Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Hearty Protestant Heritage

So determinedly faithful were the early Scotch-Irish [Presbyterian Settlers] it was said that when the crops failed and the food was short, they could live off the shorter catechism.

-George Grant, in a lecture on Gideon Blackburn at the 2000 History Conference

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Arrows in the Hand of a Mighty Warrior

When you bring your kids up, you are protecting them for a time, not protecting them forever. You are protecting them for a time in just the same way that you protect your soldiers in boot camp while you're training them. But you don't move them from boot camp to a safer location. What you do is you train your soldiers in order to put them in harm's way. Where's the sound of battle? You want to instinctively move in that direction not the other direction. You want them to be able to handle what's thrown at them.
This is the rule of thumb. You say, 'When is my child ready to take on the secularists in the secular institution?... the workforce or at a secular [school] college or grad school ... when are they ready to do this?'
The answer is: they are ready to do it when someone who knows them and knows the instutution recognizes that WHEN THEY GO THERE, THEY ARE GOING TO DO MORE DAMAGE TO THE INSTITUTION THAN THE INSTITUTION IS GOING TO DO TO THEM.
It's not sufficient to say, 'I think we can send them there and they will survive.' Survival is not the point. This is a war. The point of a war is not to survive the war. The point of a war is to win the war.
So what you want to do is to say: 'If our graduates go to this place, will they be equipped to handle everything that's thrown at them and will they throw some things back that the institution itself will not be equipped to handle.'
-Douglas Wilson, What is a Christian Worldview?, ACCS Conference 2007

Strategy: Capture the Robes, the rest will follow

... American liberals adopted a culture-wide offensive strategy after 1865, a long-term strategy of institutional infiltration and capture. Three institutions were the primary targets of this strategy: the college, the judiciary, and the Church. I have called this strategy capturing the robes. These three institutions have long possessed enormous influence in American life. All three are marked publicly by the wearing of black robes on formal occasions. Robes were the medieval world’s mark of judicial sovereignty.
... These groups did everything they could to capture the leadership of each group, in order to mold public opinion. They have been remarkably successful in their efforts.
We might also call this process "capturing the minds." It is incorrect to say that a man is what he eats. It is also incorrect to say that a man is what he owns. No, a man is what he thinks, what he truly believes in. Shape his thinking, and you can manipulate the man. Shape the thinking of the spokesmen of the activist minority in any society, and you can manipulate that society (within shifting limits historically, of course). ...
The liberals’ strategy has worked exceptionally well. They have captured the nation.

-Historian Gary North on the 'liberalizing' of the Presbyterian Church and the entire culture

A Thanksgiving Poem

No Children!
Edgar Guest

No children in the house to play--

It must be hard to live that way!

I wonder what the people do

When night comes on and the work is through,

With no glad little folks to shout,

No eager feet to race about,

No youthful tongues to chatter on

About the joy that's been and gone?

The house might be a castle fine,

But what a lonely place to dine!

No children in the house at all,

No fingermarks upon the wall,

No corner where the toys are piled--

Sure indication of a child.

No little lips to breathe the prayer

That God shall keep you in His care,

No glad caress and welcome sweet

When night returns you to your street;

No little lips a kiss to give--

Oh, what a lonely way to live!

No children in the house! I fear

We could not stand it half a year.

What would we talk about at night,

Plan for and work with all our might,

Hold common dreams about and find

True union of heart and mind,

If we two had no greater care

Than what we both should eat and wear?

We never knew love's brightest flame

Until the day the baby came.

And now we could not get along

Without their laughter and their song.

Joy is not bottled on a shelf,

It cannot feed upon itself,

And even love, if it shall wear,

Must find its happiness in care;

Dull we'd become of mind and speech

Had we no little ones to teach.

No children in the house to play!

Oh, we could never live that way!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sap to Syrup

Jeremy S. Begbie does a wonderful job of discussing the dangers of sentimentality and modern evangelical fascination with it. Begbie writes that these deficiencies include the misrepresentation of reality by the evasion or trivialization of evil, emotional self-indulgence, and the avoidance of appropriate costly action. “The sentimentalist loves and hates, grieves or pities not for the sake of the other but for the sake of enjoying love, hate, grief or pity.” (51)
This is the cruel side of sentimentality in that the anger over injustice does not result in action to right the injustice. The pictures of children starving in Africa may evoke pity or concern, but if it does not provoke action, then the felt pity becomes more important than the very real human needs.
Sentimentality creeps into the music of worship as well. As Begbie writes, “In a quite proper concern for intimacy with God through Jesus, reality can be misrepresented…⎯if sin is evaded and trivialized, God is shorn of his freedom and disruptive judgment and taken hostage to my emotional requirements.” (57) Music that is “a direct and unadorned expression of love, with music that is metrically regular, harmonically warm and reassuring, easily accessible and singable” (56) may have a place is worship; however, much of this music in its sentimentality is “isolated from other dimensions of relating to God."
Devotion to Jesus, after all, entails being changed into his likeness by the Spirit⎯a costly and painful process.” (56) The result of neglecting to embrace the broader and deeper theology of the need for the sacrifice of Christ can easily leave us with “a Jesuology that has no room for Jesus as the incarnate Son of the Father, even less room for the wide range of the Spirit’s ministries, and encourages us to tug Jesus into the vortex of our self-defined (emotional) need.” (56)
-Greg Wilbur in his review of the book pictured above

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Poetic Incite

by Steve Turner

This is the creed I have written on behalf of all us.

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy is OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything is getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something
in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man
just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher
although we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same--
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end,
if the dead have lied,
then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links
between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find
the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.
We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.

"Chance" a post-script

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One FLEW Out of the Cuckoo's Nest

"The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us (all creatures great and small) and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight—that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether."
-Daniel C Dennett - Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Things

Foolish Folk like Dan Dennett have yet another reason to place their hand over their mouth, and this one comes out of the middle of their very own ideological camp - not three years ago, Anthony Flew, the world's foremost philosophical atheist, publicly recanted his atheism for a vague but strong form of deistic theism. After a lifetime of truth suppression he's relented, having lost the strength to continue the schizophrenic resistance of omnipresent evidences, but still has miles to go before he sleeps. Keep him in your prayers. Here's excerpts from an interview w/ him last week []:

Q: In your"two decade migration," as you call it, God was the conclusion of a rather long argument, then. But wasn't there a point in the "argument" where you found yourself suddenly surprised by the realization that "There is a God" after all? So that, in some sense, you really did "hear a Voice that says" in the evidence itself " 'Can you hear me now?'"

Flew: There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe.

The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological [relating to essence or being] and not chemical.

The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion. ... I would add that Dawkins is selective to the point of dishonesty when he cites the views of scientists on the philosophical implications of the scientific data. ...

I accept the God of Aristotle who shares all the attributes you cite. Like C.S. Lewis I believe that God is a person but not the sort of person with whom you can have a talk. It is the ultimate being, the Creator of the Universe.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Supressing the Truth in Unrighteousness 101

"The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father didn't believe in God, and so he had no hang-ups about souls. I see ourselves as products of evolution, which itself is a great mystery."
-Dr. James Watson

From Falling Sparrows to Spawling Pharaohs

Hello Friends - would you please keep me in prayer. I am currently studying to present a Sunday School series on the Providence of God for the adult class in our church. As one who aspires to enter the ministry, this is a necessary step and a somewhat intimidating one. I covet your prayers and will keep you posted as the time draws near. God is blessing in the preparations so far, but I also need prayer regarding the delivery. I am prone to quite a bit of nervousness, even after years of public speaking. As I'm currently waiting on my job assignment for work, please also pray that practically, God would provide a great job situation so that I am able to devote myself to my family and the pursuit of the ministry more fully - rather than a stress-tank position that would drain me and detract from both. Many Thanks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Watson VS. Sharpton: UFC 80?

Watson and Crick are the legendary duo who won fame and fortune for discovering the double helix structure of the DNA molecule. Crick died in 2004, but Watson is alive and kicking ... when his feet aren't in his mouth.

In a recent personal interview, Dr. James Watson provoked intense international outrage by saying that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours -- whereas all the testing says not really."

In today's world, the notion of racial equality is accepted as a sacred dogma, but the good Dr. doesn't let that stop him from noting that: “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.

He then gets to the point: “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so”.
He asserts that social pressures to be politically correct have hindered mainstream science from recognizing some races as superior to others. Finally, he predicts that within a decade, we'll be forced to acknowledge this in the face of data from genetic research.

Man am I glad to see this in the press! This guy is like the poster child for the evolutionary worldview... well, okay, maybe more like the great grandfather of it. But he has done us all the favor of STATING THE OBVIOUS. RACIAL BIGOTRY IS AN UNAVOIDABLE CONSEQUENT OF EVOLUTIONARY TEACHING. This is a monumental cultural contradiction that no one seems to want to face, but it's a simple historical fact and has been obvious since the very beginning. Let's not forget that Darwinism arose out of the same late-Victorian, racist, imperialistic Europe that birthed a certain chubby, little baby Adolf. This is Darwin's dirty little secret.

To quote the man himself [The Descent of Man, chapter 6]:

'At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.'
-Charlie D. [Darwin... not Daniels - shorter beard, better fiddler]

Next up, the famous Scopes 'Monkey' Trial of 1925. This case involved a substitute teacher allegedly indoctrinating students with the noble precepts of evolutionary biology. It is lauded today as a milestone of American justice, though the teacher lost the case, he is championed as a martyr of scientific truth. How about a quote from the 1914 Hunter's Civic Biology textbook he taught from [pg 196 in the original]:

"At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man…the Ethiopian or Negro type…the Malay or brown race…the American Indian…the Mongolian or yellow race…and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America." [emphasis added]

Doesn't it make you sick? But Hunter or Watson say this stuff, not because they are being clouded by their prejudices, but because they are being honest, objective and logical. They are reasoning soundly and consistently from the cosmogenical premises we as a society have accepted [10 cent word of the day]. As the late Greg Bahnsen would say, when you hear men like this make such comments, just respond by asking them to repeat what they've said more loudly and directly into the microphone.

Actual human dignity can only be derived from the fact that persons of every race possess God's image because Jesus Christ has made them so.

But will he hire a Postmodern Attorney?

This morning the AP reported that the famous 'postmodern' architect Frank Gehry is being sued by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] regarding 'design flaws in the Stata Center', one of his most 'celebrated' postmodern creations.

'The school asserts that the center, completed in spring 2004, has persistent leaks, drainage problems and mold growing on its brick exterior. It says accumulations of snow and ice have fallen dangerously from window boxes and other areas of its roofs, blocking emergency exits and causing damage.' On top of all this, it's ugly enough to make a vulture puke.

Postmodern art seeks to break all the rules and represent the chaos of reality. In archecture, it does so with stairs that lead nowhere, unopenable doors, upsidedown walls, that sort of stuff. On this project Gehry was paid a cool $15 mil to design a building that would reflect a world where, we are told, design is impossible and reflection is absurd. Probably not the best idea on a campus brimming with the world's top engineers. Yes, we laughed during construction and the laughter has returned. Why do the heathen rage?

I guess in his worldview, lawyers provide a social form of natural selection. I wonder how much more it will take to drive hardcore postmodern architecture into extinction as unfit? I was looking forward to seeing what Gehry Designs would come up with in collaboration with NASA or Honda or Winchester, even. Wouldn't it be exciting to see a new line of postmodernJohn Deere riding mowers and weed trimmers?

Oh well ... guess you can't make up the rules as you go. Maybe those of us who still believe in aesthetic absolutes aren't as thick as we seem. Maybe there is something still to be said for tradition. Now, about worship music ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Straight shooting from Michael Horton

When asked What does your movement, speaking generally, fail to see that it ought to see? Michael Horton answers, "I think we have failed to see that emotional summer-camp experiences cannot sustain a robust faith through the trials of real life. So, ironically, while Evangelicalism celebrates reaching the lost, it is losing the reached. He continues. "The gospel is never an 'of course.' it is always surprising, counterintuitive, even offensive--even to life-long Christians. Taking the gospel for granted or confusing it with our own political, social, moral, and cultural campaigns is seriously weakening the church's life and testimony today."