Saturday, October 29, 2005

On what is evil...

Three 16 year-old Christian schoolgirls were attacked and beheaded (per FoxNews) in Indonesia on Saturday. There was not a mention of the viscious incident anywhere to be found on CNN's front page. Ditto for MSNBC. The Los Angeles Times' website did not have a link to the story on its home page. The bomb blasts in New Dehli, a caped killer in California, or the fact that Bush is suffering from the Plame affair all seem to be more newsworthy stories. The same can be said for a good chunk of the blogosphere. Michelle Malkin carried the story here. But are there any other heavy-hitting bloggers carrying this story? I haven't found any. For the most part we just continue to see commentary after boring commentary on:
  • 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.
Life, for some, goes on.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Setting out a fleece?...

When faced with the task of making major life decisions, many Christians reverently perform a liturgy known as setting out a fleece. Whether it be for choosing a career or choosing a spouse, the idea we seem to have grown up with is that, in following the supposed example of Gideon, we should request a sign from God which can then be taken as a positive indicator of the direction He wants us go. Are these Christians, while well intentioned, aware that the incident of Gideon's fleece was indicative of his lack of faith? And do they, in their misplaced zeal for adherence to Biblical principles, lay out a fleece in which the sign they request has supernatural qualities? HT: Stand to Reason

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yes we have no water...

Two streaks of light blazed across the Martian sky, in January of 2004, as the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity each approached their respective landing sites. One of the mission’s goals was to search for evidence of past water activity on a Mars that, it is hoped, had a warm and wet past. Inherent in this search for water activity is the search for evidence of life on the surface of Mars, and the implications that such a discovery would have for the naturalistic origin of life on Earth. Interestingly enough, it now appears that the temperature on Mars has been below 0ยบ C for the last 4 billion years (link here, scroll down to the 9/25 entry). The idea of Mars having a warm and wet past seems to have just had ice thrown all over it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I like to be in America...

In the Los Angeles Times' article (registration required), U.S. Labor Is in Retreat as Global Forces Squeeze Pay and Benefits, David Streitfeld provides a possible glimpse of the future as he outlines the impact of offshoring jobs, that were once firmly planted on American soil, to countries such as China and India. From the article, regarding the recent problems at Delphi Corp.:
"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

Nature, Humans, and procreative strategies...

On October 11th Michelle Duggar, of Rogers, Arkansas, not only delivered her 16th child but indicated that she and her husband Jim would like to have more. Also last week, Peggy Jo Conner is alleged to have used a baseball bat to beat her neighbor Valerie Oskin, who happens to be eight months pregnant, and then attempt to cut out Oskin’s unborn child to take as her own. If Nature is all there is, as the tenets of atheistic naturalism seem to mandate, then we are at a loss to declare a couple that chooses to intentionally burden themselves with 16 children as any better than a pragmatic nihilist who happens to minimize the burden of her gestation period by stealing another person’s unborn child.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Digitized Relationships...

God bloggers from across the country converged at GodBlogCon 2005, in southern California, this past week to establish a sense of community, discuss the many facets of blogging from a Christian worldview, and ponder the implications of this burgeoning medium. Much ado was made regarding the power of blogging, as it flexes its technological muscle, and sculpts the very way information will be disseminated in the future. However, much ado was also made about how utterly refreshing it was to actually sit down and chat, face to face, with many of the people we had previously only known by means of the phosphorous glow of our computer screens.

GodBlogCon '05, Final Thoughts...

I attended the two final breakout sessions today at GodBlogCon '05. The conference is now history. Some closing comments:
  • 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!
Here are a few pics I shot on Friday, October 14th: A panorama of Hugh's radio broadcast. Here he's interviewing David Wayne and Joe Carter. With the ever present Coke at his side, we immediately know that this is Dr. JMR. And while it may appear that he is praying over his ailing laptop... we know that there must be some Platonic reason for his posture. I believe that is Jason Janz behind JMR, intently listening to Hugh's show. The first of several photos I had taken with bloggers whom I had previously only known electronically. Here I'm with David Wayne, from Jollyblogger. Here I am with Joe Carter from Evangelical Outpost. You 'da man, Joe! Here I am with Bonnie from Off the Top and Intellectuelle. I'm not really that tall, and she's not really that short... we were on a slope. Finally, here are Suzanna, from Salvation Walls, and Bonnie (referenced above).

GodBlogCon '05...

I've been attending the GodBlogCon at Biola University. It has been simply wonderful to meet many people I've previously only communicated with over the web. While many bloggers are live-blogging the event I, without a laptop or wi-fi, am left to post during the few minutes I'm home at the beginning or end of the day. Hugh Hewitt broadcast his Friday show from Biola and interviewed several of the headline bloggers from the event. It's too bad that Hugh seemed to spend more time with the poli-bloggers than with the theological / culture bloggers... but that's Hugh (I guess). As Hugh's event was winding down several bloggers got together to chat in the Library patio. Initially it was a small group of four or five bloggers, but grew as people wandered by. Eventually Dr. John Mark Reynolds came and joined us, sitting down right next to me. Not being a particularly gifted speaker I was a bit intimidated by his presence, a feeling which he compounded when he turned to me and asked, "So, what profound thing do you have to say?" After a few moments of awkward mumbling I then ask him a question about homeschooling. All kidding aside, it was a very enjoyable roundtable discussion. Mike' Noise caught a picture of the event. Bonnie is the lady in the red top, I'm sitting to her right, and John Mark Reynolds is to my right. Okay John Mark!... here's my belated profound statement: "I'm so glad we're all here, together again for the first time."

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Singularity, and becoming God

The Belmont Club and Instapundit have recently written about the concept of "singularity," not with reference to black holes, but to a supposedly inevitable, and soon to occur, point in human evolutionary expansion, the likes of which no eye has seen, nor ear heard. Ray Kurzweil, who has authored The Singularity Is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology, is quoted as saying, "the implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light." Forever transcending, humans still fall for the original temptation, in which the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (ESV)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thursday night...

Per CNN, New Orleans to lay off 3,000 workers:
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)

What about those who have heard?...

Nobody's fault but mine, nobody's fault but mine If I don't read it my soul be lost Nobody's fault but mine I have a bible in my home, I have a bible in my home If I don't read it my soul be lost Nobody's fault but mine Father he taught me how to read, Father he taught me how to read If I don't read it my soul be lost, Nobody's fault but mine I have a bible of my own, I have a bible of my own If I don't read it my soul be lost Nobody's fault but mine Oh, Mother she taught me how to read, Mother she taught me how to read If I don't read it my soul be lost, Nobody's fault but mine And sister she taught me how to read, sister she taught me how to read If I don't read it my soul be lost, Nobody's fault but mine - Blind Willie Johnson