Thursday, October 23, 2014

Superstition Has Not Made Kansas City Great; Love Has [CAPC]

My hometown of Kansas City, Missouri is hot right now, mainly because the Royals are hot right now. One of the reasons why the Royals currently have such massive appeal is because they were so awful and despised for so long; America loves a comeback story. But the Royals’ recent success is not merely an isolated matter of luck and timing. Their success is taking place in the context of a much bigger story of what has been happening in Kansas City over the last couple of decades — and it goes much deeper than baseball or even sports. As a lifetime KC resident, I can tell you that when President Obama recently remarked, “Something is going on in Kansas City,” he was right. And this “something” is more interesting and mysterious than people realize.

Read the rest of my article over at Christ and Pop Culture.

Image via Ian Munroe (license).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Cure for Beauty: How a Quest for Beautiful Music Turned Into Something Greater [CAPC]

Ever since high school, the beauty of music has been the primary thing to transport me and give me a deep sense of meaning and wonder. So much so, that I immersed myself into music, started a rock band, and took a shot at being a career musician. I wanted my life to be musical—I wanted it to be like the perfect song... It wouldn’t be until years later that I would realize it was not music I was chasing all that time, it was beauty.

Read the rest of my story over at Christ and Pop Culture.

Illustration courtesy of Seth T. Hahne. Check out his graphic novel and comic review site, Good Ok Bad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

16 Reasons Why I Believe In God: (11) Beauty

Have you ever experienced something so beautiful that you felt as though it deserved your adoration? Perhaps it was a work of art, a song, a sunset, or the smile of a loved one. I've experienced that many times.

The feeling that such experiences evoke in us is not merely one of subjective, individual taste. Rather, it is a strong conviction that the thing (or person) we are beholding is objectively beautiful, and therefore worthy of praise and appreciation. In the moment that we are transfixed by beauty, we no longer believe the cliche, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Nor do we believe that beauty is merely a cultural construction instilled in us by society. Rather, in that moment, we are firmly convinced that beauty is "out there." If materialism is true, however, beauty is not out there - it is all in our head (or our DNA). In other words, if God does not exist, then beauty is merely an illusion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Want Help With Songwriting?

I've been writing songs for about 20 years. It's exhilarating! There's really nothing like the joy of creating an original work of music and lyrics.

Over the years, I've personally coached others, and sometimes teach songwriting classes. I'm now making these services available to anyone online.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Sermon On Beauty

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking at Bridgeport Community Church, where my wife and I call home. I spoke on "The Source of All Beauty." Those of you that are following my "16 Reasons..." blog series might find the sermon interesting - it's a little preview of what's to come in the next few posts of the series. I hope you find it helpful and encouraging.

Image - Wiki Commons: Krzysztof Mizera

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"God's Not Dead" and the Angry Atheist Professor: That Was Not My Experience [CAPC]

In several ways, my life is similar to Josh Wheaton, the main character and hero of the recent movie God’s Not Dead. I grew up in a conservative evangelical home (the son of a preacher). I considered myself a devout Christian throughout high school and later when I enrolled at a very progressive state university and chose to major in philosophy. I quickly learned that all of my philosophy professors were either atheists or agnostics (to my knowledge), and that several of them are rock stars in their respective fields. One professor, Clancy Martin, is even considered an expert on Nietzsche, whose famous statement “God is dead” is where the film derived its title. So, from just about every angle, one could easily have expected that my college experience would equal or exceed the combative anti-Christian environment of Josh Wheaton’s philosophy class depicted in the film.

But it didn’t. It was the complete opposite.

Read about the rest of my experience over at Christ and Pop Culture.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Is #Cosmos Guilty of "Hellenophilia"?

Sunday night's episode of Cosmos ("Deeper Deeper Deeper Still") taught viewers the same thing many college students learn during their undergraduate - that the ancient Greeks were the first people to think scientifically about the world, because they were the first civilization to jettison religious explanations of nature.  From Thales (pictured) to Democritus, the Greeks sought explanations void of appeals to the gods.  There were concrete benefits to this Greek new way of thinking, no doubt.  It's good that we don't still attribute lightning to the finicky moods of Zeus.  However, the more I've studied the history and philosophy of science, the more I've come to doubt the popular belief that the Greeks were the first to think scientifically.