Thursday, September 30
12:33 PM This just in:
Thought you would be interested in this article. John
Eisenhower is not voting for Michael Peroutka, but he
is also not voting for George W. Bush. I think he
articulates his reasons in a concise, well-thought out
manner. Take care and I continue to enjoy your
outstanding website and I continue to spread the word
about Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin.
Mr. Porter is referring to this article by the son of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Thanks for sending this to me, Charles.
12:33 PM Farm Update: The horses seem to love their new pasture. Yesterday they spent most of their time frolicking and checking out every nook and cranny, though they seemed hesitant to enter the woods. They stood bug-eyed at the goats and cows grazing in the next pasture but were as eager as always to eat their daily oats. We'll need to watch for any signs of colic in the next few days, but so far all seems well. What a joy to watch them from our dining room window each mealtime!
12:15 PM If you live near Laurel Hill, Virginia, you might consider attending the 14th annual Jeb Stuart Civil War reenactment this weekend. The Candlelight Tour is phenomenal, and there are mock battles daily. If you can make it, please look for the 30th North Carolina Troops and give Pvt. Black a holler.
11:55 AM Iraq Update: Look who's taking on Bush's foreign policy follies now. (Hat tip: Charles Porter.)
8:40 AM Take a moment and read this excellent post on the American Revolution at Buried Treasure, then go to this essay for more support.
8:35 AM And Bush charges Kerry with flip-flopping?
8:25 AM Now there's even a newscam to watch Helen blow her stack again.
8:22 AM Gregg Harris has some great thoughts on the impact of opening our homes to strangers:
8:20 AM Catholic World News proffers a take on John Kerry's "church":The potential for this strategy goes far beyond mere academics. What do you think would happen if more of us began to host missionaries in our homes? Our children might catch a vision for serving God in nations around the globe. Host an evangelist, and watch a passion for souls take root in your hearts. Host an author, and notice how your teens begin to dream of writing their first article or book. It is all the power of companionship working through hospitality.Some conference organizers have asked me why I request to stay in the home of a family when I travel and speak for their state homeschool conferences. Why not just stay in a nice hotel? The reason is because by staying in homes I get to meet a lot of homeschooled adolescents and teens who, to be candid, are often in various stages of boredom with their homeschooling. I like to change that.
James Carroll, the former Catholic priest who is employed by the Boston Globeto write regular op-ed columns bashing the Catholic Church, has changed his target slightly. Now the "bad guys" are the Republicans who dare to question Kerry's commitment to the Catholic faith.Carroll instructs his readers that Kerry is free to dispute Church teachings on every crucial moral issue in the political realm, because Catholics are free to embrace the truth wherever they find it (except perhaps in the Republican platform).Regarding sexual issues, Carroll continues, the Vatican doesn't understand that "it is clear that the human race is undergoing a massive cultural mutation..." (I'm not making this up. I couldn't.)There's personal testimony here, too. Carroll reveals: "I worship at the same Catholic church in Boston where John Kerry and his wife often attend Mass."Yup. You're in the same church, all right. I wonder what church it is.
8:18 AM Pieter's latest artwork. You ought to be working for the campaign, young man!
8:15 AM PBS's story on third party candidates (which ran last night) is discussed by the show's producer. As I don't watch TV I missed the program, but someone wrote me to say he saw me on the show. Hope that won't keep any of you from voting for Peroutka and Baldwin in November....
8:10 AM Latest Florida storm warning is a real doozy.
8:08 AM Blather bloggers get their moment of glory.
8:05 AM This story was all the rage on the BBC yesterday - how Jack Straw, U.K. Foreign Secretary and rabid anti-Mugabe figure, gets suckered into an embarrassing handshake. The power of a gesture....
8:03 AM A fine read on our spiraling imperialism.
[T]his idea that if the United States withdrew, these terrorists would suddenly leave Iraq and start attacking the United States and other countries is specious. This is simply a retread of the rationalization used during the Vietnam War that "if we don't fight them over there, we'll have to fight them here." Despite the U.S. withdrawal and the Communist victory nearly 30 years ago, the Vietnamese have yet to attack the United States. The Vietnamese stopped killing Americans when American forces got out of Vietnam. One can similarly assume that the Iraqis will stop killing Americans when American forces get out of Iraq.
7:03 AM The politics of warfare functioning at the expense of truth.
Wednesday, September 29
2:03 PM The following is taken from the church covenant written by Elder (not "Pastor") Shubael Sterns in 1754 at the founding of Grassy Creek Baptist Church, the mother church of my current congregation in Virginia. I was delighted when I first saw it. I'm sure you'll notice (and I hope you'll appreciate) the emphasis on the doctrines of grace:
Holding believers' baptism; the laying on of hands; particular election of grace by the predestination of God in Christ; effectual calling by the Holy Ghost; free justification through God's grace and truth; the final perseverance, or continuance of the saints in grace; the resurrection of these goodies [sic] after death, at that day which God has appointed to judge thee quick and the dead by Jesus Christ, by the power of God, and by the resurrection of Christ; and life everlasting. Amen.
1:45 PM Great day in the morning! Our steeds have finally made the trek from the Old North State to the land of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and (now) the Black clan. The general's horses are now safely ensconced in their new pasture at Bradford Hall enjoying the orchard grass and getting to know their new surroundings. Many thanks to good friend Tommy Newcomb for his help in trailering. Hmm, is a ride in the making this afternoon before Bible study? Only your editor knows for sure!
8:23 AM Blogs for Peroutka, courtesy of Pieter Friedrich.
8:15 AM Yesterday I received this wonderful response to my essay on being a one-issue voter:
I like the part about using the mind. I really love the old Puritan
preachers and writer. They were intelligent and EDUCATED! Much more so
than our generation. As for that matter, people from the earlier
centuries or even into the early part of the 1900's were much more
literate than this generation. And of course, we know why. Gubbermint
I love your website and check it every morning first thing when I get
home from work. AND I'm voting for Peroutka. And I've gone through many, many arguments about "wasting my vote." Fie on them all. At least my conscience will be clear, eh?
God bless you.
7:46 AM Baker Book House has been a great partner with me the last two decades in publishing five or six of my textbooks, and yesterday I received word that Rethinking New Testament Criticism is being released in India in what Baker is calling an English-language Indian edition for distribution in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, and Nepal (of all places!). That anyone in these countries should be "rethinking" let alone thinking about the subject of that book amazes (and pleases) me. I hope the book can be useful among the Christian populations in these foreign lands.
7:44 AM A pleasant good morning to you, DBO readers. I had a wonderful day yesterday at the seminary getting caught up on various and sundry projects that are easier to do there than at the farm. I especially enjoyed seeing so many of my colleagues and meeting Chris, a new student from Colorado who has made quite a sacrifice to be with us. May the Lord richly bless your time at Southeastern, dear brother!
Tuesday, September 28
7:56 AM One response to Carmon Friedrich's latest blog entry:
Read Rock the Boat, Baby. You won't be disappointed.
7:23 AM Charley Reese has a lot of common wisdom; I especially resonate with this statement in his latest essay:
Bush has no real compassion. That's why he forbids ceremonies for returning dead. According to Ollie North, President Reagan was at the airport every time a dead American serviceman's body came home. The British also formally greet their returning dead with honor and respect. Only in the United States does the government even forbid news organizations from greeting the dead.
A simple salute, Mr. President, would go a long to assuage the grief of those who lost a loved one overseas.
7:15 AM Yesterday my son stumbled across an old Haven of Rest Quartet cassette tape that we've been listening to non-stop. The organist, Dean McNichols, was our church organist in California and has such a gentle touch on that magnificent instrument. But I especially appreciate the simple harmonies of the quartet as they sing such favorites as "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" and "Learning to Lean." O that I could find more old recordings of the quartet!
Monday, September 27
3:33 PM Fisticuffs in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher? This can't be true! When I visited there the placid priests were just happy to receive my bribe - er, offering.
3:05 PM Carmon Friedrich with a much-needed reminder about the importance of dressing modestly.
2:10 PM Church Renewal Update: Here are some thoughts by Mary Pride on performance standards for your church's programs, including "failure standards" and "success standards." I especially like what she has to say about children's programs:
Let me give you an example of a failure standard for a church's Christian education program. The leaders could say something like this: "After two years in our Sunday school program, we expect that all of the students should be able to recite the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and Psalm 23 from memory. They should know the books of the Bible in order, and be able to locate any passage in 15 seconds or less. They should be able to give a concise summary of each Bible book, and score no less than 90 percent on the test of Bible knowledge we will give them at that time. If at least 90 percent of the students can't meet that standard, our Sunday school program has failed, and we will need to pray about it, redesign it, and also reconsider our program for recruiting and training Sunday school teachers." Can you get that, or anything like it, in writing from any modern church board anywhere?
12:50 PM One blogger writes:
I don't think a Christian can reasonably vote for John Kerry. John Kerry has openly defied the Church and two thousand years of settled Church doctrine. In fact, there is no reason to believe him anything but a secularist with fairly open disdain for the faith once delivered to the Apostles.
So far, so good. Now comes this:
Bush is not perfect, but his imperfections are less certain and more open to dispute. Social issues do not cut against both candidates with equal force. All Christians are called to help the poor. How to do so is open to dispute. What is not open to dispute is that John Kerry will advance abortion, a form of murder, and the homosexual agenda.
Bush, of course, in equating Islam with Christianity or paying only lip-service to the pro-life cause or appointing sodomites to public office, is less open to our disapprobation. He adds (pardon all the "sics"):
Liberal evangelical [sic] may exist in the margins of the evangelical academic community or in half-way houses to main-stream church's [sic] on their way out, but I do not seem [sic] them as numerically very significant. My bet is that eighty-percent of white evangelical [sic] will vote for Bush. It is hard to imagine much more unity on any issue (including sadly theology.)
Eighty percent? Sad, but true. We evangelicals love our numbers - and our "unity" - don't we? He concludes:
Our founders said, "No King, but King Jesus!" Fair enough, but the King's minister's must act, even at risk of being sacked, or His rule will be wrongly limited.
Now I'm downright corn-fused. I wonder if he's even heard that there's a 100 percent pro-life candidate who actually believes "No King But King Jesus!"
12:30 PM Ah, the blessing of being a country redneck.
9:12 AM The bane of blind fealty to the state:
"Heavenly grace gave us the FuehrerWe promise Hitler loyalty to the end...""He was our idol; he was a demi-god. I'll tell you quite honestly: If someone had tried to shoot Hitler, then I would have leapt forward and died for him. And nowadays I know it was madness."
Read more amazing quotes from the Hitler Youth.
8:56 AM Language tests for citizenship? A great idea but impossible in hyper-tolerant America. Too bad we don't have the courage of the Swiss. (Having studied, preached, and taught in German-speaking Switzerland, I can empathize with those foreigners who are learning German. But German isn't that difficult to master. My wife was speaking it within three months of our arrival in Basel. The key was avoiding the "American ghetto" and forcing yourself to speak the language daily. As a Baptist, I call it the "immersion" technique of language learning, and it works.)
8:45 AM Interesting take in this morning's Die Zeit: the outcome of the election hinges on Kerry's ability to make the unconstitutional Iraq war a central theme.
7:55 AM Farm Update: Despite a finicky bailer, we got another 243 bales up over the weekend, thanks to the great weather the Lord blessed us with this summer. The fallout from Jeanne is hitting the Piedmont today and tomorrow so it looks like I'll get to spend several hours working on my sabbatical project (but, alas, no riding). Of course, neither farming nor writing is more "spiritual" than the other. If we want to escape from the sacred-secular dichotomy this truth must condition our every thought. The knowledge that everything I have is God's - my hay fields as well as my Greek grammars, not to mention the most important possession of all, my family - is what unifies my heart and should make everything in life sacred to me.
7:38 AM And you thought WW II was over?
7:24 AM A judge points out the fine mess ignoring the good old Constitution has gotten us into. Of course, most politicians are following the new, "living" Constitution to a "t." So the question arises: Which Constitution are you following?
7:21 AM Which party puts God first?
7:20 AM It matters little that conservatives are having more children than liberals. It won't make a whit of difference once they start reading Churchianity Today and Worldly Magazine.
7:18 AM Denver archbishop rips into Kerry for his pro-abortion stance. I guess it's still OK to ignore the Republicrats.
7:15 AM Please be sure to check out a new lane on the Internet Highway by DBO contributor Matt Gamel. A fun onramp, and some really nifty curves! (By the way, Matt, don't get discouraged by small beginnings. The first month DBO was online we received a grand total of 33 hits. I'm not kidding. This month we surpassed the one and a half million mark. So hang in there and remember: Aller Anfang ist schwer.)
7:12 AM Heartiest congratulations to Grassy Creek Baptist Church (NC), which celebrated its 250th anniversary yesterday. My own congregation, Averett Baptist Church (VA), is a daughter church, as are many others in the Piedmont. One interesting anecdote. When Grassy Creek was founded, the church voted to require every man to attend Sunday services. If you missed a service, the next Sunday you were required to give an explanation. If your excuse was a lame one, the church could vote to censure you. After three censures, you were voted out of the congregation. My how things have changed!
7:08 AM Bad idea. A partial election, excluding the Sunni areas, will only embolden the insurgency and put our sons and daughters at even further risk.
7:05 AM If you've ever walked the controversial temple mount in Jerusalem, as I have, you know how old it is. The latest question? How much longer before it collapses.
Saturday, September 25
8:30 AM Do not read this blog unless you can put up with a Reformed-leaning Southern Baptist who is a misanthropic paleoconservative to boot. Don't say I didn't warn you!
7:50 AM I see fellow bibliophile Carmon Friedrich is recommending a book by one of my favorite novelists, Helen MacInnes. Bravo! I might add to your list Agent in Place, Home Is the Hunter, and especially The Salzburg Connection.
7:30 AM Who Downing Street really wants to win.
Senior Labour MPs and ministers should also go public with their personal preferences for a John Kerry victory. This would help to reunite a Labour party bewildered by the closeness of Mr Blair's relationship with Mr Bush. But it would appeal to a much broader audience at home - British voters across the political spectrum prefer Mr Kerry to Mr Bush by a margin of five to one.
7:23 AM This might could work where I live.
7:20 AM Everything's looking up for Allawi, right?
Speaking of freedom, democracy and murder, the latest reporting on our current favorite Prime Minister, Iyad "Little Saddam" Allawi, feature his pistol shots to the heads of captured Iraqi prisoners. I was concerned, before this, about Allawi’s newly established domestic intelligence bureaucracy, to keep Iraqis in line so they can all have a nice new democracy. I needn’t have worried, and you can bet George W. Bush isn’t.What does it all mean? Like they say, you’re either with us or against us. I’ve seen enough, and I’ve chosen a side. And while I don’t support governmental safety laws on principle, like Bette Davis I must advise all Americans to fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.
7:18 AM Country profile: Ethiopia. And yes, I hope to learn a few phrases in Amharic before leaving.
7:15 AM Today's the day, notes Little Geneva's "world-famous raconteur and gadfly, renowned in poetry and legend":
The Virginia League of the South wishes to invite you to our Ninth Annual State Meeting
September 25, 2004
Best Western at Hunt Ridge
25 Willow Spring Rd
Come all, free admission
This year our topic will be illegal immigration, its impact on Virginia and the rest of the South. Illegal immigration is drastically changing western Virginia. Harrisonburg’s public schools are now over 30% Hispanic. This number is increasing exponentially. As reported in the August 15, 2004, New York Times Magazine, “Hillbangers” have arrived in the Shenandoah Valley. “Hillbangers” are members of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a large street gang of El Salvadorans. An MS-13, 17-year-old female gang member was found murdered, gang style, in Shenandoah County, in July 2003. Local law enforcement agencies throughout the Valley have officers investigating alien gang activities.
Is immigration a force of nature or a political force? Can a world wide war on terrorism be fought with a border open to massive illegal immigration?
Come join the Virginia League of the South as we discuss these issues. Featured speakers will include a former INS Special Agent, an immigration control group director, and Dr. Michael Hill, President, League of the South. [And Harry Seabrook, world-famous raconteur and gadfly, renowned in poetry and legend, etc.]
For more information contact Randy Jamison at 276-326-6728 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7:12 AM Giving riding a bad name.
Friday, September 24
9:58 AM Am off to campus to check up on the Outlook situation and to meet with students. I still may not be receiving certain emails. You might hold off on sending me any mail for a day or two while we are resolving this issue. Best to all!
9:20 AM What Hitler's voice really sounded like.
9:12 AM Yep, we get the point:
Reuters reports that President Bush "said on Thursday that he and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi would 'stay the course' in Iraq."
I'm a bit tired of hearing from the president that we'll "stay the course" in Iraq, and not just because I oppose the war. Perhaps someone should check Bush for a concussion (one of the signs of which is repetitive questioning), or at least get him a thesaurus.
A sampling of his usage of the offending phrase follows:
"This nation will stay the course."--Oct. 8th, 2003
"And we will stay the course."--Oct. 27th, 2003
"I was able to assure them that we were going to stay the course."--Nov. 27th, 2003
"...assured him that we would stay the course."--Apr. 5th, 2004
"And, yet, we must stay the course."--Apr. 13th, 2004
"We're going to stay the course in Iraq."--Apr. 16, 2004
"And we'll stay the course."--Apr. 20th, 2004
"We're there to stay the course."--June 1st, 2004
"We must stay the course."--Aug. 13th, 2004
I think it's safe to say "enough already, we get the point."
9:07 AM I loved this essay:
Therefore we conclude that wisdom is correctly referred to in the female gender in the above verses. Again, observe the parallels between a godly wife and wisdom:
Both are valued above rubies, (3:15 & 31:10), and both are a crown unto a man (4:9 & 12:4).
9:03 AM Doug's Phillip's website has some excellent resources for those who believe that the church ought to unite families, not segregate them. All of these have driven me more and more in the last three years to study what the Scriptures have to say about the church, and I am amazed at what I find - so different from what is usually given in a course on "Christian Education in the Local Church."
8:57 AM This essay by Jonathan Grubbs piggy-backs off our lead post on DBO today. Jon writes:
I used to be a very strong supporter of the Republican party, but over the years the GOP has abandoned the conservative principles it once held dear in efforts to reach out to the moderates and to appear to be a more “compassionate conservative” party. In doing this I feel they have compromised on too many conservative principles and have started to quickly drift towards the left. We have pro-choice Republicans, “Log Cabin” Republicans, Republicans who support big government, etc. Just as “moral relativism” has ruined the school system and worldview of so many Americans, so “conservative relativism” has ruined the Republican Party that started out as a small third-party in the 1850s.
Also, Jon has a blog I enjoy reading.
8:55 AM Buried Treasure has a lengthy squib that's well worth reading. Here's a snippet from Carmon Friedrich's wonderful prose:
I'm ranting about the silliness that passes for Christian literature not only because I think such tripe is harmful to the people it's purported to "encourage in their faith" by teaching them unbiblical views about God, the universe and everything, but it also dishonors our Lord and distorts our witness by giving a picture of Christianity as substandard and a bad imitation of the world.
In his book Addicted to Mediocrity, the (old) Franky Schaeffer said, alaWodehouse, "Whenever Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have attempted to "reach the world" through the media—TV, film, publishing and so on—the thinking public gets the firm idea that, like soup in a bad restaurant, Christians' brains are better left unstirred."
So what do we do, besides embarrassedly snicker, or wring our hands or rant?
I guess we keep trying. Let's keep writing poems and stories and books, even if they aren't top-notch. Just try to make them original! And true. And glorifying to God, even if you don't mention someone praying the Sinner's Prayer. Keep singing, keep playing and writing music. Keep painting. Keep producing those especially creative works called children and read lots of excellent books with them. I'm afraid you won't find many in the CBD catalog.
8:30 AM Here's what Republicans on the Hill are saying about Iraq:
So if you don’t want to hear a Democrat say that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating dangerously, listen to a Republican Senator instead. "The worst thing we can do is hold ourselves hostage to some grand illusion we’re winning," said Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska. "Right now, we are not winning. Things are getting worse …. The fact is, we’re in deep trouble in Iraq."
7:58 AM Here's one for you. What gender is the noun "blog"?
7:35 AM Could this be describing you?
Cut off their connection to the Web and people have moments of "withdrawal and feelings of loss, frustration, and disconnectedness" according to a report released Wednesday by Yahoo. Dubbed -- and we're not making this up -- the Internet Deprivation Study, the Yahoo-sponsored research tried to get a group of consumers to give stay offline, then report back. Nearly half couldn't take the Web-less world for more than two weeks, and the median time participants could go without logging on was a measly five days.
7:23 AM I want to get this on DVD. Though the story line doesn't follow the book, Rathbone is superb.
7:15 AM This email warmed my heart:
I write to you as an encouragement that your writing speaks to my heart and encourages me that I am not alone. Keep fighting the good fight. When I read "our situation in America is so hopeless that only God can do something about it", I thought "that is the conclusion that I came to some months ago"!!! I too have read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship and share it with some others, but it doesn't resonate with them as it did me. Dave, by His Grace we were called and by His Grace we shall carry on. God bless you, brother.
Thank you for writing, dear friend. I do not want you to think we are discouraged. We are not. It is the opposite. I have found such personal joy and satisfaction in watching the Holy Spirit do His work in the various aspects of our ministry. May the Lord bless you, and do pray for us.
Thursday, September 23
1:55 PM Sorry ol' me. Been tearing down an old barn to get its tin and lumber. Am in a pitiful state. If I can hit my thumb with the hammer, I will. If I can step on a nail, I will. Feel like a total klutz:
klutz Pronunciation Key (klts)
- A clumsy person.
- A stupid person; a dolt.
[Yiddish klots, from Middle High German kloz, block, lump, from Old High German.]
O well, back to work....
1:52 PM Steve Bell's latest:
1:50 PM Sure'n begorrah, bejibbers and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty
pockets I do declare in front of all the saints, I just love them Irish farmers for stickin' up for them fox hunters!
pockets I do declare in front of all the saints, I just love them Irish farmers for stickin' up for them fox hunters!
1:47 PM Sydney Blumenthal at his very best. The last line made me think of Chief Inspector Dreyfuss in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. (Make that former Chief Inspector....)
Bush's campaign depends on the containment of any contrary perception of reality. He must evade, deny and suppress it. His true opponent is not his Democratic foe - called unpatriotic and the candidate of al-Qaida by the vice-president - but events. Bush's latest vision is his shield against them. He invokes the power of positive thinking, as taught by Emile Coue, guru of autosuggestion in the giddy 1920s, who urged mental improvement through constant repetition: "Every day in every way I am getting better and better."
8:45 AM Ooo, ooo, ooo, this is good stuff:
Little Davie Bahnsen makes his case against Peroutka. One only reads Davie for entertainment, not for serious thought, which makes him a natural fit with the CCL simpletons. The way he throws his support behind the anti-Christian anti-educational establishment is priceless. See if you can follow the reasoning of the Incrementalist. He says he hates the state of the schools, and Bush has thrown too much money at them, and he wants the federal government to get out of the business, "HOWEVER, the notion that this federalized education fiasco is to be abolished TOMORROW is contra-intelligent, and anti-Christian, to the core." Yes, he used the word "anti-Christian." And since the beast cannot be dismembered tomorrow, we need more of the same in the hope that someday we will get less of it. If you don’t follow me here, you are hopelessly irrelevant. Did you know that import tariffs are a violation of the Eighth Commandment? Try not to laugh! Davie calls Peroutka’s belief in the criminalization of drug possession "bizarre." On abortion, Davie prefers a president who has demonstrated that he will speak against it on occasion to a candidate who vows to outlaw it on day one. "Nobody could outlaw it on day one!" pants Davie, and therefore Peroutka is "PATENTLY DISHONEST, and EXTREMELY DANGEROUS… As the brilliant Rod Martin of The Vanguard PAC commented… ‘Yeah, him and what army?’" Their buddy Candy Sandlin has called Peroutka "a national socialist." Yes, that would be a Nazi. I’ve made a vow not to pick on retards, and I’m not going to break it yet. As I said, one reads this stuff purely for entertainment.
8:37 AM Whew. I feel a lot safer now that Cat Stevens has been denied entry back into the Land of the Free.
8:32 AM The latest from that kid out in California:
Since my article, George W. Bush - Heretic," has continued to be very popular and has inspired much discussion in the blogosphere, I wanted to once again bring the piece to the attention of my readers.With the election only weeks away, the topic is still very relevant. I ask that you pass the article on to your Christian friends and encourage them not to cast their vote for a man whose words and actions deny Christ.
8:30 AM Got a nice letter today from the editor of this blog. Check it out.
8:25 AM Truth: It's always the first casualty of war.
That was the wrong question, the Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Goodhart, told peers recently. The right question was: "Did that hard evidence exist?" If Downing Street had looked for it, the attorney general "would, in all probability, not have been able to advise that the invasion of Iraq was legal, and we would not have gone to war", said Goodhart. But the leaked documents make clear that evidence, facts - indeed, the truth - was not Downing Street's main concern.
8:15 AM We will be getting up an unprecedented fourth cutting of hay today. And the weather for working outdoors is magnificent, at least in our neck of the woods. Farming is difficult in the best of times, especially on the old body. Just as there are no perfect bodies, so there is no perfect communication between human beings. This perfection must await Jesus' return. How thankful I am in my own problems and dealing with the problems of others in my work that it is possible on the basis of the finished work of Christ not to have to say falsely that all is well or to plunge into despair. All of these thoughts flooded my mind as I read the words of this beautiful hymn this morning:
O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.Where dost Thou, dear Shepherd, resort with Thy sheep
To feed them in pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in this wilderness rove?He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice,
And myriads now wait for His word;
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice,
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.
8:05 AM Yesterday the seminary email service had a major outage and I lost all of my emails (inbox and sent items!) from 9/22 back to 7/18. If you need to resend something, please do so.
7:55 AM The nasty sign that got Jon Roland in trouble with the law:
IF YOU LOVE THE
COMPLETED SEP. 17, 1787
IF YOU LOVE THE
COMPLETED SEP. 17, 1787
7:45 AM I try to vary my horse's routine whenever I ride, but yesterday was meant for cantering. After airing him out with a full gallop uphill, he performed a collected canter for about 15 minutes. It seemed tireless for him, but I was exhausted when we were done. It takes a lot to to be able to do little and achieve a lot. The less I do in terms of aids, the more comfortable I am and the more I get done. Just sit and let gravity do its work!
There is nothing like a good canter.
Wednesday, September 22
8:36 AM Jim Rudd's comparison is mind-boggling:
"Terrorism's Chilling Similarities"Al Qaeda Beheads American
**Warning Graphic Video**Download video Windows Media Audio/Video file)
Americans Behead Babies
**Warning Graphic Video**
"Go To this website and see baby scream bloody murder!" The Silent Scream
"See live abortions online" AbortionTV
Under the Bush administration over 1,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq. And under the Bush administration over 4,500 American babies are slaughtered each day. By shedding innocent blood G.W. Bush has defiled his office and abrogated his authority! He is a murderer! It is a monstrous lie perpetrated by devils suggesting this blood guilty man is "pro-life." Instead of calling the murderer to repentance through Jesus Christ, it is a great shame upon Christians who suggest voting for the damned!
Murderers do "not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:21). Murderers "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8) President Bush is more of a murderer than the head of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. And "there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:11) --Jim Rudd
8:33 AM Please take a moment and read this mother's testimony to the faithfulness, mercy, and grace of God.
8:30 AM This is still one of the most despicable aspects of the war on terrorism.
8:20 AM Howard Dean on the coming national draft. I've often said that one of the most disturbing aspects of the New Right is its close relationship with evangelical Christianity, and you can be sure that the rank and file of our churches will be in the forefront of support for Bush's latest threat to constitutional government, forgetting the difference betweenpatriotism and nationalism.
Neo-patriots think that if you criticize U.S. foreign policy or the country’s obsession with security you are “unpatriotic.” True patriots believe that the exercise of critical judgment is absolutely necessary to any civilization that is to stand or forge ahead, and that it is both their right and duty to criticize their government. They concur with President Theodore Roosevelt: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.”
7:42 AM I'm sure from time to time you've had your morning devotions with your hymnal by your side. The weather has been so absolutely gorgeous these days that as I sat on my front porch watching the sun rise I grabbed the hymnal off the organ and sang the words of an old hymn. It was originally composed in 1744 and published in a German Hymnal. Read the words slowly, thoughtfully. Pause to luxuriate in their message.
When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
7:30 AM "Pitiable." That's the word that kept coming to mind last night as I slurped a bowl of delicious butter pecan ice cream in our library at Bradford Hall with my wife and son. Our Sheltie named Shiloh assumed his routine: he sat down next to me, eyes glued to my bowl, counting the seconds until he could relieve me of my sullied dish and polish it clean. O those sad, pleading eyes, patient yet persistent - pitiable, if you will. As it happened, all three of us finished eating at the exact same time, and down came the bowls - not one, but three. You never saw such ecstasy in your life as Shiloh scurried from treasure to treasure.
There is nothing like a dog.
Tuesday, September 21
1:49 PM Jonathan Grubbs on the anti-homeschool bias in the media. (Update: Jonathan Grubbs responds to my link:)
It's not simply "anti-homeschool bias in the media". I spoke with the
newspaper reporter who wrote the story. She said that all of her
information came from the Muskegon County Sheriff's office.
This is another gross example of "our tax dollars" hard at work!
8:33 AM How I feel about this story.
8:25 AM Maybe this is Dan's real problem:
Dan said all these things to a British audience. However, back in the USA, he smothered his conscience and told his TV audience: "George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions. He wants me to line up, just tell me where."During the war in Vietnam, Dan's predecessor at CBS, Walter Cronkite, asked some pretty hard questions about Nixon's handling of the war in Vietnam. Today, our sons and daughters are dying in Bush wars. But, unlike Cronkite, Dan could not, would not, question George Bush, Top Gun Fighter Pilot, Our Maximum Beloved Leader in the war on terror.
7:29 AM Mixed message at LRC?
Your Vote Is Not Wasted
If you vote for a third party, says Charles L. Hooper.
Be Responsible: Don't Vote
Don't be a conformist, says Wendy McElroy.
7:12 AM DBO contributor Keith Brumley, who just launched his own blog, sent me this great email:
Greetings Dr. Black,
Really liked this article for two reasons. First, because you rightly point out that Jesus is Lord over every aspect of life - including politics. As a libertarian Christian, I keep this in mind as I go to the polls. I also appreciate the Constitution Party and vote for them as well.
Second (and a bit more controversial) I liked it because of your statement on baptism. As you may recall, I am a part of the "Restoration Movement" (I.e., the Churches of Christ & Christian Churches). Many have labeled us as folk who believe in "baptismal regeneration." This is wrong. While we do preach and teach that baptism (like faith & repentance) are essential responses to God's good news in Christ, we don't preach or teach that baptism, in and of itself, "regenerates." Baptism is an integral part of responding in faith to Christ Jesus. Without faith and repentance, it's merely getting wet. Coupled with faith and repentance, it is part of the process whereby one is united into a living union with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
While it is true that early "Campbelites," in their zeal to emphasize baptism, made too much of baptism, I also believe many evangelicals make too little of baptism. I'm thankful to see you putting a positive emphasis on biblical baptism.
And, of course, I remain open to further study. I know I have no corner on the market of God's truth and am always happy to journey with others who help me see His truth more clearly!
Keep the Faith!
7:03 AM From the mailbag:
Dr. Black, as a Catholic I read with interest your article on the occurrence
of the principal of 'tolerationism' within Evangelicalism. The thought
occurred to me that this is the case of a political principal forming Faith
instead of Faith forming political principals.
This tendency is something that I have noticed taking place with American
politics and religion for some time. The Christian faith in the US seems to
be infected with the heresies of Americanism (American Exceptionalism) and Messianism.
6:40 AM This is a great piece on the bane of urbanization. My wife and I can't hardly drive in Raleigh or Chapel Hill any more, it reminds us so much of the crazy gridlock we knew in LA (and that ain't Lower Alabama). Cities aren't the natural home of people but they suit governments to a "t."
6:37 AM A war on any abstraction - whether a war on "terrorism" or not - is a sham. Add to that the evil of preemptive war and you've got the breeding ground for more and more terrorism. Force only begets more more force, and the world is less safe after the invasion of Iraq. Chuck Baldwin calls us to stop looking at the Iraq War with our eyes firmly shut.
6:35 AM Declare "Mission Accomplished," topple a few statues, and get the boys home. Wish it were that easy, Mr. President. Sorry. You're stuck with the mess, and yanking the troops to appease the voters won't help.
6:26 AM The Great Flip-Flopper does in fact understand that a vote to authorize force is not an endorsement of pre-emptive war. Kerry was clear on that point in his speech, and for that I give him credit.
6:24 AM Founders Ministries offers some important helps to Sunday School teachers who desire to wean themselves (and their students) from over-dependence on the Lifeway material. I would even take it a step further and invite class members to bring their Biblesinstead of their lesson guides, and require teachers to study the Scriptures for themselvesbefore consulting whatever resources they may end up employing in class.
Monday, September 20
3:23 PM Ian Black makes impeccably good logic in his latest column:
Al-Qaida may have suffered some serious blows, but its Jihadist affiliates are continuing their deadly business across the globe. The terrorism George Bush vowed to eradicate after the 9/11 attacks seems more virulent and widespread. Indeed, it has taken root where it did not exist before: in Iraq itself.Jacques Chirac, the French president and leader of Europe's anti-war camp, made no bones about his views when he declared that the US-led invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein had opened up a "Pandora's box which none of us can shut".
Even a terrible francophone like myself sides with Jacques on this one.
3:15 PM Just back from the big city of South Boston getting 16 foot gates for our horse pasture. The rest of the afternoon will be spent cutting hay (our fourth cutting this summer!) and airing out our tents for our next reenactment.
8:45 AM Get pregnant - or else!
8:10 AM Today's toon:
8:08 AM Farm Update: My son's latest interest is wanting to make our own maple syrup next year. Why not, we've got the trees....
8:05 AM Maybe it is just me being me, but is this the best a Republican blogger can do?
I smile and look around. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams, Tina Brown and President George H.W. Bush, all talking and laughing. For at least one week, it is a happy political universe.
7:59 AM An "unborn child" (not a "fetus") was among those killed during the recent hurricane-caused rains in North Carolina. Question: Why do we speak of a dead baby as a "child" and alive one as a "fetus"?
7:58 AM The Dems are still wondering what happened to Zell.
7:57 AM The Darfur disaster will never be resolved by a self indulgent, entitlement-rich, bloated organization that thinks it can fix any situation. Why don't the Islamic nations take some leadership in this awful crisis?
7:57 AM Operation Market-Garden, and its famous bridge too far, remembered in Arnhem. I well recall visiting the city a few years ago and its war museum. Sadly, the main result of the war was Europe's slide into a gigantic welfare state. What a great (and sorely neglected) mission field.
7:55 AM The latest on the Dan-ron scandal.
7:54 AM Uh oh, bad news for Herr Schroeder, who is facing increased opposition from Germans who still want to be Germans. Socialist Schroeder, who is now married to his fourth wife, has sent German "peacekeepers" far and wide in support of the UN. Great Weltanschauung, ain't it? At least it's good to know the right still has the power to exasperate the left in Deutschland.
7:50 AM A nice tribute to a man who "helped to restore the value of developing a Christian worldview and offered the intellectuals tools that evangelicals needed to properly engage with the secular culture." I had the privilege of sitting under this pastor's teaching when I lived in Switzerland. Read about him here.
7:48 AM An excellent article from the Guardian on how America views itself as a victim - and the way it exploits its victimhood to support its moral crusades.
When 3,000 people died on September 11, Le Monde declared: "We are all Americans now." Around 12,000 civilians have died in Iraq since the beginning of the war, yet one waits in vain for anyone to declare that we have all become Iraqis, or Afghans, let alone Palestinians. This is not a competition. Sadly, there are enough victims to go around. Sadder still, if the US continues on its present path, there will be many more. Demanding a monopoly on the right to feel and to inflict pain simply inverts victimhood's regular contradiction - the Bush administration displays material strength and moral weakness.
Sunday, September 19
7:48 AM "We're back at war" says head of British Army.
7:45 AM Good Sunday Morning! This afternoon we will be entertaining guests at our table -- twice. Our guest of honor will be our revival speaker, and we have invited church members both for an after-church lunch and a pre-evening meeting supper. It's always a joy watching my wife doing what she does best and to perfection. This morning our men's group is off to sing at the local nursing home - good ol' country Gospel, gut bucket and GEE-tar included.
Saturday, September 18
5:05 PM In case you missed it, Covenant News is reporting about the growing problem ofeuthanasia in the Netherlands.
3:56 PM This song is too cool! Here are the words. For you Kamaainas out there, I used to sing it, "I want to go back to my little Black Shack in Kailua over the Pali." (Below: My beloved home "over the Pali.")
3:45 PM King Tut visits Basel. My wife and I saw the same artifacts in the Cairo Museum. Fascinating! Incidentally, during our European tour next summer we will get to spend the Lord's Day in Basel. I will be preaching (in German), and English-speaking services will be available as well. I am really looking forward to seeing our many Swiss friends again!
3:25 PM Sheldon Richman on whether Kerry or Bush "served his country" - whatever that means.
I am annoyed by so much of the debate about Bush's and Kerry's roles during Vietnam. The other night Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame repeatedly said that the one thing no one can doubt is that George Bush was a "shirker" and Kerry wasn't. If he meant that Bush shirked according to the standards Bush himself would likely endorse, then Bernstein is right. But objectively speaking, Bernstein is wrong. To shirk is to avoid a duty or responsibility. No one had a duty or responsibility to go to Vietnam and shoot at perfect strangers who had never attacked him and to risk getting killed or maimed or just badly screwed up. Likewise, Kerry didn't "serve his country" when he went to Vietnam. At most he served a corrupt U.S. government that continuously imposed on the American people (not to mention the Vietnamese) by making them fight that immoral war.
12:48 PM Why the mystique surrounding the Arabian horse? Maybe it's because it was theoriginal breed. What beautiful creatures!
12:43 PM Neat link on Greek epigraphy with various fonts, including obsolescent letters like the digamma:
11:55 AM The impartiality of the Gospel and peace on earth:
Bad Christian theology regarding the "Holy Land" contributed to the tragic cruelty of the Crusades in the Middle Ages. Lamentably, bad Christian theology is today attributing to secular Israel a divine mandate to conquer and hold Palestine, with the consequence that the Palestinian people are marginalized and regarded as virtual "Canaanites." This doctrine is both contrary to the teaching of the New Testament and a violation of the Gospel mandate. In addition, this theology puts those Christians who are urging the violent seizure and occupation of Palestinian land in moral jeopardy of their own bloodguiltiness. Are we as Christians not called to pray for and work for peace, warning both parties to this conflict that those who live by the sword will die by the sword? Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring both temporal reconciliation and the hope of an eternal and heavenly inheritance to the Israeli and the Palestinian. Only through Jesus Christ can anyone know peace on earth.
11:45 AM What will you be doing on Tuesday, May 31, 2005, Deo volente? Why not join us in Erfurt, Germany? By the way, rather than staying in a hotel, we'll have the privilege of overnighting in Luther’s Augustinian Monastery -- just one of the many unique features of our European tour.
Read more about it here. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us. It's gonna be gobs of fun!
11:30 AM The young shall inherit the debt.
10:15 AM Iraq is not another Vietnam. It is far graver, like the Germans going into Stalingrad, fighting for every house.
9:59 AM A DBO reader asks a very good question:
James Dobson can endorse other candidates, why not
Peroutka? I have heard Dr. Dobson admit that he voted
for the Constitution Party candidate in 2000. He said
no one in the two major parties shared his beliefs. I
say to Dr. Dobson, nothing has changed in the last
four years. Things have only gotten worse. His
suspicions about Bush have been shown to be correct.
Like Pat Buchanan mysteriously offering no endorsement
for Michael Peroutka, so has Dr. James Dobson. Dr.
Black I will continue to pray that all Christians
offer their uncompromising support to the Michael
Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin.
9:05 AM N. T. Wright has some good things to say about the Caesar-cult -- both then and now:
...if Paul's answer to Caesar's empire is the empire of Jesus, what does that say about this new empire, living under the rule of its new lord? It implies a high and strong ecclesiology, in which the scattered and often muddled cells of women, men and children loyal to Jesus as Lord form colonial outposts of the empire that is to be: subversive little groups when seen from Caesar's point of view, but when seen Jewishly an advance foretaste of the time when the earth shall be filled with the glory of the God of Abraham and the nations will join Israel in singing God's praises. From this point of view, therefore, this counter-empire can never be merely critical, never merely subversive. It claims to be the reality of which Caesar's empire is the parody; it claims to be modelling the genuine humanness, not least the justice and peace, and the unity across traditional racial and cultural barriers, of which Caesar's empire boasted.
Such radical monotheism seems to be been missing in these days of state-worship. From this standpoint in social history we need to see Christ again against the backdrop of the first century and hear His words in a context of empire-building.
Friday, September 17
7:20 AM Homeschool moms always say it best.
7:12 AM Only if I believed in our two-party monopoly would I agree with Andrew Greeley that there's no choice in '04.
7:09 AM Reenlist, or else!
6:59 AM The instructors at one of the Ethiopian schools I'll be teaching at have requested that I bring copies of my intermediate Greek grammar, It's Still Greek to Me, for their students to use. I am happy to do so, but I do have some concerns. Not about the students' ability to understand intermediate Greek. I'm sure they can handle that. It's my silly English I'm worried about, especially some pretty stupid puns - "Up the Greek without a paddle," "to Koine phrase," "tense times with verbs," etc. And how about that cartoon with mice illustrating preposition usage? Well, at least it should be interesting....
6:57 AM Who really cares about the tailspin over at CBS News? Not this former TV news junkie!
6:55 AM Mmm, mmm, now this is something you can really sink your teeth into:
My generation--that baby boom bunch that we've heard so much about--has a compulsion to change the church to be what they want it to be. Why? Oh....don't you know?Our generation has been told for the whole trip that we are special. We deserve more. We need more. We are wounded. We are alienated from authority. We are the victims of Vietnam, and divorce, and educational breakdown. Decades of advertising have convinced us that we need our own Oldsmobile, cause we can't drive daddy's. We're smarter. Thinner. Better. We've got the short attention span. Television and movies are our medium. We need stories. We're casual. We need to be met "where we are." We need to be in "real relationships." We aren't satisfied with "church the way it used to be."Yeah right. What a crock. This is the most flattered, catered to, lied to and indulged generation in history. I loathe my generation, not because we don't have some good people. We do, but we also have generational selfishness honed into a kind of idolatry that is truly awesome to behold. We are big, fat, demographic bullies, who won't play with anyone else unless we get everything "our way."
Read A Contrarian Manifesto for the Church Growth Debate. Then add Michael Spencer's website to your list of favorites.
6:52 AM Our friendly neighborhood hawk has been picking off our hens one at a time. Needless to say, our otherwise free-ranging chickens are being quarantined until our fine feathered friend can be, ahem, "taken care of."
6:48 AM Latest German WW II film juxtaposes the Battle for Berlin with Hitler's bunker. Did the Leader have a human touch? Read about The Downfall (Der Untergang) and why so many people sacrificed their lives and their children's lives for the state. Here's a German reviewthat lauds the picture for being a German production and not another example of American "spin":
Zuerst einmal möchte ich sagen, dass ich es klasse finde, dass auch mal ein deutscher Film über dieses heikle Thema produziert wird. Dieser wird - im Gegensatz zu den US-Filmen - um einiges objektiver ausfallen.
Dennoch werden in diesem Film einige - meiner Meinung nach sehr entscheidende Dinge - nicht geklärt. Denn Hitler und der Großteil der damaligen Führungsetage Deutschlands, waren schwer drogensüchtig. Herrmann Göring zum Beispiel, war extrem Morphiumsüchtig...: "In den höheren Rängen der NS-Hierarchie wusste man über seine Sucht sehr wohl Bescheid, und in Gefangenschaft begab er sich mit zwei dicken Koffern, Inhalt: 20.000 Ampullen Morphium. Es schmerzte ihn sehr, dass ihm die Amerikaner diese abnahmen, und sein völlig verändertes Aussehen beim Nürnberger Prozess war eine Folge der unfreiwilligen Entziehungskur. Er war eine Art 'NS-Hippie' mit einer Vorliebe für Lametta und Paradiesuniformen..."
Oder Hitler: "Er war schwer Amphetaminsüchtig (damals Pervitin; heute Speed), bekam gegen Darmprobleme regelmäßig kleine schwarze Pillen (Wirkstoffe: Atropin und Strychnin) und lies sich seine entzündeten Schleimhäute mit Kokain pinseln. Weiterhin wurde er vor seinen 'großen Reden' immer 'fitgespritzt' und das Atropin (Tollkirsche) sorgte dafür, dass Hitler seine berühmten, stechenden Augen bekam." Versorgt wurde er regelmäßig von Dr. Morell, der in der Führungsetage nur als "Reichsspritzenmeister" bekannt war. Dieser Dr. Morell war ebenfalls die ganze Zeit bei Hitler im Führerbunker und wich ihm nur sehr selten von der Seite... und hätte vll. doch in diesem Film erwähnt werden sollen.
Dennoch werde ich mir diesen Film anschauen, da er - wie oben bereits geschrieben - eine deutsche Produktion ist und nicht von "hirngespinnsten" durchtränkt ist, wie so mancher US-Film.
6:45 AM Did you notice? Columnist David Saransohn of the Oregonian pointed out the curious gap in all the talk at the Republican National Convention about Iraq:
At this convention, you don't hear much about Iraq.That is, Iraq the country.You hear constantly about Iraq the symbol, the demonstration of American resolve, the place that will be a beacon of democracy throughout the Middle East and the Muslim world. Speakers repeatedly invoke Iraq as a stage set for President Bush's determination, a symbol of a rebuilding world.
Thursday, September 16
8:55 AM The recent hurricanes remind me of an incident that happened on the shores of Galilee (Yam Kinneret) when my wife and I were staying in Capernaum. The day started out calm and peaceful, but in just a matter of seconds a great storm blew down from the mountains to the west of the lake, and before you knew it I was literally body-surfing in the historic Sea of Galilee - the waves were so high. The God who could still a storm in Jesus' day is the same God who can direct a hurricane to less-populated areas and preserve life in the midst of great destruction. These hurricanes are not surprises to God. He is the God of the storm and has a purpose in them. (Below: The Arbela Pass as seen from Capernaum.)
8:12 AM Too many of us play the numbers game. No, we never need be ashamed of concern over numbers. The New Testament is full of them - how many people were fed on a mountainside, how many people were added to the church on the Day of Pentecost, etc. But a healthy church body is never preoccupied with numbers. Even the secular press mocks our inflated membership statistics, as Tom Ascol has pointed out. The solution?
Simply put, the answer is doctrine. The men and women who founded and shaped the Southern Baptist Convention in its formative years placed a high premium on sound doctrine. They took for granted that which we have all but forgotten, namely, that the foundation of vibrant Christian living and healthy Christian churches is solid, biblical teaching.
8:10 AM Larry Pratt is right:
We have invited terrorists to strike our schools because we have singled these institutions out as criminal safe zones.
7:45 AM Blitzer interviews Buchanan. Take a few seconds and read this interesting dialogue. By the way, Pat, it's still not too late to endorse the only true conservative candidate for president.
7:35 AM Morning roundup:
- Went to the seminary yesterday to hear Craig Blaising speak in chapel and to take him out to lunch afterwards. Dr. Blaising is the Provost at our sister seminary in Fort Worth and was on campus lecturing on eschatology. Where did I take him? The Texas Steakhouse, of course.
- Had a terrific sinus headache yesterday afternoon and all evening. We don't need a barometer around here. My sinuses are a pretty good sign of a low pressure system.
- Have a female Boer in the hospital unit in the barn. My wife gently bathed her foot in Epsom Salts, and the goat seems to be doing much better today. How fragile and tender these young ones are, requiring constant monitoring.
- Our nightly prayer meetings at church have been a wonderful time and a great blessing to all in attendance. This Sunday our "revival" begins, and I pray the Lord will send a great awakening. Our little choir will be singing one of my all time favorite hymns - "Come Holy Spirit."
- For our anniversary my wife is getting me a set of old Haven of Rest Quartet CDs, which are very hard to find. If yall know where we can find some more (CDs or cassettes - no LPs), please let us know. I am desperate to get my hands on some.
- I see that the young Mr. Friedrich is back, and back with a vengeance. Both his pen andhis new found brush are active:
Welcome back to the blogosphere, Pieter.
Tuesday, September 14
1:55 PM What do blabatrice, honeyfugle, illatration, luscition, and oligosyllable have in common? You won't find them in spell check!
1:50 PM Having a good blog is nothing to sneeze at. Or is it?
I've written previously written about a great book called Unleashing the Idea Virus (by Seth Godin) on this blog. He argues that for any idea to spread that you need to think of it as a virus and make it as easy as possible for other people to spread the virus for you. It is much more effective to let others 'sneeze' (or promote) your site into the web than to do it all yourself.
1:43 PM Despite what Mr. Bush and his veep say about people being "free" to pursue so-called alternative lifestyles,
Sodomy is a crime, and for Christians to publicly refer to this criminal activity as "gay" or as a "life style" is an anti-Biblical presupposition that suggests to the public, and to our civil officials, that the laws against sodomy can be ignored. To ignore what God says is to mock God, and for Christians to suggest that it is permissible for civil officials to ignore the Commandments of God is iniquity -- anomia -- Greek for lawlessness (Matt. 7:23).
12:47 PM I recently spoke at a church that had lost its pastor rather suddenly. Times of transition are a challenge but also a great opportunity to rethink the biblical teaching about church leadership. I just reread Alexander Strauch's Biblical Eldership and found it to be both inspiring and convicting. If you have never thought through your position on church leadership, I commend his work to you. An abbreviated version may be found on the Internet by goinghere. Meanwhile, let warm, aggressive affirmations of love be the continual expression of our local churches whenever we come together - even though we may differ as to temperament, politics, and personality!
10:35 AM And here's one from a fellow agrarian:
... one more reason to live and work on a farm."In 1989, Dr. David Strachan, a respected epidemiologist at Britain's London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, launched a tidal wave of debate with a complex theorem of human immunology development and disease control, saying, 'We need dirt.'""Dr. Strachan proposed that society's growing separation from dirt and germs may well be the cause of weaker immune systems resulting in the growing incidence of a wide range of maladies.""Dirt--or to be more specific, the microbes in the earth's soil--may be some of our best friends."This is a quote from The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin, pg. 69.Still enjoying your website....
I agree completely. Three cheers for Pig Pen!
10:33 AM From the mailbag:
This is the Peroutka commercial that is soon to be aired in the state of Mississippi. Thought you would like to be aware of it.
This is great news! Thank you very much indeed!
8:23 AM Jonathan Grubbs wants to know who left the door open.
In a single day, more than 4,000 illegal aliens will walk across the busiest unlawful gateway into the U.S., the border between Arizona and Mexico. And many will obtain phony identification papers, including bogus Social Security numbers, to conceal their true identities and mask their unlawful presence. TIME’s Pulitzer Prize winning investigative team, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, takes a look at the damage, the dangers, and the reasons America fails to protect itself as millions of illegal aliens pour across the U.S.-Mexican border this year, many from countries hostile to America.
8:15 AM Read a mind-boggling excerpt from Hersh's Chain of Command to see how we got from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib.
7:59 AM Robert Dabney, one of my Southern heroes, on our indifference to the truth:
A church, whose teachers are not heartily agreed in doctrine, can only have peace within itself at the cost of a Sadducean indifference to truth. . . . Indeed, the ends designed by this so-called comprehension can only be gained by indifferentism. The theory has an obvious tendency to disparage the importance of truth. . . . So benumbing is the spirit of indifferency begotten by this comprehension, that its tendency is to extinguish all true life in the church which practices it. . . . Peace is preserved at the expense of life, and the motley body dies in the stupor of its own indifference.
Read Broad Churchism.
7:33 AM It struck me while reading 1 Samuel 16 this morning that God picked the most unlikely son of Jesse to be king. "The Lord does not see as man sees" says verse 7, and this is a healthy reminder. The very things that had commended Saul (natural ability, physical appearance) are now seen as detrimental. God "looks on the heart" and thus picks David. Ironically, David is a handsome young man -- ruddy, with bright eyes and very good-looking. But his heart was what mattered. I needed to remind myself this morning that God is not interested in my giftedness but my brokenness. Even whatever gifts I might possess are just that -- gifts from Him. I must refuse to claim any credit for them, but seek to examine my heart to see whether "the Spirit of the Lord is upon [me]" (verse 13). And then go through the day reveling in the presence of the Lord!
Monday, September 13
5:56 PM Sorry, but I couldn't resist! (Below: The famous "Jaws" beach on the Island of Maui.)
5:02 PM Tonight we begin a week of nightly prayer for our church revival that begins next Sunday. I am much encouraged that God still has a good work to do in our little flock, and that His work has nothing to do with our numbers and everything to do with our obedience, as this essay on the Chocolate Soldier by C. T. Studd reminds us.
Come, then, let us restore the "Lost Chord" of Christianity - HEROISM - to the world, and the crown of the world to Christ. Christ Himself asks thee, "Wilt thou be a Slacker or a Militant?" To your knees, man! And to your Bible! Decide at once! Don't hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses!
12:10 PM Homosexual marriage: How the nation got into this mess in the first place.
The church has lost its influence with society because it sends mixed messages and because it has no leg to stand upon when it strays from its Biblical moorings. Barna, based upon his constant polling and research on the church, wrote in 2002 that the church “is not among the top dozen influences these days — a far cry from the way things used to be.”7
Because of our timidity, naiveté, and poor understanding of our own faith, the church is often viewed as inconsequential in American society today. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where numerous polls indicate that the majority of the people oppose same-sex marriages, yet the concerns of the Christians are simply swept aside.Yes, I fought in the trenches in the culture wars. I served in a place that suffered substantial losses. Yet, I know God reigns. If only His people would act like it.
10:55 AM The debate over N. T. Wright and the so-called new perspective on Paul continues unabated, as a DBO reader reminded me today. Here's a good link that will help you sort out this important issue, if you haven't done so already.
8:57 AM Yet another pro-war Congressman sees the light:
A visibly emotional U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, who two years ago described a potential invasion of Iraq as being in the "interest of America and all freedom-loving people everywhere," Friday told a Northern Kentucky audience that his vote to authorize that war was the one he most regretted during his three terms in Congress.
8:25 AM Darrell Dow on the "you are either for us or against us" fallacy of statism and the New Right:
But my question is this: Given that we live, or at least once lived, in a republic where power rests on the consent of the governed, what does Wilson’s indictment say about Christians who give their consent to the advancement of "syncretistic idolatry?"
One other item that Wilson fails to address is the Bush administration infatuation with the idolatry of statism. That our security comes from the regime, that you are "with us or against us" in the war on terror, that there is "wonder working power" in state-funded "faith-based" social programs are all lies propagated by the administration, and point to the state rather than God as the author of every good and perfect gift.
8:23 AM Are Americans facing a "Westmoreland moment"?
8:04 AM Jacob Hornberger on the flaws of interventionism:
After 9/11, President Bush, amidst tremendous fanfare, declared his “war on terrorism.” Rather than simply going after those individuals who had conspired to commit the 9/11 attacks, he invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq, on the basis of the notion that the president has the power to preemptively attack, without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, any nation whose rulers might have “harbored” terrorists or who might pose a terrorist threat to the United States at some time in the future. In the process, the United States killed tens of thousands of innocent people (that is, people who had nothing to do with 9/11 or even the 1993 terrorist attack on the WTC), thereby producing even more anger and hatred that will inevitably lead to more terrorist attacks and ensuring that the process will continue. This policy also ensures ever-increasing budgets for the Department of Defense (so-called) andever-increasing federal power over the lives and fortunes of the American people.
7:55 AM From the mailbag:
Bro. Dave, I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate your web-site! It is very refreshing to know that there are others out there who are not afraid to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
The articles on your web-site on everything from family based worship,
constitutional government, and the unvarnished record of GW Bush and the Republicans have gotten me in some hot water as I have forwarded them to friends/family members! I recently preached a series at our church on a Biblical perspective of voting, and the info on your site was
indispensable! Thanks again, and God Bless!
Thank you, dear brother, and keep up the good work, inasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
7:32 AM Good day, friends. In my reading this morning I saw an interesting equation: "Walk about Zion, and go all around her.... For this is God" (Psalm 48:12, 14). To praise Zion, the dwelling place of God, is the same as praising God Himself. Yesterday we paid a visit to a some dear friends in western Virginia, a home school family of nine children with a church that meets in their barn. As I looked at the orderly, peaceful home, I couldn't help but admire the job mom and dad are doing. Their "Zion" is indeed a blessing to visit, and surely "God is in her palaces" (Psalm 48:3) and "He is known as her refuge." On our trip to Ethiopia we hope to visit with their eldest daughter and her husband who are missionaries in Uganda. Thank you, Lord, for this family -- for their testimony to your grace and love, for their willingness, like Lydia and Priscilla, to have a church meet "in their home," and for their dedication to the Word of God, even when it's counter-cultural. Surely "Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!" (Psalm 48:1).
Sunday, September 12
8:30 AM From today's Le Monde: How Bush, Putin, and Sharon started World War IV:
Poutine, Bush, Sharon paraissent donc participer au même combat. Ils font la même analyse d'une idéologie - le fondamentalisme islamique - et d'une méthode - le terrorisme. Ils voient, mais ils ne sont pas les seuls, dans le fondamentalisme une nouvelle forme de totalitarisme, rappelant les idéologies du XXe siècle.
8:20 AM Die Zeit believes Vietnam will determine the outcome of the U.S. presidential election:
Der Vietnam-Krieg kostet - auch dreißig Jahre nach seinem Ende - noch immer Menschenleben: Erst am vergangenen Mittwoch sind sechs Vietnamesen durch die Explosion einer alten Granate aus den Kämpfen mit den Amerikanern umgekommen, vier erlitten Verletzungen. Vietnam ist immer noch ein aktuelles Thema - auch und gerade in den USA. Dort könnte der Krieg die Glaubwürdigkeit und vielleicht auch die Wahlchancen der zwei Hauptkandidaten im diesjährigen Präsidentschaftswahlkampf, Bush und Kerry, entscheiden.
8:08 AM Don't you just love airport security these days?
The government finds it easier to lock down law-abiding citizens in hopes of catching the bad guys in their net. Besides, the more hassles you have to endure, the easier it is to convince the general public that the government is actually doing something to protect you. The fact is few bad guys and a lot of innocent Americans are made to suffer. Powerful lists designed to deny freedoms isn’t the way to fight terrorism.
There are more plans in the works beyond no-fly lists. Once in place, getting on the wrong list can cost you your bank account, your driver’s license, your job, or even your home, all because of a typo from a minimum wage, apathetic worker.
8:05 AM EXTRA! EXTRA! Harry Seabrook, erstwhile editor of Little Geneva, to Join Army, Repents of Negativism Toward Bush! Read all about it!
I retract everything bad I’ve ever said about George W. Bush. His Christianity was not evident to me, but then I read this from George Grant: "Over the course of several years now, President Bush has developed a vibrant devotional life. Every morning before dawn, even before he brings Laura a cup of coffee, he reads from the Bible. Not surprisingly, he finds the Book of Psalms particularly invigorating… He also regularly reads the daily selection from My Utmost for His Highest, the classic devotional work by Oswald Chambers." As long as he has morning devotions, it doesn’t really matter if he thinks Jews and Muslims worship the God of the Bible. That does it… I’m going to talk to an army recruiter.
Please, Harry, before going off the deep end, consider this opening. It's perfect for a Willow Creek/Saddleback fan like yourself.
Saturday, September 11
11:45 AM Bee sting cure-all? Might be worth checking out as often as I am a target....
11:43 AM Guess who sends their kids to private schools?
11:30 AM Is the Greek term for "elder" age specific? I tend to think it is. I agree with this writer:
The word 'elder' implies that the person in question is an older man. In the Old Testament 'elders' had a significant role in leading the people of Israel on the national, tribal, and city level. The New Testament carries on this tradition. Who would question that the 'elders' of the Old Testament are actually older men? Why should we assume differently in the New Testament? After addressing the elders in I Peter 5, Peter tells the younger, likewise ye younger submit yourselves unto the elder. Notice the age difference.
An elder is a mature man. There are many young men gifted in the things of the Lord, gifted to teach, and perhaps even gifted to 'pastor' in the Ephesians 4:11 sense. But if a man has not lived long enough to fulfill the character requirements of I Timothy 3, then we should not see him as an elder of the church. Let him use his gifts, yes.
For more, you might see the chapter "Jesus and the Age 30 Transition" in my book The Myth of Adolescence.
10:50 AM If you haven't read Mark Harrington's Terror in the Womb: The Forgotten Victims of 9/11, please take a moment and do so. Aren't you glad we have men like Mark writing such essays? Eventually, given enough time, any movement becomes a reflection of its leaders. Thank God for men who have a sharp, insightful leadership role; and shame, shame on those jokers who create congregations that do nothing but laugh a lot!
10:43 AM About to enjoy some scrumptious omelets, prepared by my darling. Tonight we are getting all fancified and going to a nearby bed-and-breakfast/restaurant for a ritzy supper. Meantime I've got the grass to bush-hog and more work to do on the sheds. We hope to cut and bale more hay as well. Because of the plentiful rains this summer we may even get an unheard-of 4 cuttings this year in some fields. Saturday a day of rest? Not for us!* Man, what a great life!
*Didn't someone once say, "Six days shalt thou work"?
9:15 AM Happy Anniversary to ... us! Date: September 11, 1976. Place: Grace Bible Church, Dallas, Texas. Officiating: Dr. Dwight Pentecost, Rev. Robert Hakes. Honeymoon: Hawaii -- where else?
Friday, September 10
6:55 PM Thought for the day (C. H. Spurgeon):
By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
6:35 PM In today's LRC blog, Thomas DiLorenzo expresses his disappointment with the politically-correct battlefield guide he had at Gettysburg. Tom, I could have told you as much. Next time, forego the propaganda, get out your walking shoes, and hike the fateful mile from the Virginia monument to the stone wall, as many of us do each time we visit that hallowed ground. Gives you a brand new perspective on the kind of frontal assault you described in your blog comments.
6:23 PM Like every American, I was horrified by the events of September 11, 2001. But don't let anyone tell you we are more secure today than we were pre-9/11. Lee Shelton deals in great specificity about the shape, style, and agenda of the Bush response to terrorism in part three of his series on the lesser-of-two-evils myth.
2:34 PM Look who's divorcing.
2:10 PM Dr. Lyman says learn Spanish and learn it muy pronto! Izzy, I realize the Real Academia Española was established in 1713 to "fijar las voces y vocablos de la lengua castellana en su mayor propiedad, elegancia, y pureza," but would my Southern California Spanglish do? After all, I am able to surfear the web and I can both deletear and dragear an icon!
1:58 PM John Pafford reviews Pat Buchanan's penultimate book, A Republic, Not an Empire. A salient quote:
While it is true that the United States is a multiethnic country, it has not been and must never become a multicultural country. To proclaim that this is a multicultural country, that the basis of our culture is diversity, is meaningless. That really means that there is no national culture, that the country is just a conglomeration of separate, unassimilated groups of people. A successful country, though, must be based on voluntarily accepted values which unite individuals from diverse backgrounds. There must be something which transcends the differences which separate us.
1:45 PM Lobe den Herrn! My Microsoft Word is actually working, folks. There have been no more crashes while I have been working on my sabbatical project. This is indeed a miracle from the Lord (at least in this layman's estimation). While I'm on a break from writing, it's good to see the work Buddy Hanson is doing at the Grace & Law website. He notes:
For too long we have been approaching life in a schizophrenic manner: professing to be Christians, and proclaiming that God's Word is truth, yet living as though He has nothing to say about everyday life! As a result civil government is not fulfilling its God-appointed role of protecting citizens and prosecuting law-breakers. By living in accordance with the four self-governing spheres (Self, Family, Church, State) we will:
- increase our personal liberty
- reduce the amount of all taxes to below 10 percent (since to pay Caesar more than God is to dishonor God), and
- have peaceful communities in which to raise our families.
This is a great reminder, Buddy. The state -- the institution of human government -- has been ordained by God to serve the individual, not the other way around. As Buddy reminds us, we must begin with God as Creator and as Law-Giver. Man is a divine creation designed to love and obey God, and governments that lose sight of this great truth often force men to bow to service to the state without regard for their obligation to God. Thanks, Buddy, for all you are doing to remind us that when governments fail to recognize man's allegiance to God they court revolution, and when men fail to recognize their allegiance to God they court tyranny. It's as simple as that!
9:55 AM San Gabriel Mission loses its cross. (Gracias: Charles Porter.)
8:43 AM Hmm, a husband and wife team, both of whom have degrees in Secondary Education, home schooling their kids? Wassup?
8:35 AM Jeff Adams wants to know, Who left whom?
I believe in the same things today that I did when those ideals motivated me to join the U.S. military to ‘serve my country.’ Those ideals are what motivated me to vote for Reagan, questioningly vote for Bush senior, hold my nose voting for Dole, and finally in 2000 to vote for Buchanan. I’ve come to the point that I don’t think I can even vote for either of our U.S. senators in Texas, who are both Republican, or for the Republican running for the congressional seat for my district. These people, along with Bush, have turned their backs on the Constitution, the ideals and principles that have historically defined America, and the citizens they are suppose to represent.I won’t vote for a Democrat either, as I gave up on the Democratic Party long ago (they are socialists in everything but name). I have to vote for what I believe in, not vote for a Republican because I fear the Democrats more. There’s no real difference between the two parties any more. It’s like a choice between sticking my hand in a jar full of rattlesnakes or a jar full of cottonmouths. Either way, my hand is going into a jar full of poisonous snakes, and I’m sure to get bitten.To borrow from Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. I’m voting conservative/traditionalist, and if that means the Constitution Party, so be it. George Bush has shown his true colors and they are anything but conservative. I’m not throwing away my vote; Bush has thrown my vote away. What’s the problem here? It’s not me folks, it’s him.
7:56 AM The credo of Babyholics Anonymous.
7:45 AM Chuck Baldwin says it about as well as it can be said:
James Bovard and Bob Barr are correct: America has been betrayed by President George W. Bush! Mr. Bush has proved himself unfaithful to virtually every precept of conservative, constitutional principles. As such, a John Kerry presidency would be no worse. In fact, it might even be better as conservatives would suddenly have their blinders removed and might actually start acting like conservatives again.
Of course, the best alternative would be to elect a true constitutional conservative as President. And the only such candidate for this year's election who meets that criteria is Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party. It is for the above reasons and more that I was happy to accept Michael's invitation to be his Vice Presidential running mate.
If you choose to vote for G.W. Bush, go ahead, but please don't delude yourself into thinking that by doing so you are voting for something dramatically different from that of the Democratic candidate, because you aren't. You are merely voting to continue the failed and fallacious policies of the liberal establishment which controls both major parties.
Read The Bush Betrayal.
Thursday, September 9
7:50 PM I have a lot of weaknesses but ingratitude isn't one of them. I want to thank my good friends over at the LOS website for their faithfulness in reposting so many of my essays. If I get over 10,000 hits in a day, it is because of websites like Dixienet and Vision Forum and Covenant News and Dixie Daily News and many others. A heartfelt "thank you" to each and every one. May the Lord bless us as we seek to honor Him and Him alone in all we do!
7:35 PM Tonight I received the wonderful news that the Peroutka/Baldwin ticket will be third on the Virginia ballot. Thanks be to God! And thanks be to God for the hard work of Mitch Turner and the rest of the Virginia Constitution Party. This is a great note upon which to end a very busy day. This is how good God is -- our faithful covenant God. O how I long and pray, with tears at times, for the fulfillment of Joel 2:25-26 in terms of our nation: "I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten...and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you." Fortunately, America is slowly waking up. We are again recognizing the dangers of an over-governed idolatrous society. But our pursuit of God is possible only because He is forever pursuing us. O may we respond this November 2 in humbleness, righteousness, trust, and hope!
10:55 AM SIM Friendship Day in Charlotte, NC a week from this Saturday. A great opportunity to learn about mission work in East Africa. (My wife's family served with SIM in Ethiopia.)
10:15 AM The smells emanating from the kitchen inform me that my precious wife of 28 years come this Saturday has been baking cinnamon rolls again. So if you'll excuse me....
8:45 AM I believe the Christian answer to our problems is to recognize first that God is sovereign and that all things happen either with His direction or with His permission. But I also hold with deepest conviction that God has created us and that we have a responsibility before Him to make wise choices based on His character and His Word. Good people may certainly disagree, but it seems to me that a thinking Christian should always encourage the de-escalation of war and discourage the resort to humanistic political means of consolidating the state's existence. Thus, while I am encouraged by the rise in visibility of Michael Peroutka, Chuck Baldwin, and the Constitution Party, I remain very concerned about the coterie who surround the president with incompetent sycophants, seeking to reinforce their imperialistic ambitions by leaning not only on the government but also on the churches. With only eight weeks to go before the general election it is truly sad to see those who preach power politics discuss nations and peoples as though they were chessmen to be manipulated. The current lack of understanding of constitutional principles in our nation makes it virtually impossible for individuals such as Michael and Chuck to apply Christian morality to the struggle. But they will keep trying, and so will this writer. The main battleground will remain, not the arena of politics, but the hearts and minds of the Christian populace, and there, I can assure you, our efforts will be incessant. May the Lord bless you, each one, this day.
8:40 AM As I am doing a great deal of writing these days, I am reminded of what Thomas Jefferson once called "drudging at the writing table."
7:05 AM This comes as no surprise. None at all.
Wednesday, September 8
5:25 PM My good friends at Trinity Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC are holding a father-son campout at the fabulous Brown farm October 8-10. For more information, including a registration form, please go here.
4:25 PM Taking a break from writing, I found this excellent link from Dr. Patrick Johnson. Folks, don't be afraid to be a one-issue voter!
3:03 PM Amen and amen! Was finally able to download successfully Windows XP onto my sorry old pooter, after five tries! The first three times I was like Pickett in the movie: "Come on, you can do it, that's the style, Lo!" The fourth time I was saying, "What's happened to my boys?" The last time, resigned to whatever outcome God had planned for me, I was like Lee: "God's will." And it worked! Now I can hopefully get on with my sabbatical writing project without the complicated world of cybernetics spoiling things for this computer ignoramus.
1:08 PM One of my Ph.D. students recently asked me how he could keep up with his languages, both biblical and modern. The best way I know, indeed the only way, is simply by reading. I try to read at least Greek, German, and French every day. Last night it was a wonderful short story called La creation de la femme. Try reading until the language in question becomes second nature to you. When I was a doctoral student in Basel, it was just expected of us that we had a good reading knowledge of the languages. So if in my dissertation I quoted Berkhof, I quoted him in Dutch (of course). Or Barth in German. Or Cullmann in French. Of course, the Greek and Hebrew texts were always used, never translations, unless we provided our own. So the key to mastering a foreign language? Simple. Learn to love it -- and then read it every chance you get. Viel Spass!
(BTW, the BBC has some great links on foreign languages, from German to French to Italian. You can easily learn a foreign language -- correct pronunciation included -- on the web! Also, if you want to check your knowledge of, say, German, you can always take an online test, likethis one. Try it out, you German speakers!)
1:05 PM A little sore but none the worse for wear. The Yellow Fever was the most painful but also the most necessary shot. The seminary email is down so it may be a while before I can answer your letters.
7:08 AM Off to get our shots for Africa!
7:06 AM Elder Scott Brown is absolutely right:
The separation of children from their parents in the church, a practice that governs modern church life, is more a product of our godless culture than it is Biblical Christianity. The church has departed from its heritage.There is no indication from scripture that children were ever removed from the meetings designed for preaching, scripture reading, prayer and worship. But, in our culture, it is automatic and comprehensive.
7:05 AM Chuck Baldwin on what is perhaps the most important Congressional bill of the century.
This means, that the federal judiciary would be prohibited from interfering with any expression of religious faith by any elected local, state, or federal official. In other words, federal judges could not prevent the Ten Commandments from being displayed in public buildings or Nativity Scenes from appearing on court house lawns or "under God" from being recited in the Pledge of Allegiance or prayers being spoken in public schools, etc. This bill would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts in these matters.
7:03 AM The new "old" siding on the woodshed makes it look at least 100 years old. Maybe we should call it the wood "mansion"; it is huge. With five wood burning fire places in the Hall we'll need all the firewood we can get come winter (my wife loves wood fires). Should keep the chain saw humming this fall. Now if we can only get enough old wood for the horse barn -- er, horse mansion -- we are building. At least the pasture fencing is done, and it looks pretty neat. Country living is great for many reasons: peace and quiet, stewardship of the land, animal care, self-sufficiency (no, that's not a dirty word for a Christian; see the Greek of Phil. 4:11). But the real reason to love country living is the machinery! Man, to have a Massie Ferguson to help with the farm work. Now that's the real deal!
Tuesday, September 7
7:37 PM 1,000 and counting....
9:45 AM Michael Moore is back in the news. My take on Fahrenheit 9/11?
I came away from the movie thinking that the greatest danger we Christians face in this era is from ourselves, not the opposition – liberal or conservative. We have abandoned our constitutional savvy and, by default, have lost our ability to be the salt of the earth in terms of politics. Michael Moore is no more biased than any other film-maker. He has the right, as does every citizen, to engage in political and other human activities. He also has the right to agitate for change like everyone else. The sad thing is, Christians should be the ones exposing fraud and deception wherever it is to be found, and yet it takes a Bush-w left-winger to do it when it comes to our warmongering.
For more go here.
8:30 AM Bob Barr publishes his latest book review:
Perhaps the clearest evidence of how detached this administration is from the constitutional underpinnings that used to hold presidents at arm’s length from near-absolute power is a quote unearthed by Bovard and included in the closing chapter of The Bush Betrayal. In April of this year, at a news conference, Bush described himself as “the ultimate decision-maker for this country.” As Bovard correctly notes, of course, Bush is at most the decision-maker for the executive branch of the government; the people are the ultimate decision-makers for America. Our Founding Fathers knew that. Generations of Americans understood that. Previous presidents recognized that. Sadly, that constitutionally based and historically sound perspective, which is the cornerstone of what America should stand for, appears not to be a component of the current administration’s thinking. And that is a betrayal.
Read chapter one of The Bush Betrayal here.
7:05 AM Have you checked the Dow lately?
6:59 AM James Boice, a fellow Basel grad, has written one of the most readable introductions to Reformed Theology on the web. Read it here.
6:52 AM A friend recently asked me if there is any really big surf in Hawaii during thesummer. The answer is basically no. The North Shore only breaks in the winter, but, as you can see, there is still some very good surf to be had in the summer. Shown on the right is the "bowl" at Ala Moana (near Honolulu) on the South Shore of Oahu. The break at Ala Moana is one of the hollowest you'll ever see. Short ride, but very good. You have to drop in real fast, though. As teens we used to surf it, then paddle in for "church" (the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy held a service on the beach), then paddle out again. (Needless to say, that was during my Jesus Freak days -- long hair and Mariachi sandals to boot.)
6:45 AM Seeker-sensitive or seeker-centered? My friend from California Greg Koukl discusses the tidal wave sweeping American churches.
6:43 AM Quote of the day (Dean Inge):
The Church which is married to the Spirit of the Age will be a widow in the next.
6:40 AM For readers in the UK, I just stumbled across the LogosWord "webstore" that offers many of my books for sale, some at a discounted price. Nice site!
Monday, September 6
12:45 PM They're coming for your sons and daughters. Even the BBC recognizes the changing role of women in the U.S. armed services. Thankfully, a response is being formulated upon the solid Reformation base of a fully authoritative Scripture.
9:20 AM New definition of "heavy" infantry. Mmmm, I can taste that bratwurst already.
8:15 AM Mr. Charles Porter writes:
Hope that your weekend went fine and this letter finds
you in good spirits. I am halfway through "Why I
stopped listening to Rush" and am want to thank you
for putting into words the way that I feel and the way
thousands of others Christian conservatives feel about
being abandoned by the Republican Party. Wanted to
pass along the last rhetoric from Jerry Falwell. Some
say that Zell Miller sold out his own party by
speaking at the GOP convention. I had a friend that
reminded me that Dick Cheney voted against just about
all the same defense programs that Miller accused
Kerry of going against. Such is life of the
Republicrats. God speed to you and your family.
"As for the overall state of the Republican Party, I
can report that the GOP platform is very reflective of
our conservative ideals. I was able to meet with
several party officials, including Senate Majority
Leader William Frist, who were actively involved in
creating and guarding the platform. I am happy to
report that the platform remains pro-life and
Thanks, Charles. As usual, you are right about the pseudo-conservatism of the Republicrats.
6:34 AM John MacArthur has some pearls on Calvinism:
Scripture speaks with absolute, unmistakable clarity on these vital issues: (1) Sinners are utterly helpless to redeem themselves or to contribute anything meritorious toward their own salvation (Rom 8:7-8). (2) God is sovereign in the exercise of His saving Will (Eph 1:4-5). (3) Christ died as a substitute who bore the full weight of God's wrath on behalf of His people, and his atoning work is efficacious for their salvation (Isa. 53:5). (4) God's saving purpose cannot be thwarted (John 6:37), meaning none of Christ's true sheep will ever be lost (John 10:27-29). That is because (5) God assures the perseverance of His elect (Jude 24; Phil 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5).
Those are the five points of Calvinism. I believe them not because of their historical pedigree, but because that is what Scripture teaches.
6:32 AM Having taught in South Korea numerous times and been exposed to church-state relations there, I really want to read this book:
6:30 AM The latest blogging tips. One of my favorites:
Don’t try to please an audience, and don’t post simply because you feel like you ought to – only post when you have something to say.
6:28 AM More wisdom from my friend Chuck Baldwin:
Unless America wakes up soon it will be too late. Either we once again embrace the Christian value system and recognize our dependence upon God or we are doomed. I repeat: God is the author of freedom. As such, our destiny for good or ill is in His hands. On the one hand that reality is a reassuring promise. On the other hand it is an ominous warning.
6:25 AM The Parable of the Constitutionalist and the Republican:
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: "Two men went up to church to pray, one a Constitutionalist and the other a Republican. The Constitutionalist stood and prayed thus within himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- welfare recipients, public schoolers, youth group advocates, or even as this Republican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I have, I home educate my children, and I am the patriarch of my family.' And the Republican, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner that I am!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
6:23 AM Butler Shaffer has the correct diagnosis but the wrong treatment. Statism is the status quo in our society today; on this we can agree. But to conclude that "Our choice, as always, is to look within our own souls, and listen for those inner voices that continue to speak to us," is to play into the hands of our own flesh, which the Scripture condemns as wicked beyond measure. Better to look unto Jesus and to the Bible, which does not merelycontain the Word of God (so the liberal theologians) or become the Word of God (so the neo-orthodox) but is the very Word of Almighty God written and without error.
Sunday, September 5
7:05 AM Took the WayBack Machine last night and had a blast from the past, listening to a 1940s radio program replete with Bing, swing, and Judy -- not to mention the ubiquitous Chesterfield commercials. As I sat in my son's old farm house I tried to imagine the family that lived there last century as perhaps they listened to that very broadcast live.
In my reading this morning (from James 1:12-27) I was reminded of our desire to minister in Ethiopia this fall as I contemplated the two nouns the author uses in verse 17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." The first noun for gift (dosis) refers to the act or impulse of giving; the second (dorema) to what has been given. James is emphasizing not only that what we give was God's in the first place (all we have is His to do with as He pleases; we are simply managers or stewards of His possessions), but that the very desire to give, the eagerness and willingness to give, comes from God. We can take credit, in other words, for neither the impulse nor the act! It is all "of His own will" (v. 18). This point, of course, is missed in such modern "translations" as the NIV: "Every good and perfect gift," which doesn't even translate the first "gift" or the second "every"!
Saturday, September 4
7:50 PM Mowed five acres in Carolina; brought back to the farm a trailer load of old wood for the woodshed siding; did a LOT of galloping uphill on Cody; just had a superb supper of home-grown collards and corn on the cob; am tired to the bone. Tonight am reading Miroslav Volf's interview with Jurgen Moltmann, who was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1943. A fascinating story! From a disciple of statism to a leading liberation theologian -- in one lifetime. For my doctoral orals in Basel I was required to read some of Moltmann's works and be familiar with his "theology of hope"; he was "in" at the time and a guest lecturer on campus just about everywhere. Even heard him lecture at our university. He fit right in; most of the profs in our "practical theology" department were avowed Marxists. Well, time to head for my son's farm to make pop corn and READ!
8:57 AM Weekend toon:
8:48 AM From the mailbag comes this heart-warming letter:
I want to thank you. You ask for what? Well...I am a frustrated Republican. One day I was toying around on the internet ... and I also came across your website. That is when I read about the Constitution Party. I thought...hmmm?!! I continued to read and discovered that perhaps this Republican needs to explore the Constitution Party a bit deeper. It seems to be more to what I am about politically. I may have found a home. I have not made the move yet. I am in the process of finding out what party offices or contacts are in my county.
I have told family members and friends what I have found out about the party and they are cautiously curious. I also have the top website in my county with a political page. I will make sure that there appears information on the Constitution Party. Interesting isn't it? We never know the impact we make on others and the rest of the world.
I just thought that it was important to let you know that you may have reached out and made a convert.
8:32 AM Charley Reese ably describes the beautiful manhood of General Lee, who said of himself, "I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation." Our family celebrates Lee's birthday annually.
8:27 AM Darrell Dow on Republican idolatry:
Teddy Roosevelt once said of his countrymen that, “We are a people, not a polyglot boarding house.” Decades of mass immigration has changed the ethnic composition of the country. But the shift to a majority non-white population is only one revolution being foisted on the country by its ruling class.
According to a recent study at the University of Chicago, America’s Protestant majority will disappear in the next year. According to the survey, the Protestant population has shrunk from 63% in 1993 to just 52% in 2002.
The survey also found that the percentage of Americans claiming no religion has risen from 5.1% in 1972 to 13.8% in 2002. Over the same period, American’s claiming a non-Christian or non-Jewish religion rose from 1.9% to 6.9%.
The decline of Protestantism leads to the sort of blasphemy that took place at the Republican National Convention this week.
A Muslim Imam opened the convention in prayer. This decision by Karl Rove, or whoever is responsible, is nothing less than the advancement of idolatry, pure and simple.
Like the emperors of ancient Rome, our leaders bless all religions as long as none claim to corner the market on truth.
Christians should ask themselves if it worse for pagans to advance idolatry or Christians to promote idolatry.
Clean out them catacombs, boys. It won't be much longer....
8:27 AM Neat home does happy mommy make. (Did you get it, guys?)
8:20 AM Psalm 47: God is the "Ruler of the Earth," the "LORD Most High," a "great King over all the earth." He "reigns over the nations," because all other kings have but derivedauthority. Only one King is absolute in power. No King But King Jesus!
Friday, September 3
7:12 PM Latest humor from Die Zeit:
Gerhard Schröder sitzt an seinem Schreibtisch, vor sich eine völlig in Tränen aufgelöste Doris Köpf. Schröder zu Doris: "Das hat wirklich nichts mit dir zu tun. Aber ich muß bis zur nächsten Wahl unbedingt einen Mann heiraten."
6:58 PM Hmm, Punks for Bush. Is that anything like "Bucks for Lolos," as we used to say in Hawaii?
6:56 PM This is a great editorial (sorry, French only). The money quote:
L'Irak est cité en passant, comme un simple épisode d'une guerre globale."Nous frappons les terroristes à l'étranger pour ne pas avoir à les affronter chez nous", dit George Bush. Telle est la véritable justification de la guerre en Irak. Cela fait longtemps qu'il n'est plus question de la présence d'armes de destruction massive dans ce pays, motif officiel du déclenchement des opérations.
6:17 PM Self-esteem and the gospel of success: Yet another heresy evangelicals tolerate for the sake of "unity."
6:15 PM Jim Rudd: Have we forgotten that murder is still a capital crime?
5:35 PM Peroutka is being impeccably logical again (from an email):
The 1996 GOP Platform called for the abolition of the Federal Department of Education which, with Mr. Bush's approval, now spends more than $60 billion annually. The 2000 GOP Platform said, in part:"We recognize that under the American Constitutional system, education is a state, local and family responsibility, not a federal organization (emphasis mine)….The Republican Congress rightly opposed attempts by the Department of Education to establish federal testing that would set the stage for a national curriculum."
In an interview on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" TV show on March 22, 2001, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said, when the subject was raised: "Well, to be honest, I'm one of those guys who can't find education in the Constitution as a function of the Federal Government."Fast-forward to the recent GOP Convention in New York City. In his remarks to this gathering, Secretary Of Education Rod Paige praised our country as being, among other things, "defined by our founders" --- who, of course, authorized no role for the Federal Government in education. He noted that "no nation can sustain its greatness unless it educates its citizens." No "nation," of course, "educates" anybody because no "nation" has any children.
7:32 AM The Establishment Clause that never existed.
7:30 AM These Prairie Muffin sites are too cute! Look what you've started, Carmon!
7:08 AM Are you ready to puke yet? Bush on Larry King: "I think our society is great because people are able to live their lifestyles, you know, as they choose or as they're oriented."Cheney at a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa: "My general view is that freedom means freedom for everybody. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Don't you love our conservative, pro-sodomy leaders?
7:05 AM John Leone does more than defend our biblical and constitutional foundations. Hiswebsite is a treasure trove of opinionated but always readable essays on theology.
7:03 AM The "it-can-only-be-changed-from-within" twaddle still oozing from the pores of compromisers.
6:55 AM Yes, Harry, I did like your prattle about the silly convention in NYC, and, yes, I will be praying for you and your family in the eye of the storm. Maybe I'll be able to attend the Virginia LOS meeting in beautiful Lexington where you're speaking. Be good to finally meet you in person (and visit the Lee Chapel again).
6:50 AM Off to the seminary this morning for meetings with my Ph.D. students. It's an hour and five minute drive from Rosewood Farm, mostly on curving country roads that take me back a century. The ante-bellum homes you encounter on the way make it worth the drive. The only traffic is in Wake Forest, which once was a humble village but now is a mega-city the likes of Raleigh (we call it Raleigh North). So you think I have an aversion to urban living?
Thursday, September 2
2:23 PM Farm Update: The weather couldn't be better for working outdoors. Got much of the horse pasture fencing done, and started the siding on the woodshed (at least we're collecting our materials for that project). Time to work on my sabbatical project. (Afternoons are my time for writing.) A pastor from Nebraska and his wife and two precious children are staying with us at Bradford Hall for a couple of days. Right now they're enjoying some of our reenacting videos. Today is their daughter's fourth birthday. Happy Birthday, sweet Sarah!
8:15 AM My, my, how we love the first twins:
A Muslim imam gave the invocation to open the Republican convention this week. Incrementalist Christians believe this will move us a step closer toputting our nation in covenant with God. "Vote for Bush!" shouts Candy Sandlin. So far, not a single Bible passage from any of the primetime speakers. They used to at least pretend. Last night, Jenna Bush said to Barbara sitting up in the balcony, "Granny, we love you dearly, but you’re just not very hip. She thinks ‘Sex in the City’ is something married people do, but never talk about." I tell you, it was a knee-slapper for the evangelicals in the house. "One step closer to covenant with God," they were thinking. The important thing, they all agree, is to stay away from losers like Peroutka. God hates losers.
7:45 AM When I read Carmon Friedrich's stirring political diatribe this morning I thought immediately of Isaiah 66:2: "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word." I know of only one presidential candidate of whom this can be said, and it isn't John or George. I would suggest that the Peroutka campaign is more than just another interesting example of third party politics. What we find here is a model from which every Christian can learn something profound about humble and contrite spirituality, and which indeed provides the basic outlines of how the Spirit of God moves in true revival on the level of the church and even in nations, not to mention in one's personal walk with God. Sister Carmon and brother Steve, if only even a few Christians would begin to practice the holiness and love of God on a moment by moment basis as you are seeking to do, I believe the Holy Spirit would move in a mighty way throughout the church. God bless you for your stand, not for Michael Peroutka, but for the Word of God.
7:32 AM The true Republicans:
The Constitution Party is, in fact, the true "Republicans." They are the only party which is completely pro-life, anti-homosexual rights, pro-American sovereignty, anti-globalist, anti-free trade, anti-deindustrialization, anti-unchecked immigration, pro-second amendment, against the constantly increasing expansion of unlawful police laws, in favor of a strong national defense, and opposed to unconstitutional interventionism.
7:14 AM The fog walks through the valley while the sun nods over the pines. Psalm 31:8 reminds me "You have set my feet in a wide place." "How great is Your goodness" (v. 19), so "love the LORD, all you His saints!" (v. 23). Above all, "In You, O LORD, I put my trust" this very day, come what may (v. 1).
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
I call upon Thy Name;
O save me in Thy righteousness,
Nor let me suffer shame.Bow down Thine ear to my request,
And swift deliverance send;
Be Thou to me a rock of strength,
A fortress to defend.Since Thou my Rock and Fortress art,
My Leader be, and Guide;
From all temptation rescue me,
Thou dost my strength abide.To Thee my spirit I commend;
Redemption is with Thee,
O Thou Jehovah, God of truth,
Who hast delivered me.I hate all those that love the false,
My trust is in the Lord;
I will be glad, and joyfully
Thy mercy will record.For mine affliction Thou hast seen,
And known my many woes;
Thou hast not let me be enslaved,
But freed me from my foes.Show mercy, Lord, to me distressed,
And send my soul relief;
My life is spent with bitterness,
My strength consumed with grief.My life has aged grown with woe,
With sighs my years decay;
Mine eye is worn for very grief:
I pine and waste away.My foes have made me a reproach,
My state my neighbors see;
My friends, appalled at mine approach,
Turn them about and flee.For I have heard defaming tongues,
And marked the terror rife,
When all in league deliberate
To take away my life.But, Lord, in Thee is all my trust,
Thou art my God, I cried;
My life, my times are in Thy hand,
I in Thy strength abide.
Wednesday, September 1
8:59 AM Off to work on the woodshed. I leave you with this thought:
Nothing is inherently wrong with flying a flag, of course, and in fact there can be great merit in it. Yet it seems that some of the motivation behind the post-September 11 fervor is unqualified allegiance to a particular civil government, along with a kind of wounded pride. In contrast to this nationalism, a biblical patriotism recognizes that the civil government should not occupy center stage in society, and that a disaster requires a response from the church, families, and individuals. Loyalty to an authority does not mean unquestioning approval of that authority's decisions--patriotism is sometimes critical if the biblical principles that made this country great are compromised. Yet, consistent with the idolatry of statism, our response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has been to expand and reinforce the role of the state. Rather than national repentance, renewed evangelistic efforts, and a reining in of the state in its overseas interventionism, our response has been to grant the state even greater access to our personal affairs, and to renew the international crusade for democracy.
8:52 AM Notice how George tries to compare himself with Ronnie. Nice try. Bush is a Harding, not a Reagan.
8:48 AM The epistemological flaw with Mises.
8:31 AM Having money problems? Benny Hinn's financial breakthrough, later this month, will change all that!
8:05 AM BBN booted Alistair Begg and now has re-booted John MacArthur (for preaching election, no less!). Maybe it's time to boot BBN? By the way, accusing MacArthur of being a Hyper-Calvinist hardly makes him one. He's probably a 4.258927987011-er, wouldn't you say?
7:50 AM This guy is some kinda miracle worker!
7:34 AM Had an interesting discussion at church the other day about taxes that are used for ungodly and unconstitutional expenditures such as the National Endowment for the Arts. When laws are out of sync with people's values, they will try to find a way around them. Basically, few of us believe in a moral code that would justify forcing people to give up what they have earned to finance purposes they do not approve. Yet that is exactly what is happening in our society. Only the fear of punishment, not a sense of justice or morality, will lead people to obey our current tax laws. At the bottom of the bottom line is the real issue: the illegality of direct taxation, as my son pointed out in our conversation at church. And there is only one party that will deal with this issue squarely.
In Article I, Section 9, the original document made clear that "no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." It is moreover established that "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."Since 1913, our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property have been abridged and diminished by the imposition on each of us of Federal income, payroll, and estate taxes. This is an unconstitutional Federal assumption of direct taxing authority.
The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of the Federal government's present unjust tax system. Citizens, both in groups and as individuals, have repeatedly sought responses from the IRS bureaucracy as to the basis for the agency's tax policies and procedures. No answers have been forthcoming although a responsible government must be answerable to the people and has a duty to those it is supposed to serve.
We propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and will veto any authorization, appropriation, or continuing resolution which contains any funding whatsoever for that illicit and unconstitutional agency. We are opposed to the flat-rate tax, national sales tax, and value added tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system. The Sixteenth Amendment does not provide authority for an un-apportioned direct tax.
7:32 AM Here's one unrepentant dude who wasn't educated at the Mr. Good Guy Theological Seminary, and that's for sure!
7:25 AM When I was working on the International Standard Version New Testament, I pondered long and hard on how to translate the Greek word poiema in Ephesians 2:10. We decided on "masterpiece." The word literally refers to anything that has been "made" (it comes from the common Greek verb poieo), but in this context seems to indicate a handiwork, a masterpiece. God's church is His "masterpiece," the crown of His new creation, just as man is the crown of the old. The point is, since God did all the work, He gets all the credit. All boasting is excluded, as is all pride and self-congratulation. If you have accomplished anything, my dear friend (and some of you have accomplished a lot!), it is only because God has been at work in a weak but yielded vessel. This "treasure" we have is in afragile pot of clay so that the surpassing greatness of the power might be of God, and not of us. Don't forget the "forgotten" verse that comes right after Ephesians 2:8-9!