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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Thursday, February 27, 2003


At age 17, I was diagnosed with Graves' disease, a common form of hyperthyroidism caused by a generalized overactivity of the entire thyroid gland. We first noticed swelling in the base of my throat/neck, and blood tests revealed that my thyroid levels were toxically high. After unsuccessful thyroid suppression therapy, my options were either radiation therapy or surgical removal of the thyroid gland - both of which would cause me to go from hyper- to hypothyroid, and would require me to take thyroid replacement pills for life. We opted for radiation therapy, which successfully made me hypothyroid. However, I have yet to reach a normal, stable metabolic plane, and occasionally this prevents me from functioning normally.

Through all of this, I have realized that medical science still has a lot to learn about the nature and treatment of thyroid disorders. Two examples: 1) When treating hyperthyroidism with radiation therapy, doctors have no way of measuring exactly how much radioiodine to use, so they use a dose that is higher than necessary to avoid the need for another round of radiation. 2) When treating hypothyroidism with replacement therapy, most physicians use blood tests as their primary measurement - despite the fact that regularly checking body temperature is, overall, a better way to measure thyroid levels. As these examples demonstrate, traditional treatments for thyroid disorders leave something to be desired. However, I recently learned about some different approaches to thyroid-related illnesses; see DrLowe.com and WilsonSyndrome.com for more info. I hope these approaches turn out to be as helpful as they look.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, February 24, 2003

The Ten Words and Torah

from Rite Reasons No 31, "The First Word" (Biblical Horizons, Feb 1994)
by James B Jordan

As we consider the Age of the Law, which begins with the public enthronement of Yahweh (the Second Person of God; the Son; the Word) on Mount Sinai and then in the Tabernacle, we need to consider the Ten Words. These are generally called the "Ten Commandments," but that is an unhelpful and misleading name for them. The Bible calls them the Ten Words, and never calls them the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34:28; Dt. 4:13, 10:4). The New Testament uses the word "commandment" (Greek: entole) to refer to all parts and aspects of the Law given at Sinai: two great commandments, many least commandments, etc. Thus, we might speak of the Ten Words as the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, the phrase "Ten Commandments" has driven out the phrase "Ten Words," so that the actual nature of the Ten Words is not clearly understood.

The Ten Words contain more than commands. They contain historical facts ("who brought you out of the land of Egypt"), theological statements ("for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God"), threats ("visiting iniquity"), promises ("showing lovingkindness"), rationales ("for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth..."). The same thing is true of the rest of the "laws" given at Sinai, which are called "ordinances," for which reason it is not correct to speak of Exodus 21-23 as a "law code," nor is it accurate to speak of it as "case laws."

Thus, the Words and Ordinances (Ex. 24:3) are not "laws" or "commandments" in the usual English sense of these words. We don't really have a good English word for the Sinaitic "Law." We might use the word "Torah," which means "teaching," and of course any teaching from God has absolute authority. Exodus 24:12 calls the Ten Words torah, but it also calls them mitsvah, which means "something commanded." Thus, the Ten Words and the many Ordinances are a combination of teaching and commandment from God. For simplicity's sake and because the word already has pretty good connotations for our purposes, I shall call the "Mosaic law" by the name Torah.

Thus, "Biblical law" is something a bit looser and broader than what we think of as law. It is God's authoritative teaching and commandment, which would form the foundation for a specific law code, but which would also form the foundation for wisdom and insight. Thus, when Paul speaks of the condemnation of the "law" (torah), he refers not only to condemnation that comes from breaking commandments, but also to condemnation that comes from not living in the full stature of human holiness. To put it another way, Torah has both a legal and a personal dimension to it. When we use the English word "law" or "commandment," we miss the personal, teaching side of Torah. Issuing from the mouth of the Second Person of the Trinity, Torah is both Son (person) and Word (content). [Read more]

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Tobacco Meets the Arrogant Bastard

Mike challenged me to post about his hypocrisy, and so I shall. The day after patting himself on the back for smoking a pipe, he decides to call all cigarette-smokers effeminate. Well, I'm not buying it.

I would hold my tongue if Mike were a sixty-year-old elder who had smoked a pipe all his life, but the fact is, Mike is a twenty-year-old "arrogant bastard" (follow the link to read the hilarious label of Arrogant Bastard Ale, a microbrew which I enjoyed for the first time last week). Of course, we love him anyway, but a challenge is a challenge!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, February 20, 2003

"About the Two Corners"

Josh McInnis has a good post (Thursday, Feb 20) referring to Rick's rant.

jon :: link :: comment ::

"Re-Name Eric's Cafe" Contest

This is mainly of interest to you former Muscovites...but if you want to help me win a free meal a week for six months and get a sandwich named after me for a year, let me know if you have any good ideas!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Xon Hostetter

How did I miss Post Tenebras Lux, especially this lengthy post (subtitled, "An Unnecessary Defense of Doug Wilson and His Ilk")? Not only does Xon link to my blog, he's a Southerner, a paleoconservative, and a grad student who used to teach at a classical Christian school. And, yes, his name is really Xon.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Rick Rants About the Northwest

I hear what Rick is talking about in his four or five posts, from here, back. I'm so glad he didn't really "go Garver" on us.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Leithart on Millennial Views

This began as a comment to Wayne's post, but I decided to put it on my blog instead.

I have been immensely helped by Peter Leithart's take on millennial views in The Kingdom and the Power, chapter 8, "The People of the Kingdom" - especially his footnote 19 (pp 240-1). Here's a quote:

I believe that the Millennium is the age of the new covenant, during which the saints are enthroned in heavenly places in Christ (Rev 20:2-6; Eph 2:5). This identifies me as an amillennialist. At the same time, in a sense the premillennialist is correct to say that Jesus returned in judgement at the beginning of the Millennium; He did return at the beginning of the Millennium to judge apostate Judaism and to destroy the remnants of the typological kingdom order. I also believe that postmillenialists are correct in saying that Christ will return after the Millennium, at the resurrection, when the entire creation will be transfigured, and I concur with the postmillenial emphasis on the growth of the kingdom.

A few months ago, I emailed Dr Leithart a question precipitated by this footnote. I asked, "Just to clarify: Are you saying that we are already in the Millennium (at least in some important sense)?" He replied, in part:

Yes, that's right, and I wouldn't even add the qualifier in the parentheses. I think we're in the millennium, full stop. I don't agree with some traditional postmils that consider the millennium a separate stage of redemptive history. That view underestimates the eschatological character of the present age; also, it's strange to think that we could somehow enter a new stage of redemptive history without some big redemptive events. I don't see any examples in Scripture of the church just "slipping into" a new phase of covenant history.

All of this makes me wonder if perhaps we need some new categories other than traditional pre-, post-, or amillennialism and all the connotations that go along with these positions, at least as they are popularly (mis)understood.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Crash Into Uncle Josh

Speaking of real-life friends starting blogs, here's Josh Melton!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, February 17, 2003

Out With the "Old" and In With the "New"

Just when a bunch of bloggers quit, a number of my real-life friends begin. As a result, I don't get around to reading some of the blogs I used to read, because my real-life friends are a priority. Sorry if it hurts anyone's feelings, but I will be adjusting my blog roll accordingly.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, February 16, 2003

War with Iraq
Let me begin with a few random caveats. First, I don't know enough about the current situation to know what to think about the impending war with Iraq. In a way, I'm glad it's not up to me to make decisions of this magnitude. Second, while I would like to trust our US leaders, I believe they do a good job representing a people under judgement, and, as such, I do not ultimately trust them to make wise decisions. Hell, most of them think abortion-on-demand is a good thing. Finally, for what it's worth, most of my friends seem to at least moderately approve of waging war against Iraq, and my own plans to pursue military chaplaincy remain unchanged.

With all that said, I just read Christian Kim's comments on the matter. Much of what he says rings true with me. What do you think?

Christian is a former classmate of Joel Garver's, a current PhD candidate in Hebrew, Jewish, and early Christian studies at Cambridge, and the owner of christiankim.com. All that, and he doesn't even have a blog comment system.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, February 13, 2003

An Overdue Update

Well, we're home. Phew! We had a delightful and eventful trip - so eventful, in fact, that I look forward to getting back to the mundane routine. You've already heard about the wedding from a few of the other Monroe bloggers (Aaron, James, Lamar, and Micah), so, for now at least, I won't say anything other than that I count myself blessed to have been a part of it.

Perhaps the most eventful part of our whole trip was the end. We arrived in Spokane right on time last night. We picked up our bags, and I left them with Hollie & Ethan at the airport while I took the shuttle to pick up our car at the North Shuttle Lot. The shuttle dropped me off, went on its way, and I walked over to our car. I then reached into my pockets only to find...no car key. To make a long story short, Hollie rented a car (because she's 25 and I'm not), and we drove to Moscow, spent the night, got our other set of keys, drove back to Spokane today to get our car, etc., and drove back to Moscow. I can truly say I'm glad to be home.

jon :: link :: comment ::

"New" Additions

Christin Booth: I am happy to count Christin as one of my good friends.

The Lizenbys: I played army with Troy (aka svenska) back when he was Bart, and played "Idaho experience" with him back when he was Miranda - but don't be deceived: he is Not Troy Bart Miranda (see the comments to Aaron's post). I think I've known Jennifer even longer, and I'm glad Troy finally brought her into blogdom with him.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

More on Colvin Comment: The Church as the Body of Christ

Perhaps it would be better to simply say that God established the body of Christ ("the church"). This keeps the main emphasis on the people who make up the body and on the mysterious connection to Christ (Eph 5:32), but it does not deny that the church is manifest in institutional forms as well. Plus, "the body of Christ" is sacramentally rich.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Colvin Comment and Cake
(For a humorously extended display of alliteration, see this unrelated post.)

It's a question of ontological priority and what you mean by "church." Did God establish a people ("the church") and then command them, among other things, to worship Him by Word and sacrament in local assemblies? Or did God establish an institution ("the church") with officers and then command these officers to bring about the people of God by the sacraments? See Leithart's The Kingdom and the Power and Schlissel's Make Room for Daddies for the opposing visions.

Except for the fact that I don't like applying institutional terminology to the church, I guess I'd like to have my cake and eat it, too. But that doesn't bother me. I can always bake more cake.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Which Simon and Garfunkel album are you?

- via Sarah Jones

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, February 3, 2003

Holy Hokey Christians, Batman!

In the comments to the post below, Remy notified me of another existing site: aminor.blogpsot.com. Strange things are afoot.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, February 2, 2003


Today I'm posting like The Blogger Formerly Known As Rick.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Mitch Hedberg

In less than ten minutes, I will be taping a Mitch Hedberg stand-up on Comedy Central.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Earth View

Sarah posted this a while back, and I've really enjoyed looking at it from time to time. Maybe you will, too.

jon :: link :: comment ::

"Let's Make a Deal" Shower

Our friends Courtney & Lisa are getting married in Monroe this weekend. Hollie & Ethan flew down early to spend extra time with her family, so Hollie was able to go the "Let's Make a Deal" shower, which she said was lots of fun.

I fly out Thursday to join them. It will be a full weekend with the bachelor party, the rehearsal & dinner, and serving as a groomsman in the wedding, but I can't wait.

jon :: link :: comment ::

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