Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Should We Then Live

"How Should We Then Live" (Francis Schaeffer)(audio) - This book really surprised me.

First, the title made me think that it would be on orthopraxy (right living).  It is actually a short survey of history from the Fall of Rome to "modern" day (1976).

Second, Schaeffer always struck me as somewhat liberal.  But his analysis is strictly orthodox.

Third, I was surprised how succinct he was, and how accurately he could sense the flow of the spirit of the age (and predict what would come over the next 38 years).

This is a book I will need to go over again...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What it would take to end Climate Change

A report from Google, which confirms what I've said for some time - that even going to zero carbon emissions today will not prevent climate change (as projected by mainstream science).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Doctrine and Politics

I often hear that Catholics have unity, while Protestants are divided (the old forty thousand denominations canard).

However, I always reply that Catholic unity is outward (ritual and authority structure), while conservative Protestants find unity in doctrine.

A new survey confirms what I have said.

Note the split between "Mainline" (aka Liberal, lower right) Protestants and "Evangelical" (conservative, upper right).  We also see that Catholics are not identified with any political ideology (they are disparate in their application of doctrine to practice).

It's interesting that "Other" tend toward the lower left (except for Muslims, Hindus, and Jews).

It's as I have said - conservative Christians tend toward conservative politics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why the Abortion Debate Won't Go Away

A telling article from CNN:
"These conversations about contraception are happening now, in the present day, with outdated views and inaccurate information playing a leading role."
Note first that believing that human life should not be extinguished arbitrarily is an "outdated view".

Second, let me analyze this claim of "inaccurate information".  It comes here:
"The employers think that certain forms of contraception (emergency contraception pills and intrauterine devices) cause abortions. But what they believe about science is contradicted by the science itself.
Emergency contraception pills work by inhibiting or postponing ovulation, or the release of the egg, and this prevents fertilization from occurring. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) work by preventing sperm from reaching the egg, either by creating a barrier or by creating an environment that inhibits the mobility and viability of sperm or, in the case of copper IUDs, potentially by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg before a woman is pregnant." (emphasis added)
Ah, now we come to the crux of the matter!

The medical establishment has declared that pregnancy does not begin until implantation, and that abortion is the end of pregnancy.  Therefore, preventing implantation prevents pregnancy, and no pregnancy means no abortion.

So, science tells us these treatments do lead to the death of human beings - just not "abortion" as defined by the medical establishment.  Those who define abortion as "intentionally killing an unborn human being" are supported by science.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trusting God

"Trusting God" (Jerry Bridges) (audio) - This book starts with a discussion of the attributes of God, and progresses from there to show why it is possible and indeed necessary for us to trust God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Failure in Oversight at NSA

Continuing the catalog of failures at NSA, from Ars:
"Overall, the audit found 2,776 'incidents' in which the NSA broke its own privacy rules while collecting information."
These are violations of their own rules, which are arguably too weak.  These are known violations, one can only imagine what the unknown is...

I encourage you to read the article, it is short and to the point.

The failures of any system will fall into these categories:
  1. Failures in specifying what is desired from the system.  Including failure to protect the rights of the innocent.
  2. Failures in implementation - including allowing people access to information they should not have.
  3. Failures in use - including intentional abuse of power, and unintentional access.
There is little evidence so far of intentional abuse of power.  But it is easy to see how such abuse is possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This Momentary Marriage

"This Momentary Marriage" (John Piper) - I like reading John Piper.  His love for God is evident, his passion flows off the page.  And his beliefs are similar to mine, but not identical - so I am always looking for how he comes to the positions he does.

This book is an overview of how marriage glorifies God.  It covers many topics, and is intended to help a couple think about what they are committing to.

And it's number one focus is on the glory of God :)