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November 2003 Blog Archives

Saturday, November 29

11:30 AM  Ruby Walsh and Strong Flow after winning the Hennessy Cup in Newbury, England. Now that looks like fun!

Strong Flow and Ruby Walsh after winning the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury /PA

10:30 AM  The "best book on the will of God that I have seen." Read a review of Bruce Waltke's Finding the Will of God.

8:30 AM  The international horse show of Spain got underway this week in Seville. Here's a fantastic photo from the event. In case you haven't guessed it, yes, I love my horses!

Mares perform at International Horse Show of Spain

8:00 AM  Suggested readings for your weekend:

John Wycliffe

Friday, November 28

3:30 PM Remember the guy in Texas who organized a boycott of contractors in an effort to block the building of a Planned Parenthood center? The Austin Chronicle ain’t very happy about it, noting:

The current assault on the construction of the new Planned Parenthood clinic is thuggery that is not pro-life, nor pro-anything. It is anti-women, anti-religious-freedom, anti-democratic, and anti-choice... If all these groups succeed, what would it be like, with as little education as possible, almost no freedom over one's family or body, and no recourse for unwanted pregnancies?

Well, I just received an email pointing me to a petition online. If you’ve always considered PP an innocuous non-profit, remember that one in seven abortions in America are done by them and that they receive tens of millions of tax dollars. If you are a resident of central Texas, I urge you to take a moment and sign the petition.

2:45 PM Read what Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has to say about the feds' plans to raise a slave army. And while you're at it, Mark Dankof has a good recommendation for the 2004 elections. (The Ron Paul connection will be obvious if you read both links.)

10:40 AM Gary North has some astute comments about Gibson's "Passion" and make-believe authenticity that are well worth reading:

Gibson wants the audience to make its judgments by seeing what happened. But we know what happened only because of words—words so respected that careful copies were preserved by monks and scholars. We have no visual images of those events. This is why St. Paul wrote, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). He did not say, “seeing is believing.”  He said, “hearing is believing.”

The actors will pretend to recite words in the original languages in accents that would not be recognized by the original participants.
This is make-believe authenticity.

The crucial visual event will be faked by Gibson anyway. It has to be. We cannot bear to see the truth. Jesus was naked on the cross. The Roman soldiers gambled for possession of His robe. “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots” (Matthew 27:35). The mortification of nakedness was part of the passion of Jesus.

To this is added the usual flowing hair, which was not popular in the days of the early Caesars. 
Jesus will look like an actor—a real stand-out in a crowd. But Jesus was nondescript. “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:59). The Jewish leaders did not part with thirty pieces of silver so that Judas could identify a man who looked like a Hollywood actor.

Movies are illusions. They are entertainment. This one may be better than the rest of the bunch, but if it relies exclusively on visual images to its message, then it will fail. 
Words, not images, are central to Christianity.

Much the same can be said for such movies as Gettysburg, which in my opinion utterly fails to portray the greatness of men like Robert E. Lee.

9:30 AM In a day in which our government subsidizes farmers to destroy thousands of acres of crops comes this confused piece from the Acton Institute about the Catholic Church and family farming. The author notes: "Government’s role is indispensable; it provides the juridical framework for the market." Hardly. I prefer to stick with the U.S. Constitution and liberty (including the free market system) for which so many patriots fought but which so many of us rural dwellers seem eager to surrender to Big Brother.

8:50 AM We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at our country home in North Carolina after a fairly busy (but thoroughly enjoyable) week. Last Saturday and Sunday were spent at a farm in western Virginia with a homeschooling family we met while reenacting. They've got  nine (or was it ten?) children, a beautifully restored farmhouse, and a home church that meets in their barn. I was privileged to give the message and spoke on Jesus and the age thirty transition from my book The Myth of Adolescence. During the sharing time I received one of the biggest surprises and delights of my life. A mother said that she had been given a copy of the book six years ago, then gave it to her husband to read, and from that point on they began homeschooling their children. And here we were, together in the upstairs of a barn in rural Virginia! What a tremendous encouragement to hear that testimony and to meet that family. This Sunday I'll be preaching at another family-friendly church in the Wake Forest area on the subject "No King But Jesus!" in light of the courageous stand taken by (former) Judge Roy Moore. By the way, this church has no Sunday School or Youth Ministry. "But we do have Monday school, Tuesday school, Wednesday school, Thursday school, Friday school, and Saturday school," says the pastor, "taught by our youth pastors called dads." I'll take a dozen churches like that one!

Meanwhile I'm busy putting the final touches on my book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush and will send it off to the publisher very shortly. Hopefully copies will be available next spring. My prayer is that God might use what is between the covers of this book to help believers reject government "solutions" (whether from so-called "conservatives" or liberals) to our societal ills and stand up for the primacy of the Gospel, the truths of historic Christianity, and the proper role of civil government. Your prayers for this project will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, November 26

1:20 PM Säen, ernten, danken, feiern! For those of us exurbanites who are crazy enough to actually  love farm life, this is a very special season indeed. So, as we used to say in Switzerland, have a great Erntedankfest praising the Lord of the Harvest!

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele!
Herr, mein Gott, wie groß bist du!
Du bist mit Hoheit und Pracht bekleidet!
Du lässt das Gras wachsen für das Vieh,
auch Pflanzen für den Menschen, die er anbaut,
damit er Brot gewinnt von der Erde
und Wein, der das Herz des Menschen erfreut.

12:50 PM Last week I spent a few days in Atlanta. Being there reminded me of the enormous tragedy that befell that city under the total war policy of Sherman. (The immoral strategy of annihilation used by the U.S. government is a topic for another day. Anyone interested in exploring this matter must, however, at least read this.) Just thirty-four years after the U.S. army burned Atlanta to the ground, a Union veteran visited the city and addressed the Georgia legislature, praising the valor of the Confederate dead and offering aid in the care of their graves. Georgia rose up to welcome him and with Georgia the whole South. It was a magnificent gesture by President William McKinley, who had been a teenager at Antietam (Sharpsburg). The scene has been recreated by biographer Margaret Leech in her book In the Days of McKinley:

He sprang to his feet when the band played “Dixie” and waved his hat above his head. He reviewed the marching ranks of gray-clad troops....His voice was fervent as he said that the old disagreements had faded into history and the nation would remain indivisible forever. Gen. Joe Wheeler often stood beside the president, swelling the ovation by his immense popularity.

Similarly (and characteristically of him), Pat Buchanan has had the courage to stand up for the South in an age of cowardly neo-conservative compromise. Pat, you've certainly earned my respect. Meanwhile, despite its consistent stand against racism, Christ Church of Moscow, Idaho, is now on the defensive and has had to issue several public statements explaining its upcoming history conference, one of which says:

Christ Church has a deep hatred of war, and our comments against the butchery of 600,000 persons in the Civil War have been opportunistically twisted into a defense of the hell of slavery. Christianity has long been a leader in ridding slavery from the West, but it prefers nonviolent means (like Wilberforce in England) rather than the savagery of warfare. If our opponents are sincere in wanting to deal with our arguments and are not just the opportunists they appear to be, then they need to be honest and defend the superiority of unbelievable bloodshed over more peaceful means of abolishing slavery. They can side with war. We side with nonviolent abolitionism.

Go figure. Meum cerebrum nocet!

11:35 AM My essay on Just War Theory has elicited several responses, including this one from a reader who makes an interesting point about our post-WW II conflicts:

Hi Dave,

Because of your article "Fusing Church and Politics", I'm taking a closer look at the Just War Theory since I've always believed it to be a theory that would help us avoid most wars.

I agree that most people try to justify their wars in their own eyes, but I still believe that the JWT is good for an intellectually honest people. Just because the US and others believe it is just for them to fire bomb cities full of innocent cities does not mean the JWT doesn't work - it means we have violated it and our citizens should demand a cease-fire and reconciliation.

If the JWT were adhered to by our country, we probably would have avoided every war or armed conflict since WWII (except perhaps a war with al-Qaida).

11:15 AM Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is scheduled for release on February 25, Ash Wednesday. Billy Graham likes it, but I still have concerns about its historical accuracy.

10:15 AM Although it is unrealistic to expect biblical archaeology to back up every event and place in the New Testament, archaeology has played an important role (though never a determinative one) in determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. A new discovery in Jerusalem has archeologists and New Testament scholars talking, while the "Jesus box" receives renewed support in Atlanta.

10:00 AM We are fast approaching December’s orgy of materialism, a celebration dating not from an unbroken tradition about Jesus’ birth—which would make it reliable—but from a festival of sun worship that a seeker-sensitive church took over in order to “win pagans” in a compromised form of evangelism. Jesus constantly spoke out against the Pharisees for adding their own traditions to God’s Law, and ecclesiastical traditions are no less susceptible to curb Christian freedom in the same way. Perhaps that's why Paul referred to “special days and months and seasons and years” without specifically calling them Jewish observances as a general warning, in which case we have largely ignored it today. So before falling for the commercialization of Christmas, which (if we're honest) can only be described as a crassly selfish holiday, please consider the wisdom of Charles Haddon Spurgeon on this subject:

We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior's birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day in not known. Probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son. 

How absurd to think we could do it in the spirit of the world, with a Jack Frost clown, a deceptive worldly Santa Claus, and a mixed program of sacred truth with fun, deception and fiction. If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver, and recipient are all in the spirit of the world. The Catholics and high Church Episcopalians may have their Christmas one day in 365 but we have a Christ gift the entire year.

Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant was submerged under pagan superstition. That Christmas is a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it in celebrated, prove its origin.

Those who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible, but pagan ceremonies. 

9:00 AM Here's what happens when you forget the past. Meanwhile, the president's latest faux pas has people scratching their heads in amazement. Thankfully, at least one commentator prefers God's Word over Bush's.

Monday, November 24

4:45 PM The latest from Clay Bennett:

4:20 PM "... it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." Thus reads George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation. It goes on to state:

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

If only Alabama AG Bill Pryor were listening.

3:30 PM Get ready for some inspiring music at Southeastern Seminary on Saturday, December 6, at 7:30 PM in Binkley Chapel. Please join yours truly and the Northeast Piedmont Chorale in a program of sacred music. Directing will be our own Dr. John Boozer accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra. The program includes John Rutter's Gloria and Randall Stroupe's Hodie. Free admission.

Directions: Southeastern Seminary is located in downtown Wake Forest at the intersection of NC Highway 98 and US 1A. From the Raleigh area, go north on US 1 (Capital Boulevard) and exit onto Highway 98. Travel just over a mile to the SEBTS campus. Binkley Chapel is the largest building in the middle of the campus, a short walk from various parking areas.

2:40 PM Today in history: "I didn't want to be a hero. I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy" (Jack Ruby to police).

Lee Harvey Oswald being shot

Was Oswald the lone killer? Eighty percent of the American public says No. Notes one report:

Although the Warren Commission denied it, the truth is that without the single bullet theory the Commission would have been forced to abandon its fundamental premise that Oswald was the sole assassin.  It was not the inconclusive firearms tests, but the Commission's fixation with proving that Oswald had acted alone, that induced the Commission to favor the single bullet theory.

11:20 AM There is now a flux—a battle, even—in biblical scholarship concerning the doctrine of inerrancy, greater perhaps than at any time since the dawn of the critical era. This battle is not just limited to a conflict between non-conservatives who deny inerrancy and conservatives who espouse it. Even those who teach in conservative seminaries and who sign the Evangelical Theological Society’s doctrinal statement are subject to the insidious temptation to rationalize away or redefine the term “inerrancy” until it has no meaning whatsoever. The biblical writings are authoritative and inerrant, not because of their human authors, but because God is the ultimate author. Luther once said, “When the Scripture speaks, God speaks.” I therefore put my entire confidence in the veracity of God’s written Word, even as Jesus did. At the same time, I am greatly concerned about attempts by critics to infiltrate evangelicalism with views that subordinate the inerrancy of Scripture to the judgments of mere men. In my opinion this latter approach was evident at last week’s ETS meeting in Atlanta, which I attended. I realize that some of the confusion pertains to the meaning of “inerrancy.” The ETS itself does not define the term. At the same time, I think it accurate to say that the ETS has long embraced membership that spans strict inerrantist views to infallibilist views and even to views bordering on neo-orthodox. If you’ve read Clark Pinnock’s The Scripture Principle, for example, you know he’s not a strict inerrantist in the Geisler/Archer sense. As Randy Maddox has written,

Frankly, Pinnock seems to tip his hand when he argues that the adoption of this term [inerrancy] is an "operational policy" (77). He seems to have conceded to the game that Gerald Sheppard has branded "the politics of biblical inerrancy" (Union Seminary Quarterly Review 32 [1977]: 81-94); i.e., using the approved password to placate a constituency even though one might not agree with their understanding of the meaning of the term. Such an operational strategy could only be acceptable if the matter did not truly make a difference.

Meanwhile, an attempt is underway in the ETS to define the term “inerrancy.” This is much to be desired, and will be a Herculean task. Let us fervently pray that it succeeds.

9:05 AM Yes, ideas do have consequences. That's why I read Richard Weaver whenever I can. Also, see "Dilbert does DC" by Mike Tuggle on our neo-con president.

Willow-creekers need not contemplate this.

Allah and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are one and the same after all, says the prez. Not to worry. After all, Bush ain't no theologian.

Tuesday, November 18

5:10 PM Ouch!

4:10 PM Civil disobedience has now gone to the dogs in Britain. (Truth be told, boy would I love to hunt just once in jolly ol' England before it's banned altogether!)

The new fox hunting season gets under way /PA

3:00 PM "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God is the Creator and absolute Ruler of the universe, bringing all things to pass in accordance with His will. Need a reminder?  Try these sunlit cliffs and sand dunes on Mars, captured by NASA:

Southern Melas Chasma, Mars

12:35 PM Ted Lang is one of the most perceptive writers over at Ether Zone. His latest column is dead on the money:  BUSH & CLINTON: PARTNERS IN UNCONSTITUTIONALITY. While you're at it, check out the latest from Harry Browne.

And for a report on the new Afghan "constitution," go here and click on "They the People."

11:45 AM Far from being a "Christian" nation, America is a mission field, not least in the Northeast. Here's one reason why.  In his essay, "Mission Field on the Edge," James H. Eaton notes:

Yet the Bible tells us that the mission field is any place: 1) where paganism saturates daily life, 2) where differing cultures exist, and 3) where a clear gospel witness is absent. Jesus said, "The field is the world" (Matthew 13:38). By this definition North America has become a mission field. Luder Whitlock writes that the "catastrophic loss of Christian understanding and influence that has occurred during the last 30 years has made North America one of the most important mission fields in the world."

Meanwhile, the evangelical movement is now in a "free fall" and continues to be deceived by so-called openness theology and its proponents. Please read this essay by David Wells, who rightly notes:

The truth of the matter is that the fraying at the edges of the evangelical world has now turned into an unraveling at its center. First came the new definitions about who evangelicals were. Then the boundaries were shifted. Then they were crossed. And now the reality of God is redefined and made altogether more accommodating to our postmodern culture. It is for these reasons that I believe Evangelicalism is now in a free fall. I therefore hope that my writing will play an important role in bringing the Church back to more cogent, biblical understanding, a more serious mind, a greater love of truth and righteousness, and a closer walk with God.

9:30 AM From David Brainerd's Journal: "It is good to follow the path of duty, though in the midst of darkness and discouragement."

David Hackworth on putting a winning face on a bad war. Saddam or not, they just don't want us there, despite our attempts to sanitize the war.

Monday, November 17

2:20 PM Now we know: Mary Magdalene was the first female apostle.

11:45 AM Proof that America is in big trouble: Americans are backing Rush to the hilt.

11:35 AM Senator Ernest Hollings now openly admits he was misled on Iraq, believing the president's fabrications. He writes:

I voted for the Iraq resolution. I was misled. Saddam was not reconstituting a nuclear program, and in no way was he connected to 9/11. There were no terrorists in Baghdad, no weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam was no threat to our national security. Iraq was not a part of the war on terrorism.

Besser spät als niemals.

11:15 AM The NRO says we're the last Christian nation, especially when compared with Great Britain. A good reason not to become a "conservative" if you ask me.

10:00 AM The popularity of rugby eclipsed David Frost's interview with George Bush
on BBC1. Here's a sample of what viewers missed in this hard-hitting interview:

SIR DAVID: Mr. President, a lot of people say this might be your first trip to London, but it's not.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: No, it's not. I've been there a couple of times. I remember Laura and I went to see "Cats" in London. Gosh, I remember going to some nice pubs -- when I was drinking man in London. It's a great city, and I'm looking forward to going.

In the interview Bush commiserated with Tony Blair, whom he described as having to attend funerals for slain British servicemen. Odd, seeing that Bush himself has shown no interest in doing the same for his own KIA, like Specialist Darryl Dent, the 21-year-old National Guardsman from Washington who died outside Baghdad in August when a bomb struck his truck while he was delivering mail to troops. His funeral was held only three miles from the White House. The president distances himself from the messy problems of real soldiers with real names and real families who are getting whacked over there nearly every day, and somehow he is still considered a war hero. Ciò è la vita!

9:30 AM Can a town have too many Baptists?

9:00 AM Roy Moore is a man of courage, conviction, and Christian principle who has stood faithfully in a world of cowardice and compromise. He has reminded us that it is time we rethink our understanding of what it means to be the church. The third thesis of the Barmen Declaration reads as follows:

As the Church of pardoned sinners, it has to testify in the midst of a sinful world, with its faith and obedience, with its message and order, that it is solely [the Lord's] property, and that it lives and wants to live solely from his comfort and from his direction in the expectation of his appearance. We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

This thesis was a response to the attempt by the champions of the Third Reich to introduce nationalism into the Christian creed and restructure the church according to the "Leader-principle." It insisted that the message of the Gospel was not to be confused or bounded by the neo-pagan state. This issue has, indeed, become a major bone of contention in the present search for a true confessing church within American Christendom, a quest made all the more pressing by the claims and conflicts of the modern state-church in America. The emphasis upon Christus solus at Barmen was not just an article of faith but a matter of practical consequence requiring implementation. The same applies today. I am therefore much in prayer about drafting a new "Barmen" and would implore my fellow pilgrims to pray about whether the evangelical church needs a new council to consider just such a declaration.

8:45 AM GOP complaints that filibusters are "unconstitutional" are a bit hypocritical, don't you think? This is the same GOP that is more concerned about offending sex perverts than offending God. Although originally agreeing with Roy Moore that his Ten Commandments monument could legally remain in the state judicial building, Bill Pryor ordered it removed from public view and launched an inquisition against the Chief Justice. Seems to me the wrong guy was suspended from office.

Friday, November 14

10:30 AM As casualties soar and an early pullout becomes less and less likely, we face the crumbling "coalition of the willing."

9:30 AM Throughout the years I have compiled a list of my favorite books and commentaries on the New Testament. I call it "The Black List." If anyone would like a copy, just drop me an email and I will send it right out. By the way, I notice with pleasure that one of my favorite bloggers is due to return from a hiatus today. Welcome back, Pieter!

8:50 AM A good place to keep up-to-date on Roy Moore and the 10 Commandments debate is at Covenant News. For what they're worth, I have posted my thoughts on the matter here, here, here, and here.

8:00 AM This morning's reading included Gary North on the establishment's hatred of gold, R.C. Sproul Jr's review of Luther, Buried Treasure's weblog, Izzy Lyman's thoughts on homeschooling, and Harry Seabrook's lengthy response to my essay, "Prophetic Resistance as the Calling of the Church," in which he rightly points out one of our greatest weaknesses as Baptists, namely, our emphasis on decision-making over discipleship (even the secular press mocks our inflated membership statistics). Those of us who are committed to biblical reformation confront many external enemies, but we also have disagreements (severe, at times) among ourselves. I hope my readers will take a look at Mark Coppenger's penetrating essay "The Ascent of Lost Man in Southern Baptist Preaching." Among others things, he notes "Unlike the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention, some have come to view lost people as discriminating shoppers, whose failure to buy is due to our failure at marketing."

By the way, the organ concert last night was phenomenal. Not only did Mr. Curley have his entire repertory memorized, his performance was nearly flawless. In addition to playing my favorite Bach fugue he performed Erbarm Dich, o Herre Gott, one of my all-time favorite German hymns that we used to sing in our church in Basel, the first verse of which is (oh, that everyone could read German!):

Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott,
Nach deiner großn Barmherzigkeit,
Wasch ab, mach rein mein Missetat,
Ich erkenn mein Sünd, und ist mir leid,
Allein ich dir gesündigt hab,
Das ist wider mich stetiglich,
Das Bös für dir mag nicht bestahn,
Du bleibst gerecht, ob man urteilt dich.

Meanwhile, this morning is my final prep time for the series of lectures on the Gospels and Acts I am giving in Norfolk at our seminary extension. The topics have been challenging, to say the least, including proofs for the Deity of Christ, the synoptic problem, New Testament textual criticism, and types of Christ in the Old Testament. I have just revised my three hour lecture on Acts entitled "The History and Theology of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement," in which I attempt to help students deal with the issue of sign gifts, going practically verse by verse through the book of Acts as well as the explicitly didactic portions of the epistles, especially 1 Corinthians 12-14.

Thursday, November 13

12:50 PM The verdict is in. Judge Roy Moore has been expelled from office. We should all mourn for this decision and beg God to have mercy on our nation for what we have allowed to happen. I don't know about you, but I stand by the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment). The U.S. Constitution specifically protects the displaying of documents or monuments like the Ten Commandments. I say shame on those "conservatives" like Bill Pryor who have slandered Roy Moore's good name by referring to his "utterly unrepentant behavior."

12:35 PM For those of you kind souls who have inquired about my forthcoming book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, here's the table of contents:

1. Introduction: Not So Much a Book As a Way of Thinking
2. Republic or Empire? The Rise and Rise of American Power
3. When the Horse Dies, Dismount: The Demise of the Republican Party
4. Confederate Flags, American History, and Yankee Myths: How Lincoln’s War Changed America Forever
5. Not Guilty by Reason of Sanity: Why I Reject Government “Solutions” to Our Problems
6. Brand New American Schools? No Thanks!
7. Give Some People an Inch and They’ll Think They’re a Ruler: Neocon Foreign Policy and the Invasion of Iraq
8. The Issue of the Century: Judge Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments
9. Calling a Spade a Spade: The Un-Patriot Act
10. Cleanliness Is Next to Impossible: Why Christians Must Get Down and Dirty in the Culture Wars
11. What Easter Teaches Us: Lasting Lessons from Scripture
12. Conclusion: An Urgent Appeal to All Freedom-Loving Americans

Meanwhile, I am currently laboring to complete a 600-page work on the authorship of Hebrews (comparing Hebrews with the Pauline epistles) and have begun revising my Why Four Gospels? It's enough to keep my pooter pretty busy for some time to come.

12:15 PM I just ran across this excellent piece by Rodney Decker on how to do a New Testament word study legitimately. If you're one of those preachers who likes to "etymologize" and look for "root" meanings in words (e.g., ekklesia means "called out," or dunamis refers to "dynamite"), you'll want to steer clear of this convicting essay! 

9:30 AM Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, who is currently prosecuting (persecuting) Judge Roy Moore, contradicts his own statement on the propriety and legality of displaying the Ten Commandments in the public square.  Why, then, isn't he prosecuting Judge Thompson instead? Good question.... The verdict is to be announced at 11:00 this morning. If you're waiting for the Republican leadership to support Moore, don't hold your breath.

If you haven't seen the new forum at Little Geneva, you should. Harry Seabrook leaves nary a base uncovered.

8:30 AM Lee Shelton has just published a block-buster piece on the Bush administration's illegal assault on the Second Amendment. Thanks, Lee, for being "ever vigilant."

7:45 AM The tragic death of a teenager due to complications from taking the so-called abortion pill is drawing renewed attention to the dangers of aborticide. It gives the cartoon below special significance, although "Fetal Death Approved" should now also include "Mother."

7:15 AM I've sent a thank-you note to Dr. Siegfried Schatzmann, Professor of New Testament at my sister institution, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, for his kind review of the book I edited entitled Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism. He thought it would be very useful for courses in the subject. His review appeared in the latest issue of his institutional mouthpiece, Southwestern Journal of Theology (unfortunately it is not online), an excellent resource for all pastors. If you're interested in pursuing textual criticism in greater detail, especially the so-called "King James Version Debate," I encourage you to visit Rodney Decker's outstanding links page on the subject.

On another matter, if you haven't checked out the new website of the National Coalition to Restore the Constitution, please go here. Debbie Hopper has put together an excellent site, and I'm especially pleased to see the announcement of an upcoming "Constitution in Crisis" summit in January 2004. I'm not sure where or when it will be exactly, but I hope to attend if my schedule permits.

7:00 AM Robert Lloyd responds to my essay, "Bush Is No Hero of the Pro-Life Movement":

Great article Mr Black and important for people to read. If I can add one thing to show such hypocrisy in Powell... during Gulf War 1 we must remember he called off the air strikes on the retreating/looting Republican Guard (many heading north in stolen Mercedes). He felt sorry for such carnage against these thugs. He however has no sympathy for children murdered via abortion. So we have sympathy for murderers and none for children per Colin Powell. Not someone I would want as president though we will probably be confronted with that in the future.

6:30 AM Ever since I first heard Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as a child I have been a huge fan of J. S. Bach. Tonight there will be an organ concert in one of the oldest churches in Roxboro, North Carolina, the Long Memorial Methodist Church. Performing will be the world-renowned organist Carlo Curley. I've never heard Mr. Curley before, so I am really looking forward to his concert and to meeting him during the reception afterwards.

6:00 AM Introducing the DBO blog: news, commentary, musings, and miscellaneous blatherings from your web host. I begin with a quotation from one of my all-time favorite authors, Malcolm Muggeridge, from his book Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim:

Changing from teaching to journalism, he discovers, is not as drastic as might be supposed. Both professions are exercises in fantasy; the instruction that teachers pass on to their classes is as dubious as the news and comment that journalists pass on to their readers. Such difference as there is lies in the time factor; within reason, the Teacher can devote as much time as he likes to expounding his subject, whereas the Journalist is exclusively concerned with the immediate present. The Teacher, that is to say, is liable to be a long-drawn out bore; the Journalist, an instant one. Otherwise, there are in the same business--as St Augustine puts it, "Vendors of words."

Being a de novo web journalist, in addition to passing myself off as a teacher, I find quite an interesting (and often challenging) combination. The sincere prayer of my heart is that of an ancient saint:

God, humble my pride, extinguish the last stirrings of my ego, obliterate whatever remains of worldly ambition and carnality, and in these last days of a mortal existence, help me to serve only Thy purposes, to speak and write only Thy words, to think only Thy thoughts, to have no other prayer than: "Thy will be done." In other words, to be a true Convert.

Do stop by often, as these ruminations will be coming to you at any time of day or night.