November 2004 Blog Archives
Tuesday, November 30
Religion poll guru
John Green and Steve Waldman of Beliefnet do the
math on the
exit polls and agree: "In the pivotal states, he [Bush] benefited
from the strong support of evangelical Christians and, just as
important, an impressive showing among regular churchgoing Catholics and
Christian Coalition says "Christian evangelicals" are the group that
put Bush over the top. The Family Research Council's
Tony Perkins and former Bush opponent
Gary Bauer prefer to focus on "values voters."
Concerned Women for America does a bit of dancing.
"Evangelicals voted in force in this year's election,
securing the presidency for George W. Bush, granting parents in Florida
the right to be notified before their minor daughter's abortion, and
passing marriage protections laws in every state they were offered —
even liberal Oregon," writes senior policy director
Wendy Wright. "President Bush knows his strongest base, who they are
and what drives them. Perhaps this is because, as many evangelicals and
conservative Catholics can relate, he is one of us."
So there you
have it: Christians put Bush over the top. And why shouldn't evangelicals
support Bush, who (alluding to Jesus' words "He who is not with Me is
against Me") once said, "Either you are with us or you are with the
This is an important development within the Evangelical Theological
Society. Inerrancy must not be left to be (re)defined by those who support
is rare among Iraq's
There's been a great response to our recent essays on our national sin of
statism. Here's a sampling:
I've been looking through
the mini-essays on your website. They are a
breath of fresh air. I'm a Reformed Baptist tutor & preacher in Britain,
currently numb with horror at what my government (along with yours) is
doing in Iraq. Although most of my Reformed friends are at one with me
in being appalled at this mass shedding of innocent blood, & the lies
that justify it, it has been impossible to hear a conservative Reformed
voice from America articulating the same moral viewpoint. I am very
glad, even relieved, to have discovered your website. Thank you!
brother. We are in this world not of it. Bible believing Christians cannot
fall into the trap of seeking their security and prosperity in the
governments of the world. Our only security....our only prosperity comes
from Jesus Christ, " if He be for us who can be against us?" We both know
who was given the governments of the world.
Phillips liked what we had to say about Christmas:
Thanks for you blog
entry exposing the paganism of believers introducing theologically
unsound, historically inaccurate Roman Catholic/Pagan festival days into
their worship. When I left Rome I also left the superstitions of Rome,
but have found over the years more persecution and ridicule from other
believers on this issue than any other. Men crave their idolatries.
When I hear people
say “Let’s put Jesus back into Christmas, my response is this: “Let’s
put the Mass back in Christmas, for Christ was never there to begin
Thanks to all for
taking the time to write and share your thoughts.
David Corn asks,
Yesterday Eerdmans graciously sent me a complimentary copy of Howard
Marshall's latest book, New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One
Gospel, which promises to be a very good (and long) read. I am
disappointed (but not surprised) that he discusses the theology of Mark
before Matthew, but otherwise his canonical arrangement seems satisfying.
I am determined to read the book - all 732 pages - in one sitting later
the first time in several weeks I spent the day on campus visiting with
students and colleagues and posting my syllabus for the J-Term. It was
wonderful! I was
thrilled to get a phone call from my good friend Trent Butler, who
recently assumed the senior editorship of Chalice Press in Saint Louis. He
asked me to write several books for him, and I also notified my colleagues
of his eagerness to work with our faculty on their book projects. As soon
as I finish my sabbatical writing project I may take Trent up on his offer. I know the message God has put in my own heart, and which I must
speak regardless of the cost. I believe most strongly that we need a
different genre of textbook writing today, and to me there is no
alternative but to ask for God's grace in keeping my writing simple
without being simplistic. Perhaps the title of my next book will be
Unleashing the Church, which I think would be a good general
tag for the many thoughts I would like to hang on it. I have stayed on the
writing train a long time, until its speed has become quite high, but this
sabbatical has been good and has helped me regain perspective on my
literary priorities. Speaking of books, last night I finally got around to
reading Pat Buchanan's Where the Right Where Wrong, and my favorite
quotes are the following:
We are not hated for who we are. We are hated for what we do. It is not
our principles that have spawned pandemic hatred of America in the Islamic
world. It is our policies.
To millions of Muslims, we are the "evil empire."
Kudos to Pat
for exposing the folly of the neoconservatives. But are conservatives
Sunday, November 28
Update: My new Dell desktop should be here on Thursday (160 Hard drive),
3.0 Processor, 512 Memory). Should increase my productivity (and decrease
my frustration level - my 10 year-old pooter has been freezing up on me at
least five times a day). Way out here in the sticks there's no DSL, but,
hey, we've got "high speed" internet access, and that will have to
suffice. This week's big project is to finish moving the smoke house (and
rebuild it on our farm). Should be fun....
a daily ride on my wonderful horses, getting acquainted with our farm and
the neighboring farms as well. High-spirited, but under control. They're
already used to the cows, goats, and hunting dogs, but still get a bit
freaked by the deer. The latter are plentiful this year and just can't
wait to be bagged.
Another reason why a pure democracy is a
(Let's not forget that the U.S. is a
Republic, not a democracy.)
Saturday, November 27
Shades of Goethe's
Jonathan Grubbs has started quite an interesting thread on tithing
here. For more, please see our webpage,
Unleashing the Church.
What, no category for 52-year olds?
[T]he demographics of blog authorship are
somewhat disputed, but the bulk of bloggers clearly are within the
under-30 demographic. According to a Perseus study, over 90 percent of
blogs are authored by people between the ages of 13 and 29, with 51.5
percent between the ages of 13 and 19.
The "Blogosphere" is Growing Exponentially.
Hearty congratulations to my esteemed colleague on the New Testament
faculty, Dr. Andreas Köstenberger,
on the release of his
Update: Ain't it good to be back home again.... Just finished moving
two-thirds of an old smoke house from a neighboring farm. We'll rebuild it
beside our garden house and use it to store our reenactment accouterments.
We were able to take the roof off almost intact (minus the gable ends);
the sides we will move completely intact (thankfully). We're still
collecting old lumber for our new "old" horse barn, construction of which
has been postponed pending completion of several more pressing farm
projects. Ah, the joys of being a country boy!
Well, life on the farm is
kinda laid back
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack
It's early to rise, early in the sack
God, I'm A Country Boy
Well a simple kinda life never did me no harm
A raisin' me a family and workin' on a farm
My days are all filled with an easy country charm
Thank God I'm a country boy
When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low
I pull out my fiddle and I rosin' up the bow
The kids are asleep so I keep it kinda low
Thank God I'm a country boy
I'd play "Sally Goodin'" all day if I could
But the Lord and my wife wouldn't take it very good
So I fiddle when I can, work when I should
Thank God, I'm a country boy
Nairobi continues to be a very
case you've never seen one: a bread wagon. (Mr. Gravlin had a route in
Detroit prior to World War I.)
Homeschooling families that are considering college options might want to take a
this essay by Mary Pride.
the information highway becomes the
Internet classes are
valuable tools for the homeschooling family. They provide the personal
instructional opportunities that enhances the homeschool. As good as that
is, we can enjoy the benefit of classroom interaction in the safety and
supervision of the home. I encourage you to spend some time exploring the
possibility of integrating Internet classes into your home school.
Here's welcoming the
Thorpe Report to the blogosphere.
Friday, November 26
was only a year ago that my wife and I had the privilege of singing John
Rutter's "Gloria" with the Northeast Piedmont Chorale. We listened to the
CD last night in the library of Bradford Hall and were reminded again of
the piece's greatness. It is possibly the best modern compilation of Latin
texts with its Gregorian chants and dissonant harmonies. I can almost weep
whenever I hear the magnificent second movement. Unforgettable!
over a week ago I was in Gonder - just about as close to the nation of
Eritrea as I am ever likely to get. Today comes word of
increasing persecution in that country, and I hope you will join me in
praying for those arrested last Thursday.
Took advantage of the
absolutely gorgeous weather today to introduce my Arabian gelding to the
farm - not quite all 123 acres of it, but a good chunk nonetheless.
Tomorrow it's Traveler's turn. Felt a bit like George Washington, who
mounted one of his steeds every morning and surveyed his farms - some
10,000 acres at one point. Felt good to be on horseback again after five
weeks in Ethiopia (where I did, however, ride mules!). (Below: Bradford
Hall and, below it, Maple Ridge.)
To use the serial comma
or not - I do - and various and sundry other questions about
A new reader sent me this
Wow! I've only read a couple
of your essays and articles, but this is some of the most thoughtful,
exhaustive, engaging, biblically based commentary I've ever read.... I
strongly agree in your stand on "limited government and constitutionally
Theo Sommer thinks George
W. Bush is a "sobered man." He also thinks the Europeans can work with
this embattled president. Read
Never Waste a Crisis
from Die Zeit.
Tom DiLorenzo on
problem with the federal government.
In his latest blog entry,
Darrell Dow exposes the
weaknesses of the so-called Just War Theory as applied to the Iraq War.
Certainly it is more important to lead a soul to Christ than to debate the
virtues of war, but the sound evaluation of a faulty theory can be as holy
an act as the winning of a soul. Kudos to Darrell for his bold and
evangelical church in America 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.
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
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.
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.
who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible, but
I hope you had a great day yesterday. The highlight of our Thanksgiving as
a family was singing for the shut-ins at the local nursing home, going
from room to room, taking requests, and even having the patients sing
along on occasion. In the world of men we find nothing as blessed as
serving others in the name of Christ. We are a rich people indeed.
Thanksgiving Day, November 25
The latest from the able pen of
I find the similarities
between our country’s currency and “Christianity” curious. Both are
widely accepted parodies of the past that now drift on a sea of
relativism with values that have depreciated dramatically over the years
along with the culture and its cravings. But because the deterioration
has spanned several decades, few can really appreciate what has been
This just in from a good friend and long time DBO reader. It is the nicest
Thanksgiving present I could receive.
Just wanted to say Happy
Thanksgiving to you and your family. We didn't get the election results
we wanted but it was not from lacking of trying. At the end of the day I
can honestly say that [we] did our best to get Michael Peroutka elected
president. His message marches on, because his message is the message of
righteousness and truthfulness. We will continue to pray for this
nation. Like Lee said so many years ago, "everything is in God's hands".
Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing spreading His word all over
the globe. You are one of a kind and always in our thoughts and prayers.
It's pretty obvious that ours is not a website for
the idealistic, Utopian liberal humanist, but neither it is intended to
make pom-pom waving New Righters feel very comfortable. Does anyone
listen? Very few, likely. When was the last time you saw a quote from DBO
in the Washington Post or even World Magazine for that matter? How
pleasant to know that most American evangelicals will be eating their
turkey suppers today without the slightest pang of conscience about all
the contempt for human life, the avarice, the theological compromise. Yet
the issue of our biblical and constitutional foundations is not some
abstract national debate to be dabbled in, but a life and death struggle
with the forces of evil. Anyone who chooses to see through the benign
appearances to the cancerous reality would, I think, be EXTREMELY grateful
to the Almighty for His mercy upon our undeserving nation this
Thanksgiving. I wanted you to know that the editor of DBO does not take
your readership lightly, nor is he ungrateful to God or to you for your
encouragement these past two years.
The fact that we mortals are inclined to treat our pets with more concern
than aborted innocents is no excuse to revert to the crudest and most
archaic of all solutions to solve our problems: hubris. Thus it is with
deepest gratitude that I tender to all of you my sincerest thanks for your
support and my very best wishes for a happy and healthy - and
Christ-centered - Thanksgiving Day, 2004.
Wednesday, November 24
This just in:
I wanted to pass along two links for another great family-integrated
ministry and church that I have found.
Thank you, brother.
The Swiss are now seeking nominations for the "word
of the year." Last year's winner? Konkordanz.
Seeking a degree over an education? Beware the
Kim considers herself
uniquely blessed this Thanksgiving - she's finally learned to accept
her husband's personality:
I am so, so blessed!
I can be bossy. I can be domineering.
It's in my genes. The women in my family are generally of the
take-charge nature. By today's standards that is
an asset. But by God's eternal standard it is a liability, especially in
My husband, like my father, is an easy-going man. Stable, steady, loyal.
He can be counted on. And I, too often, take him for granted.
I realized ... that I have been resentful of my husband's nature.
Instead of accepting his God-given personality, which is quite
commendable, by the way, I've been looking down at him. He's not the
take-charge type. He's the steady, loyal, faithful type. Instead of
seeing the positive things about him, I usually only see the negative. I
should've been thankful for who God made him to be. And I am now.
husband Mr. Command Man, Mr. Visionary, or Mr. Steady? Find out
No need to reinvent the wheel, friends, when it comes to establishing
another great success story.
The Episcopal Church continues to
"We serve the Episcopal
Church, but welcome Christians of every label. We are a Christian
community, welcoming people of any faith, or none. Our community is
diverse in terms of age, race, gender and orientation. Jesus is our Way,
but not to the exclusion of all other paths to God."
October's Jeb Stuart reenactment in beautiful Laurel Hill, Virginia, was a
real blast. Here's a pic of some of the men from our unit (30th North
Carolina Troops) during weapons inspection, including my son Nathan (far
left), our brigade bugler:
Students of Koine Greek often think they can use what they learn in class to
get around in Athens. Modern Greek is, of course, very much different from
what they are learning in school. Here's an
for those who desire a familiarity with Modern Greek. While there are
significant differences, there are also many similarities!
For you wordsmiths: Thanksgiving Day
origins, such as:
is a Latin form evolved from two words cornu copiae, "horn of
The horn of plenty was fabled to be the horn of the goat nymph
Amalthaea, whose milk was fed to the baby Zeus in Greek mythology. The
cornucopia is a goat's horn filled with corn and other grains, flowers,
and fruit. It has long been a symbol of fruitfulness and abundance and
at Thanksgiving, baskets shaped like cornucopia are filled and put on
Blogs for Peroutka has a new name and face
(faces, that is - I love the portrait, Pieter!).
Check it out.
Tuesday, November 23
I won't be missing
these two, as I get all my news from the www.
This just in:
2nd annual DIXIE DAYS
hosted by the Cold Harbor Guards SCV Camp #1764 will be held May 6-8
2005 at Pole Green Park, Mechanicsville, Virginia. Living history,
infantry and artillery demonstrations, and featuring" The
Battle of Bethesda Church" reenactment. Info and registration
www.coldharborguards.com ph.804-512-7210 or 804-901-4970 for more
The diversity of the Ethiopian
landscape is amazing. One writer has called the country a land "in which
the past lies heavy, very remote, actual and indecipherable." I used to
tell my students to go to the Holy Land if they wanted to see what it was like
to live in the First Century. Now I will tell them to go to Ethiopia. The
capital, Addis Ababa, is modern (at least parts of it), but outside of
Addis life goes on much as it has for centuries - slowly,
ponderously, gracefully even - with the mass of the people hardly even
aware of their own existence as part of a larger and more unified whole.
Even the poorest peasant has a dignity and self-sufficiency that is
impressive. I have truly grown to love these people. (Pics soon!)
The truth about the
blue and the red.
Covenant News is one the
finest sites on the web for up-to-date posts on politics, culture, and
commentary. Here's a sampling:
How many injured and ill soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are left
off the Pentagon’s casualty count? Would you believe 15,000? "More than
15,000 troops with so-called 'non-battle' injuries and diseases have been
evacuated from Iraq."
- Hiding the Casualty Count
- Battlegroups First Step Towards Euro Army
- U.S. Tanks from North Korea sent to Iraq
- Republicans Derail 9/11 Reform
- Bush Vows to Fight For Intelligence Bill
- Generals Want More Troops in Iraq
- McCain: Up to 50,000 more US troops needed
- Fallujah Assault Set to Music
Ivan Eland's latest essay exposes
weaknesses in U.S. foreign policy toward Israel:
Policy Harms Prospects for Middle East Peace.
Monday, November 22
Who's got the post-election blues?
(Mark: I too am inclined to adopt the
"church-world" polarization found in Gaudium et Spes. I am also
sometimes inclined to think that our movement has produced no devotional
literature or serious study toward a devotional frame of mind. Then I read
your works and am rebuked. Gratia et pax, my friend.)
problem they don't have in Ethiopia.
Temptation - the key to George Bush's
U.S. complicity with Saddam: "Now we condemn
civilian casualties, now we don't."
(Professor, did you catch
this pronouncement made by the Reverend Falwell? Está loco, verdad?)
Did you have to remind me, Izzy?
Why the nine healed lepers never
returned to thank Jesus:
One waited to see if the
cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, "O, well, Jesus didn't really do anything."
One said, "Any rabbi could have done it."
One said, "I was already much improved."
Heard about the lady who was asking
God to help her find a parking place in a crowded shopping mall? Just then
a car pulled out, leaving her a place to park. "You can forget it,
God," she said. "I just found one."
John MacArthur with
five reasons to give thanks this Thanksgiving. I especially like
William Einwechter on the
law. In examining the whole of Scripture, I believe that the answer
Bill gives is the correct one, and the only possible biblical one - that
is, that all law derives from the ultimate Lawgiver, Jesus Christ.
Hence civil magistrates are never autonomous - though they often act that
But civil magistrates are not autonomous;
they are servants of God who are required to govern according to His law
13:1-6). Their role is illuminated for
They are not the creators of law or justice. True law and true justice
are determined by the Creator. The civil magistrate's duty is to
interpret and apply the law of God to his jurisdiction. All human
legislation is to flow from the principles of law and justice revealed
in Scripture by the foremost lawgiver.
As men cast off the rule
of God, they tend to substitute the rule of the state in its place. The
vacuum in regard to law and order that is left in society when God's
rule and law are set aside is inevitably filled by the state. The state
assumes the role of supreme lawgiver over all men and institutions.
Legislators become known as "lawmakers" who create law on the basis of
human reason and political expediency. Judges become known as "activist
judges" who decree what the law shall mean and how it shall be applied
according to their own notions of "social justice" and of right and
wrong. Divine law does not bind magistrates like these; they deny and
despise the concept of a divine higher law that they must take into
account and submit to in their legislation. The theory of legal
positivism--that law finds its existence and sanction in the
pronouncement of the state; that justice is upholding whatever the state
says is law--is the explicit repudiation of the scriptural principle
that "there is one lawgiver."
If you live near Mecklenburg
Virginia you are cordially invited to hear my wife and me as we report on our Abyssinian
Adventure at our home congregation, Averett Baptist Church, Sunday, December 5, at 7:00 pm. I praise
the Lord for the phenomenal time we had in Ethiopia teaching, preaching,
and doing medical work (during my wife's first night at the clinic in
Langano she delivered a baby!). I've seen the Holy Spirit work in ways
like I've never seen before. The infinite,
finished work of Christ on the cross not only opens the gates of heaven
but also provides, in the present life, many wonderful opportunities for
service. Come and share these blessings with us!
(Below: Wall paintings in
an Orthodox monastery on an island we visited in Lake Tana. The Ethiopian
Orthodox Church is strongest in the north, but even here the Gospel is
being proclaimed - and believed.)
From the "Farewell Sermon" of
Jonathan Edwards, leader of the Great Awakening in New England, comes this
wise counsel on the family (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I,
We have had great disputes
[about] how the church ought to be regulated; and indeed the subject of
these disputes was of great importance: but the due regulation of your
families is of no less, and, in some respects, of
greater importance. Every Christian family ought to be as it were a
little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed
by his rules. And family education and order are some of the chief means
of grace. If
these fail, all other means are likely to prove in effectual. If these
are duly maintained, all the means of grace will be likely to prosper and be
Let me now therefore, once
more, before I finally cease to speak to this congregation, repeat, and
earnestly press the counsel which I have often urged on the heads of
families, while I was their pastor, to great painfulness in teaching,
warning, and directing their children; bringing them up in the training
and admonition of the Lord; beginning early, where there is yet
opportunity, and maintaining constant diligence in labors of this kind.
Remember that, as you
would not have all your instructions and counsels ineffectual, there
must be government as well as instructions, which must be maintained
with an even hand, and steady resolution, as a guard to the religion and
morals of your family, and the support of its good order. Take heed that
it not be with any of you as it was with Eli of old, who reproved his
children, but restrained them not; and that, by this means, you do not
bring the like curse on your families as he did on his.
When Christians send their
women to work and put their children in daycare, they have announced to
the world that mamma is replaceable. If just anyone can train up a
child, why bother having mamma at home? Indeed, if daycare centers can
feed and clothe our children and teach them what they need to know, who
needs families at all? We may as well all go off in our own separate
directions and make money so we can buy all the stuff that the "American
dream" is made of. And if mothers do not have a special, God-given role
in the lives of their children, then why should it matter if mamma wears
combat boots or takes a bullet?
When Mamma Wears Combat Boots.
Saturday, November 20
We saw "Lucy"
in an Addis Ababa museum. Give me a break, folks.
Bill and Hillary Update:
Here's the new Clinton Library.
And here's the
Counter Clinton Library.
Covenant News introduces a
Quote of the day:
Politics as usual. But if people didn't vote for Bush, a pro-abortion
candidate might have won.
Oh wait... one did.
You CNN fans will enjoy (?)
this exchange between Bruce Morton and John Lofton of the Peroutka
Campaign. While you're laughing you'll need to excuse me: I need to go out
and feed the horses.
As Michael’s director of communications, I got a call from CNN saying they
wanted to do a report about our campaign on their program “Inside
Politics.” The reporter would be former CBS News correspondent Bruce
When Morton and I talk to set something up, he says he’s been looking at
our Web page. He wants to know if Michael is elected, “will he repeal the
First Amendment which separates church and state?” I tell
him that there is nothing in this Amendment calling for such a separation.
Morton: “Well, it says you can’t have an established religion and your guy
sounds as if he wants one….He wants a Christian country and that sounds
like establishment to me. But, I am no Constitutional scholar.”
Indeed he is not. I patiently explain to Morton that what our
Founders did not want was a national religion established by the
Federal Government. I say Michael doesn’t want this either but he
does not believe --- like our Founders --- that you should separate
God and government. Referring to our campaign themes --- God,
family, republic --- I note that the Declaration Of Independence speaks of
unalienable rights, from God, that it is the purpose of government
Morton: “Yes, I’ve read it, thank you.”
But, Morton persists: “So, you would leave the First Amendment
I tell him I’m trying to take his question seriously but I can’t. I ask
him what have we said that indicates we would not leave the First
Morton: “Well, you appear to want a specifically Christian country.”
I reply: “Well, no, we actually want a Christian world. But, again, we do
not want a Federally-established national religion. And, again, we believe
what our Founders believed, that our unalienable rights come from God and
it is the role of the civil government to protect these God-given
Morton: “Good enough.”
I reply: “God bless you.” He hangs up.
My friend (and Southeastern grad)
Voddie Baucham has published a
tome exposing the need for modern evangelicalism to penetrate and
Here's an excerpt from chapter 1:
There was a time when
American culture looked favorably upon Christianity. In fact, Chief
Justice John Jay once referred to America as a Christian nation. There
is no doubt that the founders of this great nation built it upon
biblical principles. But things have changed.
We now live in what has
commonly been referred to as “post-Christian” America. In fact, there
are many who wish to purge America of any Christian influence. It
sometimes seems as though someone in power woke up one day and said,
“Christianity was useful once, even important and comfortable for a
while, but it doesn’t fit our needs anymore. It’s fine to practice your
faith at church, but keep it out of the marketplace of ideas.” Some go
further than wanting Christianity to be less visible; they are openly
antagonistic. Christians in America are finding themselves in an
increasingly hostile environment.
This state of affairs is
nothing new for the church. Throughout history Christians have been the
targets of ridicule and persecution. While there are lessons to be
learned from the suffering and endurance of our contemporaries, it is
always best to begin with believers who have gone before us—those who
are a part of the historical record and whose stories have been
provided, protected, and preserved in the Bible.
Voddie is also working on two other books
that I can't wait to read: Family-Driven Faith and The
Family-Friendly Church. Here's his
Speaking of the Islands, here's a
sampling of my first language:
'Ol King Kam
He one funny 'ol man
One funny 'ol man he waz
He like fo kau kau
At his bruddah's luau
An kanikapila awl night
Wit his kuz
If you can understand this jibberish, you
one akamai kanaka, bro!
Izzy Lyman linked to
story on Hawaii's abysmal government schools (of which I am,
unfortunately, a product). Note the misspelling in the first sentence.
Hawaii was ranked 44th in the nation in
academic achievment, 43rd in average SAT scores, and came in dead last
in "educational freedom," according to a nationwide analysis by the
American Legislative Exchange Council.
This despite the fact that Hawaii was cited as one of the ten states
with the greatest improvement in student-to-teacher ratios.
You should care about
OK, youse MPs have done
gone too far!
hits the nail on the head:
The Queen of England feels no need to apologize for Dresden.
"Dresden was a legitimate strategic target in a total war that had to be
brought to an end as quickly as possible." W.T. Sherman couldn’t have
said it better himself. Likewise, the men who flew the Enola Gay were
convinced that by incinerating civilians (along with the 200-year-old
Christian community in Nagasaki) they were saving lives by shortening
the war with Japan. Churchill understood the Bush Doctrine of
pre-emptive war. The British declared war on Germany at a time when
Germany had not threatened England at all (just like the US and Iraq).
Two days after declaring war, the Royal Air Force began attacking
civilian targets, beginning with Cuxhaven and Wilhelmshaven. The first
German attacks against England were 15 days later, and only against
military targets. The death toll in Hamburg in three nights of bombing
in 1943 was 46,000. In Dresden, in one week, it was 250-300,000. The
British and US fighters then strafed the streets with their machine guns
to kill the dangerous women, children, and pensioners. More bombs were
dropped on Berlin in one day than were dropped by the
German Air Force on Great Britain during the whole war. But no! Why
should the Queen apologize for spreading freedom? As a more sensible
Thomas Fleming once said, "when a government targets the civilians of
Dresden, Hiroshima, Novi Sad, or Baghdad, it is criminal
in the eyes of all believing Christians. To believe otherwise is to
ignore 2,000 years of Christian teaching and to reject Christ himself.
Killing the innocent - whether it is done by Herod, an abortion doctor,
or a government authorizing the terror-bombing of cities - is a grave
Alas, the "Just
War Doctrine" goes awry - again.
(Below: Civilian casualties in
From the mailbag:
17 year old home-schooled student .... I have recently found myself
appalled at the so-called conservatives and their blindness to the lies
and half-truths from the republican party. How can they miss this! I
have been very frustrated. I was raised in a die-hard conservative family
and was taught to believe that Bush was the best thing since sliced
bread. Well, I recently found this not to be true when I visited your
site. It all came together. Now, when I register to vote, it sure will
not be as a republican. Now I am trying to convince my father and others
to look into the Constitution Party. They simply say, "Why waste a vote?
Why take votes from Bush?" I say why vote for the lesser of two evils? I
could not simply vote for either Bush or Kerry with a clear conscience.
My spring 2005 schedule is now in place:
Seminar in Greek Linguistics (Ph.D. level)
I will also be teaching the J-term
Beginning Greek class that meets January 10-28 daily from 9:00-12:00 noon.
Looking forward to seeing you in the classroom!!
The first student I met on campus yesterday
said I looked like I lost weight on my trip. Actually, I never ate so good -
or so much. Injera/wat - the traditional Ethiopian cuisine - is both
healthy and filling. And at SIM headquarters in Addis we were treated to
huge amounts of "ferengy" (foreigner) food. Apparently all this eating
isn't showing in my waistline (thankfully). Health-wise we did great
except for a sunburn I got while on a 7 hour outing by mule to visit my
wife's former mission station (now deserted). I used it as an excuse to
tell people I was now a real Ethiopian (the word "Ethiopians" means, of
course, "people with burnt faces"). At any rate, many thanks for your
prayers for health and strength during out travels. The Lord certainly
I just knowed it! Six Southern states rank
among the top ten in the
Generosity Index. No surprises here, yall.
The tension between church-in-Christ and church-in-society is inevitable.
The important thing is to acknowledge the tension and to use it as
fruitfully as we can. The tension between the church-in-Christ and the
church-of-the-nation is another matter altogether, as pointed out in an
excellent essay by William Shearer
Election 2004. An insightful read!
Friday, November 19
From the monasteries of Lake Tana to the
rock-hewn churches of Lalibela to the Castles of Gonder to the tropical
forests of Dilla to the mission stations of Hadiya and Burji to the
cacophonous streets of Addis Ababa to the front porch of Bradford Hall,
Virginia, a hearty GOOD MORNING. My first priority since completing our
Abyssinian Adventure is to respond to your emails, then update the
website. To tell the story of the church in Ethiopia demands more time and
skill than I possess, but I shall try, in the coming days, to give you a
glimpse of the Christian valor and devotion of our brothers and sisters in
the Horn of Africa. Meanwhile, welcome back to DBO, and sincerest thanks
for your prayers during our sojourn. I really missed you. Dave
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