Monday, 31 October 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

When Talking Heads Explode

Culture and Politics - Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Thursday, October 27, 2011

The race for the Republican nomination is still too early in the demolition derby to make too much sense out of it. It will be interesting to see what happens when there are only three very dented cars still running.

Question Begging on a Grand Scale

The Fallacious Case for Homosexual "Rights"

In the debate over homosexuality and homosexual "rights", the pro-homosexual camp makes a gratuitous assumption: homosexuality is a genetic, physical orientation.  It must, therefore, be regarded in the same category as the colour of one's hair.  Just as you would not discriminate, argue against, nor condemn someone for skin colour or having red hair, neither would you argue against homosexuality. 

We say the assumption is gratuitous because there is no foundation for it, despite assiduous research and many false alleys along the way.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Shaking in Our Boots

Not Feral Enough

The entire Western world is in the grip of a revolution that his shaking civilization to its foundations.  We wonder what will survive.  It is everywhere.  Occupy Wall Street has achieved that its instigators intended.  It has gone global.

Here are three independent reviews/reports from the most intrepid amongst us.  Firstly, breaking news from the US, courtesy of Michelle Malkin:

"Christian" Social Justice, Part II

Demanding God's Mercy as a Right

The concept of "social justice" has its origins in socialism.  Fairness or equity in society is believed to require a fundamental equality of outcome: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  The achievement of this more just outcome requires the compulsion of the state to redistribute forcibly, through a progressive taxation system, taking from some to bestow upon others.  In doing so the state necessarily claims the right to suspend the eighth and the tenth commandments. 

When Christians buy-in to this non-Christian worldly ideology they often do so because they think it is a means of complying with the biblical injunction to take care of the poor and the needy.  They could not be more mistaken.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Just Call Me Old-Fashioned

Money, Love, Desire - The Good of Affluence
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This coming Thursday, Jim Wallis and Al Mohler will be debating the question of social justice and the mission of the church (HT: Justin Taylor). Click here for more. The question before the house will be this: "Is Social Justice an Essential Part of the Mission of the Church?" Wallis will be arguing the affirmative and Mohler the negative.

If you listen to the debate, be sure to keep track of two distinct questions.

"Christian" Social Justice, Part I

Satanic Knock-Offs

A new fad is starting to make inroads into the reformed and evangelical world.  The fad of "social justice". 

The ideology of "social justice" has long been the preserve of socialists and progressives--folk who believe in omni-competent government and that the duty of the state is to enforce a progressive equality in wealth, health, education, and income.  In this context justice means equality of outcome or result: the role of the state, as the institution of justice, is to ensure (usually through the taxation system) that equality is progressively achieved.

The ideology of "social justice"--as contrasted with civil justice and criminal justice--is the spawn of Fabian (or gradualist) socialism.  One is left wondering how on earth Christians could get tied up in such a pagan Unbelieving ideology. 

The answer, however, is ready at hand.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Conspiracies Against the Son Doomed to Fail

Humble Pie on the Menu

As we go to press this morning it does not look good in Europe--depending on your point of view.  There are those who have held the view for a long time that the concept of a federal Europe which subordinates national sovereignty is doomed to fail.  For these, what is now happening in Europe is an "I told you so" moment. 

Europe is between Scylla and Charbydis--and the passage is narrowing by the hour.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Consequences of Living Beyond One's Means

Europe: Grimmer by the Minute

Here is a good summary from CNNMoney of the issues swirling around the debt crisis in Europe--revealing why it is a crisis indeed.

Light Shining Amongst the Gentiles

Globalization of the Faith

The West is falling under the curses of the Covenant due to its rebellion against the Living God.  Once it feared and reverenced the God of the heavens and the earth, and His Only Begotten Son.  Now it murders millions of its children in a Molech-like sacrifice to the Rights of Man.  But, as is indicated in the Scriptures, when those who were the people of God come to consider themselves unworthy of eternal life, God turns to the Gentiles.

Thus, in our time the Gospel is being heard and welcomed amongst those who have grown up in lands which have not heard of Christ.  One sign of this is how churches in the West are now increasingly filled with non-Caucasians.  This from Timothy Tennent:

More Light Rising in Libya

Deafening Silence

Further to our recent piece on the confused ambivalence in the West towards Libya--hailing the overthrow of a tyrant and welcoming the introduction of popular suffrage, whilst turning Nelson's blind eye to the Islamic nature of the regime--here is a piece from the Telegraph.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

One Vast Boneyard

Life in the Regeneration
Written by Douglas Wilson
Sunday, October 23, 2011

The end of October approaches, and as we mark and celebrate the great Reformation, our heart's desire and prayer should be for future historians to be able to describe it as the first reformation, as the small one. "Small" does not mean insignificant, but in this case it does mean early on. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has prepared for those of us who love Him. As we emphasize the five solas (as we should), let us exult in the one which is the true intersection of all of them -- solus Christus.

Christ died for the world, and if we are to follow the apostle Paul's argument, this means that we have an obligation to see that world differently.

A Light Rising in the East

Not What We Meant, At All

We fear the inane ignorance of the Western Commentariat is about to be exposed once again.  The prevailing narrative in the West is that a tyrant has been defeated in Libya.  The people of Libya will now speak up and a true democracy will emerge.  The sub-text--hinted at, but never quite stated overtly--is that Libya will now become a secular state, with a separation of church and state, a non-religious public square, and a deep devotion to Western conceptions of human rights. 

Let's grant for the moment that Libya will become democratic in the sense that the people will ultimately control the government.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Triumphalism of "Joy, Joy, Joy . . ."

Do Our Worship Songs Have Room for Lament?

Perhaps . . . [the Western church] has drunk so deeply at the well of modern Western materialism that it simply does not know what to do with such cries (of lament) and regards them as little short of embarrassing.

Carl Trueman, “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” in The Wages of Spin (pp. 159-160):

A diet of unremittingly jolly choruses and hymns inevitably creates an unrealistic horizon of expectation which sees the normative Christian life as one long triumphalist street party—a theologically incorrect and a pastorally disastrous scenario in a world of broken individuals.

Has an unconscious belief that Christianity is—or at least should be—all about health, wealth, and happiness corrupted the content of our worship?

. . . In the psalms, God has given the church a language which allows it to express even the deepest agonies of the human soul in the context of worship.

Does our contemporary language of worship reflect the horizon of the expectation regarding the believer’s experience which the psalter proposes as normative?  If not, why not?

Is it because the comfortable values of Western middle-class consumerism have silently infiltrated the church and made us consider such cries irrelevant, embarrassing, and signs of abject failure?

H/T: Justin Taylor

Salute the French

 Almost . . .

The old rugby adage, "never underestimate the French" has been proven true again.  Those who were nervous and cautious were vindicated.  Those who thought the All Blacks would win by thirty points had their "on-paper" calculations exposed as artificial. 

What an amazing game the French played.  And amidst the perpetual debate about the relative merits of northern and southern hemisphere rugby there are few games that kept us on the edge of our seats right to the last second as this final did.  What a torrid game. 

It also shows how difficult it is to win the Cup away from home.  Congratulations to the AB's.  They will go down in history as one of the great teams developed in turn by a great management team .  Its great to see personal egos submerged beneath a common goal, yet in such a way that each individual played his heart out.  It was also great to see the mix of old and new in the team--and it is pretty evident that the lack of experience of the younger players would have had them crumble last night were it not for the steely resolve of the older heads. 

For us, one of the best moments was the appearance of Donald at first five.  It represented a resurrection motif--and how we love that theme and motif, all us Christians! 

Now, back to the real world!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Unrepresentative Parliaments

When The Tail Wags the Dog

The principle of proportional representation has inherent merit.  It reflects a principle of justice.  In a democracy, government should reflect the will of the people collectively expressed as much as possible.  The diversity of "wills" should be represented to some degree in the deliberative and legislative chambers.

The principle becomes somewhat more necessary and compelling in a state where there is a unicameral parliament--such as we have in New Zealand, and where the executive branch of government is an extension of Parliament.  Checks and balances are rather thin on the ground in Aotearoa.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Muddy Waters

Are Theologians Necessary

Canadianchristianity Magazine interviewed J I Packer--and asked him, amongst other things, whether theologians are necessary to the Church.

Distinguished theologian J.I. Packer is the author of more than 40 books -- including Knowing God, which has sold nearly two million copies and has been translated into 25 languages. He is the Board of Governors Professor of Theology at Regent College.
Meg Johnstone: You've been quoted as saying: "In all my teaching and writing, I am trying to show that theology is extremely practical." So, are theologians really necessary?

J.I. Packer: (chuckling) I think the answer is yes, but you have to define what a theologian is. His business is to make sure that the church has what I will call a pure water system -- thinking of the word of God as the water of life. You could describe him, therefore, as a kind of ecclesiastical plumber, or sewage engineer. In the church, there's always going to be muddy water, there's always going to be mistaken ideas going around; theologians are the people whose business is to keep the flow clear and pure. In order to do that, they have to understand the faith as a whole, and that usually means that they have to do something like specialist work in the exposition of Bible truth -- because the people who are stirring up the mud are also doing specialist work. . . . Any section of the church which doesn't have theologians -- as point people and whistle blowers and plumbers and water engineers -- is, sooner or later, going to be bogged down in muddy water.
Hat Tip: Justin Taylor

Retrograde, Reactionary and Ignorant

The State of Labour

The Labour Party in New Zealand is in disarray--ideologically.  It has repeatedly shown that it is bereft of ideas, policies, and principles that engage with the real world.  This is what happens when a political party gets captured by minority interest groups: in this case, homosexuals, unions, and 60's-style feminists. 

Any policies or ideas, when announced, end up being strange or extreme.  Under such conditions politics becomes a very hard slog indeed.

The latest debacle is Labour's "wage policy".  It has been written by unions, reflecting a wishlist that harks back to the days of a controlled socialist economy.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Millennium

Long Time Passin'

"The thousand years (of Revelation 20:3) is to be understood as a symbolic number, denoting a long period. It is a round number, but stands for an indefinite period, an eon whose duration it would be a folly to attempt to compute. Its beginning dates from the great catastrophe of this book (Revelation), the fall of the mystic Babylon. It is the eon which opens with the going forth of the great Conqueror of Revelation 19:11-16, and continues until he shall have put all his enemies under his feet (I Corinthians 15:25). It is the same period as that required for the stone of Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 2:35) to fill the earth, and the mustard seed of Jesus' prophecy to consummate its world-wide growth (Matthew 13:31-32). How long the King of kinds will continue His battle against evil and defer the last decisive blow, when Satan shall be 'loosed for a little time' no man can even approximately judge. It may require a million years."

Milton Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics, cited by David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance, p. 507

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Anti-Psalm 23

I'm On My Own

If Psalm 23, written toward the end of David's life, is not true, then its opposite is.  That is the biblical world view.  All human beings, including those conceived but yet unborn, live either under the wrath of God--with all its implications--or under the love of God  (John 3: 18,19,36).  There is no middle ground or half-way house.  
The total lot of the Unbeliever is both terrible and tragic. Anything and everything positive and good in the experience of the Unbeliever cannot last or endure, but amounts to nothing more than a fleeting interlude or respite.  Here is David Powlinson's rendition of life without knowing the Lord as one's shepherd.

Global Perspectives

Extremism is in the Eye of the Beholder

Today we propose to have some light relief.  Firstly, in the US NBC12 is reporting that President Obama's podium and teleprompter have been stolen.  We kid you not.  We know that the lingering recession has resulted in all kinds of normally "safe" bits and pieces of equipment disappearing due to larcenous activity.  But this takes the cake.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Cheering for the Seventh Billion

Beware Malthusians posing as progressives
Don’t be fooled by the fashionable new crowd of Malthus-bashing greens: they’re as misanthropic as old-style population scaremongers.
Brendan O’Neill

Wednesday 12 October 2011

As we approach the Day of Seven Billion, when the seven billionth human being will be born, a debate is raging. On one side, population scaremongers are fretting about the arrival of Child No.7,000,000,000, claiming that he or she will add to a growing human swarm that is heaping pressure on the environment. On the other side, liberal observers slam these Malthusians, claiming that their lament about overpopulation is ‘a mask for misanthropy’. As one headline put it: ‘Welcome baby seven billion – we’ve room for you on Earth.’

Well, that is what it looks like through a casual glance – that a fiery debate is taking place between followers of the Reverend Thomas Malthus on one side and hip questioners of the Malthusian thesis on the other. But this is deceptive.

An Outsider's Chance

The Curious Case of Herman Cain

The process of choosing the Republican candidate to stand against Obama is still in its early stages.  But from down here in the South Pacific it seems that there are a few curve balls being thrown.  One is Herman Cain.  He has vaulted out of threatening extinction to become the leading Republican in recent days.  He is the ultimate Republican outsider. 

This is his greatest strength and also his Achilles heel.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Speaking of Cows . . .

Political Dualism - Americanitas
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 6:25 am

To worship is to make historical claims. Further, to acquiesce in false historical paradigmatic claims is to submit to a hidden idolatrous narrative. The two go together -- the two being worship and historical identification. Worship of the true God entails a right understanding of history (Jesus is risen is a historical claim), and worship of false gods is an attempt to establish lies about history (evolution is a risible historical lie about what happened to the whale on his way to becoming a cow).

Speaking of cows . . .


 Barely a Foot Wrong

Congratulations to the All Blacks.  Best game we have seen them play in a long, long time.

Scenes of monstering the Aussie scrum late second half were a sight to behold!

Robbie Deans was honest, as ever, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald

Artificial Rage

The Winter Will Chill the Discontented

The collective globe is holding its breath.  OWS has arrived and is spreading around the world like a virus.  What, we hear you ask?  Yes, you know, "Occupy Wall Street".  Around the world in several countries, including New Zealand, "spontaneous" protests have erupted against--well, let's see now--corporate greed, capitalists, bankers, plutocratic government and whole bunch of other stuff--like, the "gummint needs to pay for my college education".  It has even reached the Dunedin Octagon.  Amazing really. 

Colour us sceptical, but it has a deja-vu patina.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Long My Imprisoned Spirit Lay

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “Bless You, Prison!”

"Solzhenitsyn in the 1950s at the Kazakh prison camp that inspired 'A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.'"
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good.

In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel.

In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor.

In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments.

It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good.

Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. . . .

That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me:

“Bless you, prison!”

I . . . have served enough time there.

I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!”

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, Volume 2, pp. 615-617.
Posted on Justin Taylor's blog.

[We have published other references to Solzhenitsyn in ContraCelsum: herehere]

Disastered Out

A Bit of a Dag

Disclaimer: We are kiwis--and as such we have been socialised into reflexive cultural cringe.  Consequently we can expect a visceral reaction when we are daily confronted with warnings of Armageddon happening off the coast of Tauranga.  One gets the strong impression that media organs are trying to cover the "big one" in such a way that they emulate more illustrious main stream media in the world.  "We can do it too", is the impression.  We can foot it with the big guys.

A container ship heeling over, we are told, is New Zealand's worst maritime disaster.  Puleeze.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Studies in I Samuel

The Divided Robe

Expository - Book of Samuel
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, October 08, 2011

God has made it plain in many diverse ways that Saul has lost it, and what Saul has lost, David has been given. But all Saul does is double down in his disobedience. The irony is that, even after the Spirit had departed from him, and come upon David, the Spirit was still there at Saul's court—until Saul drove him away with a spear.

“And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi . . .” (1 Sam. 24:1-22).

When Saul returned from chasing (not fighting) the Philistines, he was told that David was in the wilderness of Engedi (v. 1)

Luddite Claptrap

The "Natural"  Does Not Exist Any Longer

Several days ago we watched a doco on genetic engineering.  It was not the normal fodder of Luddite claptrap.  Genetic crop and animal scientists were expressing their frustration at the irrational phobias that hamstring the development and deployment of genetically modified crops and farm animals. 

At one point the interviewer asked a scientist whether they were willing to risk destroying the natural habitat (visible in the background) with the release of genetically modified crops, such as vitamin rich rice--calculated to save over two million lives a year in the developing world.  The scientist pointed out that there was nothing "natural" at all about the landscape before them.  It had all been genetically modified by selective breeding over centuries.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Freedom of the Will

Doing it My Way

Human freedom both exists and is acted upon when a person chooses or wills to act in a certain way. When an individual's actions are self-determined, then he is truly free.That is why we believe and teach that mankind descending from Adam by ordinary generation are dead in their sins and cannot believe and follow God because they cannot see, apprehend, embrace and love the truth about Him.  But they disbelieve freely; their disbelief is genuinely their own and they will to act in open rebellion against, or careless neglect of Him.

Here is Charles Hodge's account of the matter:

When the Culture sees God As Dead

Impending Judgment

A prevailing narrative in our society runs thus: the Christian religion has been consigned to the dustbin of history; therefore the God of Christianity must be fictitious.

But there is another narrative, far more sinister for Unbelief and our age.  That narrative introduces the concept of divine judgment.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Studies in I Samuel

Encouragement in God

Expository - Book of Samuel
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, October 01, 2011

Harry Truman once said that if you want to find loyalty in Washington, then you should get a dog. In this chapter we see the reasons for thinking this way—the thin loyalty of Keilah and Ziph. But there is also an exception to this way of the world, and it is the staggering loyalty, the against-all-odds loyalty, of Jonathan.

“Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing floors . . .” (1 Sam. 23:1-29).

David heard that the Israelite city of Keilah was afflicted by the Philistines (v. 1). David inquired of the Lord, and was told to save Keilah (v. 2). David's men said, “are you serious?” (v. 3).

Fundamentals of a Financial Crisis

Drink Bonds

Debt and default thereon are pretty easy concepts to understand.  You borrow money; you fail to make the interest payments on time; the lender calls back the loan requiring you to repay.  You cannot.  You default.  The lender loses his money. 

When it comes to national debts and the global economy, would that it were so simple. Ah, but it is.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Double Standards

A Peace Prize Doesn't Make You an Expert

Lorne Gunter: National Post

When I read Wednesday that the Nobel Women's Initiative had managed to round up eight winners of the Peace Prize to condemn attempts by a Canadian company to build a pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to refineries on the Gulf coast in Texas, my first thought was, "I hope for their sake they haven't resurrected Rigoberta Menchu."

But they had.

Another Ban, Another Dollar

Tip-Toe Through the Tulips

Press Release: The Green Party Calls for Ban on All Shipping
11th October, 8.08am


Green Party Co-Leader, Metiria Turei has called for a ban on all commercial maritime activity within New Zealand's two hundred mile environmental zone.  "This represents a bold new policy position by the Green Party", said Ms Turei.  "We are the only political party prepared to make the tough calls and hard decisions to protect New Zealand's true economic future." 

For decades New Zealand under maritime law has claimed an "exclusive economic zone"  up to 200km out from our shoreline.  But it is becoming more obvious by the day that economics-as-usual involves environmental degradation.  Therefore, the Green Party would change the designation in law from an "Exclusive Economic Zone" to an "Exclusive Environmental Zone".  Ms Turei, a lawyer,  is sure that the United Nations will recognize the new designation.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Al-Awlaki and the Smell of Boiling Cabbage

Culture and Politics - A Second Battle of Tours
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, October 01, 2011

A few days ago, a predator drone took out Anwar Al-Awlaki, an all-round bad guy, and American citizen. The ACLU (and Ron Paul and Gary Johnson) complained about it, saying that this was a violation of due process. Those who maintain we are in a state of war against terrorists are exasperated by the claim, saying, as Charles Krauthammer did, that the rebel soldiers at Pickett's charge were not being served papers, even though (according to the Union account) the rebels were still all American citizens. The two sides were not divided by a cluster of attorneys swinging briefcases at each other.

A third position, neither fish nor fowl, is that of the Obama administration.

No Wiggle Room

Creation vs Evolutionism

The difficulty begins when we start to dig into the common textbook definitions of the term "evolution".  Here, evolution is often defined by its opposition to creation.  Consider just two academic sources among legion: "That organisms have evolved rather than having been created is the single most important and unifying principle of modern biology."  (Daniel R. Brooks and E. O. Wiley, Evolution as Entropy [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986], p. xi.)  And here's the Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson: "Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind." (G. G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of Its Significance for Man, revised edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967), p. 345.)

Darwin himself understood his theory this way.  As he said, "There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows."  (Francis Darwin, Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, (New York: Appleton, 1887).  Vol I: pp.280, 283--284, 278-279).

These descriptions of (Darwinian) evolution don't leave a lot of wiggle room. 
Jay W. Richards, God and Evolution: Protestants, Catholics and Jews Explore Darwin's Challenge to Faith (Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2010), p. 12f.

So, when humanists and evolutionists re-introduce the concepts and language of structure, order, telos, purpose, plan, or design they are not just trying to get wiggle room, they are engaging in, and complicit with, the greatest intellectual legerdemain ever seen.  As our mothers tartly observed, they want their cake and they want to eat it too--which is a polite way of saying that they want it both ways.  This self-deceit and intellectual dishonesty are the hallmarks of our age. 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A Christian Classic

What Makes A Christian Classic

Here is an interesting piece from Justin Taylor, presenting an assessment by Leland Ryken on The Scarlet Letter.

Is The Scarlet Letter a Christian Classic?

In his excellent essay “Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter: What Is a Christian Classic?” (in Realms of Gold: The Classics in Christian Perspective [Wipf & Stock, 2003], pp. 133-154) Leland Ryken rightly says that The Scarlet Letter “is probably the most widely misinterpreted of all the classics. It is commonly mistaught in literature course. The misrepresentation comes from naive equation of the Puritans portrayed in the story with Christianity, accompanied by a suppression of the Christian elements late in the story. It is a particular pity that most people’s ideas of what the Puritans were like come from Hawthorne’s story.” (For a helpful corrective see Ryken’s own Worldly Saints: The Purtians as They Really Were.)
Ryken uses Hawthorne’s masterpiece as test case for the question of “What makes a Christian classic?”

Five Fallacies

He begins by identifying five fallacies at play in answering this question:

Global Warming Helps The Poor

All In A Good Cause

We have heard of huge rorts associated with "carbon credits".  But now we are hearing something far worse.  Now pillage and forced de-population involving murder is being carried out so that conglomerates can get hold of "carbon credits".  How long will the world tolerate such evil?  But, of course, its not really evil is it, if it is done in the name of "saving the world".  After all, you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs--and, in this case, the "eggs" are a few ignorant black Kenyan peasants, and they don't count.  Not when millions of dollars are up for grabs. 

This, according to the New York Times:

Friday, 7 October 2011

Letter From America

We Want "Obamaism", Without Obama

President Obama think the United States has gone soft, and he is just the guy to get it to harden up.

Here is Mark Steyn's take on the President's chutzpah.

Tall Poppy Envy Hits Labour

Bright Dead Alien Eyes

Further to our piece yesterday on the warped and envy-ridden socialism of Tapu Misa, we reproduce excerpts from a piece by Chris Trotter, posted on his blog Bowalley Road.

Trotter is a Norm-Kirk style Fabian socialist.  We suspect this piece was provoked by the slander of the Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch by Labour MP, Darien Fenton.  Leitch is an iconic working class hero--a Kiwi battler who made a fortune the hard way and has endeared himself to the public through his works of charity and kindness.  Fenton did not like the way Leitch was "public mates" with the Tory Prime Minister, John Key.  She apparently saw it as a sell-out by Leitch to the propertied, monied classes.  She slammed Leitch on her Twitter account.

Well, a veritable hissy fit erupted

Thursday, 6 October 2011

De-Throning The Christ

Pulpits Banned From the Public Square

We published recently on freedom's ossification in the West (here, and here.)  The same issues are present in the United States.  One such skirmish point is the Federal Government trying to control and restrain what churches declare from the pulpit.  Here is Douglas Wilson's take on that intolerable situtation.

Egregious Offensive Nonsense

Something Has to Break

Herald columnist, Tapu Misa has nailed her colours to the mast long ago.  She is a socialist.  For her, justice in this world is a socio-economic system which takes from each according to his ability, and gives to each according to his need.  There is nothing new here.  What is offensive is that Misa claims a biblical warrant for this pagan view.

Misa is welcome to her socialism.  In New Zealand she will have many like minded colleagues and friends.  But what she is not entitled to is the specious claim that the Scriptures--the holy law of the Living God--gives warrant to her socialism.  For that egregious error and gross distortion we call her out.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Peter Berger on Jurgen Habermas

What Happens when a Leftist Philosopher Discovers God?

Peter Berger

This article first appeared in The American Interest.

Society is the social science journal superbly edited by Jonathan Imber. In its fall issue it carries an article by Philippe Portier (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris), entitled “Religion and Democracy in the Thought of Juergen Habermas”. . . . Habermas has been a public intellectual (a more polite term for celebrity) for a very long time. I have never been terribly interested in Habermas, but the coincidence made me think about him. Portier’s article does tell an intriguing story. It might be called a man-bites-dog story.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Why the Recession Lingers

There is no doubt that economic historians will puzzle over the 2008 global financial crisis for decades to come.  There has been no quick fix.  The long, lingering recession some had predicted has come to pass.  Because of its unexpected nature, there is little consensus or clarity about what to do. The old nostrums are not working any more.

Not that this is surprising.  There is in economics a law of diminishing marginal returns.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

New Anti-Abortion Film

Like the Curate's Egg . . . 

Justin Taylor reviews a new anti-abortion film, designed to get its audience move from pro-abortion to opposing the deadly practice.

The Boon of Self-Acknowledged Scientific Ignorance

Fascinating, in a Vulcan Way

When science is enthroned as "master of the universe" it becomes harmful, dangerous, and eventually evil.  Like all idols, it becomes unfit for purpose and consequently does a great deal of harm.  Enthroned science becomes state enforced and state subsidized science.  In fact, such science becomes nothing other than a pretext for forging political ends.  Science ceases to be science and morphs into a propaganda tool.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Islamic Decline

Interesting Take

A book by David Goldman has been published arguing that Islamic civilization is dying.  Here is a brief notice, published in Big Peace.

Asinine Commentariat

A Barrel of Iocane Powder

The quality of public discourse is exceedingly strained.  Sometimes you wonder whether the tyranny of the deadline is reducing public commentators to drivel.

New Zealand has just copped a credit rating downgrade.  We have gone from triple A to double A minus.  The rating agencies (wisely) point out our national indebtedness.  There are three components to national debt: government, corporate, and household.  Corporate debt levels are pretty sweet.  Nothing to worry about there.  Households are maxed out on debt on all historical norms.  This problem has grown over a fifteen year period, to 2008.  Since that time, however, households have been paying down debt in a rather salutary manner.  The consumption, borrow and spend economy has been suffering an acute hangover. 

Government debt, however, has been growing faster than kikuyu grass at the height of summer.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Christian Pastor Faces Martyrdom

Deadly Business

Islamic belief and law requires that if an Islamic converts to another religion it is a capital offence; he or she is to be executed. An Iranian Christian pastor is now facing that evil interdiction in Iran.

This from Fox News:

The Cancer Just Got Bigger

When They Came for the Gypsies . . .

Further to yesterday's post on the growth of a cancerous despotism in the West, here is a video from the UK.

H/T: Andrei at NZ Conservative.