Monday, December 8, 2008

There Are No Words...

...well, perhaps a few words. One might be tempted to think that Oxford Universtity Press would be a publisher with the collective desire to support a rich, robust education of children rather than to allow the undertow of culture to drown that ideal. But thinking such as that is evidently nothing more than a relic from a bygone era. No, let us not be left in the dust of antiquated reasoning from before 2003; let us instead move forward, looking to Britain for leadership in the restructuring of educational tools to better reflect a "modern, multicultural, multifaith society" (OUP's words). What are they publishing then? This.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wisdom from Schaeffer

Our forefathers used the term systematic theology to express their view that Christianity is not a series of isolated religious statements, but that it has a beginning and flows on to an end. Each part relates to each other part and to the whole, and to what stands first in the system. It is perfectly possible that such a systematic understanding of Christianity can become a dead thing, but let us not despise the word systematic as if it were automatically a dead corpse.

-Francis Schaeffer, The God Who is There, p. 113

Monday, November 17, 2008

R.C. Sproul on Christianity and Economics

Please listen to this superb lesson on economic systems from a Christian perspective. The recording is about 26 minutes; click on the title "Economics" to listen. Sproul fairly, logically, and Biblically processes through the options of capitalism, socialism, and communism. He takes care to address the concerns of our day that lead to a mass abandonment of all that leads to profit (capitalism) and an endorsement if not embrace of that which theoretically is the more compassionate, the option that intentionally kills profit (socialism).

I ask that you listen, learn, and encourage others to do the same.

Additionally, if you have not yet signed this petition fighting the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act," that is, the act that dissolves any and all restrictions on abortion, please do so at http://www.fightfoca.com/.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lament, but Trust

America no longer is concerned with Truth. We have sacrificed the good of the country and the good of the least of these for the ever insatiable and subjective good of the individual. Truth has been reduced to a mere nuisance. May we be driven to repentance.

Lament.

Lamentations 3:37-39
Whose command was ever fulfilled
unless the Lord decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes-
both calamity and blessing?
Why should any living person complain
when punished for his sins?

3: 40-42
Let us carefully examine our ways,
and let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven:
"We have blatantly rebelled; you have not forgiven."

5:15-22
Our hearts no longer have any joy;
our dancing is turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head;
woe to us, for we have sinned!
Because of this, our hearts are sick;
because of these things, we can hardly see through our tears.
For wild animals are prowling over Mount Zion,
which lies desolate.
But you, O Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you keen on forgetting us?
Why do you forsake us for so long?
Bring us back to yourself, O Lord, so
that we may return to you;
renew our life as in days before,
unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.

But Trust:

For your loyal love extends beyond the sky,
and your faithfulness reaches the clouds (Psalm 57:10).

Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how fathomless his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, and who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

All verses are taken from the New English Translation.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Energy Source

Breaking News: There is a possibility of tapping into a new energy source. A recent study suggests that the closer to the White House Obama appears to be, the more the founding fathers roll in their graves. Power surges have been especially strong near the graves of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Scientists are laboriously trying to convert this kinetic energy into a usable source of power. These scientists also are suggesting that we vote for Obama, because when McCain narrows the gap in the polls, this energy source becomes remarkably less efficient.

Wisdom for Those Who Know Christ

Colossians 3:12-17 (NASB)

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, and with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Jude 1:24-25 (NASB)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Dangers of Socialism

Considering history, socialism is dangerous because:

1) It poses extreme danger to freedom of speech, and government sanctioned punishment of dissenters tends to take hold, gradually increasing in severity (dissent includes the ever-broadening category of "hate speech")
2) As a continuation of (1), civil government-controlled media can easily become the only mainstream and even existing means of news
3) In pursuit of "equality", secularization will become pervasive
4) Religious organizations will have to struggle to maintain their existence if they intend to preserve their focused missions
5) Interpretation of the Constitution will become open-ended and subjective, rendering the document obsolete
6) The assumption will become commonplace that we are not created equal by God, but by the civil government
7) The crumbling of America's economic foundations will begin: hard work will no longer be ultimately beneficial, so why work hard?
8) The disarming of responsible Americans will be pushed for "our safety", but guns in the hands of criminals will remain uncontrolled (after all, even now criminals most often acquire and use their arms illegally)
9) Owning private property will become difficult, and there will be a very real possibility of eradication of property ownership
10) The true reign of "choice" will begin, and as a consequence, the genocide of the unborn will increase

In the event of the combination of an Obama presidency and a Democrat-controlled legislative branch, some of these will be nearly immediate, and some will be what voters have swung the door open to welcome in the future. Before supporting Obama, please study history so that we are able to learn from the errors of this unhealthy and troubling political philosophy.

*Informative reading:
Obama's Economic Mythology
David Limbaugh on the problems with socialism
Chuck Norris on why we must vote to protect the unborn

The Dangers of Obama

This article reports that Obama removed from his plane journalists who represent McCain-endorsing newspapers in order to make room for Obama-sympathetic reporters.

Obama is displaying right before our eyes a policy of aggressive viewpoint suppression. In his view, dissent is not tolerated. For evidence of this, look at what happened to Joe the Plumber for simply asking a revealing question (and there are many more examples!). Please realize that this man is threatening freedom of speech itself, and is in most areas far beyond the liberalism we are familiar with as a country. He and his ilk are absolutely toxic for America. I beg you friends, if you are supporting Obama for any reason, please reconsider. Socialism, which almost always comes with a spirit of suppression, is not the answer. Obama's behavior smacks of the beginnings of historic Marxist censorship. Please vote, but vote wisely.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Lesson in Grammar for CNN

The McCain/Palin campaign has been using Obama's "spread the wealth around" comment to emphasize the danger in his political philosophy (yes, the "S" word). So, CNN ran a "fact check" on the statement and concluded that the McCain and Palin were being misleading by ignoring the rest of the 5 minute conversation.

Here is a message for CNN's fact-checkers that will improve their precision:

When a subordinate clause is separated from the main clause, the meaning can be significantly altered. An example here is Sarah Palin's now famous quote regarding Iraq: "our leaders are sending them [soldiers] out on a task that is from God." The media excitedly severed this quote from the rest of the statement: "pray that our leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God." Palin was not showcasing a crusader's spirit! Rather, she was exhorting a church congregation to pray that God's will be done.

However, an independent clause such as Obama's statement, "I think that when you spread the wealth around, its good for everybody" is just that, independent. It stands alone. The larger context does nothing to alter the meaning of this statement, as it is a statement of a redistributive philosophy of taxation. (For inquiring or doubting minds, here is the original conversation.)

So CNN, let's review:
Subordinate clause- a part of a sentence or statement that is dependent on the other part of the sentence or statement.
Independent clause- A complete sentence or statement that is able to stand alone.

Thank you fact-checkers for yet another example of the importance of grammar.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Understanding Freedom and Equality

A fascinating forthcoming documentary by the Acton Institute attempts to shed light on a commonly misunderstood and often denied truth: secularism alone could not have shaped the concepts of freedom and equality as we now understand them. I do not know very much about this organization (yet), but the trailer appears to represent a greatly needed and powerful film.

The trailer, short clips, and more information can be found here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Enough is Enough

An inexcusable justification for Obama support is rapidly gaining popularity. Those who adopt this commonly championed yet false case that abortion is no more important than other issues must be set straight, especially during a political campaign as monumental as this. Hip, trendy, and deliberately contra-Religious Right, the argument typically takes this form:

Abortion is a single-issue.
Single-issue politics is naive and wrong.
Therefore we should not vote based upon the abortion issue.

A severe problem for this argument lies in its assumption that single-issue politics is indeed wrong. Though combating slavery was unpopular in his day, William Wilberforce chose to devote the majority of his time, energy, and resources to passionately and successfully fight this one issue. Hardly a human being would claim that Wilberforce was politically irresponsible due to his functionally single-issue politics. Single-issue politics is not necessarily wrong; in fact, as Wilberforce's moral victory displayed, it can be a wise course of action. Therefore, this argument fails.

Moreover, it has become popular in the young evangelical community to "dethrone" the fight against abortion by trying to broaden what it means to be pro-life. For instance, many will claim that if a voter is primarily or even strongly concerned with the issue of abortion, then she can't possibly be equally concerned for the poor and the downtrodden. If she isn't equally concerned with the poor and the downtrodden, then she is not fully pro-life. Such uncritical disciples of the new left will sometimes adjust the argument by replacing the “poor and downtrodden” with "war". This anti-war version claims that those who oppose abortion but fail to oppose war are not fully pro-life. Both of these claims are untenable for these (but not only these) reasons:

1) Abortion is active murder of the defenseless and innocent. The poor and downtrodden should receive concern, sympathy and aid (from the private sector, I might add), but no one I am aware of has condoned their murder.

2) Abortion is active murder of the defenseless and innocent. War by contrast is intended to protect as many of the innocent as possible by solemnly fighting an enemy whose defining quality is hardly innocence.

Ergo, an issue hierarchy absolutely exists. Again, all issues do not carry equal weight. Despite the reality that a strong anti-abortion stance has recently fallen out of favor, such a position is still of utmost importance. To use Doug Groothuis’s coined term, fetus fatigue is no excuse for such an egregious lapse in judgement.

Barack Obama needs to be exposed for his tenaciously held, heinous positions, namely his fight and defeat of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act and his outspoken desire to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. While Christians should absolutely pursue civility in disagreement, morally atrocious policies such as these must be vigorously and unapologetically fought.

So, should McCain and Palin use the offensive strategy of negative campaigning? Absolutely. Isn’t this mudslinging? If the charges are true and pertinent, absolutely not. After all, sometimes it takes a pit bull to deal with a snake.

Please read Marjorie Dannenfelser's article on the need for the "politics of contrast."

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Response to Kathleen Parker Regarding Her Willingness to Throw Palin Under the Bus

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has been quite vocal recently about her growing distaste for Sarah Palin. She claims that while Palin has an encouraging story and some executive experience, she is "clearly out of her league".

"Out of her league?" Barack Obama has spent the majority of his time in the senate campaigning for President. Despite his single mindedness, Obama has rarely communicated a coherent or concrete policy during this time, especially when found without a teleprompter (this video is highly recommended). Joe Biden has also run for president, and is one to continually put his foot in his mouth along the way as Parker readily admits . So then, what exactly comprises this "league" that Palin is out of? A common theme within said league seems to be policy confusion, power gluttony, and rhetorical posturing with technically correct but practically bankrupt language. What is missing is a degree of consistency, character and practical common sense. In that case, to be "in the league" is not necessarily a good thing.

Palin has largely remained consistent on her own positions, which is a good explanation for her few moments of contradicting McCain (they are different people, after all). Obama and Biden flip flop on their issues with unrivaled frequency. Their degree of free-form waffling does not show a calculated change of position stemming from better information, but rather reveals a lack of any solid stance in the first place. Moreover, as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Antonio Gramsci- political monsters who Obama tends to emulate- lying about anything, even voting records, is acceptable if it is for the greater common good (whatever one deems that to be).

Parker also implies that the economic crisis has shown Palin to be a liability. This seems to be a slight overreaction to Palin's (as well as the majority of Washington's) apparent uncertainty. To be careful, even overly so, in stating one's position on such an extraordinarily complex situation is far better than being ill-informed and hasty! Further, Let us not make the mistake of believing that Obama and Biden somehow understand how the economy functions. Obama's plan to heavily tax the rich and give to the poor(er) will cause the rich, who are typically the suppliers of jobs, to lose so much money that they have to lay off multitudes of the supposedly protected middle class. Biden emphatically supports this. Obama's plan is only founded upon economic ignorance; it is a literal recipe for disaster.

I am uncertain what Parker's goal is in shining the spotlight on Palin's mistakes. Palin is not perfect, but what is Parker's proposed alternative? Is oratory everything? Does policy not make a difference? Does she realize that many conservative readers may flirt with abandoning the McCain/Palin ticket as a result of her unqualified criticism? Palin may have had some media-neophyte problems, such as being awkwardly cautious in her responses so as to avoid making a recorded mistake, but at least she does not seem to carry a dramatically elevated view of herself, and does not appear to compromise her own solidly grounded positions on a whim. Thus I say to Parker, let's certainly be honest about the candidates. But we should not seek honesty without the aid of common sense, for then we become strategically reckless.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul's Prayer for the Philippians

Philippians 1:9-12, NASB

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Islam: Religion of Peace?

Here is yet another horrific example of the deep rooted tradition of Muslim honor killings. A member of the Pakistani Parliament went on record in this brief article as saying: "these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them”.

Many would have us believe that radical Islam is an aberrant tradition within the larger, peaceful religion. This is false. Radical Islam is in fact true to the teachings of the Qur'an.

I am not arguing that Islam teaches honor killing, but only that honor killings do not seem to be inconsistent with the teachings or the spirit of Islam.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

All Hail Obama!

In response to the finale of Obama's historic speech upon the Barapolis*, I have felt the hope, been moved to change, and now recommend that as adequately respectful subjects, rather, citizens, we must begin learning the new anthem for the savior of America.

What can we glean from this ostentatious, emotionally charged thought vacuum?

We must move forward! (Away from Democracy!)
Redistribution of wealth! (Through coercive taxation!)
We must not reward lobbyists! (Suppress citizen concerns!)
Work is vital for Americans (As long as it is government sanctioned!)
I (Obama) could be the first black president! (Pursuit of history trumps job suitability!)
This has never been about me! (Yes it has!)

___________

* "Barapolis" is in reference to the structure resembling a Greek temple that gave a grandiose backdrop dripping with sanctimoniousness to this transcendentally smarmy candidate's acceptance speech.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Uneducated Graduates

It is not impossible for a student in today's university to wend his or her way through all of the requirements, ending in a blaze of glory and relief in the graduation ceremonies, without having received an education. This happens even in the best of universities. Somehow they manage to graduate students who have no mental connections with the past, little knowledge of its literature, less of its great thinkers, scant ability to think for themselves, and for whom the prospect of writing a research paper is a matter of great consternation.

-David Wells, No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology, page 3

Not only is this condition possible, it is tragically common. True critical thinking is dying, and with it goes a deep love of learning.

With the current deplorable condition of the university, human beings must learn how to be lifelong, independent learners!

How?

Indivuduals need to realize that true, rich learning must occur carefully, deliberately, thoughtfully, and patiently, without undue haste. To be governed by the influential trends and pace of culture is to forfeit one's mind to the dark and dangerous world of the blissfully uneducated.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Obama: A Rhetorically Gifted Liar?

Seems so. Here is an important article that suggests Obama and his aides may be doing more than avoiding any sort of stable or even mildly coherent platform in their campaign. They may actually be denying the past! May this infanticidal voting history never be swept under the rug. After all, it has been said that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior...

America, wake up!

For more on Obama, abortion, and Evangelicals, listen to Doug Groothuis on Gino Geraci's talk show today on Denver KRKS, 94.7 FM from 4:00-6:00 PM.

HT: The Point

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dead in Transgressions, Alive in Christ

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 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: 1-5, NIV)

Monday, July 7, 2008

(Relative) Blog Silence

I apologize to anyone possibly wondering why this blog has been so painfully slow as of late. The blog has simply taken a back seat to, among lesser things, my wedding, move to another city, sale of my current home, and interspersed writing and reading projects. Once the first three are completed, I hope to resume semi-regular posting once again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Countercultural!

He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favour than he who has a flattering tongue. (Proverbs 28:23, NIV)
Loving correction, especially in the form of a truth-loving rebuke, has found itself the target of much disdain in recent times, including within the community of believers. In the absence of correction, falsehood and sin prosper.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
(Proverbs 28:26, NIV)
How we are encouraged, even exhorted to believe in ourselves, our experiences, our thoughts! We find this popular philosophy penetrating our minds through messages on television, in magazines, on the Internet, and therefore, even within many churches (as they often utilize these mediums). This deplorable value is painfully wrong; reliance on the fallen human condition is futile and treacherous (see Jeremiah 17:9), and humanity's only unwavering foundation is in the saving knowledge of and reliance upon the everlasting Creator and Redeemer.

Scripture routinely displays this sort of countercultural curmudgeonliness (to use Doug Groothuis' definition of curmudgeon). Thus, we absolutely must consume the written Word of God frequently, "taking small bites and chewing slowly"*, lest we become beings of the erroneous opinion that the sole purpose of the Bible (and Christianity, for that matter) is to make humanity feel comfortable and content.

_______________________

*This is a saying of my friend and future wedding officiant, Pastor Jeff Miller

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Quest for False Humility: A Declaration of War on Thought

When normally defined, humility means being modest, slight in one's opinion of oneself, and bearing a certain perception of personal lowliness.

This word has recently and egregiously been hijacked.

In postmodern language (though many now recoil at the term "postmodern", preferring to be considered more post-postmodern [and so it goes, I suppose, ad nauseum, ad infinitum]), humility has undergone a metamorphosis.

Rather than dealing in the realm of introspection and view of oneself, humility has now been unjustly thrust upon the realm of ideas. Now, to have an opinion which one believes is universally and objectively true, and especially to voice that opinion, is considered arrogant. Appreciation of academic debates has therefore been dulled, or has even disappeared entirely (especially within the Church). Strong political and theological stances (especially if smelling, even faintly, of conservatism) are ridiculed for being absolutist and unyielding to individual differences, and truth claims in general are dismissed as reckless and supercilious statements. Confidence in knowledge and firmness in ideas have been tragically confused with personal pride, and thus are no longer welcome in the (especially younger) public square. These are the ways of the humble postmodern, post-truth, post-thinker.

Sporting its newly contrived franken-definition, "humility" has begun its nationwide tour to extinguish rational thought. Where there is a knowledge claim made, "humility" fires the dismissive charge of "arrogance" at the rebel thinker. Where there is an opinion that attempts to claim universality and objectivity, "humility" thrusts the painfully dull spear of relativism. "Humility"attempts to convince the masses that we absolutely cannot know the truth in any absolute sense, and that we must be "humble" at all costs, even if that cost is reason.

Even within the Church, being staunchly opinionated has become rather faux pas, as it is (falsely) seen as the antithesis of Biblical humility. While this is far from accurate (Paul, for one, argued for positions brilliantly and steadfastly), the Church has nevertheless adopted this truly unlivable and self-defeating philosophy which carries with it the stench of relativism. However, many defensively cry, "But we are not relativists! There is a truth out there, we just must not be so arrogant as to think it is knowable." This common defense is actually quite permeable; to deny the possibility of ever knowing truth that may be out there somewhere is to detach oneself from absolute truth, and leads only in the direction of relativism. Having cut the anchor of objectivity, these individuals' attempt at disassociating from relativism is futile. After all, one absolutely must believe something is knowable in order to have warrant to make an objective truth claim about it!

So, what is the modus operandi of the "humble" post-thinker?

1) Beliefs and opinions are private, personal, and should not be "shoved down anyone's throat".

2) Knowledge is subjective and emotion-based, because absolute truth either doesn't exist at all or is unknowable.

3) In conversation, to take an unyielding position is to be arrogant and is therefore to be avoided, lest the discussion begin to resemble a debate and someone should take offence.

4) Facts are of little importance, and we must realize that those we hear are only the records of the "winners". We must humble ourselves enough to give equal appreciation to all opinions, especially those of the "losers", as none are wrong or right; they are all unique.

Rather than perpetuate this popular and absurd philosophy that draws upon a misconstrual of humility, human beings need to passionately and zealously discuss and defend knowable truth if they intend to preserve a milieu of legitimate and intellectually solid exchange in the marketplace of ideas. Furthermore, they can and should do so by also pursuing authentic, Biblical humility in order to maintain necessary civility when speaking the truth in love.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Underestimation of Spiritual Warfare

Today I received news that a family friend had hung himself. This man, one of the most joyous and upbeat individuals one could imagine, was 55 years old, a committed Christian, and a psychologist. He left behind a wife and two wonderful daughters.

This is not only tragic, but processing through this startling and unsettling event has provoked thought. Naturally, there are the inevitable questions such as: Why did he do it? How dark of a state must he have been in to have actually follow through with this demented plan without first seeking aid?

However, apart from those questions that may never be answered, one thing is certain. Regardless of what he was experiencing that could have led him to make this decision, something had convinced him that it was too great a problem and burden for even the Creator and giver of life Himself to manage. This person was a believer, and even he was deceived into perilously abandoning hope in the Lord of the universe. It greatly pleases Satan to see a Christian fall, and even more so that in such a fall, other souls are stricken with confusion about an individual whose ministry they took very seriously. Many who knew him will likely ask themselves, if even this man reached a point of absolute despair, then how can his previous Biblical counsel be helpful or even true?

The forces of darkness are real, and they viciously and relentlessly attack children of God.

Christians: we are spiritual beings. Yes, we certainly need prayer, meditation, and fellowship with other believers, but we also desperately need to wake up and sensitize our souls to a truth that is often underestimated or even forgotten, the truth that spiritual warfare is in our midst, we are in battle all times, and that every single one of us is vulnerable. Ceaseless prayer, study, meditation, silence, solitude, fasting, and fellowship are not without reason; they allow us to put on the full armor of God.

While we may or may not fall into this degree of darkness and despair, the battle still rages on, inflicting many other types and degrees of casualties. Lament this reality, yet always realize that truly "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing."

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevaling.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabbaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

-Martin Luther

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Colson Commentary

Charles Colson had an excellent commentary today about what true conservatism means. I urge everyone to read it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Obama Leaves His Church: What Does This Tell Us?

In an effort to persuade the American public that he actually is not morally impoverished, Barack Obama has publicly parted ways with Trinity United Church of Christ. He had already rebuked the extreme racist comments of his dearly loved and respected pastor of twenty years, but he had not officially left the church itself until now. Now, the same Obama who previously claimed to be absent from the pews during Jeremiah Wright's more rancorous sermons is being heralded as faithfully present during his former membership by fellow attendees of the church.

Was he present during any of the infamous sermons (which allegedly were legion) or wasn't he? Did he approve of the controversy or didn't he? It seems the public is not going to get a straight answer out of Obama, thus one is left with no choice but to infer what seems to be obvious. Can one truly be a congregant who consistently attends a certain church and also be simultaneously unaware of the senior pastor's frequent sermons peppered with outbursts of well-known inflammatory opinions? This is highly unlikely (see a previous argument).

So, what can the public safely assume from the timing of this ecclesial exit? Contrary to what much of the media along with Obama himself would have you believe (that is, "poor Obama is having to finally part with his innocent and misunderstood church based on popular dissent"), it seems that the candidate is likely quitting Trinity not because it is the right thing to do (if he were governed by a strong moral compass, this split would have taken place years ago and out of the spotlight), but because the "hope pope" himself will do anything in his power to please his potential voters. If this is indeed the case, it is further confirmation that Obama stands firm for very little besides his desire to move into the White House.

A good, logical analysis of this situation can be found here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gay Marriage Allowed in California

Today, California announced the date on which gays and lesbians can marry members of the same sex. On June 17th, the illegitimate court decision will yield its depraved fruit. Here are two good reads on the topic: 1) Dinesh D'Souza on why this is a corrupt court decision, and 2) Frank Pastore on the logical reasons why same-sex marriage is a poor idea. Remember: Barack Obama supports this undermining of marriage.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Brief Thought

Many Christians believe that we can and should make the Word of God culturally relevant. However, due to its very nature, Christianity is countercultural to all cultures in all ages, and is also already highly relevant to the same. To act as if we can "make the Word relevant" is to falsely assume it has no living power, and further, it is to arrogantly claim that mere human beings have power over it. Instead, Christians must remain humbly but steadfastly faithful to the Word, and in doing so, speak the timeless and culturally transcendent truth in love to others(Ephesians 4:15).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Airport Assault on the Senses

Today as I sat down in the airport to wait until called to board the plane, my fiance and I were immediately faced with what became a most miserable thirty-five minutes of useless time. During this exceedingly unpalatable time span, there was no hope of salvaging productivity to any degree. What was the reason for an experience such as this?

The trouble was that a CNN talking head was "discussing" American Idol on a conspicuously placed, massive high-definition flat screen television, with the volume reaching decibels which my functionally deaf grandfather would have found troublesome. The screen was of such an imposing size that it was difficult to escape the flashing images, even when not looking directly at the gargantuan pixel machine. It was so loud that I could not even have a remotely intelligent conversation with Justin, as we could only wince at the offending noise and idiotic sound bytes that persisted in distracting us from coherent thought. Even worse, I could not read, as mental engagement of that sort was rendered impossible as well. So, we sat in near agony while trying to intelligibly communicate how invasive and inescapable public obnoxiousness is. However, our experience was somewhat softened by a brief five minute excursion to purchase a slice of sub-par pizza.

The "public" world has become a concentrated locus for forced and unsolicited overstimulation, while riding on the assumption that society does not need or want to truly concentrate on thinking anyway. This is a presumption that only leads to a destructive self-fulfilling prophecy: To act as if society has no desire to think will only prevent many from knowing that thought is not only possible, but also that engaging the intellect is a beautiful and necessary endeavor. High definition televisions tuned to useless and cheap shows will, in this case, continue to prevail over any attempt at depth when development of the latter is not nurtured and worship of the former is the norm. All the while, culture weakens and thins from the inside.

CU Recruiting Conservative Professors?

The University of Colorado at Boulder is presently discussing how to politically diversify their campus through the hiring of conservative professors. It seems as though Hell might be freezing over.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Importance of Accurate Theology

After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7, NET)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Christian Zeal

Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature-- which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted-- but which some believers feel more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called 'zealous' men...

A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies-- whether he has health, or whether he has sickness-- whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence--whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish-- whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise-- whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame-- for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it-- he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, work, and give money, he will cry, sigh, and pray... If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill (Exodus 17:9-13). If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of 'zeal' in religion.

-Bishop J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion, 1959 ed. p. 130 as quoted in J.I. Packer's Knowing God

* This excerpt applies equally to women.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Screwtape Letters Continue

Doug Groothuis, a veritable spring of literary luminosity, has written an excellent follow-up to a previous stellar post called Screwtape Writes Again: The Luciferian Laptop. I urge you (yes, both of you) to read these. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What the Current Generation of College Students Does Not Know But Needs To

A disclaimer for those who have a hyperbole detector dysfunction: Generalizations and exaggerations abound. If you cannot cognitively digest such devices, turn back now.

1) When you are in class, it is rude to talk when the professor is speaking. You whisper poorly, and others can still hear you. This is distracting.

2) In hallways and on sidewalks, do not walk and text-message at the same time. It forces others to maneuver intentionally so as to avoid you.

3) According to Jean Piaget, egocentricity sharply declines by late childhood. Do not act in ways that may disprove his theory such as talking loudly on your cell phone right outside of the open door of an occupied lecture hall. Consider other people.

3) Listen to instructions. Read your syllabus. These things are not given so you can later loudly complain that the professor never mentioned there was a paper due today or that you should not type it in 10 point font.

4) Believe it or not, you have classmates who do not care to hear about how "totally wasted" you were last weekend. This does not make you seem "cool". Rather, it makes you sound like an imbecile.

5) When you say you will be somewhere, follow through. Consistently arriving nonchalantly one hour late is not a wise modus operandi.

6) When you use words and phrases compulsively and without purpose such as "um", "like", "ya know", and that ridiculous sentence conclusion, "I know, right?", you waste time, sound, and air. It is painful to listen to you.

7) Do not use 21st century jargon such as "way huge", "totally cool", "super important", etc. in your papers. Not only does it grieve some of your peer reviewers, it would give your 4th grade English teacher a heart attack.

8) Seeing who can cram the most obscenities into a spoken sentence is not a competition. If it were, the only possible prize would be to lose any and all credibility with the reasonably articulate public.

9) "That is like, so f##*ed-up" is not a counterargument. If you have a problem with a claim, formulate a coherent and respectful objection in your mind before blurting out a discourse-killer such as the aforementioned verbal atrocity. If no such lucid objection can be constructed, then keep your mouth shut.

10) If you come in twenty minutes late to a class, don't climb over the entire note-taking public to reach front and center, only to loudly take off your backpack, jacket, and I-pod and to slam your skateboard on the floor.

11) You will likely increase your lifespan if you look up when crossing the road at a blind corner. It is much easier to stop walking than to slam on the brakes of a car going 30 mph. You may also actually lower the heart rates of area drivers.

12) When you drive like a maniac, it frightens people. A median is not something to be conquered in your Ford F-350 on monster-truck wheels. Furthermore, an icthus on the bumper does not grant you permission to drive 40 mph through the campus parking lots. In the same spirit of the above charge, you will allow area drivers to return to driving relatively peacefully.

13) The internet does not develop your social skills. Rather, it can turn you into an anonymous sniper with chronically undeveloped arguments. This obnoxious and rude style of interaction has a tendency to find its way into the three-dimensional world.

14) When someone at the front of the room starts talking, that is your cue to stop talking.

15) Your presentation was not greatly improved because you indiscriminately inserted transition words such as "however" and "therefore" where there was no such transition. Words have functions. They are not able to be placed anywhere.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yale Art Student Murders For Her Project

This atrocity absolutely had to be posted. Aliza Shvarts, a graduating Art major at Yale, is presenting a senior project which documents on video the process of the woman artificially inseminating herself repeatedly and then inducing miscarriages with drugs. This is not art, but gruesome murder. In addition to terminating human life for the sake of "art", another lamentable aspect of this abhorrent project is what the National Right to Life committee president stated: "She really has hit on a reality that what she has done is legal. Anything she chooses to do here can’t be stopped in terms of legality. And there are people fighting for her right to do this."

May the gravity of this detestable act deeply haunt Aliza Shvarts and any who support her. Christians: pray and mobilize, for the battle to protect prenatal human life must be vigorously fought.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Two Weeks of No Blogging

Due to a need to graduate, nothing will be posted for approximately two weeks. From now until April 24th, I will be firmly under the robotic thumb of the American Psychological Association style of writing, and therefore will not have time for this blog. There is a risk that I may emerge bearing the APA's thumbprint of immensely boring writing devoid of literary devices and strategically placed passive voice. We shall see.

A Message of Hope: The Obama Machine Is Starting to Rust

While Obama and Hillary continue to make headlines about poor word choices and intense mudslinging, John McCain is quietly acting rather presidential both in America and on foreign soil. Lets hope both sides can keep it up.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Christianity Is Not a Religion; Its a Relationship!

This statement refers to one of the more common catch phrases in Christian pop-culture. The words are not new, but a new meaning has been exchanged for the old. Preferred by a younger generation (mine), "Christianity is not a religion, its a relationship" persists as a favored response to various forms of the inquiry into what exactly Christianity is. It is dogmatically proclaimed, despite the proclaimers' typically accompanying dogmatic denouncement of all things dogmatic.

So, what does it mean? Originally, "Christianity is not a religion, its a relationship" (henceforth, CRR) was meant to highlight a prime example of why Christianity is so different from other world religions. That is, it is the only one providing salvation that is not by works but rather by grace. How has this changed? Due to the phrase's twenty-first century correlative relationship with Christianized postmodernism (I am not necessarily defending causation, here...), it tends to be paired with a worldview that resents authority and structure. The phrase often emerges in conversation whenever the discussion leans toward systematic theology, doctrine, etc. Conversation will frequently proceed as follows:

Person A: In my reading of Romans, I've been thinking that we really should be exposing churchgoers to sound doctrine by encouraging them to increase their Biblical literacy. What do you think?

Person B: You really need to remember that all doctrine does is make people cold to their relationship with God. Doctrine is religious. Christianity is not a religion; its a relationship!

Person A: But solid Biblical doctrine is is the framework for a Christian worldview. It is essential for knowing what we believe! Do you think the same thing about systematic theology?

Person B: All doctrine and systematic theology do is make people think that they can understand God. There's no loving relationship there. No one can understand God because he's so big, but we can love him and have a relationship with him!

In this context, CRR is used in conjunction with the claim that doctrine makes a relationship with God grow cold. These are frequently found together, even if the anti-doctrine claim is not explicitly stated (e.g. when CRR is a reaction against the mention of doctrine, etc.). Furthermore, systematic theology is cast aside as a worthless, futile attempt at knowing the "unknowable". To many who champion this phrase, religion is synonymous with "habituated, meaningless action governed by doctrine". Put differently, knowledge claims are considered arrogant, rigid pursuits of the "organized" Church. It is this perception which gives birth to such heated anti-doctrine, and leads people to say things such as "I love Jesus, but I hate the Church." One must ask, does the problem lie in the use of doctrine and systematic theology? Within the Church itself? Could the problem instead be in the heart of the human being rather than their adherence to Biblical truth?

In this belief that knowledge is unattainable and an arrogant pursuit, truth is affected because knowledge is a tool by which truth can be discerned. CRR has become an assault on truth as well as knowledge, and has created a false dichotomy by setting up an "either knowledge and adherence to truth OR a loving relationship" situation (of course, this is constructed under the assumption that no loving relationship could have possibly existed under "religious" conditions). When knowledge is eschewed, the desired relationship of these (often young) reactionaries is improbable and likely impossible. The postmodern CRR proclaimer has thus made (explicitly or implicitly) these claims for his or her faith:

1) God is completely mysterious, and we cannot ever understand him.
2) Knowledge is the opposite of a relationship, and if you think you know anything, your arrogance will keep you from a loving relationship with God.

In response, a few things must be considered. Beyond the obvious self-refutation at work here (the truth claims being stated as known fact), claim 1 is only a partial truth. True, God is mysterious and we will not in this world fully understand him. However, it does not follow that we can never understand anything of him, especially because he revealed what is necessary for humans to know about him through Scripture. Knowledge cannot be legitimately abandoned in this case.

In claim 2, knowledge and relationship are not antithetical. Rather, reciprocal relationship depends on knowledge. A friend of mine, Jeff Miller, has given as an example the following scenario: if he were to ask a man to tell him about his wife, the man would not be justified in saying "I don't really know much about my wife, but I don't need to. I just really, really love her!" Another example is that one cannot love chocolate ice cream without the knowledge of chocolate ice cream itself. So it is with our relationship with God. We cannot even begin to know how he loves us, or how to love him in return without understanding who he is, who we are, and what he has done for us. While knowledge can certainly be devoid of relationship, relationship cannot stand without knowledge.

Through its implicit (sometimes explicit) assumption that Christianity should be independent from systematization attempts through the uses of Biblical doctrine and systematic theology, CRR has become a convenient way to flee from the "burden of orthodoxy" into the warm, fuzzy land of unregulated emotion. Campaigners of CRR tend to desire that Christianity be freed from the "oppressive" constraints of "organized religion" in order to be purely felt and personalized. However, without doctrine, where would the theology of such a faith be limited? What god could one end up serving? The possibilities are truly limitless. Therefore, the phrase itself is not necessarily a problem, but beware of the worldview that favors it and has transformed its meaning.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 Reasons Why I Should Not Love Claude Debussy

1) Debussy's music is impressionistic in that through it he strived to convey a sense of ambiguity rather than realism, the shadowy impression of rather than a literal representation of reality.

2) Debussy is considered one of the fathers of modernist music, and is loved by (some) postmodern listeners due to his deconstructionist tendencies. (He broke the boundaries of classical timing, i.e. you cannot not play his music with a metronome.)

3) His music is meant to illicit deep emotion in the listener, bringing in colorful variation and vast free-flowing musical landscapes.

4) Debussy was French.

And yet, I somehow love Debussy. These reasons (apart from the inherent Frenchness) have provoked a search for a solid philosophy of music. Onward.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hymn 139

How oft have sin and Satan strove
To rend my soul from thee, my God!
But everlasting is thy love,
And Jesus seals it with his blood.

The oath and promise of the Lord
Join to confirm the wondrous grace;
Eternal power performs the word,
And fills all heav'n with endless praise.

Amidst temptations sharp and long,
My soul to this dear refuge flies;
Hope is my anchor, firm and strong,
While tempests blow and billows rise.

The gospel bears my spirit up;
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope
In oaths, and promises, and blood.

by Isaac Watts

See Hebrews 6:17-19

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Postmodernism T-Shirt

As I was leaving the CSU library today, I saw this printed on a T-shirt:

WHAT POSTMODERNISM MEANS:

What a thing means to you may not be what it means to me, or it may not even mean what we think it means at all. It is mean to exalt one meaning at the exclusion of all other possible meanings when it would be more meaningful to just take the mean of all possible meanings. Know what I mean?

This possesses just the right amount of meaninglessness! I found it amusing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bock on "Jesusanity"

Darrell Bock has written an interesting description of and warning against an aberrant, false version of Christianity that has become quite prevalent. Bock calls it "Jesusanity".

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What of Songs That Recognize Depravity and Exalt God's Grace?

This verse, beautiful, familiar, yet increasingly rare in churches, is from the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Churches' neglect of such hymns stems from the widespread unpopularity of such truths as depravity and vastly undeserved grace. Theological truth is often sacrificed for a catchy, new tune or for self-focused lyrics devoid of meaning. Even if a hymn or a more modern yet theologically sound song is sung in church, do people generally think on the significance of these words in any way?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A "Man" is Pregnant: Absurdity in the Media (GASP!)

A headline on ABC news' website reads "Oregon Man Says He's Pregnant". Unfortunately, at no point in the story does the reporter concede to the (rather obvious) reality that the "man", who "used to be a woman", has, in fact, remained a woman. The pregnant individual took testosterone treatments and had reconstructive surgery, but nevertheless, Thomas finds herself pregnant. It does not reflect well on society that this story is being quite seriously reported as "a man who is pregnant", and showcases the hideous excrescence of political correctness in the media that actively chokes out what is true.

*Update: the story has since removed 75% of its content (and added a strange picture), but still refers to Thomas as a man.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sola Amor, or "Love" Alone: An Emerging Gospel

A common complaint from both inside and outside the church is that the body of Christ is not adequately caring for the poor and downtrodden, that it is not "showing love" to the world. (This post will not deal with the legitimacy of such observations.) What happens when there is a perceived lack of caring and concern for "the least of these" (Mat 25:45, NET) within the church? Three reactions are possible. First, one may react by trying to sensitize the Church to the need for outreach, but without taking away from discipleship and sound, Biblical teaching. A second option is one of apathy, where there is simply little or no reaction. Third, the option that has morphed into an entire movement, is to overcorrect in the other direction, exalting love to a level even to the point of idolatry. Before the fleshing out of this third option, it would behoove critical onlookers to understand that while these perceptions may or may not be valid, a valid conclusion does not always follow from valid observations.

Although this movement might be well intentioned, it terribly misses the Biblical mark regarding love. Frequently, emergers and some who flirt with being rather emerging will cite "God is love" as their rally cry. This is true, as it is Biblical (1 John 4:8). However, many of the aforementioned persuasion will also cringe at the Biblical truth that God is righteous, holy, and just. Rather than embrace these attributes, they then create and live a modified theology of "God is only love", with a verbally silent but no less powerful "only". The word "only" is where the modified theology diverges from Biblical truth. Other equally true attributes of God fade into the background, or even disappear entirely. When this occurs, love as the one and only important attribute is exalted above all else, frequently even above the true God. Love then has become the entire message; it has become an idol.

When we decide that God is "more loving" than any other quality, we are engaging in a-Biblical, speculative theology. Despite its popularity in the postmodern church (and in sympathetic churches), speculative theology is precisely that: speculation. Due to its dependence on the fallible and wavering human mind, it is dangerous, leading us to contrived, false images of God. God as only love is one such contrived perception. The attributes and character of God are revealed to us through Scripture, and that which humans concoct about His character is powerless to affect what truly is.

According to the underlying assumptions of many emerging leaders, the goal of love seems to be to increase immediate happiness and well-being. Young Christians are buying into this mentality with reckless abandon, all the while proclaiming their hatred for the lack of love in "organized religion". Many wonder, "if it makes people happy and sounds good, what's the problem?" The problem lies in the fact that the Christian goal of being loving is far greater than the short-sighted ideal of "spreading happiness". Happiness may occur as a byproduct, but it may not. A pastor who is corrected in his consideration of a dangerous theology or philosophy of ministry by the board of elders is unlikely to "feel happy", yet if it is done in the spirit of loving correction, the elders are only correcting out of love for the pastor and love for the Church. Love is far broader and deeper than merely "providing and spreading happiness". Thus, the popular "emerging" vision of love is vastly incomplete in relationship to Biblical love, and is therefore incorrect.

"Emerging love" is not the "be-all and end-all" of Christianity. Admittedly, not all "emergers" believe this to be true, but the view is nevertheless pervasive. Many even assume that all you need to be an effective evangelist is to be loving. This might sound like a wonderful plan, except when you realize that there are exceptionally loving Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, and the like. Love is significant, certainly, but is not the whole story and cannot on its own determine truth value. The whole story requires the whole truth. In our churches we should not be content to exalt this "love" to idolatrous heights and to leave out the truth of God being simultaneously righteous, holy, and just simply because of how it makes the congregation feel. It is true but often ignored that we do not deserve His grace, and is true that He offers grace because He is also love and is merciful. Without a recognition of our depravity alongside His other qualities, love becomes a meaningless, utopian feeling. Preaching the "love gospel", however common, is doing an immense disservice to the church. When it is adopted, the forces of darkness leap for joy as they watch it render the message spiritually inept and devoid of eternal significance. Are we preaching this renegade and amputated version of "love" or are we telling and accepting the whole story?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Michael Behe to Speak in Fort Collins (Among Other Places)

Summitview Community Church in Fort Collins, CO is co-sponsoring two talks by Michael Behe. Quoted from the Summitview website: On Friday, April 18th, Dr. Behe will be speaking at 3:30PM at the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus. His topic will be "Darwinian Boundaries and the Evidence for Design." At 7PM he will speak at Timberline Church on the topic of "The Edge of Evolution/The Limits of Design."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Reminder from Romans:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how fathomless his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36, NET

A Jeffersonian Firearm Consideration

Gun ownership and the second amendment have become rather hot-button issues, particularly in light of vicious, monstrous, and highly publicized shootings as well as the current Supreme Court case. The question looms large, tending to touch many a raw nerve: do individuals truly have the right to bear arms, and if so, should that right be limited or even revoked? Does the right to bear arms aid the nefarious, or protect the innocent? One influential thinker and founding father, Thomas Jefferson, gives us much to go on in our ponderings of second amendment rights, such as considerations of the collective versus the individual, natural law and natural rights. Jefferson's ethic consistently assumes that the primary duty of the government is to secure the natural rights of its citizens; though he warns that when left unchecked, any government would eventually try to force its will on its citizens regardless of their natural rights, and therefore supports the right to rebel when those rights are violated. Further, the Jeffersonian implication here seems to be that responsible citizens have the collective right and duty to fix a government that shows a pattern of despotism, by force if absolutely necessary. In a spirited letter to James Madison in 1787, Jefferson said, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”

Here is where firearms come into play. Jefferson logically concluded that if any government became truly totalitarian, in other words possessed too much power, then the citizens under that government would have absolutely no chance to defend themselves or to reinstate the republic if they had been previously and strategically disarmed. It is for these reasons primarily that I will argue that in the second amendment, Thomas Jefferson clearly intended to preserve the individual’s right to bear arms.

The second amendment to the Constitution states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Some argue that this amendment addresses a collective right to bear arms only as part of a “well regulated Militia”. Given the context, this is a false assumption. Jefferson actually stated in a notation to the Virginia Constitution “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements).” Jefferson did not state that “no freeman shall be debarred the use of arms within a militia”. Rather, individual rights were assumed.

During America’s infancy, a commonly held definition of militia was a group of able-bodied private citizens who differed in vocation from a professional soldier. Without the participating individuals, there is no militia. At the time, any use of the word “militia” assumed the recognition of individual, private entities within it. Furthermore, if the national government or other governing body removes direct access to and only dispenses arms as needed to a militia, then the very definition of militia has been changed to that of a military.

Jefferson’s vision to empower the citizens to protect their country from a totalitarian regime also extends to protection from each other. Some lament the very creation and existence of guns due to violence that has occurred when they have fallen into the hands of the mentally or emotionally disturbed. However, the fact remains that firearms were created, and most of the founding fathers in addition to Jefferson recognized that the most effective way to control “bad people” with guns is to also allow “good people” likewise to have guns. One may wonder if during tragic campus shootings, how many lives might have been saved if a well trained concealed-carry permit holder was in the area. However, interlocutors must understand that this in no way justifies a hyperactive, paranoid trigger-finger. After all, Jefferson said in a 1796 letter to George Washington, “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”

According to many who advocate restrictive gun-control laws, enacting such control will theoretically prevent people who wish to harm others from gaining access to firearms. History has shown this to be naïve, revealing that malicious individuals will seek out various other ways to harm victims or will illegally come by firearms regardless. It is also worth considering that in crimes involving guns, the offender commonly is already in possession of the gun illegally. If citizens are revoked of their right to bear arms, it will only limit gun access to those who fully intend to abide by the law. Those who attained guns illegally before the hypothetical law change will simply continue their insidious activities. Their actions cannot become more illegal. Therefore, we as a society must ask ourselves, who are we truly hurting through such proposed laws and revisions?

Keeping in harmony with Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin made this wise comment in 1759: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama Pleads Ignorance

Barack Obama has publicly denounced the racist, hate-mongering comments of his black-power-and-liberation-theology-spouting pastor. According to Obama, he did not know that Rev. Wright believed these things, and claims that if he had heard a sermon such as the ones circulating the media, he would have felt very uncomfortable at the church. This tells us something about Obama.

Either:

A. Obama is incredibly dense and after 20 years of devotion to the church and pastor, remained genuinely in the dark about the passionate tirades frequently given by Rev. Wright.

OR

B. The Obama and Jeremiah Wright love fest was a "marriage of convenience" to assure the American public that Obama was indeed a Christian, and Obama either never or rarely attended the church.

OR

C. Obama was fully aware of Jeremiah's radical bombasts, and now that they have surfaced in public, is attempting to plead ignorance in order to remain the "sugar pill of hope" for America. Obama is, after all, the same man who refused to wear a flag pin after 9/11, and who refuses to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance.

We may never know. However, we can conclude that Obama is either devoid of discernment and/or perceptiveness (bad for a president), slept through all of Jeremiah Wright's sermons (this also does not bode well; presidents need attention spans), or is a slick and highly deceptive politician (code for blatant liar).

Weather Channel Founder Brings the Heat

John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel, is suing Al Gore for fraudulent pontificating in the area of supposed "Global Warming". No longer affiliated with TWC, Coleman also rightly laments the direction that the network has taken in "telling us what to think" rather than reporting the weather. For example, TWC meteorologist Heidi Cullen has remarked that any meteorologist who doubts Global Warming should have their certification revoked. This is television. At least there will finally be media attention drawn to the members of the scientific community who are Global Warming skeptics.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On Listening

Doug Groothuis has posted an extremely well written and meaty essay called A Short Theology of Listening which is a must-read.

The Numbers Driven Church

What is a megachurch? Saddleback Church, Willow Creek and especially Joel Osteen's mothership, Lakewood, are some that are brought to mind as obvious examples. According to Forbes.com, Saddleback, the smallest of these listed, had a 2003 attendance estimate of 15,030. These and churches like them easily fit the label of "megachurch".

But what about smaller churches? The same article in Forbes defines a megachurch as any church with an attendance of 2,000 or more. What about a church with 1500 people? 1000 people? Is there more to the definition than the hard line of 2000 attendees? Even a church with 1000 people can grow to the 2000, so is "megachurch" a philosophy that this church may have always possessed, or does the church automatically become a megachurch once it hits 2000 attendees?

I submit that "megachurch" is a label which does not only belong affixed to churches that are overflowing with masses of attendees, but that it also applies to any church whose leadership becomes governed by the idea that the numbers of attendees are what determine its success. Therefore, perhaps a rather long, but practical definition of "megachurch" is: "Any church in which the leadership orient their goals towards accommodation of the masses in order to bring in more people. Expansion is key, and in the eyes of the leadership, the numbers are the direct and predominant meter of success. This can be seen in churches which display either a monolithic leap in the direction of wishful growth, forfeiting attention to other areas within a healthy church, or in churches that still pay attention to these other areas (i.e. rich, challenging sermons, long time member and spiritual development programs, etc.), but the quality of said areas is beginning to wane due to time, energy, and funds being hyper-focused on outreach and growth."

A vital question arises: is being a "numbers driven" megachurch a good thing? Philosophies (in this case philosophies of ministry) have consequences, and the implementation of any idea will produce winners and losers. What is gained in a megachurch orientation is namely outreach; what can be easily lost is discipleship. The great commission was: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Mat 28:19, NET, emphasis mine). Many insert evangelize for make disciples, even though the former term is better placed in the second imperative of the commission. These are two very different concepts. Evangelism deals with spreading the Gospel and the act of conversion, and beyond that, the entire spiritual person must be brought up in the faith through study and discipleship. Too often Christians live out the tragic mentality of "just bring them in and leave them to go get more". True; we must evangelize in order to have any potential disciples, and for that reason evangelism is of massive importance, but the former should not stand without great attention to the latter. Without helping believers to mature through discipleship of the entire spiritual person, what "church" are we bringing new believers into? We must be wary that we are not building a house of cards which may tower above other things and be rapidly growing, but when any wind comes at all it will be blown apart.

If a goal of the church is to raise up and mature the whole Christian within a community of like minded people, then a common manifestation of the megachurch, the "seeker sensitive" church, may not be doing its job. While evangelistic outreach and nurturing of the present flock are not mutually exclusive and should both be present, a church which mimics many (much needed) parachurch ministries every Sunday because of its "seeker sensitive" nature is almost certainly neglecting its body. Pastor Jeff Miller said that while parachurch ministries have the luxury of selecting and catering to a specific, target group, it is not a luxury churches share.

When we gear our churches towards seekers and growth, who are we losing? Further, what are we losing? Do we believe that we are evangelizing but in reality are merely entertaining the masses? As Spurgeon's sermon was so wisely titled, are we "Feeding the Sheep or Amusing the Goats?" These are questions many might be wise to ponder. Jeff Miller has said that we should pursue "faithfulness over effectiveness". In other words, the question should be not "are we growing", but "are we remaining faithful to God's Word". Numbers can truly become an idol.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Some "changes" we can count on if we begin calling Obama "Mr. President"

John Hawkins has written a list of the "Top Nine "Changes" Barack Obama Would Make as President", and because they are grounded in Barack's strikingly consistent but brief stint in the Senate, the predicted "changes" have a phenomenally strong likelihood of coming to fruition.

As Hawkins cites in his article, "All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward." -- Ellen Glasgow

Here is an excellent excerpt before you read the rest of the article-

If you boil Obama's appeal down to its essential core, most of his supporters seem to like him because he's a relatively young, charismatic, black man who talks a lot about "change," "unity," and the "audacity of hope."

But, what does that tell you about how Obama would behave if he gets into office? Very, very little. After all, pretty much anybody, from Napoleon, to Fidel Castro, to Mickey Mouse could run on a platform of "hope," "change," and "unity" because it's so broad and meaningless.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"What Does The Bible Mean to You?"

Many Christians today find themselves infatuated with a dangerous way of thought when approaching the study of Scripture, one which attacks and atrophies the perception of the truth within Scripture (of course, truth itself remains unaffected). An apathetic attitude towards the existence of the absolute and even a mindset that we cannot truly know anything for certain provide prime soil for this noxious weed to grow. Frequently, this study method reeking of the cultural assault on truth is summed up in one popular self-directed question: "What does this passage mean to me?"

This little question and all of its similar manifestations (e.g. "I like to think of Jesus as _____, so he didn't mean that") pose a gargantuan problem. Concession to postmodernism in varying degrees is the seed for questions such as these, and as a consequence, the absolute authority of God's Word is reduced to a set of moldable musings, bendable to the whims and "gut feelings" of the reader, and thus the value of an absolutely, objectively true meaning of a passage is placed far below that of one's emotion and experience. To the reader for whom emotion and experience rule, perhaps this truth does not even exist at all. Brian McLaren claims that those under 55 do not have the luxury of opposing postmodernism. Correct; opposition to postmodernism is no luxury. However, McLaren's claim is quite false, as it is the Christian's duty to oppose even the seemingly harmless seeds of such thought.

God's Word is timeless. God's Truth remains regardless of how we feel about it. As Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn said, initially "truth is seldom sweet; it is almost invariably bitter". However, he went on to write grand allegories about the joy experienced by those who embraced the truth, a joy that transcends mere pleasure and happiness, a joy that persists deep in the soul whether "peace like a river attendeth" or "when sorrows like sea billows roll", as the old Spafford hymn says. This prevailing joy is the hope of eternity with the triune Creator, Redeemer and Lord; it is the knowledge of the only universal, objective, absolute, beautiful truth. How we feel about what God's written Word says will always be a reaction to rather than a source of truth, despite how greatly we delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. How foolish it is when Christians deny the existence of the solid Rock that they stand upon in favor of reliance upon themselves as a wavering and fallible source of truth.

When reading and studying Scripture, please do not ask the worthless question "what does this passage mean to me?". Instead, ask yourself "what does this passage say, and what do I need to do or change about myself to understand and accept it?". The truth of God's Word exists independently of how we recieve it or if we understand. Truth is knowable, or there would be no reason to pursue it. In short, Truth IS.

Colson to debate the place of religion in politics

"On March 6 in Richmond, Virginia, the National Discussion and Debate Series will examine the role of religion in the public square. Four participants will have one hour to debate the proposed resolution: "Religion should have no place in politics or government."
Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Jacques Berlinerblau, Associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, will speak in favor of the resolution. Chuck Colson, Founder of Prison Fellowship, and Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor of Hope Christian Church, will argue against it. Evan Thomas, Editor at Large of Newsweek, will moderate the debate.
The event will be webcast live on this site [at 7 p.m. Eastern], and broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. Check your local listings for details.
-- Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia"

Monday, March 3, 2008

One more reason the Beijing Olympics are disgusting

The People's Republic of China is once again proven to be a massive misnomer, as nothing about the country even begins to resemble a Republic.

Charles Colson puts it well in this BreakPoint commentary: "China's human-rights record is abysmal—from forced abortions, to persecuting Christians and other people of faith, to clamping down on free speech, to supporting a government that has committed genocide in Darfur." Now, the Chinese Olympic committee is issuing an enforceable gag order on the athletes if they hear of or see any evidence of human rights abuse.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Wisdom From Norman Geisler

1) "We must know truth to recognize error."

2) "Those who don't study true philosophy will be swallowed by false philosophy."

3) "The Word of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else" is ultimate Truth.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Krauthammer on Obama

Charles Krauthammer sums up the hollow but rhetorically appealing nature of Obama's campaign in an excellent and well-informed commentary, here. It is a read that is especially worth your time if you are ambivalent towards or even supportive of Obama.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Slow Blog

I apologize about the slow nature of this blog lately, as I had the flu for about a week. Because of this, I am now behind in classes and have a great deal due this week. Therefore, the blog will likely be very slow for about another week!

Monday, February 11, 2008

PETA Does it Again--This Time While Attempting to Traumatize Kids

Warning: the critical thinking on this post is a bit unsophisticated. My reaction at this time is simply disgust, as illness is keeping the brain power (such as it is) to a minimum.

PETA once again shamlessly demonizes people who buy dogs from responsible, reputable breeders. This is intended to air during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, when incoincidentally, families including children will be watching. Please watch it, but if you have kids who are anything like I was at 8 or 9 (a very sensitive animal-lover), do not let them see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26IDg3JZI0&eurl=http://thepoint.breakpoint.org/

HT: The Point

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Forging Ahead Regardless of What Ought Not Be Done

A group of entrepreneurial biologists has announced that they have replicated the DNA of a bacterium. They claim that this feat brings them close to creating an artificial life form, apparently while ignoring a critical question: "should we?"

In a speech to Calvin College in 1998 (according to the YouTube date), Neil Postman asked his audience to consider certain questions before accepting a new technology (of which biotechnology is a part). He first implored us to ask, "What is the problem to which this technology is the solution?" Then, upon discerning the problem, we are to ask whose problem is it? According to Postman, this question is intended to provoke determination of who will benefit from the solution to the alleged problem and who will pay for it. He did, in fact, assert that "new technologies always produce winners and losers" (emphasis mine).

Among the last of his questions is that of an analysis of motive. Postman asks, "What sort of people and institutions acquire special economic and political power because of [this] technological change?" After all, "America's greatest radicals have always been our entrepreneurs", warns Postman, and "citizens should keep an attentive eye on such people". His point is likely not one of anti-capitalism, but is simply that motive is an important consideration because it can give us a clue as to the degree which the far-reaching consequences have or have not been considered.

While Postman's system of questions does not deal explicitly with morality, an argument of this type nevertheless begs consideration. An ethical dilemma is not always purely moral, as it can have logical and pragmatic red flags raised as well. This does not diminish the importance of the moral argument; it merely adds more branches to evaluate.

There are always long term consequences for short-term decisions, and it does not follow that something necessarily should be done merely because it can be done. We must therefore be slow to accept the latest trend or technology, and quick to be critical of enthusiastically heralded "advancements". Society is frequently tempted to let the many promises of a new technology cloud any judgement, but new technologies must instead be approached with the understanding that great risk and potential loss may far outweigh any proclaimed gains.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wedding Musings

This is a bit different from the kind of thing I usually post because it is very personal. This entry may prove to show you how truly neurotic I am, but nevertheless, here it is.

I am supposed to be planning a wedding. Make no mistake; I am excited to be married, especially because my fiancé is also my best friend and (earthly) confidant. However, the modern concept of the wedding ceremony is a difficult one for me to embrace (acceptance is unlikely to happen), and my alternative ideal is more difficult yet to convey to others.

In weddings of today, it is expected that the bride will strive to make her wedding the most perfect day she can, and will be a "princess for a day" (or, heaven forbid, fall prey to the "sexy bride" trend). Much to my chagrin, that image of the bride dominates the bridal magazines and websites. Ugh.

I have no desire to be a "princess" any day. First, I am not wooed by an illusory, romanticized Utopian fairyland. It seems cheap and delusional. Second, I am fully aware of being hugely imperfect, as well as of the imperfection of the world. Therefore, why would I try to expend excess energy on a futile attempt at a perfect day? Perfect days do not exist, therefore such a bride is merely setting herself up for dissappointment. Why not just try to make it pleasant and accomodating to guests who mean a huge deal to us, and save the energy for spending quality time with those people?

What excites me about the wedding ceremony and reception is sharing our union before God with people who are close to our hearts. It is not about us, and especially not about me (I may not come out of hiding if it were). It is about people gathering together to celebrate the union that God has brought together so that the couple can go forth and serve Him. Therefore, the focus of the wedding should be on God, not people. That is what I hope this wedding will be, not some cheap (though not monetarily) and frilly bride-centric day.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Perhaps Oil Is Not a Fossil Fuel...

In an age where humans are demonized for pillaging the earth and robbing it of resources such as fossil fuel, this article reveals an interesting discovery which does not support the theory (not hard fact, mind you) that oil is a limited and ancient resource comprised of decaying, prehistoric, carbon-based matter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pesky Apostrophe's-- In the Spirit Of the Aforementioned Video

Has anyone else noticed that many individual's wield apostrophe's carelessly? When writing about Eddies car, people just don't know that because the car belong's to Eddie, Eddie is awarded an apostrophe preceding the 's'! Peer reviewing paper's in a 300 level class is disheartening in this regard, due to the constant smudging of the distinction between possessive and plural. I just cant' read any more papers which do'nt know where to put the apostrophe in a contraction, either. Misuse of apostrophe's has stripped the beauty from the English language, making they're appearance in inopportune places, along with incorrect form's of "their". There correct usage has tragically become rarer, making college paper's painful to red.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Totally Like Whatever"

Slam poet Taylor Mali performs an excellent piece describing the deplorable state of language in postmodern society, or to use his words, "the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along since...you know, a long time ago!"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MacArthur On the State Of the Church

Bible teaching, even in the best of venues today, has been deliberately dumbed-down, made as broad and as shallow as possible, oversimplified, adapted to the lowest common denominator-- and then tailored to appeal to people with short attention spans. Sermons are almost always brief, simplistic, overlaid with as many references to pop culture as possible, and laden with anecdotes and illustrations. (Jokes and funny stories drawn from personal experience are favored over cross-references and analogies borrowed from scripture itself.) Typical sermon topics are heavily weighted in favor of man-centered issues (such as personal relationships, successful living, self-esteem, how-to lists, and so on) --to the exclusion of the many Christ-exalting doctrinal themes of Scripture.

In other words, what most contemporary preachers do is virtually the opposite of what Paul was describing when he said he sought "to declare...the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27)….

....By contrast, today's church-growth experts seem to have *no* confidence in Scripture's power. They are convinced the gospel needs to be "contextualized", streamlined, and revamped anew for every generation. Forty years of that approach has left evangelicals grossly untaught, wholly unprepared to defend the truth, and almost entirely unaware of how much is at stake. The evangelical movement itself has become a monstrosity, its vast size and visibility belying its almost total spiritual failure. One thing is certain: the cumbersome movement that most people today would label "evangelical" is populated with large numbers of people who are on the wrong side in the Truth War.


Excerpt from pages 166-167 of The Truth War by John MacArthur

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Universanity: A Weekend Apologetics Conference

On January 25th and 26th, Dayspring Center for Christian Studies will hold an apologetics conference at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Fort Collins. The featured speaker will be Dr. Douglas Geivett, Professor of Philosophy at Biola University, and the cost for the entire event is free. Friday evening begins at 6 PM and Saturday's events will begin at 8:30 AM. Dr. Geivett will be speaking both days. More information can be found at Dayspring's website here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everyone's Going Green; You Should, Too!

America is "going green". Biodiesel, natural fabrics, and even hemp clothing have become popular. National heroes, however temporary, often have one thing in common: a concern for the environment. "Sally is our person of the month. She is 40, beautiful, a pilates guru, and she lives a green lifestyle." Thus, Sally is catapulted to a position of honor and respect, all for going along with the green ideology. Never mind that she may be thrice divorced, uses marijuana, and can't articulate a single thought. Sally has gone green; therefore we are to idolize her.

The driving force behind the green movement, the theory of Global Warming, was recently dubbed “Climate Change” in order to become inclusive of the dizzyingly frequent "global coolings". Interesting.

It has become apparent that many climatologists are far from reaching a consensus on this issue. In this article, Dr. Tim Ball, formerly of The University of Winnepeg, explains his position as one of a surprising number of "climate change" skeptics.

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification.

Why then is there such a massive uproar among scientists, you may ask? Dr. Ball replies with an interesting statement from a Global Cooling scare of 1976.

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. "It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species."

This grave warning sounds terribly familiar, except that it is within the context of an impending chill.

We also must consider that the science of climatology has only been in functional existence since the beginning of the 19th century, around the same time the Little Ice Age came to an end. The science hasn't been around long enough to properly gather and compare data for the environmental conditions of centuries past. Further, the starting point of modern climatology is significant, in that it began toward the end of that extreme cold snap of small size. In order for any Ice Age, big or little, to come to an end, there is an implied WARMING that must take place.

It may behoove us to ask ourselves if we are reacting to mere speculation in a way that could negatively alter the economy (or our sanity). Personally, I would answer an emphatic "yes". I am not suggesting that we do not care for our environment, nor am I suggesting that we deliberately throw a candy wrapper on the ground in front of someone selling biodegradable clothing. However, if one is a Christian and yet is bending over backwards "for the sake of the earth", that person should ponder what is demanding their time, energy and thought. Is it the Creator or creation? Please choose wisely.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

-Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An "Emerging" Hard Liquor Tolerance

A church in Charlotte, N.C. has in an episode of poor judgement decided to use shot glasses with the church slogan printed on them as a misguided marketing ploy (read about it here). The glasses exhort drinkers to "Give us a shot". On the same glasses, the church is then defined as "real church for real people". How is a church outreach supposed to ultimately aid in someones life change if there is absolutely nothing to change to?

Some may argue that because alcohol isn't wrong to consume that this ploy isn't wrong. I then ask those glassware advertisement sympathisers to consider what a shot glass is used for. Typically, people don't sip socially out of a shot glass. On the contrary, most throw back hard liquor for either pure drunken entertainment or as an escapist act. The wine connoisseur and the hard liquor drinker typically are not at the same bar.

In the very brief article, the pastor of this emerging detachment from truth said that "he is confident that it will be controversial, but he said the goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church. He said it's to impress people who don't". The Gospel never was and never will be about "impressing people". Having such a goal tends to morph the message beyond recognition to fit the societal needs. Once the message has been taken out of the offensive constraints of orthodoxy, it is set "free" only to be constrained again by the emerging mentality of "whatever, just as long as we're loving". Perpetuating the emerging church untruth that one need only the gospel of "whatever suits you" to oddly remain the same, this "outreach" is yet another example of an emerging church which is painfully missing every bit of the point. The broadside of the (metaphorical) barn even remains unscathed. You can call it creative, but do not call it Christian.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Be an Uncompromising Fanatic- Wisdom From G.K. Chesterton

For Our Titanic purposes of faith and revolution, what we need is not the cold acceptance of the world as a compromise, but some way in which we can heartily hate and heartily love it. We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent. We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre's castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening.

No one doubts that an ordinary man can get on with this world: but we demand not strength enough to get on with it, but with strength enough to get it on. Can he hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it is worth changing? Can he look up at its colossal good without once feeling acquiescence? Can he look up at colossal evil without once feeling despair? Can he, in short, be at once not only a pessimist and optimist, but a fanatical pessimist and a fanatical optimist? Is he enough of a pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it? In this combination, I maintain, is the rational optimist who fails, the irrational optimist who succeeds. He is ready to smash the whole universe for the sake of itself.

Excerpt from chapter V of Chesterton's Orthodoxy