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Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Preservation District
On my recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, a friend and I were walking around exploring the city. Our walk took an unexpected turn when a Good Samaritan requesting spare change asked us if we were going to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. We had not planned to because, for some reason, I thought the memorial was in Alabama. I am not really even sure why I thought it was in Alabama. At any rate, we found out it was there and we decided it was a must-see. It seems that divine providence guided our path. As I passed through what appeared to be a rundown part of town, we happened upon a pan handler whose only request was food. I always feel hesitant to help out aggressive pan handlers, especially when they open with the line, “Don’t worry, I ain’t going to mug you.” We know he would not...

Posted by on in Philosophy
Toy Room 2007
By nature, I tend to think very logically. I don't mean like Spock from the original Star Trek. Emotion can sway me. I mean, I am a person who has difficulty if things don't fit or they contradict other known facts. I work in Information Technology so I understand causation. Add to that, I am an IT auditor so like to analyze things. I have been accused of being obsessive and a little anal about certain things. For example, I have a library and I will go though and make sure all the bindings are aligned on the shelf and the books are properly cataloged and categorized. Yes, I have a data base of all my books, too. I really can't watch a movie without analyzing it. I don't accept the face value of claims of the paranormal. I always look for alternate explanations. I try to see things as...

Posted by on in Apologetics
dead tree
Have you read lately on a billboard or in a magazine ad that the Judgment Day will be May 21, 2011? I have so many issues with this I don’t even know where to begin. According to a pamphlet I picked up at a gas station, God has given us a head- up on the Day of Judgment. According to the pamphlet: “..The Holy Bible tells us that Holy God is a God of great mercy, compassion and love. That is why He has given us in advance of the destruction the exact time of the Day of Judgment.” The Bible does state that God has great mercy, compassion and love. However, the pamphlet does not say where exactly the Bible says that He give us the exact time of the Day of Judgment. As you read further, you find that they quote 2 Peter 3:8 and as soon as...

Posted by on in Apologetics
St. Michael
One of the problems I have found with some Christian apologists is the propensity of some of them to be disingenuous, at best, when characterizing Satanists. Many of them fall into the trap of the informal fallacy of composition. In logic and reasoning, a fallacy of composition is when someone makes the assumption that what is true of a small portion of a population is true of the whole population. A composition fallacy is like asking one student in a classroom what their favorite color is and then making the assumption that it is the favorite color of all of the students in the classroom. When someone hears the term Satanist, they cannot help but imagine blood sacrifices, ritualistic murder, demon summoning and all sorts of other wild magical things. This perception of Satanism is actually taken from a very small minority of Satanists that have been popularized by the...

Posted by on in Ethics
Mohave Desert
Osama bin Laden is Dead Now what? He is dead but al Qaeda is still alive and well. The question is, does his death change anything? Will it make him a martyr? Will that increase anger at the US? These are definitely some really tough questions. Should we all be happy that he is dead? I am given pause when I remember Proverbs 24:17. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice” (NIV) A question that always pops into my mind when people judge people is, “How does Jesus view that person?” I am reminded of that question in this situation as well. How does Jesus view Osama bin Laden? Jesus sees him as a man in need of a savior. He sees him as someone He died for. He sees him as someone He loved. The obvious question then is, how...
Investigation Baptismal Regeneration in Mark 16:16 I am going to look at a number of passages in their immediate context and then later in a broader context. I have to make a comment upfront and acknowledge that the authenticity of the longer ending or Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is questioned by many scholars. I do not intend to address this issue, rather, for argument sake, I will make the assumption that this longer ending is authentic. However, if we did find any significant meaning in a disputed section of scripture, we must be extremely cautious in building doctrine on questionable scripture. ὁ πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται. (Mark 16:16) [Holmes, M. W. (2010; 2010). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition] “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” - Mark 16:16 HCSB Let’s take a look at this passage logically...

Posted by on in Ethics
Mt. Hermon Retreat
Your Emotions Can't Tell Time The other day I was browsing Facebook when I noticed a suggested friend who was someone I went to school with long ago. The problem was this 'suggested friend' was a schoolmate who was a total jerk to me. I noticed very quickly I remembered what he said and did to me and I found myself upset and angry as if he had just done it or said it to me. This is the problem with emotions. In order to trigger them, you just need to remember or think about something that made you feel that way once before. Then, bam! The emotions are back just like that. Even if, intellectually, you forgave the person or you now realize it was minor or long enough ago to not matter anymore. After a few seconds, I realized that kids are mean and that what he said...

Posted by on in Paranormal
29 Palms Tank
When researching the topic of spiritual warfare, one of the problems you will run into is the vast majority of books on the topic center on what I call the spiritual dimension with things like witchcraft, demonology, possession and Satanism. The problem with this narrow interpretation is that it focuses on only one of the domains of spiritual warfare. What are domains of warfare? In modern combat, the US military has determined that there are five (5) domains of warfare. You may have heard of air, land and sea as the 3 traditional domains of war. Recently, the US military has added space and cyberspace as new domains of war for the 21st century. Having been a Marine and understanding the basics of combat and warfare has led me to the conclusion that spiritual warfare is far larger than a single domain. Have you ever thought about missions as spiritual...

Posted by on in Paranormal
Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Notes of a Baptist Exorcist: New Testament Teachings and Examples for Exorcising Demons Today by Dr. Roderick H. Pyatt Ph.D. I really liked this book and the balanced approach of Dr. Pyatt. The problem of most Protestants is they tend to gravitate to the extremes on the topic of possession and exorcism. Either they ignore the topic politely out of some sort of embarrassment or concern of how they will look to others or they see demons in everything and anything bad that happens to you is a direct action of the devil. Neither of those positions is supported by scripture. Dr. Pyatt addresses the topic in a manner that is biblical and not to the extreme. The book is more or less his notes on the subject. I think it would get better reception if it was more academic. For example, I would like to see it include footnotes...
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio This was a good book, well written and engaging. I really liked the Catholic treatment of exorcism. They seem to have a very balance approach, not falling into the extremes such as seeing every illness as possession and not denying all possessions as frauds or myth. I have seen other Protestants criticism of Catholics for relying too much on the superstitious use of relics like crucifixes as if they were somehow endowed with magical power or having some spiritual energy or force in and of themselves. According to Baglio the focus is on the power of God and the faith of the exorcist and that the Rite and relics are only aids. Baglio quotes Father Candido Amantini, "We can do only our best, and then we must leave the final decision up to God." ...


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