The value of belief: anti-vaccine body count

I’ve always been a believer. As a young man, I held very strong beliefs and I was seldom shy to tell you about them. Along life’s journey I erred and learned much from experience. In all my years, the single most valuable thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how strong something is believed, it only matters how correct the belief is.

The most critical of beliefs are those which, by definition, affect life and death. The Polio virus doesn’t care what you belief, only whether or not you and your loved ones were vaccinated. And yet here we are in the USA where vaccines are available to all, required of nearly all as schoolchildren, and yet 1,299 persons have died of vaccine preventable illnesses. Too many of them are children who are dead or mangled because their parents believed incorrectly. Please, example your beliefs, and don’t be one of those parents.

A victory for truth!

Today, Thomas Nelson Publishers ceased publishing The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson by David Barton. The reasons cited by Thomas Nelson was that historians have soundly refuted many of the alleged facts Barton asserts. Kudos for Thomas Nelson for having the courage and intellectual integrity to take such an unusual step.

Building a Christian America

When taught well, history is a positively fascinating and enjoyable subject. Here is a positively superb example of how history should be taught:

It is impossible to understand the role of the Christian Right in American culture unless we first understand its two predecessors: the Second Great Awakening and the Fundamentalist Movement.

In this second article in this four-part series, then, we will ask how the Second Great Awakening and the Fundamentalist Movement sought to transform the United States into a distinctly Christian nation and, in that way, paved the way for the Christian Right of our own time.

By Richard Hughes: The Christian Right In Context: Building a Christian American

Introducing a subject with a statement like “It is impossible to understand ___ without first understanding ___ is almost always a positive harbinger.

I truly do admire men like Mr. Hughes who have the depth of knowledge and eloquence to simplify such a complex issue.

favorite new quote

A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills. — Arthur Schopenhauer

This is not a quote I could have sufficiently understood as a youth, and perhaps not even into my twenties. Even now into my thirties, like much of Arthur’s philosophy, it is not something I am willing to embrace. But I do realize that many of my objections to his philosphy were pure vanity.

Putting my money where my mouth is

I was recently sent the following email.

Hello,
Do not erase please! Important email. Most of you know that David Herzog, a born-again, on-fire for God man is coming to speak at the Cadillac High School Auditorium today Friday @ 7, tomorrow Saturday @ 7 and Sunday 10am and 6 at the Revival Center in Cadillac.

I would encourage all to come, bring the lost, this man has lead thousands to Christ and his ministry has personally refreshed my family’s life and the life of our friends. Please don’t miss as Miracles, Signs, and Wonders have accompanied this man’s ministry.
Continue reading “Putting my money where my mouth is”

Brain upgrade

Are you looking for a way to learn without moving off to Universityville?
Do you thirst for knowledge but haven’t the coin to pay college?
Do you want to learn but do not care about the sheepskin?
Do you need more structured learning than reading a book (ie, Audible.com)?

The solution has arrived. Turn off your TV, get all the brain pacifying music off that iPod and load it up with college courses for FREE! That’s right, college courses and complete lectures are now available, free of charge to anybody and everybody.

If you want to be educated, head on over to UC Berkeley
If you want theololy, head over over to Biblical Training.org

There are other free resources on the internet but most are worth what you pay for them. The two sites I just cited are both real colleges courses taught by honest accredited college professors. UC Berkeley’s content is obvious. Biblical Training is an excellent resource put together by Bill Mounce, the fellow who wrote the Greek textbook we learn from at DTS. He has collected courses from seminaries who voluntarily make their courses available.

This is a welcome trend and I preduct we will be seeing more of this in the future. Of course, learning from these courses will not earn you a degree but they will certainly enrich your mind.

How the Irish saved civilization

As a student, I have been forced to read many more books in the past year than I would have otherwise chosen. On occasion, a book is just so good that I can’t help but think that everyone should read it.

How the Irish Saved Civilization (Hinges of History)How the Irish Saved Civilization is just such a book. It is masterfully written and is a complete joy to read. The author, Thomas Cahill provides a very insightful background of Europe, the forces that lead up to the fall of the Roman Empire, and how the Celts of Ireland preserved much of the scholastic works and literacy that were decimated by the hordes of barbarians that swept across Europe in the fifth century.

It is the most enjoyable book I have read since reading How to Read a Book.

Financial Freedom

Every so often you run into something that you’d like to share with those you care about. I read an article on personal finance that does a great job of summarizing a lot of collective wisdom on the topic. I highly recommend reading it, as everyone I know that practices such wisdom has achieved, or is on the path to achieving financial independence.

Just for fun, I’d like to present two scenarios, the first is of Average American. Average’s family income is about $60,000, the 2003 average (IRS) for married filing jointly. Each month the Average family pays $300 each on two car payments and $900 for their home. They have 2.3 kids and after living expenses, they have just enough left to make the minimum payment on their $2,000 of consumer (credit card) debt. They seem to be doing well.
Continue reading “Financial Freedom”

Feeling Studious?

Care to feel like a seminary student for a day? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out as much as you can about the book of Philemon. It’s a big one, with all of 25 verses. You can find it by opening up to Hebrews and going back a book. Primary questions you should look to answer are as follows.

Who was the author(s)? Family Heritage? Educational Background? Occupational Skills? Cultural Advantages: (exposures, expressions), Religious Experiences: (crisis of faith, growth, etc).

Who is the audience? OT or NT? Jew or Gentile? Believers or unbelievers? Familiar or unfamiliar?
Where are they (place)?
When did the writing take place?
What is their situation? (problems) a. Socially b. Spiritually
Why was it written? (purpose)

You can use your Bible, bible dictionaries, commentaries, other books, etc. As long as the resource is verifiable, it’s valid.

Post away. The purpose is primarly observational. I shall not comment on this thread until next week. I think you’ll be absolutely amazed at how much can be known about such a short book.