Friday, February 29, 2008

The Origin of Sadie Hawkins Day

On this day in 1288, the Parliament of Scotland enacted a law allowing women to ask men to marry them, but only on this day, February 29th. If the men refused, by law they had to pay a hefty fine. Methinks this is quite possibly the origin of the manly man's three-day fishing trip as well.

Now What!!!???

Global Warming Inc. II

This morning a feature article in the Seattle Times asks us, "Should Toll Roads Help Fight Global Warming?" Notice that the Times article assumes that our globe is, well...warming. However, this morning I asked Strauss-the-weather-dog what he thought about recent temperature trends, and he barked twice, indicating "definitely colder." And, lest you are tempted to dismiss this doggy-data as frivolous and unscientific, Strauss's opinion does indeed comport with the latest temperature information (see below.)

So in answer to the Seattle Times' question. Here are three quick jabs at the fear mongers at Global Warming Inc.

"Has it ever occurred to you how astonishing the culture of Western society really is? Industrialized nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health and comfort. Average life spans increased 50 percent in the last century. Yet modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over things they can't even see - germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful and depressed. And even more amazingly, they are convinced that the environment of the entire planet is being destroyed around them. Remarkable! Like the belief in witchcraft, it's an extraordinary delusion - a global fantasy worthy of the Middle Ages. Everything is going to hell, and we must all live in fear." (A fictionalized academic in Michael Crichton's novel, State of Fear)

According to at least four different sources, our supposedly over-heating planet cooled significantly last year. You can view the data yourself here. (Yikes, talk about an inconvenient truth...)

"Lest you doubt the left's pieties are now a religion, try this experiment: go to an environmental activist and say, 'Hey, how about that ozone hole closing up?' or 'Wow! The global warming peaked in 1998 and it's been getting cooler for almost a decade. Isn't that great?' and then look at the faces. As with all Millenarian doomsday cults, good news is a bummer." (Mark Steyn)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Great Divorce

These days I am listening to about as many books as I read. I just finished listening to C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce on my iPod. Wow. I love reading, but sometimes the audio version surpasses the mysterious glory of "shadows on paper." Reader Robert Whitefield's accents are spot-on, most noteably his George MacDonald Scots-brogue. This master exposé of modern idols has long been one of my favorite reads (I've read it at least once a year for several years running), but I will probably swap reading for listening, at least for a few trips around the sun. You can download the audio version at or purchase a CD here.

Another audio masterpiece is Lewis' Screwtape Letters read by John Cleese of Monty Python fame. Cleese's accent and delivery make one wonder whether he is reading the book or channeling the demon-spirit of uncle Screwtape.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Will You Have a Nose in Heaven?

Most modern Christians have a conception of heaven that is much more Gnostic than Christian. Aristotle and others taught that salvation was "salvation from the body." But the Scriptures teach that salvation is the "salvation of the body" (and indeed of all things pertaining to our humanity.)

Paul taught that Jesus was the "firstfruits from among the dead", meaning that we would follow Christ after the pattern and in the likeness of his resurrection. John taught that someday we will see Jesus and that "we will be just like him." In other words, we, just like Jesus, will have "noses and toe-ses" in heaven.

Bishop N.T. Wright has some very helpful comments on this doctrine in a recent interview with TIME magazine which you can read here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lord of the Nano-seconds...

Yesterday (Sunday morning) I was motoring down to Shiloh (our downtown church office) to pick up some books to take to our Lord's Day assembly. The roads were very snowy so I took my wife's newly aquired Toyota Highlander. I was traveling down Yakima Avenue and about to cross Chelan Street when I noticed a truck coming from my left on Chelan. I had a green light. He had a red light. I couldn't stop because of the snow beneath my tires. He didn't stop because, as he told me a few momeents later, he was talking on his cell-phone. I hit my anti-lock brakes and began a four-wheeled slide through the intersection, yelling through the windshield "What are you doing!!!???" I hit the truck broadside, "T-boning" it on the passenger side. We both walked away from the collision (praise the Lord!) And the other driver, to his credit, immediately took full responsiblity for the early morning "demolition derby" and even told the police officers that he had run the red light whilst talking on his cell-phone! (Wowsers.)

I later calculated that if I had entered the intersection 1/4 of a second sooner, he would have T-boned me on the driver's side and I most likely would have been hospitalized (or worse.) God is indeed the "Lord of the nano-seconds" and we are all extremely grateful for His sovereign superintendence of yesterday's events. Soli deo gloria!

Global Warming Inc.

Have you noticed how Global Warming Inc. is able to take any isolated weather pattern and use it as "proof" of global warming? Here in Wenatchee we had a hot dry spell last summer and that was "proof" of global warming. We are currently having a very moist and cold winter and that too is "proof" of Al Gore's "inconvenient truth." I am assuming that if we have an average sort of Spring that that will be "proof" of global warming as well. Curiouser and curiouser...

Sometimes "more" is "less"......

"A German airline is offering nude flights. What a tremendous idea. How many times have you been on a flight and looked around and said, 'Gee, if only I could see these people naked.'" (David Letterman)