The key to understanding God

December 19th, 2007

Steve Sensenig over at Theological Musings has written a neat little list of things that indicate if one is possibly misrepresenting God. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • If you think that sickness, financial problems, hurricanes, broken bones, auto accidents, and terrorist attacks are all tools of God “to teach you something”, you might be misrepresenting God.
  • If you believe that only “properly authorized leaders” are capable of serving communion or baptizing others, you might be misrepresenting God.
  • If you think that the Father doesn’t speak to his children in various ways, you might be misrepresenting God.
  • If you think that the only legitimate way to articulate one’s belief in God is found in a 4th-century statement, you might be misrepresenting God.
  • If you believe that one’s beliefs about baptism, bible translation, rapture timing, tongues, or a particular interpretation of Genesis 1-2 are absolute essentials to salvation and/or fellowship, you might be misrepresenting God.

I’m not as diplomatic as Steve. I want to take that entire list and perform a ‘s/you might be/you are/g‘ operation on it (Give yourself a cookie if you understood that. For the non-computer-geeks, that means “substitute the words ‘you might be’ with the word ‘you are’ in the entire text). Read the rest of this entry »

Back, but not quite in the saddle

December 17th, 2007

Welcome to the new readers and commentators who have arrived here recently. My apologies for not being around much to address all the various comments (even if I could) or post over the last few days; shortly after my immensely popular last post, I came down with a high fever and thus barely mustered the energy necessary to approve comments to it. After realizing that the fever wasn’t going away and indeed was venturing into dangerous territory, I went to the hospital where I was admitted with severe pneumonia.

So I’ve been a bit indisposed of late. I just got back home, and hopefully will be back in the saddle again RealSoonNow™.

How many Christians understand Jesus’ teachings?

December 12th, 2007

Take a moment to review this painting (click for slightly larger version):

Servant to the World

How does it strike you? Do you see it as an expression of Truth, or do you feel the artist was sorely mistaken? If you’re Christian, are you offended? In my opinion, one’s opinion of this painting is a good litmus test of how well one understands Jesus’ message, and the story of this painting is proof that many who claim to be followers of Jesus don’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Links du jour

December 5th, 2007

So much to blog about, so little time to blog. Here’s a roundup of interesting links that I’d considered writing about, but they’re beginning to back up (I’ve currently got 21 firefox instances running on my computer, each one having 4-8 tabs open). So here’s the latest roundup of stuff to frustrate, annoy, enrage, and enjoy:

No wonder atheists make fun of Christians

December 5th, 2007

I often make a point that one of the reasons the Christian religion gets a bad name is that we/they allow such incredibly ignorant, stupid, crazy, and/or hateful people to form the general public’s perception of Christians and Christianity as a whole.

Recently on The View, we get an prime example of the laughingstock that we’re allowing Christianity to become. They were discussing Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived three hundred years before Christ. One of the hosts of the show began talking about Christians, arguing that Christ came before the ancient Greeks and that there definitely Christians around in Epicurus’ time. See for yourself:

Society raises a big fuss about role models for women; you can bet cash money that if a skinny fashion model was an anchor on a show like The View, the airwaves and blogosphere would be clogged with high-pitched righteous indignation about her being a poor role model for women, regardless of how intelligent she happened to be. But we evidently have little problem with allowing ignorant and stupid women to anchor TV shows marketed as intelligent discussion. There is no excuse for Sherri Shepherd obtaining even a high school diploma at her level of ignorance, let alone being selected to be on the panel of an “intelligent” TV show. She should’ve stuck with comedy shows. Read the rest of this entry »

Heretical thoughts on Advent

November 30th, 2007

Next Sunday marks the beginning of Christian season of Advent. One would think that I, as a follower of Jesus, would enjoy enhanced fellowship with other believers in what should be the most joyous of occasions…the celebration of the miraculous birth of a divine persona, arriving here to save us all.

Given my phrasing above, most will wonder why I’d possibly not be able to whole-heartedly celebrate and worship in any given Christian church during this season. After all, don’t all Christians believe that a divine Saviour was born under miraculous circumstances?

My problem is twofold: First, the celebration of the birth of Jesus isn’t enough for most Christians; the beautiful nativity story comprises a mere half of the definition of Advent. Secondly, I have markedly different views regarding the exact nature of the miracle in question, as well as how exactly Jesus “saves” us. Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s Lesson

November 18th, 2007

It’s Sunday, so it’s only befitting that a spiritual lesson be presented.

The scripture reading today comes in the form of a comic strip titled “Grand Prix” from Sinfest.

No sermon necessary, it stands on its own.

See God, Kai: A New Theory of Everything

November 17th, 2007

Did anyone see that strange/wonderful HBO show called John from Cincinnati? Life imitates art once again as a surfer comes out of nowhere to say “See God, Kai“.

So, it seems that some random guy, in this case a poor surfer/snowboarder who plays with physics as a hobby, has come up with an impressive Theory of Everything. Bitchin, dude, pass the bong.

This surfer, Dr. Lisi to you, has spent the past several years using his doctorate in theoretical physics to perfect his skills at surfing in Hawaii and snowboarding in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The newspaper stories say he’s fairly poor, a believable claim given that a PhD in theoretical physics isn’t exactly a path to riches even when one does have a university affiliation. Which he doesn’t, mainly due to his not being able to stomach the pressure that mainstream academia places on one to toe the line regarding string theory. His varied selection of employment, such as being a snowboarding instructor, has given him enough spare time (another benefit of not being affiliated with a university) to pursue his hobby of searching for the holy grail of physics, which he might just have found.

Theories of everything are quite in vogue nowadays; it seems that everyone has one. The problem is that most, like string theory, are more similar to religion than they are to science. What makes this one interesting is that it is simple (for suitable values of ’simple’). It’s beautiful, as one would suspect that any theory for our universe would be. And even better, it might even be real science. Read the rest of this entry »

Deprecate the Old Testament?

November 14th, 2007

In my most recent post, I made a statement saying that I feel that the Old Testament should be deprecated.

Damian replied:

Although I wholeheartedly agree I’m interested to know how you would square this up with a mainstream Christian who’d see this as something akin to blasphemy. “All scripture is God-breathed”, etc, etc.

I decided to make this a post in itself, as I was getting lengthy in my comment reply and want a separate comment thread for this notion. Let me toss a little prophecy out here. When you begin to see Christians starting to adopt this view, it will mark the beginnings of a glorious reformation of Christianity itself as it transforms from a religion about Jesus into the religion of Jesus. New and improved, with a lot less woo. Read the rest of this entry »

Wimmin Preachers

November 13th, 2007

I sometimes wander around the net, peeking in at various blogs of preachers, pastors, priests, and other clerics. Once in a blue moon, I’m rewarded with someone’s sermon which shows that rare combination of good writing skills, an inspiring message, and a minimal showing of the various doctrinal errors which, in my mind, pervert Christianity at a fundamental level.

If anybody is has a similar interest, allow me to introduce Emily Hunter McGowin, a seminary student in Texas Ohio. I originally found her via a link on Rodney Dunning’s blogroll, and have, over the course of the last few weeks, been reading some of the sermons she’s writing as part of her coursework as well as her other posts.

Verily, I say unto you, this chick has got a high spiritual coefficient; she has a light that shines so brightly it pierces through the fog that the Southern Baptists call a theology. Read the rest of this entry »