October 2010


I’m sure many of you have heard a preacher talk about how the high priest would tie a rope around his ankle before entering the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement so that if God struck him dead, his body could be removed without anyone else having to enter the forbidden chamber.  Apparently this is a myth.  There’s no historical evidence for this.  The first mention of the practice is in a 13th century A.D. text called the Zohar, and it claims it was a gold chain, not a rope.  An article by Ari Zivotofsky goes into more detail, providing evidence against such a claim.

That’s what AOL News claims based on an article in the journal Pediatrics.  Kevin DeYoung smelled something fishy about this surprising statistic, so did a little investigating and found out that the claim is based on a misreading of the journal article.  DeYoung writes:

AOL speaks of 1 in 10 teens; the original article concludes 9.3% of sexually active adolescents reported a same-sex partner. There’s a big difference. The survey analyzed data from 17,220 teenagers. Of those, 7,261 (or 42%) reported having had sex. So according this study 58% of teens are not having sex with anyone and 9.3% of those have, had same-sex partners, or 3.9% of the total sample.

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On the way to work this morning I was thinking about the question, “Who made God?”  Many people wonder about this question (answer here), but it is a favorite atheist objection to the cosmological argument which posits God as the best explanation for the origin of physical reality (the universe/multiverse).  They use this objection in one of two ways.  Either they argue, “If the universe needs a cause, then so does God,” or they argue, “If God doesn’t need a cause, then neither does the universe.”  Both formulations are faulty, but my intent is not to evaluate the objection here.  I bring it up only to highlight that there is a difference between an explanation and a cause.  While everything that exists needs an explanation, not everything needs (or has) a cause.

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Have any of you ever been in the situation where your pastor called on you during his preaching to confirm something he said, but you didn’t agree with his statement? 

Given my theological education, every so often I’ve had pastors of mine call on me to affirm something they’ve said.  They’ll say something like “Would you agree with that Brother Dulle?” or “Is that right, Brother Dulle?”  Luckily, I haven’t been in the place where I could not affirm the statement in some sense, but I’m sure it will happen one day and I don’t know what to say.  Saying, “Actually, no” would cause a scene, and make both of us look bad.  And yet, I wouldn’t want to appear to agree with something I don’t agree with either.   

I’ve contemplated using the line Jesus used with Pilate, “You say so,” but I don’t think that’s going to cut it.  Perhaps the best one I’ve come up with is “Perhaps.”  That signals that I’m not necessarily on board with the statement, but I’m not declaring it wrong either.  Does anyone have a good one-line response that could allow me to wiggle out of the situation tactfully, honestly, and graciously?

Many proponents of same-sex marriage assume that opposition to same-sex marriage comes almost exclusively from religious citizens.  A simple math calculation exposes the error of this assumption: religious believers account for approximately 95% of the population, and yet only 48% oppose same-sex marriage (41% favor).  Clearly not all opposition to same-sex marriage is coming from religious believers.  Who, then, is it coming from?

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Speaking of the debate on abortion, check out the pictures of a 10 week fetus below, still in its amniotic sac.  The mother was diagnosed with carcinoma of the cervix, so her entire uterus had to be removed, including the baby that was developing in it.  Simply amazing.  And to think that these babies are aborted on a regular basis in the name of choice.  Sickening.  

Check out Scott Klusendorf’s summary of his debate with PA State Senator Daylin Leach on the issue of abortion.  The substance of his rebuttals to pro-choice assertions, as well as his tactics in delivering that substance, is unparalleled.  This is why Scott is the best pro-life debater bar-none!

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