The price of taking a stand


Fourth annual Short Film Online Competition - Cannes 2008. The NFB, in association with the Cannes Short Film Corner and partner YouTube, is proud to announce that the winner of the NFB Online Competition Cannes 2008 is Alonso Alvarez Barreda for his short film Historia de un Letrero (The Story of a Sign) produced in Mexico/U.S.A

A moving very short film

I received this satirical story in an email from Mr. Jeff Jenkins of Thoughts and Theology.

A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a Sheriff's deputy. He thinks that he is smarter than the deputy because he is a lawyer from New York and is certain that he has a better education than any cop from Houston, Texas . He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Texas deputy's expense.

The deputy says,' License and registration, please.'

'What for?' says the lawyer.

The deputy says, 'You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign.'

Then the lawyer says, 'I slowed down, and no one was coming.'

'You still didn't come to a complete stop,' Says the deputy. 'License and registration, please.'

The lawyer says, 'What's the difference?'

'The difference is you have to come to a complete stop. That's the law. License and registration, please!' the Deputy says.

The lawyer says, 'If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration; and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket.'

'That sounds fair. Please exit your vehicle, sir,' the deputy says.

At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts beating the daylights out of the lawyer and says, 'Do you want me to stop, or just slow down?

Recently, I have been pondering on the concept of taking a stand. Taking a stand for my reasoned out philosophical, theological, and Biblical beliefs. As they are reasoned out this does not mean my views are 100% correct, but I ask and pray for God's guidance. I make mistakes on my blogs at times and admit I make revisions.

Since I am single, I listen to and read information from three secular relationship coaches. I check into Christian ones as well, but as of yet have not found one particularly helpful. The secular ones are definitely flawed where they disagree with Biblical principles, but I am still picking up important information at times.

One of the things they teach is not to discuss heavy issues around women. Guess who is an idiot in this area!?;) I bet there are a few of my female friends on Facebook that would like to write something. Go ahead you can make an anonymous comment. I will still love you as long as you are nice to me.;) Since my area of work is theology/philosophy and in particular the problem of evil, I am often asked deep heavy questions.

To make matters worse these relationship coaches also state to not discuss religion with women.

Please note I do reason that some women do like to discuss heavy topics and religion.

Please don't shoot the messenger!;)

There are also many men I have met that are not interested in heavy subjects it appears.

There are of course many women in academia that deal with heavy subjects, and I have cited some of these in my PhD and on my blogs.

Hmm, so what should I do? Should I never discuss religion and related with women? Pragmatically, I have to state that these relationship coaches are correct, I would probably be more popular and appreciated if I would just shut up and never share my knowledge. This knowledge is at times an offense to those weaker in the faith.

Some will state that I need to show tenderness to those weak in the faith (First Corinthians 8). I fully agree, but I must state that in today's society some are so unaware of Biblical teaching that even if I explain a doctrine, with love, without arguing for or against it theologically, I risk offending a person as Biblical doctrines are often very much counter-cultural. I am in practical terms better off shutting up, otherwise I risk being disliked and unappreciated, among other things.

So, I suppose that when I do speak and write, I risk paying the price for taking a stand. I may lose blog links and Facebook friends as well. I may be perceived as someone out of touch within a Christian Church that is often quite secularized.

England, Peak District

Thanks for the photo, Mom.

Some non-exhaustive thoughts on 1 John 1: 5-10

Wyoming, (a Mac desktop picture)

I have been thinking about 1 John 1: 5-10.

From the NASB:


God Is Light
5(A)This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that (B)God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6(C)If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we (D)lie and (E)do not practice the truth;

7but if we (F)walk in the Light as (G)He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and (H)the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8(I)If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the (J)truth is not in us.

9(K)If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and (L)to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10(M)If we say that we have not sinned, we (N)make Him a liar and (O)His word is not in us.

R.W. Orr seems to have some good insights. Concerning verse 7 he writes that Jesus who died on the cross did a work that 'purifies us'. Orr (1986: 1575). Orr notes that the Apostle John includes himself in receiving this benefit. This cleansing is a continual repeated cleansing and is distinguished from the 'bath' of regeneration noted in John 13: 10. Orr (1986: 1575). These repeated cleansings are confirmation that the first regeneration did occur, and that a person that does not understand the need for continual cleansing was not regenerated in the first place. Orr (1986: 1575).

In verse 8, Orr writes that the 'root principle of sin' has not been eradicated from our hearts. This was an error of the Gnostics. Orr (1986: 1575). Orr writes that when we confess our sin (verse 9), God is faithful and righteous to forgive, and in verse 10, if we deny that we sin we are deceitful and deny the testimony of God's word. Orr (1986: 1575).

The atoning and resurrection work of Christ regenerates or 'baths' a person once, and all past, present, and future sins are forgiven. I reason that a believer does not need to continually ask God for forgiveness of sins, as a person believes and trusts in Christ in the regeneration process and seeks forgiveness of sins, but a Christian should confess sins and ask for purging of these sins in cleansing.

1 John 1: 7

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
καθαρίζει (2) καθαρίζω (161) Verb to make clean, to cleanse
Parsing 3rd Person Present Active Indicative Singular
Related Words καθαίρω φοιβάω ἁγνίζω ἐκκαθαίρω
1 John 1:7

1 John 1: 9

Word Detail
Word/Inflected Form Lemma Part of Speech Lexical Entry
καθαρίσῃ (5) καθαρίζω (161) Verb to make clean, to cleanse
Parsing 3rd Person Aorist Active Subjunctive Singular
Related Words καθαίρω φοιβάω ἁγνίζω ἐκκαθαίρω
1 John 1:9

ὁμολογῶμεν-confess, to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge

ORR, R.W. (1986) ‘1 John’, in F.F. Bruce (gen.ed.), The International Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Marshall Pickering/ Zondervan.

End of part one

I do not eat at fast food restaurants very much. I order a pizza probably twice a month. I go to Dairy Queen probably six times a year. Dairy Queen is my favourite fast food burger place. Now having visited my brother and family in Arizona and having been to Florida and other states, I realize that the United States has more fast food corporations to choose from than does BC. However, among Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and A&W, I prefer Dairy Queen.

Okay, here is my BEEF with McDonalds and Burger King. With all the negative in the media concerning questionable quality food, questionable nutritional value, wages paid to most employees that are difficult to make a living with, and questions concerning how fast food is produced, why are so many McDonalds and Burger King restaurants filthy?

Not only do I generally prefer Dairy Queen food to that of McDonalds and Burger King, but Dairy Queen restaurants are often reasonably clean. Sometimes at a Dairy Queen I need to wipe the table. At one local restaurant when the owner sees me do that he sends someone out to clean the table or does it himself. At so many McDonalds and Burger King restaurants I have eaten at, especially ones in Vancouver and Burnaby, the places are filthy. I do realize these places have many customers in short periods of time, but I reason there is time to clean tables after most meals.

My thoughts:

The local franchise management at times accepts that they are selling low quality food that is not healthy and the need for customers to eat in a clean environment in not that important.

The employees are paid little, and the management does not develop a professionalism with the employees that the restaurant needs to be first class in regard to food quality, service and cleanliness. My suggestion, pay employees a little more and develop the restaurants as places for career potential.

McDonalds and Burger King should find ways of producing better quality food that is more healthy, develop professionalism with the employees and keep restaurants clean. They should also make sure critics do not have much to criticize!

Perhaps the executive boards of McDonalds and Burger King really are tired of their jobs and the millions they make a year and figure it is time to let certain individual franchisees run their respective names into the ground.;)

Ronald McJoker states:

'I'll clean up those dirty McDonalds and Burger King restaurants for you, no problem.'


Largest church denominations in North America

Church Bay, Wales (photo from

While I was researching my newest article on thekingpin68, I came across this article.

Fastest growing churches

The article is by By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Feb. 20 2008 01:10 PM EST

Here are portions and my commentary. Please leave your own comments, cheers.

The two fastest-growing church bodies in the United States and Canada, according to a newly published report, are ones whose beliefs are known to conflict with traditional Christian teaching.

Although Jehovah's Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25 percent increase in membership since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – also known as the Mormon church – grew 1.56 percent and is listed by the NCC as the fourth largest “church.”

Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regarded by many Christians as cults, reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches' 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

Notably, however, both Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormon church are not accepted within many Christian circles as part of the larger Body of Christ over a number of controversial beliefs that the two religions hold. Identification of the former religion as Christian, among other controversies, is debated largely due to their rejection of the Trinity, which most Christians regard as a fundamental doctrine. Latter-day Saints, meanwhile, are often criticized for their belief in “divine” books of scripture, aside from the Bible, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

The Jehovah's Witnesses as discussed in the most recent article on thekingpin68, do reject the Trinity doctrine. Bowman (1990: 12-13). The New Testament teaches the Trinity which is the existence of one God in nature and substance in three distinctions known as Father (Matthew 28: 19), Son (John 1: 1), and Holy Spirit (Acts 5). In the New Testament, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of three distinctions in one nature and essence. Erickson states that each member of the Trinity is qualitatively the same, and they are divine in the same way. Erickson (1994: 337). The essence of the each member of the Trinity is the same, even if one distinction submits to the other at times. Erickson (1994: 338). From Erickson’s point, the triune God is one God in nature and essence, represented in three distinctions and therefore is not a three-part God. A rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity is a rejection of the Christian God.

A primary (but not only) reason most Biblical Christian authorities reject Latter-Day Saint religious movements as Christian is the issue of the nature of God. Latter-Day Saints are typically henotheists. Ronald Clements writes the henotheism is a term describing the exclusive worship of one God, while at the same time the existence of many Gods is held to. Clements (1999: 248). Clements provides the opinion that the study of ancient religion does the not produce the concept that polytheism and monotheism present distinct stages in a progression and development. Instead they indicate a contrast of emphasis in complex patterns of religious traditions. Clements (1999: 249). Latter-Day Saints would also be polytheists for believing in the existence of many Gods.

Isaiah 43 has the Lord stating that there is only one God, and that no God shall be formed after. Isaiah 44 has the Lord stating that there is only one God. In Isaiah 45 the Lord states there is no other like him, and there is no other God. This means that monotheism is true, and henotheism and polytheism are false according to the Hebrew Bible. As already noted the New Testament teaches that God is triune and of one nature and substance. There is only one God.

...Other bodies in the newly published top 25 largest churches list that reported membership increases include The Catholic Church with a 0.87 percent increase; the Southern Baptist Convention with a 0.22 percent increase; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church with a 0.21 percent rise; and the Assemblies of God with a 0.19 percent growth.

The greatest losses in membership were reported by The Episcopal Church, which dropped 4.15 percent in members, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which decreased by 2.36 percent. Both denominations are currently wracked by theological differences and the issue of homosexuality.

American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also experienced large losses in membership, dropping 1.82 percent and 1.58 percent, respectively.

Largest 25 Churches (ranked by membership)

1. The Catholic Church – 67,515,016
2. Southern Baptist Convention – 16,306,246
3. The United Methodist Church – 7,995,456
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 5,779,316
5. The Church of God in Christ – 5,499,875
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. – 5,000,000
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 4,774,203
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. – 3,500,000
9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 3,025,740
10. Assemblies of God – 2,836,174
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church – 2,500,000
12. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America – 2,500,000
13. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. – 2,500,000
14. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) – 2,417,997
15. Episcopal Church – 2,154,572
16. Churches of Christ – 1,639,495
17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 1,500,000
18. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. – 1,500,000
19. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church – 1,443,405
20. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. – 1,371,278
21. United Church of Christ – 1,218,541
22. Baptist Bible Fellowship International – 1,200,000
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ – 1,071,616
24. The Orthodox Church in America – 1,064,000
25. Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1,069,530

So, for those of us who are Biblical Christians, what should we make of this report? Should Christian churches be canvassing door-to-door more often?

I could state more, but I will leave it for comments, and it allows this article to be brief.

But first:

Perhaps I should gather some blog links and start canvassing on behalf of thekingpin68. We could wear black shirts, shades, and white tags with thekingpin68 written on them. We would of course all carry concealed wood sticks for protection...from dogs as I do.

We could have a slogan: We are not a cult, but you might be in one. Love, Russ.

BOWMAN, ROBERT M. (1990) Why You Should Believe in the Trinity, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

CLEMENTS, RONALD (1999) ‘Henotheism’, in Alan Richardson and John Bowden (eds.), A New Dictionary of Christian Theology, Kent, SCM Press Ltd.

ERICKSON, MILLARD (1994) Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

Should a theologian always be a Reverend?


With the recent transformation of satire and theology to an academic blog, I reason this black and blue blog now has a definitive purpose and direction in a greater measure than previously. As with this article I will share personal thoughts and reflections at an academic and yet personal level. I will use some but not several citations in articles and satire and humour will be used.

I have been comfortable with the purpose and direction of the black and red blog, thekingpin68, as an academic blog since switching it from a personal satirical blog in 2005.

Once I become a professor, I will not be able to post as many original articles, but will try to post articles from professional theological work and related. I definitely will not have the time to post as many comments on other blogs. I will no longer spend 20-30 hours a week on blogging while sitting at my computer working on a PhD. If I lose some future blog comments because I cannot comment as much on other blogs, that is too bad, but I will hopefully pick up more commenters, comments, and links through my work as a professor. As most of us bloggers realize, it is tough finding other bloggers to network with, and all of my supporters are appreciated. I will try and put the most effort into commenting on blogs where I am linked. It will obviously be quite difficult to find time to promote myself on–line in the future as I have been doing the last four years.

A blessing with blogging for me the last four years has been that for the first time in my life I am teaching and doing ministry regularly, so to speak. I unapologetically state I have no interest in becoming a Reverend or missionary. I firmly believe the Lord has guided me to a form of academic theological ministry. I have come across academics that struggle with the concept of a philosophical theologian that does not want to be a Reverend, but I think that is his or her problem, and his or her closed mind. I have assisted many persons off-line, and almost 40, 000 people in traffic have read my blogs and I am presenting a form of teaching and ministry to persons.

Browning states that in the New Testament (First Corinthians 12), teachers are an aspect of ministry. Browning (1997: 253). Two persons with Doctorates at church definitely confirmed I am teaching via these blogs. It is nice to be affirmed, although I do not necessarily expect it. W.L. Liefeld writes that ministry is a Biblical concept of service rendered to God or to people. Ministry is to edify persons with the goal of corporate maturity in Christ. Liefeld (1996: 721).

Teachers are very important in teaching Biblical doctrines.

Not all teachers in the New Testament were necessarily overseers, as in one with authority over a church.

Not all theologians, who are teachers of doctrine, need to be Reverends.

I reason there is a need in the Christian Church today for places where persons can discuss some of the difficult issues that are not usually discussed in sermons and Bible studies. I provide this ministry and learn much in the process. As long as persons are respectful we can agree to disagree as well.

Sadly someone lately has decided to attempt to post three comments after he was cut off of thekingpin68 blog for being disrespectful. He reasons Biblical Christians are sick and lost for believing in everlasting hell. Well, I presented him with Biblical, theological, and philosophical information that he did not adequately respond to.

My Dad co-owned a Chevron service station from 1973-1981. If a customer was abusive and disrespectful one of his lines was (paraphrased), ‘How did you get on this lot?', and the person would explain how. My Dad would then state, ‘Well, leave in the exact same way.’ This is a good line for me to use with blog trolls and persons that want to disrespectfully argue their agenda on my blogs. Please take your mouse and leave the same way you came, and do not waste your time trying to comment as anonymous after I would not publish comments with your name anymore. Someone attempted that this week. His comment went down like the Hindenburg.

I now really enjoy not publishing disrespectful comments, and I could really get used to sending comments to the Blogger lake of fire!;)

BROWING, W.R.F. (1997) Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

LIEFELD, W.L. (1996) 'Ministry’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

How the Six Million Dollar Man should have been done.