Friday, July 31, 2009

On Pietism

(this is different, but related to the religious movement Pietism, related to Methodism)
I previously wrote on the tension between Legalism and Antimonialism.

There is a similar tension between Pietism and Antimonialism.

The pietist looks for outward signs of conversion (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; Rom 6).

Piety is a good thing. As Christians (new men) we should show the effects of this new-ness. We should strive to be good examples (ambassadors) of our Lord (Col 3:17).

There should be something in our daily living which leads people to ask "the reason for the hope in us" (1 Peter 3:15).

Similarly, a nation of Christians should show it. The "Protestant Work Ethic" should be more than tradition or a drive to get more for ourselves. It should be driven by theology.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sabbath Keeping

I have been intentionally avoiding this topic, but this bizarre news from France deserves comment.

First a little history: France has been historically dominated by the Catholic Church. There was a brief time during the Reformation, when French Calvinists (called Huguenots) attempted to become dominant. Protestantism was basically illegal, until just before the French Revolution (which was basically atheistic). After the end of the Revolution, modernism was in full swing, and it is hard to imagine religion of any kind having much hold.

Which brings us to a bizarre law from 1906 which "forbids Sunday trading in all but the largest cities".

Even more bizarre is the opposition to lifting the ban, although it is stemming from labor unions and socialists for economic and political reasons, rather than religious.

Two questions then:
  1. Are Christians required to keep the Sabbath?
  2. Is Sunday the Sabbath day?
I'll take the second question first, because it is easier - no. "Sabbath" means rest, and Saturday (the seventh day) is the day of rest, instituted by God at Creation (before the Fall, before Moses gave the Ten Commandments). It hasn't changed, and cannot be changed.

Okay, so why do I go to church on Sunday - and why am I not in an Adventist church? - essentially, the first question.

The Sabbath is a shadow, a sign pointing forward.

Jesus Christ is our rest.

I "keep the Sabbath" by keeping in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


GURPS Space says something to effect of, "The good Lord must love space, He sure made an awful lot of it."

Similarly with irony. I'm not sure of God's exact stand on irony (it may be a result of the Fall). But He sure makes an awful lot of it.

I have been listening to a sermon by John Macarthur (aka Johnny Mac, which I sadly don't have a link for).

It is called "The Comedy at Calvary".

Of course, you might think that odd. The crucifixion was a terribly tragic thing.

But not for the people orchestrating it.

They saw this as the final repudiation of Jesus' ministry, and the validation of their own behavior.

Similarly, God uses the foolishness of preaching the Gospel, to overturn the "wisdom" of the world.

The ironing is delicious.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sex Again

Last time I looked at the time percentages behind sex.

Now Science Daily has given me the opportunity to rant about late night TV commercials! (Yea!)

If you watch TV after about 9pm (and for some reason, mostly Sci-Fi related stuff), you've seen the ones I'm talking about:
Guy: I have herpes.
Girl: And I don't.
Guy: And we'd like to keep it that way.
Announcer: Tetra-metha-super-hydro-medicine will reduce your chance of getting herpes.

I always have to say, "Hey! Lady! You could, like, you know, get a guy who doesn't have herpes!"

They have hard numbers. Hard numbers are always fun:
  • 5,384 people in the study (~1794 women, leaving 3590 men)
  • 415 people got herpes by the end of the study (same ratio, so ~138 women)
  • Condoms gave a 30% advantage
Sadly, we don't know the ratio of condom use, so we can't calculate the base rates. We do know that 415/5384 = 7.7% of the people got herpes - that's 1 in 13. Maybe 1 in 10 base?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NIH and Dred Scott

The Dred Scott Decision is perhaps one of the most famously bad decisions of the Supreme Court. It was just four years later that the Civil War began, and later the decision was overturned by the 13th and 14th ammendments.

The decision is chilling in its terms:
"Does not this show that property in a human being does not arise from nature or from the common law, but, in the language of this court, 'it is a mere municipal regulation, founded upon and limited to the range of the territorial laws?'" (Page 60, US 549)
"A slave is not a mere chattel. He bears the impress of his Maker, and is amenable to the laws of God and man, and he is destined to an endless existence." (US 550)
This was clearly a different time, when the Court would acknowledge God as Creator. Yet, in the same breath, they would deny a human being such a basic right as freedom.

That is certainly their right to do. But such a perversion of nature cannot long stand.

Today we have a similar situation. I do not think it will be long before Roe and Dred Scott are connected in the common telling of history (I pray it would not take such another event as the Civil War to come about). Of course, an extension of the abortion issue is ESC...

From the National Institute of Health:
"hESCs should have been derived from human embryos: that were created using in vitro fertilization for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for this purpose"
If you are "no longer needed", you can be killed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

ASC and Alzheimer's

Science Daily is reporting an experiment with mice. A compound usually used to stimulate the growth of additional bone marrow stem cells may be able to stimulate neural stem cells to offset Alzheimer's.

This is being driven into human tests.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ASC and Heart Attack

There has been a lot of developments in the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of the heart. The latest involves mice, and uses an extract derived from ASC, rather than the whole cells.