Monday, January 28, 2008

Pesky Apostrophe's-- In the Spirit Of the Aforementioned Video

Has anyone else noticed that many individual's wield apostrophe's carelessly? When writing about Eddies car, people just don't know that because the car belong's to Eddie, Eddie is awarded an apostrophe preceding the 's'! Peer reviewing paper's in a 300 level class is disheartening in this regard, due to the constant smudging of the distinction between possessive and plural. I just cant' read any more papers which do'nt know where to put the apostrophe in a contraction, either. Misuse of apostrophe's has stripped the beauty from the English language, making they're appearance in inopportune places, along with incorrect form's of "their". There correct usage has tragically become rarer, making college paper's painful to red.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Totally Like Whatever"

Slam poet Taylor Mali performs an excellent piece describing the deplorable state of language in postmodern society, or to use his words, "the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along since...you know, a long time ago!"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MacArthur On the State Of the Church

Bible teaching, even in the best of venues today, has been deliberately dumbed-down, made as broad and as shallow as possible, oversimplified, adapted to the lowest common denominator-- and then tailored to appeal to people with short attention spans. Sermons are almost always brief, simplistic, overlaid with as many references to pop culture as possible, and laden with anecdotes and illustrations. (Jokes and funny stories drawn from personal experience are favored over cross-references and analogies borrowed from scripture itself.) Typical sermon topics are heavily weighted in favor of man-centered issues (such as personal relationships, successful living, self-esteem, how-to lists, and so on) --to the exclusion of the many Christ-exalting doctrinal themes of Scripture.

In other words, what most contemporary preachers do is virtually the opposite of what Paul was describing when he said he sought "to declare...the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27)….

....By contrast, today's church-growth experts seem to have *no* confidence in Scripture's power. They are convinced the gospel needs to be "contextualized", streamlined, and revamped anew for every generation. Forty years of that approach has left evangelicals grossly untaught, wholly unprepared to defend the truth, and almost entirely unaware of how much is at stake. The evangelical movement itself has become a monstrosity, its vast size and visibility belying its almost total spiritual failure. One thing is certain: the cumbersome movement that most people today would label "evangelical" is populated with large numbers of people who are on the wrong side in the Truth War.


Excerpt from pages 166-167 of The Truth War by John MacArthur

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Universanity: A Weekend Apologetics Conference

On January 25th and 26th, Dayspring Center for Christian Studies will hold an apologetics conference at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Fort Collins. The featured speaker will be Dr. Douglas Geivett, Professor of Philosophy at Biola University, and the cost for the entire event is free. Friday evening begins at 6 PM and Saturday's events will begin at 8:30 AM. Dr. Geivett will be speaking both days. More information can be found at Dayspring's website here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everyone's Going Green; You Should, Too!

America is "going green". Biodiesel, natural fabrics, and even hemp clothing have become popular. National heroes, however temporary, often have one thing in common: a concern for the environment. "Sally is our person of the month. She is 40, beautiful, a pilates guru, and she lives a green lifestyle." Thus, Sally is catapulted to a position of honor and respect, all for going along with the green ideology. Never mind that she may be thrice divorced, uses marijuana, and can't articulate a single thought. Sally has gone green; therefore we are to idolize her.

The driving force behind the green movement, the theory of Global Warming, was recently dubbed “Climate Change” in order to become inclusive of the dizzyingly frequent "global coolings". Interesting.

It has become apparent that many climatologists are far from reaching a consensus on this issue. In this article, Dr. Tim Ball, formerly of The University of Winnepeg, explains his position as one of a surprising number of "climate change" skeptics.

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification.

Why then is there such a massive uproar among scientists, you may ask? Dr. Ball replies with an interesting statement from a Global Cooling scare of 1976.

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. "It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species."

This grave warning sounds terribly familiar, except that it is within the context of an impending chill.

We also must consider that the science of climatology has only been in functional existence since the beginning of the 19th century, around the same time the Little Ice Age came to an end. The science hasn't been around long enough to properly gather and compare data for the environmental conditions of centuries past. Further, the starting point of modern climatology is significant, in that it began toward the end of that extreme cold snap of small size. In order for any Ice Age, big or little, to come to an end, there is an implied WARMING that must take place.

It may behoove us to ask ourselves if we are reacting to mere speculation in a way that could negatively alter the economy (or our sanity). Personally, I would answer an emphatic "yes". I am not suggesting that we do not care for our environment, nor am I suggesting that we deliberately throw a candy wrapper on the ground in front of someone selling biodegradable clothing. However, if one is a Christian and yet is bending over backwards "for the sake of the earth", that person should ponder what is demanding their time, energy and thought. Is it the Creator or creation? Please choose wisely.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

-Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An "Emerging" Hard Liquor Tolerance

A church in Charlotte, N.C. has in an episode of poor judgement decided to use shot glasses with the church slogan printed on them as a misguided marketing ploy (read about it here). The glasses exhort drinkers to "Give us a shot". On the same glasses, the church is then defined as "real church for real people". How is a church outreach supposed to ultimately aid in someones life change if there is absolutely nothing to change to?

Some may argue that because alcohol isn't wrong to consume that this ploy isn't wrong. I then ask those glassware advertisement sympathisers to consider what a shot glass is used for. Typically, people don't sip socially out of a shot glass. On the contrary, most throw back hard liquor for either pure drunken entertainment or as an escapist act. The wine connoisseur and the hard liquor drinker typically are not at the same bar.

In the very brief article, the pastor of this emerging detachment from truth said that "he is confident that it will be controversial, but he said the goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church. He said it's to impress people who don't". The Gospel never was and never will be about "impressing people". Having such a goal tends to morph the message beyond recognition to fit the societal needs. Once the message has been taken out of the offensive constraints of orthodoxy, it is set "free" only to be constrained again by the emerging mentality of "whatever, just as long as we're loving". Perpetuating the emerging church untruth that one need only the gospel of "whatever suits you" to oddly remain the same, this "outreach" is yet another example of an emerging church which is painfully missing every bit of the point. The broadside of the (metaphorical) barn even remains unscathed. You can call it creative, but do not call it Christian.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Be an Uncompromising Fanatic- Wisdom From G.K. Chesterton

For Our Titanic purposes of faith and revolution, what we need is not the cold acceptance of the world as a compromise, but some way in which we can heartily hate and heartily love it. We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent. We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre's castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening.

No one doubts that an ordinary man can get on with this world: but we demand not strength enough to get on with it, but with strength enough to get it on. Can he hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it is worth changing? Can he look up at its colossal good without once feeling acquiescence? Can he look up at colossal evil without once feeling despair? Can he, in short, be at once not only a pessimist and optimist, but a fanatical pessimist and a fanatical optimist? Is he enough of a pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it? In this combination, I maintain, is the rational optimist who fails, the irrational optimist who succeeds. He is ready to smash the whole universe for the sake of itself.

Excerpt from chapter V of Chesterton's Orthodoxy

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Allergic to the Intellect: The Plight of the Afflicted

Our society incubates a malady. Unlike other illnesses, the arrival of this pandemic can be attributed to human nature’s abhorrence of assiduity. Spreading quickly, the condition is one allergy which is contagious. It is an allergy to the intellect.

Hyperactive minds perpetuated by instant gratification become prevalent. Thoughts of the transcendent and eternal are brushed off; pondering the works and words of those who have gone before us is belittled.

The attitude is apathetic, “whatever" is the prevailing response. Usually given with a shrug and a convenient change of subject, “Who knows? We cannot know!” is a hasty response (whether vocalized or not) when truth enters the conversation. Absolute claims are frequently considered a societal abomination, flippantly disregarded as intolerant assaults. The laws of logic mean nothing, and wisdom is not appreciated. Reality itself is challenged or even denied.

An inevitable sense of meaninglessness is fought in vain by a pursuit of the exciting and the interesting, by becoming smitten with the polished but passing appearance of that which is new. The temporary feelings of adrenaline and entertainment have become favored over the eternally significant absolute truth.

Many souls are stricken with this allergy to the intellect. The affected mind itches and squirms when presented with the possibility of profundity. Depth is too difficult, too vast to traverse, especially when the shallow requires only the push of a button.

The words of Scripture address the condition.

Proverbs 1: 20-33

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;

on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:

"How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?

Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.

But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,

since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,

I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—

when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

"Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,

since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD.

Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,

they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."

Pray, read scripture, and pursue truth. May the Sovereign Lord help us to recover!