Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Repetition vs Choice

December 6th, 2007

Every day I drive past a Billboard for Sirius Radio advertising their large selection of channels because “repetition is boring.”

It seems to me that they’ve missed the point.

It’s not about repetition being boring, it’s about being able to choose what’s repeated. Giving the customer the ability to select from their favourite items / genres / songs / topics / authors / products / brands puts the customer in charge. In the end, the user is looking for repetition of material that is relevant to their taste.

It’s not repetition that’s the enemy – it’s being irrelevant.

Global Warming Cause Revealed

May 28th, 2007

Who said statistics can’t be fun?

A connection between global temperatures and pirates has been identified that threatens to reshape the perspectives of the scientific community. Rumour has it Al Gore and Johnny Depp are already collaborating on a screenplay documentary.
“You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.”

See the chart.

It Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard

May 25th, 2007

Proving intelligent design doesn’t have to be an intimidating concept filled with science, physics, math and theology. Sometimes, it’s just common sense. Sometimes, common sense is the best leverage in a discussion even more than lofty scientific principles that your audience might not be able to appreciate.

This article does a great job of approaching the discussion by being phrased as a letter to an atheistic friend, talking about a bird house. A simple bird house is proof of intelligent design, since it needs a designer. This I know, because my Grandad was a master-birdhouse-craftsman. Lord knows, he certainly had enough practice! If something so simple as a birdhouse needs a designer, maker and tree-hanger, how much more does the ultra-complex tree that provided the wood and the place to hang the house prove the need of a maker with a plan?

Foundational issues

May 18th, 2007

This picture was just too good to pass up. I think it does a great job of illustrating why the church in the western world is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of our populace.

Problem with the church

The artist may be guilty of a little self-serving over-emphasis on evolution as the basis for all wrongness (that being sin rooted in idolatry), but the overall picture is accurate. We’re so busy tackling issues and quibbling over details with each other while compromising on the foundations of our beliefs that we forget about attacking the enemy’s foundation.

Why bother?

May 17th, 2007

The question comes up from time to time: “Why bother with emphasizing creation so much? It doesn’t really matter, in the end, whether or not we believe in a literal understanding of the Biblical account of creation. It’s just picking at details and making a big fuss about insignificant stuff.”

Well, since (as usual) other people do a better job of explaining and outlining these things, I’ll leave it to Russell Grigg to detail the essential doctrines based on the book of Genesis. Clearly, if we start to compromise on what is truth with the first chapters of the Bible there is no stopping the slide away from truth as we progress through the book. Buffet Christianity has no part in the Church of Christ.

The problem with birds

May 17th, 2007

There is a theory amongst evolutionists that birds are the evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs. By my recollection, this theory was widely popularized by the movie Jurassic Park (a true work of science fiction). However, there is a problem with this theory – a problem that happens more frequently than you might expect when trying to piece together the theorized evolutionary timeline.

” Evolutionists claim that Archaeopteryx is an intermediate between reptiles and birds. One problem is that ‘Archie’ and even the beaked bird Confuciusornis are ‘dated’, even by the evolutionists’ own methods, as millions of years older than their alleged dinosaur ancestors!” 

Christians and Yoga

May 11th, 2007

So Yoga’s all the rage these days … has been for the better part of the last 20 years, or so, in the western world. As with most wordly trends Yoga has planted deep roots in the Christian church, touching many lives. I would think you would be hard-pressed to find someone in your church who has not heard of yoga, either through their own experience or that of a friend.

So what’s the big deal about Yoga? Why has it spread so extensively through North American culture? Not only are there yoga studios on every corner, yoga TV shows on many channels and yoga workouts in every gym … there are widespread efforts to incorporate yoga into the lives of believers as a modified Christian fitness platform.

But what’s the big deal? Shouldn’t we all just be happy that a society so morbidly obese is trying anything to get in shape? After all, yoga practitioners claim incredible physical, spiritual and mental benefits ranging from calmness, better focus, improved mobility and flexibility to deeper spiritual experiences. As Christians, we have to examine everything the world offers with a critical eye. Popularity doesn’t mean something is inherently evil, but anything spiritually beneficial to a Christian is not likely to gain widespread acceptance.

Yoga is an ancient Hindu practise that dates back to 1000 BC. Yoga literally means “union” or “yoke” with the intent of becoming one with the eternal self, the Brahman, that is the all-encompassing pantheistic great spirit. There are eight “limbs” of yoga that lead toward that great oneness with the universe. The postures of yoga began as offerings to the Hindu gods, physically presenting the body of the worshipper. The breathing exercises, or pana, are designed to work with the postures to empty the mind, seeking inward peace and clarity. It is the emptying of the mind that allows the oneness that is sought, along with experiences of astral projection and the controlling of life energy. With enough practise and discipline, the yoga practitioner will unleash the Kundalini, or coiled serpent power. Described as travelling up the spine and through the various centres until it reaches the brain. This is called samadhi, or total absorption in the godhead.

Obviously, this is not the common experience. Our spiritually tame western world would be rocked by tales of soccer moms and senior citizens experiencing episodes of “serpent power” and doing a little “astral projecting” while getting limbered up at the local yoga studio. However, this should be cause for concern amongst believers who know God’s Word. As one author wrote, “the Christian can almost hear the hiss of that ‘serpent of old…who deceives the whole world.’ In Eden, he flattered our first parents by telling them: ‘You will be like God.'”

This begs the question: Is western yoga really so bad, or are we overreacting to mystical tales from another culture?

The most common form of yoga in North America is Hatha yoga, billed by many as “yoga lite” – that is, yoga without the spiritual element. Just breathing and stretching for the benefit of body and mind. The truth is that you cannot separate yoga from the spiritual element, since they are deeply ingrained into the purpose and function of yoga. Hatha is described in Hindu writings as “the ladder to raja” or royal yoga. It’s entry level yoga to elevate participants to the next level. The “prana” and postures are in fact the 3rd and 4th limbs of yoga’s spiritual endeavour. Hatha postures are “specifically designed to manipulate consciousness…into Raja Yoga’s consummate experience of samadhi: undifferentiated union with the primal essence of consciousness,” thus Hatha has the same goal as Raja: unleashing the Kundalini. Studies have shown the prana to have a psychosomatic effect on the body and a variety of unsavoury effects on the human mind.

So where does this leave the Christian who is considering Yoga? Rather than head down the path of “how much can I do before it’s a sin,” the real question for a Christian has to be: “Is this glorifying to God?” I have found no convincing arguments to support yoga being in any way beneficial to advancing the sanctification of Christians. How can God be glorified when we play around with rituals designed to glorify false gods? Christians who argue otherwise are playing a dangerous game.

Clearly, no Christian can lose their salvation – but is it helpful? Does it make you more Christlike? How does your participating in yoga impact a weaker brother or sister? Rather than play games that fallen humans are bound to lose at, we should stick to low impact aerobics, water ballet or simple stretches.

Other helpful sites:
Pro
http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com
http://ezinearticles.com/?Yoga-and-Christianity-a-Conflict?&id=52828
http://www.swamij.com/yoga-christianity.htm

Con
http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2001/005/3.50.html
http://www.probe.org/cults-and-world-religions/cults-and-world-religions/yoga-and-christianity-are-they-compatible.html
http://www.macgregorministries.org/cult_groups/yoga.html

WoW Visa Card

May 10th, 2007

How could I comment on a post that refers to hard-core gamers as “time-flushers?”

Besides, the dating advice in this article is gold!

Some “‘Splaining” About Lucy

April 19th, 2007

In the April 2007 volume of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” three scientists from Israel give strong evidence disputing any evolutionary connection between the specimen commonly known as “Lucy,” a key figure in the supposed evolutionary line of man.

In reviewing the article and the evidence surrounding Lucy, Dr David Menton shows again how the scientific community is anything but uniform in it’s support and endorsement of evolution. One can only wonder how long it will be before this willingness to question the dogma of evolution finally filters into our school systems.

You know the creator

April 12th, 2007

Having just concluded an excellent series on Romans, taught by Pastor Paul at our church, I really appreciated this article by Bill Deutsch.

Bill emphasizes what the scriptures teach: that each man and woman in creation knows in their heart of the creator God, and that each of us is without excuse.

” I love his unambiguous language. He did not say, ‘The evidence for the existence of God is strong and ought to be considered.’ He did not preface Romans with five proofs for the existence of God. He said there is one powerful, divine Creator—and you know it.”

At the end of the article, Deutsch gets right to the real issue, “God is not ignored because He is a poor communicator. He is ignored because He is hated.”

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