Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some Random Facts About Me

Here are some random facts about me that not many people know:

  • I was born with a tooth, and it was pulled when I was one day old. My parents' dentist was just out of school and came to the hospital. He was my dentist for over 40 years and just retired a couple of years ago. It's genetic, as my niece was born with a tooth also.
  • I'm very shy, quiet and reserved when people get to know me. I'm told how mellow and calm I am, but on the inside I'm the most intense person I know.
  • I learned to read and write at an early age. I was reading encyclopedias when I was four, and I catalogued my parents record collection when I was five. My childhood IQ was something like 185, and I skated through school on brain power alone. It wasn't until my upper division work in Chemical Engineering at Berkeley that I even needed to study. With no study habits ever learned, it was too late. I dropped out after three years and later became an architect.
  • I jog two miles every day.
  • I'm a European mutt, being parts: English, Irish, Swiss, Lithuanian, German and Swedish.
  • I'm a direct descendant of a slave in the Colonial South.

Wheat and Tares

Ron McKenzie uses his experience growing up on a farm to explain the parable of the wheat and tares. He contends that in relation to the wheat, the tares are few in number. Some teachings hold to equal amounts of each, as if evil were as prevalent in the established kingdom as good. Unfortunately, there are some churches where the pastors are so zealous about keeping tares from being sown and so zealous about uprooting the tares when they think they see tares, that enormous amounts of wheat are uprooted in the process.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Five CD's For A Deserted Island

If I were stranded on a deserted island and was able to choose five CD's to listen to until Gilligan helped me off the island, these would be the five. They're not my five favorites (only three of them are) but they would give me just the right amount of musical diversity to avoid going crazy.

  1. 1. Boston (Boston's self-titled debut album)
  2. 2. Led Zeppelin III
  3. 3. Led Zeppelin IV
  4. 4. Clear Blue Sky - George Strait
  5. 5. Bach's Goldberg Variations as recorded on harpsichord by Ton Koopman.

Now, you can guess my favorite three if you want.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I fell asleep on the couch last night and stayed there. I was out. I got almost ten hours, and I still feel tired. I was going to post last night about Israel and the Church, but I'll have to do that tonight. Mrs. Scott was gracious enough to let me sleep, and took both baby feedings.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yo, Commish! Get With The Program!

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has been acting like a weasel over whether he would try to be in attendance when Barry Bonds breaks the home run record. Read my post about it over at From The Bleachers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Is Israel?

In my last post, I gave a brief description of what I believe the church to be. Here, I'll give what I think Israel to be. There are several ideas of Israel. One is Jacob's new name given to him by God. One is an ancient geo-political nation in the middle east. One is a geo-political state today. I'm dealing with none of these. I'm concentrating on the idea of God's covenant people.

Israel is God's people. The people under the Old Covenant were Israel. True, they were a nation, but fundamentally they are a people. God's people. In Romans 11 there is a tree, which is Israel. It consisted of God's people, the Jews, as branches. Many of the branches lived in unbelief. God cut them off from the tree. Some branches remained. Some new wild branches (these are the Gentiles) are grafted in. Grafted into the same exact tree. Then Paul says that later on, some of the old branches may be grafted back into the tree from which they came. Grafted back into the same exact tree.

The tree never changes. Israel was the people of God before Christ came. Israel is still the same tree. Israel today is the people of God. As a Gentile believer, I have been grafted into Israel. Israel today is the same Israel as before Christ, except that a few branches were pruned, and a few were grafted in, and a few pruned off will be grafted in at a later time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What Is The Church?

What is the church? I've mentioned in the past on this blog that (maybe in comparison to the idea of institution) that the church is, not an institution, but the people of God. I'd like to make an important modification to this.

The distinction in my modification is more one of function as compared to essence. The church (i.e. ekklesia) is not the people of God in an all encompassing sense, but it is the people of God assembled. The church is the assembly of God.

This has major ramifications on my views of ecclesiology, eschatology, the kingdom, pastoral authority, OT prophesy and other things touching these. Stay tuned for further discussion.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yet Another Gospel

Keith Darrell admits to making ordo salutis - the order of events in the chain of salvation - the gospel way back when he was in college. I posted a while back on being taught that the doctrine of justification by faith alone was the gospel. I've also made in times past the gospel to mean many things in addition to what Paul said were the first things of importance. Among these things were the doctrines of predestination, election, the five points of Calvinism (I heard one preacher say that the bible is Calvinism) and a few others. There are those who hold that somebody who doesn't know what these things are can't be a true Christian. They are everywhere.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rubberneckers In Church

Rubberneckers on the freeway are those people who slow down to stare at something completely normal and common to life on the freeway as if they've never seen such a thing. You know, a fender bender, somebody getting a ticket, or even an accident. They slow traffic way down and only make the troubled soul feel embarrassed.

Rubberneckers in church are those people who turn their necks to stare at somebody whose baby cries, tries to calm a toddler, or the guy at the soundboard who accidentally goofs with the volume control of the preacher's microphone. As if doing so will suddenly make things perfect again.

Turn your face, please, and concentrate on your own business.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Authority In The Kingdom

Ron McKenzie at Blessed Economist is currently writing a series of posts (starting with his July 9 post) about how authority is dealt with in the kingdom of God. Since Ron usually strings a bunch of posts along on the same topic, I'll link to his whole month of July here. His point is that authority is diffused and not concentrated in one individual or group. When a Christian holds authority, he will teach others how to use that authority and give it to them. Kind of a "hot potato" authority.

For a while now I've held to the ideas of decentralized authority in the church, in the civil realm and in other realms. But I hadn't thought of it in the way Ron puts it. Authority is transferred, and frequently. Jesus received authority from His Father, and immediately transferred it to His disciples and sent them out. He also gives us authority to build the kingdom, and when we're done, He'll return to claim His kingdom. He'll turn it over to the Father, Who will in return give it back to the Son.

Talkin' Baseball - Rated NC-17

Okay, if my theology blog is bad, my baseball blog, From The Bleachers, is WORSE! Look at the words below that got me the rating. Just everyday baseball slang. Who's running this rating site, a bunch of fundamentalists?

Free Online Dating
Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

death (7x) bomb (5x) suck (4x) viagra (3x) drugs (2x) crack (1x)

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Blog Is Rated "R"

Thanks to T.B. Vick's blog, Shadows Of Divine Things, for the tipoff of having your blog rated as though it was a movie. Just as the bible is full of all kinds of sin, like murder, adultery and other forms of deviant sex, malice, lying, and all the others, I discuss these things on my blog.

Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
death (6x), hell (5x), murder (4x), dead (2x), dangerous (1x)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

All-Star Wrap Up

The All-Star game on Tuesday was a spectacular event. I was struck by all the talent gathered together in one place. I have seats behind the visitor's bullpen (the American League for this game) and saw all the AL players. We saw each AL pitcher warm up, and there wasn't an inning where somebody wasn't warming up. A favorite moment of mine was seeing Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, two of baseball's best catchers, gather to watch Oakland's Dan Haren warm up before the game. They were discussing observation.

Willie Mays was honored in a graceful first pitch ceremony. He threw out the first pitch from center field, a fitting gesture to a great career. A really good game followed, with the level of play matching the level of talent. The home-town Giants fans never missed an opportunity to cheer for Barry Bonds, and likewise never missed an opportunity to passionately and lustily boo any announcement or performance of a player from their long time, bitter rival, the Dodgers.

The game had its share of bizarre moments, too. During the 7th inning stretch, an unknown to me pop singer named Paula Cole (Mrs. Scott is the entertainment buff in the family and never heard of her either) came out to sing "God Bless America." Technical difficulties - which were the norm rather than the exception at old Candlestick Park - prevented her from starting. The sarcastic San Franciscan crowd started singing it for her, as if urging her on from forgetting the words. Part way through I couldn't resist a sarcastic one-upish reaction of my own, and started singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", the real 7th inning song, at the top of my lungs. The clashing melody drew quite a bit of attention, and a number of people joined me, creating a cacophony of confusion. Say what you will about San Francisco, but this is one thing I've always loved about Giants fans. They have the best sense of humor of any fans in baseball by a mile.

The singer then whined out a sappy, drawn out chick-music love song version (search for it here under the heading "more game highlights". The technical difficulties were edited out and you can hear the announcer at the end say the wait was well worth it. Huh?). Gag. It was horrible, and really took the fun out of the 7th inning stretch. I think baseball should do away with this song during the 7th inning stretch. We should make "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" our national anthem. Anyway...

Also bizarre was Tony LaRussa's brain freeze managerial non-move in not pinch-hitting Albert Pujols in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and the game on the line. Whassup wit dat, Tony? The last hurrah was commish Bud Selig presenting Ichiro Suzuki with MVP honors. Selig is no fan favorite in SF with his waffling on the Bonds home run record issue. Selig's name wasn't announced as the one presenting the award. His voice simply started with "Ichiro Suzuki..." I'm guessing that was a political move designed to spare the commish the embarrassment of the loudest booing of the evening.

All in all, it was a night to remember, and I'll never forget it. I plan to be there in Fremont when the A's host the game in their new stadium. Read a copy of this post as well as more to come over on my baseball blog, From The Bleachers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What An All-Star Game

I was at last night's All-Star game. It was a great time of seeing all the great baseball players in one place. The game didn't disappoint, either, as the National League mounted a rally in the bottom of the 9th that brought the winning run into scoring position. More later.

Monday, July 09, 2007

All-Star Game Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Major League Baseball's annual mid-summer classic, the All-Star game in San Francisco. I've got a ticket, and I'll be there with our friends. Sadly to me, Mrs. Scott will be home with the baby, but she's very happy to have delivered. I'll write about my experience at the game in a later post.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Weather Channel Dot Com Sucks Wind

This is the third consecutive heat wave over the last four weeks that Weather Channel dot com has botched. When projected highs of 92 turn out to be 106, I call that a miss. When it's 10am, and it's already five degrees higher than the projected high for late in the afternoon, and the current weather shows a predicted high of 94 and it's currently 99, it's a miss.

Today it was 107, about 10 degrees higher than the predicted high. When I went to the store this evening it had cooled off to 100. Upon returning home, the website said it was 65. This would be a 35 degree drop in one hour. My thermometer says 90. Somebody's smoking something. Or somebody who programmed their computer is smoking something.

Warning: In Case of Rapture, This Blog Will Veer Off Course and Crash

With the rapture being the next event on the end times calendar, and Jesus' pseudo-return to earth to silently snatch His evangelical believers up into the clouds having been scheduled for each of the next Tuesdays for the last hundred years, my blogging days are numbered. I am warning my readers, therefore, that in case of rapture, this blog will no longer have a blogger behind the wheel, and it will veer off course and maybe even kill unsuspecting bystanders in cyberspace. Those left behind - or derriere a gauche - beware for your souls. To those Jews who are left behind, evangelicals - who really, really, really love you - urge you to move to Jerusalem. Where, for some reason, God will love you too, and make sure that the Anti-Christ will kill all of you. Only 144,000 of you will escape an eternity in hell, but move there anyway. Whew, I'm sure glad I'll be outta here and won't have to endure any of this. Which shows just how important it is to call the 800 number on channel 65. Note to those who find my house empty: if the rapture happens while I'm shaving and you find my razor buzzing in the sink, it won't electrocute you because it's only battery operated.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day Questions

Vache Folle raises a good 4th of July question about who authorized the Declaration of Independence. His ancestors in Georgia were not part of that, yet it happened. Their consent, he concludes, was therefore engineered for them. A good religious question is whether the American Revolution was righteous and biblical, and should a Christian have supported it. Christians debate among themselves about this. One church I attended held that this was ungodly rebellion against a legitimate civil government - the British Crown - and no Christian should support such activity. Others, like Rushdoony-style reconstructionists, see the early colonies as having established biblical local civil governments, with the actions of Parliament being rebellious against them. The American Revolution, then, to them, wasn't so much a revolution as it was a justified defensive counter-revolution. Parliament and the Crown were the rebellious bodies against legitimate civil governments. In general I tend to hold to the latter.

But as Vache Folle has held regarding the Civil War, I've come to think that there were as many reasons for the revolution as there were people involved. I've read historical accounts that call this war the "pastors' war," as many of the soldiers who fought against the British were Puritan pastors, convinced from a biblical standpoint that such a war was just. A religious decline following the war resulted since there were so many pastors lost in the battles.

Some believe that we should legitimately be under British rule to this day, but such an idea would apply at most to only the original thirteen colonies. California, for example, didn't join the union for some 70 years later. It might have been an independent state, set apart from the British Crown, and some of my ancestors may have settled elsewhere. Many of them wouldn't have met each other, and I wouldn't have been me. Scary thought.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wrong Again and Again and Again

Ron McKenzie at the Blessed Economist posts briefly about the false predictions of the bible prophesy buffs who have related certain news items regarding the political nation of Israel with the end times. Although these false predictions are by no means limited to those who hold to the dispensational premillenial view of eschatology, it seems they have the lion's share. I'm sick of these self-proclaimed experts who couldn't predict their way out of a wet paper bag.

Not only are these newspaper eschatologians wrong about what Ron mentioned, they are never right about anything at all. They tell us about how Israel will be at war with the Soviet Union. They when it collapses, they simply make up a new future. Russia, then Iran then a central Asian republic. When the first Gulf war started, I remember, even though I wasn't a convert yet, waves of "bible believing Christians" called into radio talk shows explaining that the US attack on Iraq was the beginning of the end. It never happened. All kinds of parallels were made between Saddam Hussein and Nebuchadnezzar. Bible verses were allegorized to fit CNN Headline news.

All these years the soon-to-be ten nation European Union was viewed as the ten horned beast from the book of Revelation from which the Anti-Christ would come. Then it grew to eleven, then twelve nations. Yawn. Y2K, 9/11, Harold Camping, Jack Van Impe. All wrong. Always. Yet Christians continue to believe.

Eschatology for my kids means bed time. Ni-night.

Recipients of Grace

Throughout my wife's pregnancy and birth of our new baby boy, we have been on the receiving end of people's charity. With high "risks" of miscarriage, as well as a few other factors, she was on bed rest briefly, and limited duty for most of the pregnancy. Many of our family, friends, church, and even complete strangers helped our family out with housework, shopping, babysitting and meals. Our church has a meal ministry for mothers of newborns, and we'll be receiving them for a while.

It is amazing to see all that the people have done for our sake. We are thankful and have been humbled.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

It's a BOY!

Mrs. Scott and I welcomed our latest blessing from God into the world on Friday morning. Our little bundle of joy looks just like me, according to close family and strangers alike. I don't see it when looking in the mirror, but I sure see it in my own baby pictures. Mom and baby are doing fine at home. Thanks to everybody who encouraged us in this long period of time.