Thursday, June 26, 2008


Shocking Headline!

Re: Supreme Court Striking Down D.C. gun ban...

McCain backs gun decision, Obama straddles issue

Barack Obama equivocating? Whouda thunk it!

WASHINGTON - John McCain welcomed a Supreme Court decision invalidating a District of Columbia handgun ban. Barack Obama sought to straddle the subject by saying he favors an individual's right to bear firearms as well as a government's right to regulate them.

The hotly contentious issue surfaced in the presidential campaign Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to own guns and struck down the city's thirty-two-year-old ban.

McCain, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting, heralded the justices' action as "a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom."
----
His Democratic rival, Obama, issued a more carefully worded statement apparently aimed at both moderate voters and his liberal base. The statement from Obama, who has long said local governments should be able to regulate guns, did not specifically say whether Obama agreed with overturning the specific D.C. ban. But he said Thursday's ruling "will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

"I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through commonsense, effective safety measures," Obama said.

Obama said his view was supported by the court's ruling that the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns." That language "reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe," Obama said.

----
Campaigning in Cincinnati, McCain claimed Obama has reversed course on the issue. Obama told FOX Business Network he's been consistent.

The Democrat's campaign said a spokesman made an "inartful" statement when he said in November that Obama believed the D.C. law was constitutional. But Obama himself did not correct a debate moderator who repeated the position in February.

"You said in Idaho recently, I'm quoting here, 'I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.' But you support the D.C. handgun ban and you've said that it's constitutional," said the moderator, Leon Harris of Washington television station WJLA. Obama nodded as Harris spoke and said: "Right, right."

"How can you reconcile those two different positions?" Harris asked.

Obama answered that the United States has conflicting traditions of gun ownership and street violence that results from illegal handgun use. "So, there is nothing wrong, I think, with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets," Obama said.

The Obama campaign argued that Obama was simply acknowledging the question by saying "right."

In other instances, Obama refused to articulate a position when asked whether he thought the D.C. ban was constitutional.

The campaign would not answer directly Thursday when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court that the D.C. ban was unconstitutional, simply pointing back to his statement.

So the Constitution protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but only if the government says so? Apply that same logic to the First Amendment, you have a right to free speech as long as your free speech is regulated and controlled by the government. Do people even listen to what Obama is saying or have they all just been drinking the "He is the candidate of hope!" Kool-Aid without a second thought to what he stands for or believes. He has no idea what he stands for apparently unless his handlers tell him what to say. At least he isn't frothing at the mouth like Hizzoner Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago...

Daley called the ruling "very frightening" and vowed to vigorously fight any attempt to invalidate the city's ban.

"Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society?" Daley asked while speaking at a Navy Pier event. "If [the justices] think that's the answer, then they're greatly mistaken. Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets?"

Sure thing Mr. Mayor, the streets were calm and peaceful until the evil NRA came to town. Say bye bye to your unconstitutional gun ban, maybe you will have to start focusing on pursuing and prosecuting criminals instead of dissarming your citizenry.

A tale of two court decisions

Two fairly disparate cases and some pretty disparate reasoning from the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the sentence of the death penalty in cases where someone is found to be guilty of raping a child. Whether or not that is the right way to deal with child rapists is not the issue here, the proper role of the Supreme Court specifically and the judiciary in general is. On what basis should decisions be made by the courts? Should it not be the underlying constitution of the nation or the state? Apparently not.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Supreme Court narrowly ruled Wednesday that a man convicted of raping a child cannot be sentenced to death, saying capital punishment must be reserved for murder cases.

By a one-vote majority of 5-4 the justices said the US constitution which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment" bars the imposition of the death penalty "for the rape of a child where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim's death."

In its written ruling, the court specified that even if a rape was particularly atrocious, it was impossible to set down a list of circumstances under which the death penalty would be justified, without opening the door to arbitrary decisions.

But in its ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court cited a "national consensus" across most US states that do not have laws allowing capital punishment for the crime of child rape.

Given previous court rulings and its interpretation of the US constitution, the justices held that "the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the crime of child rape."


So is the rape of a child now more acceptable in our society and no longer worthy of the death penalty, or is it that we have become so squeamish about using the ultimate penalty that even those convicted of this heinous crime against children under 12 years of age don't deserve it, that you actually have to intentionally kill another person to be sentenced to death. Apparently the "national consensus" trumps the Constitution. You see, the Court is supposed to be above the political fray, interpreting the law based on what the Constitution of our country says. If the "national consensus" changes, then the nation can amend the Constitution. We have a process in place for overriding the Constitution, and it is not judicial fiat.

What is unfortunately true in this country is that it is far easier for a group with an agenda to get top notch lawyers and convince five justices to change the law than it is to convince the majority of people in a state to make sweeping changes. See Roe v. Wade, see the California Supreme Court imposing homosexual "marriage" on that state and the rest of the country.

Most people have no idea what cases are before the court, what they are arguing and yet the rulings that come down have far reaching implications for our every day life. I don't pay as close attention as I should, because what is being decided on my behalf directly impacts me and in many cases skirts the legal process.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court at long last actually made a decision today from the bench that was the correct one. Not just because I agree with it, but because it deals with something the Constitution actually addresses (guns) and they did so in a way consistent with the clear original intent of the Founders that gun ownership was considered a fundamental, and an individual, right.

Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban, Upholds Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most federal firearms restrictions intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Predictable, the Left has come out predicting dire events...

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

Sure Senator Feinstein, because the gun ban made law abiding citizens in D.C. so very safe, right!

What this means for the people of D.C. is that finally people who are not criminals will not be treated as if they are, and will have the means to legally defend themselves, their families, homes and property. It also means that other punitive gun laws across the country will be challenged very soon and likely struck down. We may see an end to many of the inane laws that assume that if you make something illegal, it will discourage criminals.

Guns don't kill people, criminals kill people!

Trainwreck

The Detroit Public Schools are, by any measure, an absolute trainwreck. Now I don't have much of a dog in this fight since I don't live in Detroit itself and my kids are homeschooled. But my tax dollars probably trickle over to DPS somehow, and I end up paying to incarcerate a large number of former DPS students in Wayne County, so I sorta have a say.

The DPS system is facing a huge budget shortfall. Thanks to school choice, parents have the opportunity to yank their kids out of the schools and put them in charter schools. Since funding is based on enrollment, their revenue has been going down but oddly it seems that their expenses are going up. Hmm. Part of the problem seems to be the teacher's union which is more interested in preserving jobs than educating kids (and more teachers doesn't equate to better education, FYI).

Of course the teachers union is being realistic that with revenue going down, expenses have to be cut. I mean they are educators, right? Wrong. The union predictably is pitching a fit. How dare the taxpayers not keep pouring money into a failed system!

Union rally to precede DPS board meeting Thursday

Violence, layoff notices among issues

A rally to protest layoffs and poor conditions in Detroit Public Schools is planned to take place before Thursday’s school board meeting, according to a notice released by a union today.

The rally is being organized by the Detroit Federation of Teachers union that represents 5,900 teachers and about 2,000 other workers such as counselors and school social workers.

The union is protesting oversized classes, violence in schools, lack of adequate books and supplies, and poor building maintenance and is demanding that DPS rescind layoff notices, among other issues.

So the union proposes saving money by...by....Bueller? Bueller? Oh wait, they don't have a proposal. The Detroit Federation of Teachers has this to say regarding their demands and the reason they are rallying...

Reasons:
· Rescind all layoffs immediately – hire teachers and support staff!
· And reduce class size to achieve real school reform!
· Oversized Classes!
· Teacher Assaults!
· Violence in Schools and on School Grounds!
· Theft of Cars!
· Restore Art, Music, Science, Gym and other essential programs in all schools!
· Security!
· Reconstituting, Redesign, Restructuring!
· Equal, quality schools for all Detroit students!
· Lack of Books/Supplies in every classroom!
· Lack of Support Services!
· Lack of Substitute Services!
· Maintenance of Buildings!
· Defend public education – no privitazation and no charter schools!

Virginia Cantrell, President, Detroit Federation of Teachers

Oh, OK. Where is the extra money coming from again? I see lots of spending here, but Virginia the issue is a budget shortfall, not a budget surplus. I would think that a professional educator would know the difference. I love the "Restore Art, Music, Science, Gym and other essential programs in all schools!". These kids can't read or write, but Art class is an essential?

The system is broken. Hiring more teachers is not only fiscally impossible but not a solution. The problems are so deeply ingrained that only a wholesale do-over makes sense. How do you fix a car that is broken down on the side of the road, and on fire to boot? You don't try to put the fire out with dollar bills, that is for sure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Newsflash!

The Supreme Court's most liberal justices come out against Roe v. Wade!

It's true! In a recently announced decision regarding the enormous lawsuits that have been brought against Exxon, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens dissented from the majority, decrying "lawmaking" from the Supreme Court bench.

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens supported the $2.5 billion figure for punitive damages, saying Congress has chosen not to impose restrictions in such circumstances.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also dissented, saying the court was engaging in "lawmaking" by concluding that punitive damages may not exceed what the company already paid to compensate victims for economic losses.

"The new law made by the court should have been left to Congress," wrote Ginsburg. Justice Stephen Breyer made a similar point, opposing a rigid 1 to 1 ratio of punitive damages to victim compensation.

No doubt this new found disdain for making laws by judicial fiat will lead to a consistent refutation of the ultimate example of making laws from the bench instead of interpreting laws. Since Roe v. Wade is the ultimate example of judicial legislating, I would expect them to reverse their prior stance on abortion.

I commend Justices Stevens and Ginsburg for their upcoming courageous stance to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From todays Of First Importance...

Christ, not faith, saves us
“It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ… It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or in the nature of faith, but in the object of faith.”
- B. B. Warfield quoted by Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 43.



Some things indeed speak for themselves...but let's let Obama speak for himself on this one...




Yeah, I guess it doesn't make a difference who wins in November...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here we go

As predictable as the sun rising in the East


Barack Obama's campaign has announced it is "on guard" against any perceived racially tinged advertisements. This despite the utter lack of any such advertisements thus far. Call it a preemptive strike perhaps. What they call being "braced" for such ads, I call hoping they come out so they can use them to their advantage...

Obama adviser David Axelrod said the Democrat's campaign will be on high alert for code words or innuendo meant to play on voters' racial sentiments. "We're going to be aggressive about pushing back on anything that we feel is inappropriate or misleading," he said.

It's not enough for McCain to say he cannot control independent groups airing racially charged ads on his behalf, Axelrod said, noting that the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" was independent of President Bush's campaign.

"We've seen this movie before," he said. "And we're not going to be passive in the face of those kinds of tactics."

Racially charged criticism of Obama already has surfaced in several states.

Shortly before North Carolina's May 6 primary, the state Republican Party aired a TV ad linking Democratic candidates to Obama, who was described as "too extreme" because of his ties to the retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.


I am not sure how Jeremiah Wright's comments are a "racially tinged" issue. He is a kook and a heretic no matter what his skin color, just like the other guy who's name escapes me that made similar comments and is a white "pastor". Plus the Swift Boat "attack ads" were just telling the truth about John Kerry's military service, service he made a campaign issue.

What Obama's people are doing is essentially taking any discussion of issues that might touch race (i.e. poverty, illegal immigration, affirmative action) off the table. So instead of seeking to heal and move beyond issue of race, we will be perpetually stuck in this racial rut, which makes sense if you are one of those who make a living off of perpetuating the racial divide in this country (i.e. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc.)

Barack Obama's America will be one where we can't speak honestly for fear of offense!

Now that is change we can be hopeful about!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pyromaniacs: Grow up. Be a Man

Biblical Manhood

Great post on Biblical manhood on Pyromaniacs. I especially liked this line:

I keep hearing about churches who (in order to appeal to ostensibly "masculine" instincts) have moved their men's fellowship to the pub, where they discuss theology as a hobby and share their views on life as Christian men over beer and cigars.

Let me point out that there's nothing particularly manly about that. It's still a private hen party, but you've just substituted beer and cigars in place of tea and crumpets.

Simply great! Biblical manhood is about following Christ, holding fast to the truth. It is not trying to act like what the world considers manly to appeal to the unregenerate.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Barack Obama's America

Stuck in time

September 10th, 2001

The new rallying cry on the Right is that Obama is stuck on 9/10/01 and that criticism is dead on. For Barack Obama and most of the American left, we still live in a 9/10/01 world. We can still fight terrorism by UN resolution and economic sanctions. A lengthy excerpt from The National Review:

Barack Obama is the herald of the September 10 Democrats.

On Monday, Obama off-handedly reiterated his fondness for 1990s-style treatment of Islamic terrorists as if they were mere criminals to be managed by prosecution in the civilian criminal-justice system. By now, that should come as no surprise. Pressed on the subject again Wednesday, Obama insisted, “I have confidence that our system of justice is strong enough to deal with terrorists.” Top Obama backer Bill Richardson, a member of the Clinton Cabinet that delegated national defense to our system of justice while radical Islam killed Americans in New York City, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Yemen, told CNN on Wednesday that he “totally” rejected the Bush administration policy of branding jihadists as enemy combatants because doing so is somehow tantamount to “abridging our own freedoms.”

Appropriately, John McCain has slammed Obama and his fellow wishful thinkers as na├»ve and beholden to a “September 10th” mindset — the mindset that gave us the mass murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

The occasion for this latest dust-up was the Supreme Court’s ruling last week in Boumediene v. Bush vesting alien enemy combatants detained by our military with a constitutional right to habeas corpus — that is, to review by the civilian courts of the military’s determination that they are enemy combatants. In addition to raising the possibility that jihadists who pose a lethal threat to Americans will be released, Boumediene portends litigation chaos: The justices have dumped potentially hundreds of detainee cases on the federal district courts with no guidance about the rules and procedures that should govern those proceedings.

Naturally, this prospect has prompted intense debate. McCain called the decision one of the worst in American history. Obama, by contrast, is glowing in his praise and yearns for a return to the model of our treatment of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, when, he points out, suspects were apprehended and successfully prosecuted in the civilian courts.

Leaving aside that Obama here is once again not in command of the facts (not all of those responsible for the 1993 bombing were apprehended), the criminal-prosecution approach left America vulnerable. (For a powerful account of why, see our colleague Andy McCarthy’s book, Willful Blindness.) The civilian-justice system is incapable of apprehending and neutralizing more than a fraction of the Islamic radicals who target our country. That’s not deduction — it’s empirical fact: Major terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were under indictment for over a decade even as they continued to plot and execute attacks, including 9/11, with the authorities impotent to stop them.

Because of our system’s prohibitive due-process demands — demands that are reasonable for Americans accused of crimes but out of place when the “defendants” are foreign combatants — less than three dozen terrorists could be prosecuted in the eight years between the WTC bombing and the destruction of the Twin Towers. That’s fewer enemy operatives than our military often kills or captures in a single day in Afghanistan and Iraq. The trials of the Nineties, moreover, were a treasure trove for al-Qaeda, providing it with generous discovery of our national-defense secrets as well as insight into our methods and sources for obtaining them.

Worst of all, the September 10 approach was provocatively weak. It told an enemy, so committed to killing Americans that its operatives were willing to sacrifice themselves in the effort, that the world’s only superpower would respond to atrocities with subpoenas and indictments. Without the prospect of a vigorous response to acts of war, the enemy continued to attack. The result was 9/11.

McCain has learned these lessons and maintains that we must stay on offense in the war against radical Islam. That means a real war footing: military and covert operations, aggressive collection of intelligence, and Treasury tracking of terrorism finances. The justice system has a role, but it’s a subordinate one: Instead of prosecutions after Americans have been killed, it now pursues the lower-profile but more effective task of breaking up terror cells before they can attack. Although the U.S. could be hit again at any time, it says something about the success of this approach that seven years after 9/11 we have not suffered another attack on our soil.

This aggressive post-9/11 approach is what an Obama spokeswoman has called “stupid.” The candidate himself says he’s not going be “lectured” on national security by the people responsible for the Iraq war. But he might benefit from some time listening to and learning from McCain on Iraq, since McCain advocated the surge that has beaten back al-Qaeda in Iraq while Obama wanted to pull combat troops out in what would have amounted to a surrender. This is a debate McCain should welcome, and win.

Barack Obama apparently subscribes to what is known as the "law enforcement" model of fighting terrorism, the Bill Clinton mentality that seeks to treat terrorists, that seeks to deal with the thugs we are at war with the same way we deal with car thieves and drug dealers. Note again the contrast with Senator McCain, a man who knows a little something about war.

We tried chasing down terrorists like common criminals after the first World Trade Center attack, and that worked so well that they tried again and succeeded on a grander scale. After 9/11/01 we stopped playing games and went after the terrorists where they were instead of waiting for them to blow up a building in America and then trying to find and arrest them.

For all the criticism leveled at Bush, some of it justified, what is truly incredible is that we have not had a single large scale terror attack in America since that horrible day almost seven years ago. No buildings blown up. No suicide bombers. Nothing. I can hardly imagine what attacks have been thwarted that we will only find out about in the years to come as the information comes to light. That is not because terrorists have stopped desiring to destroy America, it is because we have stepped up prevention efforts in America and we have taken the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. The War on Terror never stopped, it just changed fronts and I would rather have the best trained and equipped armed forces in the world fighting the terrorists over there than having our citizens on the front lines and relying on local police departments to fight terror.

Obama also lives in the past when it come to energy independence, operating in the sub-$2 gas mentality. In kowtowing to the radical environmental movement, Obama is opposed to anything that would actually lower gas prices, instead focusing on pie in the sky "alternative energy"and "higher fuel economy standards". Instead of the government getting out of the way, he seeks to have the government be more intrusive. This is his "plan" for energy independence...

Set America on Path to Oil Independence

Obama's plan will reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of the oil we would import from OPEC nations in 2030.

Increase Fuel Economy Standards: Obama will double fuel economy standards within 18 years. His plan will provide retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that they can build new fuel-efficient cars rather than overseas companies. Obama will also invest in advanced vehicle technology such as advanced lightweight materials and new engines.

I guess you could call it oil independence when no one has jobs or cars to put gas in. Contrast that with Senator McCain who is calling for us to finally start drilling more and building nuclear power plants. Obama's path leads to shared misery and poverty. McCain's leads to greater independence from foreign oil and more jobs for American. Senator Obama, you want to help the poor? Make it cheaper for them to go to work, make it cheaper to go on vacation so that people visit resorts, make it cheaper to move freight. That will really change their lives, not bowing down to pseudo-science about climate change and electric cars.

In Barack Obama's America, the primary function of government is to a) collect money from tax payers, b) filter it through the bloated D.C. bureaucracy and c) dribble it back in the form of political favors to some of the people it came from. That is progressive? This news story captures that mentality...

Obama raps McCain on flood prevention programs

MIAMI - With communities in the Midwest still under water, Democrat Barack Obama on Saturday criticized Republican John McCain for opposing federal spending on flood prevention programs and opened a new debate in the White House race.

McCain's campaign said Obama was confusing the facts and engaging in typical political attacks that the Democrat rejects in his speeches.

So anytime we get natural disasters, it becomes a Republican issue. I guess to Barack, every American home (tax payer funded homes of course) should be encased in Teflon and surrounded by a wall lest anything happen (at tax payer expense of course). The Midwest is a flood prone area, it is what makes the soil so rich (the soil we pay farmers not to farm). At least McCain had the fortitude to veto a bill that no doubt contained enormous spending on every pet project under the sun, hidden under the guise of an omnibus bill. Almost none of these pork spending bills would pass if forced to stand alone. Liberals like Barack Obama see America and her people as a giant piggy bank, to be shaken and finally broken by our wise masters in Washington while they control every nickle. We certainly can't be trusted to make our own spending decision, can we? I mean, if we left some of that money in Iowa, maybe Iowans would build levees. Or maybe not, but at least the decision would be theirs.

But none of this matters to Barack Obama, candidate of "change" and "hope". The only "change" in an Obama administration is whatever change you can jingle in your pocket when the government gets done fleecing you and the only "hope" you will have is the hope that the next tax cut hits someone else and you get a little piece of the action from Uncle Sam.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chilling is right

Dr. Albert Mohler discussed a recent ruling in Canada, where a twelve year old girl sued her father because he grounded her from going on a school trip. Her infraction? Posting pictures of herself on a dating webpage. Leaving aside how obscene and incredibly dangerous that is, her father was at a minimum right to ground her. But the court sided on her side and forced her father to allow her to go, declaring this punishment "excessive".

Click here to listen to the show

Click here to read Dr. Mohler's commentary

I know I recommend Dr. Mohler's radio show a lot, but this is the one show you need to listen to and the one commentary you must read.

This is the mindset of the elitist establishment, that every child is a ward of the state and that for now the state tolerates children living in their parent's house. This wasn't a case of abuse, but a very mild discipline. Who knows what might have happened if he had taken harsher methods. Pay attention America. There are plenty of people in power in this country who want to see us go the same way, and pretty soon if we aren't careful we won't be able to even say "no" to a toddler without court sanction.

Two new books!

Two new books arrived in the mail yesterday from Reformed Baptist Academic Press, a couple I have been looking forward to for some time. The first is MacArthur's Millennial Manifesto by Dr. Samuel Waldron and the other is Covenant Children Today: Physical or Spiritual by Alan Conner.

Pastor Conner takes on the sole bastion of the paedobaptist view, that is that the covenant sign has continued from the Old to the New. It is a position that is tough to get paedobaptists past, so I am looking forward to this work. When you take that away, primarily by using Jeremiah 31, the already tenuous paedo position falls completely apart. This is a more specific work compared to other, more general defenses of credobaptism like Believers Baptism by Thomas Schreiner and Shawn Wright.

Dr. Waldron takes on a formidable task in his book MacArthur's Millennial Manifesto, not because it is very difficult to refute dispensationalism, but because he is crossing theological swords with one of the great Bible expositors of our age in Dr. MacArthur. On my initial reading of a few pages, it is a well written, very courteous but firm work that rejects the notion of Amils holding to a "replacement theology" and instead turn the debate to a more useful area, namely "what does Scripture teach?" I am looking forward to reading the whole book in the next week or so. I followed much of Dr. Waldron's argument on the MCTS blog, but it was too weighty a matter to try to read in a blog format. The book is much nicer!

Their works are not huge tomes (less than 200 pages), they are intended to be accessible to a wider audience and they are intramural works dealing with issues among orthodox believers (some may quibble about that with regards to Dispensationalism.) I really like the stuff put out by Reformed Baptist Academic Press, their books are accessible and inexpensive. One of my favorite little books, A Reformed Baptist Manifesto goes with me in my backpack wherever I go!

Thursday, June 19, 2008



Finally some common sense

In a long overdue call, we now see the leaders of the GOP calling for additional drilling, exploration, refinaries and nuclear power plants. Instead of these fuzzy headed, hypothetical solutions of "renewable energy" which is completely unproven, let's do something in the interim to conceretely lower eenergy prices and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Our country runs on fossil fuels, our whole economy is driven (no pun intended) by it. We can't flip a switch and turn off our fosssil fuel thirst. So we can sit around and do nothing, or we can start building our infrastructure to meet oour energy needs while at the same time seeking more efficient means of providing the power we need.

This is probably the smartest and least politically pandering thing ever to come out of a politician's mouth...

SPRINGFIELD, Mo — Sen. John McCain called Wednesday for the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and pledged $2 billion a year in federal funds “to make clean coal a reality,” measures designed to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

In a second straight day of campaigning devoted to the energy issue, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting also said the only time Democratic rival Barack Obama voted for a tax cut was for a “break for the oil companies.”

McCain said the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating around the country produce about 20 percent of the nation’s annual electricity needs.

“Every year, these reactors alone spare the atmosphere from the equivalent of nearly all auto emissions in America. Yet for all these benefits, we have not broken ground on a single nuclear plant in over thirty years,” he said. “And our manufacturing base to even construct these plants is almost gone.”

Even so, he said he would set the country on a course to build 45 new ones by 2030, with a longer-term goal of adding another 55 in the future.

“We will need to recover all the knowledge and skills that have been lost over three stagnant decades in a highly technical field,” he conceded.


Everyone hates nuclear energy and knows nothing about it. Worried about greenhouse gases? Build nuke plants and get tons of efficient electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions. It works for the Frenchies, and if they can make it work, why can't we?

Meanwhile Newt Gingrich is calling, along with McCain and President Bush, for increased oil exploration and extraction in America.

Newt Gingrich Calls on Congress to Allow More Oil Drilling in the U.S.

DALLAS, Tex. — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on Congress to help ease our energy woes by allowing more drilling in the U.S., as President Bush released Wednesday a four-point plan to increase domestic fuel production.

"The problem is not the big oil companies, the problem is not the foreigners, the problem is not begging the Saudis," said Gingrich. "The problem is getting Congress to do its job."

Gingrich said that 73 percent of Americans support drilling in presently restricted areas of the U.S. if it is done in an environmentally friendly way.


Hey, here is a novel idea. Instead of being held hostage by unstable and hostile regimes because they hold all of the oil cards, maybe we should drill for our own offshore and in the vast regions of America where no one lives.

Think there is no difference between McCain and Obama? McCain wants us to become energy self-sufficient to maintain our standard of living. Obama wants to regulate ourselves into Third World status. McCain wants to generate safe and affordable energy. Obama wants to dictate what we can drive. Want to see what an Obama presidency will mean?

Urgent: House Democrats call for nationalization of refineries

House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.

Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.


Welcome to the Glorious Workers Refinary Comrade! State control was a huge hit in the former Soviet Union. That would be great, put the same incompetent people who run the IRS in charge of refinaries. There is a solid energy policy. We need to start take concrete steps NOW, instead of wringing our collective hands and hoping for some miracle fix.

Drill and build

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strong women?

Please note that I wouldn't watch The View with a gun to my head, but I heard this quote on the Mark Levin show. It comes right out of the gate, so I will spare you the pain of listening to the remaining minute of cackling and clucking.



Ms. Obama makes this statement regarding Hillary Clinton: "People aren't used to strong women" and gets nods and affirming murmurs from the enraptured hosts of The View.

What makes Hillary Clinton a "strong woman"? Her marriage of convenience to Bill as a vehicle to fulfill her own ambition? Her strident and shrill speeches? Her desire for adoration and personal power? What makes her so strong?

And strong compared to what? Is a mom who raises her kids quietly without seeking personal glory a weak woman? She must be because she is the opposite of Hillary and if Hillary is a "strong woman", then they must be weak. There are millions of strong women in this country who are nothing like Hillary, women who raise their kids, who work a crappy job because they need to feed their kids, who clean up the same mess over and over. It is not glorious. No one will write adoringly in the New York Times about them. But they are the ones who make this country strong, not power mad women like Hillary.

This is where we must turn to the Word of God and reality to see that truly strong women are those who sacrifice, those who care for children and home, those who put others ahead of themselves. Michelle Obama thinks Hillary is a strong woman? Try having Hillary come over here and take care of my eight kids, homeschool them, parent them, discipline them, love them and play with them all day. She wouldn't make it five minutes. She isn't a strong woman because she wears an expensive suit and has sycophants fawning over her. My wife is a strong woman because she is a godly woman. No one is going to have her guest host the view, but that is OK because her glory is in her family and above all in Christ, instead of in herself.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31: 10-31 ESV)
He is sufficient

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?" And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
(Mark 6:34-44)


The sermon last Sunday was on this section of Mark 6 and you can easily see why the disciples were confused. I know we have the advantage of looking back and seeing the whole picture, but to the disciples the question had to be: How can such a multitude be fed with five loaves and 2 small fish?

Many still ask a similar question today regarding the completed work of Christ: How can such a multitude be redeemed by the death of one man?

The answer is the same in either case, He is sufficient. His blood is enough.

It seems odd to many people, like there must be something more. That is one of the two major factors that lead to works based salvation systems:

1. Pride, a rejection of the notion that we are not autonomous, that we are merely recipients, not participants, in our salvation.
2. Distrust, lacking trust in the sufficiency of Christ. There must be more, I must need to do SOMETHING to make this happen.

But in either case, what the Bible teaches is that His sacrifice, His blood is enough. It is not something that is passive, we must believe, we must have faith, but even that faith is a gift granted by God in His sovereign mercy. We don’t decide to suddenly follow Him, we are chosen to have faith in Him. But the story of feeding the multitude is not about how Christ can fulfill our earthly needs, although He does, it is about His absolutely sufficiency in all things. We neither need to nor should desire to add to the work He has done for His elect. His blood is enough.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Church doesn't suck


(Note: I recognize that this post is unkind and the tone borders on mocking, but this sort of stuff sends me off the deep end)


Speaking of pragmatism...

So my wife met a guy at the local library and in the course of their conversation, he gave her his blog address. From his blog I followed a link to the website of a church in Saginaw (Connecting Points Community Church with the clever webpage churchdoesntsuck.com), and my jaw hit the floor. Their webpage started out with this...

WE ALMOST GAVE UP ON CHURCH
Even if most churches don't want to admit it, church has become notoriously boring and disconnected from our everyday lives. Most of us gave up on church years ago. After all, when's the last time you got up on a Sunday morning and thought about going to church instead of reading the newspaper or sleeping in?


Well, honestly the last time I thought about going to church instead of reading the newspaper was...well, it was last Sunday.

From the first century, within hours of Jesus assending back into heaven, the religious leaders began inplementing man made rules in order to become a Christian. Read Acts 15, it is pretty fascinating! Centuries later a guy named Martin Luther came along and criticized the church for how difficult they made it for those who wanted to follow Christ.

Is that what Martin Luther was mad about, that church was just so darn difficult? See, I thought he was railing against the heretical teachings of Rome regarding justification, regarding the authority of the Scriptures and the need for it to be in the language of the common people. Now I know that he just wanted Pope Leo to hook him up with an espresso machine, a laptop with power point and an electric guitar. I also thought that Martin Luther started (sort of) the movement that became known as "Protestant". Apparently not...

Luther began what we know as the protistant movement, that simplified things for those who wanted to follow Christ, and thousands began to leave the traditional church.

One hundred years later, the same thing that Luther fought so hard to keep out of the church crept right back in. Today, we are still dealing with the same junk that makes it difficult for people to see the love and truth of Jesus! Jesus brother James critizised the first century religious leaders saying "It is my judgement that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. At Connecting Points, we have the same passion! Church is not for church people, church is for EVERYBODY!


Seriously, if you don't know how to spell a word, use spell check. I guess they are spending so much time being relevant and havin' fun that spelling takes a back seat. And church is NOT for everyone. The church is for, well, the church. The church is His flock, made up of His sheep, and not everyone is one of His sheep. Since you are so into looking back at Acts to see how to behave (although I am wondering if we are reading the same Acts), look at see how many unbelievers are in the church. Should we make unbelievers welcome?Absolutely! Should we tailor the service and the message to appeal to them? Absolutely not! I guess I am just an old stodgy dude, heck I even wear a suit and tie to church...

The teaching is relevant, the music is upbeat and it is a relaxed atmosphere. (Don't bring your suit and tie, you might feel a little out of place! Coffee, Jeans and T-Shirts are welcome by all!)

I am thinking that what would make me feel out of place at this church has less to do with my attire and more to do with the cavalier way they manipulate the Gospel to make it seem relevant.

My wife Eva asked the question: how do you harness the intense energy of these people, while bringing them under the authority of the Word? The are so enthusiastic, so desirous of being used. To use her term, how do we bridge the gap? Or do we? Are we all on the same team or is this a different Gospel, and therefore anathema? I gotta admit that I lean towards the latter, that this "Gospel" they proclaim is no Gospel at all. I wonder if they are interested in learning at all, or if by presenting the truth you would drive away people who have no interest in the truth.

Monday, June 16, 2008


If it works, do it!

On the White Horse Inn this weekend, Using God: The Gospel of Pragmatism.

The White Horse Inn last weekend focused on the Gospel of Pragmatism, or as I call it the "God as galactic concierge" movement. In the church growth movement and in many a seminary, the focus is on methods and what works, not what is faithful. The idea of teaching seminarians to learn to study the Word, exegete the Word, proclaim the Word and apply the Word seems antiquated, out of place in a postmodern world. It seems incomprehensible that even if the numbers don't come, a church's faithfulness is measured by their devotion to the Word of God, not the number of people in the pews. Not all big churches are unfaithful (there are lots of attenders at the churches that John Piper and John MacArthur pastor) and not every small church is faithful (there are plenty of heretic with minimal attendance). But ultimately numbers are not the yardstick we measure our faithfulness to God by.

The White Horse Inn boys defined pragmatism as doing what works. I would argue that pragmatism is not doing what “works” but doing what yields the desired results. If we want “church growth”, then we have these programs and it will yield full pews. If we want X number of baptisms, then make sure we do this kind of an altar call to get people up front and dunked. If the result is not glorifying God by proclaiming the Gospel, it probably isn’t a Gospel church, no matter what the name of the organization is.

The Gospel is incredibly impractical. It calls for a method of delivery that is folly to many, preaching. It proclaims a message that is foolishness to unregenerate people. God designed the Gospel to be something that no one would embrace outside of the work of the Spirit, and that is one of the ways we know that it comes from God, not man. What these emergent/seeker-sensitive churches declare is a combination of slick marketing and dumbed down (or non-existent) doctrine to appeal to an unregenerate audience that is not, and never will, come to faith outside of a working of the Holy Spirit no matter how many lattes they drink.

Ultimately the Gospel is designed to be impractical because only then is God glorified, only then do we see people saved by the power of God instead of our own efforts. See my next post for a demonstration of what happens when you abandon sound doctrine in favor of pragmatism and relevance.


Looking out for the working guy

Yeah right...

There is probably no movement that is past it's time and yet still wields incredible sway over our nation to compare to the labor union movement.

A recent story highlights this case. One of the nation's largest car haulers, Performance Transportation Services, was coming out of bankruptcy and trying to get on it's feet. As part of the recovery, they were authorized to temporarily cut their driver's pay by 15%. As reported by the Detroit Free Press, the Teamsters Union decided to recommend that they cut of their proverbial noses to spite their faces...

Car hauler: Strike may sink company

Bankrupt PTS cuts pay 15%; Teamsters walk out

A strike against the nation's No. 2 car hauler could force the company quickly out of business, the company's chief executive said Monday, a sentiment some striking Teamsters members said they were prepared to accept rather than take a temporary pay cut.

Some 1,250 car haulers represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters walked off their jobs at Performance Transportation Services, a move that many think will have little impact on automakers and car dealers. Both sides concede there is little time to settle before the Allen Park company, which has been in bankruptcy twice since 2006, may go out of business.

The two sides are in a stalemate over court-approved pay cuts and other contract issues. As of Monday evening the two sides were not talking.

The union is upset that PTS, which delivers 2.7 million vehicles a year including 10,400 vehicles a day for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., won federal bankruptcy court approval to immediately impose a 15 percent pay cut on the drivers through July 31. The company wants the temporary cut while it continues to negotiate a new contract. The Teamsters refused and walked off their jobs Monday, including seven locations in Michigan.

It is pretty easy to tell a guy to go on strike when you have a cushy, high paid job working for the Teamsters. Why would you care if some truck driver loses his job as long as the union dues keep flowing in and your salary keeps getting direct deposited. The Teamsters recommended that these truckers shut down a company in precarious financial position. Brilliant. Of course the predictable result occurred...

Bankrupt vehicle hauler closes 5 days after strike

DETROIT — The president of Performance Transportation Services Inc. said the car hauler and its related companies were ceasing operations Friday, five days after 1,250 Teamsters members went on strike.

Allen Park-based PTS is North America’s second-largest hauler of new vehicles and was operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a letter to employees, company president and CEO Jeff Cornish said the bankruptcy court on June 4 authorized a 15 percent wage cut for Teamsters-represented employees for two months. The company anticipated negotiating a new, long-term contract during that time, but the Teamsters instead went on strike Monday.

Teamsters chief negotiator Fred Zuckerman said that PTS’ financial predicament stemmed not from the union’s demands but from the company’s problems in securing credit.

PTS delivered more than 4 million vehicles annually from 24 facilities nationwide with its fleet of 1,800 trucks for many North American automakers.

So instead of sucking it up and taking a temporary pay cut to keep the company afloat, the truckers walked out, the company closed up shop and now instead of getting 85% of their pay temporarily, they get to trade the picket line for the unemployment line. Oops. Meanwhile Fred Zuckerman, Jimmie Hoffa Jr., the Teamster bosses and negotiators go back to the golf course.

My employer recently eliminated my job, but instead of whining about it I took another position. Sure I had to move, but it was a good career move and I still have a job. Note to the Teamsters Union: NO ONE OWES YOU A JOB! The unions have wrecked Michigan's economy by making our labor force uncompetitive and yet the union bosses fiddle while Rome (or Detroit) burns. Better yet, they spend their time trying to mandate how many sick days employers in Ohio are required provide employees. Wow, now that they have wrecked Michigan maybe they can do the same and finish off Ohio. Unions ceased being useful before I was born but the Democrats are so beholden to them and they have suckered so many people into thinking that they are looking out for the little guy that they linger on. I used to work with labor union leaders all the time in a prior job, and while many of the guys remember what it was like to work for a living, a lot of them are only interested in who gives them the nicest perks, the best seats at ball games, the most expensive lunches. They are little different than the corporate executives they rail against, except that the executives are honest about what they are in it for.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The candidate of change?

Headline from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Obama proposes tax boost

Shocking! And so it begins. The candidate of "change" has nothing new to say, nothing that liberals have not already been saying for my entire life: soak the rich, raise taxes, redistribute wealth, increase the size, scope and power of government, class warfare. As the first major party minority candidate, Obama is unique but he is hardly an agent of change.

COLUMBUS - Sen. Barack Obama promised senior citizens Friday that as president, he would protect Social Security benefits and provide universal health care.

To extend the life of Social Security, Obama proposed applying a payroll tax to annual incomes above $250,000, affecting the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans. The Democrat also proposed eliminating income tax for any retiree making less than $50,000.

"Secure retirement is no longer a guarantee for the middle class,'' Obama said during a visit to Oakleaf Village retirement center with his wife, Michelle. "It's harder to save and harder to retire."

It is not harder to save, you go to the bank and open an account. What is difficult for people is to curtail their spending. The definition of "necessity" has broadened considerably in the last few decades. Utilities used to be electric, gas, water, phone. Now utilities include things like multiple cells phones, digital cable or satellite TV, high speed internet. Our nation's family vacations have become more and more ornate and expensive (we still just got to my parents place on the lake, for free). It isn't hard to save, it is just hard to not spend on things that really aren't required. Like most cagey liberals, he paints everyone who makes more money (or at least is perceived as making more money) as rich. His universal health care program, if enacted, would be an enormous bureaucratic nightmare that would have to be funded by drastically higher taxes, and if you think insurance is expensive now wait until the federal government with no incentive for efficiency takes over. Barack Obama promises change but it certainly would be a change for the worse.

Friday, June 13, 2008


A call to repentance

The Southern Baptist Convention this past week at it's annual meeting passed a resolution on regenerate church membership. It is not as strong a resolution as I would have liked, a resolution like the one proposed again by Tom Ascol of Founders Ministry, but it is a start and a recognition. It is not just the Southern Baptist Convention that is need of repenting over church membership, but as the largest and perhaps most public of the conservative denominations, the SBC takes the lead for good or ill on many issues. If we are going to covenant with someone in membership in a local church, we need to a) make as sure we can that they are a Christian! and b) hold the accountable to the body. Membership in a local church is the focal point of the Christian life and when we take it too lightly we do harm to the church as a whole. A good start, but certainly it is just a start.

Thursday, June 12, 2008




Wimpy girlie men

Is it any wonder that men, even many Christian men, find so many churches distasteful?

**CAUTION**

**OVERT CHAUVINISM AHEAD**

**CAUTION**

Certainly a Christian will be blessed by and seek out opportunity to join in fellowship and teaching of the Word. However, merely walking into a building that says: “Church” on it is no guarantee that will happen. This is not a call for church to be more "relevant" but to be more faithful. When you go into many a church, what you are treated to is a feel-good message about a wimpy God who just wants you to love Him. What is not presented is an accurate picture of the mighty God of the Bible or His Son who exemplifies not being a push over, the kid getting sand kicked in his face at the beach by the bully Pharisees, but rather exemplifies what men should aspire to: humility, conviction, strength, sacrifice. Jesus was not a macho braggart but He also was not someone who lacked a spine. He was God and showed and continues to show mercy to those who deserve wrath, and patience until that day when He is revealed to all people for who He is.

I am certainly not the first person to raise this issue, much ink has been spilled and furious typing has taken place on blogs that have already captured the generally effeminate atmosphere of many churches, even evangelical churches. This isn’t reserved for Episcopalian or United Methodist churches where women and even open homosexuals are ordained. Show me a moderately conservative Baptist church without strong male leadership from elders, and I will show you a church where faithful women have taken over most of the de facto rule of the church. That is not an indictment of most women, although there are some that chafe under submitting to male leadership. They are simply filling in the gap where the men should stand. It is the men of the church who stand accused, both for not leading today and for failing to set expectations for leadership to younger generations of men. Having male leadership in the church isn’t fulfilled with a male in the pulpit for a 20 minute sappy sermon.

Young men growing up in the last decade in average evangelical churches were raised in situations where Sunday school, song worship, activities, leadership all were held by women. The men they did hear from were probably were only pastors and the watered down message they preached displayed a simpering god that begged people to like him enough to worship him, instead of the Almighty God, the Creator and Judge who made all things and will set things aright when He sends His Son to gather His sheep and judge the nations. There is not much to admire for young men in the hippie Jesus of postmodern America. The Jesus portrayed in many a pulpit is not someone I would want my boys to emulate, much less worship.

Biblical manhood, real Biblical manhood not beating drums in the woods, is desperately needed in church today. John MacArthur on Grace To You Wednesday morning spoke of the admirable qualities of men from a Biblical perspective, and what you saw lots of was strength, fortitude, courage, character. Notably absent was anything about being sensitive. Being loving and sensitive are certainly traits men should exhibit, but not at the expense or in place of decidedly male traits. What Dr. MacArthur also pointed out is that being masculine in the Biblical sense does not mean false bravado or faux aggressive chest thumping. The men I know who I admire are not those who are the great athletes but the men who care for their family, who have a sense of duty towards their family that reflects their love towards them.

I clearly have failed for the most part in this role as a father, both in demonstrating to my sons how to love their wives as Christ loves the church and also by failing to show by example the type of men my daughters should seek out for their husbands. That is something that I have repented of and am seeking to rectify in my life and in my sacred calling as head of my household. Children are a blessing from the Lord and they deserve to be blessed by their father as well. The greatest blessings a child can receive from their father is to see him loving his wife and to see him worshipping his God.

Michigan's High Priestess of Abortion

Defending the indefensible

The news today from Lansing is that our illustrious Governor Jennifer Granholm is wielding her veto pen, this time in solidarity with those who have no moral qualms about killing an infant on the verge of being delivered.

Granholm to veto ban on an abortion procedure

LANSING -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she will veto a proposed ban on a late-term procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion.

The legislation is headed to the Democratic governor after the state Senate finished passing it today. The bill is designed to mirror a federal ban that was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

The state-level measure does not include an exception for a mother's health, upsetting abortion rights supporters.

A veto override requires two-thirds votes in both the House and Senate. There are enough votes in the House but likely not in the Senate.

Three previous attempts to outlaw the procedure in Michigan have been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.


Even for the most devout acolyte of the Church of Choice, partial birth abortion ought to be horrific. The details are something out of a horror movie. I remember one day when we lived in Petoskey and a pro-life group was protesting along the side of US-31 with signs of aborted fetuses. The shock and outrage was palpable in town, not because of the tragedy of these aborted children but because people who claim to be "pro-choice" don't really wanted to be confronted with what their "choice" entails. Abortion is fine and dandy when you can hide it behind legal theory, distorted rhetoric and mask it with the name "choice". But when you have to face the ugly reality of abortion, it becomes a lot harder to defend.

If the leftist news media reported the number of unborn children aborted each month the way they report the casualties in Iraq, if they showed pictures of post-abortion murdered children on 20/20, if they would run the same litany of letters to the editor calling for an immediate end to abortion in place of the cut-and-run letters about Iraq, I wonder how long abortion would survive in this country?

I also find it ironic that in the wake of the California Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage by judicial fiat we will see hordes of homosexuals flocking to California, returning home and demanding that their "marriage" be recognized by every state in the union. Yet those same homosexual advocates crowing about this victory will cry foul when you suggest that abortion be placed on the ballot in individual states. Liberals are all in favor of state rights when it suits their agenda, but watch out when you actually suggest that the unwashed masses get to decided for themselves how they will be governed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ok this is just funny stuff...

That's Not Fair!

In an article that would be funny if it weren't so sad, the Toledo Blade reported on a pro-sin...ahem..."openness to gays" forum at the University of Toledo.

I love the name of the event:

EqualityToledo, the Northwest Ohio Faith Coalition, Equality of Ohio, and the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign sponsored the "Faith and Fairness" meeting at the University of Toledo college of law.

Quite right, since Christianity at it's heart is a faith based on fairness. The article goes on...

The event showcased the religious community that's accepting of the gay and lesbian community, said Cheri Holdridge, of the Northwest Ohio Faith Coalition of Equality and the pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Toledo.

"I'm the pastor of a church that has a large gay and lesbian following," she said.

Harry Knox, the director of the Human Rights Campaign of Faith Program in Washington, said that the meeting's purpose was "to help equip people of faith who care about [the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community] to use faith language in advocating for our civil rights."

Ms. Knox, you may stand up and speak behind a podium on Sunday's, and even get paid for it, but since you a) don't meet the Biblical qualifications for a pastor and b) refuse to exercise church discipline on those in your group in open, unrepentant and willful sin, you have no business calling yourself "pastor".

Then we see this bombshell:

The Rev. Miguel De La Torre, associate professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology in Denver and director of the school's Justice and Peace Institute who was the keynote speaker, said the event highlighted the issue of justice.

"That's the whole message of Jesus - to stand in solidarity with those who are being crucified today," he said.


That is the whole message of Jesus, being nice to gay people. Read that again: "That's the whole message of Jesus - to stand in solidarity with those who are being crucified today." Check my math, but when is the last time you saw a homosexual nailed to a cross? Those sorts of statements are so over the top and ridiculous on their face that they negate entirely their argument.

And here I thought that the whole message of Jesus was God in flesh, living in perfect obedience, dying on a cross for the sins of His people, being buried, rising again and ascending to heaven to await the day He returns to pass judgment. I guess I am reading a different Bible.

Mr. De La Torre said that people in positions of power impose their own prejudices on the Biblical text.

Impose their own prejudices? Like reading what it says? Shame on all those mean people in power, like the average literate Joe who opens up the Bible and reads what it says about sin in general, and homosexuality in particular.

The Iliff School of Theology? Never heard of it, but since their "Community Covenant" never once mentions Jesus Christ or even God in general, it doesn't strike me as the kind of place that people who read and believe the Bible attend. Who exactly is your covenant with if you don't even mention God?

I am guessing I won't get a speaking invitation to the "Iliff School of Theology" any time soon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The wondrous Law of God


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2)

As part of an exposition of Psalm 1 on Sunday afternoon, the wonder of the Law of God came up in Pastor Michael Jones' sermon. A lot of Christians kind of spit out the word "Law" like it is some kind of dirty word, something distasteful that has no part or place in a church under grace. Many pastors, even ones that pay lip service to the Law never dare speak it from the pulpit except in contrast to grace. But what do we know of grace outside of the Law? Saved from what, saved by what? Why do we need to be saved anyway? The Law stands as a stark reminder of who God is and who we are and just how far we are from His standard of perfection.


The law is not a bunch of capricious, burdensome rules but are a reflection of the very nature of God and His attributes of holiness, justice, mercy, perfection. If God has not changed, then neither have the laws that reflect His nature.

Who should strive to follow God’s commandments and laws more than His people? The idea that as Christians we have been redeemed and therefore have no interest in following the moral laws of God seems backwards. We are not condemned by them but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to obey them, seeing that they are a reflection of our just and holy God. Too often we saw the Law as something that we are free to ignore and disregard, when we ought instead to be even more in tune with and aware of it. Unlike the unredeemed, His sheep should be the first to strive to keep God's commandments.
OK, power is back off. Giant tree down in the yard on top of the power lines. Kids can't play outside, we can't cook anything. Very, very hot and more bad weather on the way. Generator in the backyard is keeping the fridge and the Internet going. DTE may be the most inefficient utility. Ever.
More on the FLDS debacle

The state of Texas finally released the children of the FLDS cult last week in what can charitably be described as a disaster. Texas governor Rick Perry has warned them to consider getting out of Texas...

DALLAS (AP) -- Gov. Rick Perry hinted Thursday that members of a polygamist sect whose children were recently returned amid a botched sex-abuse investigation should pack their bags, a newspaper reported.

Perry, who was in La Baule, France, for a European business conference, said that the state of Texas has an obligation to protect young women from being forced into marriage and underage sex, The Dallas Morning News reported in its online edition.

He also warned members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that child sex abuse won't be tolerated and even suggested that followers of the renegade Mormon sect may want to get out.

"If you are going to conduct yourself that way, we are going to prosecute you," Perry said. "If you don't want to be prosecuted for those activities, then maybe Texas is not the place you need to consider calling home."


Very smooth, we come in and take your children without legal backing and now in the wake of that incident we tell you to get out of our state or we might come take your kids again. Very nice.
I cannot imagine what this has been like for the parents of those children, to have the government swoop in and seize your children based on accusations leveled anonymously against another individual. Despite the fact that they are odd and heretics, and that what they are accused of may very well be happening, there was no legal basis for it and the government just doesn't get to come into our homes and take our children because of vague suspicions.

The other big issue here is that because of the ham fisted actions of the state officials, in the event another real complaint comes up, they will have a much harder time taking action in the future, which is probably why Governor Perry issued his "warning".

The net result here is that these children were taken from their parents without justification, which will be used by the cult as an example of the evils of the outside world and increase their hold over these people; the state of Texas lost an enormous amount of credibility; they have made it harder for real complaints to be dealt with; families were put through an enormous amount of heartache absolutely without cause or justification.

This whole event also gave rise to another occasion for papers to erroneously assert that the mainstream mormon church renounced polygamy a century ago, when it reality it remains a valid doctrine of Mormonism, the practice of which has been suspended currently. The whole sordid affair is yet another example of our government overstepping it's bounds, especially where parents and children are concerned.


When proponents on both sides of an issue are both wrong!

I came across an interesting exchange on the opinion pages of the Cincinnati Enquirer regarding women in the Roman Catholic priesthood. The first letter was from Heidi Bright Parales, titled Anti-female priests decree not based on Bible. Here is a sample of her reasoning....

Why does the Catholic Church ban women's ordination? Because Christ chose only men for his apostolate, the pope says.

There are two serious problems with this assertion.

First, Jesus also selected women apostles. In fact, Jesus selected Mary Magdalene for his original apostle. At the tomb scene, Jesus deliberately did not appear to his male disciples, including Peter and John; he waited until they left before appearing to Mary Magdalene (John 20). Then he commissioned her to tell his followers he had appeared, making her the primary witness to the Resurrection. This transformed her into the unique role of first apostle, the earliest person sent to tell Jesus' followers he had risen from the grave. If Jesus could entrust a woman with the status of primary apostle, why can't the Vatican?


Well the glaring issue here is that there is no indication that Mary Magdalene was "ordained" an apostle nor does she act in the capacity of one anywhere in the Bible. Was she a follower, one with a unique blessing of meeting the Risen Christ? Of course, but that doesn't make her an apostle and she has never been considered an apostle by the church.

A second critical problem lies with the Vatican's explanation for excluding women. Even if we were to agree that Christ chose only males for his apostolate, it also is true that he selected only from among Jews. If we follow the Vatican's reason to its logical conclusion, then the church should be ordaining only Jewish men from the Middle East for the priesthood.

What Ms. Parales is missing is that while the Bible does away with ethnic and racial distinctions between believers, it never does away with the explicit command that the office of bishop/elder be held exclusively by males. Fact is, if you are a Roman

On the response was Rev. Kyle Schnippel, director of vocation's for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. His rebuttal is titled: Discipleship, priesthood aren't the same. A sample from the Reverend...

In her "Your Voice" column "Anti-female priests decree not based on Bible" (May 31), Heidi Bright Parales commits a common but serious flaw: She ignores the distinction between the discipleship demanded by all Christians versus the ministerial priesthood bestowed upon the Twelve Apostles during the Last Supper.

All disciples have an obligation to make Christ known through the witness of their lives: Mary Magdalene did in the post-Resurrection accounts in the Gospels; Mary, the mother of the Lord, did in the Nativity narrative; and Peter, John and Paul, and many others, did throughout the Acts of the Apostles.

However, this commission to go forth and preach is quite different from the obligations given to those chosen for a special ministry and passed on through prayer and the laying on of hands: the Twelve Apostles.

He makes a valid point, that being called to be a disciple and being called to the ministry. What is ironic is that both of them are arguing about the ministry and both of them are wrong. The ministry of Christ is not something that is granted just because of a sincere desire but through very specific qualifications, but it is also not the Roman view of a special class above the people, standing in place of and between the laity and God in the place that Christ alone functions in. Both very passionate about their argument, but both wrong because their basic assumptions about the priesthood are wrong.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Swift Action by DTE

We lost power last night at about 10:00, it just came back on at 7:00 PM. A nice little 21 hour power interruption. When we lived in the middle of nowhere in Northern Michigan and lost power, we always got it back faster than that. Hottest day of the year so far and no A/C. Good times!

David Wells on the Albert Mohler Show

Dr. Albert Mohler interviewed David Wells, author of the new book (that I am working through), The Courage to Be Protestant on Thursday, June 5th. I absolutely love this book, and am about halfway through it. I have made the comparison before, but David Wells is in many ways the modern successor to J. Gresham Machen. His unflinching indictment of where Christianity is wandering of to is sorely needed today. The show is a good listen and the book is an absolutely must own.

Here are a couple more quotes from the book that really jumped out at me…

Barna’s conclusion was that most Americans like the security of being able to think of themselves as “Christian,” but most also resist the biblical responsibilities that go along with that claim. For the great majority, he says, being identified as a Christian is more about image than about substance. It is a cultural thing. It is all about creating a pleasing self-image.
….
Let us not mince words. If we could see more clearly God in the full blaze of his burning purity, we would not be on easy terms with all the sins that now infect our souls and breed easy compromises with the spirit of the postmodern age. This is what leads to the casual ways in which we live our lives with their blatantly wrong priorities. If we could see this more clearly, the church would be filled with much more repentance and, in consequence, much more joy, and much more authenticity.


(Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant, pp 131-133 )

Friday, June 06, 2008


Kickin' over straw men...

Tom Ascol at Founders Ministries pointed out an article by Dr. Elmer Towns of Liberty University, an article that asks the question:

(His spelling, not mine)

Set aside for the moment the question of what makes Elmer Towns an authoritative voice for what Southern Baptists should or should not do. The entire article is a litany of pejoratives, unsubstantiated claims, self-important declarations and not an ounce of interaction with arguments made by Calvinists or the Scriptures. What we are treated to instead:

- We have the Calvin wasn’t a Baptist, so a Baptist shouldn’t be a Calvinist argument. Along with that we have the I am a Calvinist, just not a five point Calvinist. I would argue that if you reject one of the tenets of Calvinism, typically limited atonement, you kind of abandon the whole thing. I began to wonder if Dr. Towns is familair at all with Calvinism.

- Then, predictably, we get the Servetus issue that everyone from Arminians to cultists raise as an objection to Calvinism. Calvinism is NOT ABOUT CALVIN! If we reject every writing that comes from the hand of a sinner, we better start throwing out lots of books, starting with anything that Elmer Towns wrote. Dr. Towns and I and Calvin are all three different in lots of ways, but we are the same in one way: we are all three sinners.

- Tons of anecdotal “evidence” and blanket, unsubstantiated statements heavily peppered with pejoratives.

- The assumption that his years of teaching theology give him a insight over and above that of far more accomplished scholars. He proudly notes: “I’ve taught systematic theology since 1958 ”. Well, all that tells me is that he has managed to be wrong after half a century of teaching theology, and that hardly is a point in his favor!

- Spurgeon. It kills me how Arminians try to claim Spurgeon for themselves, even when the recognize that he was a Calvinist! Or maybe he was just a poor Calvinist who didn’t really believe it. But I guarantee this, get an Arminian Baptist going and he will always grab two figures out of history: Servetus and Spurgeon.

- What I find really troubling is the way that he makes his substantive arguments in the form of footnotes, whereas the main body is nothing but empty assertions. I also like how he uses the textbook that he wrote as a reference. That is like me referring to a blog post as a citation in another blog post, and assuming it is authoritative. Check out this scholarly footnote:

16 For those who want to carefully study Calvinism, I invite them to look at Theology for Today by Elmer Towns (Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers, 2001). In this volume I study the weaknesses of Calvinism, pointing out that I am a Calvinist. I examine the weaknesses of each of the five points of TULIP. The next chapter I discuss the weaknesses of Arminianism. At other places in this volume I discuss the weaknesses of the Covenant or Reformed view of theology. Since I am a dispensationalist, I discuss the weaknesses of baptism by sprinkling, and I examine the strength of baptism by immersion. Before one is quick to judge this paper, I would invite them to a full study of Calvinism from someone’s perspective that is not blinded by the limitations of Calvinism.

So anyone who disagrees with Towns or writes something contrary to Towns is “blinded by the limitations of Calvinism”. Only Dr. Towns has it all figured out, over and above men like Spurgeon and Albert Mohler and John MacArthur. I wonder if Mark Dever and Albert Mohler even realize how blinded they are by their Calvinism. He even speaks of himself in the third person!

The level of writing and scholarship expressed is embarrassing from a man who takes pains to point out that “I’ve taught systematic theology since 1958 ”. One would think that someone so quickly top throw his credentials around would at least live up to the expectations for one who holds those honors. He fails entirely to interact with Calvinism on a scriptural basis, but rather merely passes judgment on what the entire Southern Baptist Convention should do, which is ironic since it is so clear that many, if not most, of the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention were Calvinistic. The arrogance of his presumptive statements about what is or is not acceptable from churches that hold to Calvinism is incredible.

As his paper draws to a close, Dr. Towns resorts to clumsy attempts at being clever through the images of the TULIP acrostic of Calvinism.

Most of the time five point Calvinists are described by tulip, a lovely flower that grows from a single bulb in the ground. A tulip shares its beauty and aroma. But often five-point Calvinism is like the dandelion; beautiful in its yellow and black flower, but no dandelion ever stands alone like a tulip. Rather dandelions spread their seeds across the entire lawn, blown about by the winds of fads and self-examination. And what more do we know about dandelions, they kill the surrounding grass and as they spread across a beautiful lawn, they can destroy an entire lawn. I have often said that in a theological institution, every spring the dandelions come up. By that I am referring to young Calvinistic enthusiasts who suddenly feel they know systematic theology better than their professors. Over the years many have attempted to engage me, debate me and even convert me. If I have the time, I am usually gracious and take them to lunch. I discuss the whole plan of God with them, including the nature of God, the nature of regeneration, dispensationalism, and the mysteries of God that no human can explain. Usually my five point enthusiast wants to talk about five or six words they find in Scripture. I grant them that these words verify their narrow point of view; but there is much more scripture than just these five or six words. We arrive at true Bible doctrine when we look at all of the Biblical text.

Perhaps the reason that Calvinism spreads is that when people get away from the trite arguments of Arminianism, decisional regeneration, sensationalistic dispensation theology and start to dig into the Bible, what they find is not a few random verses supporting Calvinism but the totality of the Biblical record being one of man’s inability and God’s sovereignty. Calvinism is spread not because it is popular, because it is abhorrent to the heart of man, but through a study of the Bible that gets beyond the superficial and digs into the deeper things of God. The theology espoused by Towns, muddled though it is,

So Dr. Towns manages (after fifty years of teaching theology remember) to allegedly beat up on new seminary students who espouse Calvinism. I wonder how many debates he has held with mature Christians who hold to the Doctrines of Grace? After the Ergun Caner, Dean of Liberty Theological Seminary ducked and weaved to avoid debating James White and Tom Ascol on Calvinism, I suspect that Dr. Towns debating prowess is confined to verbal sparring with 22 year olds. Safe in the halls of academia, Dr. Towns is free to make blanket, unsubstantiated assertions and debate first years seminarians.