Sunday, 30 January 2011

Still not drowned

Woo hoo - the rain has washed lots of driveways away, and I have some more trees to clear away, but otherwise we survived fine. Isn't it cute that the moment NZ sends its firefighters to Oz to help with the flood cleanup there, we get flooding here.

Next door had a party late last night, so I spent the time playing Scorched 3D and Fish Fillets NG - games from the opposite ends of the spectrum. The party wound down some time before I got sick of Scorched.

Christianity Question #'s 15-17

What about people who have never heard even the name of Jesus?
But we do know that the Bible says God will judge the world with justice. It also says God has made His presence known to all people through nature and through our conscience, so we all find ourselves without excuse (Romans 1:19,20).
The world can be divided into two groups: those who have heard already, and those who have not heard yet. I have confidence that God will take care of that latter group. But because everyone here has heard, you will need to make a decision about what you will do with Jesus Christ.
This is the bit I was talking about before .... Schaeffer has decided that people who have not heard of Jesus will be taken care off if they are deserving, but concedes that he does not know how. Which is odd since his quote (Romans et al) tells you plainly that those who have not heard of Jesus can get into Heaven by living a Moral Life ... it's people who have heard of Jesus who have to watch out! This also means that evangelism should be discouraged since it reduces peoples a priori chances of getting into Heaven.

Why are there so many hypocrites in the church?

Why oh why would an intellegent person find this difficult: there are hypporites everywhere, why not in the Church? Schaeffer takes the opportunity to harangue the reader to look only to Jesus ... so we need to see if Jesus was a hypocrite too.

Its actually quite tricky to pin him down on this point - for example, if Jesus had ever claimed to be the literal Son of God then that would clinch it - but if He ever did, then it is not recorded in so many words. Off the top of my head I'd offer the stuff about casting stones and turning the other cheek to the bit where he takes a whip to the Temple money changers - you can probably find your own.

Does this really matter? So He said a few conflicting things, that does not mean the basic premise was flawed. So once again, this is basically a meaningless question. At best it is a reason to avoid joining a Church ... suggesting Schaeffer is advocating some personal form of Protestantism ... and we see at the bottom of the paper that he does, indeed, encourage people to find a personal relationship with God.

Won’t a good moral life get a person to heaven?
Living a good life cannot get a man or woman into heaven, because God’s standard for "good enough" is perfection. If He allowed anything imperfect into heaven, heaven would be marred. So who can get to heaven on his own merit? No one, because no one is perfect.
So how can any one get there? We can’t live a sinless life, nor can we make up for our wrongs. But Jesus did both. God offers a relationship with Him on this earth and eternity with Him in heaven. All one needs to do is trust in Jesus’ death on the cross as the penalty for our sins, paid in full.
This is almost a non answer so it has to be read carefully. He is saying that a moral life is required, but you do not have to be perfectly moral if you are also a Christian - presumably if you have not heard of Christ, then you have to be perfectly moral ... see previous questions on this. Curous that Schaeffer splits these related questions... but it is quite common for evangelists to split up questions which give them the most problems so you won't notice the inconsistencies. vis: if it is impossible to be perfectly moral, then what of those who have never heard of Jesus? Oh yeah  Schaeffer says he doesn't know.

That's OK isn't it? He cannot know everything right? Scientists also have to settle for "I don't know" sometimes?

Friday, 28 January 2011

Christianity Question #14

How can a loving God send people to Hell?
The premise is correct. God loves us. But His love is strong, rather than weak and permissive.
The question should actually be, "How can a holy God let sinful people into heaven?" You can’t simply camp out on God’s love and forget His holiness.
No one is worthy enough to enter heaven. But because of His love, God wants us to be with Him. So, Jesus’ death on the cross, where He paid the penalty for all that we have done wrong, was God’s way of satisfying His holiness and demonstrating His love.
Look at that sacrifice: God has done everything possible to keep people out of hell. What have you done about that provision? Are you choosing hell rather that heaven?
Schaeffer deliberately misunderstands the point of this sort of question:  just because you don't want bad people in Heaven does not mean that you have to send them to Hell. An alternative could be to reincarnate the bad people until they learn to be good... perhaps they can be rehabilitated in some other kind of afterlife? Surely a Good God would think to try these things? Thus the answer is begging the question.

However, the answer may reveal something of the kind of God Scaeffer believes in - for instance, he takes pains to redefine the question so it no longer relies on God's "goodness" ... perhaps Schaeffer does not really believe in an all-good God? Instead he prefers one that is loving and holy. This certainly removes most of the usual objections.

Work Done

Spent an hour splashing around in a plastic pool for the cameras right after someone else spent an hour on a pogo stick... all in wonderful weather. Continuity should be interesting because I emptied the pool several times: watch the water level magically refill!

For this I will be paid a, so far, undisclosed sum. I haven't even seen a contract, but it was all good fun.

The ad is for Just Juice "Summer of Fun" promotion and will screen from the 6th of February - so, out soon. This will likely be my biggest exposure so for (nobody has wrote me about seeing me in Love Birds" and I'm waiting for the DVD.)

The ad-agency people gave out bottles of JJ to people who stopped to watch. So it pays to hang around folks.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Christianity Questions #13

Hasn’t the overall influence of Christianity been negative?

You'll remember I was doing a series on Schaeffer's "Questions Intellectuals Ask about Christianity" There's a few to go and I havn't forgotten ...

However, this one is a bit of a straw man since this is not a question that is likely to vex an "intellectual". It is more likely that someone will wonder if religions are not intrinsically destructive and divisive, pointing out that the good stuff done in the name of any religion tends to be in spite of religious precepts rather than because of them. But that's a bit tricky since it varies across history ... some ages have emphasised charity for eg while others insist that saving souls is the aim so the church should not get involved with politics.

How does one attribute a particular result to Christianities influence? How does one work out if it is positive or measure how positive or negative it is? Surely these are all subjective as well as subject to historical review. Without some sort of specific meaning for it's terms, it is not a meaningful question.

Schaeffer quotes  Kenneth Scott Latourette, Sterling Professor, Yale University (also a Christian, and a Christian historian) ... who takes a long time pointing out the same thing, less clearly, but with examples.

Got Work

I have got a part in a Commercial - I'll tell more when it is done since these things are usually sensitive. The costume fitting was on Friday - which involved strutting around in their underwear so I'm sure everyone will be just gagging to see that on TV :)

Shooting is tomorrow, so I have to figure out how to get to Browns Bay by 10am. I'm lucky, the first guy up gets filmed at 6. Google maps says it will take 20mins from the CBD, which is probably a joke ... well, maybe I'll have just missed rush hour... I'll have to get an early ferry and a taxi and hope the pay covers it.

Commercials pay better than feature films so I'm actually quite pleased.

Back at Last

I have been off blogging for too long I see ... been rained in. The rain was heavy enough to knock trees down, but I now have an overflowing water tank so its more big-baths for me :)

Since last time ... have discovered, in discussion, that there are patches already for the touchpad special functions for the Envy14, they are for openSUSE so far, reported to work in Ubuntu ... but this means I'll wait for a kernel upgrade. But the ethernet card has mysteriously stopped working. Wireless still goes so thank goodness for that, I'll have to fire up my home lan and see whats going on :( and no, it is not a linux issue - its down in Windows too. There are a number of possible culprits, including a hardware fault which would be inside of warranty so I'm not too upset.


The storm created a wild sea - so I went for a swim. Well, "swim" is not the right word: I entered the surf and (successfully) tried not to drown. There are no rips on Onetangi beach but the pull of the surf made standing impossible.

The train wreck that was my marriage looks like coming to a close .. my ex has signalled that she will start the final property settlement in the next few months and there will likely be a sale of the final bit of land - in Wells Bay (Waikorariki Bay on Waiheke Island - see below.)

View Larger Map
... cool huh? I have half the bit above (north of) the houses, touches the beach under the trees. The idea is to put it up for sale around the time people are coming over for the Rugby World Cup. Note: the mapped roads don't match up with the actual roads and I don't know, yet, how to turn the overlay off.)

In the Software Freedom world there have been two startling developments ... Microsoft appears to have filed a US patent for benificial uses of parasites and the Ozzies have mandated OOXML for government documents ... but that last has been reopened for comment, have a read, its fun. e. By mandating OOXML (ECMA 376) they are asking the impossible since there are no editions of software anywhere which conform to that standard. What they really mean is to mandate the use of Microsoft Office but they don't want to say. The main problem is that this is government - by insisting on MS Office they insist that they are only prepared to make government documents available to people who pay MS for the right to read them ... why should Australians pay a surcharge to a US company in order to read Australian government documents? Many people may find it practical, but for a government to insist on it is nuts.

Biological/medical patents from a software repackager is a bit odd until you realize that it is a "business method" patent ... they are patenting a method for injecting someone with parasitic microorganisms to help them get better... not the technology or the organisms themselves. Possible prelude to selling software to run machines to automate this perhaps? However, it looks a bit like a joke - showing up the stupidity of method patents ... Microsoft? We'll see.

Friday, 14 January 2011

New ships for Oolite

vipers in space

Oolit Re2Dux
... trying out's sharing services for this one. I have models for each of the standard ships, but plan to release them in groups with ships I like. No shaders right now ... glow maps will come in standard, with specular and others working later.