Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Expecto Petronum, Expecting Patriotism, and Expected Preus

Funny Links for the Day: Transformers 300
Justice League 300
Walk it out....Penguine Style
A 3-D cube rendering of the universe with every dot a galaxy???
This is just disturbing!!!!! My kid WON'T read THIS last book!
Jean Luc "Exploder"
A creature of darkness.
Ted Stevens explains that it isn't a big truck....
Lex Luthor>Optimus Prime....yes I loved the new movie!

Scripture Readings:
Old Testament-Judges 16:4-30
New Testament-Galatians 4:12-31
Psalms-Morning: 51
Evening: 85, 47

Festival: Old Testament St. Ruth

Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Some news....first of all, I didn't expect Preus to win the Synod Presidential election....but I hoped Kieschnick would not be re-elected. However, I need to be content that the Holy Spirit guided the elections to fulfill God's ultimate plan and purpose.....and as long as our leaders whom we pray for constantly realize this......I assent to their decision. Secondly, I got to see the installation of my third cousin as pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington, IL. Thirdly, I turn 25 a week from today (yay). And fourth(ly), I liked the new Transformers movie, A LOT!

The Expecto Petronum in the title was a reference to Harry Potter. I've read and seen the first five movies/books. Would I recomend it to my kids? Maybe or maybe not. Would I be legalistic and contradictory about my attitute towards it? I hope not. I bring this up because Way of the Master host Todd Friel made the comment that Harry Potter leads to witchcraft and the occult, but seemed to side-step the issue that many Christians have the same attitude about Harry Potter but in the same breath will laud The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the if the magic in those is not "occultish." To me it seems if you are against the one because it is occultish, you would be ardently against the other for the same reason.

I'm sorry, but stories of how kids went from Harry Potter to being witches doesn't necessarily win this argument......I'm sure there are kids who went from C.S Lewis or Tolkien to New Age or Druidism....a point Friel somewhat mentions then downplays. The fact remains that if a kid does that....they have trouble distinguishing between reality and fantasy....and the parents aren't doing their job rightly. As a Christian, I would not tell my kids (students) at Harry Potter, it's good.....but I wouldn't say, "don't read's bad" either. I would however push C.S. Lewis and Tolkien because their subject matter would be much safer to discuss in a Christian atmosphere. To be legalistic about the one while ignoring the other seems irresponsible to me......and to blame the book and not the parent (which was never brought up in the radio talk show) is the same.

The Expecting Patriotism in the title is in response to the same radio program's coverage of the Hindu priest leading prayer in the Senate. They focused on the behavior of some Christians who were rather rude by interrupting the priest's prayers with their own to God apologizing for the prayer of the wicked. Todd and many of the people who called in thought it was a travesty that this country was leaving its Christian roots (most of the founding fathers were I don't know WHAT they're talking about) and Todd even made the comment, "I wonder if this is the final part where God just goes, 'okay, you're done.'" Where in the Bible does it say that America is the favored nation of God?! Scripture speaks of the secular authorities being ministers of God ordained for the enforcement of order.....but it does not say that the secular authorities must bow down to God and recognize Him. No where does it say this! Is this theology Dispensational Premillenialism? I'm aware that that theology focuses on Israel as God's chosen nation. The other group that accepts that America is God's chosen nation is the Phelp's family from!

The fact remains that we are born as citizens of this world, but are made into citizens of the Heavenly world while remaining pilgrims on earth. We owe our allegiance to our nation as long as it keeps to its own rules and does not force a citizen to violate God's laws. It could be argued that because America uses our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood which goes to paying for abortions, God would allow us to go against our government. However, within our government is the right of every citizen to vote their conscience and get rid of abortion non-violently. Would Christ's church like to have a nation which was responsible for the trail of tears and countless abortions as its witness? I DOUBT it!

Finally, to end....two things on the Lord's Supper. Way of the Master Radio brought up the Lord's Supper and of course, misunderstood the Lutheran view when asked a question on it (calling our understanding of it consubstantiation) and saying that while our view is valid the Roman view of transubstantiation is wrong because it has a whole boatload of problems with it. I corrected them in an email (which I'm sure they'll read :-/) that it is not the concept of transubstantiation that we necessarily have a problem with. We do not like Aristotelian metaphysics being applied to the Sacramental mysteries. That's all transubstantiation teaches.....the part of the re-offering Christ in the Roman Mass is, however, is not necessarily joined to the doctrine of transubstantiation (as much as I can tell). For those not familiar with the various teachings on the Lord's Supper I am discussing:

Transubstantiation: The bread and wine have a substance (what the object IS...its "essence") and an accident (what is perceived). During the Eucharistic Prayer (Words of Institution), the substance of the bread and wine are destroyed and replaced with the body and blood of Christ. Rome also accept "comingling" which does not separate the body and blood from one another. As a result, the bread has the body AND the blood and the wine has the body AND the blood.

Consubstantiation: The bread and wine are two substances and Chirst's body and blood are two other substances. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the two substances of bread and body and the two substances of wine and blood are combined to form a new third substance distinct from the first two because it is a combination. This is NOT taught by the Lutheran church....even though the TERM is used at times by some Lutheran dogmatic theologians. It is usually used to describe the Lutheran position by those who are NOT Lutherans.

Sacramental Union: The bread and wine are two substances and Christ's body and blood are two substances. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the different substances are brought together but NOT mixed as in consubstantiation. The bread and body are together and the wine and blood are together, but not mixed. That is the meaning of "in, with, and under." The body fills the bread but does not replace it nor does it mix with it....and the same with the blood.

All of the above three views recognize Christ's very real and true body and blood as present in the elements of the Eucharist (bread and wine). This view is called the Real Pressence and has been around in Christianity since Scripture.....and if you doubt that.....look at what St. Ignatius of Antioch calls the Eucharist (he was St. John the Apostle's disciple).....he calls it "the medicine of immortality" (Epistle to the Ephesians, Chapter 20). Clearly it is not just symbolic.

What boggles my mind about Way of the Master is that they will take a staunch stand on things but then call them "adiaphora." How can the details of what our Lord instituted be adiaphora?!?!?!?! Clearly this seems to show a low regard for the teachings of the historic church as it has guarded the Apostles' teachings through the ages. This must be what Father Todd Wilken was referring to in his article, "Bible-believing Liberals." Perhaps the problem is that Todd (Friel) doesn't think the Holy Spirit helps us understand Scripture. He said, "the Holy Spirit helps us in application," but that "understanding comes by careful study." Did the historic church botch that last part????

It might seem like I am overly harping on Way of the Master Radio. I do so in love. I like the is entertaining. It reaches the lost. It helps to equip believers. However, when it is wrong on doctrine I will guard doctrine tooth and nail. Let us look at the Gospel of St. John where it speaks of the Paraclete:

John 14:16-[Jesus said,] "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.."
John 14:26-[Jesus said,] "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
John 15:26-[Jesus said,] "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."
John 16:7-[Jesus said,] "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

What we see is that the Holy Spirit TEACHES US ALL THINGS. Especially Christ's church which "the gates of Hell shall not overcome." It is for this reason that the church's position is very important when it comes to the interpretation of Scripture. Why? Well the church is guided by the Holy Spirit (not to say it cannot err, but that its opinions as long as they do not go contrary to Scripture should be respected) and St. Peter said that no prophecy of Scripture has its origins in man, and so no interpretation of Scripture is up to anyone's private interpretation.

Again, in love to our brothers at Way of the Master Radio, we pray for you and thank God for your evangelistic work. I pray for our Synod to return to its Confessional principles. I pray that the church does not mock the Son of the Holy Theotokos by its wanton disregard for all things Apostolic. I pray that the church takes caution before it enters into altar fellowship with heterodox brothers, and thus risk destroying further ecumenical dialogue as the ELCA has done with the Orthodox Church by its full force entrance into fellowship with other variant Christian denominations. I thank God for the prayers of His Son, the Mother of God, and the Holy Apostles continuously for the church.

Glory be to the Father, and the Son (+), and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Rational Response Squad, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins

Old Testament Reading-Joshua 10:1-25
New Testament Reading-Acts 11:19-30
Psalms-Morning: 89:1-18
Evening:1, 33

Icon of the Day: The Visitation-celebrated July 2nd

Secular holiday-July 4th!

Alright....this is just absurd! If you visit the Rational Response Squad's website, they say that they defeated Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron in the official Nightline Debate over the existence of God. First of all, neither side won. The draw was made apparent because while Ray and Kirk completely didn't understand evolution, neither did Brian Sapient or "Kelly." However, just because you argue that evolution is true, that does not discount a designer. The argument that Ray was making with the painting is still 100% valid.

Ray's argument with the painting was that if you took a painting into a lab, you would conclude it was painted, or designed. Brian said, you could call the architech of a building to prove it had a designer and you can't do that with God. Ironically, Ray held up the Mona Lisa.....go ahead and call Leonardo Brian, we'll wait. Brian's final and very self-defeating cosmological concept was that matter was eternal and the universe has always existed. Well, what do we need for THAT to be true?

We would need: 1. More matter than the universe has so that it could continually have big bangs/crunches.
2. A physical mechanism to turn heat into a different form of energy.
3. Build matter from energy experimentally (we MAY have done this).
4. Ignore any consideration of time. Time after all is movement in the fourth dimension. Brian's argument is akin to saying, I have always ran down the road. I never started nor will I ever stop. That is absurd, but it is simply another dimension of my argument here is still valid.
5. He may have gotten the first law of Thermodynamics correct....but he DIDN'T mention the 2nd Law.....that entropy increases as time goes on (there's that pesky time again!). It was this very combination of laws that "proves" that a supernatural creator was necessary for the universe to come into existence. Matter and energy must have had a beginning because they tend towards entropy IN TIME, with heat (thermal energy) being the most entropic form of energy and matter. As a result, they had to have a beginning since there is no mechanism in existence that can 100% convert thermal energy to another form. Hence, since the first law cannot be violated (matter and energy cannot be created), a singularity must have occurred that created the universe which by virtue of matter in existence start time forward.

Brian and Kelly's point of view is invalidated by the laws of thermodynamics....and that is why very few scientists believe the universe has always existed (Carl Sagan among them). So your argument against design failed because you cannot call up the dead architects or artists to prove that they really made designs, and your cosmological argument failed. Case closed.

The fact remains that a singularity would be needed to explain the big bang in general. While Ray and Kirk were wrong with saying, "nothing exploded," because a singularity is something, it is still scientific to say nothing existed before the singularity. Hence, what created the singularity anyway? What is the evidence for the big bang theory? Well we have a few ideas behind that......ones which have yet to explain how galaxies can collide into each other going in opposite ways.....or why the Andromeda M31 galaxy is coming towards us, not away as the idea behind the universe expanding states. I still like the idea of creationist cosmologist Dr. Russel Humphrey's "white hole cosmology" where he takes the two assumptions in the equations for the big bang theory. Implicit within the big bang theory are two assumptions: 1. There is no center to the universe and 2. space is infinite. He switched them to 1. There is a center to the universe, and 2. Space is not infinte.

From this theory there is instead an expansion that occurs so rapidly that within the first 24 hour day of earth's creation, our galaxy is already in existence. Time is rapidly sped up at the edges of expansion. In other words, from our perspective near the center of the expansion, time occurs normally, but at the edges of the expanding wave, time is extremely sped up. It is a worthwhile theory to look into because he claims that it explains observations of magnetic moments in planets that the nebular hypothesis of the formation of our solar system cannot.

From here, I thought it was bad enough, until I heard of a debate about the existence of God on Hardball with Chris Matthews between Christopher Hitchens and the Rev. Al Sharpton. I never thought I would root for Al Sharpton....but oh did I. Hitchens recently wrote a book called "Why God is not good: How religion poisons everything." He does not tell you in that book that the 20th century is the year when secular/humanistic/atheistic governments killed more people than in the past combined. He does not tell you that two of his fellow writers at "Free Inquiry" magazine became Christians because they realized Christianity was more intellectually tenable (with some help by the Holy Spirit...'natch). My favorite however is the intellectual dishonesty and complete irrationality which he uses. He said, "religion tells people that God created them from a clot of blood (Islam) or a clump of dirt (Judaism, Christianity)...." For starters, this equates religion....something which he assumes you can do, but if you are going to disprove religion you must play by the proper rules. You can't play sociologist (he's an essayist) and expect to come to the conclusion that Christianity is correct.

Instead he fails to recognize how correct Christianity is: 1. When we die (opposite of creation), we return to dust.....this is observed.
2. Our fallen nature leads us to sin by not loving God or our neighbors......this is observed....that's why anarchy has never worked and we need laws.
3. Our ability to create and manipulate our emotions with art is a result of our creative ability as being made in the image of God..........this is observed....unless you think our mentality is an accident of moving from the trees to land......this origin would logically procede that anything we did with our intellect is an accident in the big scheme. I guess I accidentally appreciate fine art and architecture....elements of design which we are geared to recognize.
4. Our conscience recognizes right from wrong..................Hitchens believes in absolute morality.......from what source? The state? Hiel Hitler????
5. Our ability to love our offspring, even those who are not our own, and mourn when they are lost.................this is observed and is what God did by dying on the cross for us, His separated and lost children...................This is all an accident to Hitchens. Or some would say we mourn for the loss of our own energy and time expended in raising a failed child.......but why would we mourn? Why don't we just get back to work?

Face it....people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and the RRS set up a strawman of Christianity, painting it as a mad dictator from the sky who likes to punish us and send us to Hell unless we believe in Him. This could not be further from the truth!!! But instead of actually reading the Bible and UNDERSTANDING IT, they read the Bible a few times to say they have (if indeed they aren't lying) and make stupid statements which people like to hear because it means they themselves don't have to think. Face it......God exists and this is evident from what you see with your own eyes. Face it..........Christianity explains psychology, nature, and most things better than any other religion. Face deny what your eyes see and brain recognize as design in nature is to fundamentally doubt your senses. How then could you trust what you would see in a lab? Face trust art historians to tell you Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa but doubt Christian historians who tell you Jesus existed, died, rose again, and that his followers died in the hundreds for Him peacefully!!!! Where are the atheist martyrs? Face it...............atheism is untenable!