Saturday, September 13, 2014

Henry Kissinger?

Today: My window screen was off and lying on the roof beyond my reach and requiring maintenance.  The backyard of my estate.

After work this morning I was downtown Vancouver at a building where apparently according to a manager of sorts, a guy by sitting on a toilet caused $160, 000 damage to three floors via plumbing and a leak. Apparently there is likely more to the story than the usual means such as unknown objects...

With my type of satirical humour I of course thought this story was very classic.

Mr. Matt and I mysteriously were both breaking guts in laughter.

But I would not want such an event to happen in my building, of course, at least near my contents.

A group of us engaged is some philosophical discussion in this building. The manager of sorts that looked like a rock star from the 1960s was intellectual and humourous.

He presented, I must admit, an hilarious curse-filled verbal tirade against Henry Kissinger, which I could not dare attempt to transcribe on Blogger.

Mr. Kissinger supposedly one of the 15 most evil and powerful persons in the world.

And after all, much of the focus of this blog is the problem of evil and theodicy...

Mr. Matt then confused Mr. Kissinger with Edward Greenspan, or someone with a similar name, although it took awhile for the name Edward Greenspan to surface, and in the end no one knew, including Mr. Matt, the person Mr. Matt was meaning because he did not know who Henry Kissinger was.

And then the after midnight saga moved on to another building minus this manager of sorts and the $160, 000 of damage, for a theological discussion.

At building two, where Mr. Matt resides, Mr. Matt engaged in a friendly theological discussion with another evangelical in regard to God's sovereignty and the works of a believer, which I briefly participated in.

There was another gentlemen at the table that was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints and we briefly discussed his religious background from childhood and his expensive venturing into The Church of Scientology at a much later day and then going back to the Latter-Day Saints.

My approach to ministry has changed over the years in that in dealing with people I am slightly more reserved theologically and philosophically and more outgoing socially.

Blogging, I realized somewhat the Satire And Theology was more popular than Dr. Russell Norman Murray pageview wise and that I needed to be somewhat less academic in dealing with persons than I was in the 1990s when I was working on my Christian degrees.

I needed to be a little more relatable and to use humour more often, when appropriate.

I therefore kept the argumentation with this gentlemen to a minimum, because I sensed he was not at a place where he wanted to seek religious truth through debate.

And he was sitting at a table on two occasions with three Christians that morning and so there was opportunity for evangelism.

To argue is to 'produce considerations designed to support a conclusion'. Blackburn (1996: 23).

I did not see that as primarily useful is this case because as noted he was not interested in debating.

Humanly speaking, acknowledging God's sovereign choice (Ephesians 1-2, Romans 8), if he was to become a Biblical Christian it would seem that an evangelistic method of simply listening and being in dialogue with Christians, which he was doing that morning would be the most effective method, most of the time.

Blackburn writes than an argument can be 'heated or protracted'. (1996: 23).

Thus would not suit the context here of having reasonable, effective communication with this person.

Premises are established from a conclusion with an argument. (1996: 23).

This gentlemen did acknowledge he held firmly to Latter-Day Saint teachings exclusively, including that he could possibly become part of the God family, when I questioned on the issue.

I did use the argument, because I thought it was at the core of his religious faith and philosophy, that Isaiah 43, 44, and 45 state that there was no God formed before the God of the Hebrew Bible, and there will be no God formed after.

Therefore there is only one God.

Isaiah 43:10-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.

Isaiah 44:6-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7 ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, [a]From the time that I established the ancient [b]nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”

Isaiah 45:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will [a]gird you, though you have not known Me;

Footnotes: Isaiah 45:5 Or arm

Other than that crucial point I basically listened to this man for the most part.

At the end he joined in the group prayer, although he did not personally pray.

As a group of persons, we Christians shared the good news, the gospel with the use of evangelism. Grenz (1999: 48). The argumentation was kept to a minimum.

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI and CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.

Chuck at the museum the other day...

The usual driving to work...
This evening. I am impressed with how new mobile devices add light to photos without flash.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

A Radical Problem In Brief

Lake Como-Travel+Leisure, Facebook

Lake Como, Italy, trekearth

Facebook on Friday night

Co-worker '(Radio) Mr. Russ, please come back'.
Co-worker 'This looks like fog on the screen'.
Me 'It is sunlight, the sun is beginning to go down (from our perspective of course). It is an effect'.
Co-worker 'Oh'.
Me 'And you have the science degrees'.

I am glad that the gate arm did not stay stuck earlier, only briefly...

A Radical Problem In Brief

With the media documented murderous acts of ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, notably against Muslims and Christians in Iraq and against at least two noted American journalists with beheadings; I am philosophically pondering on how to deal with a threat of radical Islam in the Western World.

Personally, as far back as the Crusades, I think it was likely a mistake for the Western World and the Christian Church (although politicized) to ever get heavily involved with the Islamic and Arab worlds.

Now there is a history, both good and bad, positive and negative for both sides to remember and rehash.

If there was no such negative history, would radical Islam be a threat to the West today?

Perhaps, but I seriously doubt it would be as great.

Rather friendly relations at a distance while maintaining a strong Western military advantage would have been better.

As a corporate security officer working with Sikhs, Christians, a Latter-Day Saint, a Muslim and other, there have been discussions on the issue.

With my Sikh co-workers and my Christian co-worker there is agreement that in general, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Secularists, Feminists, Atheists, Agnostics, Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses and a variety of other persons with religious and non-religious philosophical views can co-exist within the Western World without one group wanting to kill or behead the other.

Even with some major religious and philosophical disagreements.

It is mainly it seems, the radical, militant Islamists that are very much opposed to toleration of others and democracy and have the theological concept of convert to Islam or die in regard to all other groups, including other Muslims that they find objectionable.

Other notable exceptions that would be opposed to toleration and democracy, not stating this is an exhaustive list, but these philosophical views are not prevalent in the West presently, would be those supporting Communism, certainly as in anything resembling that of the Marxist-Leninist, Soviet Union and those supporting Fascism as in anything resembling Nazism.

Lewis M. Hopfe admits that one of the most controversial aspects of Islam is 'Jihad' (Holy War). Hopfe (1987: 419).

Pagans he writes may have been forced to convert but Jews and Christians and others were free to worship and they chose, Hopfe (1987: 419).

It is admitted by Hopfe that there is a Muslim doctrine that one must do battle for God. Hopfe (1987: 419).

This is contrasted by Christ as the kingdom of God is not of this world.

New American Standard Bible

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

Instead of Kingdom of God is eventually established as in fully culminated in Revelation 21-22 by God, and not by the military acts of the Church, Christians, Jews or people of God.

The Holy Roman Empire would be a politicized version of Christianity which I would not consider primarily Biblically based.

In addition to attempt to force any type of conversion is to miss the point that God converts persons as in God chooses (Ephesians 1-2) and molds one for works by faith through grace through the atoning and resurrection work of Christ. One is born again by an act of God in John 3, not by an act of the sword.

Doubtless there would be many documented cases found today where radical Islamists have attempted to coerce and force Christians, Jews and persons of all types of religions and views to their type of Islamic views. Some at the threat of death.

S.A. Nigosian states the goal of Jihad is not so much conversion but for Islam to gain 'political control over societies'. Nigosian (1994: 448). This is done in order to rule them under Islam. Nigosian (1994: 448).


It seems reasonable that anyone holding to such radical views should be barred entrance into a Western nation. I am not stating that all Muslims should be barred from the West, but that radical Islamists that demonstrate in their public or discovered views opposition to toleration and democracy should not be allowed into Western nations. Anyone that prefers Sharia (Islamic law) to Western democracy should be barred entrance.

On a practical level I suppose a burqa ban would be a deterrent for entrance for many Islamists considering entrance into a Western nation.

Yes, this could be considered a decrease in liberty, but would such people if provided entry really desire to uphold Western liberty and democracy if there was a Muslim majority?

Doubtful if they prefer Sharia (Islamic law).

HOPFE, LEWIS M. (1991) Religions of the World, New York, Macmillan Publishing Company. 

NIGOSIAN, S.A. (1994) World Faiths, New York, St. Martin’s Press.