2006-06-30

Unhelpful relationship

Unhelpful relationship

(This is not aimed at anyone in particular!!)

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Less time on the computer

Less time on computer

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Too risky

too_risky

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Crybaby

Crybaby

From the Department of Attempted Hunour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Maturity

No_ads_result

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Depression and Faith?

healing

From the Department of Attempted Humour

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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Life terms for Child Abusers

This idea came to me this morning - the idea that child abusers, in fact ALL sex offenders, should stay behind bars for life.

This is not a case of punitive and unjust punishment, but rather a tacit acknowledgement that sex offenders have a medical condition that cannot be "cured". This BBC article confirms such an argument.

It is far safer for the community to ensure that sex offenders - many of whom are likely to strike again if given the chance - are prevented from re-entering society.

But, of course, such a restrictive sentence may be considered "unjust". In this case there needs to be some form of "trade-off" that compensates an offender's permanent loss of liberty to ensure that they remain isolated from the community at large.

If this means boutique jails where child abusers and rapists have comfortable single cells, DVD players and heated swimming pools, then I'm all for it.


2006-06-24

Miami "terrorists" are not muslim

Well, according to Juan Cole they are not. They appear to be some quasi-religious group called "The Seas of David" and wear distinctly Jewish insignia (but are NOT Jews).



2006-06-23

PBF

The new Perry strip is up. It is typically hilarious and dark.



2006-06-22

Al Mohler says nothing again

As many of you know, Al Mohler is my bestest friend in the whole wide world.

Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention met in Greensboro. It was a controversial conference to say the least, with the rise of "Baptist Bloggers" being seen as one of the reasons why Frank Page, and not Ronnie Floyd, was elected president of the SBC.

I've been reading many of these Baptist bloggers recently and there has been a number of issues that they have raised as being rather important:

1. The re-affirmation of the SBC's stance on alcohol, namely that a resolution was passed which pretty much stated that Christians shouldn't drink alcohol. Most of the bloggers I have read are arguing that this position of the SBC - something they have maintained for probably over a century - is biblically untenable.

2. The refusal to examine the issue of integrity in church membership, namely "honesty in reporting" membership by striking off unbelievers and non-attenders from church rolls. The fact that this is not done means that a) Baptist membership statistics are continually over-inflated and not representative of the true situation, and b) many Baptist churches are reporting falsehoods, which is obviously a moral problem.

So what does Al Mohler do? He starts up a special blog called "Conventional Thinking" where he is now posting his thoughts on the recent meeting in Greensboro and the issues that have come out of it.

Except, of course, that he isn't even bothering to address the thoughts and influence of the Baptist bloggers. It's only early days yet, but I reckon Mohler won't even touch the issue of abstinence, integrity in church membership, Frank Page's controversial election and the influence of blogs.



2006-06-21

More Fight Club vs Lord of the Rings pics

I've discovered it's probably funnier having Fight Club quotes to LOTR scenes.








































































































2006-06-20

A sad reflection on Southern Baptists

Despite being neither Baptist nor American, it is nevertheless obvious that the Southern Baptist Convention is important in the overall direction of the Christian faith generally, which is why I care.

The SBC had a recent convention where they passed all sorts of stupid stuff (such as resolving, yet again, their unbiblical stance on the consumption of alcohol) and refused to pass intelligent stuff (such as taking unbelievers off the church rolls).

This quote, from "Baptist Blogger", is telling:

The Southern Baptist Convention has relegated Christian liberty in Christ to confessional oblivion and those who are willing to engage seriously in a discussion of its meaning and limit are characterized as an ungodly, immoral, unholy, and impure bunch of bootleggers peddling liquid licentiousness. Yet when the stars and stripes are waved, or "God Bless America" is sung, tears roll down cheeks and hands are lifted high.

We are, it seems, no different that the German Church at the close of the Weimar Republic. Nationalism is our religion. The Gospel is now emptied of its power to set the captives free. This disturbs me more than the resolution itself. In fact, I could have stomached two years of the runner-up much easier than to stand in the convention hall and watch my fellow messengers rise to their feet when the death of Al-Zarquawi is announced. A soul is sent to hell, and we do not grieve. We cheer.


James Earl Carter #3

Jimmy Carter, "history's greatest monster", has a 61% approval rate for his time as president, behind Reagan (71%) and Kennedy (84%).

Must have been the way he saved his own life against an aggressive intruder so many years ago.



2006-06-18

Lord of the Rings vs Fight Club (pics)

I made these. Enjoy...





















































































Hold the phone!

I love it when stats prove me wrong. One of my favourite wikipedia pages is Demographics of the United States which contains an interesting section on religious affiliation.

I've always found this article compelling because of the state of American Baptists. According to the article, Baptists in America declined from 19.8% to 17.2% of the population between 1990 and 2000 - and also declined in number by 0.4%.

It's a statistic that is quite damning of American Baptists especially the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Given that the entire makeup of the Baptist movement is to baptise adult believers only, and the enormous power given to individual churches, one would think that the structure would be ideal for grass-roots evangelism and church growth.

Apparently not. I blame Charles Finney for most of this.

The real surprise is the growth of the Episocopal Church and the United Church of Christ. Although their numbers are small, both bodies grew at enormous numerical rates during the 1990s - 13.4% for the Episcopal church and 130.1% for the United Church of Christ.

Both denominations are very theologically liberal and their growth during this period knocks on the head predictions of their demise. No wonder they feel safe ordaining homosexuals - to them there is no link between theological liberalism and church decline.

Why is this important?

It's because here in Australia the situation is different. The Uniting Church and the non-evangelical dioceses that make up the Anglican Church are representative of mainstream theological liberalism. Both, however, are suffering terrible numerical decline. By contrast, Evangelical churches like the Sydney Anglicans are growing in number. (Interestingly, the Baptists in Australia are not growing much)

The interesting thing about comparing Australian and American religious beliefs is the large amount of people who tick "no religion" in the census. Americans of no religion increased from 6.4% of the population in 1990 to 15.0% of the population in 2000. Australia in 1996 was 16.5% non religious. So what's going on?

I wish I had the stats at hand, but I'm fairly certain that America has a higher attendance rate than Australia does. This means that census figures for America are far more accurate in terms of discerning religious trends than Australian census figures are. What I mean is that when you see churches growing or declining in American census figures, it means that those particular churches are, in fact, growing or declining. In Australia, census figures will show that Anglicans and Presbyterians to be declining in number - but denominational stats will show churches probably growing in number, there being a disparity between regular members and those who tick the box on the census form.

And I can't think of anything else to say. This was supposed to be a short post.



2006-06-16

One man's discovery

Shuji Nakamura invented blue LEDs back in the 1990s.

Now, after years of mass production, the price of these LEDs is now beginning to affect society. How?

* The most obvious is that Blue LEDs are used in the next generation of DVD player. His invention has obviously meant that DVDs can carry more information. Great for us film buffs.

* The technology he invented has also meant the development of pure white LEDs, which are also now quite cheap. White LEDs use much less energy to produce light. White LEDs are therefore going to be important as a substitute light source if society cuts down its energy use to reduce greenhouse gases.

* The technology he invented has also meant the development of ultra-violet LEDs, which are now being used to sterilize drinking water - a boon for third world nations needing cost-effective water treatment.

2006-06-14

Tom Hinkle experiences hell

Not literally of course, but he is having a really, really hard time at the moment.

Read this account first, and then this, and then please pray for the guy. It'd be great too if you could offer him some messages of encouragement.

2006-06-10

Surprising Quotes

A number of people produce at will such musical sounds from their behind (without any stink) that they seem to be singing from that region.

- St. Augustine (City of God 14.24) on the existence of professional farters in the ancient world.

There was a discussion at Luther's table about breasts, which are an ornament to women if they are well proportioned. Large and flabby breasts cause unhappiness... because they promise much and produce little.

- Martin Luther (Table Talk, 4105) discussing important things with his students.





Moments in Reformed Theology (lots of pics)






































































































































































































Many thanks to Craig for letting us know about this online resource.