Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Desktop Extinction
I also wonder how much of a factor the Vista, er, problem has stagnated PC sales.

I enjoy having the freedom of a laptop, but goodness the drawbacks are utterly frustrating (which, for me, keeps me festooned with a desktop).

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I meant to add on to the first sentence.

And conversely, how much will 7 pick up sales (in what might be a temporary manner).

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Who is the Bible for?
In a nutshell, I think that we can import our culture too much, but to say that we must understand the bible only if we understand exactly what was in the mind of Paul, Peter, Amos, etc. is dangerous at best. We do use culture, but the bible was authored by God to all, not (to take the example above) authored by Paul to Timothy (highlighting the difference between author and scribe, essentially). To me, to view the bible through our culture first or through (whatever century) Jewish culture first is a gross importation of culture.

In a slightly related link:
Justin Taylor

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I disagree that you must understand Shammai and Hillel. Christ gives His context (He is the author, after all) to understanding. The fact that Christ says "except" tells us that He is speaking not on the absolute of whether or not, but in a nod toward the "when is it legal". Knowing the culture certainly sheds light on what the Pharisees’ motivations were, but the real question Christ is answering is, well, shown in what He answers.

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Well said (and James K., too!).

I might not categorize dispensationalism as quite in the category as open theism, egalitarianism and the acceptance of homosexuality, though (taking a plain text and obscuring it or expanding it as Donald does above). But I am not adroit enough to defend either side (not that I am in other categories, either, mind you).

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I suppose I see act as a Berean means study the scriptures, not culture first, then the scriptures. I see the view of the adding information not originally in the bible as a contradiction of the idea of being a Berean (i.e. eagerly studying the scriptures). And, I suppose, saying culture is what ultimately defines the meaning is flawed since we don’t a) know Christ’s thoughts (to speak specifically to this) and b) we still only have a good idea of Jewish culture. You have to assume what pieces of culture dictate meaning (and, in this case, attempt to peer into the mind of Christ). Over and over God states that we let the scriptures inform us. I guess I just see that God did write them to us to be understood plainly. I don’t think that it means that all scripture is easy, it’s not, but that’s a fractional exception (ha ha, punny), not a rule.

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The challenge is teleporting what the scribes (Paul, Peter, David, etc.) thought. Not only is that not something we can do, I don't think it's wise to try to discern reading between the lines. If we were to apply that thinking, then, as an example, Matthew would be incorrect in citing Isaiah as a prophetic writing about the messiah, Christ would have been wrong to correct the Jewish culture from Moses’ time, etc. In the end, I think that Christ went out of His way to make a grand example and say stop injecting our (self reasoned) ideals and culture (whether 1st Cen AD, BC or 20th cen AD) into His words. Stop making law say what He didn’t say. We do run the risk of teleporting God’s word into a relativistic cultural setting one way or the other. It seems a plain reading would be preferred over an inferential reading if at all possible. Or so go my thoughts.

And, just to make sure it isn’t lost, I think that both of us would pray fervently that we understand and apply what we are reading. Problems can arise in both camps (if this issue is taken as an either or, that is). I certainly don’t claim perfect understanding (as you would avoid as well, I think, well, I sure hope ;-)).

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Bauer Reviews “In the Land of Believers”
Interesting quote:

...we have to remind ourselves of the ever-present tendency in all of us to judge morality by emotion. The most frequent reason I hear people supporting same-sex marriage is that they know some gay couples or individuals. Empathy is a noble human quality but right or wrong does not depend on who is doing the action or on how I feel about those people, just as judging an action wrong should not depend on disliking someone. This might seem obvious to a right thinking person but I have encountered many well-educated people who do not (or cannot?) make the distinction.

From Dr. Kenneth Howell who is involved in an interesting imbroglio. I do disagree with his final statements about how we make moral conclusions, though.

Matt Kaufman wrote on this story:

And finally, there's something affirming even about the tactics of Howell's assailants. Their eagerness not to refute him, but to silence him, is a reminder of how much the darkness hates the light. Is that how people secure in their convictions act?

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Oh, I wholeheartedly agree. But the crux was not that there is emotion involved, but too many times it is used to establish one's position (that’s the main point). While this does go on both sides, the first place to start in a morality discussion is God’s word. On this issue, it does speak clearly. Just because those homosexuals I know are really nice people doesn’t change what He says on it. More importantly, just because more people accept it as OK doesn’t make it OK, either (I think, you know that).

Coupled with that, though, we do have to realize that our model is still Christ. Which means we really do call sin sin, yet we don’t avoid contact, simply pointing fingers and yelling (that is one thing that Kelly and others rightly identify).

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Golf vs. Motherhood
1) Just to counter Zusanne’s post, my experience in training and dealing with youth is quite the opposite of Zusanne's (by and large, I don't think either she or I would say one or the other as a blanket statement for all homeschool kiddos), particularly in the area of respect for authority. Perhaps I live in an area that (for some reason) has a strong homeschooling (I am not personally homeschooled, mind you) community. The admonition is well worth keeping in mind, though*!
2) Dr. Mohler had an article this morning about this subject (more or less). His ending quote:

And when it comes to happiness, we must aim for something higher. Christians are called to joy and satisfaction in Christ, and to find joy in the duties and privileges of this earthly life. Every parent will know moments of honest unhappiness, but the Christian parent settles for nothing less than joy.

Why Are Parents So Unhappy? And Who Would Settle for Happiness, Anyway?

* - And our homeschooled brothers and sisters might see post 12 as a tacit condemnation of homeschoolers in general.

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10th Wedding Anniversary
Happy Anniversary, Dr. Burk. I pray for you to be prophetic in your poem.

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