Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

On martyrdom (Part 5)

(This is a continuation of the last week's post.) That is why we must occasionally speak of martyrdom: we need to know what we're spending our lives on. We need to know what we're living for. And that must necessarily be something we're also willing to die for. For to live for something is a […]

On martyrdom (Part 4)

The American church seems squeamish about discussing martyrdom. I'm not quite sure why that is, but if I had to guess, I might say that it's a combination of the following reasons: 1. The American church is very comfortable - being that it's in a Christian-majority country with a great deal of wealth and power. […]

On martyrdom - the value of a human life (part 3)

A human life is worth about 10 million dollars. That is the market rate for an American life. In other parts of the world - say, sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is widespread, the value of a human life is less - only about $3000. I know this, because I could save such a life for that […]

On martyrdom - a parable (Part 2)

There was once a man who loved his family very much. He had a lovely wife, two adorable children, and a big, friendly dog. He always brought a portrait of his family where ever he went: of course, there was an enlarged copy of it hanging in the living room of his home. There was […]

Christians, read your Bibles

Now is a good time to think about new year's resolutions. It's an often maligned tradition, given how often they're broken or forgotten. But I do think that it's helpful to plan ahead on the time scale of about a year, and New Year's Day is as good a time as any to do that. […]

Christmas and time

I've previously discussed how long ago the universe began. Now, if the universe were purely physical, then this would be an one-dimensional question with a simple answer. But because of the depth and purpose expressed in the universe, multiple answers are possible, some more meaningful than others. To see what I mean, let's look at […]

Two year anniversary for the blog!

The first post in this blog was made on December 12, 2013 - just over two years ago. Since then, this site has accumulated over 200,000 page views. I am not dissatisfied with this result. At this point, one may be expected to say something like "I had no idea what this blog would become", […]

On becoming a good person

I don't care much about the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. I mean, it's hard to care, given some perspective. It happened half a world away. The death count at the moment stands at 136, according to Wikipedia. That's nothing. The world's mortality rate is about 0.8% per year - or about 100 persons per […]

On martyrdom (Part 1)

We're going over the book of Acts in my Bible study group. We recently went over the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7, and did a related study looking at the concept of martyrdom. Here are some relevant quotes on that topic, from various persons: If a man has not discovered something that he will […]

Come visit my church

I attend a church called Tribe, in Berkeley, California. You can find our website at I obviously think that my church is pretty great - I've been going there for about a decade now. I'd like to invite anyone who reads this post to come by for a Sunday service. Everyone is welcome, and […]
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