In October 19, 2014’s post celebrating this blog’s 5-year anniversary, I included links and introductory text to ten of my personal favorite posts. I got a little extra traffic to those posts (and maybe an extra subscriber or two), so I was happy. But, there were several other posts that I am especially pleased with, of course, that did not get included. So, in hopes of encouraging more readers to check out some of my earlier articles, I am closing out the year by selecting ten more for your edu-tainment pleasure. They’re even in chronological order of publication, this time — not that it matters. (Technically, I suppose, both lists can’t be “Top 10”, especially since the criteria are the same, yet somewhat vague and subjective. Just go with it.)
Given the time of year that this is going out, it is only fitting to begin with…
“Is December 25th Pagan?” (2 parts)
“What do Jimmy Buffett, Larry Csonka, Karl Rove, Cab Calloway, Anwar Sadat, Rod Serling, Humphrey Bogart, and Conrad Hilton (Paris’ great-granddaddy) have in common? Based on the title above, you may have guessed that they were all born on December 25th. Yet, as long as we’re listing famous people with that particular birthday, someone else seems to be conspicuously missing from the list. Someone who lived in Ancient Palestine (i.e., Israel, the Holy Land) about 2000 years ago, caused quite a stir with his radical teachings and truth claims, died a horrible death, etc. Yeah,… Jesus of Nazareth, aka Jesus Christ. Wrong!”
“Have you seen some of the signs held by those protesting the new Arizona immigration law? They say things like “We have rights!” and “We are human!” Well, nothing in the law allows for inhumane treatment of anyone. (Of course, illegal immigrants do have fewer rights precisely because they are NOT LEGAL citizens — or, even residents — in this country.) So, these people are either ignorant of what the law actually says or dishonest about its implications. Honestly, you’d think Arizona was gonna round up all the Hispanics and throw them in an internment camp!”
“While writing about the recent purported discovery of Noah’s Ark, supposedly dated to about 4800 years old, I was reminded of an article I read several weeks ago. It has to do with carbon-14 (C-14 or 14C) dating and its limitations…. Carbon-14 dating, or radiocarbon dating, is rather unique among radiometric dating methods, in that it can only date organic matter — i.e., things that used to be alive…. New developments have resulted in the publication of probably the most accurate radiocarbon calibration curve, yet. It’s referred to as the INTCAL09 standard.”
P.S. I hope to have an update to this update in the coming weeks.
“A day or two ago, a more liberally-minded friend sent me a message on Facebook. He pointed me to an article on HuffPo, which asked the question (prompted by liberal theologian / “social justice” activist Jim Wallis), “What Would Jesus Cut?” Of course, it refers to the federal budget and is a challenge to let Jesus’s words be a guide…. [A]fter giving it some thought and jotting down some ideas, I decided maybe it was good enough for a blog post. So,… it ain’t perfect, or comprehensive, but here it is:…”
“When reading through and comparing the four canonical Gospels, Christian and non-Christian alike will sometimes wonder why the books aren’t in the same format and tell the same stuff. True, they do follow the basic style for biography in the ancient Greco-Roman world (which can be frustrating to us ‘modern’ people who want more complete information). But, why do they use different titles for Jesus? Why do they sometimes overlap but not always give the same details? Why don’t they always stick to a timeline?”
“It has been my experience that many evangelical Christians are brought up or socialized to believe that the Young-Earth Creationist (YEC) view is the only acceptable, orthodox position on these matters. If they are aware of the Old-Earth Creationist (OEC) position, they are usually taught that it puts science above Scripture and “compromises the Gospel”. (Neither of which is true, I assure you.) Some have even called OECs heretics and apostates! Last September, I had a brief dialog on Facebook with a Young-Earther that I thought might be of interest (even instructive) to my readers, whether you follow the debates or are unfamiliar with the issues.”
“I was scanning through the comments at the end of a Time article online and came across some interesting claims by a liberal. It came in the midst of the typical Right vs. Left bashing, with accusations and generalizations from both sides. But, it occurred to me that this particular commenter did not have much of a grasp on WHAT conservatives actually believe/do and WHY. So, I thought I’d reproduce his comments here and give brief responses to them.”
“Nobody likes to be blamed or accused of doing something bad or wrong. We don’t like to be punished or embarrassed. We don’t like to be made to feel guilty — even if we are guilty of wrongdoing. We usually realize that what we were caught doing (or habitually do) is illegal and/or immoral — and maybe dangerous, too. But, we wanna do what we wanna do….. Another favorite reason/excuse given for one’s behavior is that it is “only natural”. Homosexuals and their supporters often use this as part of their arsenal, saying that gays & lesbians should not be prohibited from or “judged” for doing what comes naturally…. Let me respond to this argument with a few questions….”
“A convicted murderer was constitutionally executed by the state because he was found guilty of a terrible, capital crime. From what I can tell, his guilt is not disputed. The problem(s) that resulted in a delay in the murderer’s passing are separate and incidental…. The specific issue at hand is whether or not so much hay should be made of the fact that, on this particular occasion, something went wrong, which caused the inmate being executed to experience some pain for a few minutes before finally dying…. Frankly, it really doesn’t bother me too much if a monster like that — like Clayton Lockett — experiences some pain when he’s on his way out.”
It makes sense (in my mind, anyway) to have the last post linked here be one about the theological study of the Last Days (or “End Times”).
“Sadly, eschatology can be [quite] divisive within the Church…. It can also be rather distracting and the cause of unhealthy obsession…. So, I am glad I never got caught up in “end times mania”, and I pray that the Lord helps me stay grounded and focused on more important matters. In fact, that is a major point made in Kenneth Samples’ latest book, Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times. Part of what Samples talks about is the fact that, despite the various views about how everything will play (or is playing) out in the end times, there are five core, foundational points that are held as orthodoxy in all historic Christian theological traditions.”
Have a Happy New Year! See y’all in 2015!