Thursday, August 19, 2010

Odds & Ends

  • The weather here on the Oregon Coast continues to be gray and cool, with temperatures in the mid-50s. The main difference between our summers and winters, in other words, is 15 degrees.
  • This week's Sabbath School lesson on Romans 7 can easily lead to despair. Tell people it is possible to overcome sin, after all, and you risk discouraging those who find this difficult -- but tell them it is difficult to overcome sin, and you risk discouraging those who hope it is possible.
  • The Oregon Conference will sponsor a Creation Summit, March 30 to April 2 -- and for my own benefit, I'm putting together a reading list. Any suggestions as to what should be on it?
  • Speaking of which, I'm enjoying Three Views on Creation and Evolution -- a book that gives evangelical scholars a chance to explain, defend, and critique views such as young earth creationism, old earth creationism, and theistic evolution.
  • In his discussion of legalizing cannabis, libertarian (and Atlantic columnist) Mark Kleiman points out that 10% of American adults drink half the alcohol sold in this country, while another 10% accounts for an additional 30%. Only 20% of American adults, in other words, drink 80% of the alcohol . . . which is why he says:
To the consumer, developing a bad habit is bad news. To the marketing executive, it’s the whole point of the exercise. For any potentially addictive commodity or activity, the minority that gets stuck with a bad habit consumes the majority of the product. So the entire marketing effort is devoted to cultivating and maintaining the people whose use is a problem to them and a gold mine to the industry. . . . [That's why] “an innkeeper loves a drunkard,” says the Yiddish proverb, “except as a son-in-law.” [h/t to Brainiac]
  • And I'll close with this quote from Mencius: "Before a man can do things, there must be things he will not do."

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