Category Archives: Uncategorized

Writing quote of the day

Here are a couple of good quotes on the importance, indeed the necessity, of rewriting and revising in the writing process.

Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten….It is one of the hardest things to accept. ~Michael Crichton

Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.  ~John Updike

via Quotes4Writers

Don’t listen to the CDC! 8 Mistakes Regarding the Zombie Apocalypse

The Center for Disease Control recently released some guidelines on how to prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse, Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. Do not listen to them! It’s quite clear that they’ve never watched a single movie about zombies (though they claim otherwise) and are completely uninformed about what it will take to survive even a small-scale zombie outbreak, let alone the zombie apocalypse itself.

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Here are 8 obvious mistakes in the CDC report:

  1. Types of Zombies. The report focuses exclusively on zombies produced by some kind of infectious virus, which, to be fair, is one of the more common zombie types. But, there are many others. And, while you might be well-prepared to counter a virus-infected zombie, that will do you little good when faced with a zombie produced by a radioactive spill, alien parasite, or evil wizardry, among others. Such simple naivete can get you killed.
  2. Location. The CDC obviously thinks that you’re just going to hang out at home through the apocalypse. They recommend having extra “bedding” and list “household bleach” among the suggested supplies. That could be helpful if you need to clean your bathroom while you’re waiting for the zombies to come and eat you. But, if you’d actually like to survive, you’re going to have to ditch the house. Houses are like zombie cupboards; it’s where they go when they get hungry.
  3. Transportation. That’s probably also why the CDC completely fails to mention any form of transportation. Granted, if you’re dealing with older-model zombies, the kind that shuffle around at the pace of a crippled turtle, you could probably escape on some kid’s tricycle. But, if they’re the newer, upgraded zombies, you’ll need to do better. Although some suggest larger 4WD vehicles (e.g., humvee), I’m partial to smaller, off-road vehicles like motorcycles or ATVs. You won’t be able to carry as much gear, but they also don’t use as much gas, and they’ll be easier to navigate through roads cluttered by all the debris left behind by people dumb enough to follow the CDC instructions.
  4. Food. The instructions just tell you to stock up on “non-perishable food that you eat regularly.” That’s not going to cut it. Unless you plan to hide in your fortified bomb shelter (in which case you’ll eventually be trapped and killed anyway), you need non-perishable food that’s ultra portable. If you lived in Middle Earth, you could grab some lembas bread from the elves. But, in this world, I’d stock up on freeze-dried backpacking food. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and non-perishable.
  5. Tools and Supplies. The CDC’s list is sadly lacking here. Where’s the ax or machete (preferably both), gas cans (as many as you can find), extra batteries, backpack, sleeping bag, etc? And, you need to stock up on all this before the outbreak. If you’re dumb enough to visit a Walmart after the zombies start roaming the streets, you deserve what you get.
  6. Weapons. This one’s almost too obvious to mention. The only thing even resembling a weapon on the list is a utility knife. Do you know how long it would take to kill a zombie with a utility knife? (Now, it might be possible to construct a zombie-killing missile out of the duct tape, bleach, batteries, and first aid supplies. But, unless you’re MacGyver, I wouldn’t suggest it.) You’ll definitely need more than this. Shotguns seem to work the best.
  7. Meeting People. The CDC gives instructions for meeting up with family members and other contacts. Are they insane? For all you know, these people have all been infected. Once the zombies come, you’re on your own. (Exception: If you happen to meet some random, shotgun-toting, grey-haired, ex-Army fellow traveler, you definitely want to hang out with him.)
  8. Trust the CDC! The last section is titled, “Never Fear – CDC Is Ready.” Seriously? If there’s a virus-infection zombie outbreak, everyone knows that it will almost certainly have been caused by some secret, government experiment gone awry. There will be some kind of cover-up, probably led by the CDC, followed by mass chaos and destruction. And we’re supposed to trust them? I don’t think so. (Indeed, it makes the timing of this announcement a little suspicious. I wonder what they know that we don’t. How late is Walmart open?)

Jonathan Edwards (roundup)

Sadly, Jonathan Edwards Week is over. I hope you enjoyed the resources, quotes, and comments as we celebrated the life and ministry of this amazing individual. I’ll be spending the next three days lecturing and discussing Edwards with some of my Th.M. students. So, I may well have some additional comments to make after that. And, we’ll be hosting discussions on a variety of issues related to Edwards over the course of the summer. So, stay tuned for more Edwardian excitement.

In case you missed anything, here are the posts from our Jonathan Edwards week:

Celebrating the Life of A.W. Tozer

Aiden Wilson Tozer was born on April 21, 1897 and died May 12, 1963.  He came to Christ as a teenager after hearing a street preacher, and five years later was called as the pastor of a small storefront church even though he had received no formal theological training.  His longest pastorate was a thirty-year stint at Southside Alliance Church in Chicago, Il.  During his life he was a pastor, editor of the Alliance Magazine, and the author of more than forty different books, his most famous being Knowledge of the Holy.  He was a man who loved the deep things of God, cherished and relied heavily upon prayer, and exhorted Christians to move beyond nominal faith to a single-minded pursuit of God.  He and his wife lived a simple life, never even owning a car, and he signed many of his book royalties away to people he knew were in need.  He lived what he preached.  Upon his death, the epitaph simply read: “A.W. Tozer – a Man of God.”

“The yearning to know what cannot be known, to comprehend the incomprehensible, to touch and taste the unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its source.”

The most important question we can ask…according to Edwards

There is no question whatsoever, that is of greater importance to mankind, and that it more concerns every individual person to be well resolved in, than this, what are the distinguishing qualifications of those that are in favor with God, and entitled to his eternal rewards? Or, which comes to the same thing, What is the nature of true religion? and wherein do lie the distinguishing notes of that virtue and holiness, that is acceptable in the sight of God.

For Edwards, this is the most important question that the people in his day can ask. And, I think it’s safe to say that he would think it the most important question for us to ask today.

Yet, at the same time, he noted, “there is no one point, wherein professing Christians do more differ one from another.” That would seem a pretty devastating indictment. If Christians themselves cannot agree on that which is the most important question they should be asking, we have a serious problem.

Although he didn’t phrase it this way, I’m reminded of Scot McKnight’s recent comments about evangelicalism and the Gospel. According to McKnight, the Gospel is the centering reality of evangelicalism. Yet, at the same time, evangelicals can’t agree on what the Gospel is.

Apparently the diversity and disunity of evangelicalism is not a recent phenomenon.

The Silkworm as a Type of Christ

"The silkworm is a remarkable type of Christ, which, when it dies, yields us that of which we make such glorious clothing. Christ became a worm for or sakes, and by his death finished that righteousness with which believers are clothed, and thereby procured that we should be clothed with robes of glory."

~ Jonathan Edwards, Images of Divine things, 35

Audio resources for studying Jonathan Edwards

As part of our continuing celebration of Jonathan Edwards week, here are some audio lectures that I’ve surfaced from around the web. Let me know if there are any other good ones that should be added.

A prayer for Sunday (Catherine of Siena)

[Catherine of Siena’s feast day was a couple of days ago (April 29), so it seems appropriate for today’s Sunday prayer to come from her.]

Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.

Writing quote of the day

Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

~Alexander Pope

(HT @tomascol via Twitter)

What have you enjoyed reading recently?

As a self-confessed bibliophile, I’m always open to suggestions. And, I’d love to hear about what you’re reading. So, what have you enjoyed reading recently (any genre)?

To get things started, here are a few of mine:

What about you? What have you read over the last few months that you really enjoyed?