Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas!!!

I'm going to have to finish up my posts on the following topics a little later; I was so busy enjoying Christmas with loved ones!
  • True meaning of Christmas
  • album and song collection
  • Christmas book collection
  • life of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus
  • origins of various Christmas customs such as lights, tree, Yule log, etc. and how they fit in with the Christian framework
  • depictions of Santa Claus
  • Christmas videos such as The Snowman (I watched it again tonight, as is traditional)
  • Christmas memories
  • stockings and ornaments collection
  • nutcrackers
  • Merry Christmas in several different languages
  • Gospels
  • Caroling
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Jones Beach Christmas lights
  • and much, much more!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006!

Merry Christmas 2006 and God bless you and yours! Rejoice on this day on which Christ our Savior was born!

Many relatives and friends came over and I got everything I wanted and much more! Praise the Lord for blessing me so much! Please join me and help the less fortunate have a Merry Christmas too by clicking the links at http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/without-getting-out-of-your-computer.html.

Here's what I received:
Books
The Catholic Verses [Dave Armstrong]
The Portable Machiavelli
Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success
Darwin Awards III [We]
Dracula [Bram Stoker]
Utopia [St. Sir Thomas More]
Cyril of Alexandria
Technology
2GB flash drive
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Clothes
Bright Yellow Nike Sweatshirt
2 pairs of black compression shorts
Other
Plenty of candy (SourPatch bears, Swedish Fish)
4 Bic Razors & American Fare Sensitive Skin Gel (finally growing up :-D)
$$$ (more than enough to buy "The Untouchables" on DVD, John J. Newman's Test Preparation for the AP United States History Examination, and the Nintendo Wii!)

It was not a White Christmas this year; it was a Black and Blue one, with darkness, wind, and rain most of the day. I find that beautiful, too; I find all kinds of weather aesthetically pleasing!

I watched part of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with my brother today, and spent at least two hours on an extremely comfortable portable massage chair featuring Shiatsu and rolling techniques and myriad options!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holtz on Philo, Seneca, and Pliny the Elder

Holtz.AAC.2002: "The Alexandrian philosopher and commentator Philo outlived Jesus by 15 or 20 years, and as a visitor to Jerusalem should have met witnesses to the Easter miracles. His silence suggests that Jesus and his followers did not make the early impression that they should have if the gospels were true." Note that Philo doesn't mention St. Gamaliel, either, or even Christianity; yet he visited Jerusalem! Philo's silence means nothing. He was rabidly opposed to the idea of a Logos incarnated as man. Jesus was marginalized by His humiliation on the cross, upon which He was executed as a criminal just as slaves and rebels were. Jesus' association with lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen, etc. offended many people. He was a poor, rural carpenter in a society dominated by wealthy urbanites. As for the latter statement, I will quote Glenn M. Miller's summary of a treasure trove of data: "The general trends and patterns in post-Jesus G-R literature and popular belief are easily explained (and perhaps 'best explained' or 'only' explained) by the widespread acceptance by the Roman Empire that a real human in recent history (Jesus) had actually performed credible, 'sane', and non-bizarre miracles."

Pliny the Elder admitted that he was predisposed to reject miracles out of hand. In Natural History he said, "I deem it a mark of human weakness to seek to discover the shape and form of God" and "That that supreme being, whatever it be, pays heed to man's affairs is a ridiculous notion." Therefore, there should be no expectation that Pliny the Elder would report e.g. the three-hour Good Friday darkness which is not naturalistically explicable. Seneca, a Stoic (materialist and pantheist), might not have wanted to do original research on Jesus because Jesus was not interesting to him and was so geographically and temporally distant.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Here are some answers to part of Brian Holtz's list of Jesus' claims of non-identity with God:
-the Son can do nothing by himself --> the Father and Son act in perfect harmony because they are absolutely good.
-the Father loves the Son --> And the Son loves the Father; this eternal reciprocal love is what makes Trinitarianism superior to Unitarianism.
-the Father sent the Son --> the Father is not fittingly sent since He is unbegotten and does not proceed. Jesus said He could send the Holy Spirit, which only God can do.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holtz on Alleged Matthean Embellishment

Holtz.AAC.2002: "Matthew changes (21:5 vs. Mk 11:7)[#] or embellishes (2:15, 2:23) its narrative to make it fulfill Old Testament prophecies." [#]=unclear, requires elaboration. For Mt 2:15, corporate solidarity (between Israel and the Messiah) legitimizes Matthew's exegetical technique (typology); Matthew likens Jesus Christ to the Israelites (except Jesus was sinless). Mt 2:23: While no passage in the Old Testament says verbatim, "He shall be called a Nazarene," there is clear and ample precedent for that idea. The throne of King David was made into a stump, just as Nazareth was a spiritually dull town, but the Messiah (Branch) [Is 4:2; 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12] grew out of the stump and was called a Nazarene [Mk 1:23-24; Lk 4:33-35; Jn 19:19; Acts 22:8; 24:5; Josephus' Antiquities] which He wore as the Messianic badge of "Branch."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Four Meanings of Hell

There are four meanings of hell:

  • Hell (Gehenna): the everlasting [Is 66:24; Mk 9:43,45,47; 2 Thess 1:9; Rev 14:11; 19:3; 20:10] place of punishment of damned men and demons by the pains of loss (of the beatific vision), material (corporeal) fire [Mt 3:12; 13:42,50; 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7 Rev 19:20], and other accidental pains. The pains of Hell are essentially immutable and they differ in degree according to demerit. Hell is likely within the earth [Num 16:31; Psalm 54:16; Is 5:14; 14:9; Ek 26:20; Mt 12:40; Phil 2:10] (and it will never run out of room [Prov 30:15-16]), and the damned are in material darkness [Mt 22:13; 25:30; 2 Pet 2:17; Jude 13].
  • Limbo of infants (limbus parvulorum or puerorum): the permanent place of perfect natural positive happiness for those who die with original sin, but not personal mortal sin. The happiness is not supernatural like in Heaven due to the lack of the beatific vision. They have natural happiness because they know they were not capable of attaining what they missed out on.
  • Limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum): the temporary location of the souls of the just who died before the Lord Jesus Christ triumphantly ascended into Heaven [Gen 44:38; Mt 8:11; Lk 8:19; 14:15; 16:22; 23:43; Eph 4:9; 1 Pet 3:18-20], since the Pearly Gates of Heaven were closed as punishment for Adam's sin.
  • Purgatory (Purgatorio): the place of temporal punishment by cleansing corporeal fire of the just who die in venial sin (not original and mortal sin) [2 Macc 12:42-46; Mt 12:32; Lk 12:47-48; 1 Cor 3:10-17; 1 Jn 5:17; Rev 21:27], where the pains are more severe than any in this life. No merit is possible in Purgatory. Some people are delivered from Purgatory sooner than others [1 Cor 3:10-17].

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Status #1

I want to confess and be baptized and confirmed and partake in the Eucharist in the first half of 2007. I still have a long way to go on repentance road, but I am getting there. I need a stronger heart and mind and I need God's help. My top five issues in general: sloth, gluttony, lying, cursing, and lust.

I am a lexophile; I love certain words for some reason that escapes me. For my confirmation name, I want to select from the following (this list is subject to change):
  • Dionysius
  • Hippolytus
  • Raphael ("God has healed")

Monday, December 11, 2006

God & Time #1

I have recently been pondering about God and time. Is God:
  • absolutely timeless? (Paul Helm)
  • relatively timeless? (Alan G. Padgett)
  • omnitemporal-timeless? (William Lane Craig)
  • temporal in an unqualified sense? (Nicholas Wolterstorff)
Must the B-theory of time be true in order for God to be atemporal?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Track World Records

From Wikipedia:
100 meters
9.77 Asafa Powell (Jamaica) [6/14/05 Athens -- wind +1.6 m/s] [6/11/06 Gateshead -- wind +1.5 m/s] [8/18/06 Zurich -- wind +1.0 m/s]

200 meters
19.32 Michael Johnson (United States) [8/1/96 Atlanta]

400 meters
43.18 Michael Johnson (United States) [8/26/99 Sevilla]

800 meters
1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) [8/24/97 Cologne]

Mile
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) [7/7/99 Rome]

3200 meters

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]