Saturday, April 29, 2006

Death by Lightning Bolt

Nevermind that this man who was killed by a direct lightning strike was apparantly gay (don't tell Pat Robertson), what really makes me wonder is the last sentence in the report spoken by the neighbor who witnessed the event:

"No man as good as Harold should have to die like that."

Drowing, the Death-of-a-thousand-cuts, being broken on the wheel - these are ways of death to activly avoid. Lightning bolt to the back of the head while cheerfully chatting with a neighbor? Where do I sign up?

HT: Obscure Store and Reading Room

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Is this the result of:
a.) a vandal
b.) a snowplow
c.) a police officer
d.) a fire truck

Ann Coulter on the Gospel

Ann Coulter's latest includes the Gospel, without undue moralizing:

But we're all rotten sinners, incapable of redemption on our own. The liberal answer to sin is to say: I can never pay this back, so my argument will be I didn't do anything wrong.
The Christian answer is: I can never pay this back, but luckily that Christ fellow has already paid my debt.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Best CCM song ever

I'm not sure why I love this song so much. It is available here in it's entirety for free; Bruce Cockburn doing Mark Heard's Strong Hand of Love. Incidentally, it's about the only CCM I can tolerate (though I am willing to be taught).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Wilken Test

Commentor John wants to know about the Wilken Test. Please see the explanation given by the Beggers All brethren.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Mass (Roman)

A downside of having Roman Catholic inlaws is that, because there are more of them that there are of us, invariably we end up having to go to Mass on the high holy days. I'm dying for someone to tell me, "Christ is Risen!" so I can respond, "He is Risen Indeed!" I'm glad that Easter is a season, not just a one-shot deal like in American church.

I wanted to apply the Wilken test to the homily preached by the Deacon, but my daughter and niece both zeroed in on me for attention, so my notes are not the best. It certainly acknowledged the physical resurrection of our Lord Christ. The focus seemed to be on the eyewitnesses and us as the new witnesses to Christ's resurrection. There was a segue into talking about how 6 people had joined the congregation and they did so because those who were already a part of the church were witnesses that it was worth doing. There was a focus on continuing to be the kind of people that others are drawn toward, including being a merciful people, a kind people, etc. He contrasted a view of Easter as a celebration of budding and growing with the words, "New life is through, with and in our God."

He also discussed the return of joy, liturgically noted with the return of Alleluia.

Overall, clear affirmation that Christ is Risen. However, seemed to focus too much on the Church as those with the message rather what the message means.

A final observation: I'm always most struck at the emphasis on the "sacrifice at your hands" when I go to RC Mass.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Living room fellowship

My wife, daughter and I were invited to dinner at the home of some fellow bloggers whose church our family has recently invaded. The evening consisted of solid conversation, a delicious meal, good wine, and well behaved children. I couldn't have asked for a more pleasant evening. Despite having read their blog forever, I feel I learned a great deal about our hosts. We psychology types can tell you all about the percentage of meaning from conversation that is lost in written text because it is carried in the tone of voice, body language, etc., but there is something that transcends mere mutual understanding that is lost on the internet. Blogging is wonderful in that those of us who care about the same things can connect and dialog over hundreds and thousands of miles, but there's nothing like living-room fellowship.

Friday, April 07, 2006


My wife bought me The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe on release day because we were too busy to go see the thing in the theaters. She is a good wife. She knows what a fan I am of the series. I just watched it and it feels like I just came out of a coma. I can't wait to listen to the commentaries, but then again, they will probably suck. Too bad they didn't ask Dr. Veith to do the commentary.

She's also a Narnia virgin. During the sacrifice scene she says, "come on, girls, do something!" And I think but don't say, "No Easter without Good Friday" for I didn't want to ruin the experience.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"This is the best day of my life"

Read this post. Then read this post. Praise God for his tender mercies.

"For I rejoice that I attribute to God, what others vainly ascribe to feeble man." Christopher Smart

I sincerely thank Pr. Petersen for the sacrifice of submitting to testing so that we can get one step closer to understanding autism.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Definition of Sin

The Westminster Shorter Catechism includes the following question and answer:

Q. 14. What is Sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.

I can't seem to find a succinct definition of sin in the Lutheran confessions. My thinking, informed by everyone and his brother, is that sin is both state and trait, both a condition (concupiscence) and an action (trespasses). I've also heard that sin is anything that makes Jesus cry. Is there some nuance that I am missing here?

By the way, the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism moves me deeply.

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

You can't argue with that, can you?