Thursday, May 18, 2006

Censored: The trials of non-muslim fundamentalists

Censored: Cineplex Odeon bans ads at Discuss DaVinci Code: "Vancouver - May 17-06 — Cineplex Odeon theaters today cancelled a planned in-theater advertising campaign by Campus Crusade for Christ. Valued at more than $60,000, the ads were part of the organization’s program encouraging the public to view The Da Vinci Code movie and explore religious issues raised by the film."
Oh yeah, talk is bad. Tolerance = Ban showing blasphemous images of Mohammed, and ban Christians gently encouraging discussion.

Book Recommendations

I’ll answer the categories below but first, I just got this from a friend:

Best books on the emerging technologies and their effect on life and culture:

Blog by Hugh Hewitt (His book, “In, But Not Of” is must reading for anyone with potential)

The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

An Army of Davids by Glenn Reynolds, his blog is one of the most influential of all blogs

The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil

Think Books:

Linked by Laslo-Barabasi

Think a Second Time by Dennis Prager

Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer J. Adler


Forerunners of the Reformation by Heiko Obermann

Modern Times by Paul Johnson

Intellectuals by Paul Johnson

Very important for gender and sexuality issues:

Taking Sex Differences Seriously by Stephen Rhoades, find it at

As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto

Very important for Evangelism Today:

Christianity on Trial by Carroll

The Rise of Christianity by Stark

For the Glory of God by Stark

Externally focused resources:

Go to and drink in Eric Swanson. Buy his book (mentioned below) The Externally Focused Church is the blog I made to capture the proceedings of one of Eric’s pastor networks.

Little Rock Bible Church has been great in this regard and the book The Church of Irresistible Influence captures their work.

Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller

Up late after a date...

I'm up really late purging and organizing before we move next week.

I made the tragic blunder of indulging in a brownie and coffee at Starbucks after 7 pm.

My wife and I went out on a date earlier.

I realized at some point when I was eating it that those crunches in my mouth were not chocolate chips; rather they were coffee beans.

Holy Java Stimulants, Batman!

I tried to sleep but I couldn't even relax my jaw.

I should go to bed but I'm liable to wake my wife with a fit of tryingtogetcomfortable maneuvers.
She's been waking up and packing stuff anyway. She wakes up in the middle of the night and thinks of things to do for our move and then gets out of bed and does them on the spot.

She would have been a good vampire.

But that would suck for me.

I better go to bed.

'Da Vinci Code' Actor: Bible Should Have 'Fiction' Disclaimer "If 'The Da Vinci Code' was already feeding the flames of controversy with its challenge to the basic tenets of Christianity, actor Ian McKellen managed to pour a refinery tank's worth of gasoline on the fire on this morning's 'Today' show, asserting that the Bible should carry a disclaimer saying that it is 'fiction.'"
Wow. What courageous views. Strange that there was no mention of the Koran. Oops. Sorry. Q'uran.

You can't be too careful. We must be tolerant of other religions. Some more than others. Right Comedy Central?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Davinci Code Talk

This is the first installment from a talk I gave at the University of Nebraska, Kearney about The Da Vinci Code Book. The movie comes out tomorrow:

It is a worldwide bestseller with sales of more than 40 million copies (as of March 2006) and has been translated into 44 languages. It is very popular with college students and ranks number one on the book list. Why the popularity? I can think of one reason to begin.

It has been said that if it were in man's power to kill God, there would be no where in the universe that God would be safe.

For some students the attraction of the Da Vinci Code is just that: to silence God (at least the God of the Bible); this God of sexual boundaries. Silence Jesus with his morbid death for "sinners". Freedom from religion. Ding dong the church is dead; now we can get on with what we want to do. This doubtless for some is the giddy satisfaction of the Da Vinci Code. If the Bible can be shown to be fiction, then why would anyone take it seriously? And without the Bible who can say what I'’m doing is wrong.

If you are here tonight and share those sentiments, I have some very bad news for you. Actually its good news, but not for everyone, and apparently not for you, if you celebrate the death of God.

The news is this: The Bible is true. God is not dead, Jesus was dead but has risen, and the Holy Spirit is the animating life-force of the people of God's kingdom, otherwise known as the church, past, present and of course in the future.

How do I know all of this? - The Bible tells me so. IÂ’m not here to convince you of the truth of the Bible. I can hardly do that. I am here to give you facts and ideas that might help you sort through facts and fiction in the da Vinci Code and elsewhere

The Da Vinci Code cast doubt on The church, The bible, and Jesus.

By the time I'm done tonight I can guarantee you that you will have solid evidence that the Da Vinci Code is a complete fiction. You will also have evidence that the Bible is not only historically accurate but morally beautiful. What you do with that information is entirely up to you.

Conspiracy Theories are very popular. We all like secrets and to be "“in the know"”. Movies like JFK, National Treasure and Raiders of the Lost Ark all contain intriguing conspiracies of historical secrets that have been covered up due to diabolical agendas. All were compelling as drama but scoffed at as actual history.

Why is the Da Vinci Code different? It'’s only fiction. What'’s the big deal? Why is this book any different than other fictional conspiracy stories? For openers the author (Dan Brown) does not think his book is all fiction. On a June 9, 2003 interview on the Today show Brown said that it was his goal to "challenge certain long-held beliefs or truths about religion."” Brown obviously has an agenda and believes that he is promoting truths that should replace long-held falsehoods.

Are the claims of the Da Vinci Code solid enough to overturn long-held beliefs about religion? You be the judge after you hear what I'’ve said. I view this whole controversy as a tremendous opportunity to ask important questions about truth, goodness and beauty. So let'’s begin.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MSM Bias? Sorry for being redundant.

My friend Dan struggles to believe that the MSM (an easily discernible horde that shares the same values and beliefs commonly called the MainStream Media) has a anti-conservative (and often anti-religious) bias.

I post the link below because today I have time to post what I could post everyday: examples of MSM bias. I posted this link because it has a handy summary of just one day of MSM bias from the NY Times. Associated Press and USA Today. You don't get more MainStream than that triumvirate.
OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: "Sloppy bias if not out-and-out dishonesty is endemic in the reporting on the administration's terrorist surveillance programs."

Waiting for Narnia?

Sean Michael Lucas: "Many of you probably know this, but Christianity Today Online has reported that Prince Caspian has been delayed until December 08 and that Walden Media plans on producing Dawn Treader and Silver Chair as well. The only thing surprising here is that Disney so underestimated the response to Narnia not to have Caspian ready to go for 2007; Lion, Witch and Wardrobe recently entered the top 20 highest grossing movies of all-time."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Radical Muslim

Joel C. Rosenberg on Islam on National Review Online: "Topping his agenda were under-the-radar peace talks with Israel, religious classes to teach Imams the history and virtues of the West, and dramatic new initiatives to build ties to Rabbis and evangelical Christians."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy Mothers Day

One Thing They Aren't: Maternal - New York Times: "In a word — ha. As much as we may like to believe that mother animals are designed to nurture and protect their young, to fight to the death, if need be, to keep their offspring alive, in fact, nature abounds with mothers that defy the standard maternal script in a raft of macabre ways. There are mothers that zestily eat their young and mothers that drink their young's blood. Mothers that pit one young against the other in a fight to the death and mothers that raise one set of their babies on the flesh of their siblings.

Among several mammals, including lions, mice and monkeys, females will either spontaneously abort their fetuses or abandon their newborns when times prove rocky or a new male swaggers into town.

Other mothers, like pandas, practice a postnatal form of family planning, giving birth to what may be thought of as an heir and a spare, and then, when the heir fares well, walking away from the spare with nary a fare-thee-well.

'Pandas frequently give birth to twins, but they virtually never raise two babies,' said Scott Forbes, a professor of biology at the University of Winnipeg. 'This is the dark side of pandas, that they have two and throw one away.'

It is also something that zoos with ever-popular panda displays rarely discuss."
Heard this on Prager today. If the little Darwin fish on the back of cars is true, then why is this behavior "wrong"?

Also, if people and animals have the same "rights", why don't we prosecute animals for such behavior?

I'm glad my Mom was lived out the Judeo-Christian ethic of raising her children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and didn't follow her fellow earthmates in their evolutionary examples.

Thanks Mom. Happy Mothers Day.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wise University Policy

Barry's Journal: "Do you know this pot head? If you do you could get $50 from the CU Boulder Police Department."
Ok, to be fair, smoking pot in public ceremony at CU isn't completely ignored by the University.

I wouldn't exactly call this effective enforcement though. And how about this for a new CU slogan to replace the "minds to match our mountains" bit: Rat out your friends for greed!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fascist Administration

CLAUDIA ROSETT: "Even the United Nations'’ own employees don'’t trust it to deliver justice. Just ask Cynthia Brzak, an American who has worked for the past 26 years at the U.N. refugee office in Geneva, Switzerland. Despairing of a U.N. system that operates immune to any normal jurisdiction of law, Brzak, who two years ago brought an in-house allegation of sexual harassment, is now going outside the institution to ask for a hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court." (via Instapundit)
It's interesting to me that the same people who scream about the "fascist" administration of Chimpy McHitlerburton, have no objection to a United Nations "administration" that repeatedly "operates immune to any normal jurisdiction of law".

Remember Abu Ghraib, revealed by the US Defense Department on its own, with the perps now in jail.

Can any similar self policing be said of the UN after the Oil-for-Food scandal became the biggest financial scam in world history?

Don't tell me you protest fascism if you can only see it in the United States.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Shrine of the Pie Religion

The Jamestown Pie CO.:

Fruit Pies

"Strawberry, Strawberry Rhubarb
& Strawberry Peach"
And that's just for openers. I found this place in VA while at a conference. Not just a plethora of fruit pies, but meat pies and pizza pies.

This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tomorrow, United 93

I'm going to see it tomorrow at 11:50 MDT.


Metrospirituality: Spirituality is the Latest Trend: "Slogans such as “Yoga inspired athletic wear” (Lululemon Athletica), “A taste of Nirvana” (Hampton Chutney), “You can deprive the body, but the soul needs chocolate” (Dagoba Organic Chocolate) or “Products that Nurture” (Aveda) reflect the transition from the traditional way of marketing a product, to marketing a product along with its attached set of spiritual beliefs. "
As my New Testament Professor, Dr. Peter Jones, taught me: Pagan spirituality and affluence go hand in hand.

It was the poor who first embraced Christianity.

Where have you gone Gary Barnett?...

Barry's Journal: Smoke ‘Em if You Got Em: "I use this picture with me in it, not because I find it flattering, but because it clearly shows the haze of pot smoke which was hovering above Farand Field yesterday. April 20th, known as '420' has become the traditional day for the students of CU Boulder to rush the field and smoke marijuana at 4:20pm. "
Click the link to see the hazy picture. Several years ago, students at CU Boulder were accused of rape and carousing. They happened to be athletes so the football coach was blamed by the administration and the local community for their behavior.

So in the world of the University, you can tell students that there is no such thing as Truth, Right and Wrong, God etc; you can allow hundreds to smoke illegal (or should I say "undocumented") drugs in the middle of campus under a midday sun; and when students continue their habit of implicitly sanctioned illegal activity, accuse the football of "lacking institutional control".

C.S. Lewis Audio

BBC - Religion & Ethics - C.S. Lewis: "Hear the only surviving footage of C.S. Lewis's broadcast talks."

Pope Strongly Condemns Chinese Church

New York Times: "ROME, May 4 — Pope Benedict XVI issued a potent condemnation today against the official Chinese Catholic church for having consecrated two bishops against the Vatican's wishes. The Vatican underscored its anger by noting that the act is punishable by excommunication, the church's severest censure."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Date with Death

I'm going to see United 93 this week. Anyone want to join me?

Back and Bound for Boston

I'm finally home after spending last week in Boston. The next time I travel there it will be to establish residency. June will come with me as a newly planted New Englander. Who would have believed it?

I got a glimpse of my new job and city last week and it was dreamlike. From the Pastrami Traveler at Sam Lagrassi's to the dark master of Peet's Coffee, even the pedestrian pleasure of the Dunkin' Donuts chocolate glazed stick; it's like a hungry person's paradise.

Add to that the brilliant heroes that I get to work with and a God sized mission of eternal significance: I am among the most blessed humans on the face of the earth.

I haven't even mentioned my family in that blessing, all of whom are excited about the move. I know there will be hard things about moving but I want to revel in God's mercy toward us and publish his goodness. God is great. God is good. Nothing less is understood.

Please come to Boston...

Babeling On

Rich Bledsoe's Blog: "The story of The Tower of Babel sets the theme for all of GodÂ’s redemptive work in history. Fallen manÂ’s idolatrous desire is to make for himself a self-contained world of complete adequacy. When Carl Sagan says, "The Cosmos is all there is, or all there ever will be"…,” he is stating the sentiments of the builders of the Tower of Babel. For them, the upper emporium was the realm of the gods, but it was by human effort and construction, a reachable realm, and that was itself a part of one cosmos. As one moved up the tower to the realm of the gods, ones own being could also be "divinized"”. Man'’s being was potentially divine, given the right techniques and methods, amongst which 'tower construction'” was foremost."

A while back I quoted a related post regarding God, modern man and Babel. I haven't yet read "The Singularity is Near" but Rich brought this to mind because of his uncanny ability to see related themes in the modern and ancient world. Rich's blog is a deep mine of uncommon value.

Interesting Stuff