Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas in Copenhagen

It's after Thanksgiving, which means it's okay to start (openly) listening to Christmas music, decorate the house, and subtlety drop hints about reasonably priced present ideas when talking with friends. I've been listening to Sufjan's Christmas albums (of course), Sojourn's Advent Songs, and Vince's Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas; I haven't put our tree up (maybe after my Turkish test on Friday?); and Peter Pan Peanut Butter is pretty much a commodity in my part of the world.

Sadly, this Christmas will mark the first time I will not be with my (biological) family for the holidays. But thankfully some good friends in Denmark are hosting me and a few expat friends in Copenhagen. While I don't think we'll be spending $200 at voted-best-restaurant-in-the-world Noma it's my ambition to visit:
  • The Coffee Collective, an innovative group that's doing wonderful things in the specialty coffee industry.
  • The Louisiana Museum, which hosts a impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.
  • Malmo, Sweden. A charming nordic city with cool cafes and architecture that will also bring my total countries-visited count up double digits.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Makota Fujimura's Illuminated Gospel

Makoto Fujimura - The Art of "The Four Holy Gospels" from Crossway on Vimeo.

Simply stunning! View the preview pdfs here.

Wright on Salvation and Exile

"From the point of view of a first-century Jew, 'forgiveness of sins' could never simply by a private blessing, though to be sure it was that as well, as Qumran amply testifies. Overarching the situation of the individual was the state of the nation as a whole; and, as long as Israel remained under the rule of the pagans, as long as Torah was not observed perfectly, as long as the Temple was not properly restored, so Israel longed for 'forgiveness of sins' as the great, unrepeatable, eschatological and national blessing promised by her god. In the light of this, the meaning which Mark and Luke both give to John's baptism ought to be clear. It was 'for the forgiveness of sins', in other words, to bring about the redemption for which Israel was longing."

-N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 271.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Way Back Home"

Maybe you're one of the nearly 2 million people whose watch this video already, but if you're not you need to, and if you are, you probably want to watch it again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Beirut it a crazy city. Admittedly, the nightlife is overrated if you're not into Hummers and designer clothes, but it's a beautiful place with hospitable people and delicious food. Highlights include:
  • Exploring the city by bike, thanks to a great company called Beirut by Bike. It was remarkably easier than biking in Istanbul.
  • Riding a Ferris Wheel- maybe for the first time(?)
  • Sleeping on the roof of a hostel (because there wasn't room inside). Actually this is only sort of a highlight because the mattress and pillow were really moldy and smelly.
  • Visiting the very impressive National Museum of Beirut, whose artifacts barely escaped being destroyed in the Lebanese Civil War.
Anyway it was a great trip but I'm glad to be back home in the 'Bul.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's about time...

We got some art on the walls at the Safehouse. Thanks Seth for showing initiative and critical thinking.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

İyi Bayramlar

I'm going to Beirut with some friends for Bayram. The city, not to see the band.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bike Istanbul: the helmet cam.

Biking in Istanbul is crazy. But you could say that about biking in a lot of urban areas. Somehow it doesn't accurately denote the full significance of cycling in Istanbul. Thankfully, my roommate Seth set out to document a fairly normal ride.

Biking in Crazy Istanbul Traffic from Michael Butterworth on Vimeo.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

PTs v. Square Mile

This is the coffee I've been drinking lately. Both are delicious, but I have to admit I'm enjoying the peachy sweet PT's El Salvador Finca Los Planes a little more than the smooth blackcurrant of the Kangocho AA Nyeri Square Mile.

Both are first class though and I'm feeling pretty lucky to have fresh coffee from (possibly) the best roasters in America and the UK.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wright on Colossians 1

The small house church I am apart of here is working through the book of Colossians (which I might add, was originally written to a small group of Christians not far from here, 2000 years ago) and this Friday it is my turn to teach. Whenever I have the opportunity to teach from the scriptures I always try to spend most of my time studying the actual source material. But after I think I have an idea of what the text is saying consulting commentaries can be really helpful. For Colossians, I especially love Peter O'Brien and N. T. Wright's commentaries (both are older than I am, but have stood the test of time!).

Here's a great application point from Colossians 1 from Wright's.

"The task... is therefore best understood as the proclamation that Jesus is already Lord, that in him God's new creation has broken into history, and that all people are therefore summoned to submit to him in love, worship and obedience. The logic of this message requires that those who announce it should be seeking to bring Christ's Lordships to bear on every area of human and worldly existence. Christians must work to help create conditions in which human beings, and the whole created world, can live as God always intended. There is a whole range of ethical norms which God built into his world: a respect for persons and property, maintenance of family life and of the ecological order of creation, justice between individuals and groups. Christians must be in the forefront of those working to promote such causes. Many opportunities to speak about Jesus will occur in the undertaking of such work, as it becomes clear that the gospel provides a coherent and satisfying underpinning for those standards which uphold and enhance a truly human life."
-N.T. Wright, Colossians and Philemon, 83-84.