Monday, June 30, 2008

Raising Heller

To commemorate the SCOTUS ruling on Heller - which, for those of you with your head in the sand, was for an individual right (insert I told you so here) - and in keeping with the trend already started here of asking questions, I'm posting the top five questions I get as a non-law-enforcement, licensed gun toter, along with the answers I normally give.

5) Do you keep a loaded gun in your house?
- Yes. Criminals tend not to wait on you to lock-and-load before doing you harm.

4) Aren't you afraid the gun will go off?
- No. Guns only "go off" in newspapers, where people do nothing wrong but inanimate objects are evil, evil, evil. I personally have yet to hear of a gun sitting in a safe, closet, or desk drawer just magically discharge without some intervention - namely pulling the trigger.

3) What kind of safety mechanisms do you look for in a gun?
- One, and only one: some kind of "drop safety." These come in various forms; some are integrally built in to the pistol and aren't visible; others are built in to the grip or on the trigger. Most guns made in the last 10 years can be dropped with a round chambered and will not discharge. I don't care for any other safeties on a gun (1911s excluded) because they build a sense of false security; they can and will fail. Every gun comes with one safety already - your trigger finger!

2) Why do civilians need high-capacity (10+ round) magazines?
- For the zombies You're home with your family and some goon starts kicking in your door. How many bullets do you want?

1) Far and away, the question I get asked the most: why do you carry a gun?
- Because I can't carry a cop.
- Because when seconds count, the police are minutes away.
- Because a phone doesn't hurt as bad as a bullet.
- Because I don't like the feeling I get when I'm on top of a roof with shingles and nails but no hammer.
- Because someday...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Anglican Dissidents Found Favor In Court

Eleven conservative congregations which broke with the U.S. Episcopal Church and want to keep property worth millions of dollars have won a second court decision, the dissident churches said on Friday.

The latest ruling by a Virginia judge is part of the upheaval over orthodoxy in the global Anglican community.

The Episcopal Church, the faith's U.S. branch, has been beset by disputes, including one involving the installation of an openly gay bishop.

On Friday, Judge Randy Bellows of the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled that the Virginia law under which the congregations want to keep the property is constitutional, the 11 churches said.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Why do we have such a hard time with the constitution? It says what it says yeah?
-Should churches go to court?
-Do you think this is a good thing the for church or is it bad?
-Is this issue an issue to split over?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Important Discipline Of Reading Scripture

I hold in my hand a miracle. The Bible is a miracle, and I challenge you to give me any definition of a miracle that our Bible does not qualify. It was the Word God sent, for faith comes by hearing so that we might be saved. James 1:17 - God chose to give us birth by the word of truth. The Scriptures are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15).

There are elect people who have not been justified yet; there are justified people who are not finished being sanctified. The finish line of salvation is the resurrected body; therefore, we are not finished yet, and we are in danger every hour. We need the ministry of the word of God every hour.

Andy Davis goes on to challenge us to take up the task of intimately knowing scripture; for if we are to know Christ, we must, by necessity, know scripture. He challenges us to read through the Bible in less than a year and to memorize a book in the Bible in less than a year. He also lists some popular excuses for not doing so. He also gives the reasoning behind why this is so important and not just another thing on the to do list.

You can read the rest on Timmy Brister's site here.

Some questions:
-Why is it that so many who claim Christianity as their own do not spend quality time in the Word?
-Is this as big of a deal as Davis makes it out to be?
-Is scripture the definitive method of knowing God? If not what is?
-Is the enticement of sin such that it convinces us that fleating pleasures are more worthy of our time than studying to show ourselves approved?

New Choice For Presidency: Move Over Obama & McCain

Not wanting to settle or vote for the lessor of two evils, I decided to jump in the race and apparently I have made quite a splash with only grassroot campaigning. I did not expect such a big media push but apparently this is what the country is looking for and has not had since the early 1900's. So, before you cast your vote for the lessor of two evils, please take a look at my platform. All money donated to my campaign will be used for paying off the national debt.

Thanks for the motivation Riley.

Keep Your Guns Says The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does this ruling impact you personally?
-Do you think it was the right decision?
-Are guns important for citizens to own?
-Why are gun rights a hot button issue currently?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apes Gain Rights In Spain Previously Limited To Humans

Spain's parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.
Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

"We have no knowledge of great apes being used in experiments in Spain, but there is currently no law preventing that from happening," Pozas said.
Keeping apes for circuses, television commercials or filming will also be forbidden and breaking the new laws will become an offence under Spain's penal code.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Is there a symbolic statement being made with this resolution?
-Are there good aspects to this?
-Is a government resolution really needed for such a thing as this?
-Do you think that giving rights to apes that were previously reserved for humans is a step forward for atheism?

Placing Blame: Our Pride Made Manifest

Piper had a guest writer today (Ben Reaoch) who took up the task of tackling personal responsibility; below is a quote from that post.

It started in the Garden. Adam said to God, 

The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:12) 
The first man, caught in the first sin, turns to blame his wife. And he extends the blame to God as well! He implies that he would have remained innocent if God hadn't put Eve in the garden with him. 
The blame-shifting in the Garden continues today. Our proud hearts send us desperately looking for someone else to point to every time we're confronted with our own sin. There must be someone else—our spouse, sibling, parent, boss, co-worker, pastor, friend, or God, himself. 
We are so desperate to justify ourselves that we become irrational.   

You can read the rest (and see 12 examples) here.

Some questions:
-Do we have an issue with assigning blame to others?
-Do we honestly think we are always the measure of what is right and true?
-What do you think about the examples he provided?
-Is asking for forgiveness and repentance in order?
-How do we go about changing this ideology that seeks to blame all others save for self?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jesus Is Not God Incarnate

John Killinger said the following words at a CBF workshop in Memphis, Tennessee:

“Now we are reevaluating and we’re approaching everything with a humbler perspective and seeing God’s hand working in Christ, but not necessarily as the incarnate God in our midst. Now, that may be hard for you to hear depending on where you are coming from, but we can talk more about it. . .
“Doctrine isn’t the driving force to many people today [except] to the fundamentalists who insist on it. . . But doctrine is a thing of the past now religiously. . .
“There’s an altered view of Scripture and of the role of Christ. Christ is still Savior to most of us, but maybe in a slightly different way than before. . .

When an audience member asked if this view compromised the Gospel, Killinger replied that it represents a more advanced understanding rather than a compromise.

Denny Burk has taken up this issue on his site.

You can read about it here.

Some questions:
-Is doctrine important?
-Is it necessary to believe that Jesus is God incarnate?
-Do you agree with John Killinger?
-Why do things such as this matter? Are they worth fighting for (or against)?
-If you could ask Dr. Killinger a question, what would it be?

New Twist To The Pregnancy Pact

The mayor of a Massachusetts city that drew attention for a spike in teenage pregnancies denied on Monday a media report that a group of girls entered a pact to become pregnant.
"I am not able to confirm the existence of a pact," Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk told reporters after meeting with local school and health officials to discuss a June 18 Time magazine report about teenagers who entered a pact to get pregnant and raise babies together.

You can read more here.
You can read the original post here.
You can read Misawa's take on the issue here.

Newest Member To Blogged Down World

Misawa of Misawa's Musings has joined the team in what will be unofficially (yet officially) Monday's with Misawa.

Misawa has a distinct writing style that capitalizes off the usage of descriptive adjectives that just make you laugh. So welcome him to the team and look forward to more from him on Mondays and whenever else he feels like posting. If you want an example, see the post below this one.

Whither the 17 corpses?

In all the commotion and teeth-gnashing of the 17 Gloucester girls who were willingly inseminated - supposedly half of which had a "pact" to do so - I wonder where are the 17 men? At least, I hope it's 17 men. B-O

In my day, when my natural flock of seagulls was righteous and the dames were actually embarrassed if they exposed their underwear, there was one such guy who went missing shortly before the whole school found out he and his girl had been making the beast with two backs in the back of daddy's Caddie. Something about a moose hunt in Georgia gone bad.

So far one of the 17 dipsticks has been identified as a mid-twenties urban outdoors-man. Most of the other donors are assumed to be "over-the-age."

My questions:
-Have there been reports in the area of 17 sudden homicides/kidnappings/beatings?
-Is it possible for these men to run faster than 2855 ft/sec?
-Thoughts on castration?

Friday, June 20, 2008

The New Heavens & The New Earth As Understood By N. T. Wright

As genuine human beings, from Genesis 1 onward, we are given the mandate of looking after creation, of bringing order to God's world, of establishing and maintaining communities. To suppose that we are saved, as it were, for our own private benefit, for the restoration of our own relationship with God (vital though that is!), and for our eventual homecoming and peace in heaven (misleading though that is!) is like a boy being given a baseball bat as a present and insisting that since it belongs to him, he must always and only play with it in private. But of course you can only do what you're meant to do with a baseball bat when you're playing with other people. And salvation only does what it's meant to do when those who have been saved, are being saved, and will one day fully be saved realize that they are saved not as souls but as wholes and not for themselves alone but for what God now longs to do through them.
- N. T. Wright (Suprised by Hope pg. 199-200)

N. T. Wright was featured on the Colbert Report discussing the ideology concerning life after death (which he deals with in his new book titled Suprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church).

You can buy the book here.
I obtained the above quote here.
Some questions:
-What do you think of the message put forth by Wright?
-What does scripture say concerning our life after death?
-Is his teaching plausible?
-Why do you think this teaching was "lost" during the medieval times?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sugar & Spice & Pregnant Before 16?

There's a stunning twist to the sudden rise in teen pregnancies at Gloucester High School. 17 students there are expecting and, according to a published report, most of them became that way on purpose.

Time Magazine is reporting that nearly half of the girls confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. None of the girls is older than 16.

Principal Joseph Sullivan said that wasn't all that was shocking.

"We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," he told Time.

When asked why a former pregnant high school girl, Amanda Ireland, posed an answer and responded with: "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally."

HT: Drudge

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Who is responsible for such behavior? Society? Parents? The girls? All of them?
-Do you think a teenage girl should have confidentiality when her parents still support her?
-Love unconditional... it seems that the girls would have learned this when their parents introduced them to Jesus of the scriptures and every time they entered church. He can give so much more than a baby can yeah? I wonder if He was even introduced to them?
-Are these girls thinking in the short term? What happens when that fatherless baby gets their age?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Day Cancer Died

A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed.

The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure.

The case could be a landmark in cancer treatment

After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.Doctors took cells from the man's own defence system that were found to attack the cancer cells best, cloned them and injected back into his body, in a process known as "immunotherapy". After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Experts said that the case could mark a landmark in the treatment of cancer.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Would you be opposed to this type of treatment?
-What are your thoughts concerning cloning cells?
-Do you see hope in this treatment?
-Are there any ethical "red flags" attached to such a treatment?

13 People "Raised From the Dead" in Florida

"From Leap Of Faith to Marjoe, the prospect and possibility of healing and revival, especially in a corporate context has been of immeasurable interest to Christians and non-Christians alike. Faith healings, fake healings, miracles, and money, revival can be an understandably controversial subject even in the most open-minded of circles. So what happens when people without a financial or political agenda claim the impossible?

Since April 3rd, the Florida Healing Outpouring has been taking place in Lakeland, Florida. Ignited Church originally invited Todd Bentley (the world’s most tattooed and therefore coolest preacher) to speak and minister for a few days, but meetings continued daily (now about 56 days as of May 26th). The meetings have been planned “indefinitely.”

According to Wikipedia: “Many people attending or watching via TV or the internet have claimed miraculous healings, and as of May 24th, 13 people have claimed to be raised from the dead.”

Read more here.
Some Questions:
~Have you heard of Todd Bentley?
~Is Todd Bentley raising people from the dead?
~Do Miracles like this still happen?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Noah's Flood Explained by Science?

Two distinguished marine geologists have published a book offering scientific proof that a catastrophic flood struck the Black Sea region 7 600 years ago and was the basis of the biblical story featuring Noah, his remarkable ark and God's promise of redemption for humanity.

Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event that Changed History, by William Ryan and Walter Pitman of New York's Columbia University, has reached bookstores in Canada and is to be released in Europe next month.

The book traces the history of the notion that a Great Flood actually occurred on ancient Earth and then details a series of scientific discoveries – many made by the authors themselves during a 1996 Black Sea expedition aboard the Russian search ship Aquanaut – that suggest a geophysical basis for flood stories.

Using sound waves and taking core samples from the ocean floor, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Pitman and a team of Russian, Bulgarian and Turkish oceanographers found evidence that the salty Black Sea had once been a freshwater lake lying hundreds of feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea.

The ancient freshwater lake would have covered territory now divided between modern Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania – the nations that today border the Black Sea.

(more here)
Some Questions:
~Does this seem like a viable explanation to you?
~Are these Scientists on to something?
~Does this take away from the inerency of the Bible?

William & Glenna

I have made a new addition to my blog list. The same lady who keeps up "please don't call me for advice" keeps this one: William & Glenna.

I add this blog because I think it is a great picture of someone who is willing to share their struggles and make themselves vunerable (plus I hold them in high regards and they are good friends of ours ministering close to where I grew up). They have been struggling with the issue of having children and with God's guidance they have moved on to adoption (of course it was not that easy or quick). Currently they are in a place where they have held a child right after birth and was told the father may decide to keep his rights to the child. I cannot give anymore detail than that, but I would urge you to pray that God does as He sees fit to bring honor and glory to Himself. I would also ask that you pray that He gives William and Glenna the desire of their hearts as He is a good father who knows how to give good gifts. I would also ask that you pray for whatever the outcome that they trust in the sovereignty of God and that they find their joy and contentment in Him and Him alone.

It is a great blog and she has a great talent in writing. I would encourage you to check back there often.

Barack Obama "The Preacher"

Barack Obama was in Chicago this past Sunday and he was invited to speak from the pulpit of the Apostolic Church of God. Here below are excerpts from his sermon.

His sermon started good:
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus closes by saying, "Whoever hears these words of mine, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock." [Matthew 7: 24-25]

This is a logical application of the text, I'm following him:
Here at Apostolic, you are blessed to worship in a house that has been founded on the rock of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Okay, I guess I can see your logic, but I don't know that it is biblical... but I am following you: is also built on another rock, another foundation - and that rock is Bishop Arthur Brazier. In forty-eight years, he has built this congregation from just a few hundred to more than 20,000 strong...

Alright, so much for staying with the text. Let's exalt man for a while yeah?
Because of his work and his ministry, there are more graduates and fewer gang members in the neighborhoods surrounding this church. There are more homes and fewer homeless. There is more community and less chaos because Bishop Brazier continued the march for justice that he began by Dr. King's side all those years ago. He is the reason this house has stood tall for half a century. And on this Father's Day, it must make him proud to know that the man now charged with keeping its foundation strong is his son and your new pastor, Reverend Byron Brazier.

What? How can you make the leap from what Christ is saying to what Barack speaks on below? I'll help; you can't.
Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important.

He then moves into social injustices and the importance of a father and he touches on the Iraq war and concludes with how he used to think life was all about him but now it revolves around his little girls.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What constitutes God-honoring preaching?
-Should politicians who are not ministers be allowed to preach to a pastor's congregation?
-Should the gospel be included in sermons?
-Should those who speak from the pulpit be faithful to the text they are speaking on or just talk about whatever they wish?
-Who do you think was exalted in this sermon? Was it God? Family? Fathers? Obama? The former pastor?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Secularism Will Not Work

Dr. Al Mohler's most recent post takes on the issue of secularism as the prevailing wind in America's sails. He simply concludes that any secular gust will not last for long and the nation as a secular nation with secular-minded people will not blow us into a fully secularized state.

In this post he takes on the ideology laid out by Katha Pollitt and demonstrates the flawed presuppostions of her position on the matter as it revolves around rational vs the religous.

Here is the quote Mohler cites and deals with in his post:

If we kept religion out of the election campaign, we could just debate the issues, like rational people. After all, which is less likely, that the HIV virus came out of a government lab, or that the dead will rise from their graves? That Israel is on a course that is not likely to end well, or that God wants more West Bank settlements in order to set off a world war and bring on Christ's return? Empirical claims we can discuss and debate like citizens; religious beliefs, by their very nature, claim immunity from rational analysis. When men whose profession is the latter weigh in on the former, why should anyone take them seriously?
As Barack Obama has perhaps belatedly learned, the Democrats had it right the first time: Awesome, blue-state, red-state, whatever -- keep God out of it, and the men who claim to speak for him, too.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think Mohler is right or is Pollitt correct? How do you come to your conclusion?
-Do you think that secularism is the future of America?
-Does religion have a say in politics?
-Does politics play a role in religion?
-Do you think that Pollitt is correct in her assumptions about religion harming the Democratic candidates' position as it alienates them from the secular left?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Amended Resolution On Meaningful Membership Passes The SBC

WHEREAS the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Church Profile indicate that there are 16,266,920 members in Southern Baptist churches; and
"WHEREAS those same profiles indicate that only 6,148,868 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and"

The two additional RESOLVED paragraphs from Ascol's amendment follow:

"RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of any failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18), and be it

"FURTHER RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior's teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you see this as a good thing or bad thing? Why?
-Why do you think this was even brought up?
-Will a resolution change anything?
-Did the resolution on alcohol change anything (or the ban on Disney & others)?
-Will you heed the call to repent?

Google Gulp

At Google our mission is to organize the world's information and make it useful and accessible to our users. But any piece of information's usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who's using it. That's why we're pleased to announce Google Gulp (BETA)™ with Auto-Drink™ (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

The privacy statement:

From time to time, in order to improve Google Gulp's usefulness for our users, Google Gulp will send packets of data related to your usage of this product from a wireless transmitter embedded in the base of your Google Gulp bottle to the GulpPlex™, a heavily guarded, massively parallel server farm whose location is known only to Eric Schmidt, who carries its GPS coordinates on a 64-bit-encrypted smart card locked in a stainless-steel briefcase handcuffed to his right wrist. No personally identifiable information of any kind related to your consumption of Google Gulp or any other current or future Google Foods product will ever be given, sold, bartered, auctioned off, tossed into a late-night poker pot, or otherwise transferred in any way to any untrustworthy third party, ever, we swear. See our Privacy Policy.

If anyone needs any Gulp caps, let me know.

You can read more here.

Illusions Of Virginity: Muslim Women Practicing Deceit

The surgery in the private clinic off the Champs-Élysées involved one semicircular cut, 10 self-dissolving stitches and a discounted fee of $2,900.
But for the patient, a 23-year-old French student of Moroccan descent from Montpellier, the 30-minute procedure represented the key to a new life: the illusion of virginity.

"In my culture, not to be a virgin is to be dirt," said the student, perched on a hospital bed as she awaited surgery Thursday. "Right now, virginity is more important to me than life."

"If you're a Muslim woman growing up in more open societies in Europe, you can easily end up having sex before marriage," said Hicham Mouallem, a doctor in London who performs the surgery. "So if you're looking to marry a Muslim and don't want to have problems, you'll try to recapture your virginity."

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-If virginity is more important than life, then why practice premarital sex?
-Do you find these types of surgery a chasing after the wind?
-Does this do anything other than make the lie you tell to your husband easier to believe?
-If you are a woman would you do it? Why?
-What marital benefit comes out of a surgery utilized to cover up the past and hide the truth?

Music Recommendation

I don't usually promote artists or give my opinions on music very often. Today I will break that trend and recommend to my readers an artist by the name of Jamie Barnes. He is based out of Louisville Kentucky. I don't recall exactly how I ran across him (I am sure it was somebody else's recommendation), but I have since come to really enjoy his music.

His music is folky and is overlayed with a smooth, airy vocal that ties it all together with a smoothness that soothes. So far, I really like Conflict Diamond (hearable on his myspace page) as well as Vampire Movie (hearable on his myspace page) and his rendition of Joy to the World.

You can check out his website here.

You can download a free copy of his rendition of Joy to the World here.

His music myspace page contians free songs to listen to and one for free as a download here.

Do you have any music recommendations?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Are Religous Views Acceptable In The Public Square?

Denny Burk has picked up on a speech delivered by Barack Obama a few years ago and addresses the presuppositions included within the speech that actually shows it to be the opposite of what it was proclaiming. He then challenges that pressupposition with an excerpt from Albert Mohler's book Culture Shift. Here is an excerpt from Denny's post:

I remember when Obama delivered that speech, and I remember that despite its rhetoric it actually suggests a way of engaging in the public discourse that would silence religious opinions in the public square. Here’s the relevant passage from Obama’s speech:

“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

You can read more (including Al Mohler's points) here.

Some questions:
-Does religious "reasoning" deserve a place in an ever-increasing secular society?
-By stipulating terms for those of a religious bent to be heard, do you find this fair? Does secularism have to abide by the same terms?
-Do you agree with Obama's terms or with Mohler's?
-Is this even an important issue?

One Of The Oldest Churches Found

“We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33AD to 70AD,” said Archaeologist Abdul Qader Hussan, head of the Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies.

“We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians: the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,” the scholar said.
The early Christians, described in the mosaic inscription on St. Georgeous floor as “the 70 beloved by God and Divine”, are said to have fled from Jerusalem during the persecution of Christians, to the northern part of Jordan, particularly to Rihab, he added.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What does this mean to today's church? Society?
-Is this find important for Christendom?
-What do you think about the remarks found here?
-What do you think about their plans to use this to attract tourism?

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Importance Of Church Membership

Timmy Brister has compiled a nice list concerning why Church membership is important and the contents of the list discusses (amongst other things) what should be done about our failings as a denomination to take such a thing as this seriously (as something for which we will give an account). Take a look at the article by David S. Dockery, President of Union University and I would highly recommend you read the rest on the list as well.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts on church membership?
-Is it biblical?
-Is it beneficial?
-Should people who have not attended church in several months be removed from the membership role?
-Should membership be meaningful?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Pregnant (Wo) Man

Wanting to have a child is neither a male nor female desire but a human desire.

-Thomas Beatie

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does this raise ethical questions?
-Do you agree with the above quote? Is context important?
-If science progresses to the point where "real" men (or women) can have their own babies, would that be acceptable? Why?
-If you change your sex, should marriage with one of your former sex be allowed legally? What about biblically?
*Bonus question: What if one had a sex change, converted to Christianity at some point afterwards and was already legally married, should they divorce? Is that union biblical?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Times Are Changing: Let's Medicate

Below are three quotes taken from Boys Adrift, written by Leonard Sax.

“Forty years ago, even thirty years ago, there was no shame in a young man choosing a career in the trades. Beginning in the early 1980s-and particularly after publication of the Nation at Risk report in 1983-a consensus grew in the United States that every young person should go to college, regardless. “Vocational education” lost whatever prestige it had, and came to be viewed in some quarters very nearly as a dumping ground for the mildly retarded.”

“Traditionally, one of the factors driving Western society has been the fact that women prefer successful, affluent men over men who are less successful. Because men understood that women would be reluctant to marry men who couldn’t comfortably support a wife and children, men were motivated to be successful. That simple mechanism has suffered a double whammy in the past forty years. First, sex has been divorced from marriage. Second-and here’s what’s really disturbing to those of us in the over-thirty crowd-sexual satisfaction has been divorced from women altogether.”

“Thirty years ago, if a boy cursed his parents and spit at his teacher, the neighbors might say that the boy was a disobedient brat who needed a good spanking. Today, the same behavior from a similar boy might well prompt a trip to the pediatrician or the child psychiatrist. And the doctor is likely to ‘diagnose’ the boy with Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV 312.82) or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (DSM-IV 313.81). The main criterion for both these ‘disorders’ is disobedient and disrespectful behavior that persists despite parental efforts.’ Is there really much of a difference between a neighbor saying ‘That boy is a disobedient brat,’ and a doctor saying ‘That boy has oppositional-defiant disorder’? I think there is. If another parent whom you trust and respect suggests that your son is a disobedient brat who needs stricter discipline, you just might consider adopting a tougher parenting.”

Tim Challies has written a full review on the book, which can be read here (I recommend you read it).

Some questions:
-Have times changed?
-What is "success"?
-Does it appear that society has become a "drug-addicted" society? I.e. Responsibility is not expected because you have a disorder (not your fault) that can be medicated.
-How do we "fix" these issues personally? Culturally?
-Do you even view this as a problem or is it a step in the right direction for culture as a whole?

Tim Ellsworth's New Book: God In The Whirlwind Is Available

Tim Ellsworth, a good friend of mine (and fellow Christian), has completed his first book titled God in the Whirlwind: Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University. It seeks to recount the stories of the students who were trapped in the rubble of the dorms at Union University, and it has plenty of pictures taken by Union University photographer Morris Abernathy. What is more, Tim has a great talent when it comes to writing and he put that talent to use in his penning of the stories that highlight what is most evident from that night: the providential act of God in sustaining the lives of every student that was on campus that night. It was very evident to everyone involved in the storm that God was in their midst.

You can buy the book at LifeWay Christian Stores, online at, and soon online at If you are close to Jackson, TN, you may want to stop by this Saturday at the LifeWay Christian Store on Union's campus and pick up a copy for a discounted price and have Tim sign it. He will be there this Saturday from 11am to 1pm signing books and greating patrons. Stop by and say hi. And, just so you know, a portion of the proceeds go to the rebuilding efforts for Union's campus as it underwent over 40 million dollars in damage.

For those of you who were not reading my blog during that time (February 5th, 2008), you can look back through some of my coverage here.

You can also watch my mini-documentary of the event here which includes an interview with Tim Ellsworth. It is titled The Providence of God in the Midst of a Storm.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Everybody Does It...

So, we are at the St. Louis Zoo and after watching the Puffins shoot poo several feet across their exhibit, we walk into a small gift store before exiting that exhibit. To our chagrin, we see several books with words synonymous with poo in the title.

Some questions:
-Is such books necessary?
-Haven't we figured this out centuries ago?
-Why would a zoo carry such a book including humans with all the other animals?
-What are your thoughts concerning such a book?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Challies On "God Is With Us"

If you have never been to Tim Challies blog, let me recommend it to you. I find it to be in a tier all its own. There is always great content there that aims to draw you closer to the Lord. He is a great writer and equally as talented at thinking through hard issues and giving easily understandable synopsises.

Below is an excerpt from his latest post titled God is with Us:

For the past few weeks I’ve been transfixed by a word. That may sound a little bit strange but it is exactly what’s happened. It keeps coming to mind and I keep pondering it, trying to gain a sense of its meaning. Though the word appears just three times in Scripture, twice in Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of Christ and once in Matthew in the fulfillment of that prophecy, it’s a word we have all used and a word whose meaning most of us know. Our children read about it every Christmas and our pastors mention it in their Christmas sermons. That word is Immanuel. God with us. God is with us.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Have you given much thought to this word Immanuel?
-If you took time to browse around on Challies sight, did any articles catch your eye?
-What does it mean that God is with us?
-Why do you think it was hard for those back then to accept the divinity of Jesus?