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Rambling Reviews of an Audio Scavenger

I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.

Electronic Dog Leash

Taking my daughter to a friend’s house a few times recently, I have noticed a sheltie collie at the end of one T-street on which I turn.  The little dog stands at the front edge of its fenceless yard, waiting for cars coming to its street.  As a car reaches the T of the intersection, the collie races madly to the end of the yard, then abruptly leaps and spins in the opposite direction and charges back that way, the whole time barking constantly.  As you drive past, you notice it keeps repeating this process – flying back and forth, back and forth, with non-stop barking.  Obviously it has been trained with an electric fence and collar, because it stays right on the front edge of the yard and never crosses the side edges of the property.  Indeed, the last time I went by the collie had worn a path in the snow right down to the ground.

Desiring God Interview with Tim Keller

While situated in a black leather chair in the comfort of his living room, Pastor Tim Keller answers a host of questions about his life and latest book.  It’s an interesting hour and a half.  Everything from his conversion to his early ministry to the beginnings of Redeemer is discussed.  His mild manner and approachability are certainly evident throughout, which makes for a good listen.

In the second segment, which is approximately 45 minutes long, his newest book, “Generous Justice,” is taken up.  Issues including the nature of justice, social justice, and mercy ministry are unpacked with pastoral insight.  As a deacon, I’m very much interested in getting my hands on a copy.  I suspect many of you would likewise enjoy it as well.

A Pastoral Letter to Ted Williams

Dear Ted,

Though you do not know me, I hope you do not mind me addressing you by name.  Besides, I feel like I do know you as I join the millions of others in congratulating you on your recent good fortune.  In a matter of days your rocket ride  from begging on the streets of Columbus, Ohio,  to being an internet and TV sensation has captivated us.  It has made us glad to hear some good news amidst all the bad.  What has happened to you is incredible.  You do have an amazing voice!  It is good that you recognize it as a gift from God.

Should Abortion Be Illegal? – Alan Shlemon vs. Cicili Chadwick

I never cease to be amazed at what I hear from the mouths of pro-choice advocates. 

Never wavering from calling the unborn baby a fetus, Professor Chadwick, the pro-choicer, nevertheless concedes that the fetus is a human life.  This is chilling.  For here you have an educated woman advancing, nay, trumpeting the belief that a woman has the right to end a human life, essentially because that life temporarily lives inside her.  Scary. 

And why does she cling to this idea?

Depressing Research

10% of Americans (27 million people) are on antidepressants, a number that doubled in the decade from 1996-2005.  Before I comment further, please take the following quiz, answering the statements TRUE or FALSE:

1) Those who took Flintstone Vitamins as a child are more likely to get a divorce than those who did not.

The Future of Atheism: Beyond the Question of God – Point of Inquiry

I’m drawing attention to this particular podcast for one simple reason: It provides a glimpse into the ambitions and aspirations of contemporary atheism. 

 Basically what you have are three atheists- three noted individuals- discussing the future of atheism in America.  They explore the disadvantages and advantages of militant, that is, “loud and proud” atheism, as opposed to a more congenial “live and let live” style.  They discuss politics.  They outline ambitions.  Hopes.  And evaluate the growing secularism of society.

Hiding Ourselves

Is it not easier to hide who we are than who we are not?

To disguise our selfishness is but the work of a moment, whereas the lack of a generous spirit is too big a void to conceal.
To covet a neighbor’s position can be mostly contained within, but a failure to rejoice spontaneously in a friend’s success creates a loud silence.
To talk big about prayer and pray big in public can, like a rug over swept-up dirt, mostly hide the fact that we do not pray quietly in private, but it is not a very good cover up for a long distance relationship with God.

Is this not the way of the Pharisee Jesus exposed so devastatingly?

On Qu’ran Burnings

Because of what the Bible teaches, I do not think the pastor in Florida, who appears to be vacillating on whether to burn Qu’rans or not, should do so. Why?

Well, it is not because I believe that the Qu’ran is a holy book. To be as direct as possible, in its denunciations of Christ as the Son of God and crucified Redeemer; its upholding of a polygamous charlatan as the prophet of God; and its teaching that men are justified by works (i.e. keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), I believe the Qu’ran is a book that contains Satanic lies and is leading millions to the eternal doom of the burning flames of hell. Yet I still do not think he should burn them or Christians should participate in this type of demonstration. Again, why?

First, it is not consistent with the Scriptures on book burning. The Biblical proof-text Pastor Jones might offer for holding book burnings would come from Acts 19:19, where we are told this about the people of Ephesus who had responded to the gospel:

“And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted […]