Sunday, February 27, 2005

One thing that parents will often see in their children—or others will see in your own children—is a child acting like their parent. I don’t know how many times my wife has told me, "You know, he does that just like you." Occasionally that’s not a rebuke. But that’s how we learn as kids—we watch, we imitate…monkey see, monkey do, I think is how my mom put it. We look to our parents, our older siblings and learn how to act. And it’s the same in the Christian Life—one of the benefits (and obligations) of those who have been adopted by the Father is that we’re to watch our Father and our Elder Brother. In our reading of the Law today, Paul tells us just this—as well as giving us some examples of how that will look when seen in action:

Ephesians 5:1-7 1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Stop the World

I wanna get off:

  • Reservists do Battle in Family Court by Phyllis Schlafly includes such horror stories as:
  • Bobby Sherrill, a father of two from North Carolina, who worked for Lockheed Martin Corp. in Kuwait before being captured and held hostage by Iraq for five terrible months. The night Sherrill returned from the Persian Gulf he was arrested for failing to pay $1,425 in child support while he was held captive.
  • Florida boy accused of assault with rubber band
    Robert Gomez, a seventh-grader at Liberty Middle School, said he picked up a rubber band at school and slipped it on his wrist.
    Gomez said when his science teacher demanded the rubber band, the student said he tossed it on her desk.
    After the incident, Gomez received a 10-day suspension for threatening his teacher with what administrators say was a weapon, Local 6 News reported.
    "They said if he would have aimed it a little more and he would have gotten it closer to her face he would have hit her in the eye," mother Jenette Rojas said.
    ... a Level 4 offense -- the highest Level at the school. Other violations that also receive level 4 punishment include arson, assault and battery, bomb threats and explosives, according to the Code of Student Conduct.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Stone Cold

For some reason Sunday night, my VCR didn't remember everything I'd programmed into it. So at 8:47 when I glance at the VCR to see what time it is, I panic (well, semi-panic)'s not recording! And Stone Cold has been on for 47 minutes! ACK. (note to Mrs. WhiteNoise, if you got a second job we could afford TiVo and never have to worry about this again)

But I was able to collect myself long enough to hit the record button for later viewing. And I'm very glad I did so. I've seen every episode of Spenser: For Hire that I can (think just about all), ditto for A Man Called Hawk, watched every one of the movies made for Lifetime where they butchered a Spenser novel, and every A&E Spenser movie. And now, most of Stone Cold. I can say without hesitation, that this is the best rendition of a Robert B. Parker character on the small screen.

As I say that, I should point out that only one or two of the principal actors come close to the way Parker described them (Suitcase Simpson and maybe Rita Fiore)...Molly, Jesse, Abby (not too far off, tho)...casting guys missed there. But, doesn't matter--they owned the parts. Never a Magnum fan, but I'm becoming a huge Selleck fan--he nailed Jesse in every way that Joe Mantegna was never able to nail Spenser. And whoever it was playing Molly made the character just as endearing as the novels do. Bravo.

The writers did a very able job of adapting the novel--dropping some good stuff that could afford to be dropped, tweaking some things to fit their needs better, pasting in huge amounts of Parker's dialogue, and changing the end enough to be satisfying to a TV movie audience but in a way that shouldn't tick off Parker fans.

In the end, we got a well written, nicely paced film. You saw the physical violence and the sickness behind the serial killers (portrayed very well by people I know better from sit-coms); you saw the emotional violence suffered by a rape victim, and saw a flawed, yet controlled Jesse Stone. Trying to come to grips with his life, and not letting it interfere with his work. He's a person "in progress" I guess you could say (if you wanted to sound all Oprah-ish), and Selleck and the writer's grabbed his essence perfectly.


my VCR did remember to tape the big gay marriage Simpsons episode. Was rather disappointed. Not because of the acceptance message (had to know that was coming), just didn't think it was up to their standards. There were some great lines in it, however. And I wish Smithers had been around somewhere...oh, and guess it was good for some confirmation on my suspicions re: Patty.

Couple o' links

Harry Knowles says
At the end, you'd think it would be titled, "THE ART DIRECTOR" as that's all we're given. We're not seeing Andrew Adamson working with the Pevensie children. We aren't shown him talking to Tilda Swinton to direct her performance as the White Witch. There's no discussion about the emotional realism, just the surface of the film. This makes me a bit wary of the project. If this is all this director is worried about... the design of the film, then we'll get a really lush and empty film, but if he's doing it right, this will be a story that really resonates and leaves a mark on us as viewers.
He might be on to something here, but I'm giving this guy credit--look at the care he showed to even minor characters in his first two movies.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Passion Recut

Same blasphemy, but with less of the violence! Be sure to take your kids!!

Details here, here, here, here, and here.

if those orks get any closer, I'm moving to CDA

Nice, safe, strong.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Found it!

few days ago, I said something about looking for my Parson's Hebrew CD. FOund ti today, not sure how much I'll use it--some nice software came with the book that Dr. Shaw had me buy, but it doesn't cover simple things like the alphabet. Which, don't ask me why, I just cannot learn.

So I've been drilling off and on all best (and most recent) score was an 83%...ugh. Frodo and Sam could probably get a 60% if they worked together (and they've spent a LOT less time staring at the screen than I have).

I've said it before, I'll say it again...the Hebrew language is proof positive that the Old Covenant was a covenant of grace through and through...any people who consider this a language can earn nothing. :)

This is the end, My only friend, the end

'tain't much, but it's a good read. Gordon Clapp's last day as Medavoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

TX's Gov. gets it right

According to a piece in the Austin American-Statesman, Texas Governor Rick Perry's State of the State speech had some dead-on comments on public education.

But the governor again attacked public education, saying of parents, "They
deserve better than to leave their fate in the hands of a local monopoly
that is slow to change without the benefit of competition."

And, he added, "Every child is entitled to a public education, but public
education is not entitled to every child."
Way to go, Gov! Keep it up

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Not sure how many of you are sick and tired--or merely apathetic--to my obsession with Batman Begins. Frankly, I'm not sure I care. The official site updated the photo gallery recently, including this picture of Gary Oldman as Lt. Gordon. Now when I heard of the casting of that part, I wasn't exactly enthralled, but I wasn't against it either. I was enthused because I know Oldman's got more chops than most of the people in the last 2 Batman flicks, but I figured he'd make a better Sirius Black than a Jim Gordon.

And then I saw this pic, and was blown away. That is Jim Gordon. Period. End of discussion. Esp. if you've read Batman: Year One. The resemblance is uncanny.

what a typical Movie Studio would've done

with a tip o' the fedora to: Not so Fast.

See how it would've gone after a few re-writes

Sunday, February 13, 2005

snuck it in before "Suicide is Painless" started

It was nine (!!!) years ago tonight that a special gal made the mistake of letting me drop by. She had no idea what she was getting into. Sometime between Final Jeopardy and the beginning of the M*A*S*H rerun, I asked her if she was doing anything for the next 60-70 years, 'cuz if not, I was hoping she'd marry me. She said yes (thankfully), first kiss, etc., etc. Cut to now: 4 kids tucked away in their beds, a lotta laughs, a few tears, too many fights, and we're just gettin' started :)

Thanks honey, love ya lots...

And yes, I've heard it a bazillion times, I should have waited another day, more romantic, blah, blah, blah. Hey, everyone proposes on Valentine's Day, forgive me for doing something different. 'Sides, it let us relax and really enjoy the shenanigans of the 14th...

Friday, February 11, 2005

I really shouldn't post this...

but some part of me finds this funny....

tip 'o the cap to:

Civic Action

Just passing this along. I threw some emphasis on the part that gets my dander up. It should get yours up as well. If it doesn’t, well either you didn’t read it carefully, or your dander is in need of adjustment. There’s an email address there for comments. Make ‘em.

The U.S. Department of Education is accepting public comment and recommendations on the regulations of the newly reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act through February 28, 2005. A readable summary of the amended IDEA is available at

Here are some changes that might be of interest:

  • Beginning transition planning at the age of 16 rather than 14 as was the case in the previous version of the act.
  • Wording to discourage multidisciplinary teams from persuading parents to accept the absence of the regular classroom teacher from IEP meetings.
  • A provision that if parents refuse initial evaluation of their child, the school district may begin due process at that point, i.e., pursuing a district hearing with the intent of securing permission for the evaluation regardless of parental agreement.
  • Clarification of allowable alternate achievement testing methods.
  • The addition of “further education” to the list of purposes for which education for students with disabilities is provided.
  • A statement that educational services cannot be conditioned by the use of medication, that medication use can’t be compelled by the school under threat of withholding services in the absence of medication use.
  • School districts are permitted to define learning disability, for example, using a “response to intervention” definition or the traditional ability/achievement discrepancy definition.
  • The concept of “universal design” is adopted from the No Child Left Behind Act.
Comments and recommendations can be submitted to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at

so glad I'm done with my B.A.

I don't like the idea that everyone is a sinner

Thursday, February 10, 2005


has anyone seen my Parson's Hebrew Tutor CD? I know I left it around here somewhere....

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I should note that, sure, the Bad Boy's take on credobaptism is overly-simplistic because he was in a hurry. But from the direction it was headed, still easy to counter :)

a few shout-outs

New to the blogroll:
1. Cent's got himself a blog, and if he remembers to post more than once a month, it'll be worth reading :)
2. Reading bluewoad's blog and/or chatting with him, keeps me thinking I need to read more lit. Ahh, to be in college again. Or retired. Whichever comes first.
3. The Reformation Bad Boy's blog should be good once he gets a bit more on there...'course he's not as bad as he thinks, and his quick take of credo-only baptism is overly simplistic and easy to counter...but hey, he's cool. (anyone else remember that Huey Lewis & the News song, "Sometimes Bad is Bad"?)
4. Oh, and silly me, I nearly forgot irRational's irRamblings...or something like that.

Got an email from a reader I'd yet to meet, who said in part,

I have only "officially" been reformed for about a year and your blog has helped as I have made the transition. Becoming reformed has thrust me into the debate over theonomy, preterism, and several other -onomy's and -erisms I did not know I would encounter. I have come across some very hostile and separatist blogs, websites, emails and persons as I researched on the web. Your blog, for some reason, whether you want it to or not, has appeared to be a somewhat more broad approach that maintains integrity to the truth, without going overboard. Whether that's good or bad, I guess, remains to be seen. I'm not really well read enough yet (like some of my Reformed brothers) to start disowning whole chunks of Christians on aspects of the faith that they might not have been introduced to(as I was not for many years).
That's one of the nicest things said about me in about forever. Thanks!

Oh, yeah, and you'll get the hang of how to disown whole chunks of Christianity...there's a 5 step process on the back of the Reformed Membership Card, I'm sure yours is in the mail :)

v. in retrospect, not the wisest of ideas

that, of course, is the definition of "Giving Frodo a Dictionary."

Trying to improve his vocabulary some, I spend a some time Saturday tracking down a useful dictionary that he can use for a few years. At first, he's less than impressed. Which, while disappointing, is pretty much what I expected. A couple of hours later, he starts flipping through it. Then he starts looking around the room at different things, "ahh, Spider-Man!" and then looks up "spider." Looks again, "CDs!" and looks up "CD" (see compact disk), and so on. Goes on for at least an hour like this.

Every day since he's asked for permission to read his dictionary.

what a nerd :-) (I say while beaming with pride)

lost time

sorry for the silence lately, been down with a cold.

Not sure I'll get much out in the next week or so, workload seems daunting at best.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

ohhh, man!

Why couldn't I have found this site before I e-mailed the Seminary my final?!?

(for those w/limited senses of humor, this is, of course, a joke)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Trembling for My Church

One of Thomas Jefferson’s most quoted lines is, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. All too often, I mutter that line to myself, replacing the word “country” with “church.” I tremble for the evangelical church in America. Were it not for the promises of the Gospel and the faithfulness of our gracious God, I would quake.

I just finished listening to a Christian radio program that featured an interview/debate with the author of a popular-level defense of Calvinism (names withheld to protect the guilty). The show’s host challenged the author on some points, unfortunately for him, the author was more than ready to deal with the challenges. The host could only reply by complaining that the author was going too deep with the text, the Bible wasn’t written for exegetes, but for common men—and true to form, he wouldn’t let his guest respond in a more-than-superficial manner. Discussions of the original languages, sentence structure (even in English) and development of a thought across more than one verse is apparently beyond the grasp of common man. One is reminded of Dave Hunt’s charge that discussing translation issues when in a debate is “elitist.”

Currently, the quick and easy joke on the Internet involves Dr. Dobson’s worry about Sponge-Bob’s sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter how much the people at Focus on the Family protest that such was not the point of his recent remarks, that is what people heard—it’s also what they wanted to hear and what they will hear. Most social conservatives should have learned in 1992 not to mention the name of TV characters while trying to address a serious issue, after the Dan Quayle /Murphy Brown debacle, but apparently that memo didn’t make it to Colorado Springs.

Tim LaHaye, the living embodiment of Ecclesiastes 12:12, is upset with his publisher for daring to publish someone else. Time magazine, Good Morning, America and other media outlets have reported on his tantrum over Tyndale House taking “money we made for them” to promote The Last Disciple by Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer, because it comes from an opposing (yet non-heretical) point of view.

Several writers and websites have decried the “anti-religious” bigotry displayed in The Passion of The Christ not being nominated for a Best-Picture Oscar or Golden Globe award. There are few if any who have stopped to wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that it wasn’t a well made movie—they were probably too busy scanning the pages of Christianity Today for news stories about the legions of new believers pouring into churches as the result that great evangelistic tool.

Meanwhile, we live in a nation where the drive for a totally secular society grows stronger every day. Where our collective moral compass is so out of whack it can’t stop spinning. Where people are scared by the threats that seem to be around us. And we respond with the sort of silliness displayed above. It's like offering a lady pinned in by her steering wheel a PalmPilot brochure to read as she waits for the Jaws of Life. “It’s not much help, but look at all the pretty colors.”

This isn’t to say that the Church shouldn’t address social issues, or television, or Hollywood or anything like that. We are to be in the world, we are to be on Mars Hill—involved in conversation about culture and truth-claims. But we need to do so in a way that isn’t so ripe for ridicule.

In the first half of the 20th century, the media, the government, culture in general listened to the Church. For example, when J. Gresham Machen had something to say about the proposed Department of Education, people listened. His apologetic books received reviews in mainstream press—who would also print works he wrote. His trial, founding of Westminster, and death were items of news—why? Because he was a public figure, he had a serious, thoughtful and thought-provoking message to proclaim to both the Church and society. To the best of my knowledge he never issued a press release about the length of Betty Boop’s skirts, or spoke out against the violence in Popeye.

For too many reasons to guess, that’s not the case anymore. A good deal of it has to with a cultural retreat on the part of the Church—the “don’t polish brass on a sinking ship” mentality of dispensationalism played a significant role in that. But those churches and Christians that didn’t parrot the Scofield Reference Bible shut up, too. By the time that Francis Schaeffer reminded the evangelicals that they needed to pay attention to what was going on around them, Modernism, Post-Modernity and liberalism had overtaken the public consciousness. The ship wasn’t sinking anymore, but it had drifted far off course.

Yet the Church has been given the very words of life. We have been entrusted with the oracles of God. We have the guidance our country needs—we even know what the word “is” means. But we only manage to give out what we can make fit on a bumper sticker or in the outline of a fish on the back of our cars (and who can read them anyway as we zip along at 80 mph?). The salt has all but lost its savor, maybe because it’s been kept in the shaker for too long.

Thom S. Rainer’s too-overlooked book Surprising Insights from the Unchurched gives some very interesting insights. The surveys reported show that it’s not the style of worship, the athletic facilities, the skits or any of the other gimmicks that bring people without a Church background to a particular church—and bring them back as well. It’s the doctrine, the teaching, and the teachers that do the trick. They want our message, they want our truths, our Gospel, and the standards for life that the Church is to give.

Instead of coming up with more ways to package 1 Chronicles 4:10, Christians need to apply their energies to forming well thought-out answers to contemporary issues—and then use their creativity to get those answers distributed, without pandering, dumbing-down, or talking past our audience. This will require work, it will require commitment, and it will take time for us to get it right. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, not even 40 Days of Purpose, and re-establishing credibility and the prophetic voice that the church is called to have will take years.

There are some positive signs—the Christian Schooling and Home Schooling movements are gaining some ground. The children that come from those are more culturally and politically involved than their contemporaries. Assuming the churches they move into as they establish their families and careers can direct their involvement and energies we might be on the right path.

Those of us who aren’t part of that upcoming generation will have to work a little harder; throwing off the inertia we’ve inherited from the last few decades in order to reclaim the lost heritage of centuries past. There are J. Gresham Machens, Jonathan Edwardses, John Miltons, and Billy Grahams lurking in our pews and pulpits, we need to drag them into the spotlight and not let them get distracted by the fluff around them.

The world does still look to the church for answers, for guidance—it still pays attention to what we say (otherwise, how would anyone know about Dobson and LaHaye?). We give them shrill moralism and trivial pursuits in return. The lost and dying world we find ourselves in the midst of deserves better—and our Lord has given us better. We simply must pass it along. They’re intrigued by The DaVinci Code, and yes, a dozen or so refutations of that phenomena have been published; but why not something positive along the same lines?

What about the arts? VeggieTales is inventive and clever, but it's aimed for kids, and can’t give much more than wholesome entertainment. Thomas Kinkade can churn out his paintings of light to the delight of the kitsch-starved throughout the world, but there’s not much contributed to anyone’s thinking by that. Where are the great Christian authors, producing actual literature? Larry Woiwode can’t hold up the legacy by himself.

Jesus Christ once addressed a large number of people (without the benefit of a wireless mic or PowerPoint) and told them, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” The city that is the evangelical church in the United States isn’t hidden—but it’s acting like it is. We need to change that, and we need to change that now.