Sunday, December 25, 2011

Marley and His Message to Scrooge

by R.C. Sproul

Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day. Every generation has its abundance of Scrooges. The church is full of them. We hear endless complaints of commercialism. We are constantly told to put Christ back into Christmas. We hear that the tradition of Santa Claus is a sacrilege. We listen to those acquainted with history murmur that Christmas isn’t biblical. The Church invented Christmas to compete with the ancient Roman festival honoring the bull-god Mithras, the nay-sayers complain. Christmas? A mere capitulation to paganism.

Read more at Ligonier Ministries

Celebrating a Calvinist Christmas with a Clear Conscience

‘Tis the season to be informed–sometimes in gentleness, often with vigor–by a variety of Christians (and others [1]) claiming that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas. I have no desire to force anyone to celebrate Christmas against their will. Indeed, it would be insulting to the high holiday to pretend that it needs enforcement. It offers to Christians an opportunity for praise and thanksgiving for Christ’s incarnation, good music, family fellowship, the giving and receiving of gifts, and a great many other blessings. What more could anyone want? Taste and see that the Lord is good! (This doesn’t necessarily apply to the fruitcake, but you can participate in the thanksgiving without that!) If anyone, for reasons of conscience, wishes to abstain from the festivities, that is his or her right. But I am not willing to let go unanswered the all-too-common assertion that celebrating Christmas at home or in Church is somehow sinful and unreformed.

Read more at theologia

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Badminton Rules: Doubles – what’s in and what’s out?

  • During the main part of a badminton doubles rally, every part of the court is in.
  • However, the serve must fall into the ‘short and fat’ area diagonally opposite the server.  The side tramlines are in, but the rear tramlines are out during the serve.
  • This means that a singles player and a doubles player have similar amount of court to cover when receiving serve (the service area in singles is 24.4m2, while in doubles it is 24.2m2).
  • The short and wide doubles service area makes it harder to catch an opponent out with a flick serve, therefore allowing the service receiver to stand further forward and attack the short serves as aggressively as possible. Which makes doubles rallies fast and aggressive right from the first stroke – one reason why badminton doubles is so exciting, whether you’re watching or playing!
Read more at Badminton Doubles