www-grid.jpg Today is July 5th — on this day in:
• 1810 – P.T. Barnum, American circus owner born (d. 1891);
• 1865 – The Salvation Army is founded in the East End of London, England;
• 1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation;
• 1946 – The bikini is introduced in Paris, France;
• 1954 – Elvis Presley has his first commercial recording session. He sang That’s All Right (Mama) and Blue Moon of Kentucky, widely considered to be the birth of Rock and Roll;
• 1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell; and
• 2003 – SARS is declared to be contained by the WHO.

So that’s it for the news today. On to the not necessarily random linkage. Warning, I think this may be my longest list to date… I’ve bumped some of them to next week so I wouldn’t have to hear any whining from the peanut gallery about how long the list is… but here goes!

  1. Good News / Bad News: Kester Brewin is starting to work on another book… but he’s going to quit blogging to make time for writing.
  2. Love is Never a Waste
  3. I think I’m on record saying that Frank Viola and George Barna’s Pagan Christianity? is not actually a scholarly work in the strict sense and questioning why they omitted direct reference to the Didache and other early sources. Turns out I let them off easy… Ben Witherington utterly shreds the book. Pretty much mercilessly… says Dan Brown would like it. And he keeps going in a sequel review post. Oh, and part three… actually, it’s a chapter-by-chapter series, so I won’t link them all. His praise is rather muted as he continues to shred. But “strident” is a much nicer word than “bombastic,” don’t you think?
  4. Deprived of your favorite TV show until fall? Use the CSI Plot Generator.
  5. It Was Top Down, Stupid: The Bush administration’s “bad apples” theory goes sour. But you already knew that, right?
  6. TEDTalks are fascinating… Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind — curing pain in phantom limbs (more significant than it sounds) and synesthesia in artistic types. Very cool when he demonstrates that we all have a touch of it.
  7. I have to say I really enjoyed Barb’s reflection on Memes and My Insecurities. Appended in the comments is a list of memes nobody would respond to. Love it. Anybody besides me want to confess to responding to a meme for which you weren’t actually tagged, either because it looked interesting or you had nothing else to blog?
  8. Oops! Weirdest Accidents, Part 4 has some real head-scratchers in the image bank.
  9. Gregorian Chant isn’t for everyone, but I confess I’ve got the chant CD from the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos and a couple by the Mediaeval Baebes. In fact, when I had Salva Nos in the CD rotation during one of our small gatherings, it turned out to be a bit of a hit. Anyway, David Neff says Chant Hits the Charts–Again, and offers a few reflections on chant.
  10. Top 10 Strangest Anti-Terrorism Patents
  11. New! Get your jonny baker art cards & prints!
  12. evangelism signs… do people actually think these work? Have you ever heard someone say, “So I was in sin and minding my own business, and then I saw this sign, and I just knew…”
  13. Scot McKnight’s semi-occasional advice on Fountain Pens
  14. Out of Ur Repents? — update on the coverage of the whole Willow Creek thing. “Is Willow re-thinking its seeker focus? Simple answer – no … Willow is not just seeker-focused. We are seeker-obsessed. The power of Reveal’s insights for our seeker strategy is the evangelistic strength uncovered in the more mature segments.”
  15. There’s some kind of simple profundity in Erika Haub’s family footwashing.
  16. Are you like Bob Carlton and me, a wee bit of an infovore? Why We’re Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data… at least that’s what the number of rss feeds I follow would suggest. Maybe “hyperconnected” is a better term, but I’m not a twit. Or whatever it is you call Twitter-ers. ;^) Still, I’m not an addict. I can quit anytime I want. For a while.
  17. Robin Dugall, Finally, somebody “gets” it! “Religion in America is 3,000 miles wide but it’s only 3 inches deep. The issue is not that Americans don’t believe in anything. It’s that they believe in practically everything. It’s impossible for Americans to hold together contradictory beliefs at the same time” — “Could it be that modern Evangelicalism and ‘local church’ has focused SO much on getting people on the ‘bus’ of eternal life that we haven’t instructed them on the deeper issues of the faith that actually transform a life?”
  18. Are Your Converts Children of Hell? I’m thinking that most of the people who should be scared by the question, aren’t… and confidently so.
  19. Why Churches Should Euthanize Their Small Groups (and what we should replace them with). Hmmm. I used to be very big into small groups, but I think I see more clearly now. They don’t work because they’re programs. Replace them with authenticity and you might stand a chance of extracting some value.
  20. FreeDocumentaries.org — the url says it all.
  21. A use for old cassette tapes
  22. Bad, Bad, Bad T-Shirt
  23. Here’s a stunning description of Joel Osteen, who sits at the top of John McCain’s list of inspiring authors.
  24. Just the title of Paul Fromont’s post hits hard: Why are so many Christians so obnoxious, inauthentic, mean-spirited, and condemning? “…The church accepts no responsibility for the increasing tide of disaffection, but rather wants to call into question the integrity of those who have been alienated…” Ouch.
  25. Alan Hirsch interviewed on missional, organic, and small groups.
  26. Important online tools… create your own cartoons with Bitstrips… or create movie posters, or Lego characters
  27. Web developers take note: now FINALLY, Flash files can be indexed by search engines.
  28. More writers’ rooms, including Lord Byron and Charles Darwin. Better than mine? Oh yeah, most likely.
  29. Bob Hyatt on missional… late to the synchroblog party but he says, “Missional is… planting church communities that live out the Gospel in and for the cities and communities in which God has placed them.”
  30. Ninjas & the Homeless
  31. Brian McLaren on the Sierra Club and the D#@*$% Environmentalists!
  32. Steve McCoy notes an ESV Study Bible is forthcoming in October.
  33. I’ve been saying this for a couple of years, so remember you heard it here first… True leadership isn’t positional. Now that someone in the business world gets it, it should catch on there in a few years, and the church will get ahold of it a few years after that. that’ll be Realization, +1 Decade. Minimum. Okay, yes, I’m cynical.
  34. Michael Matkin:

    [T]here are, I have learned, two kinds of pacificism: the easy (Bonhoeffer might call it ‘cheap’) and the difficult. These words from W.H. Auden are a searing reminder to me of how easily we package cruciform convictions into comfortable ‘truths’:

    I have absolutely no patience with Pacifism as a political movement, as if one could do all the things in one’s personal life that create wars and then pretend that to refuse to fight is a sacrifice and not a luxury.

  35. I have mixed feelings about this Photo of one of the world’s last “uncontacted” tribes

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