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Showing posts from March, 2008

Conception and the beginning of life

Abort 73 has a great presentation against abortion and for life. This essay also contains a great video about the beginning of life. It shows that pro-choice advocates can use the word "kill" for abortion as well as doctors can use it, but some Christians prefer to hide behind ignorance. Get informed. Another essay I found excellent the "threat" of back alley abortions. The wire coat hanger has long been the prop of "choice" for those staging pro-abortion rallies or protests. You see them on signs and buttons and hanging around necks, all designed to symbolize what will happen to women if they ever lose the legal right to kill their unborn offspring. There are a couple of serious problems with this tactic and, ultimately, this line of thinking. First, the "coat hanger defense" has nothing to do with the ethics of abortion. It makes no attempt to justify the act, it simply argues that if women ever lose this right, they'll die en masse from s…

Wright and Black Liberation Theology (BLT)

Here is a little heat from an African-American blogger and author, Eric Redmond, on Black Liberation Theology (BLT) and Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Once BLT poured out from the pulpits and academic halls, you had at least five major results toward the African American community: 1) widespread acceptance of an egalitarian view of the family and the church, for anything short of giving women “equality” was viewed as an oppression from which African Americans needed liberation – the result being the erosion of the African American family, the creation of a female-led community, and the welcoming of homosexual practice as normal, 2) a misinterpretation of the goal of God (as stated above), 3) the increased racialization of society, because nearly everything “American” came from the (White) oppressor, so it and them had to be rejected rather than embraced, 4) a categorical rejection of Evangelical theology since it was seen as “White,” and 5) an uncritical acceptance of anything philosophical that…

10 Commandments and Proverbs

We started the book of Proverbs today in our Bible study at work, AKA work church. It seems to me that most of the proverbs are a fleshing out of the 10 Commandments, see the series I did. Has anyone gone through the book and labeled each proverb with a corresponding commandment? Is that published or online anywhere? I think it'll be another project of mine at some point.

Book report: Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

In my vacation review on Philadelphia I noted our family's enjoyment of Curtis's book, Bud, not Buddy, while we sat in Philadelphia's inadequate highways. When we got to the library again I thought I'd find what else Mr. Curtis has written. I picked up The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 and Elijah of Buxton. I enjoyed both. Curtis has reconnected with his inner 11 year old and writes in that voice extremely well.

The serendipitous joy for me was learning for the first time about Buxton from the movie Race to Freedom then coming across this novel about the first free born child from Buxton Ontario. A short history can be read here. Elijah is famous in Buxton for regurgitating on the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass who held up baby Elijah in celebration of his free birth. Elijah has a dim-witted buddy named Cooter. He also has a novel ability to fish with damaged live flies and stones. There are many laugh out loud moments, as in the other books by Curtis. But the…

Cinema Review: Race to Freedom: The Story of the Underground Railroad

I watched Race to Freedom with my two younger children last week and appreciated the safety of made for TV movies. It's a fictional account of the escape of 4 slaves from a North Carolina plantation making stops at Underground Railroad stations. The movie highlights the reality that some slaves were recaptured and punished and some died from the severity of travel conditions as well as the cruel irony of slaves forced to help recapture escapees. We also get to see the joys of folks as they enter the town of Buxton, Ontario, Canada, free from the reaches of American fugitive slave chasers. A liberty bell was commissioned by free blacks in Pittsburgh as a gift to the town of Buxton which was rung every time a fugitive made it to safety in Buxton. A great movie to fill in some of your historical ignorance.

Jeremiah Wright, Pat Robertson and theology

Now that the dust has settled a bit and the bandwagon has left the building I thought I would add a few thoughts. Sen. Obama asks we Amercians to consider his pastor Jeremiah Wright akin to an obnoxious uncle in the family. One loose cannon does not a family define. Volunteer defenders point out that Republicans have crazy uncles too like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, may he rest in peace. My contention is that the comparison is not one of fruitcake to fruitcake. I see superficial as well as substantial differences.

Superficially, Robertson and Falwell never counted anyone of political weight in their congregations. Robertson is not even a pastor of a local church. The closest he gets to a congregation is his audience of the 700 Club, his television show. They did work with the Republican party but were not spiritual leaders to the party’s leaders. Perhaps they considered themselves prophets to the nation and the party but they have no corner on that market. Self-appointed prophets…

The Scandal of Grace

Our church invited a repentant sinner to speak of the grace of Christ at our Easter service. Connecticut's previous governor, John Rowland, was a like rock star in the Republican party. He was young and charismatic and he was corrupted. In fact, he resigned in disgrace and spent almost a year in jail. But before he resigned, he submitted his life to Jesus. Now he tells a story he calls "a fall into grace."  His story was short. 
However, the commenters at the local newspapers' stories can't accept the scandal of grace. See them before the are taken off line at the New London Day and the Norwich Bulletin. Also notice what each reporter considered worth reporting.

Enjoying Resurrection Day

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My brother and I, Rez Day 2008

Passionate Preggers Song of Songs 6:13-7:6

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I am jumping ahead to chapter 7 of the Song of Songs and using the NET for the English translation. This is the series so far. It’s not a perfect translation, they don’t exist, and in fact I will disagree with a translation choice in the first verse here, but I really like their honest translation notes which reveal their limitations and the choices they had to pick from. I also appreciate their attempt to update the language to the more current vernacular. They consider their translation open source and appreciate input from other translators and interpreters.

Not unlike a few commentators I see the progression of this epic poem as a lifetime of love with snapshots from different periods in the relationship. I don’t believe this is one week or month of passion but glimpses at the courtship, the wedding, the honeymoon, the fights and starting here at 7 and finishing in 8, the natural outcome of such passion. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriag…

Top 10 posts 2nd week March '08

A dose of great links this week from posts of interest around blogdom. The links I point to throughout the week are here and can be subscribed to here.

Abortion
1-Mark's blog about late term abortion. ...more than 300 second and third trimester babies butchered every day in the U.S. Further, virtually all of these abortions are carried out for no medically indicated reason and involve healthy babies being carried by healthy moms...he even admitted that as the abortions got later, the percentage that was “elective” went up, with 28-week and later abortions being virtually 100% elective... Our enemies say that late-term abortion is a non-issue but, from a numbers standpoint, 300 dead babies is equivalent to a fully loaded jetliner crashing somewhere in America every single day.2- At Pro-Life with Christ. Results of a forensic pathologist's review of documents and slides related to the autopsy of a baby born alive during an abortion at a Hialeah clinic in 2006, reveal that non-med…

Book report: The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson

Last night I finished the 2nd book in Rick Atkinson's proposed Liberation Trilogy on WW2. The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 is as compelling and informative read as his first book, An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Unfortunately, it took five years between books. The facts are en-fleshed with sights and smells and ancient history and personal tics and diary entries and letters home and official euphemisms. I felt he pulled on threads in this history that were then not woven back into the story. For example, towards the end of the campaign to Rome, he writes about General Clark's controversial decision to press West instead of North in an attempt to inflict more damage on Kesselring's retreating armies. I'm still not sure of the controversy. He detailed Clark's self-defense over the next 25 years and official British statements on his decision, but what was the problem?

He included interesting ba…

Vacation Review – Philadelphia

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In this review you will find reports on locations, hotels, restaurants, books, movies and history from a parent's perspective. You will find some of our trip photos towards the end when camera had working batteries.

Philadelphia is an essential visit for the history and civics student. Although I was deprived of a visit there in my childhood, my children wouldn’t be. However, I wish I was a child visiting, because as an adult driving there, I found it was a city easy to enter but almost Sisyphean to exit. You can get in but you can’t get out.

We entered the city shortly before noon over the Ben Franklin Bridge and took the first exit which dumped us right in the middle of history. We were warned in the guidebook to avoid driving and parking in the city but we chose the foolish path. We parked in the Constitution Park’s parking garage for too much money. We decided our first stop would be the U.S. Mint which was across the street. It was a good thing it was so close as the mint does …

a home round and concrete

This guy built a roundhouse in nearby Rhode Island out of ICF's. He also gets his electricity from the sun. Maybe I'll go visit him.

Open Letter to Obama

Sherif Girgis of Dover, Del., is a senior philosophy major at Princeton University and a 2008 Rhodes Scholar. His parents are also from Africa, like Obama's father. The crux of his open letter
If the stopped heart is a human heart, if the torn limbs are human limbs, if the spilled blood is human blood, can there be any denying that what is killed in an abortion is a human being? In your vision for America, the license to kill that human being is a right. You have worked to protect that “right” at every turn. But can there be a right to deny some human beings life or the equal protection of the law?

Of course, some do deny that every human being has a right to life. They say that size or degree of development or dependence can make a difference. But the same was once said of color. Some say that abortion is a “necessary evil.” But the same was once said of slavery. Some say that prohibiting abortion would only harm women by driving it underground. But to assume so is truly to play th…

Top 10 posts last week of Feb '08

A dose of great links this week from posts of interest around blogdom. The links I point to throughout the week are here and can be subscribed too here.

1-Melinda at Stand to Reason writes The problem with those who want to reduce the number of abortions is that they continue to accept what is the core injustice of abortion rights - that the unborn are not fully human deserving of protection under the law, that there is a class of innocent human beings whose lives can be taken from them, that unborn babies are just part of the mother's body and not a separate precious unborn human person, that the Constitution protects a woman's right to kill her unborn child. The reduction position doesn't seek to undo these unjust and tragic presumptions built into our current law. It's the status of the unborn under the law that is the heart of the concern and reducing abortions doesn't address that injustice.2-Pyromanaic Dan Phillips writes Now, had the writers really wanted t…

The Kings who called evil good

Another Christian wrestles with the appeal of Obama and the abhorrence of his pro-abortion stance. Julie Lyons of the Dallas Observer writes Is there ever an occasion when a Christian should support a pro-abortion candidate?

Is abortion really that important? Have I become just another one of those single-issue white evangelicals who ignores equally important matters of morality such as racial justice?

Can a candidate be wrong in so many ways and still be right?

No matter how I tried, I couldn’t suppress the questions. Every time I arrived at a semblance of peace about voting for Obama, words from the Bible resounded in my brain. I had been studying the books of I and II Kings, which chronicle the leaders of Israel and Judah in the days of the monarchy as well as the prophets God sent to be their counterbalance. Israel’s concept of kingship was different from any other nation’s; the kings were bound to uphold the covenant God had made with his people, and whenever a crisis of faithfulnes…