Debates

Two examples: 1. The View–political discussion turns nasty. (How many times have you heard that if women ran everything, the world would be a more peaceful place?) 2. Woody Allen and Billy Graham, via Jim. Two people with very different world views manage to have a friendly conversation.

The War on English …?

Johnny Ramirez links to Google Current video on the current Congressional debate on immigration. The video includes an interview with a Minuteman leader who is very concerned about growing bilingualism, especially in California. She thinks serious steps need to be taken to end this “verbal attack.” Including, she says, renaming some American cities ….

More on Global Warming

Ron Corson is concerned about the number of Adventist blogs buying into the Global Warming theory. I have posted before that this is mainly a misuse of science and we are seeing more and more the science community attempting to distance themselves from the less then scientific methods and pronouncements of the human induced Global…

25 Years

Tomorrow’s the day. Anniversary present suggestion: Spam-a-lot tickets. We’re also registered at PayPal (see “make a donation” button to the right). 😉

Justification

Some folks are all excited about the so-called “New Perspective on Paul” these days. I’ve said before, it’s kind of old hat to me, as I first studied this in college, starting 27 years ago, when it was new; one of the texts we used at Atlantic Union College for NT epistles was Krister Stendahl,…

No Substitutions

Dom links to the famous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces. It reminded me of the time (about 1991) I was attending a chaplains’ conference at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and went out for dinner with a couple of the chaplains from that post, one of whom, Jim Bowman, had been a classmate of mine at…

“Secret Files of the Inquisition”

I couldn’t watch the PBS series, Secret Files of the Inquisition, when it aired, but my mother taped it for me and sent me the tape; I watched the first two episodes tonight. Bill Donohue condemned it sight unseen, brandishing statements about the Inquisition that are irrelevant to the program. What are the facts of…

Umrah

Article about Saudi government allowing a group of girls, with only female chaperones, to go to Mecca for the Umrah. The article doesn’t quite understand the Umrah. The Umrah includes the rituals of circling the Kaaba seven times, and performing a sa’i, hastening between the hills of Safa and Marwah (reenacting Hagar’s search for water).…

If an Adventist Ran for President

Spectrum (journal of the Association of Adventist Forums) had a contest asking about what the policy priorities might be for a Seventh-day Adventist candidate for president. There were three winners and two “honorable mentions” (including yours truly). Cf. Adventist Review had an article earlier this year on SDA policy priorities.

Coyne’s Cosmos

NCR has an interview with Fr. George Coyne, SJ, retired director of the Vatican Observatory. Reading the description of this interview, I recalled a talk Coyne gave in early 2006 in which he defended a deistic understanding of God, in which God set up a universe and then let it go– “He does not intervene,”…

Church Numbers

How do you count who is a member and who isn’t? The Southern Baptist Convention, with some 16.2 million members on the books, claims to be the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. But the Rev. Thomas Ascol believes the active membership is really a fraction of that. Ascol, pastor of the 230-member Grace Baptist Church in…

Can Friendships Endure Conversions?

David Howard discusses the reversion of Francis Beckwith in the WSJ, and reactions to it. Responses to Mr. Beckwith’s conversion run the gamut. A small number of evangelicals have reacted as if he committed an act of betrayal. Among many more, including us on the executive committee, the response has been one of cordial disagreement…

Richard McBrien on Sin and Grace

Richard McBrien reflects on limbo, baptism, sin and solidarity. What if we are all born permeated with the presence of God, which is grace, and which is ours to lose only later in life by sin? Why is such “good news” so disturbing for some? Why does it make them angry toward anyone who even…

Posts along the Road

As I mentioned, The Oak Tree is my main webpage where I post articles I’ve published as well as final copies of some things that appear on this blog. To those who are new to this blog, especially my Adventist readers, let me draw your attention to a few articles that may interest you. Casta…

The Ascension

Today is celebrated as the Ascension of Our Lord in many churches (40 days after Easter). The Catholic lectionary gives two options for the second reading, one of which may be Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23: Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he…

Squashing Debate

Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, wants to ban Ron Paul from future GOP presidential debates for daring to contribute an original thought. That’s akin to the Democratic Party’s ostracizing of Robert Casey for his views on abortion. What’s the point of having a debate if you decide ahead of time which viewpoints…

A Last Request

Philip Workman was executed on May 9 for killing a cop in a robbery. During his time on death row, he gave his live to Christ and became a Seventh-day Adventist. He asked that instead of a last meal, a vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person. The state of Tennessee refused on the…

The Motu Proprio

My non-Catholic readers might not be aware of the buzz that has been going around the Catholic blogosphere for many months about Pope Benedict XVI’s intention to issue a motu proprio (meaning a document he’s issuing in his own name, on his own authority) giving much greater freedom to priests to celebrate mass according to…

The Oak Tree

This blog is really just a sideline. My main webpage is The Oak Tree. This blog is often a place to draft articles that will be placed on that page in a more finished form.