Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gay Marriage Allowed in California

Today, California announced the date on which gays and lesbians can marry members of the same sex. On June 17th, the illegitimate court decision will yield its depraved fruit. Here are two good reads on the topic: 1) Dinesh D'Souza on why this is a corrupt court decision, and 2) Frank Pastore on the logical reasons why same-sex marriage is a poor idea. Remember: Barack Obama supports this undermining of marriage.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Brief Thought

Many Christians believe that we can and should make the Word of God culturally relevant. However, due to its very nature, Christianity is countercultural to all cultures in all ages, and is also already highly relevant to the same. To act as if we can "make the Word relevant" is to falsely assume it has no living power, and further, it is to arrogantly claim that mere human beings have power over it. Instead, Christians must remain humbly but steadfastly faithful to the Word, and in doing so, speak the timeless and culturally transcendent truth in love to others(Ephesians 4:15).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Airport Assault on the Senses

Today as I sat down in the airport to wait until called to board the plane, my fiance and I were immediately faced with what became a most miserable thirty-five minutes of useless time. During this exceedingly unpalatable time span, there was no hope of salvaging productivity to any degree. What was the reason for an experience such as this?

The trouble was that a CNN talking head was "discussing" American Idol on a conspicuously placed, massive high-definition flat screen television, with the volume reaching decibels which my functionally deaf grandfather would have found troublesome. The screen was of such an imposing size that it was difficult to escape the flashing images, even when not looking directly at the gargantuan pixel machine. It was so loud that I could not even have a remotely intelligent conversation with Justin, as we could only wince at the offending noise and idiotic sound bytes that persisted in distracting us from coherent thought. Even worse, I could not read, as mental engagement of that sort was rendered impossible as well. So, we sat in near agony while trying to intelligibly communicate how invasive and inescapable public obnoxiousness is. However, our experience was somewhat softened by a brief five minute excursion to purchase a slice of sub-par pizza.

The "public" world has become a concentrated locus for forced and unsolicited overstimulation, while riding on the assumption that society does not need or want to truly concentrate on thinking anyway. This is a presumption that only leads to a destructive self-fulfilling prophecy: To act as if society has no desire to think will only prevent many from knowing that thought is not only possible, but also that engaging the intellect is a beautiful and necessary endeavor. High definition televisions tuned to useless and cheap shows will, in this case, continue to prevail over any attempt at depth when development of the latter is not nurtured and worship of the former is the norm. All the while, culture weakens and thins from the inside.

CU Recruiting Conservative Professors?

The University of Colorado at Boulder is presently discussing how to politically diversify their campus through the hiring of conservative professors. It seems as though Hell might be freezing over.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Importance of Accurate Theology

After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7, NET)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Christian Zeal

Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature-- which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted-- but which some believers feel more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called 'zealous' men...

A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies-- whether he has health, or whether he has sickness-- whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence--whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish-- whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise-- whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame-- for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it-- he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, work, and give money, he will cry, sigh, and pray... If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill (Exodus 17:9-13). If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of 'zeal' in religion.

-Bishop J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion, 1959 ed. p. 130 as quoted in J.I. Packer's Knowing God

* This excerpt applies equally to women.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Screwtape Letters Continue

Doug Groothuis, a veritable spring of literary luminosity, has written an excellent follow-up to a previous stellar post called Screwtape Writes Again: The Luciferian Laptop. I urge you (yes, both of you) to read these. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What the Current Generation of College Students Does Not Know But Needs To

A disclaimer for those who have a hyperbole detector dysfunction: Generalizations and exaggerations abound. If you cannot cognitively digest such devices, turn back now.

1) When you are in class, it is rude to talk when the professor is speaking. You whisper poorly, and others can still hear you. This is distracting.

2) In hallways and on sidewalks, do not walk and text-message at the same time. It forces others to maneuver intentionally so as to avoid you.

3) According to Jean Piaget, egocentricity sharply declines by late childhood. Do not act in ways that may disprove his theory such as talking loudly on your cell phone right outside of the open door of an occupied lecture hall. Consider other people.

3) Listen to instructions. Read your syllabus. These things are not given so you can later loudly complain that the professor never mentioned there was a paper due today or that you should not type it in 10 point font.

4) Believe it or not, you have classmates who do not care to hear about how "totally wasted" you were last weekend. This does not make you seem "cool". Rather, it makes you sound like an imbecile.

5) When you say you will be somewhere, follow through. Consistently arriving nonchalantly one hour late is not a wise modus operandi.

6) When you use words and phrases compulsively and without purpose such as "um", "like", "ya know", and that ridiculous sentence conclusion, "I know, right?", you waste time, sound, and air. It is painful to listen to you.

7) Do not use 21st century jargon such as "way huge", "totally cool", "super important", etc. in your papers. Not only does it grieve some of your peer reviewers, it would give your 4th grade English teacher a heart attack.

8) Seeing who can cram the most obscenities into a spoken sentence is not a competition. If it were, the only possible prize would be to lose any and all credibility with the reasonably articulate public.

9) "That is like, so f##*ed-up" is not a counterargument. If you have a problem with a claim, formulate a coherent and respectful objection in your mind before blurting out a discourse-killer such as the aforementioned verbal atrocity. If no such lucid objection can be constructed, then keep your mouth shut.

10) If you come in twenty minutes late to a class, don't climb over the entire note-taking public to reach front and center, only to loudly take off your backpack, jacket, and I-pod and to slam your skateboard on the floor.

11) You will likely increase your lifespan if you look up when crossing the road at a blind corner. It is much easier to stop walking than to slam on the brakes of a car going 30 mph. You may also actually lower the heart rates of area drivers.

12) When you drive like a maniac, it frightens people. A median is not something to be conquered in your Ford F-350 on monster-truck wheels. Furthermore, an icthus on the bumper does not grant you permission to drive 40 mph through the campus parking lots. In the same spirit of the above charge, you will allow area drivers to return to driving relatively peacefully.

13) The internet does not develop your social skills. Rather, it can turn you into an anonymous sniper with chronically undeveloped arguments. This obnoxious and rude style of interaction has a tendency to find its way into the three-dimensional world.

14) When someone at the front of the room starts talking, that is your cue to stop talking.

15) Your presentation was not greatly improved because you indiscriminately inserted transition words such as "however" and "therefore" where there was no such transition. Words have functions. They are not able to be placed anywhere.