Can He Quit, Just Like That?

Ricky Williams, a running back for the Miami Dolphins, stunned the National Football League, especially the Dolphins, by announcing his retirement at the age of 28. He was a superstar for the Miami football team, and the NFL will surely miss a great player like Williams. But should we be surprised that an athlete like Williams wants to do something else with his life? If his heart was not in it, how could Williams continue on in this game where 300 lb men work together to throw him to the ground?


The Donkey Talks Again

Balaam’s Ass tried to eat the worm that got into WORLD blog land, but we rather talk than eat. Time to speak the truth once again.

Kobe’s Defense: Adultery

Basketball star Kobe Bryant continues to prepare for his upcoming trial. Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault, saying he had consensual sex with a woman, now 20, in his hotel room in June 2003.

I wouldn’t want to be in Bryant’s shoes. In order to stay out of jail, he has to convince people that he committed adultery! That just does not sound right. But I guess I am in the minority.

The Vulgarity of “God”

My wife enjoys those sorts of “reality shows” (though less and less) where people are involved in remodeling rooms or houses with the help of shows or networks. These shows, including “Trading Spaces” and “While You Were Out,” are commonly seen on The Learning Channel, but increasingly on other networks (presumably because of their popularity). I have no problem with the show (harmless entertainment and wish-inducing imagining), but there is one thing that grates on me every time: almost without fail, when the room or house is finally shown in its remodeled glory, the object of the work cannot help but begin shrieking, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” Besides the fact that shrieking, especially by males, becomes extremely annoying very quickly, the coarsening of language surely has at least its penultimate result in this kind of outburst.
I realize that “God” has long been a favorite exclamation in our culture, usually of adolescent girls. But this kind of language is often not checked even in Christian homes.
I remember watching “Wheel of Fortune” when I was a young child, and, figuring that “my God” was simply another exclamation, I used it at some big winning. My mother did not agree that this was just another exclamation, and quickly divested me of any such notion. But the point has always remained with me: “God” is a word to be used only in prayer or in specific reference to the Deity.
But my problem is not so much with non-believers who engage in shrill mockery (I usually start to say, “That’s not your God,” but then again…); my problem is with Christians who seem to argue more vehemently against the usage of words like (uh oh, here it comes) “ass,” “s***,” and “f***,” than against “My God!” If it was my choice, I’d rather hear “f***” from someone than “God” or “Godd***” any day.
My hope is that Christian parents, while teaching a vocabulary that contains words longer than four letters, can inculcate a renewed sense of fear at the transgression of the Second Commandment.


Final Convention Report

You can’t see this on the LCMS site yet (for some reason), but Substitute Resolution 2-08, “To Commend the Preaching and Teaching of Creation”, passed by a sizeable majority, from what I’ve heard. [Update: It is now on the LCMS site here. But it was a substitute resolution, so I cannot find the text online. It passed 787-206.]
This is a good step to restoring theological/doctrinal and Biblical integrity to our Synodical schools. The criticism from the left wing has already begun on certain discussion lists, and no doubt it will continue. This, as I said below, is to be expected.
It is being decried as a hindrance and blow to “academic freedom,” that oft-misused and abused doctrine so near and dear to the hearts of liberal academics everywhere. What academic freedom should mean is that professors should be able to examine and analyze current trends in whatever field they are expert. This does not mean that in a school that would presume to hold itself to Lutheran Christian teaching and belief professors may say and teach anything they wish. That, of course, is what many believe it does mean.
Has academic freedom been limited at times when it should not have been? Undoubtedly. Does this mean that every limit upon what may and should be taught is undesirable? Absolutely not. There is a wide gulf between teaching all sides of an issue (such as what is believed by various people about the origins of the human race) and teaching one side of that debate as an intellectually necessary belief, especially when many intelligent and thinking people are on the other side. This is rarely done. What is done is the belittling and mockery of those who might actually believe (I know, this is shocking) that God could have created the world in six real days, and that human beings were not the result of a process (no matter how “guided”) that necessarily included death as its means. If you are a Christian, no matter what you may believe about what science has “proved,” you cannot hold that death was around prior to sin. This is the crux of the issue. The veracity of the Biblical narrative is not really what is at stake here; what is at stake is the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that the Bible, the written Word of God, points at all times to Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, is what makes the Bible true, not the other way around. And this is why the evolution of humans from less than humans is so destructive to Christian faith. They don’t believe the Bible half the time anyway. What we are after is a defense of the very Gospel. And this is what we would give our lives for.


Convention Report 3

I spent a few hours downtown today watching the convention, hoping (once again) to hear the debate on “To Commend the Preaching and Teaching of Creation.” And although I did not hear very much debate, and although the debate will be concluded tomorrow (when I will not be able to attend), what happened today was, for the most part, good news.
A substitute resolution is now being considered, and it seems to have a large amount of support, which is much more clear and explicit about what kind of teaching on the creation of the world is anti-Biblical. Namely, any form of evolutionary development that involves one species becoming another will not be allowed in our Synodical schools. This is especially appropriate, I believe, because many of our theology professors teach some form of “theistic evolution” (a scientific oxymoron if ever there was one). This will almost certainly be condemned by outside observers (if they are paying attention to the LCMS), but it will be a condemnation for preaching what the written Word of God says. I think it’s pretty clear that Christians will have to deal with such condemnations in their dealings with the world. But it may go a long way to clearing up some of the false doctrine in our schools. I am optimistic that this resolution will likely pass. We’ll see tomorrow.
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A Joke: The Rating System

Does any parent trust the movie rating system when deciding if his/her child should watch a movie? A recent study indicates that PG and PG-13 movies include more profanity and sexual situations than ever before. It even mentions that G movies are displaying more violence. This just proves once again that parents cannot let Hollywood, the government, a school, or even the church raise their children.