Daily Archives: 27 Feb 2010

The Coolest Thing About Windows 7

Is that you can type ‘keyboard’ into the ‘search programs and files’ dialog box after clicking ‘start’ and up comes as the first option ‘On Screen Keyboard’.  Once you click on that, you have on screen the keyboard of the language you are presently using- but you can then select any other keyboard you’ve installed and see that language keyboard on screen too.

So if you’re typing away in English and need to switch to Greek or Hebrew or German or whatever you need simply call up the keyboard and you’re free of that annoying need to try to remember, or guess, where the letters are.

Honestly, haven’t you from time to time grown annoyed trying to hunt and peck for Aleph or Zayin or Psi or Phi.    Using the cool on screen keyboards in Windows 7 makes all that annoyance go away.  Awesome, right?

Anyway, I thought I’d share my discovery and thereby continue my ongoing efforts to be a blessing.

What To Do When the Devil Pays a Visit

Wenn der Teufel Nachts zu mir kommt, mich zu plagen, gebe ich ihm dies Antwort: Teufel, ich muß jetzt schlafen, denn das ist Gottes Befehl, des Tags zu arbeiten und des Nachts zu schlafen.  — Martin Luther

Chaz Bono Isn’t A ‘He’, She’s a ‘She’

Any more than the so called ‘pregnant man’ is a man.  So why does the media wish us to believe that she is?  And what is it about the media’s agenda that makes it point out the fact that Chaz is out with her girlfriend?  Lots of people go out on dates every day.  Millions of them.  But the press only cares about such things when they are attempting to make a point.  So, again, what point is the media trying to make when it informs us that

Cher was snapped with her son Chaz and his girlfriend, Jennifer Elia, at an art show for her other son, Elijah Blue, in LA on Wednesday night.

What they are attempting to persuade us concerning is, it seems, that 1) Chaz is actually a male. She isn’t. 2)  That she dates a woman, while pretending to be a man. And that it’s all cool. Coolness, acceptance, that really is the aim or goal of such reports.  And 3), that a very attractive woman will go out with a very unattractive one for publicity or money in the same way that a beautiful young woman will marry a sickly and ugly old man.

But why? Why is acceptance of such behavior so important? What drives the press to wish such things were approved of? Simply because they aren’t. And they aren’t for very good reasons, chief of which, such things are distortions of the truth.

When a lie is promoted as the truth and when distortion is paraded as acceptable then the purpose of such promotion is clear: the replacement of authentic behavior with false. The press wants us to believe a falsehood.  And people would frequently rather believe a lie, even embracing it, than the truth.  Because a lie allows us to live in the delusion that we are right no matter how wrong.

Pot: It Makes You Psychotic

People sometimes are given to assert that smoking pot is harmless.  However a new study released today shows quite the contrary: pot use, over time, makes the user psychotic.

The longer people use cannabis or marijuana, the more likely they are to experience hallucinations or delusions or to suffer psychosis, according to a study released Saturday. The study found that people who first used cannabis when they were aged 15 or younger were twice as likely to develop a “non-affective psychosis” — which can include schizophrenia — than those who had never used the drug.

Pot’s very bad for you. Don’t just say no, do no!  Remember, you have limited brain cells if you even think about using pot, and you clearly can’t afford to lose a single one.  Reject, then, the cultural assertion that pot’s ok.  Only the totally depraved wish to lead you down the path to schizophrenia.

The Highlight of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games…

Was no game at all but the wonderfully heart stirring report by Tom Brokaw on Gander and the people there and what they did for thousands of stranded 9/11 strangers.  Truly wondrous.  If you missed it, you really missed something remarkable.  As Al Michaels remarked afterwords, if you need your faith in humanity restored, Tom’s piece is required viewing.   Thanks, Tom.

The Worst Theology You’ll Ever Watch…

Has been assembled by Scott Bailey.  Be warned, though.  If you are even remotely familiar with true theology, the videos Scott’s collected will make you want to scream and pull your hair out.

Scott is, if you aren’t familiar with him, a student in Canada who is dedicating his life to explicating the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Christian theology.  He’s a former professional Hockey player and in spite of the fact that he’s a jock, he’s actually brilliant and witty and sharp as a tack.

A New Program at the University of Copenhagen

Martin writes

The University of Copenhagen has a new two-year elite master’s programme in the Religious Roots of Europe. The programme is an international programme in the sense that all instruction is in English, and furthermore, the programme is taught in cooperation with five other Nordic universities (Aarhus, Bergen, Oslo, Lund, Helsinki).

The first team started in the fall of 2009 and the students are (at least so far …) recommending the programme highly. I have now been appointed coordinator of the programme here in Copenhagen, and I also teach Hebrew and Arabic and other Semitic languages in the programme. I am very happy that it has been launched, since it is consists of solid work with the formative periods of the three religions combined with deep understanding of their impact on today’s world.

A new group will start in the fall of 2010. Deadline for applications for foreign students is 15 March. You can read more here.

Copenhagen is a wonderful city so if you or your college age children are looking for an excellent education at one of the greatest Universities in the world, I recommend you look into this.

Reformation Faith is Combative

In his lectures on the Theology of the Reformed Confessions, Karl Barth remarked, on July 24th (it was a Summer course)

[Reformation faith] proclaims that the human is not the measure of all things, least of all Christianity, and positions [the believer] before the reality of God.  The Reformation is only truly itself in this battle position.  One must, in fact, say that it lived from that conflict.

He was quite right.  Reformation Faith is a faith at war- against all that sets itself up in opposition to God.  And that warfare is and must be unremitting and unrelenting.  Failure is not an option.  It cannot be.  And neither is surrender or compromise.

The true children of the Reformation are those who stand, like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness’, proclaiming —  ‘There is no god but God, and you are not Him!

Brian McLaren Has Finally Said Something True

And while saying it also managed to say something false- in the same sentence!  McLaren, emerging church heretical leader in Australia, opined recently

The Kingdom of God is not about me but about transforming the world and everything in it…

He’s certainly right- it isn’t about him. And the fact that he has to say as much demonstrates how far his followers are from understanding either Christianity or Christ. But he’s emergently wrong in the second half when he maintains that the Kingdom of God is ‘about transforming the world and everything in it’. It isn’t about that at all. The Kingdom of God is about God. Not McLaren or this world or anything in it. The Kingdom is about God’s reign. Not man’s submission or transformation.

As is the case in all emergent theology, the emphasis is on the wrong word, in the wrong place. Emergent theology is – to borrow a phrase from Luther – ‘a theology of glory’ and not at all ‘the theology of the Cross’. And here’s what Luther says about all such ‘theologies of glory’-

The theologian of glory observes the world, the works of creation. With his intellect he perceives behind these the visible things of God, His power, wisdom, and generosity. But God remains invisible to him.

And so too does God – the real God – the God of truth and not the god of man’s making- remain invisible and utterly unknown to emergent christianity’s adherents. On the other hand

The theologian of the cross looks to the Crucified One. Here there is nothing great or beautiful or exalted as in the splendid works of creation. Here there is humiliation, shame, weakness, suffering, and agonizing death… [That] “God can be found only in suffering and the cross”…

Emergents have no idea what any of that means. Nor can they, since they do not know the only True God, the One who reveals himself and truth.

Iraq’s Forgotten Christians

Continue to be persecuted and murdered.

Christian families in Iraq are fleeing the northern town of Mosul in droves after a string of unprovoked murders left at least 10 believers dead, a ministry working with persecuted churches have reported. In less than two weeks, five Christian individuals, including two students, and a family of five were gunned down. The intense violence has struck deep fear in the tiny Christian community causing some 40 to 50 families, each with an average of five members, to flee Mosul in the past week, according to Open Doors, which has workers in Iraq. “For years Christians have been targeted in Mosul and the surrounding area,” said Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “It is one of the most violent areas in Iraq. The massacre of an entire family and the other murders is horrible. It is getting more violent there every day.”

Such ghastly and inhuman cruelty.  Muslim clerics in Iraq are obligated by morality itself to speak out against such actions.  If they stand silently by while Muslims kill Christians, they are partners in these murders, complicit and guilty.

The Thin and Fit Should Pay Less for Insurance

And that suggestion has riled a lot of folk in Switzerland, where the topic is being heatedly debated.

Speakers at a debate on ways to reduce Switzerland’s spiralling health expenditure argued that punishing the overweight was unfair and there were other ways of tackling the heath cost and obesity issues. The idea came from the centre-right Radical Party’s Felix Gutzwiller, who is a doctor. He called for a voluntary system in which patients agree to a healthy lifestyle, measured by Body Mass Index (BMI) or a fitness test. In return they would receive lower health insurance premiums than others.

Brilliant idea. Perhaps Dr. Gutzwiller will come to the States and become a citizen and run for office and promote his idea here. It’s reasonable, intelligent, and quite achievable.

Pray For Chile

Overnight Chile suffered an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.  At present 78 are confirmed dead and many others have been injured.  Please do pray for that country and a swift recovery.

The Letter and the Scroll

I can’t say that the very brief review published by the Courier is very helpful or informative.

Millions of Christians revere the Bible for its spiritual teachings, but Scripture also holds great value for what it reveals about ancient civilization. In “The Letter and the Scroll,” authors Robin Currie and Stephen G. Hyslop examine the Bible through a historical lens. Through text, maps and photographs, the book presents archaeological discoveries that shed light on the people, events and places mentioned in the Bible. It covers both the Old and New testaments, though it does not cover every book of the Bible.

It sounds very much like the old ‘bible in one hand and spade in the other’ approach to archaeology that has long been abandoned by professional archaeologists.  The review mentions only the flood story in Genesis and the ‘Jesus Boat’ as examples of what the authors attempt, however, so they may well do better than the scant review implies.  The reviewer concludes

Though the Bible and archaeology can be weighty subjects, the book’s short chapters and many visual elements make it easy to read and understand. Readers might choose to read the book from cover to cover, or use it as a reference source on selected topics of interest.

Or better yet, get Eric Cline’s book instead.

Destruction: Bored College Kids at Berkeley

Overnight, an impromptu riot to protest budget cuts and tuition increases at the University of California-Berkeley snowballed to include more than 200 people and resulted in flaming dumpsters, broken windows and dancing in the streets.

Ah yes- burning and destroying property will surely make the State reconsider its budget…  That’s using the old noggin, Berkeley kids.

According to the Daily Cal, police believe that most of the rioters were not students. Two were arrested: Marika Goodrich, 28, a senior at the school, and Zachary Miller, 26, an alumnus.

Most of the rioters weren’t students- just the one arrested and an alum… The one’s the police apparently considered the ring leaders of the violence.

Change comes by persuasion, kids. Not stupidity.