Just a thought on the "Jesus is my boyfriend"-type songs that are so often the target of contemporary worship music criticism.
I have been a critic of that type of worship music on many occasions. I don't think those songs are the best music the church has to offer; I don't think they should have priority of place or frequency in worship.
But I try to be fair as I understand the gut reaction against these songs, from myself and others. I want to get away from the most common criticisms, and instead focus on why, at least in part, our criticisms may be off-base.
I have a theory. Our reaction to these songs is too much conditioned by our acceptance of how our culture views love and worship, and not enough by the Bible.
What in our culture works to distort our understanding of desire and worship? Our culture has difficulty understanding any desire that is not erotic. For our culture, any fellowship that men share has to be based upon (1) cars (2) sports (3) hunting or (4) homoerotic attraction. So any time two guys get together, and 1-3 are absent, 4 is presumed to be involved. In a culture has eroticized everything in its reach, it is hard to understand that there could be any other kind of desire.
Our culture has difficulty with worship of the true and living God, but accepts idolatry as commonplace.
Desire and worship are thus both distorted. The result is that it is normal for erotic love to be characterized by the language of worship-- that, in essence, you're supposed to idolize your lover.
So when you sing a song of worship to Jesus, how can it help but sound, to ears conditioned by this culture, like erotic love, horribly out of place for the worship of the triune God?
For the academicians, incarnational means being able to talk about incarnational, preferably with words like incarnational. But for the genuinely incarnational, it means being able to laugh at the people who always write big fat books full of words. Faith without works is dead, and this includes the faith of intellectuals. Intellectual faith without incarnational works is dead. But such works would not include poring over one another's books, handing them back and forth with compliments or critiques, circulating them in a small band of irrelevant smart people. That reminds of the time someone threw a bunch of Scotsmen down into a pit and they all got rich selling rocks to each other.
. . . Now this is why intellectuals (high rpm) and pseudo-intellectuals (pseudo-high rpm) can sit up until two in the morning talking about how a particular French filmmaker was deconstructing the suburban instantiations of gnosticism with his gritty authenticity, while down the street another man puts them all to shame by getting up three hours later to go duck hunting with his son.
I really like the idea of church worship leaders writing their own stuff for the congregation.
One thing that makes most hymns "better" than most modern worship music, though, (and I like modern worship music, so don't misunderstand) is that they tended to be written from places of experience, birthed from pain and suffering, given life by those clinging to Jesus even in distress and turmoil. I'm willing to bet a lot of what passes for worship music today is written to sound cool or sell records.
Here's some brief background on a hymn I've been singing to myself a lot lately.
And here's the song:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus' Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
An article by Leonard Payton at The Resurgence (which includes the blog of Mark Driscoll, a pastor I respect very much) titled The Chief Musician Is a Pastor-Teacher seems to say that the worship leader of each congregation needs to present some original material to the congregation and that singing other people's songs is like the pastor presenting someone else's sermon. Of course, he adds that there is a place for "cover" songs.
In the same way that a pulpit minister must design messages to meet the needs of a specific congregation, so the chief musician must be able to compose specific music. Many Christians recoil at the thought of a preacher reading a sermon from A to Z by someone else. And yet, strangely enough, this is the normal practice in church music. This is not to assert that music by other musicians and from other ages has no place. A good sermon embraces the wisdom of other Christian thinkers but remains the product of a unique individual whom God uses to minister to a unique congregation.Music composition is to music what homiletics is to preaching.
I don't know that being able to compose original songs is key for every congregation. There seems to be a bit of a backlash happening these days against the proliferation of worship songs, and, to be fair, some of this is justified. However, as in all congregations, there is a need for t-bone steak as well as a need for milk. Chris Tomlin may write seemingly shallow lyrics sometimes but, in many congregations, those songs are sung from the heart of the congregation whereas meatier songs and hymns are simply stared at as words on a page or screen. However, a taste for the meat is necessary. Balance is key.
At the church where I lead worship, I try to make sure we have some of all of this. We look at the words of songs and see if they are biblically accurate and we also seek to make songs that may seem dusty fresh simply by reworking the music.
Mention the word "excommunication," and the first images that come to the mind of the average evangelical are of Martin Luther's heroic stand against the Roman church, or the Spanish Inquisition.
But evangelicals take comfort that they are not so primitive as those ornery medievalists. For many, excluding even habitual sinners from the church is among the few ideas that remain anathema.
In American evangelicalism, any kind of church discipline is uncomfortable to even contemplate (Let alone does anyone expect the Spanish Inquisition).
But can the church ever escape the obligation to discipline? Is it even possible to spurn the power of the keys of the kingdom?
When I was younger, a serious problem arose in the youth group of my church. One of the young men attending the youth group had seduced a girl, and after some time passed, this ongoing activity was found out. This created something of a scandal.
Yet the church took no action to expel the bad influence from the youth group.
The parents and the girl were embarrassed and ashamed about what had happened. Not to mention fearful that remaining in a church with that bad influence could further corrupt their daughter. They no longer saw the youth group as a safe place. So they left.
The end result is that, by failing to discipline the offending party, the church engaged in de facto discpline of the offended party.
Many times I have seen or heard of the same thing happening to victims of gossip, jealousy, anger, and other sin. For them, the church building is a torture chamber, and they are driven either to another church or away from the church altogether.
So the church can't run from excommunication. Your church has and will keep excommunicating people. There is no way around it. Every member of your church, from the nursery to the pulpit, is a sinner. Sinners fight, squabble, and inflict pain on each other. If the church's rod is not used to strike the wolves, the wolves will cause the sheep to scatter.
The church that proclaims it will not cast away any who join its fellowship is lying to itself. The choice is not whether the church will exclude, but rather: who will exercise that power, and against whom will it be directed?
Will the shepherds admonish and heal the sheep, while driving away the wolves?
Or will the shepherds leave it to the wolves to watch over the flock?
Look who's talking smack now.
I do like that he calls Thinklings one of the premier group God-blogs, though. Although that's not saying much, given the competition.
With that label and PJ's calling me a Powerblogger, my ego's doing mighty fine these days.
Need to go read some imprecatory Psalms or something . . .
The official Thinklings Lost thread.
Leave your thoughts on the show in the comments thread.
(Warning - if you haven't seen the finale, the comments thread will contain spoilers)
***** (5 stars) Written by David Helm and illustrated by Gail Schoonmaker
Wow. I don't know where to begin. Did you notice that this book got a five star rating?
This is, in many ways, the story bible I've been waiting for. If I could write a children's story bible, I would want this to be it. (For clarification, a story bible is a collection of bible stories for children too young to read an actual Bible translation.)
This book is incredible. It's mission is to tell the Bible story. Yep. The whole Bible as one story. All other children's story Bible's are a collection of Bible stories. Unfortunately with Sunday School being how it is, this is how most kids and grown ups learn their Bibles. Sure they learn about David & Goliath, and Abraham, and Noah, and Elijah, and Jesus. But they don't learn how they all fit together.
Finally, there is a Bible that tells God's story as one complete narrative. I was a little skeptical at first. I didn't know if this book could accomplish its mission. It did. And then some.
My oldest, Joel (age 4), loves reading this book. He has two other children's story bibles, but this has usurped them. When we first got it, we read over 150 pages. I had to insist that we take a break. He wanted to keep going!
This book does indeed have big, beautiful pictures. There are a just a few sentences on each page. But the point of this book is to teach children about God's plan of Salvation. And so it tells the Bible story as one big story!
It begins with creation and Adam and Eve. It explains how happy they were 'in God's place.' This is the only depiction of Adam and Eve I've ever seen that shows them happy! Instead of the standard picture of the two of them standing there covered by leaves".they're shown swimming! They actually look like they are enjoying themselves and each other.
After they sin, the book emphasizes that God sent them from God's place because they rejected God as king. It continues humanity's story, explaining how God's people continued to reject him as King and it transitions to Noah. It tells all the stories as one story. It continues to discuss these themes throughout: God's people rejecting God as King, God keeping his promise to return them to God's place and looking forward to God's forever king. In the Adam and Eve story it mentions God's word about how a descendent of Eve will crush Satan's head and get his heel bruised. But it explains it as a hint of God's forever king who is to come and save his people. Throughout the book, it asks questions like, 'Would God's forever king come now?' It builds anticipation. This book also teaches. It is filled with questions.
I was so thrilled with this book. My four year old now asks theological questions about Jesus dying and sin etc" that I didn't think he would grasp yet.
This book does what no other children's book does. It tells the Bible as one story! It does many other things. It even includes the intertestamental period! I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this book is.
I was so convicted by what it does, tells God's story as one story, and how well it does it, that I preached from it. Yep. (I'm a pastor.) I used this very book as my guide, and told the entire story to my congregation. It took me 4 weeks. You wouldn't believe the response I got. People would say how wonderful it was to finally see how everything fit together. And how helpful it was to see the Bible as God working out his plan. Then I would 'confess' that it came from a children's story Bible. So I have grown ups now going out and buying copies for themselves and their grandchildren. My mom went and bought a copy for a middle-aged woman that she is mentoring in the faith. My own mother, who taught me about Jesus, told me that she had never seen how it all fit together before.
I'm really high on this book. I preached through it. I will be including an article on it in our next church newsletter. I'm telling everyone to buy it. (Six more copies of this book have already been bought because of me.)
Go buy it. Go buy several copies. I'm even recommending it to adults because it's a fun way to learn the whole Bible story.
We've read it through at our house dozens of times already, and it's become a pretty important part of my plan to teach my children about Jesus.
However, it shouldn't be your only children's story Bible. Because it's mission is to tell the whole story, much of it is like an overview. It doesn't have all the detail of each story. That's fine. It couldn't. But I think you ought to have other books where you can read about David, Moses, Noah, Elijah, Esther etc" with more detail. It would also help if you know the bible stories well yourself. This book leads to a lot of questions. It's pictures will contain some of the details, and so you as the parent, can and should fill in the details, at your child's level, as you go.
The only thing I noticed that could be done to improve this book would be to add scripture references. There are none. If there were scripture references it would be easier for parents who aren't all that familiar with their bibles to go and look up the story for themselves or for their children.
I wish I had the space (or you the attention span) to tell you more about this incredible book. As it contines the story, it reviews for the reader, where we've been. It keeps reminding us of God keeping his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Here are some excerpts to give you an idea:
And the years turned into many years, and the many years turned into hundreds of years and the great promises of God seemed to fade away. Israel became less important in the world. Other nations became great - strong nations, powerful nations whose kings ruled over God's people"
God the world's true ruler, the king of the universe was getting ready to show everyone who great he was. God was going to end his many years of silence. God was going to keep his promise of a forever king.
(The picture shows an angel talking to a woman, but it doesn't mention that it is Mary.)
God's forever king was born in a stable, a place for animals. His parents named him Jesus. They wrapped him up warmly and laid him in a manger. What a strange place for the Promised One! Who would have imagined it? While Caesar, the king of the Roman world, was showing everyone how great he was by counting all of his people. God, the king of the universe was showing the world how great he was by sending his Son into the world as one of his people. What a very big day! What God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David had arrived in the birth of Jesus!
In the chapter headings, it refers to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection as the time that Jesus is crowned as king. It is very clear about the crucifixion and resurrection being part of God's plan from the beginning.
And then there's my favorite part:
After the Resurrection:
Jesus' followers could hardly believe it. 'We have seen the Lord!' They were full of joy but they were not full of understanding. They could see Jesus with their eyes, but they could not see why he had to die and rise again. And so"Jesus opened up God's holy book that had been written long ago. He started with the books of Moses and then the Prophets and the Psalms. He showed them everything that was written there about him. In it were many word pictures that proved he must die to pay the penalty for sin. In it were many pictures that promised he would rise again. Jesus followers were amazed as they listened and as they read. Before they had said, 'We have seen the Lord!' But now they could read God's holy book and say, 'Even here, especially here, we have seen the Lord!' Jesus taught them carefully because he knew the day was coming when people would no longer see him with their eyes. They would read of him instead. He knew God's holy book would help others to believe and say, 'We have seen the Lord!' And they too would be full of joy. Do you see the Lord? Painted on the pages of Israel's hard and happy history is the big picture of God's forever king.'
This book is awesome! It should be an essential part of your toolbox for teaching your children about Jesus.
Here's your frivilous Bible debate question of the week. (See title)
Who else told Seth and his children (the godly line) about the one true God? Somehow, Enoch, Noah and others pre-Abraham knew about God. How else would they unless Adam told them? It's quite possible that Adam is in heaven because he came to himself later and trusted God....
Perhaps Eve is the one who told her children about God or maybe there are other special revelations we don't know about, but Adam doesn't have to be the one to have told others about the one true God.
In the New Testament, "in Adam" represents death, sin, the flesh etc (opposite of "in Christ")
Also he is not listed as one of the "heros of the faith" in Hebrews 11.
All arguments are pure speculation...but fun
All arguments are pure speculation...and therefore this is a useless discussion.
Either way, jump in under comments...or don't.
Watch out Great Panduku! There's another 'mazin' shrinkin' man on the premises.
As of yesterday's weigh-in I have lost 47 pounds since late February. My wake up call was sitting around the last Ent-Moot when the topic of health came up and discovering I was the second heaviest guy there. (I won't say who the first was.) That was a surprise to me, if only because I was once the skinniest dude going. I don't think I ever got to the point where you'd see me on the street and think, "There's a fat guy." (Those who know me can either confirm or deny that. Anybody else, here's a pic of me pre-weight loss; you be the judge of my observable fatitude.) But in the years since we moved to Tennessee, I had started eating worse and exercising much less (which is to say, not at all).
Five to six workouts a week and a healthy diet later, I'm getting back into fighting shape. And this Jared didn't do it with Subway. (Although I'm thinking about suggesting pitching a Starbucks Diet idea to the corporate honchos in Seattle. Maybe at the least they'll hook me up with some Kramerific free lattes for life.)
I've just realized, though, I have a long way to go. I mean, I can't leg press near as much as this stud.
2000 pounds?! That's impressive, if it's not, like other things he says, a lie.
Maybe I should jot down the recipe for our favorite false prophet's personal Wonder Shake.
I wonder if he personally prays over it or sprinkles some of that magical Benny Hinn holy spirit fairydust in it . . .
(HT: Dignan, via BHT)
Dr. Greg Bahnsen was one of the great modern apologists for the Christian faith. He engaged in a number of debates with unbelievers prior to his death in the 1990's. Probably the most famous of these is "The Great Debate" with Dr. Gordon Stein on the existence of God.
While working late tonight, I was listening to that debate. Dr. Stein, a scientist, found himself forced to deny the absolute and consistent character of the laws of logic in order to maintain the notion that the concept of immateriality and existence are mutually exclusive. Not to mention that he was completely unprepared for Bahnsen's "Transcendental" argument for the existence of God. The debate contains this memorable exchange:
B: I heard you mention logical binds and logical self-contradictions in your speech. You did say that?
S: I said it. I used that phrase, yes.
B: Do you believe there are laws of logic then?
B: Are they universal?
S: They are agreed upon by human beings. They aren't laws that exist out in nature.
B: Are they simply conventions, then?
S: They are conventions, but they are conventions that are self-verifying.
B: Are they sociological laws or laws of thought?
S: They are laws of thought which are interpreted by men and promulgated by men.
B: Are they material in nature?
S: How can a law be material?
B: That's a question I'm going to ask you. (Laughter)
S: I would say no.
Moderator: Dr. Stein, now you have an opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Bahnsen.
S: Dr. Bahnsen, would you call God material or immaterial?
S: What is something that is immaterial?
B: Something not extended in space.
S: Can you give me an example of anything other than God that is immaterial?
B: The laws of logic. (Laughter)
Wow, we haven't had one since Summer 2005!
So . . .
What are you reading right now?
And what was the last good book you read?
I'm currently reading a collection of Chekhov's short stories and a study of love in the Bible by Leon Morris. Also coming up on the close of Stephen King's Insomnia and, with my small group, a second reading of N.T. Wright's Following Jesus.
I've read quite a few good books recently, so many in fact that I can never keep them updated in my Thinklings bio. Just finished Ragtime, which was my first experience with Doctorow. It was a fast read, but I'm not sure it was exactly to my taste. The last great book I read was Rabbit, Run, the first in the Rabbit Angstrom series of novels by John Updike. I really, really liked it.
Speaking of Updike, there's a neat article on him in this week's Entertainment Weekly. He has a new book out called Terrorist. It sounds very interesting.
I liked Rabbit, Run so much I'm now on the lookout for In the Beauty of the Lilies and the Everyman's Library one-volume collection of the Rabbit novels. I hope to find them at my favorite used bookstore when I'm in H-town next week.
I also need to get my hands on this book, not merely for the controversy it seems to have caused in the God-blogosphere lately, but because of passages like the ones cited in the above link.
I saw a church sign today and it completely baffled me.
Confession: I hate church signs and think many people are turned off by the "clever" sayings most church's put on them. Thank You!
The sign said, "If God is your Father, the Church is your Mother."
Someone please explain that to me.
One evening last week, as the family climbed the steps to our town's rec center, a young man hanging out with some buddies on the landing used the F-word twice while I passed with my four-year-old. It was not possible he didn't see us. He was facing us as we climbed the steps and said the words with us inches away and before his gaze (he and his friends were clogging the top steps).
I stopped and offered him a few choice words of my own (none profane, of course), and whatever he saw in my face made his face turn white. (Mamas are legendary protectors of their young, but no wrath is more terrifying than a Dada's when someone compromises the innocence of his little girl.)
Some folks are talking about language this week. At Challies, for instance, in the thread of a book review. We talked about it a long time ago, and the post used to be one of the top ten commented-on.
PJ has a good post on the subject over at The Flamers'.
It is partially inspired by comments of mine in a thread at Dan Edelen's blog. Phil doesn't name me, but he does refer to me as "one of the World's Great Powerbloggers."
Thanks, Phil! I'm 99.9% sure you're just joking, but I'm going to pretend I'm not 99.8% sure it's meant as a sarcastic insult. 'Cause you guys never do that. Either way, seeing myself called a Powerblogger is a hoot.
But "whimpering nexus"? Come on, you're an editor; you can do better than that. Nexi can't whimper.
Good post, though, and I mean that seriously. (And you can't de-link us because Thor's a J-Mac fanboy. ;-)
Lit-blogger Mapletree7, like many others, wasn't happy with the New York Times "Best American Novels of the Last 25 Years" list. So she's calling for a do-over, and she's asking for the public's help.
Follow the link for details (I'm unclear on whether one must be a blogger or lit-blogger to vote), but here are the nominations I offered:
White Noise by Don DeLillo
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
Moon Palace by Paul Auster
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay by Michael Chabon
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
I actually thought the Times list was pretty good, but the younger literati were conspicuously absent. I've tried to rectify the omission with Chabon and Franzen. Auster, age wise, falls somewhere between the old guard and the new, but he is rightly lumped in with the established "contemporary" novelists, like DeLillo and Salman Rushdie, et. al. I have no idea how old Helen DeWitt is, but her book (which has nothing to do with the Tom Cruise movie) is excellent and absolutely not present on my list merely to avoid the inevitable "What, no women?" comments.
As far as you know . . . ;-)
Sometimes I really enjoy reading Stephen King. It's been a while.
I'm reading Insomnia right now. This is actually my third time to try it; the first two times I never read beyond page 40 or so. I'm currently on page 400-something, and despite that leaving another 300-something pages to go, I feel invested enough now to keep trudging forward.
But man is it difficult.
Insomnia is a plodding, dull, ridiculous book. I'm convinced King wrote it during one of his heavy drug use addiction days. (I think he ought to only write when healthy, because even he admits his drug-fueled books stink, and Dreamcatcher, which was written during his hospital recovery from getting knocked into a ditch by an errant minivan, blows large chunks.)
Insomnia needed a strong-willed editor, I think. One who would say, "Yes, I know you're the Master of Modern Horror and your grocery list would sell millions of copies, but there's just too many dang words in this doorstop."
This is why I couldn't get past page 40 twice. Turns out nothing really happens until about page 150 anyway.
He spends an entire paragraph describing a woman's makeup. Then two pages of a man trying to get the woman to tell him something she's reluctant to say. And yes, it is as annoying as it sounds.
-The book's protagonists are old people. Now, I have nothing against old people per se. I just am not all that crazy about reading a supernatural thriller/horror novel about old folks. If it was a comedy or a warm-hearted family story, sure. But old people make boring horror story characters unless they're scaring the bejeebers out of everybody else (see King's The Shining or Black House for examples).
-King's characters are beginning to sound all the same. In fact, they're all beginning to sound like Stephen King. (King's child characters in particular are awful. He's great when writing kids living in the days when he was a kid. The kids in IT and in Hearts in Atlantis are fantastic. The kids in his later novels are all foul-mouthed baseball fans. Um, no.)
-This book's main thematic concern is the abortion issue. So all of the characters, whatever their position, speak in placard-ready cliches and represent stereotypes respective to their views. Lame.
-I just finished a chapter in which the old people are apparently shooting laser beams from their fingertips. Ohhh-kay.
Frankly, King's been hit-or-miss since the early 90s. I like nearly all off his early work. From the later canon, I think Bag of Bones and Desperation are great. (Anybody read Cell yet?) King continues to be a fantastic short story writer, though. Interesting.
Desperation, btw, despite being pretty horrific, is as rippin' a tale of spiritual warfare as I've read, has an awesome Christian (child) protagonist, and concludes with one of the best dramatized depictions of theodicy I've ever read.
A TV-movie adaptation of Desperation will air on ABC next week. I hope they get the Christian element right.
This article from the New York Times titled "And if It's a Boy, Will It Be Lleh?" speaks of the rise in popularity of the female name Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backward). According to The Times, the rise in popularity of the name (more popular last year than Sara, Vanessa and Amanda) is all because of Sonny Sandoval, of the rock band P.O.D.
Amusing, I thought.
The obligatory snippet:
The surge of Nevaeh can be traced to a single event: the appearance of a Christian rock star, Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D., on MTV in 2000 with his baby daughter, Nevaeh. "Heaven spelled backwards," he said.
Well, that's one way to "impact the culture," isn't it?
See? I'm a prophet too!
Robertson on record now saying God may have told him that storms could possibly hit the U.S. coasts this year.
Way to go out on a limb there, Patty.
Later on his TBN show, Pentecostalism's aging Howdy Doody clarified. Kinda.
"There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest," he said.
He saves the good stuff for his loyal viewers.
Is this really how it works?
"If I'm hearing it correctly, God might have told me something might happen that anybody else could have predicted without God's help"?
Adding the whole "strong storms could include a tsunami" is a real gem too.
Remember what they used to do to false prophets?
Actually, I'm of the mind Robertson might be frequently stoned already.
(HT: One of my fellow Buttheads.)
Okay, enough of the smokescreen:
Robertson is on the Rod payroll. This is just advanced marketing. See, the novel I'm smack dab in the middle of writing takes place in the Pacific Northwest, and it begins with four teenagers (who've spent a weekend in a state park celebrating their graduation) returning to their small island town to find everyone has vanished. One of the theories floated by one of the kids is that a big storm wiped everybody out.
So, thanks for the publicity, Pat!
Ever notice how difficult it is to find a good Slurpee!? My family had a hankerin' for the 7 Eleven goody last night after church. We finally found a decent one...at the third 7 Eleven we went to.
A Good Slurpee is a thing of beauty. It fills the void between the soft drink and the milkshake. It's a thirst-quenching monster. Sometimes however, a good one is as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster. "What makes a good one", you ask.
1. Consistency-It can't be too thin or it's just thick Kool-Aid. Too thick and it's a sno-cone.
2. Flavor-This is relative but my favorite is good ole' Cherry. My wife prefers Orange, my boys prefer Mountian Dew.
There are other factors; outside temperature, size of Slurpee to thirst ratio. Really though, it's about the consistency. So how about you? How would you fill in the blank, A good...is hard to find?