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2.09.2015

Fearing God alone on the subject of race

One area Christians of pretty much all stripes are fearfully obnoxious is on the subject of the races of mankind. None of them want to be honest about it, or just say, "I don't know." Because both approaches open them up to charges of racism from the world (and the Devil).

In my world, the world of Christians who fear God alone, the demagogic use of the term "racist" is either a synonym for "truth teller" or "true."

"You're a racist!" equals "You're a truth teller!"

"That's racist!" equals "That's true!"

"Saying black people commit the most crime in this city is racist!" equals "Saying black people commit the most crime in this city is true!"

"You said black people indulge resentment and look for handouts rather than making efforts to better their lives...you're a racist!" equals "You said black people indulge resentment and look for handouts rather than making efforts to better their lives...you're a truth teller!"

So let's be a truth teller. Why do young earth creationists not have a real answer for the existence of the white, black, and Asian races? All we get from them is renditions of mealy mouthed politically correct inanity. They're not just scared of the world, their scared of their own shadow on this subject.

Why not fear God alone and come up with a biblical answer?

By the way, evolutionists are no better. The first and second and third even generations of evolutionists considered blacks and Asians to be very close to the monkey world that they say they evolved out of, while whites are further evolved from the monkey realm. Then they realized it wasn't kosher to hold to that view, at least publicly, so they internalized it, still believe it, but don't say it.

I don't believe in old earth creation for many reasons, but their explanation that mankind is different due to *micro* evolution over time doesn't convince. When we see black Africans we are seeing a distinct type. We're not seeing a menagerie of mutts. Characteristics of blacks, characteristics of Asians, characteristics of whites are uniform. Interbreeding between the three creates the menagerie, but the universal types can be seen and are the standard.

So what is the biblical answer?

What is the Mark of Cain? What is the Curse of Ham? I don't know. I haven't had a lot of material to learn from. Christians fearfully avoid (when they're not mocking) this subject.

I do believe that black Africans and far east Asians are Hamites (descendents of Noah's son Ham). [Edit: I would not be surprised if Asians as a distinct type are of Shem rather than Ham; and see *note below.]

I do believe white Europeans are Japhethites (descendents of Noah's son Japheth).

I do believe what is left of the purer semites (Jews, Arabs, and some people are now calling Syrians and Iraqis Assyrians, etc.) are Shemites (descendents of Noah's son Shem.)

I do also believe there is warrant in Scripture to see Cain's line as a line defiled by Satan that subsequently has polluted a vast number of human beings throughout the ages.

I believe that polluted line was carried through the flood either in Ham's wife (tradition) or the subsequent cursing of Ham's son Canaan.

This is not to say the Holy Spirit doesn't, or can't, regenerate individuals out of all races and people groups. He Who can give a new heart can repair and clean a defiled soul.

I think any answer a young earth creationist gives for why there are such distinct and different races of mankind will necessarily involve and come out of the information above.

The missing element is the fear of God alone.

_______
*I see a lot of Cain's defiled blood in the various Asian peoples. I also see a deep mongrelization of the Asian races that make it more difficult to see their distinct type which is most likely Shemite.

2.07.2015

A recent prayer I jotted down

Ask for connection with the Kingdom of the Triune God. Everything else is vanity (emptiness) and death.

(My thought as a context of saying this prayer was imagining a person who was almost like an angel and was able to effect events and so on, yet if he wasn't part of the Kingdom of God it is all empty and dead. My saying 'you don't want to be the most awake person in hell' gets at this too; but it's more because you want your actions to be part of the plan of God, not some empty side show. You want to be in that stream of fate that is the power of the Kingdom of God. Maybe you're able to be an active agent in that stream, maybe you've developed to be able to do that, yet it's not empty and dead if you have that connection to what is real.)

1.27.2015

How to distinguish Puritans

There is some confusion among Reformed academics - theologians and church historians - as to how to define who was and who wasn't a Puritan and whether there was any such thing as Puritans at all to begin with (some actually wonder this).

I see it this way: my observation that there is an academic approach to the faith and a spiritual warfare approach plays into this problem they have. The academic types can't see the spiritual warfare types or their approach.

The Puritans are defined as Reformed (Calvinist) believers who took (take) a spiritual warfare approach to the faith. This is why they are seen as practical and "reducing to practice" the Christian faith; because when you take a spiritual warfare approach you are like a soldier on a battlefield (the spiritual battlefield), and there is no more practical individual or group of individuals than a soldier on a battlefield. They need real things, no arguments. And doctrine becomes the real armor of God. They don't care that real doctrine is "hard" or insults their fallen nature. They are on a battlefield facing real enemies. They don't care if some people's feelings are getting hurt by the existence of real unwatered-down doctrine, that is what they need to survive.

The Puritans (then and today) understood regeneration and how it puts one on a real spiritual battlefield; and how doctrine becomes real armor of God.

People who take an academic approach to the faith - God bless them, we all benefit from their work (some of their work anyway) - can't see the seriousness or even reality of the spiritual battlefield and what soldiers on that battlefield need, hence they have difficultly even seeing those soldiers or sometimes even admitting they exist at all.

Another difference between Puritans and other Reformed types is Puritans tended to be outside the Establishment of their time. In fact they were often fleeing the law and even their home countries.

When John Owen met John Bunyan we saw the two types together; and notice who it was who admired the other with more respect and awe. If you don't know it was John Owen who expressed his respect for John Bunyan, and you can feel that in the anecdote as it's come down to us. Owen may actually have been more Puritan than his position allowed him to be. Gurnall would be another who felt the tension of being a Puritan by type yet who hadn't crossed the divide from Establishment to outsider during his life and career.

1.25.2015

Being ashamed of Christ

The shame of the cross and invoking the name Jesus that we feel when in the face of the world is due to the fact that our original and active sin and guilt and pollution is lying in denial inside us and everybody else, and invoking the cross and the name Jesus is like a public admission of that sin and guilt and pollution; and we know and experience that the world will not share in our admission but actually condemn us for it due to it cutting them close regarding it all.

Humans always get embarrassed when we genuinely admit real shortcoming or failure or downright moral turpitude (and invoking the cross and Christ is the ultimate of that, as it condemns all deeply); and other people, the world, get embarrassed for us, for themselves, for it all, and angry that anyone would even broach the subject.

That is what is behind our feeling of being ashamed of the Gospel and being ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ, and why we are reluctant to speak it in the face of the world.

1.09.2015

The Third Kingdom by Louis Berkhof (repost from 2011)

"Miracle, in short, is the normal frontier phenomenon."

The Third Kingdom is a paper written by theologian Louis Berkhof in the 19th century (hence when he was much younger). Here's a summary of each paragraph of the essay, 32 paragraphs or so in all.

Note: The title refers to there being three kingdoms: the 1st Kingdom being the Inorganic; the 2nd Kingdom being the organic (where human beings live); and the 3rd Kingdom being the Spiritual, or Kingdom of God.

1. That God was preparing or drawing a people out of the Second Kingdom is a main fact of the ancient world. The Israelites believed this to the extent that they refused to have an earthly king, believing their King to be of the Third Kingdom.

2. This longing for a more perfect Kingdom of God burned through the history of the Israelites up until the advent of Jesus Christ.

3. Jesus announced Himself as the King of this promised Kingdom. He gathered to Himself the first few subjects and assumed Sovereignty and framed a constitution and throughout his life the fact of the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven) was foundational to all He said.

4. (Here it gets tricky. Berkhof had not yet developed an understanding of the theory of evolution - the theory of evolution itself nor the theory of evolution vis-a-vis the Creation account - at the time of writing this paper. He is clearly in a naive state regarding it. So you have him using the language of evolution and championing Science - capitalized - as leading the way to greater understanding of the Bible and the Kingdom, etc.; yet you also have to know that in his naivete on the subject he thinks, for instance, that atheism has been forever done away with by Science in his day and by the theory of evolution [you have to read his other essays contemporaneous to this one to see this]. To see what the mature Berkhof thought of evolution go to his Systematic Theology, pages 160-164, and pages 183-188, in the Eerdman's edition.) OK, so he sees science even seeing nature as a kingdom, in ascent, kingdom rising upon kingdom, to an apex yet unseen. The whole creation groaneth and travaileth, waiting for the redemption of the creature.

5. So what is this Third Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, which all creation strives for in some evolutionary sense (leave soteriology out of this here, Berkhof is not making those kinds of distinctions in this essay).

6. This paragraph I will just paste whole: 'The form of the question which chiefly interests us in the present inquiry is, Does the Kingdom of God [i.e. the Third Kingdom] propose to do anything abnormal, extravagant, or unintelligible? Is it a new and unrelated effect that is to be wrought on the subjects of this Kingdom [i.e. the Second Kingdom in which we human beings live], or is it something still consistently in line with continuity? Certainly if it could be shown that the aim of the Third Kingdom was in harmony with all that has gone before, it would go a long way to remove any prejudice that may exist against it on the ground of what men call its unnaturalness and "other-worldliness."' Here it sounds like he's appealing to scientists to cast off their materialism and naturalism and not be prejudiced toward the Kingdom of God.

7. Keep in mind that in this essay Berkhof is exploring the border region (or even overlap region) between the Second Kingdom and the Third Kingdom. It's unusual because it is not a common subject for a Reformed theologian to explore. Even the metaphor of three kingdoms, as he's using it, if you want to label it a metaphor, is foreign to theology in general. In this paragraph he's trying to convince Science of the existence of the Third Kingdom (or Spirit Kingdom, or Kingdom of God) by appealing to its naturalness as an object - evolutionary object - of life, a summum bonum, a chief end of man. Philosophers from ancient times have held it as the goal, etc. It's 'unnatural' to deny it.

8. This paragraph I'll paste whole: "Now as a matter of fact the aim of Christianity, in its general direction, is the aim of all philosophy. Christianity fell naturally into the stream of evolution which was carrying the world through kingdom after kingdom to a high and perfect development. Its idea of development was immeasurably loftier than that of philosophy, and the means for carrying out the process were altogether different; but the goal in either case, though not the same, lay in the same general line. I have defined the aim of philosophy to be the moral development of the race. When it is said, however, that this is also the aim of Christianity we must attach a higher significance to the term moral. Morality is a word of the Second Kingdom. In the Third we look for its evolution. We shall still recognise the old quality, but it will really exist in a form so greatly developed that we may be justified in substituting for morality the word spirituality. At the same time it must again be repeated that the development of the spiritual from the natural man is not a case of simple evolution. The natural character does not simply grow better and better until a pitch of excellence is reached such as finally deserves the distinguishing name of spirituality. Spirituality and morality differ qualitatively as well as quantitatively. The natural development can never pass the barrier separating the Second from the Third Kingdom. The transition is secured, just as in the case of atoms passing from the First to the Second Kingdom, by means of something not inherent in the lower Kingdom but communicated ab extra."

9. This paragraph kind of makes a distinction following from the above paragraph that is not so important to repeat here.

10. Here Berkhof speaks of the impressiveness of Christianity and how he won't go too much into it proper because it's not the subject of this essay to do that.

11. He concludes the above paragraph by suggesting if someone wants to investigate the Third Kingdom from this angle he read the Sermon on the Mount and the seven petitions in the Lord's Prayer.

12. Same as above.

13. "While the design of the Third Kingdom coincides somewhat with the purpose of Moral Philosophy, its apparatus and methods are widely different. And they are different mainly in respect of two things already mentioned. Christianity provides an ideal which is the highest possible, and equips the subjects of the Kingdom with powers in every way adequate to realize that ideal. The problems connected with the ideal will be referred to again, but the question of the powers of the spiritual Kingdom may now be dealt with under a separate head."

14. "The fundamental difference between the Second and Third Kingdoms consists in what, for want of a better name, may be called their Energies." He distinguishes in this long paragraph between the natural man's notion of a higher third kingdom with the reality of it as Christianity reveals it. The need to be born again first, etc.

15. He furthers explains that the Third Kingdom requires Spiritually being born again, which has not to do with biology, etc. (He's speaking to scientists, apparently, who aren't familiar with biblical revelation. I suppose. I don't know who the audience of this paper or talk actually was.)

16. Here he continues to speak of the very different nature of 'life' in the Third Kingdom.

17. He's here describing the difference of the power of the Third Kingdom and the Second Kingdom. 'The sum of New Testament doctrine is that there is an immediate action of the Spirit of God on the souls of men. In the New Testament alone the Spirit is referred to nearly three hundred times. And the one word with which He is constantly associated is Power. If we are asked to define more clearly what is meant by this Power we hand over the difficulty to science. When science can define Life and Force we may hope for further clearness on the nature and action of the Spiritual Powers. At the same time we are forewarned that with our present faculties we can never pass far beyond the threshold of these hidden things. Their very power of evading the senses is the mysterious token of their spirituality. It is the test of the Spirit that thou canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth. If we could tell, if we could trace it naturally to its source, if we could account for its operations on ordinary principles, if we could define regeneration as the effect of moral persuasion, we should be dealing not with the Unknown but with the Known. It is from the analysis of natural religion, where the elements can all be rationally accounted for, that men derive their chief argument against the supernatural. But in analyzing spirituality the effort to detect the Living Spirit is as idle as to subject protoplasm to microscopic examination in the hope of discovering Life. When the Spiritual Life is discovered in the laboratory it will be time to give it up altogether. It may then say, as Socrates of his soul, "You can bury me—if you can catch me."'

18. "While the Powers of the Third Kingdom evade analysis their Energy is not less real. The activities of the Third Person of the Trinity have always been described as dynamical. The Spirit is the executive of the Godhead, carrying out the sovereign Will by operations as irresistible as they are subtle. To this omnipotent agency are to be referred ultimately all changes which take place within the Kingdom of God on earth. This is the Source of Energy for the Third Kingdom."

19. "[Let's]inquire for the evidence of the spiritual operations themselves... It will assist us, however, in understanding the evidence, as well as in defining the kind of result to be looked for, if we take one more backward glance at the two earlier Kingdoms. Suppose we take our stand for a moment on the confines of the Inorganic Kingdom. What order of phenomena will strike us first? Shall we see the Second Kingdom act on the First, and if so, in what particular way?"

[The next three paragraphs are given in full because they show where the essay is going.]

20. "As we take our first survey of the Inorganic Kingdom we seem to be surrounded by the dead. Every Atom obeys the law of inertia, or yields to simple changes induced by polar, molecular, or other forces. But presently, into this dead world, an unknown Power descends, feels about, seizes certain Atoms, and manipulates them in unprecedented ways. This mysterious Power is the Power of the Kingdom next in order above. To that Kingdom, indeed, the operations of Life, as facts of everyday occurrence, are not mysterious. But to the Atoms they are unintelligible and very wonderful. Here is one Atom raised from the dead. Here is another refusing to bend its will to the attraction of gravity A third, subject to crystalline forces from the beginning, suddenly defies them and takes its place as a part of the higher symmetry of a living organism. As their Fellow-Atoms observe these extraordinary changes, from time to time occurring around them, they have only one word which adequately describes them—they are Miracles."

21. "Taking our stand now on the confines of the Organic [the Second Kingdom], shall we not be presented with the same strange spectacle? Once more we are surrounded by the dead. Once more a Power descends out of another Kingdom—a Kingdom just in order above—and manipulates Organisms in unprecedented ways. Here is one Organism raised from the dead. Here is another refusing to bend its will to the attraction of sin. A third, subject to deforming forces from the beginning, suddenly defies them, and assumes a high and noble spiritual symmetry. And as their Fellow-Organisms observe these changes, their word again is Miracle."

22. "This, then, is what meets us first at the portals of the Third Kingdom—Miracle. We find an order of phenomena strange and inexplicable to the lower Kingdom, but as normal within its own sphere as are the operations of Life in the Organic. As the powers of the Second Kingdom master the First, so the powers of the Third master the Second. But this is not what is usually called Miracle. Miracle is a much narrower thing—so very narrow a thing that up to this point we have scarcely even come in sight of it. To single out a few specific wonders authenticated by ancient documents, and to attach to them the epithet Miracle, is a limitation so monstrous and unwarranted that the protest against it cannot come too soon."

23. So miracle describes the presence of the Third Kingdom. (Berkhof, by the way, I think without realizing it, is speaking in the language of cosmoses.) And miracles are much bigger than mere acts of healing or whatnot. The fact of a Christian itself is a miracle. The play of the Spiritual power upon the soul, etc. If you deny the existence of the Third Kingdom miracles have to become delusion or fraud.

24. "If, on the other hand, one accepts the Third Kingdom, the miraculous becomes not only credible but necessary The Third Kingdom would not be the Third Kingdom if it could not operate on the Kingdom beneath it in a way which to the Kingdoms below would seem miraculous. The Second Kingdom is the Second Kingdom because it can operate on the First in a way which to the First must seem miraculous. It is superior to the First in virtue of the superiority of its powers and the corresponding complexity of its organisms. In precisely the same way the Third rises superior to the Second."

25. "[If] one runs his eye over the boundary line dividing the Inorganic from the Organic, and finds the whole frontier abounding in similar activities, like the seaward margin of a coral reef fringed with the living polypes, he receives a new impression of their character and relations. He sees that these marvellous reactions are at that point no longer the exception but the rule. Miracle, in short, is the normal frontier phenomenon."

"Along the line of junction, again, between the Natural and the Spiritual a similar set of activities are carrying on their ceaseless work. Contemplated from the bottom of the Second Kingdom, where on an isolated group here and there these activities are operating on grosser material, the phenomena are exceptional, unintelligible, and miraculous. But on the frontier they are the normal actions of the Third Kingdom on the Second, demanded by Continuity, justified in the magnitude and gathering potency of their operations by Evolution and susceptible of the same kind of proof."

26. "That they are so little observed in the higher reaches is due to a peculiar law of their being. The Kingdom cometh without observation."

27. "But in the first days of Christianity the invisibility of its forces formed a drawback to its development. If not essential, it was at least advisable that the outside world should become at once aware of its pretensions. And if the secret operations of the Spirit in regenerating men were then insufficient to attract attention, it became necessary for the manifestation to descend to what some might call a lower plane. [...] And although it is proper to notice the striking and suggestive fact of the extreme conservation of this power in the life-work of Jesus, it is equally necessary to bear in mind that He continually did works which no other man did, and periodically appealed to these as a ground why the members of the Natural Kingdom should accept the Spiritual."

28. Berhkof says that we can't use the miracles in the New Testament to continue to make claims for Christianity and it's higher powers, but we have to recognize the miracles that are happening now (this paragraph is a bit difficult to decipher, Berkhof isn't turning charismatic on us here).

29. "Now, if Christianity ceased to act with the first century, I do not see that we can argue for the miraculous. Unless we include the Third Kingdom in our conception a miracle is certainly a violation of the laws of nature. And if the Third Kingdom has passed away miracles may be interesting, but their occupation is gone—there is nothing for them to attest to me. On the other hand, if the Powers of the Third Kingdom are working around me now I am independent of them. I have the superior credential of the "greater works" which Christ's disciples were to do in His name."

INTERESTING PARAGRAPH BELOW (REFORMED SEMINARY CHRISTIANS, COVER YOUR EYES!!) -

30. This is an interesting paragraph, and I'll paste it whole: "But I have said the denial of miracles is due mainly to defective observation—mainly, however, not wholly. The members of the Third Kingdom have something to answer for themselves here. They have failed to provide due materials for observation. Energy may be potential as well as kinetic. Were a visitant from a distant planet who had read "The Correlation of the Physical Forces" or Ganot's "Physics" to land on the coast of Labrador and demand of the Esquimaux to be shown the energies of electricity or the powers of steam, his credulity in his authorities would certainly be shaken. And even if he were informed by a passing Nordenskiold that many of the physical forces were available at Labrador, only the people had never utilized them, his bewilderment would not be lessened. Those who read the Christian's Book hear in like manner of faith to remove mountains, of love stronger than death, of limitless powers to be had for the asking of all the fulness of the Godhead placed at man's disposal. And when they turn to those who know this Book, who profess to believe it, who contribute themselves to the literature of the Third Kingdom, expanding and enforcing its ideas, and almost forcing them on men's attention, what do they see? Is it any satisfaction that a courteous Nordenskiold assures them that these forces are there withal, only the members of this frigid province at the moment do not happen to employ them? For does not the critic see multitudes of individuals met every week for the ostensible purpose of receiving these powers, down on their knees by the thousand crying for them to come? What is he to make of it? Is he dreaming or they? Or does the Kingdom come—but without observation? No; the Kingdom does not come. On the large scale it does not come. The splendid machinery of Christianity is standing still. The Church is paralyzed. When the Second Kingdom asks the Third for its credentials it remains silent. It has something to show in the past; it points sadly to the early centuries. But for the present nothing stirs; it is all as frozen as Labrador."

31. "So men tell us the spiritual energies are a myth—which is as inconclusive as the statement that the physical forces are myths where they are not utilized. The scepticism of the age nevertheless lies at the door of the Church. That there are individuals, and here and there churches, witnessing to the powers of the Third Kingdom is not to be gainsaid. No man who really desires to satisfy himself of the reality of the Spiritual World will seek in vain for a demonstration of the Spirit and of Power. But the appeal is not going forth to all the earth and arresting men by a testimony triumphant and irresistible. The Power that operated at Pentecost is no longer a mighty and awakening force. And even the ethical light which the subjects of the Third Kingdom were admonished to "let shine among men" is all but too dim to see."

32. 'Now, whatever may be the state of matters at present within the Visible Church of the Third Kingdom, let us not blind ourselves to the unspeakably important fact that the Spiritual World contains forms of energy infinitely more powerful than those of the First and Second. It has never been sufficiently realized how much greater they are—how much greater they must be, even from analogy. One might almost speak of an Evolution of Energy going on as we rise from higher to higher Kingdoms. By this, of course, is not meant that the higher energy is in any sense evolved from the lower, but that the potency—whatever may be the source of the increment—is found gradually becoming stronger and stronger. As a matter of fact, while the energy within each Kingdom is constant, the organic powers are greater than the inorganic, the Spiritual than either. And the one thing requisite at once for the attestation of the Third Kingdom and the further evolution of the Second is that the subjects of the former should give heed once more to the offer of its King and Founder, "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask it."'

+ + +

OK, so this early essay of Berkhof's is interesting for his use of the language of cosmoses (whether he knew he was using that language or not), and his dagger in the heart of the visible church in not making use of the higher powers of the Kingdom of God. It's also interesting to people who connect with a language of inner development that conforms to Calvinist, or Reformed, doctrine, which is just to say apostolic biblical doctrine. Here is a very Reformed theologian touching on such matters. A rare thing. And though he mentions that Christianity not only presents the ideal but also gives the means to attain the ideal Berkhof nevertheless doesn't go into that aspect of the faith, other than: "...much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask it." Yet how this manifests the mockers and the eternally piously shallow will never recognize. I give hints throughout this blog. Take them if you're of a mind to...

1.08.2015

Photo found on Twitter

This photo makes a great wallpaper for a small screen (click on image for full size) --

1.07.2015

Advice for James White

This advice I'm about to offer James White comes after attempting to listen to three or four of his Dividing Line podcasts/videos and having to abandon the effort each time. It's not just that there is very little room for substance in them between the "I, I, I"s (more self-references than 300 Obama speeches per podcast) or his juvenile scholar-priest brow-beating triumphalism; no, it's what I suspect are the psychotropic drugs that are keeping any chance for the Holy Spirit to work any degree of healing of his mental condition. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is usually non-curable, yet as Christians we know the Holy Spirit can cure anything in anybody, but the psychotropic drugs are going to be a barrier to that possibility. James, ask your doctor to start the process of coming down off those drugs. If you're not taking any psychotropic drugs, which would be hard to believe, then simply ask God to heal you of your mental condition.

12.20.2014

Imagining the unimaginable

If you ever ponder the plan of God from the Bible, Heaven, glorified bodies, etc., and you think, (maybe atheists mocking have gotten to you) pretty hard to believe that...then think of this: what is happening right now, being embodied, in a real world of visible numerous cosmoses, having consciousness, moving through space, experiencing time, all of it...it's all pretty bizarre in itself. So...

And what we are experiencing here, obvious alienation (from each other, the natural world, and God); constant evil that our consciences tell us is evil, that we know in our heart is evil; history that has meaning through time; etc., all of it is explained by Christianity.

Just because there are many religions, many worldviews, doesn't mean none of them are true. One of them can be true. In fact, one can be true and the others can be intentional counterfeit or just rebellious ignorance or something else.

12.18.2014

World views - lists

I just did a quick search for sites with lists of the different world views, and this one was exceptional:

http://www.inplainsite.org/html/world_views.html

Scroll down for the short descriptions.

Also this one:

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=5324

Seeing total world views is a good way to assess just why Christianity is unique. A lot of writing is about this subject without using the term 'world views'. C. S. Lewis' writings, for instance.

It's also a way to clear out the clutter of what we see in the world. Also see the influence of each which can often be insidious even if you know about them.


12.07.2014

Drugs

Look at the last sentence from this passage on the Wikipedia page the Death of Osama bin Laden talking about what the Seals found in his house:

"U.S. personnel recovered three AK-47s and two pistols, ten computer hard drives, documents, DVDs, almost a hundred thumb drives, a dozen cell phones, and "electronic equipment" for later analysis.[56][109][110] The SEALs also discovered a large amount of opium stored in the house.[111]"

A recent defector from ISIS who was slated to be a suicide bomber stated that the Jihadis had a drug they gave him and to all suicide bombers that made them not care if they died.

Early in the war against Islamic militants American soldiers stated they always found drug paraphernalia in overrun positions.

African militias are notorious drug users.

Remember that email I sent about Bolshevik death squads using cocaine to numb themselves as they randomly tortured and executed (not to mention raped) scores of thousands.

School shootings invariably involve psychotropic drug addled minds and beings.

My point is, always assume drugs are involved when really lunatic, Satanic things are happening. It's really naive not to. Doesn't bin Laden in retrospect look like a dude who was always smoking opium?

Drugs, narcotics, such sorcery and gateway means into darkness are a main tool in the Devil's tool bag to get really evil actions going on.

ps- I did a search on Osama bin Laden opium addict and came up with this:

http://www.preventragedy.com/pages/terrorism.html

Forgot about the Islamic Assassins during the Crusades who would smoke hashish before doing their murders. So an historical tradition in Islam.

10.18.2014

No, I don't like those people...

[an email reply]

I'll listen to that. The first great awakening was a strange phenomenon. Modern - most - Reformed academics play it down. It doesn't fit their modern narrative. Many of them don't believe in any kind of experience called regeneration. They called it 'enthusiasm', like a fainting spell. The first people to deride and belittle and wave off an awakening are the establishment clerics. A recent example is the resurgence of Calvinism among young people in the last decade. Immediately it was the establishment Reformed clerics who belittled it, mocked it, discounted it, even sneered at it and treated it with contempt. It threatened them because anything with the Holy Spirit in it threatens them.

John Owen wrote:

"As among all the doctrines of the gospel, there is none opposed with more violence and subtlety than that concerning our regeneration by the immediate, powerful, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit of grace; so there is not scarce anything more despised or scorned by many in the world than that any should profess that there hath been such a work of God upon themselves, or on any occasion declare aught of the way and manner whereby it was wrought... yea, the enmity of Cain against Abel was but a branch of this proud and perverse inclination."
- John Owen, A Discourse Concerning The Holy Spirit

The modern Reformed academics would scream, but John Owen is one of us!!! Really? John Owen told a surprised King that he'd give up all his learning to possess what John Bunyan had in his ability to preach. He was referring to the Holy Spirit in John Bunyan. John Bunyan, a lowly tinker, uneducated by the 'standards' of modern academics (the standards of cultural Marxism). Modern Reformed academics wouldn't even allow John Bunyan to enter their churches since he'd spent so much time in prison. "This is a family environment, sir. Yes, I'm sure you're a great believer and very 'holy', and so on - 'regenerated', as you people say - but you need to go back onto the street. This is a family church. We have children here."

- C.




10.07.2014

"Christians, we hate you, but don't stop feeding and protecting us..."

ATHEIST: Reason produces sense-based ideas. That's how farmers grow wheat, composers write music and businessmen create products for a market. Faith is the acceptance of ideas without the senses and mind. Faith is a morality of death. Reason is the morality of life. Its the difference between America's scientific-industrial-capitalist civilization and the Christian Dark Ages, the difference between Atlas Shrugged and the Bible.

I RESPOND: The problem with your juvenile, a-historical, philosophically ignorant rhetoric is all you need to know about atheists is they live wherever Christians are. And if Christians move, atheists move with them. Without Christians, and Christian culture and civilization (which includes the western scientific enterprise, you know all those universities, hospitals, research institutes founded by Christians, and all those discoveries and inventions made by Christians) atheists would starve or be killed. Without Christians to produce food for atheists and to protect atheists atheists don't survive.

I RESPOND FURTHER: Whenever atheists do attempt to strike out on their own and make it without Christians feeding and protecting them they end up causing famines and engaging in orgies of murder. Murdering anyone they can get numbers on, including each other. See the French Revolution and the wonderful Bolshevik Revolution and the great atheist empires that followed known as world Communism of the 20th century.

9.23.2014

Angelic life and Greek myth

I just came across one little connection between the Greek gods and goddesses and angels as they are described in Scripture. The gods and goddesses were known to walk among humans and it was generally said that one may be engaging one of the gods without realizing it. Of course there is the similar statement in the Bible: Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

The connection between real angels and the description of the Olympian gods and goddesses I think is like the connection between real life Russian aristocracy in the 1800s and the characters depicted in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

That's pretty darn close, but we wouldn't think that Anna Karenina actually existed as a real human being. The description of her life and times is real though. It matches the reality.

Take that analogy to the Olympian gods and goddesses, or Greek mythology in general. Or maybe just limit yourself to the Homeric epics to keep it clean and contained. They weren't (aren't) real angels, but the depiction could very well be very darn close.

Seers and poets in higher states could have seen such angelic life and depicted it in various ways over time.

I think, also, that in what they depicted they conflated vague collective memories of Biblical revelation and combined, for instance, some of God (the Trinity) with the creation (angelic life), in various ways. Making Zeus, for instance, have some characteristics of God. But also maybe that could be seen this way too: the angelic world may very well be a hierarchy and perhaps Zeus would just be an angel of a higher order, responsible for more of this natural world, maybe the solar system itself, so he comes across as being all powerful, but compared to God he is part of the creation.

And of course there is impiety involved, to be sure, in many ways in this depiction of angelic life. Falsity too.

But overall it can be seen in this way.

Another connection: glorified bodies. Jesus says we will be like the angels. Not angels, but like the angels. This may refer to our glorified bodies? In some way? I know the context was marriage no longer being needed, but it seems a more general statement as well. So we can see what glorified bodies may be like in Greek myth.

Another connection: these Olympian gods and goddesses and lesser divinities were influences on human beings. All kinds of influences. And the early church saw angels in the same way. Messengers of God who also delivered influence. With their connection with God they couldn't not be influential.

But we're not supposed to worship angels, the Bible is clear, and pagans worship angels in various ways, most often fallen angels. (And we might be influenced by fallen angels without realizing it, without discernment. Having the Holy Spirit and knowing the Bible would protect us from this.)

So remember, I am not saying the Olympian gods were real angels, I am saying they are descriptions of angels in the same way Anna Karenina is a description of a 19th century aristocratic Russian woman.


9.13.2014

To the Puritanboard, once again...

Yes, Puritanboard, I know you are confused to no end by this doctrine of republication of the Covenant of Works on Sinai. Slow down, realize first that what you are getting wrong is making false teachers *smile.* Yes, you are not currently able to see the spiritual battlefield because you can't see how false teachers (those who would put forth salvation by works) are talking about the Covenant of Works.

To make it short (because you get confused too easily otherwise): There are three unique players in God's plan of redemption: 1. pre-fall Adam; 2. national Israel; 3. Jesus Christ Himself.

What does this mean for republication? Focus your attention on number 2, national Israel. NOT individual Israelites, but NATIONAL Israel. National Israel is a unique player in God's plan of redemption because national Israel is a type of the coming Messiah. Not only that, national Israel plays a role in the arrival of the Messiah, a bloodline role, an historical cradle role, *the very history of national Israel is the SUBSTANCE of the word of God.*

Now, with that in mind, when the Covenant of Works was republished on Sinai, in obviously elaborated form, it was so that the Second Adam - Jesus Christ - would be born under the law (made known to everybody) which he would fulfill thereby fulfilling what the first Adam - Adam in the Garden - failed to fulfill.

You see, it is a Covenant of Works for Jesus, and in that it is the Covenant of Grace for us. That is to say for individual fallen man (including individual fallen Israelites.

NATIONAL Israel, on the other hand, had a different relationship to Sinai (again, NOT individual fallen Israelites but national Israel as a unique entity). That unique relationship was ultimately fulfilled, or made meaningful in the birth of the Messiah. Prior to that their VERY history was the substance of God's revelation, which included showing all of fallen humanity that you can't save yourselves by your works.

OK, I've already confused you with too many words.

You are very obnoxious, Puritanboard, in your lecturing on a subject you don't have understanding of. You clerics and other kinds of leaders of Christians need to know when to be silent and to learn from those who have actual understanding of biblical doctrine. You don't have it. Try some silence for awhile.

9.12.2014

Just found this old book


It says our conversation is in heaven, and there is a saviour there who will change our body like unto his glorious body. And it says how he will do this: according to the working whereby he is even able to subdue all things unto himself.

This is a mysterious book...

(What I was trying to get across and maybe didn't is the Bible can become too familiar and it's great message and deep mystery can become mundane, yet if we see it as like no other book, in Gothic font for instance, with archaic spelling that we have to slow down and actually work over to get the meaning of each word and phrase and sentence, then it changes the experience. In a real way as well, not just some facile or surface-deep or cheaply novel way.)

8.27.2014

James White is historic

Narcissists often caricature themselves unknowingly...


[Note: I agree with White on pretty much everything but his views - aggressively stated views at that - on the manuscripts issues. On the latter he comes off as nigh Romanist, if not an actual Counter-Reformation Jesuit. Get the Word of God wrong and it really doesn't matter what else you have right. Also, when you have a view of the Word of God that makes you look down on it as something that needs you more than you need it it is difficult to see how it could ever regenerate you in the way we are regenerated, when we are, by the Word and the Spirit; but I'll leave that between him and God.]

8.15.2014

Reformed leaders and educators mocking the supernatural

Lately in several Reformed environments (not just liberal, so-called Reformed like Peter Enns and company) I've been witnessing more and more Christian leaders and educators and just rank and file coming out as not believing in the supernatural.

Out of one side of their mouth they will insist they believe in the supernatural, yet out of the other side of their mouth they will debunk (often in mocking or condescending tones) anything to do with the supernatural.

They are always tactically - it seems - quiet about things like the resurrection of Jesus, or any of the other supernatural events of the Bible they couldn't very well get away with mocking, at this moment in history anyway, give them time. (If pressed I supposed they fall back on saying, yes, but that is only God, or only an inspired prophet, or that is limited to that dispensation or time or era...or what have you).

What they really seem to love to mock to no end is anybody who suggests they believe in the existence of angels or demons.

This again is their unconscious Marxist ideological indoctrination shining through, being the good Pavlovian students they always were in their culturally Marxist institutions of higher learning.

Goethe said most human beings wouldn't know the devil if he had them by the throat. In the case of Christian academic leaders and educators they wouldn't know the devil when he has them by the throat, his tongue in their mouth, and his tail up their ass.

8.07.2014

Thinking from ideology rather than from understanding

When we think of people who think from ideology rather than from understanding we tend to think of people in a political/social context but never in a theological context.

Pretty much all major institutions of higher learning in the western world have been infiltrated, subverted and downgraded by Marxism for many decades now. Even if it's low level cultural Marxism at this point it is still that Devil ideology permeating entire institutions. Some individuals can see it, feel it, and know that that way lies death; and thus they don't go that way. The less developed among us naively saunter into the Devil's den and swallow everything whole not having a clue what they are being fed. Then they walk out almost zombie-like in their inability to get real understanding of themselves and the world around them, not to mention getting understanding of the spiritual battlefield.

When you think from ideology rather than from understanding then facts, reality, truth itself have no effect on what you think or believe if those things contradict your ideology. If you have adopted a position, for instance, that the Christian faith is absolutely objective (i.e. not subjective in any way), that it doesn't effect individuals but only a collective, and that it involves doing nothing, only recognizing what has been done for you, and you hold to these ideas against any experience or teaching or insight disabusing you to the contrary then you are thinking from ideology rather than from understanding.

Consider this a note for whomever the shoe fits, but also more directly to the faculty of Westminster Seminary California and any they have influenced over recent years.

7.31.2014

The missing

I'm going to say it again: read Diana West's American Betrayal.

It is about the entire Western world, not just America. 

It is epic. It is an epic unfolding of the fall of our world in the 20th century. 

It is not same-old, same-old history on familiar themes. It is about the evil of anti-Christ, principalities, the dark forces of this world, on epic scale.

It is not conspiracy theory. It is mainstream in that sense. Real events. 

I've just read chapter 8, which is an epic chapter. 

It is really the only thing that can give you the true context to understand the lunacy of the times we are in. Lunacy of media, the political class, the collective impotence of those who know better. Including the lunacy of Islam right now.

I said it on my blog, this is the usually secret, or esoteric, history of anti-Christ - usually left to non-mainstream writers, and usually presented with a lot of needless, wild silliness - written by a mainstream and unusual in a good way writer (she has unusual discernment and value for all that is not darkness and lunacy). This is why there was an explosion of denouncement when it was published, though praised by the hardened and now worldly freedom fighters emerged from the hell she describes itself.

It is a unified story. The epic theme is the missing theme of the unwritten great novel, the deep story of this era. It is central and foundational and real understanding of these times is only partial and shattered without it. - C.

[Originally an email.]

7.22.2014

The connection between Critical Theory demoniacs and Critical Text Bible scholars

George Steiner in his Preface to his book Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism talks common-sense on modern critical theory which can be applied to critical text scholars in the biblical realm. He writes of their activity as "...the display of analytic acrobatics in a house of mirrors." One may not associate that radical a degree of asinine theoretical involvement with the text of Scripture by critical text types, yet it is still there. They'll make up any rule, find any justification, read into anything what they need to see in it to get what they want out of it.

But here is the real connection: the Narcissistic arrogance. The looking down on the text as if it is a mere document. The assumption that the Bible needs them (scholars) more than they need it. Look at Steiner's words here directed at deconstructionists and their fellow travelers, and see how they also apply to critical text scholars of the Bible:

"The Narcissist arrogance (the semiotic anatomist is axiomatically more intelligent, more knowing, more important than the text on which he operates), the espousal of a pseudo -scientific jargon, the covert thrill of violence implicit in current interpretative methods, raise larger issues."

For the biblical scholar those "larger issues" are the very attitude that is more worldly and in fear and reverence of the world than is godly (and other-worldly) and in fear and reverence of God and God's revelation alone. Regeneration is also a larger issue. The practical and open atheism of biblical critical text scholars is an ongoing bad joke exposing the hand of the Devil in their works and in the acceptance of their work by rank and file Christians in general.

7.19.2014

Don't be the 'sheep' of an academic

"A faithful pastor preaches the Word, administers the sacraments, and looks after the flock with the elders. Faithful believers are also content with this ordinary ministry." - Michael Horton

This is a recipe for a Christian army of spiritually dead, shallow dopes never leaving a nursery. This is not Christianity. This is not the faith.

Christians are prophets, priests, and kings. The spiritual battlefield is the gathering ground. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God is the teacher. The bar is set high, but the Holy Spirit enables Christians to meet and exceed that bar. Flocky sheep subservient to men and ritual neither meet nor exceed anything.

The situation is made worse with Christian leaders and educators having educations from downgraded culturally Marxist institutions, and not having a clue about that. A shallow academic approach to the faith is just that. The right approach to the faith is a spiritual warfare approach. With the spiritual warfare approach you know the Bible is the Sword of the Spirit and doctrine is armor of God. When on a battlefield soldiers want, need, demand a real Sword and real armor. The difference between real armor and false armor is the difference between life and death. And any armor (doctrine) watered down or negotiated down to the demands of man's fallen nature or due to fear of the world (a mark of academia) rather than fear of God alone is not real armor.

7.10.2014

Final Judgment and Conscience

If we ponder it I believe we can find analogies in this world to pretty much anything we will encounter in the afterworld.

For instance, the final judgment. We think in terms of standing before Jesus the Judge and so forth. But what do we know of in this world that has anything to do with such an event?

I think conscience. We have conscience within us. It is said to be the voice of God even (forget where, but that is in my memory from somewhere). It is buried to one degree or another (different in different people) since the Fall, yet one can surmise that at the Final Judgment our conscience will be a free flow of crystal clarity.

Anyway, with a little pondering such analogies or parallels between the visible and the currently invisible can be found.

7.02.2014

Regeneration plus the real armor of God equals an invincible battlefield presence

Regeneration by the word and the Spirit is like a rain storm of blood compared to ritual water baptism.

7.01.2014

Be humbled to the only Bible you have to look up to

Reformation doctrine plus Counter-Reformation bibles doesn't work.

Because the Bible is the foundation of the faith. Your attitude towards the Bible influences your attitude to everything else regarding the faith.

The Traditional Text, Greek and Hebrew, in sound translation, is the only Bible you have to look up to. All other bibles man looks down on. All other Bibles are constructed by man. All other bibles need man more than man needs them. Only the Authorized - King James - Bible (the very name of which makes many of you mock like a devil at this point) forces you to look up to it and to accept that you need it more than it needs you. Only the AV1611 has the authority of the word of God in it rather than the word of man.

When you adopt an attitude of being above the word of God it doesn't matter what doctrine you hold to.

6.05.2014

They may have salvation, but they're worthless in Christ's army

Goethe said the average human being wouldn't know the devil if he had them by the throat.

One could also say church Christians wouldn't know the devil if he had them by the throat. Seminary graduates wouldn't know the devil if he had them by the throat. And his tongue down their mouth and his tail up their ass.

We currently live in an era where beings like this, straight out of the Book of Revelation,



are throwing acid on little girls, cutting off heads, burying people alive, threatening to nuke the world, all in the context of the Kingdom of Satan making its move on the entire planet, and all you see in Churchianityville is "7 Ways to Pray Yourself to a Better Church Experience!" Or, "Fill the Hole in Your Heart with a Jesus-Like Church Experience!" And, "How to Tell if Your Kids are Being too Moralizing with Non-Believing Kids" and other such classics of the churchianity of our era.

Real Church

The only church that isn't defiled with the devil is the invisible Church of which Christ is King. This real Church has no human gatekeepers, or human mediators. No trace of shallowness or wickedness. To enter it requires regeneration by the word and the Spirit. It's a gathering of prophets, priests, and kings. It's a battlefield. It's creed is the word of God handed down through the ages. It's doctrine is the armor of God. In a few books you'll find a sense of this Church. Human Nature in its Fourfold State. Pilgrim's Progress. Crook in the Lot. Not many.

6.04.2014

"Jesus is understanding" what? That doesn't help me. Bring it down to the practical level.

This is actually the first thing I've ever read that actually gives an enlightening example of what a lot of churchy sounding (and biblical sounding too I must say) language means practically. The language I am talking about is: it's all Jesus; I just want to know Jesus and that is all; Jesus is all wisdom; etc., etc. (and I didn't get at very good examples there, but you can get the gist). So here is John Owen giving a good explanation of it all, or at least one good way of explaining it:

"Whatever notional knowledge men may have of divine truths, as they are doctrinally proposed in the Scripture, yet—if they know them not in their respect unto the person of Christ as the foundation of the counsels of God—if they discern not how they proceed from him, and center in him—they will bring no spiritual, saving light unto their understanding. For all spiritual life and light is in him, and from him alone.
An instance hereof we have in the Jews. They have the Scriptures of the Old Testament, wherein the substance of all divine truth is revealed and expressed; and they are diligent in the study of them; howbeit their minds are not at all illuminated nor irradiated by the truths contained in them, but they live and walk in horrible darkness. And the only reason hereof is, because they know not, because they reject, the relation of them unto Christ—without which they are deprived of all enlightening power."
~John Owen
from The Person of Christ, volume 1 of Works, page 81

* * * * * * *

But see that example explained a lot to me what such language like "all understanding is Jesus" and so forth is getting at. I am, especially as a Work person, someone who strives to go to the practical level and get understanding at that level, so much of biblical language and theological language which isn't necessarily at the practical level grates on me (not too strong a word). So basically what Owen is saying is when you see all understanding and so forth in Jesus you are seeing the plan of God itself. Simple. I kind of picked up on this awhile back and wrote about it then, but this passage from Owen brings it out well.

* * * * * * *

I think it's this way: the Bible is what it is. It communicates how it communicates. It has to be everything for everybody and is unique in that. But theologians I think have fallen short in many areas in not translating the biblical concepts into more practical language.

For instance: it doesn't help me to tell me, "Jesus is understanding."

OK. Jesus is understanding. I can get multiple lines of meaning from that, but the statement itself is not helpful without further explanation.

So here's the practical explanation: if you are reading history and philosophy and sacred writings, the Bible itself, without knowing the Plan of God which centers on the work and life and death of Jesus Christ then you are ultimately getting no understanding from that history, philosophy, and religious writings. You won't even understand human nature if you don't know why Jesus incarnated as the last Adam because you won't know about original sin and active sin and the image of God and so on.

That is what "Jesus is understanding" means.

And the example of the Jews was a good one. They read the Old Testament but get no understanding from it because they can't, or refuse, to see Jesus and the Plan of God in the Old Testament.

So "Jesus is understanding" goes from being a sort of diaphanous, meaningless bumper sticker to having practical meaning.

* * * * * * *

Another example.

Jesus is understanding. (This can also refer to the Word of God because Jesus is the Word of God.)

Example: in the political realm if you think human beings are inherently good and perfectible (you innocently think this) and you try to create a utopia based on this belief, history shows you will descend into tyrannies of the worst kind. Why? Because man is not inherently good and perfectible. Man is inherently sinful.

So, people who have understanding from the Word of God (Jesus is understanding) put together political systems that are designed to put checks and balances on man's inherent sinfulness. and to divide power to further check man's fallen nature. This understanding of human nature and the ways of the world is based on biblical anthropology which is *understanding.*

* * * * * * *

1 Cor. 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

This is Paul, after a lifetime of study under the most famous teachers, learning all things of Judaism, probably all the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans and so on, a famously learned man, now saying "I am determined not to know any thing save Jesus Christ and him crucified." I.e. nothing is understanding unless seen through the lens of biblical revelation.

Phil 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

So *Jesus Christ, and him crucified* stands in for *the entire plan of God from one pole of eternity to the other.* And this is learned from biblical revelation.

5.31.2014

Interesting thought

"The worth and excellency of a soul is measured by the object of its love, and the way to grow in holiness is to behold divine excellence."

Got it from this post: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2014/05/30/a-summary-of-henry-scougals-the-life-of-god-in-the-soul-of-man/

The quote is saying, our actual worth and exellency - of our soul that is - can be measured by what we most love; and if that is God, His holiness and so forth, then that is the ultimate object to focus on and will in turn make God focus more on us.

Notice it's a difficult thought this making God the object of our love. We can respect and fear God, but as sort of 'up there' while we're going about our lives and interests in front of us.

I guess a practical thing to do would be to make a list of exactly what we DO make our object of love that is other than God. Then compare it to God. Is it worth it? Will it do anything for us in the long run? I don't think self-interest is a bad thing in pondering and calculating such things.

5.24.2014

Tullian Tchividjian is our new doctrinal master

So, according to R. Scott Clark if you have any criticism of Tullian Tchividjian on law and gospel you are hanging out doctrinally with Norman Shepherd.

This is what Marxists do. In any major discussion they always take the option they don't want people to adopt off the table. During the 20th century, for instance, Marxists would tell you you have two options: Fascism or Communism (right or left). Well, what about the people who were fighting both fascism and communism? You know, those people who were for that thing called liberty? Oh, liberty was taken off the table. Same in economics. Marxists even today say you have a simple choice: totalitarian communism or socialism of one form or another. Well, what happened to free markets and free enterprise? Oh, they take that choice off the table.

So R. Scott Clark is taking something off the table too. You either side with him and Tullian Tchividjian and their radical grace, or you side with Norman Shepherd and the neonomian movements like Federal Vision. Clark has taken away the choice of the middle, historically where the power of Reformed Theology has resided.

They don't like tension, these people. Tough. On-the-mark biblical doctrine has a lot of tension in it.

* * * * * * *

A simple explanation also of why Tullian Tchividjian has received such a response from Reformed theologians is this: Reformed Theology has to be defended also against facile constructions and presentation. Tullian Tchividjian's construction of law and gospel is simply facile. And he's presented himself as unteachable. He's also called his critics stupid and angry. He's a bit of a juvenile delinquent in all this. Part of the juvenile aspect also is he is forcing his critics to feel like if they ever talk about grace then they are actually conceding influence from Tullian Tchividjian. "See, without Tullians' efforts they wouldn't even mention grace!" Tullian Tchividjian and his followers would shout. I.e. it's a ridiculous situation when a narcissistic celebrity who is a bit of a dim bulb regarding the finer yet very important distinctions of biblical doctrine has been let into the club mistakenly and now has had to be kicked out of the club but still carries with him the capital of that club.

5.20.2014

The Tullians have arrived

Tullianism is officially here. The Tullians have arrived.

Tullians derive their theology from a Florida pastor named Tullian Tchividjian. He's become a staunch and driving force for his theological insights and has recruited an entire Reformed seminary to his movement: Westminster Seminary California. Professors at that seminary have been broadcasting the several mantras of Tullianism for a few years now.

The mantras of Tullianism:

1. "It's not about you!"

2. "You don't do anything!"

3. "You are not smart!"

Mantra #1 is to remind you that the Christian faith is not about you. Who are you to think the faith has anything to do with you? You are nothing. God is everything. God doesn't even know you exist. (Practical Deism is a necessary consequence of adopting Tullianism.)

Mantra #2 is a Tullian teaching that says attempting to live up to any standards is a quest for fools. Sin must be celebrated. Failure is the actual goal. Because Jesus has done everything. (Not understanding the relationship of sin to our ability/inability vis-a-vis regeneration is a major part of Tullianism. Just as the Federal Visionists don't understand (or pretend not to understand) the difference between the pre-fall and post-fall state, Tullians don't understand the difference between the regenerate state and the glorified state. Some of them also attribute unregenerate inability to the regenerate state because that works for them and their Tullian theology as well.)

Mantra #3 they've adopted from the cultural Marxists that took over the institutions of higher learning they all graduated from and that they've also picked up from the general culture. When you are a Marxist/leftist dhimmi it is necessary to constantly self-justify one's useful idiot state by calling everybody else an idiot.

On that last point it shouldn't surprise anyone that the followers of Tullianism currently defending their theological father on forums and in blog threads are for the most part theological and political liberals.

5.18.2014

Ah, I got deleted again, by Westminster California this time

Here is a comment I left at R. Scott Clark's blog where he is defending his rascally former student (maybe not a former student, can't find a reference) Tullian Tchividjian.

There, unfortunately, is a lot of disingenuous bewilderment going on here among Tullian T.'s defenders. We saw/see this in Federal Vision types. "Oh, my, but I just can't see why there is such an uproar over Tullian! (O! that Tullian!) Whatever do people think he's saying?" Obviously he's on board with Westminster California's "It's not about you!" theological movement and the total objectifying of the faith. You don't do anything, you don't even matter. Who are you? It's all about God. Stop trying to think anything has anything to do with stupid little you. And our personal preference as academics is to really not like very much anything to do with the Holy Spirit, and our personal preference is what is most important, so let's knock off the talk of the Holy Spirit and any kind of active, progressive sanctification. Yeah, I know, we get called practical deists, but we'll take that hit. We need to cleanse Reformed doctrine of all this nonsense, and any notion that so-called 'Puritans' existed too.

Here's my take on Tullian:

What Tullian Tchividjian is preaching is an age old no-effort mantra which can be seen today in New Age environments. The fact of regeneration sets the divide. Once regenerated we are *able* to do. Like the new agers Tullian and his followers are wanting to - in effect - jump to the state of glorification where believers will be simply unable to sin. We are not yet glorified.

And R. Scott Clark is missing out on his favorite pass time: accusing people of having an over-realized eschatology. Which clearly Mr. Tullian T. has. But only tactically because at heart Mr. Tullian T. is an angry man. When people get close to the true school of biblical doctrine, Reformed Federal Theology, and they know they have not been regenerated by God, they can go one of two directions: 1) they can show real humility and fear of God, hence showing they are most likely on their way to potential regeneration by the word and the Spirit; or 2) they can, like Cain, get angry and desire revenge. The revenge in this case takes shape in an attack on Reformed Theology itself. An attempted subversion of it. Attacking the truth is akin to attacking God.

5.17.2014

You're not allowed to criticize our village idiot!

Reformed seminary graduates are all in an uproar due to one of their own, one of their village idiots, teaching on law and gospel with no understanding of law and gospel, and really, seemingly, giving them all big problems. That they can't deal with a common village idiot speaks volumes. (Sample here, and here, and here. Other links can be found at those links.)

The village idiot is one Tullian Tchividjian. He is preaching the no-effort mantra that is common in New Age environments including Roman Catholicism (ha ha). Anyone who hasn't run into the no-effort mantra hasn't been around much.

What is interesting in Christianity is the fact that once you are regenerated by the word and the Spirit you *better* be able to do.

Here is a comment I left at the Gospel Coalition that they moderated into nothingness:

There's a common no-effort mantra in New Age circles as well. For a Christian, though, once regenerated you become *able* to do. Ability to sin, ability to not sin. Prior to regeneration we had ability to sin, inability to not sin. In the glorified state we will solely have inability to sin. That is a new state.

There are individuals who have a connection to Reformed doctrine who have yet to learn these categories and thus make endless category mistakes.

Simple enough comment, right? They deleted it. "Get taught by a nobody? Are you kidding? I'm a graduate of an elite seminary!!! How dare you!!!!!"

How about just getting taught by Reformed teachers that lived before you or your professors were born?

* * * * * * *

I'll add this note... By the way, just another incident showing how seminary type churchians just suck to no end. They never disappoint.

5.14.2014

The true school

The school existed, the true school, throughout history, hidden, open, persecuted, flourishing. Waldensians were part of that continuing presence of the real school. They often had to hide in high valleys in the mountains of Europe. Look at this paragraph from a classic book on Calvinism:

“While writing the Seneca Commentary [Calvin's first book written prior to his Christian activity] Calvin lived in the house of a cloth merchant, Etienne de la Forge, a devout Waldensian from Piedmont. This man was an ardent reader of Luther and a fearless propagandist of Protestantism. He made a practice of distributing to the poor packages accompanied by tracts and passages of Scripture, and he kept open house for religious refugees from the Netherlands. Calvin must have observed these evidences of incautious zeal, for which de la Forge would later pay the penalty of death by fire. Who can say what influence Calvin’s host ultimately had upon his religious attitudes?”

From The History and Character of Calvinism by John T. McNeill

The Alps, Geneva, meant by God to be a counterpart to the seven hills of Rome.


You want the zeal of a false-religion-following Muslim? You have a human prophet of the mountain in Geneva. You have the true school of eternity coming down from that mountain. God's mountain of assembly, Eden, Sinai, Zion, mountain. He's worth a thousand Muhammads, if one needs that. Worth an infinity of Muhammads because like a true prophet he holds to the Word of God and points to the real Prophet, Priest, and King Jesus Christ, Son of God.


Scrape off the traditions of man and the false accretions of worldly and Satanic influence (churchianity). Flash the Sword of the Spirit when they try to intimidate you and lord it over you in their false communions. You don't have to hate them, you can teach them, inspire them by your very presence, but don't give in to them. What they offer is not the true school. Follow the Holy Spirit for the true school.

5.09.2014

How to think of God's sovereinty and the playing out of His decree vs. man's responsibility and the effectiveness of effort

One area even the most sophisticated Reformed theologians are a bit shallow (not an insult) is the area of laws as they pertain to man and his will and responsibilty. Laws as in God being sovereign in creation, providence, and grace, as-well-as the playing out of His decree and His control of all that unfolds. Also first cause, or prime mover vs. secondary causes that are either determined, contingent, or free.

One can write a thousand nine-hundred page books, but what one gets from the Westminster Confession of Faith on this subject is about all one can get, and the WCF puts it very succinctly. God is the first cause, but He acts through secondary causes that are either determined, contingent, or free, and from the mix of all those interacting secondary causes there forms a matrix out of which God is sovereign yet man's responsibility is established and effort is meaningful.

Still, that matrix seems a bit two-dimensional, even though we can accept the conclusions above. Is there an element in it all that will make that matrix more than seemingly two-dimensional and hence more alive (in a not-deterministic-to-any-degree sense)?

I think there is, and it's level of being. The Bible speaks of level of being in different ways. It shows different levels of being, but it also blatantly speaks of different levels of being, for instance the apostle Paul speaking of different levels of being of individuals in heaven, implying that level of being is set in this world having to do with progressive sanctification and so on.

If you take accident for one category of laws. Accidents are going to happen, and mathematically they are going to happen to a certain number of people, but do they have to happen to a determined set of people, or just any people, and what makes the difference of being one of the people that the accident happens to and one that doesn't get involved in the accident? In other words can the law of accident be transcended by level of being? For instance how awake you are in your environment. It's a feature of a higher level of being to be more awake in your environment (especially when there are no perceived dangers in the environment) as opposed to being in a state of sleep-walking through your day and environment.

The above example of accident shows how scale and relativity (that level of being brings into play) can make that matrix described above more than two-dimensional.

Another category of law is will. The difference between self-will and ability to act from God's will. A mark of a higher level of being is the ability to act from God's will rather than merely acting from self-will. When one is able to act from God's will one is not simply allowing bodily fears or desires, and then emotion to control one's thoughts and decisions. That is bottom up will. Self-will. When one is able to act from God's will one is able to act top-down. God's commands, to thoughts, to emotions, to actions. When one is able to act in the latter sense it obviously puts one in a different relationship to the various laws that control us at this level. Self-will can get you into all kinds of problems that looking back you would rather not be in. Ability to act from God's will keeps you free from such outcomes. The biblical phrase wait on the Lord refers to how acting from God's will happens. It is a kind of descent-of-the-dove will or action. Yet to be able to wait on that descent-of-the-dove higher will to manifest, especially when you are in a difficult event or situation, requires a higher level of being. We aren't born with that. We have to develop it.

So just with the examples of the laws of accident and will we can see how the subject of first cause and secondary causes (determined, contingent, or free) and how they relate to God's sovereignty and His decree and being in control of everything that unfolds can be seen as very much more than a two-dimensional matrix when you add the scale and relativity that level of being brings to it all.

5.06.2014

Means of grace

Is this a biblical string of words: means of grace? Probably, but not in the way those who default to an unregenerate priestcraft - Romanist or Protestant - use it.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit can be seen as monergistic prior to regeneration, and synergistic after regeneration. Like definitive sanctification and progressive sanctification.

If being filled with the Holy Spirit is grace (a part of, a type of) then we can say there are biblical means of grace.

Watchfulness, or being awake, is one.

Loving your enemy is another.

Prayer, obviously.

The Word of God itself, engaging it, meditating upon it is a means of grace, it goes without saying.

What about ritual water baptism and the priestcraft ceremony variously defined and called by different names, Lord's Supper, Communion, Eucharist, Mass, etc.? Are they means of grace, as in dispensing grace? Many Protestants actually claim they aren't, but secretly believe they are, through the back door. Romanists obviously teach full on priestcraft. Protestants are all over the board in how they try to define these rituals. They don't know what to make of them, but the ones most pining for the Beast Church of Rome know what they want them to be. Unregenerate clergy cling to these so-called sacraments for a host of reasons. I'm rambling here because to put succinctly what Protestants believe about these 'sacraments' would be like trying to put succinctly what Marxists believe about economic theory. They're all over the board, half dishonest to begin with, and more addled by the Devil than the fallen angels themselves.

It seems to me that Jesus strikes ritual of any kind from any notion of means of grace. He said it about prayer. Mindless repetition - part of the soul of ritual - is not what we are suppose to engage in regarding prayer. So it seems to me this recruiting of the visual parables of ritual water baptism and breaking of bread and drinking of wine into being the heart of the Christian faith is pretty much of the Devil. The Devil fears regeneration of God's elect the most. It lessens his time before the lake of fire. So anything to drive people away from the Word and the Spirit and into priestcraft ritual is his game.

Note the first two means of grace listed up there: watchfulness, or being awake; and: loving your enemy. But systematic theologies don't talk about those. Are they even in the Bible?

Obviously they are. And they're difficult to do. You have to be regenerate to begin with. Because to attract the Spirit into you by ever greater degree you have to already have the Spirit in you by an act of God. That's a catch-22, you have to have something in you before you can have something in you. God gets us around this catch-22 by regenerating us by the Word and the Spirit. By giving us the Spirit in a monergistic act. We don't do it. God does it. Once it's done we then can attract the Spirit to greater degree. Only Jesus could contain the Spirit "without measure", but we can potentially contain ever greater degree. If we provoke and extend our limits. Which we do by effort to be awake and to love our enemies. Two practices not understood at the church level because the Devil doesn't want it taught at the church level. (They correlate also to the two great commandments of Jesus to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.) But to see the depth of the teaching requires a search guided by the Holy Spirit. I use the language of the Fourth Way from books such as The Fourth Way and Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by Ouspensky, but to each their own. Note: the word evolution in that title doesn't refer to mechanical Darwinian evolution. Ouspensky was an effective debunker of the Theory of Evolution.) But if you are going to use the phrase means of grace, they - being awake, and loving your enemy, along with prayer and reading/meditating upon the Word of God itself - are your means of grace. And they are biblical. Taught to you by Jesus Christ Himself.

So be awake.

And love your enemy.

If you fear extra-biblical languages, a. you're probably too shallow to begin with, so, b. just at least make *some* effort with higher influences (art, music, history, philosophy, imaginative literature, science, religion). Don't be a typical no-effort dope. Such types unfortunately define church level leadership and attendance.

And read the Bible complete, the real thing, many times.

And pray.

5.01.2014

The company of the giants

This is from Thomas Goodwin, a Puritan, from a work on Ephesians:

He's talking about death and one's destination.

At the end of the world, when Christ shall have taken out all of His own, all the rest shall be cast into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. The expression in the Old Testament was that men were "gathered to their fathers," but the wicked were gathered unto coetus gigantum - that is, "the company of the giants," those wicked ones before the flood, from whom hell has its denomination, as the first inhabitants of it (Prov. 21:16). So the language of the New Testament is "gathered to the devil and his angels," to the fire prepared for them.

Pro 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

4.24.2014

Explaining - once again - the doctrine of the republication of the Covenant of Works on Sinai

Reading a debate on the republication of the Covenant of Works on Sinai over at the PuritanBoard is like listening to Marxists discuss the American economy. You just want to find a gun and shoot yourself in the head.

Here is a salient point that transcends both groups: until you both begin to recognize the typology of national Israel vis-a-vis Jesus Christ you just simply can't be taken seriously in the discussion. And neither side seems to want to or be able to recognize that typology and what it means regarding the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.

Jesus came to fulfill what fallen Adam failed to fulfill. That same Covenant of Works Adam failed to fulfill was republished on Sinai in obviously elaborated form for Jesus to be born under and into so that He could follow God's command to a 't' and fulfill the Covenant of Works. *This* is the Covenant of Grace for us (and the Israelites).

Prior to Jesus accomplishing this national Israel - AS A TYPE OF THE COMING MESSIAH - was under the republished Covenant of Works in a typological way ..... to (slow down and get this) to SHOW THAT MAN CAN'T FOLLOW THE LAW AND TO SEE HOW WE NEED THE COMING MESSIAH FOR SALVATION.

What is confusing you now? This is confusing you (read carefully)---

THERE ARE THREE ***UNIQUE PLAYERS*** IN GOD'S PLAN OF REDEMPTION: pre-fall Adam, national Israel, and Jesus Christ Himself.

Oh! but you say, not Israelites! they were in the same position as us but only needing to have faith in the coming Messiah like we have faith in the already come Messiah! Yes. Correct. Regarding salvation they were just like us. But regarding their role in God's plan of salvation they very much were not like us. We aren't tasked with bringing the word of God through time and space and history; and further, we have never been tasked with being the VERY HISTORICAL SUBSTANCE of the word of God. And have never been a type of the Messiah. Among other things.

What God has national Israel doing, even as some individual Israelites were being saved by faith in the coming Messiah, was performing in the Historical Theater of Redemption a grand object lesson on how fallen man can not save himself by following the law.

Why are you so confused? Because false teachers have confused you at the source, the Covenant of Works in the garden. They've taught you in your too-easily-duped state that it is 'pious' and 'good' to deny any merit in the Covenant of Works, EVEN THOUGH GOD POSES MERIT HIMSELF TO ADAM.

Another source of confusion: those vicious to protect their favorite Romanist fetish infant baptism sense (in a way that is always too hazy for me to remember even after I've figured it out before) infant baptism will have its legs cut out from it if this subject is understood as it is presented biblically. These are the ones who refuse to even recognize the Covenant of Redemption made from eternity because it shows the foundation of the Covenant of Works and Grace (i.e. they 'fold it in' with the Covenant of Grace because this conveniently separates it from the Covenant of Works which is their main demand). When pressed, they are also the ones who don't like any mention of a Covenant of Works at all and will rename it at the drop of a hat to further confusion (in fact, even though many of them know the doctrinal issues, they would sacrifice justification by faith alone to SAVE their precious Romanist fetish infant baptism, which is really just to say to save their salvation by ritual demands because they hate the sovereignty of God in regeneration. This is why it is so easy for dopes like the Federal Vision crowd to annoy Reformed paedo-baptists.

Yes, obviously I and many others lost patience in the debate long ago. We understand Federal Theology. We understand Jesus came to fulfill what Adam failed to fulfill. We understand that the Covenant of Grace is Jesus Himself fulfilling the Covenant of Works as the anti-type of national Israel. We understand there is ONE WAY to be saved: works. Either your own, or Jesus Christ's appropriated by faith in Him. Good luck with your own works. Adam in the garden had the ability, we, after the fall, don't. That is the plan of God. False teachers hate it.

Ironically what those who argue against republication of the Covenant of Works at Sinai accuse proponents of that doctrine with (works righteousness) they are guilty of themselves. They can't see that they are seeing everything upside down, and that it is the false teachers who have confused them. Those that are, in fact, genuinely confused, I should say, because many of them just simply have the devil in them and are consciously speaking falsehood.

4.20.2014

Puritans vs. the modern academic Reformed regarding provocation to duty

In The Christian Soldier, or, Heaven Taken by Storm (a title which itself causes modern academic Reformed to giggle) Thomas Watson writes about how we are to provoke violence to ourselves (our fallen nature). He lists two things, one well known, the other not:

1. He must offer violence to himself -- This self-violence consists in two things:

1. Mortification of sin.
2. Provocation to duty.

It's a good part common shallowness but also a good part their cultural Marxist educations that make modern academic Reformed deny the necessity of really both of those things, but especially the latter of the two. (Their mantra: we don't have to do anything! in fact it's not about us!)

What is provocation to duty? Unfortunately in a modern context it's more difficult to know what it is because the faith is now so separated from anything resembling the practical level. Something the Devil has been working hard to do through educating his ministers in colleges and universities and seminaries now fully taken over by cultural Marxism and getting them to write numerous shallow books and articles and to even preach it from the pulpit.

Provocation to duty is something you have to do regarding things where you don't have an external or instinctive stimulus to force you to do something. Homelessness is an external stimulus that makes you get up every morning and go to work. Hunger is an instinctive stimulus that makes you do what you have to do to have food to satisfy hunger. Getting a good grade in a class is an external stimulus to make you read a book. Without the class and necessity of a good grade as a context you are less likely to read the book. If you are wealthy already you are less likely to get up early every morning to do an eight-hour shift. Etc.

Now here is where I have to list practical aspects of the faith to give an example of things that require inward motivation to get done (that require a provocation to duty). I could do this using extra-biblical language (Fourth Way, Work language), or I could choose a command from the Bible, the New Testament let's say, that everybody has heard a million times without ever seeing it at the practical level (or valuing it at the practical level), thus the example will most likely go in one ear and out the other.

Anyway, I'll try the latter... Let's take the command to love your enemy. Nothing external forces you to do this. You might think that self-preservation (not wanting to get in a fight, not wanting to lose a job, etc.) is an external motivation to love your enemy, but it's really not because you have to love your enemy in your thoughts and emotions as well as your will and actions. So this command requires inward motivation. The motivation to do it has to come from you. You have to understand and *value* the command, and you have to desire to practice it. You have to provoke yourself to this duty. I.e. it doesn't just mechanically happen. It has to consciously happen.

Another example: the Bible speaks of wakefulness, or the necessity of being awake (Rom. 13:11, Now it is high time to awake out of sleep... That is not head-on-pillow-sleep Paul is talking of). In everyday life we can get along very well without ever being awake in the biblical sense. We're sleepwalking through life, yet so is everyone else, and things get mechanically done. The effort to be awake is an effort that has no external stimulus. We have to provide the stimulus. The effort. The motivation. The valuation for the practice and goal.

This is what *provocation to duty* means. Modern day academic Christian leaders and educators not only do not teach this, but they don't understand it or even know of its necessity (or even of its existence as an idea or activity).

Thomas Watson puts provocation to duty alongside mortification of sin as the two things we need to do when engaging in spiritual warfare against our fallen nature. I.e. it is not a small thing in the practice of the faith.

For my Fourth Way acquaintances out there this is a big idea and practice to remember. Our valuation to make efforts in the direction we know we have to make efforts in is never very high, or is rarely high. We have to know that provocation to duty is a part of it (they're called conscious shocks for a reason). Doing things solely from inward motivation or stimulus is hard. Reading articles on the internet is easy; reading Thucydides is hard. The latter requires inward motivation and a greater degree of effort and attention. We know this, but it is good to know that Christianity knows this too, yet the practice has been lost in the modern era where shallowness (and intentional misleading) in the faith abounds.

Provocation to duty along with mortification of sins can even be seen as *the* two conscious shocks necessary for getting into the realm of higher emotion and real will and increasing real understanding. And they also apply in the war with the world and the Devil just as with our inner fallen nature.