Archive for February, 2007

Al Gore thinks he can explain away his outrageous use of energy by “buying carbon offsets”.  He thinks florescent bulbs will save the environment.  Maybe, he houses are really big and probably have hundreds of lightbulbs :-).

There is a home in Texas that sounds like the home Al Gore SHOULD have if he really cared for the environment.  This house “has 25,000 gallons of rainwater storage, gray water collection from sinks and showers for irrigation, passive solar, geothermal heating and cooling. “By marketplace standards, the house is startlingly small,” says David Heymann, the architect of the 4,000-square-foot home.”

Is it owned by one of the Hollywood enrivo-activists?  No.  A climatologist?  No.  A George Soros wanna-be?  No.  This home is the Crawford, TX ranch owned by President George W. (I’m an Evil, Environment-Hating Conservative) Bush.  Congratulations to George Bush for doing more than paying for offsets.  He actually conserves energy and other resources.  Sadly, this gets NO coverage by the press.  Why?  Is it an inconvenient truth that could destroy the image of him they have created?

Here is the problem: most people can afford to buy offsets like Al Gore.  And most people couldn’t afford to build such an environmentally-friendly home either (though, note he didn’t build it as big as most people with that kind of wealth).  You used to get a tax-break for installing solor panels, a long time ago.  So, what is the average American supposed to do?

(HT: Glenn Beck)

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Perhaps it is because I’m preaching on the part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus tells us to love our enemies, but…

There is a problem I’ve become aware of in the last 6-8 months.  I didn’t want to blog on it because I didn’t want to draw the ire of those who are convinced I have the problem.  But, I’ve seen this issue on more blogs, but I’ll take a shot at this because I want to stand up for my brothers (out of love) and gently rebuke those who would consider me an enemy.

Confused yet?  I am alarmed by an ideology that I consider a parasite on Reformed Theology: Kinism.  Kinism has little/nothing to do with Reformed Theology, but most kinists would claim to be Reformed and utilize Southern (antebellum) Presbyterian theologians fused with theonomy to come to some very peculiar interpretations of the Scriptures that seek to justify their racism- though they claim not to be racists.  As a result, they drag other Reformed Christians under suspicion.


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Director James Cameron is trying to sink Christianity with the latest round of absurd allegations to be rehashed by someone known for pseudohistory.  Before I get there, I want to mention Peter’s words in the first chapter of his second letter.  They are pertinent.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. …And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,….”  2 Peter 1:16, 19 (ESV)

Here is a rundown:

Al Mohler’s interview on Larry King Live.

Ben Witherington III gives his take.

Paul Maier, who wrote a novel addressing these concerns, makes some great points in an e-mail which Between Two Worlds posted.  Actually Justin Taylor did all of this work.  I’ve been swamped, but not all of my readers may head over to Between Two Worlds.

Michael Spenser had a response.  As did James White and Brian Maloney here on Hot Air.  Whew!

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“Think much of the Savior’s suffering for you on that dreadful cross, think much of your sin that provoked such suffering, and then enter by faith into the love that took away your sin and guilt, and then give your work your best.”

Vision: “What I would stress, then, is that a man of vision gets his vision only in and through prayer.  Only prayer with a goal of glorifying God at any cost can give God’s vision to a man or woman. … Hindrances there are.  One of these happens to be reservations in our hearts about the nature and character of His will for our lives.”

“One evidence of the Spirit’s presence in our lives is our seeing where we really are and admitting it to others.  One cannot make progress in life or ministry without being a forthright and forthcoming person. … Especially I am likely to discover I am not doing things for God’s glory and out of delight and fellowship with Him, but out of half-concealed self-interest and self-glorying.”

From The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller

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“Because we do not know who belongs to the number of the predestined, or does not belong, our desire ought to be that all may be saved; and hence every person we meet we will desire to be with us a partaker of peace.”  John Calvin

Yes, I feel a sense of conviction for my own hard-heartedness.

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Oscar presenters received environmental indulgences paid to TerraPass for $100,000 of CO2 emissions.  You can buy your way out of your environmental guilt- way cool.

I put my car in their little emissions calculator.  My car (if I drive 12,000 miles) emits 9,000 lbs of CO2 each year.  Wow, 9,000 lbs. of guilt is a heavy burden to bear.  But- there is TerraPass to bail me out.  They off me an “Out of Towner” TerraPass for $50 to “clean up” after my car.  This would be an annual deal, so… for $50/year I get a decal, a bumpersticker, and a logo decal.  After you pay the employees & cost of TerraPass, the money is invested in cleaner fuels.  You can even give this as a gift.

This sounds like Tetzel and pre-Reformation indulgences.  Continue to emit CO2 at your current rate, but pay them money to invest in cleaner fuel options (rather than… using them) so YOU FEEL BETTER. 


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I guess I’m on a U2 streak.  This is the 2nd book this year on the band, that I have read.  This is Christian Scharen’s One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God.  Scharen is a Lutheran minister who is associate director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.  So, this would be his area of interest and expertise.  I would probably agree with him on the big picture items, and disagree (at times strongly) on some of the non-essentials of the faith.

Scharen is among those, like me, who accepts their professions of faith on face value.  He sides with U2 and many who ‘get’ U2 don’t find the church comfortable.  He does not point the finger only at U2, but also at those in the church who are self-righteous, legalistic and reactionary.  As a pastor, I know how mean “Christians” can be.  To the book!


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A Church Splits on Shiboleth

A Presbyterian Church in Luisiana split over the pronounciation of a single letter in Hebrew.  Yes, Hebrew.  You say “vav”, they say “waw”.   They fought over this for 5 years.  Yes, 5 years (the old Bowie song just popped into my head).

That would be the strangest split I’ve heard about… if it were true.  Thankfully, this is from a satirical blog making fun of how petty many church splits really are.

 (HT: AABRTIV aka Isaiah543 aka Mike Shea)

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My in-laws’ place in the Airdondack after the Big Storm last week.  Notice the car on the right.

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Remembering DJ

As I was getting ready to leave the office yesterday afternoon, I did a last check of the sports news.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  Dennis Johnson, whose number was rightfully retired by the Boston Celtics, had passed away.

I spent my teens & early 20s watching DJ play for the Celtics.  Before coming to the Celtics, he had won the NBA title as a member of the 1978-79 Seattle Sonics- earning Final MVP honors.  After 4 years he was sent to the Suns.

DJ arrived with baggage- a drug problem in his past.  But Red took a chance (one of his great legacies- giving guys another chance).  As a replacement for Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald, DJ quarterbacked the team to the championship in his first season.  He was also part of the 1986 championship squad  which is often considered one of the greatest teams of all time.

DJ was known for his defense, and seemingly being in the right place at the right time.  Larry Bird called him the “best player” he had played with.  His teammates agreed that he was also a first-class human being.  He never got the NBA head coaching job I wish he’d get.  He was an interim coach for the Clippers.  Since he coached the developmental league team associated with the Celtics, I’d hoped he would be their next coach.

I am still shocked, and saddened, to think that one of the men I watched so often (I still can’t believe it was 20 years ago) passed away.  It has been a difficult season for the Celtics, which began with Red’s death.  Former Celtics Pistol Pete and Reggie Lewis died in like fashion- as heart problems ended their lives on the court they loved so much.  I think his entrance to the Basketball Hall of Fame is long overdue.

Update: Like me, Bill Simmons says his induction to the Hall of Fame is LONG overdue.  Same with Jim Rice and El Tiante!

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“He (Jesus) did not die to make this life easy for us or prosperous.  He died to remove every obstacle to our everlasting joy in making much of him.  And he calls us to follow him in his sufferings because this life of joyful suffering for Jesus’ sake (Matt. 5:12) shows that he is more valuable than all the earthly rewards that the world lives for (Matt. 13:44; 6:19-20).  If you follow Jesus only because he makes life easy now, it will look to the world as though you really love what they love, and Jesus just happens to provide it for you.  But if you suffer with Jesus in the pathway of love because he is your supreme treasure, then it will be apparent to the world that your heart is set on a different fortune than theirs.  This is why Jesus demands that we deny oursleves and take up our cross and follow him.”  John Piper

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A New Gig

Beginning Monday, I’ll be teaching a Church History class at a ‘local’ classical academy.  This is only 1 class a day.  This will be my first foray into classroom teaching (having to test and grade people).  Motivating 5 9th graders who have little/no interest in Church History (combines two of my favorite things- history & theology) ought to be interesting.

I’m looking forward to it.  Perhaps I’ll use the money to self-publish my book since no ‘real’ publishers were interested (no, I’m not bitter, most of the time).  I’m sure there will be lots of adjustments for family life since I won’t have as flexible a schedule.

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In one of his sermons on Ruth, Mark Driscoll mentioned a program they are involved in at Mars Hill.  This program is designed to help the on-going crisis in Africa beyond just providing ‘handouts’.

In this program, a church will partner with a local African church to establish an orphan village.  It goes beyond an orphanage in that the village will eventually be self-sustaining.  The children are also educated, particularly in the sexual ethics and Christian financial stewardship accompanying the gospel necessary to break the cycles of poverty and AIDs that are destroying Africa.

This sounds like a very good way for American churches to give out of the abundance we’ve been given to help our brothers in Africa.  I’m sure it will then overflow to the rest of Africa as new churches are planted and indigenous missionaries are sent out.  Join me in learning more about One Church One Village.  Oh, James 1:

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)

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Ben on Rob

Methodist scholar Ben Witherington has a few things to say about Rob Bell.  Though he mentions Rob’s two books (which I need to read to see if Driscoll’s critiques are valid [they are]), the focus is on the Lexington stop on his new book tour for Sex God.  He likes alot of what Rob is trying to do.  He recognizes some strong pastoral and teaching gifts.

One of Witherington’s critiques is out of my area of expertise.  And he essentially says that this is not Bell’s area of expertise either: “First of all it seems clear that Rob, in his valid attempt to read Jesus and the NT writers in the context of early Judaism, has not used good enough sources to really help him understand the difference between Judaism prior to the two Jewish wars in the first and second centuries A.D, and later Mishnaic and Talmudic Judaism. “

In other words he is utilizing some outdated materials, and relying on Ray Vanderlaan too much.  I’ve not been very impressed with the level of Vanderlaan’s scholarship, which means Witherington must REALLY not be impressed.  That is a discussion most people won’t get, though it does have significance for how one interprets and applies the accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry as found in the Gospels.  Of greater interest is Bell’s approach on homosexuality.  It sounds alot like the problems that plague Brian MacLaren on the issue.

“His answers was evasive in part, and disturbing in other parts, and clearly unBiblical in other parts and in this he sounds like some other leaders in the Emergent Church movement. … First of all, Rob made the blanket statement that you have no moral authority to speak on this issue unless you have gay friends and understand their struggle.”

I agree that is problematic.  It really undermines the authority of Scripture.  Empathy is a good and important thing.  But this sounds just like the usual card that is played by “progressives” in the social arena.  They claim you can’t speak to an issue (pick any of them… abortion, addiction, racism…) unless you have personal experience.  At least here it  can be 2nd hand.  But, since I know some homosexuals I can safely address these issues.


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El Guapo is not the villian from The Three Amigos in this case.  It is the nickname of the infamous Red Sox relief pitcher Rich Garces.  He had a pretty good run with the Red Sox (among others), but seemed to enjoy food a bit too much.  He ate himself out of baseball.

But El Guapo is back, with the minor league team in my hometown- the Nashua Pride.  He’s playing for former Sox 3rd baseman and manager- Butch Hobson.  I’m glad El Guapo is back in New England… he’s sort of a legend there.

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Gerald Green came, saw and conquered.  He got the high score in both rounds of the preliminaries.

Can I just say that I hate the multiple attempts to make a dunk?

Some class, as Green cheered Robinson on when it was getting ugly.

You have to be kidding me?  2 attempts after taking 8 attempts during the 2 minutes!

He wrapped it up with a perfect 50.  Green was the only Celtic to participate in All-Star Weekend this year.  And he took home the gold.  I’m sure a video will be up soon.

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Gerald Green aka G-Money will be competing in the dunk competition this year at All-Star Weekend.  He has a growing reputation as an exciting player with some monstrous dunks.  Here is some of what he can do.  The Cheif has put together a Top 10 to U2’s Elevation.  Now, if he can just get the defensive rotations down…

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Franchise Player

The New England Patriots named free agent Asante Samuel as their franchise player.

He had a breakout season.  These days, if you can find a shutdown cornerback, you don’t let him go.

The Patriots didn’t want to let this one go.  Since Brady didn’t demand a gi-normous contract like some other quarterbacks (ahem) they have some cap money to pay guys like Samuel.

Samuel’s agent said they hope this is the first step toward a long term deal.

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Fun With Benny

You might think it is Benny Hill, but it is Benny Hinn.

Okay… some guys had some fun with editing, sound effects and music.


It even uses the Benny Hill music.

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

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The onslaught of media coverage about John Amaechi and (mostly) Tim Hardaway’s stupid comments has been hard to avoid.  This is a story laden with conflicted interests, hypocrisy and so much more.  I find this particularly humorous since ESPN has been making the biggest deal about Hardaway’s comments. 

How It Happened: Until Tim was asked the infamous question by a guy with ESPN connections, the whole Amaechi coming out of the closet story was a big letdown.  Pretty much no one cared.

That had to scare ESPN.  Amaechi’s book is being published by…. ESPN.  Seriously, if this book was about basketball and his career… big snoozer.  The guy had one good year in Orlando.  He pretty much stunk.  I think he had the skills, just not the interest (and that has nothing to do with being gay).  The big Outside the Lines full interview, I imagine, didn’t get much action.  It was a whole big snoozer, because most people really don’t care.

Dan LeBatard asked Tim Hardaway one final question, before the answer prompted a few more.  He has been a sportswriter in Miami for some time.  He had to know that Tim would probably not react will to the possibility of a homosexual teammate.  Did he expect to get this reaction?  I don’t like conspiracy theorists, but the possibilities of a set-up are there.

Then Tim Hardaway made ESPN’s day, week and month, if not year.  His comments were just what was needed to make a real big story.  And ESPN played them to death in just about every venue they have.  For instance, I enjoy Mike & Mike in the Morning.  But Thursday Golic was sick, and Greenie was just sickening.  I think it was the whole show.  Hello… pitchers and catchers reported!  There were lots of stories available- was this THAT important?  So what if one guy can’t stand homosexuals.  Oh, that’s right… we now have to suspect that there are lots of Tim Hardaway’s hiding their true feelings.  Aack!


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