Saturday, January 31, 2009

What is your Hope?

Interesting article from Science Daily. An experiment created two groups of students: one who dwelt on their approaching graduation, one who thought of it as far off.
"It turns out that the students who thought of graduation as occurring very soon reported participating in more college-related activities compared to the students who thought of graduation as a far-off event."
This shouldn't be news to Christians. Whatever you think about will dominate your thoughts, and influence your decisions.

Is Jesus' return in your thoughts? Does it seem to be "occurring very soon"?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Created Equal

A quick note from the news (reported by the New York Times):
"President Obama signed his first bill into law on Thursday..."
The good news, it is not the Freedom of Choice Acts (FOCA). Interesting news,
"the legislation that expands workers’ rights to sue"
(due to women being paid less than men)

The president said:
“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness,” the president said.
Unless you are unwanted, then you can be murdered. He should of added, but didn't...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Oort Cloud

Saw an interesting article from New Scientist.

Growing up, you always hear about the Oort cloud. How comets come from there every once in a while, and kill dinosaurs and stuff.

Only trouble is, no one has ever observed the Oort cloud. It's just a made up idea to explain why the solar system hasn't run out of comets (since they burn up over time, and crash into stuff all the time).

Good to keep reminding us that there is no evidence for it, though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More on Mexico City

President Obama has spoken up in defense of using federal dollars to murder babies overseas (reported by CNN).
"Obama said in a statement that family planning aid has been used as a 'political wedge issue,' adding that he had 'no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate'."
If you don't want to continue the tit-for-tat reversal and re-instating (Reagan created it, Clinton reversed it, Bush re-instated it) - you stop! You don't do "one more tat", then call for the other guy to stop.

"In the coming weeks, my administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world."
This is a common cry - "common ground". Where is the common ground? One group wants to murder babies, one calls for it to stop. Either we stop or we don't. Apparently, Obama want's it to not stop, and for us to stop calling him on it...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Paul and Christianity

It's always interesting when someone says, "It was Paul who invented Christianity." Oftentimes it is people claiming Jesus never said He was God, didn't want to start a religion, etc.

Of course, I always ask them - how is it then that Paul went from being the top Pharisee in charge of destroying Christianity (with a good job, prosperity, etc.) to being beaten and persecuted for this faith he was "making up".

Let's review Paul's own claims: (1 Corinthians 15:3)
"For I delivered unto you first of all that [the Gospel] which also I received"
Paul claims the Gospel he is preaching is what he received from Jesus (on the road to Damascus). Also, Ephesians 1:1 -
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus"
The word "apostle" is transliterated from αποστολος ("apostolos"). It means "one sent out", like an ambassador. So it is "Paul, one sent from Christ Jesus".

Finally, Peter says (2 Peter 3:15):
"our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you"
Peter supported everything Paul said (calling him a "beloved brother"). And acknowledged Paul's words as coming from God ("wisdom given unto him").

Paul wrote most of the New Testament (especially if you include Luke's writings). That is because he is the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13). Gentiles had no understanding from the Old Testament. Paul's writings also did much to help with reconciling Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gospel in Four

Four points seems like a really good layout for presenting the Gospel. It can also be seen in 1 Corinthians 15 (preached at my local church today). This is both in content, and characteristics.

Content (verses 3 and 4):
  1. Jesus' death. Jesus' death was a real event, which followed His righteous life. His death paid the price for sin, satisfying God's wrath.
  2. Burial - The burial was a real event.
  3. Resurrection - The resurrection was a real event (the empty tomb).
  4. Encounters afterward - The risen Christ was seen by over 500 people.
Characteristics (verses 1 and 2):
  1. Preached - The Gospel must be preached (Romans 10:14).
  2. Received - And received rightly (by turning from sin, and trusting God).
  3. Standing - Having done that, we stand on God's promise
  4. Saved - and are saved.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mexico City

Yesterday, newly installed President Obama gave us a look at the dialogue and harmony he is trying to bring to our "divided nation".

He waited one day longer than Bill Clinton to restart the federal funding of baby murdering overseas (federal funding of baby murder in the US continued through the Bush administration).

Good to see him "moving to the center" and honoring and respecting those who disagree with him and all that...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Found an interesting article in Science Daily on what seems to be a rising trend - spiritualism (non-materialist feelings and beliefs, separate from any institutional divine revelation).

The article starts off with a bang:
"To make children happier, we may need to encourage them to develop a strong sense of personal worth"
Of course - no indication of what this worth is, where it comes from, why, etc. Remember, these are children who would of been murdered in the womb if their mothers didn't think they were "worth" the trouble of pregnancy. Also, children in Africa are allowed to be drafted into armies or starved to death. Are these children worth more than those? Because they are bigger, or American?

This is something secularism must work out. Clearly, not all people have the same value (or "value" itself is meaningless, as we do nothing to protect the value of some, while moving mountains to protect others). As a Christian, I can say that sin prevents us from acting equitably. We are all valuable, because we are made in the image of God. The secular position currently seems to be "we all are equally valuable, but some are more equal than others".

"Their research shows that children who feel that their lives have meaning and value and who develop deep, quality relationships - both measures of spirituality - are happier. It would appear, however, that their religious practices have little effect on their happiness."
One point in here: "feelings of value" and "quality relationships" are measures of spirituality? And again, the secular confusion that all religions are the same...

"spirituality (an inner belief system that a person relies on for strength and comfort)"
Now spirituality is a belief system! No question as to whether this system is true...

Should we teach children lies so they feel better about themselves? That seems to be the argument from most spiritualists. It is also the number one charge against Christians by atheists. Atheists seem split - Sam Harris is a big proponent of spiritualism.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gospel In Four

Today I had the distinct pleasure of attending the wedding of a brother and sister in Christ.

This is the first wedding I've been to as a Christian.

It was also the first with a clear Gospel message.

The message was spelled out in four parts:
  1. Creation - God is the Creator of the everything. As such, He owns us and makes the rules for us. It is our rebellion against God (sin) which has broken this creation, and caused all the problems in the world (including male and female rivalry).
  2. Jesus - God became a man - the Man, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God's rules, and paid the price for our disobedience (with His death). God showed Him to be innocent by raising Him from the dead.
  3. Us - The question before us, then, is "What are you going to do?" Will you turn from sin, and turn towards God? Trust that Jesus has paid the price for your sin, and obey God (as spelled out in the Bible).
  4. Eternity - Your response to that question will determine your eternal state - eternity with God, or in punishment (Hell).
(Note, I am rebuilding the detail for the points from general Gospel theory - I remember the four points as given, but didn't have my notebook for the finer details :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Osteen, Recession, and the Gospel

I won't spend too much time on this, because most everything that needs to be said has been said...

That said, it is interesting how much good press the Osteens get from mainstream media, and their continuing failure to preach the Gospel (which probably correlates...):

This time at CNN, an interview with Victoria. Interviewer:
"Your first book was released in October. Why did you write it? Who were you hoping to inspire?"
Now, I haven't read Victoria's book. But she is supposed to be a Christian, a preacher's wife. So, I would hope the book would be about why we should be Christian. You know, the Gospel - the Good News about forgiveness of sin, and being right with God...

"Relationships are people's No. 1 priorities."
That's right! Our relationship with God! Go for it, give the Gospel!

"I addressed a lot of those issues, and just gave practical advice from my life and people I've talked to. So I just hoped to inspire people to just realize their influence, their value, and the fact that they can get even more out of their relationships and enjoy them."