Will the real Iron Man please stand up?

Elon Musk, the closest thing we have to a real Iron Man, has decided to pursue another ambitious project. He would like to use his space company, SpaceX, to deploy satelites around the earth. These satelites would in turn, make it so that every single part of the earth had access to the internet. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, he wants to do the same for Mars. Because, you know, he plans to colonize Mars.

You can read more about his internet/satelite plan here.

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Malarkey

Earlier this week news broke that Alex, a boy who was in a terrible car crash and subsequent coma, did not end up spending time in heaven as he claimed. The boy, who has the unfortunate last name of Malarkey, made the whole thing up. However, this should not be surprising. In the few places in Scriptures where we gain glimpses of heaven, it is not a comforting place. It is a place where awe and terror are so seamlessly one that it is hard to distinguish between the two.

In a story I saw later on in the week on this story, it appears the poor boy was taken advantage of. The above linked article has his mom claiming he has never been paid for the book. But while the substance of the book was malarkey, the boy did say something true when he recanted:

“When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.”

Wow. Now that is a remarkable statement. A few observations that I’d like to point out.  First and foremost, the nature of revelation.

Protestant Christians happen to believe that revelation came from God through the Holy Spirit and was made clear through the Holy Scriptures. That is to say, the Scriptures are the first, middle and last word of God. Any further revelation is not to be trusted, especially if it contradicts what is found in heaven. Even if a boy should die and go to heaven and have amazing visions or an angel should appear with a fantastic message–if it is different than what Scripture has already made clear we should not believe a word of it.  The apostle Paul made this clear when he wrote to the church in Galatia (1.8): “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

I don’t know if what Alex wrote contradicted Scripture or not: I haven’t read his book. I haven’t read any of those books. I don’t need to, I have this book called the Bible.

Now, not all Christians feel this way. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians believe in non-biblical revelation. This non-biblical revelation can be summed up with the word “Tradition.” That is, the teaching of the church. But their teaching is more in line with the historic faith because they still trust what the Bible says as being true.

However, there are major religions which “trust” the Bible while believing in non-biblical revelation. Specifically, heavenly or angelic revelation. These religions are Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. Actually, if you study Mormonism and Islam, you’ll discover that they have quite a bit in common starting with how they were formed: Joseph Smith and Mohammed had an angel from heaven appear and let them know there was more to their faith than what the Bible had revealed.

This is why Galatians 1.8 is so important–a Protestant would not fall for Mormonism, Islam or any other teaching that adds to Scripture because we know that even if that teaching comes from an angel–it isn’t to be trusted.  So kudos to Alex for coming clean. Remember–if it doesn’t add up to Scripture don’t believe a word of it.

Gin again?

A Reformed evangelical author/pastor posted this on FB. Since Gin is my favorite, I thought I’d share.

11 Perfectly Good Reasons To Drink More Gin

image - Flickr / Tomas
image – Flickr / Tomas

1. Gin contains natural ingredients.

Of course, every gin is made with a different combination of ingredients, but besides the main berry, juniper, gin can include coriander, sage, cassia, nutmeg, rosemary, and angelica root. It’s like a much more fun version of the paleo diet…right?

2. Juniper berries are jam-packed with health benefits.

The main ingredient in gin is taken by many people as a daily supplement due to it’s medicinal properties. It combats infection(gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria), renal insufficiency, bad coughs and lung congestion, and can jump start a late period.

3. It’s a natural remedy for arthritis.

The stuff that helps chronic conditions is found in gin and cantherefore help with loss of tone in tissues and organs, as well as joint pain, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Many people haverecently started to eat gin-soaked raisins at night as a homeopathic formula to keep inflammation at bay.

4. It can help eliminate wrinkles in your skin.

Alcohol, in general, contains antioxidants, but the added juniper-boost aids your body in regenerating cells, which in turn is great for maintaining smooth, line-free skin.

5. It fights kidney and liver disease.

Gin contains diuretic ingredients, which eases kidney filtration and therefore helps get rid of bad bacteria.

6. A gin and tonic can help prevent malaria.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get shots before travelling, but the cocktail was used in the days of the British Empire to prevent catching the disease that was ravaging both its colonies and colonizers. Quinine, which is used to make tonic water, was consumed religiously by English colonial people in order to stay healthy, and it didn’t take too long for people to realize that adding a bit of gin would make the tonic water a little more exciting.

7. Your digestive system will thank you.

The bitter herbs contained in gin can cause increases in digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretions, which helps break down food quickly and improves digestion.

8. It fights cancer.

The high antioxidant levels in gin help to “neutralize free radicals in the body,” which are some roots of cancer. These same kinds of benefits are found in fad drinks like kombucha, but wouldn’t you rather skip the ‘buch and get tipsy?

9. It won’t jeopardize your waistline

Gin happens to be one of the least calorific types of alcohol atabout 97 calories per 1.5 ounces. Since your digestive system is being revved up by the juniper, you’re also less likely to bloat and develop a urinary tract infection as it helps flush out toxins. That’s the kind of cleanse we can get behind.

10. A decent gin will not cost you an arm and a leg.

11. Frank Sinatra liked it. How much more classy can you get?

Ups and Downs

The Washington Post has created a hilarious, and disturbing, compliment engine. Drawing on Joe Biden’s memorable, and inappropriate, compliments and statements during his tenure as Vice President you can now be personally complimented by him! Check it out, it is hilarious and fun.

And just in case you think I’m being partisan, nothing beats the original: the Martin Luther insult engine. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Luther was the most quotable person in history. And many of his quotes are hugely inappropriate. Check it out and enjoy being insulted by the great Reformer.

Updates on the Brewery

Well, as you may have noticed, the Brewery is temporarily closed. Hopefully, after Easter (if not before), it will be reopened for business. I think perhaps many people will be happy about that. One of the things that stood out to be in the End of Year post that WordPress put together is that my most popular posts deal with gluten free beer. So for those of you who come here looking for tips or recipes in that regard, hang in there for they will be back. In the mean time, I hope you don’t mind my posts on books, culture, and sports. After all, a Brew pub is more than the brew, it is the conversations that take place. That’s what those other posts are–conversations while you wait on another cold one.

Merry Christmas (A Review)

So did you have a good Christmas? If the plumb line for a good Christmas is gifts received, then I had a pretty good one.

I got this:

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I’m not a big fan of bumper sticker theology but this one pretty much sums up much of how I feel about America and the Gospel.

I also got this:

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This is something I have wanted to try for some time. It is the first commercial hopped cider I have tried. I am a BIG fan of making my own dry-hopped cider. I think I’ll keep it that way. It smells like beer and tastes like a cheap beer. Tastes like…I’m not sure. We’ll see if it grows on me.

Then this happened:

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Yes. That is John Calvin’s mug on a pint glass. If that doesn’t make me cool, I don’t know what will.