The Economics of Waste

Wired magazine posted a feature article about how the economics of waste. The major premise is that the new internet/digital age has transformed certain goods and services by reducing their production costs to zero, or nearly zero. As a result, these products which are now so abundant and so cheap as to be disposable, can now be “wasted” in pursuit of other aims. The cost of computer processing power and storage is a prime example. Computers are so cheap that they’re approaching “free,” which means that their abundance will cause people to create new uses for them since they cost so little. Its a lengthy article, but fascinating.

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Stick Figures Explain the Mortgage Mess

Uncle Sam is experiencing a housing crunch. Sucks to be me, I am getting ready to sell my own house. Be that as it may, one might be wondering, “how did we get in this position?” Great question. A hilarious depiction is shown in stick figures of the whole mess. [Disclaimer: lots of foul language in the stick figure presentation] The biblical answer, however, is this. Sinful human beings can be greedy, leading them to mortgage their entire lives for the dream home that they can’t otherwise afford. Proverbs 22:7 says that “the borrower is the servant to the lender.” That means if someone owes someone else money, they are essentially that person’s slave until the debt is paid. In the OT, when someone couldn’t afford to pay their debts, they would literally mortgage their own bodies by selling themselves into slavery to pay their debts. Christians are called to…

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Worship Leadership Series (part two): Singing is Commanded in Scripture

In many contemporary worship settings, the focus of the music appears to be primarily self-expression of one’s relationship with God. While there’s nothing wrong with this, I do believe that it is a misplaced priority. I aim to show in this post that worship music in the church is to be primarily for instruction in the truths of scripture and not for self-expression. Ephesians 5:18ff says this: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5 is a great example of the purpose that God assigns to singing in his church. The positive…

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Definition of Retirement

Retirement has taken some shots from certain sectors of evangelical Christianity over the last decade or so, and for good reason. Many retirees use it as an opportunity to no longer produce for the good of society but rather leisurely set the cruise control to “almost dead” and hope for a peaceful transition to the next life. David Bahnsen writes in World Magazine his definition of retirement: Retirement is “a period of financial independence where one’s financial needs are provided for, even if income is no longer being generated.” This is good specificity, because the complaints against retirement are not against leaving a job, but rather wasting one’s financial independence. In his view (which I agree with), retirement is not the issue, but what one does with this new freedom from their job. John Piper urges folks to not waste their retirement. Retirees are some of the best resources that…

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Worship Leadership Series (part one): Surveying the Extremes

Albert Mohler quotes Paul S. Jones, who surveys the contemporary church landscape. It is a hedonistic, narcissistic, relativistic, ‘me-focused’ age, though, is hardly one that should inform and define our approach to God. And yet, it does. We measure our success by numbers, our relevance by how technologically integrated and up-to-date we are, and our worship by how good it makes us feel. In the minds of contemporary saints, hymns clash with the spontaneity, simplicity, and style that have come to rule in the modern evangelical church. I agree with this sentiment. Here’s a sampling from a recent Passion CD (Our Love is Loud) featuring Charlie Hall: Suddenly I feel you holding me Suddenly I feel you holding me Suddenly I feel you holding me. Suddenly I feel you holding me. Sweep me away. Sweep me away. Sweep me away. Sweep me away. Suddenly I feel your hand in mine.…

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Cincinnati, the murderous sexpot

Today, Al Mohler summarizes a new Forbes study which ranks US cities in terms of their sinfulness. Since I plan on planting a church in the Queen City this summer, I was interested to discover two areas where Cincinnati ranks as particularly transgressive. In terms of murders, Cincinnati ranks #7, with 28.8 murders per 100,000 people. Certainly, this is no small contributing factor to the gentrification effort currently underway in Cincinnati’s most crime riddled neighborhood, Over the Rhine. In the last ten years or so, city planners have performed a major surgical strike in the downtown area by clearing out one of the country’s largest public housing projects and have replaced it with multi-income housing. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, but that’s where I plan on living. Cincinnati is also a steaming and sizzling lust engine, ranking #8 as the most lustful. Forbes…

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The Evil Worship Empire

Greg Gilbert at 9Marks has posted recently Against Music used for worship in church. He began with this nifty quip: “I think the entire evangelical world ought to put a moratorium on any kind of instrumental music, and just chant psalms in their worship services—for the next ten years.*” He’s joking, of course. But then again, maybe not. He concludes with this: “*I’m being facetious with the title of this post and the call for a moratorium on music, of course. The Bible tells us to sing. God gave us music precisely because it affects our hearts and emotion, and that is a good thing. But every good thing can be and will be misused by sinful humans. My sense is that “excellent music” has become something of an idol. No, we don’t worship it. But alot [sic] of people need it to worship, and that may be just as…

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