Archives for category: controversy

Or, as some might say, free!

Yesterday, Trent Reznor released The Slip, the new Nine Inch Nails album, gratis over at their website. It’s true, ol’ Trent didn’t even include a “pay what you want” option — just download The Slip for free! And, unlike the initial digital release of In Rainbows from Radiohead, The Slip is being released in high quality MP3, FLAC and other digital formats.

According to the NIN website, this free download is for the fans:

thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me

Is this the new distribution model for music?

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Six students at a local high school that several of our youth group students attend were suspended last week for hacking into the school’s computer system to change their grades and access upcoming test material. This probably would have been a newsworthy blurb on its own and a conversation about cheating and technological security, but the emotional response of the assistant principal of the school has pushed this story to another level.

The assistant principal called this, “Our (worst) technological nightmare” and said, “This case is unique in its depth of complexity and depravity.” Now, of course cheating is wrong, but this response sounds a tad melodramatic. Does the high-tech nature of this cheating make it any worse than old-fashioned cheating (e.g., students writing answers on their palms)?

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Bruce Reyes-Chow and the good folks at Mission Bay Community Church have been producing winsome Easter cards for the last couple of years — clever designs that play off some of the cultural misdirections surrounding Easter.

But this year, they declared that all your base are belong to us with their “Wii Jesus” Easter card and, in the process, set off a bit of a firestorm in the gamer world. Posts, podcasts, discussions, rants, threads, flames and comments ranging from bemused curiosity to righteous indignation have made it to sites such as and G4TV. One of my favorite comment threads says:

Well, of course they wouldn’t allow us to play the Wii.

Jesus would win at everything, making it not fun.

Jesus pwns teh newbs.

Other irreverent, but strangely amusing quotes include, Hey, wait a second, Jesus is on my baseball team too! I guess he really is everywhere! and I actually have a Jesus Mii on my Wii. That way, whenever I go into the Everybody Votes channel, I can ask myself “What would Jesus do?”

Next year, maybe it’ll be time for the big helicopter egg drop!

I have been hesitant to weigh in here on Senator Barack Obama’s potential presidential candidacy because of the way we tend to talk at or past each other when it comes to dealing with race, among other reasons. However, given the historical nature of Obama’s campaign, the increasing rancor and racial divisiveness coming from the Clinton camp recently and Senator Obama’s speech about race and America today I felt compelled to share a few thoughts that I’ve been kicking around recently about race and politics in America today. By way of disclaimer, these opinions belong only to me and do not necessarily represent my church, family or Asian Americans in general.

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Once again, just a couple of brief late-night insights from my second day at NPC (I’m not really cut out for liveblogging as it always takes me awhile to take in and process things).

It was interesting, to say the least, to have Shane Claiborne on the main stage in the morning followed by Chuck Colson. Shane’s new book is provocatively titled Jesus for President and Colson is well-known for his political affiliations. And yet, despite their marked political and theological differences, both communicated their conclusion that personal, individualized transformation lacks lasting power without addressing the systemic issues that create the individual brokenness in the first place.

My wife and I attended another seminar with Tony Jones in the afternoon, this one co-led by Phylis Tickle called, “The Great Emergence: The Church’s 500-Year Rummage Sale.” We attended this seminar on Marko’s recommendation of her talk from the youthworker’s convention in Atlanta and it was every bit as thought-provoking and powerful as advertised. Plus, we got to see some minor fireworks during the Q+A afterwards ;)

Actually, the frustrated questions after this seminar illustrated a greater theme I have sensed throughout the convention: the struggle of those with modern, liner and presuppositional thinking (e.g., “What is your foundation? How do you protect the boundaries? It seems to me you’re well on your way to heresy, etc.”) to deal with some more postmodern, convergent thought processes. Simply to guard the gates and shoot down anything that remotely stinks of “emergent heresy” is to miss out on so much of what God is doing.

Though it remains to be seen if they will actually use the footage, I reluctantly agreed to a twenty-second taped answer to the question, “What have you liked most about NPC so far?” My response was that I appreciated the diversity of opinions and experiences presented from the main stage, even the disagreements between different perspectives because even in our small congregation we have a wide range of thoughts, opinions and perspectives and it helps me to engage and pastor our people to gain a broader spectrum of insights. Or something like that :) After Shane Claiborne’s afternoon seminar, my daughter and I had our picture taken together by one of the NPC photographers. I’m secretly hoping that this will lead to a Gap Kids deal for her.

I also sat in on a “lunch and learn” seminar with Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss — How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth. Although I was totally bummed to have missed out on the freebie (a TNIV study Bible!) it was a very interesting presentation about understanding the place of formal and dynamic equivalence translations of the Bible and the spectrum of English translations available. I was particularly touched when Dr. Fee spoke about his reason for joining the TNIV translation committee. During the course of teaching seminary classes on the Pauline epistles he pointed out on several occasions where “the NIV has got it wrong.” However, he came under heavy conviction when he realized that his students had been raised on the NIV and, in his words, “I was taking the Bible out of their hands.” He shared this tearfully and explained that, despite the controversy about TNIV’s gender-inclusive language, he joined the translation committee in order to help provide more accurate exegetical and translation work in the Pauline epistles instead of simply criticizing the old version.

I’m looking forward to hearing from John Ortberg and NT Wright tomorrow…