Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The World's population can fit comfortably in Texas

As a whole (water included) Texas has a square footage of about 7,488, 166,118,400.

The current world population is in the neighborhood of 6.8 billion. (with an estimated groth of about 4 billion in the next 50 years)

Divide the current world population into the square footage of Texas results in each person of the world having over 1000 (1089 to be closer to exact) square feet to himself or herself.

Makes me wonder if over population is all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Dilemma of a Catechist: If Football was Taught Like Theology

If Athletics were taught in the same manner as most of the Theological Sciences (on nearly all levels of education), there would be few, if any, professional athletes.

For instance, if we taught students how to play football like many catechists teach theology, like an academic discipline, the process might look like the following:
First, after signing up at a school to take classes on football related topics, the teacher would begin teaching the student about the history and origin of football. Eventually the teacher would give lessons on the rules of football and how the rules have changed through history. The teacher would show pictures of people playing football during the lectures. Key figures and moments in football history would be emphasized, which the student would have to know for the test. Later, each position would be studied and the student would have to know how to differentiate between a fullback, halfback, quarterback, tailback and such, and he would also have to know the strengths and weaknesses of those positions. Naturally, key figures would be mentioned for each position studids: Joe Montana, Bart Star, Mortan Anderson, Jerry Rice. In due time, perhaps nearing the ¾ mark of the academic year, the class would cover coaching and different philosophies of coaching: Vince Lombardi v. Lou Holtz, Joe Perterno v. Mike Ditka. Finally, with one week of class remaining, the teacher will give the lesson on “How to Become a Professional Athlete.”
After a year's worth of studying football, the teacher would then take the student to a football stadium on a field trip to see the athletic field and the equipment used to play the sport and maybe even meet a person who plays football, providing the student passed with sufficient scores on all examinations.
The point: most people who catechize students in the theological sciences teach only the academic side and only go to the practical side very rarely. Why? Because most theology teachers and catechists operate, though foolishly (myself included), under the assumption that the students have already been practicing and doing theology on a very basic level in the home while being led by their parents. Just like the high school coach who assumes that those kids trying out for the team have been taught the basics of the sport from someone (often the father); moreover, it is likely the case that the father taught his son to throw (or roll) a ball before the child could even walk.

But too many parents neglect their children's spiritual formation, even on the most basic level, for a number of reasons. One of those reasons being that parents don't know where to start. Here are two suggestions, teach your child the Our Father (the Lord's Prayer) and teach him or her to pray it with as much sincerity as can be mustered multiple times during the day. The second, read the bible to your kids (and when they get older have them read it to the family). A student having a basic knowledge of the major bible stories puts the student leaps and bound beyond other students in his or her theology and English classes.

Parents and catechists have asked me and wondered why the youth of today are not interested in the spiritual life. Perhaps the reason for disinterested youth is because the youth of today are being taught backwards. Students are entering into a conversation without having any knowledge of the language being spoken. If the catechist teaches the students the practical side of theology, and tries to fill in the gaps, then the academic portion is limited. If the catechist teaches the academic portion then the practical portion, which the students should already have, is limited.

This is the dilemma of the catechist.

Augustine on Facebook

I will be assiging to my students in the coming weeks a project on the Saints (not the NFL team).  One of the options is to make a fake facebook page on that saint in which you let others know about the Saint.  I try to show them a good example and a bad example.  Here is the good example.  I might touch this up a bit and print it in color.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Top 10 Buzz words for youth ministry

1. Awesome
2. Xbox
3. Amazing
4. Sooooooooooo (used as an intensifier often flowed by "awesome" or "amazing")
5. Think about it
6. Crazy (used as an intensifier often flowed by "awesome" or "amazing")
7. Struggles
8. Difficulties
9. Um (or ah)
10. Jesus is my friend

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Big Brother's Trash Police

Looks like Big Brother is arriving in Cleveland, Ohio in the form of RFID equipped recycling bins.  Failure to recycle on a regular basis will result in a $100 fine.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Young Jesus Chronicles

> Someone placed this cartoon in my inbox today. It is funny on a number of levels. Yet, it also misses the mark for some bible scholars as John is not one of the synoptic gospels.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Step Away from the Guitar and No One Gets Hurt

Mike from christiancollegesonline.org sent me a link to what he calls, "10 Unintentionally Hilarious Christian Music Video."  Let me, say if there is ever a case for Christianity being a parody of itself, this is it.

My 2 cents on a few of the videos:

"Dogs of Glory" is downright creepy, but to think that someone would find it necessary to paint their face like a dog so that they look  more like a chimaera and praise God by singing "Howl-le-lu-ya" is down right hilarious.  If you want to sleep tonight, just don't watch the video on mute nor in slow motion. 

"The Renewed Mind is the Key to the Christ in Me," complete with fancy footwork and a matching keyboard duo knows and "The Present" and "Truth," reminds me that 95% of Christian music is a decade or more behind the rest of the music industry in terms of style and sound.  Of course the redeeming factor of this video is watching the tall, mullet donning white guy break some nice dance moves that begin at 1:54.

"Jesus is my Friend" by Sonseed is both catchy and funny.  As much as this video and song gets made fun of, the skaish boogie/New wave sound was cutting edge at the time.  Just be sure not to listen too often or you'll find yourself singing "He is like a Mounty, He always gets his man."  The bad news:  according to the editorial review on Barns and Noble these guys are Catholic.

These video's remind me of the episode of Southpark where Cartman forms the Christian band "Faith + 1," in which he parodies the entire Christian music industry by taking popular songs and wherever it says "you" in the song Cartman replaces "you" with "Jesus".

*For those interested: Lord's name is taken if vain a few times*

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