Monthly Archives: July 2010


The landlord (Ron) told me that (as long as I told him ahead of time) I could do "stuff" to the unit. But whatever I leave behind when I move out is his.

If I end up being there for a while, there are a few things I would do.

  • more cable jacks - okay, that's a given and I'm calling tomorrow to get that done.
  • install these (and the rail)
  • a wireless intercom for the door
  • maybe a ceiling fan or two
  • this (for the door to the balcony)

If I do one of these every few months, it will make the place more comfy.

Things that I might buy that I could pass along to somebody else

  • this (for the balcony)
  • this (to make life easier)- which could double as a portable island.

I share the job of shoveling the sidewalk with the downstairs tenant - I have an electric snowblower, but have no storage.  If they want to store it (and use it) I'll gladly provide it.

The other thing is that I'm responsible for my own garbage removal - I just don't generate that much garbage, so I may end up volunteering to pay for a cart and removal, rather than buying "blue garbage bags" -  our city's system.  You buy the bag and put in on the curb on the right day, and they pick it up.  If I go with a private service, maybe I can split the cost and store the cart outdoors so I don't have to keep garbage in the apartment for a week.

If I keep the camping gear in the camper, that will take care of that storage need - I just need to put a good padlock on the camper door.

My books always suffer from lack of thought was to get these binder clips in white to stick on the shelves and label them with a sharpie

I need more bookshelves.

A Biblical Case for an Old Earth by David Snoke

Previous chapters here.

Chapter 2.

One of the complaints about the book in the Amazon reviews is that the book is supposed to be about the Biblical case, yet he starts with the scientific case.

The first sentence of this chapter says,

My goal is to build a biblical case, not primarily a scientific one, but I want to first review some of the scientific facts so that we can see the stakes involved.

This seems fair to me.  How can we build a Biblical case for an old earth unless we know what "old earth" entails?

The first topic is measuring the age of the universe by the distance of the stars

  • First, one could argue that the above (read the book) measurement process is wrong, and that actually the stars are much nearer.
  • Second, one could argue that the speed of light used to be much faster
  • Third, one could argue that the light we see did not actually come from stars, but was created "en route.

The problem with the first argument is that (if the universe is no more than 10,000 years old, then all of the stars would have to be within 10,000 light years of the view point (earth).  There are billions of stars and to have them all within 20,000 light years of each other (with earth at the center) would create gravitational chaos.

The second argument (the slowing down of the speed of light) is more interesting...but...

One of the books I'm reading now is "The Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil. On page 140 (a wild paraphrase) he writes that two physicists from Los Alamos Laboratory have discovered the remains on a natural nuclear reactor in West Africa that had a "melt down" 2 billion years ago.  There is a "constant particle" called an "alpha particle" that is inversely related to the speed of light and by examining isotopes connected with these particles, the slowing of the alphas implies that the speed of light has INCREASED. This is a minuscule change - 4.5 parts per 10 to the 38th power (no clue how to do exponents in wordpress).

The third argument (that light was created en route) is - according to Snoke - the most viable of the three.  But if we work under the assumption that things are as they appear, then the starts appear to be very far away.

This "apparent age" theory eliminates any possibility of a scientific discussion about the age of the world.

That's it for the "speed of light changing" and there's more in chapter 1...but I wanted to get this posted today... 

From the Vatican:

1° With due regard for can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a  latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.


§ 1. The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are:

1° the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor.

2° the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology;

§ 2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in § 1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition.

On first glance, it would seem as though the Vatican is reserving the more severe punishment for ordaining women, rather than child rape.

I think I see it a little bit differently.  With this wording, Rome has the opportunity to deal with both of these issues in a right way...whether that happens remains to be seen, since they don't exactly have the greatest track record of dealing with pedophiles.

The first (ordaining of women) is punishable with excommunication.  "We're done, you're gone, it's over."  The people involved are no longer under the authority of Rome and Rome has no hold over them, spiritually or earthly.

The second (sex with a minor) may be punishable with defrocking and being turned over to the secular authorities.  This means that there will be earthly consequences (prison, perhaps) and they may no longer be in a leadership position within the church.

This also means that (unlike excommunication) they are still under the authority of Rome, which means that the Vatican can have some direction and it leaves the door open for repentance...penance...forgiveness...restoration.

To me, keeping these offenders under the authority of Rome keeps them accountable...and keeps Rome accountable.

Is set up a little differently than I remember, but will be nice.

It's an upper, so there are stairs up that don't go anyplace but my unit.  There's a deadbolt both at the bottom of the stairs and the top of the stairs.  What this means is that I can put bike hoods on the walls of the stairs (it's wide enough in two places) and use the hall for bike storage (and I ran it by the landlord and he said ok.)

The bedrooms are a little bigger than I remember, so furniture will fit.  One of my dressers will be in the "front room" - and since I use it for office and craft storage, it's a better place for it anyway.

Plenty of wall space for bookshelves...I need to get comcast out to put in another cable jack.

Lots of kitchen storage, plenty of drawers.  I still have to shovel snow, but I share the duty with the downstairs folks.  I can even park the camper on the property and this is the first landlord who has said "yes" to that.

I'll have to get a little creative with storage, especially camping gear.  I'm going to have a padlock put on the camper door and I can keep most of the gear in there.

Overall, it will work well.

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Preface and Chapter 1

I'll link to this up as I add chapters - it's a good book that gives a different side to the "evolution vs. 6-day creation" debate.

"Biblical Case For an Old Earth" by David Snokes (if you buy through this link, I get a credit - hint, hint)

In the preface,

Snokes introduces the debate in a "orthodox vs liberalism" sort of way and describes how "old earthers" are often portrayed by  those who believe that the earth is (at most) 20,000 years old.

Snokes maintains that a person can be a theological conservative and accept a Biblical case for an old earth.

Chapter 1, "Starting Assumptions"

Snokes starts by telling readers that if he had not studied science, he would not have come to an old earth conclusion...tells us that his interpretation is a "possible" interpretation, not an "obvious" one.  He recognizes that his view may not be popular, and points out that:

It is illegitimate to change our view of the Bible because we want a more popular interpretation.

and then

He poses the question about whether or not it's okay to ever allow experience, history, or science affect or alter our understanding of the interpretation of Scripture.

Examples he used were we allow our understanding of science to affect our interpretation of Psalm 93:1?

Does history tell us that "king" in Daniel 5:1 refers to a viceroy, a "lesser king", and not the foremost ruler of an entire country?  Would we have that understanding, if we didn't have history?

There is a legitimacy to allowing experience to affect our interpretation...that does NOT mean that we should change our interpretation to bow to the prevailing views of culture in order to be with the "in crowd."  It also does not mean that we need to get onto the "slippery slope" and we can avoid that by clearly laying out the boundaries - what is negotiable and what is not.

we would do well to remember that science was founded by Christians who insisted that God is not a great deceiver, that the natural world is ordered by a good God, and that we must reject superstition and hearsay; moreover, that we must subject all truth claims to rigorous examination, even claims of honored church leaders from generations past...

Question: is it legitimate to allow your experience with purported miracle workers to affect the way you interpret passages like Ephesians 4:11 AND 2 Cor. 12:12 that seem to promise signs and wonders?

My answer...maybe not, but it is certainly wise to allow Scripture to judge whether or not a miracle worker is merely "purported."