2004 Blog Archives|
take on the
Passion fever among evangelicals:
I am personally grieved at
how droves evangelicals are throwing themselves at The Passion movie. They
are hungry for something aesthetically rich and wholesome and they dive into
the first plate that comes along that might fill the bill. The evangelical
church is driven by experience. The word is not enought. So a movie like The
Passion of the Christ comes along and fills this desire. They are really no
different from Medieval supersticious mystics in this regard. The
Reformation marked the ascendancy of the word as a liberator from the
endless longing for experience.
Evangelicals flocking to The Passion shouldn't be that surprising. These
are, after all, the same people who bought millions of copies of Jabez and
the Armageddon series, and who made Thomas Kinkade a multi-millionaire.
Ignorance and foolishness reigns in the evangelical church today (the rest
of the church (mainline) is even worse off). It is time to weep.
But it gets worse. It seems that many who call themselves reformed are also
tearing loose from their confessional moorings and taking the plunge. We who
in many respects led the way in encouraging the church to be cultural, have
gone overboard and have (seemingly) forgotten that there are scriptural
limits to cultural involvement. Being "involved" or "engaged" or "relevant"
trumps all other factors. The end justifies the means. We are loosing our
distinctiveness -- our biblical flavor. We will never create a Christian
culture at this rate.
Read the threads on the World sites. The lines of "reasoning" and lack of
biblical understanding are tragic.
And so I weep.
a discerning Christian. Before you see Gibson's movie, read these:
Off to First Baptist Norfolk to speak on
Paul's letter to the Romans and his letters to the Corinthians, as well as
several of his Prison Epistles. What great books! We'll have lots of fun
diagramming the opening salutation of Romans (1:1-7) and discussing (among
other topics) the theme of Philippians (no, not joy, but something far more
significant). The slush is awful here in North Carolina, but I understand
that Norfolk didn't even get a dusting. Still, drive carefully, everyone!
I received the following inquiry
You sound like my kind of
man. I used to be a devout Republican until I realized that the party
was chock full of people who voted for everything I despise. Bush has
failed me way too many times. What do you think of Roy Moore? I hear he
might run with the Constitution Party this year.
It is my understanding that Judge Moore has
declined to run for national office and that the party's
candidate for president will be Mr. Michael Peroutka, whose website I've
linked to on my front page. Of course, nothing is settled until the
Constitution Party holds its national convention in June.
Schröder on the horns of a dilemma:
Is the price too high to
mend fences with Bush?
"Are you concerned,
as I am, about deception in the Church and deviation from God's written Word?"
Read Berit Kjos's
review of The Passion.
A good friend of mine has passed away. He
taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago and was well
loved by students and colleagues alike.
Feinberg, in memoriam
1938–February 21, 2004
blogger who has seen the
Mr. Michael Peroutka. A member of the Constitution party who is the kind of
man we need for the President of the United States of America. I will most
likely be casting my vote for Mr. Peroutka come November. Having been
disappointed with President Bush time after time it is good to see a
candidate who has backbone finally running for office. My fear is that he
will lose not so much because of Democrats but because of other people
voting for Bush, not so much because Bush is a good candidate or not but
because they don't want the Democrats to get into the White House. So they
vote for Bush not because of conviction but because they would rather avoid
the Democrats getting elected then to vote for what is right and good in
this world. My point is; Why would you vote for someone who has done a bad
job just to avoid a Democrat getting into office instead of voting according
to conviction and having the candidate lose but knowing that you did what
was right? I've encountered many people who have "The lesser of two evils"
kind of thinking. If people do vote that way (and they will) let us hope
that a Democrat does get into office anyways.
Can the church fulfill
its command to be “salt and light” if its pulpit is silent on how members
should apply biblical truths to cultural issues? Find the answer
The Constitution Party Platform proclaims:
"We, the members of the
Constitution Party, gratefully acknowledge the blessing of the Lord God as
Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of this Nation. We solemnly
declare that the foundation of our political position and moving principle
of our political activity is our full submission and unshakable faith in our
Savior and Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ. We hereby appeal to Him for
mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Divine Providence as
we work to restore and preserve this Nation as a government of the People,
by the People, and for the People."
A supporter of these ideals is Ezola Foster,
whose essay Were
I President of These Great
United States I Would..." deserves a careful reading. An excerpt:
has many "Christians", but few who truly believe Christ is their Savior.
Is His arm too short to remove the enemy from without and within? Is it
not He who sets up and brings down kings?
Forget the "Vote Your Conscience"
slogans of the other parties. Vote the Party that truly believes in our
Savior Jesus Christ and saving our Constitutional Republic - The
If I were President, this is what I
Voting Republican or
Democrat will never allow you to vote for such a leader!
I heard in
chapel today a great quote by Coach Barry Switzer:
"Execute properly, and the scoreboard will take care of itself."
is now a
commodity, thanks to the GOP.
decided not to see The Passion and someone asks
you why, the best answer is also the shortest:
"I've read the book."
lessons from one of the twentieth century's greatest heroes of the faith
and defenders of freedom, Dr. J. Gresham Machen:
Trueman presented a lively analysis of Machen’s call-to-arms, his book
Christianity and Liberalism. Dr Trueman argued that this book has a
message for British Evangelicalism today.
warned that ‘liberalism embodies a whole range of attitudes towards divine
things which can sit quite happily with high-sounding words about biblical
authority’. He insisted: ‘we must continually fight liberalism in our own
souls and within our own churches with all our heart and mind and soul,
for this battle is nothing less than one particular outworking of our love
for God in Christ’.
For Evangelicals the
dangers arise from man-centred church life and sentimentalism. Over
against these dangers he urged the primacy of doctrine; our need to
recover a sight of the transcendence of God; and a proper emphasis on the
glorious work of Christ in salvation.
developed this idea under the categories of the uniqueness of the Saviour,
the centrality of the atonement and the necessity of regeneration.
too many people the exclusive claims of Christ and the consequent
‘narrowness’ of Christianity have become a theological problem. They ought
rather to be the spur to evangelism as in the days of our fathers.
address was searching and challenging, but concluded with a reminder that
‘Machen’s book is gloriously positive. It contains passage after passage
which express the glory of God and his gospel in a wonderful and moving
lays out clearly how far man has fallen and how much God has done for him.
It reminds us again and again that God not man … is the centre and goal of
"Divisions and separations are most objectionable in
religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity ...But before we blame
people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is
deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If
people separate themselves from teaching that is positively false and
unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases
separation is a virtue and not a sin."
Croesus said: In
peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons.
My sympathy and prayers go out to
this precious family,
who lost their son in Iraq.
The Constitution Party and Michael Peroutka
received international coverage at
Aren't sure what the differences are
between the major parties? Here's an easy way for you to compare their
Democratic Party Platform
In addition, several forums are currently
discussing the Constitution Party and its candidate, Mr. Michael Peroutka.
Christian Forums and
Baptist Board. An interesting sampling from the latter:
Constitution Party is a small party and will probably always be a small
party. I expect the two branches of the Demopublican Party to always be the
two major parties as they have been for about the past 150 years.
I have voted for a major party presidential candidate three times and all
three times that candidate won and all three times I have been disappointed
in the way they governed after I voted for them.
I don't care about winning any more. Voting for a "winner" hasn't won me
anything in advancing what I care about politically. Government keeps
getting bigger and I pay more and more in taxes and the national debt keeps
Therefore, I see absolutely no point in voting for a "major" party
O, the wit and wisdom of the net! I call
two witnesses; the first is
Browne and his "defense" of traditional marriage:
If you really think marriage must be
defended, here are some much more practical suggestions. . . .
• Recognize why you married your
spouse and what that person means to you.
• Remember that the next time
you're inclined to criticize or argue with your spouse.
• Take a moment every day to
recognize the blessings of your relationship, and keep those
blessings in mind.
• Tell your
spouse how glad you are to be married, and what it means to you —
and do that often.
• Make sure that your spouse's
needs are being met.
If you do these things, your
marriage will be well defended — and you shouldn't have to worry over who
else is getting married (unless you're simply a busybody).
Ben Cole, a former student
of mine with a great blog, writes about gay marriage:
I was at home this
weekend sitting at breakfast and I decided to conduct a one person poll. I
asked my mom what she thought about the "gay marriage issue."
"It's just awful," she said. "How many gay divorces are there going to be in
By the way, thanks, Ben, for the
link on your site. And best wishes on your forthcoming Ph.D. studies at
Baylor. (And don't you dare forget your Greek in the meantime!)
Photo of the Day from today's
L'Express (with caption):
du Vermont, Howard Dean, téléphone, le 18 février, peu après avoir appris sa
décevante troisième place dans la primaire de l'Etat du Wisconsin, loin
derrière John Kerry et John Edwards. Il était bien parti dans la course à
l'investiture démocrate jusqu'à la mi-janvier, et cet échec l'a conduit à
jeter l'éponge: «Je ne suis plus candidat actif à la présidence […]
L'essentiel est de battre le président George W. Bush en novembre […]», a
annoncé, dépité, Howard Dean.
For you non-francophones, Dean said: "I am
no longer an active candidate for president.... The essential thing is to
defeat President Bush in November." At long last, Mr. Dean and I finally
agree on something.
Another reason why you should consider
homeschooling your children:
Would parents still send
their children to public schools if they knew that these schools, on
purpose, spread the “gay” militants' message and try to win the children
over to it? If they knew, would they not either demand that it stop or
else pull their children out of such a toxic spiritual environment?
A few might not, but most
would. If they only knew.
Letzen Abend hörte ich der Deutschen Welle
zu, direkt aus Deutschland. Es wurde von Irak viel diskutiert.
Besonders wurde betont: Mit Attacken gegen seinen wahrscheinlichen
Herausforderer John Kerry hat Bush seine Kampagne für seine Wiederwahl im
November eingeläutet. Meine Freunde, nie war ich mir so sicher wie jetzt:
das Böse kann nicht gut sein (vielleicht sollte ich mich umbenennen: lesen
die Kids keine politische Literatur mehr?) Genau so scheint es auch in der
“wunderbaren” Welt von Wissenschaft zu sein,
ich schon diskutiert habe.
New Testament and Greek professor spoke out years ago against the
abuses of the federal government - and he was boiled as a result. Did that
he retreat to his ivory tower? Not the likes of a J.
I find there exactly the
same evils that are rampant in the world -- centralized education programs,
the subservience of the church to the state, contempt for the rights of
minorities, standardization of everything, suppression of
intellectual adventure....I see more clearly than ever before that unless
the gospel is true and there is another world, our souls are in prison. The
gospel of Christ is a blessed relief from that sinful state of affairs
commonly known as hundred per-cent Americanism.
A good verse
for the day:
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against
the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the
obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5).
Roberts, a fellow ruralite Virginian, is a regular reader of DBO and had
these thoughts on my essay
So You're Offended by
the Super Bowl Half-Time?
You nailed it when you said
"Turn off the stupid TV and leave it off." I wasn't in the least offended
by Janet Jackson's little display because I didn't even know about it until
sometime Tuesday or Wednesday. I've never watched a super bowl game and
couldn't even tell you what it's supposed to prove.
Chuck Baldwin is right about the addiction of American men to TV sports. It
has always been disgusting to me to hear grown men talking about idiotic
games involving a ball of some kind or about drivers of million dollar cars
going around and around a track. A people whose men can be distracted by
such nonsense may very well be doomed.
Good column, Dave
Did you know
this (link from Buried
A pattern of late marriage
may actually increase the rate of divorce. During that initial
decade of physical adulthood, young people may not be getting married, but
they're still falling in love. They fall in love, and break up, and
undergo terrible pain, but find that with time they get over it. They may
do this many times. Gradually, they get used to it; they learn that they
can give their hearts away, and take them back again; they learn to shield
their hearts from access in the first place. They learn to approach a
relationship with the goal of getting what they want, and keep their bags
packed by the door. By the time they marry they may have had many
opportunities to learn how to walk away from a promise. They've been
training for divorce.
Let's Have More Teen Pregnancy.
Clock is a painful reminder of our government's fiscal irresponsibility.
Check out what your family's share is!
"If ever there should come a wretched day when all our
pulpits be full of modern thought, and the old doctrine of substitutionary
sacrifice shall be exploded, then there will remain no word of comfort for
the guilty or hope for the despairing." C. H. Spurgeon.
As the "revival" season starts back up, I
am reminded what a fellow Southern Baptist has
Modern evangelism's methods
as well as its message must be scrutinized in the light of the Scriptures,
and contemporary church practice must be accordingly reconstructed.
The task will not be
easy, quick, or painless. But it must be attempted. The glory of God and
the integrity of His Kingdom demand it. The lost world has seen enough of
the misguided, albeit sincere, religious huckstering of a truncated gospel
at bargain-basement prices. Our churches have been blighted long enough
with half-converted members who are comfortably deceived in their lostness.
May God never let us lose
our zeal for evangelism. But may He be pleased to awaken us to the fact
that zeal alone is not sufficient -- it must be grounded upon the sure
doctrinal foundation of biblical evangelism. If we long to see the kind of
sound conversions that characterized the ministries of Jonathan Edwards,
George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, and our early Southern Baptist
churches, then we must learn as did they to base our evangelistic message
and methods on biblical doctrine. May those who look back and write our
history be able to say with the inspired historian of the first century,
"And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts
Happy Birthday to one of my
Have you discovered these blogs yet?
The wisdom of C. S. Lewis:
A man may have to die for
our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country.
He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a
nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all
things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.
If you are planning on seeing The Passion,
Big Screen Jesus by Paul Proctor first. As always, Paul has some
significant insights that are being overlooked in the current debate.
7:45 AM My essay on
Peroutka emphasized that Michael's campaign is platform-run rather than
personality-driven, contrary to the two major major parties ("electability"
is their watchword). This reader from Torrance, California, seemed to agree:
Dear Mr. Black,
Thanks for the
article about Michael Peroutka. Because of its principled foundation, the
Constitution Party can be built into a viable and effective political
force, and not a personality-drive flash in the pan.
sent me this thoughtful response to my essay on
Our Corporate Bribery System. It hits the nail on the head.
I'm hearing this issue brought
up more frequently on conservative talk radio, but with the failure to
get to the heart of the issue I believe you alluded.
If government were
constrained by the original intent expressed in the constitution, there
would be less investing in the system with money to influence elections
because the "payback" would not be there. Until this issue of immoral,
unconstitutional power is addressed, it is only natural that free market
principals of influence, power, and control will exert it's influence.
Let's more frequently lay the blame where it truly lies...not just in
the money spent but why is it being spent.
bless all of you, and have a great weekend. Talk to you on Monday, Deo
morning Baptist Press ran a review of Gibson’s The Passion that
compares the movie to the power of the Pieta:
while I viewed a short film on the work of Michelangelo, suddenly, there was
the Pieta of St. Peter’s, a marble figure of the Madonna embracing
crucified Son. It literally took my breath away. Somehow, I understood that I was looking upon a masterpiece. I have
three fortunate friends who have beheld the Pieta while in Rome. Each
confirmed my impression, asserting that it was even more powerful standing
in its presence. Mel Gibson uses the medium of film as Michelangelo did with
stone, chiseling away superficiality and carving out a cinematic
masterpiece. (At film’s end, homage is paid to the Pieta.)
is paid to the Pieta”— is that a commendation? Everyone is entitled to his
opinion, but to me this is yet another reason why I’ll probably forego The
Passion: not only does it promote false
ecumenism; it promotes the worship of images over the Word of
God. In my opinion, the movie is an extended visual crucifix. For, lest we forget, it fails
to portray an element of the gospel that is absolutely essential,
namely the resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-4):
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel
which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to
you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first
importance what I also received, that
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and that He was buried, and that He
was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
this message of the death and resurrection of Christ, preached and
believed, that had the effect of bringing saving faith to the members of the
church in Corinth. Moreover, Paul says it is this message, and this message
alone, that is “of first importance,” meaning that it must not be watered
down or compromised. So, whatever else The Passion may be, by leaving out
the resurrection it most certainly is not the gospel.
I also wondered to myself
as I read the reviewer’s comments about the Pieta: Have Protestant
evangelicals forgotten what the Reformation was all about? Martin Luther,
who was an expert in the scholastic theology of his day, made the study of
the Bible, and especially Paul’s epistles, the focus of his life. Luther
found that his teachings diverged widely from the traditional beliefs of the
Roman church. His studies led him to conclude that Christ was the sole
mediator between God and man, and that forgiveness of sin and salvation
are effected by God’s grace alone and are received by faith alone.
This conviction forced Luther to reject scholastic theology,
which emphasized man’s role in his own salvation, and to reject many church
practices that emphasized justification by good works (including
indulgences and paying homage to images such as the Madonna). It was
precisely this theological conviction that led to the dramatic
events of the Reformation.
what Paul says about Christ’s death in Galatians 3:1:
“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus
Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” When Paul preached to
the Galatians he had “publicly portrayed” or “placarded” (Grk. prographo)
Jesus Christ before them in such a way that they could easily comprehend His
death. Did this involve visual imagery? None whatsoever. What he preached,
they accepted. It was not an ephemeral, transient message, meant only for
the senses. It had penetrated into them, and they had believed. I ask: Where
is the emphasis here on Christ’s physical suffering, the blood and the pain?
Paul’s emphasis is upon Jesus as the source of salvation, full and free, in
contrast to the Judaizing message of his opponents.
Galatians to yield to the latter’s message of good works would be to
supplant the finished work of Christ. Such yielding would indicate how
foolish they were, says Paul, for Christ had been proclaimed to them
clearly. William Hendriksen, formerly Professor of New Testament at Calvin
Theological Seminary, has rightly noted: “When Paul says ‘before whose eyes
Jesus was openly displayed as crucified,’ he is thinking not so much of the
historical details of the crucifixion as of the supreme value of Christ
Crucified for a world lost in sin, and of the implication that obedience to
law contributes nothing to this salvation” (Exposition of Galatians,
find it disturbing that basic New Testament truths about Christ’s death and
resurrection are largely being ignored in the current debate over The
Passion. It also concerns me that the review cited above appeared on the
Baptist Press website, apparently with its endorsement. Reading it I felt
like Paul upon entering Athens. Luke says that “his
spirit was provoked within him as he beheld the city full of idols”
(Acts 17:16). When I first visited Athens and saw the workmanship of the
architects and sculptors, I saw them simply as admirable works of art. But
to Paul they were temples and images of pagan deities.
Whatever else Paul may
have thought of the magnificent art of Athens, the spectacle of a city
dedicated to the worship of images stirred in him the conviction that these
people needed the truth of the gospel. The same thing might well be said of
those who, having seen The Passion, “pay homage to the Pieta.”
11:45 AM I am looking
forward to attending the
2004 announcement party in the great state of Maryland tomorrow and
meeting people I have admired for years but have never met, including Mark
Dankof, who attended high school in my home state of Hawaii, Bob Wells and
Debbie Hopper of the
Coalition to Restore the Constitution, and, of course, the candidates
and their families. I go with high expectations and this thought in mind:
"Except the Lord build the
house we labor in vain who build it."
1:45 PM The greater Raleigh
area has needed this for a long time, and now it has one. I'm referring to
the Institute on the Constitution - you remember, that scrap of paper they
mentioned in passing in the eight grade. Here is the latest from its
organizer, Mr. Gerry
We will begin the US Constitution
Course on March 1, 2004, Monday, at 6:30PM at Mt. Olivet Baptist
Church, 3500 Edwards Mill Road, northwest Raleigh 27612, tel
#787-1910, Pastor Tom Vestal. This church is located between
Duraleigh Road on the southwest and Glen Eden Drive on the northeast.
Pass the word! And heartiest thanks to Tom
Vestal and Mt. Olivet Baptist Church for being hosts!
8:30 AM Good morning,
America. These are exciting days to be alive. Please take a moment and read
this email alert from Pastor Mark
Dankof on the upcoming election:
The great Lincoln scholar, Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo (The
Real Lincoln) of Loyola College in
Baltimore, recently made a credible case on Lew Rockwell.com for
sitting out the 2004 election as a deliberately stated act of patriotism.
If you are one who takes the Constitution of the United States seriously and
is sick of big government and undeclared foreign wars, he may well be right.
But I would also urge you to consider another option as well--prayerful
examination of the Presidential candidacy of Michael Peroutka, who will
announce his entrance into the ring for the nomination of the Constitution
Party this weekend in Baltimore. The Constitution Party is the leading 3rd
party in America in voter registrations. Mr. Peroutka's campaign web site is
available for your perusal at
What are your other voting options in
the first Tuesday of November this fall? One will be a liberal
Democrat, quite clearly the reincarnation of another Dukakis candidacy. The
other will be Rockefeller Republican George W. Bush, who has given us 1) a
Congressionally undeclared and preemptive foreign war in Iraq on the basis
of fraudulent claims and evidence; 2) a never-ending and disastrous
occupation of that country which continues to siphon billions of tax dollars
and American lives with no end in sight; 3) a Leviathan federal budget of
2.3 trillion dollars with 500 billion dollar+ deficits; 4) a catastrophic
immigration policy which has given blanket amnesty to an additional 12
million illegal aliens in the United States; 5) a continuation of
America-Last trade policies as outlined in NAFTA and GATT, designed to
destroy the manufacturing base and sector of the American economy; and 6)
ongoing capitulations in the Culture War to the anti-Christian,
pro-abortion, and homosexual lobbies active within his own Party.
If you like these policies, Mr. Bush and/or his Democratic opponent are just
for you. I accept this. But if you share my own anxiety about the future of
America and the direction either King George or John Kerry of the
People's Republic of Massachusetts will set in the four years that
follow this November's election, please prayerfully consider Michael
Peroutka as worthy of your vote as the next President of the United States.
And tell as many of your friends and family members as you can of
this important option I commend to you. There is indeed a viable
alternative available. And let's Reclaim our Republic.
May God bless you,
Pastor Mark Dankof
Mark Dankof's America
8:30 AM Mega-kudos to Pat
Buchanan for putting into words what many of us feel so strongly about:
The neocons are not wrong
here. With the cost of war at $200 billion and rising, with deaths
mounting, and with the possibility growing that Iraq could collapse in
chaos and civil war, President Bush appears to be experiencing buyer’s
remorse about the lemon he was sold by Perle and friends.
They promised him a
“cakewalk,” that we would be hailed as “liberators,” that democracy would
take root in Iraq and flourish in the Middle East, that Palestinians and
Israelis would break bread and make peace. With Lord Melbourne, Bush must
be muttering, “What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what
all the damn fools said would happen has come to pass.”
No End to War, which
my own thinking perfectly.
8:10 AM If you'll allow me
to triviate for a moment, the
Clinton Presidential Foundation
reports that Bill Clinton, who
governed during the dotcom boom, sent just two emails during his time in
office. Of the two Clinton emails, one was a test message, and the other was
to astronaut John Glenn aboard a space shuttle. Just wondering: did he get
the same spam I receive?
7:45 AM Much praise for
Michael Peroutka's courage to enter the presidential race on the CP ticket.
If you haven't seen his
of candidacy, you are in for a treat. A sampling:
I believe that the people
of the United States of America deserve a candidate who is committed to an
American view of law and government. Actually, the people of America have
an affirmative duty to vote for only such a candidate who is capable of
taking an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the
United States. As of November 3, 2003, one year prior to the
presidential election, I am the only candidate who is publicly pledged to do
Based on their
campaign statements, not one of the democratic candidates will honor the
Constitution. Almost every position they have taken is antithetical to a
constitutional republic. Our current president also has a dismal record of
constitutional leadership. From his use of military in Iraq and other
countries without the benefit of a declaration of war, to his appointment of
homosexuals to high government posts, to his huge deficit spending on
unconstitutional social programs, to his dangerous and illegal support for
the many programs of the new world order as propounded by the United
Nations, to his support for the unconstitutional educational initiatives of
his predecessor, he has demonstrated his contempt for the Constitution of
the United States and for an American form of government in America.
No, this is not an endorsement, but Mr.
Peroutka sounds a lot like the candidate I described in my essay
President. He deserves our serious consideration and, most of all, our
Gary North does a good job of dissecting copyright laws in an age of global
technocracy. If copyright laws were never established to protect
authors (and they weren't), the internet age is about to change all that. If
you are an author (present or prospective), you must read -and digest -
7:10 AM I enjoy reading
Alan Keyes because he manages to be informative and provocative even when I
think he's wrong. His article on conservatism is a good example:
And yes, I'm
a Republican, too. But I'll tell you one thing: just as I will not sacrifice
my faith to a partisan label, nor shall I sacrifice my political creed to
the arguments that are subservient to the single-minded pursuit of partisan
You can read the entire essay
At least he was one of the few conservatives I know who had the courage to
call REPUBLICAN Attorney General Bill Pryor to task for being a turn-coat in
the Roy Moore case.
7:00 AM A reader pondered
the identity of the "Three Seminary Professors Who Loved the South and
Defended the Constitution" and came up with this response:
Today, March 2, our
monthly SCV meeting welcomes Dr. David Alan Black, who has the privilege
of speaking on "Three Seminary Professors Who Loved the South and
Defended the Constitution." These three great giants of the Christian
Robert Lewis Dabney
(1820-1898); was a theology professor at Union Seminary,
Virginia, for forty years!!! (I am sure he was “burned-out”). He was
offered the chair of Church History at Princeton in 1860, but was so
devoted to the Southern cause, that he declined this
invitation. Biographers said, “When the Civil War commenced in the
following year he believed in the justice of the cause to which the
Confederate States of the South were committed.”
James Henley Thornwell
(1812-1862); served as pastor, and
twice as professor in the College of South Carolina.
Gildersleeve (1831-1924); who graduated from Princeton, has
been called “the most brilliant, richly furnished and powerful master in
Greek studies this country has produced” (by Dean West).
Ladies and gentlemen, let us
now take our seats and welcome our “fourth Seminary Professor” who loves
the South and defends the Constitution, Dr. David Alan Black.
One of out
three (Dabney) is a good start, my friend. Please try again!
5:30 PM Yet
evangelical becomes a Bush cheerleader. And for what reason? To avoid a
repeat of the Super Bowl peep show....
The son of evangelist Billy Graham told thousands attending the N-R-B
convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, that if Bush is defeated there
won't be anyone to stop the media from broadcasting pornography. He
said the kind of entertainment shown during the Super Bowl halftime show
will be just the "tip of the iceberg."
Franklin Graham added that most of the media will "spin" stories against
President Bush and for his Democratic rival, so it's up to religious
broadcasters to "back God-fearing candidates" who'll stand against what he
calls the "moral corruption that is coming like a flood against this
Guess Franklin has never read
Chuck Baldwin or
Buchanan or David
Brownlow, et al., none of whom place any hope whatsoever in a Bush
presidency stopping anything, let alone TV smut. As
for media "spin," I simply ask you to check out Chuck Baldwin's
and then ask yourself the question, Who's doing the spinning here? And
before you send me hate mail, I have been an outspoken defender of Graham's
sending food stuffs - and missionaries - to Iraq when most of the media was
pounding him. I just think he's completely over-idealistic about the
president. But I doth protest too much: The Bush record speaks for itself if
anyone cares to read it.
4:00 PM Here's one I heard
the other day. How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?
Answer: Four. Calling his tail a leg doesn't make it one. Writing for Slate,
Fred Kaplan ably dissects the president's now infamous interview with Tim
Russert and asks, What in the world was he talking about?
If no commentators have
noted, or perhaps even noticed, this new spin on American military policy,
it may be because they don't take Bush's unscripted remarks seriously. (It's
just Bush, talking off the top of his head. No sense parsing the
implications.) That in itself is quite a commentary on this
president. But it's not clear that these particular remarks were
unscripted. Bush used the same phrase—"a capacity to make a weapon"—three
times; it was almost certainly a part of his brief. Either the statement
means something—that we now reserve the right to wage pre-emptive war on a
hostile power that has the mere capacity to make weapons of mass
destruction—or it's empty blather. It's unclear which would be more
here. Folks, I really hate to say I
told you so, but
3:00 PM Just a program
note. For those of you who live near Roxboro, NC, I have the privilege of
speaking at the monthly SCV meeting there on March 2 at 6:30. I'm preparing
a talk on "Three Seminary Professors Who Loved the South and Defended the
Constitution." Sadly, many Southrons have never heard of these great men. If
you can name these three giants of the Christian faith (two of whom lived in
the mid-to-late-1800s, while the other lived in the early 1900s), let me
know. A free copy of
The Myth of Adolescence to the first person to name all three correctly.
2:30 PM Book sales dragging
a bit? Need an ego boost? Don't forget those anonymous reviews over at
Amazon.com. Turns out
some of them are not as anonymous as we thought. (So a publisher's dust
jacket blurbs aren't the only unreliable sources of information about a book
2:15 PM Ian Mather risks
the opprobrium of Rumsfeld & Co. with
on the coming civil war in Iraq:
Sources say the ayatollah has not ruled out issuing a fatwa, or religious
ruling, against the American plan if necessary, which could result in
Shi’ites refusing to work with any new government.
Some see the spiral of decline as leading to civil war. In the 10 months
since the overthrow of Saddam, rivalry and resentment among Iraq’s rival
ethnic groups have escalated. The violence has already claimed hundreds, if
not thousands of lives.
The minority Sunnis, already bristling at the loss of their privileges,
cannot stomach becoming subordinate to the Shi’ites and the Kurds, whom they
have long dominated.
"The potential for a civil war is already in place," Gareth Stansfield of
the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at England’s University of Exeter,
said. "It does not need al-Qaeda to encourage it. It flies in the face of
Iraq’s history of the past 80 years to imagine that the Sunnis will accept
Shi’ite domination or allow them to rule."
2:10 PM My, how
2:00 PM It's
baaaack. Snow, sleet, and (worst of all) freezing rain. Although I was sick
over the weekend with a nasty cold I am better and will be teaching my
classes today and tomorrow. But remember: If the roads are too dangerous to
travel, you are always excused from class. Just contact me for the
assignments and we'll see that you get back on track. Coming to class or
not, please be careful out there!
1:45 PM I've got to
hand it to Lee Shelton; his
always has the most up-to-date essays and links on the Constitution to be
found most anywhere on the internet. If you had any doubt before that
Americans need to be "ever vigilant," doubt no more. Thanks, Lee, and keep
up the good work.
1:30 PM Just when I
was beginning to think that the American people had forgotten just how
unconstitutional our two-party monopoly is comes
this great essay
by Chuck Baldwin:
It is high time that rank
and file Christian people started thinking for themselves and stopped
being led around by the nose by the "rich and famous." It is time they
started judging righteous judgment and stopped being a patsy for
star-studded charlatans. It is time they started listening to truth and
stopped being spoon-fed by religious and political propagandists.
It is not too late to turn
America right side up, but it will never happen until some common people
start using some common sense and some old fashioned courage to do what is
right. And if they can read a Bible, they already know what is right and
what the true blessings of God really are. They also know to turn away
from those who say that "gain is godliness."
Chuck is right: Our task today is no different
from what it has been throughout history. It is to be the church in
obedience to Jesus Christ, and by being the church we will enable the state
to be the state. This is the most loyal service the church can render the
state—to protect the government from itself, and to strive to ensure that
civil authority fulfills its office as instituted by God. But the price for
this service can be high. Quite honestly, I don't think most Americans are
willing to take the risk, yet....
8:30 AM What a sad
commentary on our church culture when an 18 year old
finally feels like
an adult in church:
I remember when I first
started attending my current church how awestruck I was that I was actually
being treated like a real adult, despite the fact that I was eighteen years
old. I was amazed that they weren't trying to shove me in with the teens,
despite the fact I was what many people consider to be that middle age
between being a teenager and an adult. I've been treated as an equal by the
rest of the adults the whole way along, and that's something I've really
come to appreciate, and as I've noticed, the teens aren't treated like
they're something completely separate from the rest of the church, so it's
easier to get to know them better and be a part of their lives.
Of course, if we were to be biblical about
it, this young lady would have been given adult responsibilities at a much
earlier age. It is an established fact that we are losing our teenagers in
the 11th and 12th grades because they can't make the transition from the
fun-and-games-and-bells-and-whistles of their youth group culture to real
church, which involves giving, sacrifice, the exercise of one's spiritual
gifts, etc. By the way, there is no "teenage Holy Spirit" and "adult Holy
Spirit." There is THE Holy Spirit, and if 13 year olds are born again, they
ought to be exercising their gifts for the mutual edification of the body,
not being sidelined and
centrifuged while mommy and daddy are doing "church stuff."
Interestingly, most youth pastors I know seem unaware that there are
biblical guidelines for "youth" in the Scriptures.
8:00 AM Paul
vain repetitions. One of the best critiques of modern worship
music I have read.
1:15 PM My esteemed
colleague at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Dr. Tom Schreiner,
has written a marvelous book on Pauline Theology. To read the latest review
in the Review of Biblical Literature, go
9:55 AM Here we go
didn't realize that the "45 minute" claim in his September 2002 dossier did
not refer to WMD but only to Iraqi conventional weapons. Hmmm, was he lying
or merely being incompetent?
9:45 AM Oswald
Chambers on ignoring God:
We don’t consciously and
deliberately disobey God — we simply don’t listen to Him. God has given His
commands to us, but we pay no attention to them — not because of willful
disobedience, but because we do not truly love and respect Him. "If you love
Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Once we realize we have constantly
been showing disrespect to God, we will be filled with shame and humiliation
for ignoring Him.
9:30 AM Please read
1 Corinthians 14:26 then ask yourself,
Why does my
The reason that the church meets is for the
edification of each believer. I know this statement flies in the face of
almost all we have been taught. We are told that the church meets to
worship God. While the idea of meeting primarily to worship sounds
scriptural and pious, the truth is Christians do not meet primarily to
have a "worship service." This is not to say that worship doesn't happen
when Christians meet. It does and it should. Worship should occur at all
times, in all places, and in all things, whether Sunday morning in a
church building or Thrusday afternoon at the dinner table. A Christian's
whole life is an act of worship (Rom. 12:1-2)! So, yes, when Christians
meet on Sunday mornings or at any other time/place, they are in a
sense worshiping God. But it is no more accepted by God than the worship
we should be living and offering the rest of the week. We must therefore
understand that the primary objective in Christian meetings is not to have
a "worship service" since worship is a way of life.
The primary reason Christians meet is to
edify one another. The reason that God gave us the gifts of the Spirit is
so we might edify one another (Eph. 4:12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). The term
edify is from the Greek oikodome. This word is an
architectural term. It means "to build, confirm, or strengthen." It is
used in reference to the church's position as God's building (1 Cor. 3:9;
Eph. 2:21). Elsewhere it is used to describe the ministry of believers to
one another (Rom. 14:9,15:2; 1 Thess. 5:11). The purpose of this
edification, this building up and strengthening, is to spur each other
onto maturity in Christ (Heb. 24-25) that we might worship him in every
area of our lives.
Various essays on Kant (on this,
his Todestag) may be found here:
200. Todestag des Philosophen
Immanuel Kant. The general topic is: What is Enlightenment?
If we desire a thoroughly biblical church we
must get to the heart of the matter: are the apostolic traditions in the New
Testament binding on Jesus' followers or not? I seem to struggle with this
issue every day, trying to make the point that we as a church are engaged
more in man-made traditions than in New Testament Christianity. Just as our
nation shouldn't have an empire-building philosophy, so our churches
shouldn't have a "growth-at-any-price" mentality. The seeker-sensitive
philosophy is not new. It's etched in our history. Yet the teaching of
Scripture is clear:
apostles, under the Lord's own guidance through the Holy Spirit, set up
churches to operate and function in a particular and definite
way, and in later chapters we will demonstrate just what that way was, but
of course the point to underline at this juncture is simply that a church is
either based on such apostolic practice, or tradition, or on
something else. And if a church is based on something else, then it equates
to but one thing - the traditions of mere men! And if that is the case, then
such churches simply cannot be said to be biblical churches. They can be
said to be unbiblical churches (we are not saying they are not churches),
but they cannot be said to be biblically based in any way at all. Indeed,
the precious and wonderful believers in such churches may well be
doctrinally sound and orthodox in so far as their other beliefs and
scriptural understanding is concerned, and they may well also be living
faithful lives in so as far as personal holiness goes, but when it comes to
what church is all about then they completely fail the test of being
biblical, of being how Jesus always intended they should be.
believe there can and will be a reversal. I am optimistic that this will
happen. If you are interested in learning more about this issue, you can
read the entire article I quoted above
C. H. Spurgeon:
"Brethren, if you are not theologians you are in your pastorates nothing at
7:55 AM A
on the war on terrorism.
7:45 AM It's getting
weirder and weirder, the debate over the Passion
that is. Reports say NASCAR is jumping into the fray (pro-Mel),
yet another Cardinal speaks out (again,
MSNBC says that Gibson
believes his Protestant wife is going to hell. One thing seems sure: the
movie will be a commercial success, at least if
Interstate Batteries has its way.
Mr. Charles Porter cc-ed me his response to
Bill Sizemore's complaint about media
Among other things, Mr. Sizemore had this to say:
No, I believe we really do
have no choice, but to stick with Bush. The President has probably been
getting much of his counsel regarding policy from Senior Advisor Karl Rove
and others whose primary agenda is not so much moving a conservative
agenda as getting Bush elected to a second term. That should change. In a
second term, Bush probably will be bolder and more conservative than he
has been thus far.
No choice? Who's he kidding? Mr. Porter
(Nota bene: a "Former Republican Voter") wrote a response that deserves a
careful reading (maybe even a re-read or two):
I enjoyed reading
your article on "Bush Bashing", but sir I voted for a conservative in
2000. If I had wanted more liberal big government programs I would have
voted for Al Gore. Bush is not a conservative, anymore than his father
was. The American people in their haste to rid themselves of anything
that was associated with Bill Clinton did not take a good look at Bush in
2000. If that had, they would have seen that he caved into the liberals
as governor of Texas and alienated conservatives in the statehouse. I
have voted GOP my entire life, but that was back when GOP meant smaller
government and staying out of my life. He is also pro-abortion and that
alone disqualifies him to get my vote. Bush should run as a liberal
democrat, because that's all he has became. When liberal John Kerry is
sworn in as president in2004, the only person Bush will have to blame is
himself. GW Bush and the neocons have destroyed the conservative wing of
MSgt, Ret, USAF
Vietnam Veterans of America
- Disabled American
- Sons of
Former Republican Voter
David Hackworth, a highly decorated war
Maj. Scott Ritter was right all along about WMD:
What a shame that the
president and his platoon of let’s-get-Saddam neocons, Congress and
the CIA’s Tenet didn’t listen to the man-in-the-know
when he cautioned: “U.S. and Iraqi casualties will be significant. ... We
can’t go to war based on ignorance.”
But go to war we did.
And now we’ve filled more than 530 body bags, medevaced thousands of
soldiers, caused thousands more to be psychologically scarred, created
tens of thousands of Iraqi casualties and stuck ourselves dead center in
an ever-deepening tar pit.
All the more
reason to pray for the safety and quick return of our sons and daughters
from the war zone.
I've tried to keep this blog a John Edwards
free zone, but the good senator's
latest attempt to fool all of the people all of the time has me, well,
enlightened. The problem is that PC purveyors like Sen. Edwards
try to have it both ways—indeed, they try to have it every way. When it
comes to their political interests, they assert their
to know what is correct and what is not. And the latest craze is for
Southern politicians to distance themselves from "red-necks" as quickly as
possible. The reality is that
while Edwards claims to be a moderate and a good ol' Southern boy, that
claim is contradicted by a four-year voting record that consistently puts
ultra-liberal special interests ahead of the people he represents.
His voting record
matches that of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
From 1999-2002 he voted
with Ted Kennedy 90% of the time.
In 2001 Edwards received
a 0% rating from the Small Business Survival Committee for his voting
In June of 2000 he voted
against tabling an amendment that would have repealed the ban on privately
funded abortions at overseas military facilities.
More than 4 out of every
5 dollars raised by Edwards for his hard money PAC, New American
Optimists, have come from personal injury trial lawyers.
The liberal activist
group Human Rights Campaign, which ranks members of Congress with a score
representing the strength of their support for the radical gay agenda,
gave Edwards a perfect 100% rating for the first session of the current
The truth is that John Edwards is no Southern
moderate. In fact, he's no Southerner at all. He is a Northeastern liberal
with a capital "L."
Is Bush a heretic?
Friedrich thinks so. (Caution: Put your asbestos suit on before reading
Since most Baptists won't touch this stuff
with a ten foot pole, allow me. The willow-creeking of our churches will go
on indefinitely as long as Christian leaders refuse to face it squarely -
and theologically. This stuff is hardly AOK, and Paul Proctor isn't loath to
say so here.
A tip of the kepi, brother Paul!
Words to live by from A. W. Tozer
(especially applicable to those of us who preach "revivals"):
In my creature
impatience I am often caused to wish that there were some way to bring
modern Christians in a deeper spiritual life painlessly by short, easy
lessons; but such wishes are vain. No shortcut exists. God has not bowed to
our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. It is well
that we accept the hard truth now: The man who would know God must give time
to Him. He must count no time wasted
is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance. He must give himself to
prayer and meditation.
The eternal God must
be more than a text in a book, an idea in our head. The true Christian will
crave to know God with vital awareness that goes beyond words and to live in
the intimacy of personal communion. While the Bible is absolutely essential
as the revelation of our God, we must plumb the depths and reach to the
heavens for the "life" of those words. For many in the church, God may
simply be entombed in a book. No, we must see with our own eyes, and hear
with our own ears, and our own hands must handle the Word of Life.
Chuck Baldwin gives
why you should not vote for Bush this election. His
As a Christian conservative,
I most definitely believe it is right to defend one's life, home, and
country with lethal force, if necessary. However, it is not right to
disregard the Constitution or to preemptively attack nations that pose no imminent
threat to us. It is not right for Congress to acquiesce their
responsibility to wage war on behalf of the American people. It is not
right that our president should seize king-like powers and send Americans
to fight and die for personal purposes. And it is not right for our
president, be he Republican or Democrat, to mislead the American people
regarding so serious a matter as war.
Again, time has vindicated
my original position. President Bush's decision to preemptively attack
Iraq was unjust, unconstitutional, and wrong. It is time for all
conservatives to face it.
Dr. David Allen, Professor of Preaching at
the Criswell College in Dallas, did a marvelous job last week in our
chapel. For a report on his two part series, go
here. I especially
enjoyed his unabashed emphasis on doing sermon preparation from the original
languages of Scripture if at all possible. As he said,
it's time to recover the TEXT-driven sermon in our churches. Brother
Dave, many thanks for this salutary reminder and for taking time out of your
very busy schedule to be with us!
Intermediate Greek students: Here's a
list of the major
textual variants in 1 Timothy. It's interesting to me how often "Jesus"
and "Christ" are transposed in the manuscripts. We might think this
insignificant, but apparently the early scribes didn't think so. Also, if
you haven't seen this essay on the
it's a good read.
Candidates Who Uphold
Just how far the nation has
strayed from the Founder's vision is reflected in the campaign speeches of
every candidate. The promise from all the candidates, is more government and
less freedom. It will likely remain so, unless a new generation of
candidates can be cultivated, starting in every city, county, and state.
Children begin to go wrong at the age of
12, according to
this report. Interesting, isn't it, that our society has bought into a
myth and thereby created a monster we no longer
to control. That myth is adolescence - or adolescentism, as it is a social
theory and most certainly not a fact. Of course, we are ALL born in sin, and
the only real solution to our sin natures is a miracle called the new birth:
being born into God's family and receiving a new nature "created in Christ
Jesus for GOOD works." Meanwhile, wouldn't it be wise for our families and
churches to come to grips, once and for all, with the myth of adolescence?
passage my Greek students will be translating for Thursday's class is 1
Timothy 1:12-17. This is a remarkable text. I've been comparing several
different foreign language translations, including the French:
rends grâces à celui qui m'a fortifié, à Jésus Christ notre Seigneur, de ce
qu'il m'a jugé fidèle,
13 en m'établissant dans le ministère, moi qui étais auparavant
un blasphémateur, un persécuteur, un homme violent. Mais j'ai obtenu
miséricorde, parce que j'agissais par ignorance, dans l'incrédulité;
14 et la grâce de notre Seigneur a surabondé, avec la foi et la
charité qui est en Jésus Christ.
15 C'est une parole certaine et entièrement digne d'être reçue,
que Jésus Christ est venu dans le monde pour sauver les pécheurs, dont je
suis le premier.
16 Mais j'ai obtenu miséricorde, afin que Jésus Christ fît voir
en moi le premier toute sa longanimité, pour que je servisse d'exemple à
ceux qui croiraient en lui pour la vie éternelle.
17 Au roi des siècles, immortel, invisible, seul Dieu, soient
honneur et gloire, aux siècles des siècles! Amen!
The German is just as interesting:
danke Christus Jesus, unserem Herrn, der mir Kraft verliehen, daß er mich
treu erachtet und in den Dienst gestellt hat,
13 der ich zuvor ein Lästerer und Verfolger und Gewalttäter
war; aber mir ist Barmherzigkeit zuteil geworden, weil ich es unwissend im
Unglauben getan hatte;
14 überströmend aber war die Gnade unseres Herrn mit Glauben
und Liebe, die in Christus Jesus [sind].
15 Das Wort ist gewiß und aller Annahme wert, daß Christus
Jesus in die Welt gekommen ist, Sünder zu erretten, von welchen ich der
16 Aber darum ist mir Barmherzigkeit zuteil geworden, damit
Jesus Christus an mir als dem ersten die ganze Langmut beweise, zum Vorbild
für die, welche an ihn glauben werden zum ewigen Leben.
17 Dem König der Zeitalter aber, dem unverweslichen,
unsichtbaren, alleinigen Gott, sei Ehre und Herrlichkeit in alle Ewigkeit!
Many of my
friends tell me that Paul is employing hyperbole here. I doubt it. When he
says in verse 16, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me,
the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as
an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life,” he
meant it. He could say, "Ich bin der erste!" and not be lying. People could
look at Paul’s life and see his sin and then see God’s grace and be
challenged to believe that God really can and does forgive ALL sin - even
great sin. So this morning
I exclaim with the apostle: Au roi des siècles, immortel, invisible, seul
Dieu, soient honneur et gloire, aux siècles des siècles! Amen!
predicting a Bush/Kerry "duel" in November, the main issue being foreign
Bush/Kerry pour la Maison Blanche paraît de plus en plus probable à neuf
mois du scrutin présidentiel alors que le président sortant est contraint de
se justifier sur la guerre en Irak.
I appreciate what Jim Elliff has to say
about the theological dimensions of revival:
In our day, we think
of revival in terms of the Christian life. Questions such as how one can
live effectively and handle stress and cope with family problems, loom large
in our thinking. We must address these. But historically revival was more
centered on the foundational doctrines of salvation. It really was gospel
work, in that larger and more doctrinal sense. And at the heart of it all
was the repeated call to regeneration. The doctrine was tuned to the sin of
the day in this way. Since regeneration, or the giving of life to dead
souls, is knowable in the true Christian's life ("by their fruits you shall
know them"), a professed believer can be challenged to examine himself to
see the evidence of it. This kind of preaching made regeneration a searching
doctrine. Many souls were brought under conviction by the preaching of this
truth. I am convinced through this further evidence that we must preach
regeneration again today. No doctrine fits our day quite like it.
To read Jim's essay, go
When I spoke for a week in Kerala, India,
to a group of national pastors, I was heartened to see how committed they
were to biblical discipleship. But do they really need
Here are two very different views on the
marriage amendment: Your typical "government can solve our problems"
another, saner view
in my opinion. An excerpt from the latter:
The problem is not with the
Constitution. Hello, the problem is those who put their hands on the Bible
and swore to uphold the Constitution. They either have not read it, or
just refuse to go by it. We have 400 years of case law that states that
marriage is between a man and a woman. The judges, until just a few years
ago, have always used the Bible as a reference to what was right. The case
law in most states uses the scriptures to define sodomy and it is still
against the law in this state. In 1971 Baker v. Nelson, Minnesota state
Supreme court judge said: "The institution of marriage as a union of man
and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children
within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis." Dictionary definitions
of terms were also used by judges as in 1973 Jones v. Hallan. And the
dictionary definition of marriage is between two persons of the
opposite sex. In 1975 Adams v. Howerton, the court ruled that the "spouse"
means someone not of the same sex, because the dictionary said so. Of
course Noah Webster defined all the terms in the first dictionary from the
Bible not from his feelings. There have been many lawsuits since the
1970's to allow sodomites to marry and all the judges used case law,
Bible, and the dictionary to make their decisions.
Once again, folks, we come back to whether we prefer
the old Constitution to the new, "secret," one.
The latest from my favorite cartoonist:
Of course, government theft is perfectly
Ok, so I'm not
a highly paid professional speaker. But the president is. At least he's
highly paid. Don't We the People have the right to expect something better
surfing link just sent to me, with this incredible photo. Yikes!
Mr. Charles Porter sends me these thoughts:
A basketball in my hands is worth about
$19. A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about$33 million. It
depends whose hands it's in.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6. A
baseball in Mark McGwire's hands is worth $19 million. It depends whose
hands it's in.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands. A
tennis racket in Venue Williams' hands produces a championship. It depends
whose hands it's in.
A rod in my hands will keep away a wild
animal. A rod in Moses' hands parted a mighty sea. It depends whose hands
A sling shot in my hands is a kid's toy. A
sling shot in David's hand was a mighty weapon. It depends whose hands
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands
is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God's
hands will feed thousands. It depends whose hands it's in.
Nails in my hands might produce a
birdhouse. Nails in Jesus Christ's hands produced salvation for the entire
world. It depends whose hands it's in.
As you see now it depends [on] whose hands
it's in. So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your
dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands because...
It depends whose hands it's in.
This message is now in your hands. What
will YOU do with it.
Lee Shelton of
Ever Vigilant emailed me about my
essay So You're Offended
by the Super Bowl Half-Time?:
Great article! I
couldn't agree more. I once heard Michael Medved say he thought the
television was perhaps one of the worst inventions in history. I think he
may be right. Keep up the good work.
P.S.: Can't wait for
Thanks, Lee. I couldn't agree more about TV.
As we discussed in our adult Sunday School class yesterday, the idiot box is
the equivalent of hard liquor or drugs for many in our churches. It's even
more addictive, perhaps.
For Mr. Shelton's own take on Janet Jackson,
please visit his
That's not fair! A reader sent me
this link that has me feeling hopelessly nostalgic for my surfing days
in Hawaii (see especially clip 3). The same reader asks:
I suspect you re-enact the
role of General Lee. If not, you should, as your picture bears a
remarkable resemblance to General Lee's, as no doubt, so does your
character. Any relation?
Well, some people do call me "the General"
here on campus. On the other hand, I've also been called Moses, Santa Claus,
and Abraham Lincoln. Oh well....
Have you ever wondered why preachers no
longer cite the Great Commission from Mark's Gospel? When I was a child I
memorized Mark 16:15 along with Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8. Those days
are long gone. If you are one who believes that the last 12 verses of Mark
because they are lacking in "the earliest and best" manuscripts of the Greek
New Testament, then you need to read
this essay by Jim Snapp.
I had seen this fine essay before but was reminded about it this morning in
an email I received from Jim. Good job, brother!
Concerning the language and style of Mark
16:9-20, Dr. Bruce Terry has published his findings online. See his
The Style Of
The Long Ending Of Mark. The bottom line? Don't forget Jesus'
And he said unto them, Go
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Greetings in the name of our wonderful Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. We had a delightful weekend in Virginia doing some
final preparation for the dedication service of our new house and working on
the goat fencing. On Sunday afternoon my son and I visited our neighbors and
shut-ins. Those in the nursing homes enjoy having the old hymns of the faith
sung to them. Our vast homes are nothing but edifices of wood, hay, and
stubble that will go up in smoke one day, but how blessed I am to have a
family who is more interested in gold, silver, and precious stones than
watching TV on a Sunday afternoon. Romans 8:28 reminds us that we were
predestined to be like Christ, and Ephesians 2:10 tells us we were created
in Christ Jesus for good works. Of course, the best work is to know God.
This week let us not allow doing to become a frenetic substitute for being
in the presence of the Savior.
Ach, Du Lieber! Die
Zeit is now featuring a BUSH-O-METER.
You can vote either "Ja" or "Nein."
Im November wird der
Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten gewählt. Wird Georg W. Bush die Wahl
gewinnen? Stimmen Sie ab:
I voted for Bush in 2000 but won't again.
And it's not me who has changed. Empire builders and big government think
tankers have taken over the Republican Party:
During the 2000 Republican
Primaries, candidate George Bush was running on the platform of
“compassionate conservatism”. I must admit, at first I was rather intrigued
by such a term, as it had always seemed to me that conservatism was the only
true compassionate form of government. Now, four years later, it has become
clear that compassionate conservatism is in actuality a euphemism for big
government, republican style.
During the Presidential Campaign I was skeptical of how conservative “Dubya”
actually was, keeping in mind how his father had governed only eight years
earlier. Still, many political pundits insisted that he was much more
conservative than his father, and that he would no doubt put this country
back on a conservative track. I cannot help but feel that I was hoodwinked.
For more go
here. Meanwhile, IMHO don't
accept Tom DiLorenzo's advice NOT to vote (see today's LRC), at least not
before considering the alternatives.
blog reminded me
that Vision Forum has a great section on the
tenets of biblical patriarchy. I was especially drawn to the following
statements on the education and training of children:
18. Educational methodology
is not neutral. The Christian should build his educational methodology
from the word of God and reject methodologies derived from humanism,
evolutionism, and other unbiblical systems of thought. Biblical education
is discipleship, a process designed to reach the heart. The aim is a
transformed person who exhibits godly character and a trained mind, both
of which arise from faith. The parents are crucial and ordinarily
irreplaceable in this heart-level, relational process. (Deut. 6:5-7; Lk.
6:40; 1 Thess. 2:7-12; 2 Tim. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:5-8)
19. Since the educational mandate
belongs to parents and they are commanded personally to walk beside and
train their children, they ought not to transfer responsibility for the
educational process to others. However, they have the liberty to delegate
components of that process. While they should exercise great caution and
reserve in doing this, and the more so the less mature the child, it is
prudent to take advantage of the diversity of gifts within the body of
Christ and enjoy the help and support that comes with being part of a
larger community with a common purpose. (1 Cor. 12:14ff.; Gal. 4:1,2; 6:2;
20. The age-integrated
communities of family and church are the God-ordained institutions for
training and socialization and as such provide the preferred pattern for
social life and educational endeavors. The modern preference for grouping
children exclusively with their age mates for educational and social
purposes is contrary to scriptural wisdom and example. (Deut. 29:10-11; 2
Chron. 20:13; Prov. 22:15 with 13:20; Joel 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:33)
father and his older children, note this observation:
22. Both sons and daughters
are under the command of their fathers as long as they are under his roof
or otherwise the recipients of his provision and protection. Fathers
release sons from their jurisdiction to undertake a vocation, prepare a
home, and take a wife. Until she is given in marriage, a daughter
continues under her father’s authority and protection. Even after leaving
their father’s house, children should honor their parents by seeking their
counsel and blessing throughout their lives. (Gen. 28:1-2; Num. 30:3ff.;
Deut. 22:21; Gal. 4:1,2; Eph. 6:2-3)
23. Fathers should oversee
the process of a son or daughter seeking a spouse. While a father may find
a wife for his son, sons are free to take initiative to seek and “take a
wife.” A wise son will desire his parents’ involvement, counsel, and
blessing in that process. Since daughters are “given in marriage” by their
fathers, an obedient daughter will desire her father to guide the process
of finding a husband, although the final approval of a husband belongs to
her. (Gen. 24:1ff.; 25:20; 28:2; Ex. 2:21; Josh. 15:17; Jdg. 12:9; 1 Sam.
18:27; Jer. 29:6; 1 Cor. 7:38; Gen. 24:58)
hope you will read
the entire essay and especially look up the Scriptures that accompany
it. You won't regret it.
Lew Rockwell talks about his
journey into web
journalism. A snippet from this fascinating tell-all:
Why limit teaching to the
classroom? Why not teach the world? And so it is, with many professors now
choosing to distribute their thoughts in the widest possible way. After all,
their ability to think is their primary marketable product, and the web is
the place where intellectuals can interact with the broadest possible
community of their choosing. As a result, the culture of academia is
changing. Bloggers are no longer looked down upon, but often emerge as the
stars in their department. Reducing the isolation of the academic community
is not a terrible thing.
The author is certainly correct in his
assessment. My own internet pilgrimage has had a similar evolution. Well
Mr. Charles Porter sent me this email on what is truly a day to remember but one I had never heard of before:
On the frigid night of
February 3, 1943, the Allied ship Dorchester plowed through the waters near
Greenland. At 1:00am, a Nazi submarine fired a torpedo into its flank,
killing many in the explosion and trapping others
deck. It the ensuing chaos, four chaplains: a priest, a rabbi and two
protestant ministers; distributed life jackets. When there were none left,
the four chaplains ripped off their own jackets and put them on four young
men. Standing embraced on the slanting deck, the chaplains bowed their
heads in prayer as they sank to their icy deaths. Congress honored them by
declaring this "Four Chaplains Day."
Laments are never fun to read, but here's
one you will be glad you saw: Alan
Bock's review of The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson. I definitely
plan to give this book a read as soon as I finish writing my own reviews of
Ephesians by my good friend Harold Hoehner of
Dallas Seminary and The Precise Parallel New Testament
published by Oxford University Press. Speaking of laments, Tom Ascol has an
excellent piece on A
Pastoral Theology of Tragedy at the Founders website. His conclusion
reads (in part):
Expect tragedies and
tribulations to occur. Do not be surprised by them. Prepare for them
because the Scripture says they are inevitable. Learn from them. Do not
miss the lessons. There is much to be learned through suffering. In 2
Corinthians 1:8–10 Paul says that he was “burdened beyond measure, above
strength”, so that he “despaired even of life.” And the reason that this
happened to him (as he later came to understand) was so that he might
learn not to trust in himself “but in God who raises the dead.” He is
saying, “tragedy came to teach me to trust God.” Three chapters later he
refers to those trials as light and momentary. In chapter 1 he says “I
nearly died by them” but in chapter 4 he says they are light and fleeting,
“working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (4:17).
Tragedy prepares you for glory. Tragedy works in you the ability to
experience greater glory. We may not understand exactly how this is so,
but that is what Paul says.
Good morning, friends. We had an extremely
interesting chapel message yesterday, and today's should prove to be no less
intriguing as our guest speaker, Dr. David Allen, preaches from Romans
6:1-14. Please note that all of our chapel messages are online at the
Our gullibility as Christians is
mind-boggling and reminds me of Paul's words to the Galatians: "Oh foolish
Galatians! Who has bewitched you?" Before we blindly accept what any
politician says about his or her stand on abortion, we need to ask, What
does the Bible and the U.S. Constitution say
about this? Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the way Christians
are being duped by those Republicans who voted for the so-called partial
abortion ban. Writes
"readiness of mind" to "search the scriptures," to find out whether those
things being said are true, is our Biblical example of nobility. It is the
way we find out if people are lying when they tell us that a particular
piece of legislation is "pro-life" or "pro-family," or what ever Christian
they use to tell us a civil law deserves our support. Without prejudice and
partiality, we must examine the civil law against the scriptures, having
"readiness of mind" to cast "down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God."
In an election year this matter of biblical
and constitutional truth is all the more important. It is wonderful to see
more and more young people turning to the Scriptures and away from the
secular press for their source of wisdom on modern politics. May their tribe
An interesting point on
youth groups from Elder Scott Brown of Trinity Baptist Church here in
Search the scriptures! Here
is our most important source of information regarding any ministry. All
ministry to youth should be judged against the testimony of scripture, for
it is not only sharper than a two edged sword, it is also:
"profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly
equipped for every good work". II Tim 3:16-17
As we search the scripture,
we do not find the words "youth group" or the practice illustrated
anywhere. The closest resemblance to a youth group in the Bible is an
incident where at least 42 youth were together. Unfortunately, this
resulted in bears devouring the 42 members of the group because of their
disrespect for a prophet (2 Kings 2:23-24). This passage of scripture
gives us a brilliant illustration of the impact of concentrated
foolishness. The concept of youth group is absent from Biblical
ecclesiological language. So we first must say that the idea of youth
groups does not come from the teaching of the apostles, the prophets or
the writers history and poetry.
words, sola scriptura!
This letter from a reader in Wilmore,
Kentucky, warmed my heart:
I must sincerely thank you
for your honest, insightful, and blatantly Biblical commentary on the times
here in the States. Your articles challenge me to love Christ and others, as
well as to be a Constitution-loving citizen of the United States. As a
fellow Greek student and horseman, I thank you for your hard work and
devotion to Christ and Country.
C.S.A. General Joseph
Eggleston Johnston was born near Farmville, Virginia on this day in
1807. This is very close to my own farm in Virginia. His father was a
War soldier who served under Robert E. Lee's father. Johnston graduated from
West Point in 1829. He was wounded five times in the Mexican War and also
fought in the Seminole War. He became
Quartermaster General of the U. S. Army on June 28, 1860 and was the highest
ranking officer to resign and join the Confederate Army. After the war,
Johnston served in the U. S. House of Representatives and was appointed
Commissioner of Railroads under President Grover Cleveland. He died on March
21, 1891 from pneumonia. He had contracted a cold while he stood in the rain
as as he served as a pallbearer at the funeral of William T. Sherman.
For a fascinating account of the battle in
which Johnston was wounded (Seven Pines) go
My good friend and colleague Dr. Dan
Wallace of Dallas Seminary concludes his discussion of
with these words:
The biblical evidence is
overwhelmingly on the side of multiple elders. The few passages which
might otherwise be interpreted certainly do not have to be so interpreted
and, in fact, most likely should not be. This fact illustrates a
fundamental principle of biblical interpretation: do not follow an
interpretation which is only possible; instead, base your convictions on
what is probable.
Darryl Erkel adds
ministry promotes a one-man rule known as "the pastor." He is the final
word and rule within most "evangelical" churches. In contrast, the New
Testament teaches plural oversight by men known as elders (Acts
14:23; 20:17,28; Phil.1:1; 1 Thess.5:12-13; 1 Tim.5:17; Heb.13:17;
Jam.5:14; 1 Pet.5:1-4). Some churches, recognizing the need for shared
oversight, have attempted to improve the traditional one-man rule by
introducing a rank structure of "senior pastor," "associate pastor," and
"board of elders." This man-made solution, however, still contradicts the
pattern set forth in the New Testament which teaches a shared and
equal oversight, not to mention that, in the end, it still amounts
to basically the same thing: One man alone is exalted to a position over
others and has the final word in church related matters! By the way, isn’t
Jesus Christ supposed to be the "senior pastor" (Heb.13:20; 1 Pet.5:4)?
These are issues that must remain in the
forefront of true reform in our churches, and I trust the essays linked on
our front page will help us all to think more biblically about the question,
"Who runs the church?"
Buenos tacos! We are really looking
forward to chapel today and tomorrow when our guest speaker, Dr. David Allen
of the Criswell College in Dallas, will address the topic "The Preacher and
Preaching." If you are in the Wake Forest area I invite you to attend and
learn from this humble servant of the Lord. Chapels start at 10:00 am.
just heard from Mr. Rick Williams of
Virginia Gentleman Books,
who called my attention to his LRC essay on Robert E. Lee, comparing the
great general with Robert the Bruce. Here's an excerpt:
Though their paths and
outcomes were different, both Robert E. Lee and Robert the Bruce are
revered in their homelands today. Both men, through the intervention of
Divine supplication, chose the path of honor and sacrifice and altered the
course of history. Both died heroes bound by ancestry and by Providence.
Perhaps it was Providence speaking and reminding humanity of these two
warriors’ ties as Robert E. Lee met the final enemy.
To read this fascinating and instructive
essay, please go
here. By the way, Mr. Williams
is the author of a wonderful book entitled The
Maxims of Robert E. Lee for Young Gentlemen: Advice, Admonitions and
Anecdotes on Christian Duty and Wisdom from the Life of General Lee,
which I link in my
Booklog. Thank you, Mr.
Williams, for providing us with these excellent resources!
For a good sermon on the selection of
elders in the New Testament and how the notion of "professionalism" has
crept into our churches, go to the
All Souls Church sermon
index and click on the first sermon listed there.
Even the French think
Bush can be beaten by Kerry in November. And listen to what they're
reporting about the president's foreign policy:
S'il considère la politique
étrangère de Bush comme «la plus arrogante, inepte, brutale et idéologique
qu'ait jamais connu ce pays», il peine encore à expliquer ses revirements
Ooo la la!
An amazing story for
It's now official:
Six more weeks of
A reader emailed me with the suggestion
that I write a response to
pro-war piece that is the stir today in weblogs nationwide. My response?
I've already given my opinion about the so-called just war position. It's a
that has backfired:
The Just War Theory (JWT)
continues to be used by a good number of Americans to justify the
president’s war on and occupation of Iraq. The JWT does have some moral
value, in my opinion. It was developed to help Christians judge war and to
steer the church and society toward peace. But it is also clear to me that
in the history of the church the JWT has usually functioned to justify
war rather than to judge it. The theory was originally developed to
show that some wars might be an exception to the Gospel of peace, but in
reality it has become a tool to defend every war that comes along.
Those who truly love
freedom love peace. In the end, the JWT does not advance the cause of peace
because it does not sufficiently recognize the idolatry of nationalism. The
nation-state has become a god in our civilization, and there is a
deep-seated propensity to preserve and defend that god at any cost.
Paradoxically, one of the things that has contributed most to this idolatry
has been the JWT itself.
When I reenacted the
Battle of Shiloh in 2002 I visited the very ground in Tennessee
General Albert Sidney Johnston was killed. He bled to death from a leg
wound, having just led a charge across a fire-swept field. Johnston emerged
without a scratch even though there were many bullet holes in his clothes.
Shortly after the charge he was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, but he
thought it a minor wound and didn't even mention it to his aides. Johnston
had sent his surgeon off to tend to some wounded Union soldiers. Had they
known about his condition, almost any of them could have staunched the flow
of blood that was trickling into his boot from a severed artery. Only when
the general turned pale did they realize he was wounded and help him down
from his horse. But it was too late; he died a few minutes later.
A respectful salute to
this great American, who was born this day in 1803.
Now hear this! My good friend Greg Koukl of
Stand to Reason reveals that he is actually
I believe in privacy, but
privacy has its limits. I believe in choice, but
has limits, too. Our right to privacy and our right to choose ends where harm to another
individual begins. That's true with every law. Every piece of legislation
violates privacy and restricts choice to some degree.
In a sense, I'm pro-choice
for the woman. She can choose not to conceive. If she gets pregnant
against her choice, she can choose to carry the child to term and then
keep her baby. Or she can choose to give the child up for adoption so he
will be loved and cared for. But she can't choose the quick way out of a
difficult problem by taking the life of that little baby.
of Grant Osborne's commentary on Revelation has just appeared. Kudos to
Baker Book House (publishers of 5 of my books)
for producing this excellent series of commentaries.
Oh, how true this is.
The most serious threat to
President Bush's second term is not a Democrat; it is the growing mass of
disenchanted Republicans who are accepting the proposition that there is
little or no difference between the two major parties.
Read more here.
Many of you have asked me about the
availability of the International Standard Version New
Testament. I just received this good news from the Executive Director
of the ISV Foundation, William
We are pleased to report that the
International Standard Version can now be ordered in printed form from the
Barnes and Noble website.
Click on the appropriate link
below to order the hardback (casebound), paperback, or student
text edition of the ISV New Testament or the paperback edition of the ISV
Old Testament Sampler.
ISV New Testament v1.3.0 hardback (casebound)
Davidson Press edition ISBN 1891833049
ISV New Testament v1.3.0 paperback
Davidson Press edition ISBN 1891833030
ISV New Testament v1.3.0 Student Text Edition
Davidson Press edition ISBN 1891833065
ISV Old Testament Sampler v1.0.0 paperback
Davidson Press edition ISBN 1891833057
Very truly yours,
The ISV New Testament is
also available in e-Sword.
Click here for details.
E. E. Roberts of Amelia Courthouse,
Virginia, responds to my essay
Welfare Reform? as follows:
The myth of federal
authority to administer “welfare” programs is based on the FDR
administration’s interpretation of what they call the “welfare clause”
contained in the preamble to Section 8 of Article I. The preamble reads
“Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts,
and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and
general welfare of the United States.”
This preamble is not a grant of power to
provide for the specific individual welfare of some citizens but for the
general welfare of the States….
It is called welfare to this
day because the bogus “constitutional authority” of Congress to administer
this redistribution scheme is based on that one particular clause. Such
wording is one of the reasons that men like Patrick Henry and George Mason
opposed the ratification of the constitution.
Had a wonderful weekend teaching at the
First Baptist Church of Norfolk and spending time with my church family in
Southside Virginia. Our little choir traveled to South Boston to sing at a
nursing home. Good old country gospel, gut bucket and all. Life don't get
much better than this, folks. This week I welcome a good friend of mine to
campus, Dr. David Allen of the Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, where I
had the privilege of teaching for two weeks last May. He will be speaking in
chapel on Tuesday and Wednesday on the topic "The Preacher and
Preaching." On Tuesday he will walk us through how he actually develops a
sermon from Romans 6:1-14; and then on Wednesday he will preach that text.
Should be great! If I can get him out to our ranch before dark tonight, I
may be able to talk him into an afternoon ride. I've got the perfect horse
for a Texan like him.
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