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Just an update.  I am now switched over… have posts moved, etc. to the new location.  I have a little clean up to do, but pretty much up and running.

http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com

If you subscribe to this blog using the Feedburner feed it should be a seemless transition.  If you subscribed using the other feed, you’ll have to re-subscribe using the Feedburner feed.

If you have blogged rolled me, please link to http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com.  Thanks!

The should be the last post I do here… famous last words, LOL.

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1. Would you like to improve your reading ability?  Here are seven pleasurable ways.  HT: Jake Bouma

2.  Prodigal Jon explores why society tends to picture God as angry in his post “Painting God mad” at Stuff Christians Like.

3.  Flatulence is now considered bullying.  Jr. High boys of the world… beware!  (HT: Nuke)

4.  Evidently Obama’s uncle fought for the Soviet Army so he could liberate Auschwitz.  Velvet Hammer blogs on other Obama lies – numbering now 51 in this campaign.  Do we see a pattern here?

5.  Pistol Pete on what makes a great blog.  Caffeinated Thoughts has the honor of making his blogroll.

6.  A “Christian” T-Shirt concept that hasn’t quite caught on:

Source: Naked Pastor

7.  Straight Talk Express?  See below.  I don’t want it to be said that I give GOP politicians a free pass here.  There is much to criticize about John McCain as well.

HT: Stephanie

8.  Organic Faith shared some thoughts about Dr. Tim Keller’s message to last year’s Gospel Coalition regarding how pastors are losing focus in the pulpit.

Dr. Tim Keller said last year in a teaching to the Gospel Coalition that the difference between Gospel-centered preaching and lifeless pulpit talk is a focus on Jesus. He said that his wife told him that his best sermons are those that focus on the transforming power and example of Christ. He basically hit on an issue that I have been concerned about for a while. In the effort to be relevant, it has become all too common for preachers to deliver good messages on moral teachings instead of Jesus-focused calls to divine transformation and human repentance.

That is so true.  May that never be said of my ministry in the pulpit.

9.  Anne Jackson asks, “what is something you feel you can’t say in church, or around other Christians?”  She gets some humorous and serious responses. 

Some responses that caught my eye:

  • Anne started things off – “I suck at reading my bible.”
  • I can relate to Pete who said, “That sometimes when there is a dramatic pause in my message, and I look like I’m waiting on God to give me something really powerful to say, I’m not. In reality I’m just wondering if I zipped up my zipper before I went up on stage.” (I laughed out loud at that one.)
  • “Most people I know who claim to follow God are really sucky people who don’t care about anything but themselves and their comfort. It makes me not want to follow their rules.”
  • “When I’m leading worship, I sometimes think of all 31 flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.” (Huh?  Ok then.)
  • “How I feel more alone than ever, when someone gets up to the mic and talks about the deep friendships that can be found in church small/care groups . . . and that just has NOT been my experience.”
  • “That law is easier than grace … just tell me what to do and not do and I’ll give it my best shot.  Grace is too big, to wide open and scary.”
  • “I don’t like Beth Moore Studies.” (It seems like every women’s Bible study I hear of is doing one.)
  • “Stop making Christianity a scapegoat for not developing a personality. Quit being judgement, flaky, egotistical, mean, rude, fake in the name of a God who was none of those things.”

HT: Rodney Olson

10.  An interesting way to get people to church.

And it is at a BAPTIST church!!!!  They reported their largest attendance ever (just kidding).

HT: Crummy Church Signs

11.  If you haven’t already found this gem, I highly recommend the Christian Classics Ethreal Library where you can read works by some great dead people.

12.  Here at Caffeinated Thoughts I am concerned about your health.  Nintendo is coming out with the Wii Fit.  Exercise for video game junkies.  Nice.

13.  You know you spend too much time blogging and commenting when…

HT: Smart Pastor

14.  I am all about networking.  It is in the name of the ministry I serve.  I have been a member of the National Network of Youth Ministries since 1998.  I have benefited from the youth ministry networks that I have been a part of or have led in my youth ministry career.  Since moving back to Des Moines six years ago I have been disappointed by the lack of a vibrant cross-denominational network for pastors in Des Moines.  Sam Rainer (a recent Southern Seminary grad – congratulations Sam!) blogs about the benefits of pastors who get together.

15.  No kudos for Indiana Jones…. just read over on Greg Stier’s blog some harsh, but likely well deserved, criticism of Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I was tuned in from the opening scene through the final scene. But, and I hesitate to make this declaration, I hated Indiana Jones.

There I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, Harrison Ford did a great job in reprising his role as the combative and compelling archaeologist. Shia LaBeouf did a fine job as a whippersnapper whip snapper in the making. And the villain, Cate Blanchett, was very good at being vey bad. But the real villains in this movie were not the old school Communists of Russia but the lame writers of the movie screenplay. Indy should have hunted them down instead of the Crystal Skull and given them a good shalacking.

Please don’t misinterpret. I am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan. I really wanted this movie to be great. In the first thirty minutes of the movie I thought that it could be. The next thirty minutes made me start to doubt. Doubt turned into resignation over the next 1,800 seconds. The last cringe-inducing, please-don’t-go-there segment made me want to reach through the screen, grab Spielberg by the lapel and ask him, “Why? Why? Why?” The director of E.T. should go home, sit in front of his old school typewriter (the one he typed the screenplay of Jaws with) and bring back a plot worthy of his considerable talents.

I guess I’ll wait for the DVD, LOL.

16.  Are you frustrated with no signs of spiritual growth in teens?  Tim Schmoyer gives three reasons why youth pastors (and parents too) may feel this way.

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Forgetting that growth is a process.
  • We are watching the process close up.

17.  David Innes of King’s College suggests that John McCain should tap Bret Schundler, the three-term mayor of Jersey City, NJ as his running mate.  An interesting suggestion, I’m not so sure a Mayor would be a good choice, but I do like his credentials.

18.  Gay Marriage by Judicial Decree – Stuart Taylor, Jr. on the recent California Supreme Court decision.  (HT: Mere Orthodoxy)

19.  Rick Warren – It is your skill, not preaching and prayer that will grow your church.

Ugh.  I think I just vomited in my mouth a little.

HT: Irish Calvinist

20.  Quote: Abraham Piper at 22 Words

If unapplied theology is worthless, we shouldn’t claim to believe truth with arguments, until we’ve proven we believe it with our lives.

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1.  John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School, lectures on “Genesis and Cosmology” (click his picture to get to his lecture and power point presentation).

It expanded my view of Genesis 1 and its context.  He contends that Genesis 1 doesn’t address the time span for matter or structures being made (Dr. Walton affirms that God does create matter and structures), but rather Genesis 1 addresses God bringing order out of disorder, creating functionality out of non-functionality.  We look at Genesis 1 and see God creating structures, when an ancient Israelite would have looked at Genesis 1 they would look at functions – we have a difference of worldviews.  He says that Genesis 1 doesn’t address creation ex nihilo.  In the Q & A time afterwards he says that Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 does.  Very interesting lecture.  I still have questions.  The one that moved me originally from having an old earth position to a young earth position was this – “how could there be disease and death before the fall of man and God’s creation being corrupted by sin?”  He didn’t address that.

HT: Tim Olson

2.  Chuck Colson on the Demise of Marriage in Great Britain:

According to a new report by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, the proportion of Britons getting married “has collapsed to a record low,” and that is a quote. One critic of the current government called it “a disaster for children, families, and society.” But, unlike natural disasters, this disaster is completely man-made.

In 2006, there were approximately 237,000 weddings in Britain—the fewest since 1895, when Victoria was still queen and Britain’s population was about half of what it is today. In fact, “the proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.”

The marriage rate for British men is 22.8 per 1,000 and for women 20.5 per 1,000.

Related to this is a Break Point commentary that talks about the economic costs of family fragmentation – the rise of divorce and unwed mothers.

As I said earlier, the costs of this family fragmentation are not limited to the children. As one expert wrote, “Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by taxpayers.”

How much? A minimum of $112 billion a year. That is more than a $1 trillion a decade in “increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice . . . education programs,” and lost tax revenues.

What is more, the “human and social capital” lost from family fragmentation has an economic impact that goes far beyond government expenditures.

3.  Former Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee launches his new political action committee – Huck PAC.  You can also get to it at his previous domain name – http://www.mikehuckabee.com.  Check out his blog post on the Fair Tax posted on 4/15/08 (for those readers outside of the U.S. that is our tax day).

4.  Mark Driscoll on why he hates religion.  Great video!

Amen and Amen!

HT: Steve Randall

5.  Why Rob Bell makes me angry: a pastoral response to Velvet Elvis.

While I wanted to throw Velvet Elvis across the room at times while reading it, I’m not so sure I’d go quite as far as Pat Abendroth, the senior pastor of Omaha Bible Church, (where Erik Raymond the author of Irish Calvinist is on staff).  He does make some good points though as to why Bell makes him mad.

  • Because he preaches an anti-gospel.
  • Because he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as non-essential.
  • Because he downplays the vital role of conversion.
  • Because he does violence to the clear words of Jesus.
  • Because he is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church

You’ll have to read the post to read why he makes the points he does.  I was also troubled by how Bell handled the virgin birth, and how he does downplay conversion.  I’m not so sure that I would completely agree with Bell doing violence with the clear words of Jesus.  Sometimes they are not as clear as one would think if you do not look at them from the original historical context.  That is true with all scripture, not just Jesus’ words.  On the other hand, Scripture is also timeless and speaks today as well.

What do you think?

6.  Puritan Prayer for Preachers – adapted from The Valley of Vision

My Master God,
I am expected to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people will be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony will be given for you.

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and passion.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
will fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a deep emotion to accompany the words I speak,
and grace to apply them to people’s consciences.

Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.

Help me to offer a testimony for yourself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting your mercy.

Give me freedom to open up the sorrows of your people,
and to set before them comforting consolations.

Give your power to the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that people might be made holy.

I myself need your support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of your grace,
and be able to do something for you.

Give me then refreshment among your people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with you as I do this work.

I need to pray this often.

HT: Justin Taylor

7.  Looking ways to get your kids excited about missions?  Tia over at Desiring God’s blog suggests 10 ways.

8. Here’s something to augment your quiet time – a meditation on grace in Psalm 119.

9.  Al Mohler regarding the real issue with Sen. Obama’s comments:

Take a look again at the words most often cited from Sen. Obama’s comments:

“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I will let the political pundits have their day with this. My interest is theological, for Sen. Obama has given us a near-perfect expression of a functional view of religious belief. In other words, Sen. Obama said that “religion” is a coping mechanism for hard times — lumping religion with other issues his audience members were presumably to find strange and alien.

A functional view of belief assumes or “brackets” the question of whether the beliefs are true. One who holds to a purely functionalist view of religious conviction is not concerned with the truthfulness of these beliefs, but only with the effects the beliefs have on the believer, both privately and in social contexts.

HT: Barry Carey

10.  C. Michael Patton on blogging to the glory shame of God:

I believe that we are to defend the faith. I believe that we are to contend for the faith. One of my great loves in theology is the discipline of apologetics. But sometimes our zealousness for our faith can have the opposite effect and actually undermine our witness. We can shame God.

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this.  You can read a second post he did on this topic.

11.  The Iowa General Assembly wants to mandate a core curriculum for public and private K-12 schools.  The model core curriculum draws heavily from Dr. Willard Daggett, a controversial education consultant based in New York.  You can watch a video that highlights a number of factual inaccuracies and distortions in his speeches, and an article about the controversy.  It has already passed the Iowa House.  If you live in Iowa, contact your state senator ask them to kill this bill.

HT: From Their Own Mouths

12.  Charles Krauthammer says that the U.S. needs to develop a holocaust declaration to deter Iran is using nuclear weapons that it is well on it’s way to developing.  Could we be facing a second Cold War made further complicated by Islamic Extremism?

HT: Kim Moreland at The Point

13.  Want to know how to sin with money?

14.  Oprah’s favorability rating takes a dive from 74% to 55%.  I think people are getting tired of celebrities thinking we take our cues from them when it comes to who we support.

HT: Anthony Randazzo at World

15.  Roger Overton at The A-Team Blog interviews David Wells, author of The Courage to Be Protestant.

16.  Mormon Coffee highlights faith-promoting perceptions of the LDS church as it tries to distance itself from the polygamy scandal/shakedown  happening at the YFZ Ranch in Texas operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

17.  I missed this earlier.  John McCain on Letterman.  I enjoyed this only because it was great to see David Letterman get made fun of.

HT: Paul Edwards

18.  The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer asks are American Christians persecuted?  I would agree with him that we are not compared to many other places, and the persecution that we do face isn’t “for righteousness sake,” (Matthew 5:10).  However in the beatitudes Jesus does broaden what persecution means.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12, ESV, emphasis mine).

Of course the caveat is being persecuted “for righteousness sake” and being persecuted on Jesus account.  Thoughts?

19.  Joe Carter offers a Christian view on capital punishment.  I agree with his assessment of Christians applying Mosaic law to the debate.  What do you think?

20.  According to Ephesians 2, our children don’t need leading… so why the sign?

I wonder how effective this is in getting people to attend their parenting classes?

HT: Crummy Church Signs

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1.  My friend Noah Braymen has written on false unity in the local church – read part 1 here and part 2 here.

2.  Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez over at The Hill Chronicles shares that in the midst of Eliot Spitzer resigning as Governor of New York amidst a prostitution scandal, and the new Governor, David Patterson, and his wife admitting to extramarital affairs; therapists are now saying that infidelity is acceptable.  Craziness!

3.  Man awarded $40,000 for being wrongly tasered by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper according to the Salt Lake Tribune after the state decided to settle the case.  The incident which was captured by the patrol car’s camera has been seen 1.7 million times on YouTube.

And to add to that number by posting the video here.

Jared Massey, the guy who was tasered was found not to have committed any crimes during the traffic stop, and also the video clearly shows that the officer did not seek to arrest Massey before he tasered him.

Massey should have just signed the citation and then argue it out in court, but when I first watched this after it happened I wondered… why did the officer taser him?  He didn’t appear to be threatening and even his tone of voice seemed reasonable though somewhat argumentative.

What do you think?

HT: Hicktown Press

4.  I’m now also blogging at RedBlueChristians.com

The purpose of this blog?

The purpose of the RedBlueChristian.com is to provide Christian bloggers — whether Conservative RedChristians or Progressive BlueChristians — the same blog space to post, discuss, and debate essential and important issues related to the Kingdom of God and American politics.  

We desire to promote a healthy biblical approach to politics as opposed to the adversarial “us” verses “them” stance which has resulted unfortunately in sincere Christians talking past each other more often than not. 

We want contributors and commenters to think biblically about the crucial public issues of our day without being constrained to boundaries set up for us by any political party platforms or rhetoric.

My first post there was a cross post from here.  I won’t always do it that way, but more likely than not, content I post there will also show up here.

5.  The Catholic Church can build a church in Saudi Arabia… if they recognize Mohammed as a prophet.  Yeah, I’m sure they’ll do that.  Read the story here

HT: Scarlett Crusader

6.  Nebraska gets a Home Education Week.  I think Iowa should as well.  I think pigs might fly first, so I won’t hold my breath on that one.  Good for Nebraska for recognizing the great education that kids are receiving through home education.

7.  John Piper on The Intensity of Christ’s Love and the Intentionality of His Death.  HT: Isaiah

8.  In my Bible study that I attend on Thursday mornings we were discussing a message given by Joe White at a Promise Keepers that we all attended.  I couldn’t find that particular message, but I found another one that was powerful as well.

9.  Above is a great gift this spring.  Global warming mugs.  Apparently when you pour hot coffee into them the ocean starts to spread across the continent as ice caps melt and water levels rise.  You can by yours here.

HT: to Orlando @ Ft. Hard Knox – His thoughts on this as a birthday gift.

This could be a nice “Happy” Birthday gift for your liberal friends to remind them they are all going to die a tragic death because of SUVs, cow farts, and light bulbs.

10.  Proof that bloggers are mentally ill.  Hmmm.

11.  I’m starting to look for Mentor Recruitment Ambassadors in Central Iowa.

12.  I have never gotten into the TV show Lost on ABC because I have been told unless you’ve been watching it regularly you won’t understand all that is going on.  It has been a huge hit with a number of my friends.  Well ABC now has all of their episodes online for free – all four seasons.  I just finished the first season and am on the third episode in the second season.  I’m a Lost addict now.

13.  Joe Carter blogs on “The Cold War Against Recruiters“.  He contends that Code Pink is not the military recruiters main problem, the indifference of Americans are the problem.  He knows this first hand having been a Marine Recruiter.

14.  Mark Dever on what evangelism isn’t.  He contends that we need to stop mistaking other Christian activities for the spreading of the gospel.  He mentions five things that are mistaken for evangelism: imposition, personal testimony, social action and public involvement, apologetics, and the results of evangelism.

15.  Ugly husbands are satisfied husbands.

HERE’S SOME ADVICE for women: think twice about marrying that good-looking guy. A team of psychologists recruited 82 newlywed couples and rated each spouse’s physical attractiveness and satisfaction with the marriage. They then observed how the two interacted with each other while discussing personal issues. It turns out that couples where the wife was more attractive were characterized by more supportive interaction on the part of both spouses; but, if the husband was more attractive, he was less satisfied and both spouses exhibited less supportive interaction. The psychologists suggest that a relatively attractive husband may feel he has more extramarital options, causing him to be less supportive of his wife, who, in turn, is less supportive of her husband. On the other hand, because women are less focused on the physical appearance of their mate, a more attractive wife is less likely to harbor resentment about her spouse and, meanwhile, has a husband who counts his blessings.

16.  I posted a few days ago on black liberation theology.  I came across a quote by James Cone who is the father of this brand of liberation theology that further illustrates my issue with it.

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

Source: Asia Times

17.  Why We’re Not Emergent (by Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin Deyoung, a pastor and Ted Kluck, a journalist is a book I want to read pretty soon.  From what I hear it is a solid critique of the emerging church movement (at least the liberal fringes of it).

The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today’s Christian community. And they’re talking about good things: caring for the poor, peace for all men, loving Jesus. They’re doing church a new way, not content to fit the mold. Again, all good. But there’s more to the movement than that. Much more.

Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement. But they’re not. And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why. From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church. They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.

HT: Melinda at Stand to Reason

18.  Chuck Colson’s commentary on a “Storm of Unity” talking about how Sunday morning is becoming a non-segregated hour in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

You can listen to it as well.

19.  John Mark Reynolds shares three reasons the Republican Party might survive November.  Not good news to Democrats who were expecting a coronation in November.

20.  Dr. Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary is interviewed by Justin Taylor.  The interview mainly covers the New Testament’s reliability.  Pretty interesting.

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1. Here’s to you Mr. Seeker-Sensitive Mega Church Pastor Guy!  I’m not against mega churches, but I thought this was hilarious.

HT: C. Michael Patton

2.  Planned Parenthood and other supporters of “comprehensive sex education” are now using the latest CDC study that shows that 26% of high school-aged girls have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).  The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation in America, Cecile Richards is quoted in the New York Times saying:

(The) new findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.”

“The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

Joe Carter challenges this assertion because there is absolutely no evidence that condoms which Planned Parenthood promotes as protection from STIs does anything to prevent a variety of STIs in women.

One study that they choose to ignore is the 2000 federal report by the National Institutes of Health on the Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention. On their webpage PP says, “Condoms are effective because they block contact with body fluids that cause pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection.” But this is clearly rebutted by the report. The researchers found the published epidemiology literature to be inadequate to answer the question. (p. 2)

That’s right. While we have Planned Parenthood and sex educators claiming that condoms can “offer effective protection against most serious sexually transmitted infections” the report finds there’s no scientific basis for that claim.

What the evidence does show is that men and women who always use a condom can reduce their risk of being infected with HIV and men can limit their exposure to gonorrhea. When it comes to gonorrhea in women, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid, the evidence is inconclusive. (p. 3) And there is no evidence at all that condoms can prevent the transmission of the HPV infection.

In other words, there is no evidence that condoms are effective in preventing the spread of the infections that plague these teenage girls. Yet we’ll continue carry out the “condom conspiracy”, lying to our nation’s youth about the efficacy of “safe sex.”

3.  Ten Reasons I Don’t Read Your Blog

4.  Tim Jones on the right of parents to homeschool their children.

A California  state appellate court judge has said “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”.

We don’t need it, you idiot. We have a natural right to home school our children. We hold this truth to be self-evident. the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights is not anything like an exhaustive list of the rights of individuals, but is meant as a modest hedge against oppressive government encroachment like the nonsense you are trying to pull. You can’t expect the founding fathers to list everything that people have a right to do.

5.  Michelle McGinty points out that having John McCain as the GOP nominee may be a good thing since there seems to be more McCainocrats than Obamacans.

6.  Wesley J. Smith in Pushing Infantcide warns that our society is growing more tolerant of infanticide because in legalizing abortion and accepting the philosophy behind it we’ve sacrificed the fundamental principle of human life having intrinsic value.

Support for infanticide is becoming positively trendy. Where once support for killing babies born with birth defects was a fringe belief, it became respectable—even mainstream—after doctors from Groningen University Medical Center in the Netherlands admitted in 2004 that they euthanized dying and profoundly disabled babies under the terms of what has come to be called the “Groningen Protocol.”
The Protocol permits doctors to lethally inject three categories of sick or disabled newborn infants:

  • The baby has no chance of survival (which is sometimes misdiagnosed)
  • The baby “may survive after a period of intensive treatment but expectation for their future are very grim” or,
  • The baby does “not depend on technology for physiologic stability” but whose “suffering is severe, sustained, and cannot be alleviated.”

This means that not only are dying babies lethally injected, but also babies with serious disabilities who do not need intensive care.

HT: Melinda @ Stand to Reason

7.  Anne Morse on the new trend of canine weddings.

Chuck (Colson) talked the other day about the aggressive efforts by animal rights activists to blur the distinction between humans and animals. He describes a “wedding” between a canine groom (who sports a formal black tux) and a doggie bride, who wears a gorgeous white silk gown and veil designed by Vera Wang. (Okay, I made up the part about Vera Wang.)

Incredibly, there are even wedding coordinators who specialize in pet “weddings,” which make a mockery of the sacred meaning of marriage.

One thing driving this kind of nonsense is, I believe, the phenomenon P.D. James discusses in her novel that I mentioned recently, The Children of Men. When people are unable to have children, cats and dogs and dolls become their de facto offspring. I believe a big part of the trend of treating pets like children may have to do with a lack in people’s lives of other humans to love, and be loved by. (This article offers support for this notion.) I speak from experience: As soon as our sons left for college, our miniature dachshund became our “baby.”

8.  John Mark Reynolds thinks that John McCain should ignore old media and go new media.

9.  Barack Obama on Gay Marriage

I will tell you that I don’t believe in gay marriage, but I do think that people who are gay and lesbian should be treated with dignity and respect and that the state should not discriminate against them.  So, I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other. I don’t think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That’s my view.

Ummm… I’m currently studying Sermon on the Mount for an upcoming sermon series.  What exactly does it have to do with same sex marriage?  Perhaps he means the golden rule or Jesus’ warning against judging?  And if that is the case, is really being against same-sex marriage being judgmental?  I don’t think so, and I don’t believe Jesus is addressing this issue.  Let’s not put words in our Savior’s mouth.  Also, what exactly makes Romans 1 obscure?  Bad theology alert.

HT: A-Team

10.  I found a new blog focused on the persecuted church – The Enduring Church highlights those who are being persecuted worldwide because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  Check it out.

11.  Chuck Colson’s St. Patrick’s Day BreakPoint Commentary is about the Creational Theology of the Celts.  Very interesting, we can thank God for their contribution to Christian history as they played a part in preserving the Church in Western Europe.  You can download the audio version of his commentary here (right click and choose “save target as”).

12.  Sharon Lindbloom writes “With a Sincere Heart” at the Mormon Coffee Blog responding to the Moroni 10:4 challenge.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” (Moroni 10:4).

I was talking with a Mormon elder the other day. He challenged me to read the Book of Mormon (I have) and put the Moroni 10:4 promise into practice. Elder A. had just commented on the importance of LDS missionaries making an effort to understand, from a non-member’s perspective, what they tell investigators; therefore, I tried to explain a problem I have, as a non-Mormon, with the Moroni 10:4 challenge.

“Elder, this doesn’t seem like a valid test for me to use and here’s why. The Book of Mormon promises that if I ask God (while meeting certain criterion) whether the book is true, He will tell me it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost. But in order for me to believe the promise, I must already believe that the Book of Mormon is true. Because, if I don’t already believe the Book of Mormon is true, why would I exercise the promise given in Moroni 10:4? Why would I trust something that I don’t yet know or believe is true?”

Elder A. said, “You don’t need to believe the promise; you just need to do it.”

I explained that the book I do believe — the Bible — does not tell me to discover truth in the way the Book of Mormon suggests.

13.  Richard John Neuhaus reviews Austin Dacey’s The Secular Conscience over at First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

14.  Here is a good reason (among several) why the “morning after pill” shouldn’t be an over-the-counter drug.

OREM — A 19-year-old Orem man was arrested Tuesday for investigation in the rape of a 13-year-old female, a first-degree felony.

The two initially met at a roller-skating rink and kept in touch on the phone and the Internet, according to a 4th District Court affidavit. On March 3 they went skate-boarding with friends, and later that night the girl received a text, asking her to sneak out of the house and meet the man, according to the affidavit.

After she met the man, he allegedly took her to his apartment and tried to have sex with her. The girl told him no and pushed him, but the man removed her clothes and forced her to have sex, according to the affidavit.

“The next day, the child said that the suspect gave her a morning-after pill,” police said.

The girl’s mother apparently found out about the incident and reported it to officers, who gathered evidence and interviewed the girl Tuesday.

The man was identified, and when he was brought in for questioning “eventually he admitted to having sex with the child, but stated it was consensual,” police said. A 13-year-old is unable to consent, according to Utah state law.

Police booked the man into the Utah County Jail.

HT: Pro-Life Blogs

15.  My friend Ben Polhemus discusses how greed has impacted our culture.  Great stuff.

16.  A great reminder of why knocking Saddam Hussien from power was a good thing for the people of Iraq.  HT: Foxfier

17.  All American Blogger on Congress’ pork barrel spending and the increased taxes that will likely result.

18.  Obama and Clinton vote against helping pregnant women, McCain is in favor.

Life News Reports

Pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton joined a majority of the Senate Thursday night in rejecting an amendment that would offer financial support to poor pregnant women and their unborn children. Their votes contrasted with likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

The two candidates voted against a measure by Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado that would have included pregnant women and their unborn children in the SCHIP program.

Pro-life groups strongly supported the amendment because it would help women who may otherwise have an abortion because of financial worries about affording a baby.

The vote provided another clear contrast between Obama and Clinton, who support unlimited abortions funded with taxpayer dollars, and McCain, who opposes abortion and has called for reversing Roe v. Wade.

Obama and Clinton voted with the majority of the Senate 52-46 in rejecting the bid to help pregnant women while McCain supported the Allard amendment.

HT: Grizzly Groundswell

19.  Dan Kimball on St. Patrick the missionary, looking at his style of evangelism by summarizing lessons that he learned from The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West… Again by George G. Hunter III.

20.  Please somebody tell me that this website is a lame attempt at a joke.  It made me want to turn my stomach that somebody would try to market products this way.  If this is a joke certainly somebody is spending a lot of money on this website which could certainly go to better use.  I’m appalled.

HT: Mark Riddle

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Update 3/11/08 – It would seem that those who care about the blog’s name prefer Caffeinated Thoughts, so the blog’s name is now officially changed.  The content won’t change much, but I hope you enjoy “stimulating musings from a Jesus-loving caffeine addict.

Hey I would really like comments from those who read my blog on a regular basis.  The blog I moved from was called Caffeinated Thoughts.  I decided to change that and just use my name.  I’ve had a couple ask why didn’t I leave the name as Caffeinated Thoughts.  They really liked it.

So I want to throw it out to you… should I change the name of this blog to Caffeinated Thoughts?

Please comment and watch democracy in action, and I promise you that unlike the Washington GOP I will count every vote.

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