Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wacky Wednesday--Children Shouldn't Play With Dolls

Note: Before reading the following arguments, please understand that they are not what I believe. On Wednesdays, I deliberately argue for wrong ideas, challenging my listeners to call and defend the obvious right answer, which is usually far harder than one would expect. This is a summary of what Wacky Andrew will be arguing, not a representation of what real Andrew believes.

~They’re a waste of money.
~Show me where in the Bible you see kids playing with dolls?
~Barbies teach sexy, selfish, materialism to impressionable girls.
~Aren’t dolls like little slaves?
~Dolls let kids to create their own little fantasy friend who will do whatever they want and interact with them entirely on their own terms. This sort of fantasy relationship is desirable because it’s so much more convenient than real relationships, but for that very reason it creates unhealthy expectations for real relationships.
~A doll or stuffed animal is just the beginning of relationship porn that later becomes a love of romance novels in women.
~There is physical danger from little pieces, eyes, buttons, etc.
~When a child is attached to a doll or animal, they are typically very possessive of it, even reacting violently to other people playing with or touching it. Also, they have trouble calming down and sleeping without it.
~When the Bible says to not make any image of anything at all, does it make an exception for dolls?
~These days, dolls are just another marketing strategy.

Links on Dolls
Iran versus Barbies by NYT
"Jewish" Barbie Dolls Denounced in Saudi Arabia by ADF
Barbie Controversies and Barbie Syndrome by Wikipedia
"Barbie Girl" Video by Aqua on You Tube

Wacky Wednesday--It's Bad To Have Options

Note: Before reading the following arguments, please understand that they are not what I believe. On Wednesdays, I deliberately argue for wrong ideas, challenging my listeners to call and defend the obvious right answer, which is usually far harder than one would expect. This is a summary of what Wacky Andrew will be arguing, not a representation of what real Andrew believes.

~Option paralysis, having so many alternatives that you do nothing rather than committing to any one.
~So many people don’t figure out how to solve their problems because they’re always wondering if they should really solve them.
~You may dislike the choices someone else makes for you, but they’re a lot easier to live with because they carry no guilt or self-condemnation.
~The more options you forsake and the more imagination you have, it actually becomes impossible for you to be satisfied because the aggregated minor pains of all the perceived losses of all the other possibilities you gave up.
~When you have to pick between being a farmer, a blacksmith, or a trail hand, it’s relatively easy. When you have 10,000 careers to pick from, it’s impossible.
~Ever been overwhelmed at a restaurant…or an auto dealer…or watching television?
~Does the variety of Protestant denominations make life easier for people?
~The more accustomed you become to having options, the more frustrated you become whenever you don’t have them.
~Only people who get really accustomed to having a lot of choices would ever come up with the idea of relativism.
~Options create marital stress because you and your spouse don’t always see it the same way. ~There’s great comfort in authoritarian churches where all the rules and doctrines are laid out for you explicitly and are not allowed to be questioned or challenged.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Theological Tuesday

Bible Stories 15: The Last Supper
Bible References: Matt 25:1-15, Mark 15:1-31, Luke 22:1-38, John 13:1-38, 1 Cor 11:23-34
The Last Supper by Wikipedia

Are we paid for or forgiven?
Bible References: Matt 13:44-46, 1 Cor 6:18-20, 1 Cor 7:22-24, Rom 3:21-26

Forgive and Forgave in the Bible

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wacky Wednesday--Single-Family Homes Are A Bad Idea

Note: Before reading the following arguments, please understand that they are not what I believe. On Wednesdays, I deliberately argue for wrong ideas, challenging my listeners to call and defend the obvious right answer, which is usually far harder than one would expect. This is a summary of what Wacky Andrew will be arguing, not a representation of what real Andrew believes.

~No one needs so much space.
~Communal living has many benefits.
~Visiting your friends is just a walk away.
~We wouldn’t have such pollution problems from heating and cooling homes and from commuting.
~We’d naturally preserve more green space.
~Less money wasted on cars because everyone would live in a more urban setting.
~Public transit would become not merely cost-effective, but obvious.
~Most of us have wasted services, like pools and laundry that sit idle most of the time. Communities don’t have these problems.
~You’d have more time because you wouldn’t be commuting so much.
~You wouldn’t have a massive mortgage.
~SFH cultivate social isolation and selfishness.
~A community can benefit from specialization of skills and communization of chores: handyman, plumber, mechanic, maid, mowing.
~How efficient is it for most people to cook an entire meal just for themselves?
~From the homeschooler’s perspective, this would be awesome!
~Don’t you remember how nice it was to live in the dorms or the fraternity and be just moments away from your friends?
~Privacy encourages illicit behavior.
~At least if we aren’t going to have a bunch of kids, we can have our kids enjoy the benefits of lots of neighbor kids.
~Kids would be safer because they could all be in a fairly central location.
~Communal living with sharing of resources is a Biblical ideal.
~You don’t have as much space, so you don’t acquire as much junk.
~How many people have room for their own pool table? Or can afford one? But how many hotels don’t have one? Think of all the extra things everyone could have access to with shared resources.
~Young people wouldn’t feel the need to move out prematurely.
~Multigenerational households could become the norm, rather than the exception.
~The elderly would have connection with the youth and vice versa.

Wacky Wednesday--Lying Is Good, Especially for Children

Note: Before reading the following arguments, please understand that they are not what I believe. On Wednesdays, I deliberately argue for wrong ideas, challenging my listeners to call and defend the obvious right answer, which is usually far harder than one would expect. This is a summary of what Wacky Andrew will be arguing, not a representation of what real Andrew believes.

~The best way to discover when others are lying is by knowing how to lie yourself.
~The totally honest are usually woefully ignorant at how common lies occur around them.
~Being able to lie is a very useful, perhaps a necessary skill in today’s society.
~If you don’t practice it a fair amount, especially when you’re young, you won’t have it when you need it.
~We all lie and encourage lying in a ton of social situations: the food is bad, the gift is bad, you just don’t want to go to the party, the dress does make her look fat, the sermon is weak, the singing is off-key etc.
~Lying is very tightly connected to intelligence, both the earliness of them starting and the competency of them doing it. Let’s be honest, dumb kids are terrible liars.
~It’s a universal tendency of kids….and adults.
~You’ll notice that Adam and Eve didn’t get punished for being deceptive toward God but only for eating the fruit.
~If they’re smart, hence good at it, then it’s likely they’ll find times where it works and it will work for them. But if they and everyone else is satisfied, how bad can it be?
~Lying works. Otherwise people are kind of stupid to do it.

~People lie to avoid conflict and confrontation and the appearance of rebellion, which are very useful social lubricants.

Are kids copying parents when they lie? by NY Magazine
Five lies we all tell at work by CNN

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 14: Passover (Exodus 12)
~Why don’t we build cathedrals anymore?
~Are we paid for or forgiven?

Passover by Wikipedia
Passover 2008 by

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethics: Should Christians Be Environmentalists?

Since tomorrow is Earth Day, I figured we would do well to consider a question which only a few years ago might have been thought ridiculous to most conservatives. It used to be the case that environmentalism was a synonym for wacky leftist vegan fanatics, but with the global warming movement, environmentalism has become the chic new trend, even for Evangelicals. But the question is, “To what degree, if at all, should we be concerned about environmental issues such as pollution, species protection, preservation of open spaces, and, yes, global warming?” And is it possible to harmonize the political aims of most environmentalists with Biblical values, or should we be looking to develop an entirely different paradigm for “creation care?”

Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative
by NY Times
An Evangelical Call to Action by
NAE 1971 Statement on Environment and Ecology
NAE Current Position on Stewardship of Earth
Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility (pdf 12pp)
by NAE
Evangelicals Being Used by Leftists by
Backstory: Eco-vigilantes by
Stewards of Nature by William F. Buckley
The Greening of Evangelicals by Washington Post
NAE Will Not Take Stand on Global Warming by Washington Post
Evangelicals and the Environment by PBS
List of Christian Environmental Books by

Do You Like Your Name?

Obviously, names are pretty important in the Bible. In fact, some of the names given to children in the Bible are downright rude by today’s standards. But a story I read a while back reported on the phenomenon of baby name remorse, where parents who actually decided after the fact that they really didn’t like the name they had chosen were changing them. Have you ever wanted to change your name? Do you love your name now? Do you think that names matter very much?

Baby name remorse
by CNN
Name of the Year blog
(warning: possibly offensive content)
Man named Batman Bin Suparman

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WW--Taxes Should Be Voluntary

~How can a government be justified in taking from a person money to do something that a private citizen would be arrested for taking money from him to do?
~Explain how taxation is not a violation of property rights.
~Explain how taxation is not a form of forced labor.
~Who owns my money anyhow?
~The consent of the governed is the key to a just government. So why don’t we entrust people with the power to consent to giving their money to that government? Are they so despicable and irrational that they won’t pay voluntarily?
~Churches seem to have enough funds to do what they do, and all their money is raised voluntarily or through commerce.
~Taxes get used for things that other organizations should be doing, such as churches.
~If we had a voluntary system, people wouldn’t complain about having too much taken from them.
~The free market works for everything else, why wouldn’t it work for government?
~It would certainly shrink the size of government, and how would that be a bad thing?
~Voluntary arrangements are greatly superior to coercion.
~What does it say about a population that they only pay money because they’re afraid of the government agents? How convinced are such people that they are getting a good deal for their money?
~Voluntary taxes mean less power for government to expand, waste, and pay for pork.
~Show me where the Bible talks favorably about tax collectors
~How can you fund a corrupt government?
~Who spends money more wisely: you or Washington?
~If government indeed provides a service worth purchasing, why does it have to force us to by the service?
~Taxation creates tax evasion and loopholes. Hence, the people really opposed to paying wind up avoiding it anyhow.
~The state knows that taxation is unjust, which is why they try to spread out the payments over time and hide the fact from you of just how much you are paying through withholding taxes enforced by your employer rather than by themselves. Then they also spread it out over a hundred different products and fees so that you really have no idea just how much you are paying at all. This is the behavior of a liar, a cheat, or a thief, not an honest merchant of a valuable service.

Bible references:
Matt 17:24-27, Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 3:10-14, Luke 20:20-26, Rom 13:1-7, Titus 3:1-2, 1 Peter 2:13-16, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and All uses of the word Tax

Tax by Wikipedia
Abolish all "taxes" Opinion, by NY Times
The moral case against taxation by
Theological arguments against taxation by
Taxation, forced labor, and theft by
Taxation through the ages by
Taxation is theft by Homepages.cs
What Bible says about taxes by
Did Jesus pay taxes? by
Professor cites Bible in faulting taxes by NY Times
The Bible and taxes by

WW--Christians Shouldn’t Celebrate Birthdays

~You don’t become a person on your birthday, nor change your basic identity on that day. Celebrating conception anniversaries or born-again anniversaries or even baptism day would make a lot more sense.
~Why should we buy presents for you on your birthday? Your mom did all the important work.
~Parties are expensive, and bad things often happen at them with adults.
~Ah, yes, the birthday. That special day where we celebrate those most well-known of Christian virtues: selfishness and self-importance.
~Do people eat healthy food at birthday parties?
~What day was Jesus born on, according to the Bible? Moses? Abraham? Daniel? Joseph? David?
~Birthdays themselves, as well as the particular rites of the birthday are clearly of pagan origin.
~Blowing out candles, what does that symbolize in a Christian worldview? Making wishes?
~Herod and Pharaoh are the only two explicitly mentioned birthdays, and both had real problems associated with them.
~According to Josephus, the Jews never were allowed to celebrate birthdays.
~It forces us to look backward in our focus over time rather than forward to our deliverance from this body of evil.

Bible references:
Genesis 40:20-22, Job 1:4-5, Eccl 7:1, 8, Jeremiah 20:14, Matthew 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29, John 10:10, Romans 14:4-6

Birthday by Wikipedia
Birthday paradox by Wikipedia
Are birthday celebrations Christian? by
Should Christians celebrate birthdays? by
Should Christians celebrate birthdays? by
Did early Christians celebrate birthdays? by
Can Christians celebrate birthdays? by
Jehovah's Witnesses and birthdays by
Birthdays (Jehovah's witnesses site) by

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 13: Creation (Genesis 1-2)
~Are we paid for or forgiven?
~Why don’t we build cathedrals anymore?
~Interview with Pastor Paul Sheppard

Bible References for Creation: Genesis 1-2, Genesis 5:1-2, Genesis 6:6-7, Exodus 20:9-11, Deut 4:32, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Psalm 148:1-6, Isaiah 40:26-29, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 45:6-8, 12, 18, Matt 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9, Mark 13:19, Romans 1:18-25, Romans 8:22, 1 Cor 11:8-9, Ephesians 3:8-10, Col 1:15-17, 1 Tim 2:11-14, 2 Peter 3:3-6, Revelation 4:9-11, Revelation 10:5-7

Enduring Truth with Paul Sheppard, Heard 12:30 PM M-F on AM 1360 KPXQ

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ethics: What Should We Teach Children About Origins?

Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled, comes out this Friday, and I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about the issue of creation, evolution, and intelligent design from an educational perspective. What should our approach be toward our own children on these topics? What should the schools do in teaching these subjects? Teach all, teach one, or avoid it altogether? Does it really matter what you believe about origins? Is this a religious discussion or a scientific one? And what about the Constitution?

What Historical Dates Do You Know And Not Know?

In what year did Columbus sail the ocean blue? But do you know the date? Most everyone (in America) knows when the Declaration of Independence was signed, but do you know when the Constitution was ratified? The Bill of Rights? What day was Lincoln shot? JFK? MLK? When was the Battle of Hastings? The Reformation? Galileo’s trial? Do you know when we landed on the moon? And how much guilt are you feeling right now? Well, I thought it would be fun to find out just how much about historical dates we all know…and don’t know.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Various Current Events

Adopt a terrorist for prayer by
I'm a conservative republican, but... by Austin Hill,
"The Grid" could make Internet obsolete by Fox News
3 Kids? Showoffs. by Washington Post
When is religious speech, government speech? by
Unchurched prefer cathedrals by Christian Post
Kids' dress up day draws Christian ire by Christian Post
Charlton Heston dies by Christian Post
Olympic torch route changed in SF by NY Times
Glass in sky studied as global warming fix by CNS News
"Terror-free" stock index has potential by CNS News
Indonesian ISPs block Koran film by CNS News
FL senate passes guns-to-work bill by Florida Sun Sentinel
Bush to cut army tours to 12 months by Washington Post
Global food riots turn deadly by Washington Times
Obama urges Bush Bejing boycott by BBC News
Texas authorities defend sect raid by Tampa Bay Online
Breakthrough at Stonehenge dig by BBC News
State Supreme court stops SF gun ban by
Obama: repeal "don't ask, don't tell" by Chicago Sun Times
Should House size be doubled? by
Carter to meet with Hamas chief by Washington Post
Photographer refuses same-sex job by
Obama delegate quits over monkey comment by Fox News
Olympic boycotts: bad idea by Christian Science Monitor
Bible America's favorite book of all time by Christian Post
"I do" = 7 hours more housework for women by Fox News
Families throw away 1/3 of all food by Daily Mail
Law should protect working parents by
"Religious Awareness Week" begins by Christian Post
Petraeus urges halt in weighing force cut by NY Times
Teens arrested after filmed beating by CBS News

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

WW--Christians Shouldn’t Use Medicine

~How can we say that we have faith if we depend on medicine for our healing?
~If you really believed that prayer works, you wouldn’t seek any other form of remedy.
~Aren’t we protected by Jesus’ blood and covered in every area of our lives by it?
~Medical doctors deny the complexity of the human being by treating the body as if it is only a machine.
~The personal touch element is missing from most medical encounters. It’s a sterile environment pathogen-wise and also humanity-wise.
~Medical doctors discount a variety of alternative treatments such as Chiropractic and Naturpathic and even Herbal and Eastern healing techniques.
~Medicine assumes that surgery and drugs are the answer to everything instead of dealing with the actual causes of problems. Nobody gets headaches because of an ibuprofen deficiency.
~Medicine discounts the very real impact of spiritual problems and demonic afflictions which cannot be treated by ordinary medical means.
~Medicine is terribly expensive, and even more so than it should be because of the current condition of insurance and malpractice and HMOs.
~Medicine is polluted by the drug companies who use every means available to get doctors to recommend their particular drugs.
~We need God, not some guy who got a degree at a secular school.
~The Bible is negative towards doctors, consider the woman with the issue of blood who spent all her money and only got worse.
~Asa, the king in 1 Chronicles 16:12 was punished for seeking physicians not the Lord.
~The scientific worldview is hostile to the Biblical one.
~If it’s your time to die, you aren’t going to stop it. And if it’s not, you aren’t going to cause it.

Bible References: Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 1:6, Isaiah 55:8-9, Jeremiah 8:22, Ezekiel 47:12, Matthew 9:12, Mark 5:25-30, Luke 10:33-34, Colossians 4:14, 1 Timothy 5:23, James 4:2-3, James 5:13-15 (plus what is in the links below)

Child's death tests OR faith healing law by The Oregonian
The use of medicine and doctors by
Healing scriptures by
Healing scriptures by
Healing scriptures II by

WW--We Should Emulate The Radical Muslims

~People take them seriously and cater to their desires, no matter how ridiculous.
~Bullies and temper tantrum throwers get their way.
~Violence gets people’s attention.
~Tolerance is killing us from the inside.
~Blasphemy is serious stuff. It was a capital crime in the Old Testament.
~“Every knee shall bow.” Does this give you the impression that God particularly cares about voluntary submission?
~Violence is the correct response to evil people who won’t do right voluntarily.
~Their view is that all of society must conform to the will of God. How is this different from our view? Look around at all the awful things in America that we accept under this ridiculous notion of freedom!
~How well is freedom really working for us? Christian Sharia would be much better.
~The problem with them isn’t their means, it’s their ends. But we should adopt their means, because it works.
~If you’re not with us, you’re against us. And if you’re against us, they why wouldn’t we kill you?
~The people who oppose us are going to hell anyway, why not help them on their way, or give them a really good incentive to repent?
~Doesn’t it irk you that the only group no one really worries about offending is the Christians?
~What portion of this earth is God not sovereign over? And if we are His ambassadors here, why aren’t we exerting control in keeping with that concept?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 12: Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
~Are we paid for or forgiven?
~Does God ever say, “Please?”
~Why don’t we build cathedrals anymore?
~How should Christians balance faith with medicine?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ethics: Are Beliefs Ever Sins?

We know that having an abortion is almost always a sin, but what if a person doesn’t have one and merely believes it’s okay to do so? Is it a sin to deny the resurrection or to believe that Adam and Eve weren’t real people? What if someone believes that spanking children is sinful? On the one hand, it seems that some erroneous beliefs must be sins since otherwise there isn’t any consequence to failing to love God with our minds. This would seem to fit with the idea that certain doctrines are held as necessary for having a proper relationship with God. It wouldn’t make much sense to say that you have to believe the Trinity to be a Christian but that it’s not a sin to deny the Trinity. But on the other hand, does God ever judge you for your beliefs, even if they don’t show up as behaviors? Are there some wrong beliefs which are more objectionable than actual sinful behaviors? Also, aren’t we all wrong about some of our beliefs? Did Jesus’s sacrifice pay for the sins of the mind, if there are any? And what if a person is shown the truth but refuses to believe it? To what extent might that be a sin?

What Do You Tolerate?

Tolerance is a concept that has gotten a pretty bad reputation among conservatives in recent years because it has been used incorrectly by liberals. Yet tolerance and toleration are essential components of our social fabric. This is true not just when it comes to our Constitution protecting the freedom to do lots of things we dislike, but this comes from our own theological notions of Christian liberty. So I thought it would be interesting to get you thinking about tolerance by asking you what sort of things you personally truly tolerate, which means to dislike something without thinking it should be made illegal or stopped through force.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WW--We Shouldn’t Argue Or Debate

~It’s unloving to try to beat someone in an argument.
~It’s a fallacy to assume that two people arguing on opposite sides will bring out all the relevant ideas.
~Debate is oppositional, whereas real thinking should be more collaborative
~Rhetoric rather than substance wins debates.
~Debating emphasizes speed, not quality of thought.
~Debating is more about ego and winning than about discovering truth

~In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty.
Therefore, we never need to disagree.
~Disagreeing gives people the impression that Christians are not united.
~The Bible warns us against indulging in vain disputes.
~Disagreeing agreeably just doesn’t happen very often.
~Love and disagreement aren’t synonyms, and we’re supposed to be known for our love.
~Disagreement is the first step down the path of schism and church-split.
Just like you shouldn’t look at other women because it’s the first step towards an affair.
~Disagreements often lead us to question other people’s Christianity.
~Only sinners disagree, and we’re not supposed to imitate sinners are we?
~Whether we disagree doesn’t matter as long as we love each other.

Bible References: Matt 5:9, Matt 5:44-48, Matt 24:46-51, John 13:34-35, Acts 15, Acts 19:8-9, Rom 14:1-13, Gal 2:11, Phil 2:14-16, 1 Tim 1:3-4, 1 Tim 6:3-5, Titus 3:9-11

Why Do Good Christians Disagree?
When Christians Disagree, What to do? by
When Christians Disagree

WW--We’re Better Off Without Friends

~If you don’t have friends, you never get betrayed by a friend.
~Friends cost money.
~Friends cost time.
~Friends obligate you to doing things you don’t really want to do.
~Friends will let you down and disappoint you.
~With no friends, you have total freedom to do anything.
~It’s hard to really grow when you have friends because they’ll always try to keep you where you are.
~At best, friends are just imperfect knock-offs of Jesus, with whom you could spend more time the less friends you have.
~Why waste time with friends when you can read your Bible, the infallible Word of God? After all, friends are full of dangerously imperfect ideas.
~No friends, no peer pressure.

Bible references:
All uses of "friend" by

Other links:
Friends and the law by Hoover Institution

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Theological Tuesday

~Bible Stories 11: Pentecost (Acts 2)
~What can churches learn from MLMs?
~Are we paid for or forgiven?
~Is it like adultery to listen to someone other than your pastor preach?
~Does God ever say, “Please?”
Pentecost by Wikipedia
Pentecost (Whitsunday) by
Pentecost by Kaufmann Kohler
The Church Year: Pentecost by Dennis Bratcher