Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some Advice to Get Healthier and Maintain Health

I'm not a doctor or nutritionist. I have no credentials to give the following medical advice. I'm just relaying some of what I've heard or read from various sources and which I implement in my own life to try and get (and stay) healthy. Consult your doctor before putting into practice anything I've written. After reading this article I recommend you do some research both online and through books to confirm (or dis-confirm) the sorts of things I've written since I'm listing them with the minimum amount of explanation/rationale and since some of the recommendations and benefits are controversial. Many of my recommendations are repeated because they have multiple benefits and the benefits themselves have a synergistic effect on overall health. That only makes sense since every part of the body (and human being) is connected to every other part. To help remember the advice, I've used each vowel in the English language to refer to some aspect of health that needs to be dealt with. If you recall, the vowels of the English language are A-E-I-O-U and sometimes Y (I'm including Y).

A = Acidification

I've read that a body that's more acidic than basic has a greater tendency to get diseases like cancer. My simplified explanation for why that is is that acidic bodies are less oxygenated. Less oxygen allows for cancer, viruses, and bacteria to get a hold on a person's body. While the presence of oxygen inhibits or at least makes it more difficult for them to get a hold on the body. The key here then is getting more oxygen into the body and into your cells by turning your body from being acidic to slightly more basic. This theory is a bit controversial, but the things required to move the body into being a bit more basic are also generally also good for you. So even if the theory is false, you'll still be doing good things for your body. Here are some things you can do.

- Take coral calcium supplements. Calcium and other minerals help turn your body chemistry away from acidic to more basic.

- Get more sunshine since exposure to it causes your body to produce more vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium.
- Take vitamin D3 supplements (especially, if you don't get much sunshine since you won't be producing enough vitamin D necessary for absorption of calcium and to strengthen your immune system)

- Eat more fruits and vegetables.

- Start rebounding with a trampoline since it both oxygenates the body and gets the lymphatic system flowing to fight off cancer, viruses/bacteria &c.

- Make sure your home and work areas are well ventilated and that you get fresh air from the outside inside. Use an ionic air filter indoors to help purify the air of toxins and dust.

- Deep breathing exercises increases oxygenation of the body.

- Switch from using processed table salt to sea salt (more below).

E = Elimination

While you should be getting good things into your body, you've also got to get the bad things out like waste products and pathogens.

It's been said that "All cancers begin in the colon". That's probably hyperbolic talk. However, the colon is a place where parasites can live; where the bad bacteria can multiply (due to poorly digested food); where toxins can accumulate, and due to poor diets it can often lead to "leaky gut syndrome" which can trigger various diseases and sicknesses. You don't want your immune system fighting multiple fronts. So:

- Make sure to get enough fiber in your diet. If necessary, take fiber supplementation products like Metamucil. I take a generic Walmart Metamucil look-a-like because it's cheaper and because they have a brand that doesn't have added sugar, orange flavor, or food coloring which I assume are all bad for you. Ideally you want a brand that's made from vegetable material which wasn't grown using pesticides (etc.). But finding everything you want in a product can get expensive. Fiber helps flush and sweep the digestive system of impacted fecal matter, bacteria/viruses/parasites. It also slows down the entrance of the sugar you've eaten into your blood stream (and so balancing your blood sugar levels which is important in weight loss or maintenance and in warding off or controlling diabetes).
- At least once a year take an oral colon cleanse product (like Super Cleanse by Nature's Secret). A colonic is probably best, but most people won't do that. When it comes to colonics, they should really only be done with supervision or by a professional because the stimulation of the vagus nerve (that has endings in the rectum) can cause heart beat irregularities.
- Take probiotics. They help return the proper balance of good and bad bacterial flora in the digestive system. It helps continue breaking down undigested food. Also, recent studies suggests that the digestive system is some how connected to the immune system.

- Another area where you need to get the "bad stuff out" is from your cells. Your cells are constantly repairing themselves and fighting off cancer, viruses, bacteria (etc.). To aid in the elimination of those things, make sure to rebound (along with other aerobic and exercises and weight lifting). Rebounding (as noted above) not only gets your blood circulating, but your lymphatic system flowing and so gets your white blood cells to more efficiently fight off disease and pathogens. Rebounding also helps keep the digestive system healthy too. Not to mention the brain, other organs and triggers bone production and strengthening because of the rapidly changing gravity forces from zero to three (or more) times regular G.

- Deep breathing exercises not only gets more oxygen into your system (as noted above), but it also eliminates various metabolized gases out of your system. Slow deep breathing also gets the lymphatic system flowing as well.

I = Inflammation

Systemic bodily inflammation has recently (in the last few years) been indirectly linked to various diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

- Take Omega-3 supplementation (also good for the brain, skin, cardiovascular system and is thermogenic leading to greater caloric burn). I recommend Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil because it's high quality and they have them in various fruit flavors that make them much easier to swallow. Brands in capsule form are usually lower quality.

- Eat more olive oil, fruits and vegetables

- Eliminate as much stress from your life because stress causes your body to produce more cortisol and that promotes inflammation and fat storage. Moreover, stress causes people to eat more food than is necessary to eliminate hunger. Without even thinking about it, people often automatically get something to eat to relieve stress (hence the term "comfort food"). But that temporary relief comes with the price of poor health.

- Don't over exercise. Obviously, this isn't a problem for most people in the Western world. But there are some exercise freaks out there. Too much exercise leads to greater inflammation. If you do exercise, make sure you get proper rest and sleep.

- Go to the dentist and get your teeth fixed. Bad oral hygiene leads to systemic inflammation. Floss daily. Purchase an electronic toothbrush. They not only clean your teeth more effectively, but it saves you time and money. Time, because you don't have to brush longer to thoroughly scrub off plaque and bacteria. Money, because if you keep your teeth healthy, you don't have to constantly spend money paying your dentist to repair your teeth.

O = Oxidation

We all know about the need to take antioxidants. Lowering oxidative stress actually makes you age slower. Well-known TV doctor, Dr. (Memet) Oz recommends supplements like:

- astaxanthin. Some take 5 MG or 10 MG. Others take 5MG twice a day (morning then night). If there's one antioxidant you're going to take, take astaxanthin.

- ubiquinol (a more bio-available form of CoQ10)

- vitamin C (bioflavonoid complex)

- vitamin E

- drink Green Tea (and/or take green tea extract like HerbaSway's green tea extract)

- Eat more berries like blueberries.

U = Unification

Christianity teaches that human beings have both a physical and spiritual aspect to their makeup. I'm setting aside the trichotomy vs. dichotomy in-house debate that theologians have been having for centuries. Though, I do clearly reject a physicalist or materialist Christian anthropology. The reason I include "unification" is because whatever affects the body also affect the spirit and mind; just as whatever affects the spirit and mind also affects the body. So, if you want to get healthier physically or spiritually, you should deal with both. Recommendations:

- Pray, read the Bible, and mediate on God's truth found in Christian books and supremely and infallibly in God's Word, the Bible. Cultivating one's spiritual and devotional life also has bodily effects. God should be worshipped regardless of whether it's beneficial to the body or not. In fact, obedience to God sometimes results in bodily injury and even death (e.g. martyrdom). Nevertheless, it just so happens that worshipping God is not only good for the spirit, but ALSO good for the body (generally speaking). We shouldn't neglect the body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. ch. 3; ch. 6; 2 Cor. ch. 6) and our vehicle in this world to fulfill God's assignment and destiny for our lives.

- Forgive others and have a forgiving attitude. Unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and personal (subjective) feelings of guilt have been shown to be connected with various diseases of the body and mind like heart disease and neuroses.

-Practice Biblical contentment and thankfulness. When one is content and thankful to God, rather than trying to keep up with the "Joneses", one will be less stressed and more happy.

- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects both body and mind. Lack of sleep contributes to stress, and stress contributes to weight gain because it results in the production of cortisol. Both contribute to various sicknesses and diseases. Lack of sleep leads to mental fogginess. Adequate sleep makes you a more effective thinker, planner, and doer. There are certain chemicals and hormones that are needed and produced during sleep which are necessary to maintain bodily health. If possible sleep at the same time every night in order to set your circadian rhythm. People who get irregular sleep (e.g. people who work the graveyard shift) often have greater incidents of cancer. Sleep in a totally dark room otherwise you will not produce certain necessary hormones because your brain can sense exposure to light through your eyes even with your eyelids closed. The ideal amount of sleep is around 8 or 9 hours. But since most of us are too busy to get that amount, make sure you get at least 6 hours (not including the time needed to doze off). Lack of sleep affects work productivity worldwide and contributes to many car accidents and fatalities.

- Expose yourself to some sunshine. Your skin needs exposure to the sunshine to produce vitamin D. Other than during summer months, people who live greater than 37 degree north or south of the equator don't get enough sunshine to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. New research shows that adequate vitamin D is essential for overall health because it affects SOOO many areas of the body. Do a google search and you'll find how vital this vitamin is. Just as it's important that your eyes aren't exposed to light while you're sleeping to produce certain hormones, so it is important that your eyes DO get (indirectly) exposed to sunlight in order to produce other necessary hormones (when you're awake). Eye exposure should be without an intervening window, or prescription eye glasses. Obviously, never look directly into the sun or any light source. It's also been shown that exposure to sunlight can prevent, minimize or help treat depression. Similarly the use of artificial sunlight during winter has been used to help treat SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
-Ill health can lead to depression, just as depression can lead to ill health (due to the inactivity and indifference that results from it). Therefore the two together can spiral out of control. As Christians we are commanded to "rejoice always, [to] pray without ceasing, [and] in everything [to] give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus [for us]." Faith, prayer, contentment, thankfulness, and praise are the Scriptures' cure for depression. The Bible also has a prescriptions for bodily health and healing (see below). Spiritual depression is a major problem in the Church as well. Often God uses spiritual depression to teach us lessons, but that doesn't mean we should welcome it since God can also use other evils (whether natural or moral ones perpetrated by other on us or by us). I recommend D. Martyn-Lloyd Jones' classic book, "Spiritual Depression". I'd also recommend the charismatic book by Merlin Carothers titled "Power in Praise." While the author isn't a Calvinist, the principles in the book actually fit better in a Calvinistic view of providence , theodicy, and sanctification. Though, the wording and phrasing could be better put.

- Spend time with family and friends. Loneliness has been linked to depression and both are linked to an early death. Community cultivates and sustains one's emotional and psychological life. Again, what's good for the mind/heart/emotions/spirit is also good for the body and vice versa. Those who are happily married live longer than those who are not married. Even people who live alone and have a pet tend to live longer than those who live alone and don't have a pet. Obviously, there are dangers in too much community. Just as loneliness can be detrimental, so can over-socializing and excessive networking. It can take away from one's devotional life and peace of mind. Sometimes the mind and spirit just needs to be quiet in God's presence. Speaking of networking and communication, texting while driving is 23 times more dangerous than driving drunk. Pass that fact along to all the teenagers you know.

Y = YOU Are What YOU Eat/Drink/Take/Expose YOURSELF To

- Avoid foods that are processed and contain pesticides, hormones, parasites, bacteria.

- Avoid saturated fats, trans fats as well as hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils and fats.

- Eat the good fats like those found in olive oil, flax seed oil, avocados, walnuts, and cold-water fish. Or take fish oil supplements which have high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids.

- Use sea salt instead of regular processed table salt. Sea salt contains minerals table salt is missing. Table salt is not only not as nutritious, but may even be harmful for you. The link between salt intake and high blood pressure might not be due to the levels of sodium but the quality of the salt we're normally ingesting. Processed table salt is not only striped of the minerals naturally found in salt, but is also processed using extreme heat (dried at over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit) that chemically alters its structure. It's an unnatural inorganic form of salt that your body recognizes are foreign. Also, chemicals like iodine, fluoride, and aluminum hydroxide are added to it to make the salt pourable and to preserve it so that it has an indefinite shelf life. Sea salt on the other hand is not only less bad, but actually positively good for you. The only negative thing about sea salt is that it;s a poor source of iodine which is needed for proper thyroid function. Hopefully, you get your needed iodine by eating enough seafood (and even seaweed/kelp). Here are some recommended brands of sea salt (listed in order of mineral content):
Selina Naturally Hawaiian Salt;
Celtic Sea Salt;
Selina Naturally Portuguese Sea Salt;
Himalayan Sea Salt.

- As much as possible, avoid processed sugar and food products that use HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). HFCS enters the blood stream faster than complex carbohydrates and contributes to obesity because a spike in blood sugar causes the production of insulin in the body. It's your body's response to lower the amount of excess sugar in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that promotes the accumulation of fat into fat cells. Over time, people's bodies begin to experience insulin resistance which causes the body to produce increasingly greater amounts of insulin than previously needed in order get the intended result of lowering the level of sugar in the bloodstream. However, that often causes an extreme drop in blood sugar levels, which itself triggers hunger and so people end up eating more food more frequently. The result is a cyclical yo-yo effect of 1. over-eating, 2. excessive insulin production, 3. drop in blood sugar levels, 4. then back again to #1. of over-eating (after only a few hours). This is what happens during pre-diabetes. This is why one of the keys to weight loss and maintenance is to keep your blood sugar level stable by making sure you eat small meals and don't go more than 5 hours without eating. It's often been said that we should eat more frequent but smaller meals like children whose metabolisms are much faster in comparison to adults. It's also known that sugar weakens the immune system. Therefore, if one is fighting cancer, removing sugar from the diet is absolutely essential. I won't even get into how excess sugar promotes candida. Diabetes should be avoided at all cost because it can lead to blindness, amputation, and other diseases.

- Soda pops like Coke or Pepsi have many tablespoonfuls of sugar. So STOP drinking soda/pop. Besides the sugar, soda eats away at your teeth and leeches your bones of calcium (because of the excessive phosphoric acid in soda).

- Almost all drugs deprive you of certain nutrients you body needs. See Suzy Cohen's book "Drug Muggers".

- Eat "living foods" with live enzymes like fruits and vegetables. If you have the time and money, purchase a juicer and start juicing. At the very least, juice raw organic carrots with a little bit of raw organic broccoli once a week.
- Eat high quality protein (e.g. fish like salmon etc.) rather than processed meats like hotdogs. If you have to eat processed meat products, then go with Kosher approved meats since they are leaner, probably have lesser sodium nitrite content, as well as other unwanted "ingredients" [grin] (I won't mention some of the rumors about the percentages of allowable accidental unmentionable "ingredients" in the average commercial hotdog).

- Minimize (not eliminate) the amount of red meat you eat. There are certain nutrients that are more difficult to get apart from eating red meat. But excessive red meat contributes to coronary heart disease.

- Drink green tea in place of coffee. It'll give you the caffeine fix you need, but with less gitters and with added (higher) antioxidant benefits. Find a good (preferrably organic) green tea that has the level of caffeine you want. For example, I've noticed that Impra Green Tea has a much higher caffeine content than Ten Ren Green Tea. However, too much caffeine isn't good for you either since it triggers the fight or flight response in the body and can over work the adrenal glands.

- Drink plenty of water. The purer the better. Filtered is better than tap. Certain bottled waters are better than filtered tap water. Reverse osmosis water is even better. The problem with bottled water is that the plastic leaks into the water and is bad or you. But sometimes bottled water is the best you can get. The goal is to minimize the amount of chlorine and fluoride you're drinking. Unfortunately, almost all water supplies and sources in the Western world contain pharmaceuticals because they are nearly impossible to filter out. People also flush unused drugs down the toilet. Even then, the drugs that are used is excreted into the toilet and eventually enters the water supply. Moreover, certain companies continue to dump pharmaceuticals and other chemicals into lakes and rivers.

See this link as for a random website exposing this growing problem.

- Take supplements
including a good multi-vitamin (Solgar brand supplements are a good place to start). Take things like vitamin C, ashwaganda (for stress and balancing of hormones), chromium picolinate (for fat loss), B-complex; coral calcium (I recommend Coral LLC's Coral Complex), garlic (either the food or supplement form), beta-carotene (either by juicing carrots or supplements), wheat germ &c.

- Occasional fasting is not only good for the spirit, but it's also good for your body. At the very least it gives your digestive system a rest. It also forces your body to "tune itself up" for lack of a better phrase. The internet is full articles documenting the physical benefits of regular fasting.
- Quit or minimize your smoking. There are various chemicals in most cigarettes that are carcinogenic. Cigars probably have lesser amounts of those chemicals. However one cigar can have as much nicotine as 1-3 packs of cigarettes. So, if you smoke, smoke cigars and don't inhales (as most cigar smokers don't inhale but merely "taste" the smoke).
- Quit or minimize the amount of alcohol you drink. Moderate drinking can actually be beneficial for your health. However, if you don't drink, there's no reason to start drinking.
- Monitor what you allow to enter your mind through movies, music, books, and people. For example, instead of watching the latest horror movie that everyone has been talking about, go outside and enjoy God's creation. Soak in the sunshine, the fresh air, and the beautiful surroundings that you might be missing because you're spending too much time in front your computer (or book) trapped inside uninspiring man made walls. This one could have gone under "Unification" as well as "You are what you Eat/Drink/Take/Expose Yourself To"

Finally Exercise

While I've used up all the vowels of the English alphabet, I can't leave out mentioning the importance of living a physically active life. It's a well known fact that obesity and heart disease is the #1 killer in the Western world. Even above that of cancer. I've heard on many occasions various doctors state that if they could only give one prescription for promoting health which they knew (without doubt) their patient would take, the first and greatest prescription would be that of exercise and increased physical activity. Here's a shocking quote I recently read.

"Sitting for most of the day increases the risk of heart attack by 54% according to experts at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. What's scarier is that sitting is an "independent risk factor," meaning that even if you go to the gym on your lunch break and don't smoke, it doesn't make up for being a deskchair potato. Try elevating your computer and keyboard so that you can stand at your desk." - taken from Parade magazine" Sunday, June 19, 2011 edition page 14

Here's a link to a Men's Health article that talks about the same thing (click here)

- We all know the benefits of aerobic exercise for the cardiovascular system. But most people don't know the added benefits of 1. interval training and 2. cross training. Simply googling up those two training methods will show their additional benefits beyond regular monotonous exercise.
- I've already mentioned twice the benefits of rebounding (exercise that uses a mini-trampoline). Suffice it to say that NASA has stated that rebounding is "the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man." Even if that's not true, it's clearly one of the most efficient and effective. It's also a low to non-impact form of exercise.
42 Ways the Body Responds to Rebounding
- Weight lifting and training is not only good for bone formation (strengthening, hardening, maintenance) but also for possibly halting the onset of diabetes. Many people in the Western world (e.g. many in the United States) are already pre-diabetic. Also greater muscle mass burns greater calories and fat faster. Focus on the large muscle groups like thighs, hamstrings, buttocks, core and back.

- Speaking of backs, I want to mention the debilitating nature of back pain and loss of income due to it. Back/neck pain is a major problem for many people and it leads to greater loss of health (because one can't exercise) and loss of income because one can't work (or work productively). It also leads to a lower quality of life and an inability to enjoy and attend to one's friends and family. This is why it's so important to maintain a strong back. To do so, it also requires exercising one's stomach and core muscles because they complement and balance each other.

- Stretching is a much neglected exercise. But it is needed because a lack of flexibility can lead to injuries, and injuries can lead to other health problems if you can't exercise. Also, poor flexibility is a possible symptom of cardiovascular problems.

- If possible, switch your shoes at least once a day and use shoe insoles that make standing and walking comfortable. I recommend Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel insoles. Doing these things are good for your posture, your feet, and your mood (because of lessened pain and greater comfort). You'll appreciate this advice if you take seriously the importance of staying off your butt and standing up in order to lower your risk of dying from a heart attack.

- Losing fat on your body is important because there are toxins and chemicals that are stored and trapped in it. In fact, losing weight quickly can actually make one sick because of the amount of toxins released into the system. That's why gradual fat loss is recommended. It also goes without saying that the more obese one is, the less likely one will exercise; and the less exercise someone has, the more likely he will be obese. Again, another case of two or more things that re-enforce each other and can spiral out of control.

General resources I recommend (I'll continue adding to this list)

Read (the books and blogs) of and watch (on TV and Youtube) the following experts. Of course, when researching their materials watch out for any New Age teachings that may conflict with Christian teachings and beliefs. Use discernment by "chewing the meat, and spitting out the bones".

More Reputable experts that I recommend
Dr. Memet Oz (i.e. the well known TV personality with his own show named, "The Dr. Oz Show")
Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Suzy Cohen
Dr. Mike Roizen
Dr. Mark Stengler

Less Reputable experts that I recommend
Dr. Nicholas Perricone
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Dr. Andrew Weil
Keith Nemec (I recommend his books Total Health = Wholeness: A Body, Mind, and Spirit Manual; and his Seven Basic Steps to Total Health)

Recommended books:

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz

Here's a link to a Triablogue blog where I made comments on my views on Divine Healing

When I'm done, this will be a link to a future blog on my views of Divine Healing and my recommendations (blog not yet written)

Like all my other blogs, I'll continue adding to and editing this article.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Earthen Vessels

 Quotes from John MacArthur's book Hard to Believe

Paul knew what he was talking about when he called Christians "earthen vessels." We're baked clay. We're privy pots. The advance of the gospel will never occur on account of us.
This helps explain why God chose none of the early preachers among the apostles because of his superior intellect, position, or prominence. As I wrote in my book Twelve Ordinary Men, these twelve were so ordinary it defies all human logic: not one teacher, not one priest, not one rabbi, not one scribe, not one Pharisee, not one Sadducee, not even a synagogue ruler-nobody from the elite. Half of them or so were fishermen, and the rest were common laborers. One, Simon the Zealot, was a terrorist, a member of a group who went around with daggers in their cloaks, trying to stab Romans. Then there was Judas, the loser of all losers.
What was the Lord doing? He picked people with absolutely no influence. None of the great intellects from Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Israel was among the apostles. During the New Testament time, the greatest scholars were very likely in Egypt. The most distinguished philosophers were in Athens. The powerful were in Rome. The biblical scholars were in Jerusalem. God disdained all of them and picked clay pots instead. Think of it like this: He passed by Herodotus, the historian; He passed by Socrates, the great thinker. He passed by the father of medicine, Hippocrates. He passed by Plato the philosopher, Aristotle the wise, Euclid the mathematician, Archimedes the father of mechanics, Hipparchus the astronomer, Cicero the orator, and Virgil the poet. He didn't pay attention to any of those people when selecting the preachers of the difficult-to-believe message of salvation.
He's still doing it. He is still in the business of passing up the gold and silver bowls and picking up clay pots.- Hard to Believe by John MacArthur pages 44-45

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "There has never yet been a man who led a life of ease, whose name is worth remembering." Certainly when the Lord calls us to be His disciples, He does not call us to a life of ease.
A missionary whose story has influenced my life greatly is a man mentioned earlier named Henry Martyn. After a long and difficult life of Christian service in India, he announced he was going to go to Persia (modern Iran), because God had laid it upon his heart to translate the New Testament and the Psalms into the Persian language.
By then he was an old man. People told him that if he stayed in India, he would die from the heat, and that Persia was hotter than India. But he went nonetheless. There he studied the Persian language and then translated the entire New Testament and Psalms in nine months. Then he learned that he couldn't print or circulate them until he received the Shah's permission. He traveled six hundred miles to Tehran; there he was denied permission to see the Shah. He turned around and made a four-hundred-mile trip to find the British ambassador, who gave him the proper letters of introduction and sent him the four hundred miles back to Tehran. This was in 1812, and Martyn made the whole trip on the back of a mule, traveling at night and resting by day, protected from the sweltering desert sun by nothing but a strip of canvas.
He finally arrived back in Tehran, was received by the Shah, and secured permission for the Scriptures to be printed and circulated in Persia. Ten days later he died. But shortly before his death, he had written this statement in his diary: "I sat in the orchard, and thought, with sweet comfort and peace, of my God; in solitude my Company, my Friend, and Comforter."
He certainly did not live a life of ease, but it was a life worth remembering. And he's one of many God used to turn redemptive history.- Hard to Believe by John MacArthur pages 122-123

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Comments on Other Blogs (PAGE 1)

Here are links to some blogs I've commented on. My comments are those by the nick Annoyed Pinoy. They are generally listed chronologically (give or take a few days or months) starting with the most recent. I'm still in the process of posting them (there may be some duplicates).

This is the FIRST PAGE. The SECOND PAGE can be accessed

What do unbelievers live for?

The agony and the ecstasy

Why God Would Perform Partial, Gradual, And Other Lesser Miracles

51 Biblical Proofs Of A Pauline Papacy And Ephesian Primacy

Circuit breaker

Pope or antipope? Let's flip a coin

Why Miracles Aren't More Documented

A false Euthyphro dilemma

The ‘Rule of Faith’ and the New Testament Canon

A token grief

Psychosomatic Miracles?

Can singles cheat?

Already, and not yet

Wintery Knight on Van Til

The Healing Of Amputees

Clash of the Titans

How Many People Claim To Have Witnessed A Miracle?

Dreams and visions

White men can't jump

Extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims

"Unconditional eternal security"

The deeper we dig

Ascribed status
Serendipitous savant


Is the future open?

On the Origin of Everything

Resources on transcendental theism

Olson's false dichotomy

Reefer madness

The Cause And Cure Of Earthquakes

He is the true God

Gullibility, Rebellion, or ...?

A Response to Eastern Orthodoxy

More About First-Century Manuscripts

Stirring Up the Amillennial Beehive

The grass is always greener...


The End Of Infidelity

William Lane Craig: "Christian belief is not based on the historical evidence."

The first rule of Arminian ethics: ethics don't apply to Arminians

Polygamy Is Condemned By Scripture And Patristic Christianity

Dishonoring Christ

Krishna's harem

A mind at the end of its tether

Infidels on the run

The Bible Is the Word of God Debate - Opening Statements

Loving annilationism

Hating the hateful

The single best thing you can do for your health

Beckwith, Hitch, and the Foundations of Morality

An Interview With Craig Keener On Miracles

"Is Craig a fideist?"

God, Math, and the Multiverse

God is great

The Arminian inferno

Peter's denials

Why Isn't Messianic Prophecy More Detailed?

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins

Casting lots

Why pray?

Arminian equivocations

Permission and prevention

Craig Keener's Work On Miracles Is Out

Betting on a stacked deck

Randal Rauser v. Jag Levak

The End of Christianity

Summary and review of Craig/Law debate

The Immaturity Of Christian Radio

Till Dementia Do Us Part

Is Hell Part of the Gospel?

Casting a wide net

Divine, Demonic, Or Something Else?

Reinventing Calvin

Fork in the river

The river of time

Threats and promises

Be careful what you wish for

Justification by Faith Alone


"Biblical chronology"

Athens and Jerusalem

The Credibility And Commonality Of Near-Death Experiences

Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?

Split-personality narcissist

Missing links

"We Are Aunicornism"


Turning from Rome

"Foolish nonsense"

The Dale follies

The Power of Being Debt Free

Many antichrists have come

Dialogue with James, aka Annoyed Pinoy (Trinity Versus Christ)

Do we need a "Trinity verse"?

Does the outsider test pass the outsider test?

Interviews With Some Paranormal Researchers

OT honor-killings?

Trust & Obey

How Universalism Gets Everyone Out of Hell . . . And Heaven

Rapture blues

The one true Islamic


Are you a heretic?


Dead men tell no tales

Jerry Walls's Argument Against Calvinism

"Inspired errors"

Risk factors in suicide

I harmonised the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection

Craig's conundrum

Near-Death Experiences

One angel or two?

Undesigned coincidences

Roger Olson's morally warped penology

Life's a bitch, then you die!

The Endless Faith

Counterfactual damnation


Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The tree of life

Gluttony, the Third Rail in Evangelicalism

Can you imagine Roger Ebert...

God's orchard

Does ice cream melt in hell?

Helping John Loftus understand theodicy

Infidel action figure (brain not included)

The law is not of faith

Living life to the max

A theology of feelings

When in doubt

A problem with arguments from poor design

Off with their heads!

Like shooting fish in a barrel

Dying young and living large

Hansel & Gretel apologetics

The Forbidden City

Any steeples in Peoples?

Words of light and life

Bluffing death

The Last Enemy

Saying good-bye

Preliminary review of Horton's systematic theology

OT hell

Flying pigs

What Should Christians Make Of UFOs?

Till death do us part?

Self-denial and self-preservation

How mere is "mere Christianity"?

The irrelevance of evidence to atheism

Charity for me, but not for thee!

Rabbit ears

The life of the mother

Paint-by-numbers piety

Fictive evil

The All-seeing Watchmaker

Preaching the gospel

"33,000 Protestant denominations"

The human face of God

The fate of Judas

Typology And Simplistic Skepticism

Craig, Calvinism, and Molinism

Brainless Atheism

Neal on TCD

A Reply To John Loftus On Chapter 4 Of The Christian Delusion

Religious trends

James Anderson on Sola Scriptura

A Poor Man's Delilah

Childlike Dependence On A Church Hierarchy

Providence & evil


The Argonautica

The temptation of Adam

The authorship of Hebrews

Disturbing possible side-effects of conditional security

Loving the damned

Deduction, Induction, TAG and Certainty

Answering back to Arminians

Clark Quick Quote

Science and Health with Key to the Scripturalists

Van Til, Bahnsen, Logic and TAG

On councils and scriptures

"Abba! Father!"


Rightly using the ordinary means of grace

Lourdes & Fatima

Catholicism and restorationism

Principles of sola Scriptura

Water seeks its own level

The "Anomalies" Of Papias

Water seeks its own level

What's an internal critique?

The Immaculate Conception

The Nature Of Biblical Prophecy Fulfillment

Is religion maladaptive?

Empirical evidence for God

"Refutation of James White"

Are there few that be saved?

Clarkian confusions

Gut-reactive theological method

Reppert on retribution

The skeptical conundrum

Twisse on supralapsarianism

Whence then Calvinism?

Worshiping Dr. Manhattan

In God's nursery

Home sweet home

The sin unto death

Better to love and lose than never love at all

Jesus Christ Superstar

Kicking at the goads

"Worse than Hitler"

Freakasaurus, One Million Years B.C.

Life in the face of death

Petitionary prayer and accidental necessity

Giving the devil his due

Placebos & cures

The Good Samaritan

Fair as the moon

The neo-Manicheans

Channeling the dark side

Better to love and lose than never love at all

The Mismeasure of Man


Is God the cause of evil?

The authorship of Adam's sin

Why I'm a "Calminian" by Craig Blomberg

The noseeum assumption

A Common Error Among Calvinists - Rationalism At Its Worst

Michael Medved Is Wrong About Polygamy

Open Letter to a World of Believers

Paul's Conversion

"Hell, Calvinism, and those wretched Dwarfs"

Cogent Arguments

The Death of Christian Apologetics

Adam & Eve as mulattos

On Recent Debate Losses to William Lane Craig


Love Lost

Did John Robbins know anything?

Scripturalism's Three-card Monte

Scripturalist Metaphysics of Personhood

Conditional election and apostasy

The fall of Lucifer

You're dethpicable!

Is Scripturalism Scriptural?

The sinful Savior?

A Green Stye

Praying for the past

Vantillian Shadow Boxing – Round One

Reformed cessationism

Miracles: now and then

Reformed historicism or Reformed cessationism?

Praying for the past

The authorship of evil

The ice cream parlor at the edge of the alternate world

Miracles and methodological naturalism

The sinful Savior?

Old-earth creationism

Saving babies or preaching the gospel?

Bell, book, & candle

I Chose to Write This Post

The Naked Public Square

A = A: Rand = Hack Philosopher

Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities: Reviewed

The historicity of Jonah

Bad Intentions

On free will, part 1: a simple argument for divine determinism

Luke's Census

Pest control

Culture Warrior Atheists

Is God's will bifurcated?

Jeremy Pierce on the glory of God

The free offer of the gospel

Probability & Inexcusability

The Mother of Pearly-Gates

Thinking Biblically: A Basic Introduction to Presuppositionalism

Time Present & Time Past

If I make my bed in hell

The lesser of two weevils

Damned if you do, and damned if you don't


"Middle Knowledge, Truth-Makers, and the 'Grounding Objection'"

On the “Appropriate” Apologetic Method

Mary Mnemonic

The only true God

Teach us to number our days

The Flemming-Turk Debate, A Quick Look Back

Gordon Clark-1

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Continuing Discussion on the Trinity with Mike Gantt

I've been continuing my discussion with Mike Gantt on the doctrine of the Trinity at his blog. Most of the discussion is there. Click on the following link to read it. I'm guessing I've written more on his blog on this topic than here on my blog.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Do Rocks Dream of Ceramic Sheep? OR Jade Runner

Continuing my dialogue with Mike Gantt (AKA "BLOGFORTHELORDJESUS")

Mike, I'm done adding to my last post. Any additional changes will be spelling, grammar, or typo corrections.

What follows is my response to you additional comments at:

You said...Link
I had asked you to explain how multiple persons could exist as one being. You gave a very long response to that question but I could not find anything in it that addressed the question. Since this distinction is the logical foundation upon which the entire doctrine of the Trinity rests, it would seem Trinitarians would have formulated a reasonable answer to this by now. Do you not have one?

Eastern Orthodoxy's version of the Trinity explains this by distinguishing between God's essence and energies. There are problems with the EO view of the Trinity. The folks a Triablogue have pointed many of them out. When it comes to the Western/Latin understanding(s) (versions) of the Trinity, I would again recommend reading John Piper's sermon which is based on Edwards' essay, which itself echos Thomas Aquinas' speculations, which echos Augustine's speculations.

Here's a link to Aquinas' Summa Theologica where he deals with the Trinity

I was actually quoting Scripture when I said that Christ was God’s mystery (Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 4:3; and especially Colossians 2:2). Neither you nor anyone else will be able to cite Bibles verses which identify the Trinity as God’s mystery.

You seem to be appealing to those passages eisegetically rather then exegetically. The word "mystery" as used in the New Testament refers to something that hadn't been revealed in the past, but has now been revealed. Both Dispensationalist and Covenant theologians affirm that that's the meaning of the Greek word. It doesn't mean "mystery" as we in our modern world use the word to refer to something that's still hidden or not revealed or unknowable (either in the meantime or in principle).

Ephesians 3:4 has to do with the now revealed truth that gentiles were part of God's plan of salvation all along but only hinted at in the OT. But now revealed openly in the New Covenant.

Eph. 4:
4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel

Next you cite Col. 4:3. What in its context explains what the "mystery of Christ" Paul is referring to? Admittedly, just because Paul uses the same phrase as Eph. 3:4 doesn't mean Paul is talking about the same thing. But that's a possibility. So, the burden of proof is on you to show that Col. 4:3 has anything to do with our subject of the nature of God, rather than about the inclusion of the Gentiles.

Finally you cite Col. 2:2-3 which says, "that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

The context of this passage is the first chapter of the book where Paul is arguing against proto-gnostics who were demoting Christ and denying his preeminence. But notice the kind of preeminence that Paul talks about in the first chapter.

Col. 1:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Notice that Paul says that all things have been created THROUGH him and for him. If Jesus is the Father, then how could the Father have created all things THROUGH him? Paul's wording would be superfluous since no one creates things through himself. People create things through other things or persons. I people don't say, "I created this sand castle through myself." Therefore, rather than weakening the case for the Trinity, it actually supports it by affirming the distinction between the Father and the Son prior to creation and prior to the incarnation.

Even if you don’t agree that this settles the case, you have to agree that this leaves the burden of proof on you.

No, the burden still remains on you because I've just shown that you've been spoof-texting Bible verses in the place of definition, and/or explanation and/or argument.

As I’ve told you, “my”model is the doctrine of Christ, which is explicitly taught in the Bible. I refer you there. If you don’t know the doctrine of Christ, how do you claim to follow Him?

I don't want to sound mean or arrogant, ungracious or rude, but this is just assertion without argument. Citing Bible verses doesn't prove anything since you need to exegete those passages. You need to make an argument. If I just cited Isa. 48:16 and said that verse proves the Trinity, you'd laugh at me because you know that I need to explain why the verse either proves or supports or hints at the doctrine of the Trinity. The fact is that Isa. 48:16 hints at the doctrine of the Trinity much more than your citations of Eph. 3:4, Col. 4:3, and 2:2 hint at your position (whatever it might be, since you still haven't explained to me what you believe).

So far, all you've done is claim that the Scriptural teaching on the nature of God is what Scripture teaches and then you attempt to prove it by citing Scripture. Not only is that tautological, but it's vacuous since you haven't explained what you mean by "the doctrine of Christ" or "the mystery of Christ". It's analogous to someone saying that the right millennial view is the one taught in Scripture. Then citing Rev. 20 as proof. Then condemning others for not accepting her interpretation even though no one knows what her interpretation of Rev. 20 is.

There are exegetical and logical reasons for why the church has been forced to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity.

Interesting. What are they?

Those books I've recommended are great places to start. If I knew what you actually believed, I could make better recommendations. But you still haven't revealed what you believe. From the very little you've said, I'm guessing your views are Modalistic-like. If so, then I would especially recommend E. Calvin Beisner's book "Jesus Only Churches" (which I've recommended previously).

As for your twelve premises, the conclusion of Trinity is embedded in them. That is, the reasoning is circular. It starts from the premise there are three divine beings which we have to reconcile with the idea that God is one.

None of the premises individually (i.e. explicitly) or by necessary logical implication (implicitly) says that there are three ***beings***. The doctrine of Latin Trinitarianism explictly and by intention denies there are three ***beings*** that are God. Maybe that's a typo on your part and you meant to type "three divine *persons* [instead of *beings*] which we have to reconcile with the idea that God is one."

Then, in Alice-in-Wonderland style, someone says “Let’s agree that three persons can exist in one being,” and – “Voila!” – we have our answer. This is human wisdom at its finest – which is to say, foolishness in the sight of God.

Well, I'm open to hearing how you reconcile those premises if you agree with each of them. Or if you reject some, which and why.

Leave out the premises related to the New Testament for the time being (which is to say, leave out any reference to Jesus in the premises). Why didn’t anyone in Israel feel compelled to similarly reconcile all the premises related to the Father and the Holy Spirit during those thousands of years before Christ?

Because, as I've said, and to which you've agreed, the revelation of God's nature and attributes was progressively revealed throughout Redemptive History. In my view, the Trinity was only hinted at in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it's more clearly revealed (even if not formulated with the precision of the Council of Nicaea, the Council of Constantinople I, the Council of Ephesus, or the Council of Chalcedon. Or any of the Trinitarian creeds (for example, the athanasian Creed

Here's another hint in the Old Testament to the Trinity.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

Is the "Word of the LORD" here a reference to the pre-incarnate Christ?
Is the "Breath of His mouth" here a reference to the Holy Spirit? The same word used for the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is used for "breath" (e.g. Gen. 1:2). In this passage, it seems we have here 1. The LORD, 2. His Word and 3. His Breath/Spirit (viz. the Trinity?)

As for the Piper sermon, I found it to be a meditation on the Persons of the Trinity (and only the first two at that) rather than an explanation or proof of the Trinity doctrine.

There's more than one way to support a theory or hypothesis. One way is by inductive study. This would include going directly to the text of Scripture like those books I first recommended which were free. Another way is by deduction. Theologians have used (variations of) the premises I mentioned before to deduce the doctrine of the Trinity. Yet another way is by abductive reasoning which includes 1. showing the internal consistency of a theory, 2. showing it's superior explanatory power and scope. This involves asking someone else (or oneself) to temporarily step into that other hypothesis or worldview that he doesn't currently hold, and as best as one can, trying to see things ask if that hypothesis or theory were true and seeing how well the hypothesis works. Is it ad hoc? Does it conform to the principle of parsimony (i.e. Occam's Razor)? Does it fit with all the known and relevant facts/data etc. Btw, Edwards does go on to explain how the Holy Spirit might proceed from the Father and the Son.

Here's my summary:

In essence (pun intended), Piper and Edwards argue that God the Father has eternally had an infinitely perfect and intense knowledge of himself (self-knowledge) and all that he knows (natural/necessary knowledge). That intuitive, immediate and eternal self-knowledge is so intense, complete and perfect that it is itself another person, the pre-incarnate Christ (the Eternal Word and Son of God). If, you'd allow me to commit the fallacy of equivocation for a moment and rephrase it; God's eternal self-contemplation and self-REFLECTION metaphorically (or possibly ontologically and/or epistemologically) "mirrors" God himself. Or put another way, God's eternal self-CONCEPTION "conceives" or begets the person of the Son from all eternity (hence the doctrine of 1. Eternal Generation as well as 2. Eternal Sonship of Christ). Then the eternal love between the Father and Son is so intense, infinite and perfect that that love is itself another person, the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the love between the Father and the Son (which incidentally assumes the Filioque).

He was preaching to choir, and his starting point was that the doctrine of the Trinity was true. He never justified it. And when he came close to trying to justify it, he did poorly.

Again, I recommended the sermon not to "prove" the doctrine of the Trinity but to answer your question how it might be possible for three persons to share one being. Yes, you're right that multiple personality disorder is a manifestation of dysfunction in individual human beings. But that's because human beings are finite creatures that were made to be one person per body/nature. But what is unnatural for a finite creature shouldn't be the standard for, nor a required limitation on what is natural or possible for, with, or about the infinite God.

Of course, when Piper says this he’s relying on the ever-convenient-but-never-justified distinction between “person” and “being.”

I'm assuming you agree that the distinction between "being" and "person" is a real distinction that can be applied to anything in all of reality (created, or uncreated; that is, whether we be talking about a creature/creation or God). Moreoever, I assume that your complaint is not the reality of the distinction but rather the appeal to that distinction to prop up the doctrine of the Trinity. Would I be right here? Nevertheless, don't you agree that rocks, and trees, and cars, and stars, and dogs, and cats exist and have being or reality (i.e. possess stuff-ness), even if they don't have personality? I say, stuff-ness since, I can't really say "composed of stuff or made of stuff" since I can't say that God has being because he's "made" of or "composed" of stuff. God isn't made. Nor is God a composite of anything/any-thing. Yet, God is a thing. In other words, God has being. Every thing has being precisely because it is a "thing." Only nothing has no being, because it is literally no-thing.

Speaking of pets, that brings up another issue. Do you have a pet? Wouldn't you admit that pets have some sense of self-awareness even if they aren't "sentient" or "persons"? Wouldn't you agree that your self-awareness is much higher than that of a dog or a cat that can respond to your moods and which have their own moods and preferences etc? If your self-awareness and self-consciousness far surpasses that of dogs and cats, then isn't it possible that God's self-awareness and personality far, far, far, far, far surpasses and exceeds yours?

Here's another analogy. Have you ever had a dream where you are having a conversation with somebody in the dream and there seemed to be two or more genuine separate people in your dream perception? I think we've all had that experience. Here's an extreme example. More than once I've had a dream where I was having a conversation with someone who was telling me a joke and I found the joke so funny that I *literally* woke up laughing. Yet, the joke was told TO ME, BY ME. Somehow my brain was functioning as if it were two different people. As I was listening to the joke I didn't know what the punchline was going to be, and when it was delivered, it was genuinely surprising. Yet, at the same time, *I* was telling the joke (to me!). Maybe something like that is the case with God. Though, admittedly, my analogy might border on Modalism. But I did say it's an analogy. I've had other dreams that had a coherent story and a conclusion that made sense in such a way as if my brain wrote the story in advance "jigsaw puzzle style" even though I wasn't conscious of it. Of course, it's possible that these examples were brought about by the special influence of demons or of God. But I have no reason to think that. They were mundane dreams that had no indication of coming from an outside intelligence. Even computers multi-task in such a way that they acts as if they are multiple computers. Though, admittedly the analogy breaks down since Western theological tradition affirms the Simplicity of God whereby God is not made up of parts. Rather, God is indivisible, uncompounded, incomplex.

Like you, I can only continue our dialogue as time permits. :^)