russian cinema

recently i have watched two russian films and thoroughly loved them.  now you may say but of course luke would love russian films.  and that may be true.  but i think you would enjoy them too, if you like cinema.  not just movies, but film.  especially the first.  i recommend checking them out--if you're in to that sort of thing.  (the great thing being that no one knows if they are or not because who of you have seen one single russian film?  eh? eh?  give it a try!)


the island

both are on instant streaming netflix if you have it.

and soon i will write more and offer fewer videos. soon.


aixois iv

i just want to say
that sitting outside
wearing flip flops
and a t-shirt
in the shade
because the sun was too hot
next to piles of snow
and budding trees
drinking hot espresso
is a little weird.

and glorious.


double down

another video for your appreciation


up in your grill

this is wretched.  the worst part is i'm pretty sure he's serious.



i love this band.  new music player--hope it works better!
07. Mew - Cartoons And Macrame Wounds by keep7925



oh the irony of history. 

today is st. patty's day, which as most people are aware of is honoring st. patrick.  of course very few of the people who celebrate the day most will know very much about the ballsy old scotsman.  yes, that's right, he was scottish--not irish.  he was taken as a slave to ireland, and return as a missionary after God orchestrated his escape.  maybe people have heard the story of how pat chased all the snakes off the cliff, banishing them from ireland to this day.  but there are much more incredible lore around the saint.  i won't go into it too much except to point out perhaps the most ironic one on this day.

st. patrick never wanted people to wear green.  green was the pagan celtic color which was used to draw in the presence of demons to your aid.  patrick would never have wanted his day to be honored by people wearing the color that traditionally in his day was used to call forth demons.  he probably wouldn't have even wanted his own day, but that's beside the point. 

so today, as a means of truly honoring st. patrick, don't wear green.  if you're wearing green, take it off right now (place appropriate of course).  and if someone pinches you, tell them they might as well wrap snakes around their body and scream incantations to the underworld.

happy st. patrick's day!


the jewel on thin ice

If the jewel which every one desired to posses lay far out on a frozen lake where the ice was very thin, watched over by the danger of death, while, closer in, the ice was perfectly safe, then in a passionate age crowds would applaud the courage of a man who ventured out, they would tremble for him and with him in the danger of his decisive action, they would grieve over him if he were drowned, they would make a god of him if he secured the prize.  But in an age without passion, in a reflective age, it would be otherwise.  People would think each other clever in agreeing that it was unreasonable and not even worth while to venture so far out.  And in this way they would transform daring and enthusiasm into a feat of skill, so as to do something, for after all "something must be done."  The crowds would go out and watch from a safe place, and with the eyes of connoisseurs appraise the accomplished skater who could skate almost to the very edge (i.e. as far as the ice was still safe and the danger had not yet begun) and then turn back.  The most accomplished skater would manage to go out to the furthermost point and then perform a still more dangerous-looking run, so as to make the spectators hold their breath and say: "Ye Gods! How mad; he is risking his life."

~Soren Kierkegaard in This Present Age


boogie down

impromptu dance party--right now, right where you are. doesn't matter if it's public or private. wherever you are get up and dance to this music. don't be afraid. people will love it. do it.

(also my apologies for the video--houndbite has seemingly bit the dust and i've yet to find a suitable alternative. any suggestions?)


so. excited.

now that the olympics are over, we can turn our attention onto something that really matters.  don't get me wrong, i like the olympics, but in comparison--not even close.  sure the medal counts are great and athletes devote their entire lives to standing on the podium, but how about literally an entire nation living or dying by the stroke of a foot?  there is no greater sporting event than the world cup.

now i know this is hard for americans to grasp, especially those that aren't that into soccer.  they might argue about the super bowl or march madness or even the grandness of the olympics.  but nothing is more super, grand, or has more madness than the world cup.  players have literally been killed because of mistakes they made in the games.  i'm not saying that's a good thing, but americans must realize the intensity with which basically every other country in the world views this event.  even the countries that don't qualify probably care much more than the average u.s. citizen.  and that is just sad.

a blog i read reminded me that the games are under 100 days away, and i can't contain my excitement.  it was one of the saddest things nearly four years ago when i realized i wasn't going to be able to watch another u.s. world cup game for another four years.  the fact that it is so infrequent just adds to the insane excitement.  and that day of thrill and joy is almost coming again, and hopes are high.  we have drawn a pretty good pool, with england being our stiffest competition.  but 2 teams make it through and we really should have no trouble advancing.  but then again it's the world cup, and anything can happen. 

i really want to encourage you all to take part in the games this summer.  watch a couple matches, and try to watch them with people who are passionate about the game.  even if you aren't a soccer fan, the energy that exudes from these games is unreal.  after all, no one is really an avid speed skating fan--but you enjoy it during the olympics.  this can be the same way.  the games are so exciting and you know all the while that an entire country is more invested in the game you're watching than you have been for any game of any kind you've ever watched. 

and if you have a hard time understanding soccer, again, watch it with someone who knows.  i'll be happy to watch games with you if you like--i will be spending quite a bit of time watching as many games as i can.  after all, it won't come around for another four years--and by then i'll be in my thirties with who knows what all else going on?  i can't wait!  here is a little video to get you pumped up:


positive press?

the other day the new york times ran an article entitled "Learning from the Sin of Sodom," which talked about evangelicals in a mostly positive light.  it was written by nicholas d. kristof, columnist and winner of two pulitzers.  i don't read the times, but it's gotten some play on several blogs i read so i thought i would check it out.  it's not very long, so go read it, and then continuing reading my post.  or don't, and just keep reading.

my first thought after reading this article was "oh good, some positive press and exposure for the evangelical church--and actually from a really legitimate source."  but then i thought about how the evangelical church would most likely botch this up--how they would get all excited about how someone if finally noticing how great they are and all the good things they do.  chalk up a few good points on the board.  maybe it's the cynic in me, but i can't help but think of it like this.  like when christians get all excited about an athlete or a politician because he is a strong christian--like we should be for him cause he's "in the club."  note the importance of the word "strong," which is an important modifier, lest we confuse them with the nominal faith of just about every politician.

this is not such a bad thing in and of itself perhaps.  it is probably good for people to see that evangelicals are not all single-issue hyper-conservatives.  and it is ok for christians to be proud of other Christ-followers doing well in the world.  what i'm concerned about though is that evangelicals will be so happy to receive a little praise from the world, that they may fail to see what it is they are being praised for.

let's look at the conclusion of the article:
"If secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality."

doesn't that sound nice?  a little cooperation and appreciation for one another and we may actually get some things done to make this world a better place.  so what's the problem with this?

first let me draw up a distinction.  i have been referring to evangelicals in the third person because i tend to not count myself among them.  not because i disagree with the basic historical tenets that compromise evangelicalim (biblical authority, centrality of jesus, personal salvation), but because of all that term has come to represent.  for awhile the term post-evangelical gained some vogue, but it was amorphous and often confusing.  people mixed it up with emerging church and though this article was helpful, it is still rather unclear.  probably most accurately it was a way to distinguish younger generation church-raised kids who were disgruntled at some of the abuses and narrowness of the evangelical church, or its perception as such.  for me it was mostly because of perception, and the desire to draw from other christian traditions the richness and healthy components of christianity lacking in modern evangelicalism.  that's a long topic though, maybe for another post.

i bring this up because this ny times article will really appeal to the post-evangelical (particularly) youth.  social action is a big concern for post-evangelicals.  it is one of their major critiques of the conservative evangelical church, concerned only with personal morality and gnostic conversion experiences (affects the soul alone).  this was a healthy critique, but now the danger is that we simply go about trying to make the world a better place while not really giving attention to people's eternal destiny, or the acknowledgement of sin in humility and the need for repentence--what was once overemphasized is now often passively set aside or even forbidden.  see world vision's policy reflected in the ny times article. 

whether this is a misrepresentation of their attitude or not, it is clearly the reflection of the opinion of the secular world what is needed.  "they can go and do all this good work as long as they aren't using it as a means to just create more converts."  because this stands in the way of progress.  don't try to convert, just work for the common good.

there's a theological side to all of this playing out in many emerging and next-generation churches, but i won't get into all that here.  i write all of this i guess more just as a counter balance, for whenever the "world" praises us we should be not necessarily immediately elated, but rather immediately cautious.  because the world is not supposed to like us, according to Jesus.  we don't like to remember that because as people and as a group we want to be liked--and we want to have a good witness.  and we should have a good witness, and we should really make sure that if as christians we aren't liked it's for the right reasons: because we are truly following the principles of Jesus, not because of our lack of love or our stubborn arrogance and superiority. 

John knew all of this quite well: 

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 

John 17:14-16

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:18-19

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
I John 3:11-24