Sunday, December 28, 2008

Atheists in Heaven?

Here is follow up on a study I posted about earlier that said that the majority of Christians believe you don't have to be Christian to attain eternal life. They have now done a repeat study with more specific questions, and found that most Christians even believe Atheists can go to heaven.

This is intriguing, especially in light of Carlton Pearson, an evangelical preacher who stopped believing in hell because of a conversation he had with God, and now preaches the Gospel of Inclusion. His story was broadcast on This American Life and can be heard on their website.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jesus and the Buddha

Here's a really interesting article from the Boston Globe about Asian Christians during the Dark Ages.  There's a lot in there I never knew about, and it's worth reading all the way to the end.  I am surprised again and again at how what we take for the true Christian message has been distorted and re-interpreted and re-packaged and forgotten so many times.  That shouldn't surprise me, but it really does.  And it reminds me again how incredibly solipsistic we are to think that our interpretation of the holy scriptures is the "right" one.  I am not a relativist when it comes to religion.  I do not believe all interpretations are equal, and there are some that are downright silly, and others that are evil (Jim Jones comes to mind).  But it is equally wrong to assume that we have a corner on God.  

Here is an image of the lotus-cross mentioned in the article.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Augmented Reality

I have a program on my phone called Wikitude. It's hard to describe, but what it does is take advantage of the compass and camera in the G1 (the phone with Google's Android software). It allows you to point the camera in a certain direction, and it will identify wikipedia articles about what you see through the camera. So, for instance, if you are standing on the Empire State Building and want to see what the name of that other big building is (the Chrysler building, say), it will tell you the name of the building, and link you to a wikipedia article about it.

Here is a video that will show you what I mean.

Their website has more information about it.

The educational possibilities of something like this are mind- boggling. When I was in New Orleans, I used it, and it works really well. You point it in the direction you are looking, and get all the information you want about what you see. I imagine this will soon be combined with Sky Map, which is the app that will show you what constellations are in the sky in the direction that your camera is pointing. Here's a video of that one. Not sure why the person didn't demo it outside. (!)

These things are so easy to use, I am certain they will become a regular part of our lives in the very near future.

We are living in such a different world than we did just a decade ago.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jon Stewart & Mike Huckabee on Gay Marriage

I appreciate how respectful Jon Stewart is - he provides a good model for how intelligent discussion of tense issues can be achieved.  The questions he raises here about gay marriage are precisely the ones I would like answered.