Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Who’s to Blame?

Time Magazine has an insightful article about the Virginia Tech killings. It rightly looks past the surface issues and places the blame on mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui’s narcissistic worldview. The article may not quote Scripture (in fact, it quotes Freud instead), but the main point remains the same. I’d recommend reading the entire thing, but here are a few excerpts:

Psychologists from South Africa to Chicago have begun to recognize that extreme self-centeredness is the forest in these stories, and all the other things—guns, games, lyrics, pornography—are just trees. To list the traits of the narcissist is enough to prove the point: grandiosity, numbness to the needs and pain of others, emotional isolation, resentment and envy....

[Cho’s] florid writings and videos were an almanac of gripes. “I’m so lonely,” he moped to a teacher, failing to mention that he often refused to answer even when people said hello. Of course he was lonely....

There’s a telling moment in Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine, in which singer Marilyn Manson dismisses the idea that listening to his lyrics contributed to the disintegration of Harris and Klebold. What the Columbine killers needed, Manson suggests, was for someone to listen to them. This is the narcissist’s view of narcissism: everything would be fine if only he received more attention. The real problem can be found in the killer’s mirror.

(HT: Barbara Nicolosi)

Friday, April 20, 2007

So Easy, A Caveman Could Do It

You’ve probably seen several (if not all) of the GEICO caveman commercials. They’re priceless. Well, you might not be aware that these persecuted primates have their own interactive website: www.iheartcavemen.com. It’s hilarious. There’s lots of stuff to view and participate in on the site. And just when you think you’ve gone through all the material, you find new stuff. My favorite part of the website is helping the cavemen decide what clothes to wear for the party. Their responses to some of the suggestions you make are ingeniously funny.

If you need a refresher, here are the links to all the commercials (minus the “party scene” one that makes absolutely no sense):

Complaint (“Four feet by five feet”? What kind of screen ratio fiasco is that?)
CNN Interview
Boom Operator
Therapist (featuring none other than Talia Shire—i.e., Adrian from the Rocky movies)

And don’t forget that little feature about playing golf.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Christian Hedonist’s Playbook (Part 8)

“The Psalms are prayers for those who are engaged in an ongoing, spiritual conflict. No one else need bother even opening the book.” (Patrick Henry Reardon)

One thing we learn from the Psalms is that prayer is an essential weapon in the Christian Hedonist’s arsenal. The Psalmists don’t merely apprehend truth about God in a stoic manner, they use those truths as catalysts for prayer. And these prayers—i.e., the Psalms—are fervent. These men recognize how desperate they are for God. They know that apart from the life-sustaining grace found in God alone, they can do nothing (see John 15:5).

Martin Luther is quoted as saying that praying the Psalms brings us “into joyful harmony” with God’s Word and God’s will. He continues:

Whoever begins to pray the Psalms earnestly and regularly will soon take leave of those other light and personal little devotional prayers and say, “Ah, there is not the juice, the strength, the passion, the fire which you find in the Psalms. Anything else tastes too cold and too hard.”

To my shame, prayer is not a weapon that I have used as much as I should. Too often I feel self-sufficient, even in the face of my own sin. What a paradox! Being proud is bad enough, but being proud even when confronted with your own sin is quite an accomplishment in depravity. But I believe my study of the Psalms is affecting my prayer life. By God’s grace, my thoughts and prayers are (slowly) becoming more God-intoxicated and I am becoming more satisfied with the sufficiency of God’s grace.