Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cheaper by the Dozen 2: Cheap Shots at Conservatism

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a typical family film with lots of laughter and pranks. It also shows what is so typical of the movie world's portrayal of teenagers, in that the teenager in this movie (Lorraine Baker) is not really interested in spending time with her family and is very disinterested in the affairs of her family currently on holiday at the lake.

I watched this movie on the plane back to South Africa from Dakar, Senegal this past Sunday (April 23, 2006).

In my opinion this movie is very much about the two different child rearing styles most prevalent today. The one is a liberal style in which children are not pushed too hard and are not disciplined that much. The other is a conservative style which is based on strong discipline and motivating children to give all they have.

The movie is about a family of 14 (the Bakers). Yes, you read that right! The parents and their 12 children! Hence the title! They embark on a holiday over Labour Day weekend. This holiday turns into a holiday of great contest between two families (Bakers and Murtaughs). You guessed right. These two families are raised on the two opposing styles of child rearing: liberal and conservative.

The conservative family (Murtaugh family) is shown as overbearing, pushy and downright unlikeable. The liberal family (Baker family) is portrayed as fun loving, carefree and almost perfect.

What is really interesting is that the Murtaughs are portrayed specifically as a Christian family of some sorts. One night the Bakers have a sing-song around a fire and sing a typical bonfire song. To compete with the Bakers the Murtaughs on the other side of the lake start singing too... a Christian spiritual song of some kind. This is the indicator that this movie is not just a movie dissing conservatism, but specifically the Christian form of conservatism.

Throughout the movie the Murtaugh children are portrayed as well disciplined drones of a father (Jimmy Murtaugh) that is obsessed with success in life and winning. The children are well mannered and well disciplined; yet, underneath, a rebellion is brewing, apparently because of their strict upbringing. Obviously, when these children get their freedom they are suddenly these well-rounded children ready for the world.

Christian parents are ridiculed in this movie about wanting to check out everything to see if it is good for their children. In one scene the Baker dad's (Tom) daughter Sarah goes to see a movie with Jimmy's son Elliot. Both dads decided to spy on the kids and end up sitting next to each other at the movies. At this point Tom asks Jimmy what he was doing there. The Jimmy's answer is that he was there to see if the movie was okay for his son. "The movie is rated 'G'!", replied Tom. This is such a typical response from Tom. Liberals think that they are the free thinkers in society; however, they have shown themselves to be the ready followers of the cultural "elite" who are bent on making arbitrary rules that should be followed by all of society. This is a case in point. Tom was willing to let his daughter see the movie (okay, it was Ice Age) because someone rated it 'G.'

In Cheaper by the Dozen 2 liberal parenting is hailed as the correct form of parenting when Tom's eldest daughter, Nora Baker-McNulty, who just gave birth to her own baby boy tells her father that he taught them that there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one. Of course, one of those million ways is the liberal style of parenting. This clearly implies that conservative parenting does not fall within one of those million ways.

Conservative parenting is referred to as "tough love" and overparenting. "Tough love" or wanting to set rules for one's children is obviously not part of the liberal parenting agenda.

While Jimmy is blamed for overparenting, Tom can surely be blamed for underparenting. Wherever they go as a family, as Tom himself said, the children are in trouble, getting in trouble or are devising a long term plan that will get them into trouble. This surely shows a form of parenting that is unable to help children to do the right thing! Tom's wife Kate,  summed it up so well when she said that they are guiding their children to make the right choices, "what more is there to do?" Clearly, discipline was not even considered. Children must make their own choices don't they?

The fact remains that if children do not experience discipline and the consequences of their actions in their formative years and while they are still too young to consistently choose between right and wrong, they will need discipline. But, that is not the point right now!

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a fun movie, but make sure to inform your children of what is right and what is wrong in this movie.
Just thinking...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Hopefully this is my last day in Guinea, Africa.
When we arrived here two days ago, I was shocked at what I saw here! Driving out of the airport we immediately drove onto a dirt road. I don't know how far we drove to get to our hotel (it literally felt like forever), but in all that time we never passed a structure (living or otherwise) that would have been acceptable back in South Africa.
With all the natural resources (like gold and diamonds) one would think that this country must be rich. However, I have never seen such poverty anywhere. Not even in South Africa. In SA there might be lot of tin schacks, but the average level of subsistence here seems to be extremely low.
Here they even do there garbage dumping by the truck load into the sea. As we were driving next to the coastline, we saw them dumping into the sea and the garbage patches on the sea looked reminiscent of oil slicks. Just this time the patches were paper, plastic, cans and other items.
We are indeed privileged.
Just thinking...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Hi Folks,
Unfortunately I will not be able to blog this week since I am currently in Guinea, Africa. I was in Dakar, Senegal until yesterday.
I am returning to Dakar tomorrow and will arrive back home in South Africa at 17:05 this coming Sunday.
I will try to start blogging again as soon as possible after my return.
God Bless!
Just thinking...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Google hosts 'boy love' site

Something of concern has been reported by WorldNetDaily concerning a blog that is hosted by our own Blogger.com (owned by Googl e).

WorldNetDaily reports the following:

"A marriage and family therapist intern is trying to convince Google to drop a website from its popular, free blog host that promotes 'boy love,' sexual relationships between men and adolescents.

Stacy L. Harp of Orange, Calif., told WorldNetDaily one of the readers of her weblog pointed out the site, called ' Paiderastia: The Boy Love Revival.'

At the top of its homepage, the site explains it's all about 'erotic/mentor/spiritual love between adolescents and adults.'" Read more...

Google 's headquarters are located in the heart of Silicon Valley and you can contact them to complain as follows:

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
phone: (650) 253-0000
fax: (650) 253-0001

Just thinking...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Excellent bumper sticker!

Matt Gumm has an excellent bumper sticker at his blog as follows:
God is my Potter, not Harry.
See ISAIAH 64:8
Just thinking...

Gospel of Judas not the only discovery!

The Gospel of Judas is not the only important discovery made in the last 20-30 years! The Gospel of Brutus may even be a more revolutionary discovery!
Just thinking...

Does Young Earth Creationism Add Up?

Adrian Warnock, at his blog referred to an article by the Evangelical Outpost called Ussher 's Error: Primeval Chronology and Young Earth Creationism. In this article the genealogies of the Bible are debunked as being of any use to calculate the age of the earth.
You can find the other side of the argument at this article from Creation On the Web..
Just thinking...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wordlview introduction

I was recently chosen by my party's Regional Executive Committee (REC) to take up the portfolio of Policy Co-ordinator. In this position I have to ensure that we as a region interpret the party's policies correctly, when necessary set new policy and train party members and candidates in policy workshops and worldview courses.
I have started putting together a Biblical Worldview course and the following is the text of the introductory chapter.

We live in a world in which truth is optional. This is what the world believes. In their minds truth is sculptured by the circumstances in which the "truth-bearer" finds himself. Therefore, according to them the truth is not an objective reality, but subjective to each person. As a result we hear phrases like "that's true for you, but not for me!" This is called a worldview.
"To say that Christianity is the truth about total reality means that it is a full-orbed worldview. The term means literally a view of the world, a biblically informed perspective on all reality. A worldview is like a mental map that tells us how to navigate the world effectively. It is the imprint of God's objective truth on our inner life."[1]
The term "worldview" refers to one's philosophy of life. What is my view of the world and how do I act on that view?
If our worldview is based on the idea that truth is relative, we will certainly not be able to live consistent lives within that worldview. Because of the relativity of truth in that worldview, what was once an abomination will eventually become acceptable.
"Aristotle began his great work Metaphysics by writing that 'man by nature desires to know.' Centuries later the poet and playwright T. S. Elliot notes, 'Humankind cannot bear very much reality.' Strangely, both are right. Out of this all-too-human tension and polarity is borne the perennially paradoxically quest for, and escape from, the truth. Truth is a daunting, difficult thing; it is also the greatest thing in the world. Yet we are chronically ambivalent toward it. We seek it . . . and we fear it. Our better side wants to pursue truth wherever it leads; our darker side balks when the truth begins to lead us anywhere we do not want to go. Let the truth be damned if the truth would damn us! We want both to serve the truth and to be served by it."[2]
Too many times Christians neglect the concept of truth themselves. As a result their worldview suffers. What we view as true about God and what God says about man's condition is inextricably intertwined into our worldview. The Greek word for "God" is qeoV (theos) and the Greek word for "word" is logoV (logos). Together they make the word theology. For many Christians this is a swear word, due to unfortunate sermons by preachers that should have known better. The fact is that no Christian can get away from the word theology. If you have an opinion about God, no matter how small that opinion, then you have some system of theology. The question is, then, Will you rather have a bad theology over a good theology? The answer to this question will have a massive impact on your worldview.
David Wells puts it this way:
"Let us not think, I said, that we really have a choice between having a theology and not having one. We all have our theologies, for we all have a way of putting things together in our minds that, if we are Christian, has a shape that arises from our knowledge of God and his Word. We might not be conscious of the process. Indeed, we frequently are not. But at the very least we will organize our perceptions into some sort of pattern that seems to make sense to us. The questions at issue, then, is not whether we will have a theology but whether it will be a good or bad one, whether we will become conscious of our thinking processes or not, and, more particularly, whether we will learn to bring all of our thoughts into obedience to Christ or not."[3]
J.I. Packer, in the foreword to the Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy writes that Schaeffer "saw that 'ideas have legs,' so that how we think determines what we are."[4] Consequently, we need a worldview that, first of all is informed by a theology that is solidly based on the Bible and, secondly, is supplemented by what is real and not just pure fantasy concocted by the fallen mind of man.
It is in the study of Biblical Worldview that we heed the command from the apostle Paul:
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:8
Just thinking...
1. Pearcey, Nancy, TOTAL TRUTH: LIBERATING CHRISTIANITY from ITS CULTURAL CAPTIVITY, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill, 2004, p23.
2. Groothuis, Douglas, TRUTH DECAY: DEFENDING CHRISTIANITY AGAINST THE CHALLENGES OF POSTMODERNISM, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill, 2000, p9.
3. Wells, David, F., NO PLACE FOR TRUTH: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.
4. Schaeffer, Francis A., THE FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER TRILOGY: The Three Essential Books in One Volume, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill, 1990, xii.

How to deal with the Da Vinci Code movie

Justin Taylor has an interesting email on his blog that was received by Brian Godawa, author of Hollywood Worldviews. This email came from an unnamed Hollywood screenwriter (UHS).
After the 3 usual responses to objectionable movies, UHS suggests a 4th response. Here it is:

On May 19th, you should go to the movies. Just go to another movie.

Save the date now. May 19th, or May 20th. No later than Sunday, May 21st -- that's the day the ballot box closes. You'll get a vote, the only vote Hollywood recognizes: The power of cold hard cash laid down on a box office window on opening weekend.

Use your vote. Don't throw it away. Vote for a movie other than DVC. If enough people do it, the powers that be will notice. They won't have a choice.

The major studio movie scheduled for release against DVC is the DreamWorks animated feature Over the Hedge. The trailers look fun, and you can take your kids. And your friends. And their friends. In fact, let's all go see it.

Let's rock the box office in a way no one expects -- without protests, without boycotts, without arguments, without rancor. Let's show up at the box office ballot box and cast our votes. And buy some popcorn, too.

May 19th. Mark your calendars now: Over the Hedge's opening weekend. Buy a ticket.

And spread the word. Forward this e-mail to all the Christians in your address book. Post it on your blogs. Talk about it to your churches. And let's all go to the movies.

It is perhaps a good idea to copy this email from Justin's blog and to email it to all your friends. If you wanted to see the Da Vinci Code, just don't see it over the opening weekend. Use your money to vote for another movie.
Just thinking...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Is it really necessary to pray?

Is it worth praying? Does it make any difference?
According to a study, as reported in The New York Times, prayer is effectively useless.
Don Whitney wrote an article on this issue and is well worth reading.
Just thinking...

Was Judas Iscariot the favoured disciple?

Isn't it amazing that precisely now that The Da Vinci Code movie is coming closer to being released, an ancient manuscript that was found which depicts Judas Iscariot as Jesus' favoured disciple, is being released to the news media!

Naturally it would be The New York Times, that great bastion of "truth and integrity", that would print this news.

Apparently, the "debate is not over whether the manuscript is genuine — on this the scholars agree. Instead, the controversy is over its relevance." I wonder who these scholars are. And, in what context is this manuscript genuine? Was it genuinely written by Judas? Is the manuscript genuinely as old as they think it is? Is it genuinely not a falsification of some sort? What do they mean? The article does say that the "26 -page Judas text is believed to be a copy in the Coptic language, made around A.D. 300, of the original Gospel of Judas, written in Greek the century before."

If this copy is simply a copy of the original from the century before, then I have news for the NYT... The real gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written 200-250 years before this presumed original of the Gospel of Judas.

Of course, those who do not believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in the New Testament canon as we have it today, will believe all kinds of weird stuff coming from these gnostic "gospels!"

UPDATE April 7, 2006: Al Mohler picks up on this issue.

Just thinking...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Coocoo University

Ever heard of coocoo university? Al Mohler tells us all about it!
Just thinking...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sex and your young daughter... of 12

Just when you think the world has gone as low as it possibly could, it defies all the odds and sinks even lower into that sex-filled, drug-popping, food-binging, food-hurling, materialistic, amoral mire of depravity!
Next time you take your daughter of 11 or 12 to the bookstore, make sure that you know what she just picked up to browse through. She could be stepping right into a trap set by perverted adults who have no qualms in getting your preteen hooked on a lifestyle bent on selfish, self-titillating perversion!
I am writing here about the Gossip Girl book series. Teen People magazine described it as "Sex and the City" for the younger generation.
Read Charles Colson's commentary called Sex and the Single (Preteen) Girl in which he discusses this series.
Just thinking...
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