Sunday, September 30, 2007

Got 'em!

This one is about a foot long. My wife was telling me that Chinese rats don't like cheese. Ha!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Will a remnant of conservatives survive the upcoming election? Apparently NRO thinks so.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Should religious dogma and science be taught side by side?

Of course, the "religious dogma" is Intelligent Design and the "science" is evolution as always. The problem here is that Intelligent Design is a synonym for engineering. Indeed, science is forever praised while engineering is a non-entity in the US public school curriculum. Even when engineering is mentioned, a pontificating scientist who had nothing to do with the project is usually the one explaining things. The final result is that the Intelligent Design methods that make our high tech economy run are completely unknown to American school children, while they are certain that they must have unquestioning, blind faith in our scientific elite. Is that healthy?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bush advising Dems?????

That should be enough to scare the diapers off the MoveOn.org folk.
In a rebellious mood (as always). Our church elders have determined that the greatest heresy on the planet is third wave charismatics. It is nice to worship with people who are real.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gotta go to church, even when on vacation.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Returning from LA to San Fran, I went up the coast and stopped here at Morro Bay.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Researchers: Humans aren't capable of learning.

(i.e. Abstinence only education doesn't work.)

Again, this shows that the most retarded people on the planet are in the universities. For example, how does an abstinence only education happen in a society saturated with pornography and conflicting messages? Also, if humans are not capable of being so educated, why are new freshmen at the universities required to take an inane alcohol training class? Of course, knowing that educators have the most learning problems, the conclusion of the report could have been predicted long before it was issued.
Purpose Driven at UCLA.

I am hanging out in Southern Cal for a few days. This necessitated a trip to UCLA Bookstore. So whats new? Well, for those who need a role model poster on the dorm room wall, we now have Johnny Depp (aka Captain Jack Sparrow) posters to choose from in addition to the Che Guevara ones. After browsing a completely inadequate science and engineering book section (Stanford bookstore is MUCH better), I went over to the religious books and spotted four copies of The Purpose Driven Life. Wow! About the same number as The Koran.

For those of you who are convinced that The Purpose Driven Life is heresy, I have a bone to toss to you: The Purpose Driven Life was stacked right next to the Bhagavadgita. Fetch, Fido, fetch!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Purpose Driven vs. Third Wave: Battle of the Heretics?

Part 2 - Jack Deere and cessationism.

Cessationism is the belief that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially prophecy, speaking in tongues and healing are no longer in operation. Jack Deere was a Dispensationalist professor who believed this, but then changed to being a charismatic. His two books, "Surprised by the Voice of God" and "Surprised by the Spirit are quite popular".

Jack Deere used one example to support his case where he had confronted a seminary student regarding pornography due to a vision. This sounds impressive, except for one problem: Pornography addiction is an epidemic. His chances of getting the vision correct were no less than 1 in 4. Add in a little odd behavior and we have our professor convinced that he had the seen a vision when what happened may have been rather mundane.

Here is some real prophecy:

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

Now, what are the chances? Jack Deere uses other examples which indicate to me that others may well have the gift of prophecy. The problem here is that, just because Serena and Venus have the gift of tennis, I cannot conclude that I will ever have the gift of tennis, nor can I conclude that the local tennis court will have people who play as well as Serena and Venus. Likewise, it is simply crazy to present the most extreme cases of a particular gift as something that is ordinary. Of course the prophecy - tennis analogy is poor. Tennis improves by trial and error. Does prophecy improve the same way? Either you have it or you don't and the Bible gives us specific commands about what to do when they fail. Real prophecy is specific and there is no room for a trial and error mindset in prophecy.

As impressive as some of the examples are in Jack Deere's books, we still have no way to judge the overall error rate unless we spent some time directly witnessing things. Due to the laws of probability, strange events occur when there are many events.

Perhaps I just want a middle ground between the cessationist who seem to be almost atheistic in their understanding of how God works today and the charismaniacs who become dysfunctional in their search for gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Duke lacrosse team prosecution postmortem.

My impression of universities has long been that there is a large amount of tenured pinheads who are pathologically driven by the need to engage in intellectual malpractice. The Economist presented this article which eloquently documents this even as they admit that they too had been sucked into a scam. This should in no way diminish the lesson to young men: It is incredibly stupid to hire a stripper.
Purpose Driven vs. Third Wave: Battle of the Heretics?

Part 1 - Overview.

I have been wondering about this recently, because the battle is in progress and the impact on congregations can be enormous. The root cause seems to be that many churches are locked into a hierarchy that is so rigid that the church Elders could commit an immoral sex act in front of the church during Sunday worship and the church would be powerless to hold them to account. As the Bible writes:

"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." - Matthew 23:1-3

Of course, I have given the extreme caricature of the Elder tyranny, but many will recognize the elements. A toned down version which puts the square peg of Elder tyranny into the round hole of Christian love and God's sovereignty is the Purpose Driven Church model. At the opposite corner of the ring are the charismaniacs. These are the ones who need a prophetic revelation to get out of bed in the morning. They strike terror in the hearts of the purpose driven folk. I will probably post a few more things on this as the Spirit leads according to the thoughts that spring to mind.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bodie Bank

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Looking down at Half Dome from Olmsted Point in Yosemite.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fighting Global Warming in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Today I had to go to the Fremont BART station. This is the end of the line from our commuter city into San Francisco, but BART usage is constrained by a rather small parking lot. What to do about competition for scarce parking spaces? Introduce an inconvenient $1/day fee to discourage parking! For those who would point out that commuters can take the rather extensive bus system that connects from the stations to get in and out, I will merely note the reason that I drove my fossil fuel burning abomination to the BART station in the first place: Someone missed a bus connection due to a bus no-show.
More from ghost town of Bodie: When I saw this church, I thought to myself, "a church this dead must be mainline". Sure enough, it is Methodist.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

"Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie"

We visited the ghost town of Bodie a few days back. 10,000 people lived here at one time digging gold from the hills, but the gold ran out and the only one who lives here now is the park ranger. The quote above is something a schoolgirl wrote in her diary when her parents moved the family to Bodie. Apparently Bodie's reputation wasn't too good.

Friday, September 07, 2007