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Weblog Archive 


May 26 - May 27, 2002



Monday 27th May, 2002


Bene Diction posts:



Relapsed Catholic is not on holiday - she's Canadian. Good posts today. And yesterday, and the day before…


Fool’s Folly has a thoughtful post on submission. And Mark Byron thoughtfully comments right back.


Junk Yard Blog tried to install a firewall and ran into problems. And Sand in the Gears has phone problems. So, no posts from those two until all the bugs are worked out. We hear you Bryan and Tony. If I can’t figure out how to fix the log-in password on my XP Pro, I’ll be posting from…er, um, uh-uh…no, I won’t be posting until I can pin down my trusty tech and get her to sneak into this machine.


Here’s more anti-Semitism to go with the post below on the Internet game. Little Green Footballs says Eurovision Song Contest presenters told local viewers not to vote for an Israeli singer. LGF has a great comment section; it can be as informative as the blog. Tal G. has the story too.


Damian Penny a Canadian, responds to Tim Blair an Australian. who asked Penny to explain what the heck the husband of the governor-general was talking about recently. It’s kind of like the Australian-Canadian dialogue we have going on here, eh? I don’t know if Ralston-Saul has an official title if he is only the spouse of a governor general, but I do know he’s indecipherable at the best of times. He must have done some bad drugs back in the 60’s.


Tim Blair has the latest on the Nancy Crick suicide. This tragedy is getting more bizarre.


-posted 9:40am, by Bene Diction



It Had to Happen

The O’Reilly Network is coming out with a blogging book, The Essential Blogger.  This makes sense. If you go into your local bookstore or library there are computer books

crowding the shelves like proliferating rabbits in a pen. Release date is set for August 2002. Now, if there were a Blogging for Dummies book, yours truly would be first in line. Link via Canadian David Janes of Ranting and Roaring.



Christianity in the Third World

Islam may not be outstripping Christianity as the world’s fastest growing religion.  In his new book, The Next Christendom, author Phillip Jenkins says Samuel Huntington (Clash of Civilizations) and other academics are missing the larger picture of the explosion of Christians in the southern hemisphere. Jenkins says Christianity is indeed losing force in the western world, drawing his premises from the numbers in the 2000 World Christian Encyclopedia. Although he sees Islam squaring off with western Christians in the future, the primary fight will be with Christians in developing countries.


In a worst-case scenario, he pictures Christian and Islamic countries of the southern hemisphere locked in religious conflicts reminiscent of the Middle Ages. "Imagine the  world of the 13th century armed with nuclear warheads and anthrax," Jenkins writes.


Here’s the rest of the review in The Baptist Standard.



Parent Prayers 101

Christianity Today’s 40 Ways to Pray for your Children.



What the Choice is All About



New Meaning to Film Noir

About 250 filmgoers at the Cannes festival had to be treated by paramedics because they were so sickened by a French entry.


Around 20 people, mostly women, were sick and some needed oxygen while more than 200 of the 2,400 spectators walked out halfway through the screening of Gaspar Noe's film. But most of those who stayed gave it a five-minute standing ovation.


The film is in competition for the Golden Palm Award. Two scenes were particularly graphic. So 10% walk out and 90% give it a standing ovation!  What is wrong with this picture?

Here’s what the fire lieutenant said:


In 25 years in my job I've never seen this at the Cannes Festival. The scenes in this film are unbearable, even for us professionals.


Here is how the co-producer described it:


A magnificent film.


Me thinks, l’emperor ne porte pas de vetements.


UPATE:  Roman Polanski won the Palme D’or for “The Pianist”.



Suicide Bombing Game

Jewish groups in Britain are in an uproar over an internet game where the player is a suicide bomber.


Players move their suicide bomber along a busy street to get as close as possible to the maximum number of innocent civilians.


At the opportune moment they click on their mouse and the terrorist opens his coat to reveal grenades strapped to his body, then explodes in a shower of bloody limbs. Scoring is broken down into tallies of dead or injured men, women and children.


The game already has had thousands of downloads. The game is being circulated while scores of Israeli citizens are dying in suicide bomb attacks.


The Israeli Embassy in London has complained and Lord Janner, the vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, said: "This is grotesque, unacceptable and uncivilised. It normalises and glorifies terror and deliberate murder, and it should be banned.


"This isn't just about Israel and the Jewish people. It is about the whole war against terror." Fiona Macaulay, a spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "It is obscene. I am aghast that there is such tacit acceptance of suicide bombers in Britain that this can be widely circulated as entertainment.


The game was developed by a 23 year old in Texas who plans to improve it. He is unrepentant.


On the website where the game originates, he has written that he is planning a more sophisticated version: "You'll start in Israel and work your way across Europe and end up in America. Each country will have missions such as injure three women or kill two children without injuring any adults."


Fabulous999 insists, however, that his intention is to satirise suicide bombers, not glorify them. "I'm not Jewish, I'm not an Arab, and I'm not a terrorist. I just think people who blow themselves up are stupid. That's all this game is. If anything, this is going to be an anti-Yasser Arafat game."


I tried to link to the site to express my concerns and got a directory. I’ll have to google them. The creator of the site has refused to remove it, saying they will continue to protect the right to make extreme games.


Until law enforcement steps in and takes action under hate laws, citizens on both sides of the pond need to register their protest with this site and state law officials in Texas. Link found via WorldNetDaily.



China blocks Tribute Website

Jay Nordlinger has an interesting article in The National Review Online about a courageous Chinese woman, Youqin Wang, who has dedicated her life to memorializing the victims of Chairman Mao’s Revolution. The Chinese government has blocked her site. 


-posted 9:25am, by Bene Diction



Sunday 26th May, 2002


Bene Diction posts:



Gerard Serafin at a Catholic Blog for Lovers, looks at why the world’s press follows the pope around.


The Cranky Professor has added a comments section. He’s not really cranky, and invites comments by saying there’s no such thing as a stupid question.


Tim Bednar at has an internet usage post done by the Pew Internet Project. Interesting.


Heal Your Church has a worm print (Nimda) log post. Took a minute, but I saw it. Better yet, he has advice on how to prevent it.


-posted 2:45pm, by Bene Diction


Martin Roth posts:


Sacred Journey

Congratulations to author, university lecturer and former Baptist pastor Mike Riddell for winning ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year award in the Spirituality section, for Sacred Journey, sub-titled “Spiritual Wisdom for Times of Transition”.


Mike, like me, is from New Zealand (he still lives there - I’m now an Aussie). I met him a few years ago when he came to Melbourne – describing himself as an “unemployed theologian” - to conduct a two-week seminar on the role of the church in a post-modern age. It’s a subject on which he is a genuine expert. He has lectured and written extensively about it, and has considerable experience in organising alternative worship services, in several countries.


I wrote a little about the seminar in Chapter 9 of my book Living Water to Light the Journey (that chapter is one of several now online). I also related in my book the following story (reproduced below from Mike’s website):


While minister of Ponsonby Baptist…Mike was involved in a confrontation with Auckland City Council over the proposed sale of Council housing in the Freemans Bay Area. After a long and frustrating campaign to change Council's policy, Mike startled councilors by interrupting their meeting and stripping to his underpants. He informed the councilors that this was what they were doing to the poor of their city: stripping them of their dignity and leaving them naked. The mayor called for a cup of tea.


Mike is a wonderful writer. Right now, coincidentally, I have out from the library his book Threshold of the Future, which challenges the church to return to its radical roots and its essential character as a missionary body. And on my over-crowded bookshelves I have a couple of his earlier books.


I haven’t read Sacred Journey, but I’ll bet it’s good.


Look out for it.


Footnote: The ForeWord magazine awards are intended to honour small, independent publishers. Third-prize winner in the Spirituality section is Tariki, published by Kodansha International. Does the magazine know that Japan’s Kodansha is one of the world’s largest publishing houses?

-posted 1:55pm, by Martin Roth


Bene Diction posts:


Update: Australian Suicide Nancy Crick

A post mortem has revealed that Nancy Crick did not have cancer. Was she pressured by euthanasia advocates to end her life? Link found via Tim Blair. He has the full chronology of this tragic story. Words fail me.



One Year and Counting

Monday will mark the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of New Tribe missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham by the Abu Sayyah terrorists in the Philippines. Christianity Today has full coverage in its web log and will have more on Tuesday. They have a lead article here.



United States Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day weekend in the United States. Victor David Hanson writes a moving article about his Uncle Victor and about finding out how he died at Okinawa. This is also a story about the men who survived the battle and who responded to Hanson’s information requests with dignity, elegance and grace.



There Is No Happy Ending. Read It.

Link found via Canuck blogger Damian Penny



Soka Gakkai

Look at Martin’s post about the Soka Gakkai sect.  It has eerily similar traits with the “health-wealth gospel” preached in the western world.  Scroll down to the ‘testimony’ that starts with:  “I started chanting about a car that in fact I had……..”


Anton Hein of Holland has marvelous resources on his site Apologetics Index at about the Health-Wealth, Word-Faith, and Positive Confession Movement.  Look up Health & Wealth Gospel in Index- H) This movements teaching is heresy.  (Index- W. Word-Faith Apologetics Index)


There are more articles by England’s Trish Tillin, here.


Many people have seen the hyper-spirituality of this movement, where God is treated like a Santa Claus. Adherents engage in magical thinking and religious ideation. People desperately seeking and needing a living and Holy God work themselves into a hypnotic group state, and misuse scripture in attempts to acquire power, prestige, place and things. What is so frightening is that, sometimes, this deceit works. Yes, acquisition could be the result of statistical probability and hype. But it is still unsettling.




A lot of mainstream newspapers, magazine and web site journalists have written about the phenomenon of blogging. Jonah Goldberg writes about the two extremes of thought regarding web logs, and basically winds up somewhere in the middle. Makes sense. He is a mainstream journalist and a blogger.


I like this comment:


Indeed, it was a conservative, St. Augustine, who essentially invented the idea that history is the story of technological innovation. But, Augustine noted that while the doohickeys keep changing, human nature and the laws of government remain constant.


Hmmm. Doesn’t it say something to that effect in the bible?



Alternate Meanings

The Washington Post has a contest every year where readers are asked to submit alternate meanings for various words. Here are a couple of these years’ winners.


  1. coffee (n) - a person who is coughed upon.
  2. flabbergasted (adj) - appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. abdicate (v) - to give up any hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. lymph (v) - to walk with a lisp.
  5. gargoyle (n) - an onion flavoured mouthwash.
  6. balderdash (n) - a rapidly receding hairline
  7. flatulence (n) - the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller


-posted 9:30am, by Bene Diction