Monthly Archives: April 2006

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Why are people insane about the Bible? How can someone in their right mind be so arrogant as to believe they can read a book that has been translated out of a dead language into english, and understand all the mysteries within? What makes a person believe that they are right, and that anyone else who comes to a different conclusion than they is obviously trying to manipulate people to send them to hell? Why are Christians so obsessed with hell? Why can’t we get passed this “I know all the answers to get saved” garbage and go out and live like Jesus?

I frequent the church of Christ forumon myspace, and I swear, every day I get on there, someone says something that makes me wonder if they’ve ever read the bible. Well, I know they’ve read the bible, at least all the passages that explain why MOTCs are going to heaven, but God’s gonna send everyone else ot a place of fiery torment for eternity. But, besides the hell passages in the gospels, I pretty much don’t think they’ve ever read about Jesus’s life.

I feel some sort of responsibility to dialogue with these people in order to plant a seed in them, and also to try and help seekers and thinkings in the c ofc realize that those people are crazy. I love them, and I count them as brothers, but I’m just so frustrated with them and yet I feel a bit of responsibility.

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I am not a good christian.

I talk a good game, and I read all the books, and I try to love others, but too often I don’t live up to what I preach.

I’ve begun a journey. A journey that hopefully will lead me to being more christlike. Some words I’ve learned so far on my journey are postmodern, missional, emergent, desconstruction, among others. Some words that I’m re-learning are love, gentleness, kingdom, and eternal life.

My old christian self was very much devoted to self. How do I stay saved? What do to improve my relationship with God? Or more notably who and what do I need to avoid to better my relationship with God? Now I’m trying to ask the questions What can I do for others today? How can I love like Jesus? How can I live a kingdom life? I try and pray for God to show me what I can do.

But like I said, I haven’t been very good at it. I still say things that are judgemental about certain classes of people. I definitely have a problem not thinking of myself as better than others. I struggle realizing that, despite my love for this country, my full allegiance doesn’t belong to it. My allegiance must be to Christ and his Kingdom solely. That’s a huge struggle.

How do I bring justice? How do I motivate myself to look after others before I look after me, but not drain my resources so that I myself live in need of charity? How can I be involved in the political process in this country and further the kingdom, without making a political party or this country or my ideology become my Lord? How can I be a better new kind of Christian?

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2 years ago yesterday, it was snowing in Nashville. Yesterday’s high was in the mid eighties. Weird.

Carrie and I are headed to Memphis in just a few hours. I think I’m getting a vacuum cleaner and The Secret Message of Jesus.

I just bought A Generous Orthodoxy.

I’ve got some reading to do.

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I officially have a major in school. Yes, I know, its been 3 years of random classes, prospective careers, and even thoughts of dropping out, but now I’ve finally decided what I should have decided years ago. I’m going to be a broadcast meteorologist. *insert applause* I’ve been obsessed with the weather since I was three years old. Its a passion of mine, and I think that this is what I’m meant to do.

In other news, Iran has enriched uranium,gas has skyrocketed, the gospel of judas was released,and leo has officially died on west wing.

I guess I’m gonna do a quick summary of those things.

Iran: This guy makes Jerry Falwell look like a leftist. He thinks that an islamic messiah is going to come and aid him in destroying America. And now he has nuclear technology. What should the world do in this situation? I don’t know. I guess the best things would be finish business in iraq to free up the military for some threats. Sanctions will only hurt the people who are actually on our side in this dilemma. Most Iranians are very pro western democracy, but they are ruled by the mullahs and theocrats who control the military and the police. We’ve got to get the Iraq mess cleaned up, in order to deal with Iran.

Gas is crazy now. I think it’s gone up more than 50 cents in the last month. I’m really glad that I bought my new accord when I did, cause I’d be paying out the butt for gas right now (as if I weren’t before). Still, short term, the best thing we can do is cut the gas taxes, relax regulations, at least regional regulations. In some places, one city may have a different mix of gasolin than a different city that is only 200 miles away. This causes the price to rise. Also, WE NEED OUR OWN OIL. Mexico and Cuba are drilling the gulf, yet we won’t do any new drilling. We’ve got a tundra in Alaska that has tons of oil that we aren’t touching. Canada has at least a trillion barrels in the tar sands that we aren’t touching. The technology isn’t there for hydrogen yet, so we’ve got to do stuff in the short term.

The gospel of judas is just weird. Is there relevant information? Maybe. Regardless, its weird.

I cried during sunday’s episode of West Wing.

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I don’t know if people actually click on links, so I’m gonna post this whole article. Seems like maybe we emergent evangelicals have jumped on a political bandwagon a wee bit too soon.

here IS a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998
By Bob Carter
(Filed: 09/04/2006)

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society’s continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say “how silly to judge climate change over such a short period”. Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth’s recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn’t seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated – ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible?

Since the early 1990s, the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as “if”, “might”, “could”, “probably”, “perhaps”, “expected”, “projected” or “modelled” – and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense.

The problem here is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike. Governments generally choose not to receive policy advice on climate from independent scientists. Rather, they seek guidance from their own self-interested science bureaucracies and senior advisers, or from the IPCC itself. No matter how accurate it may be, cautious and politically non-correct science advice is not welcomed in Westminster, and nor is it widely reported.

Marketed under the imprimatur of the IPCC, the bladder-trembling and now infamous hockey-stick diagram that shows accelerating warming during the 20th century – a statistical construct by scientist Michael Mann and co-workers from mostly tree ring records – has been a seminal image of the climate scaremongering campaign. Thanks to the work of a Canadian statistician, Stephen McIntyre, and others, this graph is now known to be deeply flawed.

There are other reasons, too, why the public hears so little in detail from those scientists who approach climate change issues rationally, the so-called climate sceptics. Most are to do with intimidation against speaking out, which operates intensely on several parallel fronts.

First, most government scientists are gagged from making public comment on contentious issues, their employing organisations instead making use of public relations experts to craft carefully tailored, frisbee-science press releases. Second, scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research. Third, members of the Establishment have spoken declamatory words on the issue, and the kingdom’s subjects are expected to listen.

On the alarmist campaign trail, the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, is thus reported as saying that global warming is so bad that Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century. Warming devotee and former Chairman of Shell, Lord [Ron] Oxburgh, reportedly agrees with another rash statement of King’s, that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism. And goodly Archbishop Rowan Williams, who self-evidently understands little about the science, has warned of “millions, billions” of deaths as a result of global warming and threatened Mr Blair with the wrath of the climate God unless he acts. By betraying the public’s trust in their positions of influence, so do the great and good become the small and silly.

Two simple graphs provide needed context, and exemplify the dynamic, fluctuating nature of climate change. The first is a temperature curve for the last six million years, which shows a three-million year period when it was several degrees warmer than today, followed by a three-million year cooling trend which was accompanied by an increase in the magnitude of the pervasive, higher frequency, cold and warm climate cycles. During the last three such warm (interglacial) periods, temperatures at high latitudes were as much as 5 degrees warmer than today’s. The second graph shows the average global temperature over the last eight years, which has proved to be a period of stasis.

The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming.

The British Government urgently needs to recast the sources from which it draws its climate advice. The shrill alarmism of its public advisers, and the often eco-fundamentalist policy initiatives that bubble up from the depths of the Civil Service, have all long since been detached from science reality. Intern-ationally, the IPCC is a deeply flawed organisation, as acknowledged in a recent House of Lords report, and the Kyoto Protocol has proved a costly flop. Clearly, the wrong horses have been backed.

As mooted recently by Tony Blair, perhaps the time has come for Britain to join instead the new Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), whose six member countries are committed to the development of new technologies to improve environmental outcomes. There, at least, some real solutions are likely to emerge for improving energy efficiency and reducing pollution.

Informal discussions have already begun about a new AP6 audit body, designed to vet rigorously the science advice that the Partnership receives, including from the IPCC. Can Britain afford not to be there?

• Prof Bob Carter is a geologist at James Cook University, Queensland, engaged in paleoclimate research

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I play softball with a group of guys from the Christian Center here in Murfreesboro. We are not good. And when I say we’re not good, that might conjure up images of us, you know, not being bad either. Well, those images would be wrong. We’re pretty bad.

I got a little frustrated Thursday night, and I might have yelled. I might have yelled that we “look like a bunch of circus clowns” or we “look like we’ve never played baseball in our lives.” For several of them, this second insult might actually be true. We’ve lost 3 games this season, and we have one left. The first game actually wasn’t that bad, but the second and third games have been atrocities. Somehow, I got roped into pitching. I’m not sure why, exactly, seeing as I’m one of the few who’s played organized baseball before. I can make plays at pretty much any position, yet, I’m stuck at pitcher. I mean, as long as you throw it near the plate, people will swing. In softball, you don’t need a good pitcher nearly as bad as you need people in the field who can, you know, field. Anyway, it makes me all the more frustrated, cause I may get ripped when I’m pitching, and I don’t have much control over it. In baseball, if I were pitching, and I’m lobbing flat fastballs belt high, and I’m getting ripped, its my fault. But in softball, you are required to lob the ball right in the middle of the plate.

Anyway, after the second game, someone made us pray. Praying in public settings has always rubbed me wrong. Probably the most irksome and the most prolific is resturaunt praying. Having worked as a server, I know first hand how awkward it is to walk up to a table to ask how the food tastes and realize you’re interupting Jesus time. It never made me want to be a better Christian when I saw people praying. It made me not want to be a Christian. Well, that being said, I really didn’t want to pray after the game. At first, I thought I was just being pretentious, but then I realized why it bothered me. Jesus talked about praying in private. I think that has a lot of merit, and not just because Jesus said it. Think about how you look to those who aren’t part of the christian culture. You aren’t “witnessing”. You’re look pretentious. You look like you’re parading your religion.

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I figured since everyone else has been weighing in on Nancy Grace, that I should too. I didn’t get to watch the show, but I did read the transcripts and I’ve once or twice watched Nancy, so I have a pretty good idea of the tone of the interview. Rubel, I thought, did a great job answering the questions she asked, it’s just too bad that she didn’t give him any time to answer them. Once she realized that he wasn’t a crazy cultist, she cut to someone else and didn’t let him finish responding to her accusations. Basically, its tabloid journalism at best. Pretty much all news has become tabloid news. History’s repeating itself, really. If you read about newspaper wars in the early 20th century, newspapers were sold by bogus headlines, and the papers themselves were more gossip columns than legitimate news. Anyway, the sooner we realize that the news we are getting isn’t actually news, but infotainment, the better off we will be.

Speaking of infotainment, we had a severe weather outbreak in Tennessee last night. A massive tornado ripped through Dyersburg in West Tennessee, and killed something like 20 people. It was a pretty massive supercell, probably 25-35 miles in diameter, with significant rotation. The tornado stayed on the ground for 25 miles. My guess is that it was a strong F3 or a weaker F4. The storms moved into Middle Tennessee, and spawned several funnel clouds around Murfreesboro. I took a drive around midnight last night and parked south of town, right in the path of the rotating part of the thunderstorm. It was eerily calm, and I was watching attentively for a funnel. I saw the wall cloud, and right after it came through, several large pellets of hail fell from the sky. Two or three about quarter size. I decided to high tail it out of there, which turned out to be a good decision, cause the hail started falling hard core right as I left.

Anyway, I watched the weather all night, and, as I have come to expect, they made sure to scare everyone that they possibly could, regardless of where teh storms were headed. I’m so glad that I’m going into broadcast meteorology, cause these people have no idea what they are talking about.