Love of film is just one passion in my life. This is the place where I publish all my other thoughts. ~RG

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One Man's Bible Blog

Having been raised Christian, I, much like the author of this blog, have not read the Bible in its entirety. I have, in my own defense, read many of the less "mainstream" accounts chronicled in its pages. I am not under the misimpression that the Book holds only happy tales of redemption, forgiveness, and eternal life. The characters are real, with names unchanged to document the guilty and emphasize the enormity of grace.

Therin lies the intrigue and the faith-filled mystery of its Divine inspirer.

While I don't agree with much that is said by the author I'm actually fascinated by some of his statements and find it quite an interesting endeavor to undertake and, in my opinon, worth a read.

If you missed the Blogging the Bible link in the text above, you can find it again here. Be sure to keep clicking through his follow-ups and not just the introduction.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Holy Statistics! A Clinical Study of Divine Healing

This article intrigued me. Why would a group of doctors try to run a clinical study on the health benefits of prayer?

I have downloaded the actual study article as published in the American Heart Journal (AHJ). This is not readily available (sort of a Regular Guy exclusive, if you will), but I encourage you to peruse the original source material at your leisure. The AHJ has also written an editorial about this study with some background and foundational arguments.

Clinically studying the effects of intercessory prayer on patients with medical needs seems, perhaps, presumptuous. I suppose that it is trying too hard to put a box around a God whose limits are boundless. Is this study really expecting to answer questions of faith by scientific methods? It seems that we are better letting our personal experience and spiritual principles lead rather than using a sampling of scientific inquiry to govern our belief in divine healing.

Please feel free to comment with your take on this. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.


Monday, April 03, 2006

The Quiz

Others have taken it, so I suppose it's my turn.

4 (or 5) Jobs I Have Had:
Theater Set Designer/Builder: USC’s School of Theater
Cast Member: “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” at Disneyland, California
Carpenter: High-End Custom Homes in Napa Valley, California
Computer Class Instructor: Inner-City After-School Program at Arizona Science Center
Jet Engine Designer/Analyst: Current Job

4 Movies I Can Watch Again and Again:
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
A Few Good Men

4 TV Shows I Can’t Get Enough of:
Amazing Race
Extreme Engineering

4 Places I Have Visited on Vacation:
New Zealand

4 Favorite Meals:
My wife’s spaghetti
Stuffed chicken
Peanut butter and honey

4 Websites that I Visit Daily:
Praying Mantis
Rotten Tomatoes
Toothpaste for Dinner
Fox News

4 Places I Would Rather Be:
Snuggled with my wife on the couch on a rainy afternoon
Delphi Lodge, Wren’s Cottage, Co. Galway
At the movies
Worshipping with fellow believers

4 Blogs I Would Like to See Post The Quiz:


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The eBay Atheist: Soul for Sale

Imagine, if you will, an atheist auctioning off his soul on eBay (and I thought grilled cheese was weird). A self-proclaimed atheist gentleman, Hemant Mehta, did just this. But, it's not as odd as it might first appear.

Jim Henderson, of, won the bid and instead of requesting that Hemant spend 1 hour in a church service for every $10 paid in an attempt to convert him, as was the original deal listed on the auction page, they negotiated a new arrangement. Read about it here.

The bottom line is that Hemant will attend various church services of Henderson's choosing and report on his blog his experiences, opinions, questions, and other notions regarding each.

This is fascinating. A true human experiment. New believers, church-planters, and mature Christians alike may find this man's perspective worth pondering.

The comments alone are worth the price of admission, which, of course, is free.


Friday, February 10, 2006

The Bible is Not the "Word" of God

A scholarly friend from highschool wrote this essay on her personal blog. I've not entirely formulated a concise set of thoughts about it, but I was hoping to incquire as to others opinions and reactions on the topic.

Read it and let me know what you think. I find it, at first glance, contrary to my foundational belief. I cannot, however, say from a logical perspective that she is incorrect. I will have to have a second (and maybe third) read to better evaluate the arguments.

Here is the article.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Pretty "Handy"

Being of a notoriously analytical mindset I am always on the lookout for new innovations in math, science, and engineering. As a recent discovery of mine, I ran across this robotic hand in a trek through the world wide web.

Typically, I am almost fanatical about appreciating advancements in technical fields. This instance is no different. I marveled at its dexterity, pondered the musculoskeletal design, and considered the mathematical feedback control loop so successfully employed. However, despite its obvious technical paradigm shift, something about this project gives me an inexplicable feeling of uneasiness. I cannot quite pinpoint its source, but I can admit that exists.

For more on the latest robotic achievements check out Honda's Asimo. Combine these two technologies and I, Robot (minus the realization of consciousness bit) is closer than we may like to believe.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Are You Deserving?

Every day on the way home from work I pass a local church. This church sits just down the street from our house and has been displaying on their marquee, for what seems like months, the catchy saying,

Everyone you meet deserves to be met with a smile.

At first I just thought it sounded more like a dentist's office slogan than something that one would normally find posted outside a house of God. I chuckled at its sappiness and went on my way. After days and days of reading the sign I really started to think about what it said and, more importantly, what it implied. I began to realize, as I picked it apart, that it was fundamentally wrong in its assertion.

Our salvation from the human condition has little to do with whether or not we deserve anything. While the saying may be heartwarming and its message one of kindness, I think in some respects it belies the primary crux of our Christian faith. The keystone is that we may freely accept the gift of life, even, or more appropriately, especially, if we don't deserve it.

What we deserve is death. What we can have is life, without cost. It requires only acceptance, followed by obedience.

I can think of countless situations where showing someone a smile is not what they deserve, have a right to, or what I would like to give them. In the end, I think this would be better phrased and represent the Christian faith more accurately as, "Everyone you meet should be met with a smile".

We are called to act in love, without prejudice to those around us, deserving or not. Perhaps through our simple act we may show them the acceptance that Christ has shown us.