Monday, April 18, 2011

400-408 – Steve Mays, senior pastor of the 9000-member Calvary Chapel South Bay (, Sundays 7, 9, 1045, 1230, & 630pm, Thursday's 730pm), his Light of the Word is heard weeknights right after our show at 7pm, talks about the significance of Easter.  

• The Good Friday services at CCSB will be at noon and 730pm.

• The Easter Sunrise Service ( will be at the Home Depot Center Tennis Stadium at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, with special guest Crystal Lewis.  Gates open at 5am, service starts at 6am.  There'll be no 7am service at the church, but they are having their 9, 1045, 1230, and 630pm services.

413-423 – • Reuters (4/18/2011) Academic says Easter date can now be fixed.  Professor Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University, a metallurgist and materials scientist, and a Christian, says that the Last Supper Passover Meal took place on Wednesday April 1, 33AD, not on Thursday, as traditionally celebrated.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke say the Last Supper coincided with the Passover meal.  John says the meal took place the before the Jewish holy day commemorating the Exodus.  So, was it the day of, or the day before?  Humphreys says he's solved the apparent inconsistency – the synoptics were using the Pre-Exilic calendar, and John was using the official Jewish calendar of the day.

// "I was intrigued by Biblical stories of the final week of Jesus in which no one can find any mention of Wednesday. It's called the missing day," Humphreys told Reuters. "But that seemed so unlikely: after all Jesus was a very busy man."

His findings help explain a puzzling inconsistency between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, who said the Last Supper coincided with Passover and John, who said the meal took place before the Jewish holy day commemorating the Exodus from Egypt.

Humphreys' research suggests Jesus, and Matthew, Mark and Luke, were using the Pre-Exilic Calendar, which dated from the time of Moses and counted the first day of the new month from the end of the old lunar cycle, while John was referring to the official Jewish calendar of the day.

"It was an extremely curious mistake for anyone to make because for Jewish people Passover was such an important meal," said Humphreys, a metallurgist and materials scientist and a Christian.

"The contradictions have been known for a long time but not been talked about by the general public very much. I am using science and the Bible hand in hand to solve this question and showing the Gospels are actually agreeing, just using different calendars."

If the Passover meal and the Last Supper did take place on a Wednesday it would help explain how the large number of events that the Gospels record between the Last Supper and the Crucifixion were able to take place.

With the help of an astronomer, Humphreys reconstructed the Pre-Exilic calendar and placed Passover in the year AD 33, widely accepted as the year of Jesus' crucifixion, on Wednesday April 1.

That means if modern Christians wished to ascribe a date for Easter based on Humphreys' calculations, which he has been mulling over since 1983, Easter Day would fall on the first Sunday in April.

• Mark Galli (Christianity Today, 4/15/2011) Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? Our ability to live together in peace, argues theologian Miroslav Volf, depends on how we answer the question.  Volf is author of the new book Allah: A Christian Response. 

My Summary Miroslav Volf, professor of theology at Yale Divinity School, says that because Islam, Judaism and Christianity are monotheistic, they therefore worship the same God.  However, this is no more true than saying that all polytheistic religions worship the same gods.  Belief in "one God," monotheism, only gives you the word "god" as a common noun to use as a referent, it doesn't tell you anything about the person who has that name – just as saying someone is "Frank" doesn't tell you anything about the person you're referring to since there are many Franks.  If Volf is saying both Islam and Christianity are using the same proper noun correctly, i.e., "God," then he's saying the personalities of the two are identical, since they are both referring to the same one divine Person.  But this is clearly in error, since the character of the Allah of the Koran and the character of the God of the Old Testament are radically different, not to mention the Triune character of God described in the New Testament.

From the article

// The American Civil War, one of the bloodiest wars ever, was one in which people actually did believe in the same God and the same Scriptures. This did not encourage peacemaking. Yet you still think it's important to affirm that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Why?

That's true. Some of the worst violence in the world today between estranged religious and ethnic groups happens not on the battlefields. It happens smack in the middle of living rooms and between people who share a lot, who have a lot in common. So my argument is not that having common values will prevent all violence. My argument is that having common values will make it possible to negotiate differences. In the absence of those common values, we either have to live sequestered in our own spaces (which I think is impossible in the modern world) or resort to violence in order to settle disputes.

Okay, then—do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

First, all Christians don't worship the same God, and all Muslims don't worship the same God. [!?!?]

Fair enough.

But I think that Muslims and Christians who embrace the normative traditions of their faith refer to the same object, to the same Being, when they pray, when they worship, when they talk about God. The referent is the same.

The description of God is partly different. There are significant differences that are the subject of strenuous debates. Some differences really are foundational to the faith, like the doctrine of the Trinity. At the same time, there's this amazing overlap and similarity. We need to build on what is similar rather than simply bemoan what's different.

What are the most striking similarities between the way Muslims talk about Allah and the way Christians talk about God?

One that shouldn't be forgotten is that God is one in both traditions. That's very important. Two, God is merciful. Also, God is just. God's oneness, God's mercy, and God's justice are significant commonalities. We have different understandings of each of these, but the overlaps are really impressive.

// Don't most religions postulate a God who is all-powerful and merciful? Is it possible that we all worship the same God in the end? In that case, maybe there is no such thing as idolatry, only different interpretations.

If somebody postulates the existence of more than one god, I would have to say we don't worship the same god. If somebody says that God is basically one with the world, I would also have to say we don't worship the same god. What binds Muslims and Christians, and what is central to my argument, is that God is one, that God is distinct from the world, and that the one God has created everything that is not God. There is a radical divide between creature and creator. This is a fundamental monotheistic belief. Muslims, Christians, and Jews share that belief. Therefore, they believe in the same God. Polytheists and idolaters do not share that belief.

428-437 – Calls – Do you agree that Christianity and Islam worship the same God?  What about those of you with personal experience with both religions?  Maybe former Muslims who have come to faith in Christ, or Christians that have become Muslims?  Or, are there any couples where one is Muslim and the other a Christian – do you both worship the same one God?  What about other mixed marriages, do you both worship the same God?  How do you handle events like Easter?  How are you raising your kids?

Furthermore, if we do worship the same God, then why the Muslim persecution of Christians?  Why forbid reading the Bible in Muslim-dominant countries?  Why is it a capital crime to convert out of Islam into Christianity?  Why the historical record of dhimmitude, of paying the jizya (tax)?

443-452 – Calls –

458-508 – Calls –

512-523 – Calls –

528-539 – Calls –

544-554 – Calls –

558-608 – Calls –

612-623 – Calls –

628-639 – Calls –

644-656 – Calls –

• Gallup (4/18/2011) Americans Still Split About Whether Their Taxes Are Too High.  Majority of wealthy Americans think their taxes are too high and unfair.  Some will actually make a profit (CNN).  Even with that, just 43 percent believe their taxes are about right.  50 percent, that would equate to just about everybody who actually pays them, believe they are too high (Gallup). 

• CNN (4/18/2011) America's Debt Crisis, 45% don't owe U.S. income tax.  69 million households, roughly 45% of the total, don't pay any federal income tax – though they pay state, local, property, sales and payroll taxes (payroll taxes support Social Security and Medicare). 15 million people, however, will get a refund for the payroll taxes they pay – they'll make a profit – in essence, the federal government is paying them, not the way it is for the rest of us.

• Mail Online (4/18/2011) Unwitting audience clap and cheer as teenager stabs himself to death on stage at open mic night.

• Mark Steyn (NRO, 4/16/2011) Losing the Future: Vegas is no longer the world's biggest gambling resort; America is.

• Kevin Williamson (NRO, 4/18/2011) Not Tax Cuts, Not Wars, and Not Bailouts. What is really driving America into insolvency.

• Wesley J. Smith (First Things, May 2011) When It's Time to Stop Talking – A Review of Contested Reproduction
by John H. Evans.


• Reuters (4/17/2011) "Technology can't replace God": Pope. Calls: Does technology in your life act as a temptation to keep you away from God? Or is it a tool you use to get close to Him and connect with other believers? Have any listeners considered a technology fast/Facebook fast for this years' lent?

• San Francisco Chronicle (4/17/2011) All those tweets, apps, updates may drain brain. Calls: What effect has technology had on your intellect? Do your kids find it hard to speak or write in complete sentences because of the texting and status update world they engage in?

• (3:38) MSNBC TIME full. (MSNBC's Contessa Brewer interviews TIME magazine executive editor, Nancy Gibbs, on MSNBC 4/18/2011. The new TIME magazine cover article is asking the question What If There is no Hell,? the same question asked by Rob Bell.)

(:14) TIME 1 short. (Gibbs- risk vs. reward calculation)

(:37) TIME 2 short. (Gibbs- Bell redefines Hell.)

(:27) TIME 3 short. (Gibbs- the unknown.)

(:11) TIME 3a. (Gibbs- Bell says hell is a mystery.)

• USA Today (4/15/2011) Hell no? Rob Bell's question prompts 'Time' Holy Week cover.