Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Property and Love for the Poor

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
September 23, 2014

I have written a great deal on how the framework provided by biblical ethics honors and preserves the institution of private property. The argument is not complex. Just as “thou shalt not commit adultery” presupposes and honors the institution of marriage, so also “thou shalt not steal” presupposes and honors the institution of private property.

The private property that is honored is that which comes to a man through the ordinary processes. “Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Cor. 9:10). God is the one who gives us the power to get wealth (Dt. 8:18), and it comes up to us from the ground. It does not float down upon us from the state.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

The End is Nigh

Fashionable Nutters

The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has tossed up more than its fair share of nutters.  If you stupidly, but genuinely, believe that "the end is nigh" for the human race, let alone the planet, then such desperate times call for desperate measures.  We can understand the logic, just as we grasp the logic of those who have believed that the world will end at midnight on the 13th of June, 2001 (or whenever) and who have traipsed out into the desert to set up survivalist compounds, thereby avoiding the worst of Armageddon.

In each case, the logic is sound; it's the premises that are false.  The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has  this one distinction from apocalyptic forbears, however.  It has managed to capture the fears and febrile imagination of the chattering classes and the Commentariat, normally too urbane and sophisticated to get taken in by Doomsday cults.  Here are a couple of examples of the elites having been suckered.  First, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, as reported in BreitbartNews

Monday, 29 September 2014

Moral Bankruptcy of Utilitarian Calculus

Thank you, Professor Dawkins!

Who said nothing ever happens in August! Just as we were looking forward to a quiet bank holiday weekend, up pops Prof Dawkins with a disturbing tweet. Responding to another Twitter posting by a woman admitting she would face a ‘“real ethical dilemma”’ if she became pregnant and found she was carrying a baby with Down’s syndrome, he suggested she should simply abort and try again, and that it would be ‘“immoral”’ to bring into the world a child with Down’s syndrome if you had the choice. He attempted to justify himself further here.

So, there we have it. Knowingly giving life to a child with Down’s syndrome is immoral, terminating its life is commendable. On what grounds would an intelligent person say such a thing, you might ask?
To prevent the child’s suffering – the compassion argument?

Truth is, people with Down’s syndrome don’t ‘suffer’ from their condition, they live with it. And in general the lives they live are more joyous than most.

So might it be the struggles faced by the parents that the professor has in mind?

Daily Devotional

How to Fight Anxiety

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
John Piper

Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee.”

Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes, and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike.
For example, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” It does not say, you will never feel any anxieties. It says, when you have them, cast them on God. When the mud splatters your windshield and you temporarily lose sight of the road and start to swerve in anxiety, turn on your wipers and squirt your windshield washer.

So my response to the person who has to deal with feelings of anxiety every day is to say: that’s more or less normal. At least it is for me, ever since my teenage years. The issue is: How do we fight them?

Pederasty's Easy Facilitation

Evil is Never Static

The Sydney Morning Herald has carried a piece about pederasty facilitated by misuse of the Internet.  The core of the piece reveals not just the extent of the crime, but the sophistication of its perpetrators. 
A special police taskforce has discovered the number of sex offenders who target children in in Australia has been wildly underestimated and local paedophiles have set up secure online sites to share intelligence on how to trap victims.  Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton says police are shocked at the number of active offenders operating in Victoria. "There are hundreds and hundreds. We have found some terrible stuff that would keep you awake at night," he told Fairfax Media.

He said Taskforce Astraea is conducting 120 separate investigations and has rescued 40 children in Australia and offshore who had been targeted by paedophiles.   The taskforce began by using computer software to identify encrypted child pornography images but soon discovered many offenders move quickly from "passive" observers to aggressive molesters.
Astraea has found:

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VIII

Russell Moore: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 17, 2014 


Russell D. Moore (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns.

He blogs frequently at his “Moore to the Point” website, and is the author or editor of five books, including Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, and The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective.


Imagine Left Behind if what were raptured were not persons but inhibitions. That still wouldn’t be this novel. You would have to further imagine the book showcasing zombies with nothing much left of their humanity but their appetites, combated by a physician with a tendency toward witty asides about culture, religion, and human psychology. And you’d have to further imagine the novel written by an Old Testament prophet with literary superpowers peering into the future set before us. Then you’d start approaching what Walker Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome is like, and why you should read it.
Walker Percy (1916-1990) was the heir of one of Mississippi’s most powerful political and literary families. He was medical doctor in Covington, Louisiana (round about New Orleans) with expertise in philosophy and semiotics. He was also a keen observer of popular culture. When visiting with the literary genius Eudora Welty, it’s reported that they were overheard discussing not Faulkner or Chekhov but The Incredible Hulk.

He was a Christian deeply immersed in the thought of Augustine and Søren Kierkegaard. And he was estranged enough from American culture to be able to watch it, as though from afar.

The protagonist of this novel, Percy’s last, is an alcoholic physician who’s done some jail-time, and has now returned home to find that the cast of characters is the same as he left them, but they seem to be reading from a different script. He discovers that his neighbors are being pharmaceutically engineered in a way that removes their human troubles, their human fears, their human reluctances, but, with all of that, it seems, their humanity itself.

Daily Devotional

The Goal of Christ’s Love

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” (John 17:24)
John Piper

Believers in Jesus are precious to God (we're his bride!). And he loves us so much that he will not allow our preciousness to become our god.  God does indeed make much of us (adoption!), but he does so in a way that draws us out of ourselves to enjoy his greatness.

Test yourself. If Jesus came to spend the day with you, sat down beside you on the couch, and said, “I really love you,” what would you focus on the rest of the day that you spend together?  It seems to me that too many songs and sermons leave us with the wrong answer. They leave the impression that the heights of our joy would be in the recurrent feeling of being loved. “He loves me!” “He loves me!” This is joy indeed. But not the heights and not the focus.

Following An Inglorious Example

Not a Slow Learner

We confess we could not resist the belly-laughter when we came across a piece in the NZ Herald about Australia's version of the Gunpowder Plot.  Islamic cadres have apparently been plotting to attack the heart of Australia, which, as every Australian knows, is Canberra, the home of the federal gummint. 

Congratulations and thanks need to go to the Australian authorities, the espionage agencies, and the police for sniffing out the plots in advance and being able to take preventative action.  It must be a relief to every Aussie--Australian Islamists excepted.
Security at Parliament House in Canberra is being ramped up amid reports of a planned terrorist attack.  Senior intelligence sources confirmed to News Corp Australia that spy, police and counter-terrorism agencies had intercepted information regarding a possible attack on Parliament House, and there are concerns the prime minister and other senior officials could be targeted.  The news report said there were fears the building had been "scoped out" for a "Mumbai-style" attack using automatic weapons.
But the article went on to consider more general issues.  Apparently, Western governments are perplexed that they can no-longer effectively curtail the ability of ISIS to raise money to fund its operations.  Al Qaeda relied upon donations.  Once donors had been identified, it was relatively easy for Western governments to target them and neutralise them.  But ISIS represents a very different fund-raising strategy.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Deconstructing an Elitist Liberal Green

Naomi Klein On A Good Day

James Delingpole
Breitbart London
16 September, 2014

Green activist Naomi Klein has a new book out today. If past form is anything to go by - No Logo; The Shock Doctrine - it will become an instant bestseller and will be informing liberal arguments for months and years to come. Here's what you need to know about her latest, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

1. It's all about Naomi.
"At some point about seven years ago I realised I had become so convinced we were headed towards a grim ecological collapse that I was losing my capacity to enjoy my time in nature."
Bomb the global economy back to the Dark Ages right now! We cannot, under any circumstances, allow Naomi's feelings, mental health or picnics to be jeopardised by prosperity!
2. Even the BP spill is really about Naomi.
"After more tests, my doctor told me my hormone levels were much too low and I'd probably miscarry for the third time. My mind raced back to the Gulf - the toxic fumes I had breathed in for days and the contaminated water I had waded in. I searched on the chemicals BP was using in huge quantities and found reams of online chatter linking them to miscarriages. I had no doubt that it was my doing."
(Though a bit later Naomi is forced to admit that, no, it was just an ectopic pregnancy which had nothing to do with the sins of Big Oil).

Daily Devotional

Turning the Other Cheek

C. S. Lewis

There are three ways of taking the command to turn the other cheek. One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances. Another is the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientally hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view. The conflict is therefore between the Pacifist interpretation and a third one which I am now going to propound. I think the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told. . . . . That is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands the absolute mortification of that desire. No quarter whatever is given to the voice within us which says, “He’s done it to me, so I’ll do the same to him.”

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

Life in the Beeb-Hive

Islamophobia: the Greatest of All Evils

We have been following the scandal of Rotherham in the UK.  Thousands of young girls were preyed upon by predatory Pakistani men.  They did it not only to feed and satiate their own lusts, but because their religion, Islam both condones and commends such acts.  Virtually any depravity is permissible in the conduct of jihad, or holy war.  And jihad against infidels is a perpetual state of Islam.  But the scandal has been exacerbated by the authorities having a very bad case of Nelson's eye.  They saw no evil.  Why, one asks?  Were the police and welfare authorities in the pay of the Pakistani/Islamic gangs?  No.  Were they too busy elsewhere?  Only by their own design.  Were they understaffed?  Not at all.

Why did the authorities turn a blind eye?  And, why did the media hush the whole thing up by a "hear no evil, see no evil" editorial stance?  It turns out that the ideologies of multi-culturalism and political correctness saw a greater minatory evil threatening to consume all.  The evil of a right-wing fanatical reaction.  Therefore, it was better to ignore the plight of the young girls, the rape, and the murders, lest the right-wing hear of it and be provoked to the most horrible of all evils--Islamophobic discrimination and intolerance, which, it turns out, are cardinal, blasphemous violations of the cult of multi-culturalism.

James Delingpole, writing in Breitbart News, provides a case study of an actual evil stalking the land, an evil which matches that of predatory Islam, as manifested by the Beeb.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Islam and Sexual Predation

Muslims Sexually Enslaving Children: A Global Phenomenon

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
September 3, 2014

As shocking as the Muslim-run sex ring in Rotherham, England may seem to some—1,400 British children as young as 11 plied with drugs before being passed around and sexually abused in cabs and kabob shops—the fact is that this phenomenon is immensely widespread. In the United Kingdom alone, it's the fifth sex abuse ring led by Muslims to be uncovered.

Some years back in Australia, a group of "Lebanese Muslim youths" were responsible for a "series of brutal gang rapes" of "Anglo-Celtic teenage girls." A few years later in the same country, four Muslim Pakistani brothers raped at least 18 Australian women, some as young as 13. Even in the United States, a gang of Somalis—Somalia being a Muslim nation where non-Muslims, primarily Christians, are ruthlessly persecuted—was responsible for abducting, buying, selling, raping and torturing young American girls as young as 12.

. . . we must call it Muslim rape since Islam is the common denominator in all these cases from otherwise diverse nations that have little in common except for large numbers of Muslims.
The question begs itself: If Muslim minorities have no fear of exploiting "infidel" women and children in non-Muslim countries—that is, where Muslims themselves are potentially vulnerable minorities—how are Muslims throughout the Islamic world, where they are dominant, treating their vulnerable, non-Muslim minorities?

The answer is a centuries-long, continents-wide account of nonstop sexual predation. Boko Haram's recent abduction and enslavement of nearly 300, mostly Christian, schoolgirls last April in Nigeria is but the tip of the iceberg.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon

"Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have."
Leviticus 19:36

Weights, and scales, and measures were to be all according to the standard of justice. Surely no Christian man will need to be reminded of this in his business, for if righteousness were banished from all the world beside, it should find a shelter in believing hearts. There are, however, other balances which weigh moral and spiritual things, and these often need examining. We will call in the officer tonight.

The balances in which we weigh our own and other men's characters, are they quite accurate? Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness into pounds, and other persons' bushels of excellence into pecks? See to weights and measures here, Christian.

The scales in which we measure our trials and troubles, are they according to standard?

The Ground of Civilisation

Hell Hole of the South Pacific Waits in the Wings

Human civilisation is skin deep.  It can only be sustained in a society by a majority of families who live, believe, and practise the values of a civilised society in their homes and communities. This reality was caught most powerfully by William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

The law, its enforcement agencies, the rules and institutions of state, the courts, the schools, and the institutions of trade and commerce--all these can only continue to exist in any society by warrant of a majority of civilised families. After all, the law and justice are intangibles, grounded in ideas and concepts believed and respected in the heart of a community.  

We have had yet another illustration of these truths.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VII

As I Lay Dying

Sep 11, 2014 

Gene C. Fant Jr

I am doing a blog series on Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading.

Gene C. Fant Jr. (PhD, University of Southern Mississippi) serves as provost and professor of English at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida.

He is the author of The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide and God as Author: A Biblical Approach to Narrative.


Occasionally American literature students are assigned William Faulkner’s 1930 novel As I Lay Dying. The choice is somewhat pragmatic, as Faulkner is one of the 20th Century’s great fiction writers but his masterwork, The Sound and the Fury, is incredibly difficult to read.

As I Lay Dying is brief and the plot is intriguing (a backwoods family’s preparations for the matriarch’s burial, stymied by a difficult journey to the family plot). One chapter is composed entirely of one sentence (“My mother is a fish”), which has led to many a perplexed and exasperated student. At least there is now a film adaptation directed by uber-cool James Franco.

For Christians, As I Lay Dying offers a bonanza of theological discovery, not in terms of devotional affirmation of orthodoxy but in terms of its sober reminders of the necessity of faith. Faulkner adored the Old Testament but was less enamored of the New, believing that the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures were more compelling. My sense is that he was a crypto-Calvinist who believed the atonement to be so limited (and God to be either so holy or so cruel) that no one is elect. God is a just Judge who rightly sentences everyone to death. Each of us, then, lives on a constant trajectory toward death; vultures circle each of our corpses, at least metaphorically.

Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon

"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."
John 4:48

A craving after marvels was a symptom of the sickly state of men's minds in our Lord's day; they refused solid nourishment, and pined after mere wonder. The gospel which they so greatly needed they would not have; the miracles which Jesus did not always choose to give they eagerly demanded.

Many nowadays must see signs and wonders, or they will not believe. Some have said in their heart, "I must feel deep horror of soul, or I never will believe in Jesus." But what if you never should feel it, as probably you never may? Will you go to hell out of spite against God, because he will not treat you like another? One has said to himself, "If I had a dream, or if I could feel a sudden shock of I know not what, then I would believe."

Thus you undeserving mortals dream that my Lord is to be dictated to by you! You are beggars at his gate, asking for mercy, and you must needs draw up rules and regulations as to how he shall give that mercy. Think you that he will submit to this? My Master is of a generous spirit, but he has a right royal heart, he spurns all dictation, and maintains his sovereignty of action.

Wabbling Back to the Fire

Western Hollow Men

It is quite a while since the West was racked with self-doubt.  It is now.  Jimmy Carter's presidency was probably the last previous occurrence.  But periods of self-doubt are likely to become more frequent.  The West has tossed away its Christian foundations.  Secularism reigns.  Atheism is its established religion.  There is no dominant ideological narrative to give direction and the appearance of certainty.

The last fading hope has been represented by the ante-diluvian "hawks" who believe that if people are freed from oppressors, democracy--with an attendant rule of law, respect for liberty of conscience, freedom, and inalienable human rights guaranteed by the Creator--will magically break out everywhere.  Drop a few bombs in Libya.  Arm a few rebels in Syria.  Strafe a few jihadis in Iraq, and overnight everyone will transmogrify into effete Western liberals.  Take a bow John McCain and Hillary Clinton.  They are a dying breed.  Nothing is there to fill the vacuum.  Consequently, self-doubt rises like panic up the throat.

Roger Cohen has caught this emerging new reality in an OpEd for the New York Times:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Stuff Inviolate

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
Sept 13, 2014

I have been arguing that property rights are human rights. I have been insisting that it is not possible to love your neighbor without respecting his stuff. I have been saying that the commandment thou shalt not steal presupposes the institution of private property in just the same way that the prohibition of adultery presupposes marriage. And in the same way, I cannot honor the command not to covet my neighbor’s wife if I cannot come up with a definition of “wife.”

But there has been some surprising pushback on this simple idea, so let us dig a little deeper.

Daily Devotional

Devastated and Delighted

The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:6)
John Piper

What would the doctrines of grace sound like if every limb in that tree were coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight (that is, what I call “Christian Hedonism”)?
  • Total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to God’s beauty and deadness to the deepest joy.

  • Unconditional election
    means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed as the overflow of God’s joy in the fellowship of the Trinity.

  • Limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the new covenant.

  • Irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights.

  • Perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God not to let us fall into the final bondage of inferior pleasures, but to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of fullness of joy in his presence and pleasures at his right hand forevermore.

Unconditional election delivers the harshest and the sweetest judgments to my soul. That it is unconditional destroys all self-exaltation; and that it is election makes me his treasured possession.

This is one of the beauties of the biblical doctrines of grace: their worst devastations prepare us for their greatest delights.

What prigs we would become at the words, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6), if this election were in any way dependent on our will. But to protect us from pride, the Lord teaches us that we are unconditionally chosen (7:7–9). “He made a wretch his treasure,” as we so gladly sing.

Only the devastating freeness and unconditionality of electing grace lets us take and taste such gifts for our very own without the exaltation of self.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

New Zealand's "Interesting" Election

Crypto-Anarchists and Easy Dupes

This election season in New Zealand has been historic, unlike any previous election.  It had been distorted by a multi-millionaire German seeking to take control of the national political process to benefit his own voluminous pockets and to keep himself from incarceration in the United States.  We have not seen the like in New Zealand since Baron d'Thierry came to Hokianga in late 1837 on the Nimrod attempting to start a French colonial outpost in the face of British interests.  Herr Kim Dotcom is a latter day Baron d'Thierry, equally megalomaniacal.

And then we have had the hard left joining Dotcom in a madcap party which has combined capitalists in their most greedy, exploitative, and egregious manifestation with weird Maori and hard-left radicals deeply into Marxist ideology.  The chutzpah of the constituent  elements of this new Potemkin party has been breathtaking.  Their followers consist of the duped, the desperate, and the gullible. 

And, not to be outdone, we have had the hacking of a privately owned website and the theft of thousands of e-mails and private communications, followed by a breathless book authored by New Zealand's leading conspiracist once again publishing stolen information.  The book, Dirty Politics has the author's normal new-maths fingerprints all over it.  In Nicky Hager's world two plus two makes seventy-five.

Most of the media have been agog and aghast, unable to calm their febrile pens and stuttering tongues for a moment so as to make sense of it all.  Except for one or two scribblers.  Fran O'Sullivan, writing just before the election, had this to say:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Sure. Let’s Call It a Contribution.

Friday, September 12, 2014
Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog

So I have distinguished the payment of taxes that are owed, and the payment of taxes that is rendered out of a principled prudence. In the former instance, paying taxes is a matter of conscience and in the latter it is a matter of intelligence. When I give my wallet to the mugger, I am not granting him authority over my wallet, and still less am I giving him authority over any future wallets that I might come to possess. I am simply doing a cost benefit analysis, and his gun trumps my five dollars.

Now some want to argue that all taxes whatever are illegitimate. While this makes life simple on the conscience front, making every decision of whether to pay taxes or not a prudential one, the simplicity is, ironically, too easy. A good example of such an approach to the argument can be found here. While Joel and I would agree on a great deal on this general subject, we do differ at this particular point. It is an important point, so let me deal with it briefly.

Daily Devotional

Pleasant Inns Along the Way

The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why.

The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Sourced from BibleGateway.https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=cattle+thousand&qs_version=ESV

Industrialised Crime Meets Multi-Cultural Self-Loathing

Let God Arise

A retired senior policewoman involved in the Rotherham crime scandal in the UK has gone public, exposing more of the terrible state of affairs which permissively tolerated the rape and slavery of thousands of young girls.  Yes, this is the UK we are speaking about.  (A couple of pieces addressing this evil can be found here, and here.)

There are two main points which come out of this new piece.  The first is the potential of police targeting to be perverted by venal, time-serving, careerist police bureaucrats.  The second point she makes reinforces one already made in the media--that is, the terrible fruits of political correctness and the political and social ideology multi-culturalism.  In this light, the worst thing we could do is shrug our shoulders at the outrage and conclude that Rotherham is an extreme outlier, not an avatar of a perverse trend. 

Firstly, the background:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VI

The White Whale

Justin Taylor

I am doing a blog series on Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading.

R.C. Sproul (Drs, Free University of Amsterdam) is chancellor of Reformation Bible College, co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, and author of numerous books, including Everyone’s a Theologian.


If your goal is to write the Great American Novel, I have bad news for you. Herman Melville accomplished that feat more than one hundred and fifty years ago when he wrote Moby Dick.

The greatness of Moby Dick is in its unparalleled theological symbolism that is sprinkled abundantly throughout the novel. For example, consider its use of biblical names for characters such as Ahab, Ishmael, and Elijah, and ships such as Jeroboam and Rachel.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

September 20

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Trust Him for everything

I once heard a man use a phrase which affected me very deeply at the time, and still does. I am not sure that it is not one of the most searching statements I have ever heard. He said that the trouble with many of us Christians is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that we do not believe Him.

He meant that we believe on Him for the salvation of our souls, but we do not believe Him when He says a thing like this to us, that God is going to look after our food and drink, and even our clothing. He makes such statements as ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’, and yet we keep our problems and worries to ourselves, and we are borne down by them and defeated by them, and get anxious about things. He has told us to come to Him when we are like that; He has told us that if we are thirsting in any respect we can go to Him, and He has assured us that whosoever comes to Him will never thirst, and that he that eats of the bread that He shall give shall never hunger.

He has promised to give us ‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ so that we shall never thirst. But we do not believe Him. Take all these statements He made when He was here on earth, the words He addressed to the people around Him; they are all meant for us. They are meant for us today as definitely as when He first uttered them, and so also are all the astounding statements in the Epistles. The trouble is that we do not believe Him. That is the ultimate trouble.

‘Little faith’ does not really take the Scripture as it is and believe it and live by it and apply it.

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 128–9

A Disease of the Soul

Universal Acid of Resentment

The leftist mindset is fixated over money.  The origins of this addiction can be traced back to Marx's materialistic belief that capital (i.e. money/wealth) ruled the world.  The oft-leaned upon excuse for leftist electoral failure is that "lesser-leftist" politicians have lots of money and they effectively steal elections by paying for the manipulation of the electorate, and, to compound the problem, the genuinely-leftist parties do not have sufficient money to spend and manipulate the electorate to keep pace.  So the competition is unfair from the get-go.

The lack of money is the leftist's stock-in-trade excuse for electoral failure.  Given the vaguest chance that someone might provide some money, the leftist politician will be like a rat up a drainpipe.  When multi-millionaire German, Kim Dotcom arrived on the shores of New Zealand it became immediately obvious that he intended to use his millions "earned" through the Mega file sharing website to buy himself some influence.

Kim Dotcom during the press conference that followed his "Moment of Truth". Photo / NZ Herald
Kim Dotcom during the press conference that followed his "Moment of Truth". Photo / NZ Herald

He played the part of an unscrupulous, venal, self-seeking capitalist with more realism and panache than a Hollywoood A-lister.  He initially contributed to the campaign of right-winger, John Banks for the Auckland mayoralty.  When Banks failed to support him in his skirmishes with the law, Dotcom turned on Banks like a vengeful Fury.

The Left screamed "dirty politics".  But, true to form and type, they then began to form their own line-up outside the door of Dotcom's mansion.  Every one of them had their caps out.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Letter From Europe (About Complicit Silence)

European “Humanists”: Embarrassment or Silent Sympathy

Dawkins’ attack on disabled persons

Posted on September 5, 2014 
By J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Following the world-wide astonishment and outrage over British “humanist” Richard Dawkins’ rant that mothers giving birth to children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome are acting “immorally”, we are surprised to find that neither the British Humanist Association (BHA), nor the European Humanist Federation (EHF), nor the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) have found it necessary to clarify whether they agree or disagree with this statement.

Mr. Dawkins is not only a well-known evolution biologist, but also pontificates as a promoter of “humanism”, “reason”, and a “scientific world view”. It is for this reason that BHA gave him their ‘Services to Humanism’ award in 2012. In fact, it seems that Mr. Dawkins is getting the same award every other year, given that already 2009 one could read that BHA and IHEU had jointly awarded him a prize for his merits in promoting reason and science across the world.

Daily Devotional

6 Things It Means to Be in Jesus

[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. (2 Timothy 1:9)
John Piper

Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ.

If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you:

  1. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. 2 Timothy 1:9, “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

  2. In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

  3. In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  4. In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”

  5. In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed to you. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

  6. In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Galatians 3:26, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

Prisoners and the Vote

Sensible Sentencing

A career criminal and (now) jail-house lawyer is taking a case to the High Court attempting to overturn legislation which denies prisoners the vote.  The case has been inspired by the European Court of Human Rights which has infamously ruled that denial of suffrage to prisoners violates their human rights.  New Zealand's own Bill of Rights--a piece of statutory law--declares voting to be a, you guessed it, human right.

The argument being made amounts to question-begging of the highest order.  Point One: denial of suffrage to prisoners is a prima facie violation of the NZ Human Rights Act.  Point Two: denial of suffrage is cruel and unusual punishment, since it does not contribute in any meaningful way to the rehabilitation of prisoners. Point Three: the European Court of Human Rights ruling is a fantastic precedent, which has all sorts of implications for antediluvians in the Antipodes.

The question begged is this: does incarceration represent any removal or diminution or denial of any human rights--declared and ostensibly protected in the NZ Human Rights Act--at all?  One would imagine so.  Being told when to rise, when to comply with "lights out", when to eat, what to wear, where to go, where not to go, and how to conduct oneself at all times, with retributive punishment for non-compliance, violates just about every freedom right imaginable.  So, if the argument that denial of suffrage for prisoners amounts to a breach of the NZ Human Rights Act is deemed correct, all incarceration of convicted criminals must also breach that Act. But if incarceration of prisoners in this country does not breach the NZ Human Rights Act, then neither can withdrawing suffrage from them. 

We are aware that some folk philosophically oppose retributive punishment of any kind for criminals.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part V

Gene Veith: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 09, 2014 


I am doing a blog series on Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading.

Gene Edward Veith Jr. (PhD, University of Kansas) is the provost and professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk. He is the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity and culture, including Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature and Imagination Redeemed: Glorifying God with a Neglected Part of Your Mind (releasing in November). He blogs at Cranach (hosted by Patheos) and can be followed on Twitter at @geneveith.


“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” said Ernest Hemingway. “All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

The book, published in 1884, was the first novel written in a distinctly American dialect, featuring an epic journey through the American physical and social landscape, written from a particularly American sensibility, and exploring uniquely American problems.

Unlike some classics, which a contemporary reader approaches out of a sense of duty and reads with great difficulty, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn brings back all the pleasures of reading. Mark Twain combines a tale of suspense, adventure, and melodrama with unforgettable characters, profound themes, and devastating social satire. Twain is not only a great novelist, he is a great humorist. He is one of the few authors who can be serious and funny at the same time. Readers of Huckleberry Finn will find themselves laughing out loud, even as they are moved to tears.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

"Have mercy upon me, O God."
Psalm 51:1

Charles Spurgeon

 When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, "If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?" He replied, "Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.'"

In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:--
William Carey, Born August 17th, 1761: Died - -
"A wretched, poor, and helpless worm
On thy kind arms I fall."

Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honoured of the saints approach their God.

Inglorious States

Too Busy

One of the rotten fruits of statism is the failure to get the fundamentals right.  The modern idolatrous state is too busy running around hectoring citizens over what they are to eat and drink that it fails in its proper responsibilities such as preventing and detecting murderers.

Michelle Malkin provides us with a case study of rotten fruit--the US Federal Air Marshals Service.  These folk are supposed to ride incognito on aircraft to prevent or intercept airplane hijackers in action.  Not any longer.  Statism has deflected the attention of Sauron away to other, bigger things--such as golf, and fundraising.
. . . 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.  Listen to Robert MacLean. He’s a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.

In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights — just two days before the anticipated hijacking.

How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. “TSA chose to send the unlabelled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message,” MacLean recounted to Congress this week. “We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority.”

A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department’s inspector general hotline and was warned he would be “cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further.” Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.

More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. God bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.

“I blew the whistle because I had to,” he testified this week. “I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer.”
Whistleblowing and the cursed idolatry of statism do not mix.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Idiocies and Inanities

Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic
By Daniel Pipes
September 10, 2014

In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.” 

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: As non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “It is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.”

Daily Devotional

Forgiven for Jesus’ Sake

For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

John Piper

The righteousness of God is the infinite zeal and joy and pleasure that he has in what is supremely valuable, namely, his own perfection and worth. And if he were ever to act contrary to this eternal passion for his own perfections he would be unrighteous, he would be an idolater.

How shall such a righteous God ever set his affection on sinners like us who have scorned his perfections? But the wonder of the gospel is that in this divine righteousness lies also the very foundation of our salvation.
The infinite regard that the Father has for the Son makes it possible for me, a wicked sinner, to be loved and accepted in the Son, because in his death he vindicated the worth and glory of his Father.

Now I may pray with new understanding the prayer of the psalmist, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Psalm 25:11). The new understanding is that Jesus has now atoned for sin and vindicated the Father’s honor so that our sins are forgiven “on account of his name” (1 John 2:12).

The Father’s infinite pleasure in his own perfections is the fountain of our everlasting joy. The fact that the pleasure of God in his Son is pleasure in himself is not vanity. It is the gospel.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

Not What We Meant

Secular Marriage is an Empty Vanity

One of the arguments used to confront homosexual "marriage" is that it makes true marriage meaningless.  Just as the concept of the family has been so degraded over many years of secularism--to where two women living together with a budgie is regarded as a family--so the secular form of marriage is now null and void.  True marriage, actual marriage as defined and delimited and ruled by Holy Scripture continues.  But the secular state has lost its moral warrant and integrity to rule over it and administer it.  Marriage, in the secular realm, has been eviscerated and rendered meaningless.

Homosexual marriage advocates, who declared they wanted to enjoy the special and enduring bond of marriage, based their argument on human rights and anti-discrimination laws. The upshot is they have inadvertently destroyed the secularist notion of marriage itself.  Or, to put it another way, they have inadvertently clarified the inanity and insignificance of secularist "marriage".  This, we believe, is good news for Christians and the Christian Church in a tactical sense, because it widens the dichotomy between belief and unbelief.  The true face of Baal is revealed even more clearly.  The Kingdom of Christ is made more glorious.  The profane has become more profane; the Church is forced to make a clear stand upon Scripture.  Epistemological and spiritual self-consciousness of both secularists and Christians consequently is growing.

What is the latest fruit of secularist "marriage"?  The NZ Herald tells the story:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading--Part IV

Philip Ryken: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 06, 2014

I am doing a blog series on Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading.


Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College and has served in that capacity since 2010. Prior to his appointment at Wheaton, he served as senior minister at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
His newest book is Loving Jesus More (which releases on Monday), and he is the co-author (with Leland Ryken and Todd Wilson) of Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry from World Literature.

Cry, the Beloved Country is widely regarded as the definitive novel of the South African experience. Although the book was written more than half a century ago and published before apartheid was established as a system of racial segregation, its hopeful yet honest treatment of social issues has ongoing relevance for South Africa and the world. Alan Paton invited his readers to embrace this global perspective when he described his novel as “a song of love for one’s far distant country . . . the land where you were born.”

Daily Devotional

Jesus Will Trample All Our Enemies

John Piper

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:24)

How far does the reign of Christ extend?

Verse 25 says, “He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” The word ALL tells us the extent.

So does the word EVERY in verse 24: “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.”

There is no disease, no addiction, no demon, no bad habit, no fault, no vice, no weakness, no temper, no moodiness, no pride, no self-pity, no strife, no jealousy, no perversion, no greed, no laziness that Christ does not aim to overcome as the enemy of his honor.

And the encouragement in that promise is that when you set yourself to do battle with the enemies of your faith and your holiness, you will not fight alone.  Jesus Christ is now, in this age, putting all his enemies under his feet. Every rule and every authority and every power will be conquered.

So, remember that the extent of Christ’s reign reaches to the smallest and biggest enemy of his glory. It will be defeated.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org. 
Sourced from BibleGateway

Seven Easy Steps

The Islamic Caliphate

In 2005, Jordanian journalist and researcher, Fouad Hussen published a piece entitled al-Zarqawi - al-Qaida's Second Generation. A synopsis of his book was published in Der Spiegel in August 2005.  The introduction to the synopsis read:
There must be something particularly trustworthy about the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. After all, he has managed to get some of the the most sought after terrorists to open up to him. Maybe it helped that they spent time together in prison many years ago -- when Hussein was a political prisoner he successfully negotiated for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be released from solitary confinement. Or is it because of the honest and direct way in which he puts his ideas onto paper?
Fouad Hussein had spent time with key terrorist figures, including al-Zarqawi, who has now been killed by a US drone strike.  Prison conversations amongst prison comrades are often truthful.  What is there to lose?  In any event, Hussein has outlined the "Seven Steps" set out by the idealogues of an Islamic Caliphate to take over the world.  Back in 2005, it may have sounded wacky stuff to Western ears.  Now, maybe, not so much.  (Remember, as you read below, this was published in Der Spiegel in 2005; the resemblances to what is now unfolding in Iraq and Syria are striking.  Back in 2005, it must have seemed pretentious and boastful--which the Der Spiegel article reflects.)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

What Became of the Witty Pirate Then

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
September 6, 2014

Because taxes can be a form of theft, and because taxes need not be theft at all, a reasonable question to ask is how we can tell the difference.

The baseline, the starting point, is that property belongs to the individual. He is the one that Thou shalt not steal applies to. He is the one with the house, the vineyard, the lawn mower, the wallet, the smart phone, and so on. Whenever the Bible talks about property, it always talks about it two categories. The first is God’s absolute ownership of all things (Dt. 10:14), and the second is the relative ownership that you and your neighbor enjoy (Dt. 8:18). When we talk about the state possessing things, this possession is derivative. The state extracts value from the taxpayer, the appointed steward of God’s wealth, and this extraction can also be divided into two categories. This value can be extracted lawfully, or the state can play the role of the thief. So how are we to tell the difference?

Daily Devotional

The Weed of Unbelief

Charles Spurgeon

"How long will it be ere they believe me?"
Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out that monster unbelief. It so dishonours Christ, that he will withdraw his visible presence if we insult him by indulging it. It is true it is a weed, the seeds of which we can never entirely extract from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be abhorred.

Its injurious nature is so venomous that he that exerciseth it and he upon whom it is exercised are both hurt thereby. In thy case, O believer! it is most wicked, for the mercies of thy Lord in the past, increase thy guilt in doubting him now. When thou dost distrust the Lord Jesus, he may well cry out, "Behold I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." This is crowning his head with thorns of the sharpest kind. It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted.

Talking Heads

The Sixth Opinion

The jokes about economists are legion.  It's all in good fun, but as with most jibes, there is usually a bit of truth in each.  Economics has not been called the "dismal science" for nothing.  Was it not Winston Churchill who growled one day, "if you laid all the economists in the world face down, head to tail . . . well, that would be a good thing to do"?  And was it not Winnie who also grumbled that he would give half his kingdom to meet a "one-handed economist"? And some long forgotten sage observed that if you meet two economists you will always be blessed by at least three opinions.

So, we are regaled by the pronouncements of one Shamubeel Eaqub, rated as one of the country's top economists.  Entering into the spirit of the discipline of economics, we wish to give him the two handed salute.

On the one hand, Shamubeel Eaqub hit the nail right on the head when he opined recently on the state of politics in this current election season:

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Letter From the UK (About Consequences of Perverse Multi-cultualism)

Islamic Rape Gangs

Rotherham is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

James Delingpole
7th September 2014

If you haven't yet listened to the latest Radio Free Delingpole podcast I urge you to do so: but first you'll need a strong stomach.

In it, I talk to George Igler of the Discourse Institute who has been following the Rotherham child rape gang story closely for the last three years. The full story is more shocking than you can possibly imagine, not just because of the ugliness of the abuse itself (redolent of that horrible scene from the movie Taken where smack-addled girls are serially abused in a filthy dive by countless grubby men) but also because of the extent of the cover-up by the left-liberal establishment of social workers, local government officers, child welfare charities, diversity co-ordinators, not to mention the regional police forces and even imams.

Truly this is one of the biggest scandals of our time. And it's going to get bigger.  Here are some of the disturbing revelations in the podcast.

Daily Devotional

Shadows and Streams

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:31–34)
John Piper

God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself.
God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for its own sake. He means for us to look at his creation and say: If the mere work of his fingers (just his fingers! Psalm 8:3) is so full of wisdom and power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in himself!

These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s end.

The Visible Reign of Christ

Well Done

An issue which bubbles to the surface from time to time concerns the form and shape of Christendom.  What does a society look like when it becomes thoroughly Christianised?  More and more evangelical Christians appear to be thinking seriously about such a question.

One aspect of Christendom--the visible reign of Christ over a particular society or nation--is that Christianity has become culturally "thick" in the sense of pervading, influencing, controlling, and shaping everything.  It encompasses the small and the great, the least to the most significant, the weak and the powerful.  Because the Christian faith involves the regeneration of human souls and the progressive conformity of men, women, and children, and their families and households, to the image of Christ Himself, Christendom thereby encompasses the depth and breadth of human culture.

Every so often we are given a glimpse of what this might look like.  A recent obituary published in the Washington Post provided just such.  Probably few people have ever heard of Truett Cathy, who has just passed away, aged 93.  Millions of people, however, will be familiar with the business he founded--Chick-fil-A.  What is instructive in the life and ministry of Cathy--and in the business he founded--is the insight it provides into how Christendom takes shape.  Mr Cathy was a Christian and he wanted to build a Christian business.  What form did it take?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Age of intolerance

The War on Religion

Barney Zwartz
November 2, 2013

As Christian villager Asia Bibi languished in a Pakistani jail awaiting death by hanging for drinking water from a Muslim cup, two suicide bombers killed 85 worshippers in a Peshawar church.

For Egypt's Copts, who risk having the small cross-tattoos many wear on their wrists burnt off with acid by militant Muslims, the Arab Spring has been wintry. In August it got worse: Muslim Brotherhood supporters, blaming them for the army's removal of president Mohamed Mursi, attacked more than 100 Christian sites - 42 churches were razed.

In Somalia, al-Shabab, which slaughtered scores of people at a Kenyan shopping mall in September, has reportedly vowed to kill every Somali Christian.

In northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has butchered thousands of Christians, as well as Muslims they consider inadequately ideological - such as those seeking an education.

Four of every five acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians, according to the Germany-based International Society for Human Rights. The secular US think tank the Pew Forum says Christians face harassment or oppression in 139 nations, nearly three-quarters of all the countries on earth.

Daily Devotional

C. S. Lewis

Today's Reading
TO GENIA GOELZ, who had asked Lewis for a prayer in her struggle to believe: Lewis’s prayer for a daily increase in obedience and faith.

18 March 1952

Don’t bother at all about that question of a person being ‘made a Christian’ by baptism. It is only the usual trouble about words being used in more than one sense. Thus we might say a man ‘became a soldier’ the moment that he joined the army. But his instructors might say six months later ‘I think we have made a soldier of him’. Both usages are quite definable, only one wants to know which is being used in a given sentence.

The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.’

Would something of this sort be any good?: Almighty God, who art the Father of lights and who has promised by thy dear Son that all who do thy will shall know thy doctrine: [John 7:17] give me grace so to live that by daily obedience I daily increase in faith and in the understanding of thy Holy Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Family Letters 1905-1931. Copyright © 2004 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Sourced from BibleGateway

No Surpises There

Media and Used Car Salesmen

Phil Goff has been a Labour politician since Noah was a lad.  His party has been jumping up and down demanding that an inquiry be constituted to investigate "leaks" from the Security Intelligence Service (otherwise known as NZ Spooks Incorporated) to a right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater (otherwise known as the Enemy).  These events allegedly took place six years ago.

So Phil Goff, who was leader of the Opposition at the time, and who, consequently, received regular briefings from the SIS upon any clear and present dangers to New Zealand, has been summoned to appear under oath.  The back story is this: Goff was briefed on a possible threat to NZ security, which he subsequently denied ever knowing about.  Clever Cameron Slater, smelling a malodorous dead rat, put in an official information request to the SIS, to secure the contents of the briefing.  This material would eventually expose Phil Goff in a deliberate lie. 

Phil Goff, huffing and puffing with indignant sanctimony, wanted to know why the SIS "colluded" with a private blogger by releasing information under the Official Information Act.  Was there a deeper and darker conspiracy between the Prime Minister's office--which is ultimately responsible for the SIS--to discredit Goff, using the services of Slater?  Now, Goff, under oath, has been caught out once again.  No Right Turn, a left-wing blog, has reported:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Best Political Speech So Far

The Least of All Evil Options 

We are in the midst of New Zealands tri-ennial general election campaign.  In our view, Dr Jamie Whyte, leader of the libertarian leaning ACT party has delivered the best speech of the campaign so far.  It rips his opponents, but not in the crass manner of meaningless insulting slurs, but in a way which manages to make clear points on his party's philosophical and political positions.  This is a clever, classy roast.

Daily Devotional

The Greater Glory of Jesus Christ

Charles Spurgeon

"The people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him."
Mark 9:15

How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of his countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to him they saluted him.

The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with his purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to him amazed at his goodness, fascinated by his love; they salute him, become his disciples, and take him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life.  Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories.