You are viewing page 215 of 219.

Events at St. Paul's!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:40 AM
  • Christmas Eve Cantata: Our Choir and Orchestra will be pulling out all of the stops, and we will have a candle light time too. Communion will be served and guests will get a neat Max Lucado book as a gift. Take a look at the link for more information.
  • Steve Saint at St. Pauls: Steve Saint, son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, will be at St. Paul's during our normal worship services and Bible Fellowship times. I saw Mr. Saint when he spoke at the Steven Curtis Chapman concert here back in September, and I am really really excited to get to hear him again. If you can make it - please do, it is well worth it. Click here to read my rough summary of what he talked about at SCC's concert.

    His father's story is known best to folks through the book Through the Gates of Splendor. A new docu-movie called Beyond the Gates of Splendor is also coming out, and they have some nice stuff on their site as well (including a very nice long introduction “trailer” and Steven Curtis Chapman's God is God music video). Both of those video items are under the “Video Trailer” option on the site's main menu. God is God is a really powerful music video that correlates with Mr. Saint and Beyond the Gates of Splendor… take a moment to watch it.

    Anyway, for more details on the Steve Saint event click the title for this event - that should take you to a page with the press release about the event and a link to a flyer in PDF format. I hope anyone reading this can make it!

Denominational Query

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:55 PM

#1: Methodist/Weslyian Church

This is surprising. As a moderate Calvinist, I expected to be closest to the PCA (since my own denomination, the Evangelical Free Church, isn't included in most lists). I guess my moderation - that is, I'm not strongly predestinationist - outweighs my staunch support for the preservation of the saints. Generally, I strongly agree with Calvin, but I waiver on suggesting God has picked who will be condemned. I do believe in irresistible grace though, so I'm kind of inbetween. I guess I feel that there is some free will in our choice concerning receiving Jesus, but God already knows who wouldn't be able to resist His grace versus those who are too closed to receive it. Moreover, I believe that God could use irrestible grace to make anyone believe in Him (afterall in Him, all things are possible), but that He desires us to come to faith in Him, rather than forcing us to.

That said, I should again emphasize that I DO believe God knows everything that will happen (and everything in every other context as well), and that He does predestin “big picture stuff.” In essence, then, I am a predestinationist, because to influence the big picture stuff, you must influence the smaller stuff too.

#2: Presbyterian Church in America/Orthodox Presbyterian Church

In real life, I'd be a Presbyterian if I wasn't congregational on church government… I would have thought this would have been my #1.

#3: Reformed Churches

Not surprising. My church was in the UCC, which has its heritage in the Evangelical and Reformed Church… and then when my church ended its ties with the UCC (for the obvious reasons), it joined the EFCA, which also has Reformed ties. It also makes sense in that I'm a Calvinist and have the PCA in #2. :-)

#4: Southern Baptist

Yeah, this makes sense too. Part of my family is baptist (Am. Bap. though), the EFCA has many similarities to the SBC, and they are one of the few large denominations willing to stand against the plague of liberalism that all the other mainlines are suffering from.

#5: Assemblies of God

Okay, I admit it, I have charismatic leanings (although I find it ironic that that this is right below SBC). I am completely against the idea that you must exhibit a special effects gift to be “saved,” and I also think that most “gifts” that occur during church (tongues, holy laughter, etc.) are really counterfeits that people do under pressure to be “holy.” All that said, I do think that the Holy Spirit may still choose to do miraculous things in the present age.

Anyway, back to the A of G, I suspect that the fact that its HQ is only 200 or so miles from here might mean its influence is stronger than it would be otherwise on me.

#6: Presbyterian Church USA

Again not suprising…

#7: Free Will Baptist
#8: Mennonite Brethren
#9: Reformed Baptist
#10: Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
#11: Orthodox Quakerism
#12: Church of Christ
#13: Evangelical Lutheran Church
#14: Episcopal/Anglican Church
#15: Seventh-Day Adventist
#16: International Church of Christ
#17: United Pentecostal Church
#18: Eastern Orthodox Church
#19: Roman Catholic Church

Somehow I would have thought that I had more in common with the RCC than with the International Church of Christ neo-cult. Huh.

#20: Jehovah's Witness
#21: Mormonism
#22: Liberal Quakerism
#23: Unity Church
#24: Unitarian Universalism

None of these are surprising, though I feel that I can grasp most Mormon doctrines better than Watchtower ones. I guess my stance against Polytheism kills that one though…

Linux, Linux, Linux.

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:41 PM
Just a quick note to say that I've posted some GNU/Linux related articles that I think might be of interest to both outside observers and current GNU/Linux users.
  • Showdown: The Penguins Prepare for a Shootout - This is the first in a series of distribution reviews that I will be doing over the next few weeks. This week I look at Xandros, a much hyped distribution that includes Windows compatiblity courtesy of CrossOver Office and Plug-in.
  • Duval Clears Up MNF Controversy - Mandrake has a nice new Firewall/Router/DHCP server that might do the trick if you want something more powerful than a router “appliance”… yet it comes with new “dual license.” I interviewed Mandrake co-founder Gaël Duval about MNF and its license, and this is the result.
  • MandrakeSoft Faces Short-Term Cash Crunch - Unfortunately it seems that MDK has encountered another rough bit concerning funding. I encourage any one using MDK's free download ISO to consider joining MDK Club to support their Free Software endevours. Don't let another distribution be forced to move to a proprietary software model! (Note this article, unlike the others, is just a summary for a news release and not an original piece)
I have some other stuff to mention, but I'll save that for later today.

World English Bible

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:40 PM

I've known about it for awhile, but it deserves mention anyway. The World English Bible (WEB) is a Free, public domain version of the Bible based on the American Standard Version of 1907. Unlike the ASV and the KJV that proceeded it, the WEB Bible attempts to use modern English, and astonishingly, many of the books of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament are already converted to modern language.

If you are like me and are tired of supporting the liberal interests of the International Bible Society and Zondervan or if you just want a Bible translation you can freely distribute to whomever needs a copy, try this one on for size. The SWORD Project has WEB Bible support so Windows, Mac, Linux, Zaurus, and WinCE users can enjoy this Bible (as can anyone with web access via the online version of the Bible).

Problematic Holidays

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:17 PM

     Now there are several major problems with a holiday like this one, all of which serve to make it a very intolerant day. First, it purposely excludes those who aren't thankful. It's enough to make the complainers in society develop a persecution complex. Is it fair that we can exclude the sincerely ungrateful from this day?

     It gets worse when you consider the clear lobbyist influence in the holiday. Thanksgiving isn't named “Turkey Day” just for grins. Clearly, there was a payoff from those peculiar poultry producers that forced the heaping of even more intolerance onto that late November day.

     There is no doubt that hog and cattle farmers are willfully and unfairly excluded from this “holiday.” Who ever heard of carving the Thanksgiving Roast Beef? I assure you that anyone trying to promote such as concept would not be successful.

     If this hasn't demonstrated the problems of Thanksgiving, I cannot image what would. However, before you lose hope, let me say that I have a suggestion on how to repair this truly horrible mess. This is my official proposal to rename the fourth Thursday of November the “National Day of Thankful or Unthankfulness” with the new nickname of “Any Meat or Poultry Product Day.”

     Sadly, Thanksgiving is not the only politically incorrect day of the year. Clearly we have a problem with Independence Day too. This day is loaded to the brim with exclusionistic practices. It starts off with the nickname “Forth of July,” which completely ignores those folks who prefer to celebrate on a different day, say July third or maybe January thirtieth.

     It gets worse too. This is a day that blatantly ignores the fact that other countries did not obtain independence on July fourth - perhaps they never have at all. How is a Tibetan citizen going to feel if they were here on Independence Day? I think they'd feel excluded.

     Furthermore, how can we forget the British? I can hardly imagine that they can think anything other than depressing thoughts on the day we celebrate attacking them. I doubt the Canadians feel much better either, after all, our Revolution could be interpreted as us saying we didn't like being part of the same empire as them - a thought that surely causes every Canadian on the border to dread the sounds and festivities they hear from their southern neighbor. The only way we can resolve these problems is to rearrange the entire day.

     To wrest away this cold hand of intolerance, I propose that before the celebratory fireworks, the nation have an hour of mourning. The first part will be so that those in occupied countries can join with us, then the second part of the hour can be for mourning the British defeat in the Revolutionary War. Also, rather than flying an American flag, each house will be assigned a flag from another country that has declared independence at some point. We surely don't want to infer our independence is any better than anyone else's, and this new flag protocol will insure this never happens.

     Finally, to insure that no families with pyrophobia are forced into their houses, fireworks should be prohibited. One fireworks display can be filmed from the middle of the ocean, allowing people to watch them on TV. This will allow them to enjoy the display of fireworks without offending anyone. To insure that people who don't like certain colors aren't bothered when watching the display, only the natural color of the sparks will be allowed.

     With plans like those I have presented, I hope you can see how much better things can be. I trust with measures like these, everyone will soon enjoy improved holidays. Although, we must be careful not to exclude those who dislike holidays, so my plan may require a bit more improvement. After all, we wouldn't want to exclude anyone.

When not wasting time in his blog, Tim Butler is Editor-in-Chief of Open for Business. You can reach him at

Originally published December 12, 2002. © 2002 Timothy R. Butler

Christmastime is Here!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:20 AM

If anything, it shows that MWS is not just a good singer, but he also has an amazing nack for composition. The whole album flows together, and his piano playing is excellent (as usual). The CD is lively, happy, and serious all at once. Here's some of the lyrics to Christmastime (the song):

Ring Christmas bells Ring them loud with the message bringing
Peace on the earth
Tidings of good cheer
Come carolers
Come and join with the angels singing
Joy to the world
Christmastime is here again

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:14 AM

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with lots of Turkey, Mashed Potatos, Pumpkin pie, and family… I sure did. That in itself is worth being thankful for. :-) And with that, let the Christmas season begin…

Favorite Books?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:29 AM
  1. Religion On this one I'd probably pick the Case for Faith. It's an excellent book even though it is a bit tough to get through at times.
  2. Politics I'd probably pick President Bush's A Charge to Keep (very good!)
    although Rush Limbaugh's The Way Things Ought to Be is quite good as well.
  3. Technology Just for Fun: The Story of the Accidental Revolutionary (Linus Torvald's book)

  4. Other Economics in One Easy Lesson by Henry Hazelitt. This is probably the
    best piece on economics I have ever seen Hazelitt's work is a masterpiece.
  5. Science The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. It's witty, interesting, and somehow manages to connect the stories behind apples, tulips, cannibus, and potatoes. Very interesting, although it does take an unfortunate pro-evolutionary stance. Still, it's a good “thought book.”

Something to think about...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 9:07 PM

The class is about witnessing to those that are members of the other world religions. Nothing to startling there. What is startling is that the missionary who is speaking at our church is a missionary in the sense of the word we normally think of - that is, he has traveled to a different country to do missions. Only this time, we didn't send him somewhere, he came to us from somewhere.

It's weird. A country that was (and still is) the largest supporter of missionaries in the world, needs missionaries sent to it. It seems the ABF leader is from Kenya where approximately 80% of the population is Christian… more than we have here in the U.S. Sadly, some surveys indicate that fewer than 30% of Americans have Evangelical Christian beliefs.

It seems that what secularizing forces haven't done, the mainline denominations have done for them. The decay in our major denominations, has in effect, snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. A country decidedly Christian by choice, is loosing that Christianity through the very churches that brought it here. How sad.

There isn't much we can do, but if nothing else, we should pray about it. This is a clear and present danger - but with the power of prayer, all things are still possible.

Improved Journal

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 8:54 PM

Yes, I've done some more minor adjustments. Nothing terribly noticable mostly - a few design tweaks that probably no one will notice. However, while I was at it, I added XML/RSS headline support to the code too.

Now, if you aren't familar with RSS, its a format pioneered by Netscape and Userland (yes, the same Userland of Radio Userland fame). Awhile back, Netscape wanted a convenient way to include syndicated headlines in their My Netscape site. Well, the predecessor to RSS (RDF) was the creation, and soon lots of sites adopted it. In fact, for a time, any site could be included in My Netscape because of this. My Userland sprung up later on, and they ended up pioneering much of what would become the RSS standard.

Alas, My Netscape moved back to a proprietary system - so now only a select few sites are included in its catalog - and My Userland bit the dust in an effort to move everyone over to Radio Userland. All is not lost though, some sites, such as my company's still offer portals that use RSS, and places such as Slashdot use RSS headlines too. Finally, many desktop news aggregators such as KNewsTicker (included with KDE) and Radio Userland offer RSS support.

The great thing about RSS is, even though some of the major support is gone, literally thousands of sites still offer channels. In fact, every PHP-Nuke, PostNuke, or Slashcode powered site automatically comes with RSS output support. That includes sites such as Open for Business and (bias alert: the first site is owned by my company, the latter is sponsored by it).

Anyway, now Tim's Journal can enter the arena as a proud supporter of this wonderful open format. You can find my RSS file at

You are viewing page 215 of 219.