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Posts by TomSmedley

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  • Boy Wins Spelling Bee With 'Serrefine' (Another homeschooler victory)

    06/01/2007 8:19:33 AM PDT · 126 of 175
    TomSmedley to JenB
    Writing in English is like painting with a million shades. If it means kids take a while to learn proper spelling, fine, but giving up our rich heritage for ease of spelling just isn’t worth it.

    One of the most brilliant teachers I've ever sat under. Stanley S. Ward PhD, explained why English poetry is the best in the world. English, you see, is a shotgun wedding of two contrasting linguistic streams -- the germanic (Anglo Saxon -- that 20% of our vocabulary used 80% of the time) and romantic (French). You can dip from either pool, depending on the effect you wish to convey. And the antagonism/tension between these strands makes it very hard to write good poetry -- but the results, when you succeed, are indeed noteworthy.

  • Boy Wins Spelling Bee With 'Serrefine' (Another homeschooler victory)

    06/01/2007 5:58:23 AM PDT · 110 of 175
    TomSmedley to zeugma
    Well said. English is an exceptionally powerful language because we're not sticklers on where words come from, or their history, or some silly list of rules of how things "should" be done. If we find a word that better describes something than what we had available to us, we take it and make it our own.

    We've imported one word from Malay -- but it has two correct spellings, and is always combined with the English verb "to run."

    Foreigners often conclude that English is an easy language to learn, since we have NO rules of grammar! (actually, we have them, but they're in1visible. The hardest word for a non-native speaker to master is -- the.

    The Malay word, BTW is amok or amuck.
  • Boy Wins Spelling Bee With 'Serrefine' (Another homeschooler victory)

    06/01/2007 5:54:29 AM PDT · 108 of 175
    TomSmedley to burzum
    We have students memorizing hundreds of different ways to spell words that could be standardized instead of learning word meanings or other subjects. It is such a huge waste of energy.

    Yet a ready learner can master English with about 30 hours of intense phonics instruction. True, our spelling system has some bizarre outliers -- including one sound that hasn't been pronounced in 500-1000 years, but still must be included in words like light, thought, though, tough, enough ... and our most common vowel, the schwa, has no letter of its own!

    However, a simplified orthography would cut us off from our legacy, our patrimony. For some folks, this is a great idea. Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, imposed a latinate alphabet upon his subjects over the course of six intense months -- and put 500 years' worth of Ottoman archives beyond the reach of all but specialists. Chairman Mao's "simplified Mao script" cut his people off from their literary heritage.

    (BTW -- I own a book designed for Turkish sojourners that lists common English phrases, their Turkish equivalents, and the English phonetically spelled out in the Turkish alphabet. It's entertaining to see how others hear us!)

  • Boy Wins Spelling Bee With 'Serrefine' (Another homeschooler victory)

    06/01/2007 5:45:08 AM PDT · 105 of 175
    TomSmedley to wintertime
    It is the institutionalized child who is artificially retarded in their educational and social development.

    True. The brighter kids in public school who resist the retardation are made to pay in other ways. Bullies serve the same function in public schools as rapists do in prisons -- cowed, humiliated, and beaten inmates are easier to manage, less likely to think for themselves, less likely to escape. See Ayn Rand's gruesome essay The Comparchicos of the Mind, in her Anti-Industrial Revolution.

  • Boy Wins Spelling Bee With 'Serrefine' (Another homeschooler victory)

    06/01/2007 12:29:22 AM PDT · 72 of 175
    TomSmedley to twinzmommy

    The most common vowel in the English language, the schwa, doesn’t even have its own letter of the alphabet! Latin was sparse on vowels, so when we adopted their alphabet, we forced each vowel letter to represent TWO sounds.

  • Favorite newspaper comic strips

    06/01/2007 12:23:17 AM PDT · 27 of 33
    TomSmedley to DancesWithCats
    Calvinist in your tag line for the religion or the cartoon?

    The religion, first and foremost.

    I've heard it said somewhere (the Turkish language has a syllable you can insert into verbs to render them second-hand! the "narrative" tense, translated as "they say," or "I've heard" -- something you don't know from first-hand knowledge) that Watterton's favorite two philosophers are John Hobbes and John Calvin. His work definitely shows an awareness of human depravity!

  • Favorite newspaper comic strips

    05/31/2007 7:44:36 PM PDT · 21 of 33
    TomSmedley to DancesWithCats
    Calvin & Hobbes!!! How could I have forgotten that one!

    I use the final Sunday episode of C&H as wallpaper on company computers when on contract. "Leave 'em laughing when you go." Grand new adventure about to happen!

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/31/2007 9:40:54 AM PDT · 432 of 435
    TomSmedley to Campion; Uncle Chip
    So can your "Catholic friends".

    Excellent point, and I am glad to number believing Catholics among my friends.

    The contrast I am attempting to make is between the generic, normal, standard, orthodox Christian experience of being in the Lord's presence any time, anywhere, and the dispensational hope of someday getting to stand for days under the sweltering Mediterranean sun in order to exchange a few brief words with One who is confined, geographically and chronologically, to an imaginary future Jerusalem.

  • More Bands Ditching Record Labels

    05/31/2007 4:18:40 AM PDT · 5 of 25
    TomSmedley to meowmeow
    I've been thinking the same thing about publishing as well. was founded by one of the co-founders of Red Had Linux, and offers an intriguing self-publishing print-on-demand solution. You can even sell your downloadable books from their site.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/29/2007 11:56:10 AM PDT · 427 of 435
    TomSmedley to Uncle Chip
    The church is the new Jerusalem, the true, faithful, and loyal Spouse of the great Bridegroom.[1] The Epic of Gilgamesh speaks of the day "when kingship was let down from heaven." In that we are born from above (see John 3:3), we are members of this heavenly city, where Jesus reigns. We set the standards that God-fearers, God-seekers, and God-lovers in every nation yearn for.

    In this new Jerusalem, every citizen has instant access to The King. There's no standing in line for days under a sweltering mid-eastern sun, awaiting a brief audience of a second or two in the Holy Presence. Our Catholic friends consider it the high point of their lives if they can have an audience with their pope for just a few minutes. We can talk to our Great High Priest at any hour of the day or night, for as long as we want to!

    And your vision of an earthly city with a long line of sweating audience seekers, and a handful of folks getting rich off the porta-potty concession is better than my vision .... how?

    [1] There was a bizarre heresy floating around Pentecostal circles a half-century ago that imagined the Bride as a separate entity from the whole church. Of course, they numbered themselves among "the manifest sons of God," and left us second-rate saints out in the cold! But that's old news ...

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/29/2007 5:10:41 AM PDT · 425 of 435
    TomSmedley to Uncle Chip
    It says that heaven is God's [the Father's] throne and Jerusalem is the city of the great King.

    Bingo ----

    "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem, neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart."[Jeremiah 3:18]

    We are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, the true, faithful, and loyal Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that recognizes God's anointed King, the Lord Jesus Christ. The false Jerusalem, the one that denies Jesus, is in bondage with all of her children.

  • Need help with homeschooling

    05/29/2007 1:06:47 AM PDT · 72 of 89
    TomSmedley to taxcontrol
    There are learning disabilities issues that are borderline... Asbergers (sp?) being the most relevant.

    A lot of lights went on for me when I discovered "Asperger's syndrome." School can be hell for the brilliant, inept kid, the one who will not, indeed can not, "fit in." Bullies serve the same purpose in schools as rapists do in prisons -- enforcing the norms, punishing the misfits, inculcating a sense of impotent rage. As a mid-50s grownup, I can make light of the syndrome -- "The world is really an interesting place when you see it through my eyes!"

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/25/2007 5:00:20 AM PDT · 331 of 435
    TomSmedley to PetroniusMaximus
      “I grieve for the dispensationalists, who are trying to struggle through life with a Lord who their theology has reduced, in this present age, to a mere guru.”
    Tom, please explain this statement.

    Thanks for asking. Amazing how popular theological errors can be cured by even a single year of NT Greek study. Prepositions are very important in the Greek language, used to convey a variety of shades of meaning. Or, when translated by an inappropriate English word, capable of doing great harm. Consider ek, such a small word to exert such leverage in dethroning the King of the universe! When Jesus said that His Kingdom was not "ek tou kosmou toutou" He was speaking of His Kingdom's source, not its location. His Kingdom is not derived from an earthly combination of powers, and owes nothing to anything (or anyone) on this planet. However, Psalm 110 is the OT chapter most frequently quoted or cited in the NT, and it speaks of a reigning King who is overcoming His enemies one by one. See I Cor. 15:25-35, for example. Our God reigns now, and being in on what He is up to is the most glorious use for our brief lives.

    Dispensational eschatology, by contrast, evicts God's Kingdom from the present and the local, relocating it to two inaccessible places -- the hidden inner soul, and the distant future.

    One of the great delights I experienced in moving from the frantic freak show / horror show of pop eschatology into the sober, significant, and deeply joyous Reformed perspective was -- a new appreciation for corporate realities. Since we are Trinitarian, we recognize that the plural is as significant as the personal. God's Kingdom is revealed, and forwarded, through plural entities such as churches, families, and nations. Wherever godly fathers, elders, and magistrates govern their families, churches, and communities in His fear and by His Word, blessings are released.

    Hey, I don't mind having a "personal" Savior. Explain to me, though, how such an artificially restricted role differs from that of guru.

    It's a lot more fun to sit down at the King's table, get debriefed on how things are faring in my corner of the Kingdom, get fresh assignments, and the resources needed to pursue them. To eat His food, and don His uniform. To know that this world is better for ever day that I am in it, representing and serving the King. And that my labor is not in vain in the Lord, but contributing towards the day, directly connected with my efforts, when His glory will cover the earth as the waters fill the seas.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/24/2007 7:44:01 AM PDT · 282 of 435
    TomSmedley to Uncle Chip; DreamsofPolycarp; PetroniusMaximus
    But, Tom, the return of Jesus to this earth to reign from his throne in Jerusalem is part of the everlasting Gospel. To deny such is to deny an integral part of the Gospel itself.

    But we ARE the new Jerusalem, the one from above, (compare to John 3:3 -- anothen can be translated "from above" as well as "again") the Jerusalem that is free, loyal to Jesus, the one where the King reigns now. Having the King in residence now is indeed the good news. Rejoicing in our Lord's present presence and power and program does not in any way eliminate the joyous hope of the final resurrection. We joy, though, in having something valuable and rewarding to do now. We rejoice in the expectation of seeing the victory purchased at Calvary, and launched at the empty tomb, manifesting itself in our lives and in our day.

    • I grieve for the Jews who are trying to struggle through life without a savior, and
    • I grieve for the dispensationalists, who are trying to struggle through life with a Lord who their theology has reduced, in this present age, to a mere guru.
    There is theory, and then there is practice. Thank God that the Holy Spirit does not abandon us to our logical conclusions.

    This is so true, and so gracious! How kind our God is to enlist us in His service, "warts and all."

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/23/2007 7:13:26 PM PDT · 274 of 435
    TomSmedley to PetroniusMaximus
    Great men of God search the scriptures seeking to understand God’s prophetic plan.

    As my dad pulled a mobile home out of its berth, the hired man was appointed to watch. He watched as a power line slowly went across the roof, snagged the chimney, and pulled it off. Afterwards he told dad, "Hey, I figured that was going to happen!"

    The problem with dispisensationalism is that it breeds a generation of passive spectators, convinced that they can't do a damn thing about that which is ordained to happen. I mean, if God Himself has ordained the failure of the gospel within history, who am I to resist God by proclaiming the power and hope of the gospel?

  • Mars a giant step, but 'doable' Apollo 11 commander recalls moon mission, space race with Soviets

    05/23/2007 7:00:49 AM PDT · 27 of 41
    TomSmedley to r9etb
    The more rational and sustainable approach would be to ignore Mars altogether, and focus on building space infrastructure closer to home. Once that's in place, Mars will be a natural and relatively easy goal.

    An O'Neill colony, built with lunar material, could drift towards Mars at a leisurely pace.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/23/2007 1:59:01 AM PDT · 236 of 435
    TomSmedley to WileyPink
    And BTW, is there anyone here who believes that a person's view of the end times determines their salvation. If not, why am I hearing so much contention in some of these post.

    To the extent that we reflect God's image, we are goal-seeking creatures. Our perception of the ends towards which we strive shapes all that we do, and what we're living for. Rather high stakes!

      Do you know, what you're hoping for
      When you look behind you there's no open door,
      Do you know?
    If you believe that God has already decided to give the other team an uncontested turn at bat, that He has decreed the global triumph of evil, these expectations concerning "the big picture" unavoidably shape your expectations regarding the smaller picture of your own life. Like one famous writer, a serial polygamist working on marriage number 4 at last count, you could find yourself driven to snatch all that you can while you can before the deluge.[1] If "time is short," than it's a waste of time to undertake any endeavor that requires decades to fulfill -- a career as a novelist, scholarly recognition, or an enduring marriage. What the military calls the "short termer" mentality normally generates apathy and mediocrity, just barely doing enough to get by on.

    If, OTOH, you assume that God's gracious and gradual processes of sanctification are at work in our lives and our histories to bring about the day when His glory covers the earth as the waters do the sea, you'll live with longer-range projects in view. Why not start a dynasty of fervent believers, who will still be shaping history a century after I'm gone? Why not pursue a doctorate at age 50+, and plan to amortize the increased credibility over the next three decades?

    Pentecostals dream of instant sanctification. Reformed believers assume it takes years for the individual soul, decades for the marriage, centuries for the nations, and milennia for the church to approach God's design for them.

    [1] Apres moi, le deluge said Louis XIV as he ran up fiscal and societal debts his grandkids would be unable to pay.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/23/2007 1:30:15 AM PDT · 235 of 435
    TomSmedley to r9etb
      Hm. By this reading, Mr. Adams seems to discount the idea of the Second Coming, which has not yet happened, and which Scripture says is to be accompanied by some pretty nasty events.

      Any article purporting to be about "the New Testament as it's meant to be read," (i.e., no rapture); and which at the same time basically ignores the Scriptural promises concerning the Second Coming ... well, that is a pretty dismal excuse for Biblical exigeses.

    Apples and oranges. Standard, normal, garden-variety, orthodox (small and large O) Christianity has always looked forward to "the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, Amen." The vast majority of us anticipate the bodily return of our Lord at the end of history, coinciding with the resurrection/translation of all the living and dead saints.

    The novelty, the "new kid on the block," is the notion of a "rapture" broken out from the main event, and taking place 3.5 or 7 or n years before the final resurrection. Mike Adams confesses the Biblical, historical, and creedal Christian faith in this regard.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/22/2007 11:35:59 AM PDT · 208 of 435
    TomSmedley to bruinbirdman

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve always respected Mike Adams as a man of uncommon good sense. Discovering that his sanity extends to eschatology is gratifying.

  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/22/2007 11:25:43 AM PDT · 207 of 435
    TomSmedley to Colonel Kangaroo
      It helps to realize that the Bible is not written TO us but it's written FOR us. The book of Revelation was written to 1st century people for 1st century problems. If it does not concern those 1st Century Christians, then it is not in the book. All this rapture/end times nonsense that people read into the book of Revelation today would have no application to those 1st Century addressees of the book.

      That does not mean that the book does not have necessary spiritual benefit for us today. But the book is a 1st Century letter written to 1st Century people about 1st Century problems.

    Yep. People who use God's Word as a crystal ball or ouija board miss the point thereof.
    • Lovers and winners shape the future.
    • Losers and whiners try to predict it.
  • How to Read the New Testament

    05/22/2007 11:19:30 AM PDT · 206 of 435
    TomSmedley to omnivore
    Oh, bother. Now what are we supposed to do with all the Rapture-themed bumperstickers?

    Sell them to the folks who took offense at the Left Below episode of The Simpsons?

  • 'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children

    05/22/2007 11:15:58 AM PDT · 14,967 of 16,256
    TomSmedley to HarleyD
    I can only say that infant baptism, IMO, isn't correct. In my view it is a flawed Catholic tradition held over into Protestantism by the former Catholic Reformers.

    IOW, the entire church was in grievous error for 16 centuries, until the Anabaptists came along. This Deus abscondicus tendency may explain why Baptistic churches are so prone to splitting, hiving off new denominations, plus a few new cults. After all, every generation needs to rediscover fire and reinvent the wheel. (hmmm ... is that why Baptist culture is an oxymoron?)

  • God Does Not Want 16 Kids(MEGA BARF ALERT)

    05/22/2007 10:17:37 AM PDT · 182 of 197
    TomSmedley to RobbyS
    J.S. Bach had about twenty kids, by how many wives I do not know. This on a church musicians salary.

    A brilliant high school friend of mine said that the first word that came to his mind when considering J S Bach was "father." His 2 and 3 part inventions, for example, were written to help his children master the clavier. The generation after thought that C P E Bach, his son, was "the great" Bach. (I later learned that my friend was a homosexual, which adds poignant weight to his testimony.)

  • 'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children

    05/22/2007 9:50:17 AM PDT · 14,959 of 16,256
    TomSmedley to kosta50
    Until we are reunited with our bodies, we will not be in our created natural state.

    Let me cite C. S. Lewis on this question: "A two-legged horse is maimed. A two-legged man isn't." God's willingness to take upon Himself human flesh, rather than an angelic hologram, indicates that the final resurrection is something to anticipate with joy.

  • More Parents Opt for Homeschooling

    05/22/2007 7:31:57 AM PDT · 71 of 98
    TomSmedley to I still care

    We finally put our two oldest in a public school — NC State University. The older graduated with a degree in computer programming. His younger sister married one of his classmates, a world-class programmer who’s currently working for Adobe.

    Both kids were active in the Reformed University Fellowship (the “campus Calvinist club”), and continue to delight us.

  • It's Political Suicide for the GOP

    05/21/2007 8:40:08 AM PDT · 44 of 113
    TomSmedley to Sans-Culotte
    I fail to see how Bush 41 "so screwed things up".

    "Read my hips."

  • Rome-ward Bound: An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism and Everyone Remains Friendly

    05/18/2007 11:49:57 AM PDT · 78 of 133
    TomSmedley to HamiltonJay
    Oh I have, not to open a can of worms, but as a Catholic,

    Are you sure you don't mean a Diet of Worms?

  • Rome-ward Bound: An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism and Everyone Remains Friendly

    05/18/2007 7:59:18 AM PDT · 44 of 133
    TomSmedley to agere_contra
    I've seen this same quietism in a close family member, who is a Jehovah's Witness

    Interesting comparison. Both religious viewpoints are apocalyptic, assuming an inevitable global triumph of evil within history. Both are obsessed with trying to predict the future which they assume is full of terrible things. When I go biking, I like to sing a little hymn I learned 50 years ago during Mass ...

    Thy reign extend, O King benign
    To every land and nation.
    For in Thy kingdom, Lord Divine
    Alone we find salvation.


    Christ Jesus Victor,
    Christ Jesus Ruler,
    Christ Jesus Lord and Redeemer.

    Let me cite my favorite aphorism on "prophecy teaching:"

    • Winners and lovers shape the future.
    • Whiners and losers try to predict it.
  • Rome-ward Bound: An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism and Everyone Remains Friendly

    05/18/2007 7:26:30 AM PDT · 32 of 133
    TomSmedley to applpie
    I am using "fundamentalism" in a technical, specific, and descriptive manner to refer to a stream of 20th century American protestantism. I have the Scofield Bible folks in mind. People who were faithful to the God of the Bible and the Bible of God, but who were willing to surrender the field to the enemy, time after time. Dispensational premillenialism tends to induce a state of agitated impotence vis-a-vis the world outside of one's own soul.

    If you are convinced that God has ordained the global triumph of evil, then those with a happier eschatology must look compromised at best, apostate at worst. If you are indeed looking for and expecting the worst, you will see the "woman on the beast" as the Roman Catholic church, for example, rather than as an apostate Israel that crucified God's Son and pledged allegiance to Caesar.

    Folks who embrace a creedal orthodoxy have a lot more in common with each other than they do with the "roll your own" American approach that insists on re-inventing square wheels year after year.

  • Dobson: No way I'll vote for Rudy - Might not cast ballot at all if faced with 'Hobson's choice'

    05/18/2007 6:38:15 AM PDT · 132 of 137
    TomSmedley to Perdogg
    I cannot believe that you guys would put this country at risk by staying home.

    If there is a God in heaven, we would be wise to fear Him more than the Democrats.

  • Rome-ward Bound: An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism and Everyone Remains Friendly

    05/18/2007 6:33:21 AM PDT · 9 of 133
    TomSmedley to Reo

    If you are in the market for a Christian world view, as opposed to a navel view, your road will probably take you to Rome, Constantinople, or Geneva.

    American fundamentalism is an awfully thin gruel. At its worst, it applies to only one point in time and space, the “sinner’s prayer” after an “altar call” at the front of the church.

    In 1970, the “Jesus freaks” discovered and joyously proclaimed the artificiality of the temporal quarantine. God’s Presence could go with us through all of life.

    A perspective I discovered in 1980, call it “Calvinism on steroids” smashed the spacial quarantine. God is interested in all of life, not just the “religious” part.

  • Circuit City fires 3,500 'overpaid' staff

    05/18/2007 4:56:28 AM PDT · 122 of 123
    TomSmedley to RWR8189; Dallas59

    Oh, my. Just sent the following note to them folks:

    Order # nnn-nnnnn

    Twice in a row, you have advertised items that are not in stock.

    Twice in a row, you have taken my money for items that are not in stock.

    Twice in a row, you have canceled my order for the item I paid for, since you “discovered” after taking my money that the item was not in stock.

    Should the words CONSUMER FRAUD come to mind?

    You have the use of my money for several days, interest free.

    I have the loss of my money for several days. And no laptop computer.

    Please tell me why I should not be contacting the Attorneys General of Virginia and North Carolina to report this.

  • What It’s Like To Have Big Boobs

    05/17/2007 6:05:24 AM PDT · 37 of 140
    TomSmedley to ken5050
    sadly equate voluptuousness with sexiness, when the opposite is often true..

    It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!

  • Falwell's judgment day (Roanoke Times editorial, bashing Jerry Falwell)

    05/16/2007 8:50:31 AM PDT · 29 of 48
    TomSmedley to P-Marlowe
    As a nation we have in many ways turned our backs to God. What happened on 9/11/01 is an example of what can happen to us if God, for whatever reason, chooses to turn his back on us.

    God allowed us to see, in one hour, in broad daylight, the secret slaughter of innocents that grieves His heart every day in this favored land. When we think of the 45 million Americans who were casually, callously, and violently murdered in their mother's wombs, I tremble to reflect upon the pending payday. Thomas Jefferson spoke of an issue that was, in his day, like a "firebell in the night."

  • "Left Lane Drivers Unite!" - LEFT LANE DRIVERS of AMERICA

    05/15/2007 12:13:02 PM PDT · 26 of 441
    TomSmedley to T.Smith

    Keep your cell phone handy, and call smoky to report an aggressive driver endangering other vehicles. Provide license plate number and identifying information.

  • Reverend Falwell has passed away - Falwell found unresponsive

    05/15/2007 10:50:34 AM PDT · 241 of 661
    TomSmedley to I want to know
    You are so right. Graduation is Saturday. This is going to be extremely hard on the students. He is very well-loved by them.

    I attended a CCM (contemporary Christian music) concert once at the Vine center on the LU campus. At one point, the band invited Jerry on stage and presented him with a large red tee-shirt bearing the band's logo. He pulled it on over his business suit and danced a few steps while the crowd went wild and chanted "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" You could sense the warmth and deep affection between him and the kids.

    The man was for real.

  • What is the significance of Iraq in the Bible?

    05/10/2007 7:30:16 AM PDT · 76 of 88
    TomSmedley to Quix
    There’s tons of Biblical reasons Jersalem of AD 70 simply will not fit at all.

    And many Biblical reasons why the city that rejected the One who longed to shelter it under His wings, that in fact crucified God's ambassador, could be called "Babylon," the focal point of idolatry and every foul spirit.

    But then, if you're into fortune telling, the plain literal sense of the time framework is too boring to take seriously. I mean, how could anyone as important as ME live at any time other than the culmination of the ages?

  • Exclusive: German Homeschooler Talks

    05/10/2007 7:24:45 AM PDT · 26 of 30
    TomSmedley to Postal Dude

    I think you meant “seized” rather than “ceased.” Other than that, your command of English is better than that of most Americans.

  • What is the significance of Iraq in the Bible?

    05/10/2007 7:18:20 AM PDT · 71 of 88
    TomSmedley to pacelvi
    That's a gracious reply. I'll concur that eschatology is not (yet) central to Christian orthodoxy. However, as the church grows in wisdom and experience over the centuries, her boundaries become sharper, clearer. In another hundred years, for example, our grandchildren will view public education the same way that we view American chattel slavery, as an unthinkable horror, an inexplicable riddle. "What must they have been smoking to put up with that?"

    There's quite a bit of evidence available to indicate that fortune telling is bad for the church's health, a hobby that only gains influence during seasons of reversal. That fades during seasons of reformation.

  • What is the significance of Iraq in the Bible?

    05/10/2007 5:10:05 AM PDT · 65 of 88
    TomSmedley to pacelvi
    70 AD wasnt the End Time.

    You are wrong.

    No offense intended, just trying to be as concise as you were.

  • What is the significance of Iraq in the Bible?

    05/10/2007 1:41:20 AM PDT · 56 of 88
    TomSmedley to ExcursionGuy84
    Right now,the cities that would most closely fit the immoral description of End-Times Babylon would be [and I'm not sorry if anyone is offended]....

    You left out the obvious candidate, Jerusalem of AD 70.

  • The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church

    05/07/2007 1:12:22 PM PDT · 109 of 204
    TomSmedley to rrc
    but, according to the protestants, the testimony of these ecf’s, the church and the scriptures, are somehow not valid because protestants have: the scriptures alone.....and their own view of them (which can differ greatly on important salvation subjects)....

    Honest question, worthy of an honest response.

    I think you are confusing anabaptists with protestants. The faithful Reformed denominations (Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, e.g.) are delighted to honor their ties to the ecf. Luther, after all, was an Augustinian monk, and Calvin built upon the scholarship of his predecessors. The Baptists are the guys who have this annoying habit of reinventing square wheels!

    We think you guys "jumped the shark" when Aquinas imported Aristotle into the canon, but even that incredible scholar preached the inspiration of Scripture and had a clear testimony of his walk with God.

    I have more in common with a pious RC believer than I do with a culturally-identical "Oneness" pentecostal.

  • Romney Addresses '07 Regent Graduates [some skeptical having a Mormon address Christian audience]

    05/07/2007 1:06:31 PM PDT · 76 of 298
    TomSmedley to danmyte

    Hey, Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite novelists, and I am constantly chagrined that God had to raise up and prosper an LDS to honor His Son Jesus in a hostile venue.

    However, I cannot recognize the LDS organization as a valid Christian denomination, and part of the unbroken continuity of God’s work on earth. They themselves assert themselves to be something new, a fresh testament, appearing in 1843 after Jesus turned His back upon His bride and stomped out for 15, 16, or 17 centuries.

  • Why would anyone kill (Ron) Brown?

    05/02/2007 5:05:41 AM PDT · 61 of 110
    TomSmedley to exit82
    Someday, someone will spill the beans about the entire corrupt Clinton co-presidency, from Waco to the USS Cole—and it probably will be more than we ever imagined.

    My own personal prayer project is Vince Foster's case. The whole smelly mess is too depressing, and worrying about it all would be detrimental to my emotional and spiritual health. So, I keep reminding my God of Vince Foster. I leave it to other freepers to adopt their own highly specific prayer projects. There are enough of us to cover all the bases, I'm sure.

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF [rebuilding] BABYLON [socialism began thr; bk critique R We Living N END TIMES?]

    05/01/2007 8:14:43 PM PDT · 61 of 105
    TomSmedley to Rodney King
    Despite the fact that God says that we won’t know when the end is coming, there is a certain group that just doesn’t want to believe that. They think they are so in tight with God that surely He will give them advance notice over the heathens.

    Let this little aphorism embiggen[1] your spirit:

      Winners and lovers shape the future.
      Losers and whiners try to predict it.
    I talked with my 11 and 9 year old girls to day about how important it is to live with the next century in mind. Small and consistent daily acts of faithfulness compound over time to yield unpredictable and bodacious crops of righteousness at unpredictable intervals.

    [1] "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." Jebediah Springfield, AKA Hans Sprungfeldt

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF [rebuilding] BABYLON [socialism began thr; bk critique R We Living N END TIMES?]

    05/01/2007 8:07:48 PM PDT · 59 of 105
    TomSmedley to Quix
    I rebuke in the Name of Jesus any hint that I’m engaging in false prophecy.

    Well, every attempt of the last 150 years to read the headlines into the Bible, then make predictions on the basis thereof, has been overtaken and embarrassed by events. Meanwhile, an attempt to use the Bible as a tool for divination and fortune-telling has done much to neuter the church within history. I mean, if God has already decided to let the other team have all the marbles, who are we to resist the Almighty?

  • Widow of Slain Christian: 'Forgive Them'

    04/29/2007 11:01:36 AM PDT · 79 of 110
    TomSmedley to Lurker


  • Eschatology Debate, May 1st-4th, Memphis Tennesse

    04/24/2007 5:31:04 PM PDT · 15 of 185
    TomSmedley to topcat54
    worth repeating!
      Not to put a damper on the event, but most non-futurists are not full (Hymanean) preterists and really would have little interest in such a debate. You have the two extreme positions in debate when most of us (historicists and partial preterists) fit neatly in the middle.

      Have fun any way.

      I would like to see you take on an orthodox preterist like Ken Gentry to Gary DeMar, or anyone who denies that the fulfillment of most prophecy is still in the future.

  • Mark Steyn: Let's be realistic about reality

    04/22/2007 6:17:25 AM PDT · 38 of 96
    TomSmedley to Puzzleman

    And so we “fear guns,” and “verbal violence,” and excessively realistic swashbuckling in the varsity production of ‘’The Three Musketeers.’’ What kind of functioning society can emerge from such a cocoon?

  • Move on from abortion? Not on your life!

    04/20/2007 9:53:07 AM PDT · 3 of 512
    TomSmedley to Jim Robinson