Daily Archives: 11 Feb 2010

Internet Dating: A Very Cautionary Tale

Those of you who are single and searching for that special someone – online – definitely need to read the sad tale of Tonya Parrish.  Seriously, don’t let what happened to her happen to you.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


People In Texas Think More of Football Than of God

Unsurprising really.

Facebook users in the American West appear to move around a lot, and often have friends throughout the country, while users from Minnesota to Manhattan have connections much closer to home.

And in areas in and around Texas, on the edge of what’s generally thought of as the Bible Belt, the Dallas Cowboys rank higher overall on users’ fan pages than God.

These are just some of the interesting findings about Facebook users recently discovered by Pete Warden, a Colorado-based, British-born ex-Apple engineer who has spent the last six months gathering and analyzing data from more than 215 million public Facebook profile pages.

If lots of ‘Christians’ have to choose between ball and God, they choose ball. Just ask them what they did last Sunday night. That they show their loyalty on their Facebook pages is no revolutionary revelation at all to anyone has observed Christian behavior over any period of time.


Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture, Theology, Total Depravity


Is The BBC Anti-Catholic?

Rome seems to think so.  Are Brits still angry that Henry wasn’t granted a divorce?  He shouldn’t have been.  Anyway,

Many examples back up this accusation, beginning with a number programmes over the past 10 years that have been blasphemous and highly offensive to Catholics.

Here are a few-

In 2003, the BBC broadcast — to a large international audience — a documentary entitled “Sex and the Holy City,” which intentionally misrepresented the Church and its teaching on condoms and AIDS. Two years later, it aired “Jerry Springer the Opera,” a blasphemous and very offensive programme that ridiculed Jesus and the faith in general. Earlier, the BBC had spent £2 million ($3.13 million) on a program called “Popetown” — an animated series set in the Vatican that mocked the Church and included plotlines about bestiality. Due to protests, it was banned in Britain but broadcast overseas and sold in Britain on DVD.

The BBC doesn’t like clergy either-

The corporation’s treatment of clergy not infrequently involves interrogations by disparaging and dismissive presenters who seem to view them as guilty until proven innocent. Stephen Glover, a non-Catholic British newspaper columnist, wrote how a BBC television interviewer, quizzing English Archbishop Vincent Nichols in 2007, “treated him like a member of some extreme sect, interrupting him continually, and sneering at him as though he were a half-wit.”

Why the hate, BBC?

Most of this bias is attributed to a predominantly secular mindset in the corporation that embraces, or is sympathetic to, the culture of death, whether it be abortion, radical feminism, the homosexual agenda, euthanasia, or unethical science such as embryonic stem cell research. “The BBC,” Glover once wrote, “represents a materialist, mechanistic consensus which has rejected God, and deludes itself that science is capable of providing a complete explanation of existence.”

Ouch. Bad BBC, bad.

If all this is a fair representation of the policies of the BBC, then viewers should probably take any mention of the Catholic Church with a huge lump of salt.


Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture


A New Blog Worth Checking Out

The Only Democracy?

What’s it about?

This blog questions the very notion of Israel as “the only democracy” in the Middle East, and puts a spotlight on the intensifying struggle for human rights largely ignored by the mainstream media.

We are Israeli, Palestinian and US-based human rights activists who work to preserve and expand democratic rights for all peoples in the region including Israelis, Palestinians, migrant workers and refugees. We believe that claiming that Israel is an “enlightened Western style democracy” is misleading. In fact, there is no true democracy within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and only limited and diminishing democracy within Israel.

There are already some very, very interesting pieces.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture


David Gushee: Focus on the Family

David Gushee of Mercer University has some interesting things to say about Focus on the Family.  In the Wall Street Journal he’s interviewed (if ever so momentarily) and observes

Focus “will be competing for market share of a declining demographic,” said David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University in Atlanta. “They will struggle to be heard.”

This seems to be the tone of the entire essay- Focus is on the decline and its influence is – I think it fair to say – finished. Which is a good thing.

A child psychologist playing theologian is as bad as a theologian playing brain surgeon.  Dobson really should have stuck with focusing on the family.  He actually did some good things in that arena.  When he decided to pretend to be a cultural prophet he messed up big time.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture, Theology


Roy Williams: Saying Stupid Things

Roy Williams has compared UNC’s losing streak to the earthquake in Haiti.  Really, Roy?   Your team losing a few games is as bad as hundreds of thousands of people dying and millions being displaced, homeless, hungry, and deprived?  For real?

“Massage therapist told me, she said, ‘You know, coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you’re having is a disappointment.’ I told her that depends on what chair she was sitting in. Because it does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it is my life.”

That’s a stupid thing to say.  No game, whatever it is, is more important than even so much as a small child catching a cold.

[Disclaimer- though I’m a lifelong Duke fan, I’d say the same if Coach K. had made such a feckless remark]

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture


History of the World: The Epic of Gilgamesh

You have 4 days to listen to a podcast by the BBC of the program featuring a discussion of the Epic of Gilgamesh (among other things).

4 Days, and then it’s gone.

In a special programme linked to the BBC’s A History of the World series, Ernie Rea and guests discuss the meaning of the flood tablet relating part of the Epic of Gilgamesh.  The 7th-century BC tablet from northern Iraq tells the story of the adventures of Gilgamesh, a legendary ruler of Uruk, and his search for immortality. The tablet contains details similar to the story of Noah and the flood in the Hebrew Bible.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Bible


Dealing With Doubt: Part Four

Atheists and others will suggest that the multiplicity of Christian denominations, the variety of Christian sects, and the lack of uniformity of Christian Dogma show that there is nothing in Christianity which can be relied upon. All the ‘claims to exclusivity’ cancel one another out. Therefore, they opine, doubt is appropriate and even necessary.

Brunner suggests, though, that

The fact that there are several false kinds of coins does not prove that none are genuine. The fact of a contradictory variety of claims to revelation still does not prove that none of them is the true one.

Prove it- say the unbelievers- prove your coin is the true coin.

Brunner replies, so very rightly that complete agreement with him cannot be considered a rational possibility,

A theology that allows itself to be drawn into producing proofs for its claim to revelation has already thrown up the sponge.

That is, any theology which feels the need to prove itself has thrown in the towel and surrendered to unbelief. Why?

It is not as though God and his truth must have room within the sphere of reason, but reason and its truth must find its place in God. For it is not man who is the measure of all things, but God.

Here the rampant anthropocentrism of modern ‘Christianity’ and its willingness to accomodate is exposed for the falsehood it really is. Christian theology is theocentric. All attempts to change the center are abandonments of true theology and true Christianity. The ‘true coin’ is adherence to the center. False coins deviate from the center. So in the modern context Emergent ‘faith’ and seeker sensitive ‘movements’ are false coins because they are anthropocentric.

Doubt is itself anthropocentricism.

The protest of ‘intellectual honesty’, which the autonomous reason always makes, is always a lie.

Doubt is overcome, then, when man is

… shown the greatness of his apostasy, and that he may see through the illusion of his so called ‘autonomy’. When this takes place his doubts will vanish, since he will once again be returning to his original situation as a dependent being who has to ‘receive’ everything at the hands of God. This event is the revelation of Christ in faith.

[Part One, Part Two, Part Three]

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Theology


Do You Think You’ve Seen a Ghost? You Haven’t

The Second Helvetic Confession has something to say to those who think the spirits of the dead show up and chat (or other things).

Now what is related of the spirits or souls of the dead sometimes appearing to those who are alive, and begging certain duties of them whereby they may be set free, we count those apparitions among the laughingstocks, crafts, and deceptions of the devil, who, as he can transform himself into an angel of light, so he strives either to overthrow the true faith or to call it into doubt. In the Old Testament the Lord forbade the seeking of the truth from the dead, and any sort of commerce with spirits (Deut. 18:11). Indeed, as evangelical truth declares, the glutton, being in torment, is denied a return to his brethren, as the divine oracle declared in the words: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:29 ff.).

Sorry, fans of the ‘Ghost Whisperer’ and other such farces- the dead don’t hang out among the living.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Theology


Most Americans Are Dissatisfied With the Government? Really?

A recent poll reveals the astonishing (not) fact.

Could it be that people are tired of

1- Government ineptitude?
2- Its inability to get anything done?
3- Its disregard of the will of the majority?
4- Its willingness to bail out big business but shove the bill for it off on taxpayers?
5- Its frequent misdeeds?
6- Its ill conceived and poorly executed wars?
7- Its constant lies?
8- Its lobbyist driven policies?

Or maybe it’s all of the above, and more. Republicans, Democrats, Independents… it doesn’t matter which political flavor occupies Congress, the White House, or any other elected position: all of them are out only for themselves. Being elected means being a panderer.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


The Best Performance on American Idol This Week

So I like A.I. It’s my only vice. I confess it. That said, here’s the best performance from this week- and maybe the best performance on A.I. of all time. It’s fantastic

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture


Ok, Once Again, ‘He’ Is Not a ‘Pregnant Man’

Thomas Beatie, known to the world as the pregnant man, is expecting his third child, according to Beatie, a transgender male, made international headlines when he wrote an article for The Advocate in March 2008, announcing that he was pregnant and legally male. Thomas, formerly known as Tracy, a beauty queen from Hawaii, had kept his female reproductive organs in hopes that he would someday have children. His sexual reassignment surgery was in 2002.

He is not a man. She is a woman who has had cosmetic surgery to make her appear a man. That’s why she can bear children.

I sure wish the press would stop pretending that Miss Beatie is a man. It’s misinformation pure and simple and it’s a claim which only serves to advance a particular ideology.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture


Marrying a Veiled Woman Is Always A Roll of the Dice

As a diplomat in Dubai learned the hard way.

An Arab ambassador in Dubai has had his marriage annulled after discovering that his bride, behind her veil, was bearded and cross-eyed. The couple had only met a few times during their courtship. Each of these times the woman had worn a niqab, an Islamic veil that covers most of the face. After the marriage contract was signed in Dubai, the ambassador tried to kiss his new wife. However, as he removed the veil, he was shocked at what he saw.

Ok ouch! I’m sure she’s a lovely person. But let’s face it- seeing your bride only after the marriage is a dangerous procedure and discovering that she has facial hair… nah. No thanks.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Humor


The Baptist Missionaries in Haiti Will Be Freed

The judge weighing whether 10 U.S. missionaries should go on trial for trying to take a busload of children out of Haiti was expected to issue his decision soon, a defense attorney said Wednesday. Judge Bernard Saint-Vil finished questioning the Americans and the next step would be to issue a recommendation to the prosecutor, something that could happen Thursday, lawyer Gary Lassade said. Reuters is reporting, citing a judicial source, that the judge has decided to release the missionaries: The order will be to release them,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. The decision has not yet been made public.

Let’s all pray this report turns out to be accurate.

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Posted by on 11 Feb 2010 in Modern Culture