Thursday, May 31, 2007

J. C. Ryle on Comportment in the Assembly

I received this arresting quote from Pastor David Anderson. It is by author, J.C. Ryle.

"Christian churches no doubt are not like the Jewish temples. They have neither altars, priesthood, sacrifices, nor symbolic furniture. But they are places where God’s Word is read, where Christ is present, and where the Holy Ghost works on souls. These facts ought to make us grave reverent, and solemn whenever we enter them. . . . The man who behaves as carelessly in a church as he would in an inn, or a private dwelling, has yet much to learn. He has not the 'mind of Christ.'"

I'm a post human

I'm a post-human.
I'm post-normal.

I'm ashamed to age.
I'm not going to die.
I'm ashamed to die.

I'm a post-human, I am!
I'm post-moral.
I'm post-moral.
I'm post-capitalist.
I'm post-natural.
I'm even post-political.
I'm post-ecological.
I'm post-economical.
I'm a post-dated check.

I'm wired to the world.
I'm wired to the core.
I'm wired all the more.

Up, up

I'm a post-human, post-fragile.
I'll shed the clothes of bone and marrow, joint and sinew
I'll take wing on the circuit.
I'll never come back and I won't miss me because:

I'm a post-human; some-thing better; some-thing more; some-thing later...

Some-one no more.

I'm a post-dated check; the funds will come; more funds; less human; no human,
more of more, and more...

I'm post-rational, post-reasonable, post-logic, post-inference.

I'm free of all.
I'm a post-dated check.
I'm a post-human, post-mortem.

I am afraid to die.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Light into Darkness: A Short Meditation on John 1:1-18

The idea that God invaded earth through Jesus is no religious cliché. It is earth-shaking and life-changing. God has spoken through his own Word. This truth sets Christians apart from all other faiths. This was a visitation like no other—one that leaves nothing the same. The darkness of humanity was exposed by the glorious light of “grace and truth” (v. 14). What kind of light could make this happen?

Before the creation was “the Word,” who was in an eternal relationship with God, the Father. This divine Word was the agent of creation and the source of its life. The Word was no mere philosophical principle or heavenly being content to bask in divine glory... He made his dwelling in our midst by coming to earth as Jesus of Nazareth. He was not silent

The Author of the story became one of the characters. He lived, he died, and he rose again, as John goes on to tell. Although he created the world, many of his own creatures rejected him, loving their familiar darkness more than the wild and radical radiance of “the Word made flesh.” Others exchanged their darkness for his Light, and became children of God. How about you?

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Mouth of Bill Mahr

The American Family Association has informed me by email that the ever-acerbic and endlessly-smirking Bill Mahr has made some deeply disrespectful and distasteful comments about Christianity (again) on this TV show (which, of course, I do not watch). I would like to see Mr. Mahr debate a well-spoken and well-informed Christian philosopher in a formal debate setting concerning his rejection and distaste for Christian beliefs. Then we'll see who gets the last laugh. Yes, I am volunteering. Please call my agent.

Anyone can take a rude. crude, and lewd potshot. But who can give rational arguments?

Apologetics Syllabi

No, I am not offering one. I am doing an informal study of how apologetics is taught at seminaries and colleges. If you know of a good apologetics syllabus, please send it to me or give me a link. Email me at

It seems that mine (the Mother of all Apologetics Syllabi, it seems) is far more extensive and rigorous than what I am turning up. Just ask my students--or those who survived it. Some students have taken out second morgages just to buy all the books... Others went into counseling. And so it goes.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Philosophy of Preaching

Before I began a long and satisfying interim preaching assignment at Riverside Baptist Church in 2004, I wrote a short philosophy of preaching outline, which I presented before my first sermon there. Since I like to make extra work for myself, I will offer it to anyone who is interested. Please do not post your email address, but email me at

Wisdom from Bernard Lewis from The Wall Street Journal


Was Osama Right?

Islamists always believed the U.S. was weak. Recent political trends won't change their view.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:01 a.m.

During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: "What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?"

A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals--notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnappings of Americans, both official and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released, and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout the period of the Lebanese troubles.

These different responses evoked different treatment. While American policies, institutions and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim colonial empire accumulated by the czars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.

Most remarkable of all was the response of the Arab and other Muslim countries to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Washington's handling of the Tehran hostage crisis assured the Soviets that they had nothing to fear from the U.S. They already knew that they need not worry about the Arab and other Muslim governments. The Soviets already ruled--or misruled--half a dozen Muslim countries in Asia, without arousing any opposition or criticism.

Initially, their decision and action to invade and conquer Afghanistan and install a puppet regime in Kabul went almost unresisted. After weeks of debate, the U.N. General Assembly finally was persuaded to pass a resolution "strongly deploring the recent armed intervention in Afghanistan." The words "condemn" and "aggression" were not used, and the source of the "intervention" was not named. Even this anodyne resolution was too much for some of the Arab states. South Yemen voted no; Algeria and Syria abstained; Libya was absent; the nonvoting PLO observer to the Assembly even made a speech defending the Soviets.

One might have expected that the recently established Organization of the Islamic Conference would take a tougher line. It did not. After a month of negotiation and manipulation, the organization finally held a meeting in Pakistan to discuss the Afghan question. Two of the Arab states, South Yemen and Syria, boycotted the meeting. The representative of the PLO, a full member of this organization, was present, but abstained from voting on a resolution critical of the Soviet action; the Libyan delegate went further, and used this occasion to denounce the U.S.
The Muslim willingness to submit to Soviet authority, though widespread, was not unanimous. The Afghan people, who had successfully defied the British Empire in its prime, found a way to resist the Soviet invaders. An organization known as the Taliban (literally, "the students") began to organize resistance and even guerilla warfare against the Soviet occupiers and their puppets.

For this, they were able to attract some support from the Muslim world--some grants of money, and growing numbers of volunteers to fight in the Holy War against the infidel conqueror. Notable among these was a group led by a Saudi of Yemeni origin called Osama bin Laden.

To accomplish their purpose, they did not disdain to turn to the U.S. for help, which they got. In the Muslim perception there has been, since the time of the Prophet, an ongoing struggle between the two world religions, Christendom and Islam, for the privilege and opportunity to bring salvation to the rest of humankind, removing whatever obstacles there might be in their path. For a long time, the main enemy was seen, with some plausibility, as being the West, and some Muslims were, naturally enough, willing to accept what help they could get against that enemy. This explains the widespread support in the Arab countries and in some other places first for the Third Reich and, after its collapse, for the Soviet Union. These were the main enemies of the West, and therefore natural allies.

Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.

From the writings and the speeches of Osama bin Laden and his colleagues, it is clear that they expected this second task, dealing with America, would be comparatively simple and easy. This perception was certainly encouraged and so it seemed, confirmed by the American response to a whole series of attacks--on the World Trade Center in New York and on U.S. troops in Mogadishu in 1993, on the U.S. military office in Riyadh in 1995, on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000--all of which evoked only angry words, sometimes accompanied by the dispatch of expensive missiles to remote and uninhabited places.

Stage One of the jihad was to drive the infidels from the lands of Islam; Stage Two--to bring the war into the enemy camp, and the attacks of 9/11 were clearly intended to be the opening salvo of this stage. The response to 9/11, so completely out of accord with previous American practice, came as a shock, and it is noteworthy that there has been no successful attack on American soil since then. The U.S. actions in Afghanistan and in Iraq indicated that there had been a major change in the U.S., and that some revision of their assessment, and of the policies based on that assessment, was necessary.

More recent developments, and notably the public discourse inside the U.S., are persuading increasing numbers of Islamist radicals that their first assessment was correct after all, and that they need only to press a little harder to achieve final victory. It is not yet clear whether they are right or wrong in this view. If they are right, the consequences--both for Islam and for America--will be deep, wide and lasting.

Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford University Press, 2004).
Copyright © 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 25, 2007

OnTruth Services

The following is an actual transcript of an OnTruth Services call:


Hello, this in OnTruth, Emergency Apologetics Hotline.

Thank God, this is really serious...

Calm down, sir, we are here to help you.

OK, well, my daughter just got back from college for spring break and...sob...sob.

It's OK, sir, just tell me the apologetics problem.

She's a relativist! After we raised her to believe in Jesus alone. She thinks Jesus is OK for her, but that other religions work for other people. I almost came out of my skin. We are paying big bucks for her to go to Liberal U, and what do we get but...

Sir, settle down and listen. Does she actually know what the other religions teach?

I don't know. She said she has friends who are "into Buddhism" and that they are "cool."

Anything more substantial that than, sir?

No, I don't think so.

Good. Tell her what Buddhism really teaches: the self is unreal, salvation is found in dissolving the self in Nirvana. You have to be detached from all things.


Sir, do you know anything about other religions?

I know they are wrong.

That's a start, but do you know their teachings on ultimate reality, humanity, salvation?

Uh, not much. But my daughter, she may go to hell!



Calm down. Then start to study. Pray for a cool mind and a warm heart. I suggest you read Are All Religions One? by Doug Groothuis, one of our board members.

Doug what?


OK. But what about right now? My daughter is still smirking and saying "Whatever" over and over...

Sir, you have to think this through before you say much more to your daughter. And pray.

I see. Thank you, OnTruth.


OnTruth: there for your apologetic crises 24 hours a day.

[This is a parody. But if anyone wants to start this up, let me know.]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

E Finding the Love of the Universe!

I knew it was real the very first service I went to. It exceeded all my spiritual expectations.--Bob from Tampa.

I am truly in love with this group. It’s like coming home.--Jim from Denver

E Unity, you helped me find the love of the universe!--Sam from San Francisco.

These and hundreds more are finding the spiritual unity they have been desperately seeking. Many today are confused about spirituality, God, the soul, and other philosophical and theological questions. Sadly, too many people rely on word of mouth, family background, private study, and just plain luck to find a spiritual path that is right for them. No longer.

Hello, I’m Dr. Tom Mark Lauren, Director of the largest spiritual compatibility company on the planet—E From the comfort of your own computer you can find your ultimate Soul Mate, your place in Your Universe.

E Unity matches your seventeen deepest spiritual preferences with a data base of over 1500 different spiritual groups, from the Amish to Zen, from Amidha Buddhism to Zoroastrianism and everything in between. And if your PersonalSpiritualProfile™ does not perfectly fit any of our available matches, we’ll put you in contact with people whose PersonalSpiritualProfile™ fits yours so you can create your own religion or spiritual path!

Every day over 100 people are converting to the religion of their choice through the matches found on E!

Truly, this can be an everlasting love—through E

Monday, May 21, 2007

Update on Professor Gonzalez's Tenure Battle

Iowa State Faculty Admit Intelligent Design Played Role in Scientist’s Tenure Denial

By: Staff

Discovery Institute

May 18, 2007

Ames, IA – Two Iowa State University (ISU) faculty members of the department that rejected astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez’s tenure application have admitted that his work on intelligent design played a role in the department’s denial of tenure.

“What possible academic reason was there to deny tenure to a candidate who met or exceeded every requirement?” asked Dr. John West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, the nation’s leading think-tank supporting research into the scientific theory of intelligent design. “This is clearly a case of viewpoint discrimination and an attack on Dr. Gonzalez’s academic freedom and free speech rights.”

In a World magazine article released today, physicist Eli Rosenberg, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is described by the magazine as having admitted that Gonzalez's pro-ID book The Privileged Planet “played into the decision-making process. Rosenberg went on to explain that the reputation of a professor in his field is a significant factor.

“Normally a scientist’s reputation is based on publishing scientific articles, which Gonzalez excelled at,” said West. “Of course, if instead ‘reputation’ is used as a code word for whether one’s views are popular among fellow scientists, then this is another way anti-ID bias entered into the decision.”

ISU Astronomy Professor Curtis Struck, meanwhile, told World that he was not surprised at the tenure denial given Gonzalez’s intelligent design research that “people regard as taking a coincidence too far.”

The comments from Struck mean that at least three of the five tenured astronomers in Gonzalez’s department have now been tied to anti-ID bias. As discovered earlier this week, another tenured astronomer in the department signed a statement circulated by the Darwinist lobby organization National Center for Science Education denouncing intelligent design as “creationist pseudoscience,” while the husband of a third astronomy professor at ISU signed the same statement.

Dr. Rosenberg tried to do damage control by claiming that there was something deficient about Dr. Gonzalez’s sterling research record: “You take a look at somebody’s research record over the six-year probationary period and you get a sense whether this is a strong case. Clearly, this was a case that looked like it might be in trouble.”

“Really? Was Gonzalez somehow remiss in publishing 350% more peer-reviewed publications than his own department’s stated standard for research excellence?” asked West. “Or in co-authoring a college astronomy textbook with Cambridge University Press? Or in having his research recognized in Science, Nature, Scientific American, and other top science publications?

For more information click here.

More on Professor Gonzalez's Tenure Battle at ISU

The Center for Science & Culture

Following the evidence where it leads

Key Developments in Gonzalez Tenure Denial Case, May 14-21

Action Item: Help Guillermo Gonzalez in his fight for academic freedom. Contact ISU President Gregory L. Geoffroy at (515) 294-2042 or email him at and let him know that you support academic freedom for Dr. Gonzalez to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

The big story this week was the denial of tenure to widely-published pro-ID astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University, despite the fact that he exceeded by 350% his department’s standard for research excellence in peer-reviewed publications. A quick recap of the key developments in the case:

1. Two tenured professors in Gonzalez’s department publicly admitted that his work on intelligent design played a role in his tenure denial.

2. Two additional faculty members in Gonzalez’s department were found to be connected to a national statement denouncing intelligent design as “creationist pseudoscience.”

3. Tenure statistics were obtained showing that 91% of faculty who applied for tenure this year at ISU received it, refuting the university’s claim earlier in the week that its tenure standards are “so high, that many good researchers have failed to satisfy the demands of earning tenure” at ISU.

4. Tenure standards for ISU's Department of Physics and Astronomy were released showing that outside research funding was not a stated criterion for tenure decisions in the department.

5. ISU continues to pretend that nothing is wrong while ignoring the hostile work environment for Gonzalez.

Prenatal Advertizing: Mike's Adventure into the Womb of the Market

From the annuls of the Market of the Beast:

In a bold bid to beat the competition and tap into the unborn market, Mike (a global conglomerate) has launched a prenatal advertising program. Mike adds on TV, in movies, and the on Internet will now feature sounds and sights that enter the mother's system and penetrate to the developing brains of the consumers-to-be.

"No one is too little for our product," a unnamed advertising executive at Mike exuded. "Why wait until they are four or so?! It's too late; the competition may have already grabbed them. Win them in the womb and keep them until the tomb! The tots will want their thrones, their rattles, their bottles, their iPods, their anything--and we will be there to sell them."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Distance from God

Those to keep God at a comfortable distance throughout this life will end up being an uncomfortable distance from God for eternity.--Unknown Theologian.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Darwinian Thought Police Strike Again: Stellar Scholar Denied Tenure

The Center for Science & Culture

Following the evidence where it leads

Intelligent Design Scientist Denied Tenure at Iowa State University

Iowa State University has denied tenure to astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet, which presents powerful scientific evidence for the intelligent design of the universe. You can read about the situation in the Ames Tribune here.

This is a very sad day for academic freedom. Dr. Gonzalez is a superb scholar and his research has been featured in Scientific American, Science, Nature, and many other science journals. In fact, his published work exceeds ISU's required publishing standards in order to receive tenure by 350%. Dr. Gonzales has an impressive list of achievements including:

  • authoring 68 peer-reviewed scientific articles;
  • authoring a college-level astronomy textbook published by Cambridge University Press;
  • spearheading research that led to the discovery of 2 new planets;
  • building new technology to discover extrasolar planets; and
  • asked to serve as a referee for a number of leading scientific publications.
Iowa State's decision to deny him tenure is a travesty, and the university should be held to account for its action.

How You Can Help

This is where you come in. There is something you can do to help Guillermo Gonzalez in his fight for academic freedom. The decision to deny his tenure is currently under appeal before the president of Iowa State University. You can call President Gregory L. Geoffroy at (515) 294-2042 or email him at and let him know that you support Guillermo Gonzalez and his right to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Ironically, Dr. Gonzalez arrived in America as a child refugee from Castro's Cuba. Unfortunately, he seems to have discovered that the Darwinist ideologues in America's universities can be nearly as unforgiving as the Marxist ideologues of his home country.

Read more here.

Stay tuned to Evolution News & Views as this story develops.
About Nota Bene
Nota Bene -- Latin for "mark well"-- is the periodic e-lert newsletter for the Center for Science & Culture. The goal of Nota Bene is to quickly disseminate information regarding important events, activities and milestones related to the scientific theory of intelligent design and about efforts to fully and completely teach Darwinian evolution theory, including both its strengths and weaknesses. Please forward this e-mail to friends and family you think would be interested in this important issue.

The Center for Science & Culture is a program of the Discovery Institute
Copyright 2007 --- Discovery Institute --- Seattle, WA

Monday, May 14, 2007

The End of The Constructive Curmudgeon Blog?

I am seriously considering shutting down this blog for numerous reasons. I really have little idea how much good or harm it does. It may do more harm than good. How can one know? People have counseled me to pull back. Perhaps pulling the plug is better. Heaven knows I have other things I could be doing--perhaps more worthwhile things.

This is not a trick to elicit praise or otherwise. What do you think?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Intelligent Design Outline

Now that I participated in the Intelligent Design debate, I want to make available what I handed out: a detailed outline, along with a short annotated bibliography, and an editorial of mine on Intelligent Design originally published in The Denver Post in December of 2005. Just email me for it. (I must have sent out about 40 of the outlines on why someone should become a Christian.) The few, the proud, The Constructive Curmudgeon readers!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Intelligent Design Debate in Denver (repeat)

Intelligent Design

Douglas Groothuis, David Eller, and Earl Staelin.

On Sunday 13 May 2007, at 7:00 PM, Earl Staelin and David Eller and Doug Groothuis will discuss Intelligent Design and Darwinism at the First Universalist Church of Denver: 4101 E. Hampden Ave., Denver CO 80222-7262.Does a proper understanding of some aspects of biology require a designing intelligence?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary and the author of ten books, will argue the affirmative. He has written editorials and book reviews on intelligent design in The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, as well as giving lectures on intelligent design at Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines.

David Eller is a professor of anthropology at Metro State College and Community College of Denver. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Boston University, and conducted field research in Australia on Aboriginal religions. He’s published two books in anthropology, plus a forthcoming book on anthropology of religion; also Natural Atheism, and numerous articles on religion, culture, and science. Debated Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute on the subject of intelligent design for an episode of Lee Strobel's TV show, "Faith under Fire." He is the former Colorado Director of American Atheists. He will argue the negative of intelligent design.

Earl Staelin is a trial attorney who has handled many cases involving medical, chemical, and scientific issues. He has a background in nutrition. He has published articles and/or given professional presentations on “Calcium and Osteoporosis”, “A Nutritional Solution to AIDS”, nutrition and other health disorders, “Health and Light”, “The Amazing Role of Microbes in Biology”, “Observational Evidence against the Big Bang”, and “Resistance to Scientific Innovation”. He will present a position recognizing intelligence in the rapid development of new species, but as something intrinsic in nature.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Curmudgeon Recess

I am scheduled to be on The Gino Geracci Program (94.7 FM, Denver) Friday, May 11 at 5:00PM to briefly talk about my upcoming debate on ID on May 13. Having said that, I am going to take a short recess to hunker down on preparing for that debate. I hope many in the Denver area will attend and try to bring ID-skeptics or outright unbelievers with you. There will be a question-answer time.


All readers of this blog should realize that the opinions I post are mine alone. They do not represent any institution with which I am affiliated or not affiliated. This is why no institution is mentioned in my profile.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Eleven Academic Resume (curriculum vitae) Mistakes

Writing and academic resume (or curriculum vitae or CV) is more of an art than a science. To put it crassly, it is a kind of crap shoot (humanly speaking). What does the august institution of higher learning really want from an applicant? How do you read between the lines? What to include? What to exclude? Which of my many (real or semi-real) academic selves do I present? Having no certifiable expertise or credentials at all in this (I'm not sure who does), I will boldly state the top eleven worst things to put on a CV, in no particular order.

1. Include a photo of yourself in "The Thinker" pose. If the CV doesn't say this, posing won't.
2. Mention that you are an aerobics instructor--of a very high caliber, of course. (I actually saw this on a CV.) Jazzercise is out as well.
3. List your reviews under "Book Reviews."
4. Note that you are thanked in the preface of a recent "graphic novel" (or, to use archaic, elitist language: a comic book).
5. Mention that you have stopped attending academic conferences because you find them boring and uninspiring.
6. Include a photo of yourself playing air-guitar. You're just a "fun guy" to have around. Not.
7. List the major academic journals that have rejected your articles. Hey, at least you try hard and aim for the top! Not.
8. Explain that your Dean once commended you for being the best-dressed professor in your department (which has one person).
9. Brag that you appeared as an extra in an indie movie that used big words like "semiotics" and "seraphic."
10. Include a link to a video of you teaching on Descartes' first meditation while standing on top of your desk and speaking in French. The students where enthralled (but the search committee will not be.)
11. List that you are able to channel dead philosophers, thus insuring that you do not misrepresent them while teaching their ideas.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This one looks serious: Hate Speech Bill

The Thought Police

By Chuck Colson5/1/2007

What the Hate Crimes Law Would Do

In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, the government Thought Police constantly spies on citizens to make sure they are not thinking rebellious thoughts. Thought crimes are severely punished by Big Brother.

1984 was intended as a warning against totalitarian governments that enslave and control their citizens. Never have we needed this warning more urgently than now, because America’s Thought Police are knocking on your door.

Last week the House Judiciary Committee, egged on by radical homosexual groups, passed what can only be called a Thought Crimes bill. It’s called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. But this bill is not about hate. It’s not even about crime. It’s about outlawing peaceful speech—speech that asserts that homosexual behavior is morally wrong.

Some say we need this law to prevent attacks on homosexuals. But we already have laws against assaults on people and property. Moreover, according to the FBI, crimes against homosexuals in the United States have dropped dramatically in recent years. In 2005, out of 863,000 cases of aggravated assault, just 177 cases were crimes of bias against homosexuals—far less than even 1 percent.

Another problem is that in places where hate crimes laws have been passed, hate crimes have been defined to include verbal attacks—and even peaceful speech. The Thought Police have already prosecuted Christians under hate crimes laws in England, Sweden, Canada, and even in some places in the United States.

If this dangerous law passes, pastors who preach sermons giving the biblical view of homosexuality could be prosecuted. Christian businessmen who refuse to print pro-gay literature could be prosecuted. Groups like Exodus International, which offer therapy to those with unwanted same-sex attraction, could be shut down.
In classic 1984 fashion, peaceful speech will be redefined as a violent attack worthy of punishment.

This is the unspoken goal of activist groups. We know this because during the debate over the bill last week, Congressman Mike Pence (R) of Indiana offered a Freedom of Religion amendment to this hate crimes bill. It asked that nothing in this law limit the religious freedom of any person or group under the Constitution. The committee refused to adopt it. It also refused to adopt amendments protecting other groups from hate crimes—like members of the military, who are often targets of verbal attacks and spitting. They also shot down amendments that would protect the homeless and senior citizens, also often targeted by criminals. Nothing doing, the committee said—the only group they wanted to protect: homosexuals.

Clearly, the intent of this law is not to prevent crime, but to shut down freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought. Its passage would strike at the very heart of our democracy.

The full Congress may vote on this bill as early as this week. Unless you want Big Brother telling you what to say, what to think, and what to believe, I urge you to contact your congressman immediately, urging him or her to vote against this bill. If you visit the BreakPoint website, you’ll find more information about this radical law.

If we do nothing, 1984 will no longer be fiction, and Big Brother will be watching you and me—ready to punish the “wrong” thoughts.

American Family Association – Tupelo, MS 38803

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why Should Anyone Consider Being a Christian?

I have created a one-page outline trying to answer this question. It is meant to stimulate apologetic and evangelistic discussions with non-Christians. I have used it once for this purpose. If you would like a copy, please email me at and I will send it to you.

Remembering Influential Authors (updated--again)

Although it may not concern many, upon rereading Bernard Ramm's, The God Who Makes a Difference: A Christian Appeal to Reason (a work I first read in the late 1970s), I am compelled to list some of the authors that significantly contributed to my Christian faith and witness, such as it is. I am thinking specifically of my first ten years or so as a Christian.

This list does not mean I endorse everything written by them or that I have read everything written by them necessarily. For example, while I list Rushdoony, I am not a reconstructionist (although I did read most all of his plethora of books); nor should listing Kierkegaard be taken to mean that I am a fideist. These authors are not listed in ranking order.

1. Francis Schaeffer
2. Carl Henry
3. Os Guinness
4. Rousas John Rushdoony
5. James Sire
6. Bernard Ramm
7. Soren Kierkegaard
8. Blaise Pascal
9. John Stott
10. Gordon Clark
11. John Calvin
12. St. Augustine
13. C.S. Lewis
14. Arthur Holmes
15. G.K. Chesterton
16. John Warwick Montgomery
17. Herman Dooyeweerd.

Thanks be to God and to these authors, his servants.