Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
"When we wait on God and wait with God, we learn what it means to totally depend on God and we see God do good things..."
“We are a multicultural society, and people expect this American life to continue the same way in heaven.”
Universalism does have some appeal, but it's not an idea that's been propagated among the Great Religions themselves.
In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped V.I.P. area reserved for Christians. Jesus said so: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that.
The evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the question. The respondents couldn’t actually believe what they were saying, could they?
So in August, Pew asked the question again. (They released the results last week.) Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them.
And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This photo was taken at our house on Norman Avenue in Dayton, five months after I turned four years old.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Every year, state and federal governments spend more than $15 billion, and insurers at least $5 billion more, on substance-abuse treatment services for some four million people. That amount may soon increase sharply: last year, Congress passed the mental health parity law, which for the first time includes addiction treatment under a federal law requiring that insurers cover mental and physical ailments at equal levels.Treatment must be tailor-made to fit the individual. People come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their problems. Isn't it reasonable to expect that there would be various treatment methods? Some may not like to admit it, but treatment often involves trial-and-error: if one form doesn't work, then the therapist has to switch gears and try something else. Evidence-based therapies seek to eliminate trial-and-error.
Many clinics across the county have waiting lists, and researchers estimate that some 20 million Americans who could benefit from treatment do not get it.
Yet very few rehabilitation programs have the evidence to show that they are effective. The resort-and-spa private clinics generally do not allow outside researchers to verify their published success rates. The publicly supported programs spend their scarce resources on patient care, not costly studies.
And the field has no standard guidelines. Each program has its own philosophy; so, for that matter, do individual counselors. No one knows which approach is best for which patient, because these programs rarely if ever track clients closely after they graduate. Even Alcoholics Anonymous, the best known of all the substance-abuse programs, does not publish data on its participants’ success rate.
When practiced faithfully, evidence-based therapies give users their best chance to break a habit. Among the therapies are prescription drugs like naltrexone, for alcohol dependence, and buprenorphine, for addiction to narcotics, which studies find can help people kick their habits.
Another is called the motivational interview, a method intended to harden clients’ commitment upon entering treatment. In M.I., as it is known, the counselor, through skilled questioning, has the addict explain why he or she has a problem, and why it is important to quit, and set goals. Studies find that when clients mark their path in this way — instead of hearing the lecture from a counselor, as in many traditional programs — they stay in treatment longer.
"Motivational interviewing" appears to currently be the method with the most buzz. When I went through grad school 13 years ago, everyone was talking about brief therapy.
"I get shocked by people getting divorced all the time, thats why I choose to work on it. Therapy helps us."
"It's so easy to grow apart; marriage takes work. I suppose you can work it out by talking to each other - I would just prefer to have a referee, it reminds us why we're together... I don't know what the future's going to hold, but divorce isn't really an option."I heartily commend them. Considering they are both Hollywood actors, this is especially refreshing to hear.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
If you're not much of an opera fan, perhaps you'll like this version...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
When Kara Patterson arrived Saturday morning to coach her gymnastic students at the Cincinnati Winter Sports Festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center, she had no idea she would trade in her Adidas warm-up pants and T-shirt for her white wedding gown - and a surprise wedding planned by her fiancee, Army Staff Sgt. Ray Hignite, and her father, Brett Patterson.
Friday, December 19, 2008
The 2008 Minnesota race for the U.S. Senate is almost like a carpet sale. Instead of Install in your home now, and you won't pay a dime until 2009!, it's Vote for Senator now, and you won't know until 2009!
"And I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob."
Heh. Funny that a Chicago politician would utter the word mob.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
A divorced Jacksonville woman said her former church has threatened to "go public with her sins" and tell the congregation about her sexual relationship with her new boyfriend.
Rebecca Hancock said harassment from Grace Community Church in Mandarin over her sex life caused her to leave, but she said that didn't put an end to the problem. She said she received a letter from the church's elders telling her the church plans to make her personal life very public.
"I'm basically run out. I'm the church harlot," Hancock said.
To me, this is an example of the church being the church. And speaking of the church, listen to what Penn (of the magical duo Penn & Teller) says about those who attend church and don't evangelize.
UPDATE: More on the church. Which is more embarrassing for Hancock: her church making her sins "public" to the congregation, or the newspaper reporter making this story public to everyone in the world?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I have just a few thoughts on this...
- I don't believe it's wise to make these sorts of pronouncements, considering the troubles the Illinois governor is having. Caroline could be accused of Blagojaviching the Senate, and I don't think Governor Paterson wants that scandal.
- If she wants to "pursue" the Senate seat, why doesn't she do it the old-fashioned way?
- Caroline called Governor Paterson on December 3, and they had an "informational" conversation about the Senate. Why in the world would Caroline need such a conversation? Couldn't she just ask Uncle Teddy about the Senate? That phone call was an obvious ploy to gain Paterson's appointment.
- The article reads, "The governor was traveling to Utica today and could not immediately be reached for comment. " I guess the governor and his aides have never heard of those new-fangled devices called cell phones.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Naturally, a lot of people over at HuffPo are talking about Miller's article.
Mollie Hemingway knew from first line of the article that it was "just that bad." She also wants to know about what happened to "the standard."
Al Mohler believes the article is an example of "turning the Bible on its head."
Robert Gagnon, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, argues that the Newsweek article "twists and ignores" the Bible's argument against homosexual behavior. He makes his case here.
Christianity Today has responded to the Newsweek article.
Frank Turk of TeamPyro has let his thoughts be known.
Tony Jones has changed his mind on same-sex unions, but he really doesn't explain how he came to do this. Rob Bowman believes Jones has fallacious thinking. Tony Jones does think Miller's article ignores the "many complexities and nuances" of the debate.
Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee discuss gay marriage.
Brant Hansen writes about his encounter with someone he is "supposed" to "hate."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Ms. Kennedy called Gov. David A. Paterson on Wednesday to discuss the position, Mr. Paterson confirmed Friday. The governor will choose a replacement for Mrs. Clinton upon her expected confirmation as secretary of state next month.Yes. I'm sure she's recently dialed up several governors, just to talk about the Senate. Informally.
“The conversation was informational,” Mr. Paterson said in an interview. “She did not express an interest in the Senate, but we talked about the Senate, so I got that she was just trying to get some information to determine whether or not she would like to have an interest in it. And that was it.”
He added, “I haven’t offered the job to anyone.”
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Experts fear climate change is to blame for the disappearance of the highly vulnerable strain thanks to a temperature rise of up to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.Which prompts me to wonder: why is this so terrible? If men and women are merely the products of Nature and evolutionary forces, as the atheist believes, would it not be fair to say that Nature is ultimately responsible for the disappearance of the white lemuroid ringtail possum?
Researchers will mount a last-ditch expedition early next year deep into the untouched "cloud forests" of the Carbine Range near Mt. Lewis, three hours north of the city of Cairns, in search of the tiny tree-dweller, dubbed the "Dodo of the Daintree."
"It is not looking good," researcher Steve Williams said. "If they have died out it would be first example of something that has gone extinct purely because of global warming."
After all, Nature allowed humanity to rise to the position that it is in. Ian Malcom said in Jurassic Park, "Dinosaurs had their shot, and Nature selected them for extinction." Humanity - homo sapiens - now have their own shot at ruling the earth, just as dinosaurs did so many years ago. If Nature did indeed select the homo sapien to be the current dominant species, would not anything that occurred - even the erradication of a type of possum - be a natural thing?
I'm not saying that there is no argument that the disappearance of the white lemuroid ringtail possum is an unnatural thing. I'm just saying that I don't see the argument as existing. In other words, I'm agnostic towards that argument. Perhaps someone can help.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I guess he was waiting for a Democrat to run the White House again. Okay, Harry: time to give 'em hell.