Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Man Builds 15 Foot Model Aircraft Carrier Out of Legos

Monday, May 29, 2006

Beholding the Goodness of God

I was speaking to a young lady in Camden Sunday while doing ministry with other church groups. Her heart has recently been turned towards Christ. Her struggles are numerous, but underneath the struggles she had a joy. A joy which is new. A joy that was great because she has been forgiven much.

A Jewish person tried to raise some problems with Jesus being descended from Jeconiah. After a little bit of research, I discovered the Talmud itself refutes this view. Then, on the way back from Camden, a radio show addressed the same topic, albeit with a slightly different answer.

Great is the goodness and kindness of God. Concerning His Messiah, Isaiah wrote "a bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench." And Luke wrote "Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." And "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

Those who are broken and go before the Lord in faith will find themselves revived. The young lady I spoke to knows of her checkered past. From the outside looking in, it is harder for her to pretend she has it all together. But I have beheld the kindness and mercy of God. And it is sweet and refreshing to my soul.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Top 50 Conservative Songs

Taxman by the Beatles is number 2.

Bob Dylan, number 12.

Dan Brown Speaks and Bart Ehrman Attacks

I bit the bullet, mixed my metaphors, listened to the audio book clips of the Da Vinci Code. My reaction? When Bart Ehrman is tearing your theories apart, things are not good.

That's right. John Rabe will find this hilarious, but audible.com, the people airing this show on XM Radio, used Bart Ehrman to critique it. I may vehemently disagree with conclusions Bart Ehrman draws from the facts, but I've never found myself in disagreement with the facts he uses. More on his critique later.

So they used clips of Dan Brown talking to the University of New Hampshire. I saw a clip of it on Dateline NBC tonight. I took notes, so here it goes:

Now, when I heard Bart Ehrman, atheist and biblical scholar introduced, I was amused because as John Rabe has mentioned, Bart Ehrman is the goto person for those in the press opposed to the Bible.

Which of Dan Brown's claims did Bart Ehrman debunk?

For the record, he came on the radio at 3:46.

To Dan Brown or Not To Dan Brown, That Is the Question

So Dan Brown is going to be on XM Radio sometime between 3PM and 4PM today. He is supposed to respond to all those critics who wrote books, articles, etc. Unfortunately, XM doesn't broadcast that channel on the web, so I have to go to my car to listen to it.

Should I bite the bullett and take one for the team? Should I keep mixing metaphors?

I probably will. But I'll warn you in advance. His response will probably not have much substance and I'm hoping it comes at 3:10 instead of 3:50.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Iranians with Nukes Spurring Missile Defense Shield

If I may paraphrase Tim Russert (from 2001)...

Who do you think will take the political fallout if Iran launches a nuke towards Europe? Those who opposed developing missile defense systems or those who were in support?

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Iraq

Via Powerline.
Even those who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq should recognise that this is a whole new battle — between the values of a liberal civil society and nihilism, sometimes Islamic but always nihilism.

The coalition training of the Iraqi armed forces is proceeding well. The Iraqi army already has the lead in about 60% of the country. We can soon begin to draw down our troops and turn over more power to provincial authorities.

To do so too fast, just because the war is unpopular at home, would be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As Jackson said at the end of his trip, our success in Iraq should not be measured by numbers of troops brought home.

It is much more complex than that. The goal is an independent Iraq with a representative government. Part of that goal is to prevent the most bloody and reactionary gangs of killers from destroying the country — and the future of the Middle East.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dan Shelton Is Way Into Lambics
Lambic is the oldest existing style of beer in the world. Since at least the 3rd Century B.C. up until the mid-19th Century – when yeast was finally identified and cultivated by scientists – beer was fermented by wild yeasts carried on the open air. This mysterious fermentation by invisible wild yeast is often called “spontaneous fermentation.” For millennia, people who witnessed the regular transformation of steeped grains into a warm, sour, intoxicating drink considered it a form of magic, and in a way, of course, it really is. Surely earlier civilizations must have agreed with Benjamin Franklin, who wrote more recently that beer is proof of the existence of a loving and benevolent God.

At some time in the murky Middle Ages, the beer fermented by wild yeast in an area ranging from Brussels to the nearby Senne Valley countryside became famous around Europe. It was then known as “yellow beer,” and there are lively and colorful images of peasants enjoying the stuff, lovingly poured from earthen jugs, in the works of Breughel the Elder in the 1500’s. Eventually, “yellow beer” became known as “lambic” – a word derived from Spanish, a relic of the long period when Spain ruled over the Netherlands and Flanders. Today, real Belgian lambic is the only beer entirely fermented by wild yeasts that is still brewed commercially.

Traditionally, lambic is aged for one to three years in oak wine barrels. The result is a dry, sour, earthy, and complex drink that hardly resembles beer made with laboratory yeast. Unlike scientifically cultured yeast strains, the wild yeast and other bacteria in lambic (many of which come from the wine barrels during the long fermentation) produce a lot of acids, in addition to alcohol and other flavor compounds that are common in modern beers. Mostly, they produce lactic acid, and lots of it. (Sometimes they produce a lot of acetic acid, or vinegar, but if the vinegary sharpness becomes a bit over-powering, any conscientious lambic brewer will throw that batch of beer out.) Now of course, very few brewers will stand by and allow their yeast strains to produce acidic flavors; they go to great lengths to keep any stray bacteria out of the process. But for millennia the wild yeast and bacteria that naturally found their way into beer had free rein, and all beer was, to varying degrees, sour. The lambic brewers today revel in this sourness, and recognize it for what it is – a continuous, living link to thousands of years of human history.

Light Blogging

My harddrive is running sloooow due to corrupt sectors on it. Blogging will be light as I backup some data.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Zimbabwe vs. Nicaragua as an Example of Marxism vs. Captitalsism

Guess who wins?

Via TigerHawk.

Teacher States That Blacks are Inferior to Whites

Not the type of person I would want teaching young kids.

Congress Is Datamining Your Information
What’s that? You think you already read all about that in a hyperventilating, instant-Pulitzer-nominee report in Thursday’s USA Today? Dream on. The hysterical USA Story doesn’t describe anything nearly that intrusive.

After all, if you wade through all the layers of reporter Leslie Cauley’s conscious misdirection—including the silly observations about government failing to seek judicial warrants before obtaining non-private information for which government has never been required to get warrants—you will learn that scrupulous measures were actually taken by the National Security Agency and cooperating telephone companies to withhold customer names, street addresses and other personal identifiers from the government.

No, I’m not talking about the Big Brother at the NSA. Or the big Big Brother in the Oval Office.

I’m talking about the 535 Big Brothers (and Sisters) in Congress.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

Since the wife was away on business, I decided to work 2 12-hour days. Ugg.

Chris, if you are reading this...happy belated birthday. I owe you something.

But right now, I'm going to bed.

James White Offers Da Vinci Code Resources

Old blog entries.
Audio presentations.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Is the Press Taking the Iranian President's Letter as Serious Diplomacy?

The referenced article argues that we should respond to it anyway. I may respond to some of its theological underpinnings. What the heck?

What I gather is:
-the Iranian President repeats anti-Bush arguments from the American political left
-Israel shouldn't exist
-We should become Muslims. Laura Mansfield thinks it is a preliminary step for attacking us according to Islamic rules.

Talking with Materialists

I've been talking to a materialist via email for the past couple of days.

What is the best way to talk with a materialist? I keep bringing him back to beliefs he has which are inconsistent with materialism. For example, he utilizes immaterial things or concepts like the laws of logic.

I can't point to a law of logic. It is immaterial. And that is a huge problem for a materialist.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Esquire Names Grey Lodge as One of the Best Bars in America

This is my favorite bar, and I have to say the Grey Lodge deserves the nod. It is truly one of the best bars in a city (Philadelphia) known for great bars.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Radical Muslims Brutally Murder Iraqi Journalist

She was only 30. Truly, truly sad.

Friday, May 05, 2006

God's Strange Angel: Examining the Trinity in the Light of the Tanakh I

New article on my main website. I really enjoyed writing this article. I tried to let the Scriptures speak and get out of the way of the text, since I couldn't make many good comments.

How would I describe the article? There are passages in the Tanakh (the Jewish Scriptures) which describe an angel. That same angel is sometimes referred to God Himself, while still being distinct from God.

In other words, there are passages which hint of the Trinity in the Jewish Scriptures.

"Big Oil" or "Big College"

Ann Coulter examines the reporting on gas prices against the 40 percent increase in college tuition since 2000.

Here was the interesting economics point:
As economist Richard Vedder of Ohio University has demonstrated, every time the government subsidizes college tuition through tuition tax credits, college tuition rises by the precise amount of the tuition tax credit.

Lost Confuses Me

Just got into the show Lost. It's great and all. But apparently they put up weird stuff on the web associated with their show.

They also set up a phone system related to these clues (1-877-HANS-ORG). That takes time to sift through. And I'm just unwilling to devote that time to figure out the clues.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

White Guilt and the American Past: Why is America so delicate with the enemy?
Anti-Americanism, whether in Europe or on the American left, works by the mechanism of white guilt. It stigmatizes America with all the imperialistic and racist ugliness of the white Western past so that America becomes a kind of straw man, a construct of Western sin. (The Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons were the focus of such stigmatization campaigns.) Once the stigma is in place, one need only be anti-American in order to be "good," in order to have an automatic moral legitimacy and power in relation to America. (People as seemingly disparate as President Jacques Chirac and the Rev. Al Sharpton are devoted pursuers of the moral high ground to be had in anti-Americanism.) This formula is the most dependable source of power for today's international left. Virtue and power by mere anti-Americanism. And it is all the more appealing since, unlike real virtues, it requires no sacrifice or effort--only outrage at every slight echo of the imperialist past.

Today words like "power" and "victory" are so stigmatized with Western sin that, in many quarters, it is politically incorrect even to utter them. For the West, "might" can never be right. And victory, when won by the West against a Third World enemy, is always oppression. But, in reality, military victory is also the victory of one idea and the defeat of another. Only American victory in Iraq defeats the idea of Islamic extremism. But in today's atmosphere of Western contrition, it is impolitic to say so.
Whether the problem is race relations, education, immigration or war, white guilt imposes so much minimalism and restraint that our worst problems tend to linger and deepen. Our leaders work within a double bind. If they do what is truly necessary to solve a problem--win a war, fix immigration--they lose legitimacy.

To maintain their legitimacy, they practice the minimalism that makes problems linger. What but minimalism is left when you are running from stigmatization as a "unilateralist cowboy"? And where is the will to truly regulate the southern border when those who ask for this are slimed as bigots? This is how white guilt defines what is possible in America. You go at a problem until you meet stigmatization, then you retreat into minimalism.

Possibly white guilt's worst effect is that it does not permit whites--and nonwhites--to appreciate something extraordinary: the fact that whites in America, and even elsewhere in the West, have achieved a truly remarkable moral transformation. One is forbidden to speak thus, but it is simply true. There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant. If there is still the odd white bigot out there surviving past his time, there are millions of whites who only feel goodwill toward minorities.

Interesting read.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Is al Qaeda Preparing for a Retreat from Iraq?

Via TigerHawk.

I'm not sure myself, but I've had similar thoughts.

Al Qaeda originally had plans for establishing the next caliphate in Iraq. Now, they are repeating anti-war leftists slogans. When America eventually withdraws, they will claim they are the reason why and claim victory.

In other words, they won't control Iraq but they are trying to project to the rest of the Muslim world that they are strong. That's my take.

There doesn't need to be zero-violence in order to pull out.

Da Vinci Code Everywhere I Turn

John Rabe has been giving talks. Focus on the Family is currently airing a radio series about it. D. James Kennedy has developed a TV show to help debunk it.

And the obvious question is: why exert so much energy on a work of fiction? Because a number of people who don't know much about church history are being influenced by it. Many have no way of discerning whether the central claims of the book are true or not (outside of the fictional plot). And many just accept Dan Brown's claims on face value.

The problem with responding to the Da Vinci Code is that there are so many errors it is really hard to know where to begin. Just take Dan Brown's claims about the Council of Nicea and Constatine.

The divinity of Jesus was his idea and the church went along it at the council. Not that many years earlier, Christians were willing to stand up to the emperor and die. But now, at Nicea, they were willing to roll over?

For the record, the debate wasn't between a human Jesus and a divine Jesus. Here is an article on what really happened at Nicea.

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