reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

1/31/2006

Teen Girls Define "A Real Man"

UPDATE: "A Real Man" in PDF Format for download and print out.

Lori Hainline & Rebecca Chandler co-authored this list at the respective ages of 19 and 17. Their closing comment: This list is not exhaustive and men like this do exist!
A real man . . .

…understands and lives according to the basic purposes for which he was created: to worship, honor, and serve God. (Romans 12:1-2)

…values and carefully handles the scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15)

…doesn’t pride himself on being knowledgeable in the sinful ways of the world. (1 John 2:15-16, James 4:4, Philippians 4:8)
A real man . . .

…isn’t embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting. (Mark 8:38)

…is wise, yet humble. (Proverbs 2:1-10, 1 Peter 5:5, Romans 12:16)
A real man . . .

…takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. (Ephesians 5:25-28)

…is kind because, “What is desirable in man is his kindness” (Proverbs 19:22)

…doesn’t try to prove himself but is simply confident as he walks in the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 14:26-27)

…doesn’t put others down with his actions, attitude, words, or his strength. But on the contrary, he affirms and builds others up (Proverbs 15:4, Ephesians 4:29)
A real man . . .

…treats his sisters and mother with as much respect as he would treat a prospective wife. (Matthew 25:21)

…not only respects but appreciates a young lady’s purity and innocence. In our culture innocence isn’t retained by accident. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

…values his purity as much as he values a young lady’s purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ecclesiastes 7:26)

…can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. (Proverbs 20:11)
A real man . . .

…isn’t ashamed to identify himself with his family (Ephesians 6:2-3)

…is a gentleman. He is polite and shows women honor in everyday things such as opening doors, etc. (1 Peter 3:7)

…has no desire to be gross in order to impress other men. He doesn’t burp, swear, or tell disgusting stories. (Proverbs 13:5, Ephesians 5:4)
A real man . . .

…shows by his actions that he loves children. (Matthew 19:13-14)

…is pleasant and expresses joy rather than feeling that it’s masculine to be sullen. (Proverbs 21:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)

…doesn’t blame others for his own problems but embraces responsibility. (Proverbs 12:27)

…can accept correction (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 29:1)
A real man . . .

…is mature in his emotions and his expressions of them. He can deal with the trials of life logically, with wisdom, not on a basis of emotional instability. (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 12:18)

…understands the value of work and is financially responsible. (Colossians 3:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Luke 16:10-11)

…expresses himself with intelligent words rather than using “street talk”. (Proverbs 17:20, Titus 2:6-8, 1 Peter 4:11, Ephesians 4:29)
Comment section is open to guys and gals on any issues pertaining to what makes a man. "Part 2: A Real Woman" will be coming soon.

Be sure to download the PDF Version of "A Real Man" made available by The Rebelution.

1/30/2006

The Rebelution Writing Contest Is Legit

Brian wrote the winning entry in The Rebelution's first writing contest. He sends proof that the contest was legit.

We hope "The Enemy Within" will equip you, Brian, to fight the good fight of faith. Keep up the great work!
An undoctored photo, just in case you thought we made it all up.
If you were thinking that: stop being so cynical.

The Rebelution's 300th Post

Brett and I would like to dedicate our 300th post in honor of two great rebelutionaries, bloggers, tech guys, and friends:

Alex King (SmartHomeschool) and Jake Smith (Mission 3:6teen) of StillThinking. If you ever need a web design team who will give you the best bang for your buck, make StillThinking your first stop.

Alex and Jake have come to Brett's and my rescue many times with their insane tech skills. Last night they stayed up working feverishly on switching our blog over and figuring out how to make the pictures come back.

Guys, you're our heroes for the day. This post is for you.

If you like The Rebelution, go visit SmartHomeschool and Mission 3:6teen and give 'em your hearty thanks.

1/29/2006

Maintenance: Please Pardon the Mess

We just moved to our very own domain. This is a cause for great celebration! (Yay!) However, certain things seem to have gotten themselves all mixed up. Our images, for instance.

Now which wire goes where?
Update #1: Most of the important images and links have been fixed, however, maintenance will continue for the next week or so, as we expect unforeseen problems to arise. If you find one, please let us know by leaving a comment. Thanks!

Updated #2: Now that The Rebelution has its very own home, you can help make the transition smooth by updating your links to reflect the new address (http://www.therebelution.com). Again, thanks!

1/28/2006

Announcing: Our Booklist

Click on the banner. Or if you want, click here.

Writing Contest: Runner-Up — Elizabeth

We are pleased to present the following submission by a new member of the blogosphere, Miss Elizabeth of Study.Quiet. This is the final runner-up we will be posting on the blog. Please show your appreciation and support by visiting Elizabeth's pleasant and promising blog and leaving a comment.
Rebellion vs. Rebelution
by Elizabeth M.

The Rebelution is a movement that recognizes and embraces the authority of both our Heavenly Father and earthly fathers. This differs from the movements studied by Professor Heer. Youth movements of the past have lacked wisdom and direction as they sought to break away from the old and forge their way into new ideas and thought processes contrary to those previously held. The Rebelution is not calling for an overthrow of rules or responsibilities as some have, but of low standards and spiritual incompetence.

“Do Hard Things” is a motto more young people should adopt. It is a turning back to a world view previously held by generations of God fearing Christians who understood the role young people can have in His Kingdom. The Rebelution inspires Christian youth to live out their faith in practical ways that proclaim the power and love of Christ our King. This makes it vastly different from the radically self centered youth revolutions of history.
Visit Elizabeth's Blog: Study.Quiet

1/27/2006

Writing Contest: Runner-Up — Mr. Woehr

We are pleased to present the following submission by Christian school teacher, Mr. Woehr. Thank you, sir, for you submission. We will be using your description (at the very end) of what we're doing with The Rebelution... God bless you, sir!
Rebellion vs. Rebelution
by Mr. Woehr

As a student of humanity, I find Mr. Heer's philosophy seemingly true in its historical perspective, that is, that children/young adults often attempt to overthrow the dominance of ethics of their parents' generation. (Even Socrates was once accused of being a rebellious influence on the youth of his day.) The difficulty with this attempt, however, is that, however noble these children's ethics may be, their children will attempt the same kind of overthrow against their ideals. So that, given a 100% success rate of overthrows, the pendulum of ideals will swing to its opposing apogees every 15-20 years. It kind of lends a sense of hypocrisy to say "Question Authority," when one questions the authority who says that.

Thankfully, most young adults, by the time they reach their 25th or 30th birthday, have matured enough emotionally both to realize the wisdom in their parents' ways of thinking and to reject the folly contained therein. Often, this maturity level comes about through having children of their own, when they feel how their parents felt when they made wrong decisions as children. Thus, the curse with which nearly every parent at some point curses their child ("Someday you will have children, and I hope they will be just like you!") comes true. Yet it simultaneously becomes a blessing when that adult child understands why his parents did what they did, even though at the time, it had made little sense to him.

As a 40-something Christian school teacher (albeit childless), I am both relieved and grateful for a blog-site such as the Rebelution. The relief comes because of the realization that there are youngsters out there who have not caved in to the natural and peer pressures to ovethrow their parents' ideals, and the gratefulness because there is a site to which I can steer my teenaged students that will not undo the Christian principles that their parents, church, and school have striven to plant in their minds.

Ergo: Yes, I think you fellows are doing a good thing, i.e., rebelling against rebellion.

1/26/2006

Car Accident: Quick Update

Thank you everyone who has been praying. Jocelyn had her CAT scan last night and they detect no new internal bleeding. Praise the Lord! He is good! She was moved out of the ICU this afternoon and has been receiving visitors. The main prayer request now is for her speedy and complete recovery.

Also, please pray for the spiritual growth of everyone involved. This accident complicates many plans (including the Beneath The Surface Conference in which Jocelyn is/was scheduled to speak) and is an opportunity for many people to lean fully on the Lord.

Give Thyself To Reading: A Conversation

"When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments."2 Timothy 4:13

"He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He has had wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up in the third heaven, and had heard things unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He has written a major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!

"The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every Christian, 'Give thyself to reading.' The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains proves he has no brains of his own."

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon —
The above quote by Spurgeon is one of Brett's and my all-time favorites. We have always loved reading. Our parents raised us with the belief that the best way to learn great writing is to read great writing. In fact, it was out of a summer of focused reading that The Rebelution was born. We cannot over-stress the importance of reading great books for clear and informed thinking, godly living, and quality writing.

Because of this, we have been absolutely thrilled to follow a recent conversation across the blogosphere, on this very topic, led by several men for whom we have the utmost respect: Mark Dever of 9Marks Ministries, Tim Challies of Challies [Dot] Com, Bob Kauflin of Covenant Life Church and Worship Matters, CJ Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Al Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and AlbertMohler.com.

It is an incredible privilege to "listen in," as it were, on this conversation. Therefore, in order to ensure that our readers get the most from the wisdom of these men, we have assembled a chronologically-ordered series of excerpts, links, and commentary of the conversation thus far. We urge you to take the time to read and consider the godly counsel of these great men. It is lengthy, but it is rich.


Mark Dever: (Link: The Unbearable Lightness of Blogs) One reason that I've been reluctant to enter the blogosphere is that I am concerned that blog-writing and reading only adds to a bad tendency that we today already have--a fascination with the newest, latest, and most recent. And the newest and latest also often means that which is of only immediate value, that which is passing. That is opposed to that which is enduring, and which has in fact endured and lasted. We write words here which crawl along electronically and leap out through your fingers and eyes to take precious minutes and hours that the Lord has entrusted to us. Could these small things we write really be that important? ....

I am concerned that we not neglect reading more important things. Even beyond the Bible, there are 2,000 years of Christian reflections in print before we get to blogs...

[B]e sure and set aside some time to read more substantial things. Commune with the saints that have gone before. Give some time to reading Anselm and Turretin, Samuel Rutherford's Letters or John Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. And if you still have some time, you can have some other food for your soul--side dishes--snacks--by reading this blog.
Comment: Mr. Dever's post includes several incredibly important observations. Particularly as teens, we must not rob ourselves by focusing solely, or even just substantially, on the blogosphere and the magazines and the TV shows, while neglecting the centuries of enduring wisdom that has gone before us. Teens have a (unfortunately) well-deserved reputation of thinking they know everything. We don't. That is why we are given parents... And that is why, I believe, God has allowed the wisdom of the ages to endure through the writing of books and manuscripts.

On a second note, teens are also not expected to study, discuss, or care about theology (i.e. the study of God). This is a tragedy. If it is in your heart to do that which is eternally valuable and enduring, let me tell you: There are few things more important than the study of theology. You cannot live for Christ without knowing who He is, what He has done, and how it effects your life.
Tim Challies: (Link: The Blessings of Blogging) Of course I agree that we must take care that we prioritize our activities. A Christian who is not walking in close fellowship with the Lord has no business reflecting on spirituality in a public setting. Most Christian bloggers would much rather that their readers study the Scriptures rather than their blog - that the reading of a blog be only a supplement to a vibrant personal faith. ....

The times I spend blogging are almost always connected to times of spiritual edification. I read the Bible and pray in the morning and then turn to my keyboard to reflect on what God has been teaching me. I read a good book and then write about what I have learned through the pages of that book. I read the news and allow world events to interact in my mind (and on my site) with what I know of God's Word. I have often said that if I stopped reading and stopped spending time with God I would have to stop blogging. I am convinced that if I stall in my spiritual growth I would very soon run out of things to say.
Comment: Brett and I can attest to the truth of what Mr. Challies says, both in regards to our preference of how our readers spend their time, and in regards to the effect reading has on writing. Our blog was birthed out of a period of heavy reading. We have found that when we get too caught up in blogging and cease to read, our inspiration dries up, and the quality of our writing drops substantially. This also happens when we satisfy our desire to read by reading less-than-great literature. There are far too many great books for us to waste our time on "okay" ones.
Bob Kauflin: (Link: More Thoughts on Blogging) In recent years God has allowed C.J. Mahaney, my dear friend and former senior pastor, to develop some unexpected but meaningful friendships with Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and Ligon Duncan. Unexpected because CJ barely graduated from high school and these guys have lots of letters after their names. They also come from Baptist and Presbyterian roots, while CJ heads up the reformed charismatic family of churches known as Sovereign Grace Ministries. Unexpected as they are, the friendship he shares with these men is meaningful because they share a common passion for (among other things) the Gospel, Reformed soteriology, the local church, and a complementarian understanding of men and women (equal worth before God with differing roles). Their common commitment to the Savior and doctrines of primary importance has given them a deep love and respect for each other. As evidence of what God has been doing in their relationships, they are sponsoring a pastors' conference in Louisville, Kentucky, April 26-28, called Together for the Gospel. I'll have the privilege of leading in corporate praise from piano throughout the conference.

To stimulate discussion on the topics that will be addressed at the conference, these guys have started a blog. Since I did a series on blogging a few weeks ago, I thought this post by Mark Dever, The Unbearable Lightness of Blogs, is great counsel for anyone who reads or writes blogs...

So why am I highlighting the "unbearable lightness of blogs" when you're reading my blog? Two reasons. First, I don't think that Mark is saying that blogging is worthless. He's simply pointing out the temptations and limitations of the medium, and encouraging us to prioritize reading that is substantial and enduring. Second, I don't want you to see WorshipMatters for more than it is: an encouragement never to be satisfied with less than what God has created you for - passionate, grateful, humble, all-of-life devotion to the rule, love, and exaltation of Jesus Christ.
Comment: We include Mr. Kauflin's comments because of his explanation and backround regarding the friendship and camaraderie between the authors of the Together for the Gospel Blog and for his two reasons for highlighting Mr. Dever's post. We couldn't say it better.
CJ Mahaney: (Link: An Appetite for Reading) I’d like to play point guard for a moment and pass the topic of Mark’s blog to my friends. Mark wisely expresses his concern that “we not neglect reading more important things…more substantial things.” I couldn’t agree more about the priority of reading for a pastor and the prioritizing of reading (“the important and substantial”). I have yet to meet a leader who is growing in personal passion for God and godliness, and effectiveness in pastoral ministry and preaching, who doesn’t have a voracious appetite for reading. And you men are all very serious about reading! So it would serve us all if you would provide us with a detailed description of your practice of this most important spiritual discipline. So here are some questions I’d like you to please answer:
  • When and how did your love for reading begin?
  • Describe your present practice of the spiritual disciplines and provide us with the specifics, if you would (reading of Scripture, supplemental books, how much time you devote to this each day, etc).
  • Apart from the daily study of Scripture for the edification of your soul, approximately how much time do you devote to reading each day or week?
  • What books are you presently reading? Al, just for fun, how many books did you read last week?
  • What have been the five to ten most influential books you have read?
  • Mark, please describe your monthly reading plan so everyone can be inspired by your example and provoked by your strategic approach to reading that is different each month of the year.
Finally, who do you like in the Super Bowl? (Al and Mark, you are allowed to ask for help with this question.)
Comment: Brett and I were thrilled when Mr. Mahaney asked these questions. They are the types of questions that we would ask if we were given the opportunity to speak with such men, whether from the past or present. Well, all except the last one.
Mark Dever: (Link: My Canon of Theologians) Now, CJ, as to your question about reading schedule. It is true that I have what I call my "canon of theologians". These are a group of writers from the past, from which I try to do at least a little misc. reading each month, specifically so that I'm not just talking to people from now about what I'm interested in. Instead, I want to make sure that I get some people from "then" about what they're "interested in."
  • January: Early Church (Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, etc.)
  • February: Augustine
  • March: Martin Luther
  • April: John Calvin
  • May: The one, the only RICHARD SIBBES
  • June: Either John Owen or John Bunyan
  • July: Jonathan Edwards
  • August: C. H. Spurgeon
  • September: B. B. Warfield
  • October: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • November: Carl F. H. Henry (also CS Lewis)
  • December: John Stott (also Packer, Carson)
While I don't agree with everything all of these guys have written, they are my elder brothers and instructors in so many ways. So, I read things these folks have written in bits of time during that month... That's it for now. Hope that's of interest. I've never written about this before, CJ, so feel free and pursue me about this more particularly tomorrow.
Comment: I have little to add except to make sure each of you take note of when Mr. Dever mentioned, "I've never written about this before..." Being able to follow this conversation is a treasure.
Al Mohler: (Link: Some Thoughts on Reading Books) I cannot really remember when I did not love to read books. I do know that I was very eager to learn to read, and that I quickly found myself immersed in the world of books and literature. It may have been a seduction of sorts, and the Christian disciple must always be on guard to guide the eyes to books worthy of a disciple's attention -- and there are so many.

As Solomon warned, "Of making many books there is no end" [Ecclesiastes: 12:12]. There is no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read. I say that in order to confront the notion that anyone, anywhere, can master all that could be read with profit. I read a great deal, and a large portion of my waking hours of devoted to reading. Devotional reading for spiritual profit is an important part of the day, and that begins with the reading of Scripture. In terms of timing, I am somewhat unorthodox. My best time for spending time in the Word is late at night, when all is calm and quiet and I am mentally alert and awake. That is not the case when I first get up in the mornings, when I struggle to find each word on the page (or anything else, for that matter).

In the course of any given week, I will read several books. I know how much I thrive on this learning and the intellectual stimulation I get from reading. As my wife and family would be first to tell you, I can read almost anytime, anywhere, under almost any kind of conditions. I have a book with me virtually all the time, and have been known to snatch a few moments for reading at stop lights. No, I do not read while driving (though I must admit that it has been a temptation at times). C.J., I took books to high school athletic events when I played in the band. [Heap coals of scorn and nerdliness here.] I remember the books -- do you remember the games?

A few initial suggestions:
  1. Maintain regular reading projects. I strategize my reading in six main categories: Theology, Biblical Studies, Church Life, History, Cultural Studies, and Literature. I have some project from each of these categories going at all times. I collect and gather books for each project, and read them over a determined period of time. This helps to discipline my reading, and also keeps me working across several disciplines.
  2. Work through major sections of Scripture. I am just completing an expository series, preaching verse by verse through the book of Romans. I have preached and taught several books of the Bible in recent years, and I plan my reading to stay ahead. I am turning next to Matthew, so I am gathering and reading ahead -- not yet planning specific messages, but reading to gain as much as possible from worthy works on the first gospel. I am constantly reading works in biblical theology as well as exegetical studies.
  3. Read all the titles written by some authors. Choose carefully here, but identify some authors whose books demand your attention. Read all they have written and watch their minds at work and their thought in development. No author can complete his thoughts in one book, no matter how large.
  4. Get some big sets and read them through. Yes, invest in the works of Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and others. Set a project for yourself to read through the entire set, and give yourself time. You will be surprised how far you will get in less time than you think.
  5. Allow yourself some fun reading, and learn how to enjoy reading by reading enjoyable books. I like books across the fields of literature, but I really love to read historical biographies and historical works in general. In addition, I really enjoy quality fiction and worthy works of literature. As a boy, I probably discovered my love for reading in these categories of books. I allow some time each day, when possible, to such reading. It doesn't have to be much. Stay in touch with the thrill. [Feel the adrenalin surge, C.J.?]
  6. Write in your books; mark them up and make them yours. Books are to be read and used, not collected and coddled. [Make an exception here for those rare antiquarian books that are treasured for their antiquity. Mark not thy pen on the ancient page, and highlight not upon the manuscript.] Invent your own system or borrow from another, but learn to have a conversation with the book, pen in hand.
I would write more for this post, but I must go read. More later.
Comment: I can say little except to urge all of you, once again, to glean from Dr. Mohler's wisdom. He is a man Brett and I greatly admire. He authors one of the best (if not the best) blogs out there. The fruit of his reading habits is evident — so we encourage all of you to, along with us, follow his example.
CJ Mahaney: (Link: A Question... and Your Canon of Theologians) Thanks for the excellent post (“Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books”) Al! And thanks for devoting time to this blog amidst your endless to do list! Sadly, I don’t remember the games and if I could do it all over again, I would gladly read instead of playing sports. I needed a friend like you to inspire me.
Comment: We all need friends who will inspire and exhort us to engage in activities that strengthen us, not only physically, but also spiritually (character) and mentally (competence). Are we seeking out those kinds of friends? Are we being that kind of friend?
CJ Mahaney (continued): Mark, thanks for the invitation to pursue you for more ("Church Membership, the Archbishop & My Canon of Theologians"), my friend! .... Here’s what we still need from you. Why did you create this annual rotation of theologians and what has been the fruit and effect of this reading schedule upon your soul and in your ministry? Also, please do a post on the five to ten most influential books you have read. And I’m still waiting for your Super Bowl pick.
All of you make sure to continue tracking this conversation on the Together for the Gospel Blog. Meanwhile, the comments section is open. Feel free to discuss anything related to books and reading. What books have most influenced you?

1/25/2006

Car Accident: Update & Keep Praying

Thank you everyone who has been praying. We just got back from the hospital. Harlan is fine physically, just a little shaken up. Jocelyn was on the side that was hit. They are doing a CAT scan at 8:00 PM Pacific Standard Time to check for lacerations on Jocelyn's kidneys and liver and for any bleeding in her brain. Please pray that the Lord would give the Edlin Family peace. There are many friends there with them, pray that they would have wisdom in how to comfort and support. Especially pray for Harlan, because he was driving and the enemy would love to overwhelm him with guilt. His pain is emotional and spiritual.

We trust in the Lord's sovereignty over this situation. We know that He is doing a thousand things in every one thing He does.

Car Accident: Please Pray

Two of our good friends were in car accident a short time ago. They were hit by a full-size truck. They were conscious when the ambulence picked them up. Alex and I are heading over to the hospital. Please pray for them: Jocelyn and Harlan Edlin.

Jocelyn is co-founder of Beneath The Surface a two-day conference for teen girls and their mothers. Harlan is a worship leader in our church, part of The Rebelution Tour's worship band, and one of Alex and my best friends.

Off They Go...

Conference brochures and contest prize, ready for shipping.

DHT: You Can't Fake It / Small Things Come First

We've all been asked the question, "Are you willing to lose your life for Christ?" Perhaps we've heard it from our youth pastor, our parents, asked ourselves while reading Voice of the Martyrs, or read or watched a Christian book or movie which revolves around the question.

As emotionally invasive and as spiritually relevant as that question is, I often find myself thinking that dying for Christ isn't the question. Instead, my challenge to us is: "Are we willing to live for Christ?" This is not unconnected from the question of dying for Christ, but is the first question we must ask ourselves.

Whether I am able to bench 200 lbs. is a good question. But first I must be able to honestly say I can bench 100 lbs. Whether I am able to run a marathon is a good question. But first I must be able to honestly say I can run a mile.

Let me put it another way: I cannot trust God when my two-month-old niece passes away if I am not trusting Him when I stub my toe. I will not be able to trust God in the big storms if I have been trying to stand on my own through the small ones.

We must all be willing to die for Christ. But before that is possible we must be able to say with the Apostle Paul, "For to me to live is Christ, [therefore] to die is gain."

Living for Christ is the prerequisite of dying for Christ. Obedience when no one is watching comes before obedience in public. And I'm talking about obedience that's hard. Obedience that costs you something. That is why you can't fake hard things, and that is why small hard things always come before big hard things.

1/24/2006

Writing Contest: Runner-Up — Hannah

We are pleased to present the following submission by Hannah of The History of Theodore Barnes by Nelson Pierce [Link Fixed!]. Excellent work, Hannah! Keep up the good work!
Rebellion vs. Rebelution
by Hannah

Note the question: "As a presuppositionally-Christian youth movement, how do think the Rebelution differs (or should differ) from the youth movements Professor Heer described?"

First of all, I would like to offer you a definition of the word rebellion. My trusty friend, dictionary.com, defines it as either an "open, armed, and organized resistance to a constitued government" or "an act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention". If the common characteristic between all youth movements is "the symblic rejection of the father (authority), and frequent adoption of a new 'father'..." then I believe that we should view the latter of the two definitions as fitting in our context.

If, as Professor Heer argues, the youth movements of eras past had a tendency to rebel against and reject the current authority, then the Rebelution should certainly differ from these! While the Rebelution certainly does go against the grain of our society's slacker/entitlement view of things, I do not believe that the the Rebelution rebels in the way that the dictionary or Professor Heer define it. The Rebelution shares the characteristic with other movements in that it wishes to enact change from the current way of life. In contrast to past movements, however, the Rebelution does not seek to bring about some new change or way of life. Instead, the Rebelution seeks to return us to a lifestyle of responsibility and integrity, a lifestyle of a Biblical seeking after the Lord to help us to Do Hard Things. In effect, the Rebelution is attempting to reverse the rebellion of movements both past and current that are trying to lead us down the wrong road, a road leading us into laziness, irresponsibility, and a destruction of our society.

Could it be said, then, that the Rebelution is the antithesis of rebellion, as it seeks to undo the countless years of damage brought about by our culture's rebellion against God, the ultimate authority?
Be sure to show your support and appreciation to Hannah by visiting The History of Theodore Barnes by Nelson Pierce [Link Fixed!] and leaving a comment.

1/23/2006

Writing Contest: "And The Winner Is..."

Congratulations and thank you to each reader who participated in The Rebelution's first writing contest. The votes have been cast, counted, and re-counted (just for fun). We have a winner.

THE ASSIGNMENT
: Analyze and Respond: Professor Friedrich Heer


On January 11th, readers were given the following assignment:

In "Challenge of Youth" (1974), Professor Friedrich Heer documents and analyzes historically-significant youth movements, from the time of ancient Greece through the hippie era, and concludes that:

"[T]he harsh light of historical fact [is] that every significant youth movement is in its own time crushed by the forces in power, and its spirit frequently perverted or bent to other uses[.]"

It is also interesting to note that Professor Heer identifies the common characteristic among all youth movements as being "the symbolic rejection of the father (authority), and frequent adoption of a new 'father'..." and references Malachi 4:6 ("...turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers...”) to conclude that "it is the fathers who have the last word."

As a presuppositionally-Christian youth movement, how do you think the Rebelution differs (or should differ) from the youth movements Professor Heer described?
THE STORY: Blood, Sweat, and Writer's Cramp

Over a grueling week and a half, rebelutionaries around the country turned out responses to Professor Heer. Some sent theirs early on. Others sought the middle ground. Still others strategically waited until right before the deadline. Each varied in length and approach, but all contained a common feature. Quality.

Brett and I were thrilled by the submissions we received. In fact, they were all so good that we decided to post more than one. Over the next few days we will be sharing, not only the winning essay, but also the top three runners-up.

THE PRIZE: 'The Enemy Within' by Kris Lungaard

As was stated previously, the winning entrant will receive a copy of Kris Lungaard's excellent book, The Enemy Within (above). But now, without further ado, we present the judge's selection...


THE WINNER: Brian of Zealous Endeavor

Rebellion vs. Rebelution

by Brian W.

Youth are stereotypically rebellious. Though the social placement of youth has transformed over the years, and may vary between cultures, the blanket generalization about youth is they have a disregard for any authority placed over them. This stereotype certainly cannot define each individual youth, but the interesting thing about stereotypes is that they are always born out of common truth. It is only natural, then, that any movement instigated by and primarily composed of youth would be characterized by rebellion.

Professor Heer states that past youth movements have been “crushed by the forces in power.” Logically, the “forces in power” have always had the advantage because of their prior establishment as the mightiest contender for power. Though these youth movements surely have had visions of greatness, perhaps even practical and workable visions, they have lacked the might to overthrow the reigning authority.

That being said, however, I do not believe that lack of strength is the primary reason for the ultimate failure of any movement, whether youth or otherwise. Rather, perhaps, the failure of past youth movements is primarily due to the corrupted motivation behind the movement itself, the goal of obtaining power to make a vision a reality.

As Christians, members of The Rebelution have a biblical mandate to submit to authority rather than rebel against it. Romans 13:1-2 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” God commands us not to do the very thing youth are so commonly known to do. He commands us to be different; to rebel, in fact, against our own nature. If The Rebelution ever became characterized by rebellion against authority, it would be guilty of a far greater rebellion, that against God Himself.

The Rebelution must define its purpose by Biblical standards and take care never to stray from that vision. We must guard ourselves against the faintest glimmer of desiring power itself because that desire, however small, has the potential to radically alter the goal of The Rebelution and thus destine it to failure. Rather, let us seek to bring change to a hurting world through the testimony of our character, our submission to authority, and our dedication to doing hard things.

1 Peter 2:13-15 says, “Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” God has designed for movements such as The Rebelution to be used for His kingdom, but He accomplishes that glorious work through us by our devotion to doing right. In cultures across the world, doing the right thing is often synonymous with doing the hard thing. We are called to diligently pursue difficult lifestyles for the furtherance of His glorious Gospel.

It is simply by the content of our character that we “may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” It is in their silence that The Rebelution will be able to make itself most clearly heard. In the silence of the world, the voice of the body of Christ will be able to proclaim the message of salvation with a voice so loud that every nation, and every tribe, and every tongue, will know that Christ is Lord. Through character, through submission to authority, and through the power of God, this vision which God has instilled in us can become reality.
Be sure to show your support and appreciation to Brian by visiting Zealous Endeavor and leaving a comment. While you're at it, make sure to sharpen your pencil, wet your pen, or dust off your keyboard. You never know when the next contest will be... And they'll be more great topics, discussion, and prizes.

1/22/2006

A Bloody Anniversary: Roe v. Wade

On January 22nd 1973, 33 years ago, our Supreme Court issued an opinion so groundbreaking that the word “landmark” does not suffice... — Legal Redux
In little over three decades, at least 47 million precious lives have been prematurely snuffed out — all in the name of human rights.

In light of this travesty, the Legal Redux is devoting this entire week to examining the abortion debate from a legal standpoint. Take the time this upcoming week and allow yourself to be educated regarding the lack of legal logic behind Roe v. Wade.

More importantly: Pray for our country, that God may have mercy. And while you pray, act.
How can you help? Click here to find out.

Post(s) of the Week: Agent Tim & Zealous Endeavor

The Rebelution's "Post of the Week" Award for posts made from January 16th through January 22nd, goes to Agent Tim and Zealous Endeavor in a two-way tie.

Tim Sweetman is a good friend and fellow teen blogger who cooks a hot blog over at www.agenttimonline.com. Agent Tim went undercover to bring you an excellent review of "End Of The Spear" (Warning: Spoilers). Tim gives a balanced evaluation of a controversial film.

Brian Whalen is a teen with a passion for the Lord. His blog Zealous Endeavor has been churning out some incredible material over the past few weeks. His challenging post, "A Look At The Puritans," argues that there's a lot to be learned from these people who were so radically sold out for Jesus Christ.

Agent Tim Online: End Of The Spear - Review
----------------------
Zealous Endeavor: A Look At The Puritans

ATTENTION: Today is the last day to submit your response to Professor Heer and win 'The Enemy Within' by Kris Lungaard. The deadline is 11:59 PM this evening. For more details go here.

1/21/2006

Canadian Elections - Request For Prayer

Hey Alex and Brett,

As you may or may not know, Canada is now only two days away from our national election, and we desperately need God. I was wondering if you could mention it on the Rebelution for prayer. In the past few years, the Canadian government has changed the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships, it has introduced universal day care (making daycare run like the public school system) as well as many other policies that are destroying the families of Canada.

I ask that you would join with me in praying that God would have mercy on this nation and not hand us "over to the sinful desires of [our] hearts" – Romans 1:24 for as a nation "we have exchanged the truth of God for a lie." – Romans 1:25. Please pray that only the men and women who fear and love the LORD, would be elected. Will you join with me in intercession for my nation, that God would have mercy on Canada.

Daniel

1/20/2006

Close Guy-Girl Friendships: Bad Idea? (UPDATED)

Boundless Webzine's latest issue includes a thought-provoking article on guy-girl friendships called 'Not Your Buddy' by Suzanne Hadley. Brett and I found it particularly interesting, as this has been a topic we've been thinking about a lot in the recent weeks.

"Close friendships between single men and women may feel good," the description reads, "but are they doing anyone a favor?"
Miss Hadley's article focuses on the all-too-common heartbreak that occurs when young men fail to protect the hearts of their sisters in Christ by investing in a relationship with no intent of marriage. Although it is targeted to college-age singles and up, the article also includes several insights about guy-girl relationships that apply to all of us.

The following quote, in particular, stood out to us:
In her book Relationships, former college professor Dr. Pamela Reeve discusses three levels of friendships: acquaintances, companions and intimate friends. Dr. Reeve observes that men and women cannot sustain an intimate friendship without one or the other harboring romantic expectations. She recommends that men and women avoid being intimate friends outside of courtship and marriage. Companions, she says, generally spend less than two hours together a week.
Some questions for discussion:
  • What do you think of Dr. Pamela Reeve's observations? Are they accurate?
  • How many of your friendships with the opposite sex would fall under the heading of 'acquaintances' and 'companions' and how many would fall under the heading of 'intimate friends'?
  • Miss Hadley concludes here article by saying, "When it comes to male-female relationships, lacking intent, the buddy system is a bad idea." Since an intent for marriage is impractical for most teens, are close friendships between guys and girls a good idea?
  • Where is your line between "okay" and "too close" when it comes to friendships with the opposite sex?
Some additional questions for discussion:
  • Is a purely platonic (no romantic feelings on either side) but intimate (close) friendship between a guy and girl practically attainable?
    • Plain English Version: Can a guy and a girl be intimate friends without romantic hopes or feelings developing on one side or the other?
  • Is a non-platonic, intimate friendship between a guy and girl appropriate prior to courtship or marriage?
    • Plain English Version: If either person is romantically attached, is a intimate friendship between a guy and a girl appropriate outside of courtship or marriage?
  • Under your conception of a platonic, intimate friendship between a guy and girl, how should that relationship change once either party gets married? What would be appropriate? What would not?
    • Plain English Version: What types of interactions between members of the opposite sex would you discontinue once you (or they) got married?
Reminder: The article is speaking about "close" or "intimate" friendships, not all friendships in general. Read it here.

Jiffy N' Lou: Installment #107

Thought you guys might have missed this . . . Bump.
It's time once again for America's favorite comic strip: The Adventures of Jiffy N' Lou! Brought to you courtesy of the late New Attitude Magazine, Joshua Harris, and The Rebelution. Click on image to enlarge.

Most of us have a "big talk" somewhere in our future. We can assume that a few of us guys have already thought about what we might say -- and to who we might say it -- and we can assume that many of our eligible female readers have spent significant amounts of time imagining what "he" might say, when "he" might say it, and how "dad" might respond. But whether you're male or female, twentysomething or ten-and-something, this Jiffy N' Lou should make the following imprints on your heart and mind:
  • GUYS: Your "file" might not be as tangible as Lou Spielman's, but it exists nonetheless. Not only that, but you are writing your "bio" right now by the way you live. Do you think the dads don't notice?
  • GALS: What kind of guys are you attracting? Guys like Lou Spielman like flirty girls, obsessed with their weight, wardrobe, and makeup bags.
  • GUYS and GALS: Start developing yourself into a "prize" that any godly young man or woman would find attractive. Make yourself worthy of the man or woman of your dreams by developing the godly character and competence that would make them stop and notice you.

1/19/2006

Stupid in America: A Reader's Comment

In response to our recent post, "Stupid in America: A Culture of Incompetence," reader, Bill, shared the following comment:

Hey fellas, like your blog.

I'm just starting my student teaching semester in a poor Puerto Rican neighborhood in Philadelphia. Being in an education program I've heard and read a lot about how bad American schools are. E.D. Hirsch has a great book called "The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them" that does well in talking comparisons. But theres a couple things missing in these conversations. One is simply that America has the best Universities in the world. It just does. I've had foreign professors, lived in England and Italy and can attest to this. You don't know what a lazy student is until you've gone to an italian university (I'm not saying thats always bad--within that culture theres more to say). You have to talk about how good American universities are in the world.

Second, the problem is deeper than comparative test scores. Those kinds of results don't open us to be able to make a broader criticism of US schools. America has a lot of schools like mine that have poor immigrants that need more than the higher standards and threats of take-over and shake up of no child left behind. We need to define success more widely than test scores. A lot of the sixteen year olds read like nine year olds. There are different causes--the student's choice to not read, abusive parents/living on their own, a community that doesn't value education. This simply means that to be successful is to take a lot of work with each particular student and be patient with their lack of desire to work in certain cases. Christianity is in many ways a religion of valuing lost causes (Jesus came while we were still sinners) and so even if I'm not successful in helping the 11th graders get out of the bottom percentile of national scores, I'll still plug on with the learning because I know that teaching is about serving them personally.

I realize that you are trying to help, and we must never lower standards. But discussions like this tend to be simplistic and will fall on deaf ears of the teachers because they've heard it before, often from people who don't know what its like to do what they do, and it sounds condemning.

I feel okay saying this to you guys because you are very thoughtful and don't like to sit on the sidelines. You advocate homeschooling which I like, but I think that there is more you could do and say to help public schools.

Thanks for a great blog,

Bill

Dear Bill,

Thank you very much for your willingness to share your thoughts. Brett and I appreciate input from those who are more experienced in the areas we address — we readily admit our youth and inexperience.

I am also glad for a chance to more clearly explain our position — both to our many readers who homeschool, and to those outside the homeschool community. Although the 20/20 report focused on the academic side of public schools, that is only part of the trouble.

Our intention has never been to disparage the admirable work of many teachers in the public schools. Rather our trouble is with what we view as a broken system. A system that, generally speaking, does not breed godly character or competence. Even America's most prestigious schools and universities, though they may excel the area of academics, remain spiritually and morally bankrupt. As Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "[E]ducation which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society…. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."

It is true that there are innumerable factors that play into the low comparative test scores. Certainly test results are not the final measure of success in education. However, the fact that American youth fare so poorly when compared to their international and home-schooled counterparts seems to confirm that the American public school system is not the ideal environment for true education. Biblically speaking, we believe that the God-ordained environment for education falls within the sphere of the family, not of the state.

With that said, we recognize that the structure of many families within our society — not to mention the structure of society itself — is not one that lends itself to the adequate performance of this responsibility. Some families are abusive or virtually non-existent. In many others parents are forced to work long hours to provide for their family, rendering home education and oversight grossly impractical.

Regardless of the circumstances, the primary concern is never for the "salvation" that comes from home-based education, but rather for the salvation that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the message and end goal of The Rebelution. Unfortunately, because a majority of our readers are Christian homeschoolers, that message is at times assumed, rather than proclaimed.

The reason this blog exists is because Brett and I firmly believe that a worldview rooted in a changed heart and the truth of God's Word is the only real solution to many of the problems that plague young people today. Rebelutionaries are young people who embrace a biblical view of their teen years.

Our motto "do hard things" reflects our understanding that a rebelutionary mindset will result in enthusiastic, diligent, hard-working teens who not only apply themselves to the development of godly character and competence, but also surround themselves with companions who share their delight. This applies to all young people, whether in public, private, or home school, because Jesus — our Savior, source of strength, and Commander in Chief — is Lord over all.

Thank you again for your feedback. May God bless you and your work!
Soli Deo Gloria, Alex Jordan Harris

Do Hard Things.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

~ Jesus, Son of God ~

1/18/2006

Stupid In America: A Culture of Incompetence

Click above to launch the video.
ABC News aired a 20/20 report last weekend on American public education (a written version of which can be found by clicking here). Although the report — titled 'Stupid in America' — focuses on its call for "school choice" and the article (though perhaps not the TV version) is silent on the issue of homeschooling, it does contain several biting statements that should cause parents and students alike to rethink their approach to education:
To give you an idea of how competitive American schools are and how U.S. students performed compared with their European counterparts, we gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey.

Belgian kids cleaned the American kids' clocks, and called them "stupid."

We didn't pick smart kids to test in Europe and dumb kids in the United States. The American students attend an above-average school in New Jersey, and New Jersey's kids have test scores that are above average for America.

Lov Patel, the boy who got the highest score among the American students, told me, "I'm shocked, because it just shows how advanced they are compared to us."

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I talked with 18-year-old Dorian Cain in South Carolina, who was still struggling to read a single sentence in a first-grade level book when I met him. Although his public schools had spent nearly $100,000 on him over 12 years, he still couldn't read.

So "20/20" sent Dorian to a private learning center, Sylvan, to see if teachers there could teach Dorian to read when the South Carolina public schools failed to.

Using computers and workbooks, Dorian's reading went up two grade levels — after just 72 hours of instruction.

His mother, Gena Cain, is thrilled with Dorian's progress but disappointed with his public schools.

"With Sylvan, it's a huge improvement. And they're doing what they're supposed to do. They're on point. But I can't say the same for the public schools," she said.

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At age 10, American students take an international test and score well above the international average. But by age 15, when students from 40 countries are tested, the Americans place 25th.

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The longer kids stay in American schools, the worse they do in international competition. They do worse than kids from poorer countries that spend much less money on education, ranking behind not only Belgium but also Poland, the Czech Republic and South Korea.

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Read the entire article by clicking here.
None of this information is new to The Rebelution. In fact, one of our original series "The World Is Flat," focused on this very issue — drawing material from author Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat) and Bruce N. Shortt (The Harsh Truth About Public Schools) to argue that the structure and expectations of our society breed incompetence.

It is encouraging to see the truth revealed to a wider audience. Doesn't it inspire you to do hard things when foreign students label you and your fellow American teens as 'stupid'?

Less Than Five Days Left...

The deadline for submitting your response to Professor Friedrich Heer is coming up quick. Don't miss your chance to win one of Brett's and my favorite books — a must-read for rebelutionaries — 'The Enemy Within' by Kris Lungaard. The deadline is 11:59 PM, Sunday, January 22nd.

Do You Have Friends In California?

This stays at the top. Check out our new posts below.
Help Spread The Word!

1/17/2006

Christian Hedonism: A Summary by John Piper

In the comments section of our recent post "'Do Hard Things' Doesn't Mean You Can't Have Fun," a discussion ensued during which the term "Christian Hedonism" was repeatedly mentioned. Daniel asked, "[W]hat is a Christian Hedonist? Sounds kinda shady to me..."

We're sure Daniel wasn't the only one wondering, hence this post. We encourage all of our readers — even those already familiar with the principle — to read the following summary by Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church and Desiring God Ministries.

Pastor, theologian, author, and speaker, Piper has authored well over 20 books and is a regular contributor to WORLD Magazine. His book "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist" coined "Christian Hedonism" as a description of the doctrine he summarizes below:

Christian Hedonism: A Summary
by John Piper

A "Christian Hedonist" sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? If the term makes you squirm, we understand. But don't throw this paper away just yet. We're not heretics (really!). Nor have we invented another prosperity-obsessed theology by twisting the Bible to sanctify our greed or lust. We are simply stating an ancient, orthodox, Biblical truth in a fresh way.

"All men seek happiness," says Blaise Pascal. "This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves." We believe Pascal is right. And, with Pascal, we believe God purposefully designed us to pursue happiness.

Does seeking your own happiness sound self-centered? Aren't Christians supposed to seek God, not their own pleasure? To answer this question we need to understand a crucial truth about pleasure-seeking (hedonism): we value most what we delight in most. Pleasure is not God's competitor, idols are. Pleasure is simply a gauge that measures how valuable someone or something is to us. Pleasure is the measure of our treasure.

We know this intuitively. If a friend says to you, "I really enjoy being with you," you wouldn't accuse him of being self-centered. Why? Because your friend's delight in you is the evidence that you have great value in his heart. In fact, you'd be dishonored if he didn't experience any pleasure in your friendship. The same is true of God. If God is the source of our greatest delight then God is our most precious treasure; which makes us radically God-centered and not self-centered. And if we treasure God most, we glorify Him most.

Does the Bible teach this? Yes. Nowhere in the Bible does God condemn people for longing to be happy. People are condemned for forsaking God and seeking their happiness elsewhere (Jeremiah 2:13). This is the essence of sin. The Bible actually commands us to delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4). Jesus teaches us to love God more than money because our heart is where our treasure is (Matt. 6:21). Paul wants us to believe that gaining Christ is worth the loss of everything else (Phil 3:8) and the author of Hebrews exhorts us to endure suffering, like Jesus, for the joy set before us (Heb. 12: 1-2). Examine the Scriptures and you'll see this over and over again.

Christian Hedonism is not a contradiction after all. It is desiring the vast, ocean-deep pleasures of God more than the mud-puddle pleasures of wealth, power or lust. We're Christian Hedonists because we believe Psalm 16:11, "You show me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy, in Your right hand are pleasures for evermore."

Join us in this pursuit of satisfaction in God, because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

This article can be found at Desiring God Ministries' website.

Prayer and the Victory of God -- John Piper

Dr. Albert Mohler shares the three opening paragraphs of Pastor John Piper's New Year's Day sermon. Some of you already know the story behind the story, but if you don't you'll find it here.

Please keep John Piper in your prayers.

1/16/2006

"Do Hard Things" Doesn't Mean You Can't Have Fun

When Alex and I were invited to speak to a church youth group while we were in Alabama. We were excited to have an opportunity to share some of the ideas we'd been developing here on the blog, including "The Myth of Adolescence" and "Ruining Our Lives With Fun."

The day of the "event," Alex and I worked a long day at the Supreme Court, hopped in the Davie's car (i.e. Colton Davie's family) and arrived at the youth group still wearing our court attire (i.e. suits and ties).

We proceeded to tell these public school teens (ages 12-17) that the whole idea of the "teen years" is a recently developed concept and that our culture is robbing them by telling them to "just have fun." We told jokes, we told stories, we even had some audience participation -- but we could tell that most of these young people had never heard anything like this before.

This became even more apparent during the Q&A time afterwards. Questions like, "Do you guys always dress this nice?" and "What do you do for fun?" and "Do you guys ever play video games?" etc. gave us the impression that some of them thought we were aliens from the planet of Boringwork located in the galaxy of Nofun.

Once we realized the impression we were making Alex and I quickly explained that we weren't "freaks of nature" with a genetic disposition for work. We are a lot like "normal" teenagers. We like sports (we're short, but we try really hard), we love music, we watch movies, we style our hair, and we even play video games from time to time. But, we have a different way of looking at fun. Here are two principles we try to follow:

1) First Things First

Being a "rebelutionary" does not mean you have erased "fun" from your life. It means that you have relegated it to its proper place. "Do Hard Things" does not eliminate fun, but it elevates, honors, and recognizes the superiority of the activities and pursuits that strengthen, stretch, and grow our character and competence for the glory of God.

We explained to the youth group that night that Alex and I view fun as a break from the "hard things" that we spend the majority of our time doing. Did you catch that? We view fun as a break from hard things. We have fun after we feel that we have accomplished something significant.

Our culture, on the other hand, tells us that we should have fun first and do hard things only "when we have to." Do you see the difference? It's all about priorities. We will always prioritize that which is most important to us. A rebelutionary will place "fun" in its proper place, understanding that responsibility to God and others comes first. Our culture spreads the lie that our pleasure, our enjoyment, and our fun is first priority.

Our culture acts like it's giving us something by allowing and encouraging us to just have fun -- but the truth is that when all we care about is "having fun" we're being robbed. Robbed of contentment in the future, robbed of effectiveness for God, robbed of competence, robbed of character, maybe even robbed of the spouse we've always wanted, because we weren't prepared for them and didn't deserve them.

A rebelutionary recognizes that what is most valuable isn't always the most fun. A rebelutionary puts first things first, and second things (like fun) second.

2) Hard Things Can Be Fun

You might (accurately) conclude that Alex and I do fewer "fun things" than the average teen, but you couldn't say we have less fun. We might spend less time playing video games, going to parties, and just "hangin' out," but we also enjoy much of the work we do.

In other words, it is possible to enjoy doing the hard things that develop your character and your competence for the glory of God. Alex and I love delving into the biography of a great man or woman, we love writing, and we love speaking. Which is good because that is what we spend the majority of our time doing!

The topic of how we develop a liking for hard things will be the subject of a future post. For now, the point I want to leave you with is that hard things can be fun -- not the way snowboarding is fun -- but still in a fulfilling, exciting, and positive way.

3) Conclusion

"Do Hard Things" doesn't mean you can't have fun. It means that you put first things first and that you learn to have fun learning, growing, and developing yourself into the person God calls you to be.

1/15/2006

Post(s) of the Week: Mother-Lode

The Rebelution's "Post of the Week" Award for posts made from January 8th through January 15th, goes to Mother-Lode's "Homeschool for Socialization," posted January 10th.

The dear Kim Anderson (authoress of "Mother-Lode"), reveals the true story behind home school socialization, creatively telling the story of her family's recent jaunt into Southern California for a Homeschool Speech & Debate Tournament. Mrs. Anderson's wonderful blog, Mother-Lode, was the deserving recipient of "Best Homeschool Mom Blog" in the 2005 Homeschool Blog Awards, and this weeks post "Homeschool for Socialization" reminds us why.
Thank you to our reader Sarah, authoress of the blog, "Waiting To Go Home" for recommending "Homeschool for Socialization" for Post of the Week!

1/14/2006

Our World Is Desperate For Competence

Dr. Albert Mohler comments on the fact that athletes get a pass on bad behavior -- even criminal behavior -- because teams are desperate for their talent. Interesting consider The Rebelution's emphasis on competence and character. Our world often lacks character. Christians often lack competence.

Check It Out.

1/13/2006

Girl Talk Provides Accountability Sheet

Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle are a mother and three daughters who love the gospel and aspire to biblical womanhood. Not only that, but they cook up a hot blog over www.girltalk.blogs.com, especially for the ladies.

Here on The Rebelution Alex and I have decided to increase the number of posts we make referring you to excellent resources around the web. We hope not only that our articles will encourage you, but that we can point you to other resources around the blogosphere which hold special relevance for rebelutionaries and rebelutionaries at heart. This is different from our "Post(s) of the Week" Award and will occur as often as Alex and I find something excellent to share with you.

We're glad to start this tradition off by recommending that you go check out Janelle's latest post on Girl Talk. This hold relevance for guys and gals. They've provided a downloadable accountability sheet to help you with your spiritual disciplines AND an explanation on how to use it.

Check It Out.

Teens Should Be Thinking About Mid Life

HT: Home Front

As you read the first half of this article you might be thinking, "Why in the world is Brett having me read about mid life crisis?!?" but once you read the second half you should see why this is such a vitally important message for teens. Here's a hint: It has to do with the idea of "building your character house."
A Much Needed Mid Life Crisis
by Chris Gonzalez
Originally posted January 5th, 2006

You can’t fake it forever. Every part of you so deeply hidden, so franticly avoided, so fiercely ignored will emerge into the light of day for everyone to see. Maybe it comes during adolescence, or perhaps it comes out in marriage. Some have this experience when the kids arrive. However, a great many people experience it during mid life.

Ah yes, you can see him in your mind right now. He’s the stereotyipical 40-something, baseball cap-wearing, head-balding, convertible-driving, gotee-sporting, Mount Kilaminjaro-climbing, I-can-do-what-I-want-because-I’m-mad-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore male.

Mid life is a curious stage. With mid life comes deeper insight into age. With mid life comes the awareness of one’s own mortality. The knees crack, the back is sore, and there is a faint ringing in the ears. Hair that once grew on the head now grows on the ears; an unusual follicle migration has occured. People grow heavier, but not taller. They can remember 30 years ago, but not yesterday. The adolescent sprint has become a middle aged long-distance run. Words like arthritis and old suddenly mean something and can be applied to oneself. People in mid life start to wonder if there is enough time to do everything they want to get done. The road behind is longer than the road ahead. The kids (now bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter than they are) are ready to vacate the nest, or might even be gone. The choices of the past have narrowed the options for the future. Weeks fly by faster than single days used to and is it already 2006?

In short, with mid life comes the realization that everyone dies and you are closing in on it.

So, mid life comes in with its awareness and realization and drives people into a neo-adolescent pattern of crazed self-destruction. Or does it? Does the onset of mid life produce this apparent temporary insanity? Could it be that there was a pre-existing, ever-present, and ongoing insanity that has finally found an outlet for itself in mid life?

Rather than mid life causing this lunacy, maybe it only exposes it. Think about it. Mid life moves a person into undeniable truths about life, aging, and death. Can a shallow person maintain his ruse with such wisdom, depth, and meaning pressing itself into his aura? How long can a person trifle along in life and get away with it?
How long can a person trifle along in life and get away with it?
For the person of depth, on the other hand, mid life is a welcome stage. Rather than trying to be not old, these solid and grounded people embrace the opportunities that age brings with it. A generous and benevolent spirit grows within them, realzing that the self-indulgent and superficial life they were never comfortable with anyway was a waste of time, just like they always thought it was. So, in response to the realization that the clock is ticking, they use their position and resources to pass on wisdom and values to the next generation.

What is really happening with these deep people is the same thing that happens with the shallow people – their true self is revealed. So, mid life is only a crisis for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into something regrettable. Mid life is a meaningful and eagerly anticipated transition for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into somehing honorable.
"Mid life is only a crisis for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into something regrettable. Mid life is a meaningful and eagerly anticipated transition for the people who have accumulated a pile of life experiences that have shaped their character into somehing honorable."
Like I said, you can’t fake it forever. So, when the big reveal comes, make sure you’ve lived a life you don’t mind the world seeing.
How are we preparing right now for our mid life?
DISCLAIMER: Mr. Gonzalez (the author of the article you just read) is a Christian man in his mid-thirties. His article was originally written as a newspaper column in a secular newspaper. This explains why there are no overt references to God, Christ, grace, salvation, sanctification, or an eternal perspective.

For that reason we encourage our readers, if they haven't already, to read our post "Rebelutionary, Meet Your Commander-In-Chief" which outlines the great importance of Christ in the fight for character. Also, the previous two posts on "Hard Things Take Character" also emphasize the Christian roots of character, please take advantage of them as well.

1/11/2006

Friedrich Heer - "Challenge of Youth"

Another feature Brett and I would like to introduce on The Rebelution is frequent discussion of intellectually stimulating quotes from speeches, books, or articles. When we run across one we think makes especially good food for thought, we'll share it here on the blog for people to chew on, think about, discuss, and write about.

Here's what makes it fun: If you take the time to organize your thoughts and post them on your blog, write 'em in an email, or share them in the comments section — you'll be entered into a little contest. We'll choose the answer we think best covers the topic and send you a small prize of some sort.

UPDATE: Upon further thought, just email them [see below]. After all, we don't want procrastinating people getting the benefit from more diligent writers, do we? No, of course not. So if it's not too much trouble, please wait to post on your blog until after the contest is over... And while you can discuss stuff in the comment section, try to do most of that with your parents. They're a lot wiser.

And of course, to make this a permanent feature we'll need you to help us out with your participation and contributions — including sending us quotes. Read or heard a thought-provoking quote recently? Send it on (rebelution [dot] blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com). If we use it on the blog, you get the credit.
This feature's first quote comes from a book I providentially found while rummaging through used books at a library sale in Montgomery, Alabama. The book is entitled "Challenge of Youth," and was written by historian Friedrich Heer (1916-1983) — who at the time of the book's writing served as Professor of the History of Ideas at the University of Vienna.

In "Challenge of Youth" (1974), Heer documents and analyzes historically-significant youth movements — from the time of ancient Greece through the hippie era — concluding that:
The Quote: "[T]he harsh light of historical fact [is] that every significant youth movement is in its own time crushed by the forces in power, and its spirit frequently perverted or bent to other uses[.]"
It is also interesting to note that Professor Heer identifies the common characteristic among all youth movements as being "the symbolic rejection of the father (authority), and frequent adoption of a new 'father'..." and references Malachi 4:6 ("...turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers...”) to conclude that "it is the fathers who have the last word."
The Question: As a presuppositionally-Christian youth movement, how do you think the Rebelution differs (or should differ) from the youth movements Professor Heer described?
We'd like to really devote some time to discussing this important issue. Is a widespread Christian youth movement doomed to failure and perversion? We want to hear from you.

Although this is the test run, here's how we're envisioning it working: Use the comment section to bounce ideas off us and other readers (be sure to talk to your parents too!), then write out an organized answer to the above question and email it to us.
The deadline for entry is 11:59 PM, Sunday, January 22nd, giving you about a week and a half.