Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crime and Punishment

J.P. Moreland was introduced to me by my former brother-in-law Curt. I have been an admirer of Moreland's ability to reason through many issues of the day and present a clear and understandable discussion of the topic that is both relevant and true.

Over at Scriptorium Daily, Mr. Moreland has a bunch of posts on culture and Christianity. His latest puts into words something I've been trying to explain to people for years. Punishment has nothing to do with rehabilitation!

Until the 1950’s, there were four aspects of and goals for criminal justice: punishment, deterrence, protection of society, and rehabilitation. Here are three crucial points about the list. (1) Only the first one (punishment) requires taking the crime as intrinsically evil. It looks back in time at the crime, sees the balance of good and evil in the universe as disturbed, and seeks to right those scales and punish evil simply because it is evil and not because punishment would bring about good future benefits to society (or victims). Punishment is unrelated to revenge whose presence or absence is irrelevant to the appropriateness of the punishment.

The rest of the post is just as good. Check it out...


Friday, May 11, 2007

Bob from Bend

On Thursday I flew to Bend, Or to pick up a patient. While the Med Crew went into the hospital to retrieve the patient I sat outside on a bench watching the clouds and the planes and the helicopters come and go. An old guy came up and asked if I charged to sit and watch the planes. He introduced himself as Bob B. from Bend. Then he proceeded to talk...

Bob was on his way to get his FAA medical...at the age of 82. His wife made him sell his last plane at 80 so Bob bought another motorcycle. He really liked the Suzuki he found as it looked like his 1974 Harley. Then he told me about his first motorcycle.

Bob served as an engineer on a tanker in the USN during WWII. He was in Bremerhaven at the wars end and said he paid "a carton of cigarettes, a bottle of scotch and a pair of trousers" for a British built Victoria motorcycle. He said the couldn't find gas anywhere so they stole it out of the life boats! When he was shipped back home, he and a buddy lashed it to the tanker and made their way to Texas.

That's when he crashed and ruined his left hip. Which is another story Bob told me.

Bob and his buddy were leaving the (here Bob leans in conspiritorially and whispers) "the pussy house" late one night in a coastal Texas town when he told his buddy he was too tire to ride. His buddy, riding on back said they were only 10 miles from the ship and that he could make it. Bob said, "My buddy knew there was something wrong when he said he felt the bike start to slow down". Bob had fallen asleep on a road that forked left and right. Right in the middle of the "Y" was a large statue. Bob hit it dead on and his buddy landed on top of him, pinning him to the bike and crushing his left leg.

Bob was seeing "this cute little Italian number" who's friend was a doctor. She brought the Doc to Bob and the Doc put a plate on Bob's upper leg then told him "That's the first one I've ever done on a human. I've done pigs and horses but not people!" Needless to say Bob was pretty proud of the metal plate in his leg.

Bob then asked what kind of engines I had on my King Air. I told him I had PT6-42's on them. He told me another story about establishing an airline across most of Montana in Beech 99's and Twin Otters. He regaled me with a story about politics and arguing with one of the Mayor Daley's trying to get a route into O'Hare and not Midway.

About that time my Med Crew arrived and I had to bid Bob goodbye. I'll bet Bob has a bunch more stories about WWII and flying in the 50's, 60's and 70's if anyone is willing to sit a spell and just listen.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


It's funny how, even after spending all of my life going to church and reading the Bible, I still find a new way to describe Jesus. Something that never dawned on me even though I've read it a million times and have even taught it...

Jesus was a homeless bum.

Think on that for a while. Then read this...

Giving money to people on the streets.



Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Confusing terms to say the least. My church recently held a 3 day seminar by Brian Flynn, a former TM disciple and Roger Oakland of Understand The Times regarding Contemplative Prayer and the Emerging Church. Some very interesting information came out of that conference but I'll let you click on the link and discover for yourself what they are. (Think "old wine in new wine skins" and the thought that the Devil simply repackages used goods!)

I've been attracted to the concept of an open conversation about the state of Christianity in the Western World of late and it seems the Emerging Church Movement has tapped into something along those lines. I also like the concept of missional thinking. In other words, I don't have to go to the Darkest Africa to spread the gospel. There is a culture in my own backyard that has no clue of God, Jesus or the Gospel. But I was confused. I'd heard things, things which smacked of liberal, moral-relativistic ideas within the ECM. The use of icons and incense to enhance worship (which begs the question, "When will the enhancements become what is worshipped instead of what they were supposed to be focusing your thoughts on?")

So, I went to Stand To Reason and found this little gem from Brett Kunkle.

Read them and see if there is not a concern about the leaders of the Emergent church and their influence on the Emerging church.