Thursday, June 28, 2007

VERY soon your life here will end; consider, then, what may be in store for you elsewhere. Today we live; tomorrow we die and are quickly forgotten. Oh, the dullness and hardness of a heart which looks only to the present instead of preparing for that which is to come!

Therefore, in every deed and every thought, act as though you were to die this very day. If you had a good conscience you would not fear death very much. It is better to avoid sin than to fear death. If you are not prepared today, how will you be prepared tomorrow? Tomorrow is an uncertain day; how do you know you will have a tomorrow?

Thomas aKempis, 'Imitation of Christ,' 23rd Chapter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Deep question:

Why is Star Wars generally considered "cool," but other sci-fi, like Star Trek, considered "not cool"?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Name that tune:

(to the tune of 'Darling Clementine')

'Oh the Chur-ch, Oh the Chur-ch/
you run to li-cense and to law...'

What lyrics come next?

(copyright D.Schmidt)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm a big fan of Christians:

To me they've been the body of Christ, a nourishing context within which to know God.

Monday, June 11, 2007

W.H. Auden

Recently, I learned that 20th Century poet W.H. Auden was a serious convert to Christianity, and his writing was extensively about Christian things. He also had a good deal of overlap with Inklings J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. In his first decade of writing he was a non-believer, and was considered by many the foremost poet of his generation. After he converted, his work was largely ignored and disliked by his contemporaries.

I recommend check out his poems. I find them highly readable, interesting, and entertaining. Here are a couple of good links:

On the Circuit (

The Shield of Achilles (

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm a big fan of Christians.

Christian bashing is in vogue, even among Christians. "Oh the crusades! Oh the crusades!" goes up the baleful protest and lament. "And Jerry Falwell! And George W. Bush! And Republicans!"

I'm tired of watching Christians bend over backwards to admit they're so bad, the Church has been soooo bad, particularly as they engage in discussions with non-Christians. I will admit that this may amount to 'turning the other cheek,' which just proves my point: that Christians are actually quite good. Try to find a non-Christian bending over backwards to admit he or she is bad and historically at fault.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Conversation with a materialist

This weekend I had a somewhat involved e-mail correspondence with the author of the article cited in the previous post. I told him about my concerns, and he was very cordial and generally gracious. However, he would not go so far as to concede any point. He felt that a rejection of dualism (any distinction between body/mind or soul) was uncontroversial, and was the consensus opinion of all the scholars he knew.

Maybe that's true. Maybe nobody he knows or respects thinks there is an immaterial aspect to a human being. So, I told him of several I knew of, but this did not seem to impress him. He was, however, very nice about it all, and said he considered my concerns "reasonable."

At one level, this was a humanizing discussion. I was reminded that someone I disagree with is a human being, just doing the best he can, and so I should avoid making him into a target for attack. However, it also validated all my concerns. He basically said science only concedes the existence and relevance of things that can be tested and proved, but that he also was not going to limit his statements to that jurisdiction - even though science can only deal with the testable, he was still going to use science to justify his value judgments (which are not testable). Yet, he didn't seem to acknowledge that this decision itself does not flow from something proveable, but rather is pragmatic and even dogmatic.

What's so dangerous about this type of scientist is that many people believe he is being objective, and he allows them to think this, but then speaks on his own beliefs, while still wearing his scientist hat, and fools people into thinking that his beliefs are objectively true. This is an abuse of trust; there are foxes in the hen house.

This type of scientist, unfortunately, appears to be the rule rather than the exception.

Bottom line: science can never tell you whether something is right or wrong, good or bad. Anyone who says otherwise is a heretic to both Science and Christianity.