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Monday, February 17, 2014

A New Beginning

     The Blackhorse Inn has been around for a few years now and though it has not been a consistent, month to month beholder of new content, there has been some good posts, I feel, and good discussion is about interesting and important topics. After the first few posts, I began to realize that this rendition was not capable of containing the wide variety of subjects that interest me. But I was not ready within myself to open up and move past what The Blackhorse Inn represented for me. The change has been accelerated over the past year and after a couple months of planning, I am finally ready to move on.

     I have learned much about blogging over the years and especially this past year as I have been exposed to more writing about the art of blogging. So today I am launching my new blog simply, and openly entitled Nyk/edinger. It can be found at my new home,

     The site itself is still being built and the look is destined to change over the next few weeks until it is tweaked to my liking, however, I would love if you would check it out and subscribe so that you do not miss what will happen there from the very beginning.

     And what will happen there?  Everything pertaining to me.  And no matter where you know me from, there is undoubtedly something of me that you are not aware existed.  Hopefully there will be something among those things that interest you as well and that will bring you value and benefit.

     I will be merging my favorite posts from this blog to give the new blog a connection to my past.  There will be a lot of new content that will be much more focused than it has been in the past. I am also inviting several friends to guest post on my blog to offer you a different perspective. These will be people who I gain inspiration from myself.

     The final thing the new blog will endeavor to do is provide you with a window into every project of which I have had the privilege of being a part. From music to books to movies, soccer clubs and churches, it will all be there. And links to every place available where you can connect with me personally online.

     I am excited to begin this new part of my life and I am excited to share it with you and with those who you would see it good to invite.  I look forward to our interactions and new learning and discovery. Thanks for visiting The Blackhorse Inn and I will see you on the other side.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Concoction ShampYou. A new way to shampoo

     Many of you have probably been there. Standing in the shampoo aisle looking at the dozens of types of shampoo to choose from, not to mention the myriad of conditioners to go along with those shampoos. You most likely have your favorite brand, yet even then there are many scents and types from which to choose. And it is inevitable that as soon as you settle on a favorite combination, the company discontinues that one and comes up with another which probably is just the same shampoo with a new name but how can you be sure? It makes a person wish they could just mix their own combination of shampoo and use it forever.
     Well, now you can.
     Enter Concoction ShampYou.
     Concoction ( ) is a new shampoo concept from the U.K. that allows you to add whichever serums you want to their shampoo base, creating your own, personal shampoo concoction. Hence, ShampYOU.
     I came in contact with the nice people from Concoction via Twitter and King of Shaves
( )CEO, Will King. He was excited about Concoction when he heard about it and shared it on Twitter. So I checked them out and found that I really liked the concept as well. I tweeted them and found that Concoction was only available in the U.K. so there went that. And not only was it only available in the U.K. it hadn't even hit the stores yet though it was available online.
     Around Christmas, I half-jokingly tweeted that all I wanted for Christmas was to be the first U.S. customer to try Concoction. To my surprise, they responded that they thought they could make that happen. I was excited to say the least. They made arrangements for me to select my Concoction from their website and they would prepare it for me and ship it here.

     Here is how it works. They have created a system they call Mixology Technology. I selected a scent that is added to the main shampoo base. I selected Bakhour. There were four to choose from. Then I selected two serums of my choice from the eight options, including Turn Up The Volume, Gimme More Moisture and Curl Me Up. I chose Gimme More Moisture and Back To Your Roots.

     The first Concoction I was sent was mixed for me. However, the second one I ordered actually came with small tubes of the separate serums and I got to mix it myself. Very cool. Wish I had one of their cool Mixology Lab Coats to wear while I mixed my Concoction.
     Because of the length of my hair and the hairspray I use, I typically shampoo my hair twice and then condition it once. That didn't really change using Concoction. I still needed to shampoo twice but I decided to forgo the conditioner in order to really evaluate the shampoo. I found I didn't really need the conditioner anymore. My hair felt clean and it felt great.
     The scents are very different than what you typically find in the U.S. but they were somehow both strong and subtle at the same time. I was not overpowered by the scent yet I certainly could smell it immediately. It was very pleasant. In the end, Concoction does its job and does it well.
     Back in the U.K. they are about to launch into the stores with a display that allows you to fill your bottles and mix your Concoction's ShampYou right in the store. Looks like a lot of fun. For now, those living outside of the U.K. will have to order via the website and mix it yourself. But it is well worth it to be able to use one of the best shampoos in the world.
     Now, Concoction isn't cheap. And ordering it from outside the U.K. with the added shipping costs, it is really not cheap. However, most things that are best in category rarely are. (King of Shaves being the significant exception) Yet it remains that it is a great shampoo and a great concept and I am grateful that I was able to experience it all the way over here, across the Pond.
     So if you want to experience being part of the 1% here in the U.S. and experience one of the best shampoos in the world, head to the website and mix up a couple bottles of Concoction ShampYou and enjoy washing your hair again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top Ten Apps For the iPhone 2013

   Let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year and welcoming you to 2013! One of my New Year’s resolutions, well, my only New Year’s resolution actually, is to blog more, to write more. I would love to turn writing into an occupation. But that is beyond the scope of this year’s resolution. So I figured I would start right away on the first day of the new year and write a blogpost. It is a bit cliché to be sure but it is easy, light hearted, fun and hopefully somewhat useful. Writing about my Top Ten iPhone Apps of the New Year, is what I am talking about. Of course, all of these apps are from way back in 2012 or farther however, in my opinion, they are the best at what they do right now on January 1st, 2013, so I wanted to share them with you. If you do not have an iPhone, my suggestion to you would be to go get one and then continue reading.

   Number Ten



   Yes, I am cheating a little here but there is a very reasonable explanation for it. Either one of these apps on their won would not be as awesome as they are together so that what I have done, stuck them together for review in the Tenth spot of my Top Ten. TurboScan is just what you might imagine it is. It scans documents into your iPhone using the iPhone’s camera. It uses SureScan technology to take and merge Three photos of your document into one to give you the most clear scan possible. You then are able to select the edges of your scanned document to accommodate for odd angles that might occur because you weren't able to position the camera over the document perfectly and then it is saved. You can also merge several pages into one document if your scan contains more than one page. It is now ready to be exported or sent to the destination of your choice. You can email i. print it, export it to apps such as Dropbox or Evernote or open it in a PDF reader or an app like iFax. This is where this app becomes powerful for everyday business. For some inexplicable reason, Fax still exists. And not only does it exist but it is used extensively in business. It is slow, unreliable and antiquated but it is still there and often still required so for now, to make the most of the technology we have we must incorporate the old with the new and this is what iFax does. After opening your freshly scanned document in iFax you can create a cover sheet and actually fax it to any fax number in the USA straight from your iPhone. And best of all it is free! This allows you to not be tied down to a physical fax machine in order to get documents to those who request them. And you can even receive faxes directly to your iPhone through iFax if you pay a monthly fee for a fax number. I don’t use fax often enough to warrant this option but if you do, it would be well worth the money for the number. Or if you don’t have a fax machine at all, this would be far less expensive than getting ne and dedicating a phone line to it. With TurboScan and iFax I can scan and fax from my work, my car, my home or even from the sidelines during a soccer match. They are great apps if these things are part of your daily life.


   Number Nine

PDF Expert

   PDF Expert is one of those apps that you could also use in conjunction with TurboScan or iFax. It is not simply a PDF reader. You have iBooks, Safari, and myriad of other apps for that. PDF Expert can do far more things with PDFs than I even know how to do but what I have used is filling in forms on PDFs, signing documents (using your finger, very cool), making notes within PDFs, highlighting text and many more. You can share them through email, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Docs or even iFax. It is a fantastic app that I will never delete from my iPhone for sure.

PDF Expert


   Number Eight  


    Checkmark is a task/reminders app. There are tons of them out there. There is actually a very powerful one built right into your iPhone already. But Checkmark is a step above them all. Checkmark is a beautifully simple app but not one dimensional as some “simple” task apps are. Checkmark can do everything most other task apps can do but does it in a much easier way than any other. With as few as Three taps you can create any task and set an appropriate reminder. You may be thinking, “What does he mean by appropriate?” Well, here’s what I mean; most task apps set reminders solely by time. The native iPhone app, Reminders, does have another feature called Location but it is buried inside the task settings and uses actual addresses to set locations. It works. But not without some effort. Checkmark allows you to preset locations by dropping pins on a map and then associating an icon with that location which is then always available from the Where tab in the Checkmark app. So to create a task and reminder using location you simply tap the Where tab if it isn’t already open, tap the icon associated with the location you desire, tap the + icon to create a new task, enter the task, tap either Arrival or Departure if it is not already selected, tap the Timer icon to set how many minutes after the arrival or departure you want to be reminded if you don’t want it to be immediate and then tap Save. This is a huge addition to the typical task app that either doesn’t have reminders at all or are restricted to only time based reminders. It is so huge that I have found myself using the Where tab far more than the When tab. Through the When tab you can create a task based on a specific time and it can be recurring as well. Checkmark sets itself apart from all the others with a clean, easy and frankly, fun UI that makes me WANT to use it. And that is the best feature of all. Because I have found that no matter how powerful a task app may be, if I never use it, it is worthless. Checkmark invites me to create tasks and set effective reminders and helps me remember the things I need to do when I need to do them. In fact, it reminded me to write this blogpost! And here I am. No greater testimonial than that is needed.


   Number Seven


   Scan is a bar code and QR Code reader. You might not think that exciting but that just means you need this app even more. QR Codes open the door into a cyber world that as of yet few people have really ventured. They give you immediate and salient access to videos, websites, coupons, and information about what you are interested in and looking at in the real world in real time. And Scan is the best app for unlocking that doorway. It is fast, simple, seamless, and nearly invisible which is exactly what you need in order to place your full focus one whats behind that cyber door. Scan works immediately upon opening it. It has a full screen UI with ghost-style, minimalist buttons to access its features. But its make feature and focus is to scan codes and it begins doing that the second it is opened. Open it, place the camera over the code and it is scanned automatically with no need for further interaction with the app. Brilliant. Then it opens the appropriate app to access the content linked through the code. So much better than any other I have tried. It can also scan from your photo library and keeps a history of scans if you want to revisit them later. And it can turn on the light of your iPhone’s flash if you are trying to scan in a darker location. Absolutely amazing app. Get it and unlock the wonderful world of QR Codes.


   Number Six  


   Evernote is one of my most prized apps on my iPhone. It as been completely redesigned for the iPhone as well as the desktop and is better than ever. If you do not have Evernote you should go get it now. It is by far the best notes app out there. No matter where you are and using text or photos you can make note of everything you you need and remember everything. Evernote keeps it all nicely adn easily organized across all your platforms and devices. Never forget But this review isn’t for Evernote, it is for FastEver. This is because despite all the greatness of Evernote, fast launching and note creation is not one of Evernote's strong suits. And that is where FastEver comes in. It is a separate app that connects seamlessly with Evernote to allow you to create fast notes and get them into Evernote quickly. I have often spent as little as a few seconds from clicking FastEver to closing it in the creation of a note. And while I move on to other things, FastEver is logging it into Evernote and Evernote is syncing it across all my devices. In my job and in my writing it has been a gem that I couldn’t live without. It has become such an important part of my everyday life that I keep it docked on my iPhone. I click the FastEver icon and it opens instantaneously to a screen ready to accept the note. I immediately can start typing and hit save and my home button and FastEver does the rest. I can spend a few extra seconds if I have them and actually tag the note or specify which notebook to file it in if I want or I can open Evernote late when I have the time and add those things to it. I only wish there was a way to take a photo from FastEver. I am sure they are thinking that this option would slow the app down too much and maybe they are right but that is the only thing I miss. Mainly because FastEver is so awesome that it has virtually replaced the Evernote app as the initial note taking app. Only when I need to take a picture for a note do I actually open Evernote to make a note. FastEver is that good. It is simple, clean, and looks and feels like you are right in Evernote so it is the perfect companion the the most powerful note taking and organizing app for the web, Evernote.


   Number Five


   This oddly named app has become one of my best friends. It is a writing app. That is pretty much all it does. There is an app for the iPhone and a corresponding one for the Mac. They both integrate into Dropbox so you will always have the latest version of your writings on any device you choose to write on. I am actually writing this entire post using Byword. It is a clever little app. It is a full black screen with white text that you can make larger or smaller depending on your tastes. You can change the font to whatever you desire and it does have auto-correct and spell check. It auto saves so you never have to worry about losing what you have written and it can export to PDF, email, HTML or print. You are also able to use Markdown as well if that is something you are used to using. It is easy on the eyes and it just works. It is just fantastic and it has replaced Pages for nearly all of my writing now. Inserting links and photos and graphics is not what Byword is about. It is about text. And it is easy enough to transfer the text over to a more powerful program or app like Pages to add all those other elements to your final product. But especially on the iPhone, simple is often better and that is what Byword brings to the table. If you need to write at whatever times you can find regardless of where you are then Byword is the app for you. Nothing better.


   Number Four


   Moving on from utility type apps into more of the entertainment variety I present Prismatic. In it’s most basic sense, Prismatic is a newsreader. But in reality it is much more than that. Prismatic is a smart newsreader. You connect it to the social network you use most and it learns your interests and then goes out into the vastness of the Internet and finds the news stories that you will find interesting. It mixes into one feed current events, sports, entertainment, technology, art, music, etc. all driven by what you are interested in. The UI is simple and clean and feels very at home on the iPhone. Flipboard is a similar app but may biggest complaint with it was that after the initial “flip” of the headlines the UI changed to movements that were inconsistent with it’s “flip” style interaction. Prismatic doesn’t suffer from this issue. It maintains consistency throughout the app. Scroll through the headlines, tap a story, scroll through the story, swipe right to go back to the feed. It does a great job of finding a nice mix of news and nearly always is something I am interested in. If I want to save or share a story I hold my finger to the story and three option icons pop up, Download, Share, Favorite. Slide my finger to the one I want and that action is taken. Super easy. Swipe Left and the menus and settings appear including my downloaded, shared and favorited stories as well as my viewing history. I can always find that cool article that I want to share with someone later. Yet, Prismatic is not perfect. It opens stories within its own browser but it is geared more for text so often photos or embedded video either don’t work or don't show up at all. Additionally, many times the entire article is not shown and you have to click a link to read the remainder of it. Either Prismatic needs to make the browser within the app more powerful or it needs to seamlessly send you into Safari. But despite this area of inadequacy, Prismatic is still the best smart newsreader that I have found. Give it a try!


   Number Three


   Jasmine is a YouTube app. The YouTube app for the iPhone is great, especially so if you want a more YouTube web feel. But if you are a person who is just wanting to search YouTube for fun videos without all the extra junk that YouTube throws at you then Jasmine is the app for you. I find myself using Jasmine far more than the official YouTube app. The UI is slick and simple and more beautiful than any other YouTube app I have used. It makes searching and watching videos fun. But don’t mistake it’s simple UI as being weak. Jasmine gives you control over every aspect of your YouTube account. You can search, browse featured or trending videos, access play lists, subscriptions and even your own uploaded videos. But the key is, you do what you want the way you want, when you want. Jasmine gives you total control over YouTube and who can argue with that?


   Number Two

BFF Broadcast

 Have you ever been at an event and wished that someone who wasn’t there could share in the experience live or wish you could share an event live with your friends or family? What would it take to do that? What equipment set up would you need? What method of delivery would you need to set up and pay for? How could you ever be technologically advanced enough to pull such a thing off? Well, with BFF Broadcast the answer to all of those questions is “don’t worry about it!” That’s because BFF Broadcast from Ustream when connected with FaceBook does it all for you. If you can tap on an app and press record while pointing your iPhone’s camera at an event, you can stream any event live to all your FaceBook friends. It is really that easy. And it really works! From sporting events, to concerts to speaking engagements or even just a family get together at the holidays, these moments can be shared live with anyone you connect with through FaceBook anywhere in the world. The future is finally here in the palm of your hand and it is called BFF Broadcast.

BFF Broadcast

   Number One


   This app will not be for everyone. If you have a weak heart you might just skip this one. And though this app is geared to a very specific consumer, the technology that it has pioneered has the potential to change books forever. iPoe is an interactive digital book for your iPhone. It combines text, artwork, sound, animation and interactive elements into a reading experience unlike anything you have ever seen, heard or read. There are two editions of this app right now, each containing several of the most popular stories by Edgar Allen Poe. Put in your headphones, turn out the lights, open the iPoe app, and be whisked away into the eerie worlds of Poe. It is spooky, intense and at moments terrifying. I have never screamed while reading a book before but this app did it. It is very affective with the horror genre but I can see this technology being fantastic in every genre of book. I cannot wait to see how it is used in the future. In the meantime, treat yourself to the future but beware...just beware...

iPoe 1
iPoe 2

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Piercing Rotten Diction

I remember watching an episode of “Swamp People” one evening a few years ago and there was a short, maybe 5 minute, section where the show was focused on two Alligator hunters who had particularly strong Cajun accents. I remember distinctly, sitting on my couch trying my best to focus on what was being said by these two guys on the television and as the minutes passed, I began to feel some anxiety. I began wondering if there was something wrong with my hearing or maybe my mind was finally starting to lose its cognitive abilities. I simply could not understand anything that was being said. I listened intently through the remainder of that segment and realized as the show went to commercial that I had not understood a single word spoken in those five minutes. Still a little concerned, I turned to my wife who was sitting next to me on the couch and I asked her if she understood any of what had been said. She looked at me and laughed. No, she had not understood any of it either. We were dumbfounded. How could we just have watched an entire segment of two Americans speaking to each other and not understood one word? We spoke the same language, or did we really? Or was it the same language in name only?
That night reminds me of an earlier moment where a radio program I often listened to was describing an interview that their station had conducted with a witness at the scene of a shooting in their city of Atlanta. They marveled at the fact that as far as they could tell, the young lady was speaking English but they could not make out what she was saying in the least. Fortunately the engineer of the program was able to understand what this lady was saying and was able to translate it for the host and the rest of the listening audience. The result was very humorous. You can listen to it here.

Often, the inability to understand each other, though frustrating, results in hilarity. John Cleese in an interview about the British sitcom Fawlty Towers, explains that one thing he finds very humorous is the confusion that arises through miscommunication. The dialogues between Cleese’s British and English speaking character, Basil, and his hired valet, Manuel, who speaks Spanish are classic.
Language is a strange thing, a unique thing, a powerful thing. It is something that unites us and can divide us as we can see in the story of the tower of Babel. Many people fear the end results of what our language is becoming. With the poor state of our public education system and the advent of texting and Twitter, they are concerned that our language may cease to exist as we know it. And they may be right. In fact, if our world survives long enough into the future, I am positive they are. But that is the reality of language. All language at all times is constantly evolving, being molded by the new and parts forgotten like the old. It is a natural path.
Stan Carey writes in his blogpost Language Correctness, Corruption, and Doom;

“It’s an understandable conceit of each generation to claim special status for its own era: never more chaotic, never more exceptional, never more imperiled. The Austrian writer Hans Weigel exemplified this paradoxical position in his book Die Leiden der jungen Wörter (The Sorrows of Young Words): Every age claims that its language is more endangered and threatened by decay than ever before. In our time, however, language really is endangered and threatened by decay as never before."

Stan goes on to make the point that there is really nothing for us to worry about. Language changes and it is perfectly natural and no harm will come because of it.
Granted, the subject of Stan’s post was narrow in its scope and does not address what I intend to address in this post. But it is a good place to start. I am not bringing up this issue of proper language or lack thereof in today’s culture to sound the death knell of English as we know it. The world changes and people’s experiences and environments change and language adapts to the needs of the people using it. Nothing is more an evidence of this than the phrase uttered by a reporter as he was describing the crash of the Hindenburg on live radio. He practically screams the phrase, “Oh, the humanity!” At the time, those who heard it must have shuddered in absolute terror at the event unfolding that they could only imagine through his anguished words. Yet, today, the meaning of those words has been lost for the majority of us. I can imagine what they might have meant but in truth, even I do not really understand the reason for that specific phrase. So now we see the phrase used as a phrase uttered for comedic effect. What brought such horror to those who first heard it now brings laughter. Are we being insensitive to the tragedy that unfolded that day? I don’t really think so. It is simply that this phrase spoken all those years ago has lost its meaning in our current culture and has become something we find humorous because of our complete lack of understanding what he was referring to. Language changes, even in highly educated societies. There is no arguing that. But is the change always natural or is it sometimes manufactured deliberately? Is it always harmless or does it have the capability to cause great and irreparable damage to unwitting people in a society? Is Stan’s point the be all and end all of a language in flux? I would like to suggest to you that it is not. In every era, it seems there has been concerted efforts of groups of people to pervert language for their own gain.
In The Dyer’s Hand, W. H. Auden says;

“There is one evil...which should never be passed over in silence but be continually publicly attacked, and that is the corruption of the language..."

This quote may seem extreme but when you realize he isn’t speaking of the use of dialects or slang as corruption of the language but rather of that deliberate perverting of words and meanings in order to manipulate people I think we can conclude that his statement is not unwarrented in the least. We all have seen and heard examples of this in our culture today. Most evident is the language associated with politics. We call it “spin”. Bill O’Reilly based an entire political television show off of this word called “The No Spin Zone”. His catch phrase was “The spin stops here.” In the past we would have used the word propaganda. But this word in itself has fallen prey to the corruption of language and has lost its power. It is fascinating.
Caleb Johnson in Philosophy and the Corruption of Language explains the significant danger that this corruption poses;

"Such language (political propaganda) is not meant to engender consideration of the issues, but rather to free them from the burden of consideration."

That is a profound statement. The language of propaganda sounds like it is a discussion of the issues at hand but really are a mechanism to avoid all real consideration of same issues. Those who employ such language appear as someone who genuinely wants and desires and seeks after substantive discussion of the issues but all the time are perverting the language to skirt the issue so that we feel as though we have sufficiently vetted it while never even having come to an understanding of it.

You might say, “Well, that is politics isn’t it? It has always been that way and it always will.” And you would have a valid point. Yet there are those in politics that speak straight and what Auden says certainly holds true when considering our government. And if politics were the only place this phenomenon took place, the warning may not be as dire as it sounds. But I am afraid that politics is not the only platform that this perversion has reared it’s ugly head. We are seeing it begin to prevail within our churches, even traditionally conservative and highly orthodox denominations as the Church of the Nazarene of which I am a member.
To fully understand the gravity of the situation and the reason the word Auden uses to describe it, “evil”, is not an overstatement or sensationalizing it in any sense I want to touch on one idea of the origin of language. Ralph Waldo Emerson posits the idea that all language is derived from words as symbols of observable nature. When man sees a truth evident in nature, he creates a word to describe it. He then takes that word and applies it to his human thought thus creating an idea that this word expresses. It now can be shared with others who have that same commonality of observable nature. Emerson explains it this way;

“That which was unconscious truth, becomes, when interpreted and defined in an object, a part of the domain of knowledge, — a new weapon in the magazine of power.”

So Emerson theorizes that words have meaning and the ability to express that meaning because of their connection to an observable truth in nature. But in the phrase above “that which was unconscious truth” Emerson is alluding to a further revelation of language, that is, the observable truths found in nature are themselves symbols of spiritual truths. And those put in place by God, Himself. Let that sink in for a moment.
Truth is set into place in this world by God via nature which is observed by man who then creates a symbol of that truth (a word) with which he is able to communicate said truth to others. Then the purpose of language is to communicate truth. That is staggering. It is frightening, honestly. This makes the corruption of language significantly more important than one could ever imagine.
Here is Emerson’s description of the problem of the corruption of language;

“A man's power to connect his thought with its proper symbol, and so to utter it, depends on the simplicity of his character, that is, upon his love of truth, and his desire to communicate it without loss. The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language. When simplicity of character and the sovereignty of ideas is broken up by the prevalence of secondary desires, the desire of riches, of pleasure, of power, and of praise, — and duplicity and falsehood take place of simplicity and truth, the power over nature as an interpreter of the will, is in a degree lost; new imagery ceases to be created, and old words are perverted to stand for things which are not; a paper currency is employed, when there is no bullion in the vaults. In due time, the fraud is manifest, and words lose all power to stimulate the understanding or the affections.”

Wow. It sounds like the destiny of a person’s very soul is reflected in his language. There is so much to pull from this quote but I want to touch on two phrases. The first, “The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.” Emerson is clearly speaking of how it is now. Now, as in how this world currently is. Of course this world was not always like it is now. It once was perfect. It once was a place where humans lived in perfect peace and harmony and daily communed directly with God. I can imagine that God even introduced the very first words, those symbols of His truth, to Adam and Eve in the Garden. Can you imagine? The very first mention of words spoken by Adam are found in Genesis 2:19-20 where God was creating animals and bringing them to Adam to be named. Just as Emerson suggests, these first words of Adam were symbols of the animals that God had created. What an amazingly intimate connection between Adam and God, His creation and Adam’s language. And then we see something absolutely stunning when considered within the context of language. In verse 22 God creates Eve from Adam’s rib and brings her to Adam and the first words recorded that Adam speaks are to name Eve as “woman” specifically to relate the truth of her being “taken from man”. What a fantastic expose of the creation of language and the purpose of it in God’s providential plan for humankind.
However, in the very next chapter of Genesis we see that in this world of Adam and Eve, this prefect Garden of Eden where humans communed with God uncorrupted unlike the humans of Emerson's world, a serpent enters the Garden and from his corruption comes the first corruption of language ever recorded. He questions God, and Eve for some reason in her response adds to what God actually said by stating that He told them they were not to even touch the tree or they would die. Immediately the serpent jumps on the falsehood and the first “spin” is spun. And the rest, as they say, is history. So in the beginning it was the corruption of Satan which spawned the initial corruption of language which lead to the Fall of Adam and Eve with its deadly effects rippling through history to this very day. So now, when a person is corrupted and the truth is not the driving force in their lives, the result is a corruption of language. The second phrase, “and old words are perverted to stand for things which are not;” brings me to the crux of this post. There has developed within many churches and specifically within my Denomination, a group of people who have become experts of the corruption of which I have been writing. They go by many names because that is the nature of their discourse, nothing is concrete, everything is fluid including how they refer to themselves. Liberal, Progressive, Postmodern, Emerging, Emergent and one the of the latest, Historical Nazarenes, are all names that they have used for themselves and have been used of them. These people have taken as their weapon in their “magazine of power” not the acquisition of an “unconscious truth” as Emerson mentions but rather the propaganda spoke of by Caleb Johnson. They have taken words that previously had unquestioned meanings to the members of our Denomination such as “gospel”, “missions”, “the Word”, “holiness” and much more language and added to them, twisted them or poured completely new meanings into them. Coming to our people and our leaders and presenting a new idea would be one thing but that is not what these people have done. They have presented a new and entirely foreign idea wrapped in old language. And as the meanings of words we once knew become warped into something we have never believed or taught, the people are being deceived into believing a lie, just like Eve in the Garden. The Gospel has become a “social gospel” where salvation is determined by our actions and attitudes. Missions has become a “missional lifestyle” of attending to the physical needs of others while ignoring the spiritual death suffocating them. Heaven has become the Kingdom on Earth. And Scriptures have become a mostly human “narrative” and the Word something that can only be properly experienced in “community”. The words we thought we knew no longer exist. And the beliefs we thought we held so firmly, we are told we have never believed since the beginning. This is not an overnight corruption, this is a poisoning of language that has taken decades. So long so that those who are using these words today and espousing the ideas hiding in their shadows and the spaces between the lines actually believe what they are saying. To them it is not a lie, but truth. Of course this is not new. C.S. Lewis in “The Death of Words” wrote;

“When you have killed a word you have also, in so far as in you lay, blotted from the human mind the thing that the word originally stood for. Men do not long continue to think what they have forgotten how to say.”

What better description of what is happening in the leadership of the Nazarene Church could there be? And those who are still holding on to a fragment of the truth doubt more each day if that truth ever even existed. There is no language left within our denomination to express the reality of the Truths we were founded on. It is a battle for the very soul of our church and the souls of each member. According to James Strauss, Lewis “fought the corruption of language, the attempts to use words to confuse and blind others, to make some actions possible either by making the necessary thoughts thinkable or by making clear thought impossible. Yet Lewis also knew that the problem, the danger, was not only or even mainly one of corrupted language but of corrupted souls.” Emerson would concur.
What does this then mean? Those of us yet uncorrupted by this poison being pumped through nearly every vein of our church and those of you in other similarly infected churches must stand against this corruption of language every time it is used. It is not just new phraseology or a new way the say the same thing. It is the vehicle of the cancer of humanism to be delivered into our churches. It is the skin of the truth stuffed with a lie. When your pastor uses it, when it is in your Sunday School material, when its in the songs you sing, or the publications you promote or the videos shown in your church, confront it. Demand an answer to what your leadership truly believes. And explain why this corrupted language cannot stand in our assembly. If it is allowed to stand, the Truth and our Church will be what falls. One or the other. And it is not just the souls of those who pervert the language of the Church that are corrupted, it is the hearers of the words as well. Which makes C. S. Lewis’ concern even greater for us today.
James Strauss explains how Lewis sees these people bringing about this corruption, “the method is to force people to think certain thoughts by giving them the words to think them and by destroying the words in which they might think other thoughts,” This is exactly the method used within our church for the past 20 years.
This flies in the face of how Lewis and Emerson saw Christianity. In “Man or Rabbit?” Lewis writes;

“Christianity claims to give an account of facts . . . to tell you what the real universe is like,” and if Christianity is true, “it is quite impossible that those who know this truth and those who don’t should be equally well equipped for leading a good life.”

So then, what hope is there for people who are lead to believe they are Christians while being taught just the opposite? That Christianity and Scripture is not an “account(ing) of facts” but a “story”, a “narrative” to model our lives after?
Still, merely standing against the encroachment of this corrupted language is not enough. According to Strauss from his study of Lewis “The exposing of the corruption of language is not enough, it is imperative to “see” correctly that we must be holy (I John 3.2,11) Language is best holiness.”
1 John 3:2 tells us that ultimately we will be like God because we will see Him as He is. So being holy and seeing God clearly and reflecting the truth of God in our language are all tightly woven together on purpose by God from the beginning and through the end. And in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul makes it clear that Christians are to speak clearly with language that can be known. “v9 In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known?” Though the context of this passage is in regards to speaking in tongues, the message is clear, there is something that needs to be known and we need to speak it clearly.
Lewis’ sentiment is echoed by Emerson when he adds “But wise men pierce this rotten diction and fasten words again to visible things; so that picturesque language is at once a commanding certificate that he who employs it, is a man in alliance with truth and God.”
Hearkening to the motto of the Church of the Nazarene may be the best way to understand how the remnant in the Nazarene church can begin to “pierce this rotten diction”, that is, “Called Unto Holiness.”
It stands to reason that if “the corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language” then the sanctification of the language of truth can only be brought about by men and women of holiness “in alliance with truth and God.”
I want to be that man. A man of holiness of life and language. And I am praying daily for others who would rise to that call to holiness. Let us continually be adding new weapons in the magazine of our power. Our old words have been perverted and killed. We need new ones. May God grant us wisdom and His direction through the Holy Spirit.

“So let it be”.

Nyk Edinger

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Response To Holiness Today's Attack On Scripture

   In the current issue of HT (Holiness Today, April/May 2012), the Church of the Nazarene’s only official magazine, is an article by Pastor Ulmet, the pastor of Nashville First Church of the Nazarene. You can read it here:

   This article must be responded to with force. There is so much in it that is really peripheral to the real issue that I cannot even begin the task of sorting it all out with any brevity. I would encourage you to read a more fully orbed response by one who is very close to Pastor Ulmet and the situation here:

   I would like to focus on one specific item in this article; Pastor Ulmet’s butchering of Article IV of the Church of the Nazarene’s Articles of Faith.

   The absolute disdain for the truth that Pastor Ulmet demonstrates with his opening sentence under the heading “Doctrinal Heritage” is staggering. He dares turn to Scripture as the basis for our statements of doctrine as if he is writing this article to defend these articles and likewise Scripture itself when the undermining of the authority of Scripture is actually what he is espousing throughout. He calls the theological concept of the inerrancy of Scripture “insidious”. He then invokes the names of Wesley and Wiley and others as if they would side with him in this discussion. He is counting on the ignorance and laziness of the readers of HT to allow him to get away with such outlandish statements.

   In trying as delicately as he can to define Article IV of the Articles of faith of the Church of the Nazarene without letting on how he truly views Scripture he explains it as the “full inspiration of all 66 books...(inerrant) ‘in all things necessary to our salvation.” Of course that is not what it actually says and much less what it actually means.

   Here is how it actually reads: “We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.

   H. Orton Wiley, the architect of Article IV explains clearly what is meant by the phrase “plenary inspiration”.

   He writes: "By plenary inspiration, we mean that the whole and every part is divinely inspired...We conclude that the Scriptures were given by plenary inspiration, embracing throughout the elements of superintendence, elevation and suggestion, in that manner and to that degree that the Bible becomes the infallible Word of God"

   He goes on: "Superintendence, by which is meant a belief that God so guides those chosen as the organs of revelation, that their writings are kept free from error. (Scripture is) infallibly preserved from all error."

   The theological definition of plenary inspiration is "that kind of inspiration which excludes all defect in the utterance of the inspired message." That is the definition. "Excludes all defect" means inerrant.

   These quotes from Wiley, the first and foremost Nazarene Theologian explain in clear terms and leave no doubt that the Nazarene church, by stating our belief in plenary inspiration, believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the whole of Scripture, which is all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and everything contained therein.

   To reiterate: Wiley defines inspiration as having three elements; superintendence, elevation and suggestion. He says that superintendence must be present in ALL inspiration. And he defines superintendence as the fact that God guided the writers to such a degree that the writings were inerrant.

    All of that is contained in just the first six words of Article IV! But it does not stop there. It goes on to refer to the Bible as the “Holy Scriptures”. The word Holy in this context is no empty word. Going all the way back to the beginnings of the Lutheran Church this word was used in combination with Scripture to specifically denote that the scripture referred to as Holy was of divine origin and therefore reliable and inerrant. I do not think this point was lost on Wiley.

   If we yet have any doubts Article IV continues on by specifically stating that it was “given by Divine inspiration”. This is the third time within Article IV that it makes the point that Scripture is inspired, Divinely so, and therefore inerrant. And twice it makes clear that this belief is applied to ALL of Scripture. First by the use of the word plenary which means “fully” and second when the Holy Scripture is defined as the “66 books of the Old and New Testaments.”

   This brings us to the phrase which Pastor Ulmet and countless others like him in our Denomination have seized upon to undermine everything the Article IV has just laid out so emphatically; “inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation.

   This statement simply is meant to further emphasize, in case there were any doubt, that contained within Scripture is everything we need to know concerning our salvation and that it is inerrantly revealed. This is of utmost importance because our salvation is the purpose for the entirety of Scripture. This is it’s core message and the writers of this article wanted to make absolutely sure that future generations would understand that.

   Nowhere in Article IV does it even suggest that we believe that Scripture is ONLY inerrant in “things necessary to our salvation” as Pastor Ulmet states.

   The very next phrase puts into context what is said about “all things necessary to our salvation”. It is this: “so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

   What this means is we need not look to anything outside of Scripture in regards to our salvation. Everything we need is found in Scripture and inerrant in its revelation. This of course doesn’t mean that everything else found in Scripture is errant. But that is what Pastor Ulmet would want you to believe or at the very least that it has the possibility of being errant. Article IV tells us three times that all of Scripture is inerrant and we see that by Wiley’s own written explanation of the terms and then for added emphasis tells us that not only are the Scripture inerrant but also its message and we need not look anywhere else but to Scripture for our salvation.

   All of this is very convincing but let’s take a look at the actual Scriptures cited as foundational to Article IV. Let’s go to the source that Pastor Ulmet so rightly pointed out our Articles of Faith are based upon.

 Luke 24:44-47 (HCSB) 
 44 Then He told them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Here Jesus is speaking and referring to the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms as Scripture. This of course comprises nearly the entire Old Testament, including Genesis which would be the first book that Pastor Ulmet would exclude from inerrancy. Yet Jesus says it is Scripture. Scripture that He fulfilled. If it were a fable that He fulfilled, what exactly would that make Him?

 John 10:35 (HCSB)
 35 If He called those whom the word of God came to ‘gods’—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 

The poignant phrase here is the statement of fact by Jesus that Scripture cannot be broken. In other words, it is true. In other words, it is not in error.

 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (HCSB) 
 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 

Here Paul is verifying that the Gospel he preached to them is indeed found in Scripture. This only matters of course if Scripture is reliable. And it is only reliable if it is true.

 1 Peter 1:10-12 (HCSB) 
 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. 11 They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things. 

Here again we have an affirmation that the prophesies found in Scripture regarding Jesus and our salvation were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting here that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was not simply what to write but who they were writing it for. This is quite a revelation! If the Holy Spirit is willing and able to provide this kind of detailed information to the writers of the Old Testament, I suspect He could handle getting accounts of the Creation and the Flood correct. After all, He was there.

 2 Peter 1:20-21 (HCSB)
 20 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

This one is fairly self explanatory.

 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (HCSB) 
 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God[a] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 

I left this one for last because it contains everything. Scripture is efficacious for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, all of Scripture is inspired by God, (and remember that Wiley, the architect of Article IV, says that inspiration is synonymous with inerrant) and that Scripture is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. It cannot be profitable if it is not true. It is also interesting that not one of the things that this verse says Scripture is profitable for is pertaining to our salvation, they would all be things that would take place after or apart from our salvation. So from the Scriptures (the ones that Article IV cites as the foundation for the Article itself) we see that all Scripture is indeed inspired by God through the Holy Spirit directly and is without error.

   But Pastor Ulmet believes something completely different. He says in this article “the Bible as the fully-inspired and with regard to all things salvific the inerrant Word of God.” Do you see the clever word play? According to Pastor Ulmet the Bible is only inerrant with regard to all things salvific. That is very different from what Wiley wrote and what Article IV states.

   This isn’t a new idea though. There were those in Wesley’s day that put forth this exact idea concerning Scripture and this is how Welsey responded to one of them: "Nay, if there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth."

   In fact, Wesley wonders aloud if this person might actually be an atheist. So maybe Welsey and Wiley would not view those who support the authority of Scripture as being insidious as Pastor Ulmet contends. In fact, it is clear they would not.

  He then again misrepresents what those who stand by the Church of the Nazarene’s belief in the authority of Scripture by saying that they want the Bible's primary purpose to "define all science and research." I would challenge Pastor Ulmet to produce proof of this accusation.

   He then tells a bold faced lie. "We have never, for example, taken an official position on a certain view of Creation or a certain timeline of other events. Never in our history!"

   In the very Articles of Faith that he previously referred to as "precious" the affirmation of the Genesis story of Creation is seen over and over again. In Articles 1, 5, 5.1, 6 and 7, the Genesis story of Creation is taken as literal and foundational to our very salvation or the need of it. Wiley, himself, makes a special point of stating that the truths and facts of the Creation and the antediluvian times had to be inspired. And in his view, inspired and inerrant are synonymous.

  So we DO have an official statement on Creation and that is, it happened the way the Scripture says it happened and not only that but the Genesis account of Creation is foundational to our salvation and our need of it. If that wasn’t our official statement on Creation then four of our Articles of Faith would be baseless.

   Pastor Ulmet brings up many things he is concerned about and some of them such as his position on what I call the “worship wars” are included as a means of distraction even though I actually agree with him on that issue. But the underlying issue in everything else he raises as a concern is the authority of Scripture. If all of Scripture is Divinely inspired and thereby inerrant as Article IV clearly and repeatedly states then each one of his concerns crumble like a house built on sand.

   Pastor Ulmet and many others like him want to recreate a church built on human wisdom, not Scripture and if we sit idly by in our seats in our churches and let them do this then we only have ourselves to blame for the inevitable destruction of our Denomination. As Nazarenes, we are not there yet but the battle is raging on the hill and this is one hill to die upon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Hunger Games: Movie Review

   I must begin by saying that I didn’t dislike this movie. I wasn’t captivated by it either.

   I have not read the books of The Hunger Games trilogy. Clearly that would have helped immensely in the watching of this movie. I am sure it is a difficult thing when making a movie like this in regards to determining whether to write the screen play for the readers of the books or the watchers of the movie. In the first option the producer and director can assume alot of things and merely allude to them in the movie or completely leave them out all together. In the second option they would be forced to skip potentially significant parts of the story in order to fit it in the movie format. Both have their negatives. But both have their positives as well. The producer and director of The Hunger Games opted for the first option and by all accounts did a good job at faithfully recreating the world and the story related in the first book of the trilogy. However, seeing it as one who did not know anything of the story besides the very basic plot put forth in the trailers (which made me think of The Running Man movie), I came away from it wondering how this movie will ever gain the vast audience of series like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or even The Chronicles of Narnia. It is not on par with any of those movies in the least.

   Some of my criticisms will be met with, “well you should have read the books.” And I guess that's fair but I can’t imagine the makers were not expecting people who had not read the books to watch the movie. If they did though, they didn’t care. There was very little character development which was surprising as slow as the beginning is and as long as it took them to get to the actual game. They had plenty of time to do it but squandered the opportunity for spectacle instead.

   The acting was pretty good. I wanted to love Katniss and feel heartbreak for Peeta and hate President Snow but I couldn’t. I just really didn’t care about any of the characters. I didn’t know who I should feel empathy for or with whom I should sympathize. The MC of the games was so endearing that I actually enjoyed him. I don’t think I was supposed to. The whole thing was convoluted.

   When the Games finally started there was little suspense. I didn’t know who to trust and root for and who to distrust and root against. In the end I could only pick one right? And even I knew the winner before the thing even started so the only question was how. That question was answered almost immediately when she was given magic medicine to heal her leg. The fix was in. Americans have traditionally been fans of the underdog so this was a twist but not in a good way. Suddenly everyone else was the underdog and suddenly I was disinterested.

   The absolute lack of information about anything made this movie nothing more than just another movie when maybe it could have been so much more.

   Camera work was annoying too. Some days I wish The Blair Witch Project had never been made.

   But in the end it is the support from the Christian community that has me confounded. There are far more positives I could take away from movies like The Exorcist III, The Ninth Configuration, or even The Book of Eli than The Hunger Games. And those are all R rated movies.

   What I think is that Christians are so desperate for something positive to cling to from Hollywood that they are now grasping at straws. I saw this happen in the Eighties and Nineties with music. At first Christians just tried to copy anything remotely popular in the music world. Then they actually began creating quality music themselves but that was not enough. They started trying to find God in any song or artist they could. We ended up with artists like U2 or R. Kelly and Evanescence being loved by Christians everywhere. And now here we are doing the same thing with movies. And frankly, its embarrassing.

   The Hunger Games is a movie about a game where children are taught to kill each other for societies enjoyment. And really, how did anyone watch the movie without becoming an active part of that very society? There was no choice. Except that it was so poorly constructed that I think most people probably didn't care enough to participate. I know I didn’t. So maybe that is one positive thing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


     My wife has a saying that she says anytime she sees someone naked running through the house. She says they are "in all their glory."  Now I must clarify that naked people running through our house doesn't happen often and now that the kids are older it hasn't happened recently.  Of course the typical situation where this would occur would be a child escaping a diaper changing or an unwanted bath.  You know, NORMAL situations that occur in a NORMAL family.  It's all very NORMAL. Just sayin'.

     But the point I wanted to make is not about streakers but more about this idea of a person being "in all their glory" when they are unclothed.  As I thought about the oddity of that statement, it struck me that it might be closer to the truth than we would care to think.

     It is interesting to me that Mankind was created by God "in our image" and that it wasn't until after the Fall Mankind was clothed in any way.  There is much in the Bible about the Glory of God and it seems to be a much more tangible thing than how we typically view glory in our world.  What if we also had Glory when we were created and that Glory was so diminished by our sin that  it had to be hid, and we have been hiding it ever since?  We dress ourselves up, we style our hair, we "make up" our faces, and we spend billions modifying our bodies and those of us who are good enough at it often become "glorified" at some level.

Imagine; being glorified for covering up our Glory.

     To wrap it all up, I also found it interesting that in Scripture when it talks about our re-uniting with our bodies, they are referred to as our glorified bodies.  It seems we are being restored to our previous state that is in a much closer relationship with God than we are capable of now.  And maybe at even a more basic level that has been lost for so long, we have forgotten it ever existed.  I find it intriguing that we might be considering as shameful, our very God-given Glory.

     Now, I am not bringing this up to advocate some crazy idea that nudity should be celebrated not covered as our society seems more and more comfortable in doing. Not at all.  I am throwing out these speculations (and speculations are what they are, I have done 0 research, I am writing as I am thinking about it) because what has come to my mind while considering this idea is that this might just be a physical presentation of what has happened to us spiritually through the Fall.  Just think about the last time you paused for a moment in front of the mirror stepping out of the shower. And think of the thoughts that went through your mind. What if what you were looking at was your Glory? How humiliating would that be, that the thing that should bring you the most praise of anything you have done or possess is that thing that was staring back at you from that mirror?  I don't know, maybe you have the perfect body by society's standards and maybe you are just vain enough to think you are just that amazing, but I would imagine that the other 99.9% of us would find this idea appalling.

     What a devastatingly sad state we are in and how desperately do we need God's Glory to shine through our lives while we remain in this diminished state.  To think that this image in the mirror is the best we have to offer is truly humbling.  But equally humbling is the thought that the most beautiful example of a human being is so diminished from its intended Glory that is should be covered in shame.  Wow. That makes the thought of what awaits us in Heaven quite inconceivable. And then to think that even as unbelievable that will be, it will be so overwhelmed by God's Glory that we may not even notice it.

     Who are we to consider equality with God something to be grasped at any level? So maybe the next time you find yourself entertaining the idea that you might know better than God or that you can accomplish something without Him, you should take a peak at yourself "in all your glory".  That should snap you back to reality rather quickly I would think.  

How about you?


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