Dec. 28th 1981, the 8 members of National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of Iran, were executed without trial in Evin prison, Tehran Iran.
Kamran Samimi, Sirus Rawshani Uskui, Qudratu'llah Rawhani, Mahmud Majdhub, Izzat’u’llah Furuhi, Jalal Azizi, Mehdi Amin Amin and Jinus Ni'mat Mahmudi
I like Christmas art.
Brand new. Thanks, Jeff!
Thoughts and Theology
The previous audio posts I presented from filefreak.com no longer have the audio as my account was deleted without my permission. I have set up a new account with filefreak. My audio posts I presented with Shaw prior to filefreak still have the audio but I maxed my space allowed with the Shaw account and therefore looked for another host. I have all my audio presentations and some outtakes saved on disc, but I suppose at this point I will not bother replacing the missing audio on those archived audio posts.
Let us move forward with my short audio post for my readers with the link below...
Some topics discussed in the audio presentation:
Blogger Next Blog
My previous Christmas posts:
Michelin Man returns (2008)
Michelin Man (2008)
Christmas thoughts and satire (2008)
Blue Santa (2007)
Christmas satire (2007)
Jeff Jenkins of Thoughts and Theology and his fine work from Christmas 2008:
Good one from The Jeff.
The photo below was sent to me today. One of the most amazing I have ever seen, in my opinion.
Photo of the day: 3 June 2008
'A car collides into cyclists participating in a race in Mexico's northern border city of Matamoros. At least one person was killed and 14 injured'
A fascinating photo and horrible crash. The death resulting was tragic and what was the driver of the car thinking?
A reply to a critic
Through a Facebook friend it has been brought to my attention that a Facebook friend of this person thought my audio presentation lacked energy and content. This second critic has worked with television and radio. Basically the critique was similar to that of my own friend mentioned in the audio presentation.
1. My presentation is careful as a presentation should be with theology, philosophy or religion and Biblical Studies. I should not rush through it for the sake of energy and enthusiasm. I am also trying to avoid misspeaking. Technical accuracy here is more important than motivational content. This is I realize, is not necessarily the case in all kinds of speaking.
2. No matter what is reasonably done, some/many will never enjoy or appreciate theological presentations. This was the case with my undergrad teaching internship. I have had two internships.
3. Most theology (and related) professors are dry in comparison to what I have been presenting. Believe me my work would pretty much be progressive with the humour and such. Remember I sat through related teaching for seven years of course work. Often a yawwwn. Yes, even for me. This is a reason I make things short by the way!
4. The critic is probably not in a position to judge my theological content by merely having worked in media.
Therefore the critique is largely misplaced, although I agree that much of the problem is with the typical listener.
I have admitted that I am trying to improve in presentation. I do not have a media related degree.
I am not God's gift to theology, women, or radio.;)
King's Chapel, Cambridge (photo from trekearth.com)
1. Having exhausted laser eye surgery and after almost four years, I will be pursuing a vitrectomy. This is not a vasectomy which I very much doubt I shall ever pursue.
Being as my 'religious convictions' mean if I ever get married we will try to have 12 children...not! But, I do love the little kiddies. By the way, I am not against career women, so do not get any crazy ideas about me!;) I also greatly respect committed mothers, and if need be, women that do both.
The two laser surgeons I visited in the United States (Dr. Geller of Fort Myers, Florida, and Dr. Johnson of Irvine, California) both destroyed several floaters but my eye is filled with floaters and I have been told that there is no laser in existence that could reach the floaters in the back of my eye, safely.
Two local UBC eye surgeons have offered to do the vitrectomy surgery for me. The vitreous jell is removed and replaced with saline solution.
There is an estimated 40-50% chance of a resulting cataract which would result is a lens replacement which would result in significant improvement in my vision in that eye.
So, in this case a cataract is not to be considered purely in evil terms. It could be considered a problem of evil, but also could ultimately lead to my benefit.
Retina Vitreous Associates of Florida
'Floaters clear on their own almost all of the time. Even patients with persistent floaters usually adjust to them. Their is a small group of patients with sheet like floaters and veils that affect their visual function and do not clear even after waiting over a year. In this situation, it is acceptable to consider vitrectomy surgery. Vitrectomy does carry a risk of retinal detachment, infection and bleeding. So the risk of surgery has to be balanced with the potential benefit. This patient understood that and chose to have surgery and was thrilled with the result.'
Vitrectomy Against Floaters
Please click on image (Psychological issues such as depression because of floaters are very important considerations.)
2. Take this penalty kick six times.
3. Please check out my latest article on thekingpin68.
Augustine and Platonic philosophy
'Augustine’s use of Plato does not in itself invalidate his understanding of Biblical writings where the two may happen to be in agreement. Augustine (398-399)(1992). From my overall research of Augustine and his free will theodicy, he places much emphasis on Biblical theology as primary Augustine (398-399)(1992). and therefore although it is possible he could read Neoplatonism into his understanding of theodicy, it is also very likely he rejects Neoplatonism where it contradicts his Scriptural findings through in depth study. Augustine (398-399)(1992).'
Thanks for reading. This will be a progressive post and this is part one this morning. Please check for more later.
I am back from Irvine/Los Angeles. I am in Phoenix. Thanks so much Phil for driving me around, buying me lunch and helping me find the eye clinic and a hotel. I hope next time we shall have more time to associate. God bless.
Dr. Johnson destroyed all the floaters he could see and his laser could reach.
I recommend his services for those with floaters, especially large ones. Thank you Dr. Johnson.
I may pursue a vitrectomy in the future and appreciate very much the advice given to me by Dr. Johnson.
Okay, here is some stereotypical LA LA land. I get on the plane from Phoenix to Los Angeles and my two seatmates are seemingly gay and share a few kisses. I see a blonde woman on the plane that dresses like she is 25 years old, but 25 years old in the 1980s. I think she was at least over 45 years old. I get to an office for an appointment and the receptionist is quite attractive and with breast enlargements. I have dinner and the people beside me are discussing scripts. The building next to my hotel was an office building and not a restaurant, but it had Taco Bell written on it. I reason after research it is the Taco Bell headquarters.
I can only remember eating at Taco Bell once in my life.
I like the Los Angeles area in general terms.
I have also been in three theology/philosophy discussions so far and have mentioned 'vicious regress' twice, which is a regress that does not solve its own problem such as a regress of gods or time (see thekingpin68 blog). Yea it is one of my 'pets' and I gathered much of it from a secular humanist. So you will have difficult time proving I am closed-minded. I live and learn. ;)
In my case, I would assume my blog post has not been read, but I try to get readers.;)
Tonight it was suggested by someone that the New Testament writers were not lying but the oral tradition of these writers was corrupted by exaggeration.
But they meant well, but Jesus was just a man.
With thousands of New Testament manuscripts stating the same essential message, there is no evidence of a significant theological corruption from the original historically based message. This presentation took place through oral and then written tradition.
The New Testament martyrs would not seemingly sanely die for a lie unless it was because of a stance of trying to maintain the benefits of things such as money, sex and power. This could be the case with a cult that emphasized such, but Christianity did not. As they were persecuted and sometimes executed by the state, it would make far more sense for many of the Christian leaders to go back to Judaism or other, rather than live the difficult life of a New Testament Christian.
I remain unconvinced, and Christianity remains historically reasonable and not a work of fiction.
As with in 2002, the Phoenix area interests me with its many churches. I see quite a few Lutheran and LDS buildings. There seems to be a relatively strong religious presence, much stronger than in the Vancouver area. I reason that I could potentially move here and find a job teaching theology/philosophy of religion. If not in Arizona then with one of the other States not too far away, or in the South. My Mom now has American citizenship and I will see if this can assist me at all.
Well, today is another day of moving with and for my brother and then I will dress up in my black 'PhD viva' suit again and go to a business meeting with my brother and Mom tonight, once again.
A lot more ladies talk to me in the US than in Canada or the UK...hmmm. This has always been the case seems to me over the years.
By the way, when I come back to BC, I will post on Facebook and Blogger photos of me in my black suit...
I have also been watching a bit of BYU Television.:(
I went on a four wheeler for the first time Saturday and rubbed up against a Cactus with my bare arm. Welcome to Arizona. I also got stuck for a short time with another machine (four wheeler) and was shown how to deal with it.
I would need quite a bit of practice to be good at that sport/hobby.
The theology discussions continue. I hope and pray I am doing well.
Part Five: Finale
I am leaving back for BC Wednesday. I have contacted four institutions so far in Arizona concerning work as a professor (Associate/Assistant). I am also willing to work in a surrounding or close state and so that would leave California, Nevada, Utah (Would that not be funny?), Colorado, New Mexico and Texas to consider if I wish to move reasonably close to my family and remain able to assist my Mom that will move down here also. Biola University was suggested to me by a local institution that had no work for me presently and seemingly liked my CV. My Mom, brother, sister-in-law and one niece have all urged me to try and relocate here.
I am not ruling out moving elsewhere, but I will start seeking in this area. I am willing to move away from family as I did in 1999-2001 and my brother and family can therefore take over assisting my Mom.
I can send out CVs in the Greater Vancouver are but here are my thoughts.
The western United States is far more Christianized than the Lower Mainland of BC. I reason there are more career opportunities by far for me in the western USA and the South, if need be.
To be blunt, I am single, and there would be more Christian women to meet here. God willing, I would like to have a family one day. I realize that being a full-time very serious PhD student has very much limited my social life in BC, but my PhD is almost done for good. One time a theologian/pastor spoke at our church and compared a roughly 2% Vancouver church attendance with a roughly 15% American one...telling. Even with the cults and questionable Christian churches it still leaves a lot more Christians here than in Greater Vancouver. I need to face reality. Having lived in the UK, I doubt there are many more Christians there than in Greater Vancouver in regard to average church attendance.
I invite my blogging friends to pass along any potential job opportunities in their area, for example. I also look forward to meeting with some of my blog links/commenters in person, at their church, for example.
I remain committed to visiting friends in the UK even though it is unlikely I will work there. This does not mean I will not apply there as after all, I do have a British passport and almost two earned UK theses degrees. There is also the good possibility of me teaching at two places, in other words relocating temporarily for a summer.
Anyway, these are my hopefully progressive thoughts. God please lead me in Christ.
For my current more academic article please see: esb
1. The following is seemingly the most strange occurrence in my life outside of an episode with exorcism (not of me!) when I was a child where I witnessed someone demonized and the beings were apparently cast out in Jesus' name. This person exorcised was not told they were a demon and so I doubt it was hypnotism as opposed to exorcism and I know key people involved well enough that it was not a staged event.
A professor of mine did do exorcisms and told me that my experience seemed legitimate in light of his experience and the New Testament.
I reason that finite spiritual beings exist Biblically. They do influence people at times, myself included.
At times some are under very heavy demonic influence which could be equated with demonization.
It is the summer of 1995, I had just graduated from Bible College. I wanted to visit Britain and Ireland because I had not been to the United Kingdom since 1976, as a little boy, and I also wanted to see if I could tolerate Britain in the context of potentially doing a PhD there. I returned in 1997 and did a University tour. Both trips took place with my good friend and Blogger commenter Saint Chucklins of Ridge.
Sir Chucklins and I agree that the 1995 trip was an excellent one. My only other trip as fun was in 1976 with the family. My 1997, 2004 (February) and 2004 (December) trips as well as my 2009 trip were mainly business/academic trips with plenty of stress involved. I also lived in Manchester from 1999-2001 and that was very stressful although I made some very good lifelong friends.
I have mentioned this story previously on this blog, but this writing is all new with more detail.
In 1995, Chuckles and I spent a week in London, which is one of my favourite places to spend a week or so in. While on the Tube/London Underground I saw a bearded lady in tears making out with a man that was trying to console her by kissing her. Now, I am making no firm judgment on this woman, or her everlasting destiny, but I have to be honest and state that I felt like I could vomit looking at her. She made a negative physical impression on me.
The theological lessons?
Pray that one is ready for the unexpected. It is one lesson anyway.
2. As mentioned in blog comments, on Friday we had a small Halloween party here and watched The Last Man on Earth (1964) with Vincent Price. It was a reasonably artistic movie of the horror/suspense/thriller genres, I would give it 4/5, and it did not feature gratuitous violence. I think the four of us that watched it all perhaps pondered on the end times as a result of viewing the film. In the past, especially prior to being an adult, I watched some classic horror/suspense/thriller movies with Vincent Price such as Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Raven (1963), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) and Theatre of Blood (1973). I have no desire to ever watch the Phibes films or Theatre of Blood again as they are too gross, and I have seen the Phibes films twice each. But I have to admit that the Price films do have some artistic merit.
Seems to me Pit and the Pendulum (1961), and The Raven (1963) were quite artistic and not near as gross as the other ones I just mentioned.
Horror/suspense/thriller films can reasonably show evil and suffering.
These films can show evil and suffering as bad things, which they are.
Films that depend on gratuitous violence can limit their potential audience.
Therefore, the apparent or actual glorification of evil is not needed in these films.
Alnwick Castle, England
Christ's Chapel at Oral Roberts University, Tulsa Oklahoma (Looks nice)
1. I have had many major formatting difficulties with this post!
2. I am interviewed at...
3. A dear relative satirically suggests that due to my debt I should pursue a career as a televangelist via a job as a professor at...
oral roberts university
-Would it work for me to work there with my Reformed views?
-Would you support me as a televangelist? I think I have a face for radio.
-I do not know much about the University and I am not presenting or implying any firm opinion.
4. Below are edited thoughts on atheistic praxis from my PhD. Views on my Reformed sovereignty theodicy can be primarily found here:
Praxis is concerned with not merely applying theoretical knowledge, but adding to knowledge in the process of practically applying theory.
In contrast, I reason:
God has revealed self in historical Biblical Scripture.
DARROW, CLARENCE (1928)(1973) ‘The Myth of the Soul’, in The Forum, October, in Paul Edwards and Arthur Pap (eds.), A Modern Introduction To Philosophy, New York, The Free Press.
DARROW, CLARENCE (1932)(1973) ‘The Delusion of Design and Purpose’, in The Story of My Life, October, in Paul Edwards and Arthur Pap (eds.), A Modern Introduction To Philosophy, New York, The Free Press.
HICK, JOHN (1993) ‘Afterword’ in GEIVETT, R. DOUGLAS (1993) Evil and the Evidence for God, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
HICK, JOHN (1993) The Metaphor of God Incarnate, Louisville, Kentucky, John Know Press.
KANT, IMMANUEL (1788)(1898)(2006) The Critique of Practical Reason, Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott, London, Longmans, Green, and Co.
MESLE, C. ROBERT (1986) ‘The Problem of Genuine Evil: A Critique of John Hick’s Theodicy’, in The Journal of Religion, Volume 66, Number 4, pp. 412-430. October, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
PHILLIPS, D.Z. (2005) The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God, Fortress Press, Minneapolis.
ROWE, WILLIAM L. (1990) ‘The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism’, in Adams and Adams (eds.), The Problem of Evil, Oxford, Oxford University Press.