Law, Lawlessness and Legalism

“Judge not, lest you be judged” has been misinterpreted to mean that no matter what anyone does, we should not judge the behavior. He pointed out that we are not to condemn someone for their sins, lest we get condemned for ours, but that does NOT mean we are not to discern what is right and wrong, or identify certain behaviors as sin.Grace does not mean there is no law and we are free to behave any way we wish. Grace is to lead us to holiness, which is the walking in the presence of God and reflecting his character.

Invention #2 in Cm

Invention #2 in Cm  PDF File Invention #2 in Cm ©1985 Jefferis Kent Peterson, Baroque Style Invention

Enlightenment Rationalism and the Problem of Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism has unconsciously imposed an Enlightenment Rationalist Worldview upon the Gospel writers, who never intended the Gospels to be interpreted simply as a strict chronological recounting of historical events. They were writing theological pamphlets intended to prove that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophetic types present in Genesis to Joshua. By arguing as Enlightenment Rationalists, Fundamentalists have undermined their own efforts because they have not understood the original writers’ intent.

The Hobby Lobby Decision and What it Means for the Church

The Supreme Court upheld religious liberty and freedom of conscience in its 5-4 decision on Monday, and in doing so, avoided the same mistake the Court made when it upheld the rights of slave owners in the Dred Scott decision and ensured the Civil War. The Dred Scott case not only restored the rights of slave owners to recapture runaway slaves in the Northern States, but made those who did not believe in slavery complicit in their capture and return. In other words, it forced those who hated slavery to comply with slavery by handing slaves back to their masters. This legal decision to deny freedom of conscience only served to strength Abolitionist sentiment and helped precipitate the Civil War. Noting that then, as today, we have a sharply divided country on the issue of just “who” is entitled to the protection of life and liberty, that narrowly divided Supreme Court is reflective of that divide. The belief that abortion is indeed murder is a conviction that will not disappear with the stroke of the judge’s pen, as has been amply demonstrated by over 40 years of conflict and social disaffection. However, this decision is a lesson for the Church … Read more…

Sympathy for the Devil: Understanding Radical Islam and the Failure of Neo-Con Foreign Policy

Differences in Eastern and Western Views of War If anyone would like a helpful primer on the motivations Middle Eastern society,  I cannot recommend highly enough a book given to me by a friend who worked at the NSA.  The book is called Balkan Ghosts, by Robert Kaplan, and while it is a travelog, it gives an invaluable history of the clash of East and West over the centuries, including insight into the different perceptions of war.  In the West, due to its Christian heritage,  a theory of just war was developed.  Among those principles in just war theory was a respect for the protection of non-combatants (civilians) and the establishment of justifiable reasons for war, such as protecting the nation from aggression by foreign powers.  Since the late Middle Ages, the West has recognized slaughter of non-combatants as unjust, and nations which ignored those principles were identified as rogue nations (Nazi Germany, e.g.). But the Eastern view of warfare has always been entirely different, in part because the respect for the individual is not native to their value system. While this summary does not do justice to the book, it may begin to expose the vast cultural differences that exist … Read more…

The Politics of Envy and a Culture of Greed

 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife… or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” –  Exodus 20:17 To covet is to desire to possess what rightfully belongs to another. It is not simply admiring what another has, but is the desire to take it. Covetousness is a form of greed. You don’t have to be rich to be greedy. You can be poor and greedy, and you can be poor and envy what others have.   We now have an entire political party dedicated to stoking the fires of envy and greed. It is called the Democrat party, and its chief strategy is intent on dividing Americans by stirring up envy towards the rich. It also appeals to people’s greed, because it promises to take what others have and give it to those who have “less.” This is covetousness, pure and simple, and that means the entire Democrat strategy is built upon a violation of the Ten Commandments: You shall not steal (take what belongs to another) and you shall not covet (desire to take what belongs to another). Anything built upon the evil of sin cannot be good. I am a populist. The fact … Read more…

A Christian Philosophy of Life – Part 1

Introduction: The Love of Wisdom In ancient Greece, the first schools of philosophy flourished. They were called academies, or colleges, and their goal was to prepare young people to lead the State by giving them instruction in morals and ethics, mathematics, dialectics [or logical reasoning], and the natural sciences. The crucial aspect of this education was not simply to gain knowledge but to build wisdom and character. A greedy, corrupt, and selfish person could not be a good leader of the State. Citizenship and virtue were requirements for a true education. The schools  established by Socrates and Plato  were not started simply because they had a desire to know facts. Facts by themselves do not reveal ultimate meaning, nor do they reveal the purpose of life. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was interested in discovering truth. The very meaning of the word philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” This pursuit of truth is not a dispassionate and disinterested inquiry into the nature of things. Philosophy is a journey of ultimate importance, a journey whose purpose is to discover the meaning of life – the ultimate meaning of all things – the reason “why.” No one can enter such a pursuit dispassionately and … Read more…

Things You May Not Know About the Jewishness of Jesus

  I thought about titling this article “Jesus is More Jewish Than You,” because most people don’t understand just how Jewish Jesus and the early church were.  I just want to point out some things from history that may strike you. Jesus was called “Rabbi” (John 4:31) Along with all the teachers of the Law of God, given to Moses, many of whom had their disciples, Jesus was a wandering rabbi who debated the interpretation of the Law with other rabbis. So, if we think about the debates between schools’ interpretations during First Century Judaism, there is nothing unusual here. Gamaliel is probably the most famous of the other  rabbis of that period (Acts 5:34). Paul was a member of Gamaliel’s school. Jesus kept Kosher Laws. Jesus never violated the Law of God. He never ate pork or shellfish or anything forbidden. He participated in the Passover and all other feasts in the Hebrew cycle. He tithed to the Temple.  All his followers did the same. The disciples continued to worship at the Temple after Jesus’ crucifixion (Acts 2:46 – 5:25). The proof of just how Jewish Jesus was is written in Acts 10,  which happens about 9 years after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection,  … Read more…

How Can We Know God and Truth?

Roger Bacon (c.1214–1294) is sometimes credited with the modern establishment of the scientific method, following Aristotle. From the previous articles, we have shown that no one can disprove the existence of God, and that atheists believe there is no God but cannot know for sure, and so their belief is unsubstantiated. We have also shown that because the supposed nature of God as Creator of all things, if He exists, is trans-dimensional, exists outside of the 4 palpable dimensions of time and space, and not subject to the causal laws of material physics. Therefore, the scientific method has no means of verifying or measuring the reality of God. In other words, God is supernatural and axiomatic and therefore not subject to testable hypotheses or “proofs.” Furthermore, we have demonstrated that atheist objections to the existence of God often rest upon assumptions about the nature of God illegitimately acquired from a Judeo-Christian worldview. The idea of justice and fairness, for example, assumes too much, if one starts with the assumption that the creation is evolutionary and accidental.  This God could be just as uncaring and uninvolved in human affairs as we are in the life of ants. Therefore, the question of God’s goodness does not … Read more…

Atheism is a Faith

a·the·ism noun: atheism disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. Origin late 16th century: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god.’ Atheism is a faith just like any other faith. It is founded on a belief, not on fact or science. The word “atheism” means “no belief.” However, atheists actually do believe; it is just that they believe in “nothing.” They believe that there is no God. In spite of all their claims to the contrary, atheists must still rely upon the same resources for their convictions as do all other believers: namely, their faith. The only difference is their faith is directed towards nothing. They believe there is no “thing” out there. No God. No supernatural. No Devil. No purpose or meaning to life. Yet, they are no more rational in their beliefs than Christians are in theirs. The atheist’s lack of belief in God is simply an article of faith. The problem atheists face is that you cannot prove that “nothing” exists. Nothing is the “absence” of some-thing. It isn’t a thing. It isn’t there, so you can’t show it. You cannot prove “nothing” is true. At most, you may find nothing where you are … Read more…

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