Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Providence Doesn't Excuse Our Wickedness

And whence, I ask you, comes the stench of a corpse, which is both putrefied and laid open by the heat of the sun? All men see that it is stirred up by the sun's rays; yet no one for this reason says that rays stink. Thus, since the matter and guilt of evil lie inherent in a wicked man, what reason is there to think that God contracts any defilement, if he uses the wicked man's service for His own purpose? Away, therefore, with this doglike impudence, which can indeed bark at God's justice afar off but cannot touch it.

- John Calvin
Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 5

Thursday, September 24, 2009

27, meet 20. You guys got a lot to talk about..

I wish Niles-age-20 could meet Niles-age-27. 27 would have a lot to say to 20.

That's it. Just sayin'.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It Might Get Loud

A docu-movie featuring the Edge, Jack White, and Jimmy Page... I've gotta see this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From ChuckNorrisFacts.com, the top facts pick by Chuck himself:

· When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
· Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
· There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.
· Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.
· Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
· Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
· Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
· Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.
· There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.
· When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.
· Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
· Chuck Norris’ hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
· Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.
· Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.
· Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
· Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost
· Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a DeltaForce marathon on Satellite TV.
· Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.

If none of these make you crack a smile, Chuck will crack you. Ok, ok I got nothing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Battling for the Unborn and Unborn-again

An eye opening post from John Piper's blog at DesiringGod:

In the most recent Christianity Today (“Sex, Lies, and Abortion,” Sept. 2009, p. 78) Dinesh D’Souza explains why pro-life arguments for the humanity of the unborn don’t carry the day:

Why then, in the face of its bad arguments, does the pro-choice movement continue to prevail legally and politically?

I think it's because abortion is the debris of the sexual revolution. . . .

In order to have a sexual revolution, women must have the same sexual autonomy as man. But the laws of biology contradict this ideology, so feminists who have championed the sexual revolution . . . have found it necessary to denounce pregnancy as an invasion of the female body. . .

No one in the pro-choice camp, of course, wants to admit any of this. It's not only politically embarrassing, it's also painful to one's self-image to acknowledge a willingness to sustain permissive sexual values by killing the unborn.

If I'm on the right track, pro-life arguments are not likely to succeed by simply continuing to stress the humanity of the fetus. The opposition already knows this, as probably do most women who have an abortion. Rather, the pro-life movement must take into account the larger cultural context of the sexual revolution that invisibly but surely sustains the triumphant advocates of abortion.

It won't be easy but somehow the case against abortion must include a case against sexual libertinism.

Two further observations.

Somebody with my view would call the abortion position “fornication management”—like “damage control.” Jesus (Matthew 15:19) and Paul (1 Corinthians 6:18) forbid fornication. But from the other side it’s called “justice.” If a man can have free sex with no pregnancy consequences, then justice demands that the woman have the same “right.” So as long as sexual intercourse is perceived as a given—a kind of visceral “right” (part of what it means to be a sexual being)—then abortion will be a demanded “right” to give parity to male and female.

The other observation is that the upshot of D’Souza’s article is that a “case against sexual libertinism” is good, but by itself powerless. “Cases” don’t affect hormones and passions very much. But there is a power to “put to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). His name is the Holy Spirit. And he moves through faith by making Jesus Christ the supreme treasure of life—including sexual life.

So, at bottom, the battle for the life of the unborn is the same as the battle for the life of the un-born-again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

To really own a book:

I read this quotation from Challies.com this morning. It's from Moritmer Adler's How To Read a Book. I think I fit into book owner #2, but I'm working on it.


There are two ways in which one can own a book. The first is the property right you establish by paying for it, just as you pay for clothes and furniture. But this act of purchase is only the prelude to possession. Full ownership comes only when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it is by writing in it. An illustration may make the point clear. You buy a beefsteak and transfer it from the butcher’s icebox to your own. But you do not own the beefsteak in the most important sense until you consume it and get it into your bloodstream. I am arguing that books, too, must be absorbed in your blood stream to do you any good.

Confusion about what it means to “own” a book leads people to a false reverence for paper, binding, and type — a respect for the physical thing — the craft of the printer rather than the genius of the author. They forget that it is possible for a man to acquire the idea, to possess the beauty, which a great book contains, without staking his claim by pasting his bookplate inside the cover. Having a fine library doesn’t prove that its owner has a mind enriched by books; it proves nothing more than that he, his father, or his wife, was rich enough to buy them.

There are three kinds of book owners. The first has all the standard sets and best sellers — unread, untouched. (This deluded individual owns woodpulp and ink, not books.) The second has a great many books — a few of them read through, most of them dipped into, but all of them as clean and shiny as the day they were bought. (This person would probably like to make books his own, but is restrained by a false respect for their physical appearance.) The third has a few books or many — every one of them dog-eared and dilapidated, shaken and loosened by continual use, marked and scribbled in from front to back. (This man owns books.) …

But the soul of a book “can” be separate from its body. A book is more like the score of a piece of music than it is like a painting. No great musician confuses a symphony with the printed sheets of music. Arturo Toscanini reveres Brahms, but Toscanini’s score of the G minor Symphony is so thoroughly marked up that no one but the maestro himself can read it. The reason why a great conductor makes notations on his musical scores — marks them up again and again each time he returns to study them—is the reason why you should mark your books. If your respect for magnificent binding or typography gets in the way, buy yourself a cheap edition and pay your respects to the author.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Auto-tune Isn't All Bad

Well, while I won't divulge if any kind of auto-tune was used on Eternal Worship's upcoming release, I think we can safely assume it is all over this hilariousness:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Theodicy and Optimism

To defend the theological perspective of this blog which has been recently, colloquially reproached, I'd like to blog about Gottfried Leibniz's (1646-1716) view on theodicy and optimism.

Honestly, these are new terms to me, but I found Leibniz's ideas on these topics to be interesting. His view could be succinctly put as:

Theodicy tries to justify the apparent imperfections of the world by claiming that it is optimal among all possible worlds. It must be the best possible and most balanced world because it was created by a perfect God.

{I would insert God's observation from Genesis 1, it was "towb" or good, right or appropriate}

While his views on a perfect and good God were ridiculed by what surely would have been a convincing 18th century blogger, Voltaire, Leibniz's optimism lead to certain scientific principles that two centuries later would be thoroughly established: the principle of least action, the conservation of mass, and the conservation of energy.

So, theodicy and optimism. There you go.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I don't care who you are...

This thing is scary...

It's from a WSJ article on a new discovery of a new drug that prohibits bacteria from communicating with each other. Apparently this angler fish uses bacteria to shine. A colony of bacteria glow on the tip of an appendage on the fish's head, enabling the fish to lure prey in the deep ocean darkness.

See the article and description here.

Remind me to stay away from deep ocean darkness.

Update, cause I know you want to see more. Found another picture of an angler fish.

Pic by charminbayurr from Flickr

Live free or die, or not.

So, I read a Wall Street Journal article this morning about a girl in New Hampshire, age 10, who was home-schooled. There was a court order issued to make her attend public school, saying that her faith could use some shaking-up. Here's a bit of the article:

"Amanda's mother has had primary custody over her daughter since she and Amanda's father divorced 10 years ago. The father has had long-standing complaints about the effect of home-schooling on his daughter's "socialization," even though Amanda has already taken classes at the school and participated in extracurricular activities. But the order appears to be based on the guardian ad litem's worry about Amanda's "rigidity on faith." The order also accepts the same guardian's conclusion that Amanda belongs in a public school because she "would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.'"

New Hampshire's state motto: "Live free or die."

Ironic, no?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Jesus wuz here:

Here's a quick video from Mars Hill Church's trip to Israel where Mark is telling a bit about Peter's home. It would be pretty awesome to experience, in person, a place were Jesus actually walked while he was still with us on Earth. For now, this will have to do.

Peters House in Capernaum from Mars Hill Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

No frets? No problem.

You can just build your own guitar, but you might want to practice your slide technique first.