Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Speedy Catholics

Here is a good sign your Catholic friend may be driving too fast...

Be Mindful of the Little Foxes

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards. - Song of Solomon 2:15

A little thorn can cause much suffering. A small cloud may hide the sun. Tiny foxes spoil the vineyards; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These small sins burrow in the soul and fill it with what is hateful to Christ, and thus our comfortable fellowship and communion with Him is spoiled. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love."1 Some Christians rarely enjoy their Savior's presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Are you a child of God, and yet satisfied to live without seeing your Father's face? What! You are the spouse of Christ, and yet content to be absent from His company! Surely, you have fallen into a sad state, for the pure spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate when he has left her. Here is the question: What has driven Christ from you? He hides His face behind the wall of your sins. That wall may be made up of little pebbles as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: And the sea that divides you from Christ may be filled with the drops of your little sins; and the rock that almost wrecked the vessel of your life may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of your little sins. If you would live with Christ and walk with Christ and see Christ and have fellowship with Christ, pay attention to "the little foxes that spoil the vineyard, for our vineyards are in blossom." Jesus invites you to go with Him against them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting.

1) John 15:10

cc: Truth for Life

Word of the Day

youniverse: The entirety of creation that relates to one specific, narcissistic individual. Used to indicate that a particular person has knowledge only of him or herself -- their universe consists only of them.

If you moved outside of your youniverse for five seconds you'd understand that people aren't homeless out of choice.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Blind Science vs. Blind Faith

Students in our colleges and universities live constantly in a tension between two authority systems: one more or less vaguely associated with science and the other with religion. Both systems are “blind” in the sense that the edicts they impose on thought and behavior are never, for the vast majority of people, reduced to anything close to understanding, verification, or proof. An illustration comes from a recent experience reported by one of my friends.

This student was walking across campus with a professor whose field is religious studies. In their conversation, the student happened to mention the resurrection of Christ. The professor's response: The resurrection is inconsistent with the laws of physics. Now, in fact, the laws of physics lie at a considerable conceptual distance from phenomena such as human death and decay and their possible reversal. This particular professor in any case, would have little if any idea where to begin showing that resurrection conflicts with physics—or why it matters, if it does conflict. Indeed, who would? Very few, I would imagine. "Science" was vaguely invoked to end the discussion, just as in other contexts, "religion" is used for the same purpose.

But then the professor probably will never be confronted with the task of actually demonstrating how the resurrection is inconsistent with the laws of physics. The student in question, an extremely bright as well as devout young man, was too gracious (and perhaps stunned) to force the issue; and certainly he would have found it difficult to show that the resurrection and physics are not inconsistent or why it doesn't matter if they are.

It is painful to observe that our culture provides no friendly meeting place for the authorities of science and religion to engage in good‑faith efforts to understand the truth about our life and our world. How many people seek or find the preparation required to deal profitably with issues such as resurrection and the laws of physics? To be genuinely open to truth and able to seek it effectively is surely one of the greatest human attainments. I am convinced that it can come only as a gift of God’s grace. It implies faith in a cosmic context where one no longer feels the need to hide, to invoke explanations that really explain nothing at all but simply enable one to hold a position with an appearance of reasonableness.

The professor who invoked physics is surrounded constantly with things and events for which no physical explanation yet exists, nor even the beginnings of one. Just look at the physics texts and see. A most obvious case is the existence of the physical universe itself, as well as of life and human consciousness. When confronted with the de facto inability of physics in this respect, the academically sanctified dodge is to invoke chance, along with huge spans of time, for everything to "work," and further, to invoke the promise of what science (really, physics) supposedly will be able to explain in the future as it continues to make progress. But chance is not something that can produce or explain anything. Rather, it is invoked precisely at the point where there is no known explanation or cause. And if something is, indeed, impossible, it will not help to have more time to get it done. We need a demonstration of the possibility, for example, of life's emerging from the inorganic, and then we can talk about time. But the assumptions of this "scientific" evasion are so complicated and culturally protected that most people confronting it do not realize they have been handed intellectual sawdust instead of bread.

Unfortunately, religion frequently invokes its own non‑explanations as a means of holding its ground. Usually these involve the idea that God's power is so great that we can say with reference to anything simply that He did it and thus have an explanation that protects us. There's no need to look further or think further.

Now God's act as an explanatory principle has an advantage over chance in that we all know something of what it is like for an act or choice to bring something about. Nothing comparable can be said of chance. Personality is a source of energy and causation with an intelligible structure. It simply is not a physical structure. But there is no good reason it should be, and once you think about it, every reason it should not. For if it were, the fundamental feature of human life and consciousness would be destroyed or reduced to illusion. As long as we recognize that knowledge does not reduce to physics, and as long as we understand that science is just knowledge, we have every right to speak of the possibility of a science that encompasses consciousness in divine and human forms along with the physical and whatever else there may be.

The impasse of authorities confronting authorities (or intimidating others) begins to dissolve when prepared and thoughtful people devote themselves to the humble examination of facts and evidence rather than to defending their positions. It is difficult to imagine anything more necessary and Godlike than this. We must escape the cultural deadlock that is turning universities—and churches—into places of “right views,” rather than thought and knowledge, and producing a Christian personality split into a religious side and a professional, intellectual side which never come into contact.

Important work of reconciliation needs to be done. Progress is possible if a vast number of Christians, devoted and qualified, will permeate all dimensions of society and bring the Spirit and power of Christ to bear upon the points where the authority structures of the intellectual professions are in blind conflict with genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

The Nature of Genesis & The Role of Science

Vern Poythress in his book Redeeming Science begins with a thoroughly Christian worldview. God is the creator of the world. Everything came into being by Him and through Him (Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3). God revealed Himself and reveals Himself through special revelation (scripture) and general revelation (providence and nature, laws of physics …). We all know however, that the real sticking point is the apparent conflict between the interpretation of the data arising from exploration of God’s word in general revelation (science) and the interpret of God’s word contained in the special revelation of Scripture. So how is this apparent conflict to be reconciled?

In Chapters 5-10 of his book Poythress discusses the nature of Genesis, the role of science and the dating of the earth, and the relative merits and flaws of several possible interpretation of Genesis:

1. 24-Hour-Day view: “Literal” reading of Genesis 1 and following - often supplemented by Flood Geology to account for the geological/biological discrepancies.

2. Mature Creation Theory: World brought into being in a short period of time (6 days - probably 24-hour days) with an appearance of age. Reconciliation with science then does not deny the science but simply asserts that Genesis teaches that God created the world in a short period in the form that would have arisen through his created natural process.

3. Religious-Only Theory: Scripture is only intended to address matters of religious not scientific fact.

4. Local Creation Theory: Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3 assert God as creator of all, but the specific descriptions following in Genesis only refer to a small region of the world around the Garden of Eden in modern day Iraq.

5. Gap Theory: There is a large time gap between Genesis 1:1 and the remainder of Genesis. Most of Genesis only refers to the restoration of creation after the fall of Satan.

6. Day-Age Theory: Each day in Genesis refers to a long period of time, an “age” of billions, millions or thousands of years. Each day-age is of a different length. As I understand it this is the view championed by Hugh Ross and his organization. Audio files of lectures describing his approach can be found on the Veritas Forum website.

7. Intermittent Day Theory: The suggestion here is that each day of creation described in Genesis is a “real” day, but the text is silent on vast periods of time between the specific days of creation.

8. Revelatory Day Theory: This theory holds that the days of creation in Genesis refer to the days over which God revealed his creative work to Moses. It recounts the vision through which Moses was inspired to write his account, not the actual days of creation.

9. Framework Theory: The days refer by analogy to God’s work and the account in Genesis is a literary framework describing God’s work in creation, not a literal account. Among others, Lee Irons champions this approach.

10. Analogical Day Theory: God created the world in six days of work followed by one day of rest - but these days of divine work are an analogy rather than an identity with days of human work.

Poythress considers only three of these alternatives as attractive: Mature Creation, Framework, and Analogical Day, although it should be noted that the distinctions between the Analogical Day and Framework theories are subtle.

The mature creation option raises several objections that Poythress considers less than convincing. Most notably: Mature creation implies God as deceiver and mature creation invalidates scientific investigation. Although Poythress doesn’t set much stock in the God as deceiver objection, I find this argument compelling - in part because of the willful appearance of age argument that Poythress discusses, but more importantly because of the intricate and unnecessary web of evidence contained in the fossil record, the geological make-up of the earth, and especially that embedded within the DNA of living creatures.

Despite his unwillingness to rule out the Mature Creation view - Poythress does not feel that the evidence contained in the special revelation of scripture requires this view and instead prefers the Analogical Day interpretation. In coming to this conclusion Poythress borrows from the approach of John Calvin, who took the view that in the inspiration of scripture God is speaking to ordinary people in ordinary language appropriate for all times and all conditions. God accommodates Himself equally to the understanding of the ancient Israelite and the modern engineer and our understanding of scripture should reflect this fact. Our interpretation of scripture should not attempt to impart an unintended technical meaning. Two key citations from Calvin come from his commentary on Genesis - particularly the passages dealing with Genesis 1:6 and 1:16, although there are additional examples in his consideration of other issues and other passages of scripture. As an example consider the following excerpt from the commentary on 1:16:

16. The greater light I have said, that Moses does not here subtly descant, as a philosopher, on the secrets of nature, … Moses makes two great luminaries; but astronomers prove, by conclusive reasons that the star of Saturn, which on account of its great distance, appears the least of all, is greater than the moon. Here lies the difference; Moses wrote in a popular style things which without instruction, all ordinary persons, endued with common sense, are able to understand; but astronomers investigate with great labor whatever the sagacity of the human mind can comprehend. Nevertheless, this study is not to be reprobated, nor this science to be condemned, because some frantic persons are wont boldly to reject whatever is unknown to them. For astronomy is not only pleasant, but also very useful to be known: it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God. …Let the astronomers possess their more exalted knowledge; but, in the meantime, they who perceive by the moon the splendor of night, are convicted by its use of perverse ingratitude unless they acknowledge the beneficence of God.

According to the Analogical Day interpretation the description of creation represents an analogy between the work of God stretching over six divine days followed by a day of rest, and the work of humans in understandable terms, laying groundwork for both the Sabbath day and the Jubilee year commanded in Leviticus. God speaks and teaches through analogy and thus accommodates his revelation to human understanding. In the interpretation of Genesis Poythress also suggests that we should look to different cultural approaches to time - including our current obsession of keeping to the clock and the more interactive experience of time tied to the rhythms of human existence.

“If one goes to Genesis 1 with a clock orientation, one focuses primarily on how long it took, as measured by a clock. But if one goes to Genesis 1 with an interactive orientation, one asks what important events took place, and what was their human social meaning. (139)” The rhythm of work and rest speaks to the ordinary human experience.

In the context of his discussion of the three attractive alternatives, Poythress also deals with two other objections to an extended creation.

First the Mature Creation view falsely implies that plant and animal death came about before the fall and future death would come about with or without the fall and in the other two views death came about before the fall. Considering this, Poythress concludes that nothing in scripture necessitates the view that all death originated with the Fall — only the death of mankind created in the image of God. The second objection is that all of these views undermine the biblical teaching about Noah and the flood. But the objections raised here again presuppose a modern worldview of the earth and the extent of the earth and the nature of the earth as a globe hanging in space. Again, God is speaking in scripture to ordinary people in ordinary situations at the time scripture was recorded and we must not allow our presupposition and assumptions to determine how the scripture must be interpreted.

So - a couple of questions here: In interpreting scripture, especially Genesis and creation, but also other passages and other issues, is it appropriate to include the understanding that God was speaking to ordinary people in ordinary situations in terms and ideas and analogies that they would understand? Given this accommodation, is it reasonable to view the general revelation of the Word of God in nature, learned through science, as filling in the blanks so to speak and revealing more of the mind, nature, and language of God?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

God in The Office

Of all the shows on television, I think that The Office ranks as one of the smartest and funniest. First of all, yes, I’m talking about the U.S. version so all the British Office purists can stop reading if they feel disgusted that I would make such a statement. Anyway, one of the funniest things about The Office is that I meet people like the characters on the show in real life everyday. Most of us, like the writers of the show, have probably had an obnoxious boss like Michael or a sycophantic co-worker like Dwight at their workplace. This is part of what makes The Office so relevant.

In particular, there is one character whom I believe speaks volumes to me about people in reality. Angela Martin is the harsh, judgmental accountant at the Scranton Branch of the Dunder-Mifflin paper company with an extreme negative streak. She is strict, stark, and, unfortunately, she is the only representative of the Christian faith at the office. Angela’s M.O. is to respond coldly to everyone she meets and cast icy, disapproving glares at anyone who does not adhere to her rigid moral standards. When asked to pick three books that she would take on a desert island, she chose the Bible, A Purpose Driven Life, and refused to pick another one. Even as I laugh at her frequent self-righteous tirades, I can’t help but think, “Is that how people see all Christians?” “When people find out I’m a Christian, do they automatically see me as an uptight stickler who wields his values like a no-holds-barred license to judge? A frigid killjoy with a paltry sense of humor?”

This got me to thinking about how I come across when it comes to my opinions about others’ moral standards. I’m just being paranoid right? I can’t be that bad! Or can I? Come to think of it, I often find myself adopting an aloof attitude and thinking “How could any self-respecting person do that?” I won’t usually verbally accost the “offender” in public, but taking pride in my moral “superiority” isn’t any less wrong. Especially after a particularly rousing sermon, my morality sensors are on full alert and I am quick to set judgment phasers to kill when I see someone sinning in ways I wouldn’t be caught dead—at least in the last few weeks anyway. God wants us, as Christians, to be holy. To be holy is to be set apart, but it seems like some Christians tend to interpret “set apart” to mean “set above.” This can seriously hinder our ability as Christians to be everything that we can be in Christ. God also calls us to reach out to and connect with people who don’t know him yet. Seriously, who would want to connect with someone who frowns at any glimmer of humor and throws out labels like “whorish” or “hussy” (some of Angela’s favorite insults) with startling frequency? I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s a definite turn-off for me.

Sure, God doesn’t want us to go out and blend right in with the rest of the crowd who don’t care about His holiness, but that’s where being “set apart” comes in. There is a difference between loving/accepting a person’s actions and loving/accepting a person. When it comes to dealing with a person’s sin, can we just let things slip? Can we go without reprimanding the sinner when he or she sins? The answer is yes. Never once are we given the authority to act as judge, jury, and executioner to a sinner like some sort of Dirty Harry-style vigilante (Do you feel holy? Well, do you punk?).

According to the Bible we can’t even begin to diagnose another person’s faults (compared to a speck in their eye) without removing our faults (compared to a giant board in our eye—check out Matthew 7:4). Judging is God’s job, and he’s the only one with the experience and references to qualify. So next time you cast a haughty glance in your unbelieving co-worker’s direction, remember you’ve probably still got a plank obscuring your view of that glance’s intended recipient. In conclusion, here’s a little something to think about: Angela may be a humorous character created from exaggerated negative Christian stereotypes, but be careful, one day she just might be you.

cc: Jordan Keyes

Monday, May 21, 2007

...but if you do...

1 John 2:1-2

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

I sin. I hate it. I hate it. But the final word of this text is that there is consoloation and we must not keep this consolation for ourselves alone. "And he is not the propitiation for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world."

No one who enjoys the forgiveness of Jesus can be content to hog it for himself. He is not the propitiation for our sins only. There are other sheep that are scattered throughout the whole world. Their sins, too, are covered. And the last commandment of Jesus was, "Go make disciples out of them from every people."

John's message to us today is the same as it was nearly 2000 years ago: Don't sin! It is tremendously and terribly serious. But if you do sin, don't despair because your attorney is the Son of the Judge. He is righteous and he makes his case for you not on the basis of your perfection but his propitiation. Be of good courage friends, don't hog Jesus for yourself alone, go and make disciples.

The Story of His Glory

Jonathan Edwards wrote: "All that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as an ultimate end of God's works is included in that one phrase, the glory of God." The glory of God is the goal of God, and it should be ours as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Word of the Day

Testosterphone: (Verb). To make a quick and to-the-point phone call that lasts under 30 seconds.

"Let me testosterphone James, it will only take a minute!"

Everyone Who Believes

Everyon who believes is freed from everything [or "is justified", KJV]. -Acts 13:38

The believer in Christ receives a present justification. Faith does not produce this fruit later on, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul in the moment when it closes with Christ and accepts Him as its all in all. Are those who stand before the throne of God justified now? So are we as certainly and as clearly justified as those who have entered into the portals of heaven. The thief upon the cross was justified the moment that he turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and Paul, at the end of his life, after years of service, was not more justified than the thief who had no service at all. We are today accepted in the Beloved, today absolved from sin, today acquitted at the bar of God's judgment. What a soul-stirring thought! There are some benefits that we will not be able to enjoy until we enter heaven; but this is our immediate possession. This is not like the corn of the land, which we can never eat until we cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the wilderness, a portion of our daily nutriment with which God supplies us in all our comings and goings. We are now--even now--pardoned; even now are our sins put away; even now we stand in the sight of God accepted, as though we had never been guilty. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."1 There is not a sin in the Book of God, even now, against one of His people. Who dares to lay anything to their charge? There is neither speck, nor spot, nor wrinkle, nor anything remaining upon any one believer in this matter of being justified in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let our present privileges awaken us to present duty, and now, while life lasts, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus.

1) Romans 8:1

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Daily Quote

"One of the major causes of devastating grief and confusion among Christians is that our expectations are false. We do not give the subject of evil and suffering the thought it deserves until we ourselves are confronted with tragedy. If by that point our beliefs--not well thought out but deeply ingrained--are largely out of step with the God who has disclosed himself in the Bible and supremely in Jesus, then the pain from the personal tragedy may be multiplied many times over as we being to question the very foundations of our faith." - D.A. Carson

Tractor Fight

This guy never fails to impress me. I would've never imagined someone could tractor drift for so long with such precision. Amazing.

Scratch your head and smile. :)

In lieu of the previous post on Total Depravity, this should bring a healthy smile to your face. :)

I'm [feeling] not good: True Emotions

Inspired by a post I read the other day from Broken Thoughts of a Christian Nomad, here are some thoughts on the doctrine of Total Depravity.

Have you ever considered what a worthy Christian response should be in light of our utter depravity and helplessness before God? Paul often speaks of our depraved human nature, but he doesn’t make it out to be something that is undefeatable . . . this is, in fact, where the Gospel message finds all of its recipients. Accordingly, when this doctrine sinks honestly and deeply into our core, our natural responses will be overwhelmed by God-driven, worthy responses in humility before God, assurance from God, gratefulness to God, and a sweeping sense of mission for the glory of God.

Humility before God

When we see the fullness of man’s depravity, we will be humiliated to see our own poverty without Jesus. In the wake of this realization, our accomplishments are shattered in our minds and prior comforts are stripped from hearts[1] . . . we see them as they are—unworthy and valueless—and we cling to the overwhelming power of God’s grace.

With our pride in the matter put aside, we can get rid of this idea that “God needs us” in order to be complete or to accomplish His purpose. When God called Isaiah to service, Isaiah was not filled with pride for his worthiness of the task. Instead, we see the prophet struck with the depth of his own fall: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" (6:5).
At this point, God’s awesome glory in salvation is revealed (and now our theology begins to match our prayers). When we pray to God for friends or family to come out on top of a tough situation, with God’s help, we can rightly trust that He is the author and perfector of true faith,[2] and that our friends’ and our family’s and our own success does not depend on the strength of our flesh, but the strength of God’s will.

Seeing the bent of our flesh, we will rightly begin to hold a holy watchfulness and a wholesome distrust for ourselves.[3] Do I really believe that, by nature, I am so undone that God must initiate the work? More to the point, do I believe that if God’s strengthening of my hand were taken from me, even for a moment, the remains of corruption in me would lead me back to wickedness and idolatry?

Assurance from God

Oftentimes, men look to improve their personal state when talking about it . . . refusing to see how desperately in need of Christ they are.[4] We are seeking to magnify the significance of the cross and its Bearer to their true size. We are great sinners, and Christ is a great Savior. If we do not know the first one, we will not know the second.

Throughout the whole of the Biblical narrative, we find God commands men to do what they will not do (repent, be reconciled, seek the Lord; come to Christ); most fortunately, God sent His Son to do what we could not do for ourselves . . . to fulfill the Law.[5] We live in light of the most glorious event of all time: the coming of Immanuel, whose very presence showed us: where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.[6]

We must cling to Christ, our only hope.[7] For the same God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,[8] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to sinful man.[9] If you have eyes to see, you can rest assured that God has given them to you.

Gratefulness to God

Sometimes, a man can feel as though he is the only one who knows the depth of his own depravity . . . however, we can praise our Lord all the more when we see the muck and mire from which He has saved. When our dear brothers and sisters bear witness to the work of Christ in their lives, we are compelled to rejoice with them, hearing their joy in this new life.

Knowing the depth of our depravity will lead us to wonder: “Have I been the subject of God’s workmanship?” The question is not about the sincerity of my decision, or my determination, or my whatever-I-want-to-call-it. The focus of my search is now on God’s action: “Has God done something in me?” In this way, we are bankrupt if not grateful that our God, who took pleasure in beginning the good work in us, will see it through to completion, despite my sincerity, determination, etc.[10]

If a dead man has been raised to life, or a blind man given sight, there is no boasting in determination; there is, however, cause for much rejoicing. And when all human pride is removed, what remains? Nothing of ours. But there is an infinite ocean of grace. Our earnest hope and prayer is that more and more Christians will set out on that ocean, until there is no land in sight.

Mission for the Glory of God

In Chapter 4 of John’s Gospel, we find Jesus at the Samaritan well . . . He is met there by a woman who has little earthly good to testify about, though she’s confident in the coming of God’s Messiah. After a discussion of ethnicity and the thirst-quenching nature of water, Jesus catch’s the woman off guard. He reminds her of some of the murkier parts of her past and present and, also, shares some of the more glorious parts about His present and future.

To sidebar for a moment, as you read this chapter from John, pay close attention to the incredible patience Jesus exercises with this sinful woman. He doesn’t get defensive about His identity when she questions Him or aggravated when she asks redundant questions. What she found out, and one thing we can learn from this story, is that Jesus sees us exactly where we are and pursues us knowing our capabilities. This should be cause for great assurance, and this sort of assurance will surely bolster patience. We are called to serve everyone in longsuffering, keeping with the Spirit’s fruit.[11]

As for the fruit in the Samaritan woman’s life, how does she respond to Jesus’ patience and bold confrontation of her state? She runs all over town bearing witness about this man who “told me all that I ever did” (29). Because of this woman’s testimony, many believed in Jesus and sought to see Him for themselves.[12] For that Samaritan woman, being confronted with her depravity, and meeting Jesus in it, filled her with a desire to share from the well.

This is the worthy response of those liberated from the dank and shadowy realm of natural man . . . To those who have received the light, a great invitation has been extended: to share in the joy of liberating others through the upward truth. We have been welcomed into God’s heritage as guides to the blind, lights to those who are in darkness, instructors to the foolish and teachers of children.[13] O, what a glorious calling—both, personal and relevant. Because we were once in the pit, we can relate to the pitfallen in a deeper, truer, God-ordained way.

And here is where we will make camp in battle with the Church today. True worshippers must have a broken heart for reaching those who have not yet received the truth by grace. In many congregations, it is as though the culture is the problem and the only safe approach is no approach at all . . . as with the lepers of ancient times, Christians should not take light into the darkness. This could be the grossest, most negligent sin of Christ’s body in our day: failing to act as Jesus’ outstretched hand.

[1] Gal. 6:14-15; Phil. 1:21, 3:3-11
[2] Heb. 12:2
[3] Rom. 7:14-25
[4] Mt. 9:36-38; Jn. 9:39-41; Rom. 3:9-18
[5] Is. 55:1-7; Mt. 11:28, 29; Acts 2:38; 2 Cor. 5:20-21
[6] Rom. 5-6
[7] Rom. 3:19-26, 5:6-10; 1 Tim. 4:10
[8] Gen. 1:3-4
[9] 2 Cor. 4:6
[10] Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 2:7, 8:3; Eph. 1:4-5, 11, 2:10; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 2:14 ; 1 Pet. 1:2,20
[11] Rom. 14:1-4; Gal. 5:22-25; 1 Thess. 5:14
[12] Jn. 4:39-42
[13] Rom. 2:19-20

Damning Yourself for $500, Alex.

Damning yourself can prove to be quite entertaining and inexpensive.

According to The Rational Response Squad, your instructions seem simple:

You may damn yourself to Hell however you would like, but somewhere in your
video you must say this phrase: "I deny the Holy Spirit."

Why? Because,
according to Mark 3:29 in the Holy Bible, "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy
Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Jesus will
forgive you for just about anything, but he won't forgive you for denying the
existence of the Holy Spirit. Ever. This is a one-way road you're taking here.
So they encourage their readers to shoot such a video, to upload it to YouTube and to send them the link. To this point is seems that 830 people have played along. There is something more than a little inflammatory about this site and the challenge it provides. Yet it is in no way shocking to me or to most other Christians.

Tim Challies writes:

The irony of this site is that it is based on a lie at worst, or a significant misunderstanding at best. It is based on a false understanding of the sin or the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The members of the Rational Response Squad say "Some liberal Christians may throw out the parts of the Bible that they don't like, but Christians who believe in the Bible as the word of God do believe that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the single unforgivable sin." And this is true. The Bible speaks twice of an unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29 and Matthew 12:31). Matthew 12:31 reads "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven" and Mark 3:29 echoes it, saying "but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." This unpardonable sin has perplexed both Christians and non-Christians. Many Christians have wrestled with the meaning of these verses and have wondered if they have, perhaps unwittingly even, committed this sin. And now there are many atheists who are trying to deliberately commit this sin.

Atheists such as Brian Flemming and the members of this Squad teach that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, very simply, denying His existence. Hence they instruct people to utter these words: "I deny the Holy Spirit." This, they teach, will be a one-way road to perdition. The trouble with this view is that it is, quite frankly, wrong. It removes the verse from its context and, conspicuously, always focuses on the verse as given in Mark 3:29 not as we read it in Matthew 12:31. And not only is this interpretation wrong, but it is unsupported, as far as I can see, by credible teachers of the Bible (and, of course, by the Bible itself). Speaking personally, I have been a Christian for at least fifteen years now and have been listening to the Bible taught since infancy. I have never heard anyone teach that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is as simple as denying Him. Of course what I have been taught represents only a narrow slice of what Christians teach, so I dug deeper, searching for what other Christians teach on this subject. I searched all the Bible commentaries I could find and searched other resources written by highly-regarded teachers and scholars. I once more came up with nothing that would support this view.

Admittedly there is some level of disagreement about what exactly constitutes this sin. But the vast consensus is this: that the blasphemy against the Spirit involves ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit, accomplished through Jesus Christ, to Satan. To commit this sin you must know that Jesus Christ is God and, despite that knowledge, ascribe the Spirit's work through Him to the devil. Reverend Richard Phillips, pastor at First Presbyterian Church Coral Springs, Margate, Florida, says "There is no sin so great that the precious blood of the Son of God -- of infinite value before God -- is not sufficient to pay for it. The issue is that forgiveness comes only to those who believe on the Lord Jesus. And someone who knows who Jesus is -- who realizes that his work is by the Holy Spirit -- and yet so refuses to believe that he actually ascribes the Spirit's work to the devil, cannot possibly be saved. Why? Because that person is not just ignorant, but they willfully, knowingly, reject Jesus as Messiah, as proved by the Holy Spirit. So this passage describes not someone who in a fit of anger or temptation commits blasphemy, but someone who refuses to believe on Jesus as the Messiah, even when he recognizes the Holy Spirit at work." So the great irony, based on what the Bible teaches, is that this sin cannot be committed by one who considers himself an atheist! This sin presupposes seeing and acknowledging the work of God, but then attributing it to Satan.

As we begin to understand this sin we see that it is not so much that a particular sin cannot be forgiven as that there comes a point at which the Holy Spirit will no longer convict a person of sin and thus drive him to repentance. The Scripture is clear that any sin for which we ask forgiveness will be forgiven. But we only seek true forgiveness and only express true repentance when the Holy Spirit works in us. John Piper, a popular author, pastor and scholar writes "The unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an act of resistance which belittles the Holy Spirit so grievously that he withdraws for ever with his convicting power so that we are never able to repent and be forgiven."

If the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was as simple as denying Him we would all be guilty of this sin. The Bible teaches that, as human beings, we all hate God and that we are all firmly and deliberately opposed to Him. Genesis 6:5 says "The Lord saw that...that every intention of the thoughts of [man's] heart was only evil continually." In Ephesians 5:8 we read the Apostle Paul saying "for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" and in 2:1-2 says "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience." We all sin and we all hate God. We all hate Him, that is, until He changes our hearts so we see Him and know Him and love Him. I used to hate God. I was no different from Brian Flemming in my denial of God and my hatred towards Him. To continue this passage from Ephesians 2, I carried out the desires of my body and mind, and was by nature a child of wrath, like the rest of mankind. The next two words are among the most simple but the most glorious in all of Scripture. "But God." The passage goes on to say (and I've taken the liberty of personalizing it) "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved me, even when I was dead in my trespasses, made me alive together with Christ. For by grace I have been saved through faith" (Read it here). I was the blasphemer, the sinner, but Christ intervened and stooped to save me despite who I was and what I had done.

Brian Flemming and the Rational Response Squad and others who use these passages about the sin against the Holy Spirit deliberately neglect the first portion of Matthew 12:31. It reads "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people." Forgiveness remains for those who blaspheme. If you have made a video and have denied the existence of God, of His Son or of His Spirit you have blasphemed. You have sinned. Sin is a serious matter and one that God will deal with. But you have not committed an unpardonable sin. Do not be too secure in what you have done for Christ offers forgiveness, even for this. The Bible tells us that Jesus has come to seek and to save the lost. Christians are often prone to speak of "seekers" as those who go looking for God. But the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the one who seeks and if Christ seeks after you, He will find you whether or not you've denied Him. He will graciously change your heart and allow you to see the beauty and glory of God. Being rich in mercy He will love you, even while you are dead in your sin, and will make you alive with Christ. You, too, can be saved by grace through faith if only you will believe in Him. There is forgiveness for all. God desires that you, too, be saved and gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Look to Him.

90 Minutes in Heaven

The Bible tells us about three people who were privileged to see heaven on this side of the grave. All of these men, Stephen and the Apostles Paul and John, were alive when they were given a glimpse of the wonders of heaven. Don Piper, a Baptist pastor, claims to be a fourth, though unlike the other three, he first had to die first. Returning home from a conference, Piper's car was crushed under the wheels of a truck. Though medical personnel declared him dead at the scene of the accident, ninety minutes after this accident, a pastor, waiting at the scene, was told by God to pray for the dead man. He did so, and Piper immediately returned to life. For the 90 minutes that his body lay lifeless inside the car, Piper claims to have been in heaven. He now carries with him memories of paradise and in 90 Minutes in Heaven, a book which has sold over a million copies and which has been a long-time fixture on the New York Times list of bestsellers, he seeks to encourage other Christians with a description of our eternal home. "Because I was able to experience heaven," he says, "I was able to prepare [friends] for it. And now I am preparing you."

The title may be deceptive. A reader might assume, from the title, that a significant portion of the book is dedicated to describing heaven. The reality is that the author's time in heaven comprises only 15 pages of this 205-page book. A further seven pages, appended to the end of the book, engage very briefly (and unsatisfactorily) with the "why questions." The bulk of the book describes Piper's accident, rescue and convalescence with some attention to the ministry opportunities that have arisen since his time in heaven. The book is, in reality, a biographical sketch of Don Piper and a lengthy description of the trials he faced as he recovered from devastating bodily injuries. Following the description of heaven, there is little further reflection on paradise. There is little attempt to describe how the author's life and perspective on Scripture have changed because of his experience. There is little interaction with the Bible. There is little gospel.

Piper's description of heaven left me cold. I was dismayed to find that his heaven seems largely man-centered. In fact, if you were to ask your unbelieving friends and neighbors to describe heaven, they would probably create a place very much like this. Piper did not see Jesus, nor did he see God, though, to be fair, he saw only the "outskirts" and did not pass through the pearlescent gates. Despite this, he was exceedingly joyful and feels that he experienced the very joys of paradise. For ninety minutes he walked through heaven, greeted by those he knew in this life, all of whom were (quite conveniently), the same age they were when he had last known them. As I read this description of heaven I thought immediately of a quote from John Piper's book God is the Gospel. He asks:

The critical question for our generation--and for every generation--is this: If
you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had
on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you
ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever say, all the physical
pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could
you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?

From the descriptions in 90 Minutes in Heaven we would would have to respond, "yes!" It seems that Don Piper's heaven is a heaven where we are fulfilled without Christ. Piper's heaven was a place of reunion with loved ones, a place of beautiful music and a place of literal pearl (or "pearlescent") gates and literal streets of gold. It is a heaven that can be so easily described to a human mind using mere human words, as if it had originated in a human mind. Piper is able to describe it in some detail, but what he presents is surely far too human to be heaven.

A further troubling aspect of the book is a clear lack of theological precision. For example, Piper continually describes miracles that surrounded his rescue and recovery, yet these are often not the type of events that theologians would classify as being miraculous. They may have shown God's grace and power, but they were not, strictly speaking, miracles. He also uses his experience to minister to people who lack assurance of their faith. But what true, lasting assurance can we find in the dubious experiences of another mere human? Our assurance is to be in God and His promises through Scripture, not in man.

I do believe Don Piper is a sincere man and one who loves God. He seems to sincerely believe that he experienced heaven and has been called by God to share his experience with others. But I do not believe that he did see heaven. I cannot say what his experience was, whether it was purely psychological or whether it was even some type of demonic deception. What I do know is that the Scriptures are wholly sufficient for believers. We do not need to see or experience heaven in this life. Nor should we desire Don Piper's heaven or to be encouraged by this experience.

I see no reason to believe that God wants us to know more about heaven than He has revealed to us in His Word. As the old hymn asks, "What more can he say than to you he has said?" God surely desires that we desire heaven, but only if we desire heaven primarily so we can be with the Savior. This is the heaven which we glimpse only dimly in Scripture, but which we await with eager expectation. It is most certainly not Piper's 90-minute heaven.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Inconvenient Life

Today’s New York Times reports: “About 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.”

Denny Burk:

This clash is not about “preventing disability.” That’s a euphemism that every rational person should reject. It’s about whether or not we should execute disabled persons before they can become a “burden” to their parents and society.

On this issue Christians must offer a prophetic word to the culture. All people are created in God’s image (including people with Down Syndrome) and are thereby to be treated with the dignity that God commands towards those who bear His image. To kill innocent humans because they are inconvenient or unwanted is an assault on the image of God.

A just community does not execute people who are financial and emotional burdens to their families or to society. On the contrary, a just community tries to find ways to care for them. Why would we treat people with Down Syndrome any differently?

cc: Between Two Worlds

Friday, May 4, 2007

Jesus Never Begged

Jesus never begged. On the contrary, he made others beg to follow him! When others did beg, he made sure they knew how hard it would be to follow him. His point: God is only interested in those who desperately want him, treasure him, and would give anything up to follow him.

Jesus went so far as to speak in parables so only those who really wanted him would get it. That was the whole p onit of the parable of the soils (Matt. 13, Luke8). He wasn't going to waste his time watering soil that wasn't going to produce a crop. Unlike Christ, I've wasted a lot of time watering the sidewalk, rocks, and weeds.

I don't think I've ever answered a person the way Christ did in Luke 9:
57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
59He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

My answer to the first guy would have been: "That's awesome!"
I would have told the second guy, "Please do. God wants you to honor your parents!"
I would have insisted that the third guy say good-bye to his family!

Why haven't I answered people like Christ? I hate rejection. I'm scared of loved ones reject God, so I don't share too much of the commitment Christ requires. That would increase the likelihood of rejection. I share the benefits of Christianity, then beg them to agree. I don't ask too many questions because I'm scared of how they might answer. I don't really want to know if they're not true followers. I just want to keep believing that they are. In doing this, I've preached a message that cheapens the value of God.

God calls us to accurately describe the glory of God and invite people to treasure him and pursue him wholeheartedly. Our goal should be to act like Christ and teach like Christ. Jesus humbled himself to take the form of a servant, not a beggar. Let's keep serving people, sacrificing for people, loving people...but let's stop begging. It cheapens the value of the God we're called to magnify. Let's tell people how great our God is, and let them beg.

----Francis Chan, April 10, 2007

. . . to this I add nothing.

In his talk on Simeon, John Piper says that Simeon had little sympathy for uncharitable Calvinists. In a sermon on Romans 9:16, he said, "Many there are who cannot see these truths [the doctrines of God's sovereignty], who yet are in a state truly pleasing to God; yea many, at whose feet the best of us may be glad to be found in heaven. It is a great evil, when these doctrines are made a ground of separation one from another, and when the advocates of different systems anathematize each other. . . . In reference to truths which are involved in so much obscurity as those which relate to the sovereignty of God mutual kindness and concession are far better than vehement argumentation and uncharitable discussion" (Horae Homileticae, Vol. 15, p. 357).

Then Piper relates "how [Simeon] lived out this counsel is seen in the way he conversed with the elderly John Wesley. He tells the story himself:

“Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?

----Yes, I do indeed.

And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?

----Yes, solely through Christ.

But, Sir, supposing you were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?

----No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.

Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?


What then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother's arms?

----Yes, altogether.

And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?
----Yes, I have no hope but in Him.

Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree. (Moule, 79f)

----To this, I add nothing.

Watch Your Toes . . .

Have you ever considered what Satan finds pleasurable?

1. When men of God abandon the preaching of the gospel to become "would be politicians" consumed with the political affairs of men.

2. When the preaching of God's Word is substituted with relational anecdotal experience, personal happiness programs, and human potentiality makeovers.

3. When pastors no longer shepherd God's people and the pulpits have become playgrounds.

4. When psychology has replaced biblical discipleship.

5. When men of God are flattered to become "late night talk show guests" on cultural and spiritual issues, but never once open up the Bible to develop their answers; or call the nation, other guests, or the talk show host to repentance by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation; they've simply become culturally acceptable biblical motivational speakers thinking that access to mainstream media means they are making an impact.

6. When the vicar of Rome is acknowledged as the vicar of Christ.

7. When sin is called sickness; when disobedience is called disease; and when adultery is called addiction.

8. When money becomes a prerequisite for ministry by charging people for the gospel, worship, discipleship, counseling, evangelism, Christian music, etc.

9. When we are liked by all people; when the world is not offended by the message we represent and relates to us for being "nice".

10. When church becomes just another predictable program we do one hour a week, one day a week.

11. When prayer becomes passé and the seldom thing we do.

12. When brothers and sisters hold ought against each other in bitterness and unforgiveness.

13. When church discipline of sin ceases.

14. When irreconcilable differences becomes an acceptable reason to break the covenant of marriage.

15. When the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but happiness.

16. When the object of faith is no longer Christ, but self.

17. When the foundation of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but my personal experience.

18. When error is tolerated and finally accepted as truth.

19. When Christians partner with nonbelievers in the work of the ministry.

20. When ministries are enticed to give up their autonomy and become owned by the world for just a little more money and a little more personal promotion.

21. When the worship and glory of God is treated as entertainment.

22. When the church bowes the knee to the seminaries and surrenders her duty to train men for pastoral ministry; thinking that the academic schools of religious learning actually can make a pastor when all they can do is make students.

23. When men can personally profit from the sale of God's Word.

24. When repentance is no longer part of the gospel.

25. When salvation is no longer proclaimed as being by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, on the Word alone, to the glory of God alone.

26. When Romanism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Church of Christ (Bostonian), Seventh Day Adventists (and dare I say but to be consistent I must) Islamic moralists, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. are indirectly legitimized as being "morally sound and culturally chaste" by some naïve evangelical leaders who have forgotten their heritage, sold their spiritual birthright, and have laid down sound doctrine for the sole purpose of partnering with those same "religious" and individually politically-correct alliances to try and turn back the tide of social ills through cultural cobelligerence. In doing so, they have purposely divorced the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ from their burden for social change; this is foolish and the delight of hell.

27. When the offense of the cross is removed for cultural acceptance, media accessibility and endorsement

Distributed by


Reuters: "If the typical stay-at-home mother in the United States were paid for her work as a housekeeper, cook and psychologist among other roles, she would earn $138,095 a year, according to research released on Wednesday. . . .The 10 jobs listed as comprising a mother's work were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist, it said. The typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, it said, working 40 hours at base pay and 52 hours overtime."

Proving God in 13 Minutes on ABC

NEW YORK, May 3 (UPI) -- Actor Kirk Cameron and author Ray Comfort will square off in New York with two atheists to debate the existence of God live on

The debate will be Wednesday after the network rescheduled it from Saturday to capture a larger audience, Comfort said in a news release.

Comfort, who says he can prove God exists scientifically, said ABC originally offered him four minutes to present his case. After conferring with Cameron and the atheists, the time was raised to 13 minutes.

"I'm ecstatic. I can prove the existence of God in that amount of time," Comfort said.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

In This World There's a Whole Lot of Trouble.

To piggyback off the words of Mary Chapin-Carpenter, "In this world there's a whole lot of trouble, baby. In this world there's a whole lot of pain. In this world there's a whole lot of trouble, but a whole lot of ground to gain. Why take when you could be giving? Why watch as the world goes by? It's a hard enough life to be living, why walk when you can fly?"

After reading through John 16, verse 33 seems to stick out to me today.

Here are Charles Spurgeon's comments on this verse.
Rephrased by pastor Alistair Begg.

"Are you asking why this should be, believer? Look upward to your heavenly Father, and behold Him pure and holy. Do you know that you are one day to be like Him? Will you easily be conformed to His image? Will you not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify you? Will it be an easy thing to get rid of your corruptions and make you perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect? Next, Christian, turn your eye downward. Do you know what foes you have beneath your feet? You were once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Do you think that Satan will leave you alone? No, he will always be at you, for he "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."1 Expect trouble, then, Christian, when you look beneath you. Then look around you. Where are you? You are in enemy country, a stranger and an alien. The world is not your friend. If it is, then you are not God's friend, for whoever is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be certain that you will find enemies everywhere. When you sleep, remember that you are resting on the battlefield; when you travel, suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite strangers more than natives, so the trials of earth will be sharpest to you. Lastly, look within you, into your own heart, and observe what is there. Sin and self are still within. If you had no devil to tempt you, no enemies to fight you, and no world to ensnare you, you would still find in yourself enough evil to be a sore trial to you, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick."2 Expect trouble then, but do not despair on account of it, for God is with you to help and to strengthen you. He has said, "call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."3
1) 1 Peter 5:8
2) Jeremiah 17:9
3) Psalm 50:15

Dave Barry = The Man

I share most of his sentiments:

Auto racing is boring except when a car is going at least 172 miles per hour upside down.

American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.

Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.

Eating rice cakes is like chewing on a foam coffee cup, only less filling.

Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.

Guys are simple... women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically.

I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.

I have been a gigantic Rolling Stones fan since approximately the Spanish-American War.

I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care.

If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry.

In fact, when you get right down to it, almost every explanation Man came up with for anything until about 1926 was stupid.

It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.

It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person's plate.

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.

Life is anything that dies when you stomp on it.

Magnetism, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators.

Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.

Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid.

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery.

The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl.

The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.

The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn't have eyeballs or fins.

The problem with winter sports is that - follow me closely here - they generally take place in winter.

The simple truth is that balding African-American men look cool when they shave their heads, whereas balding white men look like giant thumbs.

The world is full of strange phenomena that cannot be explained by the laws of logic or science. Dennis Rodman is only one example.

Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.

To better understand why you need a personal computer, let's take a look at the pathetic mess you call your life.

We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.