Roundup

Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young — Excellent warnings against an un-biblical book and the themes that are running through far too many churches.

From the “No one could be surprised by this” category, It’s official: the IRS targeted conservative groups, not liberal — This is one of the most flagrant abuses of power in U.S. history, yet as you would expect, the mainstream media is doing their best to hide and ignore it.

William Lane Craig debates Peter Atkins: Does God Exist?

LaBarbera Slams ‘Craven’ Justice Anthony Kennedy for Striking Down DOMA Provision ‘in the Name of the Children’

Yesterday’s decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively invalidating Californians’ vote to preserve marriage as between a man and a woman — continues America’s godless trajectory toward sexual and gender chaos. We have become a Profane Nation at war with our own heritage and the Judeo-Christian moral values that helped make us great.

Healthy societies discriminate against sexually immoral behavior: homosexuality, sex outside marriage, pornography, incest, etc. This benefits children and adults by using the law to reinforce stable moral boundaries and steer citizens away from destructive (sinful) behaviors. So it was stunning to read the majority decision by Justice Anthony Kennedy – a Reagan appointee – overturning DOMA’s pro-natural-marriage provision in the name of the children.

Compassion? A parable — a great illustration about who really loves the people with same-sex attraction (those who encourage them in their spiritually, physically and emotionally deadly practices or those who have the courage to speak the truth?).

Report: Top IRS Aides Visited White House 300 Times — More proof that the mainstream media died in 2008. How could this scandal of epic proportions get ignored so quickly? It is telling how many Leftists can’t see the connection.

This high number of visits occurred despite the fact that both Shulman and President Obama claimed to have no knowledge of the IRS intimidation tactics. Both also said there was no coordination between the IRS and the White House.

Officials at the IRS and President Obama still maintain that there was no coordination between the White House and the IRS, of course, but this latest revelation makes that still harder to believe.

“Bush saved 9 million lives” says this celebrity — I met many Kenyans who agreed with Bono. I still remember a World Vision employee cheering about all that Bush had done.

Why no outrage over Planned Parenthood actions? If the media wasn’t so radically pro-abortion more people would know about PP’s practice of hiding statutory rape, incest and sex trafficking victims. That’s the real “war on women.” People who kill babies for a living don’t care about helping victims of sex crimes. They should be de-funded, put out of business and prosecuted.

Bart Ehrman Creates Stir in Atheist Community Over The Existence of Jesus

Anal Hazing Hits High Schools — Gross, but important to note. This is tragic. I guarantee that the accessibility of p*rn and the failure of our government to do anything about it and the failure of parents to protect their kids from seeing it (you do have Internet filters or other controls in place, right?) will ensure that things like this will increase.

Hey, I agree with lots of Obama’s gun study!

1. Most gun deaths in the US are due to suicide, not violent crimes with guns or accidental shootings. This is a said statistic, but again, this goes back to mental healthcare, not guns.

“Between the years 2000-2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.” [Source]

2. Mass shootings account for a negligible amount of crime in the US. In fact, mass shootings are one of the rarest forms of violent crime in the country.

“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Specifically, since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in a day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” [Source]

3. This one is probably our favorite. The study admits that self defense is a common occurrence and happens at least as much violent crimes involving guns. This is a direct busted myth to the anti gun argument that guns are almost never used for self defense.

“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence […]. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.” [Source]

4. Furthermore, on self defense, if you carry a gun and fight back against a violent assailant, you are less likely to be killed or harmed than someone who decided to fight back and employ another self defense tactic or weapon.

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns […] have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” [Source]

The study isn’t completely pro-gun, as you wouldn’t expect a truly unbiased study to be and does include some statistics and postulations theorizing different ways gun ownership could be a bad thing.

Good analysis by Stan on the term “gay Christian.”

First, the word preceding “Christian” is an adjective intended to describe the Christian in question. Inserting “gay” as a descriptive suggests that it is an apt descriptive. But how is it appropriate to describe a Christian by the sin from which he or she suffers? We don’t reference “lustful Christian” or “proud Christian” or whatever other besetting sin as a descriptive of the Christian. Why “gay”?

Crime pays — at least under the amnesty bill. Should illegal aliens be held to the same standard, if not higher?

crime-pays

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Whose idea was that?!

Apparently the Book of Numbers should really be called “In the Wilderness” (the meaning of Ba’midmar (במדבר), the Hebrew title). At least that’s what various sites on the Interwebs tell me.

So why the change? I’m not sure, but it is too bad they didn’t go with the more interesting sounding Hebrew version. For people who don’t read the Bible the current title makes it sound like it is all genealogies and such. Yes, it starts with a census, But consider these great passages that you miss out on if you don’t read it:

  • A test for adultery
  • The Nazirite vow
  • Elders appointed to aid Moses
  • The quail. Lots of quail.
  • Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses
  • Spies going into Canaan
  • The people’s rebellion
  • Korah’s rebellion (referred to in Jude)
  • Moses strikes the rock
  • The bronze serpent
  • Balaam and his donkey
  • Driving out the inhabitants
  • Cities of refuge
  • Much, much more!

Seriously, don’t miss the Book of Numbers — or anything else in the Bible. Like I’ve said, if/when you get to Heaven it will be awkward if you haven’t read every author’s books (“Oh, uh, hi Amos . . . look over there!” [Runs away again]).

Better yet, think about how you’ll tell Jesus all the excuses you had for not reading it regularly, and at some point reading it all. (Yeah, I’m fine using the carrot or the stick to get you to read more!)

Just read it. Every day.

Favorites

I’ve got a busy few months coming up.  My oldest daughter is getting married soon, which means I’ll be a “little” busy celebrating her marriage to a fantastic man (praise God for that!). Then I’ll be leading a prison ministry weekend this Fall that will require a lot of prep time.  But it should be transparent here at Eternity Matters, post-wise.  I try to stay at least a couple weeks ahead on blogging with every-other-day posts plus some Roundups thrown in.  I make it a habit to fast from news and such while on vacation, so to keep a steady stream of posts going I thought I’d mix in a few reruns of my favorites from my early blogging years (2006-2008).  It will be one per week or less, or your money back.  They will be new to most people.  For you long-time folks, try to look surprised.

P.S. Alternate title: Reruns.  Because I’m just that lazy.

The “noviewers” are back, attacking Darwin’s Doubt without reading it

I won a contest by coining a phrase over at Uncommon Descent a couple years ago: Noviewer — Someone who writes a review on something he hasn’t read or seen. Apparently some people haven’t evolved enough to realize how it impacts their credibility when they lie to support their worldview.

Looks like the noviewers are out in force with the release of Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. There are lots of 1 star reviews at Amazon already and the content makes it obvious that they haven’t read it. These close-minded people really, really don’t like to hear alternate views or to let others have the opportunity to hear them. I wish Amazon required reviewers to pass a brief quiz before posting about controversial books.

Here’s an example of a noviewer:

Over at Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin asks, could P. Z. Myers even possibly have read Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt before writing a long essay trashing it?:

Now, Darwin’s Doubt runs to 413 pages, excluding endnotes and bibliography. Neither the book’s publisher, HarperOne, nor its author sent Matzke a prepublication review copy. Did Matzke in fact read its 400+ pages and then write his 9400+ word response — roughly 30 double-spaced pages — in little more than a day?

Perhaps, but a more likely hypothesis is that he wrote the lion’s share of the review before the book was released based upon what he presumed it would say. A reviewer who did receive a prepublication copy, University of Pittsburgh physicist David Snoke, writes:

A caution: this is a tome that took me two weeks to go through in evening reading, and I am familiar with the field. Like the classic tome Gödel, Escher, Bach, it simply can’t be gone through quickly. I was struck that the week it was released, within one day of shipping, there were already hostile reviews up on Amazon. Simply impossible that they could have read this book in one night.

I’ve started Darwin’s Doubt and it is amazing so far. The preface alone is worth the money. It is interesting how the critics of Meyer’s last book so thoroughly miss his points. Perhaps it is because they don’t actually take the time to read them?

Also see Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer.

Some good questions to ask in an interview

First off, just in case my boss is reading this, I am not looking for a job.  I am very blessed where I am.  But The Ladders does put out some good, free tips if you get on their email list (they have some fee-based services as well, but I don’t get those).  These are pretty universal so I encourage you to save them and share with kids as well.

I thought these were great questions to send the message to your prospective employer that you “get it” — that is, that you are there to make them successful.

I’ve put this list together because so often we can forget what an interview’s all about. It sure feels like it’s about you, but it’s really not.

An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed. It’s about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.

Overlooking these basic facts about the interview is easy. There’s so much else going on in your work, your life, and in your job search, that you can forget to look at the interview from the interviewer’s point of view. And that’s a shame, because you need the interviewer to walk away from the interview thoroughly impressed.

When I ran these questions previously, commenter “spiderji” wrote in and said:

Marc, I used some of your questions in a job interview today. When I asked how to get a “gold star” on the evaluation, the interviewers faces lit up!” I contrast today’s interview with others I’ve been on where I didn’t have any meaningful questions at the end. This one was electric! I won’t know the results for a couple of days, but if they hire me I’ll owe you a drink! Thank you!

And reader LBRZ shared:

I have to thank you! I had an interview yesterday and it went great. When I asked about his leadership style and reward system his face lit up like a christmas tree.

After he answered the question “how can I help you receive your next promotion?”, he began to give me advice on how I should negotiate for a higher starting salary.

And that’s exactly the point, Readers. By asking these questions, which focus on the needs, traits, and preferences of your future boss and future employer, you’re demonstrating that you are somebody who is genuinely interested in their well-being. And the more interest we show in others, the more commitment they show to aiding our cause.

With that in mind, here’s the twice-a-year update to my collection of “twenty best interview questions” below. My aim here is to arm you with easy-to-ask, revealing-to-answer questions for you to take with you to an interview:

1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the tough times are over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak? What’s the plan to handle to either scenario?

2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?

3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?

4. About which competitor are you most worried?

5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you’re interviewing for.)

6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?

7. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?

8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?

9. What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company?

10. What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest worry these days?

11. What’s the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?

12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?

13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / “attaboy!”-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?

14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an “open book” shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?

15. If we are going to have a very successful year in 2014, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 6 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals?

16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I’m doing the best I can for the company?

17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?

18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the “perfect” candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see? What is your (or my future boss’) hiring philosophy? Is it “hire the attitude / teach the skills” or are you primarily looking to add people with domain expertise first and foremost?

19. In my career, I’ve primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that’s the case, how successful will I be at your firm?

20. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I’m considering whether or not I’d be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?

Will the Methodists ever grow spines?

Via Faithfulness and Defiance in Virginia United Methodism:

“I can understand and sympathize with those who disagree with the church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality,”

Most of what he said was good, but statements like that represent the wimpiness that got Methodists where they are (and why I left after 15 years of loyal membership).  Why would you understand and sympathize with the blind men of Sodom as they try to destroy your denomination?!

 

They should expose the “An Altar Call for ALL” as the fraud that it is.  There already is an altar call for all — that is, all those that repent and believe.

Roundup

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Endorsing Chalk Circles? Mercy. — What is it with otherwise-orthodox people embracing these pagan fads?

I have never bothered to address the problems with the book The Circle Maker, because the whole concept of “circle making” was simply so patently pagan and ridiculous on the face of it that I assumed it would be obvious to any Christian how unbiblical this book was.  When Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough and Pastor Tim Challies both thoroughly exposed the theological issues with the book (links below), I continued to assume this was a “no-brainer” for most Christians. Sadly however, I am getting more and more emails from people saying that their church leaders are recommending The Circle Maker, doing a Bible study with it, passing it out, etc. So just in case you have not heard about this book, let me try to fill in the gaps: The Circle Maker is a book authored by Pastor Mark Batterson (Wash DC), in which Batterson teaches that we should literally draw circles (with chalk as the suggested implement) around our dreams and pray them into completion. . . .

Well, as a former pagan, I’m just telling all of you right now, if someone comes into my church and starts getting out the chalk and talking about drawing circles around things, I am not walking, I am RUNNING for the door. And yes, I know the argument is probably something along the lines of, Well this helps me underscore my prayers to God. My response: Really? And this is where, exactly, in Scripture? And why should a Christian feel the need for a ritual? Why can’t we just pray, simply, with the faith of a child? My friends, spiritual rituals are for pagans, not Christians.

Also see Why are mature men of the faith suddenly seeming to go off the narrow road of orthodoxy and saying or doing wacky things?  C’mon, people, let’s finish strong!  Don’t feel like you have to invent something new.

The Worst Piece of Legislation in American History — It is hard to imagine, but the amnesty bill may be worse than Obamacare.  There is no way those voting for it could have read it all.  I’d love to know what blackmail or bribes took place to get Republicans to vote for it.  Surely they can’t be so stupid to think that this will help them in elections, right?

The only good news is that it should make future votes easier.  Anyone supporting this travesty should be voted out of office.

Former atheist turned Christian through Dawkin’s website continues strong faith in God — He seemed pretty devoted to Dawkins but was turned off by Dawkins’ fans and how they interacted with a minister.  I’ve had them try to attack this site before.  They are quite charming.

I enjoyed this charitable debate: Jason Lisle debates Hugh Ross on the age of the Earth

Debt isn’t required — Some good challenges on how to get — and stay — debt free.

Good news: Exodus International is gone, but Overcomers Network and others are taking its place, and in a much better way.

Does that Gibson Guitar raid make more sense now? — This case alone is evidence of Obama illegally abusing his power to punish his enemies.

An editorial at Investors Business Daily may wind up being filed under how did I miss this one? Following the recent revelations of cases where the administration appears to have used the muscle of the federal government to go after its political enemies, IBD takes a walk down memory lane to the strange case of Gibson Guitars and the federal raids on their facilities for alleged illegal importing of exotic woods used in their products. They reach one provocative conclusion.

The inexplicable raid nearly two years ago on a guitar maker for using allegedly illegal wood that its competitors also used was another targeting by this administration of its political enemies…

Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?

A great question to ask for years to come: Question for pro-choice Dems: If gun control is worth doing if it saves just one life, how about limiting late-term abortions?  It works against gun control and for the pro-life ethic.

The Backwards Trial: A George Zimmerman Prosecution Primer — A must read if you’ve followed this case at all.  The racism industry is alive and well.

Fathers don’t mother — It is bizarre how controversial such a simple and obvious statement has become.  This society is working overtime as Romans 1 poster children in suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

Fault Tolerance a greater foe to Darwinism than Irreducible Complexity — Just another flaw in the Darwinian philosophy that most of its cheerleaders aren’t even aware of.

Irreducibly Complex systems are those systems (man-made or otherwise), where removal of critical core parts results in malfunction.

By way of contrast, fault tolerant systems allow removal of parts or entire sub-systems, yet intended function is still retained. Removable parts or subsystems in fault tolerant architectures are also contrasted with useless parts which serve no purpose. Like spare tires, removable parts in a fault tolerant systems can still serve a purpose even if never used.. . .If selection has problems preserving fault tolerance, why should it construct it in the first place?

Don’t miss Dear Cecile Richards: MLK did not support black genocide.  People who kill unwanted babies for a living don’t mind distorting reality.  I’ve also seen radical pro-abortionist, false teaching, race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie pretend that MLK was pro-abortion.

Dear Cecile Richards,

Please stop abusing civil rights history to justify your present-day killing fields. Martin Luther King Jr’s memory is not a dummy that you can manipulate like a ventriloquist. Although he regrettably accepted the inaugural Margaret Sanger Award from the nation’s largest birth control chain in 1966, he wasn’t praising the slaughter of millions that Planned Parenthood was plotting to make central to its mission.

The nation’s abortionist-in-chief tweeting about Juneteenth, a celebration of the abolition of the dehumanizing institution of slavery, is like China celebrating freedom of speech. “No one is free until all are free” apparently doesn’t apply to the millions of innocent human beings Planned Parenthood grinds in industrial garbage disposals, flushes down drains or stuffs into biohazard waste bags.

As with everything else with your billion-dollar empire, one has to put things into a truthful context. In 1966, abortion wasn’t legal. MLK wasn’t praising the dismembering and suctioning of defenseless human beings. He, like many others during the 60s when Planned Parenthood feigned advocacy of strong families, was duped by an industry birthed in eugenic racism, that preached overpopulation mythology, demanded discriminatory immigration policies, and promoted forced sterilizations through its state eugenics boards. By the way, Elaine Riddick sends her love. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, she was one of over 60,000 people sterilized as part of your organization’s “proud” history. If you want to accurately depict history, Maafa21 is a great resource.

I’m the gym guy, not the farm guy, but I still liked this.

This is a simple, true and excellent point.  Perhaps the West should ask the resident Muslims to lobby for minority rights in Muslim countries before demanding more things here.