Wednesday, September 22, 2010

400-408 – Brett McCracken, is a graduate of Wheaton College and UCLA, is managing editor of the Biola Magazine, and author of a brand new book that's getting a lot of buzz entitled Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide (

• Brett McCracken, Christianity Today (Cover Story) (9/3/2010) Hipster Faith: To remain relevant, many evangelical pastors are following the lead of hipster trendsetters. So what happens when 'cool' meets Christ?  (The CT cover reads, "The Ironic World of Hipster Faith, What Happens When 'Cool' meets Christ.")

Welcome to the world of hipster Christianity. It's a world where things like the Left Behind book and film series, Jesus fish bumper stickers, and door-to-door evangelism are relevant only as a source of irony or nostalgia. It's a world where Braveheart youth-pastor analogies are anathema, where everyone agrees that they wish Pat Robertson "weren't one of us" and shares a collective distaste for the art of Thomas Kinkade.

The latest incarnation of a decades-long collision of "cool" and "Christianity," hipster Christianity is in large part a rebellion against the very subculture that birthed it. It's a rebellion against old-school evangelicalism and its fuddy-duddy legalism, apathy about the arts, and pitiful lack of concern for social justice. It's also a rebellion against George W. Bush—style Christianity: American flags in churches, the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, and evangelical leaders who get too involved in conservative politics, such as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.

The new subculture of young evangelicals—I call them "Christian hipsters"—grew up on Contemporary Christian music (CCM), Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey, flannel graphs, vacation Bible school, and hysteria about the end times. Now all of that is laughable to them, as they attempt to burn away the kitschy dross of the megachurch Christianity of their youth—with its emphasis on "soul-winning" at the expense of everything else—and trade it for something with real-world gravitas.

• Macy Halford, The New Yorker Blog (9/13/2010) Hip For Jesus.

413-423 – Brett McCracken

428-437 – Brett McCracken

443-452 – Brett McCracken

458-508 – Brett McCracken

512-523 – Brett McCracken

528-539 – • Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times (9/21/2010) Big health insurers to stop selling new child-only policies.  Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others say they will make the move as soon as Thursday when parts of the new healthcare law take effect. They cite potentially huge and unexpected costs for insuring children.

• Edmund Haislmaier, Heritage Foundation (9/22/2010) The Right Way to Limit Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions.

Insurance companies exist to return a profit to their shareholders by providing an insurance product.  It is government intrusion that is driving prices up (e.g., mandates), not the competitive marketplace that drives prices down.  The purpose of forcing insurers to ignore pre-existing conditions is at least two fold:  1) when insurers refuse to cover people it will drive them into the government system with the logic "See, this is why we need a government option against these greedy insurers", and 2) the government will "punish" insurers with the intent of running them out of business.  If pre-existing conditions are not a consideration, why not just go get health care when you get sick?  Which is why Obamacare has the individual mandate.  This mess must be repealed!

544-552 – Calls

558-608 – Bill and Kathleen Herren from American Vision Windows (, 888-348-8989), share their amazing God story!  Bill was 35 years old, a homeless crack-addict in recovery, selling cars as a brand new Christian when a young 26 year-old Kathleen walked into the dealership with her mom, to buy a car so that she could drive back east and move in with her soon-to-be-a-doctor fiance.  But God had other plans.  Today, they've been married 15 years, enjoy 5 children, and manage the largest window company in California for the Lord.  This is their story.

612-623 – Bill and Kathleen Herren

628-639 – Bill and Kathleen Herren

644-656 – Bill and Kathleen Herren

• LAT (9/22/2010) All eight in Bell corruption case appear in court; Rizzo held in medical facility, attorney says [Updated].

• LAT (9/22/2010) Timeline of Bell developments.

• Bruce Ackerman, WSJ (9/22/2010) Obama, Warren and The Imperial Presidency: The Senate should vote on all senior appointments within 60 days. But the president should give it a chance to vote.

// Here is the deal: The Senate should change its rules to require an up-or-down vote on all executive branch appointments within 60 days. In exchange, the president should sign legislation to require Senate approval of all senior White House appointments. By reaching this agreement, the president regains the powers to govern effectively and the Senate regains its authority to approve all major appointments—regardless of their location in the executive branch.

This grand bargain requires both sides to give up the petty privileges of the existing system. Senators will lose their power to hold up nominations to blackmail the administration into approving their pet projects. Presidents will lose their ability to appoint super-loyalists who can't convince 51 senators that they merit powerful White House positions. But the rest of us will profit greatly from the reinvigoration of the founding principle of checks-and-balances for a new century.

• Dennis Rainey (2000) The Five Romantic Needs of a Woman: I'm sure it comes as no shock, but men and women think of romance differently. Taken from Starting Your Marriage Right © 2000 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.