Monday, October 31, 2005

Rocky Top Tennessee

The rockiness on good ol' Rocky Top has now taken its first steps towards being alleviated with this news: UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE ANNOUNCES OFFENSIVE REORGANIZATION. In what I have awaited for the past few years, Randy Sanders has now stepped down as offensive coordinator. By all appearances, it was a decision he made himself. It does not look like Fulmer asked him to do so. I want to take a moment to commend Randy Sanders. Yes, I said commend the man. He was a man, and he realized that the buck rested with him. It was his failure as a coach that contributed to our offensive demise of the past five years. This is not to say he was a terrible coach. He expected the best of his players, and held himself and them to a high standard. He simply could not perform up to the standards he himself set, nor to the tradition of Tennessee football which he held dear. He faced this time as a man, and a man is willing to take responsibility when his work falls short. And in a moment of true Big Orange nobility, he showed himself to bleed Orange and White. I will shed a tear for him--he helped bring about this generation of Tennessee football, a generation that included the great Peyton Manning, a national championship, and a program that every year is the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference. But he is not the man to orchestrate a Tennessee offense. With that, we can now turn our attention to the man who made Tennessee offense the feared juggernaut it once was: David Cutcliffe. "Coach Cut," as he was called, must be brought back to Rocky Top. It is the only sensible answer there is. The offense that Sanders ran was developed by Fulmer and Cutcliffe, and Cutcliffe basically wrote the textbook on it after that. We must have our Grand Master back. It is my hope and prayer that he returns.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Theological Halloween Scare

Here's something I found scary over at WorldNetDaily: "We must reject at the outset any notion of the supreme authority of scripture. ... Even those who take most literal interpretation of biblical texts, who claim to believe everything literally, nevertheless sit in judgment on their meaning at every juncture because readers determine meaning." When one buys into the liberal worldview, any notion that God's word to us has any authority goes right out the window. That's like saying a letter from my dad--who is an electrical contractor--describing to me the proper method to wire a house, has no validity whatsoever. The strongest word I'm gonna use for that is idiocy, plain and simple. What were these guys drinking? Give me some of what they're smoking, I could use some altered reality right about now. And just so you know, Part 2 of "What Is An Evangelical?" will be forthcoming this week.

A Big Orange Disappointment

It is now official. I no longer count myself among the ranks of the patient. I am now a disaffected University of Tennessee fan. Last night my beloved Volunteers lost to South Carolina 16-15 in a game that should never have been this close. The defense once again put on a clinic on how defense ought to be played, but the offense...sucked. That's right, they sucked. I strongly believe there's no other way to describe it that doesn't involve cuss words. The receivers could not catch a ball to save their lives, a running back fumbled on the goal line (the freaking GOAL LINE!!!), neither quarterback could throw worth a pile of rat poop, and the coaching was horrible. Horrible! I now call for the firing of offensive coordinator Randy Sanders. A demotion is not good enough for me now. Phillip Fulmer's seat temperature, while not yet hot, is becoming decidedly warm. His teams have never lost four regular-season games. NEVER. This is a first. And this from a team that was ranked 3rd in the land when the season started. Any hope for the next two to five seasons rests on the accomplishment of two objectives: the rehiring of David Cutcliffe as offensive coordinator and the recruiting of top-quality Southern quarterbacks. The recent enamorment of the Tennessee coaching staff with non-Southern quarterbacks is proving itself to be a failure. They can't play in this system. They don't know what it means to play in this program. They're all selfish prima donnas. Why, oh why, couldn't Brian Brohm have picked us? *looks to the heavens imploringly*

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Gothic Accountrements

Dressed up for a party at work last night, and took the opportunity to finally go Goth. Okay, I didn't go the whole nine yards--it's pretty tame. But it actually felt good and different. Check it out: Oh wow. I look...dark and scary. Let's try this one: Eek, how insane. Isn't he supposed to be Southern Baptist? Here's a couple with the dog (yes, the famous Ellie) disavowing any kinship with me: Poor thing. She looks so confused. "Who are you and what did you do with Daddy?" And of course, I had to close with a "hoodlum" pose: I know, I know, I'm so full of it. But it sure was fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What Is An Evangelical? Part 1

First off, thanks to The Evangelical Outpost for providing a summary answer to this question that answers everything I've read on the subject--this post is largely based off of that summary. So now, on to business: What, just what, is an evangelical? It is a word fraught with many meanings...okay, really there is one central meaning. The word evangelical, at its root, is unavoidably tied to the Gospels. The word evangel, or "good news," is the word used of the four Gospels in our New Testament. So, at root, an evangelical is one who follows the Gospels. Sounds simple. The "evangelical church" is a term originating with Martin Luther during the Reformation. Describing his church, he coined the phrase evangelische kirke, which is still used to describe the Lutheran church today. So, given the above definition, an "evangelical church" is one that places primary emphasis on the Gospels. Sounds even simpler. But here's where things get a little wonky for us. As the Great Awakening emerged, the term "evangelical" came to be used of the preachers, churches, movements, and denominations that arose from this period. Some prominent evangelicals of this time (can they be called proto-evangelicals?) include Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles and John Wesley. So now we have "evangelical" referring to preachers, churches, and denominations that not only followed the Gospels as their primary emphasis but also placed a large chunk of real estate on fulfilling the Great Commission, or evangelism (spreading the Good News to those who are lost). Still simple, but a little more complex. The World Evangelical Alliance puts this definition very practically: "By definition an evangelical is someone concerned for the gospel. This means more than that he preaches the gospel now and then. It means that for him the gospel of Christ is central. It is, of course, his message and he preaches it, constantly. But it is more than a subject of preaching. The gospel is at the centre of his thinking and living." But now, the modern use of the term "evangelical" further complicates the matter. It now refers to:
  • conversion, or "the belief that lives need to be changed";
  • the Bible, or the "belief that all spiritual truth is to be found in its pages";
  • activism, or the dedication of all believers, including laypeople, to lives of service for God, especially as manifest in evangelism (spreading the good news) and mission (taking the gospel to other societies);
  • the conviction that Christ's death was the crucial matter in providing reconciliation between a holy God and sinful humans.
As you can see, we have now gone beyond simple adherence to the Gospel and the spreading of that Gospel to a theological framework. "Evangelical" now refers to preachers, churches, and denominations that not only follow the Gospel and spread it, but believe that the salvation of souls, the primacy of Scripture, Christian service, and the centrality of Christ's work are the central tenets of faith. This looks good, and is actually a biblical framework. We also call churches that follow this framework "evangelical." This encompasses Southern Baptists, most Pentecostals and Charismatics, some Reformed churches, conservative wings of Presbyterians, Methodists, and Episcopalians, among others. Modern evangelicals, it would seem, are not fundamentalists. None of the "evangelicals" I know or have talked to around campus and elsewhere would like having that term ascribed to them. I've always said a fundamentalist is much more accurately found in Pentecostal, Charismatic, or Independent churches and denominations. A fundamentalist, to us, is seen as an "anti-intellectual separatist" who is very hostile to the secular world. You know who these people are--they're the ones screaming about the evils of Halloween, the Catholic church, the evils of Eastern meditation in the martial arts, the evils of dancing, and the need for women to wear ankle-length dresses and long sleeve shirts, among other things. While a lot of evangelicals do make a point of these things, the last two (dancing and ankle-length dresses) underscores what a fundamentalist really is: a Christian Pharisee. Evangelicals are not, or at least we strive not to be, Pharisees. So, in conclusion, an "evangelical" is a person (preacher), church, or denomination that has the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially the primacy of Christ's work, as the central article of faith; that believes the spreading of the Gospel and the salvation of souls is the number one duty of the Christian; that believes all moral/spiritual truth is found in the Bible; and that Christians are called to live lives of service before God and fellow man. So far, so good. I like this definition of "evangelical." You could sign me up in a heartbeat...oh wait, I'm already there. I think that a good next step would be to examine each of these points in a little more detail. Again, thanks to The Evangelical Outpost for providing an excellent summary of everything I've read on the above information!

To Be An Evangelical?

As I write this, I have just completed reading someone's blog series about evangelicalism. Needless to say, while it was a good series, a perusal of the comments on each post was less than encouraging. There seemed to be a general negativity out there about evangelicalism and evangelicals that I found, well, disturbing. While the majority of commenters (including the blog author) did not in the least seem to be evangelical, I was still disturbed. I couldn't just write this off as the ravings of non-evangelicals who are looking down their noses at us. Yet at the same time much I read in this series resonated with me; as a younger leader in the SBC I find myself oft in agreement with others of my generation that sometimes our convention just doesn't get it. So I have decided to undertake a series of my own: What is an Evangelical? I will attempt to answer this question and elaborate on what that means for a "modern" evangelical, meaning a leader of my own generation. Maybe this will become the framework of my own personal theology (which I have been developing for years without any real systematization outside of that taught in class). Praise be to God for his Holy Spirit of Truth, who illumines our minds.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Hunt for Bed Snoretober

As I write this, I have been off work for 2 hours. For some odd reason, The Hunt for Red October is on. I love this movie, but for some reason it is giving me inspiration to go to bed. I guess I can put away the paper I am working on until this afternoon. I have been reading Covenant Marriage by Gary Chapman, and I love this book. It is changing the way I have looked at marriage and is deepening my understanding of my role as a man and as a husband. It's also informing the wedding liturgy I am working on. I am thoienahivnaoivfjjjjva;sdidi vnkasdnvoisdnvs.... Okay, I am tired and that's obviously a sign that I need to go to bed. Good night.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Folding PocketQueens(tm)

Well, this weekend I had a great time. Dad was here to play in the World Series of Poker circuit event at Caesar's Indiana, just across the river. I've been in a casino only twice before in my life, and this was the first time I've been in Caesar's. But it was a good deal for Dad, he got to get out of town for a while, play some poker with the big boys (there were several pros in attendance), and see me and Tricia. It was an okay first day--he played Friday and did well for a while, and then just hit a streak of bad draws and was out. Then came Saturday. He got into the Saturday event, and was just phenomenal throughout the afternoon and early evening, holding his own while not necessarily racking up the chips. And then he switched tables. Now, only the top 36 got prize money in this thing, which meant Dad had to survive until the room was reduced to 4 tables. He survived two all-in hands, forcing a fold on one and won the other, and then word got out that there were 37 left. To no one's surprise, each hand got more intense as people tried to force out the short-stacked. They played with 37 for close to an hour, and it was not without its moments--Dad was nearly forced to go all-in at least twice, including the title moment of this post! Now, see, he had raised his draw and someone reraised to where he would have had to push everything into the pot. Oh, the agony! My heart was doing somersaults in my chest, but I'm sure that's nothing compared to what he was going through. It was obvious he was in agony, and I was literally holding my breath. Then finally, in a fit of disgust, he picked up his cards and slammed them facedown on the table, folding the hand--he had POCKET QUEENS! Oh my stars and garters! He folded ***PocketQueens(tm)***!!!! Unbeknowst to me at the time, there was a guy on the other table who had only $700 of chips left, and would not have been able to make the ante (or the blind, can't remember which right now) on the next hand unless he won. Turned out that just as Dad folded, the guy won. And the guy who put the pressure on Dad had an Ace-King suited. Dad could have taken him, but the risk was too great. Dad told me later he didn't want to be number 37, and that was why he folded. But as a result, about 20 minutes or so afterwards, someone went out, and then there were 36. Dad was guaranteed prize money! He survived one more person going out before finishing 35th. And the tournament that day began with 358. How about that? My dad finished 35th out of 358, including pros! That's MY Dad!!! :-D Oh, it was wonderful, I never thought I could have that much fun standing around watching people sit at a table. I guess it's a good thing that I don't play, at least not with the seriousness Dad or a pro would have--I might have to consider making a run at it the way Dad has. But I think it's a hobby for him right now--not a second career. I should get him to organize some family tournaments--THAT would be fun to come home to!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

On Wedding Liturgies

I have, for the past couple of months, been struggling with the idea of saying "I Do" to Tricia with the current traditional wedding liturgy. You know, the whole "to have and to hold, richer or poorer" stuff. No, I'm not getting cold feet. Rather the opposite. The more I think about this liturgy the less I believe it is appropriate. Never mind the fact that there is truth in this liturgy, what I'm saying is that it is unbiblical. Not to mention that it doesn't even express the true depth of feeling I have for Tricia. So I have decided that I will write my own liturgy, and it will be a Biblical one. This liturgy would be based almost solely on Ephesians 5:22-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. A truly Biblical liturgy would ask brides to pledge to submit to their husbands, the head of their new household, just as we Christians submit to Jesus, the head of the church. It would ask grooms to pledge to love their wives just as Jesus loves the church; meaning husbands must agree to serve their wives and be willing to die for them. There's a lot more meat and dressing in those passages, but what I've posited here is the substance of it. Furthermore, a truly Biblical wedding liturgy would expound upon these principles before the vows. It would make clear not only to the bride and groom, but to all in attendance just how serious the covenant is that the new couple is entering into. It would impress upon the audience the depth of meaning marriage entails, and impress upon them the serious responsibility they have to pray for the new couple and support them in any way they can. It would impress upon the parents of the bride and groom their continued responsibility to "raise up a child in the way it should go (Proverbs 22:6);" since it falls to them primarily to support the new couple and help them navigate the waters of marriage. And lastly and most importantly, a Biblical wedding liturgy would bring true glory to God.

Wierd-O-Cron Weekly

Okay, so the Wierd-O-Cron has actually been pretty sporadic. Whatever. ;-) But anyway, wanna sue God? If you ever needed more proof of human depravity and self-centeredness, check this out. I'm not sure it even deserves comment.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fire in the Temple

Well, it seems I was "on fire" yesterday during my sermon. I was continuing my theme of wants and needs, based off hearing the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" a few weeks ago. This week I talked about "God In The Storm," basically a Christian response to "when bad things happen to good people." I didn't think I'd done anything special. I did think, though, that I had "clicked," that I'd basically let the Holy Spirit guide me and direct my words. My transitions were all there, everything was seamless, I was clear as a bell, all that jazz. I wasn't even tired as I usually am after preaching! I was feeling quite pleased at my technique and clarity afterwards--after all, that's been my goal, to preach with skill in sign language. Then on the drive back to Tricia's house for a family dinner, she remarked that I was "on fire" that morning. Huh? She said I was about to blow the roof off the place. I asked around when we got back to church that afternoon, and all I got were speechless exclamations. Was I that clueless as to my performance? I wonder if one of the ways we truly act in His power is when we don't even know it. Hmm. I must meditate on this thought more.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Quiz Time

Here's a couple of quiz results for me, courtesy of Archer of the Forest: brigid
You are St Brigid's Cross: St. Brigid is an Irish
saint who hand-wove a cross,out of rushes she
found by the river. She made the cross while
explaining the passion of our Lord to a pagan

What Kind of Cross are You?
brought to you by Quizilla And...
You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)
You're a great thinker and a true philosopher. You'd make a talented professor or writer.

State of the Blog Address

My fellow bloggers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, readers of the moment, and non-believers of every stripe and squiggle: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Okay, this isn't going to be the Epistle of the Deaf Jedi to the Internet, but it is an update. I've made some changes to the blog, the most obvious of which is the new template. As I haven't had the time to sit down and figure out Blogger's template code so I can mess with it in my own way (or write my own template), I've settled for switching to a new template. I've switched twice, actually--I just like this one better. I plan to put a new pic in the profile, as well as finally figure out how to clean up the sidebar (if only the great Archer of the Forest would let slip the secret of how he figured that one out). I've also massively updated the sidebar and added a few things as well. First off, you'll notice my reading items haven't changed that much--Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a long read--846 pages to be exact, and I've only read 415 to this point--and I have been taking my time reading it. Luther is taking a long time as well, since I keep having to put it down, digest it, make sense of it, and then pick it up again. Seeing With New Eyes has also fallen by the wayside, since post-fall break educational responsibilities tend to pick up quickly. So for now I'm sticking with Jonathan Strange until things cool off. School reading has changed--I'm now in the marriage and family counseling phase of the semester. Practical reading abounds, and it's very interesting, at least to me. I've not seen any new movies, played any new games, or started listening to any new music lately, so those haven't changed. My rankings are current up to the games of October 15th. Agree or take issue at your discretion. Okay, now for the new stuff. I've added a couple of new sections--"I am Watching" for the tv shows or what have you that I am currently watching; and I've decided to include any tv shows I happen to have on DVD. Right now that encompasses the first three seasons of MacGyver. More on that later. I've also added a section called "Big Daddies Not-That-Cool" to reference "important" people around campus, the SBC, and Christendom in particular. Why'd I pick that? Because they are in effect Big Dogs, and I say they're "Not-That-Cool" because they are the voices of Christianity in today's public forum. WWE wrasslin' fans will also recognize the allusion to "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel (also known these days as Kevin Nash). I've added a couple of new links; just to Dave Ramsey and to BP News. Star Wars is on there, in case you hadn't already noticed. Lastly, I've rounded out the "Blogs of Note" by adding some new blogs: Dee Reju at The Reju Tribe, Alex Forrest, Nick's future wife Sandy, Sandy's maid of honor Amanda, and a socio-political commentary blog by Vox Day. All are fun and interesting, but Vox Day should not be read in the company of women, and should probably only be read after you have had a good meal and a beer or two (for those of you who drink). Well, I think that covers all the changes. Hope you enjoy yourselves in the Holocron!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Today I moseyed to Nally's Barbershop behind Stock Yards Bank on Lexington Road. I'm a big fan of barbershops, and Nally's is a classic one. Very old school. The only problem with it is that it charges $12 for a cut. I have never in my life paid more than $5 in a barbershop--Nally's is the only place I have ever done this--but if you want the barbershop experience, I'd have to say it's worth it. As I walked in, I had intentions to just get a regular haircut. But remembering how unruly my hair was after I woke up, I decided to just chuck it all. Felt good too. Then I decided, "what the heck, let's get a shave too while we're at it," and I was treated to the full treatment--hot towel, hot foam, straight razor and aftershave. Believe me when I say that kickedus maximus buttimus. I think the barbershop is a fading reminder of a better, simpler time. We need more of these places of uncontested manliness and relaxation. You just plain feel good after you've been in one, and the day seems to be brigher and better after chewing the fat with the barber. Very therapeutic. I think I'm gonna prescribe trips to the barber to my male clients from time to time. Okay, I don't really know where today's post is going, it seems to be some sort of brain fart. But I really, really enjoyed my trip to Nally's today, and I guess I just wanted to share the love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blogging to the Choir

The commentary on my recent posts on Jews and witnessing seems to have struck a chord with the commenter. On his blog "Random Thoughts" Jack's Shack has taken to another attack on Southern Baptists, using President Mohler's commentary on the issue (see previous post "Southern Baptist Witnessing") While I was kind enough to attempt a (perhaps futile) response, I reflected on the whole deal about religious debate. I think I have reached a preliminary conclusion: Antagonism by the anti-religious (or more specifically anti-Christian) is in general largely emotional with little basis on fact and reality. Whew, that's a very large generalization. While I certainly don't expect in ministry nor on this blog to get a chorus of "Amens" every time I preach, teach, witness, or post (as the case may be), I do expect someone who disagrees to at least have a convincing reason for doing so. And I don't want to hear silly arguments such as "because I want to;" "because I don't like it;" "that offends me;" "because you're a fool and so is everyone who listens to you;" and so on. There's actually a lot more than these, but these seem to be the most common. They are emotional arguments, and arguing from an emotional base doesn't foster debate--on the contrary it stops debate in its tracks. I have almost never seen anyone antagonistic to religion (and Christianity in particular) debate points of fact; instead they attack the messenger, decrying their words to be such things as "offensive, racist, intolerant, bigoted" or what have you. I enjoy those few who actually engage the point--in fact I count one of those people to be one of my greatest "online friends," and I regularly seek his opinion on issues. And this guy isn't a Christian--at best he could be described as agnostic! I think we as Christians need to encourage debate on issues and not on emotion. Granted, religion has a deep emotional component, but when those antagonistic cannot debate without emotion, we need to shift gears and remind them of the point.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Doggie Hi-Jinks

In a most hilarious development, I have discovered Neuticles! After I stopped laughing from reading the website, I did a Google search hoping to actually get more funny info (and maybe a disgusting pic or two) and came across one of the funniest things I've ever read in my life. For copyright purposes, you can find the link here. I've put it down here for your reading enjoyment. Be warned, I laughed til I cried and my nose ran like a faucet! ;-) Neuticles, a dog's perspective Last summer, we began agonizing over the decision to neuter our prized Doberman Pinscher. My wife and I first discussed the issue at the kitchen table--which was a BIG mistake. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" howled the Doberman. "You're talking about my PRIDE(S) here." "I TOLD you we should've gone somewhere else to talk about this," I glared at my wife. "Oh, you men are just over sensitive about these things," my wife retorted. "What's the big deal? Snip, snip, ka-plunk in the stainless steel pan, and that's it." I heard a "thud" and looked down to see that our Doberman had passed slap out. ("Slap" is Southern for "completely.") After he recovered, he began stating his argument. "I LIKE my pride(s) exactly where they are," he said. "And I like hearing people whistle and point and saying, 'Now THERE'S a pair'. I LIKE hearing them clang like fire-engine bells when I walk down the street." "But what about your prostrate?" my wife argued. "Just ask your dad how much HE likes hearing the sound of the doctor's rubber glove being slapped on right before the doctor tells him to bend over." At that point, I passed slap out and hit the floor with a thud. After I recovered, I told my wife that we would never raise this issue again in the house. But, lo and behold, we ended up having the Doberman neutered, and after moving back here to Texas, we made the same decision for our German Shepherd due to his having less than perfect hips. The German Shepherd's response was slightly different. He grabbed a gun and barricaded himself in his dog house. After the police hostage negotiators talked him into coming out peacefully, he finally acquiesced and (reluctantly) agreed to give up his pride(s). Now, a month later, both of our dogs were invited to a focus group just for dogs to be interviewed in regards to their views on neutering and Neuticles--the fake testicles. At the focus group, the dogs present were given Milk Bones and other assorted treats. The Moderator began going around the room and having the dogs all introduce themselves and talk about how life is different now that they have no pride(s). "It's not so bad," said my Doberman. "Especially on hot summer days." "What would hot summer days have to do with your being neutered?" asked the Moderator. "Obviously," replied our Doberman, "You've never had to squat down on a long'stay' command on hot asphalt and have your pride(s) fry like an egg! Do THAT a couple of times, Bub, and I guarantee that you'll be ready to cut them off yourself!" "Hear Hear!" the other dogs applauded. "I know that I sure run faster, " piped up a 195 pound St. Bernard. "Try running through the park with a pair the size WE come with sometime. Shoot, they'll leave bruises on the inside of your thighs the size of goose eggs!" "Right ON, bro!" the big dogs howled. "But don't you miss the 'romantic' aspect of being intact?" the Moderator pressed on. "Don't know about these other guys," our German Shepherd offered, "but I never had the chance to pitch woo and get romantic. I was slow to come around to that kind of thinking. But to tell you the truth, I think getting neutered saved me a lot of grief and frustration." "How's that?" probed the Moderator. "Heck," replied our German Shepherd dog, "first you got to buy her a good dinner, whisper sweet nothings, make promises you KNOW you ain't gonna keep, and then after it's over--and until then, you're stuck together for anywhere from half an hour to an eternity--you have to send flowers and a card. Who NEEDS that kind of commitment?" "Tell it how it is!" the younger dogs shouted, all stomping their paws on the table in agreement. "I never had to mess with that," continued the German Shepherd, "so now my time is COMPLETELY my own and I know I can't get slapped with any palimony or paternity suits. As far as I'm concerned, it's probably the best thing that's happened to me so far." "OK," said the Moderator, "so what about the health benefits?" "Oh, that's easy," said a Golden Retriever. "My doc said this probably added three to five years to my life. It keeps me a whole lot calmer--especially when I get a whiff of a young good looking hunk of fur walking by my fence. That CAN'T be good for your blood pressure, you know. Plus, I'll never get an ulcer from romantic anxiety." "PLUS," remarked a Standard Poodle, "get it done early and my doc says it can help prevent a whole slew of other problems down the road." "All right," said the Moderator, "let's shift gears a little bit and talk about Neuticles." "What in tarnation are Neuticles?" our Doberman asked. "Fake pride(s)," answered the Poodle. "I hear they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. I haven't seen the '98 models yet, but I understand they haven't changed all that much. Besides, they just slip them in where the real ones went--so who cares what they look like?" "Is that right?" asked the Golden Retriever. "Pretty much," replied the Moderator. "How do y'all feel about that?" "What's the point?" exclaimed the Doberman. "Sure, put some fake things back 'there' where the REAL ones used to be, and just my luck I'll be on a long 'sit' or 'down' on a hot sidewalk and those blamed things will conduct more heat than the Space Shuttle upon re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere!" "Oooooh," all the dogs shuddered. "But they're supposed to make you look like a whole dog," argued the Moderator. "Yeah, right," argued our German Shepherd. "Shoot, man, I got so much hair'back there' that nobody could tell whether I 'got a pair' or not. If they REALLY want to know whether I 'got a pair,' just let 'em try coming over my fence sometime. I'll SHOW them what I got." "Hee hee hee, ha ha ha!" all the dogs snickered. "Hey! I feel like I'm ten pounds lighter," offered the 195 pound St. Bernard. "Why would I want to put on more weight that nobody could see? Why to fill up my space 'back there,' those things would have to be the size of baseballs! Ever try running full speed with a sack full of baseballs hanging around YOUR rear end?" "Uh, not exactly," said the Moderator, who was beginning to sweat and feel mighty uncomfortable. This wasn't going the way the thought it would. "Well, I ain't got NO hair to cover me up 'back there' and I don't care," growled the Doberman. "But if anybody wants to make fun of THAT, just let them!" "It'd just remind me of what I lost," mused the Golden Retriever. "So, y'all ain't in favor of Neuticles?" asked the Moderator, wiping the sweat off his forehead. "NO WAY!!!" all the dogs howled in unison. "Hey," said the Poodle, "I think it's the humans that are more concerned about that stuff than we are." So the Moderator gave each dog a package of treats, paid them and dismissed them as he sat down to right his report. "In conclusion," he wrote, "the dogs we interviewed recognized the health benefits of neutering, but did not see any value in replacing the real thing with something fake simply to keep the owner's ego intact. Their suggestion was that if the owner was so keen on such products, let THEM try 'em first."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

SBTS - Speed Bump Terrorism Seminary

For those of you who, like me, thought those ungodly massive speed bumps the seminary built were moments to thank God you were still alive, here's more ammo for our anti-speed bump guns: Bus Passenger Paralyzed By Speed Bump

Friday, October 07, 2005

More Intelligent Design

I came across this quote by Alvin Plantinga:
Plantinga adds that the idea that “human beings and other living creatures have come about by chance, rather than by God’s design, is also not a proper part of empirical science. How could science show that God has not intentionally designed and created human beings and other creatures? How could it show that they have arisen merely by chance. That’s not empirical science. That’s metaphysics, or maybe theology. It’s a theological add-on, not part of science itself. And, since it is a theological add-on, it shouldn’t, of course, be taught in public schools.”
Now isn't that interesting? After all the fussin' and cussin' by scientists that Intelligent Design isn't science and shouldn't be taught in schools, along comes a highly respected philosopher and shows that evolution as a theory of origins is exactly the same thing they're claiming about ID. Wow.

Scripture of the Moment

Isaiah 40:31 - They who wait on the Lord will receive new strength; they will fly on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not become faint. Oh Lord, forgive me for not relying on you, the Strength of my Life, the Source of my Strength, my Ever-Present Help in time of trouble. I have like a sheep gone my own way; and on Your Son lies all mine iniquity. Create me in a clean heart, O God; renew a steadfast Spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation; and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Show me your will, Most High, and write it upon my heart as your unchanging, eternal Word, that I might not sin against you.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Southern Baptist Witnessing, a Reflection

A reflection on my recent post about the stink some Jewish groups are making about Southern Baptists found expression in one of Southern Seminary president Al Mohler's commentaries:
Southern Baptists have not singled out the Jews as more needful of the gospel than others. But this prayer guide reminds Christians that the Jewish people are not less needful of the gospel than others. While more liberal denominations are embarrassed by a call for conversion, Jewish or otherwise, Southern Baptists continue to call upon all persons to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Cries of "theological hatred" are unfair and out of place. Southern Baptists have not launched a crusade to coerce conversions. Instead, the denomination is simply bearing witness to the gospel as revealed in the New Testament. No less than the Apostle Paul, who identified himself as a "Hebrew of Hebrews," reminded the Christians in Rome that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles.
The full text of this particular commentary can be found here. Given the recent comments placed on my original post, I felt it only fair and right to at least clarify where I as a Southern Baptist stand on the whole issue. As I have said in other places, it's shameful that there are those who want to use a religion's teaching as a political tool to besmirch that religion. It gives the user a bad name.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Intelligent Design

While reading fellow Southern Seminary student Alex Forrest's blog, I came across a truly interesting perspective on the idea that there is an intelligent designer. Read it here. I am truly humbled by this perspective, and I am in awe of the fact that one day it might be me sitting in a delivery room, thinking those very thoughts. Excuse me, I have to go stifle some tears of awe and joy and gratitude to God now.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Of Mice and Wedding Registries, Part Deux

Well, all is good in the world--Tennessee won over Ole Miss, Alabama handed Florida their a crimson platter, and Louisville returned to form with a wholesale slaughter of Florida Atlantic. Now for another yawner on the virtues of the wedding registry. But first, the mice part. I got off work this morning and moseyed to Tricia's house to take advantage of her empty couch, as her mother had assigned us to watch the house this weekend. Unfortunately, her brother and his friends had already commandeered it for an all night drinking fellowship. So I decide to let the dog out, and no sooner had I opened the door than a big, fat, hairy, ugly rat takes off from the deck to the garage! Dang. Ellie, of course, immediately took off after it, but apparently her hunt was unsuccessful, as she exited the garage in a rather disappointed manner, did her business, and returned to the back door, patiently waiting for me to open it while I got over the shock of seeing a gigantic rat at 5 am. My god, that cheese-sucker was huge! Anyway, Tricia and I went today to the two stores we are registered at. We procured a scanning gun, and set out to scan pretty much whatever caught our fancy within the guidelines we'd established for what we needed. I naively thought this would be a breeze, but I underestimated the female ability to overanalyze and agonize over every little thing. Now, I love Tricia, but one of her (very few) less redeeming qualities is an inability to make a decision without welshing on it for 5-10 minutes when the decision is hers. As a guy, particularly a guy that doesn't like to shop for anything non-electronic, non-reading, or non-sports related, you can imagine how I felt. Add to that the fact that the changing Louisville weather has had my sinuses going haywire and I had a slight fever during this jaunt, and you get a pretty good idea of how I felt. Cranky is probably too polite a word. But finally, after four hours or so of work, we have the body of our registries fleshed out. And I learned a valuable lesson or two, one of which involves encouraging one's significant other that whatever decision they make you will be satisfied with since it had already been discussed and dissected ad nauseam. The second lesson is simply to never get divorced. Really guys, it's that simple: never get divorced. If you don't want to go through this stuff ever again, don't be stupid enough to get divorced in the first place. It's amazing to me how much of marriage can really be summed up in practical statements like that. If we want our lives to be easier, we must simply (insert practical pithy statement of wisdom here). And try not to put those statements into practice when you have a slight fever and a bad sinus condition like mine.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Oh, My Stars and Garters No! Hilarious!

From The Evangelical Outpost:
“Everybody he slapped on the forehead did a tongue, but I was at a loss for words. Until I remembered Tim Duncan’s slam dunk. Then I went for it with a, ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili.’ I heard everybody around me saying ‘yes Lord,’ so I figured I had the Holy Ghost. Then I let loose with a ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili Hedo Turkoglu,’ and it was on. Everybody started jumping up and down. I thought ‘Oh yeah? Take this...’ and I fired off a ‘Hallelujah Manu Ginobili Hedo Turkoglu Slava Medvedenko! MEDvedenko! Whoooaaa MedveDENKO!’ It felt like a tongues triple-double.” -- New believer Gentry Tate as reported in “Pentecostal Man’s Glossolalia Echos NBA Rosters” from The Holy Observer.
*The Deaf Jedi falls off his chair and rolls around on the floor, laughing hysterically!*