I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Abortion Update

Very interesting news out of South Dakota that could challenge Roe v. Wade:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Suicide Jumper

A police officer sent this to me. It is not for the faint of heart.

If you have a weak stomach, then don't look at the URL. It is a picture
of the demise of a suicide jumper taken shortly after he landed. It
shows him with his insides now on the outside. You will see the look of
horror on the faces of the bystanders. The faces of the bystanders is
why I believe this is real...


Friday, February 10, 2006

This is a complete waste of your time!

Absolutely useless information.

Burglar eats, watches tv and checks email

This story is good.  A guy breaks in to rob a house, and, since he’s got some time on his hands, he checks his email, has a bite to eat and watches some television.

Life in prison for slipper thrower

“An Indian judge has sentenced a robber to life imprisonment for hurling a slipper at him.”

When and why did women start shaving their legs?

This is the kind of stuff you can only find on my blog!

And the results are in...drumroll, please!

The results of this international sex survey shows that American’s finished second in having the best sex lives…second only to the French…well, there you have it…

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Judge Apologizes for Super Bowl Cheer


Note to self:  Don’t ever lead a courtroom in anything resembling a pep-rally prior to commencing a manslaughter trial.

Dial-A-Prayer: God is just a call away

Too stressed to add petitioning God to your life?  Too busy to add some supplication to your busy schedule?  Now you can dial-a-prayer:

"Pass the Jesus, please."

I read a recent article that contained the following statement:

I recently received an email from a person claiming to be a Christian, yet one who does not believe in Jesus. I was shocked. How could a person call himself by the name of Christ, yet not believe in Him? This person wanted to help me experience the power of God in my life, yet without Jesus Christ. That is impossible! Without the cross there is no Christianity. Without the cross we have no hope, no salvation. The cross stands at the very center of our faith and even at the very center of human history. We would be nothing without it.” (emphasis is mine)

Here is someone who wanted to experience the “power of God” in their life, and yet to do this without Jesus Christ: to experience Christianity and yet not really believe in Jesus.  To me this is really not very surprising, despite the fact that the above author “was shocked”!  In fact, I don’t think this type of thought process is really all that uncommon amongst those in my demographic (Generation X’ers).  So, I guess, in a way, I can relate.

It really isn’t that hard to understand this perspective when you consider the fact that most of us view all “religions” as being pretty much the same thing.  That is, each religion seems to be basically different perspectives and different views of spirituality.  I guess this is not really a “new” view – it’s been around a while.  It’s just that these days, more and more, it is the norm.
And then we take this a step further.  Religions and spirituality is more than just picking our favorite and going with it – why stop there!!??  Why not take what appeals to you from each different religion and combine them to provide your own unique approach to life and spirituality.  Religions, then, are like the many different variety of foods on a long buffet line:  Just take the things that appeal to you and move on to the next thing.  And who can blame a person for this approach?  With the internet and the immense free flow of information a person can spend an afternoon and educate themselves on all the major religions and even dabble in some of the offshoots.  In fact, we can even talk in chat rooms and on message boards with real live representatives of these religions: a real Muslim, a real Hindu, a real Catholic, and any variety of Christian offshoot you can think of.  Religions, then, have become a massive spiritual schmorgasborg for those who have a range of spiritual appetites.  So, if you want to enjoy a little of the love of Jesus, but don’t really care for that nasty wrath of God recipe, then just take what you want from the Christian side of the buffet and move on to the next desirable dish.

So, is it really all that surprising that a person would inquire about experiencing the “power of God” without really wanting that much to do with Christ?  Is it really all that surprising that there are many “Christians” out there who don’t really believe in Jesus?  Not really.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heart wrenching

A very difficult and moving article from Christianity Today on Uganda and Sudan.

More Valentine's Day Ideas

How about a relaxing walk with a llama?
"Chatting over a llama is certainly a novel way to meet people in a relaxed environment, and participants can enjoy a romantic picnic afterwards -- carried by the ever obliging llamas in their backpacks," said owner Mary Walker.
Hhhmmm….a walk with a llama.  Who would have thought that the peaceful serenity of a llama by your side on a relaxing stroll provide the perfect backdrop for the romance of Valentine’s Day.

Just more of my ideas that are a part of my contribution to make Valentine’s Day a romantic success for millions of couples across the world.  I love the beauty of this holliday – the celebration of love, the touching of two lives together in the mystery of the mythical and timeless art of romance, and the beauty of two enchanted hearts bound together in a commitment to the majesty of their passion for one another….aahhh, it is truly awe-inspiring!
Yes, Valentine’s Day is an incredible holiday!  I for one am gearing up for this blessed day by beginning to calculate just how much money I have saved since last Valentine’s Day by not having a love life.  I recently justified a minor spending spree by contemplating the amount of cash in my pocket that I have not spent on dates.  I mean, the list of expenses for having a significant woman in your life can be staggering, really, when they are all added up:  dinners (big bucks!), movies (no small expense), cards for special occasions, candy and flowers for those same special occasions, birthday and Christmas presents (And the incalculable stress of buying “the right” gift!!), rings for engagements, jewelry (a definite requirement for any long termer!), and I really think I’m just getting going here!  And, of course, if you get married then your all of a sudden a “Husband” and a “Dad.”  That’s the worst scenario because as soon a guy holds these titles then, not only does he no longer get to spend any of his money, but he no longer gets any thanks for it.  I mean my Dad never got thanks from his worthless kids!  We just took the money and ran!
So, a happy Valentine’s to all.  More of my comments in celebration of this festive time of year will follow.  In the meantime, don’t forget to review the previous suggestion I made for a Valentine’s Day idea.


Steelers QB gets a trim

David Letterman Gives Roethlisberger A Shave!

Monday, February 06, 2006

"You save my life and I'll save yours"

A nurse saves a boy’s life, who returns the favor 7 years later.


Megachurch stats

Here is an interesting article for those of you interested in “megachurch” statistics:

Friday, February 03, 2006

Prayer. Who really cares?

I was lunching with some friends today and one of them mentioned a speaker they had heard recently who spoke on Matthew 15:22-28/Mark 7:24-30.  In this passage, a woman has come to Jesus requesting that her daughter be healed of demon possession.  Jesus rejects the woman by not acknowledging her and then by saying that he was sent to the Israelites only.  In fact, he then goes a step farther and asks if bread that is meant for the children should be thrown to the dogs.

I don’t know about you, but if this were me, I’m afraid that this is where the story would end.  I would be outta there!  But the woman in this story did not give up so easily.  She said that even the dogs get to eat the crumbs that fall from the table.

Now, I don’t claim to understand all that is going on in these verses.  However, it is clear that God is looking to answer the requests of people that really want him.  And really trust him.  And even beg him!  Why did Jesus make this woman beg?  Why did he insult her and send her away?  Would you stick around if Jesus told you “no”?

I love this story.  It reminds me that God wants me to be persistent.  He wants me to pray, sure.  But he wants me to beg him, too.  God wants people who pray with passion to change the world in ways that only God can change the world.  Jesus was the last hope for this woman, and she was not about to give up until someone physically dragged her away from Jesus.  She was desperate.  I think that God loves desperate.

But, if you’re like me, then you pray out of duty and you pray for things that may or may not happen.  Or maybe you end your prayer with some type of “God’s will be done” phrase.  How pathetic!  Why would God answer the prayers of those who hardly even seem to care?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Woman Eats 26 Grilled Chees Sandwiches

Woman Eats 26 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I don’t think I have anything to say about this….except to say that I am suddenly developing a hunger for a grilled cheese sandwich…

Dozens of Manhole Covers Stolen in Indiana

Dozens of Manhole Covers Stolen in Indiana

I guess we don’t have anything better to do here in Indiana than to steal manhole covers….

Man gets wallet back after nearly 40 years

This is a little bit bizarre!

I lost a wallet when I was a kid – left it at a rest stop on a cross-country road trip.  Man, I was devastated!  I had something like forty bucks, which was like a million dollars to me, and it was all my money for the trip.  Hey, maybe I’ll find my wallet, too!

The Internet - It's not just for porn, anymore

Interesting (and a bit lengthy) article on religious use of the internet

Here is a paragraph from the article describing what religiously-minded people use the internet for:

Some of the pious web-surfers keep up with religious news (32 percent), some look for places to worship (17 percent), some use the Internet to plan religious group meetings (14 percent), and some to donate to charity (7 percent). At the same time, the Pew study claims, “the Internet seems to be fostering the development of religious and spiritual practices that are . . . more personally expressive and individually oriented.” Thus 11 percent of religious Internet users are going online to download spiritual music, 35 percent are sending online greeting cards, and 38 percent—the largest cohort—are simply passing along “email with spiritual content.”

Got the Itch?

Got a song stuck in your head???  According to this article from the BBC this is a “cognitive itch.”  And, “The only way to scratch a cognitive itch is to repeat the offending melody in our minds.”  In other words, the only way to get rid of the itch is to scratch it!
Apparently, Mozart couldn’t stand to hear a melody or scale left unfinished and would finish the tune himself just for the resolution!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Christian Selling Points

Britney Spears Article

There was a quote in this article that made me quite irritated.  It really isn’t that big of a deal, I guess, at first glance.  A Pastor was going through a series on what God (or Jesus?) would say to Britney Spears.  He stated, "There's nothing wrong with fame--Jesus certainly is the most famous Christian--but that's not where happiness lies,"
Ok.  Fine.  A fine statement was made.  Perhaps even a true statement….but it irritates me that, for some Christians, the Christian faith is sold with a promise of happiness.  Who says Christians are happy?  They have peace, but not always.  What about when we are living in sin?  Do we have peace in those times?  Nope.  How about when we are struggling with doubts?  What about times of pain?  Are Christians immune from depression?  Again, the answer is “no.”
The more I consider the Christian life – as I live it and observe those who have in the Scripture – the more I am convinced that Christianity does not have a “selling point.”  This may be a point of contention with many Christians, but I don’t see anything about the Christian faith that is very certain.  Sure, Christians will experience certainty, but not always…
So, why am I a Christian?  Simple answer:  I don’t have any choice.  I mean, I don’t want to deny my free will.  I make good and bad choices everyday and I have chosen to walk a life of faith.  But the truth is bigger than me and God is greater still.  I guess that’s why I’m irritated by the Christian “selling point:”  they reduce the faith to something so small and almost trite.


A Warning From Jerome Bettis’ Mother!:On the Use of Technology in Worship

This is an interesting article on how a change in technology can change our habits and our social interaction.  Does the technological world we live in affect what it means to be a Christian?  Yea, you better believe it!  We live in a time period without parallel.  No other generation has seen the free flow and availability of information made possible by the internet and search capabilities.  Also, computers and technology has made us operate at an extremely high level of production – everything gets done better and faster.
These changes affect the way we live, the way we interact with others, how we think about ourselves and others – no area of your life is untouched by your environment.  And for many of us this technological world is all we know!

"Work out your salvation"


A major preoccupation of mine for the next month or so is Philippians 2:12-18.  There is a fascinating thought in verse 12:

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

The above article speculates on why people are leaving church and asks if churches may be succeeding in reaching people with the Christian message, succeeding in plugging people in to service, but failing to feed those who have been in the faith for a while and are desiring to explore their faith in a deeper and more personal way.

While I’m not sure I have the answers to any of the questions raised by this article I have to ask the serious question:  Are churches providing an environment where believers can “work out” their salvation?

Do churches provide programs and classes and even small group fellowship that are geared towards producing one “type” of Christian?  Are churches so developed and organized that they begin to turn out Christians that are all cut out of the same mold?  Are churches viewing Christians like cookie dough with only a few cookie cutters?

It is natural to think that all other Christians will have pretty much the same Spiritual experience as me.  I mean, after all, all I’ve got to go on is my own experience.  It’s scary to try to give the “answers” to someone who is going through a faith crisis that I have never experienced or even thought was possible.

In the Sunday School class that I teach, am I providing an environment that is conducive to asking any question or raising any thought pertaining to Christian growth?  What if someone shares they struggle with homosexual pornography on the internet?  What if someone shares that they haven’t been to Sunday School for a while because they have been getting wasted on the weekends?  What if someone is silently struggle with doubts about the existence of God?  Or hasn’t felt the presence of God in so long….

Is the church a place where Christians can work out their salvation?

Reading the Bible to hear the old?

On Reading the Bible with Our Ears

This is an interesting and short article by Scot McKnight asking why we approach our Bible with the attitude that we need to learn something new. Maybe we should approach the Scripture to hear the old?
There are also some interesting comments on his post, as well.