1. I had nothing to do with this - Alligator Found in Glen Burnie.
2. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a Proverbs 31 woman your wife. Joe Carter quotes Forbes magazine as saying that "career women" don't make very good very good wives.
But if statistics show that you are more likely to be divorced if you marry a career woman then a man who avoids marrying a career woman is less likely--statistically speaking and all other things being equal--to get divorced.
The trouble with all of that is that the "career woman" who is allegedly the bad wife sounds a lot like the Proverbs 31 woman who is an excellent wife. Thus, Joe suggests that maybe the "career" in "career woman" isn't the determining factor in the success of their marriages. He also points out that the Proverbs 31 description of the noble woman doesn't fit with some Christian's views of what makes a godly woman. Kinda makes you go hmmmm . . . . . .
The study involved 311 women over a 1 year period. They were split into 4 groups, each group doing their own diet. At one extreme, we have a very low-fat/high-carb diet. At the other, a very low-carb/high-fat (Atkins) diet with the other 2 diets falling somewhere in between.
Well, guess what diet produced most weight loss? Atkins of course - by now that shouldn’t surprise you.
However, they were also interested in how healthy each diet was. Here’s the point (and something I’ve been stressing for a long time), Atkins beat all other diets in every single health marker - ALL OF THEM.
The Atkins diet saw most improvements in:
- Systolic Blood Pressure
- Diastolic Blood Pressure
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
To quote Gardner “There was no group that did better than Atkins in anything“.
"Gardner" is the vegetarian who reluctantly admitted that the Atkins diet was the best.
4. Put your legal/ethical thinking caps on for this one - Jon Barlow offers the following exercise:
Is it possible to construct an argument, under United States constitutional principles, that same-sex marriage should be allowed but that polygamy should not? If so, try your argument out here. My suspicion is that it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to do this.
5. Nobody read my posts on the PCA General Assembly, cuz them Southern Bab-tists were meeting at the same time. Ed Stetzer gives the scoop on what happened at the convention. But remember, next year, ignore those baptists and come read about us presbyterians, ok!
Rodney Stark says that the early church encouraged new converts to stay within existing networks or, if they launched a new network, to keep it open to outsiders. Why? “Most new religious movements fail because they quickly become closed, or semi-closed networks. That is, they fail to keep forming and sustaining attachments to outsiders and thereby lose the capacity to grow,” writes Stark. This means that early Christians met for worship and house to house, but these groups were populated by people from existing social networks – believers and those not yet of faith (Acts 2:46 & 5:42). A mish mash.
It is well documented today that shortly after conversion, believers desert most of their existing social networks and are drawn into networks of Christians – Bible studies, home groups, and so on. This might account for George Barna’s finding that the average Christian will never lead another person to Christ.3 They don’t stay in the club. We mean well, but if most of our social networks are advertised as “Christian,” we create an obstacle for connecting Sunday to Monday. It’s a closed or semi-closed network. If you’re a Christian and want to put shoe leather on Christakis and Fowler’s study, list your social networks and ask yourself two questions: Have you stayed in your old mish mash networks, the club? Or have you mostly joined closed or semi-closed “Christian” clubs?
7. Meeting ourselves to death - Carmine Coyote at Slow Leadership introduces a great article with the following words:
In the list of activities that waste time and cause worthless frustration at work, meetings rank very near the top. Not only do many meetings fail to result in any clear decision, leaving you wondering why people came together in the first place, others have no discernible purpose at all. Worst of all, holding too many meetings passes a strong message: the boss doesn’t trust the team to function without his or her constant interference; and colleagues don’t trust one another not to undermine them in some way.
8. Feminism, shmemenism! It's not necessarily feminism that is motivating those who are suggesting the validity of women as deacons. I say "not necessarily" because I have no doubt that in some cases, those advocating for women deacons are being driven by a feminist agenda. But those folks wouldn't stop there, they would be pushing for women as elders too. My good buddy the Cavman points out that for many others, feminism isn't driving the bus:
The main disagreement is on whether or not woman should be deacons. This idea is not a result of the inroads of feminism in the church. Some who reject women deacons make this argument, particularly if the issue comes up in their denomination. It is not a result of feminism, but an attempt to understand and apply Scripture as best we can. And we need to be more kind to one another on this issue precisely because the Scripture is not as clear as some people think it is (a post for another day).
Why is this idea not the result of feminism? First, even the most conservative complementarians recognize that the office of deacon is not a ruling office, but a serving office. So, this should not violate covenant headship. Second, they uphold that Scripture is very clear that women are not to be elders. As noted above, the motive is to restrict only where Scripture restricts, and permit only where Scripture permits. We don’t want to move beyond Scripture, and the matter of debate is which group moves beyond Scripture. But the motive on both sides is to be biblical.
9. Books and summer, they go together like ramma lamma lamma gadingy gading gadong.
Politics is a way to delegate to someone else our duties to each other. In the same vein, Pete Rollins goes further and points out that even church can operate in this fashion:
They have a good quote from David Fitch in the post but I have a hard time reading him because of his politics - he treats Obama as the only viable candidate in the upcoming election and gives hints of possible Bush Derangement Syndrome. And the link to Peter Rollins is to a post which I think is completely confused and driven by a blind anti-capitalist ideology.
At the same time, I think the quote itself is profound and reveals one of the inherent weaknesses of the political system. This is not a necessary weakness of the political system, i.e. we aren't required to delegate our duties to politicians, it's just easy to do so. Hence, the term "nanny state."
It's also possible that we have created the "nanny church," where we delegate our spiritual responsibilities to the church. It's something worth giving some thought to.
12. Brant Hansen is picking on Ed Young. By now you may have seen this video by Ed Young on church pirates - people, usually staff members, who gather a following at a church and take them out and plant a new church in the same community. I think Ed has a point, but he wonders why these people seem to only plant churches in the same communities, where churches already exist. Why don't they go somewhere where there aren't any churches?
It's a good thought, but the trouble is . . . well, let me let Brant point out an inconsistency in what Ed had to say here:
This pastor started his church in the unreached area of Grapevine, Texas! He's expanded into other frontiers, like Dallas! And he's also now franchised in South Florida, where we didn't have any churches! I'm glad we've got one, now!
Hmm . . .