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Weblog Archive 


July 4 - July 8, 2002


Monday 8th July, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

WorldWar111 continues to deal with health problems from the WTC.


Martin, our favorite Aussie Jesus blogger, is interviewed over at Ideas.


Jordon Cooper’s thoughts on blogging make the crème de la crème of meta blogs, Corant.


Relapsed Catholic has good reason to celebrate.


Mark Bryon posted on his wedding day. That must be a blogging first. Nah, no wedding jitters there! However, we expect silence from his corner of the blogosphere for the honeymoon; posting then would go beyond dedication. Dr. and Mrs. Byron, God bless.


Going through the log recently I noticed some interesting visitors from around the world.  This US blogger, Pain Perdu has discovered that the Christian blogosphere is a big place.


Grace Awakening, it was my mistake. Martin did his job, I certainly try to link promptly when we get such a polite request. My inbox is a disaster and I missed the email.



Toronto Buried Under Garbage

Angry Toronto citizens trying to cope with the 12th day of a garbage strike take matters into their own hands. The union tried to stop an order of the Medical Officer of Health. I suspect there will be deaths from violence or fire before this hostage style strike is resolved.



The End of the World Again

The World Wildlife Fund says we’ll deplete earth’s resources by the year 2050.



Bovine Byproducts

A few weeks ago I posted the story of cow dung being touted as a protection against radioactive fallout. Distilled cow urine has been patented and may actually have positive effects in cancer treatment.



Gutenberg Bible

Johann Gutenberg’s work goes digital.




There is now a blog about Google.



Ode de Toilet

A Canadian museum exhibit on the history of the toilet is drawing its share of jokes.



Beyond Bored

A bored 20 year old in Florida has been arrested for dialing over a thousand fake calls to 911. I’d send this dude to Toronto to clean up garbage.


-posted 10:55am, by Bene Diction



Saturday 6th July, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

G’day and bonjour to our new kids on the blog!


Dept of Theology at University of Blogistan

Innocent Smith

Digital Notebook

common things


Prophecy News

Joshua Clark, blogger

Noli Irritare Leones

A Religion of Sanity

Creative Slips


Take a few days off, and the new guys take over. These great new additions will keep everyone on their toes. Blog on!


Sand in the Gears has strong comments on the Bill Keller NY Times piece on the ethics of aborting a malformed child.


Don’t miss Mark Byron’s posts as he gets ready for his wedding.


Head over to CLOG. The Veggie Violence heats up!


If you are of the Reformed persuasion, Chronicles of a Poet Warrior has a blog survey done with those of like mind.


Catholic and Enjoying It says Catholic-Protestant differences are inconsequential. He Lives disagrees.


Joyful Christian has been taking advantage of the holiday to catch up on posting. He looks at corporate justice versus personal vengeance.


Redwood Dragon’s prayer for Arab nations.


Urban Onramps has an article in the summer web special re:generation online.


Catholic Light posted this “If your teacher had been a mystic” earlier this week while I was off. Quite funny.


Book of Joshua thank you. To anyone who doesn’t think bloggers are part of a community, I respectfully disagree.




An interesting look at the science of fireworks.



Crying Wailing Wall

Jewish mystics think damp, leaking spot on Jerusalem’s old temple wall presages the advent of the Messiah.



Separation of Church and State


Daniel Pipes reports in the Jerusalem Post that the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian public-interest law group, has filed suit challenging a program providing instruction in Islam to public-school students:

"Become a Muslim warrior during the crusades or during an ancient jihad." Thus read the instructions for seventh graders in Islam: A Simulation of Islamic History and Culture, 610-1100, a three-week curriculum produced by Interaction Publishers, Inc. In classrooms across the United States, students who follow its directions find themselves fighting mock battles of jihad against "Christian crusaders" and other assorted "infidels." Upon gaining victory, our mock-Muslim warriors "Praise Allah."

This sounds a lot more like "promoting religion" than the generic phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The defendant in the Thomas More lawsuit is the Byron Union School District in Northern California--which is within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit. It should be interesting to watch this case progress through the courts.

WSJ Opinion Journal



Bored with Church

Is declining church attendance in Australia due to style or substance?



Blogging Trends

This article in Editor and Publisher looks at the blogging trend and urges newspapers to pay attention to the new medium of blogs.



Oh! A Post

On June 7th Martin posted a new tool for blogophiles called Blog Tracker. BlogToaster works through MSN messenger and also notifies you about new posts on your favorite blogs.



Finally, A Personal Note

As Martin mentioned yesterday, changes are on the way. I’ll be moving to my own blog within the next 10 days and will be working with our well-known computer geeks on the exciting upgrades to The Semi-Definitive Blog list. Stay linked! Martin will make the rest of the announcements soon. My new blog will continue with Blog Watch and meta-blog format. I think I may call it “Bene Diction Blogs On”.  Until then, the Canuck-Aussie partnership will continue.


-posted 4:25pm, by Bene Diction



Friday 5th July, 2002


Martin Roth Christian Commentary


One Big Mac and a Medium Fries for Jesus

Sometimes the Christian publishing industry seems to descend to self-parody.


This month Thomas Nelson publishes The What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook, with “healthy, hearty recipes featuring foods that Jesus Himself would have eaten”.


Not everyone is applauding.


According to an acerbic report in the “Religion Line” email newsletter of Publishers Weekly, the book is “short on recipes for locusts and honey, but long on Mediterranean-influenced cuisine…. So in addition to more traditional dishes like hummus and Egyptian rice with lentils, [the author] includes recipes with a modern verve, like broiled salmon fillets with fennel sauce, cilantro salsa and melon shakes (leaving the reader to wonder - did Jesus have access to a blender?).”


It is of course popular – fashionable even – to debate what Jesus would or would not do were He back on earth.


I live in an upmarket suburb. One day at a Bible study gathering a friend commented: “If Jesus were back on earth He certainly wouldn’t come to our church. He’d be over in the poor parts of town, mixing with the people in their churches there.” (In fact, at least one commentator has suggested that if Jesus were back on earth He would shun the church altogether and head straight for the nearest synagogue.)


But I think Jesus would visit our church. He might not be too impressed with the odd BMW among the Toyotas, Fords and Hondas. But surely He would rejoice to find a congregation of ordinary people struggling to maintain the faith in a deeply secular environment.


Of course, He would also be found at the poorer quarters. Jesus went wherever people needed reconciliation with God. That meant everywhere in His day, and I feel it would be the same today.


Similarly with food. He fasted and He probably participated in Jewish feasts. Palestinian society in those days was not rich. People ate what they could get. As far as we know, Jesus ate in accordance with the norms of His time.


Diet and a trim figure are modern-day obsessions. I do not find evidence that they were concerns of Jesus. He preached the Kingdom of God and repentance, not weight loss.


Yes, it is surely good to eat healthy food. And current research suggests a “Mediterranean diet” is about as healthy as you can get. But far better to put the stress on leading lives of service, moderation and self-restraint. “Make me more like Jesus,” should be part of the prayers of every Christian. But that involves a transformed heart, not a flatter tummy.


Here is what I wrote nearly three months ago when I started my website:


Jesus preached a message that was revolutionary in its day: love, forgiveness, service, integrity, trust, humility, prayer, compassion, justice, and more. Yet too often in our world today we see self-interest placed ahead of love and compassion, rule by the powerful in place of justice and service, spin instead of honesty and integrity. The message of Jesus has become revolutionary again. Christianity is the new counter-culture.


If Jesus were here again His fiery radicalism would show up our fads and obsessions as trivial pursuits driven by ego and self-absorption. I doubt that He would spend a lot of time worrying about diet. He’d probably eat what everyone else was having.


Sure, He would presumably dine on broiled salmon with fennel sauce if it were served to Him.


I suspect that He would be just as comfortable snacking at the local McDonald’s.



Thursday 4th July, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


Martin Roth Christian Commentary

Changes are coming to this website.


I find that I enjoy most writing longer pieces, rather than short blog items. So from tomorrow I plan to publish twice a week – each Tuesday and Friday – a short article titled “Martin Roth Christian Commentary”, with my take on the affairs of the world.


This means “rebranding” some of my articles and my weblog favourites, giving me an instant archive of commentary pieces.


Another change is that the bloglist will eventually go. It has served me well, bringing in heaps of traffic. But I was never going to do any more with it, other than let it grow. So a couple of computer geeks have come along and are collaborating in the launch of a dedicated site for the list. They will introduce all kinds of categories and various user-friendly functions that are way beyond my limited computer skills. It’s all quite exciting, and I shall keep you posted as the changes occur.


-posted 9:00pm, by Martin Roth