All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Textual Criticism

The way you look at something affects what you see. If you read the Bible already accepting certain ideas as true, your reading will produce a certain result. If you already accept the age of the earth as really old, and the Bible clearly says something else, you have a problem. Both ideas can’t be true. What happens when you want to believe that the Bible is true and your public school educated science teacher is right about being the descendents of pond scum and mutant monkeys? You have a problem of logic. In order to resolve that problem you invent an allegorical reading where no allegory existed.

The Bible does contain allegories. It is very clear when it uses them, such as, “he spake to them in parables”. In the Old Testament there was a hand full of times that they were used to communicate a point. It is clear from a plain reading of the text which portion was literal and which was figurative.

In order to believe something is an allegory, you have to have a reason for that belief. If the reason is in the text itself, then you have a good argument for believing that’s what the author intended. If there isn’t a reason in the text, you have to ask yourself why you think what you’re reading is not what it claims.


Why 7 Days?

First some personal background: part of my secondary education was in a Baptist school, I’m a graduate of a Christian college, and hold a post graduate degree. I only mention that to make two points: One, the official position of the science department of the college I attended was evolutionary creationism, two I’ve struggled with this issue on a personal basis since 7th grade science class. What I’ve come to believe as an adult rejects most of what I was taught in my formative years.

If you don’t believe in God, or you doubt the validity of the Bible as God’s book, none of what follows will be convincing to you, nor is it intended to be. What follows is a philosophical or at least theological discussion. I don’t think I have the ability to convince any non-believer of anything by arguing creationism. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by trying since even if creationism was proved beyond a reasonable doubt (a task for Vox if he likes), that fact would do little to prove that the Christian God was in fact the creative force. Apologetics is a post for some other time.

I believe in a literal 24 hours in a day, 7 day creation just like Genesis claims. I believe the actual age of the earth is less than 25,000 years.

The reason is very simple. I made a choice to accept that Christianity is true and that the Bible is God’s revelation to man. In my previous post I mentioned that neither creationism nor evolution is science. The reason is that both evolution and creationism require faith. I also insist that it’s impossible for man to know in his lifetime which belief is true. So far no one is arguing convincingly against those points.

In the comments I challenged anyone to provide an example of an Old Testament story that was used as a parable or allegory. No one has raised to that challenge either. Yes Noah was mentioned, but the argument was that the story couldn’t be true because it contradicted man’s understanding of the methods employed. Waterboy, an admitted agnostic, correctly pointed out the flaw in that thinking.

The Bible does contain allegories, they are called parables. They occur in four books in the New Testament. As far as I can recall the parables of Jesus are the only stories that claim to be allegorical, or understood as such from the text. Of the stories He told only one, found in Luke 16, was not clearly taught as such. It is possible that this story is a parable, but it is also possible Jesus was recounting something He had first hand knowledge of.

As a work of literature the Bible contains many literary forms, most all of which are recognizable to the average person. These forms are:

  1. History, the events are recorded as fact
  2. Poetry, this includes songs etc the information sometimes conveys facts as well as emotion
  3. Prophecy, future events are foretold, sometimes as dreams or visions, much of which has occurred and is verified as historical fact
  4. Apocalyptic, strange symbols and language is employed to convey a cryptic message, events may or may not literal or representative of something else
  5. Letters/communications
  6. Wise sayings ie Proverbs
The Old Testament contains examples of most of the above literary forms, except allegorical material. The text its self claims to be presenting a factual historical retelling of events as they happened. I think its worth noting that the only cases of allegorical story telling are found in a historical factual retelling of Jesus’ sermon illustrations. Now this doesn’t mean everyone believes what is being said is true, but that is what the text claims.

The story of creation is found in Genesis. Which of the above literary forms does Genesis claim to be? Historical Fact.

The major criticism at this point, at least concerning the first two chapters of Genesis is that observable science seems to contradict the story we have. I don’t think that it does.

The criticism goes something like this:
"We observed in astronomy, geology, physics etc data that would indicate the world is older than 25,000 years. If the world is younger than the time it takes light to travel from a distant star system then god is using the material world to deceive man."

I don’t believe this is the case. First, our dating methods are suspect at best and largely unproven and unverifiable. Second, it is illogical to claim God is attempting to deceive anyone if He Himself told us he created things with the appearance of age.

Gen 1:14-19

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.


Point one, God created the light first according to the text. There is no contradiction in our seeing a light that He said was there. Point two, in the rest of the text it would seem that the creatures came forth as fully grown adults capable of reproduction. To me this indicates age. If God created a world with full grown creatures and a fully functioning ecosystem, and He told us that was what He did, then what we observe in the natural world is not in contradiction with His methods as literally described.

The Trip

The Upper Colorado River is a scenic bit of stream that wanders through some pretty mountains and valleys. We entered the river above a three mile stretch of water that appeared more like a looking glass than the torrent of death we hoped for. Trout were visible in the shallows. We were surrounded by ranch land. The scene reminded me more of a church group canoe trip than a great adventure. We paddled a relaxed pace till we reached a deep pool.

There were four of us in our raft; in addition to our guide, Waterboy, myself, and a girl that worked for the rafting company in reservations. We’ll call the girl Art Major, because that’s what she said her degree was in. Art seemed like a nice kid. She told us that she got to raft for free on her days off and she was looking forward to the trip. There is of course two sides to any story, and I have it on good authority (my imagination) that she was being forced to ride in our raft because she once let two old fat men book a trip on the Gore.

In order to run the Gore you have to pass a two part swim test. Part number one is a self rescue drill. The idea is to simulate being stuck underwater under the raft. The second part of the test is swimming a class III rapid. The idea is if you’re dumb enough to jump into a raging river rapid, you’re probably dumb enough to raft the Gore. The way the test works is you swim hard into the top of a small wave then roll over and float down to a take out point. You try not to bang into any rocks. I had to psych myself into it. Not really. I was being a gentleman and letting all the girls go first. Waterboy, who seems to lack some manners I might add, shoved his way to the front of the line and jumped right in.

We ran several solid IV and IV+ rapids, we caught a class V, named appropriately “Ball Breaker”. Ball Breaker has some nice waves on top and a small hydraulic at the end, right in the middle is a shoot that drops about 6 to 8 feet. If you’re in the back of the raft when you go through the shoot, you smack down hard on the water. Yes you can feel it. Art and Waterboy didn’t seem to mind. I wanted to ice myself, fortunately the water wasn’t to warm.

The waterfall was everything I expected and more. We didn’t gain sufficient speed as we entered the top of the run. I’m not sure if our guide over corrected or if we got caught in a spin at the top of the falls. Regardless of the cause, we ran the waterfall sideways. That’s not such a bad way to go over a waterfall, but at the bottom you come to a sudden and jarring stop. Art and I were on the side of the raft that hit the water at the bottom. I’m not sure how she exited the raft but at some point I did a back flip. We both went for a swim. I think I get extra points for the graceful acrobatics AND holding on to my paddle. I made a swim for the raft and grabbed for the safety line. Why the guide was laying down with his shoulder on the side of the raft is beyond me, but he was. My blind grab for a hand hold reached not the safety line but the top nylon strap on his life jacket. I pulled like my life depended on it; at least until I realized that yanking the guide out of the boat was counter productive. He recovered once I released my hold.

While my little drama was unfolding, Waterboy raced to rescue Art from being smashed on a big rock. By raced in that last sentence, I mean he flung himself across our somewhat vertically aligned raft, not unlike Superman flying down a mine shaft to save Lois Lane from falling. He heroically pulled her safely back into the raft. They toweled off, found their respective seats, had a nice chat, and fixed a spot of tea. Meanwhile, back in the raging torrent, your host had managed to get another hand hold (while never releasing his hold on the paddle). This time I was able to grab the raft and was starting to get myself back in when they fished me out.

It was one of the best times I’ve had on water. Art seemed a little bummed. She was hoping for a chance to meet a single guy, instead she got stuck with us. We told her about Eric. Frankly I’m not sure she’s his type. She pays more attention to hygiene, seems very nice, no chance for the menage au tois ala twins, no dread locks. The real let down for you buddy is that she has a lot more available if your boy was to give her one of his special “hugs”.

The run was the best and most physically challenging I’ve ever been on. It’s also the only run that has ever been able to unraft me. We’re planning on making the Gore part of next summer’s adventures. Join us.


They have pictures of us.

We are pictures 108 through 119. They don't have us in the waterfall, I'm not sure which rapid that was but it looks like a class V.

First Things First

OK. I know I've been remiss with the posting. I'm going to go for three today. These will be in the order I've been neglecting them.

First Post, Firearms. I managed to get to the range last week with the 45's. I've finally experienced recoil spring failure in the Kimber. It happened somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 rounds. Not to shabby, considering they recommend you replace your recoil springs after 1,000 to 1,500 rounds.

On the riffle front, I took ,my new AR out for a sight in. I removed the scope that was on it and replaced it with a Burris 3x9. I made that change mostly because I had a Burris laying around and the scope that was on it was crap. Don't ever let any one tell you that Wolf riffle ammo is as good as anyone else only cheaper. I had a box and a half laying around and so I started my sight in with that. This target on the right is all Wolf 55 grain cheap stuff.
Save wolf for spray and pray or shoots where you just need to be on target but accuracy isn't too important. The target on the left is all Rem cheap stuff, also 55 grain. My first group with the Rem ammo came in sub moa.
Just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I kept trying.
Although my first day doing a sight in had to be cut short, it was still profitable and I fell pretty good about the new toy for tagging dogs. I want to set down and work with it at 200 to see how it goes. A little more practice should help me get used to the trigger and improve my groups. Over all not bad for a first sight in, I expect I'll be moving into 70 grain bullets at 2900 FPS but we'll have to see how they preform out past 200 before I use them exclusively.


Day of Truth

In just a few minutes I'm heading to Water Boy's house. Tomorrow we will get up early, head up the mountain and experience the whitewater trip of a life time. That is providing we survive the swim tests that we have to pass before we can raft the Gore. I expect we will pass, if from nothing else a determination that we won't lose our deposit.

Then it will start. We will spend the full day testing the currents, blasting through waves, trying not to high side or flip. We will willingly paddle over a 12 foot water fall. When its over we will either be dead or dead tired and deliriously happy. I am told that this is the most difficult and physically challenging section of whitewater in the lower 48. Tomorrow will tell if we beat it or if it beats us.

Note to Water Boy: I should be leaving town by 2:00. I'll give you a call when I make it to Cheyenne.


Friends vs Southern Friends

FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Always bring the food. And lots of it.

FRIENDS: Will say "hello."
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss. More
than one.

FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and Dad, and really mean it, too.

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Cry with you. And for you.

FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, and just being together. Then do the dishes before leaving.

FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you. And most of the time know you better than you do yourself.

FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!" If you
are not home they will wait.

FRIENDS: Are for a while.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Are for life. And then some.

If one is deprived of Southern Friends, this will serve as
an excellent educational tool for why they need to look into the possibility.


If I had a Dollar...

I've watched Vox's threads on science vs creationism over the last several months but I've stayed out of the fray for two reasons, one I'm not at a computer when most of the commenting is going on and two, neither side ever says much that is terribly interesting or even relevant to the topic being discussed. If I had a dollar for every time someone totally missed the point on a blog post I'd be able to retire rich and debate on the internet all day.

Some facts we need to understand:

1. Creationism isn't science
2. Evolution isn't science
3. Creationism ≠ Christianity

Man has, at least for recorded history, tried to explain how he got here. Creationism is at its most basic form an explanation for man’s existence involving some higher power than man. Generally this involves a theology and some understanding of a god or gods who claim to have a say in the affairs of men by reason of being either; a) their creator or b) more powerful than man. Evolution is an attempt to explain man’s existence apart from any supernatural actions. Creationist’s claim divine revelation, evolutionist’s claim scientific method, each will use “proofs” but neither method is science.

If the two approaches to understanding how man got here aren’t science, what are they? The issue is not one of science but of philosophy. It will remain as such until man discovers a way to travel between the “Big Bang Breakfast Bar” and the “Restaurant at the End of the Universe”. Until that time all the idea’s we come up with concerning the origin of life and our purpose in it, will remain philosophical musings.

You may be able to step back, look at this, and agree, in terms of man’s knowledge, this topic will never be settled. Why do we seem able to spend so much time and mental effort on it? The creationist believes they are following the will of a god, and their actions will matter eternally. They of course have an entire theology they want you to embrace. The evolutionist doesn’t want to embrace a theology. He needs to demonstrate that man did not come from a god.

That’s why its important. If this was about two opposing ideas that had no further impact on ones life than a 7th grade science class lecture most of us would never give the creationism debate a second thought. Since the issue is much bigger, theology vs no theology, each side has a stake and neither can afford to be wrong. That’s also one of the reasons that evolutionary creationism is a joke, it’s a blending of two idea’s that are mutually exclusive at their premise.


Could We Get a Few More Storries Like This One?

Border Patrol Kills Smuggler - Mexico Pissed

Understand that I'm not making lite of this man's death. In fact, had the man shot been an American citizen I'd be calling for the cops head on a platter. But here's the cold hard facts, boarder patrol aren't cops, they are civilians employed to protect the national security of the United States. In years gone by this would be a military issue, today its a civil service job. If the man doing the shooting was a National Guards man in Iraq and he popped a sandnigger sneaking into that country GWB would be handing him a medal. We'll have to see how this story plays out. Considering how the administration handles incidents with boarder patrol officers engaged in gun fights with drug runners, I'm thinking not good. My guess is this guy is going to be sent to a jail with a high Latino population.

On the other hand if nothing happens to the shooter, and the word gets around Mexico that our boarder patrol is able to empty a mag into coyotes and get away with it, we might see a decrease in illegals risking the trip up north to Gringostan.

New Toys

I mentioned a while back at Nate's that I got a couple of new toys recently. Here they are.

The top riffle is a Bushmaster varmint rig with all the super accurized goodies including the 22 inch barrel. The bottom riffle is my first serious attempt into the world of long range gunning. Its a 7mm-08. According to the ballistics this riffle should be able to get me into the 2K club. At least thats the goal. I expect that meeting the goal will take me about 2 years. Which might be a little generous an estimate. You can't make a goal unless you set a goal and thats the one I'm setting.

What is the 2K Club? Thats a very small group of people who have a witnessed/certified 2,000 yard kill on a prairie dog. Considering that I haven't made the 1K club yet this is going to be a stretch of my marksmanship abilities. A 3in target isn't a easy thing to hit past about 300 yards especially when you consider how much wind we get here. Anyway that's the goal and I'll keep ya'll updated as I make progress towards it.

Right now I'm waiting on equipment and components. I ordered a new 20x scope for the 7mm and its on back order. I managed to get a good deal on both guns. I bought them used. Neither gun had been shot much. It seems that a local guy with a big gun collection had a daughter. She graduated from high school and they had to fix up the house for the graduation party, cha ching. Then she told mom and dad that she was getting married, cha ching and CHA CHING!. Apparently daddy was expected to foot the bill. Daddy dearest wants to retire someday so rather than go into debt or cash out investments he (I think his wife might have had some say in this) sold off a big chunk of his gun collection. I was there in a hart beat and picked up a good deal buying both guns and a scope for about 60% of the price of new. Let this be a lesson to those of you with girl children, start saving early for those things that you know you're going to pay for, otherwise some other guy is going to get your stuff for cheap.



Lutherans to allow pastors in gay relationships.
‘That is huge,’ says spokesman for 4.8 million-member church.
CHICAGO - Clergy members who are in homosexual relationships will be able to serve as pastors, the largest U.S. Lutheran body said Saturday.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution at its annual assembly urging bishops to refrain from disciplining pastors who are in “faithful committed same-gender relationships.”

The resolution passed by a vote of 538-431.

“The Church ... has just said, ‘Do not do punishments,’” said Phil Soucy, spokesman for Lutherans Concerned, a gay-lesbian rights group within the church. “That is huge.”

The ELCA, which has 4.8 million members, had previously allowed gays to serve as pastors so long as they abstained from sexual relations.

The conference also instructed a committee that is developing a social statement on sexuality to further investigate the issue. The committee is scheduled to release its report in 2009.

This doesn't surprise me too much. This situation is nothing more than the democratization/Americanization of church life. As soon as you bring the world's idea of "normal" into the church and accept it, the battle for a godly spirituality is lost. This unfortunate event isn't anything new in terms of denominational dysfunction, we've seen it happen to other groups before. I expect it will happen to other groups in the future.

One reason why churches have national boards (or what ever you want to call the big governing body) is to keep heresy out of the church. Thats not what is happening in practice. 538 Lutherans cast a vote that butt sex was more important than Biblical sexuality. Now if you want to be a ELCA member, you have to be accepting of that fact. But that must be what God meant for us to believe, because we VOTED ON IT. I'm sure the creator of the universe will take that into consideration next time he sets up a standard of what he expects from His creation.

I see the wisdom of the Biblical model of church government. Local elders governing local people according to their understanding of the Bible. Is that perfect in terms of out come? Nope. The local church messes up too. One benefit is that if one group goes screwy they don't take everyone else down with them. God no doubt figured this out before He set the system up in scripture. If you belong to a church that has a national governing board that gets to vote on what the Bible says, start looking for a new church now. This type of thing can happen to your church as well.


Famous People

Do you know any famous people? Every meet any? How about rich people? Put both characteristics together and you get the rich and famous. So how about it, ever meet, make friends with or otherwise come in contact with someone in a higher social class than yourself?

I have. More than once and a few are even people I consider my friends and would gladly welcome in my home. My reason for this has nothing to do with their notoriety or public life. Famous people are famous by definition because a large number of the general public know who they are. To me this isn't a big deal. People may know who you are, so what.

I have met some people on the national political scene. On the state and local level there are politicians that take my call and see me when I ask. I am acquainted with a number of people that have considerable more money and influence than I.

The larger the person's public status or their alleged wealth the greater the number of other people that seem to feel they have a right to the details of a intimate nature. In some cases, like persons seeking political power, certain details involving character are very important. For some reason the human race likes to "get the dirt" on others. In most cases its a matter of morbid curiosity and a deep seated desire to see someone with a slightly better life take a shot in the chops.

Three people come to mind right now. The first is a guy I know and had a negative experience with. He died and it's made international news. I was asked to attend the funeral. I declined. One is a friend of my wife. He's famous right now because he murdered his ex-wife and now has the attention of a news starved public. He'll soon slip from public attention but the damage his rage caused will rock our circle of friends for years to come. The last is a couple I "know" in a superficial way. They really aren't into the celebrity scene but they have a small amount of public attention. Recently some unfortunate events have happened to their family. When that information became public it turned into an opportunity for some mud slinging.

For some reason people like to see other people hurt. The more affluence, fame, or "Christian" that person is rumored to be the juicier the story and greater the glee in the feeding frenzy.

Here's the deal as I see it. You wouldn't care one bit about so and so's divorce, murder, legal problems, untimely death, kid turning out bad etc, if they weren't famous or richer than you. The issue isn't that some people with good lives have problems. The issue is some people take a special kind of satisfaction in seeing harm come to those perceived as their betters. Which is worse?