Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday's Mini Codices

Here is today's installment:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

50 chapters in the Bible

Wayne over at Ekklesia has a post about which 50 chapters he would preach/teach from if he had to select only one chapter to teach on per week for approximately a year. Which ones would be the most critical ones?

I'm not a preacher, though I did teach Sunday school and Bible class lessons in the past. If I were to have to plan such a 50-lesson survey of the Bible that had to cover a chapter a week, here would be my choices:

1. Genesis 1
2. Genesis 2
3. Genesis 3
4. Genesis 6
5. Genesis 12
6. Exodus 19
7. Exodus 20
8. Deuteronomy 1
9. Deuteronomy 6
10. Joshua 1
11. I Samuel 8
12. II Chronicals 1
13. Job 1
14. Job 42
15. Psalm 23
16. Psalm 51
17. Psalm 53
18. Proverbs 1
19. Isaiah 6
20. Isaiah 53
21. Jeremiah 31
22. Daniel 1
23. Malachi 4
24. Matthew 1
25. Matthew 4
26. Matthew 5
27. Matthew 28
28. Luke 16
29. Luke 2
30. John 1
31. John 3
32. John 6
33. John 10
34. Acts 1
35. Romans 4
36. Romans 6
37. Romans 8
38. I Corinthians 15
39. Galatians 1
40. Ephesians 1
41. Ephesians 2
42. Colossians 1
43. II Timothy 2
44. Titus 2
45. Hebrews 9
46. James 2
47. I Peter 1
48. I John 5
49. Jude 1
50. Revelation 22

It is tough to limit the list to 50, but this is what I came up with a moderate amount of thought. I'd be interested in hearing what other people would choose.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday's Mini Codices

Here is today's installment:

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Interesting People #2

Here are some interesting people you may have never heard of before..

Roger Williams: Roger was a theologian and proponent of religious liberty. He is noted for being the co-founder of Rhode Island and the founder of Providence, RI. He treated natives with respect and insisted that land settled by Europeans should be purchased fairly. He was briefly a member of the first Baptist church in America.

Bill "Spaceman" Lee: Bill is a former major league baseball pitcher, who threw for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos from 1969 to 1982. He was the starting pitcher for the Red Sox in the last game of the 1975 World Series. Bill was outspoken in many different ways, and is likely one of the few ballplayers to have called his manager a "designated gerbil" and threat to bite off the ear of an umpire. He was socially liberal, advocating drug use. However, when it came to baseball he was a traditionalist, speaking out against innovations such as the designated hitter, AstroTurf and polyester uniforms.

Theodor Geisel: Better known by his pen-name "Dr. Seuss", Theodor authored well over 40 childrens books with a unique and compelling style. Rumor has it that Theodor's famous work "Green Eggs and Ham" is the result of a bet that Dr. Seuss made about whether he could write an entire book using only fifty words. The lumber industry in Laytonville, California attempted to have one of his books titled"The Lorax" banned from some school libraries. When World War II began, Theodor started producing what would eventually become a mass of over 400 political cartoons.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Interesting People #1

Here are some interesting people you may have never heard of before..

Phil Zimmermann: Created PGP, which stands for Pretty Good Privacy. PGP has become the standard for public key encryption and has been around for 15 years now. The U.S. government initially persecuted PGP. Despite any special funding or commericial backing, PGP persevered until the U.S. government dropped the cased in 1996. Phil has served as a consultant for Reuters and Hewlett Packard as well as being a former director of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

Donald Knuth: Don is a Professor Emeritus at Stanford who refuses to use e-mail. As a Computer Scientist and Mathematician he was granted honorary membership in the IEEE in 1982. He also won the Turing Award in 1974. He's also a famous author who has published work including The Art of Computer Programming, Surreal Numbers, and a Bible study book. Don's a Lutheran and also an Organist.

John Perry Barlow: Barlow was born in Wyoming and is noted for having an unusual mix of accolades: He's a Comparative Religion graduate from Weslyan University, a former Grateful Dead lyricist, a former chairman of the Sublette County Republican Party, was a campaign manager for Dick Cheney in 1978, a former Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics, a former Cattle Rancher, a Co-Founder of the EFF, and the first person to use the term "Cyberspace" to describe the Internet.

Brian Godawa: Brian is an award-winning screenwriter. He teaches and writes about film, philosophy, and screenwriting. He has written 10 screenplays, including "To End All Wars". He is a Protestant Christian and wrote a book called "Hollywood Worldviews", a book about watching films with discernment.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Alan Watts on the Gaze of the Christian God

I'm reading a book by Alan Watts, "The Book". He was famous for doing a lot to bridge the gap between the new mysticism (Western counterculture) and the old mysticism (Eastern philosophy/religion).

As I read this book, I'm acutely aware that as a Christian I do not accept his conclusions and in fact find a number of them quite bizarre and off-the-wall. His view of "god" and our existence can not explain reality as it really is. I'm reading this book mainly because I like to know
something about the things I critique.

As I've been reading through the book, I found a statement of his that really jumped out of the page. While I neither agree with his overarching thesis nor his developing argument, something about this statement made me say "WOW":

"The image of God as a personal Being, somehow 'outside' or other than the world, had the merit of letting us feel that life is based on intelligence, that the laws of nature are everywhere consistent in that they proceed from one ruler, and that we could let our imaginations go to the limit in conceiving the sublime qualities of this supreme and perfect Being. The image also gave everyone a sense of importance and meaning. For this God is directly aware of every tiniest fragment of dust and vibration of energy, since it is just his awareness of it that enables it to be. This awareness is also love and, for angels and men at least, he has planned an everlasting life of the purest bliss which is to begin at the end of mortal time. But of course there are strings attached to this reward, and those who purposely and relentlessly deny or disobey the divine will must spend eternity in agonies as intense as the bliss of good and faithful subjects.

The problem of this image of God was that it became too much of a good thing. Children working on their desks in school are almost always put off when even a kindly and respected teacher watches over their shoulders. How much more disconcerting to realize that each single deed, thought, and feeling is watched by the Teachers of teachers, that nowhere on earth or in heaven is there any
hiding-place from that Eye which sees all and judges all."

For all his faults, there are two things in this excerpt that Alan gets right on the money:

1. He identifies (at least as a concession) that the Christian view of God is the foundation for importance, meaning in life, and consistency in the laws of nature.

2. He identifies why the unbeliever does not like the Christian concept of God, He's far too all-knowing, far too holy and just, etc. Humans who rebel against the "Teachers of teachers" can not hide from the eye of God, so naturally they would much rather want no God, or at least a "god" who can be fooled and avoided.

Indeed there is no "hiding place" for those who continue to defy the God who created them.
Many people innately know that a personal God is the very foundation for the things that they depend upon in their life, and yet they still rebel against Him and deny His existence simply because they come to the conclusion that Alan Watts reached: It is "disconcerting to realize that each single deed, thought, and feeling is watched by the Teachers of teachers". I agree that it is disconcerting to our independent spirit to know that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Unfortunately, though, denying reality does not evade the necessity of dealing with it.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Can One "Ask" Google or "Google" on has a hilarious satirical piece in relation to Google Inc's recent post about how to properly use the noun and verb "Google".

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday's Mini Codices

Here is today's installment:
  • I'm happy to hear that author and Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has regained use of his voice after 18 months of Spasmodic Dysphonia

  • God's Outlaw, a portrayal of the life of William Tyndale, looks interesting!

  • A theologian and figure in church history I'd like to learn more about in the near future: Augustus Hopkins Strong

Educated at the Feet of Spammers?

Over the last little while, I've been receiving an increasing amount of spam advertising Liberty University distance education.

I think they may need to update their list of taboos. They've already tabooed things such as dancing, drinking alcohol, unauthorized petitions, flip-flops, capri pants, jeans, and possibly Calvinism :) Perhaps they should stop paying spammers and add spam to its list of ethical no-nos.

Please stop spamming me, Liberty University. Granted, you are not directly doing it. However, I highly doubt someone is voluntarily doing it at their own cost. Sending me spam with an opt out link is not good enough. I do not want e-mail from any Universities unless I specifically ask for it.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006


With yesterday being said to be the day that Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his thesis to the door at Wittenberg church door, I watched Luther with a group of friends. I found it rather well done. I previously had only watched the old Luther film.

There is great significance in Martin Luther's experience and doings in Germany. His actions obviously had ramifications for the religious life of the Western world. But it also had an amazing impact on Western culture, poltics, and civil liberties. There are a number of points that one may disagree with Martin Luther on, but it is foolish to ignore or undermine his contributions to the cause of truth and religion.

Here is one of my favorite Martin Luther quotes: "Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace." (from "An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans")

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