Blog Archive


Friday, April 30, 2010
Here's an interesting piece on higher education and its possibly imminent demise.
For 400 years, higher education in the US has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amount of time and money and prestige in the college world has been climbing.

I'm afraid that's about to crash and burn. Here's how I'm looking at it.

1. Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.
By emphasizing mass and sameness and rankings, colleges have changed their mission.

This works great in an industrial economy where we can't churn out standardized students fast enough and where the demand is huge because the premium earned by a college grad dwarfs the cost. But...

2. College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.

As a result, there are millions of people in very serious debt, debt so big it might take decades to repay. Word gets around. Won't get fooled again...
3. The definition of 'best' is under siege.

Why do colleges send millions (!) of undifferentiated pieces of junk mail to high school students now? We will waive the admission fee! We have a one page application! Apply! This is some of the most amateur and bland direct mail I've ever seen. Why do it?

Biggest reason: So the schools can reject more applicants. The more applicants they reject, the higher they rank in US News and other rankings. And thus the rush to game the rankings continues, which is a sign that the marketers in question (the colleges) are getting desperate for more than their fair share. Why bother making your education more useful if you can more easily make it appear to be more useful?

4. The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.

College wasn't originally designed to merely be a continuation of high school (but with more binge drinking). In many places, though, that's what it has become. The data I'm seeing shows that a degree (from one of those famous schools, with or without a football team) doesn't translate into significantly better career opportunities, a better job or more happiness than a degree from a cheaper institution.

5. Accreditation isn't the solution, it's the problem.

A lot of these ills are the result of uniform accreditation programs that have pushed high-cost, low-reward policies on institutions and rewarded schools that churn out young wanna-be professors instead of experiences that turn out leaders and problem-solvers.

Just as we're watching the disintegration of old-school marketers with mass market products, I think we're about to see significant cracks in old-school schools with mass market degrees.
The solutions are obvious... there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference. Most of these ways, though, aren't heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team. Things like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school are opening doors for students who are eager to discover the new.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
My son Lewis is 2 years old today. What a joy he is to my wife and me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"I was trying to mold God into what I wanted Him to be - which is so arrogant - instead of submitting myself to Him and allowing Him to mold me into the person He created me to be." - Kathy Ireland
Recently, I've been thinking about how comfortable a Christian should be with their doctrine. I don't mean how confident he should feel. I believe Christians should feel a reasonable level of confidence in their doctrine as long as it is solidly and historically built on Scripture and they are willing to reconsider it if given Biblical warrant. What I mean is this: is it a good thing to be personally comfortable with your theological beliefs? Or, should your doctrine make you squirm sometimes? I would say yes. A Christian should not be perfectly untroubled in their natural self with some of the ideas of God shown in Scripture. But rather than undermine our confidence in them, it should strengthen us to know that it isn't of our own longings that we come to them. If a belief is counter-intuitive to what one would expect or hope to see in Scripture, then in most cases it's all the more likely to be true.

Of course, all of this hinges on the doctrine of human depravity. If our flesh is not sinful and rebellious and our moral compasses are not utterly broken, then doctrinal discomfort may be a warning sign rather than a confirmation. But, if we are morally destitute and spiritually dead on our own, then it would make sense that we would have a natural inclination to wince at certain doctrines. As John Calvin himself said about the doctrine of election, "I confess that this decree must frighten us."

In another sense, however, we should be comfortable with our theology. After all, Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 1:18-24. For those stuck in their sinful flesh, they will understandably find the Gospel and related doctrine foolish. But to those who are saved and have the Spirit of God, it will be wisdom surpassing all wisdom.

This thought was brought to bear just this morning as I read a letter written to Brian McLaren which he then posted on his blog.
[R]ather than accept the idea that Christ is so violent that He feels compelled by His own internal moral character of punitive justice to punish sinners by torturing and tormenting them ... literally without end, I would reject Christ's authority in this matter altogether by assuming the theologically liberal view that He made an outright error in the accuracy and validity and veracity of His teaching in this matter. This is justified by asserting that Christ was also human and could and did make mistakes in His teaching because in becoming human, one of His divine attributes that He gave up was His omniscience and infallibly [sic]. This is referred to as the Kenosis theory of the Incarnation based on the passage where it says Christ "emptied" Himself in the incarnation. I can not be a Christian [if] I must believe that I must believe that hell is literally never ending suffering for people who are kept in existence, alive and conscious of their torment literally forever. Even it means that Christ will condemn ME to hell for believing as I do, I find it impossible to believe such a morally repulsive and repugnant doctrine. THIS WOULD INDEED MEAN GOD IS MORE VIOLENT THAN ANY HUMAN COULD EVER BE AND TURN GOD IN TO A MALEVOLENT BEING WHO IS FUNDAMENTALLY HOSTILE TO HUMAN BEINGS WHO ACTUALLY HATES US.
Clearly, the author views himself as the ultimate authority on all things moral. And as such, he thinks that his doctrines must make him comfortable. Unwittingly, he has given himself over to idolatry, fashioning a god that looks remarkably like himself and subverting Genesis 1:27. It is not for the clay to become the potter.
"A vague religion - all about feeling God in nature, and so on - is so attractive. It is all thrills and no work; like watching the waves from the beach. But you will not get to Newfoundland by studying the Atlantic, and you will not get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music." - C.S. Lewis
Friday, April 23, 2010

HT: Steve M.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Stories like this one of a Christian wife and mother leaving her husband and child for another man and so many like it (it would take more than my twenty fingers and toes to count all of the Christians I've personally known who have had their spouse leave them - and in some cases, a number of children - for another person) make me wonder what the foundational problem is in so many Christian marriages. If this were merely a problem among unsaved men and women, no big surprise. But it's an epidemic among Christians (or professed Christians, at least). And in my personal experience, it's primarily a case of a wife leaving the husband for another man (or woman). I wonder if there is a root cause (besides individual sinfulness) behind it. Is there a systemic problem in American churches that this is somehow a reasonable thing to consider? I cannot fathom what kind of mindset would lead someone to do this. I certainly understand the sinful propensity to be unfaithful... but for the grace of God there go us all. But what makes someone take the additional step of not only cheating on your spouse but utterly deserting him (and your children) as well? I'm at a loss at how one allows this evil thinking to creep in.

I wonder if there is a systemic problem in the American church, and if so, is it this: the idea that God is primarily focused on making His followers happy and content in this life, and He's fine with whatever means we use to attain that happiness and damn the consequences. We see this most obviously in the so-called Prosperity Gospel churches, but I am certain it has subtly crept into most traditional, Gospel-centered churches as well. Now, in many cases, the churches where these unfaithful deserters attended have probably not taught anything like this type of specious self-centeredness. But maybe they haven't done much of a job teaching AGAINST it either; that's more likely the problem. After all, the culture is teaching it. I don't think you could go a day without seeing an example of the secular culture promoting individual "freedom" and self-expression as moral virtues. But what is the Church doing to actively counteract that? We need pulpits grabbing people by the collar and screaming "HEY DOOFUS, GOD DOESN'T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR FLEETING HAPPINESS, HE CARES ABOUT YOUR HOLINESS!!!!!!" Okay, in some cases maybe without the screaming or name-calling.

This message needs to be particularly focused on Christian women, who, more so than today's men, get constantly fed the self-centered, emotionally-based drivel about personal happiness, self-esteem, and fulfillment. "Be happy," "find your purpose," and so on ad nauseam. Your "purpose" is to honor God, not yourself! Our culture at least still has some vestiges left of responsibility when it comes to men (if it had been the husband who left in the aforementioned story, the law would have required that he at least pay child support), but for women, society pretty much eschews any idea of personal responsibility. If a woman doesn't "feel" her "needs" being "met," she's perfectly justified to meet them somewhere else. I wonder if the Church has just become an outpost of this same mentality. If so, couching it in spiritual terms and (weakly) supporting it up with Scripture merely serves to make people twice a child of Hell than they would have been if left to their own devices and the societal forces around them. People need a counter-cultural Christianity rather than a sub-cultural one.
"The real future, as I see it, isn't an intramural conversation among Evangelicals (as many think), or even among Western Christians (as others think), but rather an expanding conversation among progressive evangelicals, missional mainline Protestants, progressive Catholics, and postcolonial Christians from around the world. Its future may or may not still use words like emergent, emerging, etc., but the cat is out of the bag. Deep questions are being raised, and when that happens, you can take two predictions to the bank, one of them being that you can't get the questions back in the bag, and the second being that some people will try.

The latter will say, "I was OK when we were talking about making church more up-to-date, culturally relevant, and successful (i.e. large), but when we start asking deeper questions - about theology and justice, for example - I'm checking out." Now I've never been against making the church more up-to-date, culturally relevant, and effective, as beset as that project is with dangers, toils, and snares. (The obvious alternative - keeping the church out-of-date and culturally irrelevant and ineffective - has its problems too.) But I've repeatedly laid my cards on the table: I don't think the problems in the Christian religion are cosmetic. I think we have some deep issues to deal with - issues of theology, justice, narrative, and identity." - Brian McLaren
So not only does McLaren think that traditional theologically conservative evangelicals aren't part of the solution but merely the problem, he also thinks the problem with Christianity is its foundation, rather than some of its fruit (or some of its members) and the methods involved. And here I thought he wanted a conversation with us. Instead, he admits that he only wants to talk in his own personal echo chamber where no one seriously questions his "progressive" form of Christianity. Didn't the whole Emerging Church movement grow around the premise that the problem with evangelical Christianity was that it had no room for dissenting questions or views?

The other sad thing I note is that he continually thinks he's original, like he is asking questions that no one has ever asked (or answered). Either he's intellectually dishonest or a solid seminary (or just an honest study of church history in general) would have done him a world of good. Probably a little of each.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The nanny state leftists are really kicking their big government statism into high gear. The EU just announced their plan to make vacationing a human right. I don't know if I want to live in a world where everything becomes a right granted by the State rather than a blessing given by God.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Marshall Posey's winnings from Book Bracketology (plus he won a $40 Amazon gift certificate)...
"Here it is, in a nutshell. The state is either under authority or it is not. If the state is not under authority, it has no authority -- only power. That means that prudence might dictate doing what they say, but conscience never could. So the only way conscience can direct the citizenry to obey the state's authority is if the state itself is under authority. No created entity has authority unless that created entity is under authority. But if the state is under authority, this means the state is under limits.

Being under limited authority means that it is possible to know the nature and extent of those limits. If they go past those limits, everybody knows about it.

If there is no God above the state, the state has no authority. If there is a God above the state, then the state has no authority outside the limits that have been set for it. And in either case, there is no reason grounded in conscience for putting up with legalized plunder." - Doug Wilson
"When equality is treated not as a medicine... but as an ideal we begin to breed that stunted and envious sort of mind which hates all superiority. " - C.S. Lewis
Saturday, April 17, 2010
"Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor...

- from the hymn "O Church Arise"
On the recommendation of N.D. Wilson, my wife, nearly six-year-old daughter, and I went to see the new film "How to Train Your Dragon." It is great! The graphics are absurdly good, the story engaging and enjoyable, and it has a great message as well [be warned, I could include a couple little spoilers below]. As Wilson said in his review, the main message of the story stunned him. And as I looked back at his post, I noticed something that I hadn't quite caught during the movie.
Why did [the dragons] do these evil things? Well, because they served The Dragon. The big one. The huge, ancient, evil one. And the story progresses not with one small boy (Hiccup) successfully communicating to his father (Stoick) that dragons were misunderstood, but with that boy crushing The Dragon’s head and . . . losing his foot in the process. {emphasis added}
The Christian parallels to Genesis 3:15 are unmistakable. Furthermore, as Christians we should recognize that just as these dragons were not inherently evil themselves but served a master who was, the unbelieving lost in this world are not inherently bad or lost, but rather are enslaved to a master who has blinded them to the love of God. It's our job to free them from their chains and to open their eyes. Ephesians 6:12
Thursday, April 15, 2010
If you ever wondered what it looks like when people worship God in spirit and... well, just spirit, watch this video.

Hopefully I didn't ruin anyone's meal.

This may be an extreme example, but every Christian could use a reminder that God isn't looking for a bunch of emotion junkies who sing stupid songs and think worthless thoughts in their praise. He wants His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Doug Wilson has a great analogy here.
The fundamentalist is a "get-to-the-bottom-line" kind of guy. He knows where the plane is going, and he knows that right away. His mistake is that of thinking that wherever the plane is going must be the place where the plane is already. He thinks that everyone in the world sees the implications of an idea just as quickly as he does, and that if they embrace an idea that naturally leads to x, then they must be self-consciously embracing x right now. If they deny this, then it just goes to show their mendacity in addition to their heresy. But there are many Christians who are better Christians than they are logicians. And, sad to say, and more germaine to the point I am making now, the church also contains a number of logicians who are better logicians than they are Christians.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I found him! Nathanael Blake, that is. As readers of this blog who have been around the premises for awhile may recall, I used to quote Mr. Blake quite frequently back when he wrote regularly for the Oregon State University newspaper and for the Human Events blog. But after graduating, he mostly disappeared from view for the last couple of years, until finally resurfacing with his own blog. A brilliant writer, philosopher, and wordsmith, Nathanael is the reason I first found Dr. Dalrymple's writing. I look forward to following his posts and recommend that you check him out as well! I've also put a link to his blog to the left.

**Interesting side note and explanation of the title of this post: Blake is most famous (or infamous, depending on whom you ask) for "winning" Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" award on MSNBC due to something he wrote in response to the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 (which I actually posted on at the time).**
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
N.D. Wilson, son of Doug Wilson and author of the brilliant Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl and the exciting 100 Cupboards trilogy which I am currently reading with my daughter, recently posted a review of the recently-released "How to Train Your Dragon" film on the Credenda/Agenda journal which makes me even more interested in seeing it with my daughter.
I don't know, but something about this just strikes me as missing the point. It makes me a bit nauseous, in fact. What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010
[UPDATE: Wilson adds more to his train of thought here.]

Doug Wilson has an excellent post on the differences between reasonable, morally-defensible taxation and taxation which amounts to theft.
I thought it would be good to set down some basic principles on the subject. This is to prevent the "guiding principle" from becoming a charge of theft for any tax I might find distasteful.

1. The point is not that taxation is theft, but rather that taxation can be theft. Obviously, in Scripture, there is legitimate taxation (Rom. 13:7), which would not be theft, and illegitimate taxation, which is (Matt. 17:25-27). If that is the case, then there is a line that a state must not cross, and it is incumbent upon both rulers and citizens to know where that line is, and why it is there.

2. In biblical law, the fact that the civil rulers can steal is indisputable. Ahab stole Naboth's vineyard (1 Kings 21:7), and it would not alter the facts of the case if it had been done under cover of zoning regulations or land reform.
3. If a state can steal, then the question becomes "how do we tell?" Anybody who wants to give the authorities an automatic pass because what they did was perfectly legal is a naif who ought to have his drivers licence revoked. Anybody who resents giving any portion of his income for legitimate civic purposes is a scofflaw. So, where is the line?

4. The line will of necessity have to be enforced by the rulers of the people, and this is why one of the first principles is that the rulers of the people are not qualified for their task unless they are men who hate covetousness (Prov. 28:16)
5. Determining the line between legitimate taxation and illegitimate thieving taxation is not necessarily an easy task. It can be complicated. I acknowledge that it could be a challenging task for men who fear God. And so this is why we must be led by men who fear God. And it is also why I deny that it can be done by our current gaggle of miscreants, buffoons, knaves, poltroons, scoundrels, and then, of course, there's the Democrats.

6. One approach to answering the question would be Samuel's dire warning to the Israelites, when they asked for a king "like the other nations." He said that if they did that, the result would be an unthinkable level of taxation . . . at ten percent. And here we are, looking back longingly at ten percent levels like they were the leeks of Egypt or something. When the state takes more than ten percent, then the state is claiming more than God claims in the tithe. When this happens, if the state has not done something overweening or despotic, then wait ten minutes.

7. While the ten percent ceiling is a good rule of thumb, a better approach would be to measure by what God tells the civil government to do. The state is God's deacon (Rom. 13:4), and God never leaves His deacons without instructions. A deacon is, by definition, under authority. We should measure his appropriations and expenditures over against what he was told to do. When servants use the master's resources for tasks unassigned by him (Luke 12:46-47), what is the result? When the Lord comes back to evaluate His deacons in the Congress, what will He do? He will not be indiscriminate; the punishments will fit the crimes.

8. The assigned task that was given to the civil rulers was to punish the wrongdoers (Rom. 13:4). It most emphatically was not to level the economic playing field. Anybody who can read the New Testament and think that it is the under-deacons role to preemptively make sure that the servant with ten talents is left with only three, and the one who hid his one talent is given two more to hide, is radically out of touch with the spirit of the Bible.

9. The U.S. Constitution is an "express powers" document. With regard to the risks involved in letting sinful men rule over other sinful men, this is a wise and biblical approach. It means that those who rule can only do what was laid down for them beforehand to do. That which is not required of them is prohibited to them. This is in the spirit of the Bible -- civil rulers can rule, and they can tax us for that rule, and in exchange, they need to be able to show us from the Bible how that task they have undertaken is legitimate.
10. In the Hebraic parallelism cited above (Prov. 28:16), a prince who does not hate covetousness, besides ruining himself, is also oppressing the people. And when it comes to understanding the nature of this oppression, trust the feedback you get from a welder who attends the academically-disreputable tea parties, and not the sycophantic musings of the prince's hired economic brains, who can write learnedly of this and that. Oppression is as oppression does.
My favorite hymn at the moment...

Friday, April 09, 2010
We have lived to see the second death of ancient learning. In our time something which was once the possession of all educated men has shrunk to being the technical accomplishment of a few specialists. ... If one were looking for a man who could not read Virgil though his father could, he might be found more easily in [this] century than in the fifth.
- C.S. Lewis
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Doug Wilson had a good post earlier this week on how Christians can and should first address the problem of entitlement politics.
So here is a very practical personal step that every Christian who is concerned about the future of our nation can take. This is something that is within reach. It does not depend upon some political upheaval across the continent, and so there is no need to feel helpless. And if you do not take this step, then you are a companion to the destroyers in Washington. They continue to represent you, and they are representing you well.

Inside your family, have you borrowed money and not returned it? Have you busted things and not made it good? If the thing you busted belonged to anybody outside the family, would you have felt the need to make it good? But not here? Have you frittered away what your mom gave you for other purposes, and consoled yourself with the fact that "it is no transgression"? Have you been sloppy with the property interests of anyone close to you, because they were close to you?
Mark Steyn wrote a discerning column this week on the dwindling amount of years people spend working even as life expectancies continue to increase, and how legislation like Obamacare only serves to further infantilize the populace. In short, Steyn points out that we are rapidly approaching an era where a person will fall into one of two categories. Either you are a child or a retired adult who needs to be quickly euthanized. Either way, everyone is a dependent and a constituent, but no one a citizen. The only people working will be bureaucrats. In such a world, freedom is a foreign concept.

Dalrymple also had a good essay in this month's New English Review on the problem of a culture of dependency, as it has shown itself in England.

Appropriately, I noticed this article today which mentions that nearly half of all Americans don't pay any federal taxes.
Doug Wilson has a helpful critique of something Pastor Tim Keller said recently. Wilson wonders if Keller is presenting the Gospel completely if he ignores an elephant of sin in the room. What is interesting is that by ignoring sexuality, Keller actually sets sin up as unequal, whereas Wilson treats it all equally when he says that it all must be addressed. By not recognizing that people need just as much freedom from enslavement to sexual sins as other sins, Keller unwittingly supports either the idea that people don't need redemption and freedom from those particular sins, or that Jesus is unable (or uninterested) in freeing them in those cases. Either way, it puts sexual sin on a reverse pedestal from the one Scripture puts it on.
But what this does is raise questions about evangelism, faithful witness, and moral courage. It raises questions about the strategic value of an evangelistic and apologetic strategy that is not prepared to confront, directly, some of the central sins of the people you are addressing.

And by "confronting sin," I do not intend to commend the kind of preaching that gets its jollies from calling other people sinners. That is a problem, but it has to be confessed that in this age, this era, it is not our problem. We should want to preach about the central sins because as preachers of the gospel, we have scattered through the dungeons, with our gospel keys. In that circumstance, why wouldn't we want to unlock the biggest and thickest chains?
If a surgeon wants to do gospel work on the heart, he has to first open the patient up -- and nothing will do for that but the knife of the law. Without that, evangelical preachers are reduced to applying their treatments of the heart through various forms of accupressure.

Relevant gospel ministry, relevant evangelistic ministry, is willing for the rich young ruler to go away saddened. It is willing for riots designed to get you and your message out of town. I have written recently about the utter irrelevance of an undue concern for relevance. Out of all the practicing homosexuals in Manhattan, are there none who want to hear liberty proclaimed to the captives? Out of all the professing Christians who struggle with same-sex temptations, should they not be able to hear clear, biblical instruction about what they should do with their temptations? Would that not be relevant?
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Marvin Olasky has an excellent response to the dust-up between Jim Wallis and Glenn Beck over the issue of "social justice."
Let's review the history: Was "social justice" born as a Catholic term? Yes, Jesuit theologian Luigi Taparelli tried to stem a socialist surge in the 1840s by arguing that religious and civic groups could justly improve living conditions without relying on governmental force.

Did Communists and Nazis flip "social justice" into a promotion of government power? Yes. Communist Party USA leaders instructed me in 1972 and 1973 to use those words. I haven't personally researched Nazi usage, but a leading Nazi sympathizer during the 1930s, radio priest Charles Coughlin, established a National Union for Social Justice and published a million-subscriber magazine, Social Justice. His radio audience of 16 million heard him attacking an "international conspiracy of Jewish bankers."

Do those historical wrinkles mean that the term should not be used? No, but it should certainly be defined. We can study the 150 or so times that mishpat in Hebrew and kreesis in Greek—words commonly translated as "justice"—appear in the Bible. Biblically, justice—tied to righteousness—is what promotes faith in God, not faith in government. Prophets criticized not entrepreneurs but those who combined economic and political power to lord it over others, as today's bureaucrats and corporate/government partnerships tend to do.
Furthermore, modern usage by liberal preachers and journalists is thoroughly unbiblical: Many equate social justice with fighting a free enterprise system that purportedly keeps people poor but in reality is their best economic hope.

How to respond? I'd suggest four possible ways, one of which is a variant of Beck's: Challenge those who speak of "social justice" in a conventionally leftist way. If your local church is committed to what won't help the poor but will empower would-be dictators, pray and work for gospel-centered teaching. If necessary, find another church.

A second: Try to recapture the term by giving it a 19th- (and 21st?) century small-government twist. The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are trying to do this. I wish them success.

A third way: Accept the left's focus on systemic problems but not its faulty analysis. Learn about the biggest institutional hindrance to economic advance for the poor: the government's monopoly control of taxpayer funds committed to education and welfare. Work for school vouchers and tax credits that will help many poor children to grow both their talents and their knowledge of God.

Fourth and best: Tutor a child. Visit a prisoner. Help the sick. Follow Christ.
Brian McLaren has rightly been excommunicated by Christians for his latest heretical piece of garbage. He responds to the negative reaction to his book with a piece on the Huffington Post. He explains the reaction from Bible-believing Christians this way:
[Christians'] consciences are in conflict with their beloved religious authority figures on several key issues -- ten of which I raise in my book -- but they continue to press the punishment button when instructed to do so.
I'm a Christian. I love God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer, worship, serving others -- the whole package. But when my conscience tells me that I'm hurting people by complying with religious conventions, I don't keep pressing the button. I start asking questions. That's why I wrote my book, and that's why I'm willing to get into trouble for it.
So, basically Christians who speak out against him are not authentic nor do they actually believe that he's wrong, but they are just listening to their leaders (or are one of those power-hungry leaders themselves) rather than their consciences. He represents the conscience of all Christians, apparently. That's not condescending at all.

He has declared war on the Church, so war it is. Not one faithful Church should allow him inside their doors, not one faithful Christian should waste another breath debating him (not that he ever is willing to debate, since debate is sooo modernistic). As Jesus said, he should be treated as a first century Jew would treat a tax collector or Gentile... avoid him and the idolatry he promotes. It's no coincidence that those idols are the environment, homosexuality, slander, Palestinian terrorism, etc. When God turns you over to a debased mind like Paul speaks of in Romans 1, He usually sends you all the way. He doesn't just confuse your conscience like a magnet does a compass. He takes your moral compass and shatters it. Reject Him and He doesn't just say "ah, okay, have a nice life." He REJECTS you.

Pray for McLaren, but don't eat with him.
If you missed last night's NCAA championship game, you missed one of the best title games ever. If the basket had been located a mere inch in one direction, Butler would have walked away as victors... and DJ with second place in the Book Bracketology contest. Instead, Aaron completed his amazing comeback from last place to snag second while Marshall, having already wrapped up first place, also took home the side pot prize for being the closest guess to the total final score in the championship game. With his Nostradamus-like prognosticating skills, he wins six books and a $40 gift certificate to Amazon (a total value of approximately $120!). Aaron wins two books of his choice from the primary four books. Thanks for playing and come back next March for another chance at bracket glory!
I wish we didn't live in a world where buying and selling things (especially selling) seems to have become almost more important than either producing or using them.
- C.S. Lewis
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Marshall Posey takes home first prize! Now to see who gets second, DJ or Aaron...
Friday, April 02, 2010
Picture yourself tied to a tree,
condemned of the sins of eternity.
Then picture a spear, parting the air,
seeking your heart to cut your despair.
Suddenly—a knight, in armor of white,
stands in the gap betwixt you and its flight,
And shedding his 'armor of God' for you—
bears the lance that runs him through.
His heart has been pierced that yours may beat,
and the blood of his corpse washes your feet.
Picture yourself in raiment white,
cleansed by the blood of the lifeless knight.
Never to mourn,
the prince who was downed,
For he is not lost! It is you who are found.
- taken from a B.C. 1996 Palm Sunday comic strip
This is an interesting article by a Jewish man who watched a Passion play and wrote on his experience. The last paragraph is particularly good, and reminded me of this.
I’m not a Christian. I don’t think Christ can save me, in part because I don’t think I need to be saved. But I appreciate that a lot of people... do. They believe that I’m destined to burn in hell for all of eternity if I don’t change my beliefs. So I don’t fault them for trying to change my beliefs, even if they use guilt or fear in their attempts. I’m much more offended by those who believe I’m headed for eternal damnation but don’t do anything about it {emphasis added}.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
This is a good sign.
The Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.

The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.

The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate.

Even the title of the £4 million gallery has been changed to reflect the museum’s more circumspect approach. The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

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