Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Opus 2018-132: Stroke Thoughts, Part 3 of 3, Opposites Attract

We are examining some logical reasons why the universe as we know it was not created by chance.  Keep in mind that if we got to today by a series of random events then tomorrow could be another random event and small details can have cosmic consequences.

What if positive and negative started repelling instead of attracting?  It is not just in romance that opposites attract.  It is at the root of the molecules that make up you and your toast in the morning.  How would the molecules that are you change if this concept were reversed?  Current science tells us that atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons.  Every atom exists in balance between the positive and negative.  Change how they relate and all those electrons will suddenly fly off in every direction and the entire universe becomes a nuclear explosion.  Maybe that is what the Big Bang was all about.  You say, “That can’t happen.”  How do you know? 

Those are all possible if the universe is the result of a random series of chance events.  Maybe that works for you.  It makes things like love, compassion and kindness really stupid ways to spend your time unless you prefer the feeling you get from that to pure sensual gratification.  If that is where the universe comes from then it is all a cruel joke.  Hitler becomes an acceptable role model.  Murder just becomes a way to lower the population.  Kick your dog.  Put your elbows on the table.  Jaywalk, but remember, if someone runs you down, that’s okay too.

I prefer going down the path that says there is a God who planned and created all of this.  That does not deliver you non-stop at the door to a Christian heaven but it does point you in the right direction.

Or all of this post is just accidental.  You know, like the monkeys in a room full of typewriters eventually producing the Encyclopedia Britannica. 

homo unius libri

Friday, May 25, 2018

Opus 2018-131: Stroke Thoughts, Part 2 of 3, Be Afraid

If you believe in evolution then you need to be prepared for the end of the world.  Everything could fall apart very quickly.

Let’s take a look at your favorite cold beverage.  The chances are you have ice cubes in the container.  You will notice that they are floating at the top.  Did you ever stop to think about that?  Do you remember the scientific explanation?  You are observing something that defies the general rule of physics that says things expand when they are heated and contract when they are cooled.  Most people know that.  There may be other exceptions but an important one is water.  Ice floats because when it crosses the threshold and and gets cold enough to change phases, i.e. goes from a liquid to a solid, instead of contracting it expands slightly.  That means that its mass becomes less than the water around it and it rises.  Simple science.  Understood physics. 

What if, by random chance, that law of nature decides it is bored and wants to change its behavior?  Ice stops floating.  It contracts like it is supposed to do.  It accumulates at the bottom of the ocean, far from the heat of the sun, and never melts.  The next layer of ice forms and sinks.  Soon you have the oceans frozen over and life as we know it is impossible.  I have no idea how this would effect the rest of the universe.  That would be enough.  So if you believe in evolution and random chance, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Tonight, while you are sleeping could be the moment.

And keep an eye on the ice in your glass.

What about diffusion?  If I remember my high school science, diffusion is the movement of molecules from an area of greater density to an area of lesser density.  It is how our lungs work with oxygen and carbon dioxide.  It is how you smell the roast burning in the oven when you are in the living room.  It is a common event.  It is regulated by a lot of laws of physics that I would not even know how to look up.  What if tonight while you were asleep the laws of physics were tweaked and the oxygen and carbon dioxide stopped moving back and forth?  Or what if it only slowed down 50%?  If you believe that life is a series of accidents then you have no reason to believe that could not happen tonight, or before I stop writing.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Opus 2018-130: Stroke Thoughts, Part 1 of 3

An acquaintance just had a mild stroke.  He is not a believer.  How do you talk to something like this?  His journey has taken him through a number of different religious experiences and left him outside of all of them.  How do you discuss the big questions if they come up.  Obviously you make small talk and cover sports and the weather but when you have had a brush with death it is possible that the conversation will get a little more serious. 

When you come close to death you wonder what is the meaning of life.  Is there any?

The evidence leads me to one of two options:  Believe in personal God or sink into nihilism.

To start with I reject the evolutionary approach.  My main reason for this is not that there cannot be any kind of change or development, there can and is.  What I reject is that the universe is the result of random events, or chance.  Under this theory the universe as we know it is an accidental creation.  In an infinite series of possibilities, this reality is only one of many.  In an infinite number of possibilities everything will eventually happen.

Okay.  I do not say that is not an option, I just say that if that is the answer then I might as well commit suicide because everything is meaningless.  If the universe as we know it is the result of a series of random changes then there is nothing to keep another random change from negating all that exists.  Consider the gambler who is on a roll.  He has had a series of hits playing a specific number at roulette.  He keeps putting all of his winnings on a random number.  He roles again and wins again.  Rinse and repeat as the label says.  In an infinite set of realities there is one where he will keep winning just because that will happen sometime in an infinite series.  The problem is that it only takes one miss to wipe him out.

If you believe in random evolution then you also need to believe that it all could disappear in the next second.  If you are going to be consistent you need to grab for all the gusto while you still have a chance.  Nothing matters except your immediate gratification.

“Nonsense,” you say.  Nothing could make that happen.  Well, let me give you a few examples that even I a non-scientist can see.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, May 21, 2018

Opus 2018-129: More Ivanhoes Needed

I used to hear the phrase “barking up the wrong tree”.  I apologize for pointing this out if you are familiar with it but the way our culture is going you never know what is still known.  It is amazing some times what you need to explain.  An example from the other direction, I had to have my middle school students explain to me who Kim Kardashian was.  I am still not sure what she has ever done besides exude sex.

The conspiracy nuts are barking up the right tree.  They have all kinds of complicated plots going on by the cabal of the deep state.  Everyone they don’t like is deep in the world wide conspiracy involving drugs, slavery, pedophilia, murder and body parts.  You might have a white hat today but be “exposed” tomorrow as a closet black hat.  Then the next day you can be Ivanhoe again. 

Keep in mind that just because a peanut looks like a nut, has a shell you crack, tastes like a nut, has a name that includes “nut” and is found in cans of mixed nuts does not make it a nut.  That is to say that many of the conspiracies do have genuine roots.  I believe the problems are more common that most of us know.  I also believe it is not as pervasive as they claim.

It sounds like President Trump is starting to move against these entrenched forces of evil.  We need to be praying for his safety and wisdom.  Evil exists.  Evil has power.  There is little we can do against EVIL but there is everything we can do against evil.  We can clean up our little corner of the world.  We can refuse to compromise for our short term gain.  We can vote thoughtfully. 

I don’t know the exact original quote but the idea that people get the government they deserve keeps coming  back to me.  Do your best to deserve the best.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Opus 2018-128: 0 for 2

There are two big events that I have not followed, the royal wedding and the film festival.  I see them getting a lot of press coverage but really, I could not care less.

I wish the Royals every happiness.  I hope they have a long and satisfying marriage.  It will be an uphill battle in this day and age, but I hope they make it.  I doubt if I will check in with them again.

As far as Cannes goes, I hope they lose a fortune on every film they make.  None of the titles do I recognize.  Few of the names ring a bell with me.  Their importance to the well being of the world is in the negative realms of nonsense.  Tide coming out with a new and improved formula would be more important to the world.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Opus 2018-127: A New Game

I just thought of a new game.  At least it is new to me.  You may have been playing it for years.  How about a competition to see who can bring up a specific ad on their computer.  Or you could go for how long it would take.  Have you noticed that when you look for something you start getting ads related to your search?  For instance, I looked at book shelf and now I am inundated with offers for furniture. 

The rules would require some kind of limitations, like if you were looking for left-handed monkey wrenches you could not use any of those words or even the word “tools”.  The prize could be a cookie that banned all advertising.

The world of the internet is the source of continual creativity and endless bargains.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-126: Headlines: Where Have All the Babies Gone

The lead story at the Washington Free Beacon dealt with a decline in the birth rate in America.  This is not a new issue.  The graph they showed had a steady decline for over 10 years.  They gave a lot of reasons for the decline including some who are blaming it on President Trump.  Go figure.

Some of the theories are just liberal boiler plate.  For instance, one of their big reasons for the decline in the birth rate was economic problems.  People felt like they could not afford to have children.  This was obviously written by someone who didn’t get out much.  The decrease in the number of children is not obvious in the poorer areas.  I used to work at a school full of poor people and those women just kept pumping them out.  It is the wealthy that are having fewer children.  Actually I should say the middle classes.  I don’t know many wealthy people but I do know a few in the middle classes.  It is amazing how many of my children’s generation are not having children.  They are educated and have good jobs.  They are wonderful people who would make great parents.  They don’t seem to be able to have children.

Then there is a theory I picked up on some fly-by-night web site somewhere in my foggy memory.  Their theory was that since it is cool to be thin women are not having children.  It wasn’t the obvious look of pregnancy.  It had to do with the theory of evolution and how women were designed so that if they did not have enough body fat their fertility would go down.  It was supposed to protect them during times of famine.  Since the poor tend to be more obese it stands to reason that the fashion conscious yuppies and millennials have a harder time getting pregnant.

I think the lower birth rate is a sign of economic prosperity.  It has been noted that as societies get wealthier the birth rate declines.  As health care improves the birth rate declines.  If you know your children are going to live you know you don’t need to many to guarantee some will survive.  If you know you can buy a tractor and milking machines you don’t need so many for labor around the farm. 

So up to a certain point the declining birth rate can be a plus factor.  Just because I want more grandchildren doesn’t mean it is going to happen.

homo unius libri