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

Thursday, May 31, 2007


May 31st marks 2 years that I have been blogging here at Hip and Thigh.

I was stunned by the thought.

The day sort of crept up on me all of the sudden. Thinking it has been two whole years since I started blogging puts a person quickly in touch with his mortality.

Anyhow, here is the first post I ever posted: Introductions
It was one of those generic introduction posts most people post when they start blogging. So newer folks may appreciate reading it for the first time.

Since those two years I have 432 posts total on a wide range of subjects.

My site meter tells me as of 1:50 PST there have been 39,752 visitors since August 28th of 2006 when I began keeping count.

Frank Turk use to leave an occasional comment until he became a big shot, fancy pants Team Pyro blogger and raised the dander of the Pig's Head people. Has he forgotten us little people?

Without fail, at least 2 or 3 people a day - sometimes as much as 10 - will hit my article: The Pursuit of Excellence with Faking Skunk Ape Photos. It is by far my most searched post by total strangers from around the world.

My Open Letter to Adam Gadahn comes in at a distant second. My visitors to that article double when ever he issues a new threat via video.

Third is all of my KJV only material. I can recall back during the time when Frank was leaving comments, that he left a comment under the first article I wrote dealing with Gay Christian Apologetics warning me to be prepared for the gay "Christians" leaving harsh comments. I simply replied, "Just wait until I start blogging about KJV onlyism." At least once a month or so I have a person email me privately and thank me for my material answering KJV onlyism.

It's those emails that makes blogging all the more fun for me.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our Memorial Day Outing

[I meant to post this Tuesday, but I grabbed the wrong cord for the digital camera so I couldn't up-load my pictures. Better late than never, right?]

Memorial Day is generally a quite day around my household. We sleep in later than normal (for me that is until the lazy hour of 6:30 AM), have a special breakfast, and then lay around the house doing nothing - well, at least I do nothing except maybe read and take a long nap. We have a friend who sometimes puts together a late afternoon cookout, but she hasn't done that for a few years now. Most of those cookouts have been moved to the 4th of July and Labor Day.

This year started out the same, but my wife, moved by a spirit of inspiration, decided it would be nice to build a Butler home Memorial Day memory. She fired up the internet and found out that the Glendale section of Forest Lawn cemeteries was having a Memorial Day presentation at 1 PM.

I was a bit reluctant to go because it means having to drive down the 5 freeway and get close to the Hollywood section of L.A. By the way, if it were not for my wife's adventurous spirit and ability to motivate me with her spirit, I would remain a shut-in recluse wearing loose fitting short pants all the time. So in a manner of speaking, this portion of my wife's personality is the reason the good Lord put her in my life: it keeps me personable and human.

The program had a Civil War re-enactment group doing a 21 gun salute and a canon firing. There were also a bagpipe marching group and the Mayor of Glendale read the official Presidential Memorial Day Proclamation. The event was mercifully brief and devoid of any anti-war protesting ingrates. I think there were about 300 folks or so in attendance.

First, the Civil War guys placed flowers at the entrance to a grave of a Civil War soldier. The newspaper photographer (in the tan hat) wouldn't move.

Then the squad gave off a 21 gun salute, firing their weapons three times. My kids liked the smoke.

And finally, they shot off a canon. That was especially cool. I wanted to yell out "My Carrrr!!!" but I thought it would ruin the solemnity of the moment. Plus, my wife would give me a look.

Afterwards, the Forest Lawn people invited all the attendees to the bottom of the hill for an ice cream "chipwhich" (ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies). My wife liked the church we were sitting next to, so we decided to go in and take a look. Its called the Lil' Church of the Flowers:

After we saw the church, we loaded up the van and drove to the top of the hill where there was a museum with suits of armor and decorative hand-carved doors on display. My children were so thrilled by the exhibits that they ran around the room until I had to make them sit down. Next to the museum is a massive church called the Hall of Crucifixion and Resurrection, where there is housed the largest wood famed canvas painting in the world called of all things, The Crucifixion.

By the time we looked around the museum, our children were past their nap time and becoming insane from sleep deprivation (as was I), and when that happens, they tend to run around even more and not obey their parents (I become sullen and morose). So, in obedience with the scriptures and not wishing to provoke them to wrath, we all got in the car and went home.

It was quite a delightful time and if the Lord is willing, look forward to doing next year as well.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Hitchens - Wilson Debate

For the month of May the Christianity Today website has been hosting an on-line email exchange between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson on the subject of atheism and Christian theism and its a good one.

I always say that when the atheist is being pummeled.

Hitchens has become the darling of the conservative right wingers because he supports the war in Iraq and writes so eloquently in favor of it and so scathingly against those opposed to it. Being British, he is able to wield his droll wit like a skilled heart surgeon does a scalpel. A couple of years ago in a debate in New York City, Hitchens slammed dunked George "Lord Hee-Haw" Galloway, a British parliamentarian, who had the audacity to come to America and go on a speaking tour ripping into our country and president. All the pro-Bush folks cheered. And rightly so, I might add.

Well, along with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennet, Hitchens has become another one of those pop-culture atheists with an anti-God book to sell. His wit, normally applauded by conservatives when it is unleashed upon muddle-minded hippy leftists, has now been turned back upon the conservatives who generally have pro-religious tendencies. Hitchen's book is called God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

The thing with Hitchens, in spite of his bombast and vitriol against religious faith, is he really presents nothing new. It is the same, re-treaded, anti-God arguments which have been answered and refuted 1,000 years ago and every century since when nasty little atheists dare to raise their fists against their creator in defiance. All that Hithchens has done is re-phrase the arguments to make them sound funnier and employ his own name calling against religious practitioners. His interview the day after Jerry Falwell's death in which he subliminally repeated the slurs "little toad" and "troll" after each of his hateful comments against Falwell, is a prime example of his less than substantive rhetoric.

Doug Wilson and Hitchens were invited by Christianity Today to do a month long series of written email debates for all the world to read. Honestly, it is more of an exchange than a formal debate. I am not necessarily a big fan of Wilson's theology, but I have always admired his ability to write, and when it comes to displaying the folly of atheism, he is a master, and the emails are worth reading just for Wilson's side of the discussion. He does a superb job of exposing the non-viability of Hitchens' atheistic world view when he tries to force him to explain why he believes what he believes. Hitchens won't do it, because he can't.

Also, Wilson has put together a series of reviews of Hitchens' book which are also worth the time reading.

Read all 5 parts at the CT website. Is Christianity God for the World. I am not sure if anymore are forth coming, but check back to see if there may be a 6th set of emails.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Star Wars at 30

In case you are currently living in a pop culture vacuum, today marks exactly the 30th anniversary of the first Star Wars movie, what has now become known as Episode IV.

Once that image of black, star lit space appeared in the opening moments of the movie with the massive star destroyer shooting at the Alliance cruiser, pre-teen geeks like myself forever had their imaginations changed from playing cowboys and indians to Jedi Knights and Stormtroopers.

Classic Butler family moment for us was my then 4 year old brother yelling excitedly in the theater the moment Darth Vader appears, "DARTH VADER MAMA! DARTH VADER!" How he knew who Darth Vader was without even being exposed to the movie or anything remotely Star Wars related is still a mystery.

I bumped this post back to the top for the weekend, because I should have added a special link as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first release of the original Star Wars.

How could I have forgotten Capt'n Wacky's Death Star of Fun

Especially the Parade of Unfortunate Star Wars Costumes

Oh, and let me not forget Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the opening of Attack of the Clones


Readings from Paul Johnson #4

Continuing with my selected portions from Paul Johnson's book, The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830.

When Leftists Liked America

Among British progressives, who included so many opinion formers, writers and journalists, the ideological sentiment was overwhelmingly pro-American. Indeed, from the 1790s to the end of the 1860s, America was the favorite country of virtually all British intellectuals of the Left of the political spectrum, just as the Soviet Union was to be for Western intellectuals generally in the period 1918-1945.

Children of progressive parents were brought up to admire America. There is a revealing sentence in the Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, born in 1806. Describing how his father, James Mill, a radical who worked at India House, made him, when he was eight, read through the volume of the
Annual Register, Mill wrote: "When I came to the American War, I took my part, like a child as I was (until set right by my father) on the wrong side, because it was called the English side."

Lord Byron had similar ideas planted in his mind by his progressive-minded mother. Through out his life, he applauded American Republicanism and looked on individual American with favor. ... Despite what he called "the coarseness and rudeness of its people," he praised the country as "A Model of force and freedom and moderation."

Liberals like Byron were so enamored of the general system of government in the United States that, like the political pilgrims to Russia in the 1930s, they were prepared to overlook or justify short-comings which, in any other context, they would have deplored. Thus Byron scarcely ever referred to the American slave states - the point on which all Tories pounced. John Stuart Mill, who emerged from his conditioning a reliable exponent of the progressive viewpoint, did not hesitate to defend, in an article in the radical weekly Examiner, Jackson's Indian removal policy, which had been criticized in The Times.

...the noisy Tory radical William Cobbett (1763-1835), fled to the United States in 1817 to escape prosecution for libel, and farmed for a year on Long Island, publishing an account of his experience on his return to Britain in 1819. Cobbett was no starry-eyed political pilgrim. He thought that the British people would not like the way of life in the newly settled interior - "To boil their pot in the gipsy fashion, to have a mere board to eat on, to drink whiskey or pure water, to sit and sleep under a shed ... to have a mill at 20 miles distance, and apothecary at a hundred and a doctor nowhere" was not acceptable.

Less politically committed visitors from Britain viewed the egalitarianism they found in America with mixed feelings. What they all noticed was the universal practice of shaking hands. In Britain handshaking was a sign of close friendship or kindly condescension... But in America, the alternative, a mere bow, was regarded as anti-republican and pro-King. Captain Marryat, of the Royal Navy, who had been so worried about losing his badly crewed frigate during the war and who returned to America in more peaceful times to write a book about it, found he had to "go on shaking hands here, there and everywhere, and with everybody." The practice blurred social distinctions: it was "impossible to know who is who."

A British lady-visitor, Mrs. Basil Hall, also found the handshaking odd and everywhere missed the constant deference which the British took for granted. At the inns there was just, she wrote, "unbending, frigid heartlessness." Servants, when they existed at all, were insubordinate and not well trained. They simply could not provide the service the traveling British expected in hotels. There was no soap in the bedrooms, and a guest who asked for it was likely to receive a pert answer.

Mrs. Hall, and many other visitors, likewise deplored the American habit of smoking cigars and chewing tobacco - a habit by no means confined to men - wherever they pleased, even in public buildings and churches. She found the floor of the Virginia House of Burgesses "actually flooded with their horrible spitting" and the floors of some churches black with "ejection after ejection, incessant from the twenty mouths" of men in the choir. (Birth of the Modern: pp. 50-54)


Friday, May 25, 2007

It's the Circle of Life.

Water Buffaloes, Lions, and a crocodile, converge to make for one outstanding home video.

A bit long, but spectacular if you have not seen it.


The Gathering of Hypocrites

Al Gore spoke to a crowd of adoring, sycophantic fans on the evils of global warming and how we as humanity should acknowledge our crimes and take responsibility by self-loathing and hand-wringing. (I don't know if he has reached the "commit suicide" threshold, yet.)

All those hand-wringing self-loathers who went to listen to Al happen to be rich and drive gas guzzling SUVs, so be sure to scroll all the way down and see the concourse of those 8 mile to the gallon SUVs with the knobby, turtle crushing tires and raccoon blinding lights, which happen to have enviro-propaganda, anti-Bush bumper stickers.

If I didn't know any better, by the look of the cars in the parking lot, I would think I was at a NASCAR event, or *GASP* at a church!

I'm unsure if Al rebuked them or not.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tagging Myself

I saw an interesting tag over at the lovely and gracious Kim's blog. I figured no one would tag me with it any time soon, so I thought I would just tag myself. The subject matter is on movies, a subject I happen to like a lot and know quite a bit about and love to talk about. The tag only calls for one movie per question, but I have more than one that fits the category.

Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.

Currently, Finding Nemo and Cars. That's because my boys insist upon watching them so much. Personally, Jaws and It's A Wonderful Life.

Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

"Multiple times" is rather subjective. How about more than once: Star Wars, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings.

Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Yahoo Serious

Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.

Barbara Streisand, Gweneth Paltrow

Name a movie you can and do quote from.

Gladiator - I am often using the line, "It vexes me; I'm terribly vexed."
Aliens - I tell my slow, poky children at least once a week, "Marines, we are leaving."

Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

I can't say I know all the lyrics, but Fiddler on the Roof.

Name a movie you have been known to sing along with.

The Andromeda Strain

They're dead, They're dead, The town folk are dead,
What could it had been that got in their heads?

Oh my, Oh my, what can be done?
The only survivors are a colicky baby and drunken old bum.

I also have been known to sing along to the musical version of the Planet of the Apes.

Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

Currently, The Queen. I hope to review this soon because it is outstanding.
Classically, The Cowboys, a great John Wayne flick.

And, as a bonus,
Rabbit Proof Fence tells the story of how social Darwinism devastated the Aboriginal people.
The Island is a good bio-ethics/pro-life action picture.

Name a movie you own.

Jaws, Everafter

Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

Arnold Schwarzzenegger use to lift weights. I think Dolph Lundgren was a nuclear engineer or something at one time.

Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in?

Yes, several. The first time I saw Star Wars was at the Batesville drive-in which no longer exists.

Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Ghostbusters 2

Ever walked out of a movie? Which one?

I have never walked out of a movie, but I did fall asleep watching Emma when I was dating my wife. She married me any ways.

Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

What sort of crying? Full on bawling and blubbering, or weepy? I tend to get weepy. Life is Beautiful comes to mind.


Only at home. I don't like folks bringing food and eating it in the movie house. Not only is there the mess getting on the seats and on my clothes, but all the "foods," especially those eccentric ethnic foods people can get here in LA like Greek gyros and Korean roasted duck wraps, create a pungent cacophonous stench in the theater.

How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

Maybe once every three months. Having small children and the need to secure a babysitter like two weeks in advance has put the kibosh on going to the movies for my wife and me.

What's the last movie you saw in a movie theater?

Amazing Grace

What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

Comedy, Sci-fi, action, thriller, drama. I reckon that covers pretty much all the major genres.

What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

The original Grizzly Adams.

What movie do you wish you had never seen?

The Blair Witch Project. A friend and myself got sucked up in the media hype with all those images of glaze-eyed and grim faced movie goers leaving the theater and testifying about it being the scariest film they had ever seen. I guess thousands of other folks were also sucked in, because there was a line around the theater for the showing we were attending. It was 90 minutes wasted I will never get back. An unbelievably disastrous film. It reminded me of those cheesy Christian movies I use to see at a youth camp that were a cautionary tale about the spiritual dangers of listening to heavy metal rock. The fake documentary made about the movie was better.

Also high on the list is Soggy Bottom U.S.A. When I was in elementary school, on the second to the last day of school before summer break, our teachers took all the students to see a movie and then spend the remainder of the day at the city park. On one occasion, I think in fifth grade, we had to endure Soggy Bottom U.S.A. Ten minutes into the film I, an easily amused 11 year-old, realized this had to possibly be the worst film ever made (Next to Jaws 3-D and 4). Not even a re-occurring flatulent blood-hound could rescue this dismal movie, and I say that as a previous 11 year-old who thought flatulent canines were funny.
As I sat there watching this abomination unfold, I was wishing I was at the park helping to set up for the afternoon cookout with those Pentecostal kids and that one JW girl whose parents wouldn't give them permission to see the movie.

What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Flash Gordon - Football jock becomes an intergalactic hero who has to save the earth. "Every man, every woman, every boy, and every girl," as the theme song by Queen proclaimed. In fact, the entire soundtrack by Queen was pretty good. The Fiddler on the Roof guy was also in it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I saw this movie on a flight from Dallas to L.A. a few years ago. It was extremely odd, but charming. I saw the airline version, but I understand the regular version has a lot of cussing and sex talk in it.

Time Bandits - I am still not sure what it was about exactly.

What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

Alien. This movie had everything a scare movie needs: Dark, mysterious settings, being cut off and alone, toothy eels coming out of a person's chest, creepy jump scenes. I stayed awake for two nights after seeing it.

What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?

What about Bob? and Ruthless People.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Visiting Avalon

In the spirit of promoting fellowship and solidifying unity among the Bible study teachers of my Grace Life Sunday school class, the good bulk of us took a day trip over to Catalina Island. It was my first time visiting.

Catalina is owned by the Wrigley chewing gum family and sits about 22 miles off the coast of California. I think the Bubbalicious family owns a similar island off Maine.

Any ways...

After an exhaustive, near failed quest to secure a babysitter willing to watch 3 four and under boys for 12 hours straight, my wife and I carpooled with 4 other friends down to Long Beach to join our group for an hour long ferry ride to Avalon, the main town on Catalina.

I was particularly excited about the ferry ride. I know it's just 22 miles or so, but still; there's something mysterious about crossing the ocean. I was hoping to see some really cool ocean fairing critters, like a giant manta ray, or a whale shark, or even more cool would be to see the carcass of a blue whale being eaten on by great whites. Disappointingly, all I saw was sea weed, drift wood, and sea gulls. There weren't even any dolphins swimming along the boat like they normally do.

Once we arrived in Avalon, we all moseyed around the harbor and ate lunch at Steve's "tourist trap priced" Steakhouse. The food was good, none the less (my wife and I shared), and the fellowship was excellent.

Afterward, we had about 2 hours or so before we all had to return to the ferry landing for the ride home. Most folks walked around in the tourist trap priced sidewalk stores, but a couple friend of ours suggested we rent a golf cart and drive around the island. It was a bit pricey, but seeing that my wife and I wouldn't be returning to Catalina anytime in the near future, we decided to splurge and it was well worth it.

Catalina experienced some wildfires last week and the cart ride took us directly to where the fire burned up to the side of the road just 100 feet or so from a condo complex.

My lovely wife took these pictures of the burned areas:

Our golf cart tour also took us by the Wrigley secret mansion, which was closed to the public of course, and then brought us back around to the front side of the island where we saw a spectacular view of the harbor. Avalon must be a place where the emperor decadent wealthy congregate, because there were high class fishing boats and yachts floating all over the place.

This big blue yacht was anchored a little farther out from the main collection of boats. It looked like one of those James Bond villain yachts. You know, the super intelligent bad guy with "Dr." in front of his name, who has a nasty scare going down one side of his face, wears a monocle, and carries around a long haired cat in his arms that he strokes as he barks out orders to his henchmen and plans the destruction of the free world.

When we returned to the cart rental place, we had about an hour before we needed to be back to the ferry landing. However, we learned coming over that it was necessary to be in line at least 30 minutes before the ferry began loading passengers or you would be stuck with a seat no where near a window or you would be confined to standing the entire trip. So we got some ice cream and headed over to the landing to get in line.

We finally got home around 6ish and our babies had survived, as well as our baby sitter (bless her heart), and when we got them bathed and in bed, I think my head was hitting the pillow at 8:30. It had been a long day, but a good day. Nothing beats hanging out with great friends and an awesome wife.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Jehovah's Witness and John 1:1 (pt 2)

The second apologetic message by Don Green on John 1:1 and the Deity of Christ is now on-line

Jesus Declares His Deity


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Seriousness of the 9th Commandment

... and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone ... Revelation 21:8

Back in April I posted about the "Straight Gaters," an anti-war, anti-Semitic conspiratorial "Christian" group, protesting outside of Grace Church. Under that post, a commenter left this proclamation in the meta:
John Macarthur told a very great and deliberate lie once as a guest on Larry King. Proving the hypocrite that he is, he stated on national television that our president is a Christian.

First, I am baffled as to why the commenter believes it is lying to say Bush is a Christian. How exactly is a person made a liar and hypocrite by commenting upon a president's faith commitments?

However, laying aside the debate of whether or not our president is a Christian, what truly amazes me is how the commenter genuinely believes John MacArthur determined to go on Larry King Live to tell a lie. Here we have a person who, as far as I know, doesn't even know John personally, and yet he is prepared to call him a liar because of an opinion he made on a TV show a few years ago.

Additionally, it was more than just a lie John uttered in passing, but a deliberate lie. To call a statement a deliberate lie means the person intentionally, with premeditation and forethought, desired to mislead people about the truth. That is a rather bold accusation to level against an individual the accuser does not know over something so trivial as giving the opinion the president is a Christian.

Being on the internet for nearly 12 years, involved with a variety of forums and discussion groups, I think folks accuse others of lying too readily and easily with out seriously considering the gravity of the accusation they are making against a person's character.

The Bible counts liars as partaking in the lake of fire (see citation above) and John the apostle writes throughout his first epistle that lying marks a person's character as indication of an individual lacking salvation.

To accuse another person of lying, especially a Christian bringing this charge against another Christian, places the accuser in a precarious position of incurring God's judgment. If you call a person a liar, you are saying something about his or her spiritual condition. More than anything else, you are calling that person an unbeliever.

I think we need to think twice before we bring the accusation of lying against a person, particularly a fellow believer.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If I could have one wish...

Paris could serve time in Arizona sheriff's tent city

Maybe she can try to break Cool Hand Luke's hard boiled egg eating record.

At least the uniforms are pink. She'll like that.


Monday, May 14, 2007

I Bet this is a KJVO Church

By way of Michelle Malkin comes the story of Good News Independent Baptist Church in Spring Hope, North Carolina.

The last week or so the pastor put the following messages on the church's sign:

Spring Hope is a short distance from the city of Raleigh-Durham.

The Muslims from the city are annoyed the pastor, Gary Murrell, would do something so mean hearted and bigoted and suggest he under go sensitivity training.

I'm sure that's gonna happen.

Now, I don't think displaying these type of messages on a church sign is the wisest way to be a winsome ambassador for the Christian faith, but I certainly stand with the pastor to have the liberty to display such messages on his sign if he so chooses. But suggesting he undergo some sort of sensitivity training or opening a dialog with Muslims in an attempt to change the pastor's convictions?

Anyways, I saw "Independent" attached to the title "Baptist Church" and thought to myself, "You know, I would bet a chocolate dipped, roasted almond smothered ice cream bar from Costco that church is probably a KJV only church." I couldn't find anything on the net about the church to support my contention. Its just a hunch.

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Atheists Wring Hands

Ken Ham, director of Answers in Genesis, tells of two recent examples of atheists freaking out over the opening of AiG's new Creation Museum later this month.

First were the comments by Dr. Eugenie Scott speaking to a local group of atheists calling itself the Free Inquiry Group. Contrary to its phony name, the Free Inquiry Group has been one of the biggest opponents of AiG making several attempts to shackle their progress with building the museum ever since the creation ministry announced their plans nearly a decade ago to build it.

Dr. Scott was guest lecturer at a Free Inquiry meeting earlier in May who spent a good portion of the Q&A time after her talk fielding questions from atheists desperate to stifle the anticipated effectiveness of the new museum. One question asked how anti-creationists can answer their [AiG] views on dinosaurs, while another worried about public schools being pressured to take children to the museum.

Dr. Scott, who is the head of an organization whose primary purpose is to bring to trial any public school scientific "heretic" who questions Darwinian evolution and allows intelligent design literature into his or her classes, gave responses to these questions that were misinformed and just short of outright mocking. Ironically, in one of her comments, Dr. Scott spoke about AiG's proselytizing of school children, when she herself endorses the introduction of Darwinian evolutionary propaganda to children as early as kindergarten.

In another post, Ken Ham points out a number of petitions currently circulating on the internet opposed to the opening of the museum. The petitions talk about the bad influence and negative impact this museum will have with all its unscientific exhibits.

I'm sorry, internet petitions are worthless. They only work on cowardly, weak-minded P.C. style governmental leadership who mistakenly believe the 1,500 signatures of devotees to some cause represent the "will of the people." What do these petition sponsors think is going to happen? Answers in Genesis is going to halt the opening of their museum? That the AiG faithful and the scores of curiosity seekers are going to have second thoughts about visiting the place because a few hundred community college and university level academics say the museum presents bad science? No. All this petition does is embarrass the people circulating it because they appear to be desperate with no credible answers in response.

I always find it telling when evolutionists lack confidence in the ability of their arguments to persuade the minds of unwashed masses. Maybe its just me, but if you have to circulate dishonest internet petitions against your opponents or run to the courts so as to let them fight your opposition's ideas by the use of censorship clothed in "separation of church-state" jargon, your position is not worthy of consideration.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

A Good John 1:1/Jehovah's Witnesses Sermon

Co-pastor of Grace Life fellowship at Grace Church, Don Green, gave an outstanding exegetical message on the text of John 1:1 and why it is relevant for Christians to know and believe the Deity of Christ on apologetic terms. It was one of the best apologetic oriented message I have heard in sometime.

Download the MP3 here. There is also a PDF file for his notes he used for the Power Point.

Unlike the JW apologist who wandered onto the comments under one of my blog posts leaving cut-and-paste, long-winded comments and claiming there is a "vast body of scholarship" who believe John 1:1 can be translated as it is found in the New World Translation, Don actually knows the Greek language. In fact, he has taught Greek on a seminary level, so I am confident he knows what he is talking about.

As an extra bonus, here's the HiRes version of the S. Lewis Johnson message Don mentioned in his sermon:

The Word of God: The Ages Past


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Suicide Solution

A group calling itself the Optimum Population Trust claims humanity is having way too many babies.

All the extra children are badly ruining the carbon offset of our planet and hence having an impact upon global warming.

The math is simple: More babies = higher CO2 levels = higher global temperatures = more displaced polar bears floating around on itty-bitty icebergs.

The solution to this problem offered by the OPT is for people to stop having babies. If you must have a baby, maybe one is OK; possibly two, but certainly not three.

My family, by the way, has already broken this quota.

The fine folks of the Sea Shepherd Society also believe humanity has become a disease of sorts upon mother earth. Like a raging flesh eating staph infection or an Ebola outbreak, the presence of all these people is causing the earth to break out into a fever.

I must say I believe this is a disturbing ideology, but I see such suicidal tendencies as a logical conclusion to radical, secular atheistic humanism. When a worldview places the material world in higher value over human life so that one is willing to deprive him or herself of the blessing of children, and their own existence, nihilistic atheism has reached its end game. The final step is to ask for volunteers to sacrifice themselves for the earth by committing mass euthanasia. If none are prepared to come forward, and this environmental death cult were to have governmental power, they could always extinguish any extra children by force.

I didn't know environmentalists were so down on kids.

Soylent Green is People!

In truth, an environmentally friendly, child-free world is becoming a reality. This suicidal humanism has already taken firm root in the hearts and minds of Europeans and is slowly doing the job suggested by the Optimum Population Trust. In a society totally abandoned to cradle-to-grave welfare, living carefree lives, working no more than 28 hours a week, attending nude beaches during that paid month long, mandatory vacation, having children around can really cramp your style. Hence, couples are having no more than one child as it is. If the trend continues, Western Europe will have bred itself out within 40 to 50 years. This mindset is here in the good old U.S. of A. as well, particularly in the finger waging from our university elite. So, Americans are slowly coming up from behind and closing in our European kin.

I believe the environmental global warming scare is the secular atheists pagan religious philosophy, but from a materialistic, naturalist perspective rather than a revelatory, supernatural one.

The physical earth is the god worshipped. It is a god that can be proven, because it is a tangible object men can physically witness and test.

Evolution is the religion used to explain this god, how it birthed life and takes care of its creatures. Occasionally, the god acts displeased and displays its fury against the sinful creatures by means of storms, floods, and famine.

However, specific, often self-appointed holy men or prophets, say for example Al Gore, claim to have special knowledge about how the god has been sinned against. The only thing that will appease the god is a sacrifice of some sort. In this case, the appeasement is a radical change in our standard and way of living, including the sacrifice of a the third child if necessary.

But this god is capricious and fickle and certainly unpredictable when it comes to issues of morality. Why should I even obey it in the manner the Optimum evangelists preach? If suicide is the only viable solution to appease this god, I think I will enjoy the love and laughter of my extra kids and take my chances.

By the way, anyone know the connection with the Ozzy album?

I won't think you are worldly if you do.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Atheist Nightmare

Oh, why not? One more stupid video

Back in mid-April I linked to a story about Ray Comfort the co-host of Way of the Master program challenging the atheist hacks of the Rational Response Squad to a debate on Nightline. Ray's challenge to the atheists is that he can prove God's existence without using the Bible and only using scientific evidence.

The debate is suppose to take place this evening (May, 9th).

I know there are many folks excited to see this debate go forward. I am not, however, one of those people. I believe a potential PR disaster for God is looming on the horizon (to coin a phrase from Hank).

Let us just pray Ray doesn't employ his banana illustration, what he terms "The Atheist's Nightmare." After watching this clip, tell me if this is a credible argument for the existence of God.

The Atheist's Nightmare

What is Ray's take on plantain bananas which need to be sliced open with a knife and fried before they can be eaten? (One of the greatest ways to prepare bananas, by the way. Of course, pretty much everything dipped in batter and fried tastes good).

Does the existence of plantains disprove the existence of God given Ray's banana evidence? And let's not even get started talking about artichokes.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool (pt 14)

Does Christianity model an authoritarian organization?

I continue once again considering the list of 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity compiled by blues guitar playing, Christ-hating anarchist, Chaz Bufe.

Thankfully, he provides us another short point which will only require a short response:

14. Christianity models hierarchical, authoritarian organization. Christianity is perhaps the ultimate top-down enterprise. In its simplest form, it consists of God on top, its "servants," the clergy, next down, and the great unwashed masses at the bottom, with those above issuing, in turn, thou-shalts and thou-shalt-nots backed by the threat of eternal damnation. But a great many Christian sects go far beyond this, having several layers of management and bureaucracy. Catholicism is perhaps the most extreme example of this with its laity, monks, nuns, priests, monsignors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and popes, all giving and taking orders in an almost military manner. This type of organization cannot but accustom those in its sway—especially those who have been indoctrinated and attending its ceremonies since birth—into accepting hierarchical, authoritarian organization as the natural, if not the only, form of organization. Those who find such organization natural will see nothing wrong with hierarchical, authoritarian organization in other forms, be they corporations, with their multiple layers of brown-nosing management, or governments, with their judges, legislators, presidents, and politburos. The indoctrination by example that Christianity provides in the area of organization is almost surely a powerful influence against social change toward freer, more egalitarian forms of organization.

If ever there was a more blatant example of the kettle-painting-pot cliche', I am not sure what it would be. Chaz is a self-professed anarchist, that much is clear so far, so I can understand why he would have problems with any authority, let alone Christianity. Yet once again Chaz's main illustration of Christian authority gone wild is Roman Catholicism and Catholicism does not represent the whole of biblical Christianity by any stretch of the imagination.

To a degree, Chaz raises a reasonable complaint about organized religion. It certainly is true that various sects of Christianity have had their problems with authoritarian abuse. In addition to the Catholics, many independent fundamental style denominations whether Baptist or Pentecostal, struggle with ridiculously strict authority figures like a pastor and deacons wielding a strong hand over a congregation of cowering members. They unlawfully lord over the people they are meant to shepherd.

However, in spite of these problems, biblical Christianity affirms the importance of authority structures within a church and
soundly condemns the abuse of authority by leaders over a congregation. Human error does not negate the truthfulness of Christianity. When scripture is followed as the Lord intends it to be followed, abusive authority figures will stay checked. Of course, that is not to say members may need to be firmly disciplined, but firm discipline submitted to biblically led leadership is ordained of the Lord (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5).

As an anarchist, Chaz doesn't care a bit for any boss, or president, or leader telling him what to do with his life. But, what sort of society does Chaz the anarchist have to offer in the place of bosses and leaders? I suggest Chaz's anarchism would be just as authoritarian and abusive as the Christianity he decries.

True anarchy desires a world where everyone is living in tribal style communities with no centralized government, working and sharing together in free thinking cooperation and friendship. Perhaps this is the kind of anarchist utopia Chaz has in mind. People gardening, weaving baskets, gathering fruit, sewing clothes, treating each other with self-respect, living eco-friendly lives, and of course, engaging in all the free sex a person can humanly imagine with reckless abandon and impunity. You know, the type of society that in a Star Trek universe is effortlessly assimilated by the Borg without a fight.

If only historical anarchist movements could be this benign.

The historic reality, contrary to Chaz's visions of what anarchy should be, has been horrific and blood filled. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does human government. For when one government is overthrown, another one most certainly will fill its place. In many cases, much worse than the first, and even if the rebel rousers express good intentions to refrain from being cruel authoritarians to each other. Orwell's Animal Farm comes to mind, here. A present day example of real anarchy is the country of Somalia where it was the only known world state without a centralized government between 1991 and 2006. The country was a disaster in which the poor and helpless were brutalized by those individuals who were able to gain power by means of force and violence.

Though Chaz has Pollyannish visions of living in a Hobbiton style community where everyone shares equally in the collective good with no one bossing anyone else around, hierarchical authority structures have a necessary function in society. For one, authority structures make sure everything operates correctly. Such things as ease of commerce, basic emergency care and defense. It also enforces the rules upon the members of society. Authority is designed to protect the citizenry. Does incompetence and abuse often arise within the authority structure? Certainly, but a society is much better off to find a corrective for the authority structure rather than live completely without it.

Next up: The Bible and slaves


Monday, May 07, 2007

Mormon Cartoons

How about another video?

Neil linked me in a recent post and the context of the link had to do with me tracking down Mormon prophet, Joey Smith, and his plagiarizing the KJV text.

I am sure he probably plagiarized many things, but Neil's post stirred in my mind the great cartoon on that old Jeremiah Films documentary about Mormons, The God Makers.

If anyone has seen the documentary, or the sequel, The God Makers II, about mid-way through the two films, there's an animated historical review of the basics of Mormon theology. I am sure Mormon apologists will crybaby about how Mormonism is misrepresented in the cartoon, but still, that animated feature is fantastic. The crude, Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera animation is an absolute gem.

I was surprised to learn from the cartoon that the womanizing Elohim bears a striking resemblance to Kenny Rogers and Jesus reminds me of a 70s era Eddie Rabbit.

There is also a similar cartoon tracing the theology of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I couldn't locate it on the net. If anyone knows where I can embed a link, I'll put it up too. It's also a hoot to watch.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Do Not Attempt This at Home

These guys are like professionals or something, so what ever you do, never, never, ever try this at home.

By the way, keep the sound turned down. The soundtrack is irritatingly horrible.


Jesus as Theos

Early in April I blogged for my Apologetics in Action series a testimony by Doug Kutilek describing his encounter with a Jehovah's Witness who had stopped by his house. It captured the attention of a trolling JW who posted a long list of alleged "scholars" who claimed contra the historic teaching of the Christian Church and every major orthodox, historical translation of the biblical text, that John 1:1 should be translated as it is found in the New World Translation, ... and the Word was a god.

The list looked impressive, and to the uniformed lay person it had a foreboding appearance that raised the question of "how can these folks be wrong?" I learned a long time ago not to be moved by long, foreboding lists of so-called scholarship. Scholars of all stripes with multiple, high-level degrees from Ivory league schools believe a lot of nutty things. For example 9-11 conspiracy kooks who call themselves 9/11 scholars for truth.

At any rate, Alpha and Omega Ministries linked over to a paper recently presented at the southwestern regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, entitled Jesus as Theos: Scriptural Fact of Scribal Fantasy? It deals with the biblical teaching of Christ's full Divinity.

The paper is not for the faint of heart because it contains a lot of fancy Greek words and is heavily footnoted with citations from more hard to read sources with fancy Greek words. Yet, the paper is worth the time spent digesting for the serious student. The author, Brain Wright, was an intern for Daniel B. Wallace, the one guy who actually handles many of these original manuscripts often questioned and disputed by biblical heretics like the JW who buried me with his comments.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Oikodomeis Awards

I got tagged a couple of weeks ago with the Oikodomeis Award. I have been wanting to blog on it, but busy times here at work and home have prevented me.

Additionally, this is a special award of sorts that I can't take lightly.

First, Daniel, the bestower of this award, made me a recipient of which I am truly honored. It makes me feel all weepy in side - honest; because according to the award description, it is given to a blog that constantly edifies you. When a semi-stranger you know only via the Internet considers your blog a source of constant edification, there is now a new standard of accountability. I feel as though I can't blog about stupid stuff anymore.

Second, the requirements of this award have really stumped me. I am suppose to tag those blogs that edify me and there are many bloggers who edify me. Pretty much every one listed in my side bar I read with regularity and derive soul stirring edification. Thus, paring down this list to three or so is extremely difficult.

However, if I had to say three, they would be:

James White's Alpha and Omega ministries = I appreciate the debates he sets up and the information he provides.

Steve Hays and his Triablogue crew = I love the fact these guys, particularly Steve, have the ability to run down, tackle, and hogtie every harebrained, crackpot apologist on the Internet and with thorough patience meaningfully answer their arguments point-by-point.

and The Narrow Mind Aftermath blog = This is probably the one blog that brings me the most edification. It is not a blog per se, but the audio archives for Gene Cook's Narrow Mind webcast. I primarily listen by podcast, but his programs are stellar and there are a handful I keep in a file for future reference. For example, when my wife and I had dinner with the Mormons, before the missionaries show up we reviewed an interview Gene did with Bill McKeever of Mormon Research Ministries that was helpful for us.

The audio archives are free, but only remain free on-line for a week or more, so you have to move fast to get them downloaded. Or, you can do what I do and just podcast them. When each episode is posted, people can make comments about it. I also frequently participate in the comment discussions with the other Christians as well as the rank unbelievers. That is why I say this blog is the most edifying for me. My faith is always being challenged and encouraged in the comments.

Now honestly, even though I picked these three, more than likely none of them will participate with this tag, so hopefully I haven't killed it. Sorry Daniel if that happens.

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