March 16, 2005

Crunch Time

And I'm NOT talking about the Cap'n, either. I'm getting clobbered in the KotB voting, and though I didn't need those points in the past, I WANT them this time. I lost the last time by something like a half a point, so I want some cushion.

So I come to YOU, my loyal readers, with hat in hand, to ask, implore, and otherwise BEG you to go to the KotB site and vote for me. AND post something nice about me on your blog, and trackback to this post (the trackback is http://blog.mu.nu/cgi/mt-tb.cgi/70912, just to make it easy on you all).

Make me the first King to ever serve two non-consecutive terms. Just like my idol, Grover Cleveland.

He WAS the guy on Sesame Street, right?

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March 14, 2005

What's Cooking?

So, I'm planning this dinner party to celebrate my return to the KotB competition (a la Teddy Roosevelt) and my subsequent victory (a la Grover Cleveland). And I'm going to invite a few people, and we're going to have a great time -- dinner, conversation, dessert, all that. Now all I have to do is figure out who to invite. . .

I'd invite Songstress, but I'll probably be serving one of her recipes, and I know it won't be nearly as good as it is when she makes it at home. Pietro is probably working late to keep us all safe, or he'd be a definite invite. Harvey isn't judging anymore, but I'd invite him just for the chicks he'd draw. And I need to kiss up to the new guy (who is a new addition to my blogroll, by the way!), so the Ogre would be at the top of the list, too. And you know, they all deserve to be there. But having them all over to my place, and feeding them the wonderful cuisine that my wife and I can prepare would be just SOOOOO unfair to the other pretenders .... Heck, I'll do it anyway. Oh. We only have place-settings for four. Sorry guys. Maybe after I win the crown, we'll go buy some more Chinet.

Let's face it; the point of this dinner is networking. I want to get attention and hits. Who should I invite? The man who wrote the book on blogging, of course -- Hugh Hewitt himself. Pointers AND probably a link -- what could be better?

Since this is clearly fiction (like Hugh Hewitt would show up at my house for dinner. He can get beanie weenies anywhere!), and since I'm really looking for some publicity, I'd probably get in touch with the guy who came up with Apple's 1984 commercial. Think about it -- the commercial says nothing, never even shows you what it's advertizing, and 20 years later is still shown every time they talk about Super Bowl commercials. This guy is a genius -- if he could con people into buying Macintosh computers, he can get people to read my blog.

I've got one more place setting left (unless you count the Dora the Explorer bowl, cup, and silverware as a place setting), so I'm going to go all out and pick someone unexpected. Someone who has never heard of a blog, but would have put them to great use if they had been available in his time -- Thomas Payne. Yea, I don't agree with his outlook on everything -- he's a deist, after all -- but can you imagine what he'd have done with the Internet and a blog? Even the Instapundit his own self would be playing second fiddle to Payne.

And of course they would all tell me how fitting it is for me to be the first King to leave the throne and then return, just like Arthur.

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What's Hapenning'!

No, not the 70's sitcom -- I'm talking about what's happening around here!

First of all, I'm back in the Best of Me Symphony. Head over there and read all the great posts (including one from Nick Queen himself).

SPEAKING of Nick Queen -- (and I was going to make this a separate post) I am returning to the King of the Blogs competition to reclaim my throne, and become the only King to rule nonconsecutive weeks (which I guess would make me the Teddy Roosevelt of Blog Kings). Head over to the KotB page and be sure to vote for me, and make sure that you trackback to the right post!

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March 12, 2005

AMEN, Brother!!

Head over to Dignan's and read his post about the Religious Right(tm), and tell me he doesn't sound a lot like me -- just more eloquent. I haven't had some of the experiences he's had (like the Jay Sekulow episode), but I DID attend Jerry Falwell University (aka Liberty University), so I probably have a few that he hasn't had.

Laws change behavior -- sometimes. But we're not commanded to change attitudes. We're commanded to preach the Gospel, and let God change hearts. That will do more to change things than anything we can do politically. We should be aware of what is happening in Washington DC, and how it will effect us daily. We should support laws that we agree with, and oppose laws that we disagree with. But on many things, there is no distinct Christian position. Good Christians are on all sides of just about every political discussion, and we tend to question someone's salvation just because of their stand on the marriage ammendment, or whether they send their kids to a public school ("secular humanist bootcamp"), etc. Not only is that totally incorrect, it's unbiblical. And it's causing unnecessary division in the body of Christ.

There are some political decisions that a Christian worldview will influence in a specific direction. NAFTA, the WTO, speed limits on interstates, the ballanced budget ammendment, and things like that are not among those decisions.

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March 11, 2005

Blogroll Cruise: 3/11/05


  • Espresso Roast is a written by a fellow Southern student (who REALLY should be in the SBC aggregator! Need to email him ...). He's got an interesting report of a case of Bush Rage in Florida.
  • Jeri over at Blog on the Lilypad2 is linking to Phil Johnson's report on American Fundamentalism. Jeri's pretty active over at the FFF, and Phil used to be. Read Jeri's blog, then head over to the FFF -- we need some troll repellant over there.
  • Nick at NickQueen.com has a T-shirt that everyone needs to buy.
  • Wesley Blog reported on the National Council of Churches issuing a warning to Christian relief workers in Asia, cautioning them not to evangelize. Sure -- let's NOT tell the people the major reason we've travelled halfway around the world to help them. Don't DARE let them know about the love of God. Doesn't matter -- if the Christians are doing their jobs right, the people there will see Christ in them, and will want to know. And they will be told.
  • Rooftop Blog has an interesting take on China's Most Favored Nation trade status. Seems that trade to China is an excellent "Trojan horse" for missions work. I've always ranted about China's MFN satatus -- why hadn't I thought of this angle?!

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Still Here!!

This has been a hectic week, with midterms coming up at school and everything, so I've been abit slack. NOT all of it is my fault, though -- had a great post done on the Ten Commandments, and Blogger ate it. I was so frustrated that I stopped and went to sleep. Maybe I'll repost it this weekend.

I plan on having something up this evening; I have two or three things rolling around in my head, and I still have to do some more on the Mark study.

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March 07, 2005

Today in Church History

(TWO in one 'week'! You'll get spoiled, I know you will ...)

March 7, 1274.

A man who is arguably the best theologian of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, died this day at 48. Aquinas adapted the writings of Aristotle to Christianity (for good or ill), in the process engaging Averroists in both Christianity and Islam in debate. His Summa Theologiae is still studied by students of all denominations all over the world. His teachings on the relationship between faith and are still studied (and are the subject of the next 'Faith and Reason' segment that I am working on).

Aquinas wasn't always this popular. His classmates thought he was stupid -- they called him a "dumb ox." His aristocratic family thought he was throwing his life away. Nobody thought he would ammount to anything.

They were wrong. The full impact of this man's theology and philosophy cannot be measured even today, but it is safe to say that the Roman Catholic Church, at the very least, would be vastly different in teaching and practice without him.

An outstanding resource on Aquinas can be found here.

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Bill Moyers and the End of Time(tm)

The New York press seems to have attracted a cadre of top-notch Christophobes. Nicholas Kristof, of course, has taken on this issue before (and I took him to task for it as well). Now that paragon of tolerance Bill Moyers has taken another shot at the faithful, in the form of a New York Review of Books article titled "Welcome to Doomsday."

Moyers starts with the typical "I can't believe people actually believe the Bible is true" statement. Then he slams Christians for their "take dominion over the earth" philosophy before admitting that many Christians are fairly conservationistic when it comes to the environment. See, we realize that the command God gave Adam and Eve implies that we should take care of what we have, make the best use of it that we can, but not to trash the place. See, the idea of stewardship means that you manage your resources so that they will be of use to you for a longer period of time than they would be if they were left to themselves. I would hazard a guess that the majority of Christians (and not a slim majority at that -- perhaps as much as 85-90%) would say that poluting is wrong, and that we are commanded to take care of what God has given us. Of course, if you read Moyers, you'd think that this was a new idea, championed mainly by the Christian left.

Then he embarks on a quest to explain Christian eschatology to his readers. You may not have known this, so brace yourselves -- most of us agree with Lehaye and Jenkins. Those who don't really don't matter to folks like Moyers and Kristof, because they don't fit the stereotype. And, as I mentioned before, the characterizations of Christians who are pretrib dispensationalists are incredibly unfair and uninformed. Moyers has spent a lot of time reading books about people he doesn't like, written by people who agree with his assesment. Maybe he should actually talk to a few people, and find out what they actually believe, and not what the latest Newsweek poll says they believe.

Moyers DOES introduce an earth-shattering factoid in his column that may just rock the foundations of dispensational eschatology -- the word Rapture never appears in the Bible! GASP!!!! Next thing you know, he'll be critical of Christians' belief in the Trinity, since that word isn't in the Bible either. He obviously has no clue about the purpose of theology, and can't really be bothered to find out.

For about the millionth time, let me explain something to everyone. Pretrib dispensationalists do NOT think they are making Jesus come faster. They believe that Jesus is going to show up whenever HE wants to, and we'd better be about our business while we wait, so He isn't ticked at us when He gets here. Premillenialists in general believe that. I'm not as familiar with post-mil or a-mil eschatology, but it seems that one of them teaches that we bring about the millenial kingdom -- something that Reconstructionists agree with. There are no pre-mil Reconstructionists -- and Reconstructionists don't agree with LaHaye and company.

Of course, it's much easier to just rag on people, without actually finding out the facts about them. After all, Bill Moyers does it, and he's a "respected journalist." Maybe next time he wants to write about evangelicals or fundamentalists, he'll actually go out and find a few, and talk to them, rather than misrepresenting their beliefs and insulting everyone's intelligence.

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March 06, 2005

Blogroll Cruise: 3/6/05

Same format today. I'll probably NOT do the cruise on Thursday or Friday, because of school, but every other day, it will be here.

  • CoffeeSwirls is blogging the Heidelberg Catechism -- question 27 is today's entry. This is a pretty good idea for anyone -- consider what you believe, and why you believe it.
  • The Banty Rooster is up in arms about "gender-neutral restrooms". I agree that this is a really bad idea, which means it will probably be done in the next month or so.
  • Lawreligionculturereview is blogging about the Socratic Method -- which is my own personal favorite method in teaching. I LOVE the story related in this post, and figure that, sooner or later, it will happen in a class I'm teaching. At this point, I'd just love to teach students who can think on their feet that way.
  • IntolerantElle.com asks the immortal question, "How Twisted is This?" The obvious response, at least to my way of thinking, is VERY. Go there, read, and be outraged.
  • Grace Notes 4 Teens asks the other immortal question -- Why are there so many gods? It's an important question to consider, and I plan on getting that book to the top of my read list soon. My read list is huge -- I'll get through it sometime in 2104, hopefully in the fall ...
And none of these blogs have trackbacks enabled. Oh, well. I tried!

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A Quick Reminder

Don't forget to head over to Mind and Media. Stacy's set up this blog to promote Christian authors, film makers, etc. If we're really going to engage this culture, we are going to have to do it through the arts and through the media.

We live in a culture and a society that focuses a LOT of attention (not to mention money) on the media. The media has a lot of influence. It stands to reason that a Christian influence in the media is going to make a real difference in our culture -- as long as the Christian media and art we are producing is of a high quality.

That's another part of what Stacy's doing over at M&M. She's distributing some of the products she gets (books, video, etc.) to bloggers, who review what she's sending out. And we're not going to be nice just because we're getting free stuff! If I don't like something, you'll know about it. Of course, I will let Stacy know first, and see if she wants to give the thing to someone else to review. But there will be several bloggers reviewing each book/video, so if you get a bunch of bad reviews, you'll be warned. And if there are a bunch of good reviews, you'll know to run out and buy the thing!

And I will be doing the reviews here. The Pew Reviews blog that I started is, I think, going to die a slow, quiet death. When I started it, I had time to do two blogs -- now I barely have time to do one. I'll keep it up, because there are some reviews up there, but new reviews will be here. I get to keep my sanity that way (what's left of it, anyway)!

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March 05, 2005

Blogroll Cruise: 3/5/05

I like the "top five" thing I did yesterday, so I'm going to do the same thing. The first five blogs listed in the Church Directory.

  • First up, Double Toothpicks. Is atheism in decline? And is the stuff that's replacing it even worse?
  • Berkeley Godspot hasn't been updated in a while (uless they changed URLs and didn't tell anyone), but what's there is a great read. I especially enjoy the post on Sproul Plaza and the Christian speakers there.
  • Jollyblogger offers the usual outstanding fare. The posts on infant baptism are well-written and interesting, even though I'm still a credobaptist. Maybe David just needs more cowbell. (Hey, he likes the Yeti games, AND snowball fight! He can't be a bad guy!)
  • Eternal Perspectives is giving away a Systematic Theology text written by Dr. Robert Cook at Dallas Theological Seminary. When you get done begging for your copy (like I did!), read the rest of the blog. There's too much of worth to list just one or two posts.
  • My wife would have enjoyed Bear Witness if she had stayed up long enough to see the page. She loves teddy bears. Check out the moral dilema in this post -- and think about what you would do.
Figure if I keep doing this, I'll work my way through the whole directory! Don't forget to click through the SBC Aggregator, either -- we're growing!!

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Awesome Service

Just got back from hearing David Ring at First Baptist Ironton, OH. If you EVER think that you can't do something God has called you to do, or start feeling sorry for yourself because of some problems you are facing, go hear him speak. In fact, even if you don't ever feel that way, you should hear him speak anyway.

From the website:

Few individuals have felt the crushing blows that have besieged David Ring since birth. He was born to lose. On October 28, 1953, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, David was born with cerebral palsy. Orphaned at age 14, he was cast about from family to family, with nowhere to call home. He endured constant physical pain, humiliating public ridicule and constant discouragement. Yet in the face of these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, David emerged not victimized...but victorious! Life was worse than hopeless to him until his relationship began with Jesus Christ who taught him self respect and an acceptance of his physical challenges. To most, physical challenges of this magnitude would prove to be a tombstone. For David, his coming of age was and remains a milestone.
I've heard a lot of motivational speakers in my life. David Ring is the best. And as far as preaching goes -- there's not a lot of theology in his message, but you will leave revived and ready to do whatever you are called on by God to do. And every time you come up with an excuse to NOT do something, you'll hear David Ring in the back of your head, prodding you. "I have cerebral palsey -- what's your excuse?"

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Today in Church History

(It's BACK! Did you miss it?)

March 5, 1797.

Henry Nott arrives in Tahiti to begin his missionary work. Twenty-two years later, he rejoices in his first convert.

How many of us would have that kind of patience? How many of us would stay in a country to minister after all those who came with us were killed by the natives? How many of us would have stuck with it?

We live in a society that demands instant results. We have microwaves because we can't wait for our food to cook. The other day, I saw microwaveable peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches in the freezer section at the grocery store. My wife assured me that they are not a new thing. It takes longer to nuke the sandwhich than it does to spread peanut-butter and jelly on bread!!

We have the internet so we can communicate instantly with anyone, no matter where they are. My first modem was a 300 baud modem for my Commodore 64. I still have it somewhere. Now I have a cable modem that gets me information almost instantly. And in another ten years, THAT will probably be too slow.

We are a people who cannot wait. And some things require patience -- like evangelism. God does not work in our time, even though we expect Him to. We need the patience of a Henry Nott, and we will see change.

Nott's first convert? King Pomare II, one of the most violent men in the world at that time. His conversion changed Tahiti forever. You never know who you can reach, if only you don't give up.

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The NY Times Discovers Godblogs


It sure has taken them long enough!!

And it's a pretty fair assesment of the religious blogosphere, including references to Jewish, Muslim, and Mormon blogs in addition to the Catholic and Protestant blogs.

SmartChristian gets a plug for GodBlogCon2005, meeting at Biola this year. WISH I could go, but it's going to be in the middle of school season, so I'll either be teaching (actually substituting) or in class myself at Southern. Maybe next year.

Joe Carter is mentioned, of course, as is Blogs4God.

Head over there and read it -- encourage the NYT to interact with our community!

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March 04, 2005

Blogroll Cruise: 3/4/05

Returning to the Cruise today, I decided to take a look at the top five blogs mentioned on the "Church Directory" (the Evangelical Outpost list).

  • Dunker Journal is talking about colleges and leftism. UVa is "creating power bases" for budding socialists all over America.

  • Cerulean Sanctum wants to know if Christianity is broken. "I wonder if we Christian bloggers are actually doing a disservice to people, especially to those who are struggling in the faith or are considering the claims of Christ for the first time." I sometimes wonder the same thing. Christian blogs have a huge responsibility, and sometimes we forget about it. Sometimes we are the only examples of Christians people see, and we keep acting like the stereotypes they read about in the MSM. Then we wonder why people believe all the stuff that the NY Times says about us.
  • Desperate Vision has a post in a similar vein. Also read the post about Artificial Sweetner -- very good reading at this blog.
  • Fallible.com asks the eternal question -- What's up with those tennis balls?
  • And my old friend Rebecca writes about the Ordo Saludis and other soteriological terms. If you want to actually understand theology, read this blog. I may have to get her to help out with my Systematic II midterm next Friday!


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The Interview Game

I'm being interviewed by Nick at NickQueen.com (formerly Patriot Paradox). If YOU want to be interviewed HERE, leave me a comment, and I'll ask the questions -- I'm taking the first three. Answer them on your site, and offer to interview people too!

  1. How would you describe yourself, and how would this differ from your wife's description?

    I'd describe myself as a complete geek. Roleplaying games (pencil and paper with real dice, thankyouverymuch), Star Trek (all of them!), computers, the works. I'm also a devout reader -- given a choice between reading and watching a movie, I'll read any day. I'm also devoted to my family, especially my daughter.

    My wife would say about the same thing, but she'd probably add something about how obnoxious I can be, and also how lazy I can be.

  2. What is your favorite joke?

    hmmmmmmmmm.
    Q. How many KJVOnlies does it take to change a light bulb?
    A. "That's the problem with these liberals today. They want you to think that that light bulb -- the one that was good enough for Paul and Barnabas, needs to be changed. They want to take away your light, friends! WHy, I was in the hardware store the other day, and you should have SEEN the number of different light bulbs that they had there. You know why they want you to change that bulb? It's simple -- money. Not ME, friend! I'm NOT CHANGIN' that old light bulb."

  3. What is the worst job you've ever held?

    My very first job, I worked at a kennel. BIG one, had something like five different buildings for the dogs to stay in. 8 AM every day, I was there shovelling out what the dogs had done the night before. Did that until noon. THEN we had to walk the dogs. ALL AFTERNOON. The walking wasn't bad -- it was the cleanup in the morning that really got to me.

  4. If ever stuck on a deserted island what 3 things or people or combination of each would you want with you (assume you already have your Bible)?

    My wife, my daughter (misery loves company), and a computer with a REALLY long extension cord and wireless Internet.

  5. What was your favorite toy when you were a child?

    I had some REALLY cool boxes when I was a kid. Some of them were big, and some were small ...

    OK, actually my prized posession was my Micronauts collection. I had a ton of the things, and they always fought. I had battles staged out on the floor for days -- sometimes, I'd throw a quilt or blanket down, and wrinkle it up, so there were elevation changes and places to hide.
OK, those are MY answers. Now it's YOUR turn. You volunteer, and I'll come up with five questions of my own for YOU to answer!

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