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

Why You Don’t Believe in God – The Atheist’s Dilemma

As I have mentioned in previous articles, there are many reasons why atheists do not believe. There are legitimate reasons that cause people to question the reality of God: suffering, the death of a loved one, unanswered prayers, injustice in the world, being a victim of child abuse… All these ugly realities can raise serious questions about the existence of a just and loving God. Of course, it may not be fair to blame God for the evil that human beings freely choose to do. That would be a bit like blaming the police for people committing crimes. Nevertheless, there are wounded emotions that sometimes override rational perspectives and cause people to jump to unwarranted conclusions: God is to blame because, if he exists, he is omnipotent and could have stopped the evil. As I wrote before, part of the nature of God in humanity is freedom of the will, and for God to stop people from exercising their freedom, however badly, he would have to turn them into robots and destroy what makes them human. The freedom to love and do great good is the very same freedom that allows a person to hate and do great harm. Freedom … Read more

America’s Fragile Empire

The United States is at its most vulnerable point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Aside from the possibility of total annihilation due to global thermonuclear war, the United States is at its most fragile point in its entire history. This vulnerability is largely due to its dependence on the infrastructure of computer technology powered by the electrical grid. As we have seen in the recent super-storm, hurricane Sandy, when the power went out, many people were reduced to living in the dark and scrounging up what food and blankets they could for weeks. They were without power, without gasoline, and without transportation. They were miles from the nearest food supplies and electricity. From what I read, the response was far from immediate. Now imagine this situation hitting the entire Eastern Seaboard at one time, extending 300 miles inland to middle of the Appalachians. Power gone with not only no way to call in extra power crews, but no way to communicate and coordinate with them. But this time, the problem is not downed power lines, but every transformer blown and no way to replace them. Imagine food stores empty and no deliveries available or planned for weeks. Surely there would … 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

Strategies for Leaving The PC(USA) with Property Intact

The latest rulings by the supreme judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church(USA) have made an absolute mockery of their Book of Order and the votes of the General Assembly. The attempt to exert absolute control over the local churches gives lie to the appearance of tolerance that liberals so much advocate. If you disagree, you are still forced to accept the views of the elitist bureaucrats.  Lately the GAPJC (General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission)  has ruled in 3 cases which void any ruling of the General assembly as a whole, while threatening to take the property of any presbytery or church that wants to leave over matters of conscience.   If you want to leave, I have some strategies for you. If your presbytery wants to leave, quickly vote to relinquish all presbytery claims to church property to the respective churches, then vote to leave the denomination as a presbytery. When the synod for comes in with an administrative commission to remove the presbytery leaders, it will be too late.   For an individual church: give all your endowments away to valid missions and ministries, indebt your buildings, and then see if the presbytery still wants them. Walk away if they … Read more

Victorious Eschatology, a book review

Victorious Eschatology/Second Edition

A Doctrine of Sanctification

A Summary Doctrine of Sanctification (from the book:  Pardoned or Paroled?) 1]            God Alone is Righteous and God alone is Good: Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him, (Isaiah 45:24, RSV). And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone,” (Luke 18:19, RSV). 2]            We are not to look to ourselves for any good or righteousness, for none exists in us: For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh, (Romans 7:18, RSV). For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness, (Romans 10:3, RSV). Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God … 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

Testing the Spirits

I learned this from a Christian business woman who was approached by 2 men who were Christians with a business deal. Everything seemed right, but in the end the deal turned out to be a scam. She asked the Lord why she had not seen this coming, and the Lord taught her about testing the spirits.  When someone approaches you with any matter, although it can be a ministry situation, ministry opportunity, business offer, sales offer, or anything, you can test the spirit motivating that person to see if it is originating in God.    You speak to the spirit ( you can do this under your breath when people are around, or you can speak it out loud if you are considering this situation when alone), and say,  " I command you to confess that Jesus Christ came by the water and the blood and that Jesus is the Son of God."  If the spirit is not of God, you will sense resistance and a lack of peace. If it is just something like a human idea, you may not feel anything and it be neutral. But if the Spirit motivating this situation is the Lord, you will experience … 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

Menu
%d bloggers like this: