Monthly Archives: April 2008

Why is it broken?

If God is perfect, good, just and righteous, why is the world he created and the people in it that he created in his own image so obviously broken? Why do we continue to kill and destroy each other with words and weapons? God has given us instructions on how he expects his creations to behave but whether we believe the Bible or not we sin daily against our God even when we know what we are doing is wrong in God’s eyes and sometimes even in regard to what is acceptable in our society. Why?

It all comes down to what is called our ‘sinful nature’ or inherited corruption, we are all born with a rebellious and sinful nature within us, to rebel against authority (God, as our creator, being the ultimate authority). It is natural for us to sin and rebel and it is this nature that leads us to sin even when we know better.

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Romans 7:18 (in context)

My wife and I have a young daughter and I can see this nature in her, from the moment she was old enough to begin to assert herself as a person she began to rebel against us. We certainly didn’t teach her to do that, in fact like most parents we try to teach her to respect and obey us but her sinful nature causes her to rebel whether she understands it or not.

I see this nature in myself; I read the bible (although not as much as I should) and even when through His word God warns me about my actions, words and thoughts I still cannot help but rebel against Him, even though I know He is right and I am wrong.

But God did not make His creation with this sinful nature and there is only one place and time that it could have begun in order to affect everyone on earth today: Back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve fell into the temptation of Satan and they understood good and evil they and every child they would ever have, from generation to generation were left with this sinful nature which we have inherited.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned
Romans 5:12 (in context)

Yes we can do good, and sometimes great things for education, society, the development of civilization, science and technology, arts laws and so on but because of that sinful nature, because of the corruption inherited from Adam, as far as God is concerned (and let’s face it, it’s His opinion that counts) we can’t do anything that pleases Him.

Our sinful nature is not like that characterized by the little devil on the shoulder, always opposed by the angel on the other side, our entire being is affected by sin, thoughts and actions, feelings and motives, everything we are is bound up in sin.

Everything that we are and everything that we do condemns us before our just, holy and righteous creator God, and so we stand helpless before Him. It may sound depressing but that is the true state of man as it has been since that day in the Garden of Eden.

I’m trying to make it sound like that for a reason, the better the understanding of our position before God the more amazing this next verse (a personal favorite) sounds:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (in context)

This is the Good News of the Gospel message that while we were still lost and helpless in our sin, God sent His son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take the punishment that should be ours, and what do we have to do to be a part of this? do we need to perform some sort of ritual, or perhaps go to church every week or pray every day? Not at all.

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
Acts 16:30-31 (in context)

Oracle 10g Client Tools on Ubuntu 7.10

Hey all, Having been using Ubuntu on my home PC for about 18 months I’ve finally switched my work PC too, There’s a load of stuff I need from Windows so I have a VM of XP running too but I want as much as possible in the host Ubuntu system. I looked high and low for a how-to for the Oracle client tools to no avail so I adapted this how-to on installing the Oracle Database 10g on Ubuntu 5.10. Note that I’m using the 10g r2 Oracle tools as I’m only working on 10g r2 databases for the moment:

Activate the root account:

First off, as the installer and other steps are required to be done as root I suggest you unlock the root account. You can just use sudo but I found it easier this way

$ sudo passwd root

Install required packages:

You’ll need all of these to get the installer to work properly:

# apt-get install gcc make binutils lesstif2 libc6 libc6-dev rpm libmotif3 libaio libstdc++5 gawk alien libg++ ksh gcc-3.3 g++-3.3 libstdc++5

You’ll also need to add the /etc/redhat-release file to trick the installer into thinking that you’re running a supported OS.

echo "Red Hat Linux release 4" > /etc/redhat-release

Directories, users and groups:

create the ORACLE_BASE directory where you want the installation to go

# mkdir -p /u01/app/oracle

then create the oracle user, the dba and oinstall groups and change the owner of the target directory. We’ll also need to add the nobody group because Ubuntu sets the nobody user as a member of nogroup but the installer expects it to be a member of the nobody group.

# addgroup oinstall
# addgroup dba
# addgroup nobody
# useradd -g oinstall -G dba -p password -d /home/oracle -s /bin/bash oracle
# usermod -g nobody nobody
# chown oracle:oinstall -R /u01/app/oracle


The Oracle installer apparently uses absolute paths for some of the binaries which are stored in a different place in Ubuntu to where Oracle expects so we need to create simlinks so it can find them

# ln -s /usr/bin/awk /bin/awk
# ln -s /usr/bin/rpm /bin/rpm
# ln -s /usr/bin/basename /bin/basename

Run the installer:

Now, logged into gnome as the oracle user download the Oracle client tools and unpack to a staging directory then start the Oracle installer.

$ mkdir ~/stage
$ unzip ~/stage

Once the install is completed you need to add the appropriate environment variables, I added the following lines to /etc/profile so that all users on the system get them:
export ORACLE_BASE=/u01/app/oracle
export ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/client_1
export PATH=$PATH:/u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/client_1/bin

and finally configure the $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora file for your environment. If you want a different user other than oracle to use the tools you’ll need to add them to the oinstall and dba groups.