What’s Wrong with the World

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The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

January 11, 2019

Christians in Netherlands face possible prosecution for opposing homosexual acts

Okay, so which part of this is "no big deal"? (Answer: No part of it.) Read on.

Background: The Nashville statement on biblical sexuality was written in the summer of 2017 and is promoted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The text can be found here. I had not read it until today, and I'm such a cynic that I was afraid it would be wimpy, even though written by the CBMW. But as far as I can see on a quick read, it's good, without even the all-too-common breast-beating about how badly (how?) Christians have treated "LGBTQ persons," or that sort of nonsense. I may have just missed something, but on a first read through the statement looks like a simple, non-insulting, but firm statement of basic Christian sexual morality.

Someone translated the Nashville statement into Dutch.

Some Dutch Christians, despite the extreme leftism even of most "Christians" in their country, bravely signed it.

Now the Dutch public prosecutor is considering whether or not to bring charges against them for signing it.

Continue reading "Christians in Netherlands face possible prosecution for opposing homosexual acts" »

January 1, 2019

Apple pulls app for Christian ministry

In case anyone remembers the recent attempt in California to ban so-called "conversion therapy," here is a related event: A Texas-based Christian ministry on issues of sexuality, Living Hope Ministries, has had its app pulled from the app store by tech giant Apple on the grounds of the alleged "bigotry" of their position. You know, teaching traditional sexuality, encouraging those with same-sex attraction who want to live according to God's plan for sexuality, and offering DVDs on how to help people in your church who have SSA--all very "bigoted" stuff. The claim is that all such programs to proclaim the traditional Christian view and encourage people to live by it are ipso facto "reparative therapy." That is precisely what those of us claimed when we opposed the CA bill. (That has been tabled for the moment, but I fear it will be back in another year.)

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December 28, 2018

Sharia enforcement at Mall of America

It's been about 5 1/2 years since the City of Dearborn decided to settle out of court in the lawsuit brought by David Wood and ex-Muslim Nabeel Qureshi over the unconstitutional arrest and prosecution of Wood and Qureshi when they were talking with Muslims about Jesus at the Arab festival. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, and our brother Nabeel has gone to the arms of our Savior as a result of stomach cancer. But the sweetness of that legal victory remains.

Now a new case has come up that bears notable, though not perfect, similarities to the arrest of Wood and Qureshi.

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December 24, 2018

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

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Tidings of comfort and joy. We are reminded this Christmas that, for some, not easily found are comfort and joy. Bereavement and loss remain so near. When the holiday season links with grief that is particularly hard. Remember in your prayers those who mourn.

So while I open this Christmas post on a somber note, our true joy lies in the Hope of the Incarnation. Our Sovereign Lord will not abandon us. He has not. He entered into our broken world and no power can thwart his plan to make everything right.

Below is a sizable passage from the second chapter of Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ. We need not share Sheen’s views on any detail of scriptural exegesis, or even principle of interpretation, in order to profit by his marvelous discourse on the first Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!


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Everything in space and time exists because of the creative Power of God. Matter is not eternal; the universe has an intelligent Personality back of it, an Architect, a Builder, and a Sustainer. Creation is the work of God. The sculptor works on marble, the painter on canvas, the machinist on matter, but none of them can create. They bring existing things into new combinations, but nothing else. Creation belongs to God alone.

God writes His name on the soul of every man. Reason and conscience are the God within us in the natural order. The Fathers of the early Church were wont to speak of the wisdom of Plato and Aristotle as the unconscious Christ within us. Men are like so many books issuing from the Divine press, and if nothing else be written on them, at least the name of the Author is indissolubly engraved on the title page. God is like the watermark on paper, which may be written over without ever being obscured.

[. . .]

Caesar Augustus, the master bookkeeper of the world, sat in his palace by the Tiber. Before him was stretched a map labeled Orbis Terrarum, Imperium Romanum. He was about to issue an order for a census of the world; for all the nations of the civilized world were subject to Rome. There was only one capital in this world: Rome; only one official language: Latin; only one ruler: Caesar. To every outpost, to every satrap and governor, the order went out: every Roman subject must be enrolled in his own city. On the fringe of the Empire, in the little village of Nazareth, soldiers tacked up on walls the order for all the citizens to register in the towns of their family origins.

[. . .]

In the filthiest place in the world, a stable, Purity was born. He, Who was later to be slaughtered by men acting as beasts, was born among beasts. He, Who would call Himself the “living Bread descended from Heaven,” was laid in a manger, literally, a place to eat. Centuries before, the Jews had worshiped the golden calf, and the Greeks, the ass. Men bowed down before them as before God. The ox and the ass now were present to make their innocent reparation, bowing down before their God.

Continue reading "Long lay the world in sin and error pining" »

December 17, 2018

Tidings of comfort and...wellll...hmmmm

As we move toward the Christmas season (at the moment it's technically Advent) and start thinking about the star, the wise men, the shepherds, and the manger, I decided to talk once more about the way fictionalization theories of the New Testament ruin everything.

Even Christmas.

Continue reading "Tidings of comfort and...wellll...hmmmm" »

December 13, 2018

Evangelical college associations capitulate in return for exemptions

The boards of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the National Association of Evangelicals have endorsed federal laws explicitly enshrining sexual orientation and gender identity as specially protected classes, as long as such laws contain exemptions that they think will exempt their own explicitly Christian institutions.

Robert Gagnon's comments are apt:

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December 11, 2018

Phillip Zodhiates begins prison term

According to Lifesite, Phillip Zodhiates has begun serving a 36-month federal prison sentence for having helped Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella escape the country back in 2009. Presumably he will be eligible for parole some time sooner than that, as Kenneth Miller was, but one can't be sure. When I last updated on this story in March, 2017, Zodhiates had been released pending appeal. It would seem that his appeals have been unsuccessful. So, like Kenneth Miller before him, he will serve a prison sentence for helping a biological mother escape the country with her own child rather than turning the child over in full custody to the mother's former lesbian lover, no relation to the child.

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November 30, 2018

Transgender Blasphemy at the ETS

The Evangelical Theological Society meeting recently took place in Denver, CO. This is (as I'm sure most readers know) allegedly quite a conservative society. You have to affirm inerrancy to be a member, though I don't know for sure (you can tell me in the comments) whether you have to be a member to make a presentation.

One of the presenters was Andy Draycott, an associate professor at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. His institution trains a lot of apologists and has a lot of "blue sky" (and deservedly so) in the evangelical community. And a lot of good professors. Draycott (I say unequivocally after this dust-up) is not one of them, for multiple reasons.

Colin Smothers of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood posted on November 19, and Steve Hays at Triablogue posted the link on November 28, alerting people to the contents of Draycott's talk, which Smothers attended.

I have now received a transcript of Draycott's talk. I am assuming, but do not have time to check (I'm trying to devote as much time as possible to book writing), that it simply was transcribed from the audio, which is available to the public for download here. If a reader downloads the audio, feel free to tell me if there is some significant misunderstanding going on, but the contents of the complete transcript I have appear to be simply an attempt to transcribe what Draycott actually said, up to and including the places where he descends into incoherence. They are absolutely damning. I will include quotes below.

Continue reading "Transgender Blasphemy at the ETS" »

November 26, 2018

President and Pope

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An innate interest in arguing over Lists appears present in most, and pronounced in many male members of our peculiar creature called man. Men will throw themselves into animated discourse over such matters as The Best NFL Quarterback (Elway), or The Greatest Basketball Player (LeBron), or Greatest English Prose Stylist (Wodehouse), laying out Top Threes and Top Fives and Top Tens with notable vigor and persistence. Frequently the females of the species can be observed on the fringes, bedecked with wry smiles or affecting harried cynicism.

Speaking for myself, I enjoy the mischief of the Top Three Presidents list: in particular, I like throwing Reagan in there with Lincoln and Washington, and then waiting, with amused anticipation, for the reactions.

The book under review here, an absorbing study composed by Prof. Paul Kengor of Grove City College, is part of the growing body of historical assessment which is making that mischief no longer effective as such. Because, it turns out, there surely is no mischief in adding to the list of the Greatest Presidents, our Republic’s greatest peacemaker. Lincoln and Washington both fought and won wars -- just wars, I think -- but still cruel and awful confrontations that left indelible scars, bitterness, and many other evils in their wake.

Reagan achieved victory without war; and having done so he prevented incalculable evils.

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It is the burden of Prof. Kengor in this sizable but elegant volume, to demonstrate that few allies in this peaceful victory proved more valuable to Reagan than Pope Saint John Paul II.

Upon diving in, the reader of A Pope and a President will immediately find himself riding the splendid narrative currents of something extraordinary: A Catholic-Protestant alliance without historical parallel. Aspects of this tale have been related in many fine historical works over the past two decades; and we might say that the general lineaments of it are well known in a hazy kind of way.

Millennials who came of age after these men’s deaths -- at least those possessed of any sense -- do know that Reagan won the Cold War, that John Paul II was a great pope, and that both were lifelong and courageous anti-Communists. Most, likewise, understand dimly that all this implies considerable honor to both men, honor that is even granted, however grudgingly, by folks who admire them little in other matters.

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November 25, 2018

St. Augustine on Narrating dyschronologically vs. narrating achronologically

Repeatedly I remind those interested in the New Testament and in issues of historicity that there is a crucial distinction between an author's simply being non-specific about chronological order and his changing the chronology in his account so that it is contrary to fact.

Again and again (as I pointed out in this talk), literary device theorists fail to make this crucial distinction. They will say something vague like, "Ancient authors did not always narrate chronologically" or "Ancient readers did not always expect authors to narrate chronologically" and then use that to defend the conclusion that a Gospel author changed the chronology in a story, deliberately, to make it appear that events happened in a different order than they actually happened or took less time than they actually took. Narrating without indicating a specific chronology is what I call narrating achronologically--without a chronology. Changing chronology is what I call narrating dyschronologically.

Continue reading "St. Augustine on Narrating dyschronologically vs. narrating achronologically" »

November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving: Not Weary in Well-Doing

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"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)

I don't know what it's like where my co-bloggers are located or where my readers are located, but here in lovely Michigan our normally lovely November went away early. Over the last few years I'd learned to count on golden-and-red-and-blue days of autumn and Indian summer in November. These help to compensate for the shock of the time change with the shift to very long, very dark evenings. But this year the leaves came down early and with them the cold, the snow, and the gloom came down early, too.

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November 15, 2018

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II

I've decided to add some further reflections on the topic of my last post.

It might be argued that a person of sufficient authority can teach something entirely new using fiction. If Jesus taught by way of a parable that the Gentiles are to be accepted into the people of God, while this would be a new teaching (hence, not recognized from our independent experience), we should accept it because of Jesus' teaching authority.

This is certainly true.

Continue reading "Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact II" »

November 3, 2018

Teaching from fiction and teaching from fact

I have argued, as have others, that the distinctive nature of Christianity (and for that matter Judaism) is that God teaches mankind through real, historical facts. God says to Moses that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses knows that that refers to a God who has done certain things in the real world. Then, throughout Israel's history, God says that he is the Lord who has brought them up out of the land of Egypt. The nature of God is declared in what he really does in the world.

In God's revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, as well, God writes his message in the language of fact. Jesus is really born of a virgin in a particular place and time. His fulfillment of prophecy at multiple points occurs in reality, not in legend. And at last he really suffers under Pontius Pilate and really rises from the dead.

The God of the Judeo-Christian religion is a God who speaks in facts, who dips his pen in the material world and writes his message in providentially guided historical events, which would not have that same message if they did not really occur.

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October 30, 2018

Garcia Plays Dylan


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When Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead played a series of shows together in the late 80s, the whole thing barely rose to the level of fiasco. What a collection of knuckleheads. The results exemplify the endearing dilemma of the Dead: finding the sound was a process, never fully achieved.

That having been said, Garcia and company, over the years, regularly succeeded in performing Dylan tunes of notable artistry. Crusty old Bob himself probably acknowledges that some renditions of his songs by the Dead, or by the Jerry Garcia Band, are markedly better than Dylan’s own versions, live or recorded.

This affinity intrigues me. It should intrigue you. (Well, to be precise, I suppose it should if you like any Dylan or Dead tunes: a category, I venture, inclusive of all Americans.)

Think of it this way. Certain stylistic obstacles had to be surmounted before folks would embrace whole collections called, “Garcia Plays Dylan.”

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October 12, 2018

Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II

At the beginning of this year I put up a post called "Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves." Recently, in the course of doing research for the book I am currently writing (hence my slower blogging pace), I have been putting together a large number of additional ancient quotations on historical veracity.

The record is, in fact, quite impressive. When put up against claims that ancient people were interested not in boring facts but rather in "higher truth," such quotations are simply overwhelming.

Continue reading "Let Ancient People Speak for Themselves: Round II" »

October 5, 2018

Peter Hitchens and the Glory of Outrage

September 28, 2018

Zippy Catholic: Requiescat in pace

September 13, 2018

Did the Gospel authors make composite discourses? It's complicated

September 11, 2018

September 11th

September 8, 2018

Growing Deeper Roots

 
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