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August 2004 Blog Archives

Tuesday, August 31

7:32 PM Don't think we'll get a nicer George in Act II. The neocons are just lying low, for now. You can bet your bottom dollar that Clinton would never have gotten away with these perversions of the Constitution.

6:03 PM I love the Greek of Matthew 28:20: "And, see! I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the age!" "All the days," meaning each and every day. So the Lord accompanied, day by day,  my dear brother in Christ Garnett Newton, who was laid to rest today in a beautiful ceremony of worship at Nelson Baptist Church, where he was raised. Once again we are discovering how closely knit our little community is -- and I mean "community," where people love and care for one another, Christian or not. For you, Mr. Newton, "Surely the bitterness of death is past" (1 Sam. 15:32), until that day when "He will swallow up death for all time" (Isa. 25:8). My love and condolences to all the family.

1:15 PM Almost 7,000

1:05 PM GOP Bash Update: The platform may be pro-life, but the speechmakers aren't. Perhaps they have forgotten "Thou shalt not kill" is one of God's commandments, and the current administration sanctions the murder of thousands in the name of pro-choice. Can't appear too conservative, after all.


12:59 PM Let's see, a Virginia Baptist and a great defender of the First Amendment to boot. Who am I referring to? Click here to find out!

7:40 AM We pray it all the time, but what does "Thy kingdom come" really mean? Go here to find out.

7:33 AM OK, where are them armored trucks

For the first year in Iraq, it was not enough armored vests, then not enough armored Hummers. And now into the second year of a very nasty war, soldiers in trucks for the richest, most powerful nation in the world remain totally unprotected.

Meanwhile, Merced's unit is the only model M915 truck battalion in Iraq that doesn't have easily available armored protection that can be added on by field-expedient techniques by GIs for about a grand.

Surely this demands a congressional investigation -- and the immediate attention of Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers, the skipper of the lash-up that commands the 57th. The same guy who personally responded to my reporting that his command was charging three bucks a soldier for movies.

7:05 AM 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In everything give thanks." I am thankful this morning that though we lost a precious goat yesterday to illness the others are doing fine; that though our basement flooded because of the heavy rains we have a wet vac; that though we lost brother Newton this weekend he is with the Lord; that though my computer keeps freezing up on me I have friends who are smart enough to help me fix it; that though I am weak One much stronger than I said "My grace is enough."

Monday, August 30

10:24 AM Being the complete computer idiot I am, I have no earthly idea why my pooter froze three times this morning while typing my sabbatical project. It's really the perfect day to be writing. The rain has been coming down in buckets and no work can be done outdoors. It already seems like years since I last taught a class at the seminary, and my sabbatical is only two weeks old. How much fun!

7:55 AM As the investigation into Neo-Con Gate gets underway, it's every man for himself.

7:50 AM From Imperial Hubris (by Anonymous):

U.S. forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result, I think it is fair to conclude that the United States of America remains bin Laden's only indispensable ally.

7:38 AM OK, so the GOP won't acknowledge God and support Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments. That's no surprise. But they take this stand based on this kind of idiotic logic?

"I think he's a fine person, a man of principle, but I just think the way he handled the issue of putting the stone in the courthouse was not the right one," Hooper said.

Brother Moore, it's time you woke up and smelled the coffee: The GOP has the backbone of a jellyfish when it comes to biblical morality. Why not come over to the Constitution Party?

7:30 AM Here's a great letter from a former student:

Hey Dr. Black, did you ever read the letter of Origen to Africanus about textual criticism?  I'm sure you have read where Origen talks about having to write sometime to prove that Paul wrote Hebrews.  I found the English translation at  It's in section 9 paragraph two.  It's a great letter. That Origen sure was smart! 

He was indeed, especially because he agreed with me on the Pauline authorship of Hebrews! Thanks for writing.

7:15 AM Yet another reason I love Stonewall Jackson.

7:14 AM Sheldon, you're making way too much sense, as usual.

7:11 AM From the WayBack Machine but still very apropos for today: Kelly McGinley on how our dumbed-down churches are destroying marriage (and you thought it was gay unions).

I personally blame the people sitting in the pews of these mainline churches for allowing the sodomites to take over this country. What deviant behavior will the churches accept next, pedophilia? Let’s not forget these same churches also have been the culprit for the 46 million children slaughtered in this country.

Go Kelly! 

7:10 AM The wonderful prose of Arthur Conan Doyle is what keeps me coming back to the stories of that master sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. I still can't believe that when I was in London doing research at the British Museum I ran out of time and had to pass up a visit to 221B Baker Street (I was sooo close!). Should you desire to join me in my prelectoral addiction, the Arthur Conan Doyle collection is available online.

7:06 AM Britney Spears -- you remember, the Britney Spears who was "born again" during an altar call -- gives a whole new meaning to the expression "holy kiss."

7:05 AM Home schooling can be costly, especially when that entails living on one income. But the blessings far outweigh the stresses. I hope and pray that more and more of my students, as they consider child rearing, will consider home education as an option.

Sunday, August 29

8:50 AM A beloved friend and neighbor of ours, after 86 years on this earth of sorrows, has crossed over the river and is now resting beneath the shade of the trees. I will simply say how much I loved Mr. Newton and how much I appreciated his friendship and godly example. He caused my view of the Lord to grow greater, and my view of man and his works to grow proportionately smaller. I am reminded of the words of another man of God, Francis Schaeffer:

God willing, I will push and politick no more.... The mountains are too high, history is too long, and eternity is longer. God is too great, man is too small, there are many of God's dear children, and all around there are men going to Hell. And if one man and a small group of men do not approve of where I am and what I do, does it prove I've missed success? No; only one thing will determine that -- whether this day I'm where the Lord of lords and King of kings wants me to be.

Goodbye, brother Newton. We loved you well.

8:40 AM What is the number one killer of blacks in America? (And no, my pastor friends, the solution is not more government education programs.)

8:35 AM The "sweeter-sensitive" church.

8:20 AM The Dutchwoman does it again.

Anky Van Grunsven

8:15 AM Bob Barr on the latest pre-emptive strike of government, this time on free speech. The money quote:

So now we know the Administration's new First Amendment standard: So long as the government agents don't "drag you from your home" and interrogate you "under bright lights," you have nothing to complain or worry about.

Let's stop thanking God that we live in a "free" nation that allows us to assemble on Sundays or speak our minds or whatever. Those rights do not come from government; they come from God.

Saturday, August 28

6:25 PM John the Baptist baptized in caves. Who'd a thunk it!

6:20 PM Le Monde has an interesting story on Karl William McKinley Rove, the "man who invented Bush" (French only).

5:37 PM From a long time DBO reader:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful essay on Saturday.  It
really lifted my spirits....

Bob Novak said recently that there is a potential realignment shaping up as a result of the coming election.  He says that the country could move
dramatically to the Left, and that Christian "conservatives" are going to
take the wrap for Bush's demise.  In a way, it will be deserved.
Conservative-leaning Christians fell lock-step into the Bush program, which was absolutely unprincipled and strategically foolish.  As the Word says, you shall reap what you sow.

Many, many thanks.  Sola Deo Gloria.

I thank YOU, dear brother. I too am genuinely grieved that more and more Christian "conservatives" are putting politics over principle. The Bible makes it very plain, as you say, that unprincipled living deserves God's judgment. Regardless of what so-called conservatives say about themselves, they are far from the teaching of the Scriptures and their way of thinking can only lead to fresh tears and sorrows, not only for individuals but also for the church as such. I do pray for a great revival in the land. Do continue to let me know how you are getting on. Sincerely, Dave

5:33 PM GOP: God's Own Party?

4:54 PM Writes Debbie O'Hara:

I am amazed at the silence of so many pulpits on this critical issue. Many pastors don't want to "offend" anyone in their congregation so they don't speak out. It should therefore be no surprise that many "Christians", even those who attend church regularly, find nothing wrong with abortion. I heard a pastor say about someone in his congregation "she is biblical on every issue except abortion so I just leave it alone". How can a church be called "Christian" if it avoids this issue so central to Christian doctrine? How can a person call himself or herself a Christian if they are on the wrong side of this issue? The dignity of life is almost at the very center of the Judeo-Christian ethic, God Himself being the center. If the life issue is not important to you, I strongly suggest that you re-examine yourself in light of Scripture to find out whether you are a true follower of Christ.

4:43 PM The solution to the nation's political crisis is not more of the same: voting our so-called "faith-directed" values. Such values have caved into party politics, entrusting to the untrustworthy the responsibility of defending American liberty under the Constitution. Remember, friends, even if Congress is controlled by a "conservative" Republican party, even if we elect a "conservative" Republican president, none of this is sufficient to ensure the protection of our dearest rights. Isn't this obvious?

9:15 AM Before I get busy delivering hay and other farm chores I wanted to say that I do understand those of who you have written expressing your frustration over the sin of statism in America. But Romans 8 and other places in the Scripture remind us that we can be quiet and trust the Lord's work for us. After all, He loves us with an overwhelming love, and we should trust that love. I realize that apathy rules everywhere, yet in recent days I have seen many whom the Lord has touched and healed from their spiritual lukewarmness, and we can only be thankful. Remember that the greatest test of faith is not the acceptance of Jesus Christ for justification but trusting Him moment by moment throughout our lives. I am glad that so many of you feel free to write as you do, and would especially say that I will be glad if you would pray for me and my family in the midst of our work. Your friend, Dave

8:48 AM GOP dissent increases:

Those who still support the occupation of Iraq as part of the ongoing war on terror must do so with untreated glaucoma. The measure for support of this policy must withstand partisan politics. Could those who support the existing policies of this president do so had Bill Clinton followed the exact course? If not, the policy must be questioned.

Read more.

8:48 AM From the mailbag:

Dear Dr. Black,

Thank you for your tremendous website! I have so enjoyed reading your thoughts on various issues, particularly that of adolescence. I desire to learn more about this subject, and I hope to soon procure a copy of your book, The Myth of Adolescence.

8:36 AM Thanks, Mark, for the following links:


I have very much enjoyed reading the articles on your site, as well as passing them along.

Below are some sermons by Pastor John Weaver that you might want to include on your site.

Keep it up,

Mark Cochran

An Election Sermon - Pastor Gad Hitchcock 1774:


The Temple Tax


God's Preachers - Enemies of the State

Friday, August 27

8:10 PM What a day! Had a tremendous time with my colleagues over lunch at the seminary, celebrating Dr. Beck's promotion to Associate Dean for Biblical Studies as well as his receiving the Teacher of the Year Award. I asked him (tongue in cheek) what he had done differently to win the award this year, and he said, "I used three of your books as required texts." And he really had! What a great guy (wink, wink). We had a fantastic time picking on each other and making utter fools of ourselves. Afterwards I mowed and edged our NC property and had another glorious ride on my Arab. Quite a workout, too. Yes, I know you're tired of me rhapsodizing about riding, but there's so much one can learn from it. In the words of Rittmeister von Oeynhausen in 1845: "Man can only be master of his horse when he is master of his own deeds and actions." Soweit meine heutige Gedanken!

(Below: Fagin, the Arabian horse that lived to be 43 years old. What a beauty!)

Lippizan & Arab cross

7:31 AM Anyone with the least desire to understand the problems facing Christian voters today and those with strong pro-Republican Party leanings should read and study these essays on the GOP compiled by Chuck Baldwin.

7:20 AM Thought for the day (Sir William Blackstone, author of Commentaries on the Laws of England):William Blackstone

The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures...[and] are found upon comparison to be really part of the original law of nature. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.

7:16 AM It's been described as "personal, on the web, published, and part of communities." Welcome to the zany world of blogging.

7:14 AM Reagan got us out of UNESCO, and Bush got us back in again. What a fine testimony to progress!

7:03 AM The latest on the coming draft. They're coming for our daughters, too. This would be an egregious national sin. If it happens, guess who is to blame? Doug Phillips has carefully studied the issue and offers this excellent advice:

What Can Faithful Pastors Do On the Issue of Women in the Military?

Dear Doug,  I am the Pastor of a small church in Ohio. I recently read your article titled, “The Church Must Oppose the Sin of Women at War.” I was immediately aware that my thinking had been wrong. I had been preaching a series on culture/society and added a sermon on the topic of women in the military. What else can I do to oppose this and to see to it that my 16 year old daughter and the other young ladies of our nation never have to face the draft? Thank you for your service. P.A.
You can not imagine how it encourages our hearts to hear from church shepherds like yourself  who are committed to applying the Word of God to the defining issues of the day.  Here are some thoughts in answer to your question:
It is the duty of the clergy to (a) resolve to study to show themselves approved unto God on matters of faith and practice, especially those timely and relevant issues; (b) to rise up in the meeting of the church and exhort the body of Christ to be faithful to think and act biblically; (c) to lead by example with their own families; (d) to hold those in their congregations accountable to the law of God; and (e) to be part of the great cloud of Christian witnesses throughout biblical and Church history who have offered a prophetic voice of accountability to the civil magistrate when he deviates from the revealed moral law of God.
On a practical level these duties might manifest themselves in some of the following ways: (Note: The numbers below correspond to the above letters)  
1. Give your congregation tools which will equip them to think and act biblically. I recommend passing out articles, referring brothers and sisters in the Lord to helpful websites, and, most importantly, building a library of resources which faithfully exposit and make practical the Word of God.
2.  Offer timely messages on the duties of Christians in a free society, biblical principles of voting; patriarchy and male leadership, biblical womanhood, just war, the meaning of the rule of law; godly vs. ungodly resistance to civil magistrates; presuppositional thinking and a host of other subjects which directly affect the way we should live and act as believers in the 21st century. Only foolish shepherds will ignore the fact that our nation is gearing up for a co-ed draft. If we do not preach and prepare our people today, our daughters (and sons) may find themselves facing challenging ethical dilemmas without a compass to guide their responses in the very near future.

3.  Train your own daughters and shepherding your bride such that they present to the congregation the sweet aroma of Jesus Christ through their model example of biblical womanhood and virtue. In my experience of observing other faithful leaders, a  positive example is more effective than a dozen sermons.
4.  Consider and discuss with the men of your church the propriety of adopting a position paper on the issue of women in the military (examples of which are on the Vision Forum Ministries web site). In the advent that a member of your congregation who is female should consider becoming a soldier, the church leadership should meet with her and counsel her from Scripture against it. Because the Scripture opposes women in the military by way of pattern, principle and actual precept (God in fact calling the act of a woman putting on military apparel to fight as a man to be an “abomination”), the local church should not hesitate to bring discipline on a member or family that will disobey the Word of God, irregardless of the formal biblical confrontations and appeals of the church leadership. This may seem radical to some, but discipline for unrepentant and continuing sin is a command of God, and the only way the Church will be a blessing to our nation is if we are a self-governing institution.
5. Finally, as a shepherd you are a minister of the Gospel with duties similar in kind to that of John the Baptist before King Herod to exhort the ministers of God (Rom 13) who serve as civil magistrates to honor the transcendent moral laws of God. This is done in two ways. First, it is handled through personal and direct confrontation. Writing and visiting our leaders (congressmen, judges, etc.) and clearly sharing God’s Word as applied to public policy is crucial. (I did this for years in Washington D.C., and trained others to do so as well. Frankly, I was surprised by how many times a faithful witness evoked a positive response, if only to restrain evil.) Second, leaders who advance policies either through malice, ignorance or willful rejection of God’s Word must be held accountable through godly and appropriate public criticism and at the ballot box.  This is especially clear where the civil magistrate advances policies which are described as “abominations” in the Bible. Abominations come in many forms, but they are directly connected with the judgment of God on a civilization. Examples include support for homosexual civil unions or marriages; toleration for the execution of any children through abortion; formal rejection of the duty of the state or the right of civil magistrates to acknowledge the One True God of Scripture; or perverting the natural biblical order by sending women into war as combatants. Politicians who behave in such a matter need to know that regardless of the alternatives at the ballot box, such civil magistrates have violated their oaths of offices, have broken covenant with God who holds all kings and judges accountable to His law; have broken covenant with our people by transgressing our national covenant found in the Constitution and its preamble, the Declaration of Independence, and, absent repentance and change, are disqualified from holding public office.
Unless Christians make the registration of daughters pursuant to a draft an issue in the 2004 election, and require candidates to commit to (1) oppose the current Administration’s request through the Selective Service Administration to make daughters subject to national selective service;  (2) oppose all unbiblical and unconstitutional drafts, and (3) take women out of combat zones (and ultimately restore an all-male corps of soldiers), we will have no one to blame but ourselves when a politician of the future comes to draft our daughters. God forbid that the architects of such a cultural tragedy were politicians who profess Christ, and that the Church remained silent because we were more concerned with losing an election than speaking the truth.

6:47 AM Iraq War: "Incalculable human and political costs." Thus George H. W. Bush. And now the son is admitting some "miscalculations." One wonders how many U.S. soldiers would be alive today if the government had shown any self-restraint in its profitable manipulation of events leading up the war.

Thursday, August 26

8:58 PM Partial Birth Abortion ban: classic case of empty legislation. Who cares? After all, we have a pro-life president in office!

8:21 PM This essay is one of the best I have read on fasting

Fasting was looked upon as a very great virtue in the early church. In fact, they thought so highly of fasting that they inserted the term "fasting" into the Biblical text even though it wasn't in the original manuscripts (check various translations or margin notes for Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29; Acts 10:30; 1 Corinthians 7:5)! This emphasis upon fasting also caused them to do the very thing the Pharisees had done, which was to prescribe certain set times for fasting: twice a week on Wednesday and Friday!

We need to be careful to avoid pitfalls of legalism like this. Surprisingly, a particular day for fasting was commanded in Scripture only once -- on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). The fast on the Day of Atonement was connected with a deep mournful spirit in confessing sin. Now in the New Covenant, Jesus Christ has become our atonement offering, so we no longer even need to observe the Leviticus 16 Day of Atonement! In all the rest of the Bible there are no other Scriptures which command fasting at a specific time or on a specific occasion! None!

I disagree, however, with the writer's view that "fasting" is a scribal addition. It is much more likely, in my opinion, that the word was omitted as superfluous than added. 

2:09 PM From the mailbag comes this kind letter:


Excellent article!

I find myself reading your site daily, shortly after
I've studied Scripture.

Thank you for your clear thinking insights into the
troubles of this country that are (mostly) based on
the un-Christian activities of our own government.

For further "firewood", you may want to look closely
at for more on the federal abuse
of power.

God bless!

And then there's this email from my friend Jonathan Grubbs:

Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner, professor of Theology and Church History at
Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia says "President Bush is our
Lincoln". He says this as a complement to Bush, and I'm sure Bush and
most Americans would see it as a complement as well.

Those of us who choose to know the truth about both Bush and Lincoln,
could also say, "President Bush is our Lincoln", but we don't mean it
as a complement, but as a warning to the American people who care
about their freedoms and limited government.

Just like Lincoln cared nothing about the US Constitution and the
rights of the people, Bush too has shown that he doesn't care about
the US Constitution or about our Constitutional Republic. There may
not be troops marching through the Southern States to take away your
right to govern yourself, but there is no doubt in my mind that we are
in the midst of a cultural and political "Civil War". What side will
you fight for, the side of freedom and our God-given rights, or the
side of federal growth, nation building and the destruction of limited

Benjamin Franklin, when asked, what sort of government the delegates
had created, replied "A republic, if you can keep it." The question we
should be asking ourselves today is "Can we keep it?"

Jonathan Grubbs, Webmaster
Constitution Party of Florida

7:40 AM In case you didn't know:

I have chosen to support his [sic] President because, for my countrymen, President Bush is our Lincoln. He has freed our people from oppression, slavery and injustice. Therefore, I thought the NAACP would be in favor of our country's actions.

7:10 AM As we discussed the temple tax last night at Bible study, I thought of how costly it was to maintain that structure in Jerusalem. Today, we are the temple of God. We don't "go to church"; we are the church. Then why must we spend so much of the Lord's money (it's all His, not just a tenth) on building and then maintaining our elaborate "temples"? I think we can learn an important lesson from this church:

No Paid Full-Time Staff - We certainly believe there is freedom to have paid staff and biblical examples of the same (1 Tim 5:17-18). We have found that some modern churches elevate paid staff (which is not required by Scripture) as a priority over other commands of Scripture (such as caring for the fatherless & widows). Some modern churches tend to rely too heavily on paid staff to provide spiritual food to families rather than expecting men to both lead their families and participate in corporate praise & worship. Therefore we will refrain from paying elders or administrative staff for anything other than reimbursement of legitimate expenses and small stipends until we have firmly established the opposite patterns (caring well for fatherless and widows and men actively participating in corporate praise and worship).

No Special Building to Maintain - For the same basic reasons as listed above regarding paid staff we prefer not to own or maintain a special building for the church. We expect that any buildings used will be well cared for by their owners and respected by the church as we use it. We will meet in homes when possible, or seek to use other available buildings when not.

Really, it's a matter of priorities: ministries over buildings. For more, please see Unleashing the Church.

7:05 AM I love Psalm 121 -- a song "for the road" (literally, "of descent"). It is sometimes said that Christianity is for losers, people  who can't make it on their own. I absolutely agree! I couldn't make it one single day without the help of "the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (v. 2). He is my "keeper" and my "shade" at my right hand. And He is never "off duty" (He neither slumbers nor sleeps). It is toward this God I lift up my eyes today. He will protect and lead His people during our brief sojourn through life. Selah! 

Wednesday, August 25

4:33 PM "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott." Now that is a comforting truth! My favorite verse from Luther's famous hymn:

Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan,
Wir sind gar bald verloren;
Es streit' für uns der rechte Mann,
Den Gott hat selbst erkoren.
Fragst du, wer der ist?
Er heißt Jesu Christ,
Der Herr Zebaoth,
Und ist kein andrer Gott,
Das Feld muß er behalten.

4:31 PM Jim Rudd on one of the nation's greatest deceptions.

4:05 PM 300 percent, at least. I'm referring to the increased efficiency since we replaced the blades on our auger. We sailed through digging about 30 holes today, setting cedar posts along the way. We are now poised to complete our woodshed and horse pasture, pending good weather. Today the Lord blessed us with perfect weather-- temps in the low 80s, with a gentle breeze. (Do I smell a wisp of fall?) Tomorrow we are scheduled to get up 150 bales of hay on order from a neighboring horse farm. Tonight we have Bible study and prayer meeting as usual, followed by choir rehearsal. We always enjoy Wednesday nights with our church family. Wish you could come!

9:56 AM They're singing the praises of Pat Buchanan's latest book. I ask, Why? After showing how Bush has betrayed the principles of conservatism, Pat says we ought to stick with the president and the GOP. Someone much smarter than I explain this to me, please.

9:40 AM Here's a sampling from my sabbatical project -- a defense of the historicity and complete trustworthiness of our Gospels:

The current revival of interest in patristics among New Testament scholars is a healthy sign of our discipline. The cloud on the horizon may be the size of a man’s hand, but it is growing. What, then, is the most ancient tradition of the Christian church regarding the origins of our Gospels?  

The unanimous testimony of the church fathers is that the Fourfold Gospel came into existence in response to the needs in the early church for an authoritative written word in addition to the oral and unwritten preaching of the Gospel by the apostles. In other words, the Gospels were occasional documents, written for specific communities with specific needs.

That the Gospels were occasional documents should not surprise us. The letters of Paul were also occasional writings, supplementary to his preaching and prompted by the particular needs of his converts as he saw those needs at any given moment. Upon this point all the ancients are agreed. According to this same tradition, the twelve apostles were the sole authoritative and inspired eyewitnesses of the words and deeds of Jesus. Furthermore, those teachings of Jesus that they put into writing for particular purposes were regarded by the churches that received them as having the same authority as their spoken words.

8:25 AM We Americans know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. According to the BBC, "what can I get out of government?" -- i.e., undisguised selfishness -- is the key to the 2004 election. Never you mind that 90 percent of what our federal government spends is blatantly unconstitutional.

8:23 AM No, Jesus is not pro-abortion. Then why support a president who backs Planned Parenthood? There is an alternative -- an abortion-free America by 2005.

8:15 AM Boy, do I enjoy LRC. The American people -- some of us at least -- are tired of government gridlock. We are not robots. We can think for ourselves. Read this essay for example. It's much better than a quick novocaine answer that tries to tranquilize the voter until he gets out of the voting booth!

7:10 AM My wonderful bride has been buying cream -- genuine cream -- for me to enjoy with my morning cup of coffee. I love it! I told her it reminds me of the days in Basel when we would stop at Cafe Spitz on the Rhine to enjoy a cup of good, strong, Swiss coffee, which was always served with real cream (no half and half in the land of William Tell!). Each cup cost about $3.00 (and that was back in the early '80s!), and there were no free refills, but at least you could luxuriate over your morning coffee while watching the boats and barges on the river. Is nostalgia a sign of aging or what? At any rate, thanks again, honey, for your thoughtfulness.

Rhine River, Basel

6:56 AM I support neither Bush nor Kerry simply because I am opposed to statism, whether from the right or the left. You say, Statism from the right? Yes sirree!

6:38 AM Yesterday in chapel at Southeastern my New Testament faculty colleague Dr. David Beck received the Excellence in Teaching Award, a much deserved honor. Dr. Beck and I co-edited a book on the Gospels and share a love for New Testament exegesis.  Heartiest congratulations, brother Dave!

6:10 AM If there's one thing I remember about London - "that great cesspool into which all loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained" (A Study in Scarlet, p. 4) - is its legendary fog. This morning it is very foggy here at Bradford Hall. Job knew that life was but a misty fog. Thus "he feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). He knew that it was only by a right relationship to God that he would be motivated to turn away from evil. This is why my heart resonates so closely with recent calls to national repentance, for God can do little among us until we are rightly related with Him. Job also undertook to "sanctify" his children (1:5) through burnt offerings, performing an intercessory role that corresponds to the prayers for his friends mentioned later in the book. There may be correct opinions about God without a heart drawn toward Him in love and prayer. These are some of the lessons God is seeking to drive home to my heart this morning as I sit and stare at the London-like fog.

Tuesday, August 24

8:06 PM My friend Mark Dankof sent the following letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It underscores the importance of Pennsylvania in the upcoming race for president.

The politically fraudulent, choreographed professional wrestling match known as the fall Presidential election between George Bush and John Kerry is well-served by the mutual benefit both men derive from the Swift Boat advertisement controversy.

Why?  It enables them, and their respective two major parties, to consciously advance this controversy as a deliberate diversion from conversation about the real issues confronting the American people; the coming American-Israeli expansion of the war in the Middle East; the re-institution of a universal military Draft; the outsourcing of jobs abroad; the ongoing promulgation of mass illegal immigration; and the massive budget and trade deficits soon to engulf the value of the dollar and the overall survivability of the economy.

My advice?  For those who see this in Pennsylvania and nationally for what it is, consider the candidacy of Michael Peroutka and the Constitution Party.  He has already been covered by World magazine, Chronicles, The American Conservative, the BBC, and the Washington Post and Washington Times.  You will see him in our state after Labor Day.

8:03 PM Just completed an eight hour trip with my son to pick up some parts for our tractor auger and to do hospital visitation. My wife greeted us with home-made potato soup along with home-made cheese bread. I got about two hours of writing done this morning - when my computer wasn't crashing on me (7 times!). Hope to have the bugs worked out tomorrow. By the way, thanks, Ms. Layne, for gently correcting me about today's date in my blog. Am I really the absent-minded professor I appear to be? You bet I is!

9:20 AM This morning I begin my sabbatical writing project, which I hope to complete by the end of November. I must balance this work with the chores and projects of the farm as well as a possible trip to Africa. But again, as I saw in my devotions this morning from Psalm 68: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits" (v. 19). His daily mercies are more than adequate for our daily burdens and responsibilities, and it is with this confidence that I launch out on my "seventh-year" respite from teaching.

8:46 AM Bennett's latest is a howl:

8:34 AM Challenge to all youth pastors: Reject a peer-centered approach to youth ministry. Here's an example of how age-integrated ministry can be done!

7:23 AM One of the reasons I chose to get my doctorate at the University of Basel in Switzerland was because it was a liberal institution. I'm using the term liberal in its original meaning: open-minded. Yes, I did consider universities stateside - Harvard, Princeton, Yale - but quickly concluded that these "liberal" schools were anything but. They were open-minded until you espoused a theologically conservative conclusion - at which point their bigotry was exposed for all to see. To this day I cannot understand why any parent would send his child to an Ivy League school for an education. For a degree, perhaps, but for an education? Universities, as Larry Pratt reminds us today, are the nation's breeding grounds for tyranny and group think.

7:05 AM Doug Phillips of Vision Forum is doing more for the family than almost anyone else I know of today. I had the privilege of speaking at his recent Uniting Church and Family Conference in Saint Louis, and it was phenomenal to meet so many families who have had it with size-driven experiments in mass marketing based on age-segregated "ministries." For the latest report on the conference, including some neat pictures, go to Doug's Blog. (NB: I may be goofy, brother Doug, but I'm not a goofy-footer.)

7:04 AM Carmon Friedrich has been spammed!

6:58 AM Last night my wife and I listened to a tape that Pastor Chuck Baldwin sent us entitled "My Brother, My Enemy" (based on Matthew 10:36). I strongly urge you to get this tape. It is a powerful exposition of one of the strangest predictions in the Bible, that our own households will be our enemies simply because, like Jesus, we refuse to befriend Caesar. What a truth that needs to proclaimed from every pulpit today! Several of Chuck's messages are available at his excellent website. And please remember to pray for Chuck and Michael Peroutka daily.

6:55 AM "Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God" - this from my morning reading in Psalm 68, which anticipates the worship of God by the peoples of the earth. Just yesterday we corresponded with missionaries in Ethiopia about our helping them this fall with teaching and medical work while I am on sabbatical. The place where my wife was raised, Ethiopia owns a very special corner of our hearts, as (per this Psalm) it does God's. Our hope is to work down-country among the tribal people, where the needs are the greatest.

Monday, August 23

3:29 PM As a family, we are becoming more and more convinced of the importance and blessing of showing hospitality. Many churches actually incorporate hospitality ministry into their statement of principles. Here's one, for example, near Raleigh. I highly recommend it to you, especially the sections on "ministry to widows and fatherless" and  "outreach." You will be blessed and challenged by reading it, as I was.

2:36 PM Paul Craig Roberts on why you should vote Republican.

2:30 PM Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, will be Joseph Farah's guest on his nationally syndicated radio show today.

2:15 PM I remain very ignorant of the situation in the Sudan. SIM's country profile has a good overview of the needs there.

Sudan is the largest nation in Africa and home to over thirty million people, five million of whom are refugees struggling to survive. Since 1985, approximately two million have died due to war, genocide and famine. Despite decades of unrest, the people of Sudan retain a culture of hospitality towards outsiders. Sudan is a land of stark extremes, from desert to rain forest, from Islam to Christianity, from the teeming metropolis of Khartoum or Port Sudan to the quiet nomadic camps scattered across the desert. 134 separate languages are spoken there, with Arabic serving as the common language of government and business. Above all, it is a nation of people who are known and loved by Jesus Christ.

1:45 PM False promises of the Olympics exposed. Way to go, Berit!

1:04 PM The Great Compromise has survived seven presidents, according to Jim Rudd of Covenant News. There will be an eighth unless this man is elected. Remember, "choice" means death, and "pluralism" means truth does not exist. Why will you compromise any longer, my friend?

11:20 AM This is it! It don't get any better, folks! I just walked into the house from working outside to the smell of freshly baked apple/cinnamon rolls and honey wheat bread. My wonderful wife has been at it again (Prov. 31:27).

8:55 AM My good friend John Leone does an excellent job of editing the Silverback Standard. Issue 57 is now online.

8:45 AM Three cheers for pro-republic, pro-Constitution, pro-states rights Bob Barr (source: Icky's blog):

The Senate is poised to overwhelmingly reject the Federal Marriage Amendment. The failure of the supporters of the amendment to get anywhere near the 67 votes required for passage is a sign of a healthy democracy. The Senate today is refusing to undermine the rights of states to decide such fundamental issues as marriage for themselves ; even when an overwhelming majority of Senators oppose same-sex marriage (as do I) . Protecting the rights of states even when one state is making a bad decision is the best test of our federalist system of states' rights . This is especially true in light of the fact we have the Defense of Marriage Act, which I authored in 1996, to protect each state from having to accept any same-sex marriage that might be recognized in another state (such as Massachusetts). This is a victory for states' rights.

The FMA is a band-aid, not a cure-all

7:04 AM Sitting on the front porch it is easy to luxuriate both in the beauty of nature and the wonder of God's Word. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork." The fog drifts lazily across the pond, and the clouds seem a cauldron of fire on the far horizon. Even now the sun as a bridegroom is coming out of his chamber, rejoicing "like a strong man to run his race." (According to today's weather report, it is also certain that there will be "nothing hidden from its heat.") But God's glory and majesty are not limited to the firmament. The value of His "law" (instruction, direction) cannot be compared to any possessions - this entire farm included. "More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold." Little wonder, then, that when the Psalmist looks at the glory of nature and of God's Word he sees only his own "errors" and "secret faults." He asks to be delivered from both, trusting God, who is his "strength" and his "Redeemer." As I begin my sabbatical this week, aware of my own limitations and weaknesses, I entrust myself anew to this Redeemer God, this Good Shepherd (to cite another Psalm of David) who can lead me through the dark and difficult valleys of life to eternal life with Him.

Fellow sheep: May each of you have a blessed week, remembering that the Shepherd stands over us and protects us and guides us day by day.

Sunday, August 22

5:38 PM What happens when a church accepts 501c3 status? The answer may surprise you. Go here to find out.

5:34 PM Could this New Testament scholar be the next pope?

12:47 PM If Dubya is reelected, here's what you can look forward to. It's what we deserve by failing to subject our leaders to tough scrutiny and by belittling the testimony of expert dissidents. Will North Korea be next, or will they strike us first?

7:43 AM Kyle Williams misses the point. We live in a day when Christians should be outraged by liberal intolerance, "government assistance," pluralism, and a plethora of other social scourges. And the problem isn't in the church; the problem is the church. In the 1960s and 70s evangelicals decided to enter the world to change it - a world that had rejected the lifestyle and message of "fundamentalism" (now, sadly, a term of opprobrium). In a word, Christians sought to become acceptable and respectable by the world's standards. But in its attempt to reach the world the evangelical church has become so much like the world one can no longer tell any difference between the two. I'll go with Chuck Baldwin any day:

The probability of God doing something great and wonderful in our political elections is greatly hindered by "the spirit of fear" that dominates the hearts and lives of His people. Instead of standing courageously upon God's principles and promises, Christians are cowering in fear before political pollsters and parties. Instead of deciding to bravely vote their convictions, they bow sheepishly before the intimidations of politicians. Instead of trusting God to multiply their votes into a great miracle, they timidly regurgitate the redundant themes of pragmatism and fear.

Who knows what God would do in America if Christian people would again cast off this insidious "spirit of fear" and start living and voting according to their beliefs and convictions.

7:30 AM Little Geneva is up and running again, on all 12 cylinders. Welcome back, Harry. 

Saturday, August 21

3:53 PM I ran into a friend the other day who said he really enjoyed body surfing. I remember body surfing Ashkelon in Israel one day. It was a red flag day, meaning no one was allowed in the water. I strolled up to the lifeguard and told him I was a fellow lifeguard from California (which I was) and asked him if he would look the other way while I did some body surfing. He did, and I did. What a day! The picture below is of perhaps the most famous (and dangerous) body surfing beach in the world, Sandy Beach, Oahu (which breaks in about two feet of water):

[Sandy Beach Tube]

3:47 PM Some excellent essays for your weekend reading. (I know you're too smart to watch TV!)

3:43 PM 107,966 hits so far this month, thanks to all of you. I appreciate your faithful readership, dear friends.

3:04 PM "Know thyself," said Plato. I would add, "Know thy horse." The walk, the trot, the halt and half-halt, lateral work, and, at the more advanced levels, collected gaits --all these are achieved only by working toward a perfect partnership with your horse. Xenophon (400 B.C.) put it this way: "Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful." One of the reasons I love equestrian science is because it is so closely related to the wisdom of living. The horse teaches us self-control, constancy, and the ability (to a degree, at least) to understand what goes on in the mind of another creature so unlike ourselves. Even when practicing the walk I am constantly teaching (and learning) something from my friend the horse. Thus, when I read of a Belgian horse being put down at the Olympics I can easily understand what the rider must be feeling.

2:45 PM "Behold, I make all things old," might be our motto here at Bradford Hall. We spent the morning taking apart an old barn on a neighboring farm, getting up over a hundred planks of weathered siding in the process. I'd say the wood is at least 100 years old, possibly 150. Cut nails were used in most places. We'll use this lumber on our new "old" woodshed. Should match the new "old" garden house perfectly. Then, of course, comes the new "old" horse barn, for which we must still find old wood. The weather has been cooler these days (in the low 80s) but still very humid. I tell my son that working outdoors everyday is either going to get me into great shape or kill me. I still can't believe a kid from Kailua Beach is living his dream of farming in Southern Virginia. Isn't the Lord good?

7:53 AM European powerhouse does it again. What makes them so strong, anyway? (Note: Freestyle competition still to come. Ballet on horseback!)

Germany's Ulla Salzgeber on Rusty

7:47 AM This may be the best commentary you read all weekend.

7:30 AM "Culture Christianity" describes evangelicalism, while "Secular Christianity" describes liberalism. The one is a pietistic copout, the other an idolatrous tendency to absolutize revolution. Culture is not inherently evil, but the values of culture must always be secondary to the values of Jesus as expressed in the written Word of God.

7:01 AM Good morning. Glad you could join me for a cup of coffee. Still praying for you folks in central Florida. I hope you get your power back quickly. During one ice storm we were without electricity for 2 weeks, so at least I can commiserate.

Friday, August 20

7:15 PM Went all out this afternoon - my gray Arabian gelding and I, that is. From flat out gallop to collected canter to side passing to passage-like trot. Aids with Cody can be very light as he and I know what to do and when to do it with barely a thought. We enjoy riding together. I work him very hard but he knows one thing: as soon as we head for the barn his work is done and he can stretch his neck and relax. The most difficult thing I ask of him is to halt on the way home - I don't want him jigging and jogging like so many horses do in their anticipation of their oats. What an amazing creature - the Arabian horse! How I love my Cody!

12:17 PM This just in from our "pro-life" first lady: "Yes, I think abortion should be rare." So does the president and most "pro-life" Republicans. Where, I ask, is the Christian counter-attack on these modern "do your own thing" ethicists? We are nothing more than a generation of ethically neutered neobarbarians if we believe such pitiful nonsense. To obey the social trends and whims of our humanistic culture is to forsake obedience to the Creator of ALL LIFE!

12:15 PM From today's mailbag:

I was "surfing the web" today and happened to look at the Constitution Party's website. I noticed your name when I was looking at the Peroutka for President website. I also have enjoyed looking at your website. There are some great articles there. I am eager to read them when I get some more time.

12:13 PM Forget WWJD. We've now got HWJV

12:11 PM You won't believe this. You won't! 

11:55 AM Michael Peroutka's proposals are visionary but not impossible, my friends. The obstacles are in the strength of vested interests, not in the feasibility of administering the proposals. The twin ideas of human freedom and biblical law are still very much with us, though we have strayed far from them. With only 73 days until the election, we must awaken to the dangers of an overgoverned society and come to the understanding that good objectives can and have been perverted by bad means. Will we continue along the road we are following to even bigger government, or will will call a halt and change direction? It's our choice.

11:49 AM Please bear with me if my website seems a bit discombobulated. I'm learning how to transfer data between my home computer and my office hard-drive. Being your typical cybernetic dyslexic, it's taking me longer than normal to learn the ropes. My special thanks to Jerry Lassetter of our seminary for coming to my rescue many a time.

8:54 AM Izzy Lyman's book wish list:

Abuse of Power by Steven Greenhut

Ola Latina by Jorge Ramos

Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity by Samuel Huntington

Bush Betrayal by James Bovard

America's Engineered Decline by William Norman Grigg

Exporting America Lou Dobbs

Brimstone by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston (This is a fiction work but it features Agent Pendergast. He is the best, in my opinionated opinion, fictional detective ever created, altho the Child-Preston series aren't for the squeamish.)

Why I Stopped Listening to Rush by David Alan Black

Where the Right Went Wrong by Patrick Buchanan

Izzy, would the masculine of Ola Latina by Olo Latino?

8:50 AM Our real enemy.

The American people also need to realize that we are in a fight to preserve our liberties and that the major source of this attack against our freedoms is coming, not from Baghdad, but from Washington, D.C.

Therefore, be they Democrats or Republicans, men or women, whites or blacks, conservatives or liberals, Christians or pagans, all who attempt to use their political or judicial offices to trample our constitutionally protected liberties must be met with unyielding resistance!

8:36 AM One scandal too many.

8:25 AM An obituary praised singer Ray Charles for turning his vocal weaknesses into strengths. This Olympian has a similar mindset.

“It’s my job to take what God’s given me and do the best I can with it,” Browne said in an interview with Baptist Press. “I do my absolute best to honor God when I run. I run with my full heart and soul. God decides who wins and loses ultimately.”

8:23 AM Recently I was asked by a church to preach on the Christian and voting. I was happy to accept the invitation and asked if I might also deal with specific election issues (such as the unconstitutional preemptive war in Iraq or our immoral welfare system). I was quickly disinvited. Friends, sermonettes only produce Christianettes. Why not preach some meat this pre-election season? Here's a link that will help you do that. 

Thursday, August 19

5:18 PM Elmer Bernstein, composer of the score to my favorite WW II movie, died today at the age of 82. Click here if you want to know what really happened in the Great Escape (no, I don't mean what the bin Laden family did after 9/11).

5:10 PM DC's errors are too palpable to deceive anybody. Read Lewis Goldberg on why you should reject the two-party monopoly and vote for Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin.

12:11 PM Walter Williams is back. His thoughts on socialism are spot on! (Thanks, Rachel, for the link.)

12:10 PM Time for a quick water break from putting up fencing. Got stung again. That bee must have had GPS: he got me dead center in the back. We have almost completed a large pasture. Won't the goats love it!

8:57 AM Churches continue to "assess their human potential" all the while basing their interpretations of Scripture on, of all things, the Message. I don't know about you, but I think I'll pass on the new paradigm for church growth.

8:55 AM Doug Bandow is absolutely right in calling for the return of our sons and daughters now –not in ten years – and keeping them home, not sending them on yet another foreign expedition. One of the worst mistakes we have made is personalizing this war in Iraq. Yes, Hussein was a murderous tyrant. But there are other ways to handle such situations than sending 140,000 troops roaring across the desert. You don’t need half a million men to get rid of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, just precision bombing. The Big H could have and should have been marginalized, which is exactly what we had done since the end of Gulf War I. President Bush has been in a big snit because his daddy goofed in dealing with Saddam Hussein. As a result, we have created yet another third-world bad boy (Iraq) that we will use for our own purposes. After all, we were the ones who created Saddam Hussein. Then he got out of line and we took him out. It makes no sense to create bad boys and then send your own sons and daughters to snuff them out on the field. The man who is addicted to tough talk tends to personalize everything. “[T]his is a guy who tried to kill my dad,” complained Mr. Bush. And it was this president who led us to believe that Saddam Hussein was the reincarnation of Hitler. So next time, if we are going to have a first person fight, let’s get Don King to arrange it and have it in Atlantic City instead of wasting the lives of our servicemen. Should be easy. Last month Don King took Bush’s corner in Cleveland at a re-election rally for Bush. We can send our warrior president to represent our cause. The man who calls himself “the war president” ought to be eager to assume such a role, don’t you think?

7:46 AM The Constitution Party presidential ticket of Peroutka/Baldwin is now on 28 State ballots, making it able to achieve 297 electoral votes, which is more than a mathematical possibility for victory. I myself have the privilege of being an elector in Virginia for Michael Peroutka. If for no other reason, financial and economic concerns ought to make us vote for the CP ticket. The CFOs of public-owned corporations would be sent to prison if they kept books like our government.

Wednesday, August 18

3:13 PM While trying to set up my computer at home I've had no end of helpful advice. Sort of reminds me of a saying of Groucho:

A child of five could understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.

I love Marx, don't you?

2:54 PM No, Mr. Callahan, we are being offered a significant choice this election. His name is Michael Peroutka, and he will stand for freedom and limited constitutional government. I hope you will take a good look at his candidacy.

2:49 PM Years ago I was trying to rent an apartment in Basel, Switzerland. I called one number listed in an advertisement and asked for Mrs. so-and-so, and the answer came back "Sie ist am Apparat." Well, this sounded to me like "she's on the apparatus (of some sort)," so I asked to speak with the lady, at which point howls of laughter began piercing my ears. I quickly learned that "Sie ist am Apparat" is the equivalent of our "Speaking," and the lady had been on the phone with me the entire time. Sadly, some translational faux pas can be tragic.

2:45 PM Yet another GOP Congressman sees the light.

Congress and the administration "must learn from the errors and failures" related to the attack and its aftermath, he said.

"The toll in American military casualties and those of civilians, physical damages caused, financial resources spent, and the damage to the support and image of America abroad all demand such an assessment and accounting."

In addition to "a massive failure or misinterpretation of intelligence" concerning weapons of mass destruction, Bereuter said, the Bush administration made a number of errors in prosecuting the war despite warnings about the consequences.

"American and coalition forces were inadequate in number to take effective control of Iraq when the initial military action was completed," he said.

2:34 PM The rain is falling as I type. My son and I were able to cut all our cedar posts and pine rafters and get them unloaded at the woodshed site before the weather turned inclement. As I sit here at home looking out my office window upon our beautiful pond and pastures, with the cows and goats grazing lazily, I am full of gratitude to our "serendipitous" God (C. S. Lewis) who delights in surprising us with the underserved joys of life. As long as "things" do not replace His presence in the shrine of our hearts, we may delight in a thousand gifts that He has showered on us. I am also reminded that all things must operate on His timing, not ours, and that it will take longer to build the woodshed than we had planned. General Lee would often say, "It's all in God's hands." It most certainly and happily  is.

12:50 PM This just in:

Dr. Black,

Before I go outside and battle Kudzu, I wanted to take a minute and thank you for the time you spent writing your latest book. I finished reading it a couple nights ago and found it very encouraging. It's a shame that a book written supporting adherence to the Constitution is even necessary. As a history lover,  the historical background of the Civil War was very helpful in following the progression of U.S. government into the dominating system it is today. Your writings have encouraged me to stand firmly on the Word of God as a Christian and the Constitution as a citizen. I'm convinced that for our nation to return to the biblical and constitutional principles that it was founded upon, I need to pray more than I have been for revival to come upon our land. Your book has encouraged me to do just that while I stand firmly on the truth.

I do have one question that I was wondering as I read through the book. A major theme of the book seems to be the fact (taken from the Dec. of Independence) that all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This is central to both the Declaration and to our Bill of Rights and I have always assumed it to be true without question, after all it sounds so right. As I've read through your book I just couldn't stop questioning myself about how I could justify these "truths" biblically. Obviously I'm not questioning the "right to life" but I do question the fact that we have a God-given right to be free, or to have liberty. Don't take me the wrong way, naturally I am freedom loving. One of the major reasons I joined the National Guard 4 years ago was to defend freedom (that was pre 9/11 and I know better now that not all our military does defends our freedom). I just know that if freedom was a right given to us by our creator we should naturally be able to see this in Scripture. Maybe I just need to do more study, and please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that Scripture treats freedom (from nations, governments, individuals, etc.) as a favorable state but not a God-given right. The message I see in the NT is to be loyal to your master and not to rebel against him. I have yet to find any instruction in the NT to rise up against your master or against your government. Spiritual liberty is another story and it seems to me that it is treated very differently from political liberty. Paul very clearly said that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death". So there should be do debate that through Christ we have freedom from sin and sin's ultimate penalty. This I have never questioned. I was thinking the whole thing though and wondering your thoughts on this. You stated in your book (p. 131) that "few Americans understand the foundation for our freedoms". I suppose you must have been thinking of folks like me when you wrote that. I do understand that our Constitution gives us freedoms and is constantly being threatened and cheapened. I also understand that the bigger our government gets the more our freedoms are threatened. I love our Constitution because it gives us freedoms but how could I biblically support the fact that freedom or liberty is a God-given right? If I could answer this nagging question I would be quite happy.

Blessings to you for all your hard work and for the example you are to me of loyalty. Not loyalty just to any cause or movement but loyalty to the Lord. I look forward to you coming back and teaching next year. Hopefully I'll be able to take another of your Greek classes.

Ben L.

Thanks, Ben. You pose a very good question. You are correct that our rights do not come from the Constitution or any other human source. Some people, therefore, would avoid speaking of "rights" at all, arguing (correctly, in my view) that God alone is absolutely entitled to anything. In that sense we don't even have a "right to life" apart from Him and His sovereign will. I would argue that this view of "rights" is implicit in the founding documents of our nation (though we would have preferred this to have been explicitly stated). Only Jesus Christ can provide a consistent theological basis for whatever "rights" and "freedoms" we can ever enjoy. Perhaps I should have stated this more clearly in my book. At any rate, thanks again for reading the book and for writing, and my very best wishes to you.

10:47 AM Mr. Bush is a huge supporter of welfare. Only one problem: We don't have a "right" to economic equality. No one does. The "right" to welfare violates the eighth commandment. The state is far more limited than Bush imagines.

10:45 AM Did the U.S. spare bin Laden?

10:32 AM Just a question: If we are all "brothers," and if Jesus confers lordship upon no man, and if He calls us to reject exalted titles ("It shall not be so among you"), then why must we encourage churchism and elitism in the Body of Christ by using such titles as "Esq." or "Dr." or "Rev."? (I noted this at several conferences I spoke at recently. Some speakers were listed with titles, others were not. Some were "Doctors," but who knew whether these were earned doctorates or diploma mill acquisitions or whatever. I believe it  is more than simply a matter of nomenclature to be called Brother Black.) For more on the use of honorific titles in the church, please see my page Unleashing the Church.

10:14 AM Our empire is revolving, and the rational for it will be just as scrupulously "documented" as Saddam Hussein's complicity in 9/11, his collaboration with al Qaeda, his WMD, and the "rescue" of Private Lynch. The real problem, of course, is not the hype but our willingness to see black as white and white as black. Meanwhile, the core of al Qaeda has metastasized, growing new heads like a Hydra. And just how many of them are sneaking though our porous borders as we speak?

9:12 AM It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Looks like we'll be starting the woodshed today. Hope you Floridians are doing OK!

Tuesday, August 17

3:09 PM DBO writer Jonathan Grubbs survived hurricane Charley, though his power is still out. I am, however, concerned about Little Geneva, which has not posted since last Thursday. Praying for you, brothers!

12:20 PM I'll admit I'm enchanted with the art and science of dressage riding. My dressage instructor in California was a German. Since 1960, Germany has been the top dressage nation in the world. In Athens, Germany will be looking to extend its gold-medal streak in team dressage events and reclaim the individual gold from Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands, who became the first non-German to win the individual gold since 1980 at the Sydney Games in 2000. Should be an interesting competition. (Below: Victorious Anky on her Dutch warmblood.)

lifestyle foto

12:15 PM My friend Lee Shelton of Ever Vigilant has just published part two of his series on the "lesser of two evils myth." Read Federal Court Appointments

9:10 AM Gov. Bush is appealing it, but I agree with this verdict on school vouchers in Florida. As I have said elsewhere:

The best solution to America’s education fiasco is to get the federal government out of our classrooms entirely, to repeal all federal meddling, and to let local communities and parents educate their children as they see fit. When the weight of the state is thrown against the Christian faith, the state has become the enemy of the faith and disaster lies ahead. The state, for the sake of its own legitimate functions, must recognize that national life is not conserved but destroyed if the policy of the state as a wholly secularized mode of education is to undermine the authority of the church.

(From Why I Stopped Listening to Rush.)

9:08 AM One reviewer called this book "my favorite book on the Psalms since C. S. Lewis's Reflections on the Psalms."  Kudos and congratulations to my colleague and suitemate, Dr. Michael Travers.

9:05 AM This just in:


I’m taking a few minutes before I begin my work day to say your article hit the mark with me and I want to encourage you to keep  “preaching from the rooftops”.  I find it interesting and not a coincidence that I am currently reading “Hitler’s Cross” by Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Bible Church in which he shows how the church in Germany fell into the same trap and the bent cross of the Nazis was substituted for the cross of Christ through nationalism.  Lutzer is also warning the church in America.  If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do so. Our home email is listed as Cc. 

In His Service,


8:32 AM Carmon Friedrich of Buried Treasure Books gets back home from Saint Louis (read her report of the Uniting Church and Family Conference here). My only question is theological and concerns dominion: Steve, as the patriarchal head of your family, which direction should the TP go?

8:10 AM People cannot not watch TV.

American society is being carefully, calculatedly sculpted. A small group of unelected people, having no obvious qualifications of morality or taste, now control the culture of the United States. Our souls belong to Ted Turner and Jane Fonda.

7:56 AM Even before 9/11, Mr. Bush began to limit free speech rights through the establishment of "free speech zones" where the  public is "allowed" to assemble whenever Bush or Cheney is in town. (These zones were used for the first time, ironically, in Philadelphia in 2000.) They are now a common feature in the American landscape (witness the "cage" in Boston), and don't expect peaceful protestors to get any different treatment in New York City next week.

7:45 AM I pray daily that God would cause the American holocaust of abortion to cease, and that those who are involved in it would toss and turn at night until they repent and find peace with the Creator of Life. According to the Life Dynamics website (, there used to be over 2000 abortion clinics in America. Today, LDI is reporting there are 749. At the Life Dynamics homepage, click on "Find an Abortion Clinic" to locate, by state, the total number of abortion mills in every state; on the same page you can also find the specific name and address of every child-murder center, also listed by state. Please join me in praying that God will convict those who operate these abortuaries. And remember: a true pro-life voter believes that abortion is the litmus test for all candidates and then votes accordingly. Every day 3,805 babies are killed in the U.S. by abortion because they have no voice. It is our responsibility to speak on behalf of those that cannot speak for themselves. Thus John Piper:

Fight against the kind of social stupor that gripped Nazi Germany—the feeling that the problem is so huge and so horrendous an so out of our control that I just can't be wrong to let it be. Use your imagination to see and feel what is really happening behind those sterile clinic doors.

Monday, August 16

5:01 PM DBO contributor John Leone is one tough dude.

4:16 PM I'll never forget the first baklava I had. It was in Athens in 1981 and it accompanied the best arnion I have ever tasted. My wife also convinced me to try a dish I absolutely detested: okra. The Greeks made it so tasty that I have since repented and can't wait for my wife to serve it up again. L'Express wonders if diplomacy based on cuisine night be more effective than traditional dickering - especially if Baklava is served. Good question.

Baklava Sampler

4:01 PM Peter Jennings & Co. will never get Jesus right as long as they get the Bible wrong. It's the Greatest Story Never Told

Peter Jennings Reporting

3:50 PM If we ever were to learn the truth about 9/11, resignations would abound. The 9/11 Report provides an excellent negative example of how government works.

After the many public hearing shows, in which the Commissioners very skillfully played their good cop/bad cop routine and displayed their lifelong mastery of the political art of saying but not saying, and asking but not asking, all parties and all agencies have readily accepted this report. The president apparently considered the report rosy and appropriately symbolized its presentation in his rose garden. The previous administration sighed with relief, having scored a negative 4, compared to the current administration's negative 6, in the blame game. Notorious Attorney General John Ashcroft left his over-secrecy and classification guns in their holsters. In fact, this report ended up being blessed by all those responsible for our nation's security and interests, which were severely violated on September 11. I, for one, am highly puzzled and curious. How about you?

3:46 PM I am totally responsible for everything that happens in my home. Including my failures.

3:29 PM Okay, at the Uniting Church and Family Conference Doug and Scott issued a challenge: Is Dave Black a goofy footer or not? I think it's time I came clean. The answer is in this photo of the Banzai Pipeline:

2:45 PM Heartfelt thanks to my friend Mr. Jim Rudd at Covenant News for linking some of my essays at his excellent website, which is dedicated to those courageous Christians of strong principle and faith who refuse to be manipulated by the secular elite. May God richly bless your efforts, brother Jim.

2:40 PM Troop recall may signal nothing more than preparations for the next war.

2:38 PM It is an appalling testimony to the effectiveness of Christian PR groups over the last ten years that the dangers of the seeker-sensitive movement are so readily overlooked or ignored by the evangelical mainstream. Gladly, a new generation of Christian warriors is dedicated to showing that the emperor has no clothes.

2:22 PM The preemptive war against Iraq is nothing less than a blunt betrayal of the Jeffersonian ideal of "peace, commerce, and honest friendship will all nations." As the scene in Najaf shows, the Ba'athist strategy has been to draw our soldiers into an impossible guerilla war. Writes Andrew Young in today's LRC:

The deification of Lincoln prevents Americans from looking favorably upon the days of state’s rights and constitutional government. The myth that we have no choice but to fight a war on terrorism helps keep us from wondering if we really need to send our young people off to fight and die, and the belief that the world is a better place without Saddam gives desperate warmongers, now lacking any other rationales, one last defense for their useless war. The warfare-welfare state thrives on these myths and others like it; only with truth will we ever achieve peace and liberty.

Read War Party Myths About Lincoln, Terrorism, and Saddam.

11:10 AM American Airlines may have gotten us back to RDU over 2 hours late yesterday and then we had to wait an hour (!) for our luggage, but their in-flight magazine does have some pretty good crossword puzzles. I especially enjoyed the following clues (answers written backwards):

  • Senior moment? (morp)

  • Member of the club? (nocab)

  • Nice response? (iou)

  • Block letters? (ogel)

  • Stage presence? (rotca)

  • Board member? (rekcehc)

9:30 AM I continue to feel that I am the most blessed person on the planet. You would too if you received emails like this one:

Dr. Black,

I have been perusing the contents of your website and find myself more and more in agreement with your stands on "restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations."

Thank you for your articles and thoughts which have challenged me to reconsider some of my "neo-con" stances, but more importantly have challenged me to analyze my view of government biblically. 

Also, my heart resonates with yours in restoring the New Testament church.  Your thoughts on church leadership and teaching, I think, are right on the mark. 

You are absolutely correct, dear brother. The answer to our woes in America is deceptively simple - and life-changing: when family, church, and civil government come closest to being what God intended them to be. With these priorities fixed steadfastly before our eyes will come obedience to what He says. Let's get back to the business of being what God intended for us to be!

9:25 AM Mr. Specter: Put up or shut up on sodomite unions (from Jim Clymer's new website).

9:20 AM Just received a wonderful email from a pastor who listed his credentials as follows: BA, BS, MBA, PHD ( = Born Again/Baptized & Sanctified/My Beliefs Affirmed/Praising Him Daily!). Love it!

9:03 AM The trip to the Uniting Church and Family Conference in Saint Louis was a marvelous experience. The Lord blessed us with gorgeous weather, great attendance, wonderful Christian fellowship, and a spirit of renewal among the families present. My heartfelt thanks, once again, to Doug Phillips and Scott Brown for inviting me to attend, and to Brian Howell for taking such good care of the speakers. Many of us are gaining a new vision for family life - how to raise our children, how to lead as loving husbands and fathers, how to become men of integrity and love (in every one of these areas I still have much to learn). As we heard consistently throughout the conference, the solution is simple (though not easy): submitting our sinful selves to God by obeying His word and by being family men first and foremost. In the words of Theodore Cuyler: "... I care little for the government which presides at Washington, in comparison with the government which rules the millions of American homes. No administration can seriously harm us if our home life is pure, frugal, and godly. No statesmanship or legislation can save us, if once our homes become the adobe of profligacy" (quoted in Phil Lancaster's Family Man, Family Leader, p. 15-16). Sometimes this truth is assumed rather than asserted, but it is as necessary to biblical Christianity as the primary colors are necessary to a painting. I came away from the conference with a deepened sense of my own failings and inadequacies but with this re-emphasis: that the fellowship of the Gospel is a fellowship of ordinary human beings, drawn from all sorts of backgrounds into the unity of Christ. It has to do primarily with truth (not human traditions of any kind) and is made possible through the written words of Scripture. Thereby we have the hope of leaving the City of Destruction (to use the beautiful imagery of the Pietists), and we become simply pilgrims through this confused world to that other City where all our bright hopes will become certainties. Pilgrim's Progress put it best: "Now I saw in my Dream, that thus they sat talking together until supper was ready. So when they had made ready, they sat down...and all their talk at the table was about the Lord of the Hill."

Many thanks to all of you who attended my session, who took the time to talk with me, and who acquired a copy of The Myth of Adolescence. Several of you asked for my prayers for struggles you are encountering. I am honored to take your requests to the Father. Let's keep in touch.

Thursday, August 12

3:14 PM Matthew Gamel, author of numerous DBO articles including this and this, just sent me a very nice email:

Mr. Black,

I just wanted to thank you for preaching the truth on this issue of adolescence and age-segregated churches. When I first heard you discussing this issue, it was a foreign concept to me because you see this heresy almost everywhere. But the more I consider the Scriptures, the more correct I think you are. I too am beginning to realize that this might be one of the reasons that our children are so Biblically illiterate and are spiritually immature as you allude to in your article.

Now that I have started thinking about this issue, I think it stems from the introduction of psychology in the church - I mean, the only real purpose of adolescence is to prolong responsibility which might summarize one of the purposes of the Godless pseudo-science of psychology.

Keep preaching the Word, brother!


Thanks, Matt. My own thinking has evolved over the years through trial and error, and I feel like I still have so much to learn. Young people like yourself are the hope for the future of the church, and I wish you Godspeed as you develop your own biblical philosophy of family and church life.

2:05 PM A lesson in eating humble pie.

What was true for Paul and Moses needs to be true for us. Are we willing to accept the humiliation of failure, allowed by God Himself, despite our best intentions? It is only out of the debris of that failure, and the General Robert E. Leemortification of pride that accompanies it, that a man can be formed whom God can use. There is something about failure, especially when it is born out of the best intentions to serve God, that produces a depth of work in the human soul like nothing else.

The lesson of General Lee is that no man is more qualified than the one who believes in his deepest heart that he is without qualification. The whole preliminary work of God is to disqualify us before we can be qualified. How many of us are itching to go out and make our mark for God? Let us remember that God did not think it wasteful to give Moses forty years of waiting in the wilderness until he was completely emptied out—and then He called him!

2:03 PM Retreating to Rome: The battle over justification. A good critique of the "New Perspective."

11:55 AM Several months ago I wrote an essay in Baptist Press defending Roy Moore, and in my latest book I devoted an entire chapter to the subject. Moore continues to deny (rightly, in my view) that his action was an act of civil disobedience. Read Moore Defends His Stand. (Hat tip: Covenant News.)

10:58 AM Want to know why your child's teacher can't teach?

Public school educators who raise the academic bar, a la Jaime Escalante of Stand and Deliver fame, are unwelcome in this paradigm, since the gatekeepers, who control the education degree mills, care little for "teacher-directed instruction." These educrats prefer a child-centered model of learning, one which coaxes youngsters into "constructing their own meaning" - whatever that means.

Read Izzy Lyman's latest.  Izzy is a perceptive social critic and an incurable proselytizer for The Homeschooling Revolution.

10:56 AM Here's one invitation I'm not waiting for. That goes for this invitation, too.

The White House

10:25 AM Slender, narrow, lean, underweight, lanky, scrawny, gaunt, drawn - anything but "thin."

10:23 AM A gripping number.

8:13 AM From Yahoo Finance: Peroutka-Baldwin ticket added to Washington and Pennsylvania ballots.

8:11 AM From the mailbag:

The Lord isn't going to judge us on our victories but on how we fight our battles.  If we fight for right, He will fight with us.  A vote for YaYa1 or YaYa2 (Bush or Kerry) is the easy way to avoid the battle altogether.  A vote for Peroutka is putting you in the battle.  Yes, we will most likely lose this time around, but at least you will be able to stand before our Heavenly Father and explain ourselves with a clear conscious.  That is what is most important to me. 

8:05 AM "Because a great America deserves great art." This, the new theme for the National Endowment for the Arts. There is only one approach to the NEA, friends. 

Americans cannot afford to waste one more penny defending the National Endowment for the Arts. Art existed before 1965, and art will continue to thrive in America without federal funding. Admission tickets and private funding can more than compensate for pulling the plug on the unconditional subsidies provided by the NEA. Already corporations and private foundations contribute more than $9 billion annually to the arts.

Read It's Time to Abolish Art Welfare.

Wednesday, August 11

10:30 AM More on the canter depart:

If a transition to canter needs refining, try to leg yield from the quarter line to the long side, then pick up the canter at the long side (helps with inside leg at girth). In the down transition, try it on a 15 meter circle so the circle helps with bend and balance. Leg yield only works if you perform it with the inside leg at the girth. A yield done with the inside leg behind the girth produces a leg yield, but does not connect with the canter depart. logo

10:20 AM Here's a good modesty check list (pdf) I stumbled across at Austin's Parenting with Purpose.

9:47 AM This speaks for itself:

9:50 AM The Hack is absolutely right:

... our troops are at the end of a 10,000-mile supply line requiring both megabucks and megaguts to maintain. Once supplies are shipped to ports in Kuwait or Turkey, they still have to be trucked forward on “Highways of Death” treks, which daily take their nerve-shattering toll in U.S. casualties and destroyed vehicles and supplies. 


And fighting the guerrillas in Iraq has worn out our regular ground force to the point that units committed there need a minimum of a year Stateside to recover from their tours in hell. Ditto the Guard and Reserve troops – who are meanwhile not available to defend the home front or put out any local U.S. fires.


We’re also suddenly on high alert in Washington, D.C., Newark, N.J., and New York City, which have all morphed into Checkpoint Charlies, just as Boston was a maxi-fortress last month. Meanwhile, our southern border is being breached by hundreds of Muslim fanatics passing as Mexicans, and our northern border has more holes in it than the White House sprinkler system.


Sully, let’s face it: The USA is only in Round One of what promises to be at least a 15-rounder, yet we’re already performing like Mike Tyson in his last fight. For sure, our country’s first priority should be defending this great land – which should certainly include securing our borders and rebuilding our exhausted, overextended Army and Marine Corps.

Read more.

9:45 AM L'Express: Mary, mother of Jesus, the first modern woman

9:35 AM Is all of southern Iraq about to be set aflame?

9:27 AM First snowboarding, now surfing in the Olympics? So are surfing pools the wave of the future? What would the Duke think?

9:25 AM Thought for today:

A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism.  ~Louis A. Berman

9:23 AM This just in from Athens. Note the rare archeological find: ancient radio tower.

Athen 2004: Olympische Ringe nahe der Akropolis

8:55 AM Empowering everyone with a voice.

8:20 AM Check out these phenomenal ultrasound pictures. And remember: there is only one candidate for president who is 100 percent pro-life.

8:18 AM Chuck Baldwin's latest ably defends the U.S. Constitution against the New World Order thinking of the current Republican administration.

It sure would be nice to have people in Washington, D.C., that, like Washington and Jefferson, really and truly despised entangling alliances with foreign nations! In order to find such people, however, it seems obvious that, with precious few exceptions, one must look someplace other than the Republican and Democratic parties.

8:16 AM Does Porter Goss have the track record to be the nation's top spy?

8:14 AM More regime change and nation building in the offing. This from a man who in 1999 said, “Let us not dominate others with our power. ... Let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character. The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness. This is the strong heart of America. And this will be the spirit of my administration.”

8:12 AM Freedom lies at the heart of Jesus' teaching, but never at the expense of accountability. No wonder the 9/11 survivors are furious. I would be too.

7:34 AM You never know where evil lurks.

6:15 AM Constitution Party ballet access achieved in key battleground states. This is a great victory for hardworking state chairpersons. A tip of the kepi to you, ladies and gentlemen.

6:14 AM From Debbie Hopper, co-director of the National Coalition to Restore the Constitution:

Is it just me or does anyone else find it absolutely amazing that the U.S.
government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington, and determine exactly what that cow ate. They can also track her calves right to their stalls, and tell you what kind of feed they ate.

But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around in their country, including people that are trying to blow up important structures in the U.S.

My solution is to give every illegal alien a cow as soon as they enter the country.

6:12 AM Edged our NC property yesterday...worked on canter departs with Cody (going from a standstill to a canter without any intervening steps) up 99 bales of hay with my son...worked on installing Front Page on my farm computer with the help of Jerry Lassiter of our IT Department...went to bed feeling good but sore.

Monday, August 9

4:15 PM Come, come now, Mr. Dougherty. Make our Olympic athletes wear flag-studded clothing? There's a distinction between patriotism and the kind of blind nationalism you seek to defend.

3:58 PM I know the feeling.

3:56 PM Swiss slap duties on goods made in occupied territories in Israel.

3:23 PM Bush's support for illegal aliens is costing him votes in Arizona, as well it should. Remember, the border patrol catches only one alien in five.  Here's what Michael Peroutka will do to solve the problem. (Below: A woman hidden behind the dashboard of a car.)


2:47 PM Some say this man will be Billy Graham's successor. Others think he's the Velcro Bishop with another Gospel. President Bush likes him, and Max Lucado - yes Max Lucado! - wrote the forward to his latest book. Stay tuned....

2:45 PM Does this mean I'll have beach front property soon?

2:36 PM "The truth shall set you free" - with a perverted twist. Yet another sad victim of our screaming war frenzy.

1:23 PM Speaking of ancient Greece, check out this fantastic site of the Apostle Paul's travels, replete with photos.

1:15 PM Virtuosity Online presents We Three Dupes (as the Anglican community continues to unravel):

We three dupes of Bennison are,
Bearing funds we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of Griswold, star of Spong!
Star of Pike and Robinson!
Leftward leading, still entreating,
Make our conversation long!

12:58 PM Only 59.9 percent of Americans feel Athens is a safe place, according to this report from Greece. Among Europeans the average is even lower: 40 percent.

12:34 PM In 1981 my wife and I visited Olympia on the Peloponnesus in Greece - the site of the original Olympics. The winners received crowns of olive leaves - and promises of immortality. The 293rd Olympiad in 393 A.D., a total of 1,169 years after the first Olympic competition, was the last until modern times. If you're heading for Greece it's well worth a detour to this interesting site. It's a four-hour drive west of Athens. The town itself is basically a tourist trap with hotels and souvenir shops, but the ancient site is only about a 15 minute walk from the town.

Remains of the Temple of Zeus

12:03 PM Read Larry Pratt's election day 2002 sermon delivered at Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. A superb piece of analytical preaching tackling what is just about the toughest problem faced by Christians.

11:59 AM This just in: The program for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. (Tip: NT Gateway.) I will probably be teaching in Africa at conference time and so will not attend.

11:40 AM I'm not surprised that Jay Sekulow fails to mention the Constitution Party in this essay. Like most Neocons he could use a little prodding from Chuck Baldwin about taking a real stand on the issues of the day.

11:37 AM My friend Lee Shelton has started a two-part series on the lesser-of-two-evils myth. This is a must read, especially if you voted for the Republican ticket in 2000.

11:35 AM Wanna join the club?

11:28 AM I just received a wonderful newsletter from G. V. Mathai of the India Evangelical Mission, with whom I had the privilege of ministering in the state of Kerala several years ago. His report included the following statement: "Eleven persons were recently baptized, including five from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, who are in fellowship with a local body of believers." Note he didn't say "such and such a number of people prayed to receive Christ." The Great Omission in the Great Commission is the making disciples part - "teaching them to observe all things." I will be the first to admit  to my shame that I have "led people to Christ" without seeing that they were placed in a healthy incubator where they could grow spiritually. Our responsibility does not end with sharing the Good News, my friends.

9:56 AM Compromise is compromise is compromise. Are you listening, Mr. Santorum?

9:45 AM Disney in Baghdad? Bad idea. Iraq has become a haven for terrorists - something it wasn't before it was invaded. What a gift for Bin Laden.

9:32 AM The Peroutka Prayer Brigade keeps growing. Will you join us?

8:25 AM Quote of the day:

Well, today the White House released a terror warning for the Olympics. Okay, it was the 1980 Olympics. They admit the information is a little old.

Jay Leno, The Tonight Show

8:23 AM Pennsylvania Republicans are frantic as Constitution Party candidate Jim Clymer opposes pro-abortion, pro-sodomy Arlen Specter:

A conservative, third-party candidate such as Clymer, of the
Constitution Party, will siphon votes from Specter and benefit
Democrat Joe Hoeffel, they believe. And a Hoeffel victory could tip
the Senate's balance of power in favor of the Democrats.

The Democrats think so too. Backers of Hoeffel, a Montgomery County
congressman, helped get some of the signatures Clymer needed to get
on the ballot.

But as the conservative Lancaster County native sees it, there's
little difference between the two parties anymore.

"I don't believe the majority of Pennsylvanians agree with what
either party stands for,'' says Clymer, 56, who lives near
Millersville. "Their similarities are much greater than their
differences. The idea of the two-party system is that you have
alternative viewpoints. You don't have that this year.''

Friends, if you still think a vote for the Republican ticket is a vote for conservatism, please read this.

8:20 AM Here's a great link to foreign newspapers worldwide. My daily habit is to read at least one paper in German, French, and Spanish. With the Olympics coming up, the Greek papers are also interesting sources of information.

7:52 AM America's final crisis: a poem by Patrick Johnston.

7:47 AM From a former missionary:

Hi Dave,

My family and I were missionaries in Thailand for the last six years. We recently returned back to the states. Wow!  How America has changed! I have never seen deception abound in the lives of so many intelligent Christian people. I guess all a person has to do in our day is say, "God bless America" and Christians people "sell the farm" and proclaim him God's man for today without acknowledging the fact and the truth.  I have expressed my concern about these issues with some very sincere Christians and have gotten my patriotism, and Christian values questioned. People simply do not want to hear the truth about these issues. One person said, "Well, I guess you gonna vote for Kerry and Hilary Clinton too huh? "

You folks keep up the good work in reminding Christians and Americans about our duties in this critical time.


Glenn H.

Thank you, Glenn. As the Lord enables, we will strive to do just that. 

7:45 AM Had a rather harrowing experience over the weekend. I was in the stall about to put the halter on my Arabian gelding when I backed into a wasp's nest. I was stung nine or ten times on my right arm and back. My initial impulse was to freak out. Then I remembered I was in a ten by ten room with a breed of horse that tends to become extremely excitable. I had to grin and bear it until the wasps quieted down. Did I really want to ride after all of that? At the price I paid to get my horse, you bet I did! Cody and I had a great time, though he seemed a bit more spookish than usual. I'm just thankful HE wasn't stung. Needless to say, the wasps have been eliminated. 

Wednesday, August 5

4:35 PM Sorry, friends - couldn't resist posting this shot of the beautiful beach where I grew up and was baptized (Kailua, Oahu):

4:30 PM More and more people have stopped listening to the "experts" sitting behind their mahogany desks and have gone back to common-sense parenting. Homeschooling is up 29 percent since 1999, despite its "cloistered environment," and it will only increase as more parents take their Christian responsibilities seriously. Even Cambridge, England has an active homeschooling community.

4:20 PM From the mailbag:

May God bless you for the work you do.  Your website is responsible for making us think!  Reading your website brings forth thoughts and ideas and these have brought forth changes in our lives.

2:35 PM The seminary bookstore has just informed me that copies of Why I Stopped Listening to Rush have been ordered and should be available within a week. The book is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders. The publisher offers the book at a discount.

2:15 PM Discovering participatory church meetings.

12:29 PM The blessing and bane of the hurricane season: high surf with dangerous rip currents.

12:09 PM I spent a lot of time yesterday with our chickens, just watching them - and enjoying them. I've already trained a couple of "teenagers" to jump up in my hands like Little Feather used to do, and, of course, we still feed Blackie and Brownie by hand (their beaks had been cut by Southern States before we got them). We now have eight mamas sitting (setting?) and who knows how many chicks that have hatched out. These mother hens are nature's object lesson in loving parenthood, that's for sure!

Chicks all over Steve (18764 bytes)

12:09 PM As a follow-up to my essay Rejecting the Feasts of Ahab allow me to quote the words of my friend Chuck Baldwin (from his VP-acceptance speech in Valley Forge):

In my opinion, the chief culprit rests behind the sacred pulpits of America. I am ashamed to say it, but I believe that the majority of the men of God, the pastors of our churches across America, have become cowards. These men who have become ear ticklers, who put their fingers to the wind to see which way it is blowing in order to decide what and how to speak, are a disgrace to the colonial preachers who led the moral and righteous fight in our war for independence.

Dr. Chuck BaldwinNot only should they tear the story of Daniel out of the Bible, they should never again preach on the story of John the Baptist. I would remind my brethren that John the Baptist was not beheaded because he preached the Gospel. He was beheaded because he meddled in politics when he told the king it was unlawful to commit adultery with his brother's wife.

Need I remind my brethren that Jesus said of John that there was never a greater man born of women than he. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I'll take the Word of God over the word of a cowardly preacher any day of the year!

Pastor friend, will you join the Black Regiment?

12:05 PM Today we said goodbye to Ben and Leah Wall, a wonderful couple who spent a few days with us at Bradford Hall celebrating their second wedding anniversary. Last night my wife cooked the most delicious Cordon Bleu I have ever tasted, capped off with mint cheesecake. Ben and Leah are a team dedicated to following and serving God with their whole heart, and we wish both of them all the joys of Christian hedonism.

9:58 AM I heard Franklin Saunders give this speech on the coming draft at the Portrait of James MadisonConstitution Party National Convention in Valley Forge. My wife and I now have several file folders replete with noxious articles on our national-slavery-to-be. It will creep up on us, so we'd better get informed NOW. Like reading James Madison:

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

9:45 AM I'll be speaking at the Uniting Church and Family Conference in St. Louis this month. Here are the details.

9:40 AM The apostolic church, and departures therefrom. 

9:33 AM What the 9/11 Commission didn't tell you.

9:25 AM With or without "under God," the Pledge is still a bad idea.

If children are to take an oath of allegiance, they should pledge their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and not to a piece of cloth. As our Founding Fathers stated over and over again, Americans were to be the masters of the Republic, not its subjects. The Pledge was written at a time when our country had begun to turn away from principles of federalism in favor of a nationalist ideology. It is a profound betrayal of the spirit of both the First and the Second American Revolutions.

Speaking personally, I cannot imagine why Christian parents would allow their children to bow before a symbol of raw, secular power. Indeed, I cannot understand why conservatives support the Pledge at all, with or without “under God.” If we are to pledge anything, let us pledge allegiance to the principles of freedom that inspired those who wrote our Constitution and who first bore our flag.

Read more

9:25 AM Jim Lobe evaluates America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge University Press). Read his review here.

9:23 AM How much longer can the terrorist alert be in effect and still be "effective," especially when no attack is imminent? Read Tom Engelhardt on our old and limited thinking on fighting terrorism.

8:45 AM Mr. Bush is about as liberal as they come. Pat Buchanan (pdf) knew this as far back as 2000.  (Link: Charles Porter.)

7:53 AM This morning's front page features an essay on (among other things) modest dress. It was written by the daughter of one of my good friends. Mary Mohler, wife of seminary president Al Mohler, has some good advice on dressing modestly, and one of the best pages on the internet that deals with femininity and modest apparel is this one.

Tuesday, August 3

10:45 AM They'll be waxing down their surfboards on the coast about now.

10:30 AM God speed to Dee Coker, pastor of Amis Chapel Baptist Church in Oxford, who is off to India to spend a few days with Finney Matthews and the Alpha Ministries team. Alpha Ministries, whose board I have the privilege of serving on, is committed to reaching the largely Islamic states of Northern India with the Gospel. I will be filling the pulpit for Dee this Sunday.

10:23 AM Is NORAD telling the truth about 9/11? One senator doubts it.

10:12 AM The communist system has broken down; it is only ruthless power that keeps it going. And the capitalist system is going bust. There is coming the twenty-first century equivalent of the dark ages unless we overturn this mad imperialistic system we have adopted.

10:05 AM Our government continues warehousing people on welfare, generation after generation, destroying their self-esteem and their skills to provide for themselves. As Thomas Johnson writes:

The idea that government-sponsored welfare programs to assist the needy are compatible with, and justified by, Christian philosophy is probably the most widespread erroneous belief that permeates American society, and is hastening the destruction of freedom in the United States. This tragic flaw in the thinking of both well-educated and uneducated Christians has already brought misery to millions, and if this thinking persists in this country, it will result in economic chaos followed by political totalitarianism.

Christian ethicists ought to be in the forefront of opposing the federal welfare state. My question: Why are they silent?

9:56 AM Thanks to Linda Craft and her team at ReMax Realty for use of their moving van yesterday. Thanks also to Brett Honeycutt, a Southeastern student, for driving all the way up from Charlotte to help us move boxes to Bradford Hall.

8:35 AM Nobody says it better or clearer than Ron Paul:

For those who believe in limited constitutional government, last week’s convention speeches were almost unbearable. One speaker after another extolled their benevolent plans for America, always in the form of new programs and new spending. Of course no convention would be complete without assurances that even more money will be spent on the failed federal education bureaucracy. The speakers also promised free health care for all, without the slightest explanation of how health care became a “right.” All of these promises were made, of course, without any mention of exactly what constitutional or moral authority authorizes such grand schemes.

8:30 AM George W. Bush: World class polarizer.

8:28 AM It backfired. War usually does.

6:48 AM Michael Peroutka, the nominee of the Constitution Party for president, will be the guest on Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily Radioactive show today. 

Monday, August 2

8:04 AM Today's surf report for coastal North Carolina:

Monday 7:20 AM Update:
Stomach to Chest high (+ sets). Surf doesn't look that great...SE
winds....choppy...shifty..disorganized surf.
Be aware the next couple of days for struggling swimmers, offer to help,
they may need it with lots of strong rips out there. Lifeguards at Wrightsville said they were busy today with rescues.
Forecast Winds (6 hour forecast):
ESE 12->>22 mph.(gusty in showers)

High 9:30 am  Low 3:30 pm  High 10:05 pm 

7:48 AM A sampling from Good As New:

(18) This is how Jesus, God's Chosen, was born. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph. She was pregnant before they were married. This was the work of God's Spirit. (19) Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man. He did not want to expose Mary to a public scandal, so he thought to break off the engagement without making any fuss. (20) When he had almost made up his mind to do this, he had a message from God in a dream.

"Joseph, remember you're a descendant of David. There's no need to have any worries about marrying Mary. This baby has been planned by God's Spirit. (21) It's going to be a boy and you must call him Jesus. He will be a healer and cure people of their wrongdoing."

7:28 AM The APA finally comes out of the closet.

7:17 AM From the New England Journal of Medicine comes the latest medical euphemism: "atrocity-producing situation." Evangelical ethicists ought to jump all over this outrage but they won't.

7:14 AM "War on abortion" versus "War on terror."  Which is more critical?

7:10 AM On the history of the invitation system:

Stearns preached the basic message of new birth, conviction and conversion, with a definite time and place of conversion being a key element in one’s personal salvation. Stearns’ innovations may have led to the earliest record of a public invitation in American church history.


6:57 AM The so-called terror alert in New York is grossly irresponsible. All it does is allow terrorists to test our security measures while raising oil prices. The only way to bullet proof our country is to design and implement the best border security in the world. As Michael Peroutka notes, terror is not an enemy; it is a tactic of the enemy.

6:55 AM Don't blame our elected officials for failing to address the problems of the warfare/welfare state and making smooth statements while the fires are burning. Blame the sheeple. We, not they, are the true wimps.

6:50 AM Charley Reese on The Bush Bash:

... if you intend to vote for Bush, you should at least read the record and not depend on the Republican propaganda machine. The current Republican Party's almost total reliance on character assassination, guilt by association and outright distortions of the truth remind one of what was going on in the 1930s in Europe.

6:45 AM Moore's Meanderings passes the million dollar mark.

6:43 AM Kerry's solution to the manpower shortfall in Iraq: Send other nations' troops to die instead of Americans.

6:17 AM Kudos for Karl Hofmann's Republican Group Think:


I just read your article on Dave Black's website about Pied Piper Republicans and I had to contact you and commend you for an absolutely outstanding piece. My wife has been struggling with political identity and how it relates to her values and WHY she felt she was always supposed to vote Republican even though she felt it was two-faced and didn't walk the walk. Upon finding Dave Black's site (especially your article) along with the Constitution Party, she finally has clarity and understanding on her desire to vote her conscious and heart and with her faith in full force.

Thank you for such a powerful, logical and wonderful article and for re-educating our fellow Christians on the reality of the GOP and their lip-service to Christians.

Yours in Christ.

Chris A. 

The key issue here is that the people of America are growing more and more distrustful of their own government and, as a consequence, are seeking biblical solutions to political problems. This is much to be desired, and I am thankful for writers like Karl for getting the message out.

6:10 AM From the mailbag:

Dear Brother Dave Black:

Please favor me by accepting my solemn pledge to be
an intercessor for our brothers Michael A. Peroutka and
Chuck Baldwin. All around us we see the "messianic
state" encroaching upon our faith, liberty, and our
property. May the sovereign Messiah of heaven and
earth be pleased to grant our prayers. Thank you.

In union with Christ,

Oscar A. Jimenez, Las Vegas, NV 

Thank you, Oscar. I am happy to add you to the list. As you well know, without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). 

6:07 AM Just received this email from Pastor Matt Trewhella of Missionaries to the Preborn, a mission I strongly endorse. Please join me in praying for their Great Lakes Tour.

Dear Friends of the Preborn,

Just a quick, final note, before we leave for the Tour!  In His providence, the Lord has seen fit to send us to the killing-center in Appleton just as Mark Gabriel is going to jail.  Last spring, I talked to Mark about us coming to the killing-center where Mark ministers for the two mornings that they kill each week for the second week of the Tour.  He thought it was a great idea. Hence, only two stops on the Wednesday and Thursday of the second week (because we'll be at the killing-center each morning).  After making those plans, Mark was sentenced to jail for a bogus charge he received out at the clinic, and was recently ordered to enter jail on the 12th of August.  The authorities and killing-center personnel hate Mark for being out there so faithfully.  Now, just as they're thinking, "Ahh, finally we've gotten rid of him for awhile," we'll show up with about 50 people outside their clinic!!  May the Lord be glorified!

There is a documentary crew that will be traveling with our Tour for the first week.  The film is slated to air in theaters at university campuses across America.  Pray that the Lord would use for good what they film while with us!  May many lives and the course of history be changed!

We have been doing a lot of pre-Tour media from Michigan.  May it be used of the Lord to multiply our efforts!

Please remember to pray for the Tour throughout the next two weeks!  We so desire to see the Lord glorified and lives changed!  We are utterly dependent on Him!!

Separated unto the Gospel,

Pastor Matt Trewhella

6:05 AM All of our goats got their injections and worming medications this weekend, and we purchased our billy (a full-blooded Boer) from a neighbor. The fencing in of our pastures continues, though it remains extremely wet, hot, and humid in southern Virginia. Tropical Storm Alex is 100 miles off the coast of S. Carolina and may be headed our way, so it looks like more heavy rain for the next few days. Our hay pastures are definitely the beneficiaries of such a wet summer!

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