July 4 - July 8, 2002
Monday 8th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
WorldWar111 continues to deal with health problems from the WTC.
Martin, our favorite Aussie Jesus blogger, is interviewed
Jordon Cooper’s thoughts on blogging make the crème de la crème of meta
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.
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.
Johann Gutenberg’s work goes
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.
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
-posted 10:55am, by Bene Diction
Saturday 6th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
G’day and bonjour to our new kids on the blog!
Dept of Theology at University of Blogistan
Joshua Clark, blogger
Noli Irritare Leones
A Religion of Sanity
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.
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
Catholic and Enjoying It says Catholic-Protestant differences are
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
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
declining church attendance in Australia due to style or substance?
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.
Thomas Nelson publishes The What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook, with
“healthy, hearty recipes featuring foods that Jesus Himself would have
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
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
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
-posted 9:00pm, by