Friday, February 26, 2010

Odds ‘n Ends, vers. 18

I hope this week finds you in good health and spirits. Here are a few articles that caught my attention:

1).    US Lab Recreates Big Bang Temperatures. Makes Quark Soup. Article here. US Department of Energy's lab Brookhaven National Laboratory performed a remarkable experiment simulating temperatures close to those that may have taken place at the Big Bang. BNL can add a stunning achievement to its list -- achieving temperatures likely not seen since the Big Bang.  The lab produced temperatures of 4 trillion degrees Celsius, 250,000 times hotter than the Sun's interior, during collisions of gold atoms hurtling at almost the speed of light.  To give another benchmark, the collision produced internal heat approximately 40 times that at the center of an imploding supernova star.

The collisions produced a stunning "soup" of quarks and gluons.  The analyzed data indicates that record high temperature caused the protons and neutrons of the gold atoms to "melt" into the quarks and gluons that compose them, which then formed a plasma, known as quark gluon plasma (QGP).  This appears to be the first time man has been able to make such a quark soup.

This is amazing. My question is – how on Earth could they do this?

2).    Russia Delays Delivery to Iran of Advanced Air Defense System. Article here. Russia raised Western hopes that it will support tougher international sanctions against Iran's nuclear program by announcing a delay in delivery of S-300 advanced air defense missiles. The postponement for unspecified "technical problems" was made public a day after Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, urged Russia to support "crippling" sanctions against Tehran during a visit to Moscow.

The United States and Israel have been pressing Russia not to deliver the S-300 missiles, which would make a successful military strike much more difficult if diplomacy failed to resolve the stand-off over Iran's nuclear facilities…

3).    Faith Healer Benny Hinn Receives Divorce Papers. This story makes me sad. If you have ever heard someone criticize a Christian faith healer, it is likely Benny Hinn they are talking about. But I thought I have seen him grow in his faith, and willingness to preach the Gospel in recent years. Article here. Benny Hinn Ministries on Thursday confirmed that his wife, Suzanne Hinn, filed a petition for divorce in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1. She cited irreconcilable differences.

Funniest line from the story – A long time advisor to the Hinn ministries is quoted as saying, "Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavored to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice." Faith Healer heal yourself?

4).    Pets and the Law. Two items I found as interesting involving pets.

Rapture Insurance for your Pet? What if you are raptured away to be with the Lord? Who would take care of your pets who are "Left Behind"? Atheists have come to the rescue offering their services by an insurance policy, in the event you are raptured. Article here.

Include your pets in a Domestic Relation's Protective Order. Article here: I learned this week that judges in Colorado would be able to order suspected domestic abusers to keep away from family pets under a bill being considered by state lawmakers… And yes, the Minnesota Senate is taking a look at this bill in SF0838.

5).    From RC Sproul's book The Truth of the Cross, as summarized on Challies Dot Com. Early in the book he spends some time discussing the human condition and as he does so he uses three biblical concepts: debtors, enemies, and criminals. The Bible describes each of us in these terms. What Sproul does here, and this really helped it hit home for me, is show how it is always the Father who has been offended and the Son who intercedes. We have committed crimes against God and are, thus, justly termed criminals. The Father stands as Judge, passing the just sentence of death. But Christ stands between us and the Father, acting as substitute. Our sin puts us in debt to God so that we are debtors to Him. God is the creditor who demands repayment, but Christ stands in as surety. And sin puts us at enmity with God, making us His enemies. He has been violated by our sin, but Christ intercedes as mediator, opening the way between man and God.

Sproul breaks this down into the following simple table:

Sin As…










Violated One







Edward Oleander said...

Tom, you have my absolute promise that on the day you and yours are Raptured, I will rescue your pets and give them as good a life as can be had in Apocalyptic America. No charge.


Edward Oleander said...

#5) @Sproul: If God and Jesus lived in NY, they would have been picked up by Bunko and run out of town long ago.

It seems to me that He and Jesus are running the ultimate con game. Either they are playing the best game of Good Cop/ Bad Cop ever seen (shilling us by guilt to behave in unnatural ways for unknown purposes), or are running the smoothest shell game in existence (with Salvation as the pea under the cup). Either way, they make P.T. Barnum look like an amateur.

Aside from scale, what is it that divides Christianity from any other cult? I never have been able to see it...