Sunday, February 19, 2006

Is Bauer from Vulcan?

One of my favorite TV shows is "24." Those of you who have seen the show know that special agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, is the star of the show. Bauer, in his efforts to save America from the evil terrorist du jour, will do anything, and I mean anything, to stop them. Not only would Bauer club a baby seal without hesitation, he would also kill an innocent civilian just to give him more time to prevent the terrorists from deploying some chemical, biological, or nuclear device. You see, Bauer is the ultimate utilitarian. In the words of Mr. Spock, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." It is a simple mathematical calculation for Bauer. The benefits outweigh the cost.

That leads me to the presupposition that I have observed in most Armageddon type disaster movies. That is, the human race must survive no matter what. There is no greater goal than survival of the human race. But is this true? I can see how a humanist might easily come to this conclusion. I mean, what else is there beyond this life? However, for the believer, I submit that there is a higher objective -- the glory of God.

There has been, and will be, points in time when utilitarian ethics come in direct conflict with Christianity. Pilate, when faced with the hard decision, certainly opted for the practical cost/benefit approach. The sacrifice of one innocent Jew to appease the unsettled masses.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I friend of mine forwarded me a link regarding vestments on Ken Collin's website. The vestments glossary is rather fascinating. I did not realize that it was John Calvin who first started the tradition of wearing the academic robe in the pulpit since he was not ordained clergy (he was a lawyer). Apparently this tradition was carried forward in many Reformed churches, e.g. Presbyterian. In modern evangelical churches, the vestments and robes seemed to have been replaced with the mandatory goatee.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Veith on Moralism

"If you have done any witnessing lately to non-Christians, you will note that most of them have no idea that Christianity is about grace, forgiveness, the Incarnation, and the Atonement. They assume, based on the impression they have picked up, that Christianity is all about strict moralism. They do not realize that there is any such thing in Christianity as the GOSPEL." Veith, Gene Edward, "Morality and Religion."

ESV is on Google

I have not tried it yet, but apparently you can now add a ESV (English Standard Version) search to your Google Toolbar. This is not to be mistaken with the English Shatner Version of the Bible.