December 24, 2007
Well, so far this Christmas season I have done the following: decorated a Christmas tree, gone Christmas caroling, bought (and drank) Starbucks Christmas frappuccino, sang in a Christmas choir, read Advent readings, bought Christmas gifts, wrapped Christmas gifts, opened Christmas gifts, hung a Christmas wreath and scads of little twinkling lights on the outside of my house, drank eggnog, ate pecan pie, bought a turkey and dressing for Christmas dinner, watched claymation “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” gone home for Christmas (a bit early), read a Christmas sermon by Gregory of Nazianzus, gone on a Christmas lights spotting tour of the city, said “Merry Christmas” about four thousand times, delivered an Advent homily, answered my daughter’s question “How much longer till Christmas?” a few dozen times, and gone to a couple of Christmas parties. No, I have not yet watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but I will soon.
I warmed up to Christmas a bit late, in spite of all this activity. But now that the Big Day is almost here, I finally feel it.
Merry Christmas, everyone in the blogosphere. The Nativity of our Lord is come: rejoice!
December 21, 2007
Dr. Grant’s Blog is listed on the right-hand side of this backwater (located under Best-O-Blogs). His posts almost always bring a smile and an opportunity to ponder.
Earlier this month he pointed us HERE. The author, Ambrose Bierce, was a veteran of several battles in the War Between the States: Shiloh, Picketts’s Mill, Chickamunga, and Franklin. In the linked story Bierce tells us of the Battle of Franklin and one sentence jumped out at me:
But fools are God’s peculiar care, and one of his protective methods is the stupidity of other fools.
My stupidity, especially in my youth, must set high marks in the “protection of other fools” department. May God continue to use fools to His own advantage.
December 20, 2007
I do a bunch of (too much?) cultural stuff on this here backwater of the blog-o-sphere. Why stop now…
Here are two items that are related in how disturbing they are:
First, Mary Garber on Townhall.com points us to a website I will not link to… it is simply too ungodly. The site is a government funded sex education podcast geared to teens and tweens:
But a series of videos for teens promoted through a teen pregnancy prevention program, G-CAPP (Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention), mocks the idea of abstinence. The web page’s resources link (deleted by al) encourages “youth” to “check out the Midwest Teen Sex Show—video podcasts about teen sexuality” that are intended to “provide sex information in a clear and entertaining way.” The segment on “Abstinence” shows an actress playing the part of a girl beaten to the point of brain damage and slurring, “But I respect my body.”
I did go online and check it out to see if what she said was true. The porno-like intro to the podcast is jarring when you consider the audience. What will the next generation of children look like? I’m skeered. Read Mary’s article here.
Our second candidate for really disturbing link of the day comes with the UNICEF Photo of the Year for 2007…
From the story in the UK Metro…
It shows Mohammed, 40, with his new 11-year-old wife, Ghulam. Taken by US photographer Stephanie Sinclair, it was named Unicef Photo of the Year yesterday.
I only hope the 11 year old had the opportunity to view the “entertaining” sex-ed video before here wedding night.
The other thing I do a lot of is point you to Romans chapter 1. Go read that again for a little perspective.
December 17, 2007
I just saw I Am Legend so I may be a bit hyper-sensitive to this whole, “doing it better than God” thing. You tell me… Can this end well?
From the Washington Post:
Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms
It has been 50 years since scientists first created DNA in a test tube, stitching ordinary chemical ingredients together to make life’s most extraordinary molecule. Until recently, however, even the most sophisticated laboratories could make only small snippets of DNA — an extra gene or two to be inserted into corn plants, for example, to help the plants ward off insects or tolerate drought.
Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA.
Scientists in Maryland have already built the world’s first entirely handcrafted chromosome — a large looping strand of DNA made from scratch in a laboratory, containing all the instructions a microbe needs to live and reproduce.
In the coming year, they hope to transplant it into a cell, where it is expected to “boot itself up,” like software downloaded from the Internet, and cajole the waiting cell to do its bidding. And while the first synthetic chromosome is a plagiarized version of a natural one, others that code for life forms that have never existed before are already under construction.
December 16, 2007
There is, indeed no ambiguity in the words here used by Moses; but I do not agree with others respecting their meaning; for other interpreters take the seed for Christ, without controversy; as if it were said, that some one would arise from the seed of the woman who should wound the serpent’s head. Gladly would I give my suffrage in support of their opinion, but that I regard the word seed as too violently distorted by them; for who will concede that a collective noun is to be understood of one man only? Further, as the perpetuity of the contest is noted, so victory is promised to the human race through a continual succession of ages. I explain, therefore, the seed to mean the posterity of the woman generally. But since experience teaches that not all the sons of Adam by far, arise as conquerors of the devil, we must necessarily come to one head, that we may find to whom the victory belongs. So Paul, from the seed of Abraham, leads us to Christ; because many were degenerate sons, and a considerable part adulterous, through infidelity; whence it follows that the unity of the body flows from the head. Wherefore, the sense will be (in my judgment) that the human race, which Satan was endeavoring to oppress, would at length be victorious.In the meantime, we must keep in mind that method of conquering which the Scripture describes. Satan has, in all ages, led the sons of men “captive at his will”, and, to this day, retains his lamentable triumph over them, and for that reason is called the prince of the world, (John 12:31.) But because one stronger than he has descended from heaven, who will subdue him, hence it comes to pass that, in the same manner, the whole Church of God, under its Head, will gloriously exult over him. To this the declaration of Paul refers,
“The Lord shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” (Romans 16:20.)
By which words he signifies that the power of bruising Satan is imparted to faithful men, and thus the blessing is the common property of the whole Church; but he, at the same time, admonishes us, that it only has its commencement in this world; because God crowns none but well-tried wrestlers.
John Calvin, from his commentary on Genesis 3:15
December 15, 2007
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
What a wonderful statement: he is not ashamed to call them brethren! Do you realize that Jesus Chris is not ashamed of you? For the one being sanctified and the one who sanctifies are one. They are united together in such a way that for God to be ashamed of you would declare that He was ashamed of His own Son.
This bread and wine are laid out before you and you are invited to the table by a Savior who is not ashamed to sit and eat with you. But I am a sinner you say and rightly so! But, when Jesus was accused of eating with tax collectors and sinners such as us, Jesus replied that he did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He did not come to those who are well, but he offers healing grace in this bread and wine to those with the mortal sickness of sin.
So come to the table you baptized, believing sinners. He is not ashamed to have you here. Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.