Monday, August 28, 2006

From Russia With God (and a Great Deal)

While eating lunch at Caruso's today with my friend Jacob, a Russian missionary from the Unification Church approached us. He was selling some trinkets to raise money for his work, and he sat with us to talk. I had heard of the Unification Church, so I didn't want to miss this opportunity to share the Gospel. But frankly, he surprised me by agreeing that salvation is to be had through Jesus Christ, through Him alone, and that without it, God will condemn us for our sins.

Apparently, I was unfamiliar with the particulars of the Unification Church. I had thought it was one of these "churches" that preaches a gospel of "God is love" and decent people can be "saved" through the cultic figurehead (in this case, Rev. Sun Myung Moon of Korea, its founder). I was mistaken.

Instead, the Unification Church preaches that Jesus was a man only, and not God, who did give himself as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, but only because the world was unwilling to follow Him in establishing God's political kingdom here on earth. Apart from the bizarre heretical notion that somehow saving our souls from eternal damnation was Christ's "plan B", Rev. Moon claims that Christ Himself appeared to Moon in a vision, annointing him to continue that work to establish God's kingdom here on earth, and that all the Christian churches should unify under this political mandate. With Moon himself as the new "messiah" and leader, of course.

Naturally, they deny the authority of the Bible, apart from their own "interpretations" of course. And they redefine Biblical terms to suit their own purposes. In any case, I wasn't aware of all of this during the conversation, so when he concurred explicitly on the absolute necessity of Christ, I felt that I had nowhere else to go. We kindly declined to buy anything, and he moved on.

But having thought about it more, I've decided that, in the future, when talking with non-orthodox "Christians" (be they Mormons, JWs, Unificationists, or others), who don't declare the differences in their theology from Biblical Christianity, I'll simply invite them to church. I encourage you to do likewise. Give them a big smile and a hearty handshake and say, "well it sounds like I've found a brother in Christ. Why don't you come with me to church on Sunday?"

Would people trying to make the case that they really are Christians like myself refuse the invitation? ("What's that? My church is not true to God? Really? Why wouldn't you want to attend my church?") I expect that would more quickly move us to the doctrinal issues at hand.

Or, even better, they'll accept the invitation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Are Only 10% Human

I'll comment more on this later, but if I'm reading this correctly, people are actually 10% Human and 90% Bacteria. Interesting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Greenland to Melt in 13,000 Years

Well here's the biggest piece of global-warming-the-sky-is-falling hysteria passing as journalism these days at the BBC. Too bad they buried deep in the article the part of the story that actually contradicts the need to publish this in the first place.

The Headline: Greenland Melt 'Speeding Up'
Paragraph 1 (of 15): Satellites show that melting "has accelerated since 2004."
Paragraph 2: If it disappears completely, global sea levels will rise 21 feet.

Paragraph 9: Current melt rate is 57.3 cubic miles per year. (I will assume in good faith that that's held true for EACH of the past three years, and that they're not seriously creating a statistical mean based on 2-1/2 years of data.)

Paragraph THIRTEEN: All this amounts to a current global sea level rise of 0.02 inches per year. (Let that sink in for a sec: POINT-ZERO-TWO inches.)

Conveniently ignored and unmentioned implication: If things hold steady, Greenland's melt will contribute a whole 2 inches to global sea level rise in the next 100 years. The entire sheet will disappear in 13,000 years. Oh, HORROR!!! Quick, start building the sea walls!!!

Unfortunately, the anonymous(?!) author never bothered to provide any context of historical averages of Greenland's ice sheet melt. Okay, so it's sped up since 2004? By how much? Do we know the melt rate 100 years ago? 500? 1000? 10,000?

So since we don't know any of those things, why the "sea levels would rise 21 feet" alarmism at the FRONT of the story? I'm not implying that this isn't important scientific news. I'm not implying that we shouldn't do anything to stem (or reverse) this. I AM SAYING that the journalist has an eco-PC agenda, is willing to misrepresent the data, is BAD at putting things in context, and is perfectly happy to do so, all while hiding behind the protective cloak of BBC anonymity. I name him (or her, since they're anonymous): Pud-knocker.

By the way, on a separate note, is it actually standard in news articles to give every sentence its own paragraph? That strikes me as rather excessive. Whatever.

Friday, August 11, 2006

See Jesus Walk the Earth

Did you realize that you can NEVER view the present? It's not possible. You can ONLY see the past. Think about it: You're viewing light that travelled to your brain from some given position (e.g., your desk, your cabinets, the person with whom you're speaking) IN THE PAST. It only SEEMS like the present, because light travels VERY fast, and you're very close to the object.

For example, if you go outside and look at the Sun, you won't see the Sun as it presently appears. You'll see the Sun as it appeared SEVEN MINUTES AGO. This gives me a good idea. The only challenge is that we must first learn to travel faster than the speed of light. BUT as soon as we figure that out...

When astronomers view the stars that sit 2000 light-years away, they are viewing the stars as those stars appeared during the time of Jesus. What if we could place a super-high-resolution telescopic videocamera 2000 light-years from Earth? Focus it on Jerusalem, and PRESTO!

Hopefully, it's not a cloudy day.