Why No One Should Worry About Government Spying

Edward Snowden famously gave up a life of wealth and privilege and became an exile in order to expose the massive scale of government spying. The US government, Snowden revealed, is seeking to obtain and store all data, on everybody, forever. Everything. Everybody. Forever.

Snowden blew the whistle on all this in 2013. A few things changed since then. But it is highly likely that government data collection is every bit as massive and ambitious as the day he came forward. No one running for president is talking about this. The voters seem not to care. Snowden's efforts, as heroic as they were, seem to have been largely ignored.  

Which makes sense....because the idea of a government storing all data on everyone forever should only scare some people.

Here are the two groups of people that should be scared by massive government spying efforts:

1) Anyone that ever thinks they might disagree with the government or dissent from the majority at any point in time in the future. Docile a…

Christianity - The Myth that Is True

I was recently reminded of the concept that JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings author) once articulated. Every religion, every myth, has a certain metaphorical beauty to it. The Roman gods controlled and ordained the seas (Neptune),  poetry and music (Apollo), love (Venus), and fortune/luck (Fortuna). In each story of every god, the person looking for it can find parallels to Christ. The Babylonians and Egyptians had their myths as well. And these myths included some parallels to Christ. Gods that rose from the dead (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus). Gods that had miraculous signs. Gods that walked among men.

Now, these parallels are often exaggerated. Goofballs like Bill Maher have made whole movies claiming that this proves that Christ's story was simply made up. But given the Jewish context for the gospel narratives, the fact that no myth matches Jesus' story very well, and the fact that the gospels were all written within 60 years of his crucifixion, it is highly doubtful that Maher…

The Secular Case for Christianity, A Book Review of "Dominion" by Tom Holland

Tom Holland's Dominion is not a book written by a Christian apologist. In the early chapters, he repeatedly makes assumptions that any unbelieving academic would make about the bible. Starting with the Old Testament, he repeats typical source criticism theories and throughout the book assumes some of Paul's letters were not original to him.

Note: I would encourage anyone that wants to hear the academic case for the historicity of scripture (and the New Testament in particular) to read NT Wright's Christian Origins series - especially the New Testament and the People of God and Jesus and the Victory of God. Tom Holland, if you are reading this, I would recommend you read those as well.

 Further, at times, I find his criticism of the actions and behaviors of various Christians (and the church as a whole) to be overly focused on the negative.

But.... in some ways, it is his lack of Christian piety and apologetic leanings that makes this book so convincing. It is an outsider n…

Prediction - 2008 will happen again soon

I am not a prophet and I don't claim to be. I don't think the future can be predicted and I do realize that the title of this article and this sentence seem to contradict. 'You cannot predict the future. Here, let me predict the future.'

But I did not have a stroke. I am not babbling. We cannot predict the future but we can recognize fragility. And the global economy in general (and the US economy specifically) is very fragile right now.

Fragility is simply being in a state where you do not like shakes or disruptions. You want things smooth when you are fragile. Stable and calm. The problem is that the world is not stable and calm. There are wars. There are crazy politicians. There are irrational panics in the stock market. There are bubbles. And our nation is very fragile.Why are we so fragile? Debt. Not just national debt but personal debt. We all owe ourselves a ton of money.

And despite the fact that Paul Krugman doesn't think this is a problem, it is.

If you …

Book Recommendation: What I Learned in Narnia by Douglas Wilson

I recently read Doug Wilson's What I Learned in Narnia and loved it so much I wanted to recommend it to my readers. As my readers are aware, I love CS Lewis. I have read the Narnia series at least five times in my life and have read almost everything else by Lewis multiple times. So, there was some part of me that wondered if there was much to learn from this book. But liking Wilson as an author, along with a subject I obviously enjoy, I decided to try it. It was well worth it. I found myself enjoying anew the insights of Lewis and wishing that I had read this book when my kids were younger so that I could have used it as a study guide as we read these books together. But this book is not just for kids. Adults can and should read it.

Wilson does a brilliant job of recognizing and articulating the mind of Lewis and providing example after example to illustrate key themes. He discusses the Narnian lessons on confession of sin, nobility, spiritual disciplines, story telling, grace, …

Podcast : Arguing with idiots on Twitter

Sometimes nothing beats a good Twitter war. This week on the podcast I talk about some of the debates and arguments that have entertained me this week. Check it out:

Stop Psychoanalyzing Yourself

I just listened to the free audio book, The Burnout Generation, and it was painful to listen to. It was an entire audio book about young people who never had any real problems reflecting on minor stresses in their lives. In order to reflect on these stresses, they go back and reflect on all their experiences growing up. They talk about their expectations. They obsess over choices they made. On and on. And you cannot blame them. Their parents probably obsessed over them as well. Parents now think that every book their child reads, every sporting event, every school play just might be the thing that makes or breaks their kid. 

It is a weird thing. In the old days, parents just sort of tried to keep their kids alive. Now we all have to keep detailed accounts of everything that happened so that we can understand why we get stressed about getting behind on doing laundry.

I think it might be the influence of Sigmund Freud. Not sure. But it is weird and it won't last.

I hop…