October 2011

Whale evolution is supposed to be one of the best documented cases of gradualism in the fossil record.  No doubt, when you stack the fossils up next to each other, you can see what appears to be a morphological transition from a terrestrial mammal to an aquatic whale (see the graphic below).   (more…)

A 7 year old boy who is living life as a girl is being allowed to join the Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSOC).  Initially he was rejected, but when the media began inquiring over the decision, the organization reversed course.  According to GSOC they are “an inclusive organization.”  Come on!  It’s called “Girl” scouts because it is meant for girls, not boys.  Have we become so insane with political correctness that we’ll treat people according to what they feel to be, rather than what they are?  What’s next, allowing humans to compete in dog shows because they feel like a canine?

That was the headline of the Daily Mail.  While I am fully aware that not all conservative Christian teens practice abstinence, I was stunned at the idea that there is virtually no difference in the rates of premarital sex between Christians and non-Christians.  According to Relevant magazine, a 2009 study revealed that 80% of evangelicals between 18-29 years of age had sex, compared to 88% of their peers.

Do you find this statistic shocking?  Do you have reason to doubt the validity of these findings?  Assuming the stats are accurate, I’m not too surprised myself.  In a sex-crazed culture like our own, it takes a lot of moral fortitude to abstain from sex before marriage.  And when you couple that with a culture that discourages young adults from marriage until their late 20s or early 30s, it’s no wonder so many young Evangelicals are succumbing to this sin.

UPDATE: Kevin DeYoung provides some good reasons to trust the accuracy of this report.

There has been an on-going and interesting exchange between Sam Storms and Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen on the issue of the charismata.  Storms has written a good article giving 10 bad reasons for being a cessationist and 10 good arguments for being a continuationist.  Patton has responded with his case for cessationism.  Unlike most traditional cessationists, Patton doesn’t claim that the Bible teaches cessationism per se.  He admits that his primary reasons for holding to cessationism are experiential in nature: both his own lack of experience of the charismata, as well as the general lack of the charismata throughout church history.  He calls this a de facto cessationism.  This differs from traditional cessationism in that it claims the gifts have ceased as a matter of fact, rather than because of a matter of necessity.  While he finds Biblical support to show reasons for this de facto cessation of the charismata, he does not believe the Bible demands that the charismata cease.

Storms also has a great treatment of tongues, clearing up many of the misconceptions about the gift, as well as demonstrating how so many of the non-charismatic criticisms of the gift miss the Biblical mark.  Patton also addressed tongues, which Storms’ responded to.  I would highly recommend reading through the dialogue.

PETA knows no end to their antics.  They are known for their “holocaust on a plate” and naked celebrity “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaigns.  Now they are suing to free five killer whales from Sea world on the grounds that they are persons, and should be protected by the 13th Amendment’s prohibition against slavery.  According to one of PETA’s lawyers, Jeff Kerr, “By any definition, these orcas are slaves – kidnapped from their homes, kept confined, denied everything that’s natural to them and forced to perform tricks for SeaWorld’s profit.  The males have their sperm collected, the females are artificially inseminated and forced to bear young which are sometimes shipped away.”

If the court grants these whales personhood, then I hope authorities will immediately arrest one of the whales, Tilikum, for murder.  After all, we have video footage of him dragging a Sea World trainer under water in 2010, and held her there until she drowned.  And this wasn’t his first victim.  He killed two other people as well.  Tilikum is a mass-murderer, and I believe justice should be served.  What would a jail cell look like for a whale?  It would have to be small and full of water.  Hey, Sea World sounds like an ideal place for that.

UPDATE: On February 8, 2012 a federal judge in San Diego dismissed this lawsuit.

Hitler was responsible for killing approximately 11 million people as part of his Final Solution (of which the Holocaust was a part).  He is railed against as one of the most evil men in the history of the world, and rightly so.  Anyone with any moral sense would agree that the world would have been a much better place had Hitler never been born.  What if you had the ability to make that sentiment a reality?

Imagine for a moment that you discovered a way to travel through time, making it possible for you to ensure either that Hitler never be born, or that if born, he would not live long enough to rise to political power.  Under what circumstances do you think it would be morally justified to kill to prevent the Final Solution (and for those who can’t get past the emotional problem of what it would be like to personally pull the trigger, assume that you could send someone else to perform the deed)?:

  1. (more…)

A team of artists, medievalists, theologians, biblical scholars, and art historians headed up by Donald Jackson “brought together the ancient techniques of calligraphy and illumination with an ecumenical Christian approach to the Bible rooted in Benedictine spirituality” to produce an illuminated, hand-written Bible (New Revised Standard Version).  Such an undertaking has not been made in centuries.

Six scribes have been at work writing in a modern calligraphic script using hand-cut quills on calfskin vellum.  Each page is 3’ tall and 2’ wide.  Work began in 2000.  The final volume of seven volumes (includes the Pauline and catholic epistles and Revelation) was just recently completed on May 9, 2011.  The final product is ~1150 pages, contains 775,000 words, and weighs 165 pounds.  The project cost about 8 million dollars.  You can get a facsimile for the small sum of $140,000! Put that on your Christmas wishlist!


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