Jesus said, "You must be born from above" [Billy Graham says this is the more accurate rendering of "born again" John 3:3] -- Here is a doctor's commentary that may be interesting:

Dr. Wilder Penfield (neurosurgeon): “It is clear that to survive after death, the mind must establish a connection with a source of energy other than the brain.”

(This is from the book “Closer to the Light,” by Dr. Melvin L. Morse quoted in March 91 Readers Digest p. 85) (the Greek word translated "again" or "from above" is also translated "from the source" -- per Perschbacher's Lexicon, (c) 1990 Hendrickson Publishers)

Police and policing: an asset for the poor

11/18/04: I saw news yesterday: the U.S. Congress will be raising the federal debt ceiling, to go above 8 trillion for the first time. Aiiee! (In Luiseno Indian that would be spelled ayii!) If the government were paying only 3% interest, the interest alone on 8 trillion would be $240 BILLION per year. Yes, friends (and I do hope you are my friends), a lot of that goes overseas. In the recent Presidential campaign, there was intense discussion of the sheer amount of money that the President's work in Iraq was costing Americans -- $200 billion on Iraq. ! That may come to an end, but the interest on the debt will not.

To put that interest in perspective, $240 billion is roughly $1,000 per American.
The pledge to cut the deficit in half, IF it is fulfilled, will only slow the rate at which that cost grows -- not until the deficit would be eliminated, would the cost begin to decline.

A note on method:
Why don't I go do the research and replace "3%" with an exact figure? Because I'm sure 3% is about the lowest it can be, and the point of the argument grows stronger if I am understating the number; AND BECAUSE the precise number is not the point, the general magnitude and the way it points is the point.

With some things, the existence of the fundamental thing is too important to let it bog down in the precise quantification.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE: I pulled some figures out of the Almanac one day and did a quick, rough calculation that about 165,000 people die everyday, worldwide. I said this to a friend, who replied, "You could get World Health Organization figures for the exact number." But the exact number isn't the problem -- the reach of the Gospel to these people is the problem.

Western intellectuals and politicians, especially in the United States, are writing and speaking about the triumphs and salvific powers of Western democracy. Democracy is the destiny of humanity, they proclaim ... Yet there is a widening gap between democratist rhetoric and concrete reality ... deepening social and political problems in the Western world. These include precipitously falling standards of personal and public conduct, declining education, spreadiing political opportunism, demagoguery and corruption, social and political fragmentation, destruction of the family, rampant sexual promiscuity, drug use and crime. Western man is displaying self-indulgence and irresponsibility on a scale that earlier generations would have deemed incompatible with liberty under law.
Page 1 of The Myth of Democracy by Tage Lindbom, published by Eerdmans 1996

Where were the media, when California was running itself into the $38 billion hole? Shouldn't they have been informing the citizenry that a major problem was brewing?
-posted 1/17/04

It turns out that there are things about this reality of life, which are not obvious, which can be known, and which make a difference in how you act, if you do understand them.

This is a truly astonishing thing ... It provides a theoretical rationale for listening to older people, who have been working with these things for a longer time. It justifies what is called civilization, where methods and even objectives have been worked out over great spans of time and are handed down ...

It means that life is NOT like a point and click computer, where you see what you think you want and grab it.
-- 9/6/96

My comments July 2003 on the burgeoning federal deficit ( << June 2004 update: See anything different, dear reader? )

Under the "short topic" called "A Christian view of (some) other religions," we discuss the issue of the breadth of God's reach of salvation. Of note may be Ps. 71:15 "My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure."

A third viewpoint on Peter and "the rock on which the Church is founded" is given under "Peter..." in Short Topics/More... Catholics and Protestants may both prefer their traditional views, with which I do not quarrel. But I thought this added something!

If this "blog" has taken your interest and the rest of the site is yet to be explored, let me commend "Leaving Postmodernism" on the Short Topics/More menu as probably the most intellectually important for "making the faith reasonable" -- showing why Christian "religion" earns a place above others under intellectual analysis (the short topic on understanding the Trinity might claim the primacy, however -- dealing with dimensions of being). The page "Africa" is a grim reminder of humanity's claim on us, counterpointing God's promise under the "Tithe" short topic.

Some notes on America, written in 1997: [regarding some areas of our precious country]

The sense of divine purpose for life, of divine guidance to be obeyed, of divine deliverance -- these are missing.
In their absence, gratification and self-advancement become normative.

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