What’s Wrong with the World

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

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Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 15, 09:28:

So there is a (rather obvious) fact that sometimes people hold what is a part of the truth along with an error mixed in, where someone else holds the same truth but does not hold the error mixed in: the second must be accounted as being in the better position, having more of the truth. Modernism, however, insists on a funny brand of relativism with regard to the truth: there is no accounting that the second person's thinking is more true than the first. Perhaps the first holds what is "true for him" and ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Joseph on Jun 14, 12:06:

Lydia, I agree that this does seem to be the dividing line between "conservative" and "liberal" scholars. It is not conservative word-for-word literalness versus liberal openness to variation. It is liberals saying that the differences are best explained as the result of intentional manipulation of known facts, whereas conservatives see those differences as occurring within the normal range of variation that is to be expected from having multiple people remember and telling a single story. It is extremely ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jun 14, 11:22:

Seeing your handle, Truth Unites . . . and Divides, I recall that my Missions prof frequently referred to "our Buddhist and Hindu brothers and sisters" and spoke of everyone being God's children. I pressed him on whether he meant these terms in the biblical sense or in the sense that we are all creatures of One Wise God, and he demurred . Something about not wanting an us-them mentality. I asked what he made of John and children of light and darkness and he said, "Well, that imagery is sometimes in John." ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 14, 09:17:

Well said, Joseph. An item of evidence in line with what you are saying about "hi" and "hello." It took me a while, but I finally realized that some scholars, when they speak about paraphrasing even in moderate ways, are of the opinion that the author *knew* the exact words and *changed* them for some special reason. I was rather astonished when I realized this. I figured previously (silly me) that when we were talking about some extremely moderate and no-problem paraphrase like, "You are my beloved son" v ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Truth Unites... and Divides on Jun 14, 08:58:

If I had to sum up this excellent post in one short sentence, it would be: Missionary Syndrome = Compromise. Or more precisely, Missionary Syndrome is all too often unholy compromise. ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 14, 01:19:

So the prof was effectively advocating that the woman continue to give her not-husband sex in return for room and board: prostitution, by any other name... I suspect, Lydia, that one should try to keep the majority of true mission activity to in-person, live relationships, where facial expressions and physical presence bring home the real person who is the missionary. I think that in the case of the apostles (and the later missionaries who carried on their work, such as St. Boniface in Germany, St. Patric ... [More]

Does John "narrate theologically"? On the perils of theological theory in history

Comment posted by Joseph on Jun 13, 22:56:

It seems to me that the people who most complain about conservatives reading the Bible with a "hyper-literal" concern for factuality are actually the ones most guilty of it. It is the liberal scholars who think that if Matthew has Jesus saying "hi" and Luke has Jesus saying "hello," then this is a difference of such enormous significance that it can only reasonably be explained by imagining that there must have been some theological agenda on the part of the writer that motivated him to twist a "hi" into a ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 13, 20:41:

Yeah, she was actually ranting (really ranting) against saying that the man should support the woman but *not* have sex with her. It wasn't even enough to say that the man had to support her (and her children). That policy, btw, was blamed on "Catholics." I have no idea what policy Catholic missionaries nowadays tell their formerly polygamous converts to follow... ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jun 13, 17:43:

Actually, something simmiliar was said by my missions prof. Not the same thing, but odd all the same. He said that polygamists who convert, whether the man or one of his other 'wives' often remain in those 'marriages' eitehr to give or receive housing and food. He didnt draw out the implications of that, as your Prof did, but I thought it was muddleheaded. Why couldn't the man just support them without, you know having sex with them or saying there married. In the other case, it is certainly a hard case - b ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 13, 17:31:

I think thirty-plus years ago when I was an undergrad missions major I didn't really realize just how "poised" the entire field of missiology was to become somewhat avant garde. And I mean even within a very conservative Baptist denomination. That's not even thinking about what it would be like in a more mainline denomination. But looking back I can really see it. I remember one lady prof. (who was very good to me, so I'm not trying to "diss" her) was clearly opining that it was wrong to tell African polyg ... [More]

Missionary syndrome

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jun 13, 17:10:

Excellent post. Contextualization was a big theme in my missions class (as was some vauge view of prevenient grace and being incarnational). Oddly, the Prof criticized the martyred missionary John Allen Chau wholesale (not just here or there, but absolutely). He wasn't culturally sensitive, wasn't incarnational. I responded, "It seems getting martyred for them is a very incarnational thing to do, as is spending years preparing, studying linguistics, first aid, etc." Also, I asked on one of the last days o ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 7, 17:20:

Would it be wrong for a Christian or anyone else to tell a lie if by doing so they believe it increases their chance to make the jury so they could help acquit Lisa? Yes. ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 7, 13:40:

"Finally, like people fed up with the legal shenanigans of trials all together, there are people who are truly offended at the modern concept of vior dire by which the attorney tries to eliminate "the people who were going to vote against my client" rather than "the people who would biased" - and as a result, feel no compunction whatsoever at lying to the attorneys so that they are not cast aside. All told, voir dire remains a VERY uncertain process of getting just the jury you want." Would it be wrong for ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 7, 02:10:

They ask very specific questions designed to detect jurors that either the prosecution or defense does not want on there. It's funny, because (as I understand it) there is a lot of effort an attorney can put in to try to come up with "just the right questions" to identify the jurors he wants or doesn't want, but (a) either he is doing it by experience-intuiton and seat-of-the-pants lines of questions that MIGHT help distinguish the jurors he is trying to select for or against, but he might just be wrong; ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 6, 15:49:

Maybe it would come down to which side is more adept at shaping the members of the jury? I was going to say that. The jury selection process would definitely attempt to weed out any jurors who would defy the judge's instructions about what to take into account or how to construe their task. I'm sure you guys have watched jury selection--voir dire. (I have, several times, though so far I haven't actually been grilled myself because I've ended up in between--called for jury duty but never had my name called ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 6, 13:40:

I also did some quick google searching and it appears that for all intents and purposes a judge cannot overturn an acquittal. That said, I think Tony is more right that a hung jury is a real possibility if Lisa were to come back and face charges. Maybe it would come down to which side is more adept at shaping the members of the jury? "I think they definitely can ignore that. Jenkins can argue that legally she *was* entitled to partial custody and was deprived of it by the "conspiracy" of these people, en ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Eric on Jun 6, 13:19:

Great article; enjoy Lydia's writing. ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 6, 01:25:

No. I'm absolutely certain that Lisa would be convicted if tried. There are many reasons for this. Juries can be instructed that they are supposed to judge only on the bare, legal positivist case whether the person committed what is attributed to that person, not whether the law or ruling in question was just. Sure, a judge can "instruct the jury". What the judge cannot do, though, is force a jury that takes it into its head to ignore him, to come out with a guilty verdict. It's the same thing, by the wa ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 5, 14:30:

Wouldn't Lisa have an opportunity for a jury trial? I'd like to think, if so, that she would have a real shot at an acquittal. Sure, the men who helped her have not been so fortunate, but they also did not have anyone on their side to help if they went in front of a jury because Lisa and Isabella are absent. Both Lisa and Isabella will no doubt have very compelling testimonies that could sway a jury that Lisa did what she had to do. No. I'm absolutely certain that Lisa would be convicted if tried. There ar ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 5, 14:02:

Also, having just had baby #2...I am again witnessing in daily life that two mom's is absolutely insane. It is deranged idea that could only spring forth from a mind that is detached from reality. It is plainly obvious to anyone who has been around an infant, that that infant can only have that particular bond with just one woman and only the woman who gave birth to them. Only that woman, that mom, can provide that kind nurture and comfort to that tiny human. Honestly, even dad, who is also anything but ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 5, 13:48:

"Some conjecture that Lisa may come back and serve prison time when Isabella is eighteen and can no longer be forced to live with Jenkins. I hope that Lisa does not do that, but the idea is that she will do so because she would not want the men who helped her to "do time" while she goes free." Wouldn't Lisa have an opportunity for a jury trial? I'd like to think, if so, that she would have a real shot at an acquittal. Sure, the men who helped her have not been so fortunate, but they also did not have anyon ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 4, 23:45:

I am not sure what civil matter is involved. Obviously, it's not custody of the child, because Philip does not have the child. Is he liable for damages of some sort? This would seem to be piling on again merely for the sake of double punishment, whatever the courts CALL it - does this sort of thing ever get pursed in ordinary cases? Yep, she is civilly suing everybody she can think of who helped Lisa and Isabella for her mental anguish etc., etc. and loss of the company of Isabella, etc. This has been wai ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Haus Beach on Jun 4, 23:13:

Tony, the civil case is a SLAPP lawsuit by Janet Jenkins for damages against anyone and everyone who had anything to do with helping Isabella to escape from her. The sneaky thing is that the feds used discovery in the civil lawsuit to build their case in the federal lawsuit. ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 4, 22:49:

Lydia, you mentioned "the civil case". I am not sure what civil matter is involved. Obviously, it's not custody of the child, because Philip does not have the child. Is he liable for damages of some sort? This would seem to be piling on again merely for the sake of double punishment, whatever the courts CALL it - does this sort of thing ever get pursed in ordinary cases? I have never heard of it, at least. And the criminal trial probably beggared the couple anyway, so what are they going to do, turn ... [More]

On that (in)famous "saints rising" passage in Matthew 27

Comment posted by Haus Beach on Jun 4, 22:29:

Lydia, Since Jews didn't embalm their dead, these were either very freshly interred saints looking and smelling very much like Lazarus, or the disarticulated contents of an ossuary; not re-animated but fully resurrected. I don't see any theological problems with such a thing happening as has been alluded to: The Earthquake breaking open the tombs and shattering the bone-boxes, which no one touched for fear of being unclean at Passover and on the Sabbath; and then, three days later, each pile of bones disapp ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 4, 20:46:

Very good point about history, Tony. Divorce practices in Rome were nuts. All the research I've been doing recently on Roman history has really brought that home. It wasn't unknown for some emperor literally to force his chosen heir to divorce the heir's beloved wife and "marry" someone else because the second woman was more politically advantageous for the chosen heir. (This actually happened to Tiberius Caesar. I believe it was Augustus who forced him into the switcheroo, IIRC. Pompey was under huge polit ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 4, 20:13:

I agree with Lydia on the divorce issue. Think of it this way: divorce has been around, in one form or another, for some 4,000 years, in the western traditions. Before Christ addressed it and (eventually) Christianity came to influence most of Europe, it was around even if the state or society had some (relative) constraints against it. Yet during all that time, it did not lead inexorably to gay "marriage". The revolt against the Christian ideal of marriage that hit western society over the first 3/4 of ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jun 4, 11:19:

I am also opposed to no-fault divorce, but I disagree about "appearing to be scapegoating." The male-female binary is not only fundamental but also the only rationale for the state's *recognition* of marriage as an institution at all. Thus the shift even from no-fault divorce (bad as that is) to gay pseudo-marriage is and was a huge shift. The real question should be why the government should give special recognition or status to any relationship between adults at all. Gay "marriage" fails to satisfy that s ... [More]

Philip Zodhiates update

Comment posted by Matthew on Jun 4, 10:30:

Lydia: Heterosexuals spent the last half of the Twentieth Century pioneering "gay marriage". With the advent of no-fault divorce and easy contraception, marriage became a self-fulfillment project. Why wouldn't two men or two women want in on this project? Children, if even on the radar screen, were merely a component of the self-fulfillment project. What's to think about? I am adamantly opposed to "gay marriage" but until and unless we can turn the tide on the entire concept of marriage, the attempt ... [More]

An Ungenerous Orthodoxy

Comment posted by Guest on May 29, 13:10:

Good work Lydia. You put Rauser in his place. ... [More]

Antarctic France

Comment posted by Taras on May 27, 19:38:

My god! That there were such people and times! A memory like this, in a language like this, makes me want to go and bash my brains on a rock. Except there are no rocks left any more, I would have to settle for a corner of concrete. Speaking into the empty ether here, what is a person to live for these days? Seriously? That Hugenot tailor who recanted at the threat of death led a less remarkable life than Villegagnon, but even he, going to this New World, did more than the best thing that would probably be s ... [More]

Was Jesus Buried in Joseph of Arimathea's New Tomb?

Comment posted by ChristSeeker on May 24, 18:39:

Mark's Gospel is the product of an eyewitness and an important one at that. So I don't think Matthew would have any qualms with referring to an already published written account of Jesus to refresh the memory or "fill in the gaps." For all the similarities the Gospels have, it's hard to understate the differences as well. I mean, just compare the differences in Luke's pericope about the Temple destruction to Mark's. Sure, they might have some of the same words, but it's by no means a word for word carbon ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Bonald on May 24, 17:52:

Thank you, Lydia. This is exactly right. As an aside, I wish conservative intellectuals would retire the word "gnostic" for a while, since it has come to mean anything we don't like (rather like "fascist" on the Left). There was nothing utopian about what the Religious Right fought for, and I don't think there is anything they could have done better to avoid being ridiculed and demonized by the media. People often say that we should be focusing on the culture, but I'm not sure what that is supposed to m ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by DR84 on May 24, 01:20:

This is not particularly insightful, but I think it is true...the main factor in the losing is simply overwhelming force. That said, as of now, I'm not convinced the culture war has been truly lost. If it had been, faithful Christians and others who share our views with respect to human nature and sexuality would be truly as locked out of power and influence as the Uighurs are in China. We would also face some sort of systematic system to identify us so that we could be controlled and/or eradicated. When ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Truth Unites... and Divides on May 23, 18:08:

The Roe decision has been a huge degrader of culture, and if it could have been reversed swiftly, much less degradation would have occurred. I would also add that the SCOTUS decision to make Homosexual Marriage legal in all 50 states has also been a huge degrader of culture. ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on May 23, 11:54:

"For example, the errors Christians made in the Church that called for reform, that created the environment that needed reforming men and women, led to the result that there would be reformers and their reforms. But those errors did not CAUSE the errors and sins of the reformers who rejected the good with the bad, or those reformers who went on to propose heresies in response to bad practices. Or those reformers who invented bad philosophy to justify rejecting bad practices." Sometimes people who espouse a ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on May 23, 11:24:

"Successful politics certainly helps!.....Culture is surprisingly resilient. I'm not saying populism will save us. I'm saying not letting the liberal elites force their craziness on everyone would arrest a lot of cultural degradation." Absolutely. I'm not arguing for political quietism. I just think that we tended to make too much of the political to the detriment of the cultural, and it sort of backfired on us. "No doubt there WERE Christian mistakes....But that's neither here nor there for the point bei ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Tony on May 23, 10:23:

But at the same time, I fear that some of the failures in the culture war can indeed be traced -- at least to some extent -- to historic Christian mistakes... No doubt there WERE Christian mistakes. Every Christian who is still a sinner makes mistakes, and even those saints who succeed in avoiding being constant sinners in all serious matters still make less-than-perfect choices now and then, choices which lessen the success of Church in achieving the good. But that's neither here nor there for the po ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on May 23, 09:26:

There was always this underlying idea that we could arrest cultural degradation by means of politics. Successful politics certainly helps! I think it's worth remembering how much of this *is* top-down. This is true on other issues as well. Think of how many states passed marriage protection amendments in the 90s. And then it was all swept away by the Supreme Court. The Roe decision has been a huge degrader of culture, and if it could have been reversed swiftly, much less degradation would have occurred. St ... [More]

Blaming the losers

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on May 23, 06:17:

"I can't really agree about the time period I have in mind. Francis Schaffer made a huge difference to that for Protestants in that time period. And necessary cultural work was the reason why they were starting their own schools. It took place concomitantly with political work." I realize that, having been a big Schaeffer fan in the 80's. But despite his influence I think that we had the proportion of the one vs. the other pretty much backwards. There was always this underlying idea that we could arrest ... [More]