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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A sister, a wife: Lingering patriarchy in the Newer and Improveder NIV

It is well known that the major impetus behind the latest two revisions of the New International Version was egalitarian. Egalitarianism has gradually taken over most denominations, even those among whose major distinctions against sister denominations was their greater reluctance to embrace it.
Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[that is, Peter]? --1 Corinthians 9:5 NNIV
Now, there's a major problem with this verse for egalitarians: it's written from a patriarchal perspective, and the CBT has done nothing to soften that blow, as much as it is in their power to do so.

One of the members of the CBT, Eldon Epp, has gone so far as to write an entire book promoting the idea that among the early apostles were women, specifically one named Junia. But what happens when we try to plug her name into this verse?

Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Junia?
 Oops. The CBT sure missed that one in their global search-and-replace. Their puzzling reluctance to ever use the gender-sensitive word 'spouse' really got them in trouble here. Furthermore, even the very phrase 'take a wife' reeks of patriarchy.

Look for a global search-and-replace of 'spouse' for 'wife' in the next NIV update. But while they're at it, they may as well replace 'husband' too, just to be fair.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Beware of Cragslist late responders!

Inasmuch as my readers often arrive at this blog desiring that something they had heard either be confirmed or debunked (and it seems to usually be the latter), I offer this latest entry as a warning to those who sell items on Craigslist.

Craigslist, like fire, can either serve or destroy. Probably the most successful Craigslist users are those in search of something; it seems like most scams prey on those offering a product or service. This has been my experience. Some months ago I put an item for sale--let's call it a Gadget--on Craigslist. I got one phone call the first week, then nothing. My listing rapidly dropped to the bottom of the page and it was unlikely that I would hear from any more prospective customers. Then, after a couple weeks of silence, a steady trickle of emails started appearing in my inbox. They all had the same features:

1. Subject line--it was lifted directly from the listing. Gadget - $250 (Pokeyville)
2. Sender's email--always a gmail account with a made-up-looking prefix like jffbo42p or pdly6doo.
3. Text--always something vague, never mentioning the item or the price, such as:
"Do you still have it available for sale?"

After I respond, the second email is equally programmed but still vague as to any details. It goes something like this:
Glad you still have it! Hope it's in good condition like you have stated in the post, I want you to remove the craigslist advert and consider it sold to me. The price is fine. I would have love to come pick it up and pay you cash but am out of town. I don't want to miss out of this deal so am willing to cut you a certified check as payment. I'll have a pickup agent come to your location after you've cashed the check. I need the following information:
Full Name:
Postal Code:
Cell Phone:
Last Asking Price:

I need all this right now so that I can forward it to my secretary to mail out the payment to you ASAP.
Okay, by now alarm bells should be going off. The prospective buyer has provided nothing but randomly generated information (sometimes even using a different gmail address for the second response), but wants to know way more information on me than I will ever give out to a random person. My second email always says, "Sorry, cash only," and that ends the conversation.

So, here are thing things to watch for:
1. An email address that doesn't carry any information you could use to identify the person
2. Nothing in the body of the email to specify the item you are selling
3. Urgency/willingness to pay extra/desire to use an agent on the part of the buyer

If you see these red flags, DON'T give out any information not already in the listing.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

In which Kin Selection Theory is unsupported by real-world evidence

One of the pillars of Darwinian Theology is the doctrine that every organism is driven by a compulsion to pass on its own genes to a future generation. Now, meiosis means that only half of the parent's genes can ever be passed on at any given time. Famous evolutionist J B S Haldane alluded to this when he was asked if he would give his life to save his drowning brother. He is supposed to have said: "No, but I would to save two brothers, or eight cousins."

But what human realistically could be expected to make such a calculation? By this line of reasoning, the discovery that a pregnancy consists of twin fetuses would suffice to change any parent's mind against getting an abortion, when in fact we know that multiple pregnancies are even more likely to bring up the question of termination to those who hadn't otherwise considered it. And this report is just one of many to that could be offered in refutation the doctrine:
Eight-year-old Tyler Doohan will be laid to rest on Wednesday as the most honored of honorary firefighters, saluted by his local fire company as one of its own who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. . . . Tyler then heard calls for help and realized that his disabled grandfather and step-great-grandfather were still inside. Tyler had a particular bond with the grandfather, who was the kind of guy who was always quick to assist a neighbor or to help somebody in need even though he did not have all that much himself. The grandfather, 54-year-old Steven Smith, had lost part of a leg and got around in a wheelchair or on crutches.
So: a pre-pubescent organism risked, and as a result lost, his future ability to procreate in a rather ill-fated attempt to save the life of his grandfather, who was not only past the point of procreation, but even of the sort of organism that is typically selected for culling. Why would he do such a thing? There is no Darwinian explanation for his motivation, but it is exactly the same motivation behind the attempt of a father to save the life of his son--or a grandfather to save the life of his grandson. The evolutionary explanation is nothing but the hopeful figment of an unbeliever's imagination, and posts like this one show that even some evolutionists see Kin Selection Theory as simply a case of wishful thinking: a hypothesis in search of actual evidence.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Probably the last Indiana Revival Report

There have been several phases of Revive Indiana, the first two of which have been pretty well covered in this blog.

One: Elkhart County area, one week extended to 52 days, with a month off, then one week more.

Two: The Seven Stars: one, two, or three weeks of meetings in six other counties throughout the northern two-thirds of the state, extending over the next three months.

Three: The Nineteen Rays: more localized outreaches to various other communities across the state, spearheaded by locally trained and sent leaders, as well as the new locally supported Time to Revive full-time missionaries; still ongoing, more than a year later.

Remember me saying that Revive Indiana was the first Time to Revive outreach to be named after an entire state--and the first that broke out of the original target area to spread across the state? Well, all TTR outreaches that were initiated after Revive Indiana have followed the same pattern: Revive Florida (which spread to two other counties), Revive Ohio (now spreading to its third county), and now, for next year, Revive Texas. Now, TTR has gone back and renamed all their earlier outreaches, including the original Dallas event which is now gearing up for round two next year, to incorporate the name of the state and the city. Just look at this list of recent outreaches released by TTR:

reviveARIZONA :: Sedona
reviveFLORIDA :: Sarasota
reviveINDIANA :: Jasper County
reviveMICHIGAN :: Flint
reviveMINNESOTA :: Twin Cities
reviveMISSISSIPPI :: Tupelo
reviveOHIO :: Darke County
reviveTX :: Dallas-Fort Worth
reviveWASHINGTON :: Seattle

Revive Indiana continues to stand out as a turning point in the movement that is Time to Revive, serving as the model for all future outreaches. And Indianans, more than those of any previous revival, still travel to every new venue providing a jump start to the local outreaches, returning home pumped up to continue what started there.

But what are the lingering results in Indiana? There is still an increased level of cooperation among churches (although some have backtracked on their involvement), but Elkhart itself remains a murder capital, with recent triple and double homicides making the news.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Timo's Trial

Things are happening pretty fast on the Miller Kidnapping Case, so I'm starting another post here for information on Timo's trial as it comes in. Word is that Timo is in Buffalo awaiting a pretrial hearing, and we will let you know how that goes as soon as we can. The prosecution may look on this as an opportunity to add to Ken and Philip's prison time by trying to put them on the stand against Timo. This, of course, would be only for spite, as they already have plenty enough evidence against him--he was first arrested for this crime over five years ago.

Timo's detention hearing was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on October 12--then bumped to that time on the 14th. Carl Swartzentruber sent in this report: “God was very good to us, and he did answer prayers in the court hearing. The judge was very friendly and gracious. The decision was to not ask for pre-trial release for now. Jeff Conrad, Timo’s lawyer, talked to Timo about this and Timo agreed. At this point they are going to pursue a plea-agreement and negotiations are ongoing. Timo was in good spirits. He looked in good health and good condition all the way around. He was very happy to see us all there and came out with a big smile on his face. It was good to see him again as well. The judge also asked that Timo be moved to a prison closer to Lancaster County for Jeff Conrad’s sake. That was interesting and very gracious. We just felt like God was there and blessed. There was a good spirit in the whole proceeding. Now we need to pray for the ongoing negotiations so that God works everything out the way he wants it.”

A website has now been set up to collect donations for the expenses associated with Timo's legal process. Of all things, it was false charges of child pornography that got Timo whisked off a Managuan street in thrown in the dungeon. What a case of projection.

“We probably couldn't have extradited you. But that doesn't mean we couldn't get you. When we really want somebody, we work with our friends, in whatever country we happen to be. A few phone calls, a little back-and-forth, tit for tat. We get them to cancel your immigration status, and next thing you know, you're being deported.”  --American officer David Foster in Straight Flush by Ben Mezrich

Timo had his day in court, and Carl has sent in another report:

"The hearing today went very well overall with good spirit among everyone involved. Timo's day had started at 3am when he was taken from the prison to go to the courthouse, but in spite of a tired body he was in good spirits as well. The early part of the day was spent in private discussion among the attorneys and Timo. During that time, Timo had a special opportunity for some very positive personal interaction with the lead prosecutor and expressed his love and goodwill for him and his desire for the well being of his soul.  It was a rather touching moment for Timo.  

"When the status hearing began the judge was informed by the prosecution lawyers that they had reached a plea agreement. The judge was favorable to that and suggested that they could hold the plea hearing later in the afternoon rather than scheduling it for another time. They recessed while the court addressed another case on the docket and then Timo's case was recalled and they proceeded with the plea hearing.  The judge was very gracious and took time to explain everything thoroughly.  Timo pled guilty to one of the two charges against him and the other charge was dismissed.  A reduced sentence was recommended and the judge set March 23 for the sentencing date when he will finally rule on the sentence.  He has guidelines to follow in sentencing but has discretion in following them as well. That should become a fresh matter of prayer.  Timo will remain in prison while he awaits sentencing.  

"There were approximately 60 people from several surrounding states who attended the court hearing in support of Timo.  It was very encouraging for Timo to see that support and it was impressive to the court staff as well.  They had opportunity to pray together in the courthouse hallway and sing together on the courthouse steps.  There was goodwill and a good spirit all around. . ."