Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Comment of the Day

Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential candidate drew this bitter response from NOW (National Organization of Women) of New York State. It is so pouty that Obama was not even mentioned by name, just as "Hillary Clinton's opponent."

the funny and ironic thing is that all the Kennedy men, Joseph and all his sons, were extremely misogynistic. All of them used women as playthings for their personal satisfaction and toys to be discarded when their pleasure was through.

The story is linked to at the MCJ (Midwest Conservative Journal), and the comment that brought a smile to my lips was this rather sarcastic one:
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment

Take Care

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

New Lumps on "Right Angles"

Pastor Terry Stauffer at New Lumps touches upon what for some is a sinsitive issue: a woman's place in the church. I must admit it is an issue that I don't see as black and white as some do, nor do I intend to get into the subject in depth here. I will mention, however, one passage that I wonder about: 1 Timothy 2:12.
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
What does Paul really mean. Does he mean, "have authority" as in the NIV, or does he mean, "usurp authority"as in the KJV?

In other words, can a woman have authority if she is asked, elected or apointed by men, or if a suitable man is not available (as in the case of Deborah in the book of Judges?) I'm afraid I have not yet been able to force myself to take a firm position either way.

But I also came across an article linked to over at Stand Firm that shows what can happen when decisions are made for social or political agenda rather than the intention to stand upon one's genuine interpretation of Scripture.

One able minister in response to what I had said on Ephesians 5 made the point that "submit" was not present in the Greek text of Ephesians 5:22 so we did not need to bother about it! Mutual submission was all that is required! I was not allowed to respond, but I asked the chairman to ask him was "submit" in the text of verse 24 (which it is!). The answer was ducked, and one was left with the impression that either the person knew no Greek (patently not the case) or that selective use of the text was being made. This is frankly not worthy of us as evangelicals. I am loathe to accuse and come to such conclusions, but I was deeply disturbed by what appeared to be on this occasion a lack of integrity in handling evidence.
Read it all here

It is one thing to differ with one another when holding sincere yet differing interpretations of the Bible. It is quite another to bend, stretch, or cherrypick Scripture to fit a preconceived and predetermined position. Then it truly becomes a slippery slope. Because once one has compromised the authority of Scritpure on one issue, it becomes that much easier to do it again the next time. If one merely promotes women's ordination because one thinks it is an idea whose time has come, thinking that the Bible is an outdated anachronism no longer applicable to modern times (even if only in certain areas), then one may easily find oneself doing the same with the Bible's positions in other areas, such as sexuality. Unfortunately, I have a sense that this has too often been the case, and the introduction of women's ordination has been followed by compromises in other areas, especially those of sexuality. It's not that I think that one necessarily leads to the other, in a causal sense, but that both are symptoms of a lack of respect for the authority of Scripture.

Once we leave the position that Scripture is true and relevant for all situations and for all time, we must question whether we can count on it being relevant at all.

And if we do that, how can we be sure of any aspect of our faith?

Take Care

Friday, 25 January 2008

Chesterton for a Friday Night

Words as true today as then...
When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life who has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress. [11/8/24]

Or, might I add, the "enlightened" liberal.

Take Care

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sermons? from Fred Hiltz

Here are two "sermons" given recently by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. I will not reproduce them but you can access them both below.

Here, just out, he preaches on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Earlier in the month he gave his New Years Message here.

It stikes me that these are nothing more than, "...and then we..." recitations, not sermons at all. They are lists. A sermon IMHO is where Christ is preached, or the Word of God presented and expounded upon.

Another accomplishment he might add to his list? The real God and Jesus have been asked to leave many ACC churches -- they seem to be making people uncomfortable.

Take Care

Saturday, 19 January 2008

...As a Testimony to All Nations...

Stand Firm links to This interesting article involving the growth of the Christian faith in China.

I have long opined, to anyone who cared to be an opinee (and probably some who didn't) that the next great Christian nation in the world would be China. I present no research or even expertise to support this opinion, but I believe it will be the case nonetheless. I truly expect that some of our children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren (depending upon the generation of the reader) will be emigrating to Asia some day, much as many of our forebears came to this country from Europe.

I believe that the greatness of our western society parallelled its Christian heritage, and now that our society's Christian faith is waning and that of Asia is on the ascent, our respective societies are going to fall and rise correspondingly. Even such a discerner (even in times past an arbiter, if you like) of trends as George Carlin refers to American society now as, "circling the drain."

And it seems to me that here might be an interesting thought for eschatologists. The Christian faith started in Jerusalem in the middle east. From there it moved generally westward, from Judea and Samaria (Acts 1:8, 8:1) to Asia Minor (Acts 13) and into Europe (16:10-12). From Europe it eventually crossed the Atlantic and rolled westward across the North American continent. The real growth in Christianity is now taking place across the Pacific in Asia, while stagnation and decline seems to have set in here in America and Canada.

Might we expect the gospel to continue travelling westward through the Indian subcontinent and someday return full circle to the middle east, even Jerusalem where it all began. It will have travelled throughout the whole world, full circle, so to speak. And at that time, it's interesting to wonder, might Jesus' words be fulfilled that he spoke in Matthew's gospel...
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

...Just thinking.

Take Care

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Washington Post Neologisms

Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. Here are some of them:
Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), a religion that believes that when you die your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

The Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here's a sample:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

Take Care

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Homosexuality Genetic? Prove It, Don't Assume It!

TitusOneNine posts this... which is regarding a series of communications here between one Jacqueline Keenan and presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the American Episcopal church.

Read the letters first at the second link first and then check the comments on TitusOneNine. I can add nothing more, except to say that this applies across borders. It is equally relevant to what's happening in the Canadian Anglican church as well.

Take care

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Watch Ben Stein's Movie

Freedom of thought no longer flourishes in academia. Science is no longer open to question or investigation, at least not some. Darwinism closes minds.

Find the trailer Here...

Thanks again to Doug Wilson

Take Care

Made Me Laugh

Posted by Doug Wilson at BLOG and MABLOG
It seems that President Bush's advisors came into his office to notify him that three Brazilian soldiers had been killed. He went white in the face, and passed out. When he came to moments later, still ashen, he looked at his advisors and said, "Just . . . just how many soldiers is three brazilian?"

Take Care

Monday, 14 January 2008

Challies on Biblical Inerancy

Tim Challies has put together a helpful series of articles on Biblical inerrancy.
What exactly is inerrancy? Tim covers it quite nicely by quoting Wayne Grudem:
Of the few definitions or attempts at definition that I found, Wayne Grudem’s definition in his Systematic Theology seemed most clear. Here is a solid working definition of inerrancy: “The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” It is that simple.

but then he gives his own definition which I thought was even more concise and to the point:

So what we affirm in this definition, is that a perfect God moved human authors, by His Spirit, to perfectly transcribe what He wanted to communicate.

You can access all the posts here

In one of the articles, Tim addresses the matter of approximate numbers. I remember being involved in an on-line discussion on 1 Kings 7:23,

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.

Skeptics were taking this verse overly literally (it's funny how a non-believer with an axe to grind suddenly believes in taking the Bible literally) and quibbling about the value of Pi.

I remember giving two possible answers in keeping with the silly level to which I felt the debate had sunk. First of all, I said, just because it took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it doesn't mean there wasn't some left over at the end of the line. It would be like me saying I measured my 100 foot property with a three foot yardstick.

My second suggested solution was that perhaps they used a rubber line and stretched it to fit.

God always supplies an answer for every objection.

Take Care

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Bob Dylan - Saving Grace

If You find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven?
Guess I owe You some kind of apology.
I've escaped death so many times, I know I'm only living
By the saving grace that's over me.

By this time I'd-a thought I would be sleeping
In a pine box for all eternity.
My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping
For the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection,
Wherever I am welcome is where I'll be.
I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection
Is the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the devil's shining light, it can be most blinding,
But to search for love, that ain't no more than vanity.
As I look around this world all that I'm finding
Is the saving grace that's over me.

The wicked know no peace and you just can't fake it,
There's only one road and it leads to Calvary.
It gets discouraging at times, but I know I'll make it
By the saving grace that's over me.

Bob Dylan 1980

Thanks to babyblueonline for the link and the lyrics.

Take Care

Chesterton and a Rant of My Own

But Voltaire, even at his best, really began that modern mood that has blighted all the humanitarianism he honestly supported. He started the horrible habit of helping human beings only through pitying them, and never through respecting them.
Through him the oppression of the poor became a sort of cruelty to animals, and the loss of all that mystical sense that to wrong the image of God is to insult the ambassador of a King. (From “As I Was Saying”)

It struck me as I read this quote that things have not really changed that much. Although what I am about to say does not necessarily follow directly from Chesterton’s quote, I somehow see a connection. It has to do with the “elites” and their “little people.”

The elites that take up certain causes often see themselves, in some righteous sense, as outside the problem, somehow detached from those they would take under their wings, so to speak, and their crusade is to get others to solve it, all the while not believing (or at least excepting or excusing) themselves to be part of it and therefore not having to make sacrifices themselves to reach the solution. In other words, many modern crusaders are happy to take up causes as long as the solution involves sacrifices more on the part of others, while they themselves are not inconvenienced to the point of any excess personal discomfort.

I think of the (former) McCartneys and the seal hunt, for instance. And I think of the latest “in” thing among the celebrity elite of buying carbon credits (or carbon, “indulgences” as my fellow blogger Scott puts it) so that they can continue in their profligate lifestyles while their consciences are assuaged by the notion that their wastefulness is somehow offset by someone else’s thrift. I think particularly of the Al Gores and the David Suzukis, and the attendees at the recent climate-change conference in Indonesia, self righteously flying around the country and the world on airplanes to distribute their dire warnings of global warming, ironically spewing tonnes of alleged greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The story came out a few months ago that Al Gore uses several times the energy in his home of the average home in his state, and as far as I know, although I could be wrong, he hasn’t moved yet. Imagine! Someone so passionate about what they see as a crisis actually doing something personally about it, instead of haranguing others to make the sacrifices.

I’m not saying certain crises don’t exist. I’d just like to see a little consistency. < /rant >

Take Care

Thursday, 10 January 2008

A little Condensed History

This post was prompted by a comment left on This thread by Agellius,
...the founding of the Anglican church itself took place in a way that was in complete harmony with the long-standing principles of "Catholic Christianity", didn't it?

This is not to argue with Agellius. We had quite a pleasant exchange of comments on Another thread,. But I think the popular conception of the beginning of the Anglican Church is that it all came to be merely because a selfish Henry VIII wanted a divorce and virtuous and honourable pope wouldn't allow it. So I just wanted to give a little more balanced account.

No one group can claim innocence. There were political and worldly motivations, indeed even corruption, on both sides.

I will use as my source, loosely quoted, "The Story of Christianity" by Justo Gonzalez, the textbook I used in a church history course in a Catholic seminary.

For political reasons Henry VII (seventh) arranged a mariage between his oldest son and heir, Arthur, and Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Arthur died four months later and Spain then proposed that Catherine marry Henry, Arthur's younger brother and heir to the English throne. Because Catholic canon law forbade a man marry his brother's widow, a papal dispensation was granted to allow the marriage.

The marriage was not happy and produced not a male heir, but a daughter, Mary Tudor. And there was some doubt that the pope actually had the power to overrule the principle that a man should not marry his brother's widow, so the legality of the marriage itself was in question.

Several solutions were proposed. Henry (young Henry, by this time, Henry the Eighth)himself suggested that his illegitimate son, whom he had made the Duke of Richmond, be declared legitimate and made his heir. But that action would require another papal dispensation, and the pope refused to take a step that would alienate Spain. The Roman Catholic cardinal in charge of the negotiations suggested that a marriage be arranged between Mary and her afore-mentioned illegitimate half-brother, but the king felt that that would only compound the error of his own marriage to his brother's widow. Henry's next suggestion was that Rome annul his union with Catherine. His argument was that in spite of the papal dispensation, his marriage to his brother's widow was not licit and therefore had never been a true marriage.

Such annulments were apparently not uncommon and the pope would indeed grant them at various times for various reasons. However, the overriding concern here was that Catherine was the aunt of Charles V of Spain, who at that time had Pope Clement VII, "practically under his thumb," so the pope could not invalidate Catherine's marriage to Henry without alienating Charles V...

And the story goes on from there. Even the main Catholic universities were consulted and the most prestigious of these -- Paris, Orleans, Toulouse, Oxford, Cambridge; even those in Italy-- agreed that Henry's marriage to Catherine was not valid.
But as we know, the Pope did not grant the annulment, not so much, as we see, for moral, but for political reasons, and the rest is history.

Henry's objective was not to change the theology of the church. He was a religious conservative, not a theological reformer at all. He just wanted the power in the church in England to be in England, not in Rome. Theological reformation came later.

But the more things change, the more they remain the same, don't they? (in regards to the power thing, that is)

Take Care

...And Having Done All, to Stand.

This video was sent to me by my daughter Jen,

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephisians 6:10-18, NKJV)

Take Care

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

A Wealth of Amusing Quotes

...From "Musings from the Muse". Here is one of my favourites,
“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…. if you have one.” - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” - Winston Churchill, in response.

Click Here... for more...

...and enjoy. (Although I didn't see any Chesterton)

Take Care

Sunday, 6 January 2008

My Two Denominations Converge (In a Sense)

This title might be a bit of a stretch. I am an Anglican attending a Baptist Church. I could expand by saying that I used to attend a wonderful Anglican church when I was in Edmonton (and still do when we visit there), and I attend an equally wonderful Baptist church where I currently live.

An Anglican website, Stand Firm links to This story... regarding the proposed nomination of Dr Albert Mohler (whose blog I link to at the bottom of my own)for president of the Southern Baptist Convention .

Here is a quote from one of the comments on Stand Firm,
...Mohler’s awareness of other denominations and willingness to work across denominational lines has already contributed to a cross-denominational orthodox resurgency. Let’s hope as SBC president that positive work will be enhanced, not diluted by his other duties. Certainly Al Mohler has been a friend of orthodox Anglicans, and we should cheer him on.

Dr Mohler, in a number of his posts and radio shows, has indeed shown himself to be a supporter of orthodox Anglicans. It has long been on my heart that believers realize that the true Church, the body of Christ, transcends denominational lines, and I think I see encouraging signs that more and more faithful believers from differing denominations are realizing the same.

But here is a quote from the article on Dr Mohler's potential candidacy,
Jason Pettus, pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky. "Although I affirm Dr. Mohler’s theology and passion, I do not believe what he can offer is what this convention needs in a president," he wrote on his weblog.

Pettus believes the Southern Baptist Convention needs a unifier, someone who can gather and challenge pastors to lead their churches to cooperate together for the cause of Christ,...

Now this is not to accuse Pettus of being anywhere close, but this same quote could easily have been made by a liberal Canadian Anglican or Americal Episcopalian. I have seen during the recent debates and struggles within the two churches that the liberals can use Orthodox sounding words but mean something entirely different by them. They can quite easily use and phrases like, "the gospel" and "the spirit" but conceal within them a compatibility with their liberal, unbiblical agenda.

Too often, especially in liberal circles, "unifier" means, "compromiser." Churches make the error of thinking that to succeed we must be "inclusive." Now, inclusivity can be a good thing, as long as we reach out to include all types of people with the end to having them repent of the things they are doing wrong (as we all must) and come into a new relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We do no one any service by the type of inclusivity that tries to include them in a group but allows them to continue a sinful lifestyle. The whole point of the Christian faith is a changed life, to the glory of God. We have seen that such inclusivity just doesn't work if the truth is compromised.

So, yes, a unifier can be a good thing, but only one who is determined to unite like-minded believers in the truth, not to compromise the truth for the sake of a false unity. And who knows, Dr Mohler might be just such a man.

Take Care.