Monday, February 28, 2011

Rob Bell and the Question of Universalism

Rob Bell is one of those slippery sorts of authors (I absolutely refuse to call him a "theologian." I'm hesitant to call him a pastor.) By that I mean he generally comes across as having one foot on each side of the doctrinal fence, straddling the line between outright heresy and sound orthodoxy. He tends to assent to just enough orthodox doctrine to make it really hard to say he's an outright false teacher, yet not enough to convince me he really belongs in the orthodox camp. It makes it very hard to discern where he actually stands on anything.

Yet, given his popularity, I'm not permitted to have no opinion of him. And given his fence-straddling, just one misstep could throw off his entire theology. Think about it, in Velvet Elvis he said we wouldn't lose much if there were no virgin birth, or if the resurrection were a myth copied from pagans (clearly he never heard of Ronald Nash's The Gospel and The Greeks, which was formerly titled Christianity and the Hellenistic World.) Yet even though he said that, he at the same time said "But I still believe in those things." What the heck, Bell? You don't think those doctrines are too important, but you're just going to believe them for good measure, or what?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Would You Do?

I have been watching the new show, "What would you do?" ABC's new hidden camera ethical dilemma show and it has caused a lot of good conversations in my family as we all watch together. The show if you have not seen it, stages certain situations and then films people's reactions as the events unfold. The biggest thing I notice is the difference in the way women and men are treated. One scene called for a young man to saw a chain off of a bicycle that was not his. He got a lot of attention by passersby and many people called the police or said something to the young man about stealing. Then they put a very nice looking woman to the same task and to my surprise, even though she told the men passing by that she was indeed stealing the bike the men actually helped her!  Another scenario has a woman collapsing on the sidewalk in a busy area and it took just seconds for people to stop and help. When a man collapsed it took much longer for anyone to even stop much less try to help. Put a beer can in the man's hands and no one did anything but stare as they walked by. One tiny little black woman who walked with the aid of a cane was the only one who would help the man. She stood by and asked many people going by to call for an ambulance and finally after 20 or so people passed did someone use their cell phone to call for help. Her take on the situation was she had been homeless and that the man was still a human being who needed help. This show has made all of us look at ourselves as we watch the different scenarios, and we ask ourselves; What would we do?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

That's okay...I'm happy to be in my 40's

When I was 18, I had the WORST breakup ever.  I was devastated, destroyed and the night that it happened, I had every intention of going home and killing myself.  God was watching over me, however, and on the way home, I happened to drive past a friend who was walking home alone.  It was late, she was the younger sister of a friend of mine and so I hated the thought of her being alone on a dark road.  

I pulled over and picked her up and then cried my heart out for hours.  She sat, she listened, and she made me realize that this was so NOT worth ending my life over.  It took my such a ridiculous amount of time to get over that relationship and while it was horrible and painful, it helped shape me into the person that I am today and made me realize what I did NOT want in a relationship ever again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Does God Love Homosexuals?

According to most researchers, genetics plays a major role when it comes to sexual orientation. Although the environment and experiences may also affect one's choice and preference, it is rarely the case that a person should suddenly become or turn gay overnight. In those instances, it may be that the person already had genetic predisposition, but decided to ignore or reject those tendencies.

The dilemma concerning sexual orientation and religion may run something like this: Should the person give in to his sexual urges or should he fight against them? If, as some religious groups claim, it is against nature and hence against God's will, then why are they created in this manner in the first place by God Himself? Does God like to make people suffer? Or is God testing the faith of homosexual people by giving them extra challenges?

Two and a Half Men: Without A Laugh-Track

If you are not familiar with the show, [Two and a half Men] is about the trials and tribulations of Charlie Harper, who has allowed his younger brother, Alan Harper, to come live in his home after being divorced by the mother of his son, Jake Harper, who counts as the half to Two and a half Men.  To say that the show has met with great success is an understatement of Biblical proportions.  For it has [reportedly] scored in the Top Twenty most popular shows of all kinds each of its first seven seasons.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Tribulation Flames Template

Well, what do you think?  Is this not now a really hot (or cool) place to visit or what?

I’m warning you, you better say something really nice or don’t say anything at all.  For the lovely and talented Ms. Susan (a.k.a. Sue and Ettarose) has been working her cute little tookis off for close to two weeks to get this template finished, and you don’t want to get on her bad-side.  Trust me, I know.

Alas, if only I wasn’t so particular.  For about the time she would be almost finished with what I had told her I wanted, I would jump to something else.

In the end, she came up with what you see now, and it is a whole lot better than what I was dreaming of.  So, if I had of just kept my mouth shut…

Okay, there are still a few tweaks that need tweaking.  For the jump-breaks are not cooperating.  So, I edited them out of all of the articles that had them, and I will put them back in when the problem gets solved.

Nonetheless, I think it is about perfect.  Please be as excited about this as I am.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vote For Freedom From Hunger Today!

I hope no one minds if I use this platform to draw attention to one thing I am passionate about. The one thing I wish to tell the world about, the one thing that makes my heart hurt and one of the places that is doing all they can to help. Frredom from Hunger is an organization that has been in existance since 1946. Their mission is to bring awareness, teach mothers and help women help their families with micro-loans. I am going to post here what I posted on my website and I sincerley hope you will help me with my passion.

I have told you about this wonderful organization and the ways they help impoverished families by giving loans to women to set up their own businesses and the training they do with communities on health issues, such as mosquito netting, immunizations and checkups for their children. Now is your chance to help them help others and if you cannot give money then all you have to do is vote. That is it, vote once a day for Freedom from Hunger to give them a chance at receiving $23,000 in donations from  First Preston Management. The more votes they receive the more their share of the $23,000 they will receive. All it takes is a minute of your time once a day until Feb. 28th to vote for this charity which I highly endorse. Please learn more about Freedom from Hunger by going to their site and see for yourself the ways they help every day.
God Bless, Susan

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dualism and the Problem and Necessity of Evil

One of the main characteristics of the universe is its dualism. Everything appears to come in twos, everything from binary numbers, to the Cartesian mind and body, heaven and hell as well as good and evil of the Christian religion. Even matter has its counterpart in the form of antimatter. It seems that after all, the yin and yang of Taoism applies to all creation in the universe.

We can say that evil is the opposite of good since the one cannot really exist without the other. But what is evil? Evil can be seen as that which creates disruption or disorder. When the universe is in balance and harmony, there is peace and quiet, but the moment something intrudes upon and shakes up the state of equilibrium, there is chaos.

They're Fracking Us!

No, I am not employing a new [Battlestar Galatica expletive].  On the other hand, it does apply.  For I just got through watching a [PBS Need To Know segment] about a [ProPublica] report on how hydraulic fracturing is making people sick in the areas where it is being used.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does The Soul Truly Exist?

Does the soul exist or is it just a faith-based hope enabling those who believe to hold on to the premise that there is a life beyond the one we all share at this very moment as we dwell in this transient state of mortality?

The question itself afforded me an opportunity to tap into that which I believe without a doubt or any hesitation is my soul.

For it is during periods of solitude, we find time for reflection and an opportunity to analyze self.

Seeing Red

Alas, just when I was about to become a true fan of baseball again, it is looking highly unlikely that arguably the best player in the game today will be with my team longer than this next season.  For the [St. Louis Cardinals] let [the deadline pass] without making [Albert Pujols] on offer that he couldn’t refuse.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day?

Well, another Valentine’s Day has come and gone.  Did you have a good one?

This time was relatively good for me.  For I have been blessed beyond measure with a wife who loves me a lot more than I deserve to be, and it has been like that for the last 16 Valentine’s Days.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Last Days According to Jesus

This will be my first post here at The Tribulation Times Herald-Exhorter.  I would like to thank FishHawk for inviting me to be a contributor to this effort.  I can regularly be found at Dickster's Random Thoughts.   

In college, when I was still a fairly young Christian, I was fascinated by Biblical prophecies of the end times.  Mostly the types of books I read and seminars that I attended on the subject were centered around the interpretations of Hal Lindsey and his book "The Late Great Planet Earth," and others of that ilk.  At the time, it was fascinating to me to study their explanations of how 1st century writers like John the Revelator would describe weapons of our day.  It all seemed perfectly logical and plausible to me at the time.  That was in the late 1970's to early 1980's.

Over the years, I looked at just about every rumbling in the Middle East as evidence that we were rapidly approaching the era leading up to the last days.  I held on to that view for some time.  When Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins began producing their "Left Behind" series of books beginning in 1995, I found myself devouring them.  Sure they were fiction, but they were based on Biblical truth as I knew it.  As time passed, with each new Hal Lindsey update assuring us we were on the verge of his interpretations coming to fruition, and with each new "Left Behind" book being released, I started to look at their work as a cottage industry to sell more books.

Needing Our Help

The first time I ran across Rena, I knew that she was probably going to be trouble.  For she is an IT specialist.  You know, the kind who look down their noses at you while turning it on after you have asked them why the monitor at your desk is not working?

Okay, I am making that up.  For she is actually a very delightful lady of considerable compassion and grace.

Anyway, she is now needing our help.  For she is involved in a fundraising effort for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is certainly a very worthy cause.

No, I cannot promise you that our Heavenly Father will give you back ten times what you give.  For that is not the way it usually works, but helping others is never a bad thing.

Besides, the research that this would be funding just might be a very good thing for you or one of your loved ones someday.  So, please visit [her page], and give what you can.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011



They are rejoicing in Egypt today. The thousands who blocked the main square in Cairo to demand the removal of President Mubarak continue their blockade, although now the party! Powerful men at the top, mostly army generals, have removed the unwilling president and who knows in what direction Egypt will now move. The generals do not, the people certainly don't, and the suddeness of the transformation has taken the world by surprise. There are no logical political appointees waiting in the wings. Political parties were discouraged, the only organised group being the Muslim Brotherhood, and most apparently do not wish for them to rule. No other political party appears to exist in sufficient form to take power. Many Egyptians with political experience have been tied to Mubarak, as indeed have the army generals! Who will be the leading man, and what will be his power base? The next few days are very important for Egypt and indeed the Middle East. Political turmoil in the Middle East also has an effect on the rest of the world.

Remington Under Fire

I just got through watching a rebroadcast of a [CNBC] special report on some [Remington’s Model 700] bolt-action rifles being able to fire without pulling the trigger, which came as a great shock to me.  For I have owned two Model 700’s (a [.30-06] and a [.308]), and I never had any problems with either one.

Now, for me to even consider owning a Remington of any kind is really saying something.  For I have a very strong tendency towards devout brand loyalty, and [Winchester] was my first love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


What is your opinion - this is mine.


A Theological Soundbite on Theology

As I was reflecting on a conversation I had today, I realized there are a great many people (particularly Christians) who don't know what theology actually is. Some view it as an ivory tower activity reserved for the academic elite, other's seem to think that any semi-spiritual idea counts.

The word "theology" comes from the joining of the Greek words "theos" which means God, and "logos" which means word, study, or logic. So "theology" is "The study of God." In broader terms, it is the systematic study of religion and/or religious teaching.

Lest you think this only relates to academics, let me make my case for why you should care about theology. Christianity is a knowledge tradition. Our faith is one rooted in teaching, in the truth of certain facts about reality. These facts are susceptible to two sorts of attacks: Denial and Distortion. Some people (say, Stephen Hawking, Michael Ruse, and Richard Dawkins) deny the truth of religious teachings. Other people (false teachers like Mary Baker Eddy) distort certain religious teachings (and may deny others).

As Christians, it is vital for us to understand what we believe and why it is worth believing. Only when we do this can we stand against attacks of the sort mentioned above. Additionally, as Tozer said, we will never live above our conception of God. The vibrancy of our Christian life will be tied to our understanding of the teachings of Christ as revealed in the Bible. As Tozer also said, nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.

Know thy doctrine.

God bless!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Please Forgive The Construction

Being the manly-man that I truly am, be assured that I am not one to be changing things all of the time, but since I am about as technically-challenged as one can be, it may take a lot of changes before this site gets anywhere near right.

Well, do you like the newest look?  If you have any suggestions, please speak up!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Fourth Horseman?

Yeah, there I have went and said all of that “stuff” about this site not necessarily being about the end times, and here I go posting something like this, already.  Be assured that I have a good excuse.  For the lovely and talented Queen Katherine of [The Queen Speaks] and [The Magpie’s Ritual] fame and fortune sent me a link to that video about a ghostly image of the [Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse], and she was wondering what I thought about it.  It looks fairly obvious to me that it is a fake.  What do you think (or know)?

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Choosing Government Over God

Hello and God bless. My name is Sue and I am doing a guest post for my good friend "Fish Hawk."  I just hope I do him justice, and as always I welcome any feedback.
America is in serious trouble. Don’t doubt for a moment that the falling of the United States will be just as catastrophic as the fall of the Roman Empire. Do you doubt that? I for one see the fall of America as we know it in our future, if not our children’s future. There is massive debt, not only for the United States as a country, but massive personal debt as well. We have become a country that does not care if we have the money to pay for our expensive homes, cars and all the latest technological gadgets, we only know we want it now, the cost be damned.
Read Tocqueville's ‘The History of the Rise and fall of the Roman Empire’ and see how close we are to Romans; apathy and no individual responsibility, not from the Roman government but from the people themselves. English politician and historian Edward Gibbon wrote “human freedom is the first wish of the heart; freedom is the first blessing of our nature. Yet when people shirk individual responsibility and expect more from government, he explained, they fall prey to tyranny.”

How You Play The Game

What matters most is not whether you win or lose,
but how you play the game.

Yeah, tell that to the [Pittsburgh Steelers].  For they were just beaten in [Super Bowl XLV] by the [Green Bay Packers].

Was this punishment for the sins of their quarterback, [Ben Rothlesberger]?  I haven’t heard anything from our Heavenly Father about the subject, but I do not believe so.  For the Pittsburg Steelers exemplify class from the top to the bottom of the organization.  Well, at least for the most part, and a definite change for the good has been seen in Rothlesberger’s attitude.

Of course, most do not believe that our Heavenly Father has anything to do with sports.  After all, does He not have more important things to attend to?