What country am I in?

As you probably all have seen or heard by now, we had some pretty significant marches over the weekend in protest of the bill that passed through the house about illegal immigrants. Being so close to the action and seeing the effects of this around me, I thought I’d offer my thoughts.

1. I think it tells us something that throughout the entire protest, one could sparsely find an American flag amongst them. Now remind me, but aren’t they marching because they want to be legal and citizens, yet they’re marching through the streets waving the flags of the countries that they are here illegally from. hmmm…..

2. People are taking a small part of the bill and saying that they could get arrested because on of their friends is illegal and they aren’t turning them in. Not only is that NEVER going to happen, but there won’t ever be a church charged for feeding an illegal immigrant. Now if they go and hire one, that’s another issue. The bill is constructed to go after the ones who employ illegals, not churches. Its just a case of opponents pulling wording out and twisting it to create fear. Unfortunately, Californians have been notorious for falling for such rhetoric.

3. There were many students that got called to march. This should mean almost nothing. Lets think about it. So word is going through innercity schools saying we’re going to ‘walk out’ and how many of them are really concerned with the cause. Come on! It’s a walk out! Most of them are just looking for an excuse to get out. And these are maybe the people that should be affected most by this, because the classes are so overbooked as a result of the illegal immigration. The hospitals are overflowing and running down because of the masses that flow through that have no insurance, i.e. illegals.

4. These kids started walking out on the freeways and then one news said kids were walking through pools to symbolize the struggle of an immigrant coming to the US. what’s that supposed to mean?! What about the struggle it is for those that decide to do it legally?

5. This whole march thing was just being fed by the media. We were watching the news and they were basically challenging people to show up the next day. It was a big 4 minute advertisement for the march the following day. Then the local spanish speaking radio personalities were pushing it with their shows. They have a huge following, and were able to draw out so many.

6. I heard that California’s own Senator Diane Feinstien lawded these illegal immigrants by saying they were ‘good citizens’. Ummm…. should someone let Diane know that the whole problem is that they AREN’T citizens?

7. These pictures should impact the people in the middle of the country to awaken them to the major problem of illegal immigration is here and will be in other parts of the country.

8. There is one town around here that has proclaimed itself as a safe-haven for illegal immigrants. The mayor, who suprisingly was a young guy, probably just wanting to make a name for himself, said that they won’t be towing the cars or penalizing immigrants who drive without a license. This is a freedom that I’M not granted. So they’re telling me if I get pulled over without a license I’d get prosecuted, but an ILLEGAL immigrant wouldn’t. Brilliant. The mayor was asked about how they plan on dealing with the mass of illegals who won’t be paying taxes, and he said the plan was to increase business and increase sales taxes. Great, penalize the people that have done things honestly.

9. This is a great insult to the people that have gone through the process legally and correctly. Even discussing things like amnesty is only encouraging people to get here enmass before the amnesty starts. Of course they’re saying that they need to prove that they’ve been in the country for a certain amount of time. Yeah, sure.

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How Tall Was Goliath?

J. Daniel Hays of Ouachita Baptist University has presented a paper suggesting that Goliath may have really been 4 cubits & a span [6’9″] and not 6 cubits & a span [9’9″](1Sam.17:4-7). His conclusion is primarily based on the following:

1. The Hebrew text of 1-2 Samuel contains numerous copyists’ errors in other places, so seems to be a poorly transmitted text overall.

2. The reading “four cubits and a span” is the height of Goliath found in the oldest extant Hebrew manuscript, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This manuscript is at least 1,000 years earlier than any other manuscript of the passage.

3. The reading “four cubits and a span” is attested by Josephus in the 1st century AD, and by several important early Greek manuscripts, suggesting this was the original reading of the Septuagint (OT in Greek).

4. The height “four cubits and a span” fits better with the literary context, keeping the focus of the story on the contrast between David and Saul. [Saul was also very tall, but he would not fight Goliath. Saul looked at the problem from a human POV; David looked at it from God’s POV.]

A blog I read imagined that if this were true, Goliath would have been about the size of offensive tackle Flozell Adams of the Dallas Cowboys (America’s Team!!) who at 6’7″ and 345# would be pretty formidable to contend with.

While I find it interesting to link the Cowboys and theology ;), I have some reservations. 2Sam.21:16-22 (and its companion passage 1Chron.20:4-8) mention three brothers of Goliath, said to be sons of “the giant”. The word for giant is “Rapha”, they are the Rephaim. The Rephaim are mentioned in Gen.14:5-6, and King Og of Bashan (Deut.3:1-11) is said to be the last of the Rephaim in that area. His “bed” (probably his coffin) is said to be 9 cubits in length (13’6″)!

Since King Og needed a bed/coffin 13 1/2 feet long, and since that account is in Deuteronomy, NOT 1-2 Samuel, would they suggest THAT number is also a copyist’s error?

[Another thought: Before entering the Land, the 10 spies reported seeing “giants” [“nephilim”] in the land and they are stated as being descendents of Anak, i.e. of the Anakim (Numb.13:32-33) The Anakim are mentioned in Deut.2:10 as being exceptionally tall. Could they be the same race as the Rephaim?]

To view the blog see: http://www.foolishblog.com/2006/03/08/dallas-cowboys-make-jets/

The Tenets of the Church of ‘T’


I know I’ve been posting a lot the last few days, but a lot has come up. I found these little comments, thought some of you would like them:

Mr T wrote the Pentateuch. “Shut up fool before I redact you, sucka! There ain’t no J, Y, E or P. There’s only a T source!”

Mr T was at the centre of the 1843 Disruption. “Some fools were talkin’ jibba-jabba so I disrupted them.”

Mr T has been elected Moderator Designate of the Free Church every year since 1984. T, however, refuses to take time out of his duties pitying fools, so various Free Church ministers have deputised as Moderator.

Mr T favours presuppositional apologetics. “My presupposition is you a fool, and I don’t apologise for that, fool!”

Mr T refused ordination in the Free Church because he was unwilling to have his ‘Mr’ title replaced by ‘Rev’.

Mr T refuses to endorse the Free Church Youth Camps programme because they don’t have a strong enough emphasis on teaching kids the value of drinking milk. “Fool, if you don’t drink milk you’ll never grow strong. Even Hebrews says so!”

The Free Church College building, situated on the Mound in Edinburgh, was carved out of the rock by Mr T’s Mohawk.

Mr T destroyed the language of Biblical Hebrew because its alphabet contains two T letters: tau and teth. “There’s only one T in my alphabet, sucka!”

Mr T rarely worships in the Free Church because he doesn’t acknowledge the validity of the NIV Bible. “I only use the NIT Bible, fool!”

Mr T’s modified ‘Shorter T-Catechism’ begins with the question, “What is the chief end of van?” in reference to the A Team’s black GMC van.

Mr T is a Calvinist, rather than an Arminian, “because the five points of Calvinism begin with T, which is the basis of all good theology, sucka.”

Mr T thinks John the Baptist was a “crazy fool”. “Crazy fool, he only ate locusts and wild honey. Why didn’t he drink his milk?”

Mr T believes formal church membership is important. “You gotta be somebody or somebody’s fool, fool.”

Mr T can be seen flexing his biceps near the centre of Hill’s famous Disruption painting, sandwiched between Thomas Chalmers and Hugh Miller. “Thomas and Hugh are my brothers, sucka!”

In 1529, when Philip of Hesse summoned the various Reformation leaders to Marburg to discuss the Eucharist, Luther famously carved ‘this is my body’ into the table, after which Mr T carved, ‘yeah, fool’.

Mr T’s ordination to the eldership disastrously ended up with the most violent beating of Presbyters in Free Church history. “I ain’t lettin’ no sucka lay a hand on me.”

Mr T has the entire ESV Bible, Westminster Confession of Faith and the Three Forms of Unity tattooed in large font on the underside of his right forearm.

After reading the complete works of Greg Bahnsen, Mr T obliterated theonomy and replaced it with T-onomy.

When the 16th century heretic Servetus was burned at the stake in Switzerland, Mr T was present: his folded arms and intense pity actually caused Servetus to ignite.

The real reason 16th century Geneva didn’t return to Roman Catholicism wasn’t because of Calvin’s influence. It was because Mr T told the Pope, “you got two choices; ‘leave Geneva alone’, or ‘hurt’, sucka.”

After cruising through his first year Church History exam, Mr T punched his way back through time to punish Marcion for his heresy by removing him from ever having existed.

Mr T wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. Have you ever heard of a New Testament scholar who openly denied this? No. That’s because Mr T has denied all doubters their right to exist.

While Peter once walked on water, Mr T has oft walked on fools.

The phrase ‘intertestamental period’ is now universally understood to refer to the period between Mr T’s career as a movie actor and then as a TV actor. “I claimed that phrase as my own, sucka.”

Mr T’s response to transubstantiationists is, “ain’t no literal change, fool!” His response to those with a purely symbolic view of the sacrament is, “Zwingli was a fool on crack, it ain’t no mere symbol, sucka.”

Mr T’s FC College dissertation was written in the Practical Theology department. “Its title was, ‘The Theological Ramifications of Bustin’ a Fool’s Head’, fool.” The external examiner gave Mr T a B. He no longer exists.

Mr T offers the following thought on the Emergent Church movement. “What’s emerging is, a lotta fools are talkin’ a lotta jibba-jabba. I pity myself that I gotta even talk about the Emergent Church. Fool.”

Mr T recently told a Sunday School class that his favourite book of the Bible is Proverbs. “It has the most to say about fools, fools,” he told the kids.

Mr T even pities fools on the Sabbath. “It’s a work of necessity, though it ain’t no work of mercy.”

In response to the Word of Knowledge movement, Mr T says, “Yeah I got a word of knowledge: shut up fool”.

At a mass rally in Miami last year, Mr T walked up to Benny Hinn, punched him in the face and said, “I wanna see you heal yourself! Fool.”

Before Mr T appeared on TBN, it was only called BN.

The Unbelievable Power of Prayer!

I was listening to the radio late the other night and heard an ad for a prayer service that one could ‘subscribe’ to, and the description of such prayer and the provision of a website made me check it out. You should check it out, who knows, it might be what you’ve been missing in your life.

What to do with Lent…

I don’t know how many of you have heard about the conflict many Catholics find themselves having to deal with, but St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which is a Friday in Lent. Fridays during Lent are conventionally observed by abstaining from eating meat. Obviously many Catholics are also very Irish, and the main dish for such a holiday is Corned Beef and Cabbage. What to do?

Well, aparently the diocese in charge of San Bernadino and Riverside county out here is making an allowance for one to eat meat, but only the parishoners in those counties can eat the meat. LA county is still not allowing it. This is so wrong on so many levels. How can a church take such a hard stand on something and just say, oh, well, you don’t have to follow it this year. But then how could for one group on one side of a county line ‘sin’ by eating meat, but your neighbor on the otherside of the county line can. unbelievable.

Discern All Things

This last week has been an eye opening time for me. It seems like I have been discovering particular beliefs about teachers I had a lot of respect for that have largely disappointed me. First, I ran across some pretty inflamatory comments from Ergun Caner, who I had a lot of respect for. He spoke in chapel when I was in chapel and is the Dean at Liberty. And here I thought Liberty was making some good strides. But he comes out and makes his anti-Calvinism very clear, calling it a virus. He went on to blast Calvinists for not caring about evangelism, which isn’t exactly a new accusation, but is also one that is usually blown out of proportion.

Then I was doing some reading for my NTI class and was reading about the Two-Source Theory of the synoptic Gospels. Basically what this says is that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source in writing their Gospels (imagine Matthew using Mark to write down how he got saved). Almost all of Mark is found in those two and many NT scholars want to say that Matthew and Luke were dependent upon Mark. Then they say that there is this infamous ‘Q’ text that they also relied on, where they don’t agree with Mark. This is completely made up and a creation of their own imagination. It has done to the point to where there is a concordance on ‘Q’ and a ‘Theology of Q’ even though no Q text actually exists. I could write on this more later if you guys have an interest in learning more about it, but this is enough to show you that they are tearing away at the inerrancy of Scripture.

But they don’t see it that way. They see it that way. They see it as completely acceptable that God could have inspired the writers in this way, but as you investigate this in a deeper way, you see how insulting this view really is. The sad thing is, that this view is the majority view today. A quick look at history clearly shows that NO church father thought this. In fact, there is almost a unanimous agreement that Matthew wrote his Gospel first. It wasn’t until Source and Historical Criticism spawned around the 18th century that these views started to be tossed around.

Sure, maybe these people don’t think this is attacking inerrancy, but I shutter to think what it will do to future generations who are raised to think its ok to think that the Gospels aren’t completely true. Its ok to think that Matthew was actually the author of the Sermon on the Mount, not Jesus. Its ok to think that Jesus’ words as he sent out the disciples weren’t actually from that time, but words from a larger span of time. They even talk about how Mark is more ‘archaic’ than the others and Matthew and Luke are improvements on it. Explain to me how one can even think that you can improve upon the Word of God. This may jive with the way that you think, but if you raise the next generation of the church with this state of mind, where are they going to run with it. Next thing you know, radical groups like ‘The Jesus Seminar’, who took it upon themselves to find the real words of Christ in the Gospels, will be much more common.

The men who I discovered believe in this Two-Source theory are D.A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Lean Morris, all leading NT scholars today.

These discoveries and revelations have led me to remind myself that it is not in these particular men that I have put my trust, but in Christ alone. It is my personal responsibility to study all things out, to invest myself in the Word, and to discern all things.

random thoughts

Glad we finally found out that Bush knew Katrina was going to be bad. He’s the president, he should have stopped the hurricane. Maybe if our army wasn’t in Iraq and Afghanistan it could have fought the hurricane. He at least could have said something ahead of time to let people know that they should leave the city.

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Seriously, though, I can’t believe Bush came out and said that the cartoons shouldn’t have been published. What is he expecting to gain by sucking up to the Arabs like this? They’re still rioting and burning him in effigy even though he didn’t print them. That got him nowhere.

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Did you hear about that Ferrari Enzo (a price tag of $1 million) that crashed in Malibu after hitting a pole going 162 mph? This German guy owned it and said that he wasn’t the driver and a guy named Deitrich owned it and ran away after the crash. Uh huh…. But Stefan the owner and purported ‘passenger’ was legally intoxicated and had a bloody lip. It seems that the passenger air bag lacked a spot of blood on it, but the drivers side did. So, Stefan, you’re telling us a guy got up and ran away after crashing at 162 mph? To make it even more odd, a couple guys showed up after the accident and showed police badges, claiming to be Homeland Security. It turns out they weren’t. Good luck, Stefan.

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Speaking of Ferrari’s, Dr Phil’s is on sale. And the license plate says ‘Dr. Phil’, just in case somewhat thought it was another tall, bald guy in a Ferrari.

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When did people start believing that the Bill of Rights gives them the right to say anything anywhere? Don’t people realize that if they are working for someone their employer can tell them not to say something? People get so upset if they get fired from a radio station or teaching job, but the employers set the rules. No one is saying you can’t say those things in your own time, you just have to follow the wishes of your boss.

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On that note, censorship. John Milton wrote a very good piece on censorship and I think that this word is being tossed around a bit too much. Censorship isn’t someone deciding not to run your movie, print your book, air your words, or remove your art. That is their freedom. Censorship is someone changing your words, editing your movie, or repainting your art. Censorship is a post-production change to your product apart from the artist/author’s wishes. Seems like everyone loves to cry wolf about someone not running their piece, but they don’t realize it isn’t their right.

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There are no good movies out. Beth called me the other day, saying she wanted to go to the movies and asked what was good to see. I said, “that’s presuming there IS anything good out.” She asked about ‘Transamerica’ and if that was good. I said, “Other than it being about a guy becoming a female?” I sort of wish I told her it was great and she needed to see it.

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