21 March 2012

Is Homosexual Marriage Really a Re-definition of Marriage?

Is contemporary homosexual marriage a re-definition of marriage in America today? I think not.

Before you start posting nasty replies, let me explain.

Many proponents of traditional marriage in our society have stated as clearly as they can the danger of re-defining 'marriage' to include any other arrangement than a man and a woman in covenant relationship.  I have no problem with that.  I would be among those proponents of traditional marriage.

But is what we have in American today, and for the last few decades, anything resembling a covenant between a man and a woman?  Not even close.  As this author describes it, marriage has become about as disposable as toilet paper.  He (Peter Hitchens, the Christian sibling of the late, famous athiest Christopher Hitchens) says, "Why should we care so much about stopping a few hundred homosexuals getting married, when we cannot persuade legions of heterosexuals to stay married? It is a complete loss of proportion."

My parents were married from December 22, 1953, until May 27, 2012 (the day Dad went home to heaven).  That's 58 1/2 years, if you don't have a calculator handy.  How?  They weren't raised in a culture where marriage had been re-defined to an arrangement of convenience.  Folks like my parents raised their kids with the same ideas, but many have participated in the re-definition anyway.

Why is this so? As Carl Trueman notes on the Ref21 blog, "...if homosexuality is a constitutive part of God's judgment, and not simply a cause of the same, then the advent of gay marriage is part of God's judgment (Romans 1) on the way marriage has been effectively dismantled by heterosexuals, some of whom are among the most loud-mouthed opponents of same-sex unions."

In other words, the re-definition of 'marriage' isn't a re-definition of traditional, covenant marriage at all; rather, it's the re-definition of some post-modern convenience we've created to try to justify ourselves before God and make sex between two uncommitted people legal and shameless.  All the modern homosexual re-definition does is throw off the trappings and vestiges of tradition.

Marriage was re-defined in our culture a long time ago, and what's happening now is really simply the wind blowing the stall door open and shut.  The horse left long ago, and has already died of starvation in the desert. There's no need to even bother shooting the poor thing.

20 March 2012

Converting Logos Books to Kindle Format

I found the following post on the Logos forum a few days ago.  I just tried it with R. C. Sproul's book, Grace Unknown.  It worked like a charm.  Here's the process exactly as it was posted on the forums-

(by the way, the software noted below looks like it has a lot of utility in converting just about any MS Word or HTML document to Kindle format...)

Fr Devin Roza Posted: 3-18-12 10:49 AM

I know there are a few posts already about Kindle, but I have come up with a methodology to export books from Logos to Kindle (or other eReader devices) that I think is really easy, quick and powerful, and wanted to start a new post to share it with you.
Goal: Export a Logos book to a native Kindle (or other eReader device) format, with fully functional native Table of Contents and working footnotes. Easy and fast (I promise! There are lot of steps, but they are very simple).

Programs: You'll need to install two free programs, Calibre and Sigil. Here are the links:
- Calibre: http://calibre-ebook.com/
- Sigil: http://code.google.com/p/sigil/downloads/list

1. In Logos, open Tools - Program Settings. Set the option to Copy Footnotes to "Yes"

2. Open the book you would like to export to Kindle. Go to the Title Page.Change the Layout style to full screen. If you like, make the text as small as possible (this will make it slightly faster, and is completely optional).

3. With your mouse, select the text beginning on the Title Page and begin to drag the mouse downward. In the box above the book which indicates the page number, you will notice that it begins to report the pages which you currently have selected. Once you have selected a good amount (maybe every couple of chapters), right click on the selected text and choose the option Copy.

4. Paste the text into Microsoft Word (or another similar program). You will notice that the footnotes are copied, and that the hyperlinks to Logos resources are NOT included. This is good for Kindle, as those hyperlinks won't work and could simply cause confusion.

5. Go back to Logos, and repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have copied the entire book.

6. In Microsoft Word, mark the Chapter Titles and Sections of the book which you want to be included in the Table of Contents with the Styles of Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3. Normally this can be done very quickly right clicking on the Chapter Titles and Section Titles and choosing the option to Select text with similar formatting. 

7. Choose the option to Save As... and save the document in the format HTML, Filtered.

8. Open your saved HTML document in Sigil. On the right hand column you will notice that Sigil has generated a Table of Contents from your headings. That is a native Kindle, Nook, etc. table of contents. Optionally select the button Generate TOC from Headings. A window will pop up with your headings. On the right hand side of the window (you may need to scroll over to see it) there are check boxes where you can select or deselect one by one the headings that you want to keep or not in your Table of Contents. Sigil will also create a Chapter Navigation Mark for each one of your headings included in the Table of Contents.

9. Choose the option File - Save As... and save your book as en EPUB file.

10. Open Calibre. Choose the option Add books. Select your EPUB file. Optionally select the option Edit Metadata and you can download a cover, metadata, etc., or edit it manually.

11. Connect your Kindle, Nook, etc. In Calibre, select the option to Send to Device. Calibre will convert the book to Kindle (or other as corresponds) format and send it to your Kindle.
You will then have a fully functional native Kindle book with footnotes, Table of Contents, and Chapter Markers for easy navigation!!

P.S.: If you need to add images, right click on them in the Logos book and select Copy, and then paste them into your Microsoft Word document before exporting to HTML.

If your book has a lot of images, or you don't need footnotes, you can use the built in option in Logos to "Export/Print" to an RTF or HTML file, which will include the images (but not the footnotes!). But then you have a problem! Your document is full of hyperlinks to Logos resources which will not work in Kindle. Luckily getting rid of these is very easy.

Type CTRL A to select the entire Word Document. Then select CTRL SHIFT F9. This will eliminate all the hyperlinks in your document. Then you can continue with step 6 in this Guide.

05 March 2012

Proud of Those Boys

Proud Dad alert:  My 16-year-old twins, along with one of their friends, coached my 12-year-old's city league basketball team this year.  On Saturday, they won the championship, beating the Orange Team 36-12. 

This was an impressive little team.  They could play defense like no other 6th-7th grade non-school team I've ever seen.  By chance or by plan, this team was a perfect storm defensively.  Quick guards, smart forwards who understand how to play help defense, the boys' ability to play either a zone or man defense, and play both in either a half-court set or a full-court press, and a really tall kid (a 6'2" sixth grader) to play safety were the ingredients.  Look at the halftime score in this photo-

They finished with an 8-1 record, with the only loss coming when our leading scorer was absent.  My wife and I have coached Ryan's teams for the past few years, but decided this year to turn it over to the big brothers, as all were in favor (Ryan says he has the best coaches EVER this season!) and Jennifer and I thought the older boys needed a 'growth opportunity'.  Funny, I've only won a single championship in all my years of coaching basketball, and the boys win one their first try.  Good on them.  (They've got some work to do to catch me in baseball championships, though!)

Here are the team members:
#1    Kyler Strain, F
#2    Nick Lowry, G
#3    Bobby Williams, G
#4    Greg Garrison, F
#5    Hayden Willeford, G
#11  Michael Truitt, C
#12  Ryan Boren, F
#13  Tommy Williams, F

The coaches are Tyler Stary, and my sons Will Boren and Brice Boren.  (Will isn't in the bottom photo because he had to leave for a HS baseball game.  He's in the purple jacket in the middle photo. Brice is in the blue shirt and Tyler in the grey shirt.)

Good job, boys!!  Very proud!!

It Would Be Funny, If It Weren't So Pathetic

I made the usual mistake that I often make on weekday mornings; I turned on the Weather Channel hoping to see a weather forecast.  As usual, I got everything but.

Stephanie Abrams, the co-anchor de jour, who is most famous for talking about inane and meaningless trivia through the weekly planner segment, was moderating a panel of four or five 'experts', two of whom were religious figures, discussing the recent tornado outbreak.  She managed to look like a fool during this segment as well.

One of the 'experts' was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  His response to Stephanie's less-than-inspiring question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" was that we should shake our fist in God's face and challenge him on why he is being so mean to people he's supposed to care about.  Another 'expert' was Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the President of Union Theological Seminary.  She promptly replied that there is no answer to this question, and anyone who tries to answer it is only making things worse.

Makes one wonder if either of these folks has any familiarity at all with their respective corpus of religious writings.

I like this response from John Piper a lot better.  He does answer the question, and he doesn't make anything worse, unless (of course) you hold a worldview that places man above God in both value and authority.  But if you hold that worldview, I'm afraid the Rev. Dr. Jones is right, at least in your world.

If anyone needs empirical evidence that our culture needs the gospel, including some of our most well-know religious leaders, well, there you go.  As for having barely competent weather-babes moderating a panel of liberal theologians, it would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.  Real people are hurting in real ways, and all they have to offer are sound-bite-quality pablum.

01 March 2012

The Band of Brothers Gets Smaller- Buck Compton Dies at Age 90

I just learned that Buck Compton died Saturday.  Here's the story and obit from the LA Times.

Seems the Band of Brothers is getting pretty small.  I really wanted to meet some of these men in this lifetime.  Hopefully, they were believers and I'll get to spend some time with them in the next.  And hopefully they are enjoying their reunion together where,

To fallen soldiers let us sing,
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing,
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord

No more weeping,
No more fight,
No friends bleeding through the night,
Just Devine embrace,
Eternal light,
In the Mansions of the Lord

Where no mothers cry
And no children weep,
We shall stand and guard
Though the angels sleep,
Oh, through the ages let us keep
The Mansions of the Lord

(Mansions of the Lord, by Randall Wallace)