Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Highlights of '09

Now for the Highlights of this year... In January Seth, Michael, and I went to the DeGroots for New Years. We had an awesome time with Dan, Colin, and Josh. (Which we are planning on doing again this year.) Then that same month Rebecca on up, - Mom, went to the SACIFF. In the Spring, after an icy snow Seth, Michael, Joseph and I went it a steep ditch with the green Metro. We were all ok, but my head smashed the windshield. That same time period I became an Uncle. I think it was in May that I started working for Joel. That same Month Seth, Aaron Wang, Ben, and I made a super short film, "TRANSGRESSOR." I think it was in June that Two of my good friends, Benjamin and Daniel Allen and I spent a great Day hanging out in Omaha. In July, I became the director for the PHF entry "Esther" in whom played, Seth, William, Samuel Clingman, Elizabeth, Josiah, Rebecca, Josiah Krutz, Micah Swab, Lucy, Juliana, and I. (We later received the Audience Choice Award.) In August our Family went to Colorado for vacation, but on the way home, the fuel pump went out. So Pastor Kayser headed four hours out to get us, and another four to bring us home! The very following week, Mike Elliott, Joseph Cave, Caleb Duff, and I had a intense week long hike, in the same state, where we hiked 50 some miles in 4 1/2 days. In October at the PHF, I was able to have an awesome weekend with Ben, Matt, Samuel, Toby, Andrew Axsom, etc, plus alot of visitors from other states. Also despite a humbling mess-up I was awarded the Audience Choice Award for the speech catagory. Also in October I had the fantastic opportunity to help Jon on his new house. That was a TON of fun. Since then, the most significant things I've done, include finishing Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology, and spending time with Ben and Matt. Wow, has God poured out blessings and friends into my life!

A Review of the Accomplished Goals Last Year

Last Year in December I posted 10 Goals for 2009, now that '09 is practically over, I wanted to contemplate God's provision for me to accomplish or alter almost all these goals.

I. Live day to day in Christ's power
This is a slippery goal to begin with! And I suspect it will remain a goal of mine for the rest of my life. But as I consider the past year, I do believe that the Lord has sanctified me in that area.

II.Memorize significant portions of scripture
Sadly this is one of the goals which I failed greatest in. While I did memorize portions of Isaiah, Proverbs, and others, I wouldn't consider them to have been "Significant" portions.

III.Read through the Bible at least one entire time.
This was one of the goals which I think was RIGHTLY altered very early on. As I talked to friends and attempted to read 3-4 chapters a day, I realized that it would be more be beneficial to read it, apply it, and meditate on it then to speed read it through. So while I began the year in Jeremiah, I plan to end it in Exodus. (As an interesting note, there where a few books I read it one sitting and found much more comprehensible without the Chapter breaks. {For instance, Romans.})

IV.Strengthen my fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Contemplating this statement in and of itself, it is not as if a man can to God and strengthen his fellowship with Him on his own accord, yet scripture does command "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" James 4:8a.

V.Sanctify in how I make conversation with others (including expanding who I talk, the purpose of the conversation, how I react, etc.)
Since this is one of my most clear cut goals, I think it is a easier one to dissect. as I consider the past year, especially the last several months, I see definite improvement. God has strengthened me so that I attempt to enter into conversation, not for myself but for the encouragement of others.

VI.Learn Humility
Wow, that is one blanket, undefined goal. In a small way I do think I have sanctified in humility. ei. when I do stupid things or say embarrassing things, and then weeks late realize what I did, I try to thank God for humbling me, trusting that all things, including my embarrassments work for the glory of God and the good of his people. But still I think this will be a goal that continues for my life. (On of the ways God humbled me was at the PHF, when I forgot my speech in the middle of it for about a minute!

VII.Learn Self Control
Another blanket goal... One to last a lifetime. Yet I believe God has graciously enabled me to not be offended as easily as I used to be, and keep me from getting as angry as I used to. Still, self control reaches into all kinds of areas and I am far from accommplished.

VIII.Finish Algebra 2

IX.Get my drivers license
YES! (After two failed driving tests!)

X.Start some type of business/get a job
The Lord fabulously provided me with a significant amount of work this entire year. I worked extensively for Joel landscaping, and with Dad on odd jobs.

As you can see, not only has God blessed me tremendously but there plenty more work for the next year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paradise Restored (A book review)

David Chilton's "Paradise Restored" is a superb introduction to eschatology. Starting from ground level, he slowly and logically builds a watertight case for postmillienialism and a theology of Dominion.
This book does not focus on critiquing the other positions. Instead Chilton works at forming, (or rather reforming) the discarded Biblical Theology of Victory. He brings scripture to light, giving new meaning to Adam's loss of Paradise, Christ's Victory, and what it means to Christians theology of the future.
Many of my own questions about eschatology were answered, and I came away with a much greater understanding of Postmillienialism. This is a fun and easy MUST read for anyone who wants an grasp on Biblical Eschatology

Friday, December 11, 2009

Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology

Robert Reymond's "A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith," has been called the new standard for Reformed Systematic Theologies. While I have never read any other Systematic Theology, Reformed or otherwise, Reymond seems to cover all the bases. He starts with the doctrine of Scripture itself, moves on to the Nature of God and the Nature of man, he then addresses the Theology of Salvation, then character and structure of the Church. He ends with Escatology (theology of last things). Within each of these "Parts" he addresses common heresies (past and present) and critics non-heretical stances where needed.
His most powerful "Part" was probably the second. In the Second, "God and Man," he acclaims the importance of a Presuppositional worldview. He also clearly sets forth the doctrine of God as Trinity, and the nature of fallen Man, originally made in God's image. If anyone was to read one part of the book this is the part I would recommend(Though for the most part it was all fantastic).
There were an few areas of disagreement worth mentioning. While he didn't linger on it long, Reymond took a jab at Reconstuctionists. This he did while rightly asserting that the Church should not have the power of the Sword, nor should Christians advocate a "theocracy." I suspect he was defining "theocracy" as "rule by the Church," because the scripture references he gave would only support that position. They could not be construed to deny God's law's rule over the State.
Also, while showing beautifully the doctrine of Christ's Kingdom as, "already, not yet," in eschatology, he did not come to the natural (and Scripture) conclusion of Postmillenialism.
The rest of my disagreements were even less minor. (Though I did address one of them several months ago in "Are the Attributes of God Communicable/Incommunicable?") Over all I found Reymond's book to be an excellent first Systematic Theology to read. Not only was I able to "get" some complex doctrines, when it came crucial theology it was RIGHT ON and POWERFUL! If you are considering reading or purchasing a Systematic Theology, whether you are Reformed or not, I highly recommend Robert Reymond's.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Here are a two of Scripture's most presuppositional statements. Gen. 22:16a "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD." Ex. 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Convient Christianity

Would you ever expect someone to admit that they are only a "convenient Christian?" I sure wouldn't have, yet this past Wensday that's exactly what happened. A young man working a bank, when I asked what he believed, replied, "well, I guess I'd call myself a convient Christian, I grew up Lutheran, but I don't go to church much anymore. But I try to lead a good life." I responded by explaining the hopelessness of those outside Christ, and how he could never be a good enough person to merit heaven.

I explained how even lust and anger, are equal in the eyes of God to adultery and murder, by which he was surprised. I gave him the hope of Christianity, how it gives purpose, meaning, and philosophical foundation to stand on. He responded by pointing out that he was baptized. I told him, "the Bible say baptism is not enough." I then encouraged him to start reading the Bible, and told him I'd be praying for him.

By this you can see how twisted people's concepts of Christianity must be. "Christian" to this man is merely a title to keep him out of hell. So long as he said "Yeah, I'm a Christian," he feels safe. It's like he wrote his own ticket to heaven and bought it with all his "good" works. In reality, despite claiming the name of Christ, he has rejected him. In fact he has taken God's name in vain. He is committing blasphemy and bringing shame to Jesus' name, for every unbeliever that sees this man, will feel justified in their own "goodness." And as long as there are "convient Christians" like him, unbelievers will see the title of "Christian," as a title of hypocrisy and superstition. May God have mercy on his soul for the sake of Christ.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thr3e (a book review)

Thr3e is a spectacularly engaging book by Christian author, Ted Dekker. While a novel, it reaches into the critical discussion of the nature of man.
One man, Kevin, a seminary student, is stalked by Slater (a man so wicked he is like evil personified). Slater terrifies Kevin with threats and explosions, commanding him to "confess" or suffer. But Kevin claims innocence of anything that needs confession. He is aided by his childhood friend Samantha. She is the kindest, wisest, person he knows and is now a detective. This plot line is the basis for the book's message, it's worldview.
The premise of the worldview, is that in every human, there is "good, evil, and the poor soul struggling in between." While the book admits that man is depraved, it does not admit total depravity. Instead it implies there is a continual war being waged between the good in all men, and the evil all in men, with all having the capacity to do good. It is said that without God, the evil cannot be completely defeated, yet according to the book it is the good in men that keeps them from committing more atrocities than they do, not the common grace of God, and it is strongly suggested that it is the "good" in man which gives him the capacity to "choose" God. In addition to these worldview flaws, (actually heir to these flaws) is the implication that the Christian's fight for righteousness no different than the unbelievers struggle to be a "good person." Yet we know from scripture that "even the plowing of the wicked is sin." Therefore how can an unsaved man, who is wicked, do good?
With all this said, I would recommend the book. The story was brilliant and despite his theological shortcomings, Ted Dekker is a great author!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tear Down the High Places

2 Chronicles 33:17 "The people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the LORD their God."

This was said after the top-down reformation of Manasseh. This situation might not sound so bad, but it was not complete obedience. God had commanded that his people sacrifice their offering in one place, the place were his tabernacle was. Lev. 17:7-9 "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”’
“Also you shall say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the LORD, that man shall be cut off from among his people."
As you can see, God's people wanted to acknowledge him as king, but they were not willing to offer the service their King required.
I bring this up, because of how many times, Christians disregard the commands of God, but feel that since they are trying to please God with their disobedient sacrifices, he will be pleased. He will not be pleased. Here are some examples of High places, in modern Christianity.

Self Government
Many "Christians" have rejected Godliness. Yes they cling to His name, but they are unwilling to conform their entire lives to His Word.

Family Government
A lot of Christian, even homeschool families, teach their Children about God, but are unaware that how the family is being run is in direct disobedience to God. Whether it is in discipline, education, leadership, or property rights, the Godly principles of the family have been replaced by the high places of experts or tradition.

Church Government
Church government is one of the categories to which this analogy best applies. Man is so caught up in worshiping God his own way, he actually disobeys God's commands and bring a disobedient abomination as worship. This happens all the time with women as pastors, pastors not preaching the whole council of God, and the church as a whole bowing it's head to the state's ungodly commands. Yet they claim to know God, but they willingly offer up disobedience to God on the high place of political correctness.

Civil Government
Most Christians do indeed want a Christian government. A Government one where the Christians are in control. But, most Christians DO NOT want a Theonomic Government, one where all of God's laws are implemented. In effect they want our nation to be Christian in name, but humanistic in practice.

It is not an acceptable sacrifice to "love" God, and then offer to Him what we consider righteous, proper, correct, or just. If we love Him we MUST give Him true obedience.

1 Sam. 15:22
“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Potter and the Clay.

Romans 9:21 "Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" Election is a wonderful doctrine. It shows us how God focused our salvation is. God has elected some to eternal life for his glory and other to eternal damnation, also for his glory. Nor did the fall of man catch him by surprise. He had ordained it that he might elect some to life and some to death. I love Systematic Theology!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Trinity

If you would have asked me how to prove the Trinity from the Scripture one week ago I might have had a tough time, but recently I have been reading Robert Reymond Systematic Theology and I have seen how OBVIOUS it is in scripture.
This is a short logical argument with premises that necessarily lead to the conclusion of the trinity. There is one God,(Deut 6:4) Jesus is God, (Obviously shown in all scripture especially the gospel of John) The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4 Lie to the Holy Spirit is a lie to God) The Father is God (Jesus testifies to him being God again and again.) Yet they exhibit different personalities, Submit to one another, (the Son the Father and the Spirit to the Father and Son) Converse with each other and manifest themselves differently. Therefore there is ONE God, but three persons. A complex being unlike any earthly creature.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Secret Mission

Two spies entered the enemy city. Their commander Joshua had sent them there with clear but dangerous objectives, to “Spy out Jericho.” Now entrapped by the walls of a hostile city, their security jeopardized at all times, they may have been surprised to learn that half their operation was a secret to themselves! True, they knew Joshua's objectives for the espionage, but in addition to that, the LORD had ordained for them another secret mission.

In the story of the two spies in Jericho, Rahab the harlot risked her life to show her faith, and save the spies. But recently while considering the story, I realized an interesting point. Indeed, while the LORD used her to save the spies, equally if not more importantly he sent the spies to save Rahab. Actually in the end, that was the greatest significance of their mission, because none of the information they gathered was used to bring down the walls of Jericho. When you look at it from this perspective, practically every event of the story, is a providential link in a much bigger picture.

Joshua 2:1 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.”
So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.

From the perspective of the mission Joshua sent them on, the place they lodged had little significance, but if they had not chosen to stay the night where they did, they would never have met Rahab and definitely never have saved her and family.

Joshua 2:2And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”

If you're a spy, the worst thing that can happen is that you're discovered, but this was a crucial link in Rahab's salvation. If the spies hadn't been found out by the King, she wouldn't have had an opportunity to show her faith, and the spies would not have promised her protection.

Joshua 2:3-4a So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”
Then the woman took the two men and hid them.

While not stated in the text, it seems that Rahab's lodge was having a slow day. Even if there would have been one other person at the inn, Rahab and the spies' suspicious actions might have well been noticed. In addition to that, in some way after God gave her enough time that once she found out about the spies, she had enough time to hide them before the Soldiers got inside!

Joshua 2:4b-7 So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

This was a dangerous excuse to give, for if the spies were seen entering her house, wouldn't someone have watched the house till the backup arrived, to make sure they didn't leave? But here again, both the spies and Rahab were provided for. The informants had let the targets out of their sights. But again, you would think the soldiers would have questioned her more or searched the house, but they swallowed the bait, hook line and sinker. Now with the danger of capture out of the way, and having saved the spies the stage was set for her confession of faith, and her salvation. She said to them,
Joshua 2:11b-13 The LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”

Joshua2:14-15 So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.” Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.

Joshua 2:23 So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, and crossed over; and they came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had befallen them.

Approximately a month later, when these two men entered the city again, most of the surroundings were unrecognizable. The walls and defenses lay in piles of rubble. The bodies of defenders, women, and children, were scattered about, a picture of God's judgment. Yet in the midst of it these men showed a picture of God's salvation to a defiled woman and a heathen family. Rahab herself married into the covenant and numbered in her descendants is the entire royal line of Judah. But these spies' mission had an even greater impact then that, for Rahab, the one whom God sent the spies to save, was an ancestress of him who saved the world.

Please tell me what you think of this!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is it Legitimate to Classify the Attributes of God as Communicable/Incommunicable?

In Robert Reymond's Systematic theology he says it is not legitimate to classify the attributes of God as Communicable/Incommunicable. This is what he says about Berkhof's use of said classification,

"Berkhof, while employing the incommunicable/communicable classification himself... acknowledges that "it was felt from the very beginning, however that the distinction was untenable without further qualification." He goes on to say, in order to justify his continuing use of the distinction that

"If we... remember that none of the attributes of God are incommunicable in the sense that there is no trace of them in man, and none of them are communicable in the sense that they are found in man as they are found in God, we see no reason why we should depart from the old division which has become so familiar in Reformed theology." "

Reymond then says this, "But these very words give the reason for not using this classification and illustrate the qualifications that have to be introduced into every classification the theologian might select."

With the above portion of his book as the defense of Reymond's position, I want to go through this position systematically, evaluate, and critque it.

Reymond's argument, in short, is this.

A. A classification is not usable/meaningful if it needs added qualification.

B. Berkhof, who supports the Communicable/Incommunicable classification, says it needs qualification.

A+B= C.Therefore the Communicable/Incommunicable classification in not usable/meaningful.

Now presumably, many of those who use this classification would attack this position by concentrating on premise B. They might claim (as Berkhof seems to) that despite qualifications needing to be added it is still a useful classification. This is not the case. If scripture makes no distinction between "communicable" and "incommunicable" attributes, and man adds the "necessary' qualifications, it is an arbitrary system of classification. It would be as meaningless as classifying the Armor of God based on which article of armor each is represented by, and then arbitrarily labeling them.

For example:
A. Clothing: The belt of truth and the sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace.
B. Weapons: The shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.
C. Armor: The helmet of salvation and breastplate of righteousness.

A. Regards Salvation
B. Regards Perserverance
C. Regards Sanctification

As you can tell, when classification is used that uses arbitrary qualifications, it is not useful/meaningful.
The same is true of the attributes of God, if there is not a basis for the system of classification in scripture, it is not legitimate.

Now that we have addressed and agreed with Reymond's first premise, let us continue to his second.
Reymond claims that the Communicable/Incommunicable system of classification needs qualification. His proof? Berkhof 'admits' it. "it was felt from the very beginning, however that the distinction was untenable without further qualification." for " none of the attributes of God are incommunicable in the sense that there is no trace of them in man, and none of them are communicable in the sense that they are found in man as they are found in God."
This quote is entirely misleading. Man was made in the image of God, and as such he was made holy, just, and righteous. He was not made in anyway eternal or omnipotent. Now after the fall man is still called to be holy (and enabled to be by the blood of Christ.).
Leviticus 19:2 "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" Similarly the Lord says, in Leviticus 22:32 Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
So we see the obvious communicability of this attribute. If we claim as Reymond does, that we should make no distinction between communicability of holiness, and communicability of omnipresence, then when the Lord calls us to holiness, he is not calling us to something which is possible. In fact if Reymond is correct we could just as well strive for omniscience as holiness!

Reymond's error is heightened and made more obvious when he quotes Donald Macleod,

"None of these [classifications] has much to commend it and certainly none is to be regarded as authoritative. Scripture nowhere attempts a classification... All the suggested classifications are artificial and misleading, not least that which has been most favoured by Reformed theologians - the division into communicable and incommunicable attributes. The problem here is that these qualities we refer to as incommunicable adhere unalterably to those we refer to as communicable. For example, God is "infinite, eternal and unchangeable" (The Shorter Catechism, Answer 4) and these are deemed to be incommunicable properties: and God is merciful, which is deemed to be a communicable property. But the mercy itself is "infinite, eternal and unchangeable" and as such is incommunicable. The same is true of all the other so-called communicable attributes such as the love, righteousness and faithfulness of God. One the other hand, to speak of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence as incommunicable is equally unsatisfactory. If we remove the prefix omni we are left simply with power, knowledge and presence, all of which have analogies in our own human existence."

If Macleod is correct, then when we are commanded to be Holy, we are also commanded to be God! For Macleod states clearly, "The problem here is that these qualities (of God) we refer to as incommunicable adhere unalterably to those we refer to as communicable." (and vise versa) Therefore according to that argumentation, mercy is omniscient or else it ceases to be mercy, and because man cannot be omniscient, man cannot be merciful.
While Reymond has not carried this belief to it's logical conclusion, it remains a dangerous trap. If carried to the logical end, holiness, even in heaven would be impossible for it would be as incommunicable as Omniscience.

In conclusion, man was made sinless, holy, and righteous. He was not made eternal, omnipresent, or unchangeable nor is he commanded to be such. In addition, our God does not command impossibilities. His command for holiness, is also fulfilled by Him in that He is "the LORD, who makes you holy." That is as communicable as you can get. Therefore, finally we find the answer to our question. Is it legitimate to classify the attributes of God as communicable/incommunicable? It is not only legitimate it is necessary!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Answer to a Question

About a month ago I heard the question, "Is it alright to excommunicate a Christian who knowingly marries an unbeliever?" The answer is in Malachi 2:11-12.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Law and Liberty" Book review

Law and Liberty is a concise book by R.J. Rushdoony, on the impossibility of Law without Liberty and vise versa. Indeed it smashes some of the most commonly accepted conceptions of Liberty vs. Liberty today. He condemns all attempts at lawless liberty, and shows that any anti-nomian is automatically a legalist. In fact any philosophy which attempts to do such will end in anarchy.

Rushdoony addresses these errors in humanistic philosophy, in education, politic of pornography, civil government, and more. In fact this book covers more than the subjects of law and liberty. It is a brief book on the issue of presuppositional apologetics, for it shows forth the complete invalidity of any worldview but the Christian one.
With many short, to-the-point chapters, this book offers no excuses to slow easy readers. In other words... READ IT!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tortured for Christ (book review)

Richard Wurmbrand a pastor in Romania, was tortured for Christ. His book by that title, tells of his witness and the witness of others, some who were tortured, many who died. While I learned much about his life, this book can hardly be termed an auto-biography for he is not merely concerned about his story, but rather Wurmbrand confronts many different issues, ranging from methods used to promote Christianity in communistic countries, to the hunger and thirst of communists for Christ. He maintains that by God's power Communism will be defeated around the globe. "What does this have to do with torture?" you might ask. Well, while Christianity WILL defeat Communism (and all other false religions) that in no way means they will go down without a fight. Wurmbrand tells of the vicious resistance put up by the Communists, how they showed no mercy, only hatred, how they could not true Christians, and despised the families of martyrs. Yet, the Church could not be quenched, for though they tortured and killed many, God worked in his Church to enable them to stand. Though they had nothing, Jesus Christ was enough for them.

Inconclusion, Tortured for Christ was both an inspiration and a conviction for me. For though I am Christ's, I do not love him as I aught (as proved by the multitude of my sin). May God almighty, give me an unshakable love for Him, my brethren, and my enemies as he gave to the Christians of Romania.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Idols for Destruction (Book review)

Idols for Destruction (by Herbert Schlossberg) is a book which step by step shows the reader the modern Idolatries of America and the bankruptcy thereof. There are six Idols which are addressed in six sections, Idols of History, Idols of Humanity, Idols of Mammon, Idols of Nature, Idols of Power, and Idols of Religion. Of the six sections Idols of History was by far the hardest to understand. Man comprehension soared in comparison once I was past it. Idols of Humanity reveals the true inequality of Egalitarianism and shows how redistributionary policies are rooted in ressentiment. It also puts the blame where it lies for unemployment and poverty. Idols of Mammon is almost an extension of Idols of Humanity, uncovering the redistributionary purposes of inflation and the devastating results thereof. Idols of Nature are archenemys of Historicism. Because of this it was the second hardest section for me to digest. But it did help that when the section began it gave some clear definitions of both terms. Historicism is the philosophy that we understand the world only in terms of the past, in other words History is the "Whole Show." Idols of Nature are treated the same way, only with History replaced with Nature. Yet Nature is shown to have no more credibility (in terms of being a complete worldview) than History.
The section "Idols of Power" is a section which attacks the State as the determiner of morality or a god who brings us salvation.
Last addressed was Idols of Religion. These Idols present themselves in "conservatives" who merely fight to maintain morality or values. The are also presented when men cling to religious forms as almost a rabbit's foot, that will bring good luck.
After these six Idols were addressed by Schlossberg, he presents the Christian worldview and it's victory over such Idolatry.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators" (a review)

"Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators" (written by David Chilton) is the best concise book I've read on the subject of Christian giving and Economics. Indeed medium length, easy-to-read book gives such a diverse analysis of Christian economics as to address tithing, the Jubilee, and National economic policies.
This excellent work of writing was started as a rebuttal to the theology of Ron Sider's book "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger." "Rich Christians" recommends "Christian" socialism, and goes so far as to advise pooling all the world's resources and wealth and then dividing it "equally." Chilton is so good about actually quoting Sider that it isn't necessary for the reader to be familiar to Sider's work. Chilton plows right throw Sider's advised policies and socialist ideals, shedding light on the fact that Sider's work is not just recommending "alternate" economic policies, but is supporting a blatantly ungodly, unscriptural, and thus immoral Communistic type policies. Chilton shows Sider's lies, his inconsistentsy, and his twisting of the truth. But Chilton doesn't just curse the darkness, he outlines solid scriptural, and thus sound economic policies and practices. These include Biblical principles for charity, slavery, and loans.
All in all, if your worldview is lacking in regards to Biblical Economics (and Stewardship) or in how to refute the opposite, I recommend you read, "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators."

Monday, January 19, 2009

John Eidsmoe

This past Friday, retired Air-Force Lt. Colonel John Eidsmoe, spoke at the Old Country Buffet in Omaha. His speech entitled, "Seeds of Victory, Seeds of Defeat," cautioned conservatives against losing hope, and becoming cynical in the wake of the past election. For according to Eidsmoe, "In every victory are the seeds of defeat, and in every defeat are the seeds of victory." He gave several examples of this within the past forty years. With the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, many claimed the death of the GOP, yet when 1984 rolled around, pundits heralded the death of the Democratic Party. Now in 2009, when the future of true Conservatism and Christian Ethics appears the bleakest, it is the time for action. Eidsmoe advised those present, not to focus so much on the national elections, but rather on the local races. After all, it is the local positions which serve as the training ground for politicians. He also emphasized a knowledge of the Constitution, and ability to hold officials' feet to it's fire. His point was that we don't just need public officials who know and obey Constitution, but we need an educated citizenry, one that will hold politicians accountable. He masterfully illustrated this point with the story of Horatio Buntz and the Congressman Davy Crockett. This story he recited from memory from the book, "The Life of Colonel David Crockett."

Crockett was campaigning for re-election and he came to Horatio Buntz and asked for his vote. He introduced himself and Buntz said, "I know who you are, sir, you are Colonel David Crockett, our Congressman I voted for you in the last election I shall not do so again"

Crockett asked why, and he said, "Because you violated your oath to uphold the Constitution"

"Well, how'd I do that?"

"Remember that bill you passed for the relief of those fire victims in New York?"

"You can't begrudge that, that was a just a small amount, and they were certainly in need."

Buntz said, "It's not the amount, it's not the charity, sir, it's the principle. You are authorized by the Constitution to tax and spend for three purposes: to pay debts, and you know that this wasn't a debt; to provide for the common defense, and you know this had nothing to do with defense; and to promote the general welfare, and this was not for the general welfare, it was for the specific welfare of those people. You violated your oath. I shall not vote for you again"

"Well," Crockett said, "You know, you're right. I can't ask you to vote for me but if you'll call a meeting of the farmers here, I will publicly apologize for that vote and promise never to vote that way again"

Buntz called the meeting, and with or without Buntz's vote, Crockett was re-elected.

In another session of Congress there was a bill to allocate funds for the relief of a widow. It looked like it was going to pass. When Crockett took the floor, he recounted his promise to Horatio Buntz, and said, "This is not a debt, this is not for defense, and this is not for the general welfare." He said, "I am the poorest man in this house, I cannot vote for this bill, but I'll donate one week's pay to this widow. If everyone else on the floor will do the same, it will be more than the bill calls for."

The bill was defeated, but when Crockett passed his coonskin cap, he found he was the only one who contributed. He noted that congressmen are much more willing to spend the taxpayers money than they are their own."

Eidsmoe finished the story by saying, "The point is, what if we had a hundred million Horatio Buntses across America...?

What if we had several hundred congressman like Davy Crockett who either know the Constitution or are willing to learn from people like Horatio Buntz? I believe this nation could be turned around."

That, of course, is the long term goal of the Conservative Christian political movement, we are not about to curl and die because of one defeat, rather as a result of our defeats, we will be awakened and strengthened. Look out Left, here we come!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

Wow. Inspiring, uplifting, and joyful! Networking and movie critiquing! Lots of Godly young men who I met and hope to develop friendships with. I can't hardly wait for next year!