Friday, December 30, 2005

New Web Page

On my web pages I have posted a paper I did on the canon of Scripture, called "The Christian Canon Was Authoritative From Its Inception. This was in part done to look in a scholarly way at the claims of Da Vinci Code.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wired News: Biggest Discoveries of 2005

Wired says that the Biggest News story in 2005 is that Katrina and Asian tsunami were caused by global warming. Did I miss something here? Seriously, I thought that the tsunami was caused by an earth quake below the ocean, not global warming. Katrina was a hurricane that I guess one could say was connected to global warming however, there have been large destructive hurricanes before global warming. Again, perhaps I missed the biggest discovery of the year.



Wired News: Biggest Discoveries of 2005: "1. It's getting hot in here: Thanks to the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, global warming can no longer be ignored. There's no doubt about it: Earth's climate is heating up. But is it part of the planet's natural climate cycle, or man-made? That's the question. More than 150 nations are willing to do something about it and propose to reduce greenhouse gases. But China and the United States, two of the heaviest-polluting nations, refuse to participate. What will it take to engage the United States -- the drowning of another major city?
"

Barna Trends for 2005

It seems all the news media has developed "Man of the Year" and summary stories at years end. Declarations of the best and worst abound. In truth, for most people the mediocre is what is experinced. (Okay, perhaps you do live a copy of Martha Stewart Living by your bed side and start each day by exercising your horse, then follow that up with a breakfast jelly made peaches you grew and picked yourself and homemade bread, but I just had coffee and oatmeal.) What is normal for a lot of people can be called a trend. Trends are not alway spectacular, but I think you can act on it if you desire to do so.




Welcome to The Barna Group!: "Barna Reviews Top Religious Trends of 2005

December 20,2005

Trends Related to Churches

Ignoring reporters’ questions about church growth figures by stating, “church attendance is grossly overrated as a measure of anything that is spiritually significant,” the researcher instead offered four factors that he described as “indicative of the reshaping of the church in the U.S.”" Click on the link to get to the rest...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Most People Don't Ask This Question

Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.


When I look at who God is, I have the God of the Bible identified. He is not a vague something transcendent, but he reveals himself through his mighty deeds of redemption and his Word. He reveals himself in his creation and his law. He reveals himself in his incarnation and in his governing of all history. We know that he is a Spirit from Jesus telling us that God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. He is without human limits of time-space, nor is he in a process of changing as a man. He wisdom and power are easily thought to be without limit, but his moral attributes are also without limit. He is everything that is good and right. It is popular in recent years to indict God for the evil in the world, but his mercy is extended and he awaits for our repentance.

Tales From Chambana: Christmas ling-a-ling

Tales From Chambana: Christmas ling-a-ling: "Christmas ling-a-ling"

This one of the links to the Christmas lights display of an Ohio engineer who has sychonized his lights with music. The good thing about this one is that you do NOT need Windows Media.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bookstore Adventure

My good friend the Jollyblogger and I went on an bookstore adventure today. I know for most people going to a bookstore is not an adventure, but neither of us is what you might call average. (Or perhaps we are easily amused. I'm not sure.) The bookstore is in Dallastown, PA which was a nice drive up I-83 north of Baltimore. One of by biggest complaints about Christian bookstores these days is that all they have is the mass media Christian market. Jolly says that most Christian bookstores do have some things that are suitable for study, that is the CD's which are good to listen to while you study. (Read that with a jovial tone, because it was not snarky in tone.) Hearts and Minds is a refreshingly different. They have substantive commentaries, theological works from a diverse points of view, and even a book or two on stainable agriculture. Byron and Beth Borger are knowledgeable about the books they sell. When I have asked for some suggestions, I did not get just one book, I got several choices. I actually had choices that mattered. I think I will be returning with my book loving wife in tow.

The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 (web2.wsj2.com)

The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 (web2.wsj2.com): "The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005"




While the list may be an interesting review for those who are really keeping up with the Web 2.0, for the rest of us, it is a great way to catch up. I know I'm going to try out some of these cool services.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Blessing of Disunity

One of the common objections to Christianity that I hear often is that if Christianity is true, why are there so many churches? Of course church in this sense means denomination, or church tradition. There are some churches that will tell you they are not a part of any denomination, but still they are a part of a certain form of Christianity.
My first reaction to denominations is that I don't see them as such a bad thing. There are significant doctrinal issues that are emphasized and debated between denominations and that can get quite heated. Additionally, many churches frankly teach things that are against the teachings in Scripture. However, the differences between Bible-believing churches is usually not as much about doctrine as it is about the demographic that the church reaches. One church might reach the blue collar working class, while another reaches the white collar middle class. Some churches cater to an extended family. Other let one exist in an anonymous fashion. Some churches focus on music that shows musical achievement as an offering to God, other churches seek music that strikes an emotional chord. Some churches work to build a multi-ethnic community while others seek to be a safe haven for those of a certain ethnic heritage. In a sense this kind of division allows more people to participate in various types of churches than if there was one sanctioned denomination. In a sense, this organizational disunity allows for unity under a broader banner of belonging to Christ. If the only type of denomination we had was one for the educated, middle-class in America, then we might have organizational unity at the sacrifice of one swath of society being comfortable in church. It is better that there is the organizational disunity with the benefit of sensing brotherhood with believers from that church with the different sort of music down the street.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I don't even know who Jack Bauer is!

I'm once again following the Jolly Blogger, but I got the result he wanted. I think it is because I clicked that I liked Bach. Try that.

Jack Bauer
Jack Bauer


Which 24 Character are you?
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What is the Bible for?

“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13 (ESV)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
Q. 3 What do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach what a man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

The Scripture is both intellectually cohesive in its teaching and practical in its application. I have been a part of churches that fled every doctrinal debate in favor of practical application but I have been in few churches that over emphasize the doctrine above application. However I have met some individuals who over emphasize the doctrine to the exclusion of its application. I think that is because America embraces a philosophy that is anti-intellectual.
On the other hand, while not common in my circles today, I have heard of people us the Bible as a charm, as a code book, as a diet book, and as a status symbol. None of these are the purpose of the Bible.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Seven Sevens Meme

Seven Sevens
Rebecca Writes had this meme on her blog. It is a list seven things in answer to each of seven questions. I like the number seven, that is how many are in my family; my five daughters, my wife and me.

1. Seven things to do before I die.
Take my family on a big vacation
Get ordained
See all my girls through college
Go to the Olympics - spectator only
Publish the ultimate Bible Geography Gazetteer on the web
Go to the land of the Bible (Take lots of pictures to put on that website)
Do another long bike ride

2.Seven things I cannot do.
Hear the difference in the sound of a short i and a short e.
Memorize correctly the words to songs.
Save myself from my sin.
Sense when I am hurting people's feelings.
Drive a semi.
Get myself organized.
Seem to get it right.

3. Seven things that attracted me to my wife.
She is an on fire Christian
She is spunky
Her beautiful hair
She has a wonderful smile
She is a people person
She is fun to be with
She is compassionate

4. Seven things I say most often.
“If you are going to wear a toaster on your head, you have to do it with confidence.”
“I would rather be lucky than good.”
“If only ...”
“WHAT IS GOING ON!” (Each word over articulated, really to declare mayhem is going on.)
“How do you think that went?”
“How could that have been improved?”
“But I could be wrong.”

5.Seven books (or series) I love.
The Bible
Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
Bruchko by Bruce Olson
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Modern Times by Paul Johnson
Rex Stout
Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins
6.Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time).
Back to the Future
Princess Bride (Of course)
Bourne Identity
You've Got Mail
Star Wars
Much Ado About Nothing
Taming of the Shrew

7. Seven people I want to join in, too.
Big Red 5
Grandmother of many
Musik_Grrrrl
Writings of an Exceptional Being
Tally Times
Flying Horses 12
Jollyblogger