Links for purchasing Surrender of Sovereignty.

Dr. Clendenon's book "SURRENDER OF SOVEREIGNTY" is now avaible through major bookstores: Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble, and is also available in the Kindle format compatible wtih PC, iMac, iPad, iPhone, 3G, Wi-Fi and Blackberry.

9/27/2010

Psalm 91: No Harm Will Befall You, No Disaster Will Come Near Your Tent


To read the tragic story about the accident which claimed the life of Christian singer Curtis Chapman's little daughter, click here . 

I do not mention this incident lightly.  It breaks my heart to see this kind of thing happen.  I cannot imagine how difficult this is for a parent to go through.  But I have quite a few friends , who are Christians, who have had to deal with similar tragedies.  What about Psalms 91?

Psalms 91

9.   If you make the Most High you dwelling--even the Lord, who is my refuge--
10. then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  

So what are the choices with regard to this wonderful Christian singer?

a. He was out of "faith".
b. God is trying him like he tried Job?
c. Psalms 91 is not to be taken literally, and God does not promise us a bed of roses.

For me, all of these possibilities are not reasonable.  First of all, the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  So Curtis is a human being.  So what?  Don't tell me he was out of faith.  His songs are full of the opposite.  He believed Psalms 91 as much as anyone.  Secondly, I do not believe the book of Job at all.  An honest look at the book of Job and Psalms 91 reveal polar opposites.  And besides, Job is hearsay, based upon hearsay.  I do not believe it nor consider it reasonable.  And thirdly, the Bible does promise Psalms 91.  If somewhere else in the Bible disagrees with these verses, then it only supports my book's stance that the Bible is not cohesive and causes strife.   

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Curtis, his wife and family.  I believe Christianity is such a cruel  deception.  But, at least it ends it's tale with a promise of seeing loved ones again in heaven.  But if Psalms 91 was not true in the first place, I wonder if the promise of heaven is true?  





 

9/25/2010

Surrender of Sovereignty Now Available for Kindle!


Surrender of Sovereignty is now available for download at Amazon.com in the Kindle section, and can be purchased in many formats so that you can read it on your PC, iMac, iPad, iPhone, Android, 3G, Wi-Fi, and Blackberry.  It is also available with the text-to-speech feature.  Click here to purchase it for $9.99 .
  

9/23/2010

In Insurance We Trust?

Psalm 91

 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust."
 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
       and from the deadly pestilence.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
 5 You will not fear the terror of night,
       nor the arrow that flies by day,
 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
       nor the plague that destroys at midday.
 7 A thousand may fall at your side,
       ten thousand at your right hand,
       but it will not come near you.
 8 You will only observe with your eyes
       and see the punishment of the wicked.
 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-
 10 then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.
 11 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;
 12 they will lift you up in their hands,
       so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
       you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him.
 16 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."

I rationalized this for years.  Granted, mortgage holders require homeowner's insurance, and automobile lien holders also require comprehensive auto insurance.  But usually  medications, health insurance, long-term  care insurance or life insurance are personal choices.  And some life insurance can be rationalized off as an investment or tax saving device.  But in my life, I had to admit I worried about loss and risks. I believe Psalms 91 is religious hyperbole and is wonderful source material for making beautiful recitations, sermons and songs. But Psalms 91 definitely does  not say to do all you can do and then trust God. When I was a Christian, I used the excuse that God expects us to do what we can for ourselves, and then he'll take it from there.  But I think an honest appraisal of Psalms 91 shows that its intent is that, if you trust God, he will protect you in all of your ways.


It is interesting, that in the story of Satan tempting Jesus, which I do not believe actually took place, Satan uses Psalms 91 to get him to jump.  Jesus allegedly retorts to Satan not to tempt the Lord God.  My take on this is that, when the letters of the New Testament were collected, collated, screened and finally assembled into a book, this made a nice story to help people deal with Jesus' death.  It was also pretty handy for future believers, because now they can say "Even Jesus' faith was tested, and mine has to be tested also.  I will trust in God and whatever happens to me happens."  So much for Psalms 91.

Psalms 91 is beautiful, I'll admit.  It was my favorite Psalm when I was a Christian.  But it did not work for me.  I know there are many who have something unusual happen in their lives that believe it was God looking out for them.  But there are many more who have trusted God and not seen the fruition of their prayers and seen terrible things happen in their lives.

9/20/2010

The Arrow That Flies By Day

 

Psalms 91:5-6

5. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 
6.  nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

I know the Pope takes a lot of cheap shots.  And I'm guilty of that too.  But for Catholics, the Pope is the Supreme Vicar of Christ on Earth.  Both Tertullian and Eusebius testify to the fact that when the Apostle Peter was crucified, that he asked that it be done with his head pointed down, as he did not consider himself worthy of being put to death in the same manner as Jesus.

But still, Psalms 91 says that you will not fear the arrow that flies by day.  Maybe that was for those days.  Now this Pope-mobile has 2 inch bulletproof glass in case people put their bows and arrows away and decide to use a gun.  I don't blame the Pope, because there are a lot crazies out their wishing him ill, but he must not be confident that he is "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High" as the first verses in Psalms 91 say.  He doesn't want to leave his safety to Providence.  Or, maybe Psalms 91 is the beautiful, poetic hyperbole of King David and can't be taken literally.  

But don't get self-righteous and comfortable though, Protestants, as I have some Psalms 91 thoughts for you in the near future as well.  Ha.

Dwelling In The Shelter Of The Most High God: Psalms 91

When I counted myself among the ranks of faithful Christians, one of my favorite Psalms was the 91st Chapter.  Indeed I enjoyed singing the songs which recounted the verses of this Psalm:  The thought of God's angels protecting me and watching my every step was most thrilling to believe.

1. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and
       my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

I did what I thought I was supposed to do, and that was to actually believe it.  I'm not sure what the purpose of singing it over and over again during our church's praise and worship service would be, if it wouldn't be to believe it.  

When you apply this chapter to everyday living, it becomes very sticky.  I, like Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and more, do not believe in a god who micro-manages the affairs and lives of men and women; certainly not a god who arbitrarily blesses and protects a faithful few, depending on whether their faith needs testing at the moment.  I am satisfied that I can see order and design in natural things which evokes in me an awe of a higher power than myself or mankind.  But to me, Psalms 91, as beautiful and inspiring as it is, espouses King David's hopeful hyperbole, and has been a major stumbling block for many on the road to believing the Bible.  I am not trying to offend anyone, but I think this Psalm, as beautiful as it is,  forces believers to eventually make excuses.  More to follow.

9/14/2010

Are There Only Two Choices?

There seems to be so much hatred of Ben Stein.  Liberals crucified him on the internet when he was fired from the New York Times for doing a television commercial they disapproved of.   My personal opinion is that they don't like him for doing the movie "Expelled".  It was too kind to Creationists. 

But hate or like Ben Stein aside, there was a very interesting conversation that took place in the movie.  But everyone was so busy hating Ben or defending him that the dialogue went generally unnoticed.  I'd like to post it here, because it is so rarely acknowledged.

 I have posted some of the conversation from the movie Expelled by Ben Stein.  The conversation takes place between Ben Stein and Paul Nelson, who holds a  PhD in Philosophy from University of Chicago.

Ben Stein asks Dr. Nelson whether or not it’s true that the matter is decided, and we’re all Evolutionists except for a few cranks.

Dr. Nelson replied, “Questions that aren’t properly answered don’t go away.” 

A conversation ensued which discussed whether the choices were only the two sides: Evolution and Creationism.  The dialog which followed supports my current belief, and I was glad to hear it put so succinctly.

Dr. Nelson: Evolution strictly defined is the common descent of all life on earth from a simple ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection.

Stein: But the modern theory of Intelligent Design is just microwave Creationism.

Dr. Nelson: I don’t think that’s the case.  Creationism properly understood begins with the Bible and says, “How can I fit the Bible into the data of science?”  Intelligent Design doesn’t do that.  Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as a result of intelligence.

Stein: So Intelligent Design is the belief that God is the designer.

Dr. Nelson: Not necessarily.  Intelligent Design is a minimal commitment, scientifically, to the possibility of detecting intelligent causation.


*I liked this because it describes a third choice: Intelligent design without religion living as a saprophyte on its back.

9/11/2010

Creation Myth 800 Years Before The Bible Was Written


At left is the Cuneiform tablet which contains  the 18th Century BCE Epic of Atra-Hasis.

Keep in mind that this Babylonian story precedes the writing of the Christian Old Testament by about 800 years.  

It tells of three Sumerian gods, Anu, Enlil, and Enki.  It seems that by casting lots, they decided Anu would rule the sky, Enlil would rule the wind, and Enki would rule the water.  Enlil assigned some lesser gods to do the farm labor and maintain the rivers and canals.  But after a few years they grew tired of the strenuous labor.  Enki suggested that they create humans to do the work for them.

To create the humans, they made clay figurines mixed with flesh and blood.  All the gods then spit on the clay figurines (sounds a lot like the Bible story where God created Adam out of the the clay and breathed into it).  After ten months, a specially made womb bursted open and humans were born.

After overpopulation of humans during times of drought and famine, Enlil made a decision to destroy humankind with a flood.  Enki warned a hero named Atr-Hasis and told him to dismantle his house and build a boat for his family, sealing the door.  The storm and the flood lasted seven days.  Atra-Hasis then offered sacrifices to the gods.  The god Enlil had a huge disagreement with the god Enki about his warning Atra-Hasis, but they eventually came to an agreement on how to control human population.

Is this a corroborating story with the Bible's creation story, give or take many important details?  Or is it a creation myth concocted by the Babylonians 800 years before the writer "J" began to write the first scraps of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers?   The epic of Atra-Hasis is some of the oldest literature ever discovered.  Was it then drawn upon by a writer in the court of Solomon 800 years later, commissioned with the task of writing a national history for Israel so that it could hold its head high among the other nations of that time?


Many of the kings listed in this early literature lived in the flood plains of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.  This area was plagued with cycles of extreme flooding.  Eight kings are listed who reigned before this flood, and they ruled for periods of time ranging from 18,000 years to 43,000 years each.  


Doesn't this sound like myth and legend: great stories for "J" to draw upon in his (or her, as some believe) saga about a king named Jehovah?

What do you think?

9/09/2010

Burning Stuff: Inflamatory, Ignorant, Unloving

Muslims burning our flag.
                                                                                                                             














Catholics burning Bibles.
                                                                                                         












Nazi's burning Bibles















Christians burning Harry Potter













Burning people




9/01/2010

Oldest Writing Ever Found In Jerusalem

Link to Article

In many of my posts I have mentioned that Israel developed a script for writing not long before the first scraps of the Old Testament began to be written in the court of Solomon in the 1oth century BC.

This interesting find sheds light upon what existed in Palestine prior to the writing of the Old Testament. Sent 400 years before the writing of the first parts of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, in an ancient script called Akkadian wedge script, it is beleived to be a communication from the Canaanite Ruler of Jerusalem to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. This is an example of how script was being used and developed. It is the oldest example of writing ever found in Jerusalem.