Can We Know Good Without Evil?

This question was raised by one of a few friends who stayed with us this weekend and I wanted to throw it out for some feedback? Are the following perspectives a matter of relativity or are they capable of existing apart from one another? Better yet, are they interdependent on each other or is one the shadow of the other, whereas that from which the shadow is cast truly exists while the same is not true of the shadow itself? Can we know what good is without evil? Can we know love without hate? Can we know what is moral without the immoral? Can we know truth without lies?

If the answers to the above questions are yes, then what ramifications does that have on your beliefs about God? About what you may call “Heaven”? Whether you believe that Heaven is a place that you go when you die or whether it be an alternate reality in which one can presently live where all things are truly real, can it exist in either case as the proverbial yin without the yang?

Conversely, what might it mean if the answers are no?

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Saban Stacks His Staff


“Whether the reputation is deserved or not, University of Alabama football has entered a new period reflective of its coach, who has described himself as no-nonsense and process-oriented, and comes across like a hard-nosed CEO.[...]

In many ways, the new staff is similar to what Saban had previously pieced together, and each new coach could have a one-word nickname as telling as his eventual titles:

The Master: Kevin Steele, former executive head coach and linebackers coach at Florida State, and named the 2005 National Recruiter of the Year by In describing him, Saban used words like “fantastic” and “terrific.”

The Veteran: Joe Pendry, who has told recruits that he’s the offensive coordinator. Pendry has nearly 20 years of NFL experience, most recently as the offensive coordinator of the Houston Texas under Dom Capers.

“I’ve always liked to have, I’m going to refer to it as an old hand on staff,” Saban said.

The Prodigy: Last season, Major Applewhite coached a spread attack at Rice, which scored the most points (350) and amassed the third-most yards (4,486) in school history.

The Ace: Burton Burns, former running backs coach at Clemson. When Alabama will be looking to sign a prize recruit out of Louisiana, he’ll be the closer.

The Post: Kirby Smart coached defensive backs for Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins, and is one the coach can lean on since he’s familiar with the system.”

Visit to read more.

[UPDATE: In light of Bill Parcells resigning from the Dallas Cowboys and from the coaching career (maybe for more than eight days this time), I sure hope Saban's statement that he is not interested in the Cowboys job is more trustworthy than his statements regarding his interest in the 'Bama job while at Miami. Yikes.]

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Your Mama’s Lies

My buddy Jim Palmer, author of Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God, has a great post about the lies you probably believe. Some of them include:

you are a sinner.

God basically doesn’t like you.

at least you’ve got your fire insurance policy, be thankful, you’re one of the lucky ones.

fall in line, be good, follow the rules, check the boxes, play church.

listen to them; they are smarter, they are holier, they are…well, just trust me.

you can’t be like Jesus; he is God and you’re not.

Go check out his post for some more truths lies.

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“Pillars of Creation Topple”

Via CNN Space & Science:

They helped open the public’s eyes to the wonders of space when they were first photographed in 1995, but a new study suggests the famous Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula might have already been toppled long ago, and that what the Hubble Space Telescope actually captured was only a ghost image.A new picture of the Eagle Nebula shot by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, presented at the 209th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington, show the intact pillars next to a giant cloud of glowing dust scorched by the heat of a massive stellar explosion known as a supernova.

“The pillars have already been destroyed by the shockwave,” said study leader Nicolas Flagey of The Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in France.

Astronomers think the supernova’s shock wave knocked the pillars down about 6,000 years ago. But because the Eagle Nebula is located some 7,000 light years away, the majestic pillars will appear intact to observers on Earth for another 1,000 years or so.

The supernova blast is thought to have occurred between 6,000 and 9,000 years ago, so what astronomers see now is evidence of the blast just before its destructive shock wave reached the pillars.

Just when you think something is stable enough to trust in, a damn supernova comes and blows it away… [sarcasm].

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Welcome to ‘Bama, Saban

It’s official, former Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban is en route to Tuscaloosa to formally accept the head coach position. Saban has extensive success in both the NCAA and NFL. His college record is 91-42-1 and his pro record is 15-17-0. He won SEC championships in 2001 and 2003, the BCS Championship in 2003, and finished in the AP Top 25 in five of his six seasons at LSU.

As I previously noted, I’m a little concerned about this move. I feel like Saban, though he’s a great coach, sold out. He spent a month and a half talking about how much he loved and was committed to the Dolphins, only to change his mind because the deal was too sweet. I guess some would say, “who can blame him?”, but I just have a special respect for people who stick to their guns and remain loyal.

Nevertheless, welcome to ‘Bama, head coach Saban. You’re now in one of the highest profile and pressure positions in college football. I hope you lead our boys well.

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What’s It Gonna Be Saban?

So yesterday ‘Bama AD Mal Moore flew to Miami to meet with Dolphins head coach Nick Saban about filling Shula’s head coach position. Throughout December Saban has adamantly declined interest, but Moore reportedly offered him an eight year deal worth $30 million, which would make him the highest paid coach in college football, were he too accept. I think Saban is a great coach and had great success at LSU, both winning a national title and earning the NCAA coach of the year award in 2003, before going to Miami and revamping the floundering Dolphins program.

Personally, I’d love to see Saban at Alabama. However, there are two things that make me hope he doesn’t take the job. The first is true of any coach replacing Shula–and that is that I really liked Shula and think he got shafted…seriously shafted. The second is that where as I do believe that Saban would be great for the Tide program, I may not think as highly of him if he gives in strictly because the financial deal is so sweet. I’ve really admired how he’s stuck to his guns and stayed loyal to his Dolphins this last month, and I would hate to think all that could be changed by money…regardless of how advantageous it would to have him at ‘Bama.

Well, he’s supposed to say one way or another some time today, so I guess we’ll know soon enough. If he does decline, Mal Moore is screwed. He wanted to have a replacement coach in place by January 5th.

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Logic of In-Laws

Yesterday me, the wife (Shaunna), and Lacey experienced the marriage celebration of an old friend. Towards the end of the celebration a weighty thought entered my consciousness, albeit a very cheesy one, so I snatched a piece of paper and jotted down five words in order to recall the thought for further consideration.

In-Laws or In-Loves?

Those are the words I wrote. (Hey, I warned you it was cheesy.) Despite the cheese of the question, there is something there that draws me into further exploration and consideration. I posted recently regarding a
question of does marriage require a wedding, and this seems to be in the same vein. We refer to our spouse’s parents as in-laws immediately following the legality of our wedding. I wonder, as you can see from the afore mentioned post, what would it be like if we viewed the wedding ceremony as a celebration of the marriage commitment between two people, and not as the moment in which marriage occurs. Would that lead to the viewing of our spouse’s parents, not as in-laws (for that is fairly irrelevant), but as in-loves.

Let me here pause to again state that I realize that is totally corny, but indulge my romantic notions for a minute. If marriage is an intangible and imperceivable joining of two people into one, then it is for love that such occurs, not because law decrees it. (Consider how many people are “married” on paper, or legally, but really have no marriage at all.) If we realize that love is the motivation for the marriage commitment, then wouldn’t a better perception of our “in-laws” actually be as in-loves?

Nevertheless, congratulations to Ashli and Matt. You guys looked soooooo happy. Clearly, in love.

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