Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bracket Strategies From Your Favorite Evangelical Gurus

I wanted to share my bracket-predicting prowess with the world, but every time I published a blog entry on the subject this message kept showing up:

"[Editor's note: Nobody cares or even knows who you are. Try doing one single important thing in your life, and then maybe you can pretend that people are interested in your bracket strategies.]"

So instead of giving my own tips and tricks, I've decided to turn to Important People. And since we all know that filling out a bracket is more an exercise in prayer than in discernible rational strategies, I went straight to the people who are the most connected to God: a few of America's leading evangelical gurus.

Below are their strategies. It's not too late to adopt one of these and convert your bracket from the darkness into the light.

*just to be clear: all quotes below are fake.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Songs Only an Atheist Could Love

The title to this post is actually a lie.  I am not an atheist (not even an agnostic!), and yet all of the following songs have gotten serious airplay on my burned CDs iPod spotify playlist. 

It is very difficult, of course, to label a song an "atheist" song.  For one, some Christians would probably claim that any music that does not promote religious beliefs and values, is, in fact, secular or atheist.  That, to me, is a bit too inclusive.  I am a Christian after all, and if the national media has taught me anything about my beliefs, it's that I like my labels to be a little more exclusive than that. (*Cue Jon Stewart holding hand to fake-earpiece bit*) "What's that? We're supposed to only be exclusivist when it comes to who is on our team, but broadly inclusive when it comes to who is outside? Oh." (*and scene*)

There's also the difficult issue of knowing what the musical artists actually believe...if an artist is an atheist, does that mean every song they make is also atheistic?  Or does a song have to specifically promote or express atheistic ideas about life, god, purpose, the afterlife, etc? (I tend towards the latter view).

With that in mind, and with the caveat that this is not an exhaustive collection, but is rather a very subjective and personal list, I present the following list of five of my favorite atheistic songs (whatever that means).

Friday, March 1, 2013

Books on Books on Books (Pt. 1) - Linford Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening

It's been a busy past few months...between applying to PhD programs, teaching high school social studies, raising a beautiful little girl with my beautiful wife, and finishing up a research project (which is tentatively scheduled to be published in the summer 2013 edition of Nebraska History), I haven't had as much time to read as I'd like.  I have been able to sneak a couple books in, though, and I feel like writing about the good ones...so here we are, with me typing words onto a digital screen, and then hitting "publish," and then you, I guess, reading those words. First up: