Showing posts from November, 2013

“It’s a political Yolanda.”

That’s how one political analyst depicted the devastation that the recent unanimous Supreme Court (SC) decision wrought upon our political landscape.
“In a landmark decision that could spell the end of political patronage, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared unconstitutional past and present congressional pork barrel laws as it ordered the criminal prosecution of individuals who had benefited from the schemes over the past two decades.” (Source: Inquirer News)

In a nutshell, the SC upheld the principle of separation of powers, that is, the legislative crafts laws, the executive implements those laws and the judiciary interprets the laws. With the pork barrel system, the legislative is doing the work of the executive. (I will leave the discussion of the salient points of that game changing decision to law experts such as constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J. Read his “SC decision restores normalconstitutional order”)

Indeed, the SC decision dealt a lethal blow to political pat…

Cut Him Some Slack

Who would want to be president at this moment?
One crisis after another dogged President Noynoy Aquino lately. The Zamboanga battle. The Bohol earthquake. And now, the super typhoon Yolanda in Central Philippines. 

To say that our situation is so overwhelming is an understatement.
Three days ago, it seemed that he groaned under its weight. [President Aquino] allegedly walked out on a disaster briefing in Tacloban City… [He] was frustrated by reports from the disaster risk reduction council and a comment from an unnamed businessman who urged him to declare a state of emergency amid an alleged spate of killings in the city. The businessman claimed he was held at gunpoint by a group of men. Aquino, clearly irked by the claim, was quoted saying, “But you did not die, right?” The President returned to the meeting, several minutes later, reports said. (Source: Inquirer.Net)Because of that, Filipino netizens called him a “brat” among other labels for that apparent presidential walkout. The Pala…

Taking It To The Next Level

To run in a marathon.
That’s one of the items in my “bucket list.” (A bucket list is a list of things I want to do before I “kick the bucket” or, in short, before I die.) But, like Carter Chambers (a.k.a. Morgan Freeman) in “The Bucket List” movie, I thought such a list was supposed to be philosophical, not literal.
But why make a list and not fulfill it at all?
The truth is, how could I run in a marathon when I was not really in shape? (I jokingly tell people I was actually in shape because round is a shape.) Seriously, I have hypertension and diabetes due a sedentary (read: unhealthy) lifestyle.
Yes, I have been regularly taking my maintenance meds. But that’s only a fourth of what I’m supposed to do. There has to be diet modification, lifestyle change and… exercise. The latter is something I have doing on and off. More off than on.
Then our church, Capitol City Baptist Church, had a fun run recently as part of our fund drive for our building. While promoting in a church, I told them tha…

The Virgin Birth Myth? (Part 2)

Read: The Virgin Birth Myth? (Part 1)

Why is there a need for the virgin birth? Why do Christians believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin-born?

In his Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine, Wayne Grudem gave three reasons for the virgin birth.

First, “[i]t shows that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord. … The virgin birth of Christ is an unmistakable reminder that salvation can never come through human effort, but must be the work of God himself.” Just as the physical birth of Jesus was miraculous, so also the spiritual birth of believers is nothing short of miraculous. John 1:12-13 tell us, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, the gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (ESV) 

Second, it made possible the union of two natures—undiminished deity and perfect humanity—in Christ. Grudem wrote
If we think for a moment of other possible ways in wh…

The Virgin Birth Myth? (Part 1)

More than a month from now, we will be remembering the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not the intent of this series to discuss the date of His birthday. I already wrote about it here. I want to focus on whether it’s true that Jesus was born of a virgin or not. 

Knowing how militant (read: aggressive) critics of Christianity can be, I expect a flood of attacks questioning the facts and the circumstances regarding His birth. Yet, I believe it’s a great jump-off point for us to share the Good News.

Did the Bible really teach the virgin birth of Christ? 

In Matthew 1, we read: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” (v. 18, ESV. Emphasis added) The New Living Translation leaves no doubt as to what the clause “before they came together” means: “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But b…