Extraordinary biblical accounts and what is still being discovered even after the world has lost interest

Approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism while leaving open the possibility that perhaps you might be coming up against the god of the universe and he just might be telling us the truth.

Earlier, I asked you to check out 6000years.org. I came across some videos about four extraordinary accounts in the old testament.

The interesting thing about these videos is, while they reference stories and news items that were big news twenty years ago, the videos themselves are up-to-date and using new info. One of videos has footage of Google Earth to help support the case at hand. Each video is quite well made to boot and the quality is a credit to their authors.

Noah’s Ark – The Bible says that around 4,400 years ago God sent a world-wide flood upon the earth and had a man named Noah build a large boat (Ark) to save his family and selected animals from the Flood.  It says that after the Flood, the Ark landed on the mountains of Urartu (Ararat), which is modern day Eastern Turkey.  If this is true then we should be able to find evidence of the remains of such a boat (both in History and archaeology).  That is, if the Ark remains haven’t been buried by mud and/or volcanic ash over the centuries, or frozen in ice at the top of Mt. Ararat, or if there never was a Noah’s Ark and its not up there at all!
Watch the Video

Sodom & Gomorrah – The Scriptures tell us that God completely destroyed the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah (located in modern day Israel) by raining down “fire and brimstone” upon them.  Now brimstone means sulphur.  So, if this really happened, we should be able to find some badly burnt ruins in Israel – ruins with sulphur embedded in the ruins.  If it really happened, then we should find remains which closely resemble the Bible narrative.
Watch the Video

Red Sea Crossing – The Bible tells us that around 3,500 years ago, Moses parted the Red Sea and led the Israelites out of Egypt across to the other side.  Then, when the Egyptian chariots crossed after them in pursuit, God caused the wheels to come off the chariots and the waters to quickly recede upon them, drowning all Pharaoh’s army.  If this really happened, we should be able to find the remains of these chariots on the seabed.  If we can find the location of the crossing, there should be chariot remains on the sea bed.
Watch the Video

Mt Sinai – The Bible tells us that after Moses brought the Israelites across the Red Sea, the Angel of God led them to a mountain named Mt. Sinai (a.k.a Mt. Nebo) where God descended on the mountain “in fire”.  It says, “the smoke billowed up from the mountain like smoke from a furnace”.  Sounds pretty hot, doesn’t it?  So if this really happened, we should be able to find a mountain in that area with a burnt and blackened top.
Watch the Video

The world has long since lost interest in these stories when they were making big splashes in the media, but believers know there’s something in these accounts that can support and verify the integrity, accuracy and true of God’s Word.

Approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism while leaving open the possibility that perhaps you might be coming up against the god of the universe and he just might be telling us the truth.

How ridiculous is the NHL?

With 15seconds left in game six of the NHL Stanley Cup finals, there’s a scramble in front of the net and a pile up ensues.

It looks like a football endzone pile up.

It looks ridiculous.

And what is the NHL doing in-game? They’re reviewing the play to see if the puck crossed the line.

Hold up just a minute you clowns. You can not just score by pushing a goalie over the line by piling on players.

It’s stupid.

You’re stupid.

Fix the rules you clowns. Oh that’s right, you did “fix” the rules and now the game is laughable. The New NHL, right? Clowns.

Speaking of which, the NHL referees should be ashamed of themselves officiating a brand of hockey where this stuff is acceptable.

It’s ridiculous and it makes the NHL look ridiculous.

Dinosaurs Heads Held High…?

Whatever position you take, that position should be able to stand on its own, right?

Recently there’s been talk about how dinosaurs with long necks actually held their necks. Did they hold them high or stretched out? The concern is that holding a long neck very high might put more strain than is reasonable to expect from what we know of their heart and blood systems.

The second two links appear to give dissenting views and they’re here just because it’s good to have more than one perspective on an issue.

But, if it’s true the strain was too great and our biological predictions (heart strain) don’t match up with our habitual predictions (eating from the tops of trees with necks held high), then there might be an area here connected with creationism.

It’s been well noted in science that in the far past things seemed to be able to grow to gargantuan size. Not just dinosaurs but plants, too. Musquitos could even be freakishly large.

Perhaps more subtely, the bible tells us mankind used to live quite long ages, 900+, years before the flood. But as soon as the flood occurs, lifespans drop dramatically.

Is it possible the pre-flood earth had a fundamental difference with our current earth which would allow for gargantuan plants and animals and also for dinosaurs to have no problem at all holding their necks high?

Creationists have long theorized about something being fundamentally different that would cause what we observe today.

This is an area that, with some astute scientific thinking, could be built upon and a reasonable model for what might have occurred during the flood could be developed. It would predict what environment contributed to plants and animals so large and, if the model were true, it would tell us what we would be observing today that would support the model.

God’s Word is fascinating and awe-inspiring.

If you’re a believer, try starting from the presupposition that the bible is the truth and, if that’s the case, than science should prove it to be so – if you’re not already in that mindset. Secular and popular science will never lend any credit willingly to faith-based ideas, though, so you’ll need to keep marching past the immediate results that tell you the bible is wrong. It’s too easy to stop there. Anyone and everyone can and does do that. You need to start from the idea that God actually might be telling the truth. When you retain that thought, keep plugging away at the research and eventually you will find the scientifically sound answers you’re looking for. It just takes someone to give God some credit…

If you don’t believe in God or the bible, try seeing if any of the ideas that the bible presents (a global flood, long lifespans pre-flood, short lifespans post-flood) might actually lend support to popular topics, like the dinosaur necks, assuming for the moment that the bible is true. I think you should find some interesting tid bits even if you don’t end up believing the biblical account.

The important thing is to analyze an issue using all possible data without being married to a belief, whether that’s current secular or popular belief or a faith, to a point that it actually detracts from your original position.

Whatever position you take, that position should be able to stand on its own, right?

The Theory of Creation

As it turns out, you could probably follow this process entirely on google…

The argument goes that there is no whole, concrete “theory of creation” like there is for the “theory of evolution.”

Let’s ignore, for now, that there are large bodies of disparate work, research, data, evidence and writing for both creation and evolution.

I would like to propose a statement that should be absolutely clear, straightforward, and easily answerable via scientific rigor.

If the earth was created six-thousand years ago and all life was wiped out in a global flood then we should be able to observe evidence to such a scenario.

We should be able to make predictions about the past and present, that would result from a global flood, and then go out and observe these things.

One of the key tenets of the scientific method is making falsifiable claims – predictions. If a claim is not falsifiable — meaning that an experiment can not be performed to support or argue the claim — then the scientific method is not being followed and therefore can not be respected by the larger non-creationism community.

As it turns out, you could probably follow this process entirely on google, obtaining research, googling the research to find support or detractions, creating predictions based on claims and googling support and detractions on that, etc., etc.

There is so much data out there that may support creationism but, perhaps secular science has a point, we’re unable to point to a consolidated body of work that we can call the “theory of creation.”

A brief google returns only a handful of doubtful results. Perhaps one of the big organizations out there (I’m looking at you Answers in Genesis!) might want to put a bit of effort into creationism consolidation.

Hey, Ubisoft, I bought PC Prince of Persia, the one without DRM.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back. You deserved what you got.

When Prince of Persia launched, Ubisoft said they were trying it without DRM, and delivered this snarky comment along with it,

Youre right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM well see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and Im sure well see more steps in future to try to combat that.

Community Manager UbiRazz

Perhaps the “Razz” in “UbiRazz” is more indicative of what the “community manager” role is all about. Getting the community up in arms?

Now, this happened a long time ago and I didn’t have anywhere to write about. So I’m writing about it now even though I bought this the day it was released.

Barring UbiSoft’s arrogant behaviour, and yes I will apply the community manager’s behaviour to Ubisoft, they did two good things. First, the lack of DRM. Second, the PC version of Prince of Persia was released at a $29.99 price point. That’s about the maximum I’m going to spend on a game unless it’s an 9+ rating and I know I’m going to like it (I bought the Sands of Time trilogy at full price).

So, I bought it. There. You happy now Ubisoft?

Maybe you shouldn’t be so happy because the game isn’t all that great.

It’s technically sound, which is why industry critics gave it a decent score. Good visuals, new art style, good sound, decent gameplay. But isolated analysis like that isn’t what game are about. Take a look at Metacritic’s user rating.

So, I took your bait, I bought your game, and you did two good things, no drm and price point, but then you released an average game.

What does that say to your users?

It says your no-drm and price-point were gimmicks to sell a poor game.

Nice try, Ubisoft.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back.

You deserved what you got.

mod_itk – the return of running apache virtualhosts with configurable user/group privileges

If you’ve longed for the days of Apache 1.3 when you could run virtualhosts as different users/groups, well mod_itk is for you and me.

Update 2011-06-04: As it turns out, I never ran this module for long. It does appear to operate as advertised but I found I no longer really had a need to run privilege-separated httpd processes. Still, I hope someone finds this information useful.

If you’ve longed for the days of Apache 1.3 when you could run virtualhosts as different users/groups, well mod_itk is for you and me. It’s based on prefork and the author claims its running on production boxes, so hopefully this will bring back the good ol’ days.

This page was very helpful in combination with the homepage for me.

I’ve patched my server and am running this domain and newsx.org using their own users. All the other virtualhosts are running with default privs.

I really hope this works out because I’ve been wanting it for a long time.

6000 Years.org

Facts are approached from different angles…

Now, this site I’m about to present looks a little amateurish but I want you to take this as an exercise in how to extract truth from resources that might be questionable.

Some claims are extraordinary and the old saying goes extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So, visit 6000years.org, peruse what’s there and, in spite of your inclinations to recoil at what looks amateur, continue on and check everything out. If you’re really interested in the truth, you’ll keep searching. Any claims can easily be squashed by a google search so you’ll know right away what’s right and what’s wrong.

I think when you approach hard facts like this you’ll begin to see them for what they are: Facts. And facts are approached from different angles. Is it possible fact A could be part of evolution? Yes? Is it possible fact A could be part of creation? Yes? What would that mean if fact A was present in a case where creation was true? What would that mean for you? It should mean something significant. It should mean creation has some evidence to back it up. And, if it does, that’s a game changing.

I Am INTJ

A few years ago when it was cool for burgeoning 20-somethings, in college and discovering the world and themselves, to take online personality tests, I fell on one test that revealed the non-obvious and which gained my respect ever after.

The test was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment. It not only revealed the non-obvious of my personality but it also explained why others react in the ways they do to my personality type.

When I took this online test (and I wish I had the URL but I don’t) I did it pretty quickly and without much critical thought. This was because it was yet another test my friends were passing around online. Much later, however, someone told me that was probably the best and only objective way to take the test. Our true selves are often revealed when we shoot from the hip. So, having not put much thought into each answer, to have it come back with such an eye-opening result impressed me to no end.

In my own words, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a system for applying categorical tags to a subject. Things like Introverted/Extroverted, Feeling, Judging, etc. The interpretation of the result, and deeper explanation, is up to others qualified in related fields. The write-up I fell onto was one by Fannie R. Linder, Psy.D. It was her writing that explained and described so aptly the personality, traits, behaviours and reasoning behind INTJs.

Now, I’m aware, that being an INTJ, I’m probably the only type that would find this personality test beneficial for any use. I even wish others would take it and read the results of their type and other types because I think it would help everyone function better together. But I know that’s probably just my type speaking. So, regardless, I still find it intriguing because it reveals aspects of personality and behaviours which I hadn’t yet considered and it showed why other personalities react in ways that I have seen first-hand.

In the past, I’ve googled on “intj” and come across others who hold it up as some kind of excuse for who they are and that others should give them some allowance because they are who they are. Having read Linder’s, however,  I see, now that I understand the interplay of personalities, each type has the power to break the personality mold when the need arises to deal with everyday inter-personal scenarios. By doing so, one becomes a more dynamic individual, able to deal with a greater variety of people, personalities and situations.

Google around for an online test and let me know what you think.

Following is Fannie R. Linder’s analysis of the INTJ Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

INTJ
introverted-intuitive-thinking-judging

Has personal mission
Logical
Introspective
Highly independent
Innovative
Decisive
Critically analyzes
Concerned with organization
Driven by inner ideas and possibilities

INTJs are people who look at the system, critically analyze it in logical, impersonal fashion, and then become truly driven by inner ideas and possibilities to bring order to the organization, whatever its form.  Not easily discouraged, all things become possible, including what other types would consider to be impossibilities.

The complex is an intriguing challenge to INTJs and their unique systemswide insight permits them to solve puzzles and to develop unique and creative solutions to problems that perplex lesser souls.

INTJs are deeply reflective and meditative personalities, seeing “the patterns” within disarray and setting things “aright”.

INTJs are perhaps the most misunderstood of all the types.  It is widely assumed that they are “self-confident” – or arrogant – when, in fact, they are “systems-thinkers” which demands that one think impersonally.   They are, therefore,  concerned with “the whole” and not just one facet – which, unfortunately, sometimes is the boss’s or someone else’s feelings – the personal.  They are shocked, and rightfully so, when they discover that they are assumed to be arrogant for being impersonal.  Although they are independent thinkers, they are not intentionally uncaring, nor are they uncaring in reality.

It is best to say that they appear to be “self-confident” for they are “crushed” – sometimes beyond measure – when they have analyzed incorrectly and made a mistake.  They suffer greatly on this account because – unknown to those who do not know them well – they hold themselves to an even higher standard than they do others – which is nothing less than the standard of perfection and internalize failure in a deep and hidden way.  In fact, they are eternally vigilant, scanning their “inner horizon” for any portentous flaw in thinking which could lead them into error which, for them, is absolute disaster.

It is assumed that INTJs have no regard for authority when, in fact, what INTJs have is a lack of respect for authority that is not “learned” in ways that will benefit the system – a lack of respect for authority that is not “in the know”, for INTJs respect knowledge above all and want only to deal with those who “know”.  Then, they are very capable students, co-operative co-workers and faithful disciples.  They know, almost as no other type knows, that a “weak” head means a weak system and work will be in vain.  Wasted time, effort and energy are terms for failure to INTJs and INTJs do not like to fail.

Being impersonal in orientation, INTJs are not naturally aware of the socially acceptable aspects of cultures but are extraordinarily capable of learning if it is not simply a veneer or “faux” way of living.  They are anything but “surface” people.  They commit many charitable acts of kindness in very quiet and unassuming ways.

Although much like INFJs in many ways – only more so, INTJs are “cut no slack” due to their impersonal approach to life while INFJs appear to be more loving and caring due to their refined personal skills par excellent.  INTJs are generally extremely private – many do not even care to be touched – and so do not naturally gravitate to the social mores which require small talk and meaningless witticisms.  Their bemused and quiet demeanor can be taken for arrogance and, indeed, INTJs are capable of brutal insights into others which can be unnerving to those who feel INTJs can “see through” them.  Superficiality is not tolerated by INTJs – unless there is no other way to “advance” themselves or their ideas – but, for the INTJ, this is not admirable.

This can make personal relationships difficult, particularly romantic ones that require flirtation.  Coyness and indirectness are not strong points for INTJs, innocuous play is not at all meaningful and comes across as being stilted.

INTJs can be extravagantly romantic for they are creative planners and can design tastefully grandiose “getaways”,  unique gifts and thoughtful surprises as they are particularly insightful as to the makeup of the few they care deeply about.

They may be unnatural social participants but are capable of learning to be great lovers and intensely personal when they become aware that it is required by those they love.

INTJs do not need to be the centre of attention and, though they may be extremely critical of others’ ideas, they, nonetheless, will work to bring about the dreams and schemes of those they care about once their (the INTJs) views have been made known.  Often the point is missed that INTJs often employ debate but are quick to recognize a higher truth, though they will debate until truth arises or someone “quits”.   Still, those who know them also know that they are capable of exquisite wittiness, are insightful and possess a quirky, personal sense of humor.

INTJs are born executives and are totally dependable and dedicated to any project to which they commit themselves.  They are unstinting in perseverance, intolerant of weakness and demanding of any under their authority.  While being great taskmasters, they are nonetheless unstinting in seeing that due credit is given to those who deserve it and are not grasping for honours for themselves.  They only truly appreciate praise when it is really deserved or comes from those whom they admire and are in a position to truly know that the praise is really deserved for perfection is their standard.

Because of their intellects and impersonal approach to most things,  INTJs may be feared by those who are not in close relationships with them but are greatly respected and admired even if they are not liked.  They are due more regard for their impersonal approach than they receive from their personal-oriented counterparts,  for their approach is just that – impersonal – but it is not disinterest nor is it disregard for others.

Fannie R. Linder, Psy.D.

Genesis 22-25 (What’s it like to read the entire bible? How about we find out?)

“35 They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” (Jeremiah 32:35)

Genesis 22

  • The Sacrifice of Isaac
    • The account raises so many questions. Why would God ask that? Would Abraham have followed through? How close was Abraham to following through when the angel interrupted him? Why does it seem Isaac didn’t put up a fight? Are all three actors in this story crazy? How far was far enough into the sacrifice to prove his faith to God? Would God really require human sacrifice? Maybe God would follow through with it in another time and place? What does it say about God’s character that He would think such a thing, let alone ask it?
    • It’s a powerful story and incredible with the fact that Abraham apparently would do as God asked. I can’t imagine going through with it if I were the one asked. Then again, it was a different time, place and culture. Perhaps the whole thinking pattern was different then.
    • Later on we’re going to see that God commands Israel to destroy nations for their consistently abhorrent cultures. One of the things God highlighted was child sacrifice, He says:
      • “35 They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” (Jeremiah 32:35)
      • If it never entered His mind then why did he ask it here?
      • I think it’s safe to say He always was going to provide the sacrificial lamb.
      • …He always was going to provide Jesus.
        • “15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
        • I should’ve highlighted this at the time, but this is a foreshadowing of Jesus taking final victory over Satan.
        • I don’t know about you but it’s all these connections and internal references that make me look in awe at God’s Word.

Genesis 23

  • Sarah’s Burial
    • There’s tremendous detail here about Sarah’s burial which boils down to Abraham purchasing some land.
    • Be aware of tracts of text that provide whole bunches of detail for no apparent reason.
    • I’ve said it a few times already but text like this will be critical for constructing the truth out of some issue either in another verse or book or in our study of God’s Word today.

Genesis 24

  • A Wife for Isaac
    • A lovely little story about Abraham sending his servant to get a wife for his son.
    • All through the text it’s clear Abraham and his servant want God to provide the right wife. They don’t just want to find any wife.
    • Even better is when they do find the right girl and seeing how the girl responds.
    • Rebekah, Isaac’s wife to-be, presents herself admirably. Kind, willing to serve, decisive, modest.

Genesis 25

  • Abraham’s Other Wife and Sons
    • After Sarah’s death, Abraham takes a new wife and has more children.
    • He sends these children east, it is written, gives them many gifts.
    • But to Isaac, he gives everything of his own.
    • Abraham lives 175 years.