3 Ways to Lower Gas Prices

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Before leaving on my 8-day Grand Canyon river trip, I checked the American Solutions’ website; and, as of 5:25 AM, 1,086,047 people have signed the “Drill Now. Drill Here. Pay Less” petition. Since my last post at 9:48 PM last evening, this means that 4,956 people in a little less than six hours have signed this petition. Hopefully, the swelling number of people signing the petition will put some pressure on Congress. And, if not, we need to vote some of these Congressmen out of office. To sign the petition, click here.

If you do not see the issues clearly, you need to listen to Newt Gingrich discuss three ways to solve America’s energy solutions (this is less than 4 minutes): “Y3 Ways to Lower Gas Prices.”

China Starts Drilling for Oil near Florida

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The Chinese have forged a deal with the Cuban government to start drilling for oil near Key West, Florida. As our Congress continues to hopelessly debate the issue about offshore drilling for oil, the Chinese are taking advantage of a golden opportunity. As Bill Mayer, in the American Free Press, reports,

While Washington dithers over exploiting oil and gas reserves off the coast of Florida, China has seized the opportunity to gobble up these deposits, which run throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and along the U.S. Gulf coast.

The Chinese have forged a deal with Cuban leader Fidel Castro to explore and tap into massive oil reserves almost within sight of Key West, Florida. At the same time, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who controls the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere, is making deals to sell his country’s oil to China, oil that is currently coming to the United States.

To continue reading Mayer’s “China Starts Oil Drilling off Flordia,” click here.

I noticed the American Solutions’ “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less” petition now has 1,081,091 signatures. To read about the latest news with this petition, go here. And, if you have not signed this petition yet, you need to do it now by clicking this link.

8-Day Grand Canyon River Trip

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Early tomorrow morning I leave for an 8-Day/7-Night white water rafting trip covering 190 miles of Colorado River. This trip is organized by Answers in Genesis and Canyon Ministries. In cooperation with AIG, Canyon Ministries launched in 2008 a program called the “Christian Scholar’ Trip.” Scholarships have been provided for 24 professors and theologians from seminaries and Bible colleges from around the world.

On June 21 I will fly to Las Vegas and will have dinner with a number of men going on the trip. On the following morning, we will leave for the Marble Canyon. The following day, June 23, we will meet our river crew at the Old Marble Canyon Lodge. They will then take us to our river launch point. The river portion of our trip ends early in the morning on June 29 at Whitemore Wash. From there we are given a scenic 8-minute helicopter ride to the Bar Ten Ranch. At this ranch, we will be able to freshen up for our flight back to Las Vegas. From Vegas, I will then return in the afternoon to Detroit.

I have been looking forward to this trip for over a year (plans were being made in the spring of 2007). Since my areas of interest on Biblical Creationism focuses primarily on Genesis 1-2, there are facets of flood geology as it relates to the Grand Canyon where my knowledge needs to expand. This trip will be interesting for at least two reasons. First, the “Christian Scholars’ Trip focuses on educating both old earth and young earth creationists about how the geological details of the Grand Canyon concatenate with a literal interpretation of the Genesis Flood. Since I am a young earth creationist and have gone through some educational material on this subject, beginning in the early 1970s with Whitcomb and Morris’ The Genesis Flood, I look forward to detailed explanations, along with physical evidence from the Grand Canyon, showing how it relates to the biblical material. By the nature of this being a mixed group, this should allow for intriguing Q & A sessions.

Second, Tom Vail, the President of Canyon Ministries, has an interesting background. Tom left the corporate world in the early 1980s to become a canyon river tour guide through the Grand Canyon. He has also worked as a part-time guide for the Grand Canyon National Park Service and is a past-elected member of the board of directors for Grand Canyon River Guides. Until 1994 when he came to Christ, Tom guided tours through the Grand Canyon teaching an evolutionary model for the formation of the Grand Canyon. After his conversion, he developed a biblical creationist worldview that provided a superior explanation for the formation of the Grand Canyon. In 2003, he published Grand Canyon, a Different View.

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Needless to say, because of his biblical explanation of the Grand Canyon, this book has created some stir among his opponents. Tom’s background and expertise should make this an excellent trip. To read more about him, click here. When I return from the trip, I plan to post on my website a few pictures with commentary.

The Editors on Offshore Drilling on National Review Online

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John McCain has recently taken a step toward the right position on lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling though in my opinion he has not gone far enough. However, Barack Obama has remained consistent with his position as the most liberal Democrat in the Senate by remaining opposed to offshore drilling. Today’s editorial page of the National Review Online supports lifting the ban on drilling for offshore oil.

John McCain is finally starting to exploit Barack Obama’s weakness on the energy issue. With gasoline topping $4 per gallon, McCain reversed his stance on offshore drilling and called for Congress to lift a 27-year-old moratorium on coastal energy exploration. With this shift, McCain has put himself on the same side as two-thirds of the American people, according to a recent poll. Obama, meanwhile, has said that he “would have preferred a gradual adjustment” toward $4 per gallon gasoline, but otherwise he seems amenable to it — as we would be, if that $4 price reflected market conditions instead of government restriction of the energy supply.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling won’t increase supply right away, but would signal to oil speculators that the U.S. is serious about increasing domestic production, long smothered under regulatory and tax practices that discourage exploration and the expansion of our refining capacity. That could immediately put downward pressure on the price of oil and alone would do more to reduce the price at the pump than anything Barack Obama has proposed. But McCain should go even further.

To continue reading this article, go to “Lift the Ban.”

Something needs to be done to correct the foolishness of our Congress’ opposition to offshore drilling—the vast majority of this opposition comes from Democrats. Let me again suggest that, if you have not signed Americans Solutions’ “Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay Less!” petition, now is the time to do this. As of this morning, 956,681 people have signed it, and this number is growing while I write this post. To sign this, click here. In addition, United States Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is circulating a pledge in Congress to increase United States oil production to lower our gas prices. So that you can identify these Congressman to make informed votes this fall, go to Rep. Westmoreland’s webpage House members who signed pledge to increase U.S. oil. Friends, now is the time to act and not tomorrow.

Towards a Solution to US Energy Woes

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This morning I read a few more articles about Congressional gridlock on the issue of utilizing American oil resources. According to Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the federal Minerals Management Service estimates that “86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are locked up and untouchable just off our shores.” Locked up by whom? It is neither the UN nor big oil companies. It is our Congress. As Steigerwald, goes on to note “Rep. John Peterson, a Republican from upstate Pennsylvania whose crusade to fix America’s broken energy policy has brought him the interplanetary enmity of environmentalists, has made it his mission to slay that foolish rider.” The only thing that Peterson wants “to do is get Congress to allow America to do what every other sensible modern country on Earth from Norway to New Zealand has been doing for decades — open our deep-sea energy reserves to safe, environmentally sensitive development.” To continue reading this article, go to Drill now, drill here, pay less – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.” After you finish reading this article, check out this video from the Wall Street Journal. Finally and more importantly, after you have read the cited article in this post and have viewed the short video, I highly recommend that you sign this petition and join the 787,593 people who have already signed this petition. Friends, we may have some fools in Congress but we not need share in their foolishness.

American Solutions – Petitions

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Gas prices are killing me. Every time I get gas I feel like I am being violated. My infuriation grows as gas prices increase. What exacerbates my frustration is the gridlock in congress. To begin correcting the problem about excessively growing gas prices, I signed the petition at American Solutions. The objective of this petition is to to bring an awareness to congress of the advantages in drilling for oil within the continental US and the surrounding regions. The petition says: “We, therefore, the undersigned citizens of the United States, petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices (and diesel and other fuel prices)* by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.” To sign the petition, go American Solutions – Petitions.

John Frame’s Critique of Peter Enns’s Inspiration and Incarnation

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Peter Enns’s 2005 Inspiration and Incarnation has created quite a stir in the evangelical world, which included his suspension from Westminster Theological Seminary (for Enns’s response, go to his blog). John Frame has recently written a theologically informed critique of Enns’s book. Frame’s conclusion is worth noting: “So though I find much to agree with in this book, in the end I would not recommend it as a basic text on biblical inspiration to a seminary-level reader (let alone for the less mature). Seminarians need to study biblical inspiration in a way that motivates both humility and confidence in God’s word. The present volume says much (both legitimately and illegitimately) to motivate humility. It says nothing to promote confidence in the truth of the biblical text. That, I think, is a serious criticism” (see also the other reviews that Frame cites in his first few endnotes). It is well worth your time to read the entire critique: “Review of Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation.”

What I Am Reading on the Book of Psalms

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Today was the first day for my summer class on Understanding the Psalms. In doing research for my class, John Goldingay’s two volumes on Psalms 1-89 are a welcome addition to the growing number of commentaries on the Psalter. Psalms, vol. 1: Psalms 1-41 and Psalms, vol. 2: Psalms 42-89 are the first two installments of a projected three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms (Psalms, vol. 3: Psalms 90-150 is scheduled to be released by Baker in November of 2008). This three-volume work is part of Baker Book’s projected six-volume series, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms.

After a 58-page introduction to Psalms, Goldingay’s first volume treats Psalms 1-41. With each psalm in both volumes, he provides his own translation, followed by a section on interpretation and theological implications. Each volume is concluded with a glossary, bibliography, indices referencing subjects, authors, scripture and other ancient writings.

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In this multi-volume work on the Psalms, John Goldingay, a prolific Old Testament scholar, combines thorough exegetical work with an ability to communicate the message of each psalm. The inherent substance of this multi-volume set is his exegetical interaction with the Hebrew text. However, while providing thorough exegetical insight, Goldingay writes in such a way that the message of each psalm is assessable to seminary students, pastors and scholars. Dr. Goldingay’s first two-volumes on Psalms is a refreshing acquisition to the exegetical resources I have collected on the Psalter. Whether you are preparing a Bible study on Psalms 1–89 or a sermon, both of these volumes will be a valuable asset to your study. I look forward to the release of the third volume in November.

What Makes Humans Distinct from Animals?

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What makes man distinct from animals? To state the question another way, what is the basis for human dignity? According to the worldview of secular humanism with its Darwinian foundation, there is no ultimate reason for a distinction between mankind and animals. The various criteria used (such as, ability to use tools, emotions, morality, personality and language) are now eliminated, according to Christine Kenneally’s “So You Think Humans Are Unique?” (May 24-30, 2008 issues of the New Scientist). According to this worldview, though people are more sophisticated than animals, there is no fundamental distinction. However, the Christian worldview is antithetical to the secularist’s worldview and ties human dignity to Adam and Eve having been created in the imago Dei, “the image of God.”

On Friday, May 30, Al Mohler provides a critique of Kenneally’s article and answers the question what is the basis for human dignity. He effectively argues that any attempts to ground human dignity in the secular view of humanity is doomed for failure and that “the Christian worldview offers the only sustainable foundation for human dignity. The Christian truth claim, grounded in the Bible, claims that human dignity is ontological (based merely in the human being’s existence) rather than functional. According to this worldview, every single human being is equally created in the image of God. The other creatures are wondrous and each reveals the glory of God in its own way, but no other creature is created in the image of God. To be human is to be a bearer of God’s image. Thus, every single human being possesses full human dignity.” To get Dr. Mohler’s full response, continue reading “Are Humans Unique? — The Question Secular Science Can’t Answer.”