Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin- Same Old?

Okay, having said Palin, Yeah! and Now, Palin-Same Old, which is it?

Sarah Palin has energized more than just the McCain base. I'm sure McCain has a base but it must be one of very little energy. Could we possibly have had a 'more of the same' run for the Presidency, at least on the Republican side, than this one? Talk about yawns and glassed over eyes!

But then comes along a surprise, a Sarah Palin surprise and a politician even pleasing to the eyes. Boring McCain seems to be smart enough to fix his real weakness, photographic unfriendliness.

Well, maybe he fixed more than that. He wanted to pick up Hillary swing voters and maybe throw in an evangelical or two. Polls are already showing his biggest pickup may be in men who are tired of looking at grumpy old men and manly looking women politicians.

But the third party candidaters, like myself, are another trump in the deck, in my opinion. This group of people are in that camp for a few reasons. We are pro-life to the teeth. We are small government types, dreaming for a reduction of the Federal Government budget and wanting America to get back to minding its own business. Imagine Ron Paul for President and you get a good glimpse of the kind of voter I am talking about. Also, imagine a goodly number of folks in this camp who are so dropped out of politics that even Ron Paul didn't wake them up.

Now, comes along Sarah Palin. What is her appeal? She is a woman, a real one, feminine, strong, articulate. A mother. A real mother. A wife. In short, a woman not like all the other women in politics that we have seen. Men in skirts.

And this got the base, and more, energized. Even us third party folks felt the excitement and appeal of Sarah. For many, though, the excitement has waned as Sarah has begun to drone the McCain philosophy, lining up neatly in the Republican row. Surprised? You shouldn't be.

What shall we make of this? Should we still be excited about Sarah? In my opinion, absolutely and unreservedly, yes! Yeah, Palin!

Why? Pretty easy answer. Live babies.

Sarah Palin will line up with McCain. It's her job. Same Old. But Sarah Palin had a Downs baby at 44. In God's Providence, in a messy, sinful situation, Bristol Palin got pregnant fooling around with a hunk of a hockey player. Bristol is going to have a baby and, let us hope and pray, that with faith in Jesus and a lot of family support, Levi, Bristol and the baby will make a good showing in life.

For all of this, Sarah Yeah! I am already very thankful to our God for bringing this woman on center stage. The culture of death has taken a tremendous blow. Can she change Roe v. Wade? Doubtful. Will she appoint Supreme Court justices? Unlikely. Will she convince Congress to grow a backbone? Almost certainly not. Will she get us out of 130 countries? Are you kidding?! Same old stuff. Right?

Wrong! Sarah had a baby and all the world can see that THAT is what a woman does.

God be praised and by His grace may we see a lot more of Sarah, perhaps for four more, or even twelve more years!

Palin Yeah!

That's it.

Palin Yeah!

Is Christianity Good for the World-Hitchens/Wilson Debate

Just finished the short book, Is Christianity Good For The World over a long cup of coffee. Thoroughly enjoyed both. Atheists and Christians, alike, will enjoy this debate between Wilson and Hitchens. However, Hitchens' cheerleaders will be tempted to dribble little bits of their morning coffee all over the book. That, say, as opposed to throwing little bits of wadded up paper at a televised debate. Their champion, while eloquent, is clearly not up to the task of taking down his straw man opponent. I say that because Hitchens seems to want to attack what is worst in Christianity but cannot give an adequate answer for what is best in Atheism.

Wilson repeatedly asks Hitchens to offer support for why Atheism is a worthy alternative to Christianity. Or put more in Wilson's formula, What is the basis of any authority for Atheism? Why ought we to listen to you, Mr. Hitchens?

Hitchens seem completely flummoxed by this line of questioning. Other than a very vague response to this question, say "We evolved authority", Hitchens, and atheism for that matter, cannot offer up any compelling reason for us to listen to them. Wilson's answer is that Christianity is good for the world becuase Christianity offers us a way to answer questions about good and evil. Hitchens can still accuse men of committing evil but he has no steam in his engine to justify his accusation.

Wilson asks Hitchens to justify himself and he is still waiting for an answer.

You will enjoy this book. I sincerely hope many atheists buy this book with the intent of doing a better job than Hitchens of answering the question. Or, they may see their Goliath fall and be forced to hie it on out of there with the rout of the Davidsons on their heels.

Proverbia 1

Proverbia 1
Virgil's proverbs #1

Sorrow is the friend of wisdom
And suffering abides with understanding.

As mentioned sometime ago, I would like to flesh out my life Proverbs a little bit. This one was posted on April 10, so it has been a while since I got around to following up. There has been a lot of water under the bridge in the meantime and maybe some of that will come out in due course.

It is not surprising that sorrow is the friend of wisdom. I suppose I had always known this, at least from an Academic distance. But God is kind and He takes us through various sorrows so that we can get an up close dose.

It is clear to me that sorrow both brings wisdom and reveals wisdom. This is why we often go from sorrow to sorrow, with interludes of peace and safety in between. Sorrow requires wisdom to get through to the other side and wisdom accompanies sorrow in its grief. They work together spurring one another on to higher, or perhaps more appropriately, deeper destinations.

But sorrow and wisdom are indeed friends, often together and in need of one another. And without sorrow, wisdom is a fair weather friend at best. Sorrows develop wisdom because they give us understanding, compassion, and mercy. It is strange that in sorrows, in suffering, the sorrowful and suffering is often the one extending grace. They are needy of grace but God in His wisdom, dispenses grace from them. We watch and we learn from those who suffer and endure and we find that endurance, too, is wisdom.

Sorrow also tries wisdom. It is in testing times that we get to see what we are made of. Often, what we see is none too good. We cringe at our own frailties and it is only with hindsight that we can see the good, see the growth. But this, too, leads to wisdom, shows us that God was faithful in the midst of trial, when we thought that we had failed or even if we thought that He had failed.

When I said, "Suffering abides with understanding", I wasn't so much referring to my understanding of my own situation. That almost never happens in the midst of trial. Trials are characterized by misunderstanding more than they are by understanding. I meant that those who suffer begin to understand others, especially those weak others who often suffer and are misunderstood. Suffering enables us to relate to those that we may have not been able to relate to before. Relating to them in an understanding way also helps us to love them as we should.

Our own suffering reveals our own misunderstanding and our own lack of love. This revelation in suffering leads to a better understanding. Who would not call this a good thing?


I am preaching through Ecclesiastes. This is most appropriate given the year that we, our family and our church, just went through. We have seen the vaporous nature of the world and have therefore come to more fully appreciate those things that do indeed endure.

One of my resources for Ecclesiastes is Jeffrey Myers' Commentary on Ecclesiastes, Through New Eyes, A Table in the Mist.

There is much to be said and you can listen to the sermons at, if you so desire.

In his conclusions related to 'a threefold cord is not easily broken' Myers says that two is good but three is a Community.

He goes on, "Statistics show that if new members of churches do not find genuine companionship within a year, they will leave. Of course, it works both ways. Personally, and as a layman and then a pastor, I have noticecd in church after church that too many of those people that leave have made no effort themselves to find friendship. We may think good preaching or exalting worship is what draws us to a church. Our culture may train us not to consider the issue of alienation and fellowship. When we do not become genuine members of a real fellowship, we will grow restless and dissatisfied. Solomon's wisdom should raise our awareness of the importance of communion with the body of Christ and the foolishness of 'not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near'." (Heb. 10:25)

This is really important. We must see the need of being in community with one another. Those 'one anothers' are simply all over the New Testament. We must reach out to the needy but we must also not insist on being the needy. Do not separate yourself from the body of Christ, whether on Sunday morning or from the outside the church building life of the body and then wonder why you do not have close friendships. Give what you can of yourself and then receive the blessing of the body. Those who give always get a great deal in return. Those who refuse to give, never get enough.