Archive for March, 2007

Simply amazing!



1. Evolution and the Modern Christian

2. Darwin’s Black Box

3. Science and Faith: God and Materialism DVD

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Funny hahaha

Back in those days before computers.

Interestingly this is sent by John Piper to the Mahaneys.

(HT: GT)

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Professor Rick Grush, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego has made his class available.


Lectures 01-05, on formalization and truth table methods (first third of course)

Lectures 06-10, on Proofs in Sentential Logic (second third of course)

Lectures 11-15, on Informal Fallacies (last third of the course)


Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry after Truth




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The words of John Calvin,

“Now in describing the world as a mirror in which we ought to behold God, I do not want to be understood as asserting either that our eyes are sufficiently clear-sighted to discern what the fabric of heaven and earth represents or that the knowledge to be hence attained is sufficient for salvation.  And whereas the Lord invited us to himself by the means of created things, with no other  effect than that of thereby rendering us inexcusable, he has added (as was necessary) a new remedy; or at least by a new aide he has assisted in the ignorance of our mind.  For by the Scriptures as our guide and teacher, he not only makes those things plain that would otherwise escape our notice, but he almost compels us to behold them, as if he had assisted our dull sight with spectacles” (From the Crossway Classic Commentaries Series, edited by Alister McGrath and J.I Packer, page xiii and xiv)

The ramification of these sentences are huge, in regards to the discussion of General and Special Revelation.

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Nothing like reading during Spring break!


A book I finished reading like last night…

This is why I recommend this super-short booklet.


In the history of the United States, there is no war that is bloodier for America, than the American Civil War from 1861-1865.  One of many issues and controversy surrounding this conflict was the issue of Slavery.  Today, the issue of Christianity and slavery is still bought up, and usually done in light of slavery that existed in the South. From both sides, arguments were given that attempted to justify their position by appealing to the Bible.  For anyone interested in the subject, host of books can be recommended.  Indispensable to this, is John Robbin’s latest work, “Slavery and Christianity”.



“Slavery and Christianity” is actually a commentary on the Book of Philemon, in the New Testament.  One of Paul’s shortest epistles, this book in the Bible has always been referenced as having a dramatic impact for the abolition movement.  John Robbins pointed out early in his commentary of how people often misjudge something that is short as being insignificant.  Interestingly enough, “Slavery and Christianity” is also short, coming in at 49 pages, yet it is powerful.  Having read several commentaries on Philemon, in my estimation “Slavery and Christianity” was the best one among them.  Many people are cautious with the works of John Robbins in controversy today, but the quality of “Slavery and Christianity” is what you would expect from a Reformed and Presuppositional teacher of the Word of God: logically sharp, fascinating insight from the Biblical text, lay-man friendly and more importantly, spiritually edifying.


            “Slavery and Christianity” commentary on Philemon draws out the social and political ramification of God’s Word, specifically as it touches on the institution on slavery.  There is no doubt, that this new book would cause a stir among some pro-Southern Slavery theologians existing even today.  For those who have always heard that Philemon advances the abolition’s cause but would like to see exactly how the argument from Biblical references goes, “Slavery and Christianity” is highly recommended.

Purchase: Amazon

**POSTSCRIPT: As I read this and was writing this, I know there are those out there from a theonomic perspective, that supports and defend the Southern conception of Slavery who read this xanga from time to time, feel free to respond, but I want to let you know that I think its a hard position to defend. Also, I”m going to try to find Dabney’s book articulating your perspective.  I don’t think that by being Theonomic you have to buy into Southern Slavery by the way.  Southern Slavery undermind free-market economics as well, a defining plank in Christian Reconstructionism***

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A few schools in the US and the world have made their courses available for all. It doesn’t have the audio or video lectures yet but they do offer their syllabus.

An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 100 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware.

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This article from Dr Mohler’s blog caused a big stir especially in the homosexuality community—“Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It?

Also, don’t forget to listen (or watch) these talks by Al Mohler,

Louisville Forum A Debate on Homosexual Marriage Part 1 | Part 2

Homosexual “Marriage”: A Tragic Oxymoron–Biblical and Cultural Reflections  Listen   Watch

The homosexual protesters outside Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. These are some of the pictures taken from Courier-Journal. Washington Post reports on the arrest and on Dr Mohler’s statement. (HT: DB)

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Alvin Plantinga weighs in on Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion,”

Richard Dawkins is not pleased with God:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction. Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic-cleanser; a misogynistic homophobic racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal….

Well, no need to finish the quotation; you get the idea. Dawkins seems to have chosen God as his sworn enemy. (Let’s hope for Dawkins’ sake God doesn’t return the compliment.)

The God Delusion is an extended diatribe against religion in general and belief in God in particular; Dawkins and Daniel Dennett (whose recent Breaking the Spell is his contribution to this genre) are the touchdown twins of current academic atheism.1 Dawkins has written his book, he says, partly to encourage timorous atheists to come out of the closet. He and Dennett both appear to think it requires considerable courage to attack religion these days; says Dennett, “I risk a fist to the face or worse. Yet I persist.” Apparently atheism has its own heroes of the faith—at any rate its own self-styled heroes. Here it’s not easy to take them seriously; religion-bashing in the current Western academy is about as dangerous as endorsing the party’s candidate at a Republican rally. More at CT.

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On CNN, an article talks about the public’s response to John and Elizabeth Edwards decisions to continue the 2008 Presidential campaign. Though the article gave a lot of quotes none of them in particular seemed to defend their decision. However, another article did clear up some possible misunderstandings: The cancer though uncurable, “The doctors likened the situation to living diabetes, which can be managed but is a lifelong decision.” Though I can’t say anything about their decision, I can say something about newlyweds.

I thought this scripture gave some insight about what God thinks about newlyweds:

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.”
-Deut 24:5

Several observations:

  1. This verse specfically applies to newlyweds.
  2. Public duty or the army entails:
    1. Frequent traveling
    2. Being away from home and consequently his wife
    3. Possibility of death or public scrutiny
  3. It is good to spend a year with his wife

This scripture englightens the trouble in marriage for both military servicemen and celebrities. Both work long hours, spend hours away from home. The servicemen is in danger of death while the celebrity is under public scrutiny. Unfortunately both experience a high rate of failed marriages and divorce. Does this mean spending a year at home in the first year of marriage will prevent problems or a divorce? No. But if you are willing to do so, it does speak of the importance you hold to marriage.

I think God makes clear a principle here. If you are involved in business, music or movie industry, police or military, if possibile you should make arrangements to spend time that year near your wife. Avoid volunteering for extra duty or work. Take a year off of business trips or music tours if possible. God has made it clear- “he shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.”

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You can download the debate

Part 1 | Part 2

(HT: JT)

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James Anderson, a REformed Christian apologist (VanTillian and also Reformed Epistemology synthesized), have finally released his book, titled “Paradox in Christian Theology”:


From the articles I have read written by him, he indeed has a sharp mind and good writing.

I will be getting it later, when I save the money for it.

For now, I have too many books to read!

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Update: D.A Carson Mp3


This is a more extensive collection of Carson’s sermons than the previously posted one by myself.

(HT: AN)

The Use of the OT in the NT


Emergent Church


So-Called New Perspective on Paul Critiqued

Love of God

Vision of a Transcendent God

The Book of Revelation

Jesus and the Cross

Other Sermons

Other Lectures

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 This has been of interests for me lately.


THe audio to the Free Pod Cast is for a limited time. Its a discussion between Gene Cook and a guy that leans more Evidential.

More could be expanded upon it, which I hope to discuss and cover here in blog-bit size, as time goes on.

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Kind of late, but better late than never

A good piece by a doctor.

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Today on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley interviewed Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich about the his personal account and explanation of the 24 killed in Haditha, Iraq.

I will not comment on the killings because a court martial will provide the witness accounts, documents, and statements necessary to justify or condemn the Marines’ actions at Haditha back in November 2005. What I would like to comment on the revealed presupposition by Scott Pelley or 60 Minutes.

The questions demonstrated a total lack of understanding, illustrated by the type of questions posed. Though I do not expect a civilian to understand why serviceman are sometimes forced to chose the risk of civilian deaths, Scott Pelley’s line of questioning reveal that 60 Minutes is not really implying the guilt of Wuterich but implying guilt of the rules of engagement in general. In other words, their attacking the entire worldview that justifies warfare.

From first loaded question to last question, Wuterich is asked to justify and explain the tactics and the result of those tactics. Why do I say loaded? Because they demonstrate a presumption implying war is wrong because the way warfare is waged is wrong.

For example, when discussing the justification of Wuterich’s decision to assault the house south of his position:

“This building was right in the line of sight of this explosion here,” Wuterich says.

“You did not see fire coming from the house, correct?” asks Pelley.

“I did not see muzzle flashes coming from the house, correct,” Wuterich replies.

If he didn’t hear rounds coming from the house, how did he identify the house as a threat?

“Because that was the only logical place that the fire could come through seeing the environment there.”

Similarly, leading up to the narrative of the assault of the house, Pelley asks Wuterich to explain the justification of kicking in the door and throwing a grenade in the house:

“Frank, help me understand. You’re in a residence, how do you crack a door open and roll a grenade into a room?” Pelley asks.

“At that point, you can’t hesitate to make a decision. Hesitation equals being killed, either yourself or your men,” he says.

“But when you roll a grenade in a room through the crack in the door, that’s not positive identification, that’s taking a chance on anything that could be behind that door,” Pelley says.

“Well that’s what we do. That’s how our training goes,” he says.

The questions and follow-up questions reveal Pelley has a problem with the way warfare is waged- the tactics. Pelley finds throwing a grenade in the room before clearing the room problematic. Pelly’s question implies Wuterich ought to have look in the room to get “positive identification” of the enemy before throwing a grenade inside.

Pelley later goes on to list the dead, then asks Wuterich to explain the deaths.

In the second house was the Younis family. A 41-year-old man, a 35-year-old woman, a 28-year-old woman, and the children — Noor, 14; Sabah, 9; Zaineb, 3; and Aisha, 2. They were all killed by Wuterich’s men.

How does he explain that?

“We reacted to how we were supposed to react to our training and I did that to the best of my ability. You know the rest of the Marines that were there, they did their job properly as well. Did we know that civilians were in there? No. Did we go in those rooms, you know, it would have been one thing, if we went in those rooms and looked at everyone and shot them. You know, we cleared these houses the way they were supposed to be cleared,” he says.

What I find foolish is the question assuming that Wuterich could even explain the deaths in the first place. The question wasn’t sincere. The question wasn’t asking really to explain how they died, but WHY. Outside a Christian worldview, no one can explain why 2 year-old dies much less why the 3 children, Noor, Zaineb, and Aisha died.

The interview was never meant to give a personal account of what happened. Rather, all the questions reveal a presupposition, not about the Haditha killings at all, but rather of the tactics and the way war ought to be fought.

The loaded questions clearly reveal and were based on the assumption that war and the tatics in war were wrong. Thus, in reality, no explanation by Wuterich, or any military official for that matter, would justify throwing a grenade into a room before entering to 60 Minutes or Scott Pelley’s satisfaction.

Though Pelley might deny such presuppositions, the questions, follow-up questions, and reactions to the answers reveal the assumption that the actions taken by Wuterich are unexplainable, unjustifiable, and immoral to begin with- that’s why these particular questions were asked.

The most clear indication of the their presuppositions is the question posed to Wuterich’s attorneys:

“In an insurgency situation, Marines don’t get a second chance If they aren’t able to fire first, they die,” says Neil Puckett, who, along with Mark Zaid, are Wuterich’s civilian attorneys.

How can they make the argument that these killings are within the law?

“They’re within the law because they were not done without legal justification or excuse,” Puckett says. “They were done in a combat environment, in a tactical situation, in order to protect the lives of the remaining Marines who survived the IED that day. And that makes them lawful.”

Zaid adds: “And these three one Marines knew — their buddies and colleagues who had tried to do similar take downs of houses where they tried, in fact, to knock first and shoot later. And the Marines who tried that were dead.”

What the dialogue above reveals is the arbitrariness and wishful thinking of how warfare ought to be. How do the question posers even assume that there are laws that ought to be followed? Because a bunch of law writers made them? Social convention? When war is fought, people are disagreeing so much, they are willing to kill each other over it! Do people follow laws when they are willing to kill? And if they don’t, what then? And if they do, what is reasonable and unreasonable? According to whom? According to what standard?

Further in the interview, 60 Minutes, asked several more questions regarding the tactics:

“Are there circumstances under which you’d declare an entire house hostile and go in with the intention of just killing everyone inside?”

Donovan Campell, a Reserve Captain interviewed separately, answered:

“You have to have the context of heavy enemy involvement in the area and then I think you have to have a more specific operating context that deals specifically with that house. You know there are several insurgents inside and you need to go in and get them out because they are attacking you.”

(In other words: Yes if one, in the past, you were attacked and you know the enemy are involved in the general area and two, if more specifically you resonably believe insurgents to be inside the house. ) To which Pelley predicatably responded with the question:

“How do you know?”

The end reaffirmed that the interview was really about the tactics and justification of the tactics rather than the killings in Haditha:

“What I did that day, the decisions that I made, I would make those decisions today,” he says.

“What I’m talking about is the tactical decisions. It doesn’t sit well with me that women and children died that day,”

In the end, Scott Pelley asked if Wuterich wanted to apologize, to which Wuterich responded:

“There is nothing that I can possibly say to make up or make well the deaths of those women and children and I am absolutely sorry that that happened that day.”

In closing, when two different worldviews have different starting points for morality and ethics, the argument becomes endless controversey talking about the individual points and scenarios instead of arguing over the presuppositions or fundamental standard of what is right and wrong, of what is true and not true. Thus unfortunately, Wuterich’s original intention to defend against the accusations of being a baby-killer and monster were fruitless because they did not deal with the presuppositions.

As a sidenote, I want to point out I’m not defending Wuterich’s actions. Thus, if the court-martial finds him guilty, it would show that Wuterich and the other Marines were not justified in using the tactics, not that in general, the tactics are not justifiable.

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