I have built, for my own amusement, an auto scrapbook, covering every year up to 2100 A.D. It can be viewed at
A puzzling puzzle
My Christian testimony. This is perpetually a work-in-process. So am I. Last revision - Jan 2003.
1. Three stories of God's actions
2. Essays and articles
3. Book Reviews
4. On the "Young Earth" position
5. Links useful in studying origins
8. Fine vehicular contrivances
9. Jeep trails, my bio, Church sex, Pathological Science and abortion
10. On Homosexuality (a condition) and homosexual behavior
11. Miscellaneous, ethics, etc.
12. Habitat for Humanity
13. Selected articles from Metanexus
14. Internet hoaxes
16. The Coming Oil Crisis
17. Same-gender marriage
18. Church-State separation
(in reverse letter of publishing)
The fast track to American inequality (added 2/2011)
Choosing Civility (added 2/2011)
Incovenient Truths (not by Al Gore) (added 2/2011)
On the key Christian claim (added 2011)
21 points for the good life, well lived (added 2011)
On Conservative Christians (added 2011)
To Glen Beck -- "Progressivism" is not a dirty word! (added 2011)
An essay on violence
Fear Not, What does rumor spreading say about Conservative Christians (some them) (added Nov 2009)
Why the AGW deniers are winning (added Nov 2009)
A brief look at the Cash for Clunkers program (added 11/09)
A brief look at the GPS system (added 11/09)
Climate Change 101 (Added May, 2009)
What will you do when the well runs dry? (Added March 2009)
An essay on Global Warming (Added Dec 2008)
A Biblical justification of slavery. (added Dec 2008)
Three strange puzzles added 12/2008
Notes on naive realism Added June, 2008
A science lesson from Rush Limbaugh Added June, 2008
Two Political Phenotypes Added June, 2008
What Science Is (external link) by Wendee Holtcamp
(note: Originally published in the National Center for Science Education Newsletter, Sep-Dec 2003 issue.)
An essay on the size of the universe, for the Rico Bugle
An essay on the age of the universe, for the Rico Bugle
An essay on the small, for the Rico Bugle
You can take it to the bank. Article for the Rico Bugle
An essay on virtue ethics by Roman Miller
The C.S. Lewis argument (external link)
Planet Without Laughter, by Donald Knuth (external link)
Schneider, Robert J., "Does the Bible Teach a Spherical Earth?" (external link)
Notes on Polkinghorne's FAITH, REASON & UNDERSTANDING
Notes on Polkinghorne's REASON & REALITY
Illustrations of mathematical chaos
Epiphanies, Blaise Pascal and The Wager
Remonstrance, by James Madison (external link)
Martin Luther King letter
A short story by Jacquelyn Michard. BUY HER BOOKS!
A story by Max Lucado. BUY HIS BOOKS!
Notes on David Griffin's RELIGION & SCIENTIFIC NATURALISM
Article on PC futures, published in 1976
How We Changed the Whole World (no joke)
Essay on Christianity
Types of Ignorance
On Our Duty to Others
Why the flood was NOT global, by Glenn Morton.
Science & the Supernatural
On Government Paternalism
Why Believe in a Creator? Perspectives on Evolution, by Dr. Loren Haarsma
Definitions of Evolution
The Truth About Creation and Evolution, by Robert Schneider
On Bad Arguments
On Heaven & Hell
On Philosophical Naturalism
Falsification of evolution, the problems, by Loren Haarsma
Comments on Phil Johnson and the I.D. movement by Randy Isaac
Review of GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD
My review of DOOMSDAY, a book by Nicolas Gyatt
My review of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, by Al Gore
My review of THE GOD EFFECT, by Brian Clegg
A review of THE MIGHTY AND THE ALMIGHTY, by Madeline Albright
A review of LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, by James Loewen
A review of CREATION AND THE COURTS, by Norman Geisler
My Reviews of LONGITUDES AND ATTITUDES and OFF CAMERA by Thomas Friedman and Ted Koppel
Review of THE GOOD FIGHT by Peter Beinart
Review of AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, by Richard Clarke
Review of ONE WORLD, by John Polkinghorne
Review of IMPOSTER, How George W. Bush Bankrupted America
Review of Manhunt, The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
Review of STRATEGERY, How George W. Bush is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media, by Bill Sammon
Review of KEEP UP GOOD COURAGE, by Frazer Houston
Reviews of IT'S MY PARTY TOO, by Christine Whitman, OUR ENDANGERED VALUES, by Jimmy Carter, and CRASH!NG THE PARTY, by Ralph Nadar
Review of AMERICAN THEOCRACY, The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by Kevin Phillips
Review of FAILED STATES, by Noam Chomsky
Review of THE TRUTH ABOUT TOLERANCE, by Brad Stetson and Joseph G. Conti
Review of THE ANONYMOUS GOD, edited by David Adams and Ken Schurb
Review of FREAKONOMICS, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
Review of WHAT GOD KNOWS, edited by Harry Lee Poe and Stanley Mattson.
Review of TWO GREAT TRUTHS, by David Ray Griffin
Review of TEAM OF RIVALS, by Doris Kearns Goodwin (added April 8, 2006)
Reviews of "1776" and WASHINGTON'S CROSSING (added April 8, 2006)
Revew of IN OUR DEFENSE, by Kennedy and Alderman (added April 8, 2006)
Review of A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, by Bill Bryson (added April 8, 2006)
Review of GARBAGE LAND, by Elizabeth Royte (added April 8, 2006)
Review of THE EVOLUTION-CREATION STRUGGLE, by Michael Ruse (added 11/11/2005)
Review of A SHORT HISTORY OF PROGRESS, by Ronald Wright (added 11/11/2005)
Review of THE ANCESTOR'S TALE, by Richard Dawkins (added 11/11/2005)
Review of THEODORE REX, by Edmund Morris. (added 11/11/2005)
Review of MY LIFE, by Bill Clinton. (added 11/11/2005)
Review of THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY, by Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy (added 11/11/2005)
Review of FOUNDING FATHER, by Richard Brookhiser (added 11/11/2005)
Brief review of THE LONGEST WINTER, by Alex Kershaw (added 11/11/2005)
Brief review of NEGRO PRESIDENT, by Garry Wills (added 11/11/2005)
Brief review of FOUNDING BROTHERS, by Joseph Ellis (added 11/11/2005)
Review (critical) of THE ANONYMOUS GOD (added 7/10/2005)
Review of David Callahan's THE CHEATING CULTURE (added 6/2005)
Review of The President of Good and Evil, by Peter Singer (added 4/2005)
Review of Evolution and Creationism, bt Eugenie Scott (added 4/2005)
Review of SIGNOR MARCONI'S MAGIC BOX by Gavin Weightman, (Added 1/2005)
Review of Lightning Man, the accursed life of Samuel F. B. Morse, by Kenneth Silverman (Added 1/2005)
Review of The Cosmic Blueprint, by Paul Davis (Added 10/2004)
Review of The Reluctant Convert, by David Downing (Added 10/2004)
Darwin's Cathedral (Added 1/17/2004)
The Fracture of Good Order; a book review
Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About, by Donald Knuth
Three Views on Creation and Evolution, Moreland (external link)
Into the Shadows, by DeHaan
The American Spiritual Culture, by William D. Dean
Of X-Men and the Anthropic Principle, by Stacey E. Ake
Can a Darwinian be a Christian?, by Michael Ruse
When Religion Becomes Evil, by Charles Kimball
Religious Pluralism in the Academy, by Robert J. Nash
Going Public, by Lawrence Adams
Affluenza -- The American Epidemic, by John De Graaf
When Science Meets Religion, by Ian Barbour
The Undergrowth of Science, by Walter Gratzer
Trust Us, We Are Experts, by Sheldon Rampton
Why Elephants Weep, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson .
Peter Singer's "Rethinking Life and Death"
The Battle of Beginnings, by Del Ratzsch
Science and the Bible (Young Earth), by Henry Morris
Perils of a Restless Planet, by Ernest Zebrowski, Jr.
Skeptics and True Believers, by Chet Raymo
The Origin of Consciousness, by Julian Jaynes
The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
Quarks, Chaos and Christianity, by John Polkinghorne
Paradigms Lost, by John Casti
Search for Certainty, by John Casti
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark A. Noll
Adam, Apes and Anthropology, by Glenn Morton
Foundation, Fall and Flood, by Glenn Morton
The End of Science, by John Horgan
Reasons of the Heart, by Marvin R. O'Connell
In God's Name, by Stephen Carter
Science, Race, and Religion in the American South, by Lester D. Stephens
Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics, by Duane Gish
The Biblical Flood, by Davis T. Young
The Abuse of Science, by Phillip Kitcher>
Beside Still Waters, by Gregg Easterbrook
The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins
End-Time Visions, by Richard Abanes
God Did It, but How?, by Robert Fischer
Belief in God in an Age of Science, by John Polkinghorne
The Faith Factor, Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer, by Dale A. Matthews
The Fabric of Reality, the Science of Parallel Universes, by David Deutsch
Do We Have a Duty to Die? By James Humber.
Contact; the movie. Reviewed by Joel Cannon.
Believing in Magic, the Psychology of Superstition, by Stewart A. Vyse
A poll of Republicans, showing that most disbelieve evolution
Repeal the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics!
Christopher Sharp's convincing refutations of young earth creationism (recommended external link)
External link to the site of Dr. Myers (added 6/8/04) A story of "coming out" from the cult of fundamentalism.
Link to the external site "Creationism debunked added 3-11-2004
Notes on ICR's ACTS AND FACTS, Mar 2004 Added 3-4-2004
Notes on a YEC seminar Added 12/1/2003
The earth is fixed in space! Added 11/18/2003 (External link) Really really bizarre!
A challenge to creationists by Robert Little Added 11-18-2003
A roster of people with strange ideas Added 10-30-2003
A link to an analysis of what drives fundamentalists Added 10-27-2003 (External link)
Notes on why the earth is 6007 years old Added 9/2003
George Ashley, on 8/19/2003, in Compuserve's RELIGION FORUM wrote: "One of the personality characteristics of people who are attracted to fundamentalism is an inability to take the position of another. This correlates with the propensity for certainty-embracing, which reflects an inability to tolerate ambiguity and entertain hypotheticals." He is unsure if that is his original writing or if he read it somewhere.
Organizational sites (external links) promoting views on origins with which I have little sympathy:
Institute for Creation Research (ICR) (polite & well behaved)
Answers in Genesis (AIG) (confrontational)
Creation Science Association of Mid America (abrasive)
An Arizona origin "science" group (forget about asking them anything; they do not reply)
Bluntly speaking, it is my position that the people who are involved in these organizations do grevious harm to Christianity. I do not question their sincerity nor their Christianity. But their assertion that a trust in Jesus the Christ and a belief in a "young earth" are necessarily linked together has caused many young people to abandon Christianity when they encounter the overwhelming evidences that the earth is old. These people do less harm to science, for it is not too difficult if one studies their claims closely to see the fallacies in their arguments.
For many years I have challenged these people to step forward and defend their views in public forums, such as:
1. the ASA LISTSERV (see the ASA website
for information on how to join this free service,
2. Compuserve's RELIGION FORUM
3. Theology Web service (warning -- this one takes a little effort to navigate
Almost without exception these challenges, although courteously offered, have been met with silence. These people are fond of conducting their seminars in "safe" places such as church settings, and in debates, where the truth is all too often obscured by clever words (I give my friend Duane Gish full credit for his expertise in these debates, BTW. Yes -- I consider him a friend, one who has embraced some really skewed arguments).
Review of ICR's primary text
A perspective on AIG (Answers in Genesis):
Open Letter to Ken Ham, by Paul Mason
Clark Pinnoch and Langdon Gilkey wrote books exposing creationist pseudoscience.
Click here for a review of these which appeared on Metanexus.
There IS one young earth view which is coherent. The two links below
A review of Gosse's OMPHALOS
Notes on Gosse's OMPHALOS
The following (external) links are to websites maintained by scientists who are Christians. They have varied positions, including "Evolutionary Creationist," "Theistic Evolutionist," "Progressive Creationist," etc. I recommend them all as responsible sources.
Robert Schneider's SCIENCE & FAITH website at Berea College Added 5-4-03
Allan Harvey's new website is:
and his course on "Science and Nature in Christian Perspective" can be found at:
George Murphy, physicist & clergyman
Loren Haarsma, physics professor, Calvin College
Edward Davis, professor of the history of science
Responsible Organizational sites:
The American Scientific Affiliation
The Science and Medical Network
The Templeton Organization
Reasons to Believe -- Progressive Creationism
The Access Research Network -- Intelligent Design (ID)
After a 1997 ID conference in Austin, Texas, I published a review article in ORIGINS & DESIGN, their Fall, 1997 journal:
On the NTSE Conference, by John Burgeson
The ID argument Added 10-30-2003
A site in Australia which promotes the ID movement:
Steve Jones' web site
Is Intelligent Design valid? One view.
Religious humor from Compuserve
Added February 2009
A science lesson from Rush Limbaugh Added June, 2008
A dog and cat diary Added June, 2008
PSYCHIATRISTS' CHRISTMAS CAROLS added 4/8/2006
Baseball by Religion added 4/8/2006
Daffynitions added 11/30/2005
Bob and Nancy added 11/30/2005
How many dogs are needed to change a light bulb? added 2/18/2005
Employee performance evaluations added 2-11-2005
Why did the chicken cross the road
A self-referential story, by David Moser External link
How I Met My Wife External link
Three Texas Aggies meet St. Peter
Rules of grammar
How religious people see a stop sign
Why God did not get tenure
Wisdom from Senior Citizens
The pastor and the choir director
The man who gave too much
Additional humor files. Something for everyone
A baseball hypothetical
A baseball computer simulator, written in 1960-61
A series of baseball puzzle articles, written in 2008 for the Rico Bugle.
For instance, how can a pitcher, in a single game, get credit for a win, a loss and a save? Article #1 poses this. Article #2 explains the answer.
Home team advantage. A SF story by Joe Haldeman.
The inherent variability of baseball
The Cleveland Indians
Casey at the Bat (new version)
A "Radio Baseball" baseball game
The very best team in baseball
Game #7 of the 1960 World Series
The final score was 85 to 15
Diamond Mind baseball -- recommended site for simulator games
1946 Jaguar Mark IV
1963 Chevy II Supersport
1984 Oiler Van
1998 Jeep Wrangler
My auto scrapbook
9. Jeep trails, my bio, church sex, pathological science, abortion
On the Jeep trail north of Silverton, Colorado
Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, just west of Durango, Colorado
Me. For your dart board
What I think about Christianity
First Presbyterian Church, Durango, Colorado
A Buckeye Comes to Georgetown (1988 - Texas)
Sex in the churches
On Pathological Science (N Rays)
On Pathological Science (Polywater)
Two items on the abortion question:
My position on abortion (added 11/21/2002)
Testimonies in Congress on "Partial Birth Abortion" legislation.
I began studying these issues in the mid-90s;
it took about 6 years of thinking before I could write for myself an intellectually and spiritually satisfying position paper.
This is that paper, on homosexuality and homosexual activity (created and added 8-7-2001)
I began my studies into these issues with the two books reviewed below. Both are recommended reading. - JB
What the Bible Really Says about
Homosexuality (book review & notes)
Straight & Narrow, a counter view to the book above (book review & notes)
The following links are generally (but not always) in the reverse order of when I encountered them.
A Christian-Gay-Lesbian Bibliography, added Nov 2008
A GLBT support site. They support non-violent advocacy (external link added 3/2/2005)
The Human Rights campaign, an advocacy group Added 11-25-2003 (external link)
What did the apostle Paul know? An argument. Added 10-30-2003
A structure for viewing the issues (added 10-14-02)
How to debate the issue and avoid the charge of homophobia (added 1-18-03)
My thoughts On the meaning of "repent" as applied to the debates over homosexuality (added 2/2011)
Another book arguing that homosexual acts (not orientation) are always wrong is THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICE, by Robert Gagnon, 2001. Thanks to a contact at the Presbyterian Layman for this reference. (Added 1-19-2001). The well-known preacher, J. I. Packer cited this book as he left his denomination over the issue in late 2002. I respect Packer's writing a great deal. His KNOWING GOD has a permanent spot in my own lbrary. However, I've studied Gagnon's book, and found it lacking; unpersuasive. Some counter arguments to Gagnon's work:
Gagnon relies heavily on Genesis 1-2 for an anti-gay view, but this section of scripture is narrative, and the extraction of a law from a narrative is always a weak argument. God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins, but we would think that an argument against clothing made from plant material based on that to be somewhat silly. The author Townsley, in his book "Homosexuality and Christianity," is one source to refer to for an extension of this point.
Gagnon commits a logical fallacy when he equates gang rape with homosexual acts in general. The implication of this argument seems to be lost on Gagnon, for the same argument could be made to equate heterosexual prostitution, prohibited in the NT, with all heterosexual activity.
Gagnon insists that Sodom's sins included gay sex in general; he does not attempt to justify this claim (for it cannot be, at least not from Scripture). In Ezekiel 16:49, Sodom's sin is described as "`Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." There is one vague passage in Jude to "different flesh," but there is nothing to equate this with gay sex; a possible alternative might be to angels or demons.
Finally, Gagnon's book makes no mention of works such as, but not limited to, Craig Williams' study (1999). He also misses works by Hanks, Countryman and Townsley. He sets up and demolishes several strawman arguments, for instance the argument that since being gay is in the genes, it is OK to induldge in gay sex. This argument is NOT used by responsible advocates who oppose Gagnon's position. That being gay is EITHER in the genes OR behaviour learned as a young person IS used as a refutation of the too often heard argument that being homosexual is a "choice," and that, therefore, a homosexual can change. It seems clear (to me, at least) that SOME homosexuals CAN change; and that most cannot.
Sodom & Gommorah, by Robert J. Schneider,
Berea College (added 3/1/2002)
Sodom, by Buzz Kelly (added 3/3/2002)
The external web site "Reluctant Journey."
A speech on homophobia by W. S. Coffin
Questionaire for Heterosexuals (Note -- this offends some people)
A Tony Compolo debate (external link) on homosexual activity. Both sides well represented.
A external web site devoted to religious tolerance issues
There is one book above all that I recommend on this issue. It is CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE, edited by Geis and Messer, Abbington Press, 1994. This book presents both sides of the issues as written by a dozen or so thinkers, "conservative" & "liberal," all with excellent credentials.
Two essays by John Shannonhouse:
An essay on the Corinthians and Timothy passages
An essay on the Romans passage
What the Vatican says (external link), August 2003:
This is an 8 page paper issued in the summer of 2003 by the Vatican. It is meant "to give direction to Catholic politicians," argues that what it promotes is "a truth evident to right reason," argues (by implication) that a childless union is not a true marriage at all, argues for "the voice of nature," implying that being homosexual is unnatural (the same arguments were once made against left handed people). It declares strongly "the immoral nature of these unions," it argues (again, by implication) that when the possibility of childbirth is over, sexual relations ought to be ceased. It argues, although studies show otherwise, that children being raised by two men or two women is the equivalent of doing violence to these children, placing them in an environment "not conducive to their full human development." It states that a Catholic politician has a moral duty to vote against any law which favors the recognition of homosexual unions.
To give the document credit, at one point it does say that those with gay tendencies must be accorded respect, compassion and sensitivity, and that "unjust discrimination" is to be avoided. Presumably, however, the author thinks that some kinds of discrimination are just.
A gay/lesbian support site (external link)
A useful (external) site for essays on the subject.
What's a gay or lesbian Christian to do to find fellowship? Well, there ARE many churches who are "open and affirming," and a number which draw their congregation primarily (not entirely) from the GLBT community. You can find these on the web. Google "Metropolitan Church" for examples of the latter -- in Austin, Texas, the web site is www.mccaustin.com. Google for "More light." There is one fine Presbyterian/Methodist/Lutheran church in Denver. Look for UCC churches; there is one in Northwest Houston on Louetta Road. Friend wife and I are "straight," but we find all these churches to be especially welcoming. And the singing is terrific! Our daughter and her partner attend the Austin MCC church.
What is a liberal, anyway? (added 11-16-2003)
And what is a fundamentalist? (added 11-26-2004)
A few quotations I really like (updated 11-16-2003)
What does it mean to be human? Added 10-30-2003
Pictures from space (added 10-29-2003) (external link)
Can a person argue against the war and still support our troops? Added 4/28/03
Quantum Suicide External link added 4/16/2003
Schrodinger's Cat External link added 4/16/2003
A debate on ethics from the ASA LISTSERV (Added 4/15/2003)
Biblical inerrancy -- Davis's THE DEBATE ABOUT THE BIBLE (Added 3/3/2003)
On the historicity of Jonah (added 10-4-2002)
Reggie Rivers column on keeping government on a leash
A graphic display (external link) from Florida State (my alma mater) on the powers of ten.
The earth at night (courtesy NASA) (43 KB) Added 3/12/01
The writings of my evil twin, Der Floss Spode
Habitat for Humanity is a mission I believe in. While living in Denver, I worked for them in construction one or two days a week on a regular basis. Their theology is "The doctrine of the hammer." Contrary to public opinion, H4H does NOT build houses! It coordinates groups of volunteers to build houses!
The Denver H4H dedicated their 100th home in August, 2003. Their web site is at www.habitatmetrodenver.org
In the fall of 2002, the Denver Montview Blvd Presbyterian Church, along with seven other local Protestant faith fellowships, a Unitarian church and two Jewish congregations, built a H4H duplex which is now the home of a Catholic family on one side and a Muslim family on the other. Click on this paragraph for pictures.
The USA H4H web site is www.habitat.org
The Durango H4H web site is www.habitatdurango.org. They have built 16 homes so far in LaPlata County, Colorado.
Metanexus is a fantastic source for essays on Science/Religion issues -- written by theists and non-theists alike. A few of their articles are on this web site and can be accessed here.
Somebody does not like Pepsi Cola added 4/28/03
The Oliver North -- Osuma ben Laden -- Al Gore hoax
Bad bad Hillary Clinton!
Bad bad Bill Clinton!
Good good George W. Bush!
On George W. Bush's low IQ
Bad bad Al Gore!
Bad bad Janet Reno!
Bad bad Tom Daschle!
A good lie for Jesus beats the truth anytime
"In God We Trust" posters in U.S. Post Offices.
Urban Legends. Here you can check out internet hoaxes, and more.
Assumption -- the mother of all screwups.
A conclusion is the place where you stop thinking.
You cannot learn anything if you assume you already know all about it.
From page 52 of Hart's book, "What Does the Lord Require?" -- "Love is the central principle of Christian Ethics. We are to love one another as God loves us: blindly, unconditionally, selflessly, and passionately. We should treat people better than they deserve, dispense grace and mercy rather than strict justice, and return good for evil. This is not a rational form of love ... . The paradigm for this kind of love is God's love ... ."
O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth,
vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, your servant,
a spirit of soberness,
humility, patience and love.
Yes, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults,
and not to condemn my sister and brother,
for blessed are thou to the ages of ages.
-- St. Ephriam the Syrian, 305-373 C.E.
Christianity. How do I know?
-- John Burgeson. Ipsius sunt tempora.
Link to page 3, notes on quantum mechanics developed for a seminary course.
Link to page 4, a SS curriculum targeting developmentally challenged adults.
Link to page 5, a story I want to share with you.
Link to page 6, my course titled Religion and Scientific Naturalism.
Link to page 7, a condensed version of page 6 for a High School class.
Link to page 8, a WORD document on money management. Developed for young people.
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