Miscellaneous Links

A 17-minute video discussion of the Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Hulah Valley, and Mt. Hermon. It’s quicker and cheaper than a package tour.

The little red dot saving lives in India.

The top 10 reasons people don’t tithe.

The BBC has a guide to Ethics. Who knew? (Or maybe it had one. The site says it’s “been archived and is no longer updated.”) Why the BBC? I suppose it’s something they can link to (rather than re-write the same side-discussions) from their Religion and Ethics home page.

Speaking of ethics, or specifically ethical systems: can you disrupt bribery in order to have less corrupt government?

In a cooperative crime with two criminals, the state should offer amnesty and a bounty to the criminal who first secures punishment of the other criminal. When the bounty exceeds the bribe, a bribed official gains less from keeping the bribe than from confessing and receiving the bounty. Consequently the person who pays the bribe cannot trust the person who takes it. The game’s unique equilibrium is non-cooperative and bribes disappear.

Does R.C. Sproul believe in miracles?

Now God’s still alive, He’s still working; He’s still answering prayers in an amazing way. I’ve seen marvelous answers to prayers, I’ve seen people healed of so called terminal illnesses, I just have never seen anybody raised out of the cemetery, or an arm that is severed grow back, or a preacher walk on the water, or water turned into wine.

Slightly related: N.T. Wright on the virgin birth:

If you believe in miracles, you believe in Jesus’s miraculous birth; if you don’t, you don’t. Both sides turn the question into a shibboleth, not for its own sake but to find out who’s in and who’s out. The problem is that “miracle” – as used in these controversies – is not a biblical category. The God of the Bible is not a normally absent God who sometimes “intervenes.” This God is always present and active, often surprisingly so.

An interesting review of the book describing the journey of a professor from atheism to Christianity:

Later in her story, Ordway writes, “I read through the Gospel narratives again, trying to take in what they said. I had to admit that — even apart from everything else I had learned — I recognized that they were fact, not story. I’d been steeped in folklore, fantasy, legend, and myth ever since I was a child, and I had studied these literary genres as an adult; I knew their cadences, their flavor, their rhythm. None of these stylistic fingerprints appeared in the New Testament books that I was reading.”

John Templeton, Jr. has died.

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