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 Anarchist Tyrant and the Unprincipled Exception

Comment posted by Ricky Moore on Aug 29, 16:04:

"liberalism is the attempt to create a just state without having a just people." Many early liberals were Christian moralists like Vicesimus Knox, a fine and principled man who opposed tyranny and aggressive conquest because of the vices they spawned, from ill gotten luxury to unprincipled violence in the population by the state as it grows used to dealing death without consequences. He was hardly under the delusion that immoral people would somehow spawn a just society. He wanted a just society because th ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by John on Jun 26, 16:11:

Tony, Just to take one example (without getting too deep into the weeds), John 12:32 has Jesus declare, conditioned on His being "lifted up", His ability to draw all people to himself. Although this might be heard as suggesting universalism, tending to the wider context of the Fourth Gospel tamps down this reading as overreach. In the Good Shepherd narrative, Jesus differentiates His sheep from those who follow a false (hireling) shepherd. I know no passage that will bear the weight of unrestricted unive ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Jun 19, 19:20:

Tony, I'm not sure I understand your criticism of me. You say the present tense, if it does not undermine my interpretation completely, at least disfavors it, all things considered. But your own interpretation does not take the present tense to require that the propitiation is applied to those said to be propitiated at the time John wrote those words. Rather, you think the present indicates the fact that Christ had already accomplished the propitiation at that time, so that nothing follows one way or the ot ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by FOOM on Jun 16, 10:14:

If it's necessary to accept Jesus in order to avoid hell, then all of the 47 billion people who lived before him are toast. Anyone could come up with a better plan. ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 13, 11:00:

So, John, I suspect you would lean in the direction of "explaining away" those passages in the New Testament which appear to say or at least suggest that all or nearly all will be saved. Do you have a general take on HOW to explain those passages so that they make sense, either individually, or taken globally in the whole context of the Gospels? I ask this not as an attack, because I have the very same inclination - to believe that "many" go through the wide gate to perdition, and that this is meant to ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by John on Jun 12, 09:01:

Tony, my post aims to recover the theological essentials necessary for one to be saved. As I read the present situation, these essentials have largely been missed or set aside. This has direct bearing on the final number to be saved--the gospel as my witness. Alternative theologies are readily offered with the promise of salvation. As inadequate responses to the Cross, they will fail and are failing multitudes. A final number? As I read it, much slighter than the total religiously active and affiliate ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 6, 02:20:

John, what you say is all good, but I am not sure how it addresses the questions raised in this thread. Do you have any thoughts about how the number of those who will finally be saved does, or does not, seem to readily match up with the implications of the Gospels? ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by John on May 25, 06:54:

You can start an entirely new life in Jesus, but not before you bring your old life to an end. To avoid misunderstanding, let me say that we are not talking here about suicide! We are talking about a radical change of life—a change so radical that it truly feels like a death experience. The Bible talks about a “new birth”, a second birth. Even a Jewish rabbi was confused by what this means: “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he? ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Rob G on May 20, 06:36:

"Altogether, it's a rather depressing picture Jesus paints." Exactly the conclusion of the disciples: "Who then can be saved?" Jesus, of course, had an answer for them. Not depressing at all, really. ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by LV on May 14, 15:44:

Just a couple of quick notes on the Scriptural passages from the OP. The common interpretation of the "last penny" passage, often with reference to the parable of the unforgiving servant and his outlandish debt, is that making such a payment is impossible, and thus the punishment never ends. Indeed, if it were possible for us to pay the debt on our own, what was the purpose of Christ taking on flesh and dying for us to begin with? The other thing I wanted to note is that the "narrow gate" passages in Matt ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 15, 02:19:

Christopher, I see the point, but I think it is lacking a little. For one thing, the verb "is" sits in the present tense, in saying And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. You can propose that he is using "is" for the propitiation of the few saints in his own day, but it is meant in the prospective, as he will be the propitiation for the whole world, but this is certainly not the definitive way to reconcile these passages. Not at all. ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Apr 14, 14:53:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Seems to entail that at the height of the triumph of the church militant, an overwhelming majority of the world population will have their sins propitiated by the blood of Christ. That verse was important in moving me from amillennial to postmillennial eschatology. The Biblical case for Calvinist soteriology is, my view, conclusive. But when Arminians challenge Calvinists with this verse, the things a ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 3, 17:57:

Update on 4-3-2022 I should have included this in my original post, but I will add it now: One of the intuitions I have that I am willing to consider open to correction is that there is a range of "acceptable" percentages of those damned (who are members of the Church) versus those saved (who are in the Church) that is reasonably anticipated from what God lets us see through revelation, but then there is some higher ratio of those damned compared to those saved that exceeds what we could reasonably accept ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 2, 22:50:

Christopher, I am comfortable with postmillenialism of sorts, though I think that there being a period of (relative) thriving of the Church throughout the world is not fundamentally incompatible with there being long periods, both before and after that millennium, of dreadful times. Which would imply the possibility that the numbers from the bad times would (or could) greatly outweigh the numbers from the good times. But that aside, do you think that the Bible also doesn't give us enough information to ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Christopher McCartney on Apr 2, 20:00:

If your asking about people who have lived so far, there's a more definitive way to answer. Nulla salus extra ecclesiam. Even if every person who is nominally Christian will be saved, most people aren't. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." But if we are taking into account future history, I feel much less confident about answering the question. I'm a postimillenialist, so I expect a global Christendom before the second coming. And I expect the church will then be significantly mo ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 2, 14:38:

Vincent, thanks for the question. Yes, I think that sexual temptations are indeed one of the main pathways for the grave sins by which "many" are on the road to perdition. In our day, as I hear it from my adult children, regular use of pornography is extremely common among young men (and not uncommon among young women). I take it that this implies, usually, a situation of grave sin for many of them, for even if the individual's subjective condition (after regular use) is "habitual" and this habit mitig ... [More]

How Many Will Be Saved? (Updated 4-3-2022)

Comment posted by Vincent Torley on Apr 2, 11:40:

Hi Tony, You write: ...I can see that it would be relatively easy to take the soft, easy way "of the world" and stop resisting temptations to sin. I have to assume that MANY are subject to similar temptations, and at least from exterior observation (so far as they can tell us, which is inconclusive) it is also true that MANY don't make all that much noticeable effort to resist. Which temptations are you referring to, specifically? The only area I can think of where this generalization might plausibly ... [More]

What does it mean to say that John "tweaks" history?

Comment posted by Ben on Feb 8, 21:22:

I will definitely have to read your books. I'm just a lay person but was going to buy one of Licona's books as it had great ratings. Then I watched his debate on YouTube with Bart Ehrman and I was so disappointed. Licona agreed with Ehrman that many things in the gospels were fictionalized. Things like at Jesus death he didn't believe tombs were actually opened and saints walking around or the temple veil was torn to name a few. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Paul on Dec 14, 08:24:

Dear Dr. McGrew, I am writing to you from Russia and have wished you a Merry Christmas every year. I am Orthodox. Once, before an important debate for you, you asked me to pray for success. Since then, I have been commemorating you every day in my personal prayer. I am sure that you will definitely overcome the trials that the Lord allows and become stronger in spirit. I also got a Russian vaccination "Sputnik", I did not transfer it very easily and still got over COVID-19 (in a mild form). Since then, in ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Cameron on Oct 14, 00:03:

I heard an excellent phrase for this phenomenon (on a comment thread, but don’t remember where): the privatization of government. That’s what you get when capital gets big enough—ostensibly private sphere actors wielding government-like powers (and even powers governments don’t have). ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Oct 8, 07:16:

I'm currently re-reading the best, most well-rounded "agrarian" book to have come out in a long time, James Rebanks's Pastoral Song (titled English Pastoral in the UK edition). This book covers just about everything having to do with contemporary farming -- the poetry of life on the land, the economic and environmental concerns, questions about efficiency and productivity -- all while the author recounts growing up in the 70s and 80s on both his grandfather's and father's farms. And although he's describin ... [More]

Unexplained allusions: The sons of thunder

Comment posted by Taryn on Oct 4, 03:16:

I always imagine that Jesus nicknamed James and John as the sons of thunder because of the moment he called them to join him. They worked on their father's fishing boat, but when Jesus called to them they abandoned their family business to join Jesus. I can imagine Jesus waiting patiently on the shore, while the young men make their way to him, all the while their dad is 'thundering' and outraged at his ungrateful children for abandoning the business he worked so hard to build up, and being so worked up abo ... [More]

What Evidentialism is not, redux

Comment posted by ML on Sep 30, 04:51:

Regarding the fallacy of objections, if one hasn't come across and addressed the best objections to Christianity, does this mean one's faith isn't on a firm basis? And how many objections does one need to read before one can "recognize the shape of the argumentative landscape", as you put it? For example, this post lists more than 100 atheistic arguments: https://exapologist.blogspot.com/2019/09/sixty-arguments-for-atheism.html?fbclid=IwAR25FspA3jI4MKranax9y9pWzLb8sbhFPRO9iHOIbL5ONuUiF091-MZOrvg&m=1 It se ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 23, 07:47:

"Locke's philosophy was wrong about a lot of things too, but IMO not much or seemingly anything that mattered to his political philosophy." Not so sure about that. If the philosophy of Marx, Mises, or Rand can "matter to" their politico-economic views I don't know why the same shouldn't be true of Locke. https://lawliberty.org/metaphysics-as-politics-d-c-schindler-on-locke-and-liberalism/ Note that the reviewer here doesn't fully agree with Schindler, but IMO he does do a good job of presenting Schindler ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 22, 23:51:

to Mark: Locke's philosophy was wrong about a lot of things too, but IMO not much or seemingly anything that mattered to his political philosophy. Which is just EXACTLY why I chose not to include him in my list of philosophers, after thinking about adding him, for 5 seconds. I have a good bit of skepticism here too. I think Kant matters because Hegel matters, and he matters only because Marx matters. Then again, I'm not sure we'd be talking about Marx–and thus any of them– if Lenin's train from Swed ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 22, 08:00:

I felt the same way about crony capitalism as you did, Lydia, until I started reading about the revolving door between the USDA and Big Agra. And the more I looked at it, the more I saw that the same thing was occurring in other government departments. My conclusion eventually was that the bigger Capital gets, the more cronyist it tends to become, and that at high levels there is a symbiosis that exists between big business and big government. Weaver warned of this, by the way, in his chapter on economics ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 16:31:

I think when people talked about crony capitalism before, it wasn't vivid to me. Or, to put it propositionally, I didn't think it was as widespread as it really is. Plus, I always assumed that the person bringing it up had a particular solution in mind--more government. And I was usually (or always) sure that was not a good solution. Now the people who see the crony capitalism here can just agree with me that we're screwed and can only resist as men of honor, in honorable ways, to the best of our ability. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 21, 15:53:

One of the most depressing and disillusioning realizations of the past 18 months has been that almost no one, apart from a tiny number of commies I know, and the dissident Right, was ever really sincere in advancing all of those critiques of the revolving door, crony capitalism, and regulatory capture. If they had been sincere, they would acknowledge that *all* of the same material predicates for those critiques are present in every aspect of the covid response, and especially in the matter of the vaccines ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 14:55:

I think, Tony, that a big part of the difference between us lies in the fact that you will probably read Jeff's latest comment and say, "Yes, yes, but just suppose in theory that they *were* beneficent and knowledgeable and were *not* corrupt..." Etc. You postulate the idea that if we really had a beneficent, non-corrupt, knowledgeable human ruler, that would make everything different. I don't grant that. I don't want to speak for Jeff, but I suspect he wouldn't either. Why not? Because the principle is ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 21, 13:29:

Those oh-so-much-more enlightened public officials and NGO apparatchiks have presided over third-world vaccination campaigns that resulted in polio outbreaks, mass sterilizations, and so forth, precisely because the authorities are not always so benevolent or competent. It is increasingly obvious - not that it needed to be more obvious after the crimes and enormities of 2020 - that our own authorities are neither competent nor benevolent, and sadly that indictment extends from FraudXi and Collins on down t ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 12:50:

Maybe, in given the current political environment, our government should not be trusted with that kind of judgment about vaccines. That does not mean that in principle governments cannot be trusted with that kind of judgment - that it is IMPOSSIBLE for a people to reasonably trust a government with that kind of judgment. Just for example: In the US today, when universal education is and has been a solid fact of life for our entire lives, the differential between a government official's education and judgmen ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 21, 09:54:

I said, above: But this does not inherently preclude cases like the one where I outlined above, e.g. a very safe, very effective vaccine against the plague, it COULD BECOME a moral imperative for nearly all individuals to receive the vaccine and thus could be a situation suitable for a government mandate. Lydia responds: The final "and thus" is something that I categorically reject.I don't know what I could say to convince someone who thinks that that "and thus," which I regard as a complete non sequ ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 09:45:

Look, I'm pretty much allergic to much that I've seen that calls itself "communitarian," including some of the writing at Front Porch Republic, which I stopped reading years ago because it just irritated me. I've never called myself a communitarian and probably never will. I'll never forget Patrick Deneen's absurd review of "It's a Wonderful Life" in which he made the claim that the new homes that the movie was positive about were probably built on a graveyard, hence desecrating holy ground. (I forget how h ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 21, 08:09:

I've read a lot of Scruton, and I'd say that his views on these issues were in many ways closer to Berry's than they were to what passes for conservatism in America these days, especially his writing of the past 15 years or so. I've been saying for a long time that the U.S. right's unfamiliarity with Scruton was regrettable. I note that Etzioni responded to Scruton's critique, and Scruton in turn responded to Etzioni. In this regard it's notable that the "strict" communitarism of Etzioni, et al. has over ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 21, 02:51:

>> I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist it's farming. That's an idealist view right there. Farming won't necessarily cure a person of idealism or any particular bad idea any more than (to limit this for brevity to the topic of physical jobs such as farming, to the extent it is) construction work or other trades. On the other hand, the fact is there are a great many occupations that could cure one of idealism, and work of all types often does, except when they don't. Whe ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 22:31:

I myself think Berry's understanding of macroeconomics is flawed, especially since he doesn't seem to have a good answer to, "If we didn't have the big agribusinesses, how would the millions of city dwellers not starve?" But it's only fair to point out that his fiction is to a large degree autobiographical and that he was a farming kid long before he was an academic of any sort. In fact, I kind of get the impression he was largely a misfit among academics, perhaps unlike the agrarian poets in Nashville. So ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 20, 20:34:

I just don't see what's been nailed here. These paeans to the supposedly simple life are nothing new. I grew up on a farm in central Indiana steering a tractor in the field when I was 4, my feet not even close to reaching the pedals. Got the pictures to prove it. Crawling speed of course, dad would walk up and stop it when he wanted it stopped. Lived there until I moved out and on my own. Fed calves with a milk bucket whose mothers had rejected them at 6am in the dark before school in a barn probably built ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:28:

I think Lydia pretty much nailed it, but would add that I'm not presenting a paradox as a solution. What I see as a "solution," if you want to call it that, is the place of balance on the continuum, or at least the honest attempt to come close to that place of balance. And the fact that many agrarian writers have either described such a balance or have themselves striven to achieve it in reality means that it's not just "theory." I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist i ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:28:

I think Lydia pretty much nailed it, but would add that I'm not presenting a paradox as a solution. What I see as a "solution," if you want to call it that, is the place of balance on the continuum, or at least the honest attempt to come close to that place of balance. And the fact that many agrarian writers have either described such a balance or have themselves striven to achieve it in reality means that it's not just "theory." I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist i ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:13:

"No no! But don't get me started." Trust me, my agreement is *extremely* limited, and has far more to do with the state of the institution of marriage in the U.S. than with any support of civil unions or SSM. ... [More]