Saturday, May 30, 2009

N.T. (W)right

"The biblical language of resurrection ('standing up', 'awakening' etc.), when it emerges, is simple and direct; the belief, though infrequent, is clear. It involves, not a reconstrual of life after death, but a reversal of death itself. It is not about discovering that Sheol is not such a bad place after all. It is not a way of saying that the dust will learn to be happy as dust. The language of awakening is not a new, exciting way of talking about sleep. It is a way of saying that a time will come when sleepers will sleep no more. Creation itself, celebrated throughout the Hebrew scriptures, will be reaffirmed, remade. " (127-128)

Man. When he is on, he is on. Killer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Champions League Champions!

FC Barcelona defeats Manchester United 2-0 to become the first Spanish team to win a treble.
Brilliant goals by Eto'o and Messi!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cafe Brioso

Armed with vaguely memorized Google maps directions and a three-day jones for some good espresso, I went looking for Cafe Brioso today. Columbus has a whole bunch more cyclists than Louisville, so I felt relatively confident navigating the busy downtown traffic.

It turned out to be well worth the trip, as the latte I got was been the best I've yet to have in the 614.

The milk was a bit foamy but treated delicately- poured with what ostensibly was attempted latte art ( a heart perhaps? maybe a triangle.) The baristas were a little standoffish but the espresso was tasty and it proved to be a pleasant experience.

I imagine I will be spending a lot of time there.

Intern: Day One

First day of interning at Veritas recap:

My intern projects for the day included: installing window AC units, organizing receipts for expense reports, editing/formatting the Veritas Kids ministry handbook, and strategizing over coffee.

I had the worst latte ever at the Short North's best coffee shop. Steaming milk should sound like gentle chirping... not a battlefield. Thankfully, Nick told me about this spot down town which looks promising. He says they pour some mean latte art so I am interested to see what these Buckeye baristas got.

Researching my neighborhood online the first article that came up was this one. I ate lunch at #3 today...before I read the article. Get your mind out of the gutter.

After work I did a little detective work and found that there is a big, weekly bike ride on Monday nights that meets a few blocks from my apartment. When I asked Dan at Paradise Garage if the riders were inclusive, he advised me to "let the hot shots be the hot shots." Not sure what that means but it seems like a good idea... my ankle isn't quite up for any "hot shotting" anyway.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Tomorrow I move to Columbus for ten weeks to intern with Veritas Community Church.

And I haven't packed yet... yikes! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yesterday mewithoutYou released their fourth LP, it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright!

The most compelling track on the album is "the Angel of Death came to David's room", a biblical dialogue that's equal parts negro spiritual and middle eastern folk ballad. The lyrics appear as follows in the album booklet:

"ANGEL: Friends, it's time to go
DAVID: Angel, no, I think you've come too soon!
ANGEL: Sorry, friend, now put your hand in mine..
DAVID: but good Angel, don't I get a warning sign before it's my time to go?
ANGEL: a sign? come now David? where's your Grandma gone? and where's your Grandpa gone? their time came to go
DAVID: but I slew Goliath with the sling and stone! it's not my time to go
ANGEL: and he'll be waiting for you when we get back home it's time to go - come now David! Where's you're [sic] Mama gone? and where've all you Aunts and Uncles gone? their time came to go
DAVID: can I tell Solomon the things I've learned before it's my time to go?
ANGEL: I'm sorry, friend, that none of my concern, it's time to go - come now David! Where's Uriah gone, stranded on the battlefield, the troops withdrawn? his time to go come now, David! where's Bathsheba gone? and where've your binoculars and rooftops gone? and the unexpected Baby-from-the-bath-night? their time came to go

Come now, David!
Where's everybody going?"

In many ways, this songs speaks for itself and demands little commentary. However, it almost seems that Aaron Weiss has shifted from inclusivism to full blown pluralism in the line "he'll be waiting for you when we get back home. " I know of very few theologians of who would suggest that David, the allbeit sinful but still anointed leader of God's people, faced the same eternal fate as Goliath, the enemy of God' people whose head is crushed by God's annointed one (cf. Graeme Goldsworthy's Gospel and Kingdom).

Nevertheless, this song serves as a haunting reminder of the brevity of life and the impartiality of death.


This is my 500th blog post here on

Congratulations to myself for being narcissistic enough to stick with it this long.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduation Pics


Jess Brit got hit by a car today, exact same scenario as my accident- failure to yield right of way on the part of the car. Amazingly Jess broke the car's windshield with his shoulder but managed to escape serious injury himself. He's definitely in a lot of pain and may lose his job from having to miss work. Suck.

Be careful out there dudes! That's 3 Sojourn cyclists hit in as many months.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Resurrection of the Son of God

Yesterday I bought this book. So far I have only read most of chapter one, but it has been baller. I especially liked the following quote.

"George Caird once pointed out, when a speaker declares 'I'm mad about my flat' it helps to know whether they are American ( in which case they are angry about their puncture) or British (in which case they are enthusiastic about their living quarters). (9)

Understanding the cultural context is not just for missiologists folks. In this area Wright seems to know what's up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chex is now Gluten Free!

I could be more excited about this than graduating from college. After losing Corn Pops to wheat starch, it's exciting to have a new breakfast cereal I can eat.

Yes, They Glow in the Dark

I am now running/rocking these Odyssey pedals on my bike. Already been complemented by some baby hipsters outside Quills.

Regardless, it's just great to be back in the saddle.

Thanks mom and dad for the great graduation present!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Overly Nostalgic Reflections on Graduation

I am now an alumnus of Boyce College.

That sentence encompasses hundreds of pages of papers, ten of thousands of pages of reading, dozens of all-nighters, dorm meetings, chapels, service projects, and student life events.

When I started at Boyce in the Fall of 2005 I was just a 17 year old kid. I didn't have a blog, a Facebook account, a cell phone, or a driver's license. Heck, I wasn't even a Calvinist.

I had never heard Sufjan Stevens, never bought groceries with my own money, never lived in a city with a million people.

Dean Scroggins told my class in 2005 that the purpose of studying at Boyce was to love Jesus more than when we started. I can honestly say four years later, that my love of Jesus has exponentially increased. Certainly, my understanding and experience of the Gospel has radically shifted.

The pitfalls of theological education are numerous. Elitism and arrogance easily accompanies knowledge, and even students of the Bible can become prideful about our carefully crafted systems and beliefs. Equally treacherous is the implied professionalization of ministry- as though a diploma somehow qualifies an individual for the standard Paul sets in 1 Timothy 3:1-8.

Overall, I am incredibly grateful for the education that I received at Boyce. Most of my experiences were great, although there is much that I would change if I had the ability.

I am interested to see where God leads me from here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


"The Faculty of Boyce College of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on the authority vested in it by the Board of Trustees hereby confers upon Michael John Butterworth the degree of Bachelor of Science in recognition of the satisfactory completion of the prescribed course of study. In testimony whereof the seal of the Seminary and the signatures authorized by the Board of Trustees are hereunto affixed. Given at Louisville, Kentucky on the eighth day of May, two-thousand and nine."

Friday, May 08, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Barca Advances, Chelsea Still Sucks

Barcelona FC, my second favorite football team, drew 1-1 yesterday against Chelsea FC, advancing on tie-breaker to the Champions League Final where they will face English powerhouse Manchester United. Andres Iniesta's tying goal came in the third minute of stoppage time when many Barca supporters, including myself and Coach Pep Guardiola had already given up hope. Not surprisingly, Chelsea, Didier Drogba in particular, demonstrated a shockingly offensive display of poor sportsmanship, blaming Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo for the loss. Evidently the Blues seemed to have forgotten it was Ovrebo's completely fallacious red card early in the game that put Barcelona a man down for most of the second half.

The win comes has a huge relief for me. Having seen Chelsea tear apart my beloved Liverpool in the last round, I'm not sure I could have recovered from Barca also falling to the Blues.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Over realized folk eschatology?

Folk singer Pete Seeger recently turned 90 and the New York Times did an interesting story on his birthday party/concert. While I am not a huge Seeger fan, he was largely influential on many of the musicians love so I took the time to check it out. I was very surprised to see that President Obama was mentioned almost as much as Seeger throughout the article. Consider the concluding paragraph:

"Mr. Seeger led the crowd in “Amazing Grace,” calling out lines in a spooky, hole-filled, appealingly weathered voice. It was one of several brawny, moving exercises in mass vocalizing: “We Shall Overcome,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Well May the World Go,” “This Little Light of Mine.” (No “Kumbaya,” though — something of a relief.) Ninety years after Mr. Seeger’s birth, 50 or so years after the height of the folk music movement, 40 years after the civil rights movement, and 104 days after the swearing-in of the country’s first black president, those songs no longer sound defiant or expectant, but instead matter-of-fact."

Although I am certainly not a ultra-conservative Obama-hater, this line of thinking greatly disturbs me. This article, like much of the American population, seems to be looking to the President as a Messianic figure who will usher in an Utopian society where everything we have hoped for will happen. That may be a little hyperbolic, but I honestly thought that this sort of media hype would have died down post inauguration.

The crazy thing is that I do believe in a coming Kingdom where our wildest hopes will be true. Indeed, this land will be your land and my land and evil will be overcome. I also am looking a man that establishes this Kingdom- but I believe it is someone who has already inaugurated this work.

However until Jesus Christ returns, we live in the tension of an already-but-not-yet Kingdom. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross we have been restored to live out the kingdom (cf the Sermon on the Mount), but until he returns we will still struggle with sin and live contrary to the Kingdom.

History is moving towards a telos, but I do not believe this consummation will be fulfilled by any human government or political leader.

Monday, May 04, 2009

More Chesterton

"Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms for ever without altering its shape. Be cause it has a paradox in its centre it can grow without changing."

- Orthodoxy

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Chesterton v. Nietzsche

I have never exactly excelled at linear thinking. Instead my thought process feels like several intersecting squiggly lines, all tangled together but occasionally coming together in some unity. As a result I am rarely just reading one book, but three or four- floating between volumes with little to no distinguishable pattern. A benefit of this is that on occasions I will find that two authors seem to be interacting either with each other or similar ideas.

Take for instance this quote from Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra

"The work of a suffering and tortured God did the world then seem to me... This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction's image and imperfect creator: thus did the world once seem to me... Ah, ye brethern, that God whom I created was human work and human madness, like all the Gods!" (27)

Chesterton shows where this line of thinking inevitably leads:

"those seekers after the Superman who are always looking for him in the looking-glass, those writers who talk about impressing their personalities instead of creating life for the world, all these people have really only an inch between them and this awful emptiness... The stars will be only dots in the blackness of his own brain; his mother's face will be only a sketch from his own insane pencil on the walls of his cell. But over his cell shall be written, with dreadful truth, "He believes in himself." (31)