Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, September 29, 2006

Stop what ever you are doing now...

head over to Gene Cook's Unchained Radio site, and download the MP3 interview Gene did with R.K. McGregor-Wright from this past Tuesday, Sept. 26th. Spend the couple of hours listening to this vital discussion on the importance of why God is a Triune God and the relevance that has for apologetics in our world today.
Believe me, you won't forget it.
And as Turk always says, "Go to church this Sunday." This MP3 will certainly prepare your heart.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Evolutionary Evangelists

Tim Challies has a good response to a recent evolutionary propaganda piece written by barking at the moon, anti-Christian, Michael Shermer and published in the October edition of Scientific American.

Shermer suggests right winger fundamentalists must embrace evolutionary philosophy because it would be honoring to God - according to the right winger fundamentalist view of "God." (Of course, one has to wonder why a hardcore, anti-theist liberal would even care about how Christian's view God, but I digress). For example, Shermer writes that creationism is bad theology because it presents a watch- maker god who is sitting in a tool shed tinkering around with life as we know it. Moreover, he claims evolution explains original sin because it is part of our evolved nature to be competitive and cooperative at the same time, hence the whole idea of good and evil.

Now, what I have found amusing to watch over the last couple of years is the increased aggravation on the part of Darwinian evolutionists as they react to the growing popularity of ID theory among the unwashed masses with shrill alarm. It used to be when I was in jr. high and high school, evolution was maybe discussed during the first couple of days of earth science or biology class. We had to listening to the teacher prattle on with a biography of Darwin's life, then glance over the whole idea of natural selection, and of course there was the obligatory comment in a paragraph or two discussing how "some people believe a supreme being created the world" so as to satisfy the biblicists. None of us really paid attention to what was being taught. All the religious kids just endured the lecture because it was part of the routine, but no one was convinced of Darwinianism and all of us remained ignorant of what evolutionary ideology is really all about.

Things have changed since then, however, and with the advent of the Internet, the sophisticated criticisms against the evolutionary worldview raised by the brilliant, scientific minds from such organizations as Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute, are quickly and easily disseminated everywhere, especially into the hands of thoughtful high school students, graduate students and even sympathetic teachers who utilize this materials in their classrooms.

Oddly, you would think individuals who pride themselves at being "freethinkers" and scientists would encourage scientific inquiry that is "outside the box" like ID is, but this is sorely not the case. The evolutionists have turned evangelists for their cause, and poor evangelists because all they truly peddle is atheistic materialism.

Rather than welcoming healthy criticisms of their philosophy, evolutionists have responded with petty, high-handed arrogance by either dismissing their critics as superstitious bumpkins or letting the courts fight their intellectual battle for them. Eugenie Scott, the director of the deceptively named, National Center for Science Education, a clearing house for atheistic propaganda disguised as legitimate science, has made it her life's passion to legally stifle reasonable objections to the foundation of evolutionary theory. I have likened her and her cohorts to a modern day secular inquisition where any Galileo-like high school biology teacher who dares to even raise a criticism against evolutionary thought is arrested and brought before a tribunal to be tried for heresy.

Another example is curator Dr. Warren Allmon, who was disturbed by an incident that happened at his museum in which one of his docents was unable to answer the withering questions asked by some "creationists" and had to excuse himself in order to prevent any further loss of credibility. From Dr. Allmon's perspective, a family of snake-handling hillbillies jumped into their pulp wood truck and made their way out of the Appalachian Mountains and some how wandered into his museum and had the gall to reinterpret all the exhibits according to the "Bybul." In order to arm his docents against any future visits by superstitious, scripture quoting rubes, Dr. Allmon put together a 10 page guide outlining basic evolutionary thought. I review and critique it here. He suggests education is one of the key ways to squash this creationist infiltration. In fact, this seems to be the fix-it-up, cure-all solution offered by evolutionists: more education. The evolutionary indoctrination would even have to begin as early as kindergarten. The earlier they start and the more they know, the quicker any notion of a God creating will be forgotten.

Yet, increased education doesn't seem to be helping Darwinianism at all. And even more detrimental to their cause are the "evolutionary evangelists" they have rallied to their cause. They are people like the afore mentioned anti-God fellows at the NSCE and Michael Shermer, a shill for atheism, who have become their primary spokesman. Honestly, why is Michael Shermer, who has a doctorate in psychology and makes his primary living writing screeds against religious thought, called upon to write an article raging against Christians opposing evolution in Scientific American? There would be no reason for it unless there was a deeper issue at stake in this battle, that being the hatred of God by the so-called scientific community who wish to pretend this is a debate on the nature of good science. If that is true, stop letting folks like Shermer make your defense. Let's deal with what science genuinely shows us and the conclusions we can honestly make from scientific observation. Let the evidence lead us to where it may take us. But, evolutionists won't have none of that, because of what may be uncovered against them.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

I had my first Kirk Cameron sighting

On Labor Day I was at a get together with the family and I had one of our dear friends tell us excitedly how she spoke with Kirk Cameron, the former 80s TV sitcom star and teen idol and now Way of the Master host, at our church on Sunday. "He came up with his family to the Christmas in September table where I was sitting and asked where they go for membership." "Really," I said, "Kirk Cameron? No, foolin'?"

The next week when I went to church, I looked all over campus to see if I could spot him. I thought he would be fairly easy to spot being a genuine, recognizable TV personality, but he proved as elusive as Nessie.

The following week, I had two other friends on two separate occasions tell me of seeing Kirk Cameron at church. One older friend remarked, "He walked by our pew and I thought I recognized him as someone famous, but I couldn't remember who he was." I quipped, "I think he was that genius kid on Doogie Howzer, MD." "Oh yeah," stated my friend, "that's where I have seen him."

My friend isn't too keen on 80s TV sitcom stars.

The week after that, I had even more friends and co-workers talk about seeing Kirk. "Have you seen Kirk, yet?" the person would ask, "I think he is coming to our church now." "So I have heard," I would say.

"I saw Kirk over by the bookstore," stated one person.

"I saw Kirk and his kids by the fountain," another would claim.

"Kirk was over walking by the gym."

"Have you seen Kirk?"

Kirk Cameron was proving to be my snuffleupagus.

Welp, this past Sunday, I had my first official Kirk Cameron sighting. I was seated with my wife, the call to worship music just started when a glare of sun light caught my eye. I turned to the left, over my shoulder, and there he stood with a buddy. Bigger than life. They looked around for seats, made their way around the perimeter of the sanctuary and an usher sat them down right next to the deaf section in the front by the organ.

I jabbed my wife and said, "Lookit, Kirk Cameron."

So I guess he is real after all.


Friday, September 22, 2006

The KJV Translators and Their Work

Examining the Claims of KJV Onlyism [pt. 10]

For sometime now I have been critiquing the arguments put forth by the advocates of King James Onlyism. They claim that the 1611 English translation commonly known as the King James Version, or the Authorized Version, is alone the only reliable translation of God's Word in the English language.

I have attempted to boil down their arguments defending the KJV to six main ones so as to provide a meaningful response to the overall apologetics for their position. With this article, I come to their fifth argument, The Scholarship Argument.

The typical books published by KJV onlyists may have an extended section, or perhaps an entire chapter, devoted to heaping gushing praise upon the translators of the KJV with syrupy language that inflates these men into mythical characters way beyond the reality of who they really were.

Basically, according to KJV only advocates, the men who translated the King James Bible were the absolute best translators ever assembled for translating the Bible. Their capabilities, KJV apologists assert, extended into a vast knowledge of all the ancient languages in which the Bible was translated over the years, as well as a sound command of the English language itself. Additionally, they were the men of the most utmost, stellar and impeccable character. In a word: the godliest men ever called together to do such a marvelous work as translating the scriptures. They were not just your cold, heartless academics looking to earn a big paycheck when their work was complete, but men desirous to proclaim the gospel and to establish a standard with their translation work.

We want to give credit to the KJV translators and the fine work they accomplished in producing one of the world's most popular translations. The King James Bible is probably one of the greatest works of English prose ever produced. It would be foolish to be dismissive of the translators as a body of scholars just because we may happen to disagree with the polemics published by KJV advocates. However, we need to put them as human beings and their overall work into proper perspective.

In order to do that, it may be helpful to provide a brief historical sketch of the political climate leading up to the commissioning of the KJV translation and the work by the translators.

When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 she did not leave an heir to the throne. The next successor, Lady Anne Stanley, was seen as too politically weak to defend her claim to the throne. An accession counsel met and proclaimed the next nearest living relative to Elizabeth, James the VI of Scotland, the king in her place and he became James I of England.

When James arrived from Scotland to take the throne in England, one of the first major orders of business he had to deal with was the Anglican in-fighting between the High Churchmen and the Puritans. The Puritans believed the Anglican Church was too Roman Catholic and they wanted further reform. In fact, even before James arrived in London, the Puritans had delivered to him the Millenary Petition, a document that claimed to carry 1000 signatures of Puritans who were dissatisfied with the current state of the Anglican Church. The petition called for the new king to meet with the Puritans to discuss their points of reform.

Now, James was not a big fan of the Puritans. He believed in conformity to all Anglican belief, and as the new "Protector of the Church," he viewed the Puritans as disruptive non-conformists who needed to be put in their place. Yet, in spite of his dislike for the Puritans, he agreed to meet with them and convened a two-day conference at Hampton Court to discuss the tensions between them and the main body of Anglicans.

The Puritans were only allowed four representative to attend. John Rainolds, the president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was the primary spokesman for the Puritans. He and his group were given a hearing on the second day of the conference before it closed and everyone went home. The conversations Dr. Rainolds had with the king was for the most part unproductive. However, James was really warm to the suggestion made by Rainolds to commission a new translation of the Bible that all the parties could agree upon. The reason he was so warm to the idea was his extreme dislike of the Geneva translation which was the main translation of use among the Puritans. James didn't care for the Calvinistic study notes contained in the popular Geneva Bible and he, being a "divine right of kings" kind of guy, certainly hated the anti-monarchistic comments advocated by the Geneva translation.

So, James agreed to commission a new English translation, but with some specific stipulations he outlined in his rules for the translators. For example, the new translation could not have any study notes, except for alternative translations of difficult words and other textual related marginal notes deemed helpful for the reader, and the translators were to retain all the ecclesiastical language, like "baptism" and "Church" and "Bishop."

By 1604, the king had selected 54 translators (some list only 47 or 48) divided into 6 companies, working at Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster. The OT, the NT, and the Apocrypha were divided up between the various companies. The work was slow at first, but eventually the Bible was completed, revised, edited, revised again and then published in 1611 with an affixed sugary introductory dedication to King James. In 1612, the work was revised again to correct all the first edition printing mistakes.

With this brief historical outline, let us examine four important factors that will help rescue the translators from the exaggerations made by KJV only advocates.

1) Their work was political

The primary purpose of the KJV translation was to appease the two factions within the Anglican Church at the time. The new Bible was in a sense a back scratch to the Puritans and their call to reform, and it was believed they would quiet down after all parties came to a consensus as to a translation accepted by everyone. The unity King James was seeking didn't fully take place. Many of the Puritans continued their use of the Geneva Bible and when King James became more harsh toward non-conformists, several of the Puritans fled England to Europe and America.

Additionally, King James saw the publication of a new translation as a means to displace the popular Geneva Bible the Puritans so loved but he so despised. In this instance, the KJV translation can easily be considered a counter Reformation work that had begun with William Tyndale 80 years before and continued in Geneva under Calvin's leadership.

2) Their work was a revision

The translators were not providing a truly "fresh" translation. They depended heavily upon the work of men before them. They utilized Tyndale's work in the New Testament, as well as the Bishop's Bible which was the most recent commissioned translation by the royal crown. This fact alone cuts against those groups of KJV advocates who attribute some divine inspiration to the translators and their work. Divine inspiration would imply a new revelation of sorts, but reliance upon previous material contradicts that notion. That leads us to a third factor,

3) There isn't any unique, divine quality to their work

Many King James advocates attempt to make the claim that the translators used only the Ben-Chayyim edition of the Masoretic Hebrew text as well as the Received Text edition of the Greek text. Because they used these two editions of the Hebrew and Greek, God preserved His Word perfectly in the translational work of the King James translators. The problem with this claim, however, is that the translators did not exclusively use those two textual editions. They used a variety of sources in their work including the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. And let us not forget that they included the non-inspired Apocrypha in their work. If including the Apocrypha is corrupting the Bible as far as Roman Catholics are concerned, then so is it to with the KJV translators when they include it in their Bible.

Moreover, the King James translators recognized their work was not the one time completion of all translations. They anticipated future revision and improvement of their own translation. This is made abundantly clear in their preface called, The Translators to the Readers, that use to be printed in full with in various KJV editions. In that preface, the translators wrote about the necessity for translations which are true to the original languages, that capture the native tongue in which the Bible is being translated, and the revision of good translations in order to make them better. Anyone who would take the time to read through this preface will see that the translators would not agree with the claims made by current day KJV advocates concerning their persons and their translation. In a manner of speaking, the KJV translators are the KJV advocates worse critic.

Also, the KJV translation is not without its textual errors. I have personally written on a handful of notorious ones. For instance, 1 Samuel 6:19, Luke 3:36 and Acts 12:4. These translational errors don't detract from the overall excellence of the King James as a translation, but they demonstrate that the translators were fallible and were not empowered by any particular divine inspiration or guided by some unique providence.

4) They were not any more spiritual than any other men who have translated

KJV advocates heap all sorts of flattering praise upon the character of the men who comprised the translating committees. In a warped way, KJV only propaganda almost elevates the translators to divine like status. They are given the appearance of having some intrinsic infallibility or that the Holy Spirit has blessed them with this infallibility, so that they have original language skills beyond any mortal man. Some KJV advocates will suggest that these men were proto-independent fundamental Baptists who were merely victims of their socio-political age.

Yet this is hardly the case. Though these men were good men of character, they weren't any more virtuous as any other translators who went before or came after, and they certainly had their theological peccadilloes most modern day fundamentalist KJV onlyists would have issue with.

All of them were Anglican and believed in infant baptism. They adhered to titles like bishops and arch-bishops, titles most KJV onlyists find odious in any other contexts. And most disturbing, two of the KJV translators , Lancelot Andrewes and George Abbot, oversaw the execution by burning at the stake of two dissenters, Bartholomew Legate and Edward Wightman, who happened to be a Baptist.

The King James translators have left us an English legacy with their translation that will probably never be matched in skill and beauty. Even though the recovery of the original languages of Hebrew and Greek were still in their infancy at the time of their work, they provided a fine translation that has served the Christian Church well. However, let us not make the mistake of placing these men into the realm of urban legend and mythology like many KJV advocates do in their literature. Distorting the image of these men only serves to belittle who they truly were and trivializes the work they have left us.


Homeboy Shirts We Would Like to See

But realistically, it ain't gonna happen.

Inspired by the Turk's contest he is running over at the Team Pyro blog, I thought I would offer my suggestions for *fill in the blank* is my Homeboy T-shirts I would love to see, but realistically, it will never happen. (This ought to be worth a blogspot).

For Our Fun, Fundy Friends

King James is my homeboy

Frank Norris is my homeboy

John R. Rice is my homeboy

Billy Sunday is my homeboy

For The Roaring Pentecostals

Smith Wigglesworth is my homeboy

Charles Fox Parham is my homeboy

Aimee Semple McPherson is my homeboy, er, homegirl

For the "free thinking" Unitarian liberal

Faustus Socinius is my homeboy

Michael Servetus is my homeboy

Harry Emerson Fosdick is my homeboy


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Swamp Time

I have several posts in the works. I have a new article on the King Jimmy controversy, another one dealing with Chaz, the Christ-hating anarchist, still another one coming discussing my musical tastes, others on the dating of Revelation and eschatology, as well as some goof ones on non-theological subjects.

The issue is finding the time to compile them all into a lucid and readable format that will be beneficial for you.

Stupid, personal responsibility...

In the meantime, if you need a good read this week, check out Paul Manata's transcript from a talk he gave on Islam. Good stuff. No, excellent stuff.

If it weren't for the fact that he has never heard of me, I would say he plagiarized my notes from my audio series on the subject. But, that just means great minds think a lot a like.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What are you listening to?

OK people, God has blessed this world with the wonderful technology of MP3s, the Internet, home computers, Itunes, podcasts and Ipods (or the MP3 player of your choice). What then are you listening to? I do hope that you are not squandering these gifts on just the downloads at the Dr. Demento site.

May I suggest adding Gene Cook's podcast to your rotation? He is way better than old BAM Hank himself. Granted, Gene is low-tech - you only hear him on the Internet; but what he lacks with being low-tech he makes up for in content. And I can testify that his content is worth the time spent listening to him alone. Plus, each 1 hour show is beamed via podcasting directly to your Itunes player on your computer for your listening convenience.

And the guests he has lined up:

RK McGregor-Wright, who has written one of the absolutely best books on the subject of the Sovereignty of God that I have plugged time and again on my blog here,

John Frame who has written some excellent books on God, apologetics, and Van Til, and

Jill Martin-Rische, the daughter of Walter Martin.

And they are in addition to some lesser known folks who will be interviewed, as well as some roaring atheists and one well known Jehovah's Witness apologist.

So what are you waiting for? Let's get those Ipods tuned to something worth while.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ah, the sound of hippy protester heads smacking the pavement

After a rather emotional first part of the week, I thought I would return to the more mundane issue of life...

I am a law enforcement kind of guy. Even when I have a run-in on rare (I mean really rare) occasions with a cop.

The first time I was ever pulled over by a trooper was my first year in college. I was meeting some friends to do an over the weekend camping trip. We met at the parking lot of the Tasty Freeze in this small town, and I was to follow them out to another friend's rural farm where we were going to camp. My grandma's old 69' Plymouth Valiant with the slant 6 engine couldn't keep up with the lead vehicle, so I missed the turn off and became lost real quick. When I realized I had gone too far, I turned around in disgust and was going to return home when all of the sudden I see these blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. I thought the guy wanted by, so I pulled over to let him pass, and to my dismay, he pulled in behind me.

The typical conversation took place, "Where you going?" "Whose car is this?" "Can I search your car?" To which my eyes became big and I whimpered, "sure." I believe he thought he was going to catch a pothead with a load of stash in the trunk, but it was my camping gear and some old electronic gadgets my dad had left in the car. He was so disappointed he wasn't going to run-in some punk. But I received my first ticket of my life because my plate tags had expired the week before.

Another time during the late evening, some friends and I were passing through this small town called Newport on our way to Batesville where we lived and we get pulled over by a cop (I wasn't driving) who asked us where we were all from and where we are going. We responded, "Batesville," to which he said, "Well, I don't know what you all do in Batesville, but here in Newport, we drive with our lights on when it starts getting dark." Thank you, sir.

Now, I wouldn't necessarily want to do the job of a policeman, or the military for that matter, and in spite of the fact that every once in a great while a cop may give me some smart aleck remark about something I am allegedly doing he doesn't like, I appreciate and respect the job he does. I respond politely with "yes sir-no sir," and I would never, ever thinking of fleeing the police, because as officer Pecadillo pointed out in a recent post, if you run from the cops, you may receive a severe spanking.

One of the areas I really feel for our law enforcement agents is with the reigning in of anti-war, anarchist protesters. A gigantic mob of mentally unstable individuals could be daunting, and law enforcement has always been hard pressed to enforce the law, keep the protesting activities from destroying property and hurting themselves if they were to get out of hand. For years, I would occasionally come across a program on the Discovery Channel telling about all these great, futuristic, non-lethal weapons, but they were only on the drawing boards and no where close to being inventoried for mob control use. The program would showcase weapons that would temporarily blind or mentally impair the mob. Another one was said to produce sound waves at the right frequency that causes the urge to go to the bath room to become overwhelming.

Welp, these futuristic weapons are now on the verge of being used. The Air Force is recommending that these new, non-lethal weapons, designed for use on the battlefield, should be used on testy mobs first. I find that a bit of delightful news, because if there was ever a recurrence of what happened in Seattle a few years ago when chaos ruled the downtown streets by a group of wacko anarchist, before innocent by-standers got injured and property gets destroyed, these weapons would stop them in their tracks. Yes, I realize the potential for a class action lawsuit is ripe for the picking, but for just a moment, it would be a glorious site to see a mass of blacked hooded lawbreaking hippies lying on the ground incapacitated.


Musical Tastes: My Personal Adventures in Music

A frequent commenter to my blog recently emailed me to ask a question or two about music. He had noticed under my biographical information that I enjoy listening to some secular bands - what is generally termed "worldly music." More specifically, he wanted to know how I would respond to those people who argue that Christians should only listen to "religious" music and never secular music, particularly for entertainment.

His email began to stir the thoughts of my mind, because I do have some opinions about music folks do find curious. So maybe over the course of a handful of articles I can express those curious opinions.

Perhaps I should begin by sharing my personal adventure with becoming sophisticated with the variety of musical genres. I guess like a good majority of kids, I didn't really get turned onto secular radio music until I was a young teen in junior high school, maybe 6th or 7th grade. Up until that time my exposure to popular music was my Star Wars soundtracks and my mother's Kenny Rogers records.

(And for you readers born beyond the 1980s, we listened to our music off of thin and round, black wheel looking things maybe a foot in diameter. You had to listen to them on record players; CDs were still only discussed in the "future technology" section of Popular Mechanics).

My family had managed to secure a 26th inch color television that came with a record player AND an 8 track player built into the wooden cabinet. We were styling. I listened to Kenny Rogers and Dotty West over and over again, along with Andy Griffith's gospel hymns. I was quite the audiophile.

As I grew older, my friends at school listened to strange music I never heard before, something called Rock and Roll. Portable cassette tape jam boxes were becoming all the rage (they were the Ipods of my generation) and my classmates brought theirs to school where we sampled all sorts of musical flavors. Everything from Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Billy Squire and ABBA.

Being an uncool kid who's musical education did not extend past the Gambler album, I was consigned to listening to our local AM radio station in the hopes of hearing the popular music I was beginning to like being played while I drifted off to sleep.

Up until this time, my Christmas list to Santa was requests for action figures and plastic space ships. I now scrapped those and replaced it with a jambox and Duran Duran tapes. I eventually received the jambox and with it the capability to record music off the radio.

Now, during all of this time getting introduced to this new music, my family was attending a liberal Methodist Church, so I had no youth directors crying out against the wickedness of popular music. Only once did I hear anything even remotely close to being critical of secular music and that was at a weekend Methodist youth camp when a black minister said something about the Culture Club song, Karma Chameleon, having Hindu undertones. I just thought it had a good beat and I could dance to it.

This was also the beginning age of music videos. I can still remember the start of the brand new cable television experiment called MTV. Of course, my small town in Missouri was so unsophisticated we didn't have cable, let alone MTV. I had to stay up past 11 pm and watch the local video countdown shows out of St. Louis on Friday and Saturday nights.

Then also, this was time the break dancing phenomenon was in full swing, and as embarrassing as this is to admit, I was all into break dancing and the deplorable electronic beat cacophany supposedly called music that accompanied it. I could moonwalk in circles, do the wave, windmills, and spin on one arm. I am sure those who know me personally are reading this with wide-eyed wonderment.
On top of all that breakin' and poppin', I wore clothing gear which distinguishes a bona fide break dancer from the loser wanna-bes. I had the baggy, parachute breeches (for optimal twisting and spinning), the hooded sweat shirts (in case I had to jump down to the floor and spin on my head), the converse tennis shoes (only the best when you moonwalk), and the Japanese flag bandannas wrapped around my ankles (from getting tripped up with the baggy, parachute pants). I am sure there are photos somewhere.

When my family moved to Arkansas during the summer between my 9th and 10th grade year of school, we began attending the Free-will Baptist Church where my mother's side of the family went. It was here that I learned Christians are suppose to have a disdain for pop music and a divine hatred of heavy metal. Both genres were considered "secular" and the music was really just Satan breaking wind. I further was told the devil was attempting to brainwash me by inserting backward, Satanic messages in pop and rock music, and control my body by having the drum beat go against my physiology. I was troubled by the revelation of this information, so I began a personal study about the dangers of rock music.

So, let me pause here and with my next post on this subject, I will share a bit about my adventures in fundamentalist criticism of secular music.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So, Where's My Armageddon?

The folks over at The House of Yahweh intentionally misspell Bible names. I find this both highly annoying and disturbing. For example, "Matthew = Mattithyah," "Isaiah = Isayah"and "Israel = Israyl."

Yet more troubling is their hysterical announcement that nuclear war was supposed to have happened yesterday, Sept. 12, 2006.

The statement that is still available for viewing at their website, even on this non-eventful, hum-drum Sept. 13th, states:

Beginning September 12, 2006 nuclear war will start that will kill a third part of man over a forth part of the earth; but that is not the end. The end will come thirteen months later with four-fifths of the population destroyed. Yes, the sin-filled religions are supporting their sinful governments to prepare for a mass slaughter. The Savior said the world would engage in nuclear war that will darken the sun.

No Kiddin'? Well, I have to say that I am sorely disappointed, because I for one would like to have had the events of Revelation start to play out. That would save me from having to pay off my college loans.

No word as to whether or not they "miscalculated" or plan to amend their statement. I mean, nuclear war is pretty big. You have the firestorms, radioactive debris, post-apocalyptic zombies roaming the abandon cities looking for flesh and brains; not to mention the societal anarchy that would rise up to replace our culture. Al Gore would proclaim himself the Supreme Pontentate and would dispense justice by putting the criminals in a giant steel cage to fight each other with swords and flaming maces. Or better yet, they are forced to drive across the barren landscape of what is left of America in a car race to the death.

Oh well, maybe next year.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9-11 Debunking Debate

9/12: See video update below:

Almost immediately after I posted my essay remembering 9-11, I received a comment from one of my frequent gadflys, Surfer Boy, who believes the events of 9-11 were orchestrated by the government, or perhaps the airlines themselves in order to pad their stock sales. Seeing that airline profits fell dramatically afterward, I find that hard to believe, but hey, its a conspiracy, right?

Being a tin-foil hat conspiracy believer is bad enough, because conspiracies like a fake moon landing and JFK's assassination are like intellectual pornography that does vicious damage on a person's soul and mental state. 9-11 conspiracies, however, are probably the more obnoxious ones, because it implies our government, or some clandestine organization within our government, set out to murder American citizens in cold blood on September 11th. Additionally, they would have us believe alternate views of reality than what untold millions witnessed on live television and untold numbers of "on the scene" witnesses saw with their own eyes.

Upon doing the blog runs on this 5th anniversary, Hot Air has a link to a downloadable MP3 debate between two of the more slimy 9-11 crackpots, Dylan Avery and James Bermas, who even go so far as to accuse a military father of knowing about the coming attacks and sent his son to his death on one of the airplanes, and the two editors at Popular Mechanics who just published their new book on Debunking 9-11 Myths. I have not heard it, but plan to listen this afternoon if I can. There is also some YouTube video streaming of the debate if you scroll down here.


Yesterday evening, my wife and I were watching all of the video replays from 5 years ago. Hot Air, has pieced together from the CNN Pipeline site all of the pivital moments from that day. One of the more emotional moments I can remember was the late Peter Jennings narrating the collapse of the south tower. Interestingly, he could not see it directly from the vantage point on his monitor and thought it was some debris falling off the building. One of the street reporters, Don Dahler, tells Jennings that no, the building collapsed, to which Jennings replies, "part of the building collapsed?," and then Dahler says no, the entire building collapsed. Jennings' emotional reaction is powerful.

Notice how Dahler describes the building buckled at the point where the fire from the plane had burned the structure. My wife and I noticed this on all of the videoes we watched. You can see specifically where the building started to collapse. There is no "controlled demolition." The fire melted the structure, the portion from the top pancakes down onto the lower portion, and the cascading effect takes over. Simple mechanics; no CIA opertatives. It is important to keep in mind that no one in the world as of September 11th, 2001, had ever saw a 110 story building collapse to the ground, let alone two. Additionally, a 110 story building that had been hit by a passenger plane. For any arm-chair conspiracy kook to speculate as to what would and what would not happen and then pontificate like some expert know-it-all is to put it mildly, stupidity on symphonic levels.

Little Green Footballs has also posted some moving video, including several that have never been seen before. There is a graphic one showing more clearly the people jumping to their deaths, as well as a one just released by a couple who were about 500 yards in their apartment.

Morons must be silenced.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

R.C. Sproul's Ministry is Suing Blogger

see update below

I just read a link off of the Sharper Iron page reporting that Ligonier Ministries, the ministry of R.C. Sproul, is suing blogger over some blog by a guy named Frank Vance. This Vance fellow apparently has issues with Sproul, I mean some real deep down in the heart kind of hang-ups. His various blogs accuse Ligonier of mis-managing funds, of gross incompetence on the part of the leadership and the imbibing of all sorts of sin. He even suggests that Tim Challies - sweet little ole docile Tim Challies - is involved with the corruption at Ligonier as an unwitting victim.

Now, I have no clue as to what Mr. Vance's beef is with R.C. Sproul, his son, and Ligonier in general. I am assuming there is a root of bitterness growing in his heart or something; some bad blood from the distant past. At any rate, I just think it is petty of Ligonier to be suing blogger, a non-party in this tit-for-tat squabble between blogger Vance and the Sproul boys. I mean, all that blogger is doing is providing a platform for Vance to maintain his slander-screed site. Why is blogger being brought into this? Vance could just as easily go somewhere else to publish his venom.

I guess my thought in all of this is Vance should either be refuted once and for all by Ligonier or ignored. I would choose the last: if you ignore the rantings of a crackpot, he will go away or just be left rambling to himself with no one to listen but other crackpots. Over the years, my church and pastor have been the target of all sorts of loons who stand out on the street and yell, curse and otherwise slander our fellowship and pastor. We may engage them in a spirited debate for the time being, but we eventually move on, ignore them, and they go away. The last thing our elders would think to do is sue the city because they are using the public sidewalks out in front of our church to hurl their insults.

Am I missing something here? Anyone have some further information as to what all this is about that Ligonier would be driven to sue blogger to have this guy's blog tore down? I don't think this is the wisest move on the part of a ministry I happen to really like.

Update, Sept. 7th

Tim Challies has posted an entry explaining his involvement with this Sproul-Vance story. It is detailed and specific and sheds some good light on the background to this situation. Apparently, it sort of all started on Tim's comment forum. The more I learn about this Vance character, the more I am becoming suspicious as to the reliability of his accusations against Ligonier.

Also, David of Thirsty Theologian pointed out a big mistake on my part. I wrote that Ligonier is suing blogger, you know, the google blogging site. But it is really Vance, the blogger writing slanderous things against Ligonier. The blog where I linked over to the World Magazine online article seemed to imply that Ligonier was suing blogger to get to Vance. However, reading the online article more carefully, it is Vance, not blogger.

But, I still think this lawsuit is not the wisest of things to do on the part of Ligonier. The reason being is that if Ligonier does win their lawsuit against him, a court would have to force blogger to make Vance take down his blog. I believe there are some serious ramifications for all bloggers, bad and good alike, if this were to happen.

I will be curious to see what happens.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Responding to Islamic Objections

Over the Labor Day weekend when Adam Gadahn showed up on a video insulting Christians and western values in his phony Middle Eastern accent, I put a link to an open letter I composed to the Muslim squirt last year in response to a previous video with similar vitriol. I was stunned that many folks were stopping by my blog because they had googled his name and my site was right near the top of the list.

A Muslim visitor stopped by and became rather annoyed with my "open letter" and left a scathing comment that you can read here.

I thought I would bring the comments to the front page and interact with some of the points.

Comments are in bold, mine follow:

Fred, I am shocked to read your letter.

I don't find that response surprising. One of the glorious things about the world wide web is the ease of ability a person has to interact with ideas he or she may never have encountered before. For a person who is from an Islamic country where no religious dissent is tolerated, such a letter can be shocking. The person is encountering someone - perhaps for the first time - who believes his religion is internally inconsistent and that its founder, in this case Mohammed, was a religious fraud, and is not afraid to say so.

Though on one hand, the Internet can be a bad thing with all of the wickedness humanity has to offer being readily available with a couple of finger clicks on the mouse, yet on the other, the Internet can be a tool to liberate a person from errant thinking and beliefs. It is here in the forum of the Internet that God can use my criticisms of Islam to take captive the mind of the Muslim and tear down that stronghold of his mind so that the true Gospel can shine forth to bring him to the knowledge of the true and living God and His Son Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I tend to look at the web in this manner, because I just may be introducing the commenter to the true, biblical Jesus, not the distorted image presented by the Islamic apologists who readily revise the Bible to fit their beliefs.

You say you are a Christian living in America. I have lived and worked in America a good part of my life but never heard of a person so ignorant and stupid as you are. You are not a good Christian either. The difference between you and Mr Yahiya (although I do not entire agree with the extent of his anger and frustration) is that while you are prepared to use abusive language for the GREAT Prophet, Mr Yahiya will never ever use the same language neither for your GOD nor for your prophet. You know the reason, because a true believer will never abuse others prophet or their religion.

Several things here: First, I would be curious as to what the commenter has in mind by calling me "ignorant" and "stupid." In relation to what, exactly? Could the person perhaps provide some examples? Am I wrong about Islam's violent war like history? The Qur'an's lack of readability? Mohammed being a religious flim-flam artist? I provided specifics in my letter.

Second, to what extent does this commenter agree with Gadahn's anger and fustration? To the point of wanting Americans who oppose him and his gang of religious thugs to be killed, or does he have a boundary?

Third, Muslim apologists as a matter of habit, ridicule and abuse Jesus. Deedat, the famed Muslim anti-Christian apologists of the 70s and 80s made it his expertise to blaspheme the biblical record of Jesus Christ. This is documented in lots of places.

Moreover, Adam Gadahn, in claiming that I, as a Christian, am wrong about Jesus is in fact abusing my "prophet" so to speak. In his mind, obviously God was not powerful enough to properly reveal Himself and His will the first time with the OT and NT, thus He had to abrogate His previous revelation and replace it with the mental patient ramblings of the Islamic founder. Gadahn is saying that Jesus was wrong with his claims of deity and sovereign authority as recorded in the gospels.

But let us lay that aside for the moment and respond to this ridiculous notion that true believers, what ever that is, will never abuse other prophets of other religions:

That claim is false on two grounds:

a). It assumes all religious belief is equally compelling, valid, and true and should never be criticized. Thus, Wiccan paganism is just as valid a belief system as Islam and should never have its truth claims challenged. The Muslim apologist, then, would never mock the large bottomed female images of the Wiccan practitioners. I don't believe there is a faithfully practicing Muslim that would have such a "live and let live" attitude toward Wiccan's in their midsts.

b). The Bible is replete with God's prophets openly ridiculing and in the words of the commenter, "abusing the prophets or their religions." Moses did this in Exodus, and Elijah certainly did when confronting the priests of Baal. Seeing that Islam recognizes both Moses and Elijah as prophets in the line of great Muslims leading up to Mohammed, this statement about prophet abuse outright contradicts fundamental Islamic convictions. Either Moses and Elijah were true believers, or they were not. Seeing that both "abused" the so-called prophets and their religions of their time (in the case of Elijah, killing them with a sword) they couldn't be "true believers" using this logic, thus it would contradict what Islam teaches about these two men. We have a problem here.

In your so called 'open letter' you say you hate Islam and anything associated with it, its Prophet, its God and its Holy book. One wonders why? Because you are afraid of Islam and you know it is coming and spreading fast. There is something about Islam you must agree. It inspires excitement to the very core of human soul which perhaps scares people like youself. There must be a reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion on this planet and as you know the fastest growth has in fact been in the US. You must be surprised about this fact. I am talking about the religion you have disrespected so much.

So this is how the truthfulness of a belief is to be determined? By majority rule and if people really, really feel the belief in their hearts? Interesting that many former Muslims did not share this person's sentiments about Islam. For example, this former Imam. My disrespect of Islam has nothing to do with it being the fast growing religion (though I question that claim) that could potentially take over the world, it has to do with the ethics, values and rationality of the religion itself. In other words, the validity of Islam as a worldview.

What most people in the international community (forget about Muslims) disagree with is the state of Israel. There can be no peace until it leaves the land occupied from Muslims or they will continue their struggle.

The problem with this statement is that Israel has left land occupied by Muslims and yet the Muslims still insist upon fighting the Jews. So, in reality, it is the Jewish people the Muslim is at odds with and Israel as a state represents the Jew. The commenter would not be happy until Israel and its government ceased to function and ultimately exist and Muslim shiria ruled the land there. That of course would mean the Jews would all have to be killed.

related: Worldviews in Collision


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mile Stone

I activated a site meter last Monday, and since then, I discovered I have a lot of blog activity here at Hip and Thigh. At least an average of 130 hits a day. Over this past holiday weekend, my blog reached a thousand hits. That is in just at a week's time. I was truly stunned.

Now I am sure Frank Turk probably chortled a snorty laugh upon reading a "1000 hits" in just one week, because he probably gets close to that in a couple of days. But hey, I'll take that. I think a thousand in a week is pretty cool. I feel like the mayor of Cave City, Arkansas, "water melon capital of the world" or something.

What is even neater is how the site meter allows you to find out where the people who read your blog live and what website referred them to your site and what blogs interested them. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had a lot of visitors from overseas from countries like Australia, the U.K., India and even one person from Israel.

Because Adam Gadahn was in the news this past week, showcasing his new video, many folks from around the world googled his name and were directed to my "Open Letter." I had hits from all over the place, from all sorts of folks. In fact, I had some Muslim visitors, because one happened to leave a scathing comment under the "open letter" post. (I plan to respond to the comment soon).

Any how, thanks to all you visitors out there who take the time to stop by. It is rewarding to know I have folks who enjoy themselves while they are here.

Radioactive Man

I am suppose to start radiation treatments today.

Some of you all may remember my saga from way back in January when I under went an operation to remove an acinic cell carcinoma from my parotid gland (that's the spit gland for all you who are physiologically challenged). I blogged about finding the cancer here, and then followed up with a post-op entry found here.

When I went back to my surgeon for a post-op check-up and to have my stitches cut loose, he told me he wanted me to see a radiation oncologist. Even though he was convinced he removed all of the tumor and my suspicious looking lymph nodes were clean; yet, because of my young age for having a tumor such as this one (normally it is guys who are 50 plus who get them), he thought it would be wise to see a radiation doctor just to get a second opinion.

My wife and I held off seeing the radiation oncologist for a few months, because my surgeon's recommendation was more precautionary than insistent. Moreover, when I returned home and began up-dating friends and family about all the details of my surgery and hospital stay, they would ask about me getting chemo or radiation and I would tell them of what my doctor said about seeing a radiation oncologist. Practically everyone to whom we would mentioned radiation launched into a story about some obscure relative or in-law who was really young, had radiation, and then died a slow, lingering, torturous death.

"Yeah, my sister-in-law had a cousin back east somewhere who had radiation. After he puked up the lining of his stomach, that dissolved his esophagus, he died about 7 weeks later. Well, I am sure the Lord will direct you."


So after listening to all these graphic horror stories about the dangers of radiation, I wasn't too thrilled about radiation.

On top of that, the food pharisees started pestering me at church and via email.

"Why do you want to subject yourself to such unnatural procedures? You know, if you would just give up eating foods processed by man, you know, stuff like ice cream bars dipped in chocolate and smothered in almonds from Costco, all Italian foods and Southern fried chicken, and hamburger helper; and then start a steady diet drinking wheat grass juice, and only eating the foods God tells you to eat, you would be totally cured of any cancer."

Oh, I am sure I would.

Needless to say I wasn't too keen on visiting an radiation oncologist. Seeing that radiation was only recommended as precautionary, My wife and I thought we would take our chances, so I wasn't going to pursue any radiation treatments. Thankfully, however, good reason won the day. I also had help forming my decision with some research I did on the recurrence of acinic cell carcinomas, and in those patients who had them recur due in part to not getting treated with radiation, the cancer did return, but in other parts of their body. One subject I read about had the cancer spread to his jaw bone and lost his hearing because it got up into the ear canal.

So, I made an appointment with the radiation doctor and began the process of preparing for the procedure. I had to visit a cancer dentist who examined my teeth to see if they were fit to receive radiation. Apparently, if you have cavities, or even gum problems, radiation can cause you to loose your teeth. My teeth were in excellent condition. I even have good spit flow according to this dentist, so all I will need to do is brush with a special toothpaste. I may also loose a patch of sideburn hair, and it may be white when it grows back.

I also had to have a face mask made so they can line me up to the exact location of where I am going to get zapped. That is probably going to be a rather discomforting part of the daily process, because I have to lay my head down on this block shaped head rest, and they screw the mask down tightly against my face. I am not claustrophobic, but it is sort of weird to have your head totally immobilized even for just 5 minutes. And I am suppose to do that everyday for the next six weeks.

However, my oncologist doesn't think the radiation will activate some mutant X gene that will give me the ability to fly and hurl lightning bolts from my finger tips; or better yet, the ability to synchronize the traffic signals with my mind so the traffic will flow better. It would also be cool to have the ability to levitate the cars of teenage girls talking on their cell phones so I can drive past them at a normal rate of speed.

I can only wish...

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Adam Gadahn Threatens Again

Islamic fan-boy and former Orange County resident, Adam Gadahn, has made a new video for Al-Qaeda threatening all sorts of death and slaughter for us Crusaders. He made a similar one last year, to which I wrote an open letter to him and his Moorish pals. It's worth directing your attention to if you newer readers haven't seen it yet.

An Open Letter to Adam Gadahn