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

Recent Comments

The Roots of Our Partisan Divide

Comment posted by avraham on Mar 26, 05:03:

It used to be taught in school in the USA that Democracy is fragile. It did seem to me that later people kept on trying to attack everything about the USA and thought that all their i-phones had nothing to do with how America was ... [More]

Good American music

Comment posted by Step2 on Mar 13, 21:58:

Paul, You left off one of my all-time favorite Colter Wall songs, “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie”. Colter, Tyler Childers, Cody Jinks, Brother Dege and 16 Horsepower are among many others in a playlist I have titled Rustic Grit. Murder, addiction, deals with the devil and other breezy, light themes. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYvj_ZYotn1m5HN76_1tnfg On the other hand there is also a Swing & Jazz playlist and an Instrumental & Christian music playlist and other more mainstream choices on the chann ... [More]

The Roots of Our Partisan Divide

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Mar 11, 06:08:

Hoping to read the Imprimis piece tonight -- that may prompt something. I recall having minor quibbles here and there while reading the book but nothing that really gave me a great amount of pause. ... [More]

The Roots of Our Partisan Divide

Comment posted by Tony on Mar 9, 16:22:

Thanks, Nice. Good to know Caldwell's book-length treatment stands up to consideration. In the interests of stimulating a vigorous debate, are there any theses that you would like to dispute? Question? Take apart for further analysis? ... [More]

The Roots of Our Partisan Divide

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Mar 9, 07:17:

I just got the article in the mail a day or two ago and have not read it yet, but I have read Caldwell's book -- it's brilliant. His contention about civil rights is not that segregation and Jim Crow didn't need to end, but that how they were ended was inherently problematic. Of course in a society where ends are often seen to justify means such a declaration is anathema. Add to this the inability of current liberalism to demonstrate any level of self-critique, and you end up with ideas like Caldwell's be ... [More]

Good American music

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 24, 21:58:

Good point. I no longer can even tell what has been playing as the "Top 40", since I never even listen to the radio. I can only get a glimmer of it from the names that are shoved at us as the top performers (such as in ads on TV, or web ads). Mainly, I avoid anything having to do with mainstream anything. That's a big change since 1990 or 1995. Are the big labels about to put themselves out of existence from overplaying their hands on the "power" to tell us what to listen to? Will they learn better ... [More]

Good American music

Comment posted by Paul Cella on Feb 24, 14:19:

Agreed, Tony. The folks you mention definitely have some good songs, and are talented performers; but what has changed over the past two decades is the capacity of the recording industry to shove their favored stuff down our throats. "Top 40 radio" amounts to a niche market now: basically just folks stuck driving in traffic. Even within the "country" genre, I find it fascinating how much good music gets excluded from radio play. In 1990 that would have been close to a death sentence for a band, but not anym ... [More]

Good American music

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 16, 22:16:

Our country labors under many political distempers and grievous social poisons, but her popular music is not one of them. ... The volume of well-composed tunes, of simply high-quality songs that fill you with warmth, speaks to a creative popular force, standing at defiance of cynical profit, bitter political division, and social media monomania, which we Americans might well take heart in. Paul, when you say "popular music", are you including or excluding the music of the likes of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, ... [More]

Kobe, Memories, and Redemption

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Feb 11, 15:21:

My e-mail is available under my author name on the right. ... [More]

Kobe, Memories, and Redemption

Comment posted by imnobody00 on Feb 11, 08:00:

Dear Lydia, Completely off-topic. Have you thought about putting "The Mirror or the Mask" in Kindle format? ... [More]

Kobe, Memories, and Redemption

Comment posted by Tony on Jan 31, 10:21:

I find it interesting that what we have in Kobe is a guy who was, arguably, the absolute best in the world (in his prime) at his sport, who went on to discover that just(!) being the best in the world at his chosen profession didn't guarantee him "the good life", or happiness. It didn't even guarantee him that his marriage would remain intact. Your profession (and your hobbies, and your chores, and your recreations) constitute merely the substrate for the "real", business end of what makes a life a good l ... [More]

Kobe, Memories, and Redemption

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 31, 09:28:

Excellent reminder, thank you, Jeff! ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Ben on Jan 29, 10:00:

I've seen it. A shame that any Christian would ever appear similar to that. But remember: Lydia is the one with "bad tone." The fact he's saying you are the one with the "bad tone" feels like something out of Bizarro World. I haven't read your new book, but I've read much of your blog on the subject, and many of your facebook posts on the same. Seems more like he's using the whole Geisler thing to paint any kind of push against his ideas as backwards and downright mean. At least that is how it looks to som ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Tony on Jan 28, 23:16:

Lydia is the one with "bad tone." That's funny, because I have already noted more than once Lydia using a mild, reserved, non-polemical tone where I probably would not have been able to resist descending into some kind of cutting remark. And I am less than half the way through. I don't know whether her editor or publisher told her to keep it toned down, or what, but there are PLENTY of places where even a mild jab would have been not out of order even for a Christian scholar. I suspect that what is go ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 28, 12:29:

I've seen it. A shame that any Christian would ever appear similar to that. But remember: Lydia is the one with "bad tone." ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Ben on Jan 28, 10:24:

This whole thing makes me think of a music video with a rapping Richard Dawkins declaring how much better than everyone else he is because he has a science degree. It's a pretty humorous video made in a style similar to the Jib Jab parodies. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 27, 11:46:

Does he thinks he can see through your work in a way that the scholars who give blurbs for it can't? Yes. Presumably he's hitching his wagon to Richard Burridge and Christopher Pelling and perhaps Craig Keener as well. Lydia disagrees with these scholars, who agree with Mike. These scholars have been working in this field with the ancient literature "for decades." Lydia has not been working in this field for decades. (Though actually, I *was* working on Augustine as well as various Greco-Roman literary th ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jan 26, 23:12:

It is strange that he should dismiss your work because you recieved a PhD in English, or haven't had the requisite degree. Does he thinks he can see through your work in a way that the scholars who give blurbs for it can't? Sure they might not agree with everything, but if Licona was right in saying, 'So read her work very skeptically,' why does Blomberg, for instance, think there is a good deal of value in it? But you're right that credentials and debates dont matter: the work itself is the thing. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 26, 09:36:

I continue to think that a scholarly exchange in the pages of a journal like Philosophia Christi would be a good venue for Licona and me to dialogue. I will not have such a dialogue by proxy, though. (As Licona has suggested. This suggestion seems to me to be a proposal of an unprofessional arrangement. A living scholar with a written corpus whose views have been criticized should defend his own views, not "tag" a follower to defend his views in a debate type of format. The latter arrangement introduces far ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Callum on Jan 25, 08:48:

Thanks for the link Lydia. Much appreciated. I can say from the twittersphere that people reacted to your recent Unbelievable episode with eagerness to see a debate on the topic, regardless of whether they agreed or not. I'd imagine Licona will have to substantiate his criticisms sooner or later. At the moment I'm harping on to anyone who will listen just to read the book. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 25, 08:25:

Andrew, the "criteria of authenticity" are still used. Some of them are highly problematic, particularly the "criterion of double similarity and dissimilarity," now renamed ambitiously the "criterion of historical plausibility," which really makes it much worse! This has to do with Jesus' teachings or actions being "plausible in its historical context and demonstrate some influence in earliest Christianity, while at the same time disclosing Jesus’ individuality within his original context and with some tend ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 25, 08:20:

Callum, here's the recording of Bock's paper. The last few pages he couldn't read in the time all the way through, but you can tell from what is recorded that he is saying that he thinks Licona's views are compatible with what he's been reading from the ancient sources. I mainly followed up on his references, not (of course) agreeing with that conclusion. I found all the references for myself, including the contexts, and sometimes selected a different translation to quote. (Licona has recently publicly refe ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Callum on Jan 25, 05:03:

Lydia do you know what Bock's paper was titled as? I'm not a member of the ETS so it looks like I'll have to email him for a copy. BTW, i have TMOTM. Fantastic. So tightly argued I couldn't help but agree with Tom Gilson that it's convincing. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Tony on Jan 24, 23:20:

Andrew, I haven't dabbled much in the works of recent historians, so I would not have seen this phenomenon by direct observation. If it really happening, I would conjecture that it is a natural outflow of the loss of underlying principles and, especially in the humanities, a loss even in a belief in truth as such, which has infected the universities. How can you even talk about criteria of historical veracity when it is so hard to even have an agreed-upon lexicon of what "true" shall be taken to mean (wit ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Andrew on Jan 24, 08:46:

Although scholarly skepticism of the Gospels is clearly motivated by ideological prejudices, I wonder if this skepticism isn’t also a consequence of the fact that there is no consensus on how to assess the historical value of ancient sources. A generation ago scholars touted various “criteria of authenticity” as a mechanism for making such judgments, but that way of thinking no longer seems to carry as much weight as it once did. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 24, 08:34:

Yes, and 21:24 as well. Even if one regards those last two verses as written by another hand, the emphasis upon truth is very strong *at least* in the first audience. Richard Burridge has a lot of prestige that then gets put behind some very dismissive comments he makes about John's references to truth. I quote these at length in The Mirror or the Mask. Burridge tries to give the impression that the word "truth" in such statements in John should receive an asterisk and doesn't mean what "we" mean by it, be ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Jan 24, 01:35:

Somehow I got double-posted. I also wanted to add: because of the prologue and 19:35, we can't wave away whatever perceived difficulties exist in the text (e.g. the hours of the trial and crucifixion) and say "literary device!" --- we have to face the difficulty head-on. And I'm totally fine with that, much more than if somebody cooked up some critical theory to explain the difference. ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Jan 24, 01:32:

Glad to see somebody appreciates the Morris essay on John's being an eyewitness as much as I do! His volume of studies on the fourth gospel is best $5 or $10 I ever spent for a used book. I appreciate his carefulness, sobriety, and willingness to let the evidence speak for itself, without trying to bolster up whatever fashionable critical theories/fads were around in his day. Between the prologue to the fourth gospel and 19:35, it seems apparent that the writer or writers of the fourth gospel (who I think ... [More]

John--The Man Who Saw, now at RC

Comment posted by Joe Lightfoot on Jan 24, 01:31:

Glad to see somebody appreciates the Morris essay on John's being an eyewitness as much as I do! His volume of studies on the fourth gospel is best $5 or $10 I ever spent for a used book. I appreciate his carefulness, sobriety, and willingness to let the evidence speak for itself, without trying to bolster up whatever fashionable critical theories/fads were around in his day. Between the prologue to the fourth gospel and 19:35, it seems apparent that the writer or writers of the fourth gospel (who I think ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 20, 09:40:

It's interesting that even a somewhat loose paraphrase of the words of Jesus there would destroy the point of the coda. Suppose that Jesus had really said, "If I want him to tarry for a thousand years, what is that to you?" instead of "until I come." And suppose that the author had changed it to "until I come," which started the rumor. It would take a lot of gall for the author himself solemnly to explain that Jesus only "said" "if," if he himself knew that he altered that part! And if the last verses were ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 20, 09:23:

I think the point that John is trying to report something very close to what Jesus said is supported either way (either if 23ff are written by John or someone later), just in slightly different ways. If John wrote those last verses, then that means that John himself was emphasizing the specifics of what Jesus said, and that prima facie means that he is claiming to report them quite accurately. (He'd have to be a really eyebrow-raising deceiver if he made up the saying and then made a big deal about the spec ... [More]

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 18, 08:58:

Thanks for this report, Paul. I have no "hot take" on the circumstances you describe. They sound dire, as you say, either way. What is most unnerving is that it seems like someone here in the SEALS must have been very bad indeed--either Gallagher himself or his accusers. I agree with you that in principle the natural light can still result in a military command that has honor and doesn't permit atrocities or recklessly accuse others of them. One wonders what it would take to reinstate this knowledge in the ... [More]

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comment posted by Paul Cella on Jan 18, 02:53:

Lots of good points, Tony. I share your worries. And as a general statement, I wholly agree with your chief emphasis: that our individual institutions will ultimately reflect the character of our people. Still, within so broad a statement, covering so huge a country, there are wide variations. For instance, we find fairly solid grounds for stating that, in the Second World War, the sheer battlefield savagery of the European theater was exceeded by that of the Pacific theater. A similar comparison might be ... [More]

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comment posted by Tony on Jan 17, 12:33:

So ample cause exists for worry about the health of the SEAL command, and indeed the entire SOF structure of the US military. Americans must fervently hope, and pray, that the service branches and JSOC can address and mitigate it. These are our best soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen; they have carried a huge portion of the burden of our wars over the last two decades. May God bless them and preserve their honor. I agree: we must fervently hope and pray that the service branches, and command structure, ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Sean on Jan 16, 12:41:

"Whether John is the author of v. 22 and vv. 23-25, or only v. 22, it seems that vv. 22-25, and particularly vv. 22,23, are good evidence that John intended, and was able to report Jesus' words fairly well, and that his audience would take him to be doing that (even if they may have misinterpreted them)." I mean, vv. 22,23 are good particular evidence to this effect. vv. 24 and 25 are clearly good general evidence that John intended and was able to be reliable in these ways. ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jan 16, 12:39:

Thanks, that would be pretty neat. When I shared some information about your book to a friend of mine, Ben Fischer, a professor at the university I attend, he said, "That is the kind of stuff they should be teaching in the theology classes." From which you can tell that the books assigned in those class are typically suboptimal. But hopefully there will be some academic audience for your book, or at least the ideas in it will find their way to students, laymen, and apologists in greater number. When are ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Lydia Mcgrew on Jan 15, 16:04:

Thank you! (I was in New Orleans for a couple of days last week and catching up since then, which is why I just now saw this comment.) You have a good point, and one that I had not thought of before. It is a fairly conservative position to take John 21:23-25 to be a short "coda" to the Gospel, written by another hand, though Bauckham, rather surprisingly, argues that even those three verses were written by the Beloved Disciple. I would argue that *at most* those three verses were a coda, not (as other scho ... [More]

The Mirror or the Mask is now fully available!

Comment posted by Sean Killackey on Jan 11, 19:03:

It is an excellent book, too long for me to relate in a comment, and which you'd well know anyway. I'm looking forward to your book on John, not just because John is my favorite gospel, but also because if it is even half as good a book as this one, it will be a fine book indeed. I still have a 150 pages to go on The Mirror or the Mask, so perhaps you mention something there. But I was reciting John 21 and noticed how the particular remarks Jesus said to Peter while at least he and John were listening spar ... [More]

O Night Divine

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 27, 23:22:

Thank you, Sage, Lydia, and Paul. Good words, every one of them. Thank you Beth and Nobody, for coming here again and spending some time at Christmas with us. And our other readers who don't post, as well. Merry Christmas to all of you, and a blessed new year. ... [More]

O Night Divine

Comment posted by Nobody special on Dec 25, 14:21:

A blessed Christmas to you all!😊 ... [More]