"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Soul music on the Alzheimer's wing

They we're rockin' out on the alzheimer's unit this a.m. Old hymns performed by black gospel artists were pouring out of the boom-box; one after another. The recreational therapy personnel were present trying to motivate and stimulate the alzheimer's crowd. Two or three of the people were mouthing/humming the words to the old hymns. Two or three ladies were actually rocking back and forth, mostly, in time to the rhythm. The aides, of course, were swaying to the music as they went about their duties. Most of the staff had a smile on their lips.

With the aged ones on the alzheimer's unit; there's generally a distinct lack of smiles. Their ability to comprehend humor or pleasure is the first loss in a long succession of mental and psychological losses. Inevitably they grow quieter and quieter. There is no turning the process around - at least at this time.

Alzheimer's disease is officially a terminal illness. But for this morning, the soul music sounds of classic black gospel lightened the mood on the Alzheimer's wing.

Thomas Sowell turns 75


" Thomas Sowell on 75 Years Old
The conservative Republican economist writes: "It is hard to believe that I am that old but arithmetic is uncompromising. This means that I have lived through nearly one-third of the entire history of the United States. The changes in my life - and still more so in the life of the country around me and in the world at large - have been almost unbelievable. Most Americans did not own a telephone or a refrigerator when I was born on June 30, 1930. The United States and the world were in the depths of the greatest depression in history. Congress passed the highest tariff in history in 1930, in an effort to protect American jobs from foreign competition - and unemployment became even worse. Franklin D. Roosevelt was Governor of New York in 1930. Winston Churchill was just an ignored backbencher in the British Parliament. In the German elections of 1930, a fringe group called National Socialists received more votes than ever before but the Nazis were still just the second largest party in the country. Bill Terry led the National League in batting in 1930, with an average of .401 -- the last .400 hitter in that league. No black man had ever played major league baseball at that point and none was allowed to enlist in the U.S. Navy, even though blacks had once served in the Navy as far back as the War of 1812....All the dark and ominous times that this country and the world have passed through and overcome in the past 75 years make it hard to despair, even in the face of growing signs of internal degeneracy today. Pessimism, yes. Despair, not yet."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Conceit of Government - Peggy Noonan
Why are our politicians so full of themselves?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

What's wrong with them? That's what I'm thinking more and more as I watch the news from Washington.

A few weeks ago it was the senators who announced the judicial compromise. There is nothing wrong with compromise and nothing wrong with announcements, but the senators who spoke referred to themselves with such flights of vanity and conceit--we're so brave, so farsighted, so high-minded--that it was embarrassing. They patted themselves on the back so hard they looked like a bevy of big breasted pigeons in a mass wing-flap. Little grey feathers and bits of corn came through my TV screen, and I had to sweep up when they were done.
There is nothing wrong with Barack Obama's resume, but it is a log-cabin-free zone. So far it also is a greatness-free zone. If he keeps talking about himself like this it always will be.

Mr. Obama said he keeps a photographic portrait of Lincoln on the wall of his office, and that "it asks me questions."

I'm sure it does. I'm sure it says, "Barack, why are you such an egomaniac?" Or perhaps, "Is it no longer possible in American politics to speak of another's greatness without suggesting your own?"
I admire Bill Frist, but can you imagine George Washington referring in public, or in private for that matter, to his many virtues? In normal America if you have a high character you don't wrestle people to the ground until they acknowledge it. You certainly don't announce it. If you are compassionate, you are compassionate; if others see it, fine. If you hold to principle it will become clear. You don't proclaim these things. You can't, for the same reason that to brag about your modesty is to undercut the truth of the claim.
And there are the Clintons. There are always the Clintons........... It was embarrassing to see America's two most famous political grifters plop themselves in the first row dressed in telegenic silk and allow themselves to become the focus of sweet words they knew would come.
How exactly does it work? How does legitimate self-confidence become wildly inflated self-regard? How does self respect become unblinking conceit? How exactly does one's character become destabilized in Washington?
The Supreme Court this week and last issued many rulings, and though they were on different issues the decisions themselves had at least one thing in common: They seemed to reflect a lack of basic human modesty on the part of many of the justices. Many are famously very old, and they have been together as a court for a very long time. One wonders if they have lost all understanding of how privileged they are to have lifetime sinecures of power and authority. Do they have any sense anymore of common human wisdom, of the normal human arrangements by which Americans live?
What are they doing? All this hair splitting, this dithering, this cutting and pasting--all this lack of serious and defining principle. All this vanity.

Perhaps Justice Ginsburg or Justice Stevens will retire soon and write a memoir: Like Jefferson I held to principle, and like Lincoln I often lacked air conditioning. But in my intellectual gifts I've always found myself to be more like Oliver Wendell Holmes . . .

What is in the air there in Washington, what is in the water?

What is wrong with them? This is not a rhetorical question. I think it is unspoken question No. 1 as Americans look at so many of the individuals in our government. What is wrong with them?

JB here: A) You really should open the link and read ALL of Ms. Noonan's excellent article.
B) I think American society has come to this; and this is really ugly. It is ALL ABOUT ME!
I believe the new Ugly American is a result of 4 decades of Rogerian psychotherapy poured down our eagerly accepting gullets by schools, professors, media, sports heroes, checkers at our local discount mall, auto salesmen, T.V. accountants and preachers.

Heaven help us. Somebody needs to apply a swift kick to our overly large posteriors and scream at us; "Get a Grip! It is NOT about YOU!"

But NOOOooo. We continue to drown in the stories of weeping stars, starlets and politicians who wish to be admired for overcoming never before seen adversity; plus desiring our empathetic understanding as they bravely face their penny ante addiction scenarios.

And we, the common people, have adopted their scripts.

Gag Me With A Spoon People. It is TIME to grow up! SHEESH.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

From the newsdesk:

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - John Walton[58], the billionaire son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and a member of the company's board, died Monday in a plane crash in Wyoming.
In March, Forbes Magazine listed John Walton as No. 11 on its list of the world's richest people with a net worth of $18.2 billion.

Scripture says, it is appointed unto man ONCE to die; then judgement. John Walton's appointment came earlier than expected. God alone knows the result of the judgement.

What we don't know from the reading of the news item. Was he a decent human being? Did he love his family? Was he faithful to his wife? Was he proud? A glutton? Did he honor his father and his mother? Though he was stupendously rich, what did he covet? How selfish was he? How kind was he? Did he always take or did he give too.

If he had children, did he make every available attempt to make sure they would not be totally ruined by inherited wealth?
But of most importance, did he, in his brief lifetime, pursue after Jesus Christ?

What his grave marker WILL NOT SAY!

"Here lies John Walton. He was worth 18.2 billion dollars."

John Walton has begun the inevitable process of returning to dust. It all comes down to that.
Choices today - dust tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2005

As my most avid readers know from reading previous posts; I gave up on the idea of becoming a metrosexual - I believe that train already left the station with me still standing on the platform in my Walmart shirt and "Big & Fat" pants.

But no sooner do I clear that hurdle to health and happiness but another fearsome issue appears leaving me agitated and gagging.

The Sunday Telegraph brings us this alarming report:

British men are being told to be alert to a condition that could "put them on the fast track to extinction." Symptoms of the "illness" that has been dubbed "mantropy" include a penchant for pedicures, fruit smoothies and small dogs.

American Maxim, one of the biggest-selling men's magazines in the world, has defined mantropy as "a silent killer which strikes men in the prime of life." The magazine has been urging American men to be macho rather than manicured and to indulge their passion for cars rather than clothes. . . .

Greg Gutfeld, the editor of the British edition of Maxim, said the campaign had been sparked by fashion images of hairless men. "It's that sort of thing which is driving normal men crazy," he said. "I personally think television and pubs are the best inoculation against this sort of thing."

To read the whole blessed thing on Opinion Journal, click here.

JB here: Okay, pedicure, fruit smoothies and small dogs have been eliminated from my vision of JB utopia. However, I'm not at all sure I wish to add television and pubs (not readily available) as an antidote to Mantropy. I think I'll just double my input of reading Louis L'Amour. That should combat the mantropy.
Top Ten Signs That The Supreme Court Ruled The Wrong Way on the Ten Commandments Cases more

10. Justice Breyer's first-born son suddenly feeling "under the weather".
9. God now saying that justices are allowed "on" heaven, but not "in" heaven.
8. When the bailiff cried "God Save this Honorable Court!" at the beginning of the session, he suddenly turned into a pillar of salt.
7. Every evening, it seems like it now takes Justice Souter 40 years to find his car in the Supreme Court parking lot.
6. Justice Scalia's Sunday golf game interrupted by plague of locusts.
5. Testimony from false witnesses now completely admissible.
4. Justice O'Connor suddenly the recipient of unwanted "coveting."
3. The Potomac turned blood red. Wait! -- that's just pollution.
2. Manna supply has suddenly run out.
1. The golden calf the justices had installed inside the court suddenly burst in twain.

JB here: Yes the Supremes, in their infinite wisdom took a difficult ruling and provided the basis for lawsuits for centuries to come. To my un-lawyered mind; it appears it is legal to post the 10 C's in Texas, but not in Kentucky. Somehow this makes sense. Sigh,
Moses and the other ancient Scripture judges would be rolling in their graves if they hadn't already returned to dust.

As my son wrote, quoting the late Chris Farley: " Well la dee freakin' da!"

My Ancients

MY ANCIENTS - continued

6-27-05 Per my usual routine, I was reading through the obituaries in the newspaper this a.m. I sadly noted the passing of one of "my ancients." "Henry" was not that old (82) but it had become evident in the last couple of months that he was beginning to fail. There were several trips to the hospital but he would be returned a day or two later looking a little worse for the wear.

I loved Henry. He had suffered a severe stroke several years ago and was seriously crippled as a result. But until the last couple of months, he could still walk with the help of his cane. He liked nothing better than to go sit on the screened-in front porch of the nursing home silently watching the coming and going of various and sundry employees, family members, and the ever present ambulances bringing residents back from the hospital or taking them to the hospital. At a nursing home, there's always someone going to or coming from a hospital.

But his right arm was useless and the stroke had affected the speech and cognition center of his brain. Despite these challenges, he was inevitably cheerful and always immensely pleased to see me. We had a routine. I hoped the routine was excercising his mental capacities if not his physical ones.

Me: Hello Henry!
H: Helllloooo

Then I would silently point to the heavens

H: Wait a minute, wait a minute (pause)
H: God! ( in a somber and worshipful tone) - pause
H: Holy Bible! - pause
H: The Lord!

Then Henry would take his left arm (the good one) and lead the choir in the singing of Amazing Grace. Henry could not sing the words so he just hummed the tune. He had a good ear, so the notes he hummed were correct, it was quite dulcet. We (for I would join him) just hummed 1 verse.

H: "Hal - Lay - Lu -Yah" would be his final exclamation to cap the humming of the verse

Sometimes I would look at Henry and flex my bi-cep. He would immediately flex his good left bicep and utter; "muscles." Then he would lift his useless right arm with his left arm and attempt to flex that one. He never seemed bothered that his right side was crippled.

It took him two months to learn my first and last name. He actually quickly learned my first but he had trouble with the second. But was he proud of himself when he got it right without any help.

Unlike the many less fortunate "ancients" at a nursing home, Henry had an active family. I believe they lived fairly close but they came to visit frequently and would take him on little day passes. Henry enjoyed that. He was most fortunate in that respect.

Today I believe Henry is leading the celestial choir in the singing of Amazing Grace. And he's leading it with both arms, not just his left. His right arm is healed, he no longer needs a cane or wheelchair to get around and he knows all the words to all the verses.

And the final verse of Amazing Grace:

"When we've been there 10,000 years.
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
then when we first begun."

Henry I'll miss you. But do me a favor and save me a spot in the celestial choir will you?
I sing baritone. JB

UPDATE: I was able to talk to a couple of the nurses at the facility this morning. Henry, according to his family, was drawing his last few breaths when he suddenly pointed towards the edge of the ceiling and said, "see Jesus." And then he died.

I believe Henry did, at the very end, see his friend Jesus. Jesus was there to escort him out of the nursing home and into a life without sickness, sadness or sorrow.
You Go Henry!
The newest FAIRY tale has been published. They want to influence the kiddies (of course they do). Found on albertmohler.com

They're After The Minds of Our Children

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2005 at 3:25 am ET

As if parents did not have enough to worry about, a new children's book is out, prompting controversy in several school districts and libraries. The book, written by Linda De Haan and illustrated by Stern Nijland, is entitled King & King, and it gives a whole new meaning to the concept of a fairy tale.

The story is about a prince, whose mother (the queen) is adamant that he must be married in order to ascend to the throne. Presented with a succession of princesses, the prince is unmoved. Then, after much frustration (and sexual orientation confusion) the prince falls in love at first sight -- with another prince.

"At last, the prince felt a stir in his heart. It was love at first sight," the text reads. The wedding of the princes "was very special," we are told. "The queen even shed a tear or two." The book concludes with this: "The two princes are now known as King and King, the queen finally has some time for herself, and everyone lives happily ever after."

JB here: "Happily ever after" is not the end result of this decision by the prince. More likely years of looking, yearning, emptiness of the heart and soul, alcohol and drug abuse, promiscuity and repeating the same old mistakes time after time is the end result. But not "Happily ever after." And then for so many of them, premature death.

But this is a "fairy tale" isn't it.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

SATAN IS ALIVE AND WELL - and, as is common to him, he's found people to act as his agents. But Satan is limited to only certain types of people. He uses people that are filled with hate, are self-aborbed, and who falsely belief there is no judgement to come -- at the hands of the perfect and all knowing judge. These are the perfect tools for satan.

Found on the Captain's Quarters, a chilling post about the female suicide bomber who "failed" in her mission last week. Manuela Dviri of the Telegraph is credited with the story.

The ugly scars - which had been treated in a hospital in Israel - had probably helped turn her into the perfect would-be huriia (virgin), the ideal martyr, since they [ the scars] would make it difficult for her to find a suitable husband.

Biss told Dviri that she had not decided to kill herself over her scarring, but that martyrdom had long been a dream of hers. "I believe in death," she tells Dviri, in an admission that perfectly encapsulates the entire problem with the Palestinians in charge of the territories. Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad -- these groups have never offered anything else other than death for decades. When one scans the political landscape of the Palestinian Authority, no one argues for life; one only finds varying degrees of support for terrorists and militias that teach nothing but hate and death to their children.

That's why a young woman like Biss dreams of killing children rather than bearing them. She told Dviri that her attempt to blow herself up was intended to kill twenty or fifty Jews, even babies at the hospital which the attack targeted. In almost the same breath, she asks if the Israelis will have mercy on her because she still hasn't killed anyone. It's this dislocation from reality, the disconnect between their obscenity of indiscriminate bloodthirstiness and their expectation of mercy from their enemies that also gives the best representation of the difference between the two societies, and why the notion of statehood for the Palestinians holds out little hope of creating a peace between them.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I've been giving serious thought to becoming a "metro-sexual." It seems to be popular among the MainStreamMedia (MSM) and possibly it attracts the "chicks"; a skill which I've always lacked. On the other hand, it's always sounded a little "limp-wristed." Hmm, pluses and minuses. So where should I turn for input and insight.

Mark Steyn sounds off in a previous column;

"Mr Khanna comes close to the truth when he notes that metrosexuals spend a long time standing in front of the mirror. Insofar as this demographic exists at all, what defines metrosexuals isn't that they're gay or straight but that they're in love with themselves: it's a cult of narcissism. And so is geopolitical metrosexuality: You look great, you feel great, but you do nothing. You go to endless multilateral meetings with other presidents and prime ministers and you trumpet the merits of soft power, but nothing happens. It's a way of advertising your own virtues, nothing more. At a certain level, fixing Sudan involves going in there and killing people, and if your main worry is how you look you're not going to be up to that."

Until I find a better hairstylist, I'll probably have to wait to adopt my metro-sexual personna. Buying my clothes off the rack at Walmart doesn't score high inthe metro-sexual column either.
I could continue to just "be me" but "me" is growing older on a daily, hourly, minutely basis.

I suspect I'll just have to wait for the next "in" train leaving the station and try to board that one. I think the "Metro-Sexual" on track two has already left for Paris with stops at New York, Amsterdam and Brussels. I'm pretty sure I missed that train. JB
Rudyard Kipling's brilliant works are continuing to fade into the land of Lost Genius.
I doubt he's studied in school or college anymore. He lacks political correctness, his prose is dated but so much of it is magnificent. We can still learn from R.K.

Here's the last couple of paragraphs from Rudyard Kipling's GUNGA DIN

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died:
"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
In the place where 'e is gone
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to pore damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!

Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Friday, June 24, 2005


a few lines of stunning prose

" This note of a dreamy, almost a sleepy devilry, was not mere fancy from the landscape. For there did rest on the place one of those clouds of pride and madness and mysterious sorrow which lie more heavily on the noble houses of Scotland than on any other of the children of men. For Scotland has a double dose of the poison called heredity; the sense of blood in the aristocrat, and the sense of doom in the Calvinist.

The priest......investigating the life and death of the late Earl of Glengyle. That mysterious person was the last representative of a race whose valour, insanity, and violent cunning had made them terrible even among the sinister nobility of their nation in the sixteenth century. None were deeper in the labyrinthine ambition, in chamber within chamber of that palace of lies that was built up around Mary Queen of Scots."

G.K. Chesterton. I am humbled in the presence of your words.
I call them "My Ancients." They are old to very old. Most of them are black. All of them can remember riding in horse and wagons. A lot of them worked in the fields when they were younger. They knew poverty, they rarely made it past 5th grade. They came from large families. They are a dying breed. They are "My Ancients."

I want to periodically reference their stories and share a little of the humor, a little of the pathos that you find in nursing homes with a medicare/medicaid population. I look at them and I know, unless I die relatively young, I could be sharing a room, sharing a closet with other "ancients."

I was chatting with "Johnnie Mae."

Me: "Johnnie Mae. How many children did you have?"
J.M. "I had 12 children." [a huge shock moment for me]
Me: "12?" [incredulously]
"Yes 12" responds Johnnie Mae

Me: "Well are they still alive?"
J.M. "Only two; the other two died?
Me: "I thought you said you had 12 children."
J.M. "I did. The rest of them were born dead!"

The conversation carried no pain, no agony over children lost, dreams crushed, hopes dashed. Johnnie Mae's lived a long time now. She's known a lot of death. She sits in her chair (minus her legs - diabetes) and watches T.V. without paying any attention to it. She appears to be content. Time, many decades of time, have eased the pain and buried the sorrow and sadness.

Is Johnnie Mae worried about dying? No, at this age they just worry about physical discomfort. She remembers 12 births but the searing sorrow over the 8 still-births is no more.
I don't smoke, though in the Clint Eastwood era of sphaghetti westerns (the The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) I attempted to copy his style by periodically puffing on small thin cigars.

But the only smoking that has ever attracted me is smoking a pipe. However we're all aware of the considerable health issues that arise from smoking; and apparently a pipe is one of the worst. But I came across this on thinklings.com.

I Smoke and Worship God
Posted by Jared @ 10:30 am - permalink

I smoke cigars, not a pipe, but I love this poem by Johann Sebastian Bach:

Whene'er I take my pipe and stuff it
And smoke to pass the time away
My thoughts, as I sit there and puff it,
Dwell on a picture sad and grey:
It teaches me that very like
Am I myself unto my pipe.
Like me this pipe, so fragrant burning,
Is made of naught but earthen clay;
To earth I too shall be returning,
And cannot halt my slow decay.
My well used pipe, now cracked and broken,
Of mortal life is but a token.

( Another few lines and then this final line)

Thus o'er my pipe in contemplation
Of such things - I can constantly
Indulge in fruitful meditation,
And so, puffing contentedly,
On land, at sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that people's property rights can be taken away from then for other than necessity (such as roads, etc.) The political therapist has an excellent post on the topic.

DC Mayor To Bulldoze Ruth Bader Ginsberg's House For Homeless Shelter

ABC 'Home Makeover' team commissioned to evict Justice

Mayor Williams, announcing the domocilic
ouster of Justice Gindsberg

Washington-In an immediate municipal action based upon the just-released ruling by the United States Supreme Court, DC Mayor Anthony Williams has announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg "needs to start packing" as the city's plans for a suburban homeless shelter have finally been vetted.

Ginsberg was one of five justices who ruled that city governments may seize private property in the name of furthering beneficial municipal programs.

"We are allowing time for Ms. Ginsberg to dismantle her Bill Clinton altar, as well as her mannequal tributes to Ruth Buzzi," said Williams. "But as soon as those black robes are in the foyer, Tai Pennington's gonna pull up in that big old bus and give her the bells and whistles eviction--complete with that maudlin, fashion-crazy gay guy."

Ginsberg said she will "respect her own ruling" despite the fact that "I do not agree with it anymore."

Ginsberg is expected to get a temporary flat with fellow justice, David Souter, until she can "find somebody else to evict."

posted by The Therapist @ 9:58 AM
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Satire. Sure, it's an odd way to low crawl to the front lines of the culture war. But make no mistake, I am a part of this war . .
Dick Durbin's apology on the floor of the senate elicited from Doug TenNapel a reference to the great Rudyard Kipling.

"Come hither, Little One, said the Crocodile, for I am the Crocodile, and he wept crocodile-tears to show it was quite true.
- Rudyard Kipling"

JB here: The biggest problem with hyperbole (overstating to make a case) is when other's are guilty of it. However when I use hyperbole it is fully vindicated and justified in all respects.
Poor Dick Durbin. The conservatives on the blogosphere had a field day with his totally idiotic use of hyperbole about "Gitmo". However, his "friends" on the Democratic Underground pretty much went bonkers when he made his third, and we hope -- final, apology on the floor of the Senate. It was probably his fellow Democrats in the Senate who forced him to apologize in hopes they could get his comments off the front pages of the blogs and off the hot topics list of talk radio.

Was it a good apology? I don't really think so but what the hay. Possibly the powerful negative response to his hyperbole plus the most recent Rasmussen poll that shows 70% of Americans think Gitmo is just fine will remove the Gitmo attacks from the Democratic talking points. But they'll find something else.

In the meantime; "Thou Shalt Not Abuse Hyperbole! - you Nazi you."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Michelle Malkin points out an obituary from Tucson which should embarrass the family, except that they apparently wrote it. They claim that living with conservatives caused Corwyn William Zimbleman's death through a series of heart attacks from the political stress:

"An avid atheist, he studied the bible and religion with more fervor than most Christians. He had strong political opinions and followed Amy Goodman's radio broadcast "Democracy Now." Alas the stolen election of 2000 and living with right-winged Americans finally brought him to his early demise. Stress from living in this unjust country brought about several heart attacks rendering him disabled. Cory, a great man, so very talented, compassionate and intelligent, dedicated to the arts and humanities and the environment, will be greatly missed by his wife, family, and friends." ( Found on Captain's Quarters - there's more)

JB here: About the time Corwyn assumed "room temperature" [died for those of you living in "backwards" Baker County"] he may have discovered that it was foolish to be an atheist; foolish and hellishly wrong.

Whatever problems he had in life, his death was not because of the presidential election of 2000. Death came about due to the speeded up decay of his mind/body pushed forwards by anger, rage and lack of acceptance or forgiveness.

President Bush was not the problem. Corwyn knows this now but apparently has not transmitted his newfound wisdom to his family. They will know too one day. Inevitably!

Monday, June 20, 2005

One of the aspects of my worldview that is MOST important to me is how you look at ancient Scriptures ( the Bible). It seems to me one's attitude towards the veracity of the Scriptures establishes clearly one's perspective on Schaeffer's question: "Hows Shall We Then Live?"

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a much reverred pastor in England during the mid 20th century wrote keenly and cogently on the topic. I'll let him speak;

We all therefore have to face this ultimate and final question: Do we accept the Bible as the Word of God, as the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, or do we not? Is the whole of my thinking governed by Scripture, or do I come with my reason and pick and choose out of Scripture and sit in judgment upon it, putting myself and modern knowledge forward as the ultimate standard and authority? The issue is crystal clear. Do I accept Scripture as a revelation from God, or do I trust to speculation, human knowledge, human learning, human understanding and human reasons Or, putting it still more simply, Do I pin my faith to, and subject all my thinking to, what I read in the Bible? Or do I defer to modern knowledge, to modern learning, to what people think today, to what we know at this present time which was not known in the past? It is inevitable that we occupy one or the other of those two positions.

So the question is: Do you in your wee knowledge judge Scripture or do you let the book that claims to be the very Word of God, judge you? I choose the later. After all, no writings on earth have the "track record" of ancient Scripture.

(For more info on Martyn Lloyd-Jones - read here)
( Hat tip to the wisdom of AlbertMohler.Com)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Like any other ne-er do well, I enjoy the various tests found on the internet.

Here's how I scored on this test; WHAT'S YOUR THEOLOGICAL WORLDVIEW

Reformed Evangelical 71%
Fundamentalist 71%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 68%
Neo orthodox 68%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 54%
Emergent/Postmodern 54%
Classical Liberal 43%
Roman Catholic 32%
Modern Liberal 21%

JB here: I'll give this tests "props" for at least semi-accurately diagnosing my theological worldview. On the other hand, I'd re-phrase some of the questions for greater accuracy and perhaps interpret the results slightly differently. BUT, all in all.....

I'm fascinated by people; actually it is that fascination that keeps me going in the bizness I'm in. The stories are amazing, sad, exhilarating, unbelievable, grotesque and downright humorous; sometimes all at the same time.

A couple of months ago, I discovered this blog by the phantom prof. This is a female adjunct (lowest of the low at a University -- I say that because I was an adjunct for a couple of years) who teaches English/Journalism type stuff. She is an excellent writer. And though she is a self-professed liberal, it really does not negate the impact of her posts on the vignettes of classes, students and the professor's life.

She did 3 posts on "Ariel" and they are just terrific. I had read the first post but had to wait for the next two. Today I read 2 and 3. They're a fascinating look at a disfunctional family and a sad, compassionate look at Ariel, a "student" who really shouldn't be.

Of secondary interest; you get a glimpse of how the system works in the University when a student with wealthy parents gets an "F."
Ah, the strength, pleasure and joy that good friends provide. There is research ya know!

"Find A Friend -- Live Longer
The Beeb says so.

Good friends promise to be there for you, and their presence can actually help you live longer, researchers say.

Australian scientists said having friends around in old age can do more for life expectancy than having family members around.

Lends some credence to the old adage, "you can pick your friends, but not your family," doesn't it? Make some today!
# posted by John Schroeder @ 6:00 AM"

Saturday, June 18, 2005

One of my favorite writers is Jay Nordlinger who often has various thoughts of his posted in a column in NationalReview.Com called "Impromptu's."

Among other issues, he wrote this the other day.

"Had the privilege of attending my five-year-old niece�s ballet recital the other night; at least it was a privilege to see her. And the other tots. The evening started out with little dancers, and pleasant music, and pleasant routines. Performing in this recital were pupils ranging from about three years of age, by the look of them, to about the end of high school. And as the evening progressed, the music got trashier, and the dancing got trashier, until it owed everything to MTV, if not the strip joint. I mean, that stage should have had a pole.

What the . . . ? Sometimes you read indignant articles about the sexualization of young people in magazines such as NR, but reading is one thing, and being smacked by evidence is another. What a depressing evening; sort of soiling. Who�s more wicked than those who rob children of their innocence?

And the parents in that auditorium? They seemed to love every minute of it. Of course, you never know until you talk to them; the fear of being a square is strong."

JAY is right on in my humble opinion. However I must plead guilty to being one of those parents who's always feared "being square." I was aware of the curse of squareness at least by junior high and have had to fight that battle since. It's hard to take a stand - when you're afraid of being exposed as less than "Joe Cool." I still have a lot of growing to do. JB

Friday, June 17, 2005

Dick Durbin; Hyperbole is his middle name. (Found on the hilarious "IowaHawk")

Customer Relations Department
United Airlines
Elk Grove Village, IL

Dear Sir or Madam:

In the dark annals of human evil, history has recorded the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocides, and Stalin's mass starvation program. And now, United Airlines flight 671 from Reagan International to Chicago O'Hare on June 3rd, 2005. I know, because I am a survivor of that dark exemplar of man's cruelty to man.

Perhaps I should have known what I was in for when your brusque gate agent refused to issue an upgrade to me for the flight (despite being a Premier/1K member for over 10 years), or when your flight crew Gestapo confiscated my carry on Roll Tote (even though I had nearly fit it into the overhead bin). But the true measure of the horror did not dawn on me until me and my fellow passengers were left taxiing on the O'Hare tarmack for over twenty minutes in the Auschwitzian Airbus A320 cattlecar, in temperatures approaching 85 degrees, not knowing our fates or whether we would make it to our fundraising dinners.

Santayana once said, "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." And I say to you and your fellow United criminals: "never again," unless you credit my account at least 2 flight segments for this travesty.


Senator Richard J. Durbin
Washington, DC

cc: Human Rights Watch
cc: Amnesty International

Who are you?

What kinda doctor am I? Test Your-self

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Paul Krugman, a liberal N.Y. Times columnist complained that Americans are no better off then they were in 1973. In response was this note to Powerline. I think it is quite interesting. It made me think. JB

" With all due respect, Hindrocket, that's bullpuckey. The increase in "real income" would be hundreds of times that 33%, once you take into account the value of what you can now buy. Riddle me this:

* In 1973, how many households could afford a desktop computer with hundreds of megabytes of RAM? Ans: none.

* How many could afford a portable telephone that fits in a pocket? Or for that matter, how about a portable computer terminal? Ans: none.

* How many could afford to have genetic diseases in their children repaired by gene therapy? Ans: none.

* How many childless couples could afford in-vitro fertilization? Ans: none.

* How many could afford to have diseases diagnosed with Positron Emission Tomography or treated by laser surgery? How many could afford to have Lasik corrective eye surgery? How many could afford to have depression or anxiety cured or controlled by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox or Celexa? How many could afford to have their teeth repaired by composite resin fillings? How many could afford laser microsurgery, radio-telemetry surgery, foetal-abnormality surgery, minimally-invasive surgery, robotic surgery, or "beating heart" cardiac surgery? Ans: none.

* How many could afford to start their own "magazines" that could be read by tens or hundreds of thousands of people each week without even being distributed? Ans: none.

* How many could afford a luxury family vehicle suitable for offroading adventures? Ans: none.

* How many breadwinners could afford to telecommute? Ans: none.

* How many could afford a Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino? How many could buy fat-free potato chips? How many could afford NutraSweet? How about lactose-free milk? How many could afford to go out routinely for Pad Thai, Japanese sushi, Armenian khorovatz, Ethiopian aleecha, Chorizo Argentino, Lebanese hummus and shawarma, or even a nice, simple blueberry bagel? Ans: none.

The point should be clear: it is impossible to legitimately compare buying power in 1973 with buying power today, for the simple reason that a huge proportion of what we buy today simply did not even exist thirty years ago. This is more obvious when you try to compare today's economy with the economy of the Middle Ages: the strides in technology and society are so staggering, they swamp any attempted calculation of monetary value: how many emperors in A.D. 750 could afford antibiotics?

Claiming that "working families have seen little if any progress over the past 30 years," as Krugman claimed, is so manifestly preposterous -- even before taking economics into account -- that I don't question his veracity so much as his sanity. Is he mentally ill?

On the last question: no comment."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

When is the last time you've been compared to Hitler? Well your turn may be coming soon. Hitler's getting more and more press the longer he is gone. What an impact! JB

June 01, 2005

Rick Santorum compares Democrats to Hitler

Robert Byrd compares Republicans to Hitler

John Glenn compares Republicans to Hitler

Martha Stewart compared to Hitler

The Gallery of Bush=Hitler Allusions

George Soros: Worse than Hitler

North Korea compares Rumsfeld to Hitler

Hugo Chavez compares Spanish PM Jose Aznar to Hitler

Global warming worse than Hitler

"Look, he's a Hitler lover." Donald Trump on Pat Buchanan

Sharon is Hitler Clothing Line

Dr. Khan compared to Hitler

Madonna compares AIDS & Hitler

Ted Turner compares CNN rival Fox to Hitler

Ad Compares Taiwanese President to Hitler

"Those who support gay & lesbian families are no different from those who supported Adolph Hitler." Sheri Drew, who led opening invocation at 2004 Republican Convention

Sean Penn compares Bill O'Reilly to Hitler

Czech PM compares Yasser Arafat to Hitler

British Foreign Secretary compares Saddam to Hitler

Robert Mugabe compares himself to Hitler

"The actions of the Hitler-like district attorney & his storm trooper henchmen are reprehensible." Phil Spector

Archbishop Desmond Tutu compares Israel to Hitler

Rumsfeld compares Zarqawi to Hitler

"First there was Herod, then there was Hitler & Stalin, & today unborn children are being killed in their millions." Cardinal Joachim Meisner

Ralph Peters compares Howard Dean to Hitler

Ross Perot compares Clinton to Hitler

Hawaii ACLU compares Clarence Thomas to Hitler

Justice Scalia worse than Hitler

Smokers compared to Hitler

�What is the difference between Lomborg's view of humanity & Hitler's?" UN official denounces The Skeptical Environmentalist

Truman compares Dewey to Hitler

Schwarzenegger: Hitler on Steroids

Michelle Malkin: the Filipina-American Hitler

Jawa Report: The Pope = Hitler

Beautiful Atrocities compared to Hitler

See also Hillary Duff is a Nazi; Compatibility of Hitler with Angelina Jolie

Posted by Jeff at June 1, 2005 12:50 AM

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

You know you have a problem when the aliens are stealing your thoughts thru the fillings in your teeth. Unluckily, there are more than a few people out there who are "a burrito short of a combo meal." Many of them exist on the radical left - notable in their attempts to deny reality and impose their own upon the Cosmo -- which has a distressing tendency to ignore any reality but it's own. JB

What Is An AFDB? (From their website)
AFDB head

An Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB) is a type of headwear that can shield your brain from most electromagnetic psychotronic mind control carriers. AFDBs are inexpensive (even free if you don't mind scrounging for thrown-out aluminium foil) and can be constructed by anyone with at least the dexterity of a chimp (maybe bonobo). This cheap and unobtrusive form of mind control protection offers real security to the masses. Not only do they protect against incoming signals, but they also block most forms of brain scanning and mind reading, keeping the secrets in your head truly secret. AFDBs are safe and operate automatically. All you do is make it and wear it and you're good to go! Plus, AFDBs are stylish and comfortable.

What are you waiting for? Make one today!

BEWARE OF COMMERCIAL AFDBS: Since you should trust no one, always construct your AFDB yourself to avoid the risk of subversion and mental enslavement. Sometimes, AFDBs will be sold on places like eBay. Do not purchase these pre-made AFDBs, even if the seller seems trustworthy. They may contain backdoors, pinholes, integrated psychotronic circuitry or other methods that actually promote mind control.

Wacko Jacko
OK, so Michael Jackson is "not guilty" on every single count... poor prosecution in my opinion, especially given the juries and cult of celebrity that is California. But, there are TWO extremely important questions that are not being asked right now:

1. WHO IN THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE CHEERING FOR JACKO RIGHT NOW?!?! SURELY THEY DON'T LIKE HIS MUSIC? (I like old school Jackson, but anything in the last 20 years has been pure cr@p)
2. Now that Jacko is "not guilty," would any parent feel comfortable letting their kid stay over at Neverland?

I hope the answer to the last question is an emphatic "No!" If you let your kid hang out with Jacko, you children should be taken away from you for negligence. I would hope that Jackson's world from now on does not involve children at Neverland (other than his own and I sure feel sorry for those kids).

I'm at a losfer words.... stunning. I cannott believe there are people crying out for joy that he was not convicted of a single count. It is like I'm in Downer's bizarro world.


IF Michael Jackson was an ordained priest, would he have received the same verdict?

Discuss amongst yourselves - I'm verklempt...

JB here; the author's post finishes with a very telling point. Would a Catholic Priest in today's culture been found NOT GUILTY on all counts? Hmm, I am afraid that if there was possibly a payout involved, the priest would be found GUILTY!

Now I'm not a Catholic and I believe they have dug their own trench by insisting that the priesthood be unmarried men, but I also believe that a lot of people ( particularly the lawyers) have come to see the Catholic Church as a cash-cow ready and waiting to be milked by the legal brotherhood.

Were their truly victims of the abusing priest? ABSOLUTELY. And yet, in our schizophrenic society to suggest that a homosexual lifestyle is not good; is now politically incorrect, except when it involves possible pay-outs from the Catholic Church. Then and only then is being drawn into a homosexual lifestyle considered a tragedy.

It's a crazy world we live in.

Monday, June 13, 2005

National Review's Theodore Dalyrumple highlight the American Schizophrenia regarding sexuality in these United States. This is the extract from NationalReview.Com

June 13, 2005, 7:36 a.m.
Looking for Boundaries
There is gross sexual confusion in our society, as illustrated by the Michael Jackson case.

By Theodore Dalrymple

EDITOR'S NOTE: This piece appears in the June 20, 2005, issue of National Review.

If you put �Michael Jackson trial� into an Internet search engine, you get links to approximately 5,110,000 web pages. If you put in �Mao Zedong,� you get about 509,000; �Lenin� comes up with 2,770,000. Thus the trial of a show-business celebrity appears to interest the world more than the lives and careers of the two framers of the most disastrous revolutions in world history.

The case is a surpassingly sordid one, of course, and the accused bizarre beyond belief. His celebrity and wealth have allowed him to indulge his whims to such an extent that the most egotistical Roman emperors, by comparison, seem models of psychological stability. And whether innocent or guilty, Michael Jackson is certainly the Nero of kitsch.

That does not mean, however, that the family of his accuser is a model of bourgeois propriety. At the very least, entrusting a minor to the care of a man of Mr. Jackson�s reputation would seem a serious error of judgment, and raises questions as to the motives of those who would make such an error. But whatever the eventual outcome of the trial, the case will be of considerable interest to social historians seeking, a hundred years hence, to understand the psyche of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Those future historians (assuming that an interest in the past survives) will be struck, I suspect, by the confusion in our society concerning sexual boundaries. On one hand, almost no sexual display is forbidden, and the most casual of liaisons is perfectly normal; on the other, university professors dare not be alone in a closed room with a female student for fear of accusations of sexual misdemeanor, and in some offices the most mildly flirtatious of remarks is taken as little short of rape. Extreme licentiousness thus coexists with a Puritanism that out-Calvins Calvin. One minute we are told that anything goes, and the next that we must carefully censor ourselves for fear of permanently traumatizing anyone who might overhear supposedly salacious remarks. At last, Herbert Marcuse�s concept of repressive tolerance seems to make some sense: We can do what we like so long as we live in fear.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Were you just sitting around thinking about Occam's Razor? Well here is a little background on William hisself. Read and Learn! (Then in understanding the world around you always keep in mind the truth of his "razor."

William of Ockham, born in the village of Ockham in Surrey (England) about 1285, was the most influential philosopher of the 14th century and a controversial theologian.

He entered the Franciscan order at an early age and took the traditional course of theological studies at Oxford. Strong opposition to his opinions from members of the theological faculty prevented him from obtaining his Master's degree. His teaching had also aroused the attention of Pope John XXII, who summoned him to the papal court in Avignion (France) in 1324.

The charges against him were presented by Jogh Lutterell, the former chancellor of the university of Oxford. Ockham was never condemned, but in 1327, while residing in Avignion, he became involved in the dispute over apostolic poverty. When this controversy reached a critical stage in 1328, and the Pope was about to issue a condemnation of the position held by the Franciscans, Ockham and two other Franciscans fled from Avignion to seek the protection of Emperor Louis IV, the Bavarian.

They followed the emperor to Munich (Germany) in 1330, where Ockham wrote fervently against the papacy in a series of treatises on papal power and civil sovereignty. The medieval rule of parsimony, or principle of economy, frequently used by Ockham came to be known as Ockham's razor. The rule, which said that plurality should not be assumed without necessity (or, in modern English, keep it simple, stupid), was used to eliminate many pseudo-explanatory entities.

Friday, June 10, 2005

As I mentioned, way back, on another live journal; I love Dr. Strangelove. Yes it's old, yes it's stars have assumed "room temperature" long ago and yes it was an anti-war screed, but it was a boffo movie. Another poster critiquing the Democratic Party chimes in.

"The Democrat leadership has become an re-enactment of the film Dr. Strangelove.

Reid is General Jack D. Ripper who sees a vast right-wing conspiracy seeking to sap and impurify everyone's precious bodily fluids.

Dean is Dr. Strangelove who continually battles inner demons which gain the upper hand and cause statements like "mein Fuhrer" to slip in while he battles to suppress reflexive Hitlerian salutes.

The press is General Turgidson whose primary goal is perpetuate the fling with the secretary.

The DNC is the bimbo secretary.

Bill Clinton is Major Kong (without any of the likeable characteristics of Slim Pickens role) who is content to whoop and holler as he rides down upon an A-bomb of his creation which is headed straight towards the total destruction of the Democrat Party.

Cue the soundtrack of "Try A Little Tenderness" and step back as Reid and Deano superheat while reaching critical mass. "
As a boy/man, so much of your life is defined by your father. As I read Adam Bellow's account of his famous father's death, I was struck by a sense of sadness and accompanying anger, which Adam Bellow does not seem to share. The issues of his blended family are instructive if not painful.

June 10, 2005
Missing: My Father
MY father, Saul Bellow died in April. Today, June 10, would have been his 90th birthday.

Since his death I think about him constantly. Yet in a strange and disconcerting way, he is no more gone today than he was a few months ago, or at any other time in my life.

I am my father's second son; my parents divorced when I was 2 and I never lived with him again. He had three sons with his first three wives and, much later, a daughter with his fifth. Four only children, connected by a slender thread: a fond but highly attenuated bond with a frequently distracted, often absent, and much older father.

At the end of his life we began to gather to celebrate his few remaining major milestones. Had he lived, I know my brothers and I would have made the journey to Boston or Vermont to celebrate this day with him. Instead, we are going to spend the day reflecting, in our separate ways, on the difficulties of mourning a father who was never really there. More

JB here: I hope you see the picture. Saul Bellow fathered 4 children by 4 different women he was married to. [ One does wonder if he may have fathered illegitimate children also.] Saul was famous and he milked his fame, but ignored his children in the process.

You know what? He was a terrible father, in my humble opinion, but his son Adam refuses to concede that. I think I would have been enraged at Saul, had I been his son, if he had played the role of "hero to the elite" but "absentee father" to his flesh and blood. Saul Bellow lived for Saul Bellow, and the literary world and the academic world aided him and abetted him in his selfishness.

Please, do not make this wreck of a father your hero. He probably thought he was worth the hoi polloi's worship but he was actually shameful.

I wonder what Adam will write about him in the years to come. JB
The further I read into BlameBush.typepad.com, the more fun I have. Let me share some of the fun from this a.m.

"Sick Dudes

The United States Supreme Court, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of BushCheneyburton Inc, has declared open season on the chronically ill, ruling unanimously to deny America's teeming masses of sick dudes access to life-preserving ganja.

The horrible news had a devastating effect on the entire staff of Seattle Hemp Products. Helpless, I watched from my cubicle as a tsunami of suffering swept through the office, the icy hand of death gripping my friends and co-workers one by one. After years of 20/20 vision, Earl in Accounting suffered a relapse of glaucoma and had to be helped out to his car. Janice in Human Relations, severely crippled ever since a cast iron bong fell on her foot back in college, was able to make thirteen trips to the snack machines a day with the help of sweet Mary Jane. By this afternoon, she was back in a wheelchair, all because Bush won't allow her just one little toot of the only medicine that will cure her."

Yes the evil-doers at the White House are destroying America's freedoms and happiness -- as fast as they can apparently. Oh well, elections soon.
And then I found this website: blamebush.typepad.com.

It's all Bush's fault; even the mechanical failure of your Aunt's '96 Jeep Cherokee. Indeed

And then they said this:
"Recent news that President John Kerry's grades at Yale were less than stellar has spawned a flurry of anxious emails from readers who suspect that Bush is somehow behind it. While I appreciate the correspondence, I'm afraid you folks are missing the point. If Bush manipulated John Kerry's grades in order to make a progressive intellectual look like a slackjawed dunce, then he has failed miserably. If anything, Kerry's low marks are a testament to his complexity, a portrait of a man too nuanced to be pigeonholed by primitive methods of measuring intelligence. In fact, the entire grading system itself is a flawed construct of the military-industrial complex and should be scrapped."

JB here: Since I exited a small liberal arts college in Southern California after my freshman year with a culminative average of 1.98, I have to agree that the whole grading system is flawed. Later on, at another small college where I was earning A's and B's, I realized the grading system was "good." But then, like John Kerry, I'm pretty nuanced.
Following politics can be a lot of fun. There is always an element of "who's going to win." You're happy if your team wins; sad and upset if they lose. Of course, in the bigger picture, politics are NOT very important.

But speaking of Howard Dean, here's what Hatemongersquarterly.blogspot.com had to say this a.m. They do have a way with words.

"Literate members of the American public undoubtedly recognize that Democratic Chairperson Howard Dean has landed himself in hot water of late. As numerous media outlets have discussed, Chairperson Dean seems congenitally incapable of controlling his mouth. In short, he�s a veritable one-man Hate Speech Machine." Indeed

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Does morality and integrity have any real impact in our world? Glen Reynolds of Instapundit.com has some quotes.

The biggest obstacle to economic revival is not terrorism, but corruption. For example, over a third of Iraq�s potential oil revenue is lost to corruption and theft. . . .

Iraq may be free of Saddam, but it is not yet free of the corrupt practices that allow someone like Saddam to take power, and keep it. While much is made of the terror Saddam used to keep Iraqis in line, we forget that he often used corruption, and the willingness of too many Iraqis to take the money and look the other way. The corruption has gotten so bad, especially the oil thefts, that the government is planning on firing several hundred thousand government workers. The money simply isn't there to pay them. The money, instead, is in the pockets of local criminals, or foreign bank accounts belonging to corrupt officials. Until Iraq can confront and conquer this enemy, they will not be able to enjoy the benefits of their oil wealth.

This is an endemic problem throughout much of the world (I could tell you some Nigeria stories . . .), but seems to be especially bad in Iraq.
posted at 07:15 AM by Glenn Reynolds
If you didn't know that "scientists" manipulate, fudge, and spin their test results ( some call it cheating) you should have. Ed at the Captain's Quarters has more.

The Modern Scientific Method: Cheating

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports tonight on a disturbing revelation in the world of research science. The University of Minnesota recently surveyed American research scientists and found that a third of them regularly broke rules and ethical guidelines meant to certify the validity of the research, including changing the results based on pressure from donors:

One in three U.S. scientists admitted in an anonymous survey that they committed scientific misconduct in the previous three years, according to a report by a team of Minnesota researchers..........................
R.P. here: A wonderful quote from Dr. Al Mohler

Christians have no right to be embarrassed when it comes to talking about sex and sexuality. An unhealthy reticence or embarrassment in dealing with these issues is a form of disrespect to God's creation. Whatever God made is good, and every good thing God made has an intended purpose that ultimately reveals His own glory. When conservative Christians respond to sex with ambivalence or embarrassment, we slander the goodness of God and hide God's glory which is intended to be revealed in the right use of creation's gifts.

Monday, June 06, 2005

 I follow Church doings and politics with some fervor. The seeming "death" of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. would appear to have been quite predictable. Studies have shown for years that the more liberated from ancient Scriptures a denomination becomes, the more members it loses. So when the Episcopal Church hierarchy saw fit to make active homosexual Gene Robinson a bishop, they sealed their fate. Al Mohler is, of course, way ahead of me.


Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity
Author: David Schiflett

Citing a study published in 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center, Shiflett reports that the Presbyterian Church USA declined by 11.6 percent over the previous decade, while the United Methodist Church lost "only" 6.7 percent and the Episcopal Church lost 5.3 percent. The United Church of Christ was abandoned by 14.8 percent of its members, while the American Baptist Churches USA were reduced by 5.7 percent.

On the other side of the theological divide, most conservative denominations are growing. The conservative Presbyterian Church in America [PCA] grew 42.4 percent in the same decade that the more liberal Presbyterian denomination lost 11.6 percent of its members. Other conservative denominations experiencing significant growth included the Christian Missionary Alliance (21.8 percent), the Evangelical Free Church (57.2 percent), the Assemblies of God (18.5 percent), and the Southern Baptist Convention (five percent).

Taken alone, the statistics tell much of the story. Shiflett takes his reader through some of the most salient statistical trends and wonders aloud why liberal churches and denominations seem steadfastly determined to follow a path that will lead to their own destruction. Shiflett also has a unique eye for comparative statistics, indicating, for example, that "there may now be twice as many lesbians in the United States as Episcopalians."

. "Mainline Protestantism will reach a certain point where it will appeal only to Wiccans, vegetarians, sandal-wearers, and people who play the recorder. No one will feel at home there if they believe in God."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I only wish I could write this well

A chip off the old block Thurs. June 2, 2005
Denominations and theological traditions have a way of taking on the ecclesiastical equivalent of national character. This is, in part, because some of them have a strong ethnic component. But there is also a tendency to take after the leader.

For example, Islam is a projection of Muhammad, and Muslims emulate his character-traits.

This extension of national character can even take on a physical aspect. Just compare the average, corn-fed Baptist preacher-man with the cadaverous and bespeckled Anglican cleric or the equally anorexic, silver-haired, ashen-faced appearance of the average Episcopalian woman�complete with her page-boy hair-cut. It�s almost as if each theological tradition had seeped into the DNA, creating a genetic uniform. [I love it! JB]

As such, different denominations and theological traditions are prone to certain strengths and weaknesses. Lutherans are likely to be rather insular and ingrown. The Church of England, because it�s a national church, born in the heat of political and theological compromise, is given to immoderate moderation and a sweet-tooth for Anglican fudge. Fundamentalists are in danger of showing more interest in the Second Coming than the First. Pentecostalism is prey to charlatanry. Roman Catholicism, with its pig-headed attachment to mandatory celibacy, is an open invitation to sexual scandal of one sort or another. Churches which concentrate power, whether hierarchical denominations or independent megachurches, are liable to abuse of power.

The apple never falls far from the tree--which is one reason it's so important to be finicky about your orchard and diligent in matters of spiritual horticulture.
JB here: If God is indeed God, He was/is capable of communicating truth in any formHe so chooses. For reasons best left to Him, He describes Himself using male imagery - not female imagery. Why? we're (or I'm) not sure. But if it's good enough for Him, it's good enough for me! So why do people have the need to re-write ancient Scripture in a form different from the original manuscripts.

Below is the Anchoress' take on a recent attempt to make the Bible more friendly to wymnn.

Judith Christ of Nazareth, The Gospels of the Bible, Corrected to Reflect that Christ Was a Woman, Extracted from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. [emphasis added]

Now, I do understand that God is Spirit, but can we all agree, here and now, that Jesus the Christ was also a historical figure who was a male? I don't care how much you want to argue that God is spirit and therefore without gender, containing elements of male and female, blah, blah, blah, Jesus was still a man. His divinity may have transcended gender, but he was still a man. Get over it.

It is beyond me how a woman can read about the astonishing fact that Mary - independently and of her own choice, in an era not friendly to unwed pregnant women - assented to become the vehicle for the delivery of the Savior, and thus the vehicle for the delivery of mankind, and not feel empowered. (Yes, I did write mankind, don't like that? Go get naked and cry about it, somewhere, in a weeping circle, in the woods!) It is beyond me how a woman can read about Mary Magdalene's courage and not feel empowered by comprehending and recognising the particular genius that is distinctly feminine and which resided within her, and within Mary and Martha, and Priscilla. And Joanne.

But clearly, for some women, it is not enough that their gender is endowed with peculiar genius. They must be like gods, or make god into their own image. And so, yes, this moves beyond celebrating a gender by slamming or minimizing another. With the publication of this gospel, this mania for gender inclusiveness has slipped the bonds of sanity and moved into idolatry: My gender is my god, I will have no gods before it!
[ I say, "Well put." ed]

Saturday, June 04, 2005

So, did you ever think about the last person to get out of the towers before they collapsed?
Then you should read this:

Last Man Out: Part One
Ron DiFrancesco was high in the South Tower when the plane struck. An inferno and 84 floors lay between him and his family.

Beating at the Symphony

 I like this! It appeals to my a) sense of humor and b) concerns about the culture.

Fan Claims Beating at Seattle Symphony Concert

would be a very surprising headline.

The real headline, Fan Claims Beating at Snoop Dogg Concert is not nearly as much of a surprise.

SEATTLE-June 2, 2005 He went to check out some of the phat beats put down by Snoop Dogg and The Game at a Seattle area concert. But one fan claims he ended up getting a big fat beat-down by some of those who performed.

Richard Monroe says some of the performers encouraged him to come onstage during the show. But Monroe says when he did, he was wailed on, had booze poured on him and had his diamond earrings, watch, cell phone and wallet stolen.

Monroe tells a Seattle newspaper: They beat me like a slave. But statements from Snoop's people and the arena seem to indicate the guy got beaten like a intruder. A statement from the venue says a fan was removed after unexpectedly approaching Snoop.

Yes, culture matters folks. Let's be very clear for the racial hysterics out there - this has nothing to do with race. It is about culture. Race and culture are not the same thing. Who would be more surprised to hear about a beating at the symphony than at an Eminem concert? The answer is obvious. We can fight for the culture or let the cancer take over, that's the choice. The Islamists are not the only enemies in our society. Again, for the hysterics - this is not an equation of rappers and terrorists. To say they're both threats to our society is not to suggest they're equivalent threats.

Friday, June 03, 2005

from Challies Dot Com

Petra Calls It Quits

It was a couple of weeks ago when I first heard that Petra had officially announced their retirement. One of the pioneering Christian rock bands, and for many years one of the most popular, Petra has decided to retire after 33 years of ministry. I am a little embarrassed to admit that the news hit me hard. To be honest, I had to hold back the tears. That may sound strange, I admit, but you must consider that Petra has played a pivotal role in my life and in my spiritual development.

JB here: I was never a Petra fan but it's a shock to find out they have been around for 33 years (in various forms, various members). That's a Long Time. Best to the boys in their second life.
Found on JenSpeaks via the Llamabutchers.


Educational degrees for men:

For those of you who are married, were married, or are contemplating marriage - under the assumption that men need (or ought) to be trained for marriage. Southwest Tech is offering a new 2 year associates degree....

TWO YEAR DEGREE: Becoming a Real Man. That�s right, in just six mini-mesters, you, too, can be a real man as well as earn an associates degree in MA (Male Arts). Please take a moment to look over the program outline.


Autumn Schedule:

> MEN 101 Combating Stupidity

> MEN 102 You, Too, Can Do Housework

> MEN 103 PMS-Learn When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

> MEN 104 Women Do Not Want Sleazy Under things for Christmas

JB here; Some pretty funny stuff. Be sure and read THE WHOLE THING
Writer's guidelines for a HARDY BOYS' story (found on Dr. Mohler's site)

Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster is also set to release a new set of books in The Hardy Boys series. The Hardy Boys books were a big part of my young reading life. I was introduced to the books by Mrs. Lewis in the third grade, who read The Tower Treasure to our class after lunch period. The first book was so popular that she read through several of the books over the course of the year. Nancy Drew never stood a chance.

I sometimes snuck a flashlight into bed in order to read the books under cover. We boys all wanted to be Frank or Joe Hardy, or at least to solve mysteries, drive fast cars and boats, and experience various adventures. The books were safe, wholesome, and interesting.

It looks like the series will stay that way. Harper's Magazine published a leaked excerpt from the writers' guidelines for the new series in its June 2005 issue [this document is not available on-line]. Nothing objectionable here. The boys are brave and true--and unemotional. "There's nothing that could drive Frank or Joe to tears because they're too gutsy and determined to behave that way." No sniveling cry-babies here.

Look carefully at these instructions: "Dialogue no-no's include long speeches, cursing, vulgar references, and taking the Lord's name in vain (including the term 'jeez'). For example: Positive, upbeat: 'Wow!' 'All right!' 'Great!' 'Believe it!' Negative, sarcastic: 'Rats!' ;'Yeah, right' 'Yeah, yeah' 'Yuck!' 'Oh, boy." The guidelines also suggest grunts in the place of expletives in the case of stress or pain.

There's more: "As mentioned previously, this is a modernized series, with a healthy dose of realism. This has to carry over into the types of crimes that the Hardys tackle. Without exception, these should be major, modern, and filled with action. . . . Murder is acceptable, as long as you restrain yourself from passing along all the gory details. In other words, someone can be shot and killed, but the reader's eyes must be averted from the resulting puddles of blood."

As for sex: "There isn't any, not even in the Hardys stories of today. Bayport's teenagers do display a healthy interest in the opposite sex. Romantic situations, however, can never be allowed to develop beyond the kissing and hugging stage." The writers were further instructed to avoid all sexual references, off-color remarks, and references to drugs. The boys are allowed to eat fast food and hang out at the mall.

Finally, "End your penultimate chapter with a major cliffhanger. The final chapter then features the villain being foiled, killed, and/or captured, as our heroes bask in glory."

This little corner of civilization has been saved, earthlings.

JB here: I also thrilled to the Hardy Boy's as a child. At least one of my teachers would read them to the class. I could hardly stand it when she would finish a chapter and put the book away "until tomorrow."
Finally, I was semi-crushed when I found out, as an adult, that there was no such author named "Franklin Dixon" to say nothing of "Caroline Keane." I spent 25 years worshipping these people. However, there was a Canadian man, who's name escapes me, who did write the vast majority of the Hardy Boys books. Kudos to him. Kudos to the Hardy Boys. They were great fun. I read every one I could get my hands on.
From the ever insightful Dr. Al Mohler - on homosexual marriage

After all, the majority of same-sex couples have indicated no fundamental desire for marriage--only for the right to marry. Even in Massachusetts, where an activist court has declared same-sex marriage to be legal, the majority of homosexual couples remain unmarried. We can add to this fact the reality that the vast majority of homosexual couples seeking marriage in Massachusetts are lesbians, not gay men.

So, what is driving the demand for same-sex marriage? In the end, it has to be a desire to dethrone marriage as the one paramount obstacle to the full normalization and acceptance of same-sex relationships. As an institution, marriage defines itself as a reality, even as society invests marriage with certain recognized rights and responsibilities. More than anything else, the insistent drive for same-sex marriage must in actuality be an effort to relativize marriage by redefinition. As homosexual activist Michael Sigiorile has argued, marriage is an oppressive institution that must be destroyed in order to liberate human sexuality and establish true human freedom.

JB here: And there Dr. Mohler points out the driving purpose behind establishing homosexual marriage - eradicating the God given traditional institution in order to remove all barriers to sexuality: sex with anyone, anything, at any time, completely left to the individual no matter what the cost ( and the cost, as we know, is horrific).
"Let us remake God in our own image" says the homosexual activist and the "progressive."

To quote myself; "Well this ain't gonna work."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Victor David Hanson - National Review frequent, and brilliant, contributor on
the European Union problem

"The E.U. constitution � and its promise of a new Europe supposedly offered a corrective to the Anglo-American strain of Western civilization. More government, higher taxes, richer entitlements, pacifism, statism and atheism would make a more humane and powerful new continent of over 400 million to outpace a retrograde United States."

JB here: To quote myself, "well that ain't gonna work." I believe the people who put together the European Union documents well qualify as "a cornucopia of scummery."
I'd add, "what have they been smoking" but I assume they probably have been smoking way too much Euro-weenie ganja. Sigh
EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS: From the epistle to Diognetus
via - thinklings.com

5:1 For Christians are not distinguished from the
rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in
5:2 For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their
own, neither do they use some different language, nor
practise an extraordinary kind of life.
5:3 Nor again do they possess any invention
discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious
men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some
5:4 But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and
barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the
native customs in dress and food and the other
arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their
own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvellous,
and confessedly contradicts expectation.
5:5 They dwell in their own countries, but only as
sojourners; they bear their share in all things as
citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers.
Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and
every fatherland is foreign.
5:6 They marry like all other men and they beget
children; but they do not cast away their offspring.
5:7 They have their meals in common, but not their
5:8 They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they
live not after the flesh.
5:9 Their existence is on earth, but their
citizenship is in heaven.
5:10 They obey the established laws, and they
surpass the laws in their own lives.
5:11 They love all men, and they are persecuted by
5:12 They are ignored, and yet they are condemned.
They are put to death, and yet they are endued with
5:13 They are in beggary, and yet they make many
rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they
abound in all things.
5:14 They are dishonoured, and yet they are
glorified in their dishonour. They are evil spoken of,
and yet they are vindicated.
5:15 They are reviled, and they bless; they are
insulted, and they respect.
5:16 Doing good they are punished as evil-doers;
being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby
quickened by life.
5:17 War is waged against them as aliens by the
Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by
the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell
the reason of their hostility.

JB here: As always there is a large reality gap between the calling of the followers of Jesus Christ and the behavior/actions of the followers of Jesus Christ. We are SOooo far away from our calling. Societal collapse would purify the followers of Jesus Christ - but we all fear that I suppose.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Politics Without God--Europe's Secular Crisis

Captain's Quarters
In a statement today, Woodward and Bernstein said, "W. Mark Felt was 'Deep Throat' and helped us immeasurably in our Watergate coverage. However, as the record shows, many other sources and officials assisted us and other reporters for the hundreds of stories that were written in The Washington Post about Watergate."

The accompanying article has people describing Felt as a "hero", while some of the commenters here are more inclined to see him as a traitor. I don't think either applies. Felt worked with the Post for his own personal motivations of revenge and frustration at being passed over. If Nixon had made him Director of the FBI, he never would have lefted a finger for Woodward or Bernstein.

JB here: Bureacratic infighting influences so much of D.C. Apparently Felt wanted to be the number one man for the F.B.I. but Nixon went outside the agency. Felt got his revenge.

Amnesty International drinks the kool-aid

David Rivkin and Lee Casey show how dishonest Amnesty International's 2005 Report on worldwide human rights is, at least when it comes to assessing the U.S. "First and foremost," Rivkin and Casey state, "Amnesty�s report is emphatically not an honest assessment of American compliance with international law. Rather, it is an assessment of how well the United States complies with Amnesty International�s political and ideological agenda � equivalent to the grading of individual members of Congress by domestic advocacy groups."

JB here: So many of the advocacy groups simply become part of the "partisan politics" landscape - always far to the left. Show me an established advocacy group and I'll show you a group led by people who hate George Bush.

Then there's a faux Paris Hilton interview -- if you like those kinda things. Pretty funny but she's an extremely large target for those who find humor in people's idiosyncracies.

In our no boundaries culture, who "owns" the children?
In spite of being warned about these problems, the social-engineering whackos went ahead and re-engineered the human race and now discover the courts have their shorts tied in knots because they aren't up to the challenge.

The California Supreme Court struggled Tuesday to define parenthood for an age when technology permits two women to have children without a man in sight. The state's parenthood laws, with references to "paternity," give no clear answers. Prior court decisions de-emphasizing the role of biology in determining legal parenthood don't go so far as some of the women would like.

Finally okieonthelam "fisks" the L.A. Times and their extended piece seemingly glorifying late term abortions. Read it HERE!