Disputable Matters

Carrie Prejean (below), the much despised/admired former Miss California recently sat down with Christianity Today a for a Q&A.

Carrie

Truth be told, reading the interview won’t change your view of this polarizing woman. If you disliked her you’ll dislike her more after reading it. If you were shaking the Carrie pom-poms before, you’ll continue to spirit sprinkle yourself until your fingers fall off. Both camps are represented in the comments section of the article.

The interviewer lobbed more softballs than any pitcher that patrols the mounds of your local beer league. Softball guy is a post all unto himself, but I digress.

There was one question which will surely catch anyone’s attention,

You wrote that you don’t regret getting breast implants. Have you ever wondered whether it might be incompatible with your Christian faith?

Here’s Prejean’s answer:

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting breast implants as a Christian. I think it’s a personal decision. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn’t get breast implants.

St. Paul couldn’t have possibly imagined boob jobs would be in play when he told the Romans not to “pass judgement on disputable matters”.

Begs the question: Do boob jobs fall under “disputable matters”?

What about skin-whitening creams?

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A Talking Dead Guy

I don’t watch South Park.

I used to watch South Park.

Haven’t felt compelled to do so for the past few years.

Not moralizing, just stating fact.

For moralizing, check out this bit from Time mag,

Is South Park the Most Moral Show On TV?

Interesting observation to say the least. I am not at this moment concerned with the validity/invalidity of the writer’s conclusion.

At the end of the article, the writer quotes some lines from the episode, words that are worth some commentary:

“I’ve made billions off of Christian ignorance for decades now!” brags Evil Mickey. “And do you know why? Because Christians are retarded! They believe in a talking dead guy!”

Well not really. Yes, we believe in a ‘guy’ that died. No, in the 3 days He was dead, His body did not produce speech. Of course, after He rose from the dead, He spoke, ate, and underwent a physical courtesy of Thomas, one of His disciples (see below)

doubting-thomas

Granted, if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, the Christian faith would be based on a lie and thus be worth as much as a pile of σκύβαλα. The Apostle Paul pointed this out circa 55 AD,

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:16-19, emphasis mine

Truly, there are many ‘talking dead guys’ (and gals) walking around.

Christian, when is the last time you respectfully spoke to any of them about the living hope you now have through Our Lord’s Resurrection?

For many of us, the answer to that question is as shameful as any episode of South Park.

Conversion: Not the Christian’s Responsibility

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
— St. Paul to the church at Corinth

There is a great deal of confusion regarding conversion to Christianity. Many are resistant to even hearing the good news of Christ and this should not surprise anyone given the Apostle’s words here.

I recall, with gratitude given the immeasurable grace of God, the days when my residence was in the darkness in which all men are born into, and can testify to the truth of Paul’s words.

Then there are those who take it upon themselves to be the motive force behind the conversion of the unbeliever, forgetting the clear testimony of Scripture (see above or see here) that this cannot be so in the case of true conversion, that is, the rebirth from which a new creature (in Christ) arises.

Currently reading J.I. Packer’s classic, Knowing God, and he shares the following insight,

It is not for us to imagine that we can prove the truth of Christianity by our own arguments; nobody can prove the truth of Christianity except the Holy Spirit, by His own almighty work of renewing the blinded heart.

It is the sovereign prerogative of Christ’s Spirit to convince men’s consciences of the truth of Christ’s gospel; and Christ’s human witnesses must learn to ground their hopes of success not on clever presentation of the truth by man, but on powerful demonstration of the truth by the Spirit.

The Christian’s responsibility is not to convert those around him, but to give testimony to Christ who has graciously redeemed him from the miserable natural state where he was but a child of wrath, deserving to face God’s Justice. The Christian’s responsibility is to echo the blind man’s reply to his Pharisee interlocutors,

Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!

Paul doing Science on Mars Hill

“Science is not truth; it is, instead, a method for diminishing ignorance”From “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” by J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page.

Whether or not the above definition is accurate or not is an argument which I don’t necessarily intend with this here post. It could be perhaps if I knew the context of the phrase.

I haven’t read the book but I did manage to get the quote from reading a review of the book in the journal Nature, 447, pp.34-35 (2007) during lunch a couple of days ago.

The authors’ contention did get me thinking though: If science is a “method for diminishing ignorance” then can Paul’s outstanding sermon on Mars Hill be counted as science, so-called?

According to Luke,

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ‘ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. — Acts 17:22-23

He sought to liberate the members of the Areopagus from their ignorance, did he not?