Archive for the ‘ Cutting Edge ’ Category

Tech Monkey

Ok, I admit it. I am.

I added 3-5 useless/semi-useful plugins today, fixed a couple annoyances, and figured out why my email wasn’t working. I think.

Hearken: The plugins list can be found at bottom right, under “technology” – where I am testing all of my other new plugins, too.

You can quote comments, now.

You can see recent comments.

You can see recent trackbacks.

You can see a list of most frequent commenters. Catez is in the lead 😀

You can even see where *I* am commenting, elsewhere in the blogosphere.

Lots of neato stuff like that.

Then, of course, there is the ever-uber WP-Hashcash and Polite-ifier (which keeps this blog spam-free and profanity free, respectively), Comment Quicktags, Related Posts, and etc, etc.

I use plenty of java, as I’m sure you’ve seen, and I use several other custom addons.

I’d pull a StrongBad, and tell you to “follow along, with my simple step-by-step instructions”… but, alas, I really don’t make blogging fun.

So, until next time… yeah. I suppose I’ll actually post something meaty and non-fluffy – but, alas… all I’m doing is fiddling with my site interminably – and that’s not very interesting for anyone but ubernerds. So, in fact, I really didn’t do, or think, about anything non-nerdy. Which makes me an uber-nerd, I suppose. Although I have a really cool collection of Strongbad clips that I just listened to, to try and find an appropriate one to end this post with.

I had fun listening, but didn’t find one. I should rip some more clips from “Trogdor”…


As you may have seen, I’m doing something different. I’ll probably start doing a Daily Cut once a week, or more infrequently. I’ve added a mini-blog to the top right, so you can see what I find interesting right now, at a glance, instead of trying to fight and do a large post every day.

Also, I’ll start adding some new features, and likely upgrade to WordPress 2.0 in the near future.

I’ve revamped the look of the apologetics section at the top right as well; I’ve delineated the subject areas more cleanly, rearranged the aggregator buttons, pointed out the “Latest Post” feature (you really should use that… it shows the most recent posts from the Aggregator, if you click the button. It utilizes javascript, and opens it right here.), and I’m looking into some other features which (I hope), will save me, and you, some time.

Yes, I am an inveterate tweaker. This site has *always* got something changing about it. Expect it. I may, also, release this theme and the theme I use on Bethany’s site, to the public, once I clean them both up. Eventually. I have two more projects in the works, from the design aspect, and I’ll introduce them to you once they’re finished. One is a (concept) site for my church, and the other is a website for my immediate family members. They should be fun…

Now, if I only had 20 more hours in a day!

I may – may – add a list of all the neat plugins I use on this site. I have quite a few. This is a very custom setup, thus the constant tweaking.

Today’s burning questions:

1. Any requests for features/functionality?
2. Any problems with the blog functionality or theme?

Types of Atheistic Belief?

UberKuh has an interesting post, listed in the Dec. 11th Carnival of the Godless, which lists various forms of “Atheistic Belief”, along with a brief explanantion and example. I found it interesting, myself.

He makes a point that jumped out at me.

Until one has attempted to understand why atheists are who they are, one’s biases and arguments for and against atheism must be said to be superficial and trite, and should not be taken seriously.

I’m not quite sure about some of the listings, though, like this one:

Incapable (Da2):
This type of atheist is aware that a deity is claimed to exist and is motivated to form an opinion about the truth of that claim, but is incapable of grasping what that claim entails. For example, a mentally challenged person who has been told about Jesus but is unable to grasp who Jesus claimed to be can be called an atheist with respect to belief in Jesus.

I’ve worked with children quite a bit. I know children as young as 3 who know who Jesus was, and who He claimed to be. Not fully, but quite enough to explain to someone else. Some, on the other hand, don’t – but there are some who do. I don’t know how well that one holds up. We’re talking about mentally retarded people in this instance – but children are usually the best comparison, there.

I’ll have to devote some time to examining them. Just thought I’d share.

The Lion and the White Witch

I watched “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” yesterday.

It was visually exquisite. It was very faithful to the spirit of the book (with one exception I’ll explain later). It was, in a word, a movie which actually made me tear up, due to the sheer power of presentation – which, I’ll say, was due to three things.

1. The absolutely breathtaking visual presentation.

2. The casting genius, and acting skills of the characters.

Most importantly:

3. The story.

As far as #1 goes, this was what made the movie work. No doubt, and no argument allowed. Narnia was…. impossible, incredible, and just like you imagined it as a child. Exactly like it. Whoever came up with the visual “look” for Narnia.. was a genius. The effects were superb, and Aslan was… Aslan. Down to the eyes. It was magnificent.

As for #2: Peter looked exactly like Peter should. Edmund looked just like I’d always imagined Edmund – even down to the bratty older brother looks he gave Lucy. Perfect. Susan was, indeed, Susan the Gentle. Lucy… the most adorable little girl I’ve seen on film since Drew Barrymore in ET.

The acting was great. The white witch was almost perfect… except she was blond. Plus the whole “ninja queen” thing at the end. C’mon. Oh well. Aslan ate her. hah.

Liam as the voice of Aslan … awesome. The dwarf? Picture perfect. The minotaur? Great. The centaurs? Rockin. The fauns? Holy crap, they were great.

The giants! Sweet!

#3? The story, was… C.S. Lewis. Fantasy by a professor of medieval literature is, and SHOULD be good. It is, and always will be, one of the hallmarks of children’s fantasy.

How did they screw up? They departed from the story. Every part of it that was Lewis’ shone through with the brilliance of a master’s work. If you realize a master’s work, it will be masterful. The departures looked forced, they didn’t make as much sense as sticking with the story would have, and the character departures were jarring. Even if I hadn’t read the books over 3-4 dozen times, I’d still say the same. Peter was Peter… until they made him a wuss. Then, he was someone else for a while – and it showed. Edmund was spot-on. Susan was a bit less gentle then she should have been, and a bit more bossy. Lucy… was spot-on. The two older children were messed with, and they should not have been, to fit cultural “norms”. The book is about gentle young women, and strong young men, and how those two are what make Men and Women.

Anyway. The movie, despite the departures, is EXCELLENT. I recommend it very highly. I really wish they hadn’t changed parts, the same as I wished it with LOTR. Despite that, it’s incredible. Peter’s charge will bring tears of joy to your eyes, you young men. Don’t be ashamed. That sort of thing is what young men are made for. A glorious charge, a righteous fight – these are the things men are built to do. We love them. Well we should.

Aslan’s roar… a thing of beauty. There’s too many great things to count. A few things which mar it, but overall, it’s awesome.

Watch it. Peter isn’t as strong as he should be – but he’s still the High King he should be, once the battle starts. Edmund is still the hero, attacking the Witch. It’s not quite – the BBC version was closer to the book. This version, however, is simply a masterpiece, (visually) if not quite as story-perfect. The BBC version’s effects are quite dated. This is Narnia, and nothing else has ever looked anything close.

Aslan is on the move. Long live Aslan.

Mission Impossible: Atheism

Posted originally as one of the opening entries on this blog. I’m pressed for time, as you may have noticed, and I feel bad just letting this blog sit here. Some of you may not have seen this one…

So, enjoy.




1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

Language origin: Greek

“a” (negative, negator) – “theos” (god) = “No God”


Theism – Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world. (


* “An atheist is someone who believes and/or knows there is no god.”
* “An atheist lacks belief in a god.”
* “An atheist exercises no faith in the concept of god at all.”
* “An atheist is someone who is free from religious oppression and bigotry.”
* “An atheist is someone who is a free-thinker, free from religion and its ideas.”


1. Lack of Evidence


The supporting evidence isn’t good enough for him to affirm God’s existence. (agnostic?)

2. Illogical


Says there is evidence contrary to God’s existence.

3. Non-Issue


Lack belief in God the way they lack belief in invisible space snails in orbit around Saturn.

Common Presuppositions

(NOTE – NOT universally adopted. The ONLY common belief is a belief that God does not exist.)

1. There is no God or devil.
2. There is no supernatural realm.
3. Miracles cannot occur.
4. There is no such thing as sin as a violation of God’s will.
5. Generally, the universe is materialistic and measurable.
6. Man is material.

7. Generally, evolution is considered a scientific fact.
8. Ethics and morals are relative

Example Argument

God is supposed to be all good and all powerful. Evil and suffering exist in the world. If God is all good he would not want evil and suffering to exist. If He is all powerful then He is able to remove all evil and suffering. Since evil and suffering exist, God is either not all good (which means he is not perfect and not God), or he is not all powerful (and limited in abilities and scope). Since either case shows God is not all good and powerful, then He does not exist.

Mission: Prove a negative, absolute statement

Your mission, should you choose to accept it – is to state that there is absolutely no god, and that the concept of god is absolutely false -then, to prove this statement: NO GOD =1

First, we have to make a couple definitions. A CANNOT be A and NOT A, at the same time.

To say there is NO God is an absolute statement. So, if you say that there is NO God, No God = NOT A. If you say that there IS a God, God = A. A cannot be A, and NOT A at the same time, remember. So, the mission is to prove that A =/= A – but A = NOT A.

If A = god, and NOT A = No god

A cannot be A, but MUST be NOT A, in order for NOT A to be true.

NOT A and A are not equal, and cannot have the same value – so, we must accept that NOT A =/= A.

In order for NOT A to be a true statement. A MUST be false. In order for NOT A to be accepted true, the axiom of “A =/= NOT A” MUST be accepted – thus, absolutes must be accepted, in order for there to be NO god. No is an ABSOLUTE statement – thus, A MUST be false, and it MUST be accompanied by a proof, for the statements GOD = A , and NO GOD = NOT A, to be logically true.

So, since we’ve established that “No God”, and “God” are mutually exclusive – we’ll move on.

“No God” is a negative value – so, the mission is to prove a negative. God cannot exist, and there must be proof of God’s non-existence – or there is still a possibility of A equaling A.

To prove that A = A, however, is still pretty hard. It’s an axiom, like 0=0, or 1=1. To prove that God = A, requires that Not A also be proven false. So, on the other side, we’re also stuck.

But, we’ve proven that it’s impossible to “prove” God’s existence, or non-existence – and, we HAVE proven the existence of absolutes. So, it’s now possible to use absolutes in our argument,s henceforth. A, forever after, CANNOT also be NOT A – thus, unless you invalidate absolutes altogether, and thus, any scientific method, you’re stuck with absolutes as an axiom. So to accept that A cannot be NOT A did absolutely nothing but prove absolute exist. So, let’s move on.

So, here’s the next question – if a statement is unprovable – how can it be absolute?

The answer?

It can’t.

So, the basic statement Atheism is founded upon is based upon belief, to put it bluntly – yet contains an absolute statement – which, in order to be undeniably correct, would have to prove a negative – something which has NEVER been done in the history of logical thought.

So, in order to back up that absolute statement saying there is NO god, you would have to prove a negative – but, how do you prove that the negative of something which you say does not exist, does NOT exist – without recognizing it’s existence?

On the other hand, any Religion has only the burden of evidence to bear – not the burden of proof – because all religions are based upon faith in the unprovable – not an absolute statement of fact. If you believe something, you believe IN something. You have no need to prove the non-existence of a thing – you just have to prove a thing exists. Also impossible, but not because of logical impossibility – but factual impossibility. Noone, but the God believed in, can know ALL the facts – so, it’s unprovable. There is evidence, of course – which an Atheist can never have – there CAN be no evidence of the NON existence of something – because there would be nothing to see, if the thing which does not exist – doesn’t exist.

Existence is either believed, or disbelieved – but it is never known, with complete certainly.

H4xx0r5 4re Dum8

So, while I was gone, my splash page gets hacked, right? I know how it happened, and I don’t really care. It’s a part of my site I rarely use, and it’s easy to fix – in fact, I usually monitor it regularly when I have my typical access to the internet. See, though, this guy was persistent. He did it 3-4 times running, after I had fixed it. This guy is getting on my nerves, actually.

He calls himself “Interex”, and runs a little website called ““. See, what got me was that his site is full of 90’s spinning gifs, a chain lightning footer, and has 1337sp33k all over it. I’m still trying to stop laughing, and hit his photo gallery. (He had left his email address, proud of the fact that he’s a 1337 h4xx0r, evidently, which is how I found his website…) Well… he has pictures of him going to a drag strip, he (including his first name!) and his girlfriend (her first name…), his dog (and his dog’s name) … and he SAYS WHERE THE DRAGSTRIP IS LOCATED. Southern Illinois. I had idly gone through the “h4xx0r3d” files earlier, looking for ips – and an ISP entry came up.

Netwitz. Which services southern Illinois! How about that. The dragstrip was located in Benton, IL, which is located just northwest of Netwitz’s service area. Also, he has pictures of a Jefferson County sheriff’s car, which is also in that area. Wow, how ’bout that math.

So, suffice it to say, both his ISP, and his DNS masking service got an email from me today. He was nice enough to leave a log of his connections to his lil script kiddie program (the program’s actually pretty cool, but the way he used it is script-kiddie-ish). He used something else to get access, but I’m not telling what that is. I’ve already used too many h4ck3r comments in this post, and I don’t want to tell a script kiddie how to hack a site, y’know?

But anyway, it was also a useful tool, misused. So, I sent him a nice email, too.

Hi Rob.

How’s Kathryn?

Hopefully, Spike’s doing well, also.

Things going well in Illinois? How do you like Netwitz’s internet service? Do well by you?

FreeDNS does a good job re-routing you packets for you. I complimented them on an (almost) good job hiding you completely. Unfortunately, you left your home website address, containing your personal photo album.

Your site is a bit plain, incidentally. Might want to do less of the mid-90’s spinning gifs, lightning effect, etc. It’s 2005, man.

2005 means that whois lookups and reverse DNS are old school, man. I was doing it way back in ’98, when I opped for Cyberangels.

I would have had this mail back to you sooner, but I just went through a hurricane recently, and got my internet back today. Surprise, how are ya?

Took me all of two hours after church to collect the stuff to send to your ISP and FreeDNS.

*program name deleted* , huh? That’s an old-school program. Saw an IRC client in there too. Too bad you left your bnc.log connection info on the site. I may never have linked the Illinois dragstrip on your photo album with Netwitz’s southern Illinois service area otherwise. You so kindly left me a log of when you connected. bnc.log. Thanks.

Quit being a script kiddie. Yes, programs have holes in them. It’s part of the business.

Your “hack” was temporary, limited, and pretty amateur, dude.

1. Don’t leave an email I can look up your info with.
2. Don’t leave personal info on the site for your email.
3. Don’t use a DNS masker. It just annoys me and makes me look harder.
4. They don’t work anyway.

Do something more useful with your time.

~ RK

H4xx0rs are annoying. But at least I had some fun today. I used to love doing this stuff. Oh well. it’s fun occasionally, but it gets tiring after a while.

So, how’s your day, folks? Have a good Sunday morning worship service?

Open Post Saturday: Catholicism

Something’s been bothering me lately.

I’ve been chatting in James White’s IRC channel on apologetics – and the main topic there seems to be Catholicism.

I had someone ask to be in the aggregator recently, yet I find that a large, large number of his posts concern the “apostasy” of Catholicism, and refer to Roman Catholics as “Romanists” and “Papists”. Now, I won’t say that I disagree that RC theology is erroneous, or even flat-out unbiblical (because, actually, I think it is) – but I asked a question in #prosapologian, James’ chat channel, and the answer took me aback, considerably.

The question was: “Does Roman Catholicism deny salvation to it’s adherents?”

The answer was: “Yes.”

So, I have a question for you, my readers.

If the Roman Catholic believes that Jesus Christ died for their sins, adheres to the Apostles’ Creed, and has accepted Christ as Savior and Lord – what doctrines within Catholicism, then, “deny” salvation to such a person?

I’m genuinely confused by this attitude. Do Calvinists really think that Roman Catholics who adhere to that doctrine are really not Christians at all?

I know Rand does, but we’re not talking about him…

The second question:

If some Protestants think that – do Roman Catholics believe that Protestants, because they believe in so many things that are pronounced “anathema”, are not Christians either?

If we really think that – then there’s a WHOLE lot less Christians out there than we like to admit, should we take that to it’s logical conclusion. For Calvinists, who insist (correctly) that Arminianism is a faith + works salvation – are they Christians? Does that deny them salvation?

For Catholics – is anyone outside the RCC a non-Christian?

We haven’t even reached the Orthodox churches yet.

Troubling subject, and it’s been weighing on my mind quite a bit. What do you think?

Hurricane Dennis Watch – 1 pm


News check. Wish I had a tv up here…

Hurricane Dennis 2005 – the blog – check it out – looks like up-to-date information.


Stormtrack, with minute-by-minute updates. Go check it out.


illc0mmunication, with an update on the water levels near his house.

Another post from meeyotch – Weathering Dennis, Day 2video

Taking a short break to eat, see what’s happening. Don’t have the computer in the same room as the tv… bleh.

Thanks for the link, CP.

Be back shortly after news and food. This’ll be updated then.

TheoMeme 2

Now, in the last post (see directly below), I brought up a new idea of mine.

The TheoMeme ©.

There are two reasons for this.


Vox Apologia needs a retooling. It wasn’t working. This is an attempt to do so.


It’s a way to claim at least some portion of the “meme” craze for Christ. Considering it’s origin, I find it fitting. read the preceding link. You may find it eye-opening, Christian, where the word comes from. Our friend, the pragmatist – Richard Dawkins. It teaches theology to those who may need to read it, allows others to teach it, and makes us all think about it, if we get involved.

The Way it Works

We’ve all seen memes, by now. Book memes, community memes, movie memes, Star Wars character memes – whatever you can think of, there’s been a meme about it. Except Theology.

Why, Christians, is that? Are we not to take every thought captive? Let’s take one meme captive, shall we?

Ok, so here’s how it goes. The questions – every time – will be written by a pastor, or a theologian. Period. As much as I adhere to Sola Scriptura – the people who know how to succinctly, correctly phrase theological questions are theologians, and pastors. That way, we will minimize the effect of poorly worded questions on the responses. We hope 😀

The additional question is as follows: “Do you attend church? If so, what denomination or congregation do you attend at?”

The purpose: To give us a “doctrinal map” of comparative theologies between branches of Christianity. This, friends, is a useful thing. Comparative theology is a pain, at best – but this may be something the blogosphere is uniquely suited for. If we take it seriously.

How to do it effectively:

A pastor writes the questions. The questions are inserted into the initial meme. That meme post “tags” 5 higher-profile Christian blogs, for a good “first seed”. (Evangelical Outpost, Jollyblogger, Adrian Warnock, SmartChristian, Parableman?) Those blogs can each seed 5 in turn – and the meme spreads. I’ll posit, though, that those 5 blogs can reach 75% of the God-bloggers within 3 links of their blog. I’d almost guarantee it. So, it would be possible to reach the vast majority of the Christian blogs with a real live theological discussion, every week.

How about that for meta-niching?

Seriously – think it over. What downsides are there? It is worth a shot, most definitely.


Have as many blogs as possible trackback to the original meme post – include the trackback url in the meme. Have the blogs who understand technorati tags – tag their posts with “TheoMeme” – as this post (and it’s predecessor) just were. Create javascript updater, which gives current information about Meme info, which can be included on any blog, and centrally updated. (See King of the Blogs, or the New Blogs Showcase for examples)

More on Joel Osteen

Via Google Alerts, and the Chicago Tribune.

Joel Osteen stands behind the lectern in stylish suits and preaches in a soothing Southern drawl and a big, easy smile. His sermons speak less to Gospel and Scripture than to staying positive and praying for a better life.

Critics have labeled his talks “cotton-candy theology”–sweet and sugary with little nourishment for the soul.

Some religious scholars say Osteen’s simplistic message presents a dangerous, watered-down version of Christianity. His sermons often sound more like motivational speeches than Biblical interpretations.

Michael Horton, a professor of apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California, said Osteen trivializes the Christian faith by viewing God as a being who exists solely for our personal happiness. Osteen is part of a growing “prosperity gospel” movement, he said, where followers are instructed to pray to God for health, wealth and happiness.

“In this religion, God is not worshiped. He is used,” said Horton, a minister in the United Reformed Churches of North America.

“Joel Osteen uses the Bible each week like it’s a collection of fortune cookies that can be opened to suit any of your needs or goals in life. The Bible is a story about the redemption of Christ, not a timeless set of principles for success.”

Ooooh. Goooooo apologetics!

Osteen said such criticism unfairly fails to look at his message as a whole.

“When I talk about prosperity and better things, I’m not just talking about financial success,” he said. “I’m talking about prosperity in your marriage, prosperity in your health, and with your kids. I don’t think God wants us to be at the bottom of the totem pole. He wants us to have a better life than our parents did.”

Gag me with a Buick. I’ve started a tradition. Every bookstore i get into, where I see his smiling face looking at me from a book cover – I turn it around. I do it constantly, because I’m in bookstores constantly. Petty, I know… but he annoys me.

Really annoys me.

Go read the article. Typical “religion reporter” fluff. At least they got a good quote in from the apologetics professor.

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