Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope

It's going to be Joseph Ratzinger, who was Pope John Paul II's close personal friend, and the papacies will likely be very similar. He's taking the title Boniface XVI.

I'm not sure what to think. This ensures that the Catholic church will stay in the right with regard to abortion, gay marriage, and some other important moral issues. But the church's theology and doctrine as a whole are far from the truth, and the papacy itself is offensive to me. Maybe I should be happy that it could have been worse, or maybe I should be disgusted that the office of pope continues. . .

Computer-Generated Gibberish Paper Accepted At Conference

I've messed with the heuristic research-paper-writing computer program before, but it was obviously just for goofing around -- or so I thought.

The guys at MIT who wrote this gibberish-writing programs then had it write a gibberish research paper, submitted it to the World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, and had it accepted.

Moussaoui Planning to Admit 9/11 Role

Story here. Of course, the same thing was said a year or two ago, when he entered and then withdrew a guilty plea.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

E2 FEST 2005

The e2 Fest page is up and running on e2 Ministries' site! It's on June 4 in northwest Indiana, and chances are you know some of the bands!

Go to http://www.e2-music.com to check out the current band list and all other information. And if you're a Christian band in the Chicagoland area, contact us to get in!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite Gets His Own Bill

See the Idaho Legislature's Napoleon Dynamite Bill here.

Money quote:

WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote "Nay" on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!" and run the risk of having the "Worst Day of Their Lives!"

Yes, this is for real.

Hat tip Bunnie Diehl.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Bulls Lock Up Playoff Spot

As predicted here at Heroes from the Past back in January! Full story here.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Clean From Sin?

I was just talking about a Christian's relationship to sin with Prime Minister of Toast last week, and now Doug van Pelt of HM Magazine has a great post. Go read it all, but here's a quote:

Chapter 23 finds Job in the midst of his long ordeal. He describes his complaint as "bitter." It seems as if he feels that God is distant or not answering his prayers. He wishes, "If only I knew where to find Him...I would state my case before Him..." Job is confident that if and when he is tested before the Lord, that he will come out clean.

I believe this is a confidence that we can have. Yes, I know that some believers have crafted a theology that allows them to wallow in their sin. I think that to be heresy. Yes, it is true that sin goes deeper than behavior. I think Jesus made that obvious with His great Sermon on the Mount. But, for instance, we can keep ourselves "clean."

Any thoughts? Can we as Christians be clean of sin on earth? Is it pride to consider ourselves free of sin through Christ? Is it self-centered to focus on our own flaws when there are so many people needing to hear the truth? Which is more important, righteousness or compassion? Is this a false dichotomy?

There are two extremes, both of which come from the same source. The first extreme is that of legalism in its many forms. Legalists may be Pharisaical, and be conceitedly proud of their own sinlessness in comparison to others. On the other hand, some legalists are all too aware of their own sins, and are constantly working, unsuccessfully fighting their own sinful nature.

The other extreme is a modern (or perhaps post-modern) reaction to this legalism. It's more insidious than legalism, and I think has really grown in my generation. This is the idea that we're all sinners, but in the grand scheme of things the sin doesn't matter. Since we're powerless to fight our sin, we should simply accept our flaws, move on, and focus on love and unity and being Christ to others. But they fail to realize that righteousness is an essential trait of compassion and Christ-imitation -- that our relationship with God is directly affected by our sin. I'm not sure what this position is called, and I know this term will carry the wrong connotations, but for lack of a better word I'll call it Libertism.

What both of these positions ignore is that we can be free of sin -- through Christ. Legalism denies that Christ brings freedom from sin on earth. Libertism denies that Christ brings freedom from sin on earth. I think this denial, on both sides, is doing more to hurt Christ's work here in America than anything else.

Google Satellite Maps

Just having fun with Google's new map-to-sattelite-picture feature.

Some interesting ones:

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Friday, April 01, 2005

Family Tragedy

Please pray for my extended family. My second cousin on my father's side, Charlene Hicks, was murdered yesterday with her husband, Richard. They were missionaries in Guyana.