Friday, December 02, 2011

What If?

Wouldn't be interesting if some higher power made many drastic claims concerning the human race and all that we know?

For instance:
What if some higher power claimed to have made everything?
What if some higher power identified itself to be the standard for good?
What if some higher power attested to having orchestrated events big and small throughout history?
What if some higher power claimed to know the thoughts of people, actually knowing all things?
What if some higher power was self-described as existing eternally?
What if some higher power explained to mankind the purpose for our existence?
What if some higher power told us how this world began and how it will end?
What if some higher power described to us that, because of our situation, our status with the higher power is that of enemies?
What if some higher power warned us of a coming judgment in which none can stand by his or her own good works?
What if some higher power had chosen to take the form of a man in order to live a perfect life and then take upon himself the judgment we deserved?
What if such a one, after dying, was actually raised to life?

It would be interesting, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Christmas Carol Quiz

Name the Christmas carol for each of the following lyric excerpts:

  1. Shepherds quake at the sight

  1. Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

  1. Feliz navidad

  1. I am a poor boy too

  1. Cheer our spirits by thine advent here

  1. See him whose birth the angels sing

  1. Far as the curse is found

  1. Born the king of angels

  1. God and sinners reconciled

  1. This, this is Christ the King

Scroll down for the answers to this Christmas Carol Quiz

The Answers to the Carols...

(1) Silent Night (2) O Holy Night (3) Feliz Navidad (4) Little Drummer Boy (5) O Come, O Come Emmanuel (6) Angels We Have Heard on High (7) Joy to the World (8) O Come All Ye Faithful (or O Come Let Us Adore Him) (9) Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (10) What Child Is This?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Associate by John Grisham

Enjoyed it. Looking back at my post last year on Grisham's last book, The Appeal, I was reminded how little I actually enjoyed that one. The Associate is a better read and is somewhat vintage Grisham in terms of plot, pace, and character(s). I cannot rank the book just yet as it needs some time to settle in my mind, but it is at least my favorite from Grisham since The Summons (which was 6 books ago by my count.) 

Without giving away any of the storyline of The Associate, the book builds the kind of intriguing plot which beckons a person to keep picking it back up, always wondering what the main character is about to encounter. Set in New York City, the book is typical of Grisham's love-hate approach to lawyers and law firms. The entire law industry is painted as intriguingly attractive and embarrassingly ugly at the same time as he has a way of both glorifying the work and smearing it with mud. 

As usual with a novel, I believe in a final reading which I refer to as the "last sitting" which should be as close to the final 100 pages as possible. While some brief "episodes" might be okay while in the middle of a good book, I am a firm believer in the value of a long period of reading for both the beginning and the end of the novel as such an approach more thoroughly entrenches my mind in what is taking place.  

If you're interested, my favorite Grisham books go as follows:
1. The Chamber
2. The Testament
3. The Runaway Jury
4. The Client
5. A Time to Kill

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Postal Service Cuts or Cut the Postal Service

The U. S. Postal Service is requesting to drop a day of mail delivery because of financial concerns. 

I have the answer:  UPS and FedEx.

Seriously, the Postal Service is suddenly the most visible and glaring example of our government at work. Of course, UPS and FedEx charge a little more on most items, but that's what the USPS is going to have to charge if they want to operate in the black. Additionally, of the significant mail that I receive, I think that 95% of it could arrive electronically. As for the junk mail, well, maybe the government could find somewhere else to send that. 

And they want to run our health care?!?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

He Is There and He Is not Silent

In He Is There and He Is not SilentFrancis Schaeffer offers the following concerning the "what if" of the existence of the Christian God and such a God's ability to communicate:

"In the Christian structure, would it be unlikely that this personal God who is there and made man in his own image as a verbalizer, in such a way that he can communicate horizontally to other men on the basis of propositions and language - is it unthinkable or even surprising that this personal God could or would communicate to man on the basis of propositions?"

Schaeffer offers that he has never met an atheist who thought it a surprise that such a God would or should communicate. Of course, the atheist does not believe that such a God exists to begin with. However, it is quite interesting to think that someone who is being true even to a "what if" scenario should admit that if this God exists, then he would surely be able to communicate with his creatures in very real terms.

While many atheists then would agree with Schaeffer's logical conclusions (though disagreeing on the whole), it seems that many who claim to be theists cannot fathom that this God can or has clearly communicated to his creatures. Beginning at this point of revelation - whether God has truly spoken propositionally to man - is the hinge for most (if not all) other divisions which exist today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Global Weather Equation

Recent reports that arctic ice is at levels last seen in 1979 should force our climate experts to answer some difficult questions. While the popular scientists may plead the fifth, some possibilities must be taken into account.

1. Our current cool down is a trend that goes against the greater warming trend, and the cooling trend will soon be over.


2. Our current cool down is a larger trend much like the warming cycle that has been recently seen, and the world may now see below average temperatures for a period.


3. Humans have cut carbon emissions and taken other measures so successfully that humans have made an immediate impact on the global climate to an unexpected degree with unexpected speed.

Okay, maybe none of these is the correct answer, but you get the picture.

While increasing arctic ice amounts certainly does not end the discussion about global warming, this one aspect of the larger equation has certainly been a media favorite (think of all the polar bear pictures on "melting" pieces of ice that have been floating around.) We'll see if there are any pictures now of polar bears roaming on vast ice formations.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Life, Liberty, and Some TV Channels

Subject: $40 coupons from the U. S. Government for TV converter boxes.
Problem: Why?
Conclusion: The U. S. has already converted to Socialism.

Next: Government radios installed in every home so we can be "informed."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"God and Sinners Reconciled"

We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

- The Apostle Paul (2nd Corinthians 5:20b-21)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is God Trying to Tell You Something?

Is God is trying to tell you something? Honestly, no, he is not.

Here's why...

Think about it: Christians who claim that God is "trying to tell them something" are making a mockery of God's ability to communicate. Such language is basically saying either one of two things:
1) God wants me to know something but he is unable to bridge the communication gap
2) God's ways of communication with us are highly mystical as if God is playing some sort of game and we're trying to come up with the right answers.

Christians have seemingly embraced mystical answer in making such a claim. As Greg Koukl so convincingly points out in this transcript: "God does not try" because God cannot fail to do (or say) what he wants. Koukl states:
Many have bought the idea that optimal Christian living involves "experiencing God" in a special manner: hearing His voice and getting special directives or assignments from Him. For those who say, "I don't hear God," the rejoinder is often, "He's been trying to talk to you, but you weren't listening."

Most people use the phrase innocently, I believe. However, like many phrases that become popular and are passed around among Christians (like the common cold) such is not consistent with Scripture. (Pointing out such inconsistencies is something Greg Koukl does quite a bit and he's quite good at it.) Koukl says of his view that nowhere in the Bible does God attempt to speak where he is not heard - not obeyed, yes, but never not heard.

Interested in more on this topic? Get the audio for Greg Koukl's talk entitled "Decision Making and the Will of God" (unfortunately it's $9.99 to download.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Hybrid Hope

"A Hybrid Hope" was the sermon title yesterday at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit with 3 SUV's parked behind the pulpit. [Link to current church webpage on the topic.]

Is this where churches go from here?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Paper Dot Com

Problem: How do I say "I read it in the paper" when I actually read it online?

The whole range of terminology related to "in the paper" feels uncomfortable at best when referring to one's perusing of the online edition of the local news. Interestingly, the phraseology seems to always be taken to be in reference to the town or city paper of one's locality. If a person living in Texas reads something in the New York Times, the seemingly appropriate terminology for mentioning something read therein is a reference to the Times and not just "in the paper" because "in the paper" carries with it the assumption of being local.

With the internet, though, the problem is partly the universality of "the paper." For news junkies, the ability to view all the major papers quickly on one's computer is great. However, the local side of reading the paper is at risk, and the way one refers to any news read online is troubling. I do not wish to clarify every time I make reference in conversation of something "in the paper" that I actually read it online. "I read it online" carries little weight since a person can read practically anything online.

Proposal: "Paper dot com" as in "I read it in the paper dot com." "Paper dot com" then would mean that I read it on the local website of the local newspaper.

Of course, according to this article, not too many paper readers actually do read the paper online. Even with declining numbers of paper-paper readers, there is no great shift to electronic editions. So, it may all be a lost cause.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Book in Print

My book is finally available in print! As a "spare time" writer, I wrote Dolor for Misdeeds over the course of about a year while in graduate school (I guess I should have been studying more.) After much work (and time) the novel is finalized and available as a paperback.

The story is about Jake, one of Louisville's favorite sons, who finds himself on the brink of success at the same moment that the discovery of human remains brings his secret to the surface. The book opens with the uncovering of the evidence and the devastating news for Jake who has tried to blot out the past incident from his memory. His career and marriage are suddenly in turmoil. Answering to a curious detective proves tough, but even as his legal problems begin to mount an even more dangerous foe arises seeking his own brand of justice.

Dolor for Misdeeds can be purchased by going to the website or by visiting The list price is $9.99. A coupon for $2.00 off is currently available for purchases from the publisher using the coupon code YE79YDUT at checkout.