Before you can sell the solution, you have to sell the problem.

P.J. O'Rourke

“People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important. In fact, there’s some evidence that these people want the earth to be worse than it is.” —P.J. O’Rourke, from All the Trouble in the World, (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995), 171.


Are we even now?

Gordon Brown begs the question: "We know the science."

Gordon Brown displays the menacing claws he uses to tear out the hearts of anthropogenic global warming skeptics.

You call us “flat-earthers;” we call you “chicken littles.”

It’s nice to see the anthropogenic global warming debate begin to take on a more mature tone in a newspaper that’s not exactly been known for being open to the obvious dissent in the ranks of climate scientists.

Uh, yeah … sure … right.

Did I say they were “chicken littles?” I meant to say they act like vicious, pathologically negligent, academically-dyslexic “chicken littles.” But of course I mean this in the nice sense of all those words.

It seems pretty clear from this article that if Mr. Brown and his environment secretary, Mr. Miliband, have bothered to read the Climategate emails (which seems doubtful) that they either did not understand what they read or are willfully misrepresenting their contents.

Source: Gordon Brown attacks ‘flat-earth’ climate change sceptics | The Guardian

A Kilpatrick article from 30 years ago today

I found this newspaper clipping folded up and tucked away in one of my books. I thought it was good enough to keep at the time and I still do.

I have even more appreciation for this piece now that I’ve had a couple 0f years experience teaching English grammar to middle schoolers. And besides, the problem he describes has only worsened during the past three decades.

I hope you resonate with it as much as I do.

Two kinds of faith

Martin Luther, portrayed by Lucas Cranach the ElderI have often said that there are two kinds of faith. First, a faith in which you indeed believe that Christ is such a man as he is described and proclaimed here and in all the Gospels, but do not believe that he is such a man for you, and are in doubt whether you have any part in him and think: Yes, he is such a man to others, to Peter, Paul, and the blessed saints; but who knows that he is such to me and that I may expect the same from him and may confide in it, as these saints did?

Behold, this faith is nothing, it does not receive Christ nor enjoy him, neither can it feel any love and affection for him or from him. It is a faith about Christ and not in or of Christ, a faith which the devils also have as well as evil men….

Such a faith will work in you love for Christ and joy in him, and good works will naturally follow. If they do not, faith is surely not present; for where faith is, there the Holy Ghost is and must work love and good works.

[Martin Luther, sermon, “First Sunday in Advent,” on Matthew 21:1-9, in John Nicholas Lenker, ed., Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Baker Book House, reprinted n.d.), 21-22.]

Thirty years ago this month

emmausoakparksmall.jpgEmmaus Bible School (now called Emmaus Bible College) was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had only been a believer for about a year and a half when I enrolled there, and while I had learned a lot from my personal study of Scripture and from those whom the Lord had put in my life to disciple me, I still came to Emmaus pretty rough-hewn. There were many things I would still need to learn after I left, and several of them I’m still working on. (For example: I was very immature and undisciplined, and at least now I think I’ve got the immature part under control.) But while I was at Emmaus I received a thorough grounding in the basics of biblical content, interpretation, and systematic theology. The faculty was wonderful, the students were great, and I count all of them among my favorite people in the world. Thanks them I was able to accomplish in a couple of years (yes, I was on the infamous “two-year plan”) what would have surely taken me a decade on my own. Continue reading

Honor Thy Fathers

Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.’s Crux blog logo

Today I uploaded a post to Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.‘s (MCOI’s) blog, “The Crux,” titled “Honor Thy Fathers.” It’s about how most evangelicals have in recent times departed from the tradition of the Reformation by ignoring the church fathers. Some of it will be familiar if you’ve read my previous posts containing citations from ancient Christian writers.

Not my bad.

About half-way through this past school year I decided to ban my sixth- and seventh-grade English students from using that mea culpa of the new millennium, the phrase “my bad,” to admit to any kind of mistake or failure. This came right after I banned them from using the word “like” as if it were a kind of verbal punctuation mark (as in the typical middle schooler sentence: “Because, like, you know, like, I don’t, like, really like like him—I just kinda’ like, like him.”).

Continue reading

Direct Line

A Minister, A Priest, and A RabbiThe chief rabbi of Israel was visiting in Rome and decided to stop in and see his good friend the pope. While there he noticed that the pope had a gold telephone. “What’s that?” the rabbi inquired. “It’s my direct line to God,” the pope replied. “Can I use it?” asked the rabbi. “Of course,” said the pope, “but it costs a lot of money—it costs three thousand dollars.” The rabbi thought for a moment and then decided that it was worth the expense to be able to talk directly to God. He made his phone call, conducted his business with God, and paid the pope before he left. Some years later the pope found himself in Jerusalem and went to visit the chief rabbi. When he entered the rabbi’s office he noticed a gold phone. “Is this what I think it is?” he asked. “Yes, it’s my direct line to God. After seeing yours, I had one installed.” “Can I use it?” asked the pope. “Of course,” said the rabbi. So the pope made his call and spoke with God for about an hour, after which he asked the rabbi, “How much do I owe you?” “A dollar eighty-seven,” replied the rabbi. “A dollar eighty-seven? How come so cheap?” asked the pope. “Well, it’s only a local call.”

[Al Tapper and Peter Press, A Minister, A Priest, and a Rabbi, (Kansas City, MO, USA: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2000), 120-121.]