Friday, January 29, 2010

Hither and thither 1/29/10

A multi-course meal of eclectic goodness for your week-ending enjoyment.
  • First, an apology. That's right, from me, to you, Dear Reader. I am sorry that I didn't have THIS up for you, if you endured the president's SOTU speech. Sorry. (Check out the URL.)
  • Want to read a really good response to the State of the Union Ordeal? That would be from... Sarah Palin
  • UPDATE: after that endless saga of a speech, the President has earned himself a new nickname: Oblahblah. (Can't believe I didn't think of that myself; credit to commenter Chadron over at FR.)
  • Legos. So, first of all, did you even know there was such a thing as a "certified Lego professional"? Well, there is; and there are six of them. One of them is Nathan Sawaya. His "art is currently touring North American museums in a show titled, The Art of the Brick." Nathan will do a life-sized Lego statue of you, if you like. Just send him sixteen photos of yourself from various angles. Oh, and $60,000.
  • Not inter-faith, but multi-faith. So a pastor, an imam, and a rabbi walk into a church, a mosque, and a synagogue... and take their congregations. Not a joke. (Thanks to 3GD for the tip.)
  • Doggone it, there should be law against hornets so big that 30 of them can massacre 30,000 honeybees. This isn't the first time we've noted them, though.  It's European honeybees that are so vulnerable. However, Japanese honeybees have a lethal defense. (In fact, that was our first Isn't Evolution Wonderful post.)
  • Well. Now we finally know what it takes to get a Clinton to stand up for the US in any sense.
  • Goodness I hate it when this happens.
  • From the bizarre to... well, the bizarre of another kind. So a guy comes up with a way to help lonely single people locate each other, make some wise moves to establish relationships — do you think he ever dreamt his service would end up trampled by willing slaves of sexual perversion, hellbent on mainstreaming their sin? And yet. (Thanks to reader Joe Wisnieski for the tip.)
  • Folks aren't much about repenting of sin. But they are all about making their sin not look like sin.
  • Food? Oh yeah, I guess you can eat it. If you want. Or you can do this.

  • For the man who has everything — and I mean everything — you've got this. And of course, this.
  • Carolyn Plocher does a lot of writing about sexual/family-related issues and the media for the Cultural and Media Institute. Reader Mark Loftus noted to me that Plocher caught Joy Behar spilling the beans about all those homosexual men longing for monogamous, married, same-sex love... and how their numbers may be grossly exaggerated. In the course, Plocher herself outs the agenda.
  • But shh! the Pres says that they're just being "who they are."
  • Uh... time for this link again?
  • Speaking of The One: you're the President of the United States. You're going to speak to a class of sixth-graders. Naturally, you make sure to bring along... your TelePrompter?

  • Beetles. Turns out they have feelings. And sometimes jewels. (Thanks to reader Jan Pruett.) 
  • So, when I got my iPhone, you mocked.  "Extravagance," you scoffed. "Men and their toys," you jeered. Okay, that was my wife. Okay, it wasn't even her (—bless her!), it was my conscience. But ha! turns out iPhones save lives. (Actually a serious story, but hope we can smile with the happy ending.)
  • Oh dear. In a court case that arguably shouldn't even be taking place, it sounds as if the expert witness in favor of California's Proposition 8 didn't do a very good job. (Link from reaer CR.)
  • Turns out our awesome cat from earlier this week isn't the only one.

  • There are many price-comparison sites for books. The creator of a new one,, reached out to me for mention. One unique feature I notice is that search results single out the lowest prices up-top, followed by used and new as distinct categories.
  • So, you're a professedly Christian president of a nation with a deeply Judeo-Christian history and framework. You need to nominate someone to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Who do you pick? Well, naturally you pick someone who has written that religious people do not have the right even to THINK that homosexuality is a sin, and that such intolerance cannot be tolerated.
  • Not depressed enough? Consider this: there are still Christians who foolishly voted for Obama, who are doubling-down to rationalize their error. Scariest thing about human nature, period.
  • And so HSAT, I leave you with these:




threegirldad said...

Re: the "multi-faith" link: Dr. Stetzer mentioned it in a Facebook post by asking the question, "Why would an evangelical church encourage members to attend services at a mosque & synagogue?"

And I first took that to mean "Why" as in "What are they thinking?!" But it quickly became evident that the question was meant in the sense of simple reportage ("Since Bob [Roberts] is a friend, I contacted him for details.")

I'm still completely blinkered by Dr. Stetzer's apparent enthusiasm for the whole thing.

Notice that if you challenge Bob Roberts about this, it's only because you're an "old Christian" with irrational fears of other religions, your God is too small, and you don't really understand/aren't truly living out the Great Commission.

Citizen Grim said...

That multi-faith thing is... peculiar. Kinda like the whole congregation agreeing to visit the Areopagus, and in return, the Areopagus sits in on a church service. A bit gimmicky.

One can only hope that the preacher hoping to represent Christ preached the gospel from Scripture without compromise. (He does say in the interview that he rejects the notion that all religions lead to the same place.)

Brad Williams said...

Oh man, I thought the multi-faith thing was a really bad idea. Until I saw that the pastor got to tell the whole synagogue this after they asked him if he really believed that Jesus was the only way:

Yes, I do believe that. I don't wish to offend you or seem arrogant or cocky or narrow. But I believe in the authority of the Bible and it says that - it's a quote from my Savior and I can't compromise on that. It's true for all religions - even Baptist! That doesn't mean I think I'm better than you - it means truth is absolute and not subjective - and wish you all believed that and I'd love to help you with that and then baptize all of you.

Pshaw. Who wouldn't give their right arm to be invited to a mosque or synagogue to talk about that in a cordial way?

Jugulum said...


Gimmicky? Seems the same way to me, too. That's not a fatal flaw, though--I put "gimmickiness" more in the category of "subjective opinion & taste".


Right. It matters what's said. If the exclusivity of Christ is maintained, where is the problem? And it sounds like he handled that well.

But there was a problematic part: He said that yes, they were actually worshiping together. He said that he wasn't directing his worship to the Muslim god--but I'd still call that unwise.

Brad Williams said...


Well, he'd have to unpack that 'worshipping together' thing a bit. But I still say, if I could get my folks prepared to be cordial witnesses of Christ in such a place, I'd do it in half a second.

Think of the possibilities of building relationships with folks. Especially if you had a minority Muslim community like Berbers or Somali that would be willing to do this sort of thing. It would be worth it to be able to proclaim and defend the gospel in such an environment, and to be able to demonstrate the love of Christ.

It may be a gimmick, but I'm buying.

Neat. My word verification is: charity. How cool is that?

Fred Butler said...

I bet a person could put out an eye with that penny gun thing.

SolaMommy said...

SolaSon, who is almost 3, tried bailing from my lap after I pressed the "NOOOO!" button. I managed to distract him by watching the guy shoot bottles over with pennies, at which SolaSon dissolved into giggles :-) He also liked the cat sliding down the bannister..."Wheee!"

I wonder if homosexuals are upset with Behar for "outing" them. Also, that EEOC lady is scary, but obviously someone BO would choose.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Those hornets are giving me NIGHTMARES!

I'm intrigued by the multi-faith event. The "worshiping together" part that Jugulum mentioned troubled me too. Sure, I can worship God anywhere, but sitting in a Mosque, in a Muslim worship service, and claiming I'm worshiping God seems... fuzzy.

But sitting in on a Jewish service or a Muslim service as an observer, to earn the right to speak the truth to them, seems like a good bargain. And it seems that he held to the truth, from his own report.


Brad Williams said...

Herding Grasshopper,

My thoughts exactly.

As to the update..."Oblahblah." pretty vehement about honoring our government officials and don't tolerate any sort of belittling of our God-ordained leaders.

But that's funny, I don't care who you are.

Sir Aaron said...

Worshipping in a mosque but not worshipping the muslim god. Oh, why didn't Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego think of that? Then they could have bowed down to the King's statute but really be bowing down to God. Then they would have avoided that pesky problem with the furnace.

The E-Harmony thing is old news. They already settled a similar lawsuit in New Jersey. Personally, I would have shut down the company and reopened it from a Caribbean Island. I'd do anything before being forced to do what they did.

You really had conscience problems over getting an Iphone? Been reading too many Puritans lately?

DJP said...

too many Puritans

Sorry, that phrase... I can't make any sense out of it.


DJP said...

Brad... you're a better man, and example to The Children, than I.

Rachael Starke said...

Wow. The multi-faith thing was interesting. We actually had a Muslim Imam visit our college for a chapel service and I thought it was

I can see big potential blessings and big potential risks.

Potential for blessing in terms of helping shepherd people in loving others more knowledgeably.

And I really appreciate the pastor's comments about the presence of the Holy Spirit. He's right on, on that front.

The one comment a lady made about being so moved watching a (Muslim or Jewish, not sure which) father with his son worship, and thinking that their devotion was as sincere as hers? That's what set off big, big alarm bells for me. Seeing that would move me to great sadness and concern for their souls, not some kind of fuzzy gooey hope that sincerity really equals truth (HT C.S. Lewis). That's what makes me think this kind of thing ought not to be for the general undiscerning Christian public.

The real litmus test? If one of those Muslims or Jews becomes a Christian. That'll test how excited and open everyone is....

And called me warped, but I thought the Homicide Division mug was hilarious. Whistling in the dark is great when it's pitch perfect. :)

CR said...

Well, I endured the President's SOTU. He broke all etiquette rules when he said what he said against the SCOTUS. First, he had his facts wrong (intentional or not). He could have warned the justices and put out his SOTU speech earlier so the justices could make a decision not to attend. It was only released 30 minutes before the speech and the justices were already there. How many of you want to bet that the justices (even the more liberal ones) don't show up next year?

Anyone see Justice Ginsburg sitting there. She looked half dead. Thank you Obama voters for nothing since he will get a chance to replace her. He will get to replace 3 justices in just on term. May God have mercy on our nation.

Brad Williams said...


I agree with your concerns as well. On the flip-side, as a pastor, look at what that comment would reveal about the spiritual condition of some within my own congregation. I see teaching opportunities galore.

I imagine Paul's speaking in the synagogues was attended by Christians. Even when the "cordial" atmosphere began to break down. I don't see this as very different, as long as you are doing a good job shepherding your people in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I wish I could develop a good enough relationship with either a rabbi or an imam to be able to share, from the point of view of a friend, the truth of the gospel.

I would not, however, say that the true litmus test should be measured in conversions. Only in faithfulness.

Sir Aaron,

I think your comparison is off because the situation is not the same. In the case of the three stalwart brethren, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, their pretending that the idol was really Yahweh would have been a terrible compromise. No one would have known the distinction, and they were forbidden from idols anyway.

In this case, the Christians were invited to the mosque/synagogue. Everyoe present would expect that the Christians would worship 'their' God. Further, the pastor made it clear that he, and as such implied his congregation believed, that Jesus was the only way to God as per John 14:6. The Jews specifically brought this up because they already knew it to be a point of contention. This indicates that they were aware of the stance of the Christian's believing Christ to be the 'only way' before they ever got there.


I try to be an example! (I used to try to be an ensample when I only had the KJV). Sorry if I have pontificated over-much on this at your place.

Sir Aaron said...

Whatever you say, Brad, because nobody knew that Daniel's three friends were Jewish and worshipped Yahweh, right? I mean it's not like it was obvious to everyone that they were Hebrews who fastidiously worshipped their own God. Oh yeah, it was obvious.

Dan: Some Puritans believed that you should earn all
you can, save all you can, and give all you can. Very worried about spending money on anything they didn't really need.

Cr: until death do us part is a long time isn't it? People weren't thinking of lifetime justice appointments when they voted for Obama. Well, I guess they didn't think, period.

Sir Aaron said...

P.S. What's the difference between bowing down to an idol and explaining you weren't bowing to the idol but really to Yahweh and worshipping at a mosque? So if it's Buddhist temple with a golden Buddha, it's a no-go, but praying at a mosque is ok?

Brad Williams said...

Sir Aaron,

Of course praying in a mosque is okay, if you have been invited there to pray to Jesus. I think you are making a case that will not stick. The Christians in this story were invited under the pretense that they were Christians, were they not? No one was demanding that they bow down to their Baal, and no one would have expected that the Christians woud suddenly start praying to Allah either.

I don't understand why you seem to believe these brothers and sisters are compromisers when their explicit purpose was to share their faith, which they did. When was the last time you seized an opportunity to share Jesus in a mosque...and that by invitation?!

DJP said...

I don't, myself, see this as simple. If it were, say, Brian McLaren doing it, we'd see it in one context. But the statements there sure seem to make this pastor sound pretty pedal-to-the-metal evangelistic. So... great fishing opportunity, no? Get the salt out of the shakers.

But a pastor, a shepherd, taking a flock of sheep to visit a pack of wolves... not a great idea, is it?

See? Not simple.

Brad Williams said...


I am with you, 100%. I would be nervous, and honestly, it would matter a lot on the particular congregation I was pastoring and how long I had been with them.

The congregation I'm with now, well, I think they could handle it. Of course, there would be prep time! But we are a disciplined church, that knows its confession, and has solid elder leadership and personal discipleship happening.

That is not the case with every church, and I'm afraid you're right, in some congregations it would be more dangerous than others.

Upon first blush, I had the knee-jerk reaction that this was another "inter-faith" debacle. But as I read what happened, I though, "Wow, what an opportunity if they are mature enough to handle it."

Sir Aaron said...


I think the whole thing is obvious. It's the same thing I think about Christians preaching at the Crystal Cathedral. If you are actually evangelizing, there's no way you'll be invited much less invited a second time.

What is the reaction you get when you evangelize? A.) Repentance and conversion or B.) hatred towards you and everything you stand for, which is actually contempt for Christ. The fact that a Christian could worship alongside a Muslim at a mosque means there was not evangelizing.

The whole thing is a compromise very much in tune with the seeker sensitive movement. In that I mean there is an attempt to evangelize by deception. You use marketing, or in this case, a ruse to promote understanding, all the while trying to cleverly conceal the truth until you can slowly slip it in while your audience isn't paying attention. Because as soon as you give them the unvarnished truth your audience will despise you.

Brad Williams said...

Sir Aaron,

You said:

I think the whole thing is obvious. It's the same thing I think about Christians preaching at the Crystal Cathedral. If you are actually evangelizing, there's no way you'll be invited much less invited a second time.

He was actually evangelizing. That much is obvious. Did you read the article? The man preached the gospel whether or not he gets invited back remains to be seen.

What is the reaction you get when you evangelize?

There is an option C. That is an increased curiosity about the gospel of Jesus Christ and a searching out to see if the gospel is true. The Bereans had that reaction. I had that reaction. Did you get converted the first time you heard?

The whole thing is a compromise very much in tune with the seeker sensitive movement.

You have no evidence for this, and the article speaks much to the contrary. You know neither the pastor nor the congregation. And even if they are guilty as you charge, that doesn't mean a simliar attempt need be.

You use marketing, or in this case, a ruse to promote understanding, all the while trying to cleverly conceal the truth until you can slowly slip it in while your audience isn't paying attention.

Again, I can only surmise that you did not read the article. That pastor did not try to conceal anything, nor did he "slowly" slip anything in. He was up front with the gospel from the beginning. He debated with the rabbi and imam at lunch. Your accusation is ridiculous and contradicts the testimony of the pastor about what he did.

As soon as you give them the unvarnished truth your audience will despise you.

This has been the case for me before, but not every time. Not every unbeliver I have shared with has reacted with hatred to me. Some lost men whom I have shared the gospel with are still my friends and still lost. I must be doing it wrong. Whitefield must have done it wrong as well. Benjamin Franklin remained friendly with him until his death, was never converted, but loved Whitefield.

In short, you are either reading this uncharitably, or you didn't even bother to read the article. Because that pastor faithfully preached the gospel. I will admit that I had exactly the same reactions as you, but that was before I actually read the article.

Sir Aaron said...

I read the article and am very uncharitable towards this type of evangelism. Since we are at a stalemate, we'll just have to remain peacefully in disagreement.

Solameanie said...

Ob la dee, Oblahblah, speech goes on, aaugh.....

la la la la speech goes on....

I always hated that song. I hate it worse now.

Anonymous said...

Brad and Sir Aaron,

That was a lively debate...and I enjoyed reading it. I think Brad wins :)

Susan said...

LOL, Solameanie! :D