Sunday, May 31, 2009

PREACHING THIS MORNING...‘An Excellent Wife Is the Crown of Her Husband’: Thoughts On Finding a Spouse. God is not neutral on the subject of the mate we select, and we can't be, either!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

PREACHING THIS MORNING...'Our Memorial Day'. Just as God established a memorial day--and a new beginning--for Israel with the Passover, so we, too, celebrate our Passover--Jesus Christ--in a memorial Lord's Supper each first day of the week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


University of Kentucky scientists will attempt to 'unroll' a scroll turned into charcoal by the famous Vesuvius eruption that destroyed Herculaneum and Vesuvius:
On Aug. 24, 79 A.D., Italy's Mount Vesuvius exploded, burying the Roman towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii under tons of super-heated ash, rock and debris in one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history.

Thousands died. But somehow, hundreds of papyrus scrolls survived — sort of — in a villa at Herculaneum thought to have been owned at one time by Julius Caesar's father-in-law.

The scrolls contained ancient philosophical and learned writings. But they were so badly damaged — literally turned to carbon by the volcanic heat — that they crumbled when scholars first tried to open them centuries later.

The remaining scrolls, stored away in Italy and France, haven't been read — or even unrolled — since 79 AD.

Now, a computer scientist from the University of Kentucky hopes that modern digital technology will allow him to peer inside two of the fragile scrolls — without physically opening them — and unlock secrets they have held for almost 2,000 years.

Brent Seales, the Gill professor of engineering in UK's computer science department, will use an X-Ray CT scanning system to collect interior images of the scrolls' rolled-up pages. Then, he and his colleagues hope to digitally "unroll" the scrolls on a computer screen so scholars can read them.

"It will be a challenge because today these things look more like charcoal briquets than scrolls," Seales said last week. "But we're using a non-invasive scanning system, based on medical technology, that lets you slice through an object and develop a three-dimensional data set without having to open it, just as you would do a CT scan on a human body."

This is fascinating--and extremely important--stuff. It's mind-boggling to imagine what might be in those scrolls, surely some contain writings lost to history since Biblical times. Let's hope the attempt is successful.

As both of the regular followers of Theosebes recall, I have made several trips to India in the past few years. Our group was scheduled to go again this past January, but the trip was postponed in light of the Mumbai terror attacks in November. It was the opinion of the Indian brethren we are in contact with that the terror attacks were aimed at destabilizing the current government, led by the Congress Party, in view of the elections scheduled for this spring. The feeling was that after the elections, the likelihood of more attacks would drop. The good news is that not only are the elections now over, but the incumbent Congress Party--led by Sonia Gandhi--gained seats in parliament. This ought to help maintain stability in India, and also lessen the influence of the Hindu radicals who have increased pressure on Christians in recent years. I am scheduled to return to India in July, and am looking forward to helping the brethren there any way I can.

Friday, May 15, 2009


The latest Gallup Poll on the issue of abortion shows that a majority of Americans are pro-life:
A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

The new results, obtained from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.

The findings are, frankly, very surprising, although very encouraging. Let's pray that the trend continues and bears tangible fruit.

O-merica comes to Notre Dame this weekend as the President is slated to speak at the Catholic university's commencement ceremony. Understandably, some Catholics have expressed concern that the President's radical support for abortion is not consistent with the goals of a Catholic university.

In light of the President's recent appearance at Georgetown University, which eagerly covered up religious symbols in an effort to appease the President's sensibilities, it seems that Catholic critics are correct that the Catholic universities are in crisis. At least, that is, if one imagines that their purpose is to be dedicated to training Catholics to be faithful in a hostile world. However, the Notre Dame mission statement makes no mention of Jesus, God or even the church. It does mention developing "an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings", however.

But what this really brings to light is that religious institutions outside of the local church eventually act just like 'temporary' government programs--interested only in their own existence, prestige and continuation. From Harvard and Yale (remember that they were once religious, and very conservatively so) to the YMCA and now to Notre Dame and Georgetown, the lure of worldy prestige and wisdom eventually overshadows their founding mission, no matter how well-intentioned.

Theosebes has long tried to follow Madonna and her Kabbalah (*cough*) convictions. The latest rumors have her marrying a man named Jesus, however, now her spokesmen are saying otherwise:
Madonna and her boy toy Jesus have no plans to get married, a spokesperson for the singer tells In Touch magazine.

“This is completely and totally not true,” her spokesperson says.

Is Madonna to be denied happiness in another lifelong commitment? Is Dan Brown to be denied having Jesus really marry (and to someone named Madonna!)?

Whatever happens, Madonna's Kabbalah faith will see her through.

Oh, and Jesus's spokesmen--apostles?--have made no comment.