Donny's Ramblings


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Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About Christianity”

On May 19th I posted my controversial To Carrie, Regarding Atheism blog. On the 30th of May I followed up with a promise that I’d post scientific evidence for God in a future blog entry. It was my intention to create another blog post listing detailed references. I first planned to read a bit more, organize my thoughts and the evidences I’d found, and list them all out in another long, detailed blog post. But then I read this book:

With this book, D’Souza did exactly what I intended to do with my blog post, but in much more detail than I possible could have done. It is my opinion that if an atheist can read this book and not be convinced by the evidence presented… well, nothing will change his or her mind.

In the first 80 pages Mr. D’Souza addresses topics relating specifically to Christianity. He writes about such things as the murders during the Crusades, putting a proper perspective on them. He points out how many deaths resulted and over how many years, and then as a comparison he discusses the killings attributed to atheistic regimes throughout history. He also addresses several other topics that have been used to “attack” Christianity. All were good, but I was much more interested in the book AFTER I’d read beyond those first “defense of Christianity” pages. After all, I wanted to get to the scientific evidence for God.

And boy, was I happy to get there!

For now, I won’t say much more. I highly recommend buying this book for any friend that has “atheistic” tendencies or a hatred of Christianity. But before you give it to them, read it yourself! I’ve handed my copy out to others (my dad has it at the moment), and sent a copy to Carrie as well. When my dad returns the book to me I may write another entry on this subject, quoting a bit of D’Souza’s writings. I think, however, that this book needs to go in my “books that changed me” section over in the right column.

Buy it today. Just do it!

(Oh, and special thanks to Bill Giovannetti, my Pastor, for recommending that I read it)


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What You Look For, You Will Find

At least 5 days a week I walk the Sacramento River Trail. If you’ve been reading very long you know this. These walks are my time with God. I learn a lot on The Trail.

Where the trail crosses behind the Elk’s Lodge there’s a beautiful place to sit and look out at the river. I’m sitting there now, writing this blog post from my iPhone using the WordPress Application I recently mentioned in another post.

I also mentioned a Bible Application provided by LifeChurch.tv for iPhone users. Since it was released I’ve incorporated it into my morning walking routine. I sit right here on this bench, stare out at the river, read a few passages, think about them a bit while watching the boats pass by and repeat that process until I’ve read through at least one chapter, often more. The computer nerd in me really loves being able to read multiple versions of the Bible on my iPhone.

This morning I’ve read through 3 chapters of John and found an answer to one of my never ending questions. I’ve read this chapter many times before, but I guess the time is just right today because it finally sank in.

In my blog post to “Carrie the Atheist” awhile back, you might recall that I voiced several of my concerns and questions with the Bible. One of those questions has to do with the ability of the writers of scripture to recall what Jesus said to them. Few of us can remember word for word the conversations we had just hours ago, yet the writers of the Bible are trusted to recall conversations with Jesus from decades before they were written down?

Here’s what I found this morning:

In John chapter 14 verse 26 Jesus is quoted as telling his disciples that when he is gone, the Comforter that he will send will, amongst other things, “bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

The Donny in me would bring up objections on how using this verse to prove its accuracy is pure circular reasoning. But the Comforter and I converse quite a bit on this trail, and on this day I believe this answer was meant for me to find. I choose to accept it.

What you look for you will find.

Next on my list? Those men who met in the fourth century to decide which books to include in our Bibles and which to toss aside… I’d like to believe they made the right decision. Dear God, please shed some light on this for me.

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A Little of This and a Little of That

EVIDENCE FOR GOD:
I haven’t forgotten this blog. I’ve been adding notes to a file in my Google Docs called Evidence for God. Carrie is a tough cookie, and she wants hard evidence. I’m doing my best to accommodate this request. I’m reading more. Organizing more. Making notes of references. I love a challenge, and this challenges me.

On top of what I’ve already learned, I want to read this book before completing my thoughts: The Cell’s Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator’s Artistry – I haven’t yet read it because it’s not due for release until tomorrow. Advanced readers (those who get a chance to read before the official publication date) have highly recommended it, the most notable comes from a Scientist I respect.

Note: As of August 1, 2008, I’ve decided not to write the “Evidence for God” post, and am instead recommending that readers pick up a copy of Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity?, as the book accomplishes exactly what I’d hoped to accomplish by an “evidence” post.

EVOLUTION:
I’ve received a lot of feedback in the form of comments, private emails, and myspace messages from some of you who take issue with my belief in Theistic Evolution. If you’d like to read more on this subject I’d highly recommend this website, as it gives a great overview of this concept: http://www.theistic-evolution.com/. People, there is strong evidence for evolution, and it’s not “anti-God” to believe it. Educate yourselves. 🙂

REPERCUSSIONS AND STUFF:
Because I’ve decided to write my thoughts without worrying about possible repercussions from the organized Christian community (read my last blog entry and all the comments on it), you are experiencing my learning process. My Pastor says the kinds of questions I’ve been asking are pretty normal, but usually not made public by those asking them.

I like sharing and allowing you, my constant readers, to participate in the process. Please don’t get your panties in a bundle when you read something you may not agree with. Capiche?

APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE ROCKS:
On another note, I’d like to give major props to Apple. My iPhone has been messing up because I dropped it a few times and thereby created a dead spot on one corner. It was functional, I just had to turn the screen for some features to work.

Two days ago I was in Sacramento to pick up my mother from the airport. I arrived a few hours early so I decided to head to the Apple Store at Arden Fair Mall. When I showed them my iPhone and explained the problems I’ve been having…. THEY REPLACED IT! Free of charge. The fault is mine, yet I received a brand new iPhone because Apple customer service kicks butt! But that was only part of it…

Apple gives free tech support at what they call a “Genius Bar” at each Apple store. Because it’s free, an appointment is necessary, usually at least one day in advance. Since only a tech can authorize a replacement phone, the rep I spoke with informed me I’d have to make an appointment. I told her I lived nearly 2 hours north, so they got me in within 5 minutes.

Also… an iPhone is pretty much a miniature computer. You can arrange it in numerous ways, settings, etc. I figured I’d have to start over setting up my iPhone the way I like it, but that wasn’t the case. When I plugged it into my laptop to sync, everything was reset to the exact same settings from my previous phone, right down to the order in which my icons are arranged on the desktop and the photos in the phone’s library.

Apple has it down, I tell ya!


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Gary Kremen Goes Solar

I don’t think I’ve written about my friend Gary on this blog. Today you’ll meet another person from my porn-past.

Gary Kremen and Thede Loder In this photo, the man on the left is Gary Kremen. He is the founder of the online dating site Match.com, but also owned the domain name sex.com as well. At one time he was my business partner. In fact, when I was in the porn world he was the first business partner I had. We went into business together 3 years after I started in the adult business. The partnership didn’t last very long, but our friendship continues to this day.

My friendship with Gary began because he was intrigued by the porn business. He’d originally meant the “sex” domain to work hand in hand with Match.com as a sort of sex education website. Those plans changed when a con man named Stephen Cohen stole the domain from him and turned it into a porn site. Gary spent several years and millions of dollars getting the domain back. By the time it was again in his possession it was making so much money from porn advertising that he left it “as-is” and officially became a pornographer. I remember being at his 40th birthday party where his mother introduced her children to those who didn’t know them by saying, “This is my daughter the photographer, and my son the pornographer”. At the time, it was amusing.

Gary had never meant to be a pornographer. He eventually sold the sex.com domain for $14 million after being awarded a $65 million judgment against the con man who stole it from him as well as another multi-million dollar judgment against Network Solutions, the company that transferred ownership of the domain to Stephen Cohen to begin with.

This morning I read this article, talking about Gary’s latest venture: his plans to provide financing for solar energy to the masses. In the photo taken above Gary and I were discussing that very plan over dinner here in my hometown. I think it’s a great idea, and I really hope it catches on.

The gist of Gary’s plan is to make solar financing very similar to vehicle financing. Think of a car dealership: when a person finds the car they wish to buy, the dealer is able to offer financing on the spot. Gary wants his company to be THE financing option when a solar energy salesperson is speaking with a prospective client. The salesperson can offer solar energy products, and immediately set the customer up with financing through Clean Power Finance, Gary’s company.

He may be a bit ahead of his time, but I won’t be at all surprised if this latest venture is just as financially successful as his previous endeavors. You go, Gary!

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