With the release of the Relevant Magazine tablet edition, the good folks in Orlando have proved they are on the forefront of emerging media. In my humble opinion, this is what a tablet magazine should be. It incorporates all of the features of the print magazine (e.g., creative interviews, beautiful artistry, etc.) with the possibilities of the internet (e.g., photo galleries, short movies, audio interviews, interactive advertising, social media sharing features, etc.).
It is fun to read an article and then toggle off the text to enjoy the photos. In another case you can read interview questions and listen to the interviewees response via embedded audio. The possibilities are endless! Kudos Relevant Mag team.
It’s been a crazy couple of months. Whitney and I just got back from Harrisonburg where we spent the weekend ministering to high school students from Immanuel Bible Church. We had a lot of fun talking about the book of Jonah and asking tough questions about our own commitment to the call of God.
I think I have a chance to breath in the coming weeks, so I hope to get back on a regular blogging schedule. There are a lot of things to discuss!
Just browsing through the contents I’m excited to see the feature on Shad (one of my favorite hip-hop artists). I’m over Rob Bell and all of his pseudo-spirituality (“God is the God of the groove. We need rhythm in our time. It gives shape and color and form to all of life.” What does that even mean?!?) but I’ll see what he has to say (or not say) about advent.
The article I am most anticipating is “Deck the Halls (Not Your Family)” by my fellow Greenbrier Christian Academy alumnus, Jesse Carey. His article walks through the art of greeting (hug, handshake, fist bump, cheek kiss) and helps you avoid the passive-aggressive dinner table questions (so, when are you guys gonna have kids?). Most importantly it claims to help you “avoid the Clark Griswold meltdown.”
I just read an article by Gregory Boyd in the most recent issue of Relevant Magazine. I think this is one of the most well-written and concise treatments of the issues of nationalism and Christianity. Of course, Boyd would be no stranger to this topic as the author of Myth of a Christian Nation. I recommend everyone read what he has to say in preparation for this July 4 holiday.
Below are some cogent excerpts from the article:
The danger of idolatrous patriotism is not just about how we compromise our love for enemies. If we become too invested in our nation, we can forget our real citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 1:27) and our job is to live as ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20)…
I appreciate that America recognizes my rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but there is nothing distinctly Kingdom about these rights. They’re nowhere to be found in the Bible. To the contrary, as a follower of Jesus I’m called to surrender my rights to life, liberty and happiness, and instead submit to the will of God. These rights are noble on a political level, but they can get in the way of my call to seek first the Kingdom. I’m grateful America extends these rights to people, for most countries throughout history have not. But my sole allegiance is to the heavenly Kingdom that calls me to surrender my rights. If I get too concerned with an earthly country that frees me to pursue my rights, my healthy patriotism becomes idolatrous. I’ve put my country’s ideals before God.
Despite the fact that He lived in an age when plenty of political and nationalist issues were being hotly debated, Jesus never displayed the slightest interest in such matters. He didn’t come to bring us a “new and improved” version of the Kingdom of the world. He came to inaugurate a Kingdom that is “not of this world.” It’s a Kingdom that is no more Israeli than it is Palestinian; no more American than it is Iraqi; and no more socialist than it is democratic. Instead, it’s a Kingdom that encompasses people from every nation and political persuasion, for it puts on display the “one new humanity” Jesus died to create (Eph. 2:15). In this Kingdom, Paul declares, there is no longer any Jew or Greek (Gal. 3:27-29). In our Kingdom, all national, tribal, ethnic, gender, social and economic distinctions are insignificant.
So over the Fourth of July weekend – and all year – be appreciative of your country. Be patriotic. But make sure your patriotism pales in comparison to your sacrifice, commitment and allegiance to the Kingdom of God.
Time magazine recently released a list of the “Top 50 Worst Inventions” of all time. Their article should have made the list! Apparently the Segway Human Transporter is the worst invention EVER (even worst than the Ford Pinto and Hydrogen Blimps — both of which are on the list). According to Time, Smell-o-Vision is reasonably as bad as Asbestos! Recently the guys over at the Relevant Magazine Podcast (Jesse Carey, Josh Loveless, Ryan Hamm, and Chad Michael Snavely) made fun of Time’s “lazy editorial work.” I uploaded a four and a half minute audio sample of their hilarious banter. Give it a listen!