1:00 PM "When chaos shows its head," Radetski said, "we need an anchor for our faith. You need that rock that God promises to be. I consider it an honor to fulfill their request." Thank God for our chaplains.
8:30 AM I was asked yesterday what we as a nation can actually do to stop abortion. Here are a few suggestions from David Brownlow:
We should all mourn for the 44,000,000 children that have been murdered in the abortion holocaust since 1973. And we should all beg God that He would have mercy on our nation for what we have allowed to happen, since it is our own government that is the chief sponsor and protector of the legalized child killing industry - leaving all of us with the stain of this innocent blood on our hands.
We now know one thing for sure, the carnage will not stop with the compromises and false promises made by insincere politicians. Thirty years of endless talk has proved that. Congress has the authority to end abortion tomorrow by defining the 5th Amendment "person" to include unborn American persons - and there is nothing the courts could do about it! Why do our "pro-life" leaders refuse to even talk about this?Congress could also throw a major wrench into the works of the death peddlers by invoking Article 3, Section 2 provisions in the Constitution to overturn Roe vs. Wade. The inaction of our "pro-life" leaders in Congress can either mean they have no intention of taking even the slightest political risk to end the slaughter, or they really do not think the killing of an innocent child is that big a deal.When bloodthirsty madmen drove those planes into our buildings and killed 3,000 Americans, we knew exactly how to respond. How do we stand by and watch the slaughter of 3,800 Americans every single day by men just as bloodthirsty, and just as mad, and not have the same outrage?We need leaders who will fight for the lives of our precious children. We need leaders who will not compromise and who will never back down!
Brownlow also has some perceptive comments on the partial birth abortion scam. Yes, this issue is a hill on which to die, as Baptist pastor John Piper has also noted:
Now this set me to pondering the rights of the unborn. An eight-week-old human fetus has a beating heart, an EKG, brain waves, thumb-sucking, pain sensitivity, finger-grasping, and genetic humanity, but under our present laws is not a human person with rights under the 14th Amendment, which says that "no state shall deprive any person of life . . . without due process of law." Well, I wondered, if the unborn do not qualify as persons, it seems that they could at least qualify as animals, say a dog, or at least a cat. Could we not at least charge abortion clinics with cruelty to animals under Statute 343.2, subdivision 7? Why is it legal to "maim, mutilate and kill" a pain-sensitive unborn human being but not an animal?
These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil-even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.
Dr. John Piper is a one-issue voter. If you're not, why not?
6:45 AM The pollsters and pundits have been busy lately. On the Wall Street Journal's opinion site last week, Peggy Noonan insisted that recent polls indicate Americans love Bush: "They can tell that George W. Bush is looking out for America." She stressed his "popularity continues high." According to the latest Gallup/CNN/Time poll, 56 percent have a favorable opinion of Bush, compared to 42 percent who had an unfavorable one. But just three months ago, 65 percent had a favorable opinion of Bush, while 35 percent were unfavorable. That's a 16-point shift away from Bush already in 2004. Fox News recorded a 21-point swing in the favorable/unfavorable category since January. And in the latest Zogby International poll, the president's favorable rating was just 53 percent, the lowest ever. All of which raises questions about Bush's vulnerability in the fall campaign.
Earlier this year I asked:
Can the Constitution Party’s candidate win this year’s presidential election? Many people say that’s impossible. I disagree.
In the first place, the party’s message of “God, Family, Republic” is resonating more and more with voters who are disenchanted with both the Democrats and the Republicans. Which other national party takes a consistent stand both forthe U.S. Constitution and against such unconstitutional actions as President Bush’s undeclared “wars,” his failure to ban RU-486 or to speak out against abortion, his “compassionate” policies toward illegal immigration, and his abhorrent treatment of civil liberties through the misnamed Patriot Act?
Moreover, the Constitution Party is already the nation’s third largest political party in terms of actual voter registration. It has due-paying party members in nearly all 50 states. And, I predict, it will continue to grow as the election gets closer, due to the fact that other third-party alternatives are far fewer than four years ago. As Howard Phillips, founder of the Constitution Party, has noted, this year there is no Perot or Buchanan or Keyes or Bauer to siphon off votes like there was in the 2000 presidential race.
If the trends noted above continue, Bush's "popularity" will continue to plummet, perhaps even making him unelectable. Time will tell, but a third party candidacy is making more and more sense in this volatile year of politics-as-unusual. Above all, it is a time for national repentance. As I speak in churches across the nation I have reiterated continually that when nations turn their back on God their fate is clear: "The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17).
6:30 AM The latest Freedom Watch contains this classic quote by former Sen. Barry Goldwater, a Republican conservative:
I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
How far we have fallen - and yet what a tremendous opportunity, I believe, for all true conservatives to take an uncompromising stand for God and the Constitution this election cycle.
Thursday, April 29
1:35 PM Bernard Goldberg's Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News is a good reminder of why I refuse to get my news from TV.
1:29 PM Last night I read the story of Jessica Lynch and was reminded of the words of John Chrysostom (AD 344-407):
O ye subverters of all decency, who use men, as if they were women, and lead out women to war, as if they were men! This is the work of the devil, to subvert and confound all things, to overleap the boundaries that have been appointed from the beginning, and remove those which God has set to nature. For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to man the conduct of public affairs. But you reduce the head to the feet, and raise the feet to the head. You suffer women to bear arms, and are not ashamed.
If you need to explore this area in greater detail, please see my essay "Women in Combat: Still a Bad Idea" as well as the numerous links on this excellent page compiled by Michael Marlowe.
12:27 PM Political machinations are nothing new in the GOP, but the president's support of a pro-aborticide, pro-sodomy Republican Senator in Pennsylvania over a pro-life candidate reaches a new low. Does anyone really think that Specter is going to go to bat for Bush after receiving such undeserved support? Such political cowardice is mind-boggling. Tomorrow I will post more on this subject, which will dog the Republicans all the way to the November polls.
8:25 AM Joseph Farah on just how "conservative" Republicans are in Pennsylvania. Truth be told, those of us who voted for Bush in 2000 didn't leave the Republican Party; the Republican Party left us.
If the Republican Party really stood for principle, its members would refuse to seat someone like Specter. He doesn't uphold the Constitution as he swears under oath to do. He aids in its deconstruction. He gives cover to the immoral Democrats in their unseemly attacks on people like Bork and Clarence Thomas and any other judicial nominee not in lockstep with the American Civil Liberties Union.The Republicans are so determined to hang on to control of the Senate in November's election that they've lost control of their own party's soul.
8:23 AM Another good reason to live in Virginia. (Hat tip to Pieter at Deux Ego. By the way, Pieter: You and your family are welcome to stay on our farm while y'all are looking for your new home in the Old Dominion state.)
7:45 AM Yet another response to my essay "Suffer the Little Children":
Dear Dave:I like your blog/website more and more every day, and all the more with your recent article on children in church. Our (Christian Reformed) Church (http://www.familyoffaithchurch.org/) was founded on the vision that the nurture of children in the faith was the responsibility of parents (done daily, in the home) and not to be done by surrogates on Sunday morning. The result has been going from a few families meeting in a garage to a congregation of over 250 meeting in a building designed to hold less than that in an essentially program-free environment (no sunday school, no nursery, no age-segregated meetings, etc.). It's amazing how strong the reaction against such a simple idea as children in the church can be, but I'm thankful I'm hearing such an "outrageous" idea more often.God Bless,Russ
If you have a moment, you might take a look at the Family of Faith website mentioned above.
7:02 AM Douglas Southall Freeman's biography of Robert E. Lee is perhaps the finest treatment of the character and military genius of that great Southern gentleman. While I prefer reading the hardcopy version, an electronic version is also available, free of charge,here. It is my privilege from time to time to speak on Lee in schools and clubs. I usually give my talk, "How Tall Was Robert E. Lee?" In ten lifetimes I could never be the man he was, but his example, I believe, is one we can all aspire to.
Wednesday, April 28
12:45 PM Fox News is running an interview it had with Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore. Don't be surprised to see the CP candidates (Peroutka/Baldwin) getting more such attention from the mainstream media in the very near future.
9:07 AM A few more Hunley funeral pics from Charleston (Pvt. Black - the bearded feller - is dead center in second photo from left):
8:35 AM Just came across this disturbing report about SBC membership/attendance statistics. Most troubling, perhaps, are these stats: (1) of 16.5 million members, less than 6 million regularly attend primary worship on Sunday mornings; and (2) more than 10,000 SBC churches didn't baptize a single person last year. In an essay entitled "Deadly Evangelism," SBC pastor Tom Ascol has noted:
[Roy Edgemon's] address at the 1991 Louisiana Baptist Convention Evangelism Conference revealed some alarming trends. After lamenting the fact that only 50% of those who are identified as Southern Baptists can be described (even in the most charitable sense) as "active" members, Edgemon stated, "We are losing more people out the back door than any time in the history of our denomination." Further, he cited the results of research which indicates that "in 1980 Southern Baptists had to baptize 2.6 persons to gain one resident member. Five years later they had to baptize 7.4 persons to gain one resident member. In 1989 we had to baptize 19.8 to get one resident member."
The diminishing correlation between our baptism statistics and genuine church growth has become increasingly obvious even without the stark revelations of research analysis. The Sunday School Board reports that over the last several years Southern Baptists have added 35,000 members a year while watching their "non-resident inactive" roll swell by 55,000 a year. For some reason it seems that those we reach and bring into our churches are more likely to fall away than to persevere. Why is this?
The truth is that there is no such thing as "inactive" church membership according to the New Testament. I don't have the solution to this problem, but Ascol may be right: perhaps we are more interested in decisions than discipleship. Let us remember that pastors are teachers, that all things are to be done for edification (1 Cor 14:26), and that discipleship is every bit as important as evangelism.
7:50 AM This Sunday I have the privilege of kicking off a series of messages at Front Street Baptist Church in Roxboro, NC. The schedule is as follows:
- Sunday Morning: Dave Black
- Sunday Night: Logan Carson
- Monday Night: J.D. Greear
- Tuesday Night: Alvin Reid
- Wednesday: Danny Franks
If you are interested in attending any of these services please contact pastor Lance Murphy for times and location at email@example.com.
7:05 AM Now THIS is interesting: a Republican telling Republicans on a Republican website why it's foolish to continue to vote for Republicans like Bush and Specter (who just defeated Pat Toomey in the PA primary):
Incumbent "Republican" Senator Arlen Specter, an unabashed opponent of virtually every facet of conservatism, now finds himself in a tight race against State Senator Pat Toomey, who has steadfastly championed conservatism throughout his political life. Yet for all his devotion to principle, Toomey has been virtually abandoned by conservative organizations such as the College Republicans. President Bush is actively supporting Specter, along with conservative "lightning rod" Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania's junior Senator.
6:50 AM I've been meaning to subscribe for a long time, but finally took the plunge today. Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos are stirring up the establishment like no publication has done in some time, and that alone is worth the subscription price. If you are unfamiliar with The American Conservative, it deserves a look-see.
Tuesday, April 27
1:05 AM When I heard the news today that Pastor Chuck Baldwin will officially be Michael Peroutka's running mate on the Constitution Party ticket I immediately fell upon my knees in praise and adoration and thanksgiving to God. If man can influence history, he can influence it for evil as well as for good. The Bible says that God created history - in contrast to what Eastern religions teach - and that history is real and significant. I believe that this is a truly historic moment in our nation's life. My joy is in seeing many who have come to the end of themselves and of all human solutions to our cultural problems and who seek to return to the old paths under the aegis of the Sacred Scriptures and the U.S. Constitution. Tomorrow I will have more to say about this, but for now, heartiest congratulations to you, Pastor Baldwin, and to the Constitution Party. In multos annos!
8:24 AM The Biblical Studies Foundation posted this interesting essay on marriage and the husband's role specifically. It contains sound teaching on the kind of selective, sacrificial, and servant love a husband must express toward his wife. Here's the conclusion:
Paul’s teaching to both husbands and wives should cause us to be very discerning about the content of the “how-to” books on marriage. Paul’s teaching on marriage is not like the teaching of most marriage manuals. Most books on marriage are based on this kind of motivation: “How can I have a successful, happy, and fulfilling marriage?” The Bible starts with a very different motivation: “What is God’s purpose for marriage, and how can my conduct as a husband or wife fulfill this purpose and thus bring glory to God?”
7:13 AM A reader sent the following response to my essay “Suffer the Little Children”:
Where other than the common practice implied, do we see an imperative in scripture for children worshipping with adults? The common practice was also to recline at the Lord’s Supper, and stand during worship, but this is not an imperative practice for today. How do I build a bridge from the common practice to the imperative when it comes to this issue with children?
I’m grateful that this brother raised this issue. It gives me an opportunity to address an extremely crucial question for modern church reform that deserves a careful answer. Contrary to what the reader might think, those like myself who are calling for a return to New Testament ecclesiology are not asking Christians to implement practices that were clearly cultural (e.g., using candles in our meetings, wearing tunics or sandals, writing on parchment, etc.). Neither are we exalting first-century Christianity (the early churches had many problems as exemplified by the Corinthians and the Galatians), except where a distinctive apostolic pattern is established.
However, it is an absurdity to think that only those things that are directly commanded in the New Testament should be practiced by our churches. For instance, since there is no direct command in the New Testament to meet on Sunday, should we meet on Mondays? Since no passage commands us to meet weekly, should we meet every other month (incidentally, this would “technically” fulfill the command in Heb.10:25)? Since there is no command to observe the Lord’s Supper weekly, should we do it once a year? Since there is no explicit command that every church have a plurality of elders, should we install one man as our sole leader?
A great Southern Baptist theologian, J.L. Dagg, in his Manual of Church Order, spoke directly to this issue of direct command (and its absence) in matters of church practice. Please read what he said prayerfully and carefully.
It must be admitted, that the Scriptures contain very little in the form of direct precept relating to the order and government of churches. But we have no right to require that everything designed for our instruction in duty, should be made known to us only in the way of direct command. Judicious parents give much instruction to their children by example; and this mode of instruction is often more intelligible and more useful than precept. It was made the duty of the apostles to teach their converts whatsoever Christ had commanded, and to set the churches in order. If, instead of leaving dry precepts to serve for our guidance, they have taught us, by example, how to organize and govern churches, we have no right to reject their instruction, and captiously insist that nothing but positive command shall bind us. Instead of choosing to walk in a way of our devising, we should take pleasure to walk in the footsteps of those holy men from whom we have received the word of life. The actions of a wise father deserve to be imitated by his children, even when there is no evidence that he intended to instruct them by his example. We revere the apostles, as men inspired with the wisdom which is from above; and respect for the Spirit by which they were led, should induce us to prefer their modes of organization and government to such as our inferior wisdom might suggest. But the apostles designed that their modes of procedure should be adopted and continued. Paul commended the church at Corinth, because they had kept the ordinances as he had delivered them. Some things which needed further regulation, he promised to set in order when he came, evidently implying that there was an order which ought to be established. Titus, whom he had instructed, he left in Crete, to ordain elders in every city, and to set in order the things that were wanting. To Timothy, he said: “The things which thou hast heard of me, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also”[2 Tim.2:2]. As matters of church order formed a part of of his own care and action, and a part of what he had committed to Titus, so we must believe that they formed a part of that instruction which he had given to Timothy, to be transmitted by him to other faithful men, and by them to their successors . . . We arrive, therefore, at the conclusion that, whatever the apostles taught, whether by precept or example, had the authority, not only of the Holy Spirit by which they were guided into all truth, but also of their Lord who had commissioned them (pp.84-86).
Dagg’s conclusion is well-supported by numerous New Testament texts that point to the vital importance of apostolic precept:
“I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me” (1 Cor.4:16)
“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor.11:1-2; cf. v.16; 14:33)
“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe closely those who walkaccording to the pattern you have in us” (Phil.3:17)
“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil.4:9)
“You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thess.1:6-7)
“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you weretaught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us” (2 Thess.2:15)
The point is this: the church should be continually reformed by the criteria of God’s Word – that is, the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). But it does not seem possible to me to be truly faithful to the apostles when we hold firmly to their orthodoxy but hold loosely (or not at all) to their orthopraxy.
Robert Saucy, my good friend and former colleague at Talbot School of Theology in California, wrote a classic text on the church called The Church in God’s Program. In it he has written (pp. 7-8):
The chaos over the church today stems from the disengagement of its leaders from the Lord of the church and His patterns of church life. Perplexing questions as to the nature of the church, the role of the ministry, and the very purpose of the existence of the church can be answered only by a return to the origins of the church in the Word of its Lord. Progress in the church comes not from advancing beyond the biblical patterns but from building squarely upon them.
To which I say, Amen!
Monday, April 26
12:30 PM Just received this insightful response to my essay "Suffer the Little Children":
Dear Dr. Black,
Your article reminded me of the little backwoods Missionary Baptist church where I went as a child and came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't think we ever heard of such a thing as children's church or nursery. I do remember a preacher once, when an infant began to cry, proclaiming that if he could not preach over a child crying, then he should leave the pulpit!
So much of what children are exposed to in church today are stories about the Bible, in lieu of the Bible. Entertainment seems to be the rule of the day, rather than teaching them "line upon line, precept upon precept". And still we wonder why so few are excited about knowing and following King Jesus!
I could not agree more. Nowhere in the Bible are young children removed from their parents for biblical teaching. The same thing is true for teenagers. Where fathers are delinquent in their responsibility, churches should not focus on the un-taught children but on the delinquent fathers. I say this as a former youth pastor in Hawaii, who has come to the conviction that the flaws and dangers inherent within youth groups far outweigh whatever benefits they might provide.
10:23 AM What do the ACLU, the Episcopal Church USA, Planned Parenthood of America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the National Organization for Women, and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society all have in common?
10:20 AM This day in history:
"For the Furtherance of so noble a Work...in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God."
Thus the words of the first English settlers in America, who landed in Virginia on April 26, 1607.
9:47 AM Just two weeks to go to the 140th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, May 7-9 at historic Belvedere Plantation near Fredericksburg. If you live near the event I hope you can attend. And be sure to introduce yourself to us. Just look for the 30th North Carolina Troops (Army of Northern Virginia camp).
9:30 AM Mark Dankof's latest essay tackles the tough questions of war, empire, Iraq and the Middle East, the 2004 election, and the coming demise of the neoconservative movement. An excerpt:
Pundits of American domestic political developments and their counterparts in Middle Eastern political analysis will duly note that smoldering resentment of George W. Bush's preemptive war in Iraq is about to burst into open flames in the Presidential campaign in the United States. The evidence is everywhere this week. And the most interesting aspect of this burgeoning crisis is one either missed or deliberately ignored by Corporate Media in the United States--the revolt against King George comes not simply from Left and Middle, but in a renewed ideological struggle within the American Right over its identifiable heart and soul.
Read more here.
7:45 AM My essay "One Christian's Case Against George Bush" elicited this response from a reader in New Jersey:
Dear Dave,I recently became by default the County representative for the NJ Constitution Party. I had been a 31 year loyal Republican but finally had the epiphany. Doing the same thing won't yield different results. Your article on why Christians shouldn't vote for George Bush is a HUGE in a concise sort of way work. It affirmed what I already knew and added a lot that I didn't know. Thanks again.
Thank you, sir, for stepping up to the plate (even if you feel it was by default). I will keep you in my prayers.
Saturday, April 24
7:35 PM Sheldon Richman shows how 9/11 could have been prevented.
7:30 PM A few months ago I began a class in Norfolk that met at the First Baptist Church's excellent facilities. Today that class came to an end. After my final lecture (it just happened to be on the number 666 in Revelation 13) each of my students shared with the rest of the class an overview of the term papers they wrote, and they did an absolutely fantastic job. Topics ran the gamut - from eldership in the church, to the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper, to the home church movement, to the seeker-sensitive model (come and see) versus biblical evangelism (go and tell), to the "contextualized" church on the mission field (written by a young man who has already served as a missionary in Asia for two years), to worship music and styles. I had a blast doing the class and will miss these young men and women. Thanks to all for your excellent notebooks, term papers, and Christ-like attitudes, and best to you as you write your final exam in the following weeks. I look forward to reading (and grading) them. Finally, special thanks to Sandy Alberson of FBC Norfolk for his assistance in setting up the room each month, fetching and/or copying materials for the class, providing me with a write-board and pens, and, in general, just being a great guy with a servant's heart.
Friday, April 23
9:30 AM A reminder that our chapel messages are available at our seminary's website. I would especially encourage you to listen to Dr. Akin's excellent exposition of Philippians 2:1-11 for a resounding call to unity and humility in the Body of Christ. You will be blessed and challenged!
Thursday, April 22
9:45 AM Miscellany: Our 2005 Reformation Tour package is almost complete (pending final pricing); hope to post it shortly...off to Norfolk this weekend to finish up my New Testament Introduction class with some really great students; their papers have to deal with any aspect of ecclesiology from the epistles; I expect some good treatises...my sabbatical for the fall was approved by the seminary's Board of Trustees...after preaching in Wylliesburg (VA) last night I met a Farrier who "just happened" to be in attendance; I had been looking for a horse shoer who works in Southside Virginia for weeks...had a good showing at our home near Oxford (as my wife likes to say, "It'll sell when it sells")...we are gearing up for our next reenactment - the 140th Spotsylvania; should be gobs of fun...off to chapel!
9:10 AM Once again the Bush administration is boasting about its pro-life position. In a recent speech to the National Right to Life Committee, Dick Cheney said, "It doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, male or female, black or white, ... north or south, east or west, all that matters is your respect for the claim of every life." The facts, of course, belie this claim, as David Brownlow notes in reference to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban:
The "ban" that was signed into law is a pathetic, watered down fraud that is highly unlikely to save even a single life. Check out my commentary on this. Fortunately, the final bill removed the glowing Roe vs. Wade endorsement(which in March of 2003, in an historic betrayal, forty eight Republican Senators voted to approve) that was included in the original Senate version. Unfortunately, the final bill has no teeth and would more appropriately be called: The "targeting coordinates to legally kill a child in the final inches of the birth canal," bill.
Now that the "ban" has been passed, and we protect less than 1/10 of 1% (if any at all) of abortion victims, there are still 3,800 other, equally precious children being murdered every day. Where are the cries from our "pro-life" President and Congressmen to protect those innocent lives? (Where is the cry from the church?)
8:40 AM Revelation - the Musical.
8:29 AM Bush's befuddled responses to questions at his recent news conference are costing the Republicrats.
8:15 AM Lutheran pastor and good friend Mark Dankof wrote this response to Joseph Farah of WND. The establishment drones won't want you to consider what Mark has to say - which is precisely why you should read this letter.
World Net Daily
Joe--I read WND each day and enjoyed your article today entitled Why Kerry Will Win. Like you, this prospect terrifies me, yet I am simultaneously encouraged that you had the courage to print your non-support for Bush this time out.
At the same time, I am disappointed and disturbed that you state you "don't have a dog in this hunt." There is a dog in the hunt for any thinking conservative this time around. It is Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party (www.Peroutka2004.com).My letter to Ron Holland of Dixie Daily News on this subject was re-posted today by Dave Black On-Line and Breaking All the Rules. It is posted for you below. It is my hope that you will read it and ponder the arguments made.
I hope World Net Daily and The American Conservative will finally come forth this year with a forthright rejection of the Republican Establishment. Buchanan's piece for you today on Bush's Outsourcing of Foreign Policy was a great piece, but it needs to be followed with a forthright endorsement of Peroutka. The hour is late. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. Take the risk--and the only honorable alternative. It is Peroutka. Now. Today.
7:45 AM Here are a few pictures my wife took at the Hunley funeral in Charleston last Saturday (click to enlarge):
Wednesday, April 21
12:33 PM A letter from the Peroutka Campaign website indicates growing support for constitutional principles in America:
Dear Mr. Peroutka,
It is my fervent prayer that one day I shall be able to call you Mr. President.
I have never registered as anything other than an independent before because no party affiliation was in line with what I believe to be God's plan or purpose for this nation as it was founded over 200 years ago. I am grateful to have a candidate I can vote for with 100% confidence. Sir, this is the first time I have ever contacted a candidate, donated to a campaign or posted signs on our vehicles or in our yard, left materials for others to read and display concerning your candidacy and felt confident that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob was primary in his/her life.
I know God is in full control. I trust Him and His purposes for this outcome, completely, regardless of who is elected. I wanted you to know this blood-bought believer in Jesus Christ is holding you up in prayer, trusting in God to enable you to have the strength to see it through and praying for you to be a light for Christ in an otherwise altogeter dark election field of choices.
May you continue to be blessed. May God be honored and glorified through you. And may this nation once again be called blessed because God reigns here.
I shall pray for God to allow you the victory in November.
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9
Thank you for your time and convictions,
9:20 AM Robert Sheer says Bush broke the "Pottery Barn" rule: you own what you break.
8:25 AM Deja vu all over again.
Johnson poured U.S. forces into Vietnam in an ultimately failed war in which 58,000 American troops were killed.
8:00 AM Today is Secretary's Day. The secretary in our quad of offices deserves much more than the card and hanging fern I gave her today. My secretary is as competent, considerate, gracious, and efficient as any assistant I've had in 27 years of teaching. Hat's off to Mrs. Keith on this her special day.
Tuesday, April 20
9:02 AM "Alle Welt schaut auf Spanien." ("The whole world is looking at Spain.") Thus beginsthis interesting essay about the "Zapatero effect" in today's Die Zeit. No doubt about it: the Empire is engendering more chaos than it anticipated. Today Honduras,tomorrow the world, including GB? Stay tuned....
8:25 AM Prayer of David Brainerd, born this day in 1718:
Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful.
8:22 AM Quandary for GOP-ers?
8:02 AM Constitutionalist and libertarian pundit Harry Browne has someobservations on what it means to live in a "free" society. Read it and weep.
7:30 AM Just received this:
I came across your website and am finding it to be a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much! By the way, I noticed you have NRA as a link but not GOA. Are you not familiar with Gun owners of America? They are Christian, and conservative, much more so than the NRA. www.gunowners.org
Thanks, Bryan. The GOA link has been added.
6:48 AM Once again, some good news on the pro-life scene. I've just been informed that from May 10 - 21, 2004, Missionaries to the Preborn will travel to various cities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. At each stop, the missionaries will line the streets with large five foot photographs of murdered preborn babies. They will also pass out 100,000 pieces of literature during the twelve day tour that expose the atrocities committed against preborn children. Since 1973, after the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, over 42 million preborn babies have been killed by abortion here in the United States. Now the people of these four states will be able to see for themselves exactly what a preborn child looks like after he or she has been in the hands of an abortionist.
Missionaries to the Preborn is a Christian Mission founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1990. Since the mission began, five of the eight abortion clinics in Milwaukee have closed and the number of abortions committed in Wisconsin each year has dropped by 41%.
Missionaries to the Preborn is a Christian Mission founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1990. Since the mission began, five of the eight abortion clinics in Milwaukee have closed and the number of abortions committed in Wisconsin each year has dropped by 41%.
6:45 AM A long-time reader graciously sent this email:
Thanks for your superb site. Yours is the best I know of to help one follow Paul's admonition given in II Cor 10:5. Blessings to you!
Monday, April 19
11:40 AM Time to head home and begin weeding, edging, and mowing. It seems we have more Dandelions in our 5-acre yard than ever before. But I enjoy yard work, especially on a gorgeous day like today, and it's especially necessary when you've just put your house on the market. We will be gradually moving all our things up to Bradford Hall in Virginia, and we should be moved in by summer.
Meanwhile my teaching series continues at Wylliesburg Baptist Church in Southside Virginia. Yesterday my topics were "Have You Crossed the Jordan?" (Josh 3:1-3) and "How Not to Raise Teenagers" (Luke 2 and 1 Cor 13:11). Beginning with tonight I'll deal with "Jesus and the Age Thirty Transition" (Luke 3:23), "The Most Important Question Ever Asked" (John 21:15-17), and "The Gospel According to Four Women" (Matt 3:3-6). The people at Wylliesburg are wonderful, and it was great meeting Edwin Sineath, a longtime DBO reader, who drove all the way from Winston-Salem (NC) to attend last night's meeting.
11:30 AM The latest from Tom Ascol:
The questions that we must continue to ask and seek to answer with explicitly biblical teachings are these: What is the gospel? What is a Christian (and how does one become one)? What is a church? It is no longer safe to assume that evangelicals—even conservative, inerrancy-affirming evangelicals—mean the same thing when we talk about these issues. Those who recognize the need for reformation and are committed to pressing for it must keep these questions in focus. They are clarifying questions and serious consideration of them can help resolve some of the confusion that reigns in our day.
9:45 AM Don't take a horseman to appreciate this cartoon by Clay Bennett:
As Paul Craig Roberts observed in a recent piece:
Our job is to bring freedom to the world, Bush says, on the point of bayonets.Neoconservatives declare that such a grand scheme is worth tens of thousands of American casualties and countless more wounded and maimed.
You, the public, wake up! Bush is leading us into a wider war that will consume our sons, our incomes, our freedom and our honor.
9:35 AM Deborah and Frank Popper try to contemplate an America without small family farms (as opposed to large-scale agribusinesses). Here is an especially interesting excerpt:
The desertion of the small family farm constitutes the largest population movement in American history. The small-farmer diaspora, here and abroad, partly or wholly underlies other storied American population shifts: the development of cities and suburbs, the settlement of the West, the late 19th and early 20th century European immigrations to the United States, the post-1965 Latin American and Asian ones, the black migration from the rural South to the Northern ghetto, the rise of the Sunbelt, and even the growth of military bases around the country.
As for me and mine, I think you already know where we stand.
8:12 AM Yes, my legs ache, but marching in the Hunley funeral procession was an honor I will never regret or forget. Charles Porter, a faithful DBO reader, sent in these remarks:
I wanted so badly to be at the Hunley Memorial but could not make it. I know that it was a somber event and a great tribute to Confederate fallen. I anxiously watched the news yesterday, thinking that just maybe there would of a report fitting of the occasion. It never came, and I am not in any way surprised. Maybe National Geographic or the History Channel had coverage. I'll just have to wait and see. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a reenactor, and honoring the memory of these eight Confederate Americans, who died for a cause that will never die in our hearts. I look forward to seeing your pictures from the Hunley Memorial. Deo Vindice.
MSgt, Retired, USAF
GG Grandson of Duncan Black, Co F, 15 NC, CSA
Let us never forget: Constitutional principles of government are still worth defending today.
7:35 AM This letter came to me from Soledad Prison:
Hello from California! I am a prisoner doing time in a Northern California prison. I became a Christian at the beginning of my sentence way back in 1994. Since then I have dedicated my life to learning and teaching the biblical languages. I learned Greek via correspondence through Taylor University's extension program and have since nearly completed my Koine vocabulary.
I have been teaching Greek in our chapel for about two years now with good results. But I am becoming more and more interested in textual criticism (TC). I own and use your "It's Still Greek to Me" (which is very cool) and I noticed that you have also written materials on TC.
Do you have any extra copies of your books? If so, can I have one? I enjoy your writing style, humor, and approach and I can both benefit from your teaching and use it in my class. It is difficult for me to find materials suited for prison ministry because many of the men do not have a collegiate education. However, your "Still Greek..." book has broken it down for them before and I would love to see your other works. Because I am indigent I cannot pay for them, but if you are willing to loan me a book or two I will read it and send it back if you want.
Thanks in advance if you can help.
Needless to say, the books are in the mail (gratis).
7:33 AM After preaching last night I was asked by a visiting pastor what my thoughts were about The Passion of the Christ. Most of my reasons for not viewing the movie have been summarized in this essay by Andrew Webb.
7:30 AM I hope everyone has a great week enjoying the spring sunshine, the dogwoods, and just getting outdoors again. Thanks to all who so faithfully read DBO and write to tell me about it. May I ask each of you to pray daily for this ministry - that God would be glorified and the church edified through the efforts of your editor? Thank you so very much.
Sunday, April 18
8:25 AM WND is at it again: Pay up or else. Here’s a question for you: Can God supply the needs of a God-ordained ministry without it pleading for money? Where do you see Jesus asking for cash? Where do you see the prophet Agabus asking for green stuff? The truth ought to be free. Al least free from begging. The correlation between ego and money is just too strong to be ignored—or fed. (For more, see my essay False Prophets, Pro$perity, and Website Woes.)
8:15 AM The Germans ought to know something about open flanks, wouldn't you think?
8:10 AM How many pixels is your church?
7:57 AM A two-faced Jesus?
7:55 AM Kinda curious, but I have yet to meet a Southern Baptist who uses the HCSB.
7:30 AM Having just returned from visiting several federal land holdings (Bryce, Grand Canyon) I found this article on de-federalizing federal lands to be interesting and persuasive.
The National Park Service should also be privatized under a special sale. Currently budgeted at nearly $2.75 billion per year, the Park Service has never been able to manage properly its lands. Often the object of a political tug-of-war among environmentalists, preservationists, and local citizens, citizens have not gotten value for the tax dollars. Private firms, such as the large lumbering companies that are immensely successful at managing large tracts of land for maximum value, would be excellent potential owners for such properties and would operate them to turn a profit, thus generating funds for the upkeep and maintenance of these beautiful areas. Selling these would raise further billions of dollars for debt reduction.
One memory stands out on my trip in this regard. At one site we were "granted" a special discount because one of our passengers happened to be a senior citizen (no, it wasn't me!). After we had expressed our appreciation, the irony hit me: here we were, taxpayers all, expressing our thanks to the government for its "generosity" to us with our own money!
7:00 AM Just back from the Hunley funeral in Charleston (photos shortly). At one of the many memorial services I ran across my friend Chris Sullivan, editor of Southern Partisan and Commander of the SCV's Army of Northern Virginia. Also bumped into Mike Tuggle at the Hunley display. Mike is doing a great job editing the LOS website. I told him I would be speaking at the Constitution Party National Convention in June, and I think he'll be there. Meanwhile I'm gearing up to preach a series of messages this week in Virginia on Forgotten Truths from the Life of Christ, starting today.
Checking my emails I received the great news that the Right to Life Act of South Carolina has passed the first hurdle. A subcommittee of the General Assembly has taken the first step in recognizing unborn human beings as “persons” from the moment of fertilization. This is a historic act on their part and makes the Hunley burial pale in comparison. Let's keep on praying, and working.
Wednesday, April 14
12:59 PM A few vacation photos (Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater). What a blast! (Click thumbnails to enlarge.)
12:52 PM Conservative university students are coming out.
12:40 PM Madonna, newest member of the "God-squad."
12:30 PM The latest board (bored?) game. Them Episcopalians may be on to something here.
9:30 AM Pat Buchanan has some wise words about our ability to win militarily in Iraq. Among other things he notes:
With the battles for Fallujah and Ramadi, the seizure by the Mahdi Army of Sheik al-Sadr of Kut, Karbala and Najaf, the fighting in Sadr City, the recurring attacks on aid workers, the abandonment of their posts by Iraqi police, the refusal to fight of one of four Iraqi battalions we trained, it is clear: We do not have sufficient forces on the ground to crush and snuff out the resistance.
8:24 AM I knew the president was in trouble the moment he opened his mouth in last night's so-called news conference. The very first statement in his prepared remarks contained this grammatical monstrosity: "This has been tough weeks in that country." (Oh, my....) The remainder of his speech was replete with the repetitive staccato we have become accustomed to hearing from the Commander in Chief: Nobody could have predicted 9/11, Saddam was a threat, Iraq is better off today, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
On vacation last week I read Against All Enemies, the insider book by Bush's former Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, Richard Clarke. Clarke shows how there never was any real and imminent threat from Iraq and how America's intelligence community has failed and is failing the nation. Worse, he shows how Bush is using the War on Terrorism politically - a fact noticeable in last night's news conference. I could cite many passages from Clarke's book, but I will leave you with just this one (p. 264):
I was no fan of Saddam Hussein; indeed, I had urged limiting his access to weapons of mass destruction technology as early as 1989, had been one of the first advocating confronting Iraq militarily in 1990, conceived of the U.N. program to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction in 1991, tried to reinitiate hostilities after the First Gulf War, advocated a large bombing campaign of Iraq in 1993. I know that in one sense the world is better off without him in power, but not the way it was done, not at the cost we have paid and will pay for it; not by diverting us from eliminating our vulnerabilities to terrorism at home; not at the incredibly high price if increasing Muslim hatred of America and strengthening al Qaeda.
Friends, if the way the president is handling the terrorism crisis and the war in Iraq doesn't scare you, I'm scared of you.
7:45 AM On Feb. 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley slipped into Charleston Harbor, its crew hand-cranking the cigar-shaped vessel toward Union ships blockading the port. Later that night the Hunley managed to spear the USS Housatonic with an explosive device, sinking the Union warship. Mystery surrounds what happened next. After signaling toward shore, the Hunley disappeared, not to be seen again for more than 130 years. Author Clive Cussler discovered the Hunley in 1995. It was raised amid much ceremony and celebration in 2000. Today it is undergoing painstaking conservation in Charleston. Many artifacts and remains of the eight-man crew have been removed, including the pocket watch belonging to Lt. George Dixon pictured below.
There are only three more days to go until Saturday's funeral for the Hunley crew in Charleston. My son and I will have the honor of marching in the procession. Some 100,000 spectators are expected. If you can't attend yourself, perhaps you can catch this historic moment on TV.
Tuesday, April 13
4:15 PM God bless Columbia Christians for Life, who just announced a second public hearing for the Right to Life Act of South Carolina (H.3190). (See direct link to bill atwww.ChristiansforLife.net), or go to www.scstatehouse.net). The bill is being considered by the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee of the SC House Judiciary Committee. Supporters are invited to urge South Carolina state legislators to recognize the God-given, unalienable right to life of unborn human beings under the South Carolina State Constitution (Article I., Section 3.). The Right to Life Act of SC would recognize unborn human beings as legal persons beginning at fertilization, and would thereby invoke the SC State Constitution's provision that no "person [shall] be deprived of life,... without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." This would legally prevent the deprivation of life of unborn human beings, who are judicially innocent, and would thus end de-criminalized abortion in South Carolina.
4:07 PM My good friend David Allen of the Criswell College in Dallas has been appointed Dean of the School of Theology at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. He will also head up the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching. David is a marvelous expositor of the Word of God and models preaching based on the careful exegesis of the original text. David and I (along with my seminary president Dr. Danny Akin) are co-editing a book entitled The Text Driven Sermon. The title came from the lectures David gave when he was on our campus last February. Kudos to Southwestern and heartiest congratulations to you, David; you're the right man for the job!
9:45 AM A dozen quotes by the great Virginian Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, who was born this day in 1743:
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I
feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against
every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and
public debt as the greatest of dangers. We must make our choice
between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we
can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people
under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence
in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and
occupation, which gives happiness.
Never spend your money before you have it.
Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
A little rebellion now and then is a medicine necessary for the
sound health of government.
And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers
load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between
economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
9:40 AM Ten days apart from my Sheltie "Shiloh" was almost too much for this dog lover. If you too are a hopeless pet lover, click here.
9:30 AM Having recently paid $2.29 a gallon for gas in Arizona, I can identify with the latest from Clay Bennett:
8:45 AM My essay on the Pledge of Allegiance elicited numerous responses, including this one from a Vietnam veteran:
As a Christian, I have always refused to say the pledge simply because it is idolatry. And so, find myself in agreement with you even though I'm a Vietnam War veteran. All the things you say about the pledge is, of course, true. However, most people see the pledge as nothing more than a patriotic affirmation of American principles which, indeed, it has become since American principles have undergone dramatic change over the last 100 years. Washington and Jefferson would not recognize their country were they alive today. In fact, they would be extremely busy fomenting a revolution to overthrow this Godless socialist nirvana.
Best regards,Mark G. Kent
Another reader offered this alternative pledge:
Hello Mr. Black,
I read your article entitled "With or Without "Under God", the Pledge is Still a Bad Idea" and here is a pledge that was written by John Kotmair. I'm sure you heard of him. He is the Fidiciary of Save-A-Patriot. They always start their meeting with this pledge. Maybe we should start teaching our children this pledge.
I Pledge Allegiance to the Constitution of the American States united, and to the Republic which it created, implementing God's governmental plan for man, and asking His blessing for its observance, which will provide Liberty and Justice for all.
Let me know what you think.
8:30 AM A friend of mine sent me this report from Baghdad, where the ever-worsening conditions have parents of soldiers in Iraq more concerned than ever:
The people in the Shi'a slums of Baghdad who are now furiously resisting the Americans hate Saddam with a passion to this day. They suffered under his repression and they also suffered from neglect, especially under the sanctions -- scarce resources and repairs went to politically more favored areas. They expected great improvements when the United States took over.
Shaykh Sadun al-Shemary, a former member of the Iraqi army who participated in the 1991 uprising and now a spokesman for the al-Sadr organization in Shuala, told me, "Things are exactly the same as in Saddam's time -- maybe worse."
8:25 AM A DBO reader from South Florida sent me this heart-warming email:
I just wanted to say thank you for your books: NT Textual Criticism a Concise Guide, Why the Four Gospels, and Using NT Greek in Ministry. They've been extremely helpful. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement to continue Greek language studies. I know that being a teacher is rewarding and I hope this is encouraging. May God perpetually grant you peace and mercy.
8:15 AM If you're a fan of Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas (as I am), then you must read this essay by Mark Dankof.
7:15 AM Warm greetings, friends. Just back from a ten day vacation to visit my in-laws in Dallas. Also spent time at Durango, Mesa Verde, Bryce National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and the Meteor Crater. Deo volente, will post photos shortly. Had a great vacation but it's time to get back in the saddle.
Friday, April 2
6:47 AM How's this for a holiday destination?
6:40 AM If you are new to the KJV only debate or just want to understand it better, here are two websites from opposite sides of the issue that can help:
6:35 AM The power of television to desensitize our children toward killing is discussed by Berit Kjos in her essay, Toying with Death.
6:33 AM On the Discussing Reformation Forum, this British moviegoer expresses some reservations after viewing The Passion:
Concluding, I would have to say that I am glad that I did not miss the movie for it was a brutal reminder of what Christ suffered, but I had to remember that they could not even come close to the full truth of His death. However, I could NOT ever give a full or wholehearted recommendation of this movie without disclaimers. I believe to do so in the face of some of the glaring inaccuracies found in the film would be to go against my conscience and more importantly to go against the teaching of God's Word. My country (England) has gone the way of Cain and are on a downhill slide to the judging hand of God if they do not awake. Unfortunately, movies like the one Mel has put out are the only forms of evangelistic outreach that will ever be found in many parts of this country. Pray that God will be merciful to us and that churches as a whole will wake up and realize we cannot leave the preaching of the gospel to Catholics who teach another gospel and another Christ than the One who actually came to die, was buried, and ROSE AGAIN for our justification.
6:30 AM Brad Edmonds has some helpful advice on what to do when you receive Christian chain letters by email.
Thursday, April 1
8:30 AM Today in history: Okinawa. More people died during this battle (including an estimated 100,000 civilians) than all those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. U.S. military authorities were overly optimistic about how easily they would win the battle. For a fascinating audio report from the island on April 2, 1945, click here.
8:11 AM What's the deal with Regent College? Don't they realize how well fluff sells?
7:40 AM Many odes to Dietrich Bonhoeffer could be written. I have written mine. His distinction between cheap and costly grace is one I think about frequently. But Bonhoeffer never spoke of foolish grace, a point made by Ben Cole in a recent blog. Iraq, as Ben points out with irrefutable logic, is a war zone, and we don't need to be sending our missionaries into harm's way to die, not as evangelists, but as Americans. But I'll let Ben speak for himself:
Iraq is a war zone . . . it is not a playground and now is not the time to allow well-meaning civilian humanitarian workers into the crosshairs of conflict whose fires, though reported smoldering, are in fact aflame with hot resentment against anybody who looks Western, i.e. Caucasian.And to my Christian kinsmen who would suggest that now is precisely the time for missionaries to be in the middle of international terror, I am not as convinced that these horrible events are the signs of the times we are admonished to discern. The Bible may say that in the last days the people of God will hear "of wars and rumors of wars" and to "see that they are not frightened;" but within a few verses it also says, "let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." In other words, don't rush into the midst of the battle. To do so is indiscriminate foolishness.
7:10 AM This day always brings to mind a certain memory. Growing up on the Island of Oahu, I can recall being awakened several times in the middle of the night by the Tidal Wave warning sirens. Everyone in Kailua evacuated to higher ground until the tsunami passed. We took the warnings very seriously in light of what transpired on the Island of Hawaii on this day in 1946. During the 1946 tsunami, there was extensive damage to the town of Laupahoehoe and great loss of life. The school and teachers' cottages were near the ocean and destroyed. Many students and teachers were washed out to sea. In all, 16 school children, 4 teachers, and 4 town residents lost their lives. Below is a photo of a tsunami wave taken April 1, 1946.
6:47 AM I remain deeply concerned about the purpose-driven model, and here's yet another reason why.
6:30 AM Is Clarke or Condi telling the truth? Yesterday I stumbled across the followingtimeline of events surrounding the 9/11 attacks that sheds a great deal of light on this question. It's lengthy but well worth your time.
6:00 AM From my morning Andacht:
There are certain things which are given as sinful in Scripture, and these things we as Christians should not do. But then everything else is spiritual. The painting of a picture, the work of a good shoemaker, the doctor, the lawyer - all these things are spiritual, if they are done within the circle of what is taught in Scripture, looking to the Lord day by day for His help.
To that list I could add preparing a sermon, playing in seminary orchestra, teaching a Greek class, doing family finances, checking on the chickens and goats, feeding the horses, meeting with students - all this in one day. Schaeffer goes on:
Thus everything is spiritual because the Lord made everything, and Christ died to redeem everything. And though full restoration will not come until Christ returns, it is our calling, looking to Christ for help, to try to bring substantial restoration in every area of life. Worldliness is seeing anything in life from a materialistic perspective - that is, from a perspective which makes the material world the final reality, and in which man's finite wisdom (rather than Scripture) is everything.
I trust, dear reader, that together we might seek the things which are above, that is, see everything from the perspective of God's existence and what is taught in Scripture - as uncomfortable as that might make us with our traditions and daily habits. May you have a wonderful day serving the King of kings.