Thursday, 30 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

How Blue the Sky Was


All right. I suppose I should explain to you all what was up with my near-week-long involuntary hiatus from blogging. There were various factors in play, but the central one was my misguided belief that I was somehow included in all that free speech business that Madison wrote about in the First Amendment. You see, say I were to write a “controversial” post about the homo-jihad, and say this post went nuts on Facebook with people reading it and stuff, suppose something like that.

One of the things that usually happens when I misbehave like this is a series of cyberhack attacks on my server, conducted by the Anarchist Brotherhood in their ongoing fight for the Free Exchange of Ideas. In the aftermath of one such recent post, my blog’s server wound up getting around a million hits a day, designed to crash the server. It did have that intended effect, and took down other web sites with me. My host company had no choice but to suspend my account.

Like I said, there were other factors involved as well. Initially, when I thought it was simply a series of techno-glitches, I was tempted to be exasperated, a temptation which I manfully resisted. But when it turned out that I had not tripped and fallen, but had rather gotten knocked clean out of the saddle, I cheered up considerably. It is quite an honor to be thought a worthy enough opponent that they decide to shiver some of their more expensive lances on you. Unhorsed, and with a split helmet, and flat on my back, I was able to notice how blue the sky was.

Daily Devotional

Covenant Renewal

"And because of all this we make a sure covenant."
Nehemiah 9:38

Charles H. Spurgeon

There are many occasions in our experience when we may very rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After recovery from sickness when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any deliverance from trouble, when our joys bud forth anew, let us again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration. Especially, let us do this after any sin which has grieved the Holy Spirit, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and again offer ourselves unto the Lord.

We should not only let our troubles confirm our dedication to God, but our prosperity should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve to be called "crowning mercies" then, surely, if he hath crowned us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne of our love, arrayed in royal apparel.

If we would learn to profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity. If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied? Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the altar, and say, "Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords, even forever." Inasmuch as we need the fulfilment of new promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old vows may not be dishonoured.

Let us this morning make with him a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the last month we have been considering with gratitude.

The Importance of the Seminary

Tactical Priorities To Extend the Kingdom

In his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, John Stott writes:
. . . let us copy Paul's strategy.  He was profoundly disturbed by the prevalence of false teaching in the churches.  He refers to it in all his letters.  The Pastorals are full of allusions to deceivers, deviationists, empty talkers, speculators, divisive controversialists and hypocritical liars.  The question is this: how did Paul react to this distressing situation?  What was his strategy in the face of spreading error?

All the church's future pastors and teachers pass through a seminary. It is there that they are either made or marred, either equipped and inspired or ruined.
He refused to give in to it in a feeble spirit of defeat.  he did not remain idle or silent on the ground that everybody has a right to his or her own opinion.  He did not secede from the church in the belief that it was irredeemable.  No, Paul was neither a defeatist, nor a pluralist, nor a secessionist.  So what was his strategy in fighting the good fight of the faith?  It was this: when false teachers increase, we must multiply the number of true teachers. . . .

This is why the key institution in the church is the seminary or theological college.  In every country the church is a reflection of its seminaries.  All the church's future pastors and teachers pass through a seminary.  It is there that they are either made or marred, either equipped and inspired or ruined.  Therefore we should set ourselves to capture the seminaries of the world for evangelical faith, academic excellence, and personal godliness.  There is no better strategy for the reform and renewal of the church.  [John Stott, The Message of I Timothy and Titus: The Life of the Local Church (Nottingham: Intervarsity Press, 1966), p.183f.]

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Fiddled Data

A Scandal of Global Significance

This may be significant.  At last the manipulation and false construction of historical global temperature data is going to come under weighty scrutiny.  Satellite based temperature records are increasingly diverging from land based measurements.  Satellite records show no warming.  Earth based measures do.  How come?  The latter are massaged and manipulated manually.  They are adjusted upwards by sticky fingers--to fit the paradigm of global warming.  Then, when the "data" show record temperatures, the pollies and their media donkeys all bray in unison.  Global warming is a "fact";  the "science" is settled.  Money then flows to the hucksters and the confidence men.

In reality, global warming science is the biggest hoax ever seen.  Tulip mania and the South Sea Bubble were nothing compared to this. 

In the face of this disastrous, mendacious fiasco there is some good news.

Daily Devotional

Five Reasons to Be Fearless
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

John Piper

The reason God wants us not to be afraid concerning money and things is because that would magnify five great things about him.

First, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Shepherd. “Fear not, little flock.” We are his flock and he is our Shepherd. And if he is our Shepherd, then Psalm 23 applies: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” — that is, I shall not lack anything I really need.

Second, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Father. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." We are not only his little flock; we are also his children, and he is our Father. He really cares and really knows what you need and will work for you to be sure that you have what you need.

Third, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as King. He can give us the “kingdom” because he is the King. This adds a tremendous element of power to the one who provides for us. “Shepherd” connotes protection and provision. “Father” connotes love and tenderness and authority and provision and guidance. “King” connotes power and sovereignty and wealth.

Fourth, not being afraid shows how free and generous God is. Notice, he gives the kingdom. He doesn’t sell the kingdom or rent the kingdom or lease the kingdom. He is infinitely wealthy and does not need our payments. So God is generous and free with his bounty. And this is what we magnify about him when we are not afraid but trust him with our needs.

Finally, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as happy. It “pleases” him to give you the kingdom. He wants to do this. It makes him glad to do it. Not all of us had fathers like this, who were made happy by giving instead of getting. But that does not matter, because now you can have such a Father, and Shepherd, and King.

So the point of this verse is that we should treasure God as our Shepherd and Father and King who is generous and happy to give us the kingdom of God — to give us heaven, to give us eternal life and joy, and everything we need to get there.

If we treasure God in this way, we will be fearless and God will be worshipped.

Suffocating Do-Gooders

Socialism and Paternalism Are Conjoined Twins

Controlling the media has always been a fixation with Fabian socialists.  Using forcibly extracted citizen's money to fund state media (radio, television) to produce broadcasts celebrating the panoply of causes associated with statist secularism has been a focus of the Left for generations.  If you cannot take control by revolution and force, the next best thing is to win hearts and minds.  However, the Left has always been lazy and in too much of a hurry.  Better to use the levers of state power to push state hegemony and socialist causes. 

This leads to another socialist sacred cow.  In the Leftist worldview, human society is divided along property lines.  The propertied (capitalists) are oppressors and exploiters.  The working classes and the poor are the oppressed wretched of the earth.  One struggles to get any traction educating (propagandising) working class rubes because they don't have sufficient money to fund expensive propaganda outlets like television and radio and newspapers.  Therefore, the strategy has been to exploit the monied classes through a progressive taxation system to fund socialist propaganda through the mass media, via public broadcasting.

Consequently, amongst the Fabian socialists, public broadcasting--funded by the taxpayer--has long been a sacred cow for Leftist causes, the promotion of statism and more government controls, and secularism.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Letter From America (About Rand Paul's "Rules of Engagement" on Abortion)

Why Rand Paul’s Approach to the Media Is Dangerous for Democrats
By Michael Barone 

Daily Devotional

On Death and Dying

TO MRS. JOHNSON: On the good the dead do by dying well and by comforting us (in the Holy Spirit) afterward; and on how heaven and earth are better than we can imagine.

C. S. Lewis

7 August 1956

Would you believe it!—I had recently felt anxious as to how you were getting on and in praying for you (as of course I do for all who correspond with me on religious matters) I had added a prayer that I might soon hear some good news of you. And also at once your letter . . . arrived.

All you tell me is good and very good. Your mother-in-law has done good to the whole circle by the way she died. And where she has gone I don’t doubt she will do you more still. For I believe that what was true of Our Lord Himself (‘It is expedient for you that I go, for then the Comforter will come to you’ [John 16:7]) is true in its degree (of course, an infinitesimal degree in comparison, but still true) of all His followers. I think they do something for us by dying and shortly after they have died which they couldn’t do before—and sometimes one can almost feel it happening. (You are right by the way: there is a lot to be said for dying—and being born—at home.)

No, I don’t wish I knew Heaven was like the picture in my Great Divorce, because, if we knew that, we should know it was no better. The good things even of this world are far too good ever to be reached by imagination. Even the common orange, you know: no one could have imagined it before he tasted it. How much less Heaven.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 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.

Unmasking the Enemy

House Left

The modern Left resembles the house that Jack built. In the past fifty years, the Left--once an earnest warrior for Marxist socialism--has morphed into a competing cluster of causes and beliefs.  It is riddled with  contradictions and irrationality.    As time passes, however, it reveals more and more clearly the ideological animus upon which the madhouse is built.

Peter Hitchens became a committed Trotskyite in his youth.  He has travelled Left for a good deal of his adult life.  He has occupied Jack's house from within.  He is a compelling tour guide.
Jack's House

The foundations of the House-Left were laid in secular rationalism; its twin foundation stones were rationalism (the mind of man is the ultimate authority) and secular materialism (matter is the only reality).  Upon these foundations the floor of Marxism was laid.  Then building the superstructure began.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Supporting Testimony

Shards of Truth

Christians are "presuppositional" creatures.  They believe in the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable God because not to be believe in Him destroys the very possibility of meaning itself.  Therefore, all of life and existence--the entire cosmos itself--testifies to God.  The fact that these sentences have meaning and can be discussed, cogitated upon, debated, and argued provides proof of God Who has created and sustains all things.

As Karl Popper once expressed it, the cosmology of stochasticity or randomness or evolutionism cannot possibly be true, because were it to be true, it could never be described or meaningfully discussed.  The fact that it can be described, debated, and discussed is a certain proof that it cannot possibly be true. 

When archaeological discoveries are made which are consistent with ancient biblical history, wise Christians do not see these as "proving" the Bible's account.  Rather they provide supporting testimony.  We smile when pieces of evidence emerge which testify to the historical accuracy of the Biblical account.

Here is one such example:

Daily Devotional

Conquerors of All

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
Romans 8:37

Charles H. Spurgeon

We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Take your sins to Christ's cross, for the old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified with him. The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus.

To give an illustration--you want to overcome an angry temper; how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way. It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, "Lord, I trust thee to deliver me from it." This is the only way to give it a death-blow. Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please, but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ. Tell him, "Lord, I have trusted thee, and thy name is Jesus, for thou dost save thy people from their sins: Lord, this is one of my sins; save me from it!"

Ordinances are nothing without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears--the whole of them put together--are worth nothing apart from him. "None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;" or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must grow among his olives in Gethsemane.

Europe Frozen by Faux Guilt and Misdirected Pity

Killing Innocents

People smugglers are killers.  Pure and simple.  Europe remains frozen in the headlights as people smugglers kill thousands whilst crossing the Mediterranean Sea.  European nations are "conflicted".  They are so imprisoned in a faux humanitarian ideology that they indirectly cause the deaths of innocent people--men, women, and children.

Australia faced the same crisis.  Under the previous Labour administration, the "boat people" from Indonesia, Vietnam, and other countries were carried relentlessly in rickety boats to Australia, duped and gulled by people smugglers, trading in human desperation.  As soon as Labour was tossed out, the Abbott government stopped the traffickers overnight.  They turned the boats back.  The foul trade has stopped.

By allowing the survivors into Europe as refugees, European authorities are providing every incentive for the smugglers to continue their nefarious trade.  But Tony Abbott has provided a voice of sanity amidst the crisis:

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Christianity No Longer a Religion, But Merely a Culture

The Ottomans Return

Christians Harried Out of the Land; On the Brink of Extinction In Turkey

Mary Chastain

The Christian population of Turkey is evaporating rapidly. The nation, a NATO member since 1952, has experienced a reduction in its Christian population from 20% 100 years ago to only 0.2% today. The latest blow in the community occurred at the Hagia Sophia during Easter holy week.

“The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years Saturday,” reported the Anatolian News Agency of Turkey. “The Religious Affairs Directorate launched the exhibition ‘Love of Prophet,’ as part of commemorations of the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”

Istanbul was once known as Constantinople, founded by Roman Emperor Constantine in 324. He made it the capital of Rome before it fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. They made it their capital until the empire collapsed after World War I. Modern day Turkey officially renamed it Istanbul in 1923.

Daily Devotional


"And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good."
Genesis 32:12

Charles H. Spurgeon

When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and Esau was coming with armed men, he earnestly sought God's protection, and as a master reason he pleaded, "And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." Oh, the force of that plea! He was holding God to his word--"Thou saidst."

The attribute of God's faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon; but the promise, which has in it the attribute and something more, is a yet mightier holdfast--"Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." And has he said, and shall he not do it? "Let God be true, and every man a liar." Shall not he be true? Shall he not keep his word? Shall not every word that cometh out of his lips stand fast and be fulfilled?
Solomon, at the opening of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God to remember the word which he had spoken to his father David, and to bless that place.

When a man gives a promissory note, his honour is engaged; he signs his hand, and he must discharge it when the due time comes, or else he loses credit. It shall never be said that God dishonours his bills. The credit of the Most High never was impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to the moment: he never is before his time, but he never is behind it. Search God's word through, and compare it with the experience of God's people, and you shall find the two tally from the first to the last.

Many a hoary patriarch has said with Joshua, "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass." If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an "if," you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfil the promise, or he would not have given it. God does not give his words merely to quiet us, and to keep us hopeful for awhile with the intention of putting us off at last; but when he speaks, it is because he means to do as he has said.

A Reckless Prediction

Selling the Nation Down the River

OK.  We are going out on a limb here.  We are going to make a prediction about a political contest.  This is something we generally refrain from--but this one is based on something we have never seen before in recent US political history.

We are beginning to think that Hillary Clinton's attempt to win the Democratic nomination as its candidate for President is going to fail.  To this point Hills has been the front-runner, heir designate, the Appointed One and so on.  So far, there have been no Democratic challengers.  Moreover, Hills's future was made doubly secure the other day when the NZ Prime Minister, John Key endorsed her.  And that, dear friends, is the most coveted political prize on the planet. 

But now it would not surprise us if Hill's tossed in the towel and withdrew her candidacy.  But, even if she were to limp on she will likely not get the nomination.  And even if she were to get nominated as the Democratic candidate, the probability of her being trounced at the polling booth has risen substantially.  The smart money (versus the sleazy money) knows this.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Islam Increasingly Self-Conscious and True to Itself

ISIS to Western Christians: "You Won't Have Safety ... Until You Embrace Islam"

by Raymond Ibrahim
The Christian Post
April 20, 2015

Originally published under the title, "ISIS Slaughters Ethiopian Christians, Vows to Slaughter Western Christians"
Islamic State terrorists behead Ethiopian Christian migrant laborers in Libya on April 19.

Approximately two months after the Islamic State (IS) published a video depicting its members slaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, on Sunday, April 19, the Islamic jihadi organization released another video of more Christians in Libya being massacred, this time for not paying jizya—extortion money demanded of the "People of the Book" according to Koran 9:29.

Two scenes appear in the 29-minute-long video published by al-Furqan, the Islamic State's media wing. The first scene consists of a group of Christian Ethiopians dressed all in black, on their knees, with their arms tied behind their backs. Masked IS members stand behind the Ethiopians with rifles aimed at their heads. According to the video, this scene takes place in the city of Fezzan. The Christian captives are called "Worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian Church."

The second scene shows more Christian Ethiopians dressed in orange uniforms and standing on the shores of Barqa, the same region where 21 Egyptian Christians were earlier decapitated for refusing to convert to Islam.

Other scenes include the narrator referencing the fatwas of medieval jurist Ibn Taymiyya that proclaim all Christians "infidels." Then Abu Malik ibn Ans al-Nashwan, apparently one of the group's leaders, appears saying that "The dealings of the Islamic State with Christians under its authority is according to Allah's Sharia [Islamic law]. Jizya [tribute] is imposed on those who accept, and war on those who resist."

Daily Devotional

A Future for Failures

“Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain.” (1 Samuel 12:20–21).

John Piper

When the Israelites have been brought to fear and repent of their sin of demanding Samuel to give them a king, then comes the good news: “Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain” (12:20–21).

This is the gospel — even though you have sinned greatly, and terribly dishonored the Lord, even though you now have a king which it was a sin to get, even though there is no undoing that sin or its painful consequences that are yet to come, nevertheless there is a future and a hope.

Fear not! Fear not!  Then comes the great ground of the gospel in verse 22. “For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”

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

In the Darkest Hours

Bright, Shining Light

Several weeks ago, a horrific story of murder emerged from Kabul.
In life, Farkhunda would have been an unlikely role model for empowering Afghanistan's women.  Every day, she wore the head-to-toe black garment favored by conservative Muslim women. She studied at an Islamic religious school. She believed, her father said, that women should be educated in order to raise their children in a good way, manage their house and make their husbands happy.

In death, however, Farkhunda has become a champion for women's rights and the rule of law. The 27-year-old's brutal murder by a mob last week has galvanized this nation in a way no other recent atrocity has. It has unleashed a society's deep-rooted frustrations with the unchecked violence in everyday life, highlighting the continuing struggle between Afghanistan's ancient customs and modern laws. . . .

She was accused of burning a Quran, a crime punishable by death in Afghanistan, according to Islamic law - a crime authorities later said she did not commit.  Although details are unclear, some witnesses suggested that the attack was sparked by a dispute Farkhunda had with the mosque's imam. Whatever the case, the mob was bent on killing her in the most horrific manner. They dragged her body with a car, then burned it and threw it into the Kabul River.

It took two hours to murder her, the brutality unfolding as hundreds of people and armed policemen watched, doing nothing to save Farkhunda from her assailants. The neighborhood police headquarters was about a five-minute walk from the mosque. Many witnesses shot photos and videos with their smartphones.  [Stuff]
We are told that many Muslims are departing their religion in disgust at such violence.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Letter From Australia (About the Drug Wars)

Prohibition Makes Perpetual War

Tim Dick
Sydney Morning Herald

. . . One thing is clear from the current strategy in the war on drugs: prohibition is a ruinously expensive failure.

As former AFP commissioner Mick Palmer wrote in 2012: "The reality is that, contrary to frequent assertions, drug law enforcement has had little impact on the Australian drug market. This is true in most countries in the world. In Australia, the police are better resourced than ever, better trained than ever, more effective than ever and yet their impact on the drug trade, on any objective assessment, has been minimal."

The intention of prohibition – making drug consumers criminals – is to stop consumption, but it doesn't work. Because it doesn't, prohibition effectively protects the criminal cartels which deal drugs: no tax, no costly safety standards, no workers' compensation for those in your distribution network.  Those dealers who get caught are usually mules or street-level addicts. Prohibition fills prisons with them and clogs the courts and does 10-fifths of bugger all to reduce addiction.  Yet it is so embedded in the political culture of Australia, the US, and international law, that we ignore sensible and proven alternative ways to reduce the harm to users while bankrupting the murderous criminal syndicates who supply them.

Daily Devotional

Depending on God Alone

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the hard task of learning to depend only on God and on nothing and no one else.

C. S. Lewis

6 December 1955

I was most distressed by the news in your letter of Dec. 2nd. . . . And I can’t help you, because under the modern laws I’m not allowed to send money to America. (What a barbarous system we live under. I knew a man who had to risk prison in order to smuggle a little money to his own sister, widowed in the U.S.A.) By the way, we mustn’t be too sure there was any irony about your just having refused that other job. There may have been a snag about it which God knew and you didn’t.

I feel it almost impossible to say anything (in my comfort and security—apparent security, for real security is in Heaven and thus earth affords only imitations) which would not sound horribly false and facile. Also, you know it all better than I do. I should in your place be (I have in similar places been) far more panic-stricken and even perhaps rebellious. For it is a dreadful truth that the state of (as you say) ‘having to depend solely on God’ is what we all dread most. And of course that just shows how very much, how almost exclusively, we have been depending on things. That trouble goes so far back in our lives and is now so deeply ingrained, we will not turn to Him as long as He leaves us anything else to turn to. I suppose all one can say is that it was bound to come.

In the hour of death and the day of judgement, what else shall we have? Perhaps when those moments come, they will feel happiest who have been forced (however unwillingly) to begin practising it here on earth. It is good of Him to force us: but dear me, how hard to feel that it is good at the time....

All’s well—I’m half ashamed it should be—with me. God bless and keep you. You shall be constantly in my prayers by day and night.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 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.

A Paean to Humanitarianism

A Diabolical Joke

Australian columnist, Tim Blair writes in The Telegraph:
The UN recently decided that Israel was the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today. And then the UN appointed the Islamic Republic of Iran to the executive board of the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

UPDATE. Anne Bayefsky in 2008:

What we are seeing now is that universal human rights are being undercut by the very organisation that was created to protect them.
It can’t stop genocide in Sudan, it’s can’t stop the butchery that’s going on in Zimbabwe or get Aung San Suu Kyi out of Myanmar. And civilisation is threatened, we can’t be sanguine about it, we can’t sit around waiting and hoping that one day the UN will get it right.
Seven years on, the UN is making things worse.
The United Nations sits as a bloated Shelob upon  the shores of Turtle Bay, sucking the lifeblood out of humanity.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Government Science--An Oxymoron

Elderly Scientist Takes on Young Buck

Climate Change Hysteria



Dear Sir Peter

I would like to comment on the speech Trusting the Scientist  published at a summary of which you delivered to the recent seminar Scientists Speak Out organised by the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

You begin with the following statement:

It is instructive here to consider what the public role of science has been until now. For much of history beyond the classical period, the answer is a simple one: little or none.   Or so it was, at least up until the modern inter-war period, and even then it was rather limited until perhaps the late 1980s. Before then the scientist with a media profile was, too often, looked upon with suspicion by his or her colleagues.

Surely science has always had a vital public role if you interpret science to mean the  discoveries which are the basis for the many technologies which have led to the progress of human race. You seem to accept the existence and importance of the early science which culminated in ancient Greece and was the main influence throughout the Middle Ages.  Modern science is regarded as beginning well before the 1980s  with Copernicus, Kepler Galileo and Newton.

Daily Devotional

Christ All In All

"The Amen."
Revelation 3:14

Charles H. Spurgeon

The word Amen solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is "the Amen" in all his promises. Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

If you come to him, he will say "Amen" in your soul; his promise shall be true to you. He said in the days of his flesh, "The bruised reed I will not break." O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to him, he will say "Amen" to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years. Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour's lips which he has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away. If thou gettest a hold of but half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is called "Clip-promise," who will destroy much of the comfort of God's word.

Investment Advice for Secularists

No Future

The mindset of our secular age is incurably religious.  It's just that the objects of its fealty and devotion are other creatures.  Other humans--or humanity in the abstract.  Instead of a theocracy, secular humanism has erected a humanocracy, which is profoundly religious and worshipful.  As secular humanism has waxed so its tolerance of contrary beliefs has waned; as its power has grown, so its fear of, and anger against, contrary beliefs has burned more intensely.

In pre-modern Christendom it was believed that all of society was linked to, and dependant upon God.  If heretics were tolerated, evil consequences would fall upon the community in general.  Charles Taylor puts it this way with respect to the pre-modern age:

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

With Stirrups Raised to Molech

Douglas Wilson

The modern world has seen many revolutions, from the French revolution to the Russian, but the bloodiest of all of them has been the sexual revolution. And that provides the backdrop to our current uproar over the definition of marriage.

We are now much occupied with the issues swirling around same sex mirage, but we need to take great care not to get distracted. Why have the homosexual activists gone all in on this issue? Why is their prosecutorial zeal so adamant? We went, in just a matter of months, from “let’s let individual states” decide on this, to federal judges striking down state statutes, followed up hard by official harassment of florists, bakers, and photographers. Why the anger, and why the savage over-reach? And do they really think we wouldn’t remember all the things they were assuring us of this time last year?

I was talking last night with my daughter Rachel, and she mentioned something that she had observed, and which I believe is very much on point. The battle over same sex mirage is not just a distraction, but is intended to be a distraction. We do have to deal with these challenges to marriage, but without forgetting what they might be trying to drag us away from. And I am talking about the relationship between the abortion issue and the homosexual battle.

Daily Devotional

Don’t Be Like the Mule

Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. (Psalm 32:9)

John Piper

Picture God’s people as a farmyard of all sorts of animals. God cares for his animals, he shows them where they need to go, and supplies a barn for their protection.  But there is one beast on this animal farm that gives God an awful time, namely, the mule. He’s stupid and he’s stubborn and you can’t tell which comes first — stubbornness or stupidity.

Now the way God likes to get his animals into the barn for their food and shelter is by teaching them all a personal name and then calling them by name. “I will instruct you and teach you the way that you should go” (Psalm 32:8).  But the mule will not respond to that sort of direction. He is without understanding. So God gets in his pick-up truck and goes out in the field, puts the bit and bridle in the mule’s mouth, hitches it to the truck, and drags him stiff-legged and snorting all the way into the barn.

That is not the way God wants his animals to come to him for blessing.  One of these days it is going to be too late for that mule. He’s going to get clobbered with hail and struck by lightening and when he comes running the barn door is going to be shut.

Therefore, don’t be like the mule, but instead let everyone who is godly come to God in prayer at a time when he may be found (Psalm 32:6).  The way not to be a mule is to humble ourselves, to come to God in prayer, to confess our sins, and to accept, as needy little farmyard chicks, the direction of God into the barn of his protection.

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

Cultures and Warfare

When Ignorant Armies Clash By Night

Nations not infrequently fall into the trap of thinking that the armies and military of other nations are relatively useless.  It can trap them into a false sense of security.  It can also make them more bellicose and trigger-happy, persuading them that going to war is a small matter.  It will all be done and dusted in five minutes.  Or so we are told.  Nationalistic fervour is never a reliable guide in such matters. 

The history of nationalistic fervour leading to underestimating one's enemy is not exactly garlanded with laurel leaves.  Norvell De Atkine, a U.S. Army retired colonel with eight years residence in Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, and a graduate degree in Arab studies from the American University of Beirut, acknowledges some of the spectacular failures that have resulted from underestimating an enemy.  In an article entitled, Why Arabs Lose Wars, he writes:

Monday, 20 April 2015

Letter From America (About the Democratic Party)

Democrats Are the Real Abortion Extremists
Ian Tuttle

Daily Devotional

The Rod of Promise

"And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
Exodus 17:12

Charles H. Spurgeon

So mighty was the prayer of Moses, that all depended upon it. The petitions of Moses discomfited the enemy more than the fighting of Joshua. Yet both were needed. So, in the soul's conflict, force and fervour, decision and devotion, valour and vehemence, must join their forces, and all will be well. You must wrestle with your sin, but the major part of the wrestling must be done alone in private with God. Prayer, like Moses', holds up the token of the covenant before the Lord. The rod was the emblem of God's working with Moses, the symbol of God's government in Israel. Learn, O pleading saint, to hold up the promise and the oath of God before him. The Lord cannot deny his own declarations. Hold up the rod of promise, and have what you will.

Moses grew weary, and then his friends assisted him. When at any time your prayer flags, let faith support one hand, and let holy hope uplift the other, and prayer seating itself upon the stone of Israel, the rock of our salvation, will persevere and prevail. Beware of faintness in devotion; if Moses felt it, who can escape? It is far easier to fight with sin in public, than to pray against it in private. It is remarked that Joshua never grew weary in the fighting, but Moses did grow weary in the praying; the more spiritual an exercise, the more difficult it is for flesh and blood to maintain it. Let us cry, then, for special strength, and may the Spirit of God, who helpeth our infirmities, as he allowed help to Moses, enable us like him to continue with our hands steady "until the going down of the sun;" till the evening of life is over; till we shall come to the rising of a better sun in the land where prayer is swallowed up in praise.

Reality Check in China

Virtual Worlds Meet Divine Law

When men in their arrogance attempt to abrogate Natural Law--as established and decreed by God--they are given rope--enough rope with which to hang themselves.  The consequences of the rebellion are usually unseen, but ultimately hard and real. 

An example is China's one-child-policy.  This policy was originally enacted to combat an alleged problem: the  over-population of China.  The rationalist-cum-materialists (aka, communists) decided the solution was to restrict couples to just one child.  The destructive consequences of this rebellion against divine law are becoming more and more evident.  This one instance of reckless hubris will end up doing  more than anything else to weaken China from within.

There is now a severe and burgeoning imbalance between the sexes which will destabilize Chinese society.  If you are allowed only one child, and abortion is the central state method of enforcing the dictat, then male children will be preferred to female because males are deemed to have better prospects.  For every hundred female children born, there are 117 males.  That adds up to millions of Chinese men unable to marry because there are no women available.  Men, unable to enter into marriage, congregating in large numbers will inevitably be drawn into anti-social, marauding behaviour. 

A society cannot rebel against the Creator's law--systematically and relentlessly--and escape the consequences.  Some of those consequences, whilst initially subtle, are now increasingly manifest.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

The 5 Smooth Stones of Theocratic Libertarianism

Douglas Wilson

Things in our public life together are gummed up enough that I believe we can openly call for radical reform. Whether we do or not, I think we are going to get the same treatment. We might as well respond with something that might actually help. Whatever the case, we will not be able to trim or pirouette our way out of this mess. As an insightful sailor on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor might have said, as the third wave of Japanese bombers flew over, “The time for nuance is passed.”

A few posts ago I mentioned the five smooth stones of theocratic libertarianism. This was in the context of an illustration using David and Goliath, and as with David, I think most of our problems would probably  be addressed in principle with just the first one.

At any rate, here are the basic features of theocratic libertarianism. Here are my five smooth stones.

Daily Devotional

Keeping On

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On keeping to a regular pattern of religious life during the storms of life.

C. S. Lewis

9 November 1955

I agree: the only thing one can usually change in one’s situation is oneself. And yet one can’t change that either—only ask Our Lord to do so, keeping on meanwhile with one’s sacraments, prayers, and ordinary rule of life. One mustn’t fuss too much about one’s state. Do you read St. Francis de Sales? He has good things to say on this subject. All good wishes.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 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.

The Death Spiral

Void-Integration Moving Apace

It seems that the Democratic Party in the United States has become relentlessly committed to abortion.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee faced up to a question indirectly put to her by Senator Rand Paul.

The latter was being pilloried by media with a whole host of gotcha questions about abortion provided by the Democratic National Committee (led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz).  These questions only went one way, to one kind of candidate (i.e. conservative Republican candidates).  The press as a rule never press advocates of abortion.  Paul deflected the questions, by suggesting that the media ask Wasserman Schultz what her position was:
Why don’t we ask the DNC: is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wass. if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that is just not yet born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to it.
Wasserman Schultz rose to the challenge.

Friday, 17 April 2015

A Vast Menu of Crimes

The Tyrannical Administrative State

According to the national anthem of the United States that country is the "land of the free and the home of the brave".  But well over one hundred and fifty years ago, the United States decided that Christendom was dead, and the Age of Man was just beginning.  The moot question at the time was whether there could be a secular society (with the odd, occasional reference to a Deity) which would be able to maintain the freedom from that tyranny which was the casus belli of the War of Independence. 

Now the question is no longer moot.  It has become obvious that when a society believes there is no higher power than man himself, collective man (the state) will construct an elaborate, comprehensive tyranny by which it will crush the citizens.  Now, more than ever before, it is apt to call Americans not citizens, but subjects.  The United States is no longer the "land of the free". 

George Will addresses this reality in a piece published in National Review Online.  He calls for the fixing of a tyranny.  He has no clear solutions about how to go about dismantling this tyranny, beyond a call for it to be done.  Banning the national anthem as a lie might be a startlingly good start.

Daily Devotional

Talk to God, Not Just About Him

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

John Piper

The form of this psalm is instructive.

In the first three verses David refers to God as “he”:
The Lord is my shepherd . . .
he makes me lie down . . .
he leads me . . .
he restores my soul.
Then in verses 4 and 5 David refers to God as “you”:
I will not fear, for you are with me;
your rod and staff comfort me;
you prepare a table before me;
you anoint my head with oil.
Then in verse 6 he switches back to the third person:
I shall dwell in the house of the Lord.
The lesson I have learned from this form is that it is good not to talk very long about God without talking to God.

Getting The Terms of Argument Clear

A Deformation of Islam

Let's have a reformation, shall we.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali has just published her latest book, entitled Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.  She begs an important question, What is a "reformation"?

Before we get into the details, for those of our readers unfamiliar with Ali, one of the most courageous voices of our day, The Daily Beast provides a brief biography:
Few figures on the intellectual scene today are as controversial or as compelling as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Somali-born author, speaker, activist, and former politician, Ali, 45, became a hijab-wearing radical Islamist as a teenager in Kenya, then a liberal atheist as an immigrant in the Netherlands; the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001 led her to a final break with faith. She became a member of parliament who championed the rights of women and girls in immigrant Muslim communities, drawing both applause and ire with her forceful statements about the role of traditional Islam in their oppression. That theme was at the center of the 2004 short film Submission, on which she worked with gadfly filmmaker Theo Van Gogh—and which led to Van Gogh’s murder by a Muslim man and a death threat against Ali. She lives under heightened security to this day.
In calling for a reformation within Islam, we intuitively understand what Ali is arguing for. She goes on to explain:

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Letter From the UK (About an Anti-Christian Agenda in the NHS)

More Persecution in the UK

Christian NHS worker appeals ruling she 'bullied' Muslim colleague by praying for her; Suspended for Gross Misconduct

Lawyers for Victoria Wasteney lodge appeal against tribunal, claiming human rights were breached when she was disciplined after claims she tried to convert Enya Nawaz 

A Christian health worker who was found to have bullied and harassed a junior Muslim colleague when she prayed for her has launched an appeal, saying the ruling breached her human rights. Senior occupational health therapist Victoria Wasteney, 37, claimed she was branded a "religious nutcase" after being disciplined when she was accused of trying to convert 25-year-old Enya Nawaz.

Miss Wasteney denied she ever attempted to convert her Pakistani Muslim colleague, saying she thought she and Miss Nawaz were friends.She also alleges Miss Nawaz was "manipulated" into complaining against her by colleagues at the East London NHS Trust, who allegedly had an "anti-Christian agenda".

Victoria Wasteney was suspended by the NHS

Miss Wasteney, from Ilford, had been the £50,000-a-year head of forensic occupational therapy at the John Howard Centre in Homerton, a secure hospital for mentally ill patients, since 2007.  She took the trust to an employment tribunal claiming it had failed to clear her of wrongdoing after an eight-month disciplinary process because it would be "politically incorrect" to find a Christian innocent.

The trust insists the disciplinary hearing was fair and denies it discriminated against Miss Wasteney.

The decision was upheld by an employment tribunal, but now lawyers have lodged an appeal citing article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of conscience and religion. Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "The tribunal found it was inappropriate for her to engage in prays [sic] or give her colleague a book given her senior position.

"She is just an open, friendly, kind person and had a normal relationship with a colleague and there was nothing untoward. We are going to the Employment Appeals Tribunal and will be arguing that the ECHR enshrines the freedom to be able to speak about faith in the workplace and not be disciplined for it and have conversations with others. We lodged the papers on Thursday."

She added: "The NHS is increasingly dominated by a suffocating liberal agenda that chooses to bend over backwards to accommodate certain beliefs but punishes the Christian."

The tribunal had heard Miss Nawaz, whom Miss Wasteney had previously met when she was a student, started as an occupational therapist as part of a group of 30 managed by Miss Wasteney.  Miss Wasteney told the tribunal the younger woman had "sought a personal friendship" with her as well as regularly seeking her out for advice on how to "grow professionally within the service".

She added they would speak in a "mutually curious" way about their "shared passion for the things of God", adding it was "not unusual" for Miss Nawaz to initiate conversations about faith.

The John Howard CentreThe John Howard Centre

Miss Wasteney said it was the Muslim woman who had first approached her about her interest in combating human trafficking and was "so excited" when she came to an anti-slavery event hosted by the Christian Revival Church at the O2 Arena, which she attended.

She said Miss Nawaz had then come to her in tears because she was upset about health problems and had agreed for Miss Wasteney to pray for her. Miss Wasteney also gave Miss Nawaz a book, "I Dared to Call Him Father", about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity - but denied it was an attempt to make her convert.

On June 14 2013, the claimant was presented with the complaint by her supervisor John Wilson, which accused her of wanting to convert Miss Nawaz to Christianity.  The allegations included Miss Wasteney requesting Miss Nawaz pray with her, setting up healing sessions at Miss Nawaz's house and telling she would not be healed unless she was converted. She was suspended on the grounds of "gross misconduct" and a hearing held in February 2014 heard there had been a breakdown in the "firewall" between her personal beliefs and her work.

She was given a final written warning as a result, which was later reduced to first written warning on appeal. She returned to work in March 2014, but alleged the "hostility" she experienced pressured her into leaving the John Howard centre and moving to the trust's headquarters.

Christians should 'leave their beliefs at home or get another job'

Daily Devotional

The World's Honour

"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?"
Psalm 4:2

Charles H. Spurgeon

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.

1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.

2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal's stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, "I thirst," they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son.

3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.

Sally Kohn For President!

More Qualified Than Most

We are reasonably hopeful that the homosexual shock troops will find themselves embarrassed by one Sally Kohn.  Once again the vanguard of secular statism is probably finding itself afflicted by the syndrome of the embarrassing advocate.  If so, you have our sympathy and condolences.  There's nothing much you can do when you have friends like Sally.

This, from Patterico

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Our Transgressive Daisy Chain

Douglas Wilson

The great need of the hour is for Christians in North America to get a map in their heads, a map that has an x on it, that x indicating “you are here.” Related to this, we need to know how exactly we got here. We need to be oriented, and that means we need to be oriented by Scripture — not by the secularists who taunt us, on the one hand, or by the evangelical bedwetters, who believe every last one of their taunts, on the other.
It is not as though we were not warned. We were warned repeatedly, but we did not have the right categories in our minds to process those warnings. We had some prophetic souls who were able to point out where the x was going to be a century after their time. We are now standing on it and we still don’t know. Here is Chesterton, near the beginning of the 20th century.

Too big to fight, or too big to miss?
“For the next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality. And it is coming, not from a few Socialists surviving from the Fabian Society, but from the living exultant energy of the rich resolved to enjoy themselves at last, with neither Popery nor Puritanism nor Socialism to hold them back . . . The madness of tomorrow is not in Moscow, but much more in Manhattan.” (G.K. Chesterton: ‘The Next Heresy,’ in G.K.’s Weekly, June 19, 1926).

And this libertine excess, which throws off the “chains” established by God’s moral order, does not result in greater freedom for all. It results in petty tyrannies, soft despotism, and all those 16 ounce soda bans. Chesterton again:

“For when you break the great laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws” (Chesterton on Dickens, Collected Works XV, p. 151).

A glaring example of breaking the great laws would be our culture-wide unwillingness or inability to tell the difference between boys and girls, along with our unwillingness or inability to admit that these are the only two possible options on the menu.

Daily Devotional

On Bereavement And Loneliness

TO MARY MARGARET McCASLIN: On how, after weathering a bereavement, one feels abandoned by God; on how God works on our behalf even when we feel He is inactive; and on the necessity of continuing to use the ordinary means of the spiritual life during times of extraordinary need.

C. S. Lewis

2 August 1954

Thank you for your letter of the July 25th. I will certainly put you in my prayers. I can well believe that you were divinely supported at the time of your terrible calamity. People often are. It is afterwards, when the new and bleaker life is beginning to be a routine, that one often feels one has been left rather unaided. I am sure one is not really so. God’s presence is not the same as the feeling of God’s presence and He may be doing most for us when we think He is doing least.

Loneliness, I am pretty sure, is one of the ways by which we can grow spiritually. Until we are lonely we may easily think we have got further than we really have in Christian love; our (natural and innocent, but merely natural, not heavenly) pleasure in being loved—in being, as you say, an object of interest to someone—can be mistaken for progress in love itself, the outgoing active love which is concerned with giving, not receiving. It is this latter which is the beginning of sanctity.

But of course you know all this: alas, so much easier to know in theory than to submit to day by day in practice! Be very regular in your prayers and communions: and don’t value special ‘guidances’ any more than what comes through ordinary Christian teaching, conscience, and prudence.

I am shocked to hear that your friends think of following me. I wanted them to follow Christ. But they’ll get over this confusion soon, I trust.

Please accept my deepest sympathy.
From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack

The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 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.

What is the Truth?

Just the "Framing" Ma'am

Why is truth important?  Well, in everything but a Christian society it's likely not. Telling lies, gilding the lilly, burnishing a narrative, propaganda for the cause are all perfectly acceptable in the worldview of secular materialism.  It's the narrative.  It's the framing.  It's the vibe of the thing.  That's what's important.  At least Muslim ideology is candid about it.  Its doctrine of taqiyya justifies lying in a number of "circumstances".  In Hindu belief, since good and evil are part of the panoply of deities, both truth and lies are equally ultimate.

It is becoming more and more acceptable in the West to "lie for the cause".  The most recent example is a completely false story of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia perpetrated for ideological reasons.  The gullible were gulled--as expected.  Rolling Stone published the sensational story whilst the Chattering Classes ululated into their Chardonnay.  Dramatic stuff.  But . . .

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Man-Made Disaster

California's Drought

Carly Fiorina describes how the worst ever drought in California is due to the ignorance of the pagan natives.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said Monday that California’s water crisis is the result of “liberal environmentalists” who are “willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology.”

“With different policies over the last 20 years, all of this could be avoided,” Fiorina said on Glenn Beck’s radio program. “Despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”  Fiorina said that as a result, 70 percent of California’s rainfall “washes out to sea” year after year. . . .

“In California, fish and frogs and flies are really important — far more important apparently than the 40 percent unemployment rate in certain parts of central valley,” Fiorina said. “So the Senate and the president could waive some of those water restrictions. They have been asked to do so, and they have refused to do so.”  [TheBlaze]

Daily Devotional

God Strengthens Us Through Others

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31–32)

John Piper

What about the other ten apostles (not counting Judas)?  Satan was going to sift them too. Did Jesus pray for them?  Yes he did. But he did not ask the Father to guard their faith in the very same way he guarded Peter’s.

God broke the back of Peter’s pride and self-reliance that night in the agony of Satan’s sieve. But he did not let him go. He turned him around and forgave him and restored him and strengthened his faith. And now it was Peter’s mission to strengthen the other ten.  Jesus provided for the ten by providing for Peter. The strengthened becomes the strengthener.

There is a great lesson here for us. Sometimes God will deal with you directly, strengthening your faith alone in the wee hours of the morning. But most of the time (we might say ten-elevenths of the time) God strengthens our faith through another person.  God sends us some Simon Peter who brings just the word of grace we need to keep on in the faith: some testimony about how “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Eternal security is a community project. Whenever God encourages your heart with the promise that in Satan’s sifting your faith will not fail, then take that encouragement and double your joy by using it to strengthen your brothers and sisters.

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

The Balkanisation of Western Europe

Stupid Arrogance

Cultures never exist in a vacuum.  Never.  Every human culture draws upon habits, beliefs, and truths which, consciously or unconsciously, reflect a particular world-and-life view.  For many, if not most, particular cultural beliefs and practices have no more foundation than habit.  We do this or that (for example, female genital mutilation, or drinking in the pub on a Friday night) because we "have always done it".

But if one starts to think further Big Questions immediately come into play.  Is female genital mutilation right or wrong?  Is drinking at the pub right or wrong?  If both are moral actions, by what standard are they justified?  And upon what standard does the standard justifying female genital mutilation and pub-drinking rest in turn?  Whence does its authority come and upon what or whom does it rest?    And so forth.  Every culture will have embedded, tacit answers to these questions.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow


Douglas Wilson

Usually Jonah Goldberg talks good sense, but yesterday I heard him defending the Indiana law as nothing more than a pitiful little consolation prize for the religious right. He was saying that the same sex mirage juggernaut has carried the day, and all conservatives are asking for now is the right to be left alone. I want to explain why this is not the case. I want to provide a theological explanation on why this is not what is happening at all.

For those of you who check this site regularly in order to get your daily dose of whimsy, that mild, unassuming form of humor that I use to put a smile on your face, and a politically-correct spring in your step, I am afraid that today might be a little different. Usually I write with high levels of restraint, but I am afraid that we are now in a position where I cannot explain what is happening without getting into what is actually happening.

First, opponents of same sex mirage have often failed to recognize that rebellion against God’s order for marriage can fail on multiple levels, and not just one. In other words, homosex is not just immoral, as opposed to moral. It is not just disgusting, as opposed to alluring. It is not just kinky, as opposed to straight. All observations along those lines would be correct, but they do not explain why the current battleground is made up of florist shops, bakeries, and photography studios. That is what I wish to explain.

Daily Devotional

Cross Bearing

"On him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."
Luke 23:26

Charles H. Spurgeon

We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon's, it is not our cross, but Christ's cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ's cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

Knowing One's Place

Recovering The Joy of Battle 

In our corporate experience there are plenty of faithful Christians who live conscience stricken.  They are sure that they are not obeying sufficiently well to satisfy the exhortations and injunctions that come upon them like a deluge every Lord's day.  The preacher has just completed an exposition of the Apostle's command, "pray without ceasing" and many poor saints depart certain that they have failed to obey that command and that they live miserable Christian lives, racked with general unfaithfulness.  So the saints perpetually mourn, with little gaiety and laughter. 

They have forgotten (or have perhaps never been taught) that most of the commands and exhortations, particularly in the New Testament, are given to the church corporate, of which the individual believer is one part--or to use a Pauline illustration, a single member of an entire body.  True, the believer must play an role--a role appropriate to their gifts and calling--so that the congregation as a whole can pray without ceasing. 

When Christians sort this out, the joyful release from false guilt can be palpable.  Theologian, John Frame provides a broader and deeper biblical argument for this reality.  He argues that each of us must prioritize God's commandments in the light of one's situation and, in particular, one's callings.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Culture War — Now More Than Ever

Douglas Wilson

1992, Pat Buchanan put the phrase “culture war” on the map with his speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention. Since that time, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, but — we should be careful to note — it is all the same river. One of the things you may have noticed lately is that various Christians of various stripes have been trying to put distance between themselves and this culture war. They are “tired” of it. It just seems to go on and on, and what’s the point? Instead of all this, the Church should be focusing its energies on things like furrowed brow concern over climate change — something that will garner applause instead of sneers.

When it comes to the culture wars, I would like to begin by making a distinction between those who are tired from being on the right side, and those who are tired of being on the right side.

Daily Devotional

Only One

On hell

C. S. Lewis

[The fictional George MacDonald is speaking.] “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened.”. . .

“Hell is a state of mind—ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly.”. . .

“Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world, the Real World. Look at yon butterfly. If it swallowed all Hell, Hell would not be big enough to do it any harm or to have any taste. . . .

“A damned soul is nearly nothing: it is shrunk, shut up in itself. Good beats upon the damned incessantly as sound waves beat on the ears of the deaf, but they cannot receive it. Their fists are clenched, their teeth are clenched, their eyes fast shut. First they will not, in the end they cannot, open their hands for gifts, or their mouths for food, or their eyes to see.”

“Then no one can ever reach them?”

“Only the Greatest of all can make Himself small enough to enter Hell. For the higher a thing is, the lower it can descend—a man can sympathise with a horse but a horse cannot sympathise with a rat. Only One has descended into Hell.”

From The Great Divorce
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Great Divorce. Copyright © 1946, C. S Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed 1973 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.

"Equality Commission" Stamps Down on Christians

The Tyranny of Secular Law

By Nick Hallett
Breitbart London

[It's had to believe, but the following case is making its way through Northern Irish courts.  A baker was asked to bake a cake celebrating the achievements of ISIS in Syria.  The cake was to have depicted the ISIS black flag, and the legend, "Glory to the Caliphate".  The baker refused, and is now being hauled before the courts by the Equality Commission for its denigration of Islam and the Islamic customer who requested the special celebratory cake.

The above case is fictional.  The case below is not.  Spot the difference between the two cases. JT.]

Friday, 10 April 2015

Systemic Or Exceptional Injustice?

Bad Faith Forensics

There are few things more evil than when a judicial system preys upon the weak and the vulnerable.  The Guardian reviews the case of one man who has been facing execution in Alabama for the past 28 years.  He has just been released because wrongful conviction.

It is inevitable that mistakes in the justice system occur--hopefully rarely.  It is to be expected that such mistakes may be made in the very best of good faith--that is, without malice, intent, or a deliberate attempt to "fit" or frame the accused.  When such has not been the case and wrong convictions have resulted from an  accused not being able to fund an adequate defence, the very system becomes complicit in wickedness. When the state seeks conviction on the grounds of shonky, slip-shod forensic evidence, the sin and crime of bearing false-witness is almost inevitable.
Anthony Ray Hinton, 58, spent half his life on Alabama’s death row, sentenced to die for two 1985 murders that for decades he insisted he did not commit.  Over 28 years, the outside world changed while Hinton spent his days largely in a 5ft by 8ft prison cell. Children grew up. His mother died. His hair turned gray. Inmates he knew were escorted off to the electric chair or the lethal-injection gurney.

He was set free on Friday after new ballistics tests contradicted the only evidence – an analysis of crime-scene bullets – that connected Hinton to the slayings.  As he left the jail, Hinton said he would pray for the victims’ families as he has done for the past 30 years. They have suffered a “miscarriage of justice” as well, he said. He had less kind words for those involved in his conviction.  “When you think you are high and mighty and you are above the law, you don’t have to answer to nobody. But I got news for them, everybody who played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God,” Hinton said.