On the Southern Gospel front
*The Booth Brothers are preparing to release a Gaither Best of CD/DVD combo in conjunction with a brand-new CD of Gaither covers. Pre-order now and you can get a great deal on all three. Here is a video promo.
*DBM figured out how to get rid of the big MusicScribe logo on his site, and after a brief flirtation with a black background (which most of us vehemently objected to), I think he’s settled on a really nice look.
*Steve Eaton has Round 2 of the NQC giveaway up. He’s already covered 20 of the biggest names in gospel music while saying repetition is unlikely, leaving some of us wondering just how tough the going will be in Round 6!
*Here’s a recent interview with the Mark Trammell Quartet. It’s completely hilarious—not your typical interview. These guys are funny. HT View From the Pew. Hard to pick a favorite moment, but I’d have to say my absolute favorite was when Mark Trammell was explaining (totally deadpan) the Christian way of dealing with people who pull in front of your 45,000 pound bus expecting you to stop right away: “You just scream ‘LOSER’ real loud. They can’t hear you, but it makes you feel better.”
On the faith and/or culture front
*Most of you have probably heard about the shooting in Colorado at a Dark Knight Rises midnight premiere. Victims included a 3-month-old and a 6-year-old. What?? Come again? What kind of a world do we live in where 2-year-olds know all the words to “Moves Like Jagger” and 6-year-olds are at a midnight premiere of a Dark Knight movie? Okay, I realize that’s a bad comparison artistically, but surely my point is clear. And I literally saw someone expressing dismay that this should happen somewhere he thought would have been the LAST PLACE for an act of violence. Really? Amazingly, some people still don’t see the irony of the fact that this guy identified himself as the Joker (villain of the last Batman installment) or that the audience literally didn’t realize what was happening at first because they thought it might just be part of the “movie experience.”
*Rachel Held Evans and Doug Wilson recently had a huge debate that was triggered by a post on The Gospel Coalition (which has since been removed) about the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. Jared Wilson quoted a passage from a book by Doug to help illustrate a point about the perversion that results when true masculinity and femininity are polluted. Although Doug makes a couple rhetorical missteps in that passage that do sort of jump out as odd, I completely agree with his overall point. You can read his summary of the debate here. What’s amazing is that it should have sparked such a firestorm of angry responses from Held Evans and her ilk, who apparently think this perverse literature is less of a threat to women than the people who are roundly condemning it as violent and abusive. Go figure. Anyway, I really enjoyed seeing Doug Wilson’s daughter Bekah chime in with a glorious rant after my own heart. I wonder if we were separated at birth. [Note: This debate involves some issues that are inappropriate for non-adult readers.]
*This week I did a post rather provocatively titled “What Can Conservative Christians Learn From Westboro Baptist?” In hindsight, particularly after reader Lydia provided some additional info on WBC, I admit I’m second-guessing the wisdom of that title a bit, even though I still think I was trying to make a valid point in the post. Essentially I wanted to say that it’s a confounded shame that some of the only people who are being really zealous and outspoken on contemporary moral issues just happen to be cookballs, and we as ordinary, sane conservative Christians ought to take back that fire and passion.
However, I’m always happy to be pleasantly surprised by my fellow (sane) conservatives, and I read one such encouraging piece from blogger Owen Strachan on why we cannot “opt out” of the culture wars. It still suffers from a couple of the “churches shouldn’t be political bodies” inconsistency issues I was pointing out in John Piper’s recent sermon, but in its essence it’s what I’d like to point to as an example of how to do this kind of thing right. Ultimately, my bringing up WBC was just a quick and dirty way for me to try to make my point forcefully. Sometimes when you’re feeling righteously exasperated, you do things on impulse. Thanks to my readers for their feedback.
*George Zimmermann gave Sean Hannity an exclusive interview recently, which you can watch in six parts here. (HT: Denny Burk’s twitter.) Legally, I question the wisdom of this decision, given that our wonderfully fair-minded legal system (cough, cough) is determined to nail this guy regardless. If anything, they’ll try to pounce on any small uncertainty/inconsistency in what he said to Sean and use it against him. The only potential benefit I can see is that Christian conservatives who care about justice but may have joined in the initial rush to judgment against Zimmermann might realize how much his case has been twisted and misused. And hopefully be convinced that justice is not being served. But as far as the American public in general is concerned, fuhgeddaboutit.
*To lighten the mood, here are three of my favorite posters inspired by Obama’s recent “You didn’t build that” remarks. Enjoy more at the “You didn’t build that” tumblr here.
Open thread. Talk about whatever you want.