Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In the Old Testament the word “Soul” is found in the King James Version in Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The Hebrew words translated “living soul” are nepish hayah. It has been used as a proof text to show that man has a soul, distinguishing him from the animal kingdom. However, the same words are used of the animals: Genesis 1:24. Even the NIV fudges a bit, using the phrase “living being.” Since nepish Hayah is used of both man and animals 2:7 could more accurately be translated as “living creature.” It cannot refer to a human soul in the commonly understood meaning of the word.
The biblical difference between man and animal—found in the same 2:7—is that though both are made from the dust of the earth, only man received the breath or spirit of God directly.
New Testament usage is also problematical. The Greek word for soul is psyche. The Greeks used it to refer to the unsubstantial spirit that survives the body’s death. Though psyche is often translated “soul” in English, it seems that first century Jews and Christians used the term to mean spirit.
My problem is the way “soul” is used in popular theology. I’ve often heard the assertion that since man is made in the image of the triune God than man is a trinity as well: body, soul and spirit. Because of the above, I feel there is a confusion of soul and spirit. It goes against popular usage but I see no biblical evidence that the ancients had a concept of soul that was substantially different from that of spirit. In fact, until quite recently it was commonplace to see a headline like this: “Titanic Sinks With Loss of Some 1,500 Souls.” The meaning here is obviously referring to the whole person.
The Apostle Paul assures us that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” However, it should be remembered that in Christian theology we shall spend eternity in a resurrected body: body and spirit reunited.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO T-shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station because this one's just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress - $5000; tux rental - $100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood, ALL the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can "do" your nails with a pocketknife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
On "Meet the Press" last weekend, Gore called on America to be carbon dioxide-free within 10 years. In the same spirit of pointlessness and futility, I call on America to be 100 percent oxygen-free within 10 years."
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment--a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation for the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori commitment to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, the materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
Richard Lewontin, New York Review of Books, 1997
Lewontin and his brethren have a perfect right to be materialists and to view the world through atheistic-tinted glasses. They do not have an intellectually honest right to assume that their a priori commitments are absolute and might not have a different explanation. I think it's reasonable to interpret what he says as being willing to skew information to keep God's foot out of the door. That is why many religious people, even those not inimical to science are skeptics of "scientific" announcements that "the Bible" has been "disproved."
I still think the scientific method is useful and in fact a fine way to examine what I like to call GOD'S CREATION. At the same time, I find some "scientists" to be as dogmatically blind and agenda driven as the most unthinking "fundamentalist."
I have hopes that there are people who can actually exchange knowledge and ideas--even ideas about scientific knowledge & revelational knowledge--without the need to demonize one another. See my post on The Common Foundation of Faith and Reason for further thinking on this subject.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Rambler... A customized Rambler. That's like customizing a tractor. C'mon! it shows a serious misunderstanding of what a cool car is. A Rambler was a granny car for pete's sake; a family car--for farmer families.
If you are not catching my drift it's because YOU are not a former denizen of those much cooler times. It would be like customizing a Dodge Caravan. ...Why?
Certain cars are just too ugly or mundane to be cool. The Rambler would be at the top of the list. I guess you might restore a Rambler or an Edsel or a Kaiser--if you wanted to waste your money--but they are simply not cool enough to customize.
If you simply had to customize one of those hunks of old iron you ought to have the grace to do it Big Daddy Roth style. That is, grotesqueify the snot out of it: behemoth engine sticking out of the hood, gigantic fat tires, ten-foot high stick-shift poking through the roof, itty-bitty windows; the works.
If a tricked out Edsel pulled up next to a '55 Chevy and the driver shouted, "Gears for beers!" the Chevy driver would die laughing.
We came, we saw, we almost conquered. Two out of the seven of us made it to the top of Half Dome. Not Me. We made the ascent on the hottest day on record in a long, long time. 104 degrees on the Valley floor, and hovering near 100 in the high country. I drank over six liters of water. Not only that, but lightening strikes had ignited three fires within the park boundaries, pumping smoke and particulate matter into the air. It was sort of like hiking the scenic seven levels of Dante's Inferno.
I know I can never try this as a day hike again. I just don't have the legs to hike for seven miles above 6,000 feet and then climb another four miles going up 2,000 more feet. Then there's the eight miles back down. The John Muir Trail--AKA, the Devil's Escalator--was not designed for middle-aged legs.
A couple of us are thinking of trying it again in the Fall. This time we'll backpack up to Little Yosemite Valley, spend the night and make the four mile, 2,000 foot ascent fresh in the morning.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Tomorrow's the BIG DAY: "Y" Day, to be specific. No...I guess "Going to Yosemite National Park to camp and climb Half Dome" would be specific. But "Y" Day is easier to type. Twelve intrepid adventurers--okay, half of them are non-hiking slackers--head up the central California highways to YNP.
We'll set up at Bridal Veil Creek campground and maybe take a short day hike to the valley rim. Wednesday is for sight-seeing and another short hike. The idea is to acclimate our selves to the altitude before tackling Half Dome on Thursday.
Half Dome is an ALL DAY deal. We set out from Glacier point about O-Dark Thirty and head down to the Illouette river. We'll cross the raging torrent then climb a massive chunk of granite up and over to Nevada Falls. From there we cross Little Yosemite Valley then head up, up, up for a tough four mile climb to Half Dome itself.
AFTER we do the Rocky Dance at the summit we head back down. This time we go downhill ALLLLLL the way th Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley itself. There we meet up with our prepositioned cars for a leasurly journey back UPHILL to the caampsite. Hopefully we get back to the valley in time for a HOT celebratory meal. If not, trail mix in the car will have to do.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...