Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fire Joe Morgan

All you baseball fans that are constantly amazed at the inanity and hyperbolizing of sports writers and commentators take heart. You are not alone. Fire Joe Morgan will give you a dose of cynicism and affirm that you are justified in your criticisms. I lament that I only discovered this blog today and not in April.

Beware, there is some foul language in the blog.

HT: Billy-Ball

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More Wisdom From the iMonk

Michael Spencer is becoming an indispensible blogger to me. He has written a new essay on worship and its role in molding the megachurch and how it has destroyed small congregations.

I heartily implore you to read the article. We need more thinkers like Spencer, and more Christians to understand what is happening to the church.

He writes, "Allowing the cause of “keeping the young people/young families interested” to run a church is a dereliction of leadership. Someone get a grip."

Amen, Michael. Amen.

George Galloway's Senate Perjury

According to the Times Online, George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament, and his now estranged wife received money from the Iraq Oil for Food program. These are allegations that he has denied many times. In response to this report he said, "I’ve already comprehensively dealt with these allegations — under oath in the High Court and the US Senate — to the Charity Commission and in innumerable media inquiries."

But, Mr. Galloway, these are new and specific allegations that you can't simply deny by saying I've already denied them. Your wife has money from the Oil For Food program in her bank account. How can you account for this?

Galloway famously attacked the War in Iraq in his senate testimony in May. He recently went on a book tour for his book Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington. Galloway is no hero of the anti-war left (or maybe he's just their kind of hero?). He is a Islamofascist apologist and war profiteer, not to mention a scoundrel.

Update: Galloway is brazenly challenging the Senate to charge him with perjury.

Update 2: Christopher Hitchen's, Galloway's nemesis, has written a condemning piece at Slate.

Monday, October 24, 2005

iMonk Must Read

Michael Spencer has penned a must read article at Internet Monk. It is a beautiful and touching piece on life, death, and the mercies of Christ.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Simmons: On Blowing It

With each Bill Simmons column I read, I become more and more a fan of his. His writing is witty and pointed. He has become one of my favorite sports writers. This column is on the Astros blowing the lead in game five.

I think it is early to say that the Astros are done, but it is still a fun read--especially once he gets to "random thoughts about the baseball playoffs."


Monday, October 17, 2005

We Are All Vikings

Katherine Kersten has a good editorial on the Minnesota Vikings boat scandal. She is absolutely right in her analysis. Pornography and sexuality permeate our culture and to be outraged by the Vikings behavior is to merely indict our broader culture. We have created the environment in which these players were raised, matured, and taught.

The question we each need to ask ourselves, is are we a part of this culture or are part of another culture--opposed to it?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Star Tribune Misinformation and Deceit

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has once again outdone itself in disseminating lies and half-truths. This time it is in regard to the "morning after pill," which is evidently being marketed as "Plan B."

Plan B, we are told, "is emergency contraception that prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex." This is patently false--either a result of misunderstanding pregnancy or a bold lie. What Josephine Marcotty doesn't say, is that Plan-B not only works to prevent ovulation, but it makes the woman's womb so inhospitable to a fertilized egg that it is almost impossible to implant along the endometrium.

What is the big deal here? That fertilized egg is the beginning of pregnancy--in creating a human life. Pregnancy begins the moment that a sperm and an egg join. Any process that articially interrupts that process is abortive by definition. So the morning after pill is what is called an abortifacient drug-- a chemical abortion.

Contraception is by definition something that prevents the sperm and the egg from conceiving. One can accurately state that the morning after pill is a contraceptive--but to hide its abortifacient nature is to deceive. If a woman has already ovulated and then takes the morning after pill, or ovulates despite taking the morning after pill--the drug can only act as an abortifacient.

So when Emily Watson, a "health educator" at the University of Minnesota says of the morning after pill, "I think people regard it as a lifesaver," she is perpetuating a lie, naively or not. The morning after pill is anything but life-saving--it is merely the easiest, cheapest, and freely available abortion.

Throughout the article, Marcotty has nothing but praise for the drug. She quotes Sarah Stoesz of Planned Parenthood, "All women of reproductive age should have emergency contraception in their medicine cabinet." The fact of the matter is, that if you've already had sex--it is too late for contraception.

But even in her criticism, she fails to mention or understand the abortive nature of the drug. The criticism she cites focuses on the fact that the drug does nothing to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. She only mentions that "many religious and abortion opponent groups promote abstinence until marriage as the only moral form of birth control." She uses the extreme end of the spectrum in decrying all forms of birth control. This is a typical tactic of abortion advocates.

In fact, Marcotty writes, "Experts say it's about time. Half of the country's 6.3 million pregnancies each year are accidental. Of those, half end in abortion." She seems to believe that Plan-B would reduce the number of abortions. In writing this, she is perpetuating the lie that Plan-B is not abortifacient.

Marcotty clearly believes that women should have easy access to Plan-B. She concludes with a quotation from Dr. Marilyn Joseph, head of the university's women's clinic, "We feel so strongly about how important this is," referring to the availability of Plan-B.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yankee Schadenfreude

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I hate the Yankees. Of course, that blog entry was a long time ago--and the Yankees did win the division. But this season has been a trial for them--one that I take pleasure in seeing it end as it did last night.

It will be interesting to see what the Yankees can do this off season. They will no longer have Bernie Williams' mediocrity and Kevin Brown's dead weight and bloated contract. The two alone will free up $28 million for next season.

The Brothers Karamazov

I am still working my way through The Brothers Karamazov. I wrote about this earlier, when I was only through book three. Sunday evening I completed book eight, and I am now a little more than half way through the novel.

I found that as the novel progressed through the first several books that the philosophy became an even more integral part of the story. Yet now that I have reached a point in the novel where the story has really taken off and has put philosophy in the back seat, at least for now.

The book has taken a while to grip me--but it has finally done so. I found book eight to be very compelling, tense, and thrilling. It has been difficult to put down.

In book five I encountered the chapter entitled, "The Grand Inquisitor." It is a chapter often referred to, and is a portion of the book that many read out of the context of the novel itself. The Grand Inquisitor tells the story of a Spanish Cardinal who captures Jesus during the Inquisition and questions him, and denies his authority, giving the Roman Catholic Church power over him.

I found it to be an interesting chapter, though I found it to be an uncompelling diversion. The Cardinal seems to only be interested in the church as a means to power--and Christ as an obstacle. As a protestant, I deny the authority of the Catholic Church, as Ivan would, but I uphold the authority of Scripture alone, unlike Ivan.

It is nothing new to me, to encounter an author or a character of his, who hates Christianity. In fact, I find it to be very passé. So even Dostoevsky weighing in on this does little for me. It would likely have been scandalous at the time but quite in vogue in our post-Christian culture.

I'll likely revisit this chapter upon completion of the novel. I am reading the Norton Critical Edition which includes several essays on the novel, which I plan to read upon completion.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Nick Coleman Surprise

I've lambasted Nick Coleman before on my blog, but I feel it my duty to praise him for his most recent column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He praises Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty for his foul slip of the tongue at the Minnesota Wild opening night.

Coleman's decision to relinquish the opportunity to excoriate the governor for this slip-up demonstrates that he has at least a measure of good character. Good work, Nick.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mr. Gore: You DO Live in an 'Alternate Universe'

Former Vice President Al Gore is at his bizarre best again. Gore spoke at the We Media Conference in New York yesterday. The reports that he tore his clothes and beat his breast are unfounded. ;)

Gore and the hard left are so blinded by their fury towards President Bush, Fox News, and Bloggers that they forget they are living in the freest and most tolerant nation in the world.

I can't help but snicker at a man who ever credited the television news media with, "normal good sense and judgment." I think Gore needs to spend more time at The Media Research Center than at the incurably partisan Media Matters.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Albert Mohler on Denominations and the Totality of Scripture

I enjoy listening to Albert Mohler's radio program via mp3. I have been catching up on the past couple weeks and just listened to "Ask Anything Wednesday" from September 21st. One of Mohler's responses to a question from a caller was a helpful defense of church denominations and the importance of the entirety of the Bible. It is also very helpful in light of Bethlehem Baptists' Amendment on Baptism and Church Membership.

I have transcribed the conversation from the mp3 of the radio program. The conversation begins at 30:30 in the show and goes until 34:00.

Nathan in Indiana:

Yeah, I grew up Assemblies of God, and in a Baptist church. When you are talking about the difference in denominations and things, you are talking about doctrinal beliefs. My opinion on it has always been on it is that it boils down to is where your salvation lies. The Bible says, regarding Jesus, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” According to that scripture that is the bottom line. And by what you are saying about scripture being the bottom line—then that is the bottom line scripture of all scriptures. So if doctrines of faith on that bottom line everything else is insubstantial—it doesn’t even matter what else is involved there as long as the bottom line is that you believe Jesus Christ is the soul of your salvation—the bottom line of your salvation, therefore nothing else really matters.

Mohler: Nathan, I agree with half of what you said. And that is, I certainly agree with you that the bottom line is salvation through Jesus Christ, salvation promised through Jesus Christ, salvation accomplished through Jesus Christ, and salvation applied to us through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I agree with that emphatically. No conditions on my agreement with you there. What I can’t agree with is the next statement that all other things are then unimportant and that they don’t matter. I think they do matter. I think every word of scripture matters. I think all matters of Christian belief matter—that is why we have denominations. It’s not that we are saying people in other denominations aren’t Christians, it’s that we’re saying that we need to embrace the totality of biblical truth as best we understand it. And Nathan, it comes down to the fact that if you’re in a local church you’re either going to baptize infants or not, you’re either going to believe in believer’s baptism by immersion alone, or you’re going to believe in infant baptism, or you’re going to believe in some mixture of all these things.

The fact is that there are disagreements on how to interpret a lot of scripture and how to put all this together. We should not anathematize each other unless we violate the gospel. And I would go on and say that even what we say, even where I said I agree with you, we still have to explain how that happens. And so I have to come back and say you could also look to a text like Romans 1:17 where it makes very clear that we are justified by faith alone, and we understand that that too is the essence of the gospel. And so I agree with you that it is salvation through Jesus Christ alone that is the very bedrock of the gospel. No question there whatsoever. But you really have to explain even what that means and as soon as you do that, you’re going to find that there are some disagreements that take institutional and organizational forms in different churches and different denominations. And as soon as you try to figure out how do we obey Christ in this area, how do we obey this scripture, you’re going to have churches going in some different directions.

Now here’s the deal: I’m perfectly convinced that all of us are going to face on that great day of judgment, when we see God face to face, we’re going to face a big theological correction on some things we misunderstood. Our responsibility in this life is to be as honest, as credible, and as faithful as possible to live out the totality of what God has given us in scripture. Without apology I’ll tell you what I believe and why I believe it. But I can’t say that those other things are just unimportant, they may even be of secondary importance, but all truth is important.