Taking Christ out of Christianity...

...is kinda like taking the 'a' out of atheism. You are not left with a slightly different version of what you had before, you are left with the opposite.

"Reverend" Gretta Vosper the supposed spiritual leader of West Hill United "Church" in TO has this to say...

"There is no authoritative Big-Godism. No petitionary prayers (“Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor”). No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus's death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god." (Maybe that isn't a direct quote...but you get the point.)

This is not a kinder, gentler version of Christianity, it is atheism dressed up in spiritual clothes.

It seems to be popular now-a-days to dismiss the Bible as being myths and legends that were written down decades after an imaginary person named Jesus supposedly lived. This is simply not the case.

The Bible enjoys far greater textual support, in the form of thousands of very early copies of manuscripts, than any written text in history. This includes Shakespeare, Plato, Socrates, Artistotle and many others. If you decide that the evidence for the reliability of the Bible is so weak that you throw it out, then you have to throw out the reliability of every text prior to the 18th century.

Calling this 'progressive christianity' is retarded. This is not Christianity at all and it goes to show that the United 'Church' has, in many respects become a cult.



A Good Song

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of man and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!



More on this later...


Tolerance and Free Speech

The current ethos of moral relativism as the prevailing moral 'view' (although it does not qualify as a moral view because it makes no moral prescriptions) in our culture showed itself for what it really is in the last few weeks.

Many people have this mistaken idea that moral relativism is a tolerant viewpoint that allows everyone to make their own decisions about moral issues. But it is not. Moral relativism is radically intolerant of people who are moral objectivists. This was highlighted at York University recently when the York University group 'Students for Bioethical Awareness' organized a debate between Jose Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (the CCBR website contains graphic images of aborted babies) and Michael Payton of the York group 'Freethinkers, Skeptics and Atheists' about abortion.

When Kelly Holloway, President of the York University Graduate Student's Association heard of the debate, she became instrumental in calling an emergency meeting of the student council executive which voted unanimously to cancel the event only 90 mins or so before the scheduled time.

According to Holloway, "Most people understand that every woman has the right to choose what she does with her own body and that moral considerations about abortion are a very personal matter for individuals to decide," and "every York student has the right to make up their own mind and there is no need for an event, organized by anti-choice campaigners, that is disguised as a debate."

In other words, nobody has the right to tell a woman that abortion is wrong. It is a personal decision. Notice that Holloway is saying that it is WRONG for people to tell people that abortion is wrong. According to her own view, Holloway cannot tell anyone that anything is wrong, because she views moral decisions as being personal matters for individuals to decide. But she decides for people who are pro-life that they cannot even debate the merits of their view, let alone tell someone that they might be wrong about abortion.

Moral relativism, especially the kind of relativism promoted by Holloway (that each person decides for themselves what is right or wrong) is almost always self-refuting in practice.

Fortunately the Administration at York U has responded to the outcry from newspapers and the general public about the stifling of free speech on campus and hosted the event on Tuesday, March 18.

It seems that Holloway's panicked reaction to speech that she did not agree with ended up backfiring on her as turnout to the re-scheduled event was boosted by the controversy over it being canceled in the first place.

According to Richard Fisher, a university spokesman, "Any debate that is legal and protected by free speech needs to occur...if it can't happen at a ... liberal arts university, where can it happen?"

Turns out also that Ruba was more successful in defending the pro-life position than Payton was in defending the pro-death position.


Large Fella on a Bike

I don't remember if I have mentioned Large Fella on a Bike on my blog before. Two years ago Scott, the Large Fella, was 501 lbs. His Doctor told him he had about 6 months to live without radical bariatric surgery. His Doctor also told him that his chances of surviving the surgery were about 50/50 given all the stresses on his heart.

Check out the rest of the story here or on his blog.


Children and TV

Here is a photo series of children watching TV.

I would be interested to know what kind of programming they were watching and how their facial expressions (or lack thereof) would change from genre to genre.

One thing I noticed when our kids were younger was that when Kelly and I were watching TV, the kids would be largely disinterested...until the ads came on. At that point, they would drop whatever they were doing and come running.

I read recently that Prez Sarkozy over in France has suggested banning advertising from public TV in an effort to encourage more thoughtful and valuable programming. He proposed
taxing cell phone and internet contracts to make up the difference in revenue.

While I think his motives are laudable, maybe he should instead look to ways to make do without the ad revenue and maybe even reduce the size of his government.

We have a TV but it is used for our XBox and watching DVDs. It is much easier to control that way.

From 'Weighty Matters'

Does playing Wii Sports burn calories? Follow the link...



From Michael Pollan's book "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto"

From the book, here are Pollan’s twelve commandments for the serious eater:

1. “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

2. “Avoid foods containing ingredients you can’t pronounce.”

3. “Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot.”

4. “Avoid food products that carry health claims.”

5. “Shop the peripheries of the supermarket; stay out of the middle.”

6. “Better yet, buy food somewhere else: the farmers’ market or CSA.”

7. “Pay more, eat less.”

8. “Eat a wide variety of species.”

9. “Eat food from animals that eat grass.”

10. “Cook, and if you can, grow some of your own food.”

11. “Eat meals and eat them only at tables.”

12. “Eat deliberately, with other people whenever possible, and always with pleasure.”

Abortion and Mental Illness

Fancy this; The Times, from London has published an article that reports that the Royal College of Psychiatrists in England is warning that having an abortion actually causes mental illness.

According to the article...

"Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health.

This overturns the consensus that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy outweighs the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion."


"More than 90% of the 200,000 terminations in Britain every year are believed to be carried out because doctors believe that continuing with the pregnancy would cause greater mental strain.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. “Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information,” it says."

A key point is that in order for consent to be given, adequate and accurate information must be given to the woman about the 'procedure'. Is it too much to ask that Canadian women be given adequate and accurate information about abortion? Why does the pro-death lobby aggressively campaign against any consent laws regarding abortion?

In England, arguably a much more liberal society than Canada, they are debating whether to allow abortions after 20 weeks gestation rather than the current 24 weeks. Why is it that in Canada, abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason? Why does the pro-death lobby aggressively campaign against *any* restrictions on abortion in Canada? Why has parliament refused to deal with the legal status of the unborn in Canada?

Don't you think it is time that Canadians start to speak up for not only the rights of the unborn, but also for the health and safety of mothers who are in the midst of difficult pregnancies?

Shouldn't a compassionate society have room for both mothers and their children?


Back in the groove

As a family, we are not really set up for a lot of winter riding. We didn't get a whole lotta snow this winter, but enough so that it would have been silly to try and take the kids out on the bikes. However, spring is springing. We have had some really nice weather the last couple of weeks and it has been good to get out a little.

Yesterday, Mixon asked if he could accompany me on my shopping trip to Superstore. I figured that would be a great idea, even though I figured it would mean several stops on the way up the hill. Thing is, he had it in his mind that he was going to make it all the way up without stopping. I think that it was related to the fact that the kids have been training at school for the local fun run in April. They call it Boogie the Bridge and our kids have signed up to run the 5k course...which means they need to be accompanied. ...

On the way up the hill, Mixon told me that he was setting small goals to break up the climb. It was slow, but he made it all the way up Columbia Street...I was impressed.

In other news...here is a good blog that I just discovered called Weighty Matters...written by a Canadian obesity doctor.

Rock Paper Scissors...its a big deal in Japan.


Are you aware?

Find out here.

Happy Pi Day



I have been mulling and thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.

For a long time I have had in my mind some sort of job working with athletes in the strength and conditioning field, but that seems to be changing.

There are a great many dangerous ideas 'out there'. Most people think that morality is completely relative to the person engaging in any particular act, or that it is maybe relative to one's culture. That is a very bad idea.

Many people think that a 'perfect body' is attainable and desirable and will go to great lengths to try to reach that and in the process damage their health, sometimes irreversibly. That is a bad idea.

Many people think that educators should remain 'morally neutral' in a classroom and not describe any behaviour as being more or less moral than any other behaviour. That is a bad idea and it is also impossible.

I have recently come to realize that the people who control the ideas that circulate in society are scholars in universities.

I want to influence the ideas that Canadians interact with and think to be valuable.

Here is a short exerpt that I think hits the nail on the head...from Dr. Charles Malik:

"I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough. But intellectual nurture cannot take place apart from profound immersion for a period of years in the history of thought and the spirit. People who are in a hurry to get out of the university and start earning money or serving the church or preaching the gospel have no idea of the infinite value of spending years of leisure conversing with the greatest minds and souls of the past, ripening and sharpening and enlarging their powers of thinking. The result is that the arena of creative thinking is vacated and abdicated to the enemy. Who among evangelicals can stand up to the great secular scholars on their own terms of scholarship? Who among evangelical scholars is quoted as a normative source by the greatest secular authorities on history or philosophy or psychology or sociology or politics? Does the evangelical mode of thinking have the slightest chance of becoming the dominant mode in the great universities of Europe and America that stamp our entire civilization with their spirit and ideas? For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence." (“The Other Side of Evangelism,” Christianity Today, November 7, 1980, p. 40.)

Hat Tip... The Constructive Curmudgeon


The Faith

Just finished reading an important book called The Faith. It was written by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett and is based on the first few verses of the book of Jude which say...

"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."

The subtitle is "What Christians Believe, Why they believe it and why it matters"

The book is under 250 pages and is written in straight-forward language. It is not written to either a Christian or non-christian audience in particular but is accessible to anyone of any or no faith.

Colson and Fickett discuss, although briefly, the key doctrines of Christianity and why they are important. Some of the doctrines that they touch on are the existence of God, revelation, truth, sin and redemption and the end of the world as we know it.

I recommend this book for anyone who is a serious student of Christianity and is interested in an introductory primer on the key doctrines of the faith, or someone who has been influenced by the popular atheist rants and tantrums from the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett. An honest reader will realize that the god and the faith that these guys caricature is certainly not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob nor is it the faith that orthodox Christians profess.


The real Fat Cyclist