Showing posts from June, 2010

Another Something I Don't Get

Lady Gaga.
Why we let the media push us around and control our worldviews
Why a person who makes popular music thinks he/she is an expert in anything else and therefore should have a platform
Addictions and addicted people
How a person who has written a lot of books can get away with putting out trash

From Charles Colson's BreakPoint Ministry--And I Heartily Agree

Broken Genome Promises
Identifying the Weak

June 28, 2010

Ten years ago, then-president Clinton told Americans that mapping the human genome would "revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases."

But as the New York Times reported recently, a decade after the mapping of the human genome, the "genetic map [has yielded] few new cures."

The primary goal of the project—discovering the "genetic roots of common disease" and then finding cures—"remains elusive." In fact, the Times reports, "geneticists are almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease."

Unfortunately, there's more to this story than yet another case of failing to live up to the scientists' hype. That's because while genetics' potential to heal may be almost back to square one, the same can't be said for its potential to harm.

Genomics may not be able to cure illnesses, but it can pr…

Things I just Don't Understand--At least a Few

1. Tattoos.
2. Church services in the dark (like a night club?)
3. Piercing anywhere but in earlobes
4. The popularity of vampire anything
5. Why women call up talk radio shows and start crying. Shoot, why some women start crying if you look cross-eyed at them.
6. Why people (usually men, but not always) sabotage themselves. Self-sabotage, especially among freshmen college students, is one of life's enduring mysteries.
7. Piling on. Listen, the Prez is having a bad week. Give him a break. Disagree with the man's policies (I sure do), but don't attack him for being a human being.
8. Al Bore, I mean Gore.
9. Women with tattoos.

Best Comments Post Ever

Seen on a yahoo comments page:
From the looks of these comments, some of you need to look into taking a remedial writing course.

And This Will End It

The other night TCM showed the Judy Garland version of A Star is Born. For a number of reasons, I prefer the Janet Gaynor version from the thirties. Like most originals, the 30s version had more heart, and for me, I didn't have to listen to Judy Garland's campy singing for what seemed like hours. The male lead in the original was a better person than in the second version; he loved his wife more. Plus, the first time I saw it the end shocked me, and of course I knew what was coming with this one. Additionally, for some reason the studio cut and lost portions of the second one and the viewer now has to sit through bizarre stills with dialogue in the background for quite a bit. I wished they would have cut Judy's numbers instead of the story scenes. And as Robert Osborne says, the rise of the young starlet in the first version makes more sense, and Judy Garland was too old for the role to be believable.

Before anyone says, what's wrong with Judy Garland, I would …

Good Read

I recently finished Descartes Bones. An important book for anyone concerned with the history of philosophy, science, its relationship to religion (esp. Roman Catholicism), and humanities. I think I understand "Cogito Ergo Sum" better now. It had eluded me before.

I was teaching "I think, therefore I am" in class and a student, a Christian, pointed out his use of "I am," and wondered if it was related to the "I am" of the Burning Bush, etc. This might be an interesting connection. Descartes was a devout person, in his own way, not unlike most of the other scientists until the 20th century.

Addendum to Yesterday

Ha! I have obviously gotten a laptop back!

I realized that part of the problem with our view of the Holy Spirit comes from the Apostle's Creed. The mention there of the Holy Spirit seems like an afterthought. I also realized that we treat the Holy Spirit like a servant--ours and God's. Wow. How did we get so far from understanding the Holy Spirit's role and place (I have a hard time putting a pronoun to the Holy Spirit, and definitely won't abbreviate.)

I am a fan of The Pragmatics of Human Communication by Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson. It's a must read for any student of communication. But notice the title, Human Communication. I bring this up because one of their axioms is that human communication is either complementary or asymmetrical. In other words, there is either equality or inequality in terms of power. We of course are mostly in asymmetrical relationships. Someone has higher status or power almost all the time. Therefore, it is hard for us t…

Link not to be missed

Is there anything more sinister?

The Incomplete Trinity

Before I am accused of heresy, let me say that this refers to our version of the Trinity. We leave off the Holy Spirit in our teaching and practice, but do remember to tag the Holy Spirit on to our "trinitarian formulas."

I am the furtherest (farthest? furthest?) person from a charismatic there is, but I have long felt the experiential absence of the Holy Spirit from church and practice. What are we afraid of? If God is called "Abba Father" and Jesus is the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Good Shepherd, and many other endearing names, why do we not attribute love, care, grace, etc. to the Holy Spirit as well?

I bring this up because I am working through two discipleship books right now in hopes of using them with a small group (very small). At the moment in both I am studying the Holy Spirit. There were three questions I was supposed to write about today in one of them (Renovare "Living the Mission" workbook).

1. How do you most clearly see the Holy Spirit …

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Sad

Two years ago we were supposed to believe that Barack Obama was the Messiah. Now his supporters are turning on him. They had such ridiculous ideas, no wonder their expectations were not met.

I do not feel sorry for them, or for him. He ate it up.

Unfortunately, this is happening because of one of the worst disasters possible. So there is no satisfaction in this.

Perhaps because I am a student of public rhetoric, I used to listen to Obama speak and think, "Yeah, he gives a good speech, but come on, everybody knows that doesn't mean he's a leader or qualified to be president or anything." Apparently not. I felt the way I used to at Tennessee Temple. I would sit there in chapel and look around and say to myself, "These people actually believe all this," (not the Christian truth, but the self-serving stuff that only those who were there would understand what I am talking about).

So I can't feel sorry for anyone who let themselves be duped and who c…

Some Reading for Those So Inclined

This is something I wrote for my students in HUMANITIES 1201. I think it's pretty good and might clear up some things for folks.

The 18th and 19th Centuries

As usual, the text does what it does very well but eliminates some crucial elements of this period, called The Age of Reason or The Age of Enlightenment. This study guide is designed to guide you through what in the book you will be held responsible to know (that is, what I want to emphasize) and will at the end do the same in reference to the PowerPoint, which as you see is simplified but still important.

The Age of Reason actually started about 1680 with Isaac Newton’s work called Principia Mathematica and with the English Glorious Revolution. One of the ideas Newton and his contemporaries proposed was that the world, nature, or natural phenomena were measurable and could be recorded in mathematical formulas. If measurable, then it was understandable and controllable. Nature was now the primary field of study, as opposed…


I read James Joyce's "The Dead," one of my most favorite short stories, last night. Joyce's characters in The Dubliners all have epiphanies. I had one this morning too.

We humans love to blame God for things that happen because we disobey His law and common sense. Then we pray for Him to fix it. If we are so smart, why don't we fix it ourselves?