The Four Prime Things
Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) said,
2. the Scripture,
3. your own hearts, and
4. Satan’s devices,
are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched.”
THE FAITH PURE, BOLD, PRACTICAL
Fear God, it is the beginning of wisdom.
When you fear only God you don't fear man
(and man's opinion of you),
which enables you to pursue wisdom.
What are the conditions of admission into Christ's Kingdom? Simply practical recognition of the authority of the sovereign.
- A. A. Hodge
Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) said,
2. the Scripture,
3. your own hearts, and
4. Satan’s devices,
are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched.”
You really can't go wrong with the trio of Bunyan, Spurgeon, and Pink. Of Calvinist theologians they offer the most on-the-mark school. No fear school. And with Pink of course he saw the full truth half way through his writing career, i.e. was Dispensationalist early then came to understand covenant theology.
The subject of Anti-Christ is confusing. Is it one person? Many? A spirit of iniquity? All the above? Bunyan in this book very clearly defines it all:
He also uncommonly expresses what I learned from Kline and have been writing recently on my Plain Path Puritan blog: that Anti-Christ seeks to take over the entire world. We're seeing it now, aren't we? Only a finite amount of real estate on the planet. Ronald Reagan once said, if we let evil capture America there will be no where left to go. Same idea. Same reality.
Once Anti-Christ asserts dominion over the entire planet, just like before the flood, then the end is triggered. I.e. the Devil doesn't get to experience victory. He is allowed to trigger his own demise but not to experience victory. - C.
There's a school of theology that says God made a deal with the Devil saying I will give you common grace. The sun will shine on you just as it shines on my people. The seasons will turn, food will grow for you. But...if you assert dominion over the entire planet that is when I'll bring my fist down upon you.
The Devil's religion today is cultural Marxism and Islam. Cultural Marxism softens up the target, and Islam is the active force. Today all Islam has to do is walk over a border and flip off cameras and take down stop signs, and...victory. That's how much cultural Marxism has softened up the target.
Prior, Islam and Marxism never had more than a third of the planet. Today it is in parts of the world it was never able to penetrate before.
To all you unbelievers: there is only a finite amount of real estate on this planet. Once you allow the Devil to have it all you will be living in a very different universe; and no longer will you be able to seek protection from Christians and Christian culture and civilization. You'll then be encased in the chains and darkness of the Devil's kingdom, the scenery of which only changes when it is tossed into the Lake of Fire.
The Devil's children are known by their ingratitude, arrogance, and treachery. They are currently flooding the world with their evil. Asserting dominion over the entire planet; lands God did not give them they are asserting ownership of. When Satan and his army and spiritual children assert dominion over the entire planet this is when God brings his fist down and the consummation of the plan of redemption commences. Just how worse it can get before triggering Divine action is the question. Probably best to assume a lot worse.
Right now Satan's religion is cultural Marxism and Islam. Cultural Marxism is providing the lunatic passivity in the face of the active force of Islam on the march. Any push back has been mostly an impotent chorus of words mixed with a "what the hell is going on here" resignation or dispiritedness. Not giving in, yet passive against a seeming omnipotent and omnipresent force of lunacy and evil.
Neh 10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
Everyone having knowledge, and having understanding; you know who you are. Remember who you are in all this dispiriting flood of evil. A pious approach is not called for at the end. One must be bold to separate oneself and claim the righteousness of Christ in the face of evil. At the end if you don't recognize and hate evil you are showing sympathy to God's enemies. This next point will be a hard thing to see, but here it is: Satan and his followers counterfeit aspects of the plan of God. When they preach absolute hatred of you and no mercy for you (as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot taught their followers, and Islam's holy book teaches) they are counterfeiting how Christians are to view God's enemies at the consummation. Loving your enemy is a common grace era ethic. Figuratively dashing their very children against a wall is consummation ethics (God takes care of it, vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord). No sympathy for the Devil at the consummation.
Utopianism is a familiar theme in classic literary works of Western civilization. Plato’s Republic, Augustine’s City of God, and Thomas More’s Utopia are the more obvious examples . In the Christian context, utopian communities that sought to separate from the world or reform the culture according to Christian ideals include Calvin’s Geneva, the Shaker movement, and the Ephrata Cloister . The Transcendental movement and sociopolitical ideologies like Marxism are also well-known secular examples. All attempts at creating a perfect harmonious society are doomed because people are imperfect, and total conformity is contrary to human nature. [footnote 4 of chp. 11 in Unseen Realm]
Jesus said mess with me, kick me, spit on me, mock me, kill me; but don't mess with the one who is coming after me. After Him you have nothing.
People, if they think about it at all, think of the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Godhead, or Trinity) as being innocuous, and not threatening. Yet it's the Holy Spirit among the Persons of the Trinity that you don't want to mess with.
The Holy Spirit is quick-triggered if you deny His work, for instance. Never tell somebody they're not a Christian, for instance, because you can't know what is going on between them and God. You can confront and engage someone on doctrine or behavior, just don't make pronouncements about whether they are Christian if they self-identify as such.
In many ways the Holy Spirit is the most detached of the three Persons of the Godhead in his role in the economy of redemption. He is applying what the Son has accomplished to those the Father has chosen. Thus He seems to perhaps have less patience for human arrogance and intransigence.
He is, though, willingly grieved by man when He takes up residence in man, but the impatience with man can have effect in areas of sanctification.
Here's a way to see life more clearly.
Think of the charms of girls and young women. Physical charms and all other charms. The power of yes included in those charms. The ability to have fun with other females as well as males included. I am positing attractive charm here.
Now see how it is real yet lightweight and shallow when it comes up against the weightier things of life and this world. Again: real, as in something; pleasant; life is worse without it; yet lightweight and shallow nevertheless.
Now see what it is that charm collapses in the presence of. Matters of life and death, war and peace, health and sickness, freedom and tyranny, hunger and prosperity, salvation and eternal damnation.
Now when your thoughts and orientation in life are focused more on the latter you are by default more awake and more serious, and more inclined to desire understanding of yourself and the world around you and ultimately understanding of your eternal future.
The Trump candidacy has exposed the 'elite' virus that infects so many in our society. It's not just establishment politicians, Hollywood actors, journalists and pundits though. We also see these self-bemantled elites in Christian environments. The shallow and/or juvenile intellectuals who emerge from seminaries and proceed to engage in guild-like behavior rivaling the Romanist Magisterium of any era. And notice in the case of the GOP establishment elites and the Reformed seminary elites the cause they claim to be working for can actually be going backward, and they don't have the beginning of a clue.
O, sit anima mea cum Puritanis Anglicanis! - Erasmus
"O, let me die with the Puritans of England!"
Note I left at Steve Hays Triablogue blog under a post where he psychoanalyzes Trump supporters finding them to be just exactly what he's read National Review saying them to be:
c.t.8/28/2015 7:21 PM
Shit, you said Trumpkins, mimicking the NRO establishment tools who consider themselves the 'smart set.' Williamson, Goldberg, et al., just got skewered by the Weekly Standard. And, no, it didn't make them look cool. Now delete this 'cause I said shit. Fuck Trump smokes out the putative conservative tools.
"Biblical support for the above: Matthew 5:20 KJV For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. W."
W., I would also use Jesus' statement about how you can't pour new wine into old bottles. This clearly means to increase understanding we must increase *capacity* for understanding. That is increasing level of being, not just knowledge. Our level of being is exposed by our limits. To give a biblical example just so people can know what level of being refers to: how quick are we to answer a perceived insult with resentment rather than waiting on God and engaging in Christian new thinking such as love your enemy, turn the other cheek, and seeing in ourselves what we dislike in others? This is an example of what measures level of being.
A Critical Text useful idiot was challenging me saying, "Well, Reformed men have no problem with these modern versions, and I think they know what they're talking about."
I replied: "The Reformed you know are probably academic-oriented, educated in culturally Marxist institutions, adopting post-modern attitudes - and mocking approaches to true believers - with a total lack of self-awareness or critical engagement. One of the poisons which gets put in their mouths, and which they swallow obediently, is the notion that they stand above the text, and the text needs them more than they need it. You can stand above a scholar-constructed text. You have to look up to a received text. For the latter you have to acknowledge something higher than you has given the text to you. You have to be grateful to something higher than you."
Then he said: "'Cuz, James White, and stuff."
So I replied: "When did the notion that we needed a text *constructed* from divergent manuscripts come about? As opposed to a text *edited* from a received body of similar manuscripts? When did this notion occur? At what point in history? The counter-Reformation? The so-called Enlightenment? The 1800s? When? Answer this question first, and defend it, or you're not serious."
No answer was forthcoming. And stuff.
After reading numerous articles on how scientific studies using satellites and what not have found that the earth appears to be at the center of the universe, or at least in a privileged position, I began to look around for Christian sites on the internet that comment on the subject, but really could not find anything that approached the subject head on [and a note here: I just checked the Puritanboard, a site that has numerous people who will intelligently debate geocentrism all day, and it has zero posts or references to these recent satellite discoveries, that is telling; when something seems truly supernatural, in this case within the context of a current paradigm, many if not most Christians seem to scatter or go deer in the headlights]. So I recalled that there is a Reformed Christian by the name of John Byl who has a PhD. in astronomy, so I went to his blog and put a very kindly worded question to him:
c.t.July 12, 2015 at 10:13 AM
Dr. Byl, general request... As a Christian with a PhD. in Astronomy could you speak to - perhaps clear up - the recent stories of how the Planck Satellite and previous mappings of the cosmic microwave background have in some way shown that the Earth seems to be the center of the universe? The problem for the average Christian who is obviously interested in such a claim is the science is beyond the average layman. Could you write something on it for us, a general audience? Thank you in advance...
OK, so I waited the better part of a month for a reply. During that time he made other posts to his blog, so I know he was active on it, yet I got no response. So I wrote this:
c.t.July 30, 2015 at 2:13 AM
Trying to guess your reason for no reply...is this not a subject that interests you? Or, what... It seems like a rather big thing that recent satellite mappings of the universe would show the earth to be in at least a privileged position? Other recent scientific studies seem to show the same. Was wondering what your take on it all might be. Can't seem to find Christian responses on it.
john byl July 30, 2015 at 7:27 AM
I haven't replied because (1) your comment is off topic and (2) I reply only to real people. See my comment rules below. If you want to pursue this, please send me an email.
Just, ******* weird. The usual weird I've come to expect from Christians on the internet. It's *kind of a big subject*, no??? Kinda. "your comment is off topic" and "I reply only to real people". So what about these recent satellite findings that THE EARTH IS AT THE CENTER OF THE FREAKING UNIVERSE!!!!!???????
"You're not presenting your question in the correct manner. This is a blog. There are correct methods to approach me with a question." I won't bother with your email address because I doubt you have anything interesting to say at this point anyway.
Here's what I see going on...
Currently today in the United States many people formerly thought to be conservative have been smoked out as establishment Republicans, which pretty much is the same as being a member of the devil Democrat Party. A non-politician, a builder, i.e. somebody who actually produces and does things, entering the presidential race has done this.
I see the same thing among Christians. When something truly strange like scientific studies that show the earth to actually be at the center of the universe appears it smokes out the Christians who are just pretending (for whatever reason). The very fact they have no interest in the subject at all gives them away. It's like if Jesus returned next hour they would still be thinking of gassing up their RV to get to that conference in Seattle where they are to deliver a paper on the return of Jesus. The real thing happening? No interest. What? Actually believe all that stuff?
An active division of the faith the mainstream or establishment church ignores or is ignorant of is the division between thinking about the faith vs. being on spiritual ground and acting in the faith.
The latter is being in the cauldron vs. being outside the cauldron.
The Christian academic professor, for instance, writing, thinking teaching is outside the cauldron.
The Christian practicing presence, and prayer, and discipline (such as fasting from features of his fallen nature) in a spiritual landscape that is default hostile is inside the cauldron.
Being inside the cauldron develops being. Staying outside the cauldron can give an environment to gain knowledge of the faith, but without ever being in the cauldron that knowledge has a ceiling; tends to veer into areas fallen nature desires it move into; and can actually go backwards from the sound basics of the faith.
Knowledge and being are both necessary. Being in the cauldron is necessary. Spiritual warfare is necessary.
[From an email.]
Most all modern day Reformed seminary types stay away from the angelic view [that fallen angels mated with human women]. It's like a thing that will get them cast out of the guild. Because it's a stepping into the mesoteric realm. You admit angels in that passage then you have to defend it, and defending it means going to Jude, Enoch, the entire biblical storyline of Satanic defilement of the bloodline, attempted, between Adam and Christ, etc., etc.
Meredith Kline came close to adopting the angelic view, but he said fallen angels took over the bodies of the kings and leaders and mated with women that way, but in saying that the fallen angel view is possible he made an insight that really cemented the fallen angel view I hold as the accurate one. He pointed out that Satan counterfeits God's plan, and in having fallen angels mate with humans to make hybrids he was counterfeiting the incarnation of Christ, fathered by the Holy Spirit on a human woman, Mary.
The argument for fallen angels is strong. Very, very strong. The ancient Jews, the early church fathers, 1Enoch quoted in the Epistle of Jude, etc.
Liberal theologians are prone to downgrade the notion and doctrine of sin. Conservative theologians are more prone to unconsciously deny supernatural elements of the Bible. The former become practical atheists; the latter become practical deists.
I want to make a request to followers of James White and the Critical Text movement. Whether you are part of his close following or just have read his book or listened to him on the internet, or if you are part of the Puritanboard and have defended him, etc., I make this request of all of you. As you go through the psychological stages one goes through when they learn that the person they've been looking up to is not a person worth looking up to, please - please - don't then take out your frustration and disillusionment with the word of God itself. Don't abandon the Bible. Don't decide that you're no longer going to read the Bible or believe the Bible or live by the words of the Bible. This would be giving the victory to the Devil. This is what the Devil wants, that even in the exposure and defeat of his workers the effect is the same: getting people to be dispirited about and turn away from the living word of God. Go through the psychological stages, but keep your eye on the true target of your increasing wrath: those who have wickedly set into motion a plan to dispirit people about the word of God, to preach that there is error in the word of God, that God has not preserved His word in any meaningful way, all to get you to turn away from God's word and back to the word of man and Satan.
There is a book that is so good, like a masterwork by Bach or Mozart, that gets lost in the vast mix of Puritan works, and also is often described as simple, as in for beginners, but that is like saying Mozart's 41st symphony is for beginners, whatever that means.
I speak of Thomas Watson's A Body of Practical Divinity. It's made up of 3 vols. Body of Divinity, Lord's Prayer, and Ten Commandments. See excellent ebook editions of them from Monergism at the bottom of this page here.
They're all three linked at the bottom of that page. For an example read Watson describe the Kingdom of God in the book The Lord's Prayer. In the contents the link is: 'Secondly, The kingdom of heaven implies a glorious fruition of all good.' Read through that. Imagine if any other religious tradition had such a work (such a teaching!), imagine how it would be their golden book.
There truly are three unique folk classics of the Puritan era. I haven't seen this as clearly as lately.
1. Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
2. Human Nature In its Fourfold State - Thomas Boston
3. A Body of Practical Divinity - Thomas Watson
(The A.V. 1611 could be included in that, as a translation, it has 'folk' qualities as well, meaning, at the level of the people in tune with the seasonal and daily rhythms and activities of the natural world...that plainness and common-sense and deep, simple understanding, with not the absence of poetry and vision and power.)
This 'folk' quality of Watson's book is really what causes people to classify it differently from other doctrinal works. That 'simple' or beginner's work quality. Again, like saying a masterwork by Bach or Mozart is simple.
James White is a pure mental patient. Look at the last third of this.
You have to have been around somebody with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to know how that disorder rivals every other disorder in the book for obnoxiousness. They become a fortress. Unreachable. They never get better. It's a tragic disorder in that sense. But they take first prize in being obnoxious.
In White's case it is all turbo charged by the fact that his self-image is of a world class intellectual.
It's best that people not even deal with him in any way at this point. (It's funny that he throws the Puritanboard under his bus in this latest video, and he has 95% supporters on that forum.)
People with White's disorder will gather around themselves followers. They become a kind of egregore. When a person has zero self-awareness and a glass-eyed like confidence in everything they say or do it attracts a certain type of weak follower.
A further note: Narcissists hate people who can 'see' them. They go ballistic towards people who can see them. It kind of makes them implode. Kent Brandenburg can see White. Will Kinney can see white. Two of the more calm and polite people on the internet, and White talks about them like they're wild bomb throwers.
A little vignette of White's psychology: Recently a radio show from my part of the world, Armstrong and Getty, began playing in syndication in Arizona. White has been listening to it and remarking on things he's heard on it. It matches his politics pretty much. But for a stretch of time White stated he was very upset with the show because they kept talking about NBC's Brian Williams. White didn't like that. They were mocking Brian Williams and his self-promoting lies. "Enough with the Brian Williams talk!" White said waving his hand over his forehead. Why did White get upset about this? Because White does what Brian Williams has done in his life. Being reminded of Brian Williams, for White, is like a woman seeing another woman at a gathering wearing the same dress. The inflated self-image, the little untruths and exaggerations in stories about world travel (White once stated he did a debate that went over all of Europe...well, cable access potentially has a large audience too). White in the Ukraine during a time it was in the news: "I was at an intersection and there were armed thugs acting like they were in control, and it got a little sketchy..." He most likely never left the airport hotel's community room. Etc. He goes to South Africa..."I'll be ministering to South Africa this fall..." He can reach up and take hold of a galaxy in his hand. "Excuse me while I kiss the sky..."
Kent Brandenburg once said this of White, capturing one of White's more prominent mental traits: "White is the kid in the classroom who slams his pencil down on his desk to let everyone know he finished the test first."
1. Conscious Labor
2. Intentional Suffering
If you understand these two things you'll understand the true practice of the Christian faith.
What the churchians teach always comes down to dead ritual. "Drink grape juice and eat crackers! And, oh, yes, just sit there and don't worry about knowing anything, just be 'under the care of' these 'ordained' elders." Who don't know shit. That's like 'being under the care of' Vinnie the Bouncer at the Sports Club Bar and Pizzeria; or daddy the minivan driver who thinks everybody who doesn't look like him is trying to molest his children. Neither of them have ever done much about the shallowness they were born with and born into.
A Christian is a prophet, priest, and king. Where do kings gather? If you knew history (i.e., churchian elder, if you weren't so damn shallow) you'd know the only place you're likely to see a gathering of kings is on a battlefield. The spiritual battlefield in this case. I don't know what's going on in that churchianity church of yours. It looks like a nursery full of grown ups on the spiritual battlefield. Just where the devil wants you. Off the King's Highway and docile.
I'll give a thumbnail description of intentional suffering. There's fake suffering, there is real suffering, and there is intentional suffering. People indulge in fake suffering most of the time (resentments, whining, making requirements on everybody and everything, boredom, etc.). Then there is real suffering, i.e. suffering that can't be avoided, but it can be redemptive (illness, injury, loss, seeing tragedy or suffering, etc.). Then intentional suffering; i.e. suffering that never happens as a part of life or mechanically, but has to be conscious (loving your enemy, seeing in yourself what you dislike in others, replacing gratitude for resentment for everything all the time, etc.).
One note: illness or injury that is real suffering can morph into fake suffering if the person indulges it in that direction. There are other caveats to all the above, but you just have to be savvy and see them.
If you have eyes to see you can see how intentional suffering is visually seen in what is called the Lord's Supper, that visual parable. You in effect eat your suffering, in the event/moment/circumstance, and join with your Savior on the cross. The more unjust the act or word against you the more real your intentional suffering. The effect though is awakening and being more conscious and not wailing and pouring dust on your head.
So what then is conscious labor? And how is it like baptism, or baptism of the Holy Spirit? More like intake of the Holy Spirit. (We can have the Spirit by degree. Jesus was the only human being who could have the Spirit "without measure.") Conscious labor is not as easy to describe in a short paragraph. It's basically the opposite of sleepwalking through life (and fascinated with shiny objects and other things), which is what fallen humanity does, whether street dweller or king, street sweeper or famed surgeon. All human beings sleepwalk through life. It takes effort to not sleepwalk through life, hence the 'labor' in conscious labor. I'm going to take the easy way out and direct you to a book titled the Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by Ouspensky to learn about conscious labor. If you're scared of that, then fine, go back to your nursery. [Note: 'evolution' in the title does not refer to mechanical, Darwinian evolution. And, the book is method, not dogma.]
Another necessary note: with Ouspensky's books, the main ones being Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution, the Fourth Way, and the more 'chaff-y' and narrative In Search of the Miraculous, you *have* to get the actual paperback editions. The Kindle editions are horrible and missing illustrations and just, again, horrible in more ways than that.
I'm giving this information because people who have read my blog here and there over the years need to know why I'm so weird compared to the mainstream Christian blogger types.
One thing is I've always been pulled between two different languages, Work language, and Christian language. You can't mix languages. Mixing them downgrades both. In the least you have to know both languages to a very full degree of understanding to begin to use them together. Hardly anybody on the internet has a real understanding of the Work ideas, practices, and goals (you'll mostly run into cult use of the language on the one hand, and shallow New Age use of it on the other); and having a complete understanding of the Bible and biblical doctrine is also rare among Christians let alone non-Christians.
The problem with both groups is a lack of development with higher influences (imaginative literature, history, philosophy, music, art, religion, science, and everything that falls into one or another of those categories; also physical development, athletics or performing arts). And it has to be a unique - balanced - development; and, another big thing: inwardly motivated. I.e. balanced and motivated by a search for real understanding, not to get a passing grade or to impress people in conversation. It has to 'take'. It has to start to build a unique center in you, out of which emerges the beginning of real self-awareness. Also conscience. Or the unburying of conscience.
You can read a library and get nothing from it. You can learn at the foot of Jesus and get it all wrong.
Conscious labor and intentional suffering are more Gurdjieffian phrases (I was never a Gurdjieffian, but he was more in tune with a kind of Christianity of his youth and geographical area (Armenia? or thereabouts), so his language could sound closer to Christian language; Philokalia type Christianity). As a Christian I wouldn't recommend Gurdjieff's books, you might as well read Rabelais. But he stated Ouspensky put the teaching into sound form. He was impressed. The New Agers like Gurdjieff's works more because they aren't really looking for practical understanding; and they want to avoid that anyway because it inevitably leads - As Gurdjieff knew - to Christian teaching itself. You find yourself on the spiritual battlefield and you realize: I need the armor of God. Gurdjieff as evangelist is the father who throws the child into the pool and says, "Swim!" It's unique evangelism. He throws you onto the spiritual battlefield, naked and ignorant and weak, and says: "Figure it out!" Suicide, alcoholism, lifelong pagan/occult/New Age idiocy... You need the real armor of God. Once you have that the Work language puts you at a different level, but...TWO POINTS:
1. You're still a beaten down, smashed up apparent loser to the rest of humanity. You don't grow antlers the more you develop in a real way.
2. Regeneration by the word and the Spirit also puts one on the spiritual battlefield, whether you try to get there or not. So, you need the armor of God even if you never learned any extra-biblical teaching, sophisticated or not. And read Ephesians 6:10-18. Doctrine is the armor of God. Hard biblical doctrine, associated by name with Calvinism. See it, accept it, value it, it then changes you - reorientates you - internally. It makes you God centered and not man-centered. It makes you a fully armed soldier of Christ in the spiritual realm as well as here under the sun.
This post is a good example of the crap Reformed types write on the subject of race. It bleeds fear of the world.
Let's start with these two basic premises:
1. Black people, yellow people, and white people are very, very different. Even at the *soul* level. Physically obviously. Physically to the degree of kind.
2. Individuals who have the Holy Spirit in them, though, whatever color/race, appear to be very similar, cultural differences aside.
Colloquially white people used to refer to Asians as yellow monkeys, and also white people used to call black people boys (as in not men; and if they did something man-like they were praised as if doing something that was above their natural character). On the other hand nobody was referring to the white man in animal terms; and nobody was calling the white man boy.
Sensing an animal quality or limitation of full development in a people/race is sensing something at the soul level.
It's the spirit that determines if a person or group is good or evil in the main. I.e. treacherous and violent or not, exuding a satanic ingratitude or not, full of the devil's pride and arrogance or not, asserting entitlement to be lawless or not. Etc.
The core question is: are Asians descended from Adam? Are black people descended from Adam? If yes has there been mixture to a Satanic degree with perhaps animal and/or fallen angelic 'blood' (yeah, however that works, and maybe just evil spirit effects flesh)?
Why did God tell Paul not to go into east Asia? Why was Ham's son Canaan cursed to be a lowly slave (Ham, the name to become associated with the black peoples of the earth)? Specifically Ham's son, as if to say that line of people?
Are black people also associated with the mark of Cain? God made him look different?
Wasn't Adam white (ruddy complected)? Weren't Israelites, people of Shem, white? Aren't Japhethites (Europeans) white? Where do far east Asians fit into the racial scheme post flood? Are they pre-Adamites? More animal than human in their soul (unless individually they are given the Holy Spirit)?
Isn't there a defilement of humanity - the pure line from Adam - by Satan and the fallen angels involved in all this (the difference in soul mentioned above)? Wheat and tares?
Isn't it maybe true that the feeling of abomination in the sight of a white girl with a black man is not solely racial and could very well be because it's sensed as a reenactment of Eve and Satan, or the daughters of men and the fallen angels?
The royal bloodline from Adam to Jesus had to be kept pure, didn't it? A big part of the history of the Israelites/Jews. Keep that royal bloodline pure to the birth of the Messiah. Satan tried to attack and defile that bloodline didn't he? So this is all a part of the history of redemption, isn't it?
So say it. When you fear God alone you don't fear man or the world. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
ps- I don't usually run a string of questions together. That is common conspiracy style rhetoric. In my case here I am just tipping my hand that I don't know the answers. I have some data points and am presenting them. Others seem to want to ignore them.
A Canadian correspondent's take on James White:
"My overall impression of White is that he has lost faith, he appears lost. His arguments are not rooted in a growing faith born from an inspired understanding of the scriptures. Rather they come across as arguments of a world-centred man. Contrast him to a Sproul or some of those that he mocks and this becomes clear."My correspondent is not saying White has ever mocked Sproul, he was making a one-to-one comparison between the two; then he went on to mention those White mocks, usually true believers, zealous for a Holy Spirit preserved, inerrant Bible; zealous to defend it against the mocking and scorn of the world, most notably the seminary indoctrinated and the various priesthood of scholars.
People can't figure White out because he seems truly born again when he speaks on political and social issues, as when he speaks to doctrinal positions other than the foundational issues regarding the word of God itself.
This can be the flaw of Christians who take a solely academic approach to the faith, perhaps. I say solely.
It can also be due to a mental or emotional issue such as a narcissism disorder, and this would play into it this way: the Bible is something we *must* look up to and put ourselves under, in a no playing games about it way. A narcissist who by nature can't be taught anything can get around that regarding learning doctrine because there is room to satisfy vanity in seeing the true doctrine amidst a wildly overgrown field of ancient and modern error. Yeah, he learned from systematic theologians x, y, and z, but that is small compared to his own effort and ability to separate out the wheat from the tares regarding doctrinal truth. He *can't*, though, so easily dismiss the existence of the source and authority of that doctrine. The best he can do to *get above* that is to adopt the pose that it really is he that determines ultimately what the Bible says. To stand above the text and be a mediator between it and the ignorant masses. His narcissism is well taken care of now, and everything is right with his world.
Your posts are very on the mark. You're particularly good at pointing out White's unconscious adoption of postmodernist academic rhetoric and approach and attitude [comment was to Kent Brandenburg]. It's these elements - including the emoting, theatrical affectation of voice and body language (the eye rolling, etc.) that I find most curious regarding how seemingly approving his defenders are regarding it.
As for always bringing up so-called KJVOs, the Critical Text defenders first tactic is to get their opponents to *concede* error in the word of God. It's a very 16th century Counter-Reformation move on their part.
This is how the word of God conforms us: accept the hard truth, against all the demands of your fallen nature, and allow it to change you internally.
Examples: the doctrines of grace, election, predestination, man being born with sin yet being responsible for that sin, God being sovereign in creation, providence, and grace, while man is still responsible for all thoughts, words, and deeds. On and on. Everything in the Bible, in biblical doctrine, that is hard to accept. See it, accept it, value it. When you do it changes you internally. It makes you God centered rather than man-centered.
You have to get above yourself. You have to be savvy to get above yourself. You can't do it by conforming everything to the level of your mind. If not doing that people will gladly conform themselves to a false teaching. Conform yourself to the actual word of God. The thing you most don't want to conform yourself to. Go against your demands and desires and preferences and opinions and attitudes and resentments, and do that.
And don't let the naysayers wave off mystery, as if mystery is some kind of weak out for a Bible-believing Christian. The Bible has a ceiling of mystery on various teachings and doctrines. Deut. 29:29 gets at this. Accepting mystery when the Bible leaves something at mystery is the same as accepting a hard truth doctrine.
This is an open note to Robert Truelove, Pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Lawrenceville, GA (which is how he signs himself at the Puritanboard forum).
Regarding your video answering James White's video... You don't have to spend 10 minutes at the beginning telling us you are lukewarm. We got it. You're lukewarm. Move the thing along. Maybe I should say I realize that you don't know that you are lukewarm, otherwise you wouldn't consider it to be such a sophisticated, threading of the needle position. No, it's a hand-wringing position of a person who fears being anything other than lukewarm (as I wrote that I recall you actually wring your hands in the video). Now look up the word lukewarm in the KJV.
James White, by the way, is Mr. By-Ends in Pilgrim's Progress. You're dealing with a person who uses religion to serve his needs. He needed to be called 'Dr.' so bad that he bought a PhD. from a diploma mill, for instance. In his defense PhD.'s are given out in seminaries these days like dentists give out lollypops; so his is as good as any other, for the most part. His needs, though, include his narcissism which he has to a disorder level. Somebody with narcissism to a disorder level can't be taught anything, including from Scripture. Everything has to be mentally manipulated to an angle where the narcissist can feel he is not being taught and has never been taught. Thus, he appropriates doctrine as having its genesis within the being of James White. I.e. true biblical doctrine is true because it is grounded in what James White "has always taught." And, his approach to Scripture is of the nature of: it needs him more than he needs it. He stands above it. Looks down on it. Actually constructs it. Decrees what it is and what it isn't. Not much different from the modern student of post-modernist critical theory...let's call her Humorless Emily...who stands above all texts her professor presents her with and inflicts deconstructionist violence on the text with a presupposition that she is inherently in possession of greater understanding than the (usually) dead white male author she has under her and in her power.
What Humorless Emily does to Shakespeare, James White does to the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Living God.
James White is finally having to answer critics' accusations that he and the Critical Text industry are basically not just reviving the Counter-Reformation of the 16th century, but they are giving Muslims propaganda to feed to the world that the Holy Bible is full of errors and needs dopes like James White to construct it correctly and tell everybody what the Word of God actually is.
What White does in the video is what evolutionists do, a bait and switch. Evolutionists talk about micro evolution (which nobody disputes including dog breeders back in ancient Mesopotamia) as if they are talking about macro evolution (fish turning into race horses) which has never been observed or proven or gone beyond Kiplingesque 'Just So' stories; how the camel got its hump, how the elephant got its trunk.
White and his peers - shallow academic Christian Critical Text scholars - talk about the need to edit a manuscript, any manuscript, as if that is the same thing as *constructing* a manuscript from diverse sources, which is what the Critical Text industry is engaged in doing over and over with no end in sight. A manuscript received from a common stream of manuscripts still has to be edited, but that is not the same thing as *constructing* a manuscript from sources each being alien to the other. Not to mention sources that are cartoonishly corrupt in their readings, mutilated, and not in agreement with each other to the extent of being a bad joke (or an evil joke).
A common denominator among these Critical Text scholars is an obvious lack of belief in the supernatural. Notice White never mentions the Holy Spirit when discussing manuscripts and their preservation. He and his peers are also very shallow regarding literature in general. They've never spent time with world literature in a way where a person becomes initiated and is able to discern the difference between a work that seemed to come into existence through time and mystery, organically, like the Homeric epics vs. literary epics composed by known poets in a known time and place. The edge where a body of work such as Shakespeare bleeds into mystery school and sources unknown to academic research. C. S. Lewis famously said to the James White types, paraphrasing: Give me a notion that you know the difference between myth and folk tale before you lecture me about genres in the Bible. I.e. Lewis knew the academic types who lecture to people on things like the biblical manuscripts were shallow regarding literature and thus had little to no discernment for such things.
As stated, couple that with a mostly silent lack of belief in the supernatural and you see the spiritual deadness they sell and try to enforce on Christians and Christian institutions.
I won't get into how White emotes and pulls words like a cinematic bad guy priest/inquisitor ("Cerrrrtainly my oppooooonents would haaaave to conceeeeede that there are many textual variants in theeeey're so-call inerrent Biiibles..."
Meanwhile Muslims giddily use him as an 'authority' that the Christian Bible has error and cannot be trusted. At least without Mr. White telling us what the Christian Bible actually says. At least for today. Because it changes with each new arrival of their official Critical Text 'editions.'
Here are two real, observable, quantifiable signs of the end:
1. The Devil and his spiritual children asserting dominion over the entire world. There is only a finite amount of real estate in this world. The Devil and his children are now making headway into lands historically protected from their presence.
2. In previous eras which were nadirs of degeneracy there was a receptivity to the truth. The ancient world wanted and accepted the truth of Christianity. During the Reformation there was a receptivity to the recovered truth of the word of God and apostolic doctrine. Yet in this current nadir of degeneracy we don't see that receptivity to the truth, let alone a desire for it. Yes, there has been tremendous satanic activity to bring people down, but opportunity to know the truth is also everywhere. We seem to be in a time when the births of God's elect are fewer and fewer. The mass lunacy and willful, trollish mocking and hatred of God make this world feel like hell itself. It doesn't have the feel of God's remnant being its usual small number vs. a world of the unregenerate that naturally has larger numbers. It feels like human jackals and hyenas and evil clowns and soul-dead jokers are being vomited out of vaginas in large numbers as a precursor to a final act of redemptive consummation.
My response to that last post would be: we have to make ourselves *able* to not only be in communication with God (and His messengers) but also to be directed by His will. If we're sleepwalking through life we can't complain that God isn't giving us guidance, or guiding us.
How do we not sleepwalk through life? It's what no Christian leaders or educators talk about; certainly not at a truly practical level.
The command, or teaching, to be constantly watchful, and to pray without ceasing, give biblical warrant to the practice of being awake above the common waking-sleep level where all of humanity resides, street sweeper to surgeon.
There is no better explication of the practice than in the Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution. Ouspensky was one of the early debunkers of the Theory of Evolution, mocking the very idea of mechanical evolution, so don't be thrown by the word evolution in that title.
Personally I'm doing marathon efforts with this. Tired of the endless talk and reading and taking in of same old knowledge (can't pour new wine into an old bottle)...i.e. you have to increase *capacity* for understanding to increase understanding. Knowledge plus being equals understanding. Work merely on the knowledge side alone and you stagnate if not start going backward.
I have some experience with this. Been through initiation, through the trenches. This is partly why I come across as crazy to the mainstream environment. Some people think it puts you in the realm of demons. We're already in the realm of demons. Definitely it's a Pilgrim's Progress sort of activity and journey, and as Bunyan clearly presented it, not for everybody. The Homeric epics, Iliad and Odyssey, embody the practice and teaching as a whole as well. It can be dangerous, I have to say. Unfortunately on the spiritual battlefield we're naked or half-armed before we realize the necessity for the full armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18.
Day after day, all this talk and words...talking out the same things, reading the same things... Once you get to a certain point the enthusiasm of discovery is no longer there, and you go over old ground over and over...and what is missing? What is missing is the missing element of moving up. I.e. we've attained to a new level of understanding, yet we stay in the same freaking level. We don't move up. And there is no guidance on that...no communication. OK, I heard the call, I read the Bible seven times, I learned doctrine, came to see it, accept it, value it, at the hard truth orthodox level... I can see evil in myself, in the world around me...I discern good and evil, I value good, I hate evil...I've developed in other ways...it all has separated me out from the world...I could no more be part of the world now than the world could be where I'm at. Now what? Where is the guidance now? We get ground down and smashed to see our own nothingness...we die, and then are born again...but we are in tatters. All our sin we'd blacked out we now see, so we hate ourselves. We can't fit back in with the world on its terms, which are the only terms it allows. Obviously this is not a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister talking. You don't get to where I'm at being those things. This is a Jesus follower. Who is my mother? my brothers and sisters? Not these of the world. We don't move up. Maybe we're supposed to be killed by now. In any school there are levels...grades...or just graduation at least. In this school you are crushed, born again, given teaching, then seemingly set outside in a world that no longer matches what you've become. No churches aren't the answer, they're more worldly than the world...and shallow. No evangelism isn't the answer. God uses people who are still a little a part of the world to evangelize, who can still connect. I'm a toxic freaking monster compared to evangelists I see. I took the full drought. Show me where freaks like me who take the full draught are supposed to go. Let me rephrase that: I GOT the full draught. What is this...gum wrappers...
This is why I've never had a problem with the term Calvinism. It's not just about a single man. That is the term though that captures the bigger vision. I even see symbolism of the mountains and high ground of Switzerland as significant as a counterpart to the seven hills of Rome, but also to Switzerland's history of being a natural fortress that produced effective soldiers and defenders of that realm. I also have seen the power of seeing Calvin and Calvinism as the prophet of the mountain in contra-distinction to the Islamic prophet of the desert. Calvin and Calvinism even matches the plain warrior ethos associated with early Islam. Calvinism, Puritanism, in the bigger vision these are the names of the true spiritual warfare approach of the living faith. The only thing that can stand against and transcend the forces of darkness and evil on this spiritual battlefield.
Quick point... Reading Abraham Kuyper really for the first time. I could always kind of sense when a writer or theologian was not sound, and I'd always had that impression of Kuyper; so never really read anything by him until now. Now I'm reading his Lectures on Calvinism, being directed to them by something I came across in a lot of worldview material I've been reading lately.
Reading the first lecture I found it very impressive, for about three quarters of the way. Then I could see why Kuyper is kind of not fully in the main ranks of Reformed theologians. He just gets a little soft-headed, like a modern liberal type. 1. Islam was Christianity's teacher (he states); 2. Race mixing makes for strong culture and nations. Well, OK, I suppose in some ways, but it also seems to make for giving birth to a lot of demon-infested hybrids too (or maybe that's just where I live, or the news I read).
But in the first part of Lecture One he makes a very striking observation; a powerful one I could 'see' immediately upon reading it: he speaks of life systems (kind of his synonym for worldviews) and sees in our era (he was speaking at the turn of the 20th century, but it still applies to today) five strong types of life systems:
Yes, Calvinism. Not Protestantism, but specifically Calvinism. And he is very good at defining what he means by Calvinism, but you just have to read that.
What I saw in this was what I've always seen in specifically Calvinism. I've always seen it as like a suit of armor. Like a complete, real, enveloping body of armor that one goes through life with. And what further impressed me was how Kuyper set Calvinism in contra-distinction to Modernism, accurately setting the genesis of Modernism in the horrifically demoniacal and atheist (not to mention obnoxiously ignorant) French Revolution.
He also talks about the subject of how more than a few truly great historians of the past stated that John Calvin was really the Founding Father of the United States. I always understood that statement that could be so easily misunderstood, and Kuyper sees why historians have said that: it's why the American Revolution was so different from its contemporary revolution, the aforementioned French Revolution.
It's always amusing when atheists try and try and try to frame the American Revolution as Deist/Atheist all the while ignoring the big fact that *their* revolution, the atheistic French Revolution, happened almost contemporaneously. That is the atheist revolution par excellence, in all its stupendous idiocy and terroristic bloodletting ending in fully expected (by any observer with a three digit I.Q.) tyranny. In this case military control.
So Kuyper sets Modernism (which came from the French Revolution) against Calvinism showing the fruits of both in world history (not least in the American Revolution and system of government in the United States), and one can see how today both life systems are still present and in conflict (Modernism having the numbers of course).
This is why I would kind of see old books of Calvinist doctrine in imagery of chainmail. That could be mocked easily by anyone, an unintended metaphor, whatever, I mean it as seeing Calvinism as a complete armored position on the spiritual battlefield. And, oh, by the way, the fact that it was merely hard truth, on-the-mark, apostolic biblical doctrine was not just a bonus, but was kind of the point. Calvinism gives the complete armor of God, when armor is seen as doctrine; and it encompasses all of creation and culture.
This is a vision of Calvinism that the Calvinist churches don't have, by the way. This is a vision of Calvinism much bigger than what is taught in the Reformed seminaries today. It's something you have to feel in a battle sense and see in a culture sense. You have to have some real development to come into it. That Renaissance humanist element that the three great Protestant reformers (Luther, Zwingli, Calvin) exhibited and that is not mentioned much by modern day Reformed and Calvinist types.
In all my current worldview reading it becomes apparent that the two ground motives of any worldview are the Holy Spirit or the spirit of Satan. You can see that the Christian worldview writers kind of want to go off into philosophy play land but inevitably get pulled back to recognize that basic, foundational reality. If they are Christians. And if they are Christians to a spiritual battlefield level they will be Calvinists, and they too will see the basic types and how we are surrounded today by the soldiers dressed in the uniform of "No God Over Us!" Modernism.
Christianity is reality, and here are two hard facts learned on the spiritual battlefield:
1. Doctrine is actual armor of God. A Christian will never see or understand or value this fact unless he or she sees it and experiences it on the actual spiritual battlefield. There is no arguing or constantly yearning for nuance and something new and beyond terminal understanding; i.e. you are on a battlefield and not only want but need real armor. Real hard truth biblical doctrine that offends your fallen nature. You don't care on the battlefield if your fallen nature is offended, you want and need real armor and a real weapon. Academic oriented Christians will never see or experience this. Especially ones who read that and respond: "So you're anti-intellectual?" You have to be spiritual warfare oriented in the faith. Regeneration effected by the Word and the Spirit puts you on the spiritual battlefield. Cleric and ritual does not.
2. No one will be in God's Kingdom - Heaven - who can't be trusted by God, and God knows what is in our hearts. We have to ask the question, "Can God trust me?" and be able to honestly (and with understanding) answer, "Yes, God can trust me." Christians who are still judging God; christians who still stand above the Word of God, affecting a stance that it needs them more than they need it; christians who give lip service to belief in the supernatural yet don't really believe in the supernatural; christians who really fear man and the world more than they fear God; these are not christians God can trust. These will not be in God's Kingdom. I.e. there's no screwing around at that point; God knows what's in your heart. You can't fake your way into the Kingdom.
The problem gay people have is they can't consummate a marriage. They dress up in mommy and daddy's clothes. Playing make believe.
We're all very pathetic. We don't know, don't admit, how pathetic we are. With the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) we are no longer pathetic.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
I very much like your idea of "plain simple books that sum up the faith" as it gives me more time to spend with the Bible itself. I have been using this list for a while and find it extremely helpful, so thank you. I wonder, some five years on, would the list look the same if you compiled it today or do you have any new recommendations?
This comment was left here. The basic list was the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, Human Nature in its Fourfold State, and Berkhof's Manual of Christian Doctrine.
Hi, I'm trying to think of one. That list is pretty good in that I didn't include any subjective types of influences and it's balanced. I was using the template of 'history, poetry, philosophy' (poetry representing imaginative literature and philosophy in this case representing theology). Boston's great work I listed can be seen as a history of redemption.
I suppose confessions, creeds, and catechisms would be candidates. Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation ed. by James T. Dennison, Jr. would be an all-encompassing inclusion.
Heidelberg Commentary by Ursinus is basic.
Of course Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion could be included because it carries so much foundational wisdom.
A foundational subject for a Christian that is getting a lot of attention recently is worldview analysis. It is a powerful subject that gives parts in relation to the whole understanding of the Christian worldview vs. the constellation of false idol worldviews. I think three classics for that are:
David K. Naugle - Worldview: The History of a Concept
James Sire - The Universe Next Door
Nancy Pearcey - Finding Truth
In the Naugle book you'll find answers to common criticisms of worldview analysis from Christians. His chps. 9 and 11 are mandatory to understanding the whole subject.
[At least read the last paragraph below, interesting historical note...]
First, a definition of postmodernism is necessary:
"Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland notes that Postmodernism refers to a
philosophical approach primarily in the area of epistemology, or what
counts as knowledge or truth. Broadly speaking, Moreland says
"Postmodernism represents a form of cultural relativism about such
things as truth, reality, reason, values, linguistic meaning, the 'self' and other notions."[xxiii]
Though Postmodernism comes in many forms, there are three unifying values: (1) a commitment to relativism; (2) an opposition to metanarratives, or
totalizing explanations of reality that are true for all people of all
cultures; and (3) the idea of culturally created realities. Each of
these commitments are designed to deny that there is a worldview or
belief system that can be considered absolute Truth.
Postmodernism's most effective methodological tool, one used extensively in university
modern language departments, is known as Deconstruction, which means (1) that words do not represent reality, and (2) that concepts expressed in sentences in any language are arbitrary."
Basically it asserts that truth can't be known, or, there is no absolute truth, and they try to make you stop believing that language can carry any objective meaning.
George Steiner had a good passage describing them in their attacks on great literature in the preface to his book on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky:
"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."
Ultimately (and you'll see this in Pearcey's Finding Truth) postmodernist theory commits suicide by using language to assert language can't carry any truth. People with these unbiblical worldviews always have to make themselves an exception to their false idol assertions.
But to get more into the weeds, these post modernist theorists deny any "transcendental signified" (a metaphysical reality that grounds true meaning in language, what that John chapter 1 passage is about, grounding the Logos, the Word in the Triune God Himself) but only a gaggle of "transcendental signifiers" (humans and groups of humans making up 'truth' and what's true for one person or group is not true for another, etc.).
Into this void, or vacuum, steps the Devil and his anything goes evil.
Interesting historical point on this: the prisoners (everyday people, citizens) living in the Soviet Union vast police state were subjected to this kind of ideology because collectivist regimes like that want to make reality upside down. Nothing has meaning. Everything is arbitrary, laws, goals, rules, one's station in life, etc., etc. So historians have noted that Soviet citizens used the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to maintain their grasp of what is real. Stalin is on historical record saying that he regretted not banning the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. They became a lifeline to reality for the inmates of the Soviet police state. - C.
From the department of seeing things in a different context for new meaning...the subject is: seeing God.
We read about this desire to finally see God in heaven. As a goal. A kind of event of long-waited-for resolution.
In the usual context it can give us an uneasy feeling. The uneasiness of having a supreme authority figure in our midst.
But here may be the context: finally seeing sanity. Finally being in the presence of true order and everything that is right and good. We, I think, don't often consciously sense this absence. Yet in this fallen life, in this fallen world, it's not much different from an average unpleasant dream where we are alienated from everything and moving about in a landscape of darkness and chaos.
So to be able to see God after a lifetime of this darkness and chaos of various kinds and degrees is like emerging out of a subterranean hell into light and order and goodness and beauty...not to mention no more alienation, death, and evil.
There are three areas of design to focus on: 1. the remarkable fact of code (information) in the cell (DNA). 2. The amazingly intricate nano technology like machinery inside a cell. 3. The fine tuning of the universe for life.
Another big thing is how everything is designed with a purpose, or an end in view. Mechanical evolution, whether to explain life or the universe, can't work with an end in view. It can't develop an eye with an end in view for vision. It would also have to build multiple inter-working systems simultaneously. Evolution can't even answer which came first, the chicken or the egg. Sex and sexual reproduction are major problems for evolution. Among an infinity of other problems.
That evolution is garbage science is blatantly obvious, but the new thought here is how intelligent design in creation gives remarkable proof of a Designer...i.e. our Creator God. And how that gives remarkable assurance of providential care.
Christians in the past didn't know of the three things listed above. Though they may have been closer to nature in general and had witness to similar design in creation.
Forget the words coming out of their mouths, what are Critical Text people telling you when they speak (I speak of purveyors of Critical Text bibles such as the ESV, NASB, NIV, NLT, etc., translated from reconstructed, mutilated manuscripts who call anybody King James Onlist who values the Traditional Text, or Masoretic Hebrew or Received Text of which the Authorized, King James, Version is based on), what are they really telling you, demanding of you?
"Concede, concede, Christian, concede that the Bible has error... Conceeeeede, Christian. We're going to mock you, we're going to make you feel the weight of the world's opinion until you concede, Christian..."
What voice is that?
That's the voice of the Devil.
It's the same voice heard in the 16th century Counter-Reformation. Jesuits hissing the same demand.
The demand is give your allegiance to the authority of the word of man (in the Jesuits case the authority of the Pope and Magisterium of Rome; in the modern Critical Text case the authority of the priesthood of scholars) rather than giving your allegiance to the authority of the word of God.
Fear God alone. When you do you don't fear man or man's demands or the world and the world's demands. Fear God alone. It is the beginning of wisdom.
It would be difficult to find a more purely stupid post on a blog on the internet today than this post by Peter Enns.
Can he be a pure devil while also being purely stupid? Absolutely he can. False teachers are sinning. Sin is irrational to its core. People who revel in their sinful nature and rebellion towards God actually think they can defeat God. That's how irrational (or stupid, if you will) they are.
But just because intellectually they are common village idiots don't under-estimate their pure, vicious evil.
"But he's got a degree from Harvard!" That would be evidence against him in a court proceeding determining whether he's a village idiot or not. In fact, go to Google Earth and look at Harvard. It's a clump of scattered buildings housing mostly Baby Boomer era cultural Marxists that walk around with their tongues sticking out of their mouths. God bless people who have disabilities and an excuse to walk around like that, but they're not supposed to be Harvard professors.
OK, let's be more specific. Look at the post-modern idiocy woven throughout the post. Is Enns really that stupid to adopt the latest academic idiocy and apply it to something like Christianity as if you can keep starvation at bay with rhetoric about the relative meaning of food? Yes, you have to say he is that stupid. Stupid with an accent on shallow. He also, though, is evil. His drive, his focus, his day after day unchanging desire to put forth these views. That is a mark of Satanic spirit inside him.
Never underestimate shallowness in these academics though. Just like you should never underestimate the role of drugs or alcohol in acts of remarkable violence you should never underestmate just how shallow people with degrees from institutions of higher learning can be.
I think I might have mentioned this a year or so ago, but it is too spectacular to not mention again.
Over a 24 year period what is called the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has been mapped three different times by, successively, three different grades of technology, the last, the Planck Satellite, obviously being the best.
The first time it was mapped it showed something strange. It showed that the Earth appeared to be the center of the universe. The scientists didn't like this and coined the term "the axis of evil" for the axis that appears in the map that shows this startling fact. They say they called it that because it cuts the knees out from the Copernican Principle, that the universe is uniform in every direction, every place, etc. It gets complicated, and I'm obviously not an astrophysicist, but I'll give three links at the end of this that explain it with good graphics. I.e. the Standard Model had been nuked. But they really called it 'evil' because it showed the Earth is NOT some cheap little insignificant planet in some dark, dusty corner of one of billions of galaxies.
Now, it sounds *SUPERNATURALLY STUPID* to say the Earth is the center of the universe. Even to a modern day Christian. Because we've all been indoctrinated to believe the pious atheist dogma that humans are insignificant and the Earth is insignificant in the universe, etc. BUT THIS IS WHAT THE MAPPING - DONE THREE TIMES NOW! - HAS DISCOVERED. I don't usually use large caps, but it's really a remarkable, a spectacular discovery.
It gets worse for the atheists!
Picture the universe as a basketball. In the CMB mapping the Earth appears at the very center of the basketball. But here is the worse part for the atheists: the basketball has a discernible equator (that axis of evil) and that discernible equator cuts exactly through the Earth's elliptic formed as it courses around the sun. That plane.
And the map of the CMB is explained like this: imagine that equator cut through the basketball is like a bike wheel, and all the spokes start at the edge of the universe (the surface of the basketball) and go inward to the center hub which is the Earth. Those spokes are aspects of the map (that I can't describe because that part is beyond me) that the scientists have to admit show that the Earth is the center of the universe. This is supernatural. I.e. it defies a naturalism explanation. It's just strange and supernatural, like creation itself.
Here is the article with the good graphic (scroll down to Fig. 3) http://tangentspace.info/Articles/cmb1.php
Here's a short overview: https://medium.com/we-are-in-a-special-place/planck-satellite-confirms-wmap-findings-universe-is-not-copernican-26f88f17a732
Here's a PDF by a guy who champions geocentric issues, but he knows this subject and he does a point-by-point take down of the initial release, or the wording of the release, by the scientific establishment regarding these findings: http://galileowaswrong.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Planck-Date-Release.pdf