annihilated, but between him and God there continues to exist an I-Thou relationship of person to person.”

+Bishop Kallistos Ware
from The Orthodox Way (1995-St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York)

[UPDATE: Original post and comments are no longer available. :( sorry!]

Categories: Religion, Theology Tags:

New Testament Foundations

April 9th, 2005 No comments

Following the generous example of Alex , I am posting my class notes for New Testament Foundations (although he added the PPT and handout information more directly that I did - kudos to you Alex!). The final study session from Friday has also been included.

Regent College - BIBL 502 - New Testament Foundations - Bob Derrenbacker
Class Notes - Word Document (375KB)
Class Notes - PDF Document (294KB)

Happy studying!

Categories: Regent College, Religion, Writings Tags: