Thursday, 28 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

A World of Right Reason 

Money, Love, Desire - On Scandal
Written by Douglas Wilson
Monday, 18 February 2013

When the apostle describes a generic condition of unbelief, it is interesting how he does it. When we lived in unbelief, what was the atmosphere we breathed continually?

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another" (Tit. 3:3).

For Paul, putting off the old man, the old way of being a human, involves shedding the snake skin of malicious snark. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice" (Eph. 4:31). He says something very similar in Colossians. When we lived in the world of unbelief, all such things were natural. "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" (Col. 3:8).

This is not limited to the apostle Paul. It is not one of his personal hobby horses. James tells us that the spirit in us veers off toward envy (Jas. 4:5), but hastens to reassure us that God gives more grace. The implication is that apart from such grace, malice and envy are the normal default settings for us.

Foundering Rocks, Part V

Pure Speculation

Michael Behe wrote Darwin's Black Box in 1996.  It caused quite a stir amongst molecular biologists and others passionately committed to Darwinism.  It was regularly ridiculed, misrepresented, and cavilled over.  Behe must have anticipated that his book advocating intelligent design drawing on his years of research as a molecular biologist, would be controversial.  [Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, 10th edition (New York: Free Press, {1996}, 2006).] 

He ended the first edition with a chapter entitled "Science, Philosophy, Religion".  In it he discussed the increasing tendency of scientists to slide off into pure speculation.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Energy, Energy Everywhere

Abundance and Plenty

In New Zealand we have been learning that a state owned enterprise, Solid Energy which mines coal is on the brink of collapse.  It owes over 300 million dollars to its bankers.  Apparently it decided to "diworsify" away from coal mining and invested heavily in "alternative" energy sources, by which we should probably understand "green energy". 

The government was absolutely stupid to let that happen, but then again the NZ government pays lots of lip service to "green energy" so it would have been somewhat difficult to object.  The reality is that "green energy" has proved to be a big black hole down which billions of dollars have been poured and lost.  An article in the The Weekly Standard reviews the current global state of play.

A New Energy Age

Pitiable Johnny

He Can't Read, Write, or Do Maths

For years we have been told by the education establishment that the New Zealand government education system was one of the best in the world, and that pupils were getting a first class education, highly ranked in the OECD tables.  We have always taken such claims with a big grain of salt.  Now we hear that New Zealand kids are ranking well down the scale in maths--one of the subjects in which we were supposed to be doing really well.

This from the NZ Herald:

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Letter From America (About Pope Benedict)

An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI 

February 11, 2013
Russell D. Moore

With Pope Benedict XVI’s shocking resignation this morning, Evangelical Christians might be tempted to see this the way a college football fan might view the departure of his rival team’s head coach. But the global stakes are much, much higher. As Pope Benedict steps down, I think it’s important for us to recognize the legacy of the last two bishops of Rome that we ought to honor and conserve: an emphasis on human dignity.

As a Baptist Christian, I disagree with Rome on many things, of course, and some of those things relate to the nature of the Petrine ministry, the relationship of the Bishop of Rome to the rest of the church, the merging of civil and ecclesial power, and so on. It might surprise previous generations of Protestants that one of the primary emphases of the Vatican in the last generation has been on the dignity and liberty of the human person.

Something About Everything

Freed to Learn And Rightly Exploit

The Bible says something about everything.  What it says about everything is infallible, inerrant and completely authoritative.  But the Bible does not say everything about anything. 

These statements may come as a shock to some, particularly the biblicists amongst us. 

Let's take the first proposition: the Bible says something about everything.

Monday, 25 February 2013


Debate With Andrew Sullivan

Shameless Appeals
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Here is a notice from our college ministry, CRF.

Christ Church's college ministry, Collegiate Reformed Fellowship, is sponsoring a debate February 27th 7:30pm at the Univeristy of Idaho between Pastor Wilson and Author/Journalist Andrew Sullivan. The question to be debated will be: "Is civil marriage for gay couples good for society?" Notable UK Author, Peter Hitchens, will be moderating the debate. Below are a couple links for further information:

1) Trailer
2) Facebook events page for ongoing updates

We believe the issues surrounding sexuality are the central cultural issues of our time. This includes abortion, homosexuality, adultery, and the like. This is why we are eager to engage in debate as we have opportunity. So please be praying for this debate. Pray that God would use this debate locally at University of Idaho and pray that God would use this debate nationwide to encourage churches in a deeper understanding of the relevance of our faith. Thanks.

Christian Science Properly Called

 God in the Lab

Scientism is the philosophical belief that  matter is the only thing that exists.  If it's not made up of atoms--if it cannot be reduced to, and explained by, the interaction of atomic nuclei and electrons--it does not exist. 

Most hard core evolutionists are believers in scientism.  Most scientists are believers in scientism to some extent.  They believe that religion and science are oil and water and can never mix.  So, when they enter their labs or conduct their research they lock the door and exclude all religious considerations.  Outside the lab they may be church goers, or Hindu's or deeply religious in some way or other.  This is a stupid idea.

Every religion, including scientism has a view about the origins of being.  To suspend that when one goes into the lab to conduct scientific research is to deny one's faith.

Christian scientists often get caught up in this.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

No Bureaucratic Shadow 

Culture and Politics - Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, 20 February 2013

All the early returns indicate that the available supply of energy in North America is virtually inexhaustible. Using words like inexhaustible is problematic to Malthusians, but it looks to be a good description. Energy, it appears, is about as abundant as salt water. With the discovery of new reserves and the development of new technologies of extraction, it has become apparent that if we had an unregulated energy economy, we could drive back and forth across the country for pocket change on the gallon, and do so without getting permission from a single federal official. And that, at least to them, presents a problem.

The Devil You Know . . .

How's That "Arab Spring" Working Out

We have published several pieces over the months on the "Arab Spring".  This new season was hailed in the West as the first signs of a burgeoning, grass roots move towards liberal, Western-style democracies.  "Look, they are becoming like us," gushed Secretary of  State, Hillary Clinton and her naive boss, President Obama.  The media chorused their agreement with the sentiment and basked in new found hopes. 

The brouhaha only served to demonstrate how profoundly ignorant the Commentariat is of history and of what actually constitutes nationhood.  Nations cannot rise higher or be anything other than what lies in the hearts and minds of its people.  If the people are dependant and of a slavish mentality, they will accept and even welcome authoritarian government.  If the people are predominantly self-indulgent libertines they will insist upon governments feeding and paying for their lusts and sensual indulgence. 

Forms and structures of government do not make a people. On the contrary, unless the government reflects the dominant world-views of the people, it will fall.  So, the big question that Hillary Clinton and her colleagues, along with the chattering classes, never asked was what was the state of the hearts and minds of the people engaging in the "Arab Spring".  They simply naively and grandly assumed that those folk over there are just like us--self-indulgent libertines.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Drop Box

A New Documentary on Orphan Care: The Drop Box

Feb 18 2013
Justin Taylor|2:12 pm CT

The Drop Box:
In December 2009, a Korean pastor named Lee Jong-rak built a wooden “drop box” on the outer wall of his home. But the box wasn’t intended for clothing, food, or school supplies, it was meant to collect unwanted babies.
When “the drop box” “or “baby box” was constructed a few years ago, it flew completely under the radar of Korean government officials. However, as more and more children arrive in this box every week, the nation is starting to take notice.

Enslaved to Power

Tobacco in Plain Packages

New Zealand is the second country in the world to opt for restricting cigarettes to be sold only in plain packaging.  The objective is to make the weed less attractive to smokers, thereby cutting the power of advertising to pull people into smoking.  There are inevitable legal challenges--which in our case will be dependant upon legal challenges in Australia (the first country to implement such a ban.)

This move has long been an objective of the Maori Party because Maori have a disproportionately high number of Maori smokers when compared to the rest of the population.  Maori co-leader, Tariana Turia probably believes that tobacco is just one more conspiracy by white capitalists against Maori. 

We suspect that the move will be welcomed in many quarters.  Few people will be prepared to endorse the damage that smoking can do to lungs and its connection with lung cancer.

But, as always, there are broader issues which thoughtful folk will have considered resisted and will see this as a wowsering move by a nanny state.

In the first place there are the rampant political inconsistencies of the Greens

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Letter From NZ (About Addicts and Coroners)

Taking Responsibility

Several weeks ago, around Christmas we chastised Sir Bob Jones, a columnist in the NZ Herald for his less-than-salutary take upon compensation for David Bain.. Yesterday, however, Sir Bob redeemed himself with a stirling piece on molly-coddling, nannying, addictions, and coroners.

Modern Education and Sinking Ships

The Great Antithesis Engaging with Secular Humanism

We blogged previously on the inevitable outcome when secular humanism--the dominant religion of our age--tries to construct and maintain an education system.  You get more spluttering bubbles than a Rotorua mudpool.

Here is an example of the torment and ceaseless quarrelling about education that results when a nation has no settled epistemic foundations.  It ends up arguing about everything.  Every view is equally meritorious, which is to say that none are.  There truly is no rest for the wicked.  It is a terrible place to be--something we must never forget.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

She'll Be Right, Mate

Secular Humanism's Enlightenment

One of the great battles of our time wages in the realm of education.  Education--both what is taught to the next generation and how it is to be taught--reflects the dominant religion of the day.  This is inevitable.  The dominant religion of our age is secular humanism: its doctrines have been inevitably insinuated into our schools. 

One of the characteristics of secular humanism is that it has rotten, crumbling epistemological foundations.  Which is more important: to know multiplication tables or know how to do the rumba?  Secular humanism has no settled answer to that question.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

11 Theses on Believing God 

Theology - Welcome to the Reformed Faith
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, 12 February 2013

1. Born as we are in a fallen race, we need to begin with the recognition that unbelief is our default setting (Matt. 13:58). Unbelief is abnormal, but not really unusual.

2. This means that we are in a state of perpetual tension, because everything in the world around us declares the faithfulness of God (Rom. 1:19), and is declaring it with clarity to hearts that don’'t want to accept it.

3. Because our loss of faith did not cause us to lose our wits, we retain a high level of ability in rationalization (Eph. 4:18). Faith and unbelief therefore traffic in competing narratives.

4. This condition of unbelief is incorrigible, and cannot be undone apart the efficacy of an imperishable seed that comes to us from outside ourselves (1 Pet. 1:23).

5. Faith must therefore be understood as a gift from God. It is not something we autonomously offer to God; it is something He gives to us so that we may render it back to Him in gratitude (Eph. 2:8-9).

6. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). The imperishable seed that reverses our natural state of unbelief comes to us in the form of propositions. The Word comes to us by means of declarative speech. And this is not sola Scriptura only, but also tota et sola Scriptura.

7. Once genuine faith is quickened in us, it grows as a seed grows into a mature plant. Faith therefore admits of degrees (Matt. 8:26).

8. Once genuine faith is quickened in us, unbelief does not vanish in an instant, but as with every other aspect of how sin is dealt with in our sanctification, it is mortified and weakened continually (Heb. 3:12).

9. Faith is to be understood as a function of relationship, as we considered Him faithful who had made the promise (Heb. 11:11).

10. We are to walk in faith in the same way we began our pilgrimage by faith. Being a Christian is not radically distinct from becoming a Christian (Gal. 3:3).

11. Faith has a punctiliar beginning, but the faith itself is not punctiliar. The just shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).

Faith, therefore, is a gift of God, and is the natural response to the perceived faithfulness of God.

Foundering Rocks, Part IV

Publish or Perish

Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority.  There is no publication in the scientific literature--in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books--that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred.  There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations.  Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that--like the contention that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl this year--the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster.

"Publish or perish" is a proverb that academicians take seriously.  If you do not publish your work for the rest of the community to evaluate, then you have no business in academia (and if you don't already have tenure, you will be banished).  But the saying can be applied to theories as well.  If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon but does not generate even an attempt at explanation, then it should be banished.  Despite comparing sequences and mathematical modeling, molecular evolution has never addressed the question of how complex structures came to be.  In effect, the theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not published, and so it should perish.[Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, 10th edition (New York: Free Press, {1996}, 2006), p.185f.] 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

God's Gonna Cut You Down 

Money, Love, Desire - On Scandal
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, 16 February 2013

Now if we come to the understanding that the devil is "the accuser," and not God, what are we to make of the necessary holiness of God's law? And how can we make sense of the Last Judgment? Doesn't God run the Last Day, and not the devil?

Go tell that long tongue liar,
Go and tell that midnight rider,
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter,
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.

This is true in staggering ways, but how it is true matters a great deal.

God dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). The seraphim fly in His courts, crying out holy, holy, holy (Is. 6:3). And when that holiness is juxtaposed with our sinful condition, we are immediately aware of the gulf between us. When Isaiah sees the vision, he cries out that he is a man of unclean lips (Is. 6:5). When Joshua the high priest stood before the angel of the Lord, Satan, the celestial prosecutor, was right there to accuse him (Zech. 3:1). And although Joshua was aware he was indeed deserving of accusation (Zech. 3:3), because his clothes were filthy, God's response is to clothe him appropriately. When the apostle Peter caught a glimpse of the Lord's holiness in the miracle of the fish, his response was to collapse, aware of his own sinfulness (Luke 5:8).

When we find ourselves in the numinous presence of God, our response is the right kind of self-accusation. And in such juxtapositions, notice how God responds in grace -- because the right kind of self-accusation is evangelical repentance.

But there is a wrong kind of reaction to God's presence also.

Draining Swamps

Reformation in the Body Politic

Corruption in the body politic eventually results in a nation tearing itself apart from within.  Government is sustained upon the respect of citizens for the rule of law.  Government's foundations are always moral.  When governments and governing authorities become corrupt the dissolution of the body politic beckons.

Rome is the classic illustration of the point.  The Roman Republic fell apart because of the vaunting ambition of the political classes, coupled with bribery, corruption, and the misuse of public funds for personal gain.  It was replaced by the Empire--which was even more authoritarian and even more corrupt--only finally to rot away from the inside.  Rome ended by being run over by a bunches of successive marauding barbarians--that is, primitives.  It ended not with a bang but a whimper, with its insides all rotted out. 

When government expands its role to engage in commercial, civil, and voluntary activities (such as ruling, regulating and delivering heath education and welfare) the vast sums of money involved, together with the natural corruption of human beings, presents temptation too much to resist.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Foundering Rocks, Part III

 Lip Service in the Academy

In the scientific community the vast majority of scientists accept evolutionism on the basis of authority.  "I believe evolutionism to be true because everyone else does" is the actual epistemic state of play of this bizarre theory.  After all, evolution calls for billions of years in order to work its "magic".  In terms of the theory, no-one is able to be around that long.  Proving the theory to be true by means of scientific experimentation is impossible from the get-go.

It has been intriguing to watch experimental physicists strive mightily, expending great effort and expense to prove their theories about the state and nature of the atom and the existence, behaviour, and function of sub-atomic particles.  The Hadron Collider is just one example, albeit the largest, of experimental equipment built to confirm or deny the kaleidoscope of theories about how atoms are and work.  But when it comes to evolutionism, nada.  There ain't no Darwinian Collider.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Beginning of Life

D. A. Carson: “This Is Now the ‘Must Read’ Book in the Field”

Justin Taylor 2:52 pm CT 

Dr. Carson writes of Dr. Megan Best’s new book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Ethics and the Beginning of Human Life (Matthias Media, 2012): “At last—a single volume examining beginning-of-life issues that is equally competent in biology, theology, philosophy, and pastoral care. This is now the ‘must read’ book in the field, a necessary resource not only for pastors, ethicists, and laypersons who share her Christian convictions, but also for anyone who wants to participate knowledgeably in current bioethical debates.”

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

Faux Outrage

When the Amoral Profess Morality

The amoral brigade regularly festoons itself with faux outrage.  We have in mind occasions when Christians are exposed as having been engaged in sinful practices, sometimes extremely bad ones. 

The Christian position on such travesties is sound, sure, and consistent.  The Christian Gospel teaches that all men, all men, are totally depraved--by which we mean that the thoughts and intents of the heart are evil.  So it is not unexpected that from time to time professing Christians fall into sin once again.

The amoral brigade shrieks, "Hypocrisy!".    No--hypocrisy would be if the lapsed believer and the Christian Church attempted to justify, explain away, excuse, or in any other way deny the evil and sinfulness of the person's actions.  After all, we believe that Peter--an apostle, no less--publicly denied the Lord thrice, despite the fact that he had heard the solemn utterance of our Lord that the one who denied the Christ before men would be denied by that same Christ before His heavenly Father.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Letter From America (On The Real State of the Union)

The Broke, Retreating State of Our Union 

The Editors February 13, 2013

. . . . In reality, the state of our union is this: The United States is today $6 trillion deeper in debt than it was before Barack Obama was first sworn in as president. That represents an increase of 57 percent in just four years. Put another way: Out of every dollar the country owes in government debt, 36 cents was acquired under the Obama administration.

The state of our union is this: Today there are more than 4 million fewer Americans working than there were when Barack Obama was first sworn in as president — not including those who have retired. The work-force-participation rate is at a historic low. Never before have so many Americans simply abandoned the hope of a job.

Foundering Rocks, Part II

The More We Know, The Harder it Gets

The burgeoning science of biochemistry, aided by the technological ability to study bio-molecules that has been developed of the past fifty or so years, has been startled with the complexity of living cells.  Not only are they complex, the actions they perform and the results they produce are "mission critical".  Failure is not an option in many cases. 

Most, if not all, of these complex functions are taken for granted by human beings.  Take one very ordinary function: blood clotting.  Biochemistry has established that this ordinary function is far, far more complex than ever previously thought.  The huge scientific challenge for evolutionists is to demonstrate how it came to be--by means of natural selection. They need to demonstrate how natural selection actually worked.  To date, even though the vast majority of biochemical scientists profess to be evolutionists, the silence is deafening. 

Michael J Behe endeavours to explain the complexity of the clotting "system" and the subsequent problem for evolutionary theory:

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Ben Carson for President!

Two Big Un-PC Ideas

Further to our recent post on Dr Ben Carson speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, a columnist in the Wall Street Journal is calling out a new slogan: "Ben Carson for President".

Ben Carson for President 

The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon has two big ideas for America.

The Wall Street Journal 
February 8, 2013, 6:03 p.m. ET

Whether this weekend finds you blowing two feet of snow off the driveway or counting the hours until "Downton Abbey," make time to watch the video of Dr. Ben Carson speaking to the White House prayer breakfast this week.

Seated in view to his right are Senator Jeff Sessions and President Obama. One doesn't look happy. You know something's coming when Dr. Carson says, "It's not my intention to offend anyone. But it's hard not to. The PC police are out in force everywhere."

Dr. Carson tossed over the PC police years ago.

A Good and Holy Decision

Respecting God's Call and Public Office

The resignation of Pope Benedict XIII has caught many by surprise.  Given that it has not happened since the late 14th century, we can claim to have witnessed something quite unusual, to say the least.  Our firm view is that it should be the norm. 

We respect Benedict's decision.  To our mind, it was a principled act: he acknowledges that his office was more important than his person.  When his body and mind made it impossible for him to perform his responsibilities and duties appropriately, he resigned. 

This is the way it should always be when it comes to public office, whether in church or state or judiciary or civic life.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Letter From America (About The Needs of the Hour)

Dr Ben Carson Speaking Truth to Power

Dr Carson may not be a household name.  But he should be--at least in Christian households.  He was recently invited to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast.  His speech went viral on YouTube soon after.

Here is the speech.  Below is a bio, reprinted from The Blaze.

7 Fascinating Facts About Dr. Carson — the Prayer Breakfast Speaker Whose Speech in Front of Obama Went Viral

Dr. Carson Is a Famous Pediatric Surgeon

Carson, 61, is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital (he obtained this lead position at the age of 33). His career focus is on traumatic brain injury and brain and spinal cord tumors, among dire health issues.

According to his biography, he has written over 100 publications about neurosurgery and he has penned numerous books. On top of that, the renowned doctor has received more than 50 honorary doctorate degrees and President George W. Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Honor (see other honors over at Read more about Carson’s professional background here.

He’s a Pioneer in the Separation of Conjoined Twins

Among his many talents, Carson has made bold attempts to separate conjoined twins. His first surgery in 1987 ended up being a success, as he was able to separate two 7-month-old twins from Germany. While Patrick and Benjamin Binder walked away with some brain damage from the procedure, it was an encouraging move in the right direction for an extremely-dangerous procedure. Carson’s surgery paved the way for other attempts to help ease the pain and horror craniopagus (joined at the head) twins experience. has more about other similar surgeries that the doctor conducted over the years:
In 1994, Carson and his team went to South Africa to separate the Makwaeba twins. The operation was unsuccessful, as both girls died from complications of the surgery. Carson was devastated, but vowed to press on, as he knew such procedures could be successful. In 1997, Carson and team went to Zambia in South Central Africa to separate infant boys Luka and Joseph Banda. This operation was especially difficult because the boys were joined at the tops of their heads, making this the first time a surgery of this type had been performed. After a 28-hour operation, both boys survived and neither suffered brain damage.
It was these operations that brought a plethora of media attention to Carson, paving the way for popularity and a public profile that continues to expand in scope.

Carson’s Early Life Wasn’t Easy

Judging from his career, one would never assume that the doctor’s early years were difficult. However, his story truly is a rags to riches tale, as his mother was instrumental in teaching him the values needed to succeed. He shared many of these struggles during Thursday’s address. He was raised by a single mom (named Sonya) who devoted herself to hard work in an effort to support her two children. Despite only having a third-grade education, she instilled educational values that forever resonated with her son. provides some snapshots into his early life:
There were occasions when [Sonya's] boys wouldn’t see her for days at a time, because she would go to work at 5:00 AM and come home around 11:00 PM, going from one job to the next. She was frugal with the family’s finances, cleaning and patching clothes from the Goodwill in order to dress the boys. The family would also go to local farmers and offer to pick corn or other vegetables in exchange for a portion of the yield. She would then can the produce for the kids’ meals. Her actions, and the way she managed the family, proved to be a tremendous influence on Ben and [his brother]. [...]
Determined to turn her sons’ [bad grades] around, Sonya limited their TV time to just a few select programs and refused to let them go outside to play until they’d finished their homework. She was criticized for this by her friends, who said her boys would grow up to hate her. But she was determined that her sons would have greater opportunities than she did. She required them to read two library books a week and give her written reports, even though with her poor education she could barely read them. She would take the papers and review them, scanning over the words and turning pages. Then she would place a checkmark at the top of the page showing her approval.
Considering his background, his push for hard work and responsibility was notable during yesterday’s prayer breakfast speech. While many utter such sentiments without experience to accompany them, Carson’s life shows that devotion to education really can pave the way to prosperity.

There Was a Movie Made About His Life

Carson’s life and work are so coveted, in fact, that a feature film was made about the doctor. “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” was a made-for-television film that came out in 2009. A synopsis provides more information about the movie, which has relatively high ratings on IMDB:
From Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Actor in a Supporting Role, Jerry Maguire, 1996) stars in this true story about a renowned brain surgeon who overcame obstacles to change the course of medicine forever. Young Ben Carson didn’t have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home amongst poverty and prejudice, his grades suffered and his temper flared. And yet, his mother never lost her faith in him. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helped to grow his imagination, intelligence and, most importantly, his belief in himself. That faith would be his gift – the thing that would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons.

He Runs a Non-Profit Aimed at Helping Young Scholars

Education is clearly important to Carson. And considering his own path to success, his focus upon the need for a more knowledgeable and prepared populace is understandable. With his wife, Candy, he founded the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994, an organization devoted to helping solve America’s education crisis.
Recognizing that the public education system is in crisis, the Carsons decided to help motivate young people to take interest in learning at an early age. Here’s a description of what the Carson Scholars Fund does:
Carson Scholarships are awarded to students in grades 4-11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to be invested toward their college education, along with a recognition package, and an invitation to attend an awards banquet. Carson Scholars become role models and leaders at their schools.
You can find out more about the organization on its official web site.

Carson Is a Cancer Survivor

Carson helps children who are battling brain cancer, but he is also a prostate cancer survivor. In 2002, while in the midst of his bustling medical career, the doctor found out that he had an aggressive form of the disease. He found out this shocking news while in the middle of performing a surgery on a child.
In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Carson later described putting the news out of his mind so that he could successfully finish the procedure. However, rather than focusing exclusively on himself in that terrible moment, he selflessly thought about the many patients he would be unable to help if the disease took his life.
“I have the ability to put things out of my mind, so I just put it out of my mind and finished the operation,” he said. “But certainly, you know, that evening it did weigh heavily upon me as I began to realize that wow, I have cancer. The thing that bothered me was the fact that I would be leaving so many people behind.”
Inevitably, he overcame the disease and is now healthy.

He’s Also a Devout Christian

In case you didn’t know, Carson is a Christian. Jesus Christ was a fixture in his National Prayer Breakfast speech (as was the Bible). He’s a Seventh-Day Adventist who believes that the United States has been uniquely blessed by God. In addition to caring deeply about his patients’ physical health, he has expressed a deep devotion to addressing the nation’s spiritual and political issues — something he did head-on during yesterday’s speech.

The Christian Broadcasting Network once profiled Carson, noting that his views about America are rooted in its history and founding:
Dr. Carson believes as a nation, America has been favored by God because we have acknowledged Him. The forefathers of our nation were clearly guided by Sovereign leadership when they knelt and prayed for wisdom at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Together they stood up and assembled a seventeen page document known as the Constitution of the United States of America. Our nation was founded on principles revealed to us in the Bible by a righteous and just God. These teachings began in the home and continued at school. In early public schools reading from the Bible was not only common, it was expected.
In order for America to continue leading the world, Carson believes that it’s important to apply God’s standards to individuals’ lives. Rather than embracing partisan solutions, CBN notes that he wants the nation to “stop being political and start being logical” in addressing key issues.

Foundering Rocks

The Devil Is in the Details

One of the great mythical mantras of our age is the evolution of life.  It really has been a matter of repetition making certain.  Repeat the mantra endless times, confirm that everyone else is chanting the same mantra, and hey presto, it must be true.  However, the appeals to numbers and to authority have always been fallacious--and remain so to this day.

One thing has changed, however.  Scientific analysis and research have discovered far, far more about life than was once known.  Michael Behe, a molecular biologist who has rejected Darwinism as a viable theoretical explanation for life  summarises recent discoveries and their implications for Darwinism.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

A Lot More of the Old 

Money, Love, Desire - The Good of Affluence
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, 05 February 2013

As I listen to cultural analysts bemoaning the current state of American consumerism, and comparing it (to a disadvantage) to unnamed halcyon days of yore, I am struck by an inability to see the largest and most obvious feature of the whole set-up.

The issue is not that Americans uniquely consume like nobody's business, but rather that they have the wherewithal to consume. They behave like people with discretionary wealth have always behaved -- only now there are way more of us. Every pathology that we now see is a pathology with a long track record . . . among those who have had the wealth to behave that way.

In short, the problem we have that is unique is that everybody is now rich. The old scriptural warnings to the wealthy to not set their hope on riches, but rather on God, were warnings which, when delivered, applied to a tiny sliver of the church. Now, in countless churches, the warnings apply to virtually everyone in the sanctuary.

Taking Stock

Refiner's Fire

Homosexual "marriage" is now well on its way to being legal in the UK.  It passed in the UK Parliament by a wide margin we are told.  This is unsurprising, yet damnably culpable nonetheless. 

It is time to take stock.  Here is our take:

1. When a people turn away from God, strange things issue forth.  Good is called evil and evil is called good. Homosexual "marriage" is just one more example.

2. The legalisation of a perverse evil does not make it righteous or ethical.  Just as abortion has been legal for some time, its perversity and grossly immoral nature remain.  The extermination of six million Jews under the Nazis was legal at the time; it was then, and remains, a profoundly wicked act.  Homosexual "marriage" is and will remain an institution of wickedness.

3.  As the darkness deepens the light shines more brightly.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Letter From America (About Obamacare's Overreach)

Collateral Damage

The Real War Being Waged on American Soldiers

One of the saddest things we have read for some time came across our desk the other day.  It documented the suicide rate amongst serving and de-mobbed US soldiers.  Over the past year, more active duty soldiers killed themselves in the US military than were killed in actual combat. 

As The Guardian put it:
To put that another way, more of America's serving soldiers died at their own hands than in pursuit of the enemy.
But the picture is actually worse: the suicide plague amongst veterans, those recently retired from serving is much, much higher.
. . . an astonishing 6,500 former military personnel who killed themselves in 2012, roughly equivalent to one every 80 minutes.
What on earth is going on?  As always, the reasons are no doubt complex.  Two things occur to us.

Friday, 8 February 2013


Rubio: Only One Savior, and It’s Not Me

February 7, 2013, 12:33 PM
Time Magazine

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has been getting a lot of attention  – and he moved Thursday morning to tamp it down a bit.

Mr. Rubio has been in the headlines a ton in recent weeks.

Losing Face

Chinese Intimidation Brings Shame

In recent days the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other media companies claim to have been subject to cyber-attacks originating from China.  The theory is that the Chinese government takes an aggressive approach to Western media articles that are critical of the Chinese government. 

The hacking is directed to the e-mail accounts of journalists in an attempt to find their sources and those to whom they have been talking.  If so--the cyber-world is murky secretive, murky place--the attempt amounts to a deliberate attempt to silence critics of the regime in China and cut off negative news stories about the government. 

The Chinese government officially rejects such allegations as ridiculous, claiming that Chinas too has been subject to cyber-attacks.  However, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and now Twitter have all reported coming under overt cyber-attacks.   This from the NZ Herald:

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Progressives and the Ideology of Eugenics

Dirty Secrets

Eugenics was and remains a proud glory of the Progressive ideology.  It was somewhat unfortunate that Hitler and the Nazis took eugenics seriously, so seriously that it became a movement for mass extermination of those deemed unfit.  This served to take the gloss off  what many in the Progressive movement deeply believed.  So public support for eugenics faded.  But the reality and the dystopian nightmare continued.
  Edwin Black Talks About Eugenics in Present Day Society
Abortion is a form of soft-eugenics.  A baby that is unwanted by its mother and father is likely to experience a terrible life.  Cold pity argues for the termination of the child's life, rather than let the child experience deprivation, rejection, and hardship.  It's a mercy to kill, don't you know.

The Buck Stops . . . With Me

Taking Responsibility

Shifting blame on to others is intrinsic to our fallen human condition.  Right from the beginning, immediately after the Fall, Adam, our father blamed his wife and God ("The woman you gave to me, she gave me the fruit . . ."); Eve, our mother blamed the Serpent  ("The serpent deceived me and I ate").  Just about everything that is wrong with human society can be traced back to these fateful events, attitudes, and words. 

It is not very often we read or hear of someone who takes full responsibility for his actions and what devolved from them.  It is so rare, it's refreshing.  But more than that, it opens up the possibility of moving on. 

Dion Batt has brain damage resulting from a motorcycle crash which occurred as a result of him fleeing from police pursuit.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

Nothing Worse Than an Analytic Fairy 

Atheism and Apologetics - Apologetics in the Void
Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, 02 February 2013

Yesterday I was having a good discussion on apologetics with Pastor Will Little of Mars Hill, and the discussion dislodged in me a few thoughts on the subject that I thought would be good to note here.

We were talking about presuppositionalism. I think it is crucial for us to distinguish between presuppositionalism as a foundation for the apologist, and presuppositionalism as a subject that the apologist will broach with the unbeliever. There are times when it will be both, but those times are rarer than apologists who are trained Van Til ninjas might think.

If the point is to win men, and not arguments, then we have to understand where the actual hang-up is with that unbeliever.

Sanity and Progress At Last

Going Dutch

It's taken thirty years, but it looks as if the GM food revolution is happening.  First, some context.  Genetic modification of food (both animal and vegetable) has been in existence since the time humans were first created.  In New Zealand, our agricultural industries have thrived and become more and more productive due to genetic engineering.

New Zealand gardens have bloomed with ever increasing numbers of rose varieties, all the product of genetic engineering.  Genes of plants and animals have been altered due to the selective breeding of species.  But as soon as it became technically feasible to alter the genetic structure of foods by splicing genes together in a laboratory Greenist luddites, inflamed with visions of an imminent holocaust, shut down research centres, destroyed experiments, and used fear and manipulation of the public mind to stop deploying genetically modified crops. 
Protesters destroy GM crops.
Protesters destroy GM crops. Photograph: David Hoffman Photo Library / Al/Alamy

"Keep NZ GE free" was the slogan.  It sprouted up on bumper stickers everywhere.  Eventually sanity has prevailed--at least in more advanced and enlightened countries, such as the Philippines and India.  This is one of the more encouraging pieces you will read in the newspapers this year.  It appeared in The Guardian.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The New Normal

Wonderland Really Exists

Alice's Wonderland was a strange place.  Reality had vanished.  When government overreach in an attempt to rule, regulate, and create out of nothing, reality skips out of town.  Wonderland takes its place.  If America truly is an exceptional nation, its "exceptionalism" may lie in its tolerating some of the most stupid follies of an overreaching, arrogant government.

The EPA once again raises its biofuels standards — for biofuels that still do not exist 

Hot Air 
Posted at 7:41 pm on January 31, 2013
Erika Johnsen

The Environmental Protection Agency’s brazen contempt for free-market economics evidently knows no bounds.

The Gentle Tolerance of Secular Liberals

Rotten Fruit

There is a parliamentary select committee travelling around the countryside hearing submissions on the bill which would allow homosexuals to be "married".  It would seem that the committee is made up of parliamentarians whose agenda is to go through the motions of hearing submissions, but whose minds were long ago made up and are now shut like steel traps.  They want to see the bill become law.

Whether or not they will be successful we will have to see.  If they are, Christians will need to start using language more precisely.  They will need to deny emphatically and clearly that two homosexuals living together is not marriage, nor will it ever be marriage.  That the law recognises it as marriage would be of no relevance.  On this matter the law will have become an ass.  Consequently, in this blog we always write homosexual "marriage" with inverted commas. 

The behaviour of the committee members, however, gives us a glimpse into our future, should this bill become law.  We have heard personally of two submitters to that committee who were shabbily treated, one in Wellington, the other in Auckland.  There was hostility and disdain on display.  On the other hand, those whose submissions were in favour of homosexual "marriage" were fawned over by the committee members (according to one source). 

The Sunday Star Times details the case of one young girl whose experience was similar to those with whom we have spoken.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Letter From Australia (About the Heat)

People Without Memories Become Easily Duped

Australia has been suffering under a heat wave.  New Zealand is having one of its hottest and driest summers on record.  On cue the climate changers start beating their little drums with all the frenetic pace of the Energizer Bunny.   "See, we told you.  Global warming.  All this heat.  It's proof that the climate is changing."  Blah, blah, blah.

With one minor problem.  Just a small one.  Usually these extreme weather events are reported with a little codicil, often announced sotto voce, that runs like this: "we are experiencing the hottest summer ever since . . . "  What follows after the little preposition "since" skewers the credibility of the climate changers.

Miranda Devine takes up the case:

Ineffable Glories

Beyond Fear and Wonder

We have a hard time conceptualising the smallness of atoms and, therefore, the number of them.  The Guardian, in a piece entitled 20 Amazing Facts About the Human Body contained the following factoid:
It is hard to grasp just how small the atoms that make up your body are until you take a look at the sheer number of them. An adult is made up of around  7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms.
The number of atoms in the material universe is finite but uncountable.  The number of atoms in just one human body is hard enough to reckon with.  But it gets even more difficult.  Particle physicists--both of the theoretical and experimental kind--tell us that that the standard model of the atom now consists of a dozen or so particles and four forces.  This would suggest that one human body is made up of far more than 84 octillion atomic particles (since there are multiple sub-atomic particles of the same type in each atom). 

All of these particles are behaving in exactly the way they are commanded to behave.  There are two ways to think about these commands.  The first is the dominant view of our time.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Perverse Religion

Dialoguing with a Gay Activist Who Hates the “Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner” Distinction

Justin Taylor
January 29th 2013

Peter Kreeft recalls a conversation he once had:

 My teacher was an articulate homosexual activist who was arguing, at Boston College, that “Catholic” and “gay” are as compatible as ham and eggs. I respected the clarity and intelligence of his mind and the openness and apparent goodwill of his heart, so I hoped that our conversation might open and clarify both our minds and teach us something new. (This almost never happens when these two sides argue about this subject.)

I was not disappointed.

I shall try and reconstruct our dialogue with a minimum of additions and polishings, as I like to believe Plato did to Socrates in his early dialogues. For purposes of anonymity, I shall call my dialogue partner “Art.”

Treaty of Waitangi Fables, Part III

Tribalism Makes Some Animals More Equal Than Most

This is the third piece recently seeing the light of day in the NZ Herald confronting the historical revisionism being foisted upon the Treaty of Waitangi and its signing.   Dr Elizabeth Rata takes up the issue of Maori tribalism and argues that it is incompatible with a democratic form of government.

Elizabeth Rata: Tribalism, democracy incompatible

5:30 AM Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

Tribalism is based on principles of inequality. Democracy is based on equality. So unity is only way forward.
The post-1987 idea of a Treaty 'partnership' is not true to the original Treaty.  Photo / Alexander Turnbull Library
The post-1987 idea of a Treaty 'partnership' is not true to the original Treaty. Photo / Alexander Turnbull Library

The recent Herald commentary by Ewen McQueen takes us further into a thoughtful consideration of the Treaty of Waitangi and the constitution. Using Sir Joseph Ward's metaphor that "there can only be one sun in the sky", McQueen showed why the post-1987 idea of a Treaty "partnership" is not true to the original Treaty. He concluded by noting that most chiefs agreed to give absolutely to the Queen the complete government over their land in return for guaranteed protection of chieftainship.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Letter From Australia (About Pants on Fire)

Lying Like a Flatfish

Australia is particularly prone to bush fires.  One of the best methods of combating them is to "de-fuel" the fires before they light through a systemic campaign of controlled burn-offs.  The biggest opponents to this sane practice have been the Greens and their fellow travellers on the Left.  They have consistently and systematically opposed controlled de-fuelling burnoffs (usually in the winter months) for a variety of spurious reasons. 

Now, however, to add insult to injury, and in demonstration of how much the Greens despise truth and the electorate, they are claiming that they have never opposed such de-fuelling burnoffs.  This, of course, is in the face of criticism the Greens are now confronting as a result of the recent devastating bush fires in New South Wales and Tasmania. 

Miranda Devine has long researched and written on these matters.  Once again she exposes the duplicitous mindset of the Greens in Australia.


Invincible Ignorance

Dogma gets a bad rap these days.  One of the most cutting slurs available is to call your opponent "dogmatic" or his views "dogma".  As with all slurs, the thrust is twofold: if you call out your opponent for being dogmatic, the immediate assumption is that you, on the other hand, must be reasonable, pragmatic, and open-minded.  By casting the aspersion at another you paint yourself in a noble light. 

Economist, John Kenneth Galbraith scorned dogma in true dogmatic fashion: "When people are the least sure, they are often the most dogmatic."  This is ad hominem at its most sublime: my opponent is firm in his views, but the very firmness betrays his underlying doubt and uncertainty.  Wow.  Who would have seen that coming. 

Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould also dogmatically warned of the dangers of dogmatism: