Friday, March 25, 2005

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Oh my goodness, Andrew McCarthy writes the first intelligent, well-reasoned article on why it's a BAD IDEA to have a CIVIL court order someone to DIE! Of course we are talking about the Terri Schaivo case, and it's ramifications. Here is the article:
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: ""

Friday, March 18, 2005

A Meditation on Father Abraham

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about "Father Abraham." I realized something about him that I never fully appreciated before: the incredible simplicity of his faith and relationship with God. Theologians and scholars have taken apart poor Abraham and have examined every aspect of his life minute, technical detail, wringing every last drop of meaning from every single word of his story in Genesis. While it is very important to understand and appreciate what Abraham represents in terms of our knowledge of the workings of God, we lose sight of the simplicity of his relationship with the LORD.

Here is a man, despite his human failings, who had a powerful, intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe. And what is truly amazing about Abraham is that he had and maintained this relationship despite a complete lack of the all that we deem essential to sustain our own relationship with God.

Here is a man who had no Bible (still several centuries away from the first word being written); he had no "fellowship of believers" (except for those in his own family); there were no services to attend; either church or synagogue; no accountability groups (though this might have helped him in a few instances!); no cute little bookstores to buy inspirational books. It seems that his major source for knowing and understanding God's will and purposes was God himself!

But there is one thing, one "spiritual discipline," that Abraham certainly seemed to understand and appreciate: prayer.

If there's one practical lesson we can take away from Abraham's life, it is the essential centrality of prayer in the life of a believer. One can do away with everything else, even the Bible, but prayer is as vital to relationship with God as is breathing is necessary to live.

I think of the early monastic movements, how believers in the first few centuries of the Church would move out into the desert; away from family, friends and city life; just so they could deepen their relationship with the Creator. We laugh and ridicule those early monastics for being such extremists, but their stories are still told well over a thousand years later. Perhaps they were on to something--and rather than extremism, perhaps it was a deep, powerful devotion that led them to do what they did....

But amongst those early Desert Fathers, one thing is common in all their stories: the centrality of prayer in their lives of solitude. Having given up many of the other trappings of Christianity, the discipline of prayer remained essential.

So that's what I've learned from Father Abraham.

Announcing Free Republic's MARCH for JUSTICE II, April 7, 2005, Washington, D.C.!!

A Theodicy Public Service Announcement for all interested parites:

Announcing Free Republic's MARCH for JUSTICE II, April 7, 2005, Washington, D.C.!!

Posted on 03/15/2005 10:03:13 PM PST by Jim Robinson

In October 1998, Free Republic marched on Washington demanding the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Thanks to our efforts, Clinton was impeached less than two months later.

Then, as now, our country stood at a Constitutional crossroad. This year we stand at the crossroad of what kind of judiciary we will have: One that is restrained by the Constitution, or one that abridges our rights by making it up as they go along.

President Bush and the Republicans in the Senate are gearing up for a showdown with the Democrats over his judicial nominees. The Democrats have used the filibuster in an unprecedented way to block judicial nominees from getting an up or down vote. Republicans, led by Majority Leader Bill Frist are getting ready to employ the Constitutional option--most likely in mid-April.

A simple majority is needed to implement the Constitutional option. However, even with a 55 vote majority, a victory by the Republicans is in doubt. Democrats, unswayed by their ever-diminishing numbers in the Senate, have threatened to almost totally shut down the Senate if the Republicans succeed.

The Democrats are desperate because the judiciary is their last hope to force their liberal, unconstitutional agenda on the American people. If the filibuster is broken, they know that President Bush will be able to nominate and get confirmed Supreme Court justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. If the filibuster holds, we'll get justices like Anthony Kennedy who look to foreign law and opinion to support their unconstitutional rulings.

Therefore, in order to support President Bush's judicial nominees, and to put the Senate and the courts on notice that We the People demand the Constitution be respected and maintained, we will march on Washington on Thursday, April 7, 2005.

We will rally at Upper Senate Park, directly across the Capitol between Constitution Avenue and Union Station, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Immediately after the rally, we will march on the offices of all 100 senators in groups of state citizens to impress upon them the seriousness of our cause.

We will be working to bring other conservative groups in to co-sponsor the rally. Speakers and co-sponsors will be announced as they confirm.

We will need to raise funds for the rally. The estimated cost is $8,000. Capitol Police rules do not allow us to seek donations at the rally, so we will have to raise the funds before. Click here to help out.

Lord willing, I'll be making the trip from California to D.C. for the rally. It's short notice, but this is too important to stand back. Our rights are at stake. Defend them now, or watch a justice like Anthony Kennedy look to foreign law and opinion one day to take away your Second Amendment and other rights.

Monday, March 14, 2005

No getting stoned in new Bible

Interesting article from the Observer (UK) about the new TNIV revision of the NIV Bible: No getting stoned in new Bible.
"Overall, around seven per cent of the original New International Version Bible has been altered in a bid to bring clarity to a new generation of readers. Some of the changes appear trivial. For example, Matthew's use of the word 'tunic' becomes 'shirt' and his phrase 'with child' becomes 'pregnant'. However, some changes are more profound. Use of the word 'Christ', which was popular with Greek-speaking churches, has been replaced by the Hebrew title 'Messiah'. "

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Ramesh Ponnuru on The Passion of the Christ on National Review Online

An excellent article appears on National Review Online from Ramesh Ponnuru. It first appeared a year ago, but the editors at NRO, obviously realizing that Easter is approaching, felt it necessary to re-post it. The article is actually a review and meditation of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." It is entitled "
A Movie and Its Meaning.." Here is a sample quote:
"Leaving an advance screening of the movie, I ran into a college classmate I had not seen in years. She works for a mass-market pop-culture magazine. 'It's hard to get beyond the ultraviolence,' she said. 'It's obscene.' I nodded. She was right. That's the point: What we did to Christ was obscene."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"I'm a Christian. Get me out of here!"

More information about the church survey in the UK: "'I'm a Christian. Get me out of here!'

Very interesting article, highly recommended!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Huge UK Church Survey says Pews Emptying Because Christianity no Longer Preached

An amazing article from the "LifeSite" web site out of Toronto, Canada: "Huge UK Church Survey says Pews Emptying Because Christianity no Longer Preached"

The reason Christianity is going downhill in the UK? The chuches are adopting to the prevailing liberal culture, rather than be an agent of counter-culture.

Here is a quote that pretty much sums up the article:

91% of responses followed a uniform theme that the decline in traditional Christian moral and doctrinal teaching has caused the outflux of congregations. They listed the lack of apologetics, the reasoned defence and explanation of Christian doctrine, as one of the main reasons for the collapse. “It’s a myth today that the people of this country have rejected Christianity; they simply haven’t been told enough about it to either accept or reject it,” wrote one respondent.