Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 4/30/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or noteworthy

Everybody is concerned… News stories dominate the airwaves… Everywhere you look, people are wearing masks… Is it a crisis? Is it a new pandemic? Is it 1918 all over again? Should we be concerned? Do you have swine flu? Check here to find out! Now that you’ve done that, read this.

One of the troubles with being a thief would be the fact that you never really know who it is that you’re trying to steal from, nor do you really know how they will react. These guys got what was coming to them… Oh, boy! Did they ever!

The Mighty McDonald’s has fallen as McCurry wins lawsuit in Malaysian court. Here’s the story. Malaysian Chicken Curry sounds good to me! Ok, now that they’ve won the lawsuit, when can I expect one to open near me?

It’s nice to know that some people don’t cave to terrorists. If i go on a cruise, I want to sail with these guys! It's a great idea to have the crew, or at least the crew's security force, better armed than the pirates... and nobody wants to mess with Israelis!

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One Nut Now

There will be a slight delay with the full Nut Cache this morning (computer system updates), so, here is one nut to tide you over!

You would think, wouldn't you? that it would be just a little too cold in the Alps. But, for some, "Ain't no mountain high enough!" I never would have imagined that this might be a problem...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Infallible Magisterium or Magician’s Sleight of Hand?

Is Roman Catholicism Christian? part 4

[Earlier posts in the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

[Note: This post is really long… it was much longer, but I’ve edited it into two, and will post the second very soon. ~Squirrel]

The Church of Rome has claimed that it is the only infallible source of interpretation of the Scriptures. This belief makes the church the only definer of what is true. If the church decides what is true; then there is no accountability, they can say whatever they want, and no one has the right, or the ability, to question them. Once again, let’s let Rome define itself:

[889] In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."

[890] The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. the exercise of this charism takes several forms:

[891] "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.... the infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

[892] Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

(Paragraph 892 just kills me. The pope is infallible… except when he’s not. How’s that for “cover your butt” vagary?)

Yet, nowhere in Scripture is this “infallible Magisterium” granted. Rome bases this belief on their tradition of “apostolic succession:” the idea that Jesus made Peter the head of the Apostles, and that that office has been passed down in an unbroken line from Peter to the current Bishop of Rome. While there is much debate over this “unbroken line” among historians, if Jesus did not, in fact, put Peter in charge, the succession is moot. So, did Jesus leave Peter in charge?

The one & only Scripture that Rome points to in order to substantiate this claim is Matthew 16:18 : "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Rome says that Peter is the rock upon which the Lord built His church. This claim does not work, when Matthew 16:18 is put into its context.

Let’s read the full passage:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He *said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20)

It is plain to see, in context, that the “rock” on which Jesus would build His church was Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah. And, while no one who is committed to the inerrancy of Scripture believes that the Apostles were infallible in what they taught, there is absolutely no reason to believe that their infallibility was passed on to anyone else.

A cursory reading of the Early Church Fathers doesn’t seem to support an infallible Magisterium either. Where did Athanasius look to support his arguments against the Arians? Without a doubt, to Scripture, and Scripture alone. It has been said that, if all ancient New Testament manuscripts were lost, we could reconstruct all but a few verses from citations made by the Early Church Fathers. That is how much they quoted from, and argued from, the Scriptures.

It has come up several times in the discussion thread that, since Protestants don’t agree on every little detail of doctrine, then sola Scriptura is a failure. I must disagree most strongly. A key principle of Bible interpretation is the perspicuity of the Scriptures: the belief that they Scriptures are clear in what they teach. That the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things. None of us, in our short lives on this earth, will ever come to understand everything in the Bible fully, nor are any of us going to get everything absolutely right, but the key things are so simple that a child can understand them. Jesus said, “(W)hoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it…” (Luke 18:17) We do not need to understand absolutely everything; we do not need to understand everything perfectly; but we can all understand enough that we understand what we need to understand.

What do we need to understand? We need to understand that we have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). We need to understand that, because of our sin against God, we all deserve to die, and spend eternity apart from God, but that God, through Jesus Christ, has made it possible to be forgiven and to have eternal life with God in heaven (Romans 6:23). We need to understand that this forgiveness is available because Jesus died for us on the cross, taking our punishment, and giving us His righteousness in exchange (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). We need to understand that this salvation is available only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12). And we need to understand that this salvation is available only by God’s grace through faith, and that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do to earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9). All of these things can be easily understood from Scripture alone.

What of Rome’s infallible Magisterium? It’s like a shell game. Rome promises you this great certainty, that the church is infallible, but when you pick up the shell, there’s no pea under it. They never have to prove anything; they never have to support anything. You just have to take Rome’s word for it, and that’s it.

Well, God did not operate that way in the Old Testament, but, through signs and wonders, He verified His messengers. Moses’ words were attested to by signs that signified that he spoke for God. And Moses’ words were enscripted for future generations to read and be enlightened through.

When God established the Prophets in Israel, He did so through the signs and wonders associated with the ministries of Elijah and Elisha. After the Babylonian Captivity, the Old Testament canon was closed, and there were no prophets in Israel (1 Maccabees 4:46 &9:27) until the coming of John the Baptist (Luke 1:76). During the 400 or so “silent years” when there were no prophets in Israel, God did not establish any “Magisterium” to infallible interpret the Scriptures. (The Pharisees abrogated for themselves this position, but we’ve already seen what Jesus had to say about their traditions, and how those traditions related to what was written in the Scriptures {Mark 7:1-9})

In His story about Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:20-31), Jesus said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them,” and, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:29,31) Jesus was saying that all anybody needed to do was read and believe Moses and the Prophets (by implication, the Old Testament) in order to be saved. Jesus didn’t point to infallible “teachings” or “traditions”, He pointed to infallible Scripture.

The Scriptures are sufficient “to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15) We do not need, nor do we have any reason to believe in, any “infallible Magisterium.”

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[I would like to thank L. D. for his research, some of which was incorporated in this article. ~Squirrel]

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook – Meatloaf

Welcome to the new Friday feature at A Squirrel in BabylonThe Squirrel Can Cook! I’m not Alton Brown or anything, but I do know my way around a kitchen, and I like to cook. So, most Fridays, I’ll bring one of my favorites here to the blog, and let you have a taste.

Today, Meatloaf!

Ingredient list:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef (I use extra-lean)(I would use 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of hot Italian sausage, but Mrs. Squirrel doesn’t like sausage.)
  • ¾ cup of oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of Marinara sauce (I use premade-from-a-jar, you could make your own, if you want)
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 envelope of onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Put all the ingredients, except for the Parmesan cheese, in a nice, big mixing bowl. Make sure you’ve got one with enough room for mixing! (Do not forget to remove the eggs from their shells and discard the shells. This is a very important step!) Mix everything very well. I have found that the best way to mix the ingredients is to coat your paws with oil, and do it by hand.

Spread out a double layer of heavy duty plastic wrap (don’t use the cheap stuff, you’ll be sooorrryyyy!) onto the counter, and place the meatloaf mixture in the center. Form into a loaf, then wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, getting as much of the air out as possible. You want the plastic wrap to be compressing the meatloaf. Place wrapped meatloaf bundle into a cake pan, and put in refrigerator overnight (and most of the next day… unless you want meatloaf for breakfast.) This allows your meatloaf to “set” and it will be less likely to crumble when you carve it into slices after cooking.

About 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat, remove the meatloaf from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I like to place the meatloaf on a wire rack about half-an-inch above the bottom of a cake pan, so that the fat from the meat has someplace to go during cooking. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven, and bake for about 1 hour.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven, cover with an aluminum foil tent, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remember the rest of that jar of marinara sauce? Began to heat that up, so that it will be hot when the meatloaf is done.

Slice meatloaf to desired thickness, spoon marinara sauce over slices, and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a nice green salad.

Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 4/23/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or noteworthy.

It's a smaller Nut Cache today, as I've been busy with other things. I'll try to do better next week. Honest.

First, Mount McKinley became Denali, then Peking became Beijing, now New Zealand is jumping on the “rename it to be politically correct” bandwagon. Come on, folks! It’s the North Island and the South Island. How do I know? Because that is what they are called in the bonus features of my Lord of the Rings DVDs.

It saddens me when I see someone I want to respect wearing a tin-foil hat. This is another case of “I don’t believe a snake talked, but I do believe that aliens seeded our planet.” These are intelligent, well educated people! This is what happens when someone abandons the truth and rejects a Biblical world view.

There’s a reason why we used to shoot ‘em! This is personal with me, as this dog was killed right across the street from my mother’s house! My daughter is living with my mother while she goes to college, and, now that the weather is warmer, likes to sit out on the lawn, reading and studying. My wife and I stay at my mother’s quite often, to save us fuel due to the 60 mile drive to our house every night. This isn’t out in the boonies! This is a populated semi-rural residential area, with kids and dogs and cats and horses inside the city limits. Wolves make poor neighbors, but they do make nice rugs.

I like a business that stands behind their product, even when that business is a sports team. Millions of fans will read this article, and will say, “Hey, that’s a good idea.” Then they will write the offices of their favorite team, demanding refunds for the overpriced tickets they’ve been buying losing season after losing season. Checks will be cut and mailed, people will spend the money on things they would otherwise not be able to purchase, leading to an increase in retail sales. Stores will have to hire new employees to meet the increased workload. The economy will be saved, all because losing sports teams take responsibility for their loses… Or not.

Well, that's it for this week's Nut Cache. Stop buy tomorrow for the debut of a brand new A Squirrel in Babylon feature!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Really Nice Sunday Afternoon

This past weekend was the first really nice weekend of the year, so Sunday afternoon I took a nice walk. I wanted to share some pictures with you.

This is the Clark Fork River, which runs north of our place. We aren't right by the river, there are train tracks between, but it isn't a far walk.

This bridge is about a mile from our house, and we cross it on the way to church. (Except when the weather is bad, then we take the interstate.)

See, there's still some snow in the high country.

Here is a longer shot of the bridge. That's an Osprey nest on top.

I just liked the play of the tree's shadow on the water. I probably stood here watching the river flow by for about 5 minutes.

I hope your day today is at least as nice as my Sunday afternoon was. God Bless!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Is Roman Catholicism Christian? Part 3

[Part 1 -- Part 2]

Scripture vs. Tradition

We’re spending so much time on sola Scriptura, because it is from Rome’s rejection of this that their other errors spring. When last we visited this subject, we saw that Rome does, indeed, deny the doctrine of sola Scriptura. This was not hard to do, since Rome makes no bones about denying sola Scriptura. In fact, Rome considers sola Scriptura to be a false doctrine, and the chief source of doctrinal confusion, not only between Roman Catholics and Protestants, but within the Protestant camp as well.

So, just what is sola Scriptura?

To hear many Roman Catholics talk, sola Scriptura is a person sitting alone on an island somewhere with a Bible, but with no access to Godly pastors, teachers, history books, lexicographies and grammars, archaeology, or anything else that would help put the words of the Scripture into context. That is not the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura! (I will say this, though. If you did have someone alone on an island, with nothing but a Bible, they would never, ever, from the Bible, not in a million years, come up with what we know as Roman Catholicism!)

Sola Scriptura is the doctrine that the 66 canonical books of the Bible are the only infallible authority for all matters of faith (what a Christian believes) and practice (how a Christian worships God.) Our understanding of Scripture is informed by Godly men who spend their lives studying the Bible, by history, by archaeology, by language study, and a whole host of other disciplines, but it is the Scripture which has the final word. Nor is sola Scriptura a wholesale rejection of all tradition, but sola Scriptura does say that all teachings and traditions must be measured against Scripture, and anything which contradicts Scripture must be rejected.

Does the Bible teach sola Scriptura?

The short answer is yes, and I will support that by looking briefly at three passages.

The first is 2 Timothy 3:14-17:

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Here Paul points Timothy to the written Word of God, called “the sacred writings” in verse 15, and Scripture in verse 16. It is the written Word, breathed out by God, which is sufficient for teaching what is true, for identifying what is false, for the restoration to truth from error, and for the teaching of what should be taught. The Scriptures are enough to supply the doctrines of the Christian faith, no extra-Biblical traditions are needed.

The second is Acts 17:10-11:

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Regarding this passage, John MacArthur writes, “It is highly significant that the Bereans are explicitly commended for examining the apostolic message in light of Scripture. They had the priority right: Scripture is the supreme rule of faith, by which everything else is to be tested.” If even an actually apostle’s teachings were to be checked against Scripture, should not the Pope and the Cardinals be held to the same standard?

The last passage I would like to look at today is Mark 7:1-9:

The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

Here, Jesus deals with the Pharisees’ adherence to tradition in direct contradiction to the written words of Scripture. I believe that this speaks clearly to the exact same situation in the Roman Catholic Church.

When we return to this subject, I would like to look at some of the consequences of Rome’s rejection of sola Scriptura.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Squirrely Facts

I found some interesting squirrel facts here, and thought I would share them with comments.

Squirrely Facts

  • Squirrels are not able to digest cellulose (cell walls in plants) so their diet consists mainly of proteins and carbohydrates including nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, eggs, and even small mammals like birds and frogs.
But sophisticated squirrels prefer Italian, Greek, and Oriental cuisine. And would be glad to co-host Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri! (Or just go along to help eat...)
  • According to the CDC, squirrels, as well as other small rodents such as rats, mice, chipmunks, and rabbits almost never have rabies and have not been known to transmit the virus to humans in the United States.
So no more cuts about "dirty animals!" You hearin' me? (And rabbits are not rodents! They're Lagomorphs!)
  • Squirrels are able to climb down trees because of special joints they have in their ankle that allows their foot to rotate a full 180 degrees. The sharp, curved claws on each of their toes act as spikes that anchor into the tree bark during their descent.
But the claws make it really, really, hard to find good-fitting footwear...
  • California ground squirrels chew the molted skin of rattlesnakes and then lick themselves in order to escape their predator. This is a unique behavior since most vertebrates use visual forms of camouflage. The mothers and fathers are immune to snake venom but the squirrel pups are not.
Well, I don't know about my ground-dwelling cousins, but I guess snakes would be an issue. Nice that God equipped them with immunity!
  • Using another form of protection against rattlesnakes, squirrels are able to heat up their tails with increased blood flow. Since rattlesnakes have infrared perception in order to sense their prey at night, the snakes are put on the defensive and less likely to attack a squirrel and her pups.
Hi-tech stealth squirrels! Ha, take that, Skunk Works!
  • Male White-tailed Antelope Squirrels spar with each other in order to establish a hierarchy in preparation for breeding. They are also the only genus of squirrels that are ground nesters. They get their name from their white underside that matches the patch of fur on the backside of an antelope.
Here's a picture of an Antelope "Squirrel" -- Looks like a chipmunk on Mars, to me. Is that the Viking probe in the background?

  • Female red Squirrels living on the Isle Royale, 20 miles off of Thunder Bay, Ontario, mate for only two days out of the year with multiple partners. Afterwards the females separate from the males and will raise the young by herself. These squirrels are also able to predict mast years (years yielding large quantities of nuts) and produce a second litter.
Understand, these are pagan squirrels. Good, Biblical, squirrels would never approve of such behavior!
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 4/16/09

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or noteworthy.

Sorry so late this morning. Been having 'net issues today.

Mrs. Squirrel has informed me that my Nut Caches were to long, so I've cut this one back a bit.

I am saddened to think that, somewhere out there, there is somebody who, when asked the EE Question, will say that they did this.

Sad-funny, but… wow. This guy got way more than he bargained for. There’s a kind of justice here… (Caution: I hesitate to include this one -- a little rough, but no bad language.)

Peoples credulity amazes me. I just never know what hoax people will buy into. You would like to think it has something to do with the backwardness of the culture, but then you remember some of the stuff people here fall for. There's just a lack of critical thinking everywhere.

A lot of people I respect have started using Twitter; Phil Johnson and Al Mohler, just to name a few. My daughter uses twitter, but she’s in college… I’m not against technology. I blog, I use e-mail, I play Homeworld2. But this is going just way too far!

Some people take things way too personally! And a man’s backyard used to be a man’s backyard. I wonder what would have happened if he’d had a garden gnome?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a politician showed up at the other party’s rally? Carter at a Reagan get-together, Obama at a McCain gathering, Palin at an Obama meeting? And what if it was a mistake? That’s what happened to this poor fellow!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's a Squirrel Thing...

Squirrels are very big on etiquette and propriety, as you will soon see.

Of course, squirrels reject the eastern mysticism inherent in the concept of "karma", but do understand that "you reap what you sow" (Galatians 6:7)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dr. Oakley on Sola Scriptura

As I continue to work at writing my next post on the subject, I wanted to point you towards Dr. James White's closing statement from his 1999 debate with Fr. Mitchell Pacwa in San Diego, CA, on the topic of sola scriptura.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Are You Worried About Overpopulation?

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich published, The Population Bomb, and said, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...” He was wrong. None of what he predicted took place.

Many will point to the famine in Ethiopia in 1984-85 as vindication of Ehrlich’s predictions, but, unfortunately for his hypothesis, the causes of the Ethiopian famine was political, and not due to population. Sorry, Paul.

Why am I bringing this up? Because, a few weeks ago, in the Times of London, Jonathon Porritt, one of Prime Minister Brown’s “green consultants,” was reported as saying that, Great Britain must cut their population in half in order to help save the planet. There are 61 million people in Britain now, while Porritt says that Britain’s ideal population is 30 million. (Who determines “ideal population” anyway? More on that in a minute.)

Now, Ehrlich, Porritt, and those who agree with them base their conclusions on the undisputable fact that the Earth’s resources are finite. There is a level of population, beyond which the resources of the Earth are insufficient to support. But, what, we must ask, is that level? Have we reached it? Are we close to reaching it?

First off, there is still plenty of room here on Earth for all of the people. If we turned all of Australia into a “super city”, we could put the entire world’s population (6,706,993,152 - July 2008 estimate - CIA World Factbook) there, with a population density approximately that of New York City. Dense, to be sure (880 people per sq km), but still much lower than the population densities of Mumbai (21,880 /sq km), Singapore (6,814/sq km), Mexico City (5,950/sq km), or Tokyo (5,847 /sq km), just to name a few. A population density of 880/sq km would be a lot less crowded than much of the world’s population endures today. I am not suggesting that we turn Australia into a super city, but I want to show that there’s plenty of room for everybody.

But could we feed them? Sure could! If we put everybody in Australopolis, we would still have the rest of the planet to grow food. That’s 140 million square kilometers of land area. Cut out the ice caps and the mountains, and you’ve still got a lot of room to grow food! Sure, a lot of it is desert, but we have the technology to desalinate sea water and irrigate vast amounts of North Africa and the Middle East. I’ve also seen concept drawings of “vertical farms” built into skyscrapers inside the city.

A long-running eco-worry is the “fact” that arable top soil is disappearing. Really? Um, to put it delicately, everything that eats also produces... um... "fertilizer." Farmers have been spreading manure on the fields for as long as there have been farmers. There’s no Biblical evidence, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Adam used manure in the tending of the Garden before The Fall. By using “biosolids” (the techno-babel term for “poop”), and proper irrigation, much of the world’s landmass that is unusable for agriculture today, could be usable for tomorrow. And we are not limited to just the Earth.

I’m a science fiction nut, and a big proponent of space technologies. We’ve had the technology since the early 70’s to build viable orbital colonies in space, mine the moons & asteroids (where there are no endangered species to worry about, and no environment to impact), and generally take advantage of a vast array of resources. Sure, these would be monumental undertakings, but it is feasible, and studies have shown that it could be economically viable as well. I don’t know if we’ll ever move off of the Earth in any significant way, but the point is that we could.

God has provided us with the material and the know how to provide food and shelter for a population much larger then we have today. So, what is driving this movement? What is behind this belief that the Earth is overpopulated?

Science isn’t what drives this movement. In fact, recent research indicates that the population could be trending towards decrease, not increase, in the foreseeable future. The first chapter in the book of Romans provides the answer. “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25 NASB) The modern environmentalist movement is a religion. They worship the Earth, which many personify as the earth goddess Gaia, and they are serving and protecting their idol.

And, of course, when you probe deeper, they believe that the problem isn’t too many people, it’s too many other people. This belief system, like all worldly systems, is inherently elitist. Food distribution is used as a political tool to control the masses. The Ethiopian famine of the 1980’s endured for so long, not because the food was unavailable, but because the Ethiopian government withheld food from certain “undesirable” peoples. During the Stalinist purges, the Soviets deliberately starved millions of Georgians for reasons of politics and control. Rather than modernize food production, China has instead tried to limit their population growth, and will soon reap what they have sown.

When God created the Earth, and placed man upon it, He commanded us to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28 NASB) He repeated this command to Noah and his sons after the flood, and He judged the people for disobeying this command at the Tower of Babel.

As stewards of the Earth, not the owners thereof, we are responsible to use the planet as its owner, God Almighty, has commanded. The Earth was not intended to last forever. Scripture tells us that someday the Earth will be consumed by the fire of God’s judgment. It’s a disposable planet, and, one day, its usefulness will be at an end. We are to use the Earth, not worship it.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009


Emptied of His glory, God became a man,
To walk on earth in ridicule and shame.
A Ruler, yet a Servant; a Shepherd, yet a Lamb;
A Man of Sorrows, agony, and pain.

Humbled and rejected, beaten, and despised;
Upon the cross the Son of God was slain.
Just like a lamb to slaughter, a sinless sacrifice;
But, by His death His loss became our gain.

Satan's forces crumbled like a mighty wall;
The stone that held Him in was rolled a-side.
The Prince of life in glory was lifted over all;
Now earth and heaven echo with the cry.

He is Lord, He is Lord!
He is risen from the dead and He is Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.

(WORDS: Linda Lee Johnson, Claire Cloninger and Tom Fettke
MUSIC: Tom FettkeWords to Verses © 1986 by Word Music and Norman Clayton Publishing Co.)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1 Corinthians 15:3-10 NASB)

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Romans 10:9-13 NASB)

I wish you all a blessed weekend, as we commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

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