Newsletter #114

Binaural No More

Back 50+ years ago when I was a physics grad student at Stanford, a good friend and fellow student, John, was well ahead of his time in building his own sound system for live recording of concerts and musical events. He equipped an exact cast plaster model of his own head with separate electrostatic microphones in each ear. Instead of a girlfriend, John brought along to concerts his model head on a tripod. He sat with his “date” in an optimum part of the auditorium ignoring the stares from other concertgoers who did not have a clue what was going on.

I remember when I was invited to come along and take charge of setting up John’s cumbersome reel-to-reel, one-channel, Ampex tape recorders. Setting up and testing before each concert was a big hassle, but the resulting quality of binaural sound played back through headphones was spectacular. I have never heard anything more awesome since! A few of John’s friends complained that they had to listen to sound through John’s ears since they did not each have a head of his or her own.

Within a few years, stereophonic sound with multiple mikes and speakers was all the rage. Binaural sound was eclipsed into a niche category of recording reserved for sound professionals. I went on to build my own stereo amps, and preamps, and electrostatic loudspeakers and gigantic woofer systems. With many concerts and organ recitals going on each week there was plenty for John to record. I joined him when I was able.

A few years later I became a Christian and then I began to be stunned at the complex marvels of the human body. My sense of wonder and amazement continues to grow to this day.

“…For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139:13-18)

I haven’t had time for concerts in recent years but I kept on taking my two wonderfully-engineered ears for granted—until last week. It was a Wednesday afternoon and the TV was on in the background. All of a sudden my right ear quit working. This was startlingly obvious. My usual excellent binaural hearing had gone, the only sound I could hear was bouncing around the room and into my left ear.

Checking further it appeared that the hearing loss in my right ear was total (many decibels). I soon found a kindly otologist who told me my hearing might never come back; the cause(s) of Sudden Hearing Loss (SHL) are not well known, and treatments are unreliable. But he would try his best.

When any of us becomes a Christian, (by surrendering his or her life to Jesus Christ as Lord), that individual is taken out of the kingdom of this world and fully identified with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection—in the kingdom of God and of Christ. God immediately renews the person’s spirit and soul (though this is not something outsiders or bystanders usually are aware of.) It turns out that the body or “outer man” is ordinarily not made new until the individual “dies” and receives a new body entirely. But the Spirit of God imparts new life to our old bodies while we wait for our new bodies.

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:10-11)

Waiting for the end of this present stage of “mortal life” means that Christians have aches and pains. We get sick and diseases attack us. We are not immune from the trials and sufferings every one is subject to. In the Bible, our present physical body is called a “tent,” while our new resurrection bodies are so vastly better they are likened to solid buildings and not tents.

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight…(2 Cor. 5:1-7)

There are no accidents in life and there are many surprises. In the past ten years a number of not-too-serious medical “events” have come my way. I am not jumping for joy at the sudden hearing loss in one ear last week. I very much anticipate the marvelous life that Christians have been given starting now. Trusting Jesus every day, “walking by faith” really works because, through the Spirit, Jesus shows up every day to give us what we need. It’s Easter and I remember a wonderful quotation on resurrection power by Ray Stedman:

“Resurrection power is like no other power on earth. It is unique, and has no possible rival. It is a power that operates in the midst of death and despair. It operates when the entire world seems, bleak, dead, and barren. It explodes into life and light in the midst of an empty, dark cemetery--for that is where it was first demonstrated. When Jesus Christ was resurrected, He came out from among the dead. So if you learn to live by resurrection power, you can experience life, hope, and vitality when everything and everyone around you is dead, hopeless, and lifeless.

Resurrection power is a "stealth" power--silent and invisible. It makes no sound, it operates below the radar scope of this world. Other forms of power are noisy and obvious--they pound, pulsate, throb, hum, roar, buzz, or explode. But resurrection power is silent. It accomplishes its purpose without ostentation, flash, pizzazz, or neon lights. Christians who live by resurrection power don't use it to dazzle others or advertise its eaffects. That's why the distinguishing marks of Christian character are humility and servanthood rather than showiness. Genuine Christians demonstrate the reality of resurrection power through the quiet evidence of their lives: love, joy, peace, endurance under hardships, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

God has a marvelous way of illustrating spiritual truth through nature. He demonstrates His resurrection power every year through every returning springtime. Out of the cold, barren, death of winter, God brings new life, color, warmth, and glory by means of a quiet, invisible force which gradually transforms the whole landscape into a fairyland of beauty.

Resurrection power is irresistible. It cannot be thwarted or turned aside. It takes absolutely no account of any obstacles thrown in its path, except to use them for further opportunities to advance its cause. When Jesus came bursting from the grave, He didn't give the slightest attention to the obstacles man had placed in His way. There was a large stone in front of His tomb; He passed right through it. He was wrapped in yard after yard of linen cloth; He left the grave clothes undisturbed behind Him. There were Roman guards in front of His tomb; He ignored them. He took not the slightest notice of the decrees of Caesar or the orders of Pilate or the fulminations of the Jewish priests…

Resurrection power needs no props or support. It does not borrow from any other source, though it uses other forms of power as its instrument. It does not even require a cup of coffee to get started in the morning! There is absolutely nothing else like it anywhere in the universe. (from Body Life, Chapter 6 by Ray C. Stedman).

I am looking forward to turning 80 next month, should the Lord tarry. I feel very privileged to be teaching Ephesians at my home church in Palo Alto. Audio is online in mp3 format. My doctor says I am in good health though my arthritis is unpleasant some days and I have less energy than I used to.

I have a great set of friends who drop over to feed me or to talk about the Bible and the heavy trials many are going through these days. I am a man greatly blessed

If you are able to invest in my ministry, I'd be most grateful. My last paying job with a regular monthly paycheck was actually back in the Fall of 1988. In many amazing ways God has provided ever since, with amazing fidelity. I do receive Social Security iIncome, and a small retirement fund check. Basic expenses living in Silicon Valley, California, have always been extra high and the cost of living is soaring these days. You may send cash contributions directly to my PayPal account. Such contributions are tax free to me, though not to you.

Address Change: The Blue Letter Bible ministry has graciously provided me a better channel for tax-deductible donations. If you would like a tax receipt, send your check to Blue Letter Bible ATTN: Lambert Dolphin Ministries (LDM), 29 Rancho Circle, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (Please make your check out to "Blue Letter Bible" and mark "LDM" in the memo field of your check). Thank you very much! I am very, very grateful for caring friends.

Book: My colleague Ron Graf and I hope you will obtain copies of our brand new book on Bible Prophecy, Connecting the Dots...

Contacting me: Email:; Website:; Apologetics and Q&A:; Previous newsletters: While I try to answer all my email, I am not very good at returning phone calls. Everything I have written ends up on my web site. Please visit there often and write to me when you see something of interest.

Lambert Dolphin

April 8, 2012