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Showing posts from June, 2012

the whole creation - evolution debate has been solved!

Not really.
Sorry.
I'm a swinger when it comes to these positions.
I'm really grateful that the church fathers never decided that this topic was at creedal level, like that of God's triunity and Jesus's simultaneous full humanity and full divinity. I'm glad I'm saved by grace through faith and not by my ability to discern the debates in evolutionary science.

On Blankenhorn's new direction on gay marriage

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David Blankenhorn recently wrote an important editorial in the New York Times, How My View on Gay Marriage Changed. His change of opinion is important because has been arguing in our culture for years the dreadful impact on children of divorce and single parenting and extolling the value of a lasting sole marriage between one man and one woman. He even testified on behalf Prop 8 defenders. But he has concluded that the traditional marriage defenders have lost the framing of the debate. I agree. He still agrees that children are best raised in a marriage of their parents, but the debate has been framed as treating gay citizens as full citizens with equal access to the legal rights only straight couples can attain, except in a few states like my own. He'd rather ally with all marriage proponents to strengthen marriage and keeping his focus on strengthening marriage. He no longer wants to be distracted by this culture war.

I empathize with Blankenhorn. I also empathize with gay peopl…

book response: Wait No More by the Rosati's (2011)

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Be careful, Wait No More by Kelly and John Rosati is a dangerous book. If you read it, expect your life to be changed. Kelly and John Rosati were a successful childless couple who weren't conceiving and were not worried about it. They made a friend who advocated for children in foster care, in word and deed, fostering and caring for many children herself. Her passion caught on in Kelly who was open to an opportunity to foster an 11 year old girl. Kelly, admittedly clueless, wondered how hard this could be. It was a disaster and extremely humbling to the Rosati's. They were committed to sticking with it, but the child decided she wanted to be with another family. In their trial by fire, they learned about reactive attachment disorder.

Adoption is complicated. It's hard. The Rosati's are up front with some of their horror stories involving their four adoptions. They want families to know, going in, what to expect when they are expecting. They want their readers to know …

insights from high schoolers into St. John's Apocalypse

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It's really fun to facilitate a Bible discussion with high schoolers when I don't have an agenda, don't ask leading questions, and listen to what they hear. For some reason, after we finished the Gospel of John, they wanted to study Revelation, aka, the Apocalypse. It's real easy to get an agenda with this book. "It's so weird, how can any Christian teacher in their right mind let kids figure out this stuff on their own?" I'm not in my right mind, andI think God's Holy Spirit will handle it just fine.

We were in Revelation 3 last night, sitting around a campfire in my back yard. My main purpose is to provide a loose structure, and a frequent call to focus, with smores waiting as a reward. There were 7 kids and me. We went around the circle, each reading a few verses. When we finished, I asked them what they liked, what they didn't like, what they learned about God, what they learned about humanity, and what do they need to do with what they…

Kindness vs. punishment and criminal recidivism

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It is still a penal colony, but Bastøy prison in Norway, treats offenders as those who can re-enter society and contribute to it. As a result, only 16% re-offend within 2 years of release, in contrast with the United State's punishment focus with a 43% recidivism rate within 3 years. Instead of cells, the prisoners live in wooden cottages, on a working farm, where everyone has to work. They have a beach to enjoy as well as a sauna. It's like a campground, except it's one that you stay at for several years, not just a summer. So why coddle murderers, rapists, drug dealers? As noted in this long CNN article

But if the goal of prison is to change people, Bastoy seems to work. "If we have created a holiday camp for criminals here, so what?" asked Arne Kvernvik Nilsen, the prison's governor and a former minister and psychologist. He added, "We should reduce the risk of reoffending, because if we don't, what's the point of punishment, except for leani…

Ferrocement house construction

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Sometimes I like alternative construction that's a little more conventional, but still better. Ferrocement is pretty neat. It was developed around the same time as reinforced concrete but ferrocement got used for boat hulls and not for buildings as much. Imagine slapping cement on a chainlink fence, but with a form to hold the cement in place until it dries, or a much tighter mesh than the fence.

I first learned about it because one company started doing it, Shelter 2 Home, in Haiti after the earthquake. Apparently they build houses in the states as well, but not so many. Recently, I heard about another company doing the same thing in the states, with seemingly more builds under their belts, Am-Cor Inc. All that steel concerns me in regards to heat convection through the structural beams, but they have some pretty good insulation options. Am-Cor seems to also be DIY friendly as well.

overhead stucco (Photo credit: velacreations)
File this under: #anothercrazyhouseJohnwantstobuild