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why i am a christian – part iii October 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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continued from part ii

Before leaving to Alberta I had patched up some turbulent relationships so I did not feel like I was simply running away from my problems. This was extremely freeing, and allowed me to gain some stability in my life. I was able to find a room close to the university the day I drove into the city of Edmonton. I had a little difficulty adjusting to my new setting, but I was visited by often enough by someone from home (who would later become my girlfriend and then my wife). Scholastically I was just getting by: a couple of B’s, a couple of C’s. Most of my time spent reading was not for school. Only a year into my Philosophy major I had a tendency to pass over my Philosophy textbooks to read books on religious syncretism, Buddhology, and early Christian writings. (more…)

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the antitheses of matthew October 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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The Gospel attributed to Matthew has been one of the most influential Gospels among the mainstream Christian church. The interpretation of Matthew’s theology has been revamped and reinterpreted by every different era and every different agenda. This has led to endless interpretations of the Gospel, of which I will investigate two that are currently popular within two different camps of thought. Although I personally do not ascribe to either, I do believe one is more plausible than the other. Focusing on the exhortations concerning the law which has often been called the “sermon on the mount” or the “antitheses” of Matthew, one can see how different the interpretations of Matthew can be, especially depending on one’s worldview. (more…)

bodhisattva: master of paradox October 29, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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The concept of the bodhisattva in Mahāyāna text reads in such a way that may be confusing to many western readers. The bodhisattva is presented as an unidentifiable being as a result of ethical and cosmological necessities. The necessary attributes of the bodhisattva, however, demand the bodhisattva to be a master of paradox, often reconciling seemingly contradictory ideas that in turn complement the middle-way philosophy of the Buddha. The good and genuine bodhisattva balances emptiness with action, non-self with self, nirvāna with saṃsāra, and generousity with selflessness. Although some of these concepts may not seem contradictory, Buddhist philosophy demands the implications of emptiness, self, nirvāna, saṃsāra, and selflessness to be investigated, often resulting in conflicting ideas. (more…)

death of a… October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Go see “Death of a President”. If you are a Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, radical, fascist. Go see this film. I prefer not to give film reviews because I think it they ruin films. I can only tell you to see it. I have never seen so many people been so foolish in their ignorant comments they have made on this film. The White House stated it the film does not even dignify a response. Hillary Clinton called the film “disgusting”. Some American theatres have banned the film while others are just refusing to screen it. The funny thing is, these people had not seen the film. The film is, fortunately, not anti-Bush. I heard some guy behind me scoffing everytime the President’s “special advisor” spoke, who was the stereotypical butt-kisser. Bush is cautiously presented in a way that would have A&E wishing for rights on this movie. The most chilling scene in the film is not the half-second shooting of the President, but the installation of Vice President Cheney as President. Mid-way through this film you need to remind yourself that President Bush had not really been assassinated and you are really living in the year 2006 rather than 2008. If you have access to a theatre that is playing the film, go see it.

why i am a christian – part ii October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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continued from part i

In retrospect it is amusing that Columbia Bible College did help me figure things out, it just did not happen the way I thought it would. I did not come out with a BA in Biblical Studies. I did not come out wishing to be a pastor or a Bible College teacher. I did not even come out wishing for more (in relation to spiritual guidance or something). I came out wanting to help destroy Christendom. Although I was not completely opposed to Christianity itself, I was vehemently disgusted with Christians. So how did that happen? How did a Bible-thumping right-wing evangelical become so horrendously opposed to everything he believed in? There is no one answer and there probably is not too many coherent answers. It was, however, a painful process. (more…)

random news bits October 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I really wanted to continue my “why i am a christian” series, but midterm exams and papers hit and I have been missing a lot of good news (it is election season down south after all). In the past several days, Quebec has been the news again with a discussion that has been going on since before Confederation, but hey, they got invited to the Kyoto meeting in Kenya by the doublespeaking Conservative government Minister of Environment that “supports” the Kyoto accord at the same time as rejecting it. Meanwhile in the United States, the elections have started out nicely for the Democrats as the Republicans have resorted to explicitly using terrorist’s ads as their own. Not only that, but Cheney himself admits supporting the use of toruture akin to that found during the barbaric witch-hunts of the middle ages. (more…)

housekeeping October 24, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in Uncategorized.
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WordPress (my blog host) is now offering domain hosting, thus you will notice that my blog can now be found at http://bradleyrichert.com rather than https://brichert.wordpress.com. http://bradrichert.com will still redirect to the site as well. Happy birthday to me!

why i am a christian – part i October 23, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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I sit here writing, knowing full well that I should really be working on a silly assignment due on Wednesday so that I can start work on another due on Thursday, giving myself a bit of time to study for a midterm that I also have on Thursday. My laptop, prone to overheating, sits tilted on an angle upheld by a book on the religious right. It is a sunny day, my cats are lazing about and my wife is watching some television show on her laptop. And it is quiet. Very quiet. The hum of my computer is drowned out only by the hum of the humidifier. In my procrastination I have been scanning random websites, mainly those concerning contemporary Christianity. I think about my beliefs on a daily basis, mainly because my area of study forces me to. Yet every once in awhile I feel the need to share why I am a Christian, or more importantly, why I am the type of Christian that I am. (more…)

popes, presidents, and the people October 22, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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This last week has certainly been a historic one for Americans and the rest of the world. The futility of democracy is proving true. Security trumps freedom, and the Republicans in power have fully taken advantage of this. They have been taking advantage of this ever since September 11, 2001. Authors of history books, however, will not write solely on the attacks of September 11th, but of the PATRIOT ACT and of subsequent legislation and actions that political scientists will compare to the events, legislation, and actions of Germany in the 1930’s. The futility of democracy is the theory that admits that democracy will always fail due to intrinsic necessities. The philosophers of social contract theories wrote that we trade in our freedoms for security in the state. This is true for democracies and dictatorships alike. (more…)

conservatives fail on clean air act October 19, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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Bill C-30 sucks. I do not think I am alone in this belief. Bill C-30 is also known as Canada’s Clean Air Act. Within a twenty-four hour period, one Conservative MP was sacked, Bill C-30 was presented in Parliment, and every opposition party and environmentalist group railed against the contents. This all comes as no surprise as just over a week ago PM Harper rejected the advice of environmental experts, stating that he would forward long-term legislation full of Royal Commissions… I mean, consultations, so that the Conservatives do not actually have to spend any money on it while they are in office. (more…)

republicans: silly little christians October 16, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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A new book by David Kuo, a former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, affirms what many political scientists, religious scholars and critical-thinking Christians suspect: the Republican party plays religion into politics to such an extent that they do not have to believe what they preach. The book, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, follows the story of how top-level Republicans such as Karl Rove used Christian organizations to garner support for Republican initiatives, yet at the same time mocking evangelicals behind closed doors. These are interesting revelations, not because it is unbelieveable, but because it is coming from a man that was once White House Deputy Director of the Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As odd as it is that America even has such an office, it does, and if anyone would know what goes on when it comes to religion and politics, it is Mr. Kuo. (more…)

visocica hill: a verifiable hoax? October 15, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in science.
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Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination – John Dewey

In October of 2005 a man named Semir Osmanagić announced that the 213-meter high Visočica Hill in Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina is actually a pyramid. Despite almost universal criticism among the scientific community, Osmanagić continues to hold fast his belief in the ancient pyramids of Bosnia. The condemnation of Osmanagić and his methods are not entirely unfounded yet the situation that both parties have found themselves is dangerous. Being outside the scientific community, Osmanagić has no qualms with ignoring scientific methodologies, yet his claim is one of a verifiable nature, or at least parts of it. Osmanagić has made many statements about his newly discovered hidden pyramids that are based on historical speculation rather than amateur observation. (more…)

would you vote for tom? October 14, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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No, not Myspace Tom. I saw “Man of the Year” last night. In my humble opinion, Robin Williams pulled of a great balance between humour and politics, never dousing us with too much of either (although people who hate politics would probably argue otherwise). Sure, the film could have been better, could have been more controversial, could have been pushed farther, could have been released four years ago – although who knows, Robin would have had to go on hiatus with the Dixie Chicks. Now that its cool to be disallusioned with the American political system, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon – not that I am complaining. And yes, I know that Williams and others have not exactly been big fans of the Bush Administration for a while, but most people in the United States were not exactly scratching their heads in the important days of late 2001 while the Republicans were cramming the PATRIOT ACT down the throats of Americans (and the rest of the world). (more…)

ethiopia and the ark of the covenant October 10, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
10 comments

The Ark of the Covenant, like many artifacts sought after because of Biblical speculation, is shrouded in mystery. According to the Book of Exodus, God commanded Moses to have the Hebrews build the ark as a communication device between God and Moses (Ex. 25:9-10). Contemporary references such as in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) have focused on such powers as the source of fanatical treasure searching. (more…)

the heterosexual agenda October 3, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion, science.
12 comments

We all know the Focus on the Family and the American Family Association have some great scientific evidence that prove that homosexuality is not only sinful via the WORD of GOD, but is also leading to the downfall of humanity. According to Dr. Dobson, there is a homosexual agenda to corrupt the minds of the youth, or in the very least, lead them down the sinful path of liberal society. Of course, Focus on the Family makes sure to let us know that they are the good guys and not maniacal Bible-thumpers, for in Christ’s image, we must love even the gays. Of course, these are the same people who believe that freedom means having the freedom not to be gay rather than the freedom to be gay. Well, my friends, we now have learned of the heterosexual agenda thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin. (more…)