More blog updates

We now have comment numbering!  We no longer have comment nesting!  As I already reported, we now have e-mail comment notification!  We now have text boxes of flexible size!

Most of our dreams have come true in regards to this blog and its move to Patheos.  First, thanks to you readers for your suggestions.  Second, thanks to the Patheos tech people for being so co-operative and obliging for our requests.  (This involved multiple changes back and forth and no end of patience on their part.  I would say “how about changing this?” and they did.  Then later I’d say “change it back.”  Then I said, “let’s try this.”  That went on over and over again, hour by hour.  So I really appreciate that, especially when they quite reasonably could say, “this is our template, take it or leave it.”

I think the only other major request that a lot of you asked for was to have full-text RSS feeds.  [Read more…]

The good wine

Last Sunday was the day of Epiphany that marks Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana, turning water into wine.  I don’t understand how anyone can make a Biblical case against alcohol, given that Jesus, who knew no sin, made wine.  And this isn’t just wine for medicinal purposes or because the water wasn’t safe, excuses I’ve heard anti-alcohol Christians make.  (Another ancient religion, Islam forbids wine altogether, so it wasn’t a necessity for life.)  This was specifically alcohol for celebratory reasons.

But what I noticed this time is the distinction made here between “poor wine” and “good wine.”  The text affirms that some wine, as with other human artifacts, is better than others, an affirmation of quality, of aesthetic judgment.  And when Jesus makes wine through a miracle, it is specifically “good wine.”

But these observations just skim the surface of this text. [Read more…]

“Public displays” of faith

Mollie Hemingway writes about the way the media addresses the late Stan Musial’s religion.  Most of the obituaries ignored it completely, but she focuses on how it’s handled in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Here we are told that, yes, Musial was religious, but that he practiced it privately, never pushing it on anybody, and avoiding public displays. But Mollie (I can call her by her first name because I know her) then raises a question that transcends baseball:  What constitutes a public display of faith? [Read more…]

Why dogs are nice but wolves are mean

Dogs and wolves are pretty much identical genetically.  And yet dogs make loveable pets, whereas wolves can almost never be domesticated.   Why is that?  Scientists may have figured that out.  [Read more…]

Your God shall rejoice over you

Our church celebrated Sanctity of Life Sunday.  After making a no-holds- barred attack on the pro-death mentality, our pastor made a turn that we don’t always hear when Christians talk about this topic:

And especially on this Sanctity of Life Sunday we recognize how powerful is the mute idol of death. Which is so sadly ironic, that more and more people look for life and hope in death. What a grand deception and illusion this monstrous mute idol is! This slavery which masks itself as freedom; this evil which masks itself as good. . . .

But – be clear about what this means! (This is important. Make sure you’re paying attention here! Don’t zone out now.) [Read more…]

Having a Neanderthal baby

A Harvard geneticist is seeking a woman to be the surrogate mother of a Neanderthal baby.  From the London Daily Mail:

They’re usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species.

So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby?

Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life.

Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA and resurrect the species which became extinct 33,000 years ago. [Read more…]


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