Which Theologian Are You?

January 23, 2004

I came across this amusing little what-xxxx-are-you quiz courtesy of the Biblical Theology Weblog. I’m not so surprised at the outcome as the fact that I guessed it correctly beforehand:

“Sin is incurable by the strength of man, nor does free will have any validity here, so that even the saints say: ‘The evil which I do not wish, this I do.’ ‘You are not doing the things which you wish.’ ‘Since my loins are filled with illusions,’ etc.”
You are Martin Luther!

Yeah, you have a way of letting everyone know how you feel, usually with Bible quotes attached, and will think your way through the issues, although sometimes you make no sense! You aren’t always sure of yourself, and you can change your mind about
things, something you actually consider a strength. You can take solitude, especially with some music.


Monkeying around

January 22, 2004

Happy New Year to all my friends (and readers, if you’re out there) of Chinese descent.


Now you know he’s innocent

January 20, 2004

As I write this, the friend of Michael Jackson, “psychic” spoon-bender Uri Geller is on CNN defending Jackson’s innocence on child molestation charges.

Supposedly Michael said under “hypnosis” that the charges were fabricated.

On Jackson’s display outside the courtroom following his arraignment, Geller gives him the same pass as all his sycophants: “Sure it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it’s Michael Jackson. . . . He thinks with his heart instead of his head.”

Gee . . . thanks Uri. We can just dispense with the court case now.


Mommy’s Funny Medicine

January 18, 2004

Recently published by two local authors: Mommy’s Funny Medicine, a children’s book about medical marijuana, of all things.

The book features artwork that looks like something that got rejected by the makers of Yellow Submarine and dispenses such wisdom as:

Sometimes Mommy laughs when she has her medicine. Mommy says the medicine makes the pain better, and makes her want to eat more. Boy, does Mommy ever eat!

And sometimes Mommy says things like “Whoah . . . dude!” or giggles for no readily apparent reason.

Is there any other medical treatment whose most vocal advocates are users (and wannabe users), or which requires a book to justify itself to children? Why do I get the feeling that “medical marijuana” activism is just the “legalize pot” activism of yesteryear, with a “scientific” angle to give it the appearance of legitimacy?

On the other hand, the Roald Dahl storybook George’s Marvelous Medicine is cruelly hilarious, and a must-read for children of all ages . . .


Jacobus contra mundum

January 18, 2004

In recent days there has been an ongoing debate between apologist James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries and blogger Tim Enloe over the merits of the “New Perspective on Paul” of E. P. Sanders and N. T. Wright. It has apparently turned into a bit of a dogpile: White’s blog on one side, and according to my last count, the Societas Christiana, 40 Bicycles, Purging Out the Tares, Upsaid blogs, and, inexplicably, Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong on the other.

The outcome? So far, White is wiping the floor with all of them by sticking with exegesis of the biblical text and insisting that his opponents do likewise.


Eternal life through cheap magnets

January 18, 2004

Yet another spammer graced the Bible Versions Discussion Board with his presence yesterday peddling Alex Chiu’s “Immortality Devices.” Spammers are the scum of
the earth to begin with, and these nitwits hawking Chiu’s magnetic
rings are especially pernicious since they are also apparently
motivated by the promise of free products if they can convince enough
people to click on their clickthru banners. So, complaints were sent
to the usual suspects.

Alex Chiu, for those unfamiliar with him, is a
Chinese-American “inventor” who sells ring-shaped clamps containing
small magnets. Properly worn on the fourth fingers of each hand while
the user sleeps, Chiu claims
they will extend life indefinitely because “your fingers are the
transistors of your body”; the little energy introduced by the magnets
results in a huge flow of energy through the body. He also claims
that:

The reason why a person gets healthier if
his or her magnetic flux increases is that blood circulation is
directly proportional to magnetic flux. Our body circulates blood
with its natural turbine, magnet flux, which consists of no
moving parts but yet still propels blood into the blood
circulatory system.

This is abject nonsense. Blood is not affected by magnetic
fields. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine generates a
powerful enough magnetic field to suck large metal objects into its
chamber. In fact there was a [PDF] fatal accident in
2001
in which an oxygen bottle pulled loose by an MRI smashed the
head of a child in the machine. If blood were circulated by magnetism,
a magnetic field this powerful would surely suck the blood out of the
body – but its effect on the body is negligible.

And in fact it’s factually wrong. Blood doesn’t circulate because
of magnetic flux. The human body has a mechanical pump. It’s called
the heart.

Stephen Barrett of QuackWatch notes that some
peddlers of medical
magnets
have been shut down by the FDA and FTC for making far
lesser claims than immortality. Maybe Alex is off the hook because
his claims are untestable, at least until he is in the grave and
immune from any fraud litigation. How do you know whether anyone will
live forever?

Then again, maybe it can be tested. Give a pair of
magnetic pinky rings to someone who has gone beyond his threescore and
ten – say, someone 110 years old and still alive and kicking.
See how long they stay that way. The question is: Would Chiu
take the challenge if posed?


Sit down and shut up

January 15, 2004

The hard-left activist organization MoveOn.org announced the winners of its “Bush in 30 Seconds” contest in which various contestants competed to produce the best anti-George W. Bush ad. Entertainment was provided by the usual cadre of second-rate and has-been talent (including such notable political pundits as “comedienne” Margaret Cho, writer Al Franken, and rapper Chuck D) in the form of profanity-ridden commentary, of which Matt Drudge procured a partial transcript.

This from actress Julia Stiles proves the adage that brains times beauty equals a constant:

I was worried that some soldiers over in Iraq who are actually younger than I am would see some salacious report on MSNBC and think that I was attacking them and not the government that put them there. And I was afraid that Bill O’Reilly would come and, with a shotgun at my front door and shoot me for being unpatriotic.

Unfortunately, that same adage doesn’t appear to explain Margaret Cho’s vulgar babblings, as she appears to possess neither brains nor beauty.