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.

Friday, November 25, 2022

 Opus 2022-317: Thanksgiving +1

I was getting so blessed this morning I started to wonder what was wrong with me.  Surely, something must be wrong.  After reviewing my family, spiritual and physical rightness I decided I needed to spend a bit of energy wondering what was lacking.  I have a growing list:

I am not a millionaire.  Not yet anyway.  I have hopes that inflation may put me in that club.

I am not a Democrat.  That means I can’t just turn my brain off, believe everything The Party tells me and generally live off the hard work of others.  Bummer.  Life would be so much easier.

I am not 19 years old.  Of course that raises the question of whether I would want to be that young again.  I would have so little hindsight to guide me that it would be a very confusing condition.  I couldn’t say, “I told you so” near as much as I do now.

I don’t have a dacha outside Moscow, a ski lodge in Aspen or a bank account in the islands.

I don’t have a subscription to the L.A. Times.

I don’t need a hip replacement.  Yet.  Of course, there still may be time.

C/PM went out of business.  You don’t know what C/PM was?  It was awesome.

Hmmmm...  It does not seem to be working.  I still feel blessed.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-316: Laugh Track for 100

I am moving toward never watching anything that is evaluated by someone else.  This thought comes from my dipping into the offerings of You Tube.  The algorithm they use is constantly offering me things the processor thinks I would like.  

I get a lot of chances to watch clips that are labelled “hilarious”.  Out of curiosity I have clicked on a few and find that to me they are mediocre at best.  Or the ones that are supposed to have me rolling on the floor or falling out of my chair.  Not so much.  Humor is a very personal touch and some people don’t like to be touched.  

One of my problems with the video platform is that you have to listen so long to find out if it is worth it.  In a book I can glance ahead and get a feel but a visual recording makes you wait for it.  

The good side of it is there is a lot to explore.  There is certainly no need to be bored.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 24, 2022

 Opus 2022-315: On Your Mark...

As I write I look across the room at my small stereo and I can feel the anticipation.  Sometime this evening I will be able to officially turn on the Christmas music.  I have a flash drive loaded and ready to go.  It is in the proper slot and waiting for the button moment.

This year we are going to try to start a new tradition.  I am hoping to take the grandchildren around the yard and plug in the lights we have strung around the trees.  It isn’t much but in some things they are easy to impress.  Maybe when they get older we can talk them into coming over and putting up the lights themselves.

The moment is approaching.  My hope for you is that you had a glorious Thanksgiving Day and are ready for the celebration of the Incarnation.

Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-314: Thanks Thoughts: Interesting Times

This is an unusual Thanksgiving.  As we once again sit down to a meal celebrating our blessings we think about all the bad news coming in from around the world.  It is like reading Matthew 24:  Wars, famine, pestilence.  

We need to pray for those facing famine.  Focus on governments run by selfish narcissists.  In modern times most food shortage is a result of government malfeasance.  Policy has called for burning food on the docks.  Regulations keep farmers from doing their best.  Partisan bickering causes spoilage.  There is plenty of food to go around, or there has been.  That may change.

We need to give if we can find a trustworthy organization.  That is a tall order.  So many of the “charities” are fronts for people giving themselves big salaries.  Often your local church can be a funnel for funds.  

We need to begin focusing on the real blessings we have.  For a moment build a worse case scenario.  What happens if next year we are eating on paper plates with plastic forks?  What if the main course is what we call “Blue Box” macaroni and cheese and the desert is plain green Jello?  What if they are store brand instead of big name?   We can still be blessed and thankful if our families are together and the heat is still on.  If the heat is not on then we can be thankful for the coats and sweaters we have.

Most people I read who believe they know more than I do think that we may have shortages here but will not starve or freeze.  I am not sure they know more than I do.  What I do know is that God will provide for those who are His.  

I am blessed and overwhelmed with thanksgiving.  Blessings.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-313: Blessing Portfolio

I had the joy of being invited for Thanksgiving and being able to say, “No.”  Actually, the question was, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?”  I was able to run down the list of grandchildren and children.  It was a wonderful moment.

Think of it as taking an inventory of your blessing portfolio.  You always wonder if you have invested your life correctly.  I know as I have gone through the years there have been times when I had serious questions.  There have been times of doubt and even moments of despair.  Through it all I have pursued the goal of living by faith.

My portfolio shows a glorious return.

The numbers are not overwhelming.  I only have two grandchildren but what they lack in numbers they make up for in quality.  

I hope your life investments have paid off.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

 Opus 2022-312: First Step in Revival

Hey, you.  Yes, you.  Don’t look the other way.  Don’t pretend that you don’t hear me.

I am guessing that a few years ago you were faithful to attending Sunday Morning worship.  You might have even gone to Sunday school.

There are pastors out there trying to do it right.  Most of them are in small churches, working a side job, hearing about the big name preachers and about ready to throw in the towel.  I will admit that there are a lot of guys filling the pulpit that should be janitors at a local middle school.  There are still those who are genuinely called, believe the Bible is the Word of God and have a personal relationship with their Lord.  

So what is my issue?  


You have given up on the church.  You have gotten used to sitting at home and if you feel like it watching a big name preacher on the screen.  Don’t blame it on the Covid lockdown.  You were there before all that nonsense started.  You are still there.  You might have heard someone complain about the state of the church.  You might have said a few things yourself.  Some of the big guns are doing a sterling job of proclaiming truth but you can’t sit there on your duff and think that you are doing your part.

I know one family of believers.  It is actually three families over three generations.  They are godly, talented people who have not darkened the doors of a church in years.  I take that back.  The elders went to church with me when they were visiting.  After the service I heard nothing but nit picking.

If you are waiting for the perfect church to pop up on your radar then get ready for a long wait.  Just as Utopia in politics does not exist, neither does Utopia in the church.  It doesn’t exist in marriage or in children, but you already knew that.  If Utopia had existed in the days of the Apostle Paul we would have none of his letters.  

The world is in crisis.  Our country is in crisis.  The church is AWOL.  Part of the reason is you are AWOL.  Go find a church where you can make a difference.  Make a pastor’s day.  Maybe with your tithe he can quit his job driving a school bus and actually put in the time to give you the sermons you deserve.  

Okay, maybe I was wrong at the beginning.  Maybe it isn’t you.  Then again...

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-311: Hold That Thought

“The Pause that refreshes”.  It is a phrase that popped into my head today.  It is from a commercial of some product.  I don’t remember the product but I remember the line.  Is that good advertising or poor advertising?  As with Covid:  don’t know; don’t care.

It struck me as I was admiring the morphing of the morning sky with the greys slowly changing their tones.  The grey of the sky was becoming a lively blue while the grey of the clouds was getting more serious.  It reminded me of the dawn sky I watched in Hawaii years ago.

It was refreshing.  Thank you, Ad Man, for the phrase.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 21, 2022

 Opus 2022-310: Benefits of Food Shortage

I have been on the road and spending time in airport waiting areas.  It gives me a chance to do some people watching in between reading and writing.  I am thinking that a bit of a food shortage might not be a bad thing.  People seem to have been supersizing it quite a bit.

Being overweight is not always a result of just eating too much but also of eating the wrong things.  If we are suddenly snookered by a combination of shortages and soaring prices, the foods we choose will probably change.  I was thinking about my diet.  I start the day with oatmeal and have significant portions of popcorn during the day.  That is not a bad thing.  Those food items are relatively cheap and have decent nutrition with reasonable calories.  It is the quest for protein that will be the issue.  

Meat will be expensive.  What I eat has already gone up significantly but so far I can afford my preferences.  If I am forced to go to things like beans and rice for protein the calories climb quickly.  The result, of course will be growing obesity in my life.  That could lead to a return of my diabetes and all the problems that go with too much weight.

Start checking out what might be substituted and begin to buy a bit extra every week.  Don’t worry, it won’t make you a crazy prepper.  It will make you a careful provider.

Pray that the harvests will be great both spiritual and agricultural.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-309: Election 2024: Future Choices

You may have heard about the talking head that suggested Fetterman as a good candidate for president in 2024.  I saw a meme poster on the theme of Biden and Fetterman running as a team.  The clincher was, “It’s a no brainer.”

We laugh.  We shake our heads.  We need to be careful.  Depending on how honest you think the vote count was this time, keep in mind that the Democrats are in control of the process.  This election they not only elected Fetterman but a man who died a month before election day.  You should just wonder which one they will run a President and which as VP.

I am afraid the reality is too frightening to laugh at it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Opus 2022-308: Thought Walks: It Started with the Clouds: Part 4 of 4, Pagan Science

5.  Global warming is based on pagan logic not science.

Understand, the Arctic melting would not raise sea levels.  Go back to your basic geography and remember that the Arctic is floating ice.  Do an experiment with ice cubes.  Put them in a large cup, fill it to the rim and let the ice melt.  It will not overflow unless you  bump the table.  Remember that ice floats because it expands when it freezes.  It will take the same volume melted as it displaced while floating.  Logic panics, science investigates, Christianity investigates with assurance.

The Antarctic melting would be another situation but would need to be examined with square miles and volume if it all melted at once.  Of course it would not all melt at once but what if it did.  I did a little research on the internet.  The following is based on what the internet tells me and we know it is true because it says so.  I asked, “How much ice is in the Antarctic?”  The answer it gave me was 30 million km3.  They then proceeded to tell me that would raise the ocean levels 70 meters or about 230 feet.  Impressive.  I then asked what was the surface area of the earth and was told 510 million square kilometers.  Being a skeptic, I did a little math.  I divided 510 by 70 and came up with 17.  While 17 is still a big rise it is nothing like 70.  My thinking continued.

6.  Science is ignored when it comes to global warming.  One of the considerations of a good experiment is to limit the variables so you know what you are measuring.  Consider that warm air holds more water vapor which means global warming would suspend billions of tons of water in the atmosphere.  Then you have the phenomenon of phase change.  Phase change from solid to liquid would cool the air and ocean.  Then you have sublimation.  That is where the ice goes directly directly into the atmosphere without going through the liquid stage.

Antarctica is a continent.  What does that matter?  If the ice melted you would have some of it retained in lakes.  How many?  I have no idea what the actual surface would look like.  In addition there would be water retained in whatever served as soil.  With less weight would the continent rise and change the entire equation?  

Have all these factors been figured into the theories or is it just a matter of how much money was given to the researcher?

By this time my rabbit trail of thought was beginning to talk to itself and I was nearing the end of my walk.  I think Plato would have been proud of me.  I did a survey of all my straw men and they said I did a marvelous job.

Until next time Plato needs an outlet,

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Opus 2022-307 Thought Walks: It Started with the Clouds: Part 3 of 4, The Limits of Logic

4.  People don’t seem to understand that real science is not based on logic.  The scientific method was a revolution that knocked logic off its pedestal.  The scientific method grew out of the Judeo-Christian concept of God.  The God of the Old and New Testaments is bound by His holiness and character.  The basics do not change.  He is not capricious or temperamental.  The gods of the pagan world tended to either be impersonal forces or powerful teenagers.  Even the God of Islam was not a God you could depend on to keep His word.  He was free to do whatever he wanted any time.  Science is based on the concept that when you do something twice the same way and get the same results it is based in the nature of the universe which was based on the character of God.

That does not mean that the scientific method was not logical.  It does not mean that logic is not important.  It means there are limitations to logic because logic is based on human thinking not the immutable laws of the universe.  

Logic is subjective.  It is a lot like common sense.  What is common to one person may not be to another.  What is logical to one person may not be to their neighbor.  You can bring different priorities and conditions.  You can have different suppositions.  I remember a science fiction story where a space war had been going on for ages.  The problem is that both sides thought they were winning.  One side counted ships lost.  The other counted tonnage.  It seemed logical at the time.  

Logic can conflict with the scientific method.  If done properly the scientific method judges on actual results, not assumed results.  Of course the key word there is “properly.”  

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Opus 2022-306 Thought Walks: It Started with the Clouds: Part 2 of 4, Welcome, Straw Man

3.  From there my mind wanders again.  This time I am thinking about how intricate the universe is and how everything works together in such harmony.  I wonder how people can reject the idea of God and creation and I drift into my first Plato dialogue of the morning.

I am in a discussion and my straw man, call him Tares, asks me how I can reconcile evil in the world with a belief in a good God.  After a discussion of the place of free will and being made in the image of God we get to a place where I ask myself a question that I can’t answer.  Oh, I can give an answer but even I am not satisfied with how complete it is.  Since I need to be honest with myself and Tares, I confess that I don’t have the answer now but I sure that somewhere in eternity I will find it.  He is obviously not satisfied with that.  In disgust he says, “How can you believe something that does not answer all the questions?”  

That is a good question and I have an answer for that too.  Isn’t it wonderful how these Plato dialogues work so well?  Using a technique I learned from other teachers, I answered his question with questions of my own.

“Do you believe in science?” I ask.  Since I am the author of this discussion he falls into the trap and answers, “Oh course I do.  What does that have to do with anything?”


What most laymen who were not paying attention in 8th grade don’t remember is the scientific method.  Even when I taught history I had nothing but praise for the scientific method.  It is based on two rocks.  One rock is the belief that the laws of the universe are consistent.  The other rock is that there is always something you don’t know.  This leads to two bits of method.  First, you start with a question, a hypothesis.  Then you proceed to try to prove or disprove your statement.  Either way you learn something.  If you find that your hypothesis stands the test of experiment and evidence then you don’t stop and say, THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED.  No, you ask what that points out that you don’t know.  You assume there is something you don’t know.  You live with the reality that there are some things you will never know.

Think about all the “settled science” over the years.  Things like you can’t travel faster than the speed of sound.  We moved from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein to Max Plank.  We have possibly gone beyond and I probably missed steps in between.  The point is that science always assumes the field is bigger than they are.  

This is the reason I can believe in science.  That is genuine science I am talking about, not the political grant seeking that is masquerading as science today.  It is why science and Christianity go well together.  Both are based on the concept of truth and the eternal questioning.  For science it is “How?”  For Theology it is more often “Why?”  But in both cases you never reach the end of the sequence.  Modern scientists are often little more than pagan necromancers or medieval alchemists.  

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, November 14, 2022

Opus 2022-305 Thought Walks: It Started with the Clouds: Part 1 of 4, Channeling Plato

I had a great walk on August 30, 2022.  The discussion was lively.  The logic was impeccable.  The grasp of facts and theory and their intertwining was genuinely impressive.  I was also by myself.  I decided that I was channeling Plato.  He liked to set up straw men and destroy them with a foreknowledge of the tame responses of his audience.  I was on a roll.  I was also on a walk so posterity may never grasp the flawless presentation.  Of course I can only remember it in parts but I will try to give you a feel for it.

Be impressed.

1.  At my age I have a certain reality that strikes me every time I start my route.  Gratitude.  Gratitude for mobility.  Gratitude for the absence of pain.  Gratitude to be in the hill country of Texas and not genuinely worried about my neighborhood.  That is a lot to be thankful for.

2.  Many people are familiar with and quote a verse from the King James Bible,

(Psa 121:1 KJV)  A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
Since I am already in the hills that doesn’t work for me.  I also prefer the more modern translations that put a question mark in here.
(Psa 121:1 NAS77) A Song of Ascents. I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come?
And then the answer flows.
(Psa 121:2 NAS77) My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
So as I start out I get wrapped up in admiration of nature, or more correctly, God’s creation.  I admire the flow of colors, the contrasts and balance.  Today there isn’t much to get excited about if you are into first impressions.  Clouds darken the sky.  It is gray and grayer.  I see no blue as I walk but I believe it is there.  Part of that is a knowledge of the world I live in.  Part is memory of yesterday or even a few minutes ago.  A big part is that I can turn my head and see spots where the blue of the universe pushes aside the clouds of perception.

My mind wanders and I am aware it is wandering.  That reminds me of something else to be grateful for, I still seem to be able to think.  I found my way home again because I am writing this.  But the wandering of the moment has to do with living by faith and optimism.  It takes me to how we are to trust in God and His providence even when things look dingy.  

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Opus 2022-304: Immortal Quotes: The Most Famous Last Words

“You always have to have the last word.”

Have you ever had someone tell you that?  I find it an amusing statement.  Yesterday when I heard it I remained silent and listened.  After being told the fourth time that I had to have the last word, without making any comments in response, my mind drifted and I stopped counting.  Simple things amuse me but my simple mind has a hard time staying focused.

Generally such a statement is a tool of manipulation by people who want the last word and need to feel very righteous about it.

Drive them crazy.  Just smile and remain silent and start counting.  I would guess they will never get the irony.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Opus 2022-303: Plug in Your Memory

I still like Donald Trump and I think the reason is that I don’t pay much attention to him.  I never read his Tweets since I am not on Twitter.  I don’t listen to his speeches.  I don’t fixate on him or who he backs in the political process.

If I lived in a place where his endorsement would help clarify things then it might be different.  In my Texas location the only areas of real choice are in the primary elections and I am capable of making those decisions without any politicians help.  

I still like Donald Trump because underneath the ego is a man who loves America and wants it to be what it was created to be.  MAGA is not just a slogan; it is a testimony.

I still like Donald Trump because I am more interested in the results he produced than in someone getting their feelings hurt because he is not diplomatic unless he is involved in diplomacy.  Even there he did a great job.  How quickly we forget the peace that was breaking out in the Middle East under his leadership.

I like Donald Trump because I have a memory.  I remember the economy, the energy independence, the genuine support of Israel, etc.  Just look at anything that is falling apart and remember that under his mean tweet leadership things were much better.

I might do all of us a bit of good to go back and get our charge card receipts from 2019 and ask ourselves if Orange Man was really bad.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 11, 2022

Opus 2022-302: A Party Whose Time Has Gone

If I had the power I think I would dissolve the two major parties in the United States.  Of course I don’t have that power but maybe if enough of us went with the idea.  What made me think this way was a comment by Nassim Taleb in Antifragile.

“What is plaguing us in the United States is not the two-party system, but being stuck with the same two parties.  Parties don’t have organic built-in expiration dates.”  p. 104, Emphasis in original.
I am sure you have all heard the term “uniparty” that infers there is not real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.  Obviously that is not true in the ideal sense.  All you need to do is read the party platforms and listen to what they say they believe.  The problem is not in the parties but in the people who are locked in because they have not had an original thought since the first time they were asked what kind of cake they wanted for their birthday.

You have met them I am sure.  I recently heard about an elderly lady who was pro-life, anti CRT, believed homosexuality was a sin, opposed sex change operations for minors and so forth.  In addition she claimed she was a Christian.  She was going to vote for her local Democrat congresswoman.  The politician made no attempt to hide that she was opposed to everything this lady believed in but the lady thought she was a nice person.  And a Democrat.  

We all know people like this.  On the other side we have people claiming to be Republicans who don’t believe in anything that the party stands for.  These are the voters, not the politicians.

Maybe we could have a system where you would go on line, enter your position of issues and be told who would be the best candidate.  Of course that would involve computers and the internet so you would have the same problems we are having with voting machines now.

It might be enough to just have the politicians hide which party they were affiliated with.  That would force people to look beyond labels and into issues.  The main problem with that is it would require thinking.  On the up side, if they were required to think then a lot of low information voters would not bother.

Call me a heretic, but I think that might be a good thing.

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, Antifragile.  New York:  Random House, 2012.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Opus 2022-301: Deep Fog

I was watching the fog outside the window.  Tangents appeared and rabbit trails were followed.  I was thinking about God as creator and started down the visible trail.  Was fog created as a specific part of the program or is it just an “accidental” side effect that was left in the script?  I know our ideas of an all-knowing and all-powerful God make that almost a heresy but who are we do define how God wants to make things work?

I am not a big fan of six 24 hour days of creation.  I can accept it.  God had the ability but to me it presents some issues.  Did God create in an instant to get it done or did He develop the wild flowers one at a time as a creative artist enjoying His work.  Set aside your ideas about sovereignty and look at it from God’s side.  Why would He be in a big hurry.  He has an eternity to step back and look at His work.  We are created in the image of God and one of the things that is common in people is creativity.

There are times when the world’s greatest chef spends hours tasting and measuring because he get joy from the process and others when he might just open a package of Twinkies.  Who are you to tell him what he wants at that moment.

If I am painting the house I would want the ability to say, “Let there be...”  and get it done.  If I am painting a portrait of a loved one I want to experience every stroke of the brush.  I picture our living room.  We had the painters come in and do the basics.  All we did was pick the color.  Later we built in a book shelf.  We had the delivery crew move in the sofas but we keep moving the small stuff around.  It took months of sorting and rearranging to get the bookshelves just the way my wife wanted them.  She will probably keep shifting things.

Why could that not explain how both instant and gradual are possibilities?

Ask yourself if the platypus is a dead end that God created, looked at, said “no” and moved on to the peacock, or is it a combination that He was so happy with that he just enjoys looking at it still?  Some say it demonstrates His sense of humor.

It is strange what can come out of the fog.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-300: Caves Are Good

I am a troglodyte.  I am not sure what a troglodyte is, but I am one.

I have visions of troglodytes living in caves and only coming out when necessary.  In ancient times that would have involved mainly the quest for food and possibly firewood.  There would have been no community meetings or Sunday school socials to worry about.  

That is me.  Of course my version of troglodyte would involve air conditioning and a soft bed.  It would have some kind of stereo and maybe a bathroom in a back cavern.  

My cave now is my room.  At one point it was my office.  In the years I was teaching it was more like going out hunting each day and my car became my cave.  You do what you have to do.  If you are up you might as well enjoy the morning but it doesn’t mean you go out looking for it until your supplies run low.

I wonder if it would help if I would let the grocery store deliver my food?

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Opus 2022-299: Election 2022: Don’t Get Distracted

Never Trumpers have a strange blindness.  Many of them are pocket elitests who look down on the common man as unclean, uninformed and needing wise leadership.  You can often tell them by the sneer in their writing.  Others can actually have some sound thinking as long as there is not a grain of Trump in the mix.  When they get a whiff, all thinking cells shut down and go to the emergency circuit that just yells, “Orange Man Bad!!!!”

John Hinderaker of PowerLine is one of the second kind.  I had just adjusted to reading what he wrote again when he came up with a perfect example of Never Trump Mind Block.

The title was provocative enough for me to read it in spite of the by-line.  I quit reading after I got to the section I am going to quote.  Later, on reflection, I realized that this was a great example of how many people look at Trump and throw all their higher level thinking skills under the emotional bus.

Hinderaker starts off in his traditional style.  The only difference is that the praise for Trump is not backhanded.

“I have often said that Trump was a very good president–our best, rather easily, since Ronald Reagan.”
At this point I was starting to hold my breath but I didn’t even start to be aware I wasn’t breathing, let along going into oxygen deprivation.  The next word fit perfectly into his narrative:

“Unfortunately,...”  There should have been a drum roll.  There might have been but I have my speakers turned off.
“Unfortunately, though, that isn’t the end of the story. He has both said and, less often, done, a lot of stupid things. He now carries this legacy of mistakes behind him like a ball and chain. Of course the Democrats’ attacks on Trump are mostly unfair when they are not fabricated. But there is a reason why half of America’s voters won’t even consider voting for Trump in 2024. I think it is safe to say that no successful candidate has ever begun with that sort of handicap.”
As far as “half of America’s voters”, that refers to the group that also thinks Biden is doing a good job and that printing money has nothing to do with inflation.

Then he throws in what is supposed to be the, excuse me, trump card.
“The Democrats are lying in wait, hoping Republicans are dumb enough to nominate Trump.”
We know this.  The issue is not whether the Democrats hate Trump.  The issue is whether the Republican politicians love their country enough to stand up to the Democrat hate machine.

I have often said that elections matter.  Although I am not sure they matter as much as they use to we need to vote on Tuesday’s issues, not 2024 and we need to speak up while we still can.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 4, 2022

Opus 2022-298: The Truth about Chicken Volleyballs

Back when Bill Cosby was still acceptable he had a routine in which he asked the great philosophical question, “Why is there air?”  I don’t remember the entire monologue but I remember that the answer was, “Any P.E. major can answer that.  There is air to blow up volleyballs.”  Much of philosophy and theology comes in at that level.  Did Cosby give an answer that met the test of reality?  Does air fill up volleyballs?  Of course it does but there are two issues.  First, that was not the heart of the question.  Second, it is a nonsense question of no consequence.  

There are questions that are asked that receive the same kind of answers even though they are not nonsense.  One of those questions was asked by Pilate when he was interrogating Jesus.

(Joh 18:38 KJV)  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
This was in a grilling in which Jesus brought up the subject of truth.  It is a subject that is still being avoided today.  

The first question today would be, “Is there truth?”  Does it exist?  There are really two main answers to this for anyone not trying to avoid the question:  Yes and no.  Christians would say that because there is a God and that God has a certain character, truth is real.  It does not change.  It is objective.  When I say “Christians” I mean those who are serious about their faith and believe the Bible.  Christians who do not believe the Bible will find themselves in the pagan camp and deny that there is any real truth and if there was we could not know it.  The pagan gods are whimsical and capricious.  They like to play tricks and are not known for their maturity.  Thus you can never count on anything.  

I have come across another way of expressing this difference:  Is it true because God said it or did God say it because it is true?  This became and issue very early in creation.  
(Gen 1:4 KJV)  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Only four verses in and already we are having value judgements.  Now, did light become a good thing as some mysterious point and God noticed, or did God create a good thing and is pointing it out?

The answer to the question, “Is it true because God said it or did God say it because it is true?” is simply “Yes.” Don’t you hate it when people do that?  The answer is simple and yet it isn’t.  It is a case of both/and not either/or.  When you ask the wrong question it is impossible to get the correct answer.

Some think this is the old chicken or the egg question in a different form.  That paradox is not a paradox if you believe in truth and that there is an answer.  If you are an evolutionist it is a clever question that shows how well you listened to your new age guru.  If you are a Christian who believes in creation the answer is simple.  Two chickens came before the egg or, to be precise, a hen and a rooster.  There are a couple of reason for this.  First, if the egg came first there would be no chicken to sit on it and keep it warm until it hatched.  Somewhere in the soil of the earth would be the one fossil of the one egg that existed.  If somehow the egg was in the sun just right and managed to hatch there would be no bird of the opposite sex to insure that future eggs would be fertile.  Again you are left with one fossil somewhere in the rocks.

God is the source of truth.  God speaks ex nihilo and thus truth is what He declares.  I imagine he could have made the sky green like it was in one of the science fiction series I read but in that case we would probably still call it blue and not know the difference.  Since what He declares has nothing before it and He put the whole thing together, it is true.

Once He declares it then He repeats it because it is true.  And the glorious circle goes on.

What a glorious day for philosophy, theology and logic.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Opus 2022-297: Godly Nutrition

When I ask myself if something is healthy to eat I often review some of the items mentioned in the Bible.  I trust it more than the notional pop-nutritionists that inhabit our world.  Salt is a good thing.  Bread, although what most people could afford was not made with wheat, is not divided into gluten free and sinful.  Water does not need to be bottled.  Those are physical considerations.

There are also spiritual applications.  When I read them I assume that if they are good as illustrations of spiritual truth they are also good to eat, but they clearly have theological implications.  The OT talks about milk and honey.  Usually they appear with a form of the word “flowing” in front of them and refer to the promised land.

The New Testament talks about milk and meat in spiritual terms.  Sometimes they are contrasted, sometimes both are good.  It makes no case for the lactose intolerant or the vegan.  I could get off on that tangent but that is not where I am going today.

The problem we are having in today’s church is that too many people are drinking the Kool Aid.  I am passing no judgement on the commercial product.  I was raised drinking it and would mix the powder with sugar for cheap candy.  In its place I am a fan of Kool Aid.  As an adult I can enjoy the kids drink, however, I never confuse it for a staple of healthy living.

It always amazes me when people here something in the Bible and say, “I never knew that.”  I wonder why not.  Take the basic truth that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.  It is clearly written and often repeated.  I hear it almost every Sunday coming from the pulpit.  Or take the clear teaching that love is a matter of choice, of being patient and kind, not a gushy feeling like Hallmark wants to portray it.  I should not be surprised.  Take into consideration how many people think the government can keep printing money with no consequence.  

If I were writing the Bible I would put in some mention of pop corn and ice cream and make them important for spiritual development.  You can relax because God has not seen fit to consult me.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Opus 2022-296: Color My Unlonely

It is lonely at the top, or so I have heard.

It is also lonely at the bottom.  Take my word for it.

It can be lonely at all rungs in between but I am not sure that I understand loneliness.

Loneliness is more in our attitude than the availability of companionship.  It has to do with the quality.  If it is just a matter of being with people then all you need to do is go to a swap meet.  There will be plenty of people to talk to.  It probably won’t fill the void.  What do you do when there is no one who measures up?

I am currently an introvert both in inclination and action.  I am quite happy in my study with my books and computer.  When my wife is out of town I can go for days without talking to anyone except for necessary exchanges at the grocery store.  I don’t understand people who need to be where it is happening.  I say “currently” because I have had times in my life when I was an extrovert.  I enjoyed getting everyone together and planning events.  I am not that way now.

I was attending the mid-week service at our church and bound myself bored with the stand-in speaker.  In spite of that I disciplined myself to listen.  What came home was that he was really touched by the Sunday sermon, a sermon that had left me reading the bulletin.  It was pablum to me but needed nutrition to him.  As I thought about that the conversation went on.  One of the ladies mentioned the “church family”.

The church I am attending considers themselves family, and they are.  They are really involved with each other and very supportive.  I am sure they would “care” about me too but I will never really be part of their family.  That requires time and a mutual caring that I don’t have to give.  As for time I don’t have enough years left.  As for caring, I don’t have enough energy.

I will do what I can to be a part of things.  It is an uphill battle but it needs to be fought.  I am not concerned about being lonely but it might be that I can be a positive influence on someone else.  

Life is good even if I have to make small talk.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Opus 2022-295: If Marx Visited Kansas

I wonder if the world could have been saved a lot of misery if Karl Marx had ever visited America.  He seemed to be saturated with the cultures of the world that had the crown and nobility owning all the land.  In ancient empires like Egypt, Pharaoh owned everything that the temple didn’t control.  The same was true in most places down through the centuries.  Owning land in Europe in medieval times was very limited if you were not of the right class.  It wasn’t as bad as Marx portrayed it in 19th century Europe but still limited.

What if Marx had come to the United States in 1862 when the Homestead Act was passed.  I realize that was after he wrote the Communist Manifesto but it might have caused some retractions.  Here is something he wrote,

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths.” Kindle Location 270-271
This statement was wrong when it was written.  It is still wrong today but if the people behind the current elites in the world are successful they will make it a reality, with them in the mansions and all of us out pulling the plows since they also want to do away with gasoline engines.

Communism is evil.  It was evil in 1848.  It was evil in 1917.  It hasn’t changed at all.

homo unius libri