Friday, January 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
- Harriet Miers (and the effects her resignation will have on the future of the Republican party, much less the world as we now know it), or
- the earth-shattering Plame affair (and how Libby was involved with Cheney who interfaced with Rove while under the direction of Bush blah blah blah blah), or
- just what 2,000 U.S. dead in Iraq means, or
- how we should react to a gay Sulu.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
"How do U.S. firms compete in the global economy?" asked UC Berkeley economist Harley Shaiken. "If the only way to compete is with $10 wages, we have a problem that is much larger than just Delphi. We're looking at a society where people exit rather than enter the middle class."Are we facing a future in which our technological prowess will establish, once and for all, an era of worldwide prosperity; or will our children find themselves thrust into a world in which they will truly have to trust in God for their daily bread?
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
- All in all, a wonderful conference. Yes, it was heavily represented by conservative Christians (theologically and politically). My question to those who raised this as an issue: What did you expect?
- Kudos to the Biola students and graduates who volunteered their time to serve those attending the conference. You ladies and gentlemen were absolutely fantastic! After witnessing the genuine and deep love that Dr. John Mark Reynolds (JMR) has for all of you, though, it really isn't surprising that you would step up to the plate for him.
- A great session on Thursday night by Dr. JMR. Is there anyone else who could so deftly intertwine Plato, the Titanic, the APA, and the Greek Orthodox church into a talk on blogging?
- While I'm thrilled that Melinda "The Enforcer" Penner attended the conference, I wish that there had been more of a participatory presence from the Stand to Reason organization. For instance, perhaps we could have addressed the question: How can an apologetics organization better utilize the blog format? (BTW, be on the lookout for a new and completely revamped website from STR - coming very soon)
- Thanks to Jollyblogger (David Wayne) for his insightful talk on Blogging Theology today. I really appreciate your point that theology is a way of life. It brings to mind the quote from either Lewis or Kreeft regarding the fact that whether or not people like philosophy, they all hold to some sort of philosophy - either good or bad. Likewise, whether or not one likes theology does not dismiss the fact that they will hold to some form of theology. Thanks for helping us hold on to good theology, David.
- Does Hugh ever sleep?
- Great roundtable discussion from some very heavy hitters in the blog and academic world.
- Joe Carter is a very special person. I, for one, greatly appreciate you Joe!
- Can you get over the cafeteria that Biola now has?
- I'm scared of Stacy.
- I don't feel quite so intimidated after finding out that I knew the definition of the word penultimate long before Hugh did.
- A little known (or little publicized) fact from the GodBlogCon is that many a tiny blogger found themselves being encouraged by the community they met.
- An enjoyable session by James Scott Bell regarding how blogging can bolster a writing career. I also got the chance to meet a few new bloggers including Lores, from Just a Woman, who will have a talkradio program in the southern California area beginning in January.
- Most important statement made at the conference? "God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He's a monarchist." - Dr. JMR
- Thank you Matt!
Friday, October 14, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
New Orleans will lay off 3,000 city workers -- about half the workforce -- because of financial constraints caused by Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday. ...Nagin said it was "with great sadness" that New Orleans was "unable to hold on to some of our dedicated city workers." (emphasis added)How about he start with the moron who told Oprah Winfrey that hundreds of armed gang members were killing and raping people inside the Superdome? (hint: it's the same moron who predicted that 10,000 people would be found dead in New Orleans)
Friday, September 30, 2005
...It's not much of a trick to say that God will make sure I hear his message when I live in a Christian country, having been born in another Christian country, and spent all but a few weeks of my life in a Judeo-Christian culture. I had assumed you meant something deeper than that. Nonetheless, it troubles me that there are billions of people who, because of their society or culture, don't get to hear that message. Does that mean God doesn't want them to hear it?While Paul raises a very important question, it is way off-topic from my previous post. Again, the issue of my previous post had to do with Christians receiving extra-Biblical direction from God. However, since it is a very important question, I would like to briefly address it here on this post. There are, actually, several issues that such a question addresses. How does Christianity view the human condition? Who is God and what is His responsibility to us? What is justice? What is grace? How has God revealed Himself to all of humanity? What influence, if any, does culture have in one's decision to accept the God of the Bible? Has God chosen an elect group? With regards to a culture's influence on an individual's belief system, one must first understand that the primary issue is whether or not the belief system is correct, and not why someone believes it. In other words, even though it may be true that one believes in a particular religious system because of the culture he was raised in, that tells us nothing about whether or not the religious system he believes in is actually true. In the Christian Worldview, God is creator of all, and God is Holy. Mankind is separated from God by sin. God, being Holy, is also just. The just course of action for those who are guilty is condemnation. The Christian Worldview states that all mankind is guilty of sin against God and, as such, is due condemnation from God. It is only through grace, granted by God, that mankind can enter into communion with God. God is not obligated to issue such grace, or else it wouldn't be grace. So... what about those who haven't heard God's Gospel message in specific terms? The Christian Worldview understands that God is just and that God has revealed Himself to all mankind in a manner that leaves all mankind "without excuse." How does God do this? I don't know, and He isn't telling us. What He does tell us is that we are to be about making disciples into His name. Thus, to question the manner in which He reveals Himself to all of mankind potentially ignores at least the following points:
- Who God is.
- Because of who God is, what He is owed.
- What mankind's condition is.
- Because of mankind's condition, what mankind is owed.
- What mankind is not owed (e.g., God's grace).
- God is just.
- God has revealed Himself to all of mankind.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
- Is your "word from God" infallible? If the following syllogism is true: "God cannot err. The Bible is God’s Word. Therefore, the Bible cannot err."; then it goes to follow: "God cannot err. I’ve received a Word from God. Therefore, the Word I’ve received cannot err."
- In the past, those who claimed to speak for God staked their lives upon the claim. Do you truly understand the seriousness of what you are advocating?
- Those who claim to hear from God cannot claim to have honed or, to be honing, their ability to hear from God without implying that God is trying to speak to them. God cannot try, for trying implies the possibility of failing, and God cannot fail at something He intends to do. The conclusion is that you cannot try to hear what God is telling you – for if God isn’t telling you anything, you won’t hear it; and if God is telling you something, you can’t help but hear it.
- God certainly has the power to speak extra-biblically through prophets in the past, present, and future, but we know that He has spoken objectively through His Word. Therefore, while it is possible for someone to receive a word from God, the burden of proof rests on that person to demonstrate that it is, in fact, a word from God.
...how does this relate to leading of the Spirit? I was asked once whether God was leading me to do this or that and I wasn't sure how to respond. And if God does lead, how do I know it's God and not my own guilt or feelings.I would strongly recommend dropping about $20 on Greg Koukl's Decision Making and the Will of God CD set. Look up the verses in which the leading of the Spirit is referenced. You will find that, based on the context of the passages, the issue being discussed is how we are to live - not how we are to make specific decisions. In Romans 8, Paul is contrasting the differences between those who live by the flesh and those who live by the Spirit:
So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.The idea that, as a matter of normative practice, the Spirit leads us in our decision making process is simply not found in the Bible. The second part of your question implies that you are attempting to discern whether or not God is leading you in a particular matter. To reitierate one of the cautionary notes I learned from Greg Koukl - you cannot learn to hear from God. Put quite simply, if God intends for you to hear something, you will hear it. This is Biblically based. Read the book of Acts and note how many times God intervened and re-directed courses of action. There was no indication that the people involved were seeking for direction or that they were developing a sense of hearing from God. Yet, despite the many accounts of supernatural intervention, there are also many accounts of the apostles making decisions based purely on wisdom, desires, and opportunities, all grounded in the understanding that God's Sovereign Will was in control.
Friday, September 16, 2005
A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday in a case brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on procedural grounds.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."
Yet another reason, in a littany of reasons, why we homeschool.
Yo!, Judge Karlton? Stop by my home around 9 a.m. to get a glimpse - actually, an education - in how coercive it is to have children recite the pledge of allegiance and engage in prayer (shudder!).
Perhaps our public schools should just follow the advice of a local radio personality who said that if someone objects to reciting the words "under God," then they should just replace them with "under no one in particular."
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Pillars of fire lit up the night sky even before the last Israeli tanks rolled out before dawn yesterday, as thousands of Palestinians swarmed into the forsaken settlements and youths set fire to synagogues and other symbols of the hated occupation. ...The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of cynically leaving the synagogues standing to make Palestinians look bad for demolishing them.Wretchard, at the Belmont Club, states,
Ariel Sharon forgot the single most important fact of the media age, a fact that generations of Israelis had heretofore always remembered: that the mantle of victimhood belongs, not to the aggrieved, but to whoever can point the finger of accusation most vigorously. One of the most powerful properties of representation is that it transforms perception. It can make a city Mayor with hundreds of buses at his disposal into a supplicant wholly dependent on outside help to evacuate his constituents; it can transform Todd Beamer's heroic stand against Islamic hijackers into a Crescent of Embrace facing Mecca. It can transform reality so completely that, in the case of Gaza, it is the Jews who are ultimately responsible for the destruction of the synagogues because they left them standing. Were it not for the Internet, which has made it possible to revive the classic military memoir in the form of milblogs, the public would have no more idea of the battle against terror than they do of the whys and wherefores of synagogue burnings in Gaza.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
deeply concerned about the church's ability to fulfill Jude's admonition to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" because of a trend in the church that's getting worse.He believes that the church (especially in America) is becoming increasingly ineffective, primarily because
...there is an unhealthy hunger for ...an experience of personal revelation that has replaced our hunger for truth.And that,
We desperately want God to communicate with us directly. [and] ...We are taught more and more from pulpits all around the country that this is what every Christian can expect to have happen.He further states that such an unhealthy hunger is evidenced by three traditions in modern evangelicalism,
1. we go to our Bibles not to study the text for its truth, but to look for private, personal, individualized messages from God to us. 2. we think that God has put His will in code and we must decipher in order to find "God's will." 3. we think that a vital part of a real relationship with God is learning how to receive private, personal, special revelations from God.The problem, as Koukl sees it, is that we've placed too much importance on the aspect of experiencing God. In our culture, feelings seem to be so much more relevant, and valid, than mere academic knowledge. That which entertains, or titillates the most, is deemed that which is most important. Is it no wonder, then, that many of our evangelical churches emphasize the fact that one can experience God when one enters into a personal relationship with Jesus? Is it any wonder that such an experience is considered to be the cornerstone for our Christian faith and the means through which our maturity occurs? Instead of hearing and learning about God, we end up hearing catch phrases such as, lives are being transformed, or, people are experiencing God's Spirit. Instead of hearing and learning about God, we are told that we, as a congregation, must be about connecting at deeper and deeper levels. The idea, so it goes, is that if people could just experience God, then they'd not only connect at deeper and deeper levels, but they'd also yearn to learn more about God. But is that what really happens? Do we see those people that have experienced God (supposedly) striving to learn more about Him? Or do we simply see them striving to get more of the experience? Yet, Koukl's concerns run much deeper than that of experiential, illiterate Christians. You see, when we elevate experience over revealed truth (i.e., the personal revelation of experience over the general revelation of Scripture), then we run into the problem of relativism. For example, if one person reads a verse and receives a personal, individualized message, then that verse has a different meaning for that person than it does for either you or I. When a static passage of text can mean one thing to you, another thing to me, and yet another thing to someone else, then that text is being viewed in a relativistic manner. And that is no way to view the revealed truth of God. Update: Joe Carter links us to Signs: I'm Weary of Weird Christians, by The Internet Monk. An excerpt,
I am tired of hearing people I work with say that God is talking to them like He talked to Moses at the burning bush or like He talked to Abraham. I'm weary of people saying God speaks directly to them about mundane matters of reasonable human choice, so that their choices of toothpaste and wallpaper are actually God's choices, and therefore I need to just shut up and keep all my opinions to myself until I can appreciate spiritual things. I'm tired of people acting as if the normal Christian life is hearing a voice in your head telling you things other people can't possible know, thus allowing you a decided advantage.Read the whole thing.