Saturday, 31 December 2011

Anti-Christian National Cleansing

In Egypt, Christians endure their ‘Kristallnacht’

Charles Jacobs
Republished from Big Peace

Recently Jews in synagogues around the world heard an ancient prophesy about a time of tribulation for the Christians. In the haftarah, the Prophet Obadiah hears G-d warning the Edomites (traditionally a Jewish term for the people who eventually made up the Christian world): “Behold on that day… Your mighty ones to the South will be broken… every man will be cut off by the slaughter…”

How eerily reflective of the moment: Within just the last couple of weeks, the Washington-based Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a “Genocide Warning” for Christians and other religious minorities across the Middle East, and launched a petition urging President Barack Obama to speak up.

The “Arab Spring” seems to be rapidly springing shut on Middle East Christians, most clearly in Egypt

Baby Farming

A Dirty Little Secret

One of the worst experiences of my working life was practising law as a staff solicitor for a law firm in South Auckland.  Part of my role was to make applications on instructions from CYFS staff for care orders, guardianship orders and adoption orders for children under the care of the government.

I became increasingly uncomfortable with my part, not just as a professional doing my job, but as a human being.

Sadly, my experience was that the primary motivator for most of the adults involved with these children was money.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Deadly Vegetarianism

Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands

Mike Archer argues that vegetarianism kills more animals than a diet of meat eating.

The ethics of eating red meat have been grilled recently by critics who question its consequences for environmental health and animal welfare. But if you want to minimise animal suffering and promote more sustainable agriculture, adopting a vegetarian diet might  be the worst possible thing you could do.

Ozymandius Revisited

Lessons From an Antique Land

Drawing lessons from the past can be a risky business, fraught with over-simplification and naivety.  But the task is nevertheless inevitable, necessary and right.  If you believe, as all Christians do, that God's glory and wisdom is displayed in His handiwork and that His handiwork includes both creation and providence then history not only reveals God's glory, it must be seen as intrinsically instructive--for those who have eyes to see.

Historians have often noted the rapid spread of Islam in the 6th century.  Some even imply that it was miraculous.  Others, demonic.  Muslim apologists point to it as a sign of Allah's pleasure. 

Some things are clear.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Just Me Being Silly

Culture and Politics - A Second Battle of Tours
Written by Douglas Wilson
Thursday, December 15, 2011

[We have often observed that most of the worst egregious statist overreaches ever inflicted upon  New Zealand have come from the National Party--the "right of centre" party.  Think Occupational Health and Safety, Resource Management Act, Children and Young Persons Service, and the Emissions Trading Scheme.  Partisan fools are somehow less aggrieved when "our people" are the ones putting us under the cosh.  This betrayal and folly is not restricted to New Zealand.  Doug Wilson reflects on just such a stupid move by Republicans in the United States. Ed.]

Yesterday the House approved the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Senate is likely to do the same today. There is a possibility that the president will sign it, but he might veto it, and things have come to a pretty pass when I am hoping that Obama will protect us from the Republicans.

Completely Unexpected

We Did Not See This Coming

Sectarian violence has broken out in Iraq before the dust had settled from the departure of the US army.  Shi'ite, versus Sunni, versus Kurds, with a dash of Iran, and possibly Al Qaeda.  Sixty people dead from terrorist bombs.

The reverberations will continue for a while.  It shows into high relief, yet again, that governing elites and the Commentariat of the West neither understand religion nor see its vital significance in human action. One reason for this is the West's self delusion that it has risen above, evolved beyond religion.  Its demeanour is to look down from a lofty height, dismissing all religions as something mature people grow out of when they start thinking for themselves.  The West sees itself as a-religious.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Small "C" Conservatism

Losing Our Soul

We at this blog are "small-c" conservatives.  The past, what we have inherited, represents the sovereign, providential governance of the Living God over His creation as He brings His glorious purposes to pass.  In respecting and studying and analysing our past, we see the glory of God writ large.  We see redemption.  We encounter the grounds of all life and hope.

Hence, we find novelist P D James to be right on the button in this quotation:

The Koran Cannot Be Its Own Interpreter

Perpetual Internecine Conflict

We have been re-reading Alfred Guillaume's Islam (Baltimore: Penguin, 1956).  It is well dated now and in many ways serves as a curio.  The author's hope for the future of Islam based upon certain modernising efforts he had observed in his lifetime has now been well and truly dashed by events in our generation.  But in other ways, Guillaume's volume remains relevant.

Some things stand out.  Islam's epistemological foundation is deeply compromised.  The text of the Koran is arranged in an arbitrary fashion,
. . . on the purely mechanical plan of putting the longest chapters first and the shortest last . . . (Ibid., p.58)
so that there is no certainty about which particular passages correspond to what time in the life of Muhammad.
. . . scholars, eastern and western alike, have been busy for centuries in trying to determine to what period of the prophet's ministry a particular sura belongs.  The problem is further complicated by the inclusion of verses which must have been spoken at Medina in suras which begin in Mecca. (Ibid.)
Why might this be a fatal problem?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

How the Kingdom Comes

Transformation Through Conversion

"I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and possess the land." (Exodus 23: 30)

God told the Israelites that their Biblical culture would come "little by little".  It did not come suddenly, or overnight.  It came gradually.  The covenantal society . . . can only come about the same way.  That is, if it is to survive, it must come about from the bottom up. . . . It can only successfully come about (and stick) if it takes holy at a grass roots level through evangelism

The expansion of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome serves as an example.

Lest We Forget . . .

Obsequious, Adoring and Useless

This is the state of the current NZ Labour Party, according to one of its stalwarts, Chris Trotter
Mr Shearer inherits a party in which rank-and-file members have sunk to the level of what one wit describes as “MP fan clubs”. At its upper levels, the party is caught in the grip of a sclerotic, self-selecting oligarchy based in Labour’s insular and largely unaccountable sector-groups. In effect, Mr Shearer’s Labour Party is rapidly disabling itself. His first and most urgent priority is to kick it back into life.
This, more than anyone else, is the legacy of Helen Clark.  She represented capture of the party by left-wing academics, career bureaucrats, homosexuals, and unionists. Most of them had never done a day's work in the real world in their lives.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Free From the Dictates of Men

Christian Liberty

Practical Christian Living - Dealing With Sin
Written by Douglas Wilson
Monday, August 23, 2010

The way others are to view your liberty is not the same way that you should view your liberty.
Other Christians should let you do what you want unless the Bible forbids it. That’s how we guard against legalism.

But you should use your liberty differently—you should be asking what the reasons are for doing it, and not what the reasons are for prohibiting it.

First Glimpses

The Hobbit

For those of you who missed it, here is the first trailer of  The Hobbit.

It looks like there will be plenty of integration with the Lord of the Rings.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Meditation

A Theology of Christmas Gifts

Liturgy and Worship - Church Year
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, December 17, 2011

One of the most obvious features of our Christmas celebrations is the gift-giving. How are we to understand this as Christians? What are the pitfalls? Are all the pitfalls obvious? Because our lives are to be lives of grace, and because charis means grace or gift, this is something we have to understand throughout the course of our lives, and not just at Christmas. But it has to be said that the machinery of our consumer racket does throw the question into high relief for us at this time of year.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Reflections on Christopher Hitchens

Occasional Services - Memorial Homilies
Written by Douglas Wilson
Friday, December 16, 2011

Scripture says that it is better to go down to the house of mourning than to the house of laughter (Ecc. 7:2). The reason given in that passage is that this enables the living to "lay it to heart." The death of Christopher Hitchens should in the first place remind us of our own mortality. We should lay it to heart. As Donne so memorably put it, "ask not for whom the bell tolls." Every funeral is our own. These are issues that affect every last one of us.

Those who hold to the gospel of Jesus Christ must always remember that the good news of Christ is set against the backdrop of the bad news -- we are all of us sinners, and we all need cleansing and forgiveness. Christopher Hitchens did not need to come to Christ to have his arguments refuted (although that would have happened). He needed to come to Christ to have his sins forgiven.

And the Point Is . . .

The Meaning of Christmas

Great stuff from a congregation in the UK. (Just love the Aussie classicist.)

That's Christmas (Short Film) HD from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Letter From America

Merry War on Christmas!
I can’t wait to see what those courageous atheists come up with for Ramadan.


Christmas in America is a season of time-honored traditions — the sacred performance of the annual ACLU lawsuit over the presence of an insufficiently secular “holiday” tree; the ritual provocations of the atheist displays licensed by pitifully appeasing municipalities to sit between the menorah and the giant Frosty the Snowman; the familiar strains of every hack columnist’s “war on Christmas” column rolling off the keyboard as easily as Richard Clayderman playing “Winter Wonderland” . . . 

This year has been a choice year.

Prophetesses of the Age

It's Not My Fault

As chutzpah goes, this was as big as it can ever get.  A despicable woman had systematically tortured and abused her children in the worst way--including ripping off toe nails and pouring salt and boiling water on the wounds--and justified herself by saying it was the fault of the state.  The government had not helped her enough. 

This grand effrontery was taken up publicly by the woman's lawyer, Lorraine Smith:

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Something Different

An Unusual Maiden Parliamentary Speech

Alfred Ngaro is the first Cook Islander to grace the NZ Parliament. Yesterday, he gave the first Address in Reply speech to the Parliament. It is worth listening to. His description of his background, his hard working parents, the strength of family life, their Christian faith, and his commitments to family and community are both laudable and encouraging.

We hope that he will not succumb to the insidious lie of the omni-competence of Government to fix all things and be the Saviour of the people, for that is the corruption of Parliament itself. So many of his predecessors have been suborned. We hope that Mr Ngaro will be made of better stuff.

It is encouraging to see such people becoming MP's. We could do with an entire chamber of them.

Hat Tip: Keeping Stock

Beyond Reasonable Credence

Body Mapping and Blood Splatter

Life imitating entertainment.  That's what is happening in court rooms everywhere these days.  Turn on the TeeVee on virtually any night and you will have three or four forensic crime shows to watch.  Within short order you will become a relative expert on data matching, blood splatter patterns, bullet rifling, and finger-printing.  It's all comforting because the innocent are always vindicated, the guilty are always caught, and it is hard-evidence, fact-based.  Science, after all, gives certainty.  Many would say, the only certainty in this mad world.

Ah, sorry.  It all a figment of the febrile imagination of TeeVee moguls and their minions.  But it is having a  significant impact on law courts and juries.  It's got the Aussies worried.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Vaclav Havel, Christopher Hitchens, and Kim Jong Il

The Rage Against God
Written by Douglas Wilson
Monday, December 19, 2011

On the death of Kim Jong Il, one wit tweeted that he liked to think that God had let Havel and Hitchens decide who would be the third one to go. That's funny, but if ideas have consequences, and they do, then there are a few other considerations.

We often say, when someone passes away, that they have "gone to their reward." But given atheism, what is that reward exactly?

Principled Assassination

"Good on ya', Bro'"

Passing into the folklore of Western civilization is the heroic attempt by some, including the Desert Fox, to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  They failed.  But we have honoured their moral judgment and their courage.  All of which serves to prove that assassination, when attempted for right reasons and true moral principles, can be a worthy deed.

When John Key was first elected Prime Minister of New Zealand we were told his nickname was Smiling Assassin--earned from his time as an international currency trader with Merrill Lynch.  Three years have passed and and it is time to reassess the moniker.  We can testify to lots of smiling.  That much is true.  But not much assassination.  Definitely not true.

His predecessor, Helen Clark gave every indication that when it came to the "sense of humour" department she was a shingle short.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chilling Revelations

 How Long, O Lord

Below are a series of clips manifesting the depth of depravity of the monstrous regime in North Korea.  They present testimony from defectors and escapees.  It's a dirty secret that no-one likes to talk about in the West. 

Praying the Imprecatory Psalms on behalf of those suffering is by far and above the best and most potent response Christians in the West can make. 

They Are Only Christians

Complicit Silence of the West

We have been watching media commentary upon North Korea, post the death of Kim Jong Il.  The overarching, meta-narrative is that North Korea is a paranoid country, ridden with fear.  The sub-narrative is that no-one should do anything to make it more paranoid.

Several observations can be made on this pop-psychoanalysis of  North Korea's regime.  Firstly, it is paternalistic.  Like much that passes for psychology these days, it looks down from a great height upon a lesser people, regarding them as children, immature, wilful, and troubled.  Secondly, it produces a "don't scare the horses" approach to the regime.  But one thing tellingly missing is a clear statement that the regime is evil.  Such ethical categories don't really fit in the polite salons of diplomacy, old boy.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Work and Save Like a German

The Hundred Years’ German War
Germany’s dominance was won by national character, not arms or handouts.

The rise of a German Europe began in 1914, failed twice, and has now ended in the victory of German power almost a century later. The Europe that Kaiser Wilhelm lost in 1918, and that Adolf Hitler destroyed in 1945, has at last been won by Chancellor Angela Merkel without firing a shot.

Or so it seems from European newspapers, which now refer bitterly to a “Fourth Reich” and arrogant new Nazi “Gauleiters” who dictate terms to their European subordinates. Popular cartoons depict Germans with stiff-arm salutes and swastikas, establishing new rules of behavior for supposedly inferior peoples.

Duplicitous Ethics


When governments do it, all is fine and dandy.  When the market does it, well then, it is evil, self-seeking, and greedy.  This is the mindset of so many today. 

It reminds us of the old saw that used to appear from time to time on car bumpers: "Don't Steal!  The Government Doesn't Like Competition."

An apt example of this double standard of duplicitous ethics is at hand courtesy of Bryan Gould, Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University, and British ex-Labour MP.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Reagan and Mao

Culture and Politics - Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Conservatism is not a static ideology. It is not an ideology at all, actually, but it is especially not a static one. But ostensible conservatives today like to act as though the decision of the ages rests upon whether we want Obama in or out. Everything rides on the consequences of this election.

This is why history is left out of it. Historical icons are not left out of it, but that is a different thing altogether.

Christopher Hitchens


This from Justin Taylor.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday night at the age of 62, after a 18-month battle with esophageal cancer.  He was a brilliant and entertaining man. He was enormously gifted, and in his final years he took those gifts and used them to mock God, using his considerable wit and sharp tongue to convince as many people as possible to do the same.

When I had a crisis of faith my freshman year at a secular university studying religion, I was deeply convinced that there were only two options: full-blown Christian orthodoxy or atheism. Liberal theology—with its fantasy of rescuing the “kernel” (or essence) of Christianity from the (disposable) “husk” of dogma—had no appeal to me. And this is one of the things I appreciated about Hitchens.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Scientism Paradox

An MIT Scientist Refutes Scientism

From Justin Taylor's blog.

“Scientism” is not the same as “science.”

Scientism is a philosophical belief about science, holding that science is the only rational approach to truth in the world, and that only scientific truths can be rationally accessed and believed. (A softer form of scientism would hold that the results of science are the most rational and most objective truths we can have or hold.)

I think it’s safe to safe this is the dominant worldview of the secular scientific community—despite the fact that it is a self-defeating position (since “scientism” itself is a philosophical position and not a scientific truth).

Those seeking a refutation of scientism might be interested in a new book by Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, entitled Monopolizing Knowledge: A Scientist Refutes Religion-Denying, Reason-Destroying Scientism.

You can also read quite a bit of the book online for free at the author’s website.

HT: Chronicle of Higher Education blog (via Gene Veith)

Self-Destructive Class Warfare

Striking Folly

The Port of Auckland is presently debilitated by rolling strikes which put the strike threat system into bold relief  as extortionate blackmail.  Thankfully, the export/import business can transfer to Tauranga.  Whilst this does not help owners of the Ports of Auckland (Auckland City) it does provide a boost to shareholders in the Ports of Tauranga.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Not Compassion at All

Money, Love, Desire - The Good of Affluence
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You have a button in front of you, placed there by a helpful genie. But instead of giving you the standard three wishes (and why doesn't anybody ever wish for ten wishes?), the genie has limited your options.

If you push the button, the real income of all the "have-nots" in the world will double overnight.

Freedom Blooms in Egypt

Ain't Democracy Wonderful

The Commentariat went into paroxysms of joy when Egypt revolted against Hosni Mubarak.  At last, the people were speaking out.  Elections would be held that would turn Egypt into a modern democracy and where the "will of the people" would produce a "Western style" democracy, where Egypt looked and acted like the Auckland City Council.  The ignorance and naivety of our chattering classes left us laughing and breathless.

It has become clear what we expected all along.  Parties which are consistently and seriously Islamic hold the clear majority.  Eventually, a democratically elected government (if allowed to form and exist by Egypt's military) will take authoritarian control of that country.  Here is a briefing on what is emerging at the grass roots of Egypt's polity:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Nanny State is Taking a Hit

 Taking Responsibility For One's Own Safety

As so often happens, we have another case of women leading social change.  This time it is in the United States.  Women are moving rapidly and in sizeable numbers to be pro-gun.  It's progress, Jim, but not as we know it.  This, from the Sydney Morning Herald:
Robin Natanel picks up a compact black pistol, barrel pointed down range. Gripping the gun with both hands, left foot forward, she raises the semi-automatic and methodically squeezes off five shots. The first one creases the left edge of a red bull's-eye on a target 7.5 metres away. The four others paint a 7.5-centimetre pattern around the first. If the target were a person's head or heart, he would probably be dead.

Natanel is a Buddhist, a self-avowed ''spiritual person,'' a 53-year-old divorcee who lives alone in a liberal-leaning suburb near Boston. She is 153 centimetres and has blonde hair, dark eyes, a ready smile and a soothing voice, with a hint of Boston brogue. She's a Tai Chi instructor who in classes invokes the benefits of meditation. And at least twice a month, she takes her German-made Walther PK380 to a shooting range and blazes away.
She joins a cohort of people that used to be regarded as anti-gun: liberal, progressive, homosexuals, college-students--and female.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Duoglas Wilson's Letter From America

A Brief History of Christmas

Church Year
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, December 10, 2011

We celebrate the birth of Christ, and we are able to do this because we have seen what His rule has accomplished in the world. Jesus told Thomas once that there was a blessing for those who would believe without having seen the risen Christ, as Thomas had (John 20:29). On this principle, our place in history gives us access to a greater blessing because we have not seen Christ with our eyes. But it goes the other way also. Those at the time of Christ had not yet seen what His rule would do in history (as we have). And so they are more greatly blessed looking toward the future—the same way that we will be blessed by looking forward to what Christ has yet to do (1 Cor. 2:9).

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Is. 9:6-7).

There are many lessons that can be drawn from a rich text like this, but our task this morning will be to consider just two of them. The first is the Christmas element—the fact that a child is born unto us, and that a son is given unto us (v. 6). The second has to do with this child’s relationship to what is here called “government.” We are told that this child was born in order to rule, for the government will be upon his shoulder. And the second thing we are told about His government is that it will continually increase (v. 7). He will bear the government upon His shoulder, and it will be a continually increasing government. This increase—unlike the growth of secular governments—will be a blessing, and not a pestilence.

Avoid Chinese Joint-Venture Partners in China

King Ahab Redivivus

Corruption is endemic in China.  A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald provides a vivid reminder of how bad things are.  An Australian businessman, Matthew Ng has been sentenced to 13 years in a Guangzhou jail.  Clearly he must be a low-life of a pretty bad order.

Actually, no.  He appears a decent, upstanding husband, father, and businessman.  His real crime is that he and his company were commercially successful.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Kingdom Has Come

He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear

And when the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, 'Are You the One who is coming, or do we look for someone else?'" . . . And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the Gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me."
Luke 7: 19--23

The King is enthroned.  His Kingdom has come.  His Kingdom is coming.  The signs of His Kingdom are evident amongst us.
10-year-old Christopher Duffley was born premature, blind, and autistic, and was adopted by his parents at 15 months of age. God has given him the gift of music:

Self-Deception Rife at the UN

Can Kicking: It's What They Do

Ever since Copenhagen, we all knew that the UN Climate Change boondoggle was swamped in the Great Grimpen Mire.  The latest conference in Durban attempted to maintain a charade of life and progress.  Anyone with half a brain knows that the thing is gone.  But when the salvation of mankind is at stake, the true believers have to keep marching on, telling themselves that progress is being made.  They are all in denial. 

We are not wound up about their lavish UN bro-fest.  It's what the UN is.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

'Tis the Season

One of The Oldest Extant Christmas Carols

The Wexford Carol

Allison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma perform the Wexford Carol, “one of the oldest extant Christmas carols in the European tradition.”

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

None So Blind . . .

 What Our Culture Will Not Admit

Laments and dirges are becoming more common in our society.  We see more and more articles in the media like this:

A 6-month-old shaken and hit in the head so hard he could not see any more.

A 2-year-old struck so hard in his tiny tummy that one of his major organs split in half.

A 5-month-old with a liver injury so severe the organ later ruptured and killed him.

All three dead. All three in the care of people that were supposed to protect, love and nurture them. And all three are part of the very tip of the iceberg that is child abuse in New Zealand. For a small country, New Zealand has a shocking record of child abuse. And the numbers are looking worse than ever.  But why are our babies dying? Why are our toddlers bashed and bruised? Why are our children, society's most vulnerable members, being subjected to these sickening acts day after day?
When faced with the scourge of horrific infanticide at the hands of ostensible care-givers, the nation collectively wrings its hands and says, "Something must be done", by which it means, the government must legislate and spend the problem away.  Some of the things the government has done are just plain naive and stupid--and entirely misdirected.  The anti-smacking law is an example.  A lot of febrile heat, but definitely no light. 

We will see more of this guilt-driven, knee-jerk stupidity.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Why is Van Til So Significant?


The Most Important Christian Thinker Since Calvin?

(We reproduce this excellent piece from Justin Taylor.)

John Frame says that Reformed theologian and philosopher Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987) “is perhaps the most important Christian thinker since Calvin.”

Frame offers several qualifiers to his provocative claim:
To say that Van Til is the most important Christian thinker of our time is not to say that he is the most comprehensive thinker, or the clearest, or the most persuasive.
Certainly it is not to say (as some of his more fanatical followers assume) that he is beyond criticism.
Nor is it to say that he has had a greater impact on present-day Christian thought than anybody else; indeed, his isolation continues, and his influence remains relatively small.
So what does he mean?

More to Come?

The British Riots Risk Being the New Normal

Theodore Dalrymple has an excellent piece on the recent riots in Great Britain. Disaffected youth suddenly took the to the streets and took control.  The (liberal) British establishment shook its head and said, "We warned you.  This is what happens when inequality takes hold."  Dalrymple shreds the idea. It is timely given the Left's preoccupation in this country with the alleged national sin of the rich getting richer and the poor, poorer.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Newt's Three Laws of Motion

Culture and Politics - Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, December 07, 2011

As I have been musing on the current Newt FEEnom, observing how many ostensible conservative pundits have all the principled stability of a well-greased weather vane on a gusty day, it occured to me to jot down a few thoughts on the underlying laws that are involved.

These laws or principles are the result of ceaseless meditation and prayer on my part over a period of some years now, and I jot them down merely in the hope that someone might find them useful.

It's Freedom, But Not as We Once Knew It

 Loving the New Good Shepherd

Freedom is that peculiar social construct which "allows" people to go to hell in the way of their own choosing.  Our Lord once said--and still says, for both He and His Word abide forever--that the way which leads to destruction is wide and there are many upon it.  The way to life is via a narrow gate.  (Matthew 7:13)

God holds all people accountable for being on that "wide" path.  But they are perfectly free to choose their particular course and gait on that wide, wide easy road.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Secular Democracies Morph into Despotic Oppression

It's Either Conscience or Cops

Here is an interesting take on why democracies always morph into one kind of despotism or another.

The Law of Four C’s: Chaos, Community, Conscience, and Cops

Peter Kreeft:
Colson’s Law is named for the man I learned it from: Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. It is one of the fundamental laws of human history. It has always been true, and it always will be true, unless human nature itself changes in its very essence. It is the law of four “C’s”: Chaos, Community, Conscience, and Cops.

Colson’s Law can be remembered best visually, like the “square of opposition” in logic.

Envy and Secular Materialism

 That Boring Income Gap Once More

Income inequality is in the news again.  Apparently an OECD report has come out to say that income inequality has increased in New Zealand.  The socialist shills are apoplectic.  Most Kiwis, being closet socialists anyway, move uncomfortably around in their seats at such news. 

We well remember that great egalitarian, David Lange gravely telling us that if he had to choose between a society where income equality was widening, but that the income levels of the poorest were also rising, on the one hand, and a society where the gap between rich and poor was closing, and the income levels of the poor were static, on the other, he would always prefer the latter.    In other words the income gap was more offensive to Lange than income levels of the poor rising in absolute terms.  It is only envy that could lead one to such a perverted position.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Postmodernism and My Neighbor

Goo-Mongers - Postmodernism
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, December 03, 2011

Please let me take a moment of your time so that I might explain why I hate postmodernism so much. It is the same reason, at bottom, why I hate socialism so much. But I repeat myself -- they are at root the same thing, actually.

Modernity is a good thing, brought into existence by the influence of the gospel. Modernism was a parasitic ideology, sneeveling in to take credit for those good things it could not produce or sustain.

Reflexive Neanderthals

Looking Over the Fence, Green With Envy

It's the principle of the thing!  No-one really yet knows the details of how the pilot charter schools to be trialled in South Auckland and Christchurch are going to work.  But, with no details in sight all--yes, all--the education and teacher unions roundly condemned the new policy.  And their condemnation was as swift as it was universal. 

When there is such a tight phalanx of reflexive opposition to a concept it is clear that ideology is driving and forming one's position, not data or facts or circumstances.  Of course, union spokesmen felt forced to give reasons for their visceral opposition to trialling charter schools in New Zealand.  With nothing to go on, they provided made-up reasons, which only served to underscore just how hide-bound and ideologically strait-jacketed the education unions are.  Here is the bevy of reasons, offered up to the NZ Herald:

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Funniest Thing

A Really Good Interview

Written by Douglas Wilson
Friday, December 02, 2011

Douglas Wilson's son, Doug is now not just an accomplished author, but has achieved a degree of public attention.

Below is a fascinating piece on his background, the home in which he grew up, and on his life's work to date.

Back to the Future

And Now, Import Controls

Stupid people who have been led by the nose to think that an international carbon credit trading system might work are now crying over spilt milk.  The "market" was an attempt by governments around the world to create something of value out of nothing.  Sadly for them, governments just don't have that kind of ex-nihilo powers.

The Emissions Trading Scheme mania attempted to "work" with market forces and "harness" them for the good of mankind.  What all protagonists stupidly forgot (if they had ever learned it) is that markets are decentralised decision making mechanisms.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Tolkien, C S Lewis, and Rowling?

One of the Great Christian Literary Figures?

The video below was posted by Justin Taylor.  It is an excellent piece.

Jerram Barrs on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Jerram Barrs—Professor of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture at Covenant Theological Seminary, and Resident Scholar of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute—talks about his love for the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Warning: contains spoilers!)

A Taxing Problem

It's Not Your Money, Its Ours

The "underground" economy has been around a long, long time.  It's probably the oldest economic system in the world.  It is the in-kind commercial exchange system--the "I will fix your leaky spouting if you repair my car" economy.  No money exchanging hands.  No bank accounts.  No tax (except GST, of course, if you have to purchase parts and materials).

This in-kind system, however, is very, very inefficient.  Money is required to make the exchanges easy, efficient, and equitable.  But the underground economy has a monetized solution.  Pay cash.  The benefit--no tax.  And that is the biggie. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Who's Who in the Horse Race

Culture and Politics - Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Thursday, December 01, 2011

As we continue to watch the gaudy show that we call the primaries, we need to keep all the factors in mind.
Inductive arguments are not valid or invalid, but are rather strong or weak. In an inductive argument, you are reasoning from the particular to the general. If you say that you saw a crow once, and it was black, and that therefore all crows are black, that is an inductive argument -- a weak one. If you are getting your doctorate in crows, and have observed 100,000 of them on five continents, and they were all black, and therefore all crows are black, that is a strong inductive argument. It still may be wrong, because you missed all the white Antarctica crows, which is easy to do, what with the snow and all.

We have to remember that polling is a form of inductive argumentation, and that formally most of the arguments presented to us are weak.

Yesterday's Man Makes a Comeback

 The Best Dancer on the Floor

Prognostications on the expected outcome of political races are a very risky business.  But, with full disclaimers of the flakiness of such activity, we are starting to come to the view that Newt Gingrich will most likely be the Republican nominee for President and that he will beat Obama handsomely. 

Here are five reasons why.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Atheism As Failure to Grasp the Implications

Devil in a Blue Dress
Written by Douglas Wilson
Friday, October 28, 2011 7:37 am

"If the two of us [an atheist and Christian] were looking at a new report of the latest atrocity, I would say that at some point in the future, in some fundamental way, that will be put right. You want to say, as an atheist, that it will not ever be put right. But you refuse, for some reason, to tak the next logical step and admit that there is therefore nothing wrong with it now" (Letter From a Christian Citizen, p. 54).