Tuesday, November 12

The Athanasian Creed
Whoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.
Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.
Neither confounding the Persons nor diving the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord.
So we are forbidden by the catholic religion to say, There be Three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons, one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and coequal, so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore, that will be saved must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believes faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood;
Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ:
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead;
He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give an account of their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

That gives me chills.

Friday, November 8

Most people thrive only inside a stable culture. This fact is particularly apparent to me this week as our company experiences the effects of a massive reorganization. People desperately want to be working in an environment that is known and stable and reliable, even if it is not particularly amenable to them individually. In the same vein, people live with oppressive governments because, in spite of their faults, the rules are well-known and they are stable.

I am beginning to conclude that people are made for stability; that it is a characteristic we as a species were made for. God is a God of great order and made a world that has tremendous diversity inside high stability. (I am also learning to type on one of these funky split keyboards and it forces me to use the correct hand when I type various characters - like "B" - which I usually do with the wrong hand.)

People have a great capacity to ignore upheaval in the world around them in order to carry on with their daily lives. I see it here at work during this re-org and I see it in the lives of people who live through war. Something amazing happened in Britain during the blitz – the people kept doing their lives. We have marveled at their resiliency, but I am beginning to suspect that, more than anything, they were acting very human. We do not handle chaos very well, we tend toward stability of some kind, even if it is personally very costly, even if we would individually have more freedom in slightly more anarchic conditions. I suspect that is why many have derisively concluded that freedom scares many people. The jury – in my mind anyway – is still out on the question of whether or not that is a characteristic that deserves scorn, but I do think it is undoubtedly true that we prefer the stability of slavery to the chaos of freedom. Or at least the perceived chaos of freedom.

Perhaps that is part of the challenge – to create an environment that is both free and stable. I suspect the founding fathers understood this need of man very well, for we see them constantly working to create environments that were stable AND free. Most governments tend towards control and stability at the expense of freedom, a few try freedom without regard for control and this makes people very uncomfortable. I can begin to have an appreciation for people who trade freedom for stability, although I still think it is a bad trade. Most people are not capable of working with a rolling deck under their feet. As I get older and lose some of my adventurous spirit, the lure of stability becomes stronger. I must never give in to the siren song of stability at the price of freedom. The two are not antithetical, but it takes a great leader to provide both. In today’s business climate, people are probably prone to go with control and stability because freedom is so scary. Enron and WorldCom look like too much freedom, but that is only true if you believe that freedom and stability are antithetical.

God created a world order that is both free and stable. And that's the kind of world I prefer.

Thursday, October 10

Many women today dress like prostitutes. They look like they are advertising for sex, and in fact, they are. Men want easy sex, and women act as if that is what they want to offer. They give the sex away very cheaply and then wonder that their relationships are not fulfilling. Men want easy sex, sure, but we want much more than that. We want to be inspired to be our very best.

When women dress, act and live the part of the easy score, they do not inspire us to rise to our best, instead they appeal to our basest instincts. Such women confirm for us through the way they dress, the way they talk and the way they act that the world really is as cheap and worthless as our basest instincts imagine. But a woman who dresses, acts, talks and lives with graciousness, virtue, style and discretion sends a distinctly different message - a powerful message - to the men in her life.

Women of easy virtue require very little of a man besides appetite. Women of style and discretion who will maintain those standards regardless of external pressure say to a man that there is more to the world than sheer appetite. Such a woman inspires us to be our very best.

London is full of single women who look and act like sluts. Is it any wonder then that men act like cads? Men and women share a strong desire to please the opposite sex - and the sex drive is particularly strong in men. When a women advertises her easy availability, she appeals to our strongest appetite and makes it very easy for us to live out of our lowest nature.

Do not fill a man's vision with nothing but sexual images if you want the very best from him.

Isn't it ironic that the women's movement has coincided with the rise of easy virtue? Women now behave like they have the sexual drive and standards of an adolescent male - they have become the sexual fantasy of every hormone-crazed 15-year-old boy in the western world. But underneath that raw appetite for sex, what men really want - even more than we want easy sex - is a woman who will help us rise above mere hunger to be the best we can be.

Dressing like a slut leaves little mystery, yet the best in a man wants a woman who is a mystery. You can be sensual and alluring without being slutty, can't you? If you cannot manage that, then at least be as feminine as you can. If you cannot manage even that, then do not complain when men respond to you with nothing but heightened sexuality and decreased respect.

Friday, October 4

Researching ways to make our company more productive. We have a formal methodology for conducting projects, but the methodology tools are spread out over hundreds of documents of various kinds. Since this is all proprietary information, we do not want to distribute it to our associates in a format that can easily "walk off", so CDs are out. Adding to the complexity is the fact that the various documents are in a constant state of lux, and most assoicates travel so connecting to a central server many times occurs over a dial-up line. Then there is the problem of getting our associates to actually use the methodology tools. So the problems I have to solve are:

- secure distribution
- on-line/offline clients
- data synchronization
- usability

I have a lead on a solution, and I am doing a good bit of research the last couple of days. But I am also largely working in the dark. The whole methodology "world" here at the company is largely unknown to me, and I worry that I am either re-inventing the wheel or heading off in a direction that has already been rejected.


Such are the travails of the knowledge worker who finds himself between jobs. I should probably brush up my resume and start shopping for another job since I don't need one right now. The state of the economy certainly tends to make me want to be conservative, but the realities of this work culture are that the best time to find a new job is when you don't need one.

Thursday, October 3

Last night I was reading John Piper's Legacy of Sovereign Joy and ran across this thought from Augustine, (not a direct quote, btw - I'm doing this from memory): Most people are not only failing to delight themselves in God, they even fail to delight themselves in their own sins. They not only are passionless about God, they are passionless about everything. Augustine seemed to teach that the life of the elect should be dominated by a consuming passion for God Himself, and this makes sense to me. This thought occurred to me while reading: Though there are many prayers I could pray that God may or may not answer affirmatively, yet this prayer I know He will delight to answer affirmatively:

"Make me satisfied with you alone, Oh Lord".
I hate doing my jam writing on the computer. The keyboard is loud - clacky, even - and the physical feedback of typing is not nearly as sensual and satisfying as the feedback from writing. I'm probably one of those people who will actually get excited about natural handwriting-recognition technology if it ever gets good enough to read my writing. I love the feel of ink pen on paper.
This morning I was reading in Leviticus about the various rules for offerings and sacrifices and I came across this idea: If you were a leader in the community of the people and you committed a sin, either a priest or an elder, then you were required to bring a male animal for sacrifice. If you were a "common person", which I take to mean someone who does not hold either of the previously mentioned positions of leadership, then you were required to bring a female animal as a sin offering. Seems to me that the difference has to do with fruitfulness - a female can give birth to comparatively far fewer offspring than a male can sire. The requirement to offer a male animal may speak to "epidemic" effect of sin in the leadership. Just as a male can impregnate an almost unlimited number of females with his sperm, so a leader can "impregnate" an almost unlimited number of those "under him" with the effects if his sin.

I wonder if this is evidence of the reality of representation in a covenantal relationship. We moderns don't have a clue about such things, and in fact take great offence at the thought of (a) being held culpable in the "sins" of another and (b) causing our own guilt to be imputed to those under our authority. It strikes at the root of our independence and self-sufficiency.

I'd love to get some feedback on this thought.

Tuesday, October 1

OK, the paper is posted, little feedback one way or another. Big surprise. < yawn > I do find that the more I write, the more I enjoy it. I spent the last 9 months in England journaling nearly every day and it has become a most pleasurable habit. The biggest problem is that I really enjoy the physical act of writing - the whole "pen on paper" thing is a sensual, physically gratifying experience. Using keyboard and computer provides far less immediate feedback. Sure, it looks better, and it is a ton easier to edit, but it is a mediated experience wheras using my own pen on a nice sheet of paper is a direct experience. I guess I like the artistry of writing as much as the craft writing.

Monday, August 26

About six weeks ago, Michael Spenser over at The Boar's Head Tavern suggested I put my thoughts about the Law of God into a single paper. What an assignment. Today I finally finished version 1.

I sent the draft to Michael. More updates as events warrant.

Monday, July 8

To: Brian Micklethwait
Re: Where I agree with the Creationists


You are spot-on in your analysis of the conflict between the claims of orthodox Christianity and the claims of Darwinism. Any Christian Church and any Christian person that believes orthodox Christianity and Darwinism can peacefully co-exist is deluded.

But I wonder why someone who posts to a "critically rational" blog would claim to believe that "creationism is bunkum".

Is it because you are already a committed materialist and Darwinism is the only theory of origins which supports your beliefs? Is it because so many so-called "creationists" are such obvious idiots? Is it because the prevailing weight of public opinion is biased towards Darwinism? Is it because anyone who claims that creationism is a better scientific model is reviled as a bible-thumping fundamentalist, and you cannot bear to be lumped in with those folks?

Surely it's not because you have carefully weighed the evidence and decided Darwinism is a better model. I have yet to find anyone who, after carefully reviewing the data, concludes that the evidence supports the Darwinian model and contradicts the creationist model.

Are the implications of creationism a little scary? Certainly. But are scary implications any reason to avoid studying anything? Only for the uncritical and the irrational.


Jack Heald

Thursday, June 20

The Political Compass is an interesting idea. It was obviously designed by someone who possesses a fundamentally socialist economic worldview, but I think it is valuable in that it splits the political spectrum into both vertical and horizontal axes - the Liberty/Authority axis and the social Left/Right axis.

According to the test, I fall almost exactly in the middle of the Authority/Liberty spectrum, but I think those who know me will admit that I am actually strongly Libertarian in my views toward the state. Many of the questions belie the fundamental bias of the test-builders. For example, I strongly agreed with the statement that abortion should be outlawed. In the worldview of the test-makers, that is a strongly "Authoritarian" response, but in reality, it is exactly the opposite. The Libertarian view is that no person has the right to forcibly deprive another of his property, and nothing could more forcefully deprive another of his property than the abortionist who deprives a baby of its life.

That is a strongly libertarian view.

The libertarian view is consistent with the 6th commandment prohibiting murder.
Abortion is murder any way you slice it. Only those who wilfully delude themselves, only those who claim that a baby must experience birth to be a person can argue otherwise. These folks claim that no murder is committed because no human died.

Words fail me.

The libertarian view is consistent with the 8th commandment prohibiting stealing.
Abortion deprives another of his property - his life - without his consent.

The libertarian view is consistent with the 10th commandment prohibiting covetousness.
John Piper has made the point in Future Grace that the essence of covetousness is trusting in something other than God to satisfy us. Believing that murder and theft are necessary ingredients in your own satisfaction is the height of delusion, the zenith of unbelief.

This is where the abortion issue gets really difficult, because for those women facing an unwanted pregnancy, it requires nothing less than an act of faith to carry that baby to term. Yet living a life which is consistently honouring to our Creator sometimes requires us to do things that our modern "have-it-all-right-now" culture perceives as utterly archaic.

As our brother Jude reminds us, sometimes we have to contend for the faith which was once delivered to us. That means we gotta fight.

Friday, June 14

Poverty and Justice... and Basketball?
Cool article over at Chalcedon- not written by me incidentally - analysing the relationship between poverty and justice. Here's a key phrase:

The underlying assumption, usually left unstated, is that the distribution of wealth that arises from normal property transfers (especially market transactions and inheritances) is unjust because some people wind up with more than others. Inequality and injustice are equated.

I wish there were some way to write across the sky that "Unequal" is not the same thing as "Unjust".

To illustrate: I love basketball. Back before my knees finally gave out, I would rather play hoop than eat. I loved everything about the game. I'm a white guy who used to have just enough juice in his tanks to dunk the ball during pickup games - if the stars were aligned and I timed my jump just right. In other words, I think I have actually dunked once during a competitive game in my whole life. I regularly dream that I am playing basketball and that I am a leaping, flying, dunking machine - think Michael Jordan in his prime or Kobe Bryant now. That is my absolute favourite dream and I hate waking up from it.

Now the fact of the matter is, as much as I love basketball, I was never a very good player and I am even worse now that I'm on the dark side of 40. As much as I would give to be as good as Jordan or Bryant, no amount of wanting to will ever get me to that level. When it comes to hoop, I am not now, never was, and never will be equal to those guys. But does the fact of our unequal skills imply some injustice has been committed? Of course not.

Yet if you translate the exact same argument into the field of economics and wealth, you will hear apparently sane people arguing that inequality equals injustice.


Here's the last sentence from the article, which I think summarises it nicely:

Welfare programs... enrich and empower the state to the detriment of all other institutions in society.

Tuesday, June 11

More Thoughts on Freedom

Today I am pondering the implications of God's Absolute Freedom. As one who holds firmly to the conviction that it is God alone who chooses whom to save from eternal damnation, God alone who effectively executes that salvation, and God alone who perfectly carries out that salvation, I must also acknowledge that until a man is regenerated by God, that man's will is utterly in bondage to sin. He is not free to do anything except please the dictates of sin.

On the other hand, every man regenerated through the work of the Sovereign God is free to obey God. And the character of this freedom is different from the slavery of the unregenerate man. For while the unregenerate man is not free to obey God, the regenerate man is free to disobey God.

And this causes me stop and shudder - what a horror to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus and then use that marvelous freedom as an opportunity to indulge my flesh.

This would be like a man miraculously cured of emphysema using his new-found health to smoke as many cigarettes as quickly as possible. It would be like an alcoholic miraculously delivered from liver failure using his new-found health to drink even more booze. It would be like a convicted murderer miraculously pardoned using his new-found freedom to become a serial killer. This is not why God saved us!

Galatians 5:13 tells us that You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Another way of viewing this is to recognise that until God saves us, we are not free to serve one another. Rather, we are enslaved to our own desires and must work to serve our own desires. It is only the free man, only the man whom God has foreknown, predestined, called and justified who can serve his fellow-believers. And this is one reason that we were set free.

Monday, June 10

In the shower this morning I began pondering the nature of freedom. One of the things that smacks you in the face moving from the US to England is the difference in how we perceive freedom. In my mind, the Brits are far less free where it really matters, and far more free where it doesn't. I could elaborate at great length I suppose, but it ultimately boils down to this: the US still seems to harbour some reverence for private property whereas the UK does not, (this matters), and the average Brit is not subjected to the huge volume of politically correct behaviour restrictions that the the average American has come to accept as normal, (this matters little).

But I digress.

What does it mean to be free?

To be free means I can do whatever I want to do and that I choose to do the right thing. Most folks stop with the first half of that sentence, but without the second half the first half is impossible. To the extent that people choose to do the wrong thing, to that same extent or greater they limit the ability of other people to do what they want. To illustrate, consider the following:

The 8th commandment tells us not to steal and the 10th tells us not to covet. These are the two sides of private property rights and responsibilities.

"Do not steal" is pretty clear, but to help my children understand it a little better, I have explained to them that anytime you use someone else's property without their permission, you are stealing. This includes not only those acts of outright physical theft, but also activities such as graffitti, plagiarism, and claiming that you are acting upon authority you have not been granted. "Do not covet" covers whatever "Do not steal" fails to cover as far as private property is concerned. Whereas stealing involves using someone else's property without their permission, coveting means depriving someone else of the use of their property without their permission, whether you gain use of it or not. In some ways, coveting is more reprehensible than stealing. We can have pity on the thief who takes from someone else to use for himself when he has need, but who is more contemptible than the person who destroys someone else's property just for the sheer thrill of destruction? Is this not the sin that so pricked the heart of St. Augustine? Some commentators have expressed wonder at Augustine's remorse for stealing and destroying his neighbour's fruit, but I think his horror at his actions was entirely justified.

Conduct a little thought experiment with me now and consider how much freer you would be if everyone in your community chose to obey those two commandments - "Do not steal" and "Do not covet".

If everyone in my community chose to obey these two laws, I would have no locks on my doors and no alarm on my house or car. I would therefore be free from worry about accidentally locking myself out of my own house. I would have more money to use as I saw fit rather than paying for expensive alarms and locks. I would have greater use of my own house, since things which I am now forced to store indoors or in the back garden could be safely left in the front garden. I could reduce my monthly insurance costs, since I wouldn't have to protect myself and my property from theft. It is possible that the amount of money saved by some people would enable them to spend more time with family and less time working wage jobs. And that could have a very beneficial ripple-through effect in the community.

Furthermore, my community would be much cleaner and much more attractive, since graffitti are litter and both forms of stealing/coveting. If these no longer existed, then my council tax could be lower as there would be far less need for public monies to be spent on clean-up. The police would be free to pursue other matters. Therefore police protection could be more thorough, if needed at all, or if not, general taxation levels could be reduced. Merchants would no longer have to devote a portion of their profits to security and expect a portion of their profits to be lost to employee theft. In other words, the only losers in such an environment are those who are determined to break the 8th and 10th commandments. Otherwise, everyone wins with such an arrangement.

Question: Am I missing something, or is this really as simple as it sounds?

Wednesday, May 22

The Tory Leader, Iain Duncan Smith, (or as I heard some one call him recently - "Iain Duncan Thingy" - I spit coffee out my nose when I heard that), was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning and -- since I am not British -- I was able to listen to him without going apoplectic. (Is that a place you can go or am I mangling the language??)

Not to imply that he actually made a lot of sense. If there is one thing virtually every English politician has in common - dang, virtually every English mammal shares this characteristic - it is an overweaning yearning not to be perceived as actually possessing any opinions that someone somewhere might find objectionable. (I need to be careful not to go wandering off down every rabbit trail that presents itself to my undisciplined mind all at once - and let me tell you, when I start talking about English waffling, lots of opportunities present themselves unbidden!)

{Deep Breath}

As I was saying, Mr IDS was being grilled about the apparent conflict between his statement that every English child deserves an equal opportunity to a good education while he is sending his son to that crustiest of upper-crust education establishments, Eton. IDS had a great chance to score some major points with me - points that no doubt would have done him a world of good come the next election - but like a true 21st century English politician, he completely weenied out.

But I'm not English, and I'm not a politician, so I will respond to the interviewers questions as I can only wish some alleged Leader would do when asked such silly, stupid questions:

Interviewer: During a heated exchange on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, interviewer John Humphrys asked Mr Duncan Smith how a child at an inner-city school could have an equal chance to one who attended a private school.
Me: He can't, you ninny. People are not equal, therefore any set of organisations that involve people will inherently be unequal. That's life. Get used to it.

Interviewer: But you said you believe all children should have an equal opportunity.
Me: Nope, that was Mr Duncan Thingy. I think children and parents should quit complaining about what the government is not giving them and get busy doing something for themselves. If they don't like it, they should change it, not sit around whinging because the government isn't making everything equal. Equality exists in only two places - the grave and the ghetto. I don't believe people really want equality, they just want more of what somebody else has.

Interviewer: So are you prepared to say that your government would support raising taxes to get more money into the schools
Me: Absolutely not. I think the government schools should all be disbanded, the educational bureaucrats should be shot, the school buildings sold to the highest bidder, and the proceeds refunded to all non-government employee tax-payers. Parents should band together and form education co-ops; they could rent space for classes from the people who own the buildings using the refunded tax money to pay their way. They can hire the teachers who they believe are qualified and fire the teachers they hire if they don't do the job. All government administration buildings should be bull-dozed and turned into parks. Any educational administrator who doesn't actually work with children should given passage to the Palestinian West Bank where they can put to work their educational theories about self-esteem, whole language, outcome based education and especially multi-culturalism in an environment where they cannot possibly do any additional damage.

(I'm a little off message here, aren't I. Perhaps I'm giddy because I'm going home in less than two weeks.)

Anyway, Mr. Duncan Smith failed to point out that - by definition - government education is supported by taxes, that taxation is - by definition - legalised theft, and that government education, merely by existing, violates the 8th commandment. And we haven't even gotten around to talking about the law-breaking, anti-God, rebellious content of a government education.

Thursday, May 2

Dead Language Update
Here I am, entering my fifth decade of life and discovering that I know practically nothing. Nothing! Fortunately, I ain't dead yet. I was telling Karen this morning that I really want to learn Latin, partly to keep up with my children and partly so that I can read the classics in the original languages.

So this afternoon, while I was testing and waiting for the completion of a test cycle, I stumbled across this little jewel - Latin Online. Is that cool, or what?

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Heavenly Thoughts
Amongst my favourite books of all time is CSLewis' The Great Divorce in which Lewis contemplates the nature of heaven and of heavenly natures. Today I discovered this gem in the same general vein-Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain. Definitely worth a read.

Mark Twain!? Who'da thunk it?

Wednesday, May 1

Nathan Wilson has a killer column on the problem of evil in Credenda Agenda. Thunder rolls, lightning strikes, the earth quakes, the wind blows, skin itches, heads ache, legs cramp, men die. Can we assault a King and not expect to see His armies?

I'm going to read this to my kids tonight. We've been discussing the PoE lately around the dinner table, and I am both pleased and astonished that a young man, (Nathan is not much older than my oldest), can express the nature of the problem so succinctly and so fluently.
Harry Seabrook over at Little Geneva pointed out, in reference to my Human Scum post, that the scripture does not pronounce slavery a sin. He's right. Idolatry is a sin. Saying that God said something He didn't say is a sin. Failing to remember the Sabbath is a sin. Dishonouring your parents is a sin, as is murder, adultery, stealing, lying about your neighbour and coveting. Self-worship is sin. Lack of faith is a sin. That list should make it abundantly obvious to all of us that, unless God is a God who forgives sin and covers iniquity, we are all in deep yogurt.

So perhaps we should ponder these thoughts from the Old Testament:

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalms 32:1

And the LORD passed before him, (Moses) and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”Exodus 34:6-7

I believe I'll have some of that...

Tuesday, April 30

I have been pondering the implications of God's Sovereignty.

If God is utterly, totally, completely in control of every last detail of the universe, (and the confession of the church through the ages is that He is), and if He really does cause everything to work together for good for those who are the called according to His purpose, (and Romans 8 makes that pretty clear), then how can I react with grumbling and complaining when things don't go my way?

Grumbling and complaing are evidences of a lack of faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God.

I'll confess it has taken me some time to feel that I have even begun to wrap my head around this, but I can see no other way to view the circumstances of my life. Paul made it very clear that, for the elect:

(a) nothing can separate us from God's love
(b) we will probably suffer quite a bit

Does this mean that we live in the best of all possible worlds? Of course not. But we have nothing to fear from famine, sickness, nakedness, peril, sword, height, depth, things present, things to come, life, death, angels or demons. God rules over all and has already declared the end from the beginning.

I am beginning to conclude that I have tolerated an unbelieving attitude in myself and in my family for far too long.
Great leapin' horny toads!

Wouldja look at the date of my last post? I guess this would qualify as a case study of how not to build a successful blog, huh? My project is very intense right now, and I am up to my eyeballs in "issues", (that's corporate weasel-speak for bugs), and "scope-expansion", (more corporate weasel-speak for the client changed their minds at the last minute.)

In spite of the fact that I have not been writing, I have been thinking and reading. Since the purpose of this blog is to evaluate culture and current events in light of the Law of God, I believe I am behaving in a logically consistent manner when I forgo writing this blog in favour of working whole-heartedly for the good of my employer and my client.

More later...

Wednesday, March 27

Human Scum - The people who trafficked in human souls over 135 years ago are already paying for their sins if they did not repent and throw themselves upon the mercy of God through the substitionary death of Christ. As Jesus said, they already have their reward.

That said, I cannot find words strong enough to condemn the moral bankruptcy of the people in this story who attempt to profit from their ancestors' slavery.

Reprehensible, revolting, disgusting and vile come to mind immediately.

They violate the Law of God by breaking at least the 8th, 9th and 10th commandments, but I suspect that idolatry is also involved, violating the 2nd commandment, and they certainly bring shame on their parents, thereby violating the 5th commandment.

The lawyers who brought this suit should be disbarred and publicly reprimanded for wasting the time of all parties involved. I was going to say they should be publicly humiliated, but anyone this shameless is obviously incapable of experiencing so cleansing an emotion.

Monday, March 25

A Christian response to Global Warming? - A story out of Science Magazine tells us of evidence that global warming is a natural phenomena, not a man-made one.

If this is true, (and the evidence against man-made global warming is overwhelming), then how should we think about this whole global warming gig?

Like many issues, the answers are simple, though not necessarily easy.

1. Examine the scientific evidence. Determine for yourself if global warming is something caused by man. The vast weight of the evidence contradicts the thesis, everything from the article quoted here, to the impossible physics of the thesis, to the failure of the computer models.

2. Examine the political evidence. Who stands to gain as a result of perpetrating lies about global warming? It appears to me that the same crowd that does not trust you with with your own guns, your own money or your own body also want to prohibit the use of hairspray and refrigerants.

3. Compare the beliefs of the global warming-niks with the Law of God. As best as I can tell, the people who tell me that I shouldn't have a refrigerator or a car because it's making the polar ice cap melt are lying about the evidence. That all by itself is not necessarily a violation of God's Law, but when they use those lies as a means of stealing my property, they are violating both the 8th and the 9th commandments. And make no mistake, regardless of whether or not man-made global warming is actually happening, the global-warming crowd want to deprive you of the use of your own property.

I suspect they also covet the fruits of western civilisation - better standard of living, more personal freedom and greater opportunity - and are too lazy to earn their own bread. If true, they also violate the 10th commandment. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Friday, March 15

Today we take up the question of school vouchers. Ilena Mercer makes a cogent argument against them, an argument which I believe will hold up nicely in light of the Law of God.

To whit: School vouchers use tax-money. Tax-money is forcibly extracted not only from people who have school-age children, but from people who do not. Therefore, school voucher programs are only possible because the government takes money from those who do not willingly give it.

In economic terms this is called "coercion".
In biblical terms you call it "theft".

School vouchers are a clear violation of the 7th commandment.

Sometimes it hurts to be principled, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 14

There He Goes Again
Doug Dahl gets out a big ole' can of whup-ass and goes after Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and that gang of sincere but foolish evangelicals who hold to that silly doctrine known as "The Rapture".

This heresy originated about 160 years ago in either northern England or Scotland, (I don't remember which right now), when some poor woman began "receiving" ecstatic messages during a home Bible study. John Darby - one of the leaders of the home church - picked it up and began propogating it. When Mr. Scofield decided to incorporate it into the study notes of the Bible he published around the start of the 20th century, it entered into mainstream western evangelical thought.

Aside from the fact that the doctrine is patently unbiblical, it also engenders a kind of pathological fatalism in those Christians who adhere to it. Instead of boldly proclaiming that the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, they instead preach that Christians need to hunker down and "hang in there" because it is God's will for the world to go to hell in a hand-basket.

Kudos, Doug!

Google me? I guess I'm ready to go global. I just posted this site to Google. Hmmmm.... I wonder what happens now.

Wednesday, March 13

Another Presidency. Another Bombing of Iraq
According to this journalist, Saddam needs to be punished, but does that give us the right to punish every Iraqi citizen, including those who weren’t even born during the Gulf War?

Good question.
Those who planned and executed the destruction of the WTC are guilty of violating both the 5th and the 7th commandments. The 5th commandment prohibits murder - that violation is fairly obvious. The 7th prohibits stealing and is not so obvious. However, if theft is defined as the act of preventing an individual from the free use of his own proprty, then it is fairly easy to see that the bombers stole the free use of individual lives and property.

In the same vein, the USGovernment has engaged in a 10 year-long bombing campaign against Iraq that has resulted, directly or indirectly, in the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqi citizens. How is this action of the USGovernment different from that of Al Qaeda?

When God judges the terrorists who violated his commandments by destroying the WTC and murdering 3000 non-combatants, will He not also judge the terrorists who have violated His commandments by bombing Iraq and murdering 1.5 million non-combatants?
If the idea of limited government is no longer a valid one, then Joe Sobran is certainly 'Anti-American'. However, all governments of this world are under the authority of the government of God. And any government that exceeds the authority delegated to it by God is necessarily out of line.

I am firmly convinced that the American Ideal as expressed by the Declaration of Independence is worthy or defending. I am equally convinced that USGovernment is exactly that kind of government the early patriots fought to resist, not to establish.
GWBush issued an ultimatum to the Taliban prior to commencing the bombing - turn over Bin Laden or the bombs will fall.

Does Iraq have the same opportunity to avoid becoming the next victim of American aggression, or will that sovereign country inevitably be bombed back to the stone ages, regardless if what they do?

Monday, March 11

An excellent article over on Antithesis called Where was God on September 11th? At home, my 14-year-old son has really struggled with the implications of a Sovereign God and the problem of evil. This article really helped him over the hump. I suspect it will help many others as well.
A single line from this column by Joel Miller at RazorMouth put me in mind of something Hans-Herman Hoppe wrote in Democracy, the God that Failed regarding the tendency of democracies to devolve to the lowest common denominator.

Miller posits that the degeneration of the language is both a symptom and a cause of social and moral decay. (Or maybe I'm reading my own beliefs into his words.) Though I would seldom dare to contradict Sir Winston Churchill, democracy really is the worst form of government imaginable. The "ghetto-isation" of the language dramatically illustrates that thesis.

Thursday, March 7

All of life is subject to the Lordship of Christ.

All of life is to reflect His character and radiate His glory.

WIth that in mind, how should we think about situations such as the Enron collapse. Russ Stein has some good ideas, but fails to point out that goofy government regulations - by their very nature - violate the 8th commandment, and usually the 9th and the 10th.
In our attempt to live as free men, we must recognise that what we believe about ourselves is of secondary importance to what we believe about our relationship to our Maker. Butler Shaffer has some very clear ideas about reclaiming self-ownership, ideas that deserve consideration. But he utterly fails to ackowledge that it is impossible for a man to be free if he worships any God other than the one who has revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures.

How can this be?

Because we are creations whereas He is the Creator. We cannot understand our role in the universe apart from this central fact. We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to Him who created us.

In spite of these criticisms, Shaffer makes some powerful points. I quote here two paragraphs that illustrate both the weakness and the strength of his position:

All of this is a way of reminding ourselves that our claims to individual autonomy – or self-ownership – must, by their very nature, find their roots deep within that realm of existential loneliness that defines the human spirit. You will make your claim – or not – on the strength of the inner resources you find therein.

Not strictly true. Self-autonomy is the single biggest lie humans believe. But otherwise, this next bit is very good....

Neither I, nor anyone else, can tell you "how" or even "whether" to assert such a claim, anymore than one can direct another to "be spontaneous."

We can, however, offer one another that which our divisive, politicized thinking has long caused us to disregard: mutual support for the protection of our sense of humanity. We have conditioned our minds to regard as transgressions either violations of our group’s interests, or those directed against identifiable minority groups. We have, in other words, so thoroughly collectivized our sense of "rights" that, if an individual who has been brutalized by the state doesn’t happen to be a member of some recognized collective, it scarcely attracts our attention.

One of the most profound fruits of the reformation was the certain knowledge that all men were creatures, and therefore made in the image of God. Even though not all willingly acknowledge Him as the Creator, each is still worthy of respect simply by virtue of being an expression of the Creator's genius.
What's the deal with the Ten Commandments?

I've decided to start a new game with the family. In fact, we started today. I sent the kids out along the high street to take note of advertising billboards, magazines and posters for us to discuss this evening. The focus of the discussion will be - how does the message of this ad fit or not fit into a world governed by God's Law?

There is one particularly obnoxious ad by some italian clothing company whose name currently escapes me that features a couple in the last stages of complete undress prior to coitus. It manages to appeal to the prurient response of both hetero- and homo-sexuals.

Calvin Klein last week managed to place hideous graphic homo-erotic images on the back cover of the city's largest-circulation weekly entertainment guide.

Both companies are obstensibly selling underwear. But I think it is obvious that what they are selling is a worldview that embraces all forms of adult-consensual sex.

(For those of you in countries still graced with some sense of public modesty, consider yourselves blessed. In fact, as I think about it now, plain-ole' hetero-sexual pornography is practically a relief after the homo-erotic bombarment we suffer daily in London.)

So, the question for you my readers and my children this evening is this:

How do these images and the message they deliver either comply with or rebel against God's command?

There will be a test.
New Skin today, thanks to the folks at Blog Skins.

Parenthetically, it blows my mind to consider that a word like blog has so quickly entered the lexicon of the English-speaking world.

Friday, March 1

A Brush with Death Who'da thunk that mango juice could have such radical effects?

Tuesday, February 26

Too Smart for Homeshooling?
Dale Meador skewers Marilyn vos Savant far more accurately than I could. But I share his sentiment.
Lawmaker Wants Feds to Take Over Corporate Audits
Why stop with federal auditing? Why not a Federal Bureau of Sales - the public shouldn't be forced to rely on those private-sector salesmen, should they? What about a National HealthCare Co? (Oh wait - we already tried that, right?) The sheer idiocy of this proposal simply defies my ability to express the appropriate level of disgust. Shoot, why not just nationalize the whole economy and let the Feds run it?

Dennis Kucinich may be beloved by the mouth-breathers of his district, but he is either a moron or a megalomaniac and either way, he is a danger to himself and the rest of society. He needs to be put on a boat to Cuba where he can live out his days in a workers paradise.

Monday, February 25

Do You Own Yourself? Or does the state?

Friday, February 22

You gotta love this. Scottie Pippen, currently of Portland Trail Blazers fame, was paid $131,575 over the last five years by the federal government.

And how did he come to be on the government payroll?

Farm subsidy.

Great work if you can get it, huh?

Wednesday, February 20

How To Tell An Indian Elephant From An African Elephant I'd always wondered about this.

Monday, February 18

It's a crime to sell anything in pounds & ounces in England. Oh, and the English people had no say in that decision. But I am as certain as I can be that they will continue to bend over and spread 'em for the bureaucrats in Belgium. And they'll do it right up until the two hours before the Kingdom completely collapses.

What is it about the Brits that makes them so passive in the face of tyranny? This isa a nation of old-women and pussies. They deserve to have lost the empire because they no longer have the balls necessary to rule. And the whole world is worse off for their faliure of nerve.

Friday, February 15

We'll give him a fair trial and then hang him. Ole' Slobo's story sounds like something out of To Kill a Mockingbird. And he gets to play the part of the black man.

Tuesday, February 12

Your Friend Global Warming We cannot predict what way the earth’s climate will go, and in such a situation of uncertainty, it is always best to do what is a good idea anyway. Allowing economic growth that enables people to prosper and escape grinding poverty in the third-world is a good idea. Crippling the economies of the world with knee-jerk bureaucratic schemes like the Kyoto treaty is a bad idea.

Monday, February 11

Old Saws Still Cut

Government is doomed. It may take another 150 years, but government is doomed.

Wednesday, February 6

Why do some people change the world while most are content to maintain the momentum of mediocrity? That's the $64k question.
This story about Nazis and homosexuality leads me to ponder the future of England and America as well. God's law is clearly violated by the practice of homosexuality, but very few cultures in history have dared make it morally equivalent to marriage as the "Great Democracies" have done.

I no longer believe God will judge us because of homosexuality. Rather, wide-spread homosexuality is His judgment, or at least part of it.

Tuesday, February 5

"...so many children will lose their mothers because of this".

Note the delicious irony of that sentence - a woman comments on the media bias against reporting the link between breast cancer and abortions. This looks like a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen.

Tuesday, January 29

The proper role of government is not vying for God's job

Thursday, January 24

Brilliantly stated, (as usual) by Thomas Sowell
The movement of immigrants is overwhelmingly from other cultures to Western cultures. Virtually the whole human race has voted with their feet as to which economic and other benefits they prefer to have. The problem is that the cultural baggage of the immigrants is often incompatible with the culture that produces the benefits they seek.