Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Blogger Awards

I'm getting a lot of comments about PINGS. I know they aren't working. I can't get them to work either. They currently seem random and arbitrary. I have been unable to figure out a fix, but I continue to pursue solutions. October blogger awards:

Is Liz a Cat Lady?
Kirk's bad reality shows
Kirk's good reality shows
Elizabeth R on Prayer
Renata loves her church
Jess requires participation
AJ's in Deep Water

Blog of Month: Kirk P

January: Elizabeth S
February: Kirk P
March: Kirk P
April: Elizabeth S
May: Steph P
June: Julie M
July: Mark B
August: AJ T
September: Elizabeth S
October: Kirk P

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creation Questions

One thing I've been doing recently on Sunday night's is providing handouts with a large list of questions relevant to our current biblical study. Currently, we are studying Genesis 1-11 and the creation/evolution issue. I provided 84 questions from this section of Scripture. The Following questions were asked and discussed over the hour and a half. I always find it interesting to see what gets asked and what doesn't.

3. What is meant by ‘the heavens’ (plural) in 1:1?
8. If creation is ‘young,’ how can we see starlight from millions of light years away?
9. What is or what happened to the ‘water above’ the expanse of 1:7?
12. Who is the ‘Us’ in 1:26?
31. Did the serpent really talk (3:1)? If so, how?
49. Who was Cain afraid of if only 3 people existed (4:14)?
50. Who was Cain’s wife (4:17)?
52. How could men live as long as is described in chapter 5?
54. Who were the ‘sons of God’ referred to in 6:2?
55. What is meant by the 120 years in 6:3?
56. What were the Nephilim of 6:4?
59. Was the flood in Noah’s day local or worldwide?
61. How could they possibly fit all ‘kinds’ of animals into the ark?
62. Were dinosaurs on the ark? What happened to them?
66. If the flood was worldwide, where did all the water go?
72. Do all people/races really come from the eight people of Noah’s Ark?
74. How did land animals get to other continents?
83. Is there scientific evidence for intelligent design?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Genesis 1

Interpretations of Genesis 1

Gap Theory Substantial chronological gap between 1:1 & 1:2

What is the state and doctrine of this theory?
1. This is a theory popularized in the 19th century, but is fading with time
2. It attempts to reconcile ‘old-earth’ with a ‘literal’ creation week
3. It theorizes that there is an enormous chronological gap b/w 1:1 & 1:2
4. It theorizes that there was an inhabited earth prior to the creation week
5. It theorizes that ‘Lucifer’ fell during this time and was judged via flood
6. It theorizes that this ‘flood’ explains pop-geology & the fossil record
7. It is based on Genesis 1:1-2, 1:28 (kjv), Isaiah 14 & Ezekiel 28

What are the 3 key problems with this theory?
1. It is based on faulty understandings of multiple Hebrew words
2. It fails the ‘Teaching Ministry’ & ‘Scriptural Harmony’ tests
3. It creates doctrinal dilemmas w/o accomplishing it’s scientific goal

Theistic Evolution God created & used evolution as His mechanism

What is the state and doctrine of this theory?
1. It was popularized in the 19th century, and is gaining momentum
2. It combines popular scientific theories with allegorical interpretation
3. It’s adherents range from doctrines of ‘deism’ to ‘immanence’

What are the 3 key problems with this theory?
1. It stands or falls on the merits of pop-science (Darwinian Evolution)
2. It seems to fail the Literal, Teaching & Scriptural Harmony tests
3. It creates a multitude of doctrinal issues (death before the Fall, etc)

Day-Age Theory Each ‘day’ of Genesis 1 represents an ‘age’

What is the state and doctrine of this theory?
1. It was popularized in the 19th century, and is holding it’s own
2. It combines non-Darwinian pop-science with biblical creationism
3. It suggests that the creations days were actually millions of years

What are the 3 key problems with this theory?
1. It seems to fail the grammatical, teaching & Scriptural harmony tests
2. It creates doctrinal dilemmas (death & ‘man’ before fall, local flood)
3. It generally fails to accomplish it’s goal of appealing to the secular mind

Allegorical Theory Creation Week is not a ‘Literal’ Account

What is the state and doctrine of this theory?
1. It has been growing in popularity during the 20th & 21st centuries
2. It suggests that Genesis 1 is a religious creed establishing the Sabbath
3. Adherents find the ‘gap’ & ‘day-age’ theories inadequate

What are the 3 key problems with this theory?
1. It seems to fail the literal & teaching tests
2. It leaves us with a lack of details about the origin of the universe
3. It is quite possibly a true application w/o being a primary meaning

Young Earth Theory God created the world in six 24-hour days

What is the state and doctrine of this theory?
1. It has been growing in popularity during the 20th & 21st centuries
2. It suggests that Genesis be interpreted as a chronological narrative
3. It, alone, suggests that the earth is less than 10,000 years old
4. It, alone, suggests that Noah’s flood was a worldwide deluge
5. It, alone, suggests that no death occurred prior to the fall
6. Adherents find alternative theories to ‘compromise’ Scriptural authority

What are the 3 key problems with this theory?
1. It fails to match up with popular secular-science in numerous fields
2. Some claim it treats Scripture like a scientific text-book
3. Some reference apparent contradictions if Genesis 1 is taken literally

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I'm calling it quits. The biking season is over and I failed miserably. I was doing quite well until Family Camp at the end of July and I don't think I've biked much at all since. The winner of the guessing game is a tie b/w Dena & Jessica.

Calvin 6,500
Kirk 532
Goal: 500 miles
Bryan 468.6
Steph 300
Matthew 225
Jo 200
Dena 175
Current Total: 150 miles
Jessica 125
Elliott 2

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Office Party 5

Back to half-hour business tonight with an episode entitled 'Local Ad.' I think I'm ready for the shorter shows, there's was just a lil too much filler in the hour long specials. Here's the episode information: From Dunder Mifflin decides to produce an ad, but things go awry when Michael hijacks the production. Dwight is busy also - exploring Second Life, an online website.

I won't be able to watch tonight's episode until later in the night b/c we have a group going to a Christian comedy evening offered by the Family Life Network. As for other announcements:
My sister interview is up
DJ is challenging me
Red Sox Rock

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Relationship w/God

I think a lot of Christians have been hurt by the contemporary emphasis on having a 'relationship' with God. There are many types of 'relationships,' but when the phrase is used these days it's often being used in particular ways. For instance, quite popular these days is the "Jesus is my boyfriend" mentality. A lot of worship songs are actually 'romantic' in nature and 'intimacy' with God has been a very popular sermon/book series. I would speculate that this has a least a role in the stats that show that men aren't too interested in contemporary churches. Another popular view of our 'relationship' with God is "Jesus is my homeboy," but, obviously, this is quite an uncomfortable metaphor for some.

Sure, there are elements of truth in most of the metaphors we use to describe our relationship with God. But, it seems to me, we too often forget that there are elements of error in them as well. A proper balance of metaphors is necessary. In my opinion we have too much emphasis on the aforementioned descriptions and not enough mention of the fact that Jesus is our Owner, Boss, Master, Lord, King, etc.

And perhaps this is a different point & post all-together, but I think the whole 'friendship' with God metaphor is over-used. It can't be allowed to monopolize the discussion. The end result of over-emphasizing certain metaphors is that a whole bunch of Christians end up 'feeling' dis-connected with God, when in reality they are living just the way God wants them to. Frankly, I think it's more important to obey the Lord each day than to 'feel' close to Him each day. I'm a citizen in His Kingdom at all times, it's really up to Him to decide when I shall be summoned.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


My sister Lauren turns 17 years old today. Here are my 2005 & 2006 birthday interviews. How old are you? 15 What's your boyfriend's first name? No Tengo What are your favorite foods/drinks? Yeah, umm...I don't know. Red Bull or Lemon Propel. McDonalds Apple pie is mad good. Don't write 'mad good.' And Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. What do you want to be when you're grown up? Child Psychologist Where do you think you'll live? Far away from Barker Who are your best friends? All of them? Danielle, Paul & Anthony, Brittany, Sarah, Amanda, Kasey What kind of music do you like? Everything. No opera, techno, country (but some country). What are your religious beliefs? Umm...N/A. Just joking. You know what I believe. Bands? Red hot chili peppers, White Stripes, hawthorne heights Any closing words? See you next year.

Monday, October 22, 2007

American Idols

Idols are small metal objects
Idols are expensive
Idols are carried around
Idols are spoken to
Idols are used in emergencies
Idols are cell phones

For more on cell phones, click here

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jena Malone

It's been a while since I updated my actor statistics. But I realized the other day that Jena Malone now qualifies for the list (I've now seen her in 7+ movies in which she played a somewhat substantial role). Here's her ranking:

Donnie Darko
Cold Mountain
Pride & Prejudice
Life as a House
For Love of the Game

Current Total: 5 pts

Friday, October 19, 2007

Funny Friday 12

The Vatican News Service, a TV station in Rome, is convinced that the flame in this picture is a spiritual visit from Pope John Paul II.I won't argue with them. I myself once saw an 'angel' praying in a cloud formation and actually was able to catch it on camera.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Office Party 4

In this hour long special, Michael is quickly going into debt with Jan renovating his condo. He tries to get money anyway he can including asking his employees for a loan. Meanwhile, Jim and Pam spend the night at Dwight's farm - now a bed and breakfast.

Question. What is the best prank Jim/Pam ever pulled on Dwight?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

City of God 2

In Book 2 of 'City of God' Augustine continues to speak out against polytheism declaring that myth sows filthy fancies about the gods; while political theology reaps by keeping them alive. The former spreads lies, the latter gathers them up. Next, Augustine goes into a discussion about the merits of various schools of philosophy, praising Plato along the way. Finally, he describes the differing views of demons along with their attributes. Augustine refuses to argue over semantics. Here are some other interesting thoughts from Book 2:

Augustine assumes the immortality of the soul
"God is not the soul of all things, but the maker of all souls"
Polytheism evolved from Monotheism, not the reverse
His amillennialism (present kingdom) begins to come through
So much prophecy is already fulfilled, assuring the yet future

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Top 10 Sports

I love rankings. But usually I rank teams and players within a given sport. It's not often that the sports themselves are ranked. Here's my list of favorite sports leagues:

1. NHL (hockey)
Lots of games, great playoffs
2. NFL (football)
Every game is important
3. NCAA (basketball)
Nothing like the NCAA Tourny
4. NCAA (football)
Anybody can beat anybody
5. MLB (baseball)
Lots of games, stats & matchups
6. NBA (basketball)
Fun stars, but bad basketball
7. Women's Tennis
Good back & forth action
8. Nascar (racing)
Wait for it...
9. Men's Tennis
Usually dominated by 1 or 2
10. Men's Golf
Nice and relaxing to watch

How bout your top 5? Top 10? Did I forget anything awesome?

Monday, October 15, 2007

eHarmony Parody

Tune of ‘Tennessee Christmas’

Come on Doctor Warren, I want my own background so white
Can’t you hear my prayers each time I visit your website?
I have been ball’in, Can’t wait to fall-in
Love with the girl you match with me
Hope it don’t matter, that I’m a distaster
I know you’ll find one to be

My perfect eHarmony Darlin
My eHarmony Girl
My gift from Neil Clark Warren
My one soul-mate in the world
Now I know there’s a lot
Match dot com, hot or not
One True Love and Single C
But when I found the girl of my dreams
I found her on eHarmony

Now it’s four AM, and this screen seems oh so bright
One more click I promise, find a match for me tonight
Holding my breath-in, anticipation
Open my eyes, oh please don’t fail
I have a match now! Hope she ain’t a cow
Time to view match details…

Four days later now, Guided process going great
We like the same ice-cream, this match is obviously fate
Sure, there’s some trouble, looks like Barney Rubble
Though I’m still sure she is a chick
And she’s a bit far, From Madagascar
But something with us just clicks…

Four weeks later now, time for another verse
Things have gone downhill, man, I think I must be cursed
She started fussing, I was too trusting
When I gave her mom’s maiden name
She maxed out my cards, man, this is so hard
But how could I ever blame…

Now it’s been four years, and we finally meet in court
Not an ideal first date, so I hope the trials short
But till I find out, I’ll give a shout out
Thanks to the Doc for coming through
My girl looks straight-forward, but I’m looking toward
Our future with skies so blue

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Office Party 3

My men's group has some deconstruction to do tonight, but I'm hoping I make to Katie's in time to watch tonight's episode of 'The Office.' I think it'll be funnier than last week. I'll be sure to add some quotes later on (thanks to Jessica B for doing this so well). I'll leave you with 1 question to spur on comments. If you had to go to lunch with 1 character (not the actor, the character) from the office, besides Jim or Pam, who would it be and why?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Coming Soon

Though he talks about NOT writing a book in the following video clip, Antony Flew does have a book coming out in the near future. Flew is famous for his atheism, but has recently come to believe God must exist. It's very interesting to listen to him think through theism so early on after his change in worldview. I'll be getting the book as soon as it comes out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday Night

The Buffalo Bills are a pretty bad team. Thankfully, we've been able to hide this from most Americans by never being invited to play on 'Monday Night Football.' But tonight, for the first time in a very long while, the Bills will be showcased to the nation. Well, most of them anyways. Already, in this young NFL Season, the Bills have lost 5 starters to season ending injuries and will be without 7 additional regulars tonight. That's the bad news. The good news is that most of those 12 guys weren't very good anyways. It also doesn't help that their opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, are undefeated and have seemed almost invincible so far this year. I can't figure out a way, in my head, for the Bills to win this football game. My main goal is to not lose by more than 20.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

City of God 1

I'm reading Augustine's 'City of God' and I thought I'd share my thoughts along the way. I should say, first, that I have mixed feelings about Augustine. On the one hand, I think he was a brilliant mind and far ahead of his time in the order of his thoughts. On the other hand, being ahead of one's time is only so good as the product and it may be the case that much error now existing in the church is the result of Augustine's great work. Depending on one's theology, he is either a second Paul or the primary root of mistaken doctrine.

I'm reading, of course, an abridged version (though still well over 500 pages in length) which is divided into 5 parts. Thus, my reaction to 'City of God' will most likely be 5 posts spread out over some time.

Part 1 of 'City of God' begins & ends as a defense of God's people from charges that they were responsible for the fall of Rome. Augustine spends most of his time arguing persuasively that Rome was falling long before the incarnation of Christ due to its foolish polytheism. At times, his ridicule of false gods crosses over to comedic, but the arguments are cutting and to be taken seriously. He argues against polytheism, pantheism & even astrology while urging his readers to rid themselves of the multitude and worship 1 true God, no matter what name is given Him.

Perhaps more interesting are Augustine's handling of slightly off-topic issues. In answering why God allows suffering upon the just, he gives 4 explanations: Suffering 1) Builds character 2) Grants perspective 3) is deserved, to some degree, by all and 4) reveals faith. Augustine made a strong case for the seriousness and sinfulness of suicide along with a clarification of the rules and exceptions to 'thou shalt not kill.' Most impressive, though, was his nuanced discussion of the fate vs. free will issue. Augustine maintained both the true sovereignty of God and the genuine free will of mankind.

Other snippets I found worthy of note were support for the historicity of the story of Jonah, usage of a very Wesleyan definition of sin, and some interesting political and geographical background of world history.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Office Party 2

Tonight I will miss 'The Office.' I have to help at a pro-life banquet. I will, of course, watch the episode when I return home later in the night, at which point I will leave my favorite quotes as a comment. Like Jessica, I really enjoyed last week's episode. I watched it 4 times: 1) With my super girlfriend Katie 2) by myself, that night, to collect quotes 3) With my mom and brother and 4) with my sister and brother. Each time was funnier than the former, except the 4th, which was a little less funny. I suppose 3 times is enough.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NHL Predictions

Last Year I gave out 5 A's and 2 of those went to the Cup finals. But a lot of my picks really stunk, so take this with a grain of salt:

A NY Rangers
A Ottawa
B+ Buffalo
B+ Pittsburgh
C+ Florida
C+ NJ Devils
C Carolina
C Toronto
C Atlanta
C- Philadelphia
C- Tampa Bay
C- Montrael
C- NY Islanders
D Boston
D Washington

A San Jose
A Detroit
A Anaheim

B+ Vancouver
B+ Calgary
B Minnesota
B Colorado

C+ Nashville
C+ Dallas
C- LA Kings
C- St. Louis
D Columbus
D Chicago
D Phoenix
D Edmonton

Cup: NY Rangers over Detroit

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Startling Statements

For my series on the Middle East (just completed), I read a bunch of books. But a few days prior to the last installment, I stumbled upon a book at the church by John Hagee entitled 'Jerusalem Countdown.' I had seen this book at Wal-Mart on numerous occassions and even flipped through it. But I had no idea how many startling statements were contained within. Below are 7 Startling quotes followed by my reaction.

The greatest prophetic miracle of the twentieth century – the rebirth of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948. I realize that an awful lot of people believe this, but I don't think most Christians realize how weak an argument it is. In my understanding, Jesus and the Apostles interpreted the promise of a return to the land in a very different way than modern day dispensationalists.

In Jerusalem there is a very special and powerful presence. It is the literal presence of the living God.
He's not talking about Old Testament Jerusalem here, he's talking about modern day Jerusalem! He's talking as if God's presence is still defined geographically. What's more, he's talking as if God's presence is still pleased with a largely Jesus-rejecting people.

It could be said that if Israel had not been brought back to the land…There would be just reason to doubt the validity of the Bible. Really? Christians for hundreds of years didn't seem to have any problem with the lack of a political Israel. Nor did they expect it to come about.

As a people, the Jews had nothing to do with the political conspiracy against Jesus Christ. Hagee doesn't spend much time on this, but it seems to me in his quest against antisemitism, he's gone to the opposite extreme. He critique of ancient and contemporary Israel is next to nothing in this book.

They (contemporary Jews) are our brothers and sisters who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob just as we do. In certain contexts and in some senses, such a statement is valid, but given the overall message of Hagee's book, I think the ecumenical brotherhood with Judaism is much too strong in this book.

The Jewish people are not simply Abraham’s seed, but quite literally God’s children. I'm not even sure what he means here by 'literally.' But I think Paul would be surprised to find Galatians 3 being so ignored.

The stars (the church) have their role, and the sand (the Jews) has its role, but they never interact. I think Paul would also be surprised to see a Christian teacher seemingly ignoring Ephesians 2, you know, the whole 2 becoming 1 thing.

God is rising to judge the nations of the world based on their treatment of the State of Israel. That's funny, I thought we were going to be judged by our works in general which flow out of our relationship with Jesus Christ. This quote is repeated in different forms throughout the book.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Repentance is not simply our only means of forgiveness, it is our only means to being cleansed of all unrighteousness. Though we often avoid repentance by covering it up, casting blame, claiming pure motives, convincing ourselves we were in the right, comparing our sin to others, or changing the very definition of sin, such a practice not only fails to clear the sin from our record, it hardens our heart just a little bit each time. In other words, each time we fail to repent of a sin, we become less capable of repentance b/c our hearts get colder and harder. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. Only soft/warm hearts can be changed for the better.

Nobody likes to confess sin. But if you're going to need to eat crow, you better do it while it's warm or you might not be able to do it at all.