Thursday, January 29, 2009

Endless saliva

As Darwin's anniversary approaches - ten days, in fact - a book review surfaces. The comments on the article follow a predictable pattern, viz:
  • Evolution (note capital E) adherents laugh at the generic creationist: "The Christian bible is so full of contradictions and incorrect statements, it's really cause for laughter..."
  • Some creationists quote Scripture (Isaiah 40:22) but don't really explain. Contrary to popular belief, the facts do not speak for themselves. If they did, why would this debate have ever arisen?
  • In addition to mockery, a particular Evolutionist (note well what word can be substituted here with no change in meaning) neglects to take seriously a Book well worth taking seriously: "I just cannot believe in fairies, mystics, ghost, gods or goblins. I find it alarming and sad when others do."
One final note, about transitional forms: A fossil lineage does not prove descent. Think about it.

Both sides have smart ones, idiots, weaknesses, strengths, rabid adherents, rabid opponents, theists, antitheists, and varied quantities of faith. Creationism wouldn't be around anymore if Evolution were completely true. Neither would Evolution have come onto the scene if creationism were entirely able to explain all aspects of itself. Deal with it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hang in there

Pulling out, as our dear POTUS has claimed to be so eager to do, may be a bad idea. Ya think? (But maybe he wouldn't do the same thing if it were elsewhere, as The Stiletto points out.)

In other news, it is spring semester after all. That could bring to mind only one thing...Tom Lehrer (video)!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The conversion of Paul

Today's readings: Acts 9:1-22, Psalm 67, Galatians 1:11-24 (sermon text), and Matthew 19:27-30.

Listen to your older siblings in Christ. They can pass their knowledge on to you, and you to your younger siblings. Occasionally, siblings give bad advice (in which case: ask your parents!). But not with Paul - he's divinely inspired. He was responsible for the Galatians' safety. So he wrote the letter to them. They were falling from the one pure and true Gospel, so Paul exhorted them to return.

He'd experienced the wrong way (before Damascus) for years. He was zealous in this wrong road. Now he was instead zealous for the Gospel and protective of all his younger siblings. First he had heeded Jesus, his and our oldest Brother. Not only was Paul a convert, but he was also a preacher of the Gospel by grace.

We may not have persecuted the Church, yet we're still sinners. But we're also saved, found, and rescued by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Therefore, as His brothers and sisters, let us rejoice and exult and tell others! Listen to your older brothers and sisters in Christ, for they are there to give you the very Word of Life.

I go back to the unnamed institution of higher learning today. God bless all in college.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Circling the drain

The first embryonic stem cell (hereafter ESC) trial in humans will begin soon. Never mind that adult stem cells so far have been shown more effective. Never mind the moral issues. Never mind that the very concept of using "spare" human beings should be repulsive to everyone.

In addition to safety, researchers will look for signs that the treatment is effective.

Never mind that this sentence comes at the very end, an afterthought.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No tolerance whatsoever

Muslims don't tolerate Geert Wilders. The people of the nice, friendly book want us dead.

Neither are the nice, tolerant liberals actually tolerant. Go figure. Can't we at least support our outgoing POTUS? He wasn't all bad, after all.

Fetiche Nouvelle of Eternity Road sums it up:

One of the things you can count on about ideological purists is their inability to deal with people who have different value scales.

Enjoy the next days while you can. I'm praying that our days of democracy are numbered only with respect to the end of the world (not as we know it, but literally).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts on Black Tuesday

A list of things to think about today and tomorrow...

  • Obama is a great public speaker (aside from teleprompter glitches, anyway!), so the speeches should be excellent. One point in his favor.
  • He has, according to the morning news, a 78% approval rating. Another point for him. But, barring future beneficial changes in his policies, I'm planning to stay in the 22%.
  • Aurora notes, with very drastic measures being taken, that free speech is disappearing in Australia. I recall a video of election-night Obama supporters verbally and otherwise assaulting a McCain supporter wearing a pro-McCain T-shirt, and wonder how many days away that day is for America. One point against.
  • Yes, we've seen the COLB. But I'm still waiting for the long form. One point against.
  • Several friends will be wearing all black tomorrow. Feel free to join us.
America will see, in the next four years, our next president's true colors. Chances are they won't like them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life Sunday

Today's readings: Acts 4:8-13, Psalm 139, 2 Peter 1:1-15 (sermon text), and Mark 8:27-35.

God is life; we share Him with others, spreading this precious life to others. However, our society - even some Protestant churches - has no respect for human life. Let's look at Peter's confession. He confessed Jesus as the Christ, equivalent to YHWH, Life itself. Granted, Peter didn't understand the cross at this time, but his confession was still true.

God's life given to Adam and Eve was perfect and intended to be eternal. But the two chose to place themselves above life itself. Therefore sin is a perversion of life; abortion, a gory manifestation of sin. In ancient times, both abortion and infanticide were legal. Early Christians knew that life is precious, so they opposed both sins with all their might.

King Herod tried to kill infant Jesus too. But the Author of life had His own timetable, for He is after all the Lord of life. Now we have life in Him (see explanation to the 1st article of the Apostles' Creed). Therefore we need to protect life, whether it be unborn infants, the elderly, or anyone in between. God cares; we should too.

Next week's sermon notes will be posted later, possibly on Monday, since I won't have access to a computer for the better part of the day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brace yourself...

Peggy Noonan admonishes us to enjoy the inauguration. Given indicators of, shall we say, a less-than-moral campaign, I ask why. Why should I be caught up, if even for a few hours, in the Obamamania?

On the other hand, inaugural prayers are getting less diverse in favor of Protestantism. As a firm tolerant exclusivist, I rejoice. Later I'll put up a research paper, in parts, that I found dealing with tolerant exclusivism.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The story of one's life

In years past, I wanted to be a doctor, though not necessarily a wandering surgeon. Then I changed focus and wanted to learn everything there is to know about bacteria, particularly Salmonella in peanut butter and the reasons people are continually interested in probiotics. This is far safer than blogging about Korean money. Or opining on what Hamas really wants.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas 3 (Christ's baptism)

Today's readings: Genesis 1:1-5 (sermon text), Psalm 29, Romans 6:1-11, and Mark 1:4-11.

In both the Old Testament and Gospel readings, the Trinity is present (although less obviously in the OT reading). Let's examine both.

Genesis 1:1 - God the Father is the creator of everything, including time. We tend to forget the big picture in the day-to-day, but God doesn't forget us. Pagans can never be at peace, conversely, because they don't know the true God. First He created matter.

But the Theory of Evolution (note large E) doesn't account for this origin of matter - it has to assume that matter is eternal (what did you know, it's an article of faith!). Yet we're the ones accused of hanging everything on faith... Evolution posits that all life is the result of mistakes and a huge amount of time. Creation, meanwhile, posits that all life is the result of a loving Creator and therefore less time.

The Trinity is present in Genesis 1:3 - the Father created all things along with the Son (John 1:1), while the Spirit hovered over the waters. Verse 26 speaks of "Us" (the Trinity talking among the Persons) creating man. Day 1 - light was created because Jesus is the Light of the world. The Father was well pleased with both light and Light. This Light guides us to walk by the right path, seeing God as the source of all things, of the meaning of life. Turn to the Word. Remember that light is separate from darkness.

Side note to old-earth creationists: Why would the text of Genesis have "evening and morning" for each day if the days were thousand-year periods?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When will it ever end?

Never.

Is Israel committing war crimes? Yes, say some. Thankfully, there are also Muslims who can't stand Hamas. So, for your own sanity and for mine, please don't paste single labels over entire people groups. It's very tempting (plus, it feels great to let off steam against a generic Muslim/Jew/liberal/conservative, depending on your view), but these people are also individuals. Get to know them as such, then go find a pillow and a tennis racket.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Scrubbing: good or bad?

Bad: why are Jews persecuted as they are? Is there even a mediocre reason Israel shouldn't be counted as a country? Scrub them off the map? I don't think so!

Good: since Salmonella species sicken many, along with C. difficile, scrubs are undergoing scrutiny and being cleaned more often. There's a reason they don't make fashionable streetwear.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Physics/chemistry vs. IPCC

Notable and Quotable: Harold Ambler points out that carbon dioxide can't absorb an unlimited amount of radiation from the sun. If that were true, IR spectra (these figures, while technical, are interesting) would be useless. While water vapor may be at fault for some warming, it doesn't absorb at all wavelengths of light either.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas 2

Today's readings: 1 Kings 3:4-15, Ephesians 1:3-14, and Luke 2:40-52.

There's another Christmas story told here: God on earth in a humble 12-year-old boy. He looks quite ordinary, so how could He be God's Son? The text states that God's favor was upon His only-begotten, so much so that Christ could extend the favor of God to all of mankind. Mary, Joseph, and the extended family were at Jerusalem because of the Passover. The irony: the Passover Lamb was already traveling with them! Jesus followed the law of Moses until the Crucifixion, the sin offering for the whole world. He and His family went up "according to custom" because Christ had to fulfill the Law perfectly.

He stayed behind in Jerusalem because the Temple was there, the dwelling of God's glory. His parents didn't do a head count. The teachers of the Law were rightly impressed with Christ's perfect knowledge of the Word (after all, He'd written it - and, of course, studied it from young childhood). Later He would be consumed with zeal for God's house. It shows our corresponding lack of commitment to the Word in favor of our word.

Pray that godly zeal would consume you - read the Word, guard it, meditate upon it, study it. You have much to understand, as Mary and Joseph did. Be submissive to God as Jesus submitted to His parents. Through His submission He forgave your sin.

And that is what Christmas is all about.