Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Step Closer

A while ago I posted about how PETA wants an animal-gender-inclusive translation of the Bible. They would prefer that animals mentioned in scripture be referred to as "he" or "she" rather than "it." They feel that animals aren't "its," and personal pronouns communicate their individuality and personhood, I guess.

I also said that Phil Johnson predicted (somewhat tongue in cheek) that such a translation of the Bible would, in fact, come down the pike at some point in time in the future. Today we are one step closer to such a translation, or at least the kind of thinking that would bring about such a translation has moved from being held just amongst the PETA folks. It's now moved to the academy, and specifically, to the theological academy.

Professor Andrew Linsey believes that calling animals "pets" is insulting to the animal, and that even referring to animals as "wildlife" is demeaning. Instead, pets should be known as "companion animals," and wild animals should be referred to as "free-living" animals. And those people who own animals shall henceforth be known as "human carers."

Ugh. Here it comes.

Read the whole article here. It's embarrassing. How does this guy have a job?

Friday, April 22, 2011

That's Funny, Dad.

A few days ago Ferg, the Hanburger, and I were playing out in the yard. Han got up on the swing set, and Ferg tried to follow by going up the slide. He fell down half way up and slid back down, which Han thought was hilarious. She started cracking up, so I went and got the camera.

Halfway through she notices that I'm holding a camera and says, "Cheese," as though I were taking a picture. I guess she hasn't wrapped her mind around video yet.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church

My dad alerted me today to a half-page advertisement in Thursday's Pioneer Press for the "I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church." Yes, that's what it's called. I'm not sure why. It's definitely one of the more interesting church names I've ever heard.

The advertisement is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, not to mention several items which point to the shaky theology of the leadership of the I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church. The wording and phrasing of the ad is so bad, in fact, that it makes me think it was translated from another language into English for the purposes of the ad. Since these folks probably paid upwards of $5,000 for this ad, I hope for their sake that's the case. Here's the content of the ad (note: all of the bad grammar and spelling belong to the ad, not to me):

Dear Friend in Christ,

A new church is about to open in the Whittier neighborhood. Its success mainly depends on the hearts of those who want to make something really positive and powerfully wonderful happen.

The "I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church" is refreshingly different in its approach to what is the heart of our many fine Christian churches scattered around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Although preaching is a valuable means of communicating the word of God, we prefer to focus on acting "hands on" by the means of serving that of which we have already learned. We want to take what we know and apply in our lives - starting in the community. We have seen how the joy of serving is contagious. When onlookers see how we live the word, they will witness honest faith.

Our building which houses our church (members) will mainly be used for these purposes.

1. Bible study occurring anytime 2 or more care to gather.

2. Discussing the different projects of service we are currently doing and their progress. Determining what other needs our community demands that we will have to address, and plan how to effectively handle them. Then addressing the impact these actions may have. We will be vigilantly aware to keep refining our means of service to be the most utmost efficient.

3. Addressing problematic concerns of members and guests by means of relating our own true life experiences and their resulting outcomes. No advice, speculation, or guessing given. Members will follow these and other ground rules as best they can.

4. Events and activities - of course, there will always be a time to have soe fun. We will play and socialize as well.

At the bottom, on either side of the ad, there are two ornate crosses and the words "Generous givers change our emotions." Below this it says "You may become a donor who: makes us satisfied - any amount; makes us happy - $100; makes us excited - $500; makes us most joyful - $1,000; makes us extremely grateful - $10,000; makes us cry - $100,000 or more."

A few comments for the folks at the I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church, based on this ad:

1. Your church's "success" (whatever that means) does not "mainly depend on the hearts of those who want to make something really positive and powerfully wonderful happen." Your church's "success" depends on God.

2. You say your church is "refreshingly different" in that it is at the heart of what other churches in the area are doing. How's that different?

3. Preaching is, in my opinion, the most effective way the word of God is communicated to the world. Serving is good and noble, but don't serve the community at the expense of the preaching of the word.

4. Never (NEVER!) quantify your level of satisfaction based on the amount of a monetary gift. This runs the almost certain danger of alienating someone who can only give $5.00. According to your scale, that person can only make you satisfied - not even happy, let alone "most joyful"! Ever heard of the widow's mite?

5. This ad really looks atrocious. At the very least, make sure that words are spelled correctly and your grammar is accurate. People are watching.

The more I think about it, I think this might be a scam just to get people to send whoever placed this ad some money. Either way, it's definitely unique.

Monday, April 11, 2011

For My Christmas List

I happened upon this website today. It's full of T-shirts and other products with a reformed theological slant. Some of my favorites: "Calvinism: When a finite God just won't do." and "Charles Spurgeon is my homeboy." There's even a shirt that has a picture of tulip on it, and then lists the five points of Calvinism. Cool. I guess it just goes to show you that no matter who you are, what your interests or beliefs are, there's somebody out there (usually on the internet) trying to make money off you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cherry Tomatoes? No Thanks.

Our whole family went to a wedding and reception tonight. Betsy's second cousin was married, and the reception followed at a golf club in Cottage Grove. We got to the reception at 5:00 PM and weren't served our meal until about 7:35. It was tough to be there with the kids. The meal was served in courses: bread, salad, and then main course. When our salads came out, the kids weren't given one, so they just picked off stuff from the adults' salads. After we had finished the salads, I noticed that Ferg had picked around a cherry tomato and avoided eating it. Not thinking that he had ever had a cherry tomato before, I encouraged him to try it. He's usually pretty good about trying new foods. He'll try pretty much anything at least once. Well, let's just say that he's not a fan (neither am I, for that matter - like father like son, I guess). Mom was quick with the camera and caught the following progression.

1. Ferg takes a bite.

2. Initial reaction.

3. Down the hatch, even though he didn't like it. What a trooper.

4. Time to wash out the taste with a little Sprite.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesus Wants You To Friend Him

Several months ago I "liked" The Bible on Facebook. For a long time "The Bible" never posted anything - it just sat dormant. You'd think that The Bible would post its verses on its Facebook wall, but apparently not. Then one day, The Bible started posting like mad. Several times a day The Bible posted, and each post showed up in my news feed. The strange thing was, though, that it was posting under the name Mark Brown, who is apparently the page's creator. And Mark didn't post Bible verses. Instead he posted a lot of self-help kind of stuff, and a lot of pretty loose theology. I don't know Mark Brown, but I think it's safe to say he's no theologian.

Today I "unliked" The Bible after I saw this post: "The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is, in a way, a lot like Facebook. Jesus has friend requested the entire world and He is awaiting your response. Will you 'friend' Him?" That's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and it cheapens the relationship between God and man and removes from it elements of holiness and righteousness in ways I won't go into here.

Folks, Jesus has not friended the world. And he's not sitting at his divine computer, waiting for you to friend him.

The G.O.S.P.E.L

Here's a pretty cool, stylized gospel presentation. Take a look.

G.O.S.P.E.L. from Humble Beast Records on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Let's Go, Twins.

As I write this, I'm listening to the Twins getting beat by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second game of the season. Things haven't looked good so far, but that's OK. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Last night (the season opener) the Twins lost 13-3. But there's still 160 games to play.

I like to start each season with a great quote from the Terrance Mann character in the movie Field of Dreams, as played by James Earl Jones: "The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game - It's a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good...and it could be again."