Daily Archives: 25 Jan 2010

A Thought Worth Thinking

It is not virtue which is the opposite of sin, but faith, just as it is not vice which is the essence of sin, but unbelief.  — Emil Brunner

Ughhh

Why must people in pastoral positions ‘allegedly’ do such things?

A former associate pastor at a Kenton County church is in jail on a child sex charge. John Wayne Diehl was arrested Friday and is being held on $50,000 bond. Diehl had been on staff at Piner Baptist Church in Morning View since October 2004, most recently as Associate Pastor of Administration.

John Calvin preached a sermon on September 30, 1554 on 1 Tim 1:8-11 and in it he asserts that evildoers are correctly subject to civil legal judgment for the express purpose of making their evil publicly visible.

Such visibility would hopefully 1) serve as a warning to others inclined to sin and 2) shame offenders into repentance.

These days it seems that both 1 and 2 seldom, if ever, happen.  In spite of numerous shameful reports of pastoral misconduct, preachers of every stripe continue to misbehave; and repentance is frequently more ‘for the cameras’ then in reality.

The President’s Plan for the Middle Class…

Is completely meaningless to me. And to most of the people my age that I know. He wishes to implement, it seems, the following plans:

• Nearly doubling the tax credit that families making under $85,000 can receive for child care costs, with some help for families earning up to $115,000, too.

Nope- no kids in child care.

• Capping the size of periodic federal college loan repayments at 10 percent of borrowers’ discretionary income to make payments more affordable.

Nope. No help there.

• Increasing by $1.6 billion the money pumped into a federal fund to help working parents pay for child care, covering an estimated 235,000 additional children.

No kids, again, in child care.

• Requiring employers who don’t offer 401(k) retirement plans to offer direct-deposit IRAs for their employees, with exemptions for the smallest firms.

Self employed. Nothing there for me.

• Spending more than $100 million to help people care for their elderly parents and get support for themselves as well.

Parents are both dead.

Thanks, Mr President. Your plan helps out this middle class family just, well, not at all.

Zwingli For Today

Ni disciplinae ecclesiasticae suscitentur, frustra praedicando laboras. — Huldrych Zwingli

A Bit More Geek Stuff

Evidently viruses are being spread in fraudulent youtube links being directed to facebook inboxes. Beware any youtube link showing up in your fb inbox (and thanks to Eric Carpenter for pointing the threat out).

A Bit of a Geekish Interlude

I’d like to interrupt our regular programming with a bit of, I hope, helpful geekery. Here’s the back-story:

A week or so ago my subscription to McAfee’s Antivirus program was about to expire and I didn’t feel inclined to pay to update it. Furthermore, it had gotten to the point that McAfee was gobbling up almost 100% of the cpu’s resources constantly. So I looked around at various antivirus programs and discovered one highly rated and widely recommended- AVG.

I downloaded it (though beware, it’s a huge file once you get past the download manager initial install) but it’s well worth it. It discovered 4 trojan horses McAfee had missed right off. I’m sold. And the price is right. It’s free.

All of which is to say- if you’re looking for great antivirus software that doesn’t take over your system and that doesn’t require you to sell a child, check out AVG.

Clarke: On Interpreting Scripture

Every lover of God and truth should be very choice in his selections, when he comes forward in behalf of the more mysterious doctrines of the Bible. Quote nothing that is not clear: advance nothing that does not tell.

When we are obliged to spend a world of critical labor, in order to establish the sense of a text which we intend to allege in favor of the doctrine we wish to support, we may rest assured that we are going the wrong way to work.

Those who indiscriminately amass every text of Scripture they think bears upon the subject they defend, give their adversaries great advantage against them. I see many a sacred doctrine suffering through the bad judgment of its friends every day.

The Godhead of Christ, salvation by faith, the great atoning sacrifice, and other essential doctrines of this class, are all suffering in this way. My heart says, with deep concern, Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis, Tempus eget. When truth is assailed by all kinds of weapons, handled by the most powerful foes, injudicious defenders may be ranked among its enemies. To such we may innocently say, “Keep your cabins; you do assist the storm.” — Adam Clarke

Calvin: On Self Evaluation

I know how much more pleasant it is to a person when his charms and praises are pointed out than when he hears about and sees his misery, disgrace, baseness, and futility. For the human spirit likes nothing better than to be seduced by sweet words and flatteries. That is why, when he hears his good qualities well respected, he is only too inclined to believe all that is said to his advantage.

Thus it is no wonder that most of the world has erred in this matter, for since people have a disordered and blind love of themselves, they gladly believe that there is nothing in themselves worthy of being despised.  — John Calvin

Given that Calvin is right it should surprise no one that mention of the depravity of humanity unaided by the grace of Christ meets widespread resistance.   People generally believe themselves to be something they are not.

Policy And Appointment At The Tip of the Sword

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, in a recent interview with Mike Allen of Politico warned that the financial markets could react negatively if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke isn’t confirmed for a second term.

In other words, re-appoint the fellow who has had a big part in huge bailouts for industry or else… But or else what? Wall Street won’t like it? Who cares what Wall Street likes or doesn’t like (except the Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators in Wall Street’s pocket of course)?

Our government ceased long ago to be of, for, and by the people; now it’s of, for, and by big business.

Maybe it’s time for a new American Revolution. One can hardly imagine the Founding Fathers liking what’s been going on. Government the tyrant threatening reprisal at your door if you don’t do what it wishes…

To Borrow A Phrase From Rehoboam…

If you think my previous blog was unwilling to pull punches in order to pander to the foes of truth, it’s ‘thigh’ will not be as thick as this one’s ‘little finger’.

The time has come for Christian theologians to call a spade a spade and speak what’s true no matter who likes it or doesn’t.  Hence, I won’t be deterred by naysayers, namecallers, uniformed imbeciles only partially familiar with my background and training (because they’ve listened to dimwitted know-nothings in California or Iowa), or anyone else.

The biblical witness is either the foundation of our belief, practice, ethics, and morals, or persons like Avalos and Ehrman are right and the Bible doesn’t mean anything to so called believers.

And that’s precisely the point- either the Bible is the foundation of theology and praxis or those who claim faith are liars, and ‘the truth is not in them’.

Defenders of half truth and outright falsehood- consider yourselves forewarned.  You have a foe.  And names will be named.  There won’t be any of the sort of cowardly innuendo you see on other so called theo-blogs.   The gloves are off.

This Is What Happens When You Pretend to be A Theologian, But You Never Have Recourse to the Bible for Your Silly Opinions

This is what you become.  A person who talks about the politics of Jesus without bothering to know anything about either Jesus or the Judaism from which he sprang.  And a ‘theologian’ who defends lifestyles at odds with the biblical witness – all the while imagining yourself to be oh so chic and cutting edge.  You become a parody of theology and a dilettante to boot.

Who Drinks Holy Water?

Holy water is apparently consumed by Russian Orthodox believers. Who knew. I didn’t. I thought it was used by Catholics and Orthodox as an external application to babies and demon possessed people and that sort of thing.

But the Orthodox might want to change their mind considering the fact that 117 Russian Orthodox have gotten sick from their holy water (which may have been holy, but sure wasn’t pure!).

More than 100 Russian Orthodox believers have been hospitalized after drinking holy water during Epiphany celebrations in the eastern city of Irkutsk, an official said Monday. A total of 117 people, including 48 children, were in the hospital complaining of acute intestinal pain after drinking water from wells in and around a local church last week, said Vladimir Salovarov, a spokesman for the Irkutsk Investigative Committee.

Well, that’s just another reason to be glad I’m Protestant, Reformed, and Baptist. We don’t drink water from the baptistery. We immerse people in it.

Popular… You’re Gonna Be Popular… Just Not Quite as Popular As Me…

I love that song from Wicked.

Yes, I know about popular… 😉

Oprah Mocks Abstinence, and So Does ABC’s Good Morning America

Oprah’s audience could be heard laughing when Oprah pressed Bristol Palin on her claim to remain, now, abstinent until married when ABC reported the story this morning on GMA.

The GMA report that followed essentially supported the mocking of abstinence, as though kids are completely incapable of any sort of self control.

And maybe they are.  The failure rate is pretty high for ‘abstinence’ programs.  But why?  Because immorality is in every corner of our society.  Sex sells and kids are told that they are free, if they use protection, to do whatever they wish.

Essentially it comes down to this: Oprah mocks abstinence because she is unmarried and living with someone- hence it doesn’t suit her to promote abstinence until marriage because then she would be a hypocrite.   And ABC has programs with so called ‘alternative lifestyles’ to sell to advertisers and so is unlikely to confront immorality among teens.

Parents who wish their children to respect themselves and their partners are fighting an uphill battle and unless parental commendation of abstinence is supported by moral behavior and example, then that battle will be lost.  You can’t just tell your kids to be moral- you have to show them what morality looks like every day.

Eduard Meyer: Lest We Forget

January 25th marks the Anniversary of the birth of Eduard Meyer, famed historian and scholar, born this day in 1855.

There’s a portrait for you and a photograph.  Lest we forget…

There’s No Point To Having More Than 150 Friends

Because, apparently, if you have more than that, they won’t be meaningful relationships anyway.

Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford University, says that this number [150] has been the same throughout history and among different societies. “The interesting thing is that you can have 1500 friends (online) but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world,” Prof Dunbar told the Times Online.

That makes me feel better for keeping my own list of FB friends under 100.   And thanks to Mark Stevens for mentioning the report.

The Ethiopian Airliner

If you’re the praying sort, do so for the families of those lost when an Ethiopian airliner that went down in the Meditteranean overnight.

The Boeing 737 bound for Addis Ababa in Ethiopia fell into the Mediterranean in a ball of fire with 90 people on board. At least 14 bodies have been recovered, and there has been no news of anyone surviving the crash.

Tragedies are tragic whether the victims are few in number or many.  We have a tendency to focus on the big tragedies without paying much attention to the small.