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Showing posts from January, 2009

Old Testament Unreliable?

There seems to be another casualty in the Gaza battle between Hamas and Israel. In the article “Who are the real terrorists in the Holy Land?” that appeared in his column, “As I Wreck This Chair” (The Philippine Star, January 11, 2009), William Esposo questioned the right of Israel to occupy the Promised Land by assailing the Old Testament.“Much of what is written in the Old Testament, many history scholars dispute — a lot of them concluding that these were mostly the wishful thinking of landless nomadic tribes.” The Embassy of Israel here in the Philippines in a rejoinder called this assertion “plainly ridiculous.” Esposo fought back in his“‘Anti-Semitism’ as Jewish Counter Propaganda”(January 15, 2009) that appeared in the same column: “The Old Testament is unreliable simply because it is loaded with myths, exaggerations, maybe even delusions of ‘prophets’ who have been affected by severe hunger in the desert.” To prove his point, the columnist added, “The Old Testament talked about…

600,000?

This is an e-mail I sent to a newspaper columnist. FYI.

Dear Mr William M. Esposo,

Blessings! I pray that this e-mail find you in good health. I read with much interest your "As I Wrecked This Chair" columns on Israel (January 11 and 15, 2009). Let me lay down my cards on the table first. I am a pastor of an evangelical church here in Makati City. One of our members gave me copies of your column asking for my response. I used to work for the media before. So I decided to do what I was trained to do. Go to the source. That's why I decided to e-mail you. I would like to ask for some clarifications.

1.You wrote in "Who are the real terrorists in the Holy Land?"that, "Much of what is written in the Old Testament, many history scholars dispute — a lot of them concluding that these were mostly the wishful thinking of landless nomadic tribes."

I think that's a generalization. May I ask who were the "many history scholars" you were specifically r…

Solomonic

That’s what Pastor Jesse Dedel, my best friend, called Pastor Rick Warren’s prayer in the inauguration of President Barack Obama. In an e-mail he wrote, “[This] ceremonial masterpiece…was as graciously inclusive, and as non-compromisingly exclusive, as anyone could have crafted it, in all Solomonic wisdom.” (Read 1 Kings 3:16-28 to see the origin of the “Solomonic” term.) Obama’s choice of Warren provoked a tempest. There are those who warned Warren not to call on the name of the Lord Jesus so as not to offend other religions. Then there are others who even sued before the inauguration “to keep references to God out of the event.” (Source: Yahoo! News) And we are just talking about the prayer itself. Some people even attacked the person who would pray. They questioned Warren for his stance against gay rights.
When prayer time came, I believe God gave Warren both the grace and the guts to pray as he prayed. The prayer was gentle but tough, humble but hard, sensitive but strong. He even…

The Invocation

This coming Tuesday, January 20, will be a historic moment for the whole world. Barrack Obama will take his oath as the 44th president of the United States of America, the first Afro-American to do so. However, Obama stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest with his choice of evangelical Dr. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. There are those who want to muzzle Warren from even mentioning the name of our Lord Jesus in his prayer. Then, there are the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) advocacy groups who felt betrayed that Obama chose Warren who opposed same-sex marriage. He also campaigned for Proposition 8 in California, which restricted the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

These people must keep in mind that Obama will become the president of every American citizen, not just of the atheists or the LGBTs. These people forgot Obama’s promise in his victory speech, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.”Though pro-gay marriage…

Aging Fast

Presidents age fast while in office. Thus says Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. In every year in office, an average US president ages two years. (For example, just search the Internet for the inaugural pictures of President George W. Bush and compare it with his recent pictures. Note the marked difference in his looks. In fact, according to his official physician, “You can watch the president age in office.”) Roizen added, “It doesn’t matter if they’re Democrats or Republicans, it doesn’t matter if they’ve been athletes or not beforehand, it doesn’t matter if they were smokers or not. For eight years in office, they age 16 years.” Another study concludes that presidents have shorter life spans compared to Congressmen or Supreme Court justices. According to his article, “The graying of the presidents,” Stephen Smith wrote, “The pounding stress of the job can unleash biological forces that translate into wrinkles, gray hair, weight fluctuation—and some…

The Sign

Image
If you travel northbound in EDSA, I believe you already saw the neon sign “Jesus Alone Saves” in a building located along the major thoroughfare in Guadalupe, Makati. The sign has been there for more than six years, from a simple painted sign to its present brightly-colored neon form three times its original size. Because of it, many mistook the building for a church (No, it housed an outdoor advertising company.) There are people who even called for counseling.

Hot Fuss Sundae, "A sign of the times"
Philippine Daily Star, December 27, 2008


Last December 2008, Paolo Lorenzana, a columnist of the Philippine Star daily newspaper, featured the sign, “electric evangelism” as he put it. He labeled it “Literally, the Holy Grail of signs along EDSA”. He also wrote, “Amid all the fleeting consumerist suggestions that appear overhead along EDSA, the ‘JESUS’ sign’s become more a reflection of the truth, the way and the life… A sign can do that to you — stop you in your tracks and remind …