Incredible cognizant dissonance - instead of mulling the worldview that causes this insanity, blame the gun...
Modified to add:
In cyberspace, a young man with short blond hair calling himself Sturmgeist89 - presumed to be the school gunman - had spent the past few weeks broadcasting an extremist world view, weaving together far-left and neo-Nazi strands.
Together it formed what he called the "Manifesto of a Natural Selector".
"I cannot say that I am of the same race as this miserable, arrogant and selfish human race. No! I have evolved a step higher," he wrote in a blog.
In his account on the video-sharing website YouTube, which he accessed for the last time just hours before the shooting, Sturmgeist89 wrote he was "prepared to fight and die for my cause".
"I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection."
Posted by panta dokimazete at 6:23 PM
Just about a week after Ray Boltz, now Clay Aiken, who is referred to as a "born again Christian" admits to being gay. Beyond the label, what do the details reveal?
At this point, the only information I've seen comes from People Magazine: Clay Aiken: I'm a Gay Dad.
Let's look to the details of the article:
Says Aiken: "I have no idea if he'll be gay or straight. It's not something I'll have anything to do with, or that he'll have anything to do with. It's already probably up inside the code there ...
As for his own child, Aiken tells PEOPLE that Parker – who was conceived via in vitro fertilization with his best friend, music producer Jaymes Foster – will be raised in an environment that is "accepting and allowing him to be happy."
So what was his mom's reaction? "She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting." Even now, Aiken admits, "She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's come a long way."
"I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."
He adds that he hopes his fans "know that I've never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."
Says Aiken: "I have no idea if he'll be gay or straight. It's not something I'll have anything to do with,
Posted by All Things Reformed at 6:33 AM
Original questions posted here... - my hastily composed answers below:
1. Biblical Law. Matthew 5:17-18 says quite clearly that Jesus demands Christians follow Old Testament law completely, to the smallest possible point. Why don’t they?
Answer: Actually, the passage says that Jesus came to fulfill the Law. His righteousness in fulfilling the law through His perfect obedience is credited to His children.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
2. Infanticide. The modern Christian churches of the world tend to gloss the fact that God is a child killer—the 10th plague in Egypt—and say that Jesus set this right. Ignoring for a moment that the crucifixion is just one more child killing to fulfill God’s will, why does Jesus say He also will kill children in Revelation 2:23?
Answer: Actually, the Rev 2:23 passage is referring to the followers of the evil prophetess Jezebel as her children, just as followers of Christ are called the children of God.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
As far as the death of children in general are concerned, there is compelling evidence in Scripture that children, in general, are credited salvation if they die in childhood - Jesus displayed God's disposition toward children:
but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
So, for children, dying in childhood...
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
And only God has the right to disposition His creation - not Man.
3. Fact or Allegory. The Bible says the Earth is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, that it was created in 7 days, and that Man is made of dirt and Woman a piece of Man. Most churches today say that this is allegory. What passages of the Bible support it all being just allegory?
This is a multi-part answer, but in short, I do not believe in the 100% allegorical nature of Genesis - it is a slippery slope of never-ending capitulation:
a. Where does the Bible say Earth is between 6 and 8k old? How much time does the Bible record between the creation of earth and the Fall of Man? There is reason to believe that the recording of time began at the Fall, since prior to that Man did not age, so there was no reason to count the years. There could have been millions or billions of years between that time.
b. As far as the 7 day creation - there was no 7 day creation - it was 6 days. Anyway, why should we not believe the 6 day account, if we believe in an omnipotent God? What is your source of truth - God's Word or Man's presupposition-driven scientific theory? Can you go into the past and prove for certain that the Scriptural account is not literally true? I trust a holy God and am skeptical of flawed Man.
c. What reason do we have to believe that Man was not created from the dust and Woman out of Man? Man comes out of Woman today, right?
4. Needle’s Eye. Jesus said rich men don’t go to Heaven easily and even implied that it wasn’t possible. Why are so many people with money and property Christian if they are probably going to Hell?
Answer: Read this - I found it informative. Bottom line - the Scripture you reference is typical rabbinic hyperbole to illustrate the improbability of a rich man trusting God over his wealth.
5. Apocrypha and Biblical Revisions. The Bible of 400 CE and the Bible today differ by dozens of chapters and thousands of parts. Which Bible is the word of God and why does man edit it?
Answer: Not one of the textual variants changes a single orthodox teaching - get over it. God has preserved His truth.
Said another way: God through His providence, ensured that all but 5 New Testament books that are in our canon today, received universal acceptance from 100 AD forward. Now imagine for a moment if we removed the "disputed" books from our canon: 2 Peter, James, 2 Jn, 3 Jn, Revelation. (not that I am suggesting that of course) What doctrines would you not be able to prove without these books? None! This is what I believe Jesus meant when he said, "Scripture cannot be broken." and 1 Peter 1:23 that the "word of the Lord endures forever." And the word of God is "living, and active, and sharper than any two edged sword" (Heb 4:12)
6. Born Fallen. Even in this global age there are millions of persons who never hear the Good News. We are born in sin. Do some go to Hell just because of their birth circumstances?
Answer: As Scripture proclaims...
Salvation belongs to the LORD
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Who God elects for salvation is His choice, made possible through Christ, apart from any circumstance.
7. Graven Images. Isn’t wearing the cross and making statues and movies of the life of the Christ a violation of the 2nd Commandment? “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”
Answer: If you are worshiping these things, yes. If you dishonor Christ while wearing these symbols, yes. Otherwise, no.
8. Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Trials. Historians put the number of those killed and executed by Christian churches at between 2 and 15 million; mostly Jews, witches/pagans, and Muslims. Do Christians retain this murderous nature? If not, why not?
Answer: "Love God, love your neighbor" is at the core of the Christian faith. It is true that people have been killed by folks claiming Christ, but actions speak louder than words.
Also - in contrast - the 2 and 15 million is over the span of 2000 years - the governments claiming secular or atheistic principles murdered over 100 million in the first half of the 20th century! I'd be careful at whom I point fingers.
9. Turn the other Cheek. Jesus instructs the saved to love and to forgive even deadly insults (Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” et cetera). Why do no prominent Christian leaders seem to follow this?
Answer: Claiming Christ and emulating Him are 2 different things. Look to Christ, not sinful Man, as your example. The prominent Christian leaders I look to do follow His example, while admitting their own sinfulness and at the same time, setting it aside to honor Jesus.
10. Free will. Freedom to choose is given to man by God. Man has two main choices: 1) accept the Love of God and, upon death, go to paradise for eternity, 2) Refuse God and, upon death, just die, be utterly damned. How is that freedom of choice when it is the same thing as a gun to your head?
Answer: Free will only existed prior to the Fall of man (that is, if the condition exists at all - I think the term falls in the same order as a "square circle" - a contradiction in terms) - the Bible clearly teaches that post-Fall, "there is none who does good" and "all have sinned" and "anyone that has sinned is a slave to sin" - therefore it is an act of supreme mercy that God chooses anyone from out of prideful and sin-enslaved Man.
Soli Deo Gloria!......
Posted by panta dokimazete at 8:19 PM
Nationally, the Southern Baptists have adopted statements discouraging women from being pastors, but their 42,000 U.S. churches are independent and a few have selected women to lead their congregations.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 7:17 AM
Over at Reformation 21, Dr. Ligon Duncan provides some insightful quotations from John Newton that link our beliefs with our practice when it comes to conversing with others in religious debate.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 8:59 AM
A professor of Vatican university verbally attacked creationism and fundamentalists while touting the merits of Darwinian evolution according to a Foxnews.com article.
Take time to read the article. I think you will be shocked. Take for example the following quote, "Creationism from a strictly theological view makes sense, but when it is used in scientific fields it becomes useless," Ravasi said. What exactly does a statement like this mean? That special creation has theological value but no practical value? Let Pope Benedict himself tell you, "the word of God can never simply be equated with the letter of the text"
Ministries such as Answers In Genesis that work in the field of creation science have been unambigious about what the real issue is. In an article on their website, Ken Ham has explicitly stated, "AiG’s main thrust is NOT ‘young Earth’ as such; our emphasis is on Biblical authority."
These statements from the Vatican clearly show that the battleground is not set upon scientific theory. The battlelines are as old as the papacy itself: Sola Scriptura. The pope has declared, "excludes by its nature everything that today is known as fundamentalism"
Contrast this to J.A. Wylie's account of a statement by the Archbishop of Mainz in his History of Protestantism, Volume 1, p.4 "Musculus says that many of them never saw the Scriptures in all their lives. It would seem incredible, but it is delivered by no less an authority than Amama, that an Archbishop of Mainz, lighting upon a Bible and looking into it, expressed himself thus: 'Of a truth I do not know what book this is, but I perceive everything in it is against us.'"
Mark it well my brethren, the papacy has not changed its stand against the authority of Holy Scripture to usurp it with their own. These issues while surrounding the subject of historical and biological science are truly a battle being waged upon the authority and sufficiency of Holy Scripture.
The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, together with the Westminster Confession of Faith, states: "The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved."
Let this be the plumbline by which we judge this controversy.
Posted by Geoff Flahardy at 6:17 AM
In reading about Ray Boltz, I came across a church website which in it's welcome stated:
You will find a warm welcome whoever you are -- straight or gay, white or black, Asian or Hispanic, conservative or liberal, old or young, rich or poor, deaf or hearing, married or single, transgender or any gender identity. Like the early Church, we are a rainbow congregation!
"...Our denominational Statement of Faith is tied to the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, which have served as the basic creeds of Christianity since the early days of the Church. Beyond these basics, however, we leave it to each individual to work out the details of his or her faith in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures. Unlike many churches, we do not feel it is healthy or wise to try to compel each individual to believe exactly alike. We respect our congregants and treat them like adults who have both the responsibility and capacity to discern God's will.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 7:28 AM
“...If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”
Posted by All Things Reformed at 7:32 AM
Craig Finn, lead singer and songwriter for Brooklyn's the Hold Steady, writes about drug addiction, casual sex, and Jesus.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 2:41 PM
If there is no God, and man is totally free, then why must one "do to others as you would have them do unto you"?
(Note - if it is recognized that one is free and that one just must accept responsibility and consequences, ... then if one is willing to accept the consequences, then must one "do unto others what they would have others do to them?)
Posted by All Things Reformed at 9:39 PM
William Lane Craig responds...
Posted by Puritan Lad at 1:36 PM
The following quotes are from a new nurse on her experience of death, taken from here. Her words powerfully speak for themselves.
At my job, people die. That’s hardly our intention, but they die nonetheless.
Usually it’s at the end of a long struggle — we have done everything modern medicine can do and then some, but we can’t save them.
When George Clooney and Juliana Margulies went through these routines on “E.R.,” it seemed exciting and glamorous. In real life the experience is profoundly sad.
a death like this is unsettling
Often at work in the hospital I hear John Donne in my head:
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.
But after my Condition A I find his words empty.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 8:41 AM
This enduring “sex difference in competitiveness,” he concludes, “must be considered a genuine failure for the sociocultural conditions hypothesis” that the personality gap will shrink as new roles open for women.
When men and women take personality tests, some of the old Mars-Venus stereotypes keep reappearing. On average, women are more cooperative, nurturing, cautious and emotionally responsive. Men tend to be more competitive, assertive, reckless and emotionally flat. Clear differences appear in early childhood and never disappear.
For social-role psychologists, the bad news is that the variation is going in the wrong direction.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 8:20 AM
Discussion abounds as to whether Christians are being "inconsistent" while giving support to a woman for a high public office while not allowing women to serve as leaders (pastors, officers) in the church.
Of the various answers I've read, Al Mohler's is perhaps the best so far, but even he stops short suggesting the Scripture addressess the church but does not speak to civil office (which to a large degree is true).
Can an answer be given to this question from Scripture? I say Yes. My answer follows:
A seminary professor (RTS) once put it this way,
1. In the HOME, God has established men as the head.
2. In the CHURCH, God has established men as the leaders.
3. In the WORSHIP of the church (which is central to all we do, & an example to other areas of life) God has established men as the leaders.
I would add to this:
4. While God does not specifically speak to other areas of life, these examples certainly set precedent.
5. At the same time, as with Deborah, while the precedent remains, it does not prohibit a woman's service in leadership especially if called upon because the situation merits it (for example, if men will not step up to serve, etc.)
This being said, given the current political situation and as with any election, Christians must decide who to vote for not just on this one issue but on a variety of issues.
With all these factors combined, while there will certainly come assaults of "inconsistency" no matter what Christians do, the Scripture provides justification for Christians to make correct judgments, as we uphold both the dignity of both men and women, the difference in roles, as well as the fact that the merits of each circumstance must be judged individually.
1. This justification is independent of the current election and not subject to the charge of inconsistency.
2. Christians should avoid the unbiblical position which denies role distinctions between men and women.
3. Bad fruit can result from false justification and it's communication as well as from bad decisions themselves. Likewise good fruit results from both good decisions and the communication of sound justification.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 8:24 PM
"All great stories begin with the question, 'What if . . .'" Rudyard Kipling
"great" as in large.
"stories" as in fairy tales.
Posted by panta dokimazete at 5:40 PM
The battle is no longer over whether science or religion will give us truth, but over the very existence of truth.” We desperately need to recognise this, and learn how to wage war on this new front. One of the most dangerous things we can do is continue to concentrate our forces on that side of the city which is no longer under attack.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 9:54 AM
Dr Lirwan Mohammed, the executive secretary of the Bauchi Action Committee on Aids, said the polygamous culture of northern Nigeria had increased the spread of the disease.
Polygamy, as we have discovered, has become a potent source of spreading the HIV scourge in Nigeria," he said.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 9:15 AM
Often, unstudied Christians (I speak from experience) misunderstand the questions others ask concerning free will.
To the Christian, free will often raises the thought of issues related to man's ability and responsibility when it comes to original and actual sin.
However, for the naturalist / nihilist, while the issue can involve matters related to ability & responsibility (i.e., ethics), it's often more a question of being and meaning, that is... if matter is all there is, and if the cosmos operates with a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system [some differ on this], and if man is more or less a machine, then the question among naturalists & nihilists when it comes to "free will" deals more with significance, dignity and meaning.
James Sire in his book The Universe Next Door puts it well when he says:
"The issue of human freedom goes deeper than these naturalists see... [SURE] I can do what I WANT, but WHAT I WANT is the RESULT of PAST STATES OF AFFAIRS over which ultimately I HAVE NO CONTROL. I did not freely select my particular genetic makeup or my original family environment. By the time I asked whether I was free to act freely, I was so molded by nature and nurture that the very fact that the question occurred to me was determined. That is, my SELF ITSELF was determined by outside forces. I can indeed ask such questions, I can act according to my wants and desires, and I can appear to myself to be free, but it is appearance only. Nietzsche is right: 'the acting man's delusion about himself, his assumption that free will exists, is also part of the calculating mechanism.'" [CAPS, MY emphasis]
Christians in debating unbelivers over free will must be careful to understand and address what's actually being asked and/or what's actually being addressed, for what's at hand on one level goes deeper than the relationship between man's "free and bound" will even to the issue of the existence of free will.
Posted by All Things Reformed at 9:11 AM
While many in the church today, who having bitten off the principles of the world rather than swallowing the word of God, fail to recognize it, the truth remains that CHRISTIAN SKEPTICISM is not only our great heritage and long standing tradition, but also our Christian calling! (Swordbearer: Christian Skepticism – Our Great Heritage and Calling; July 07)
The key is how the different schools of thought withstand internal critique. Naturalism struggles with internal critique, because it is inductive by nature. Any of its conclusions can be viewed with skepticism, because we can never examine all the evidence in all relationships in all senses. It further refuses to admit to its own metaphysical components. For example, how can the naturalist prove the laws of logic by use of the scientific method, without being viciously circular? It is a metaphysical assumption held to by a groundless faith. (Puritan Lad: Team CS and the clash of the worldviews!; July 07)
If you say that God is “unnecessary in everything we know about”, how do you know that? Do you know “everything we know about”? Who are “we”? How did you come to know the meaning of the word “be”? You said that you don’t know where the universe comes from. How does that remove the necessity for God? At the very least, it is equally an explanation as any other if you don’t know. So then God is not removed from everything we know about, since the universe had to come into existence in order to exist. (Puritan Lad: Team CS and the clash of the worldviews!; July 07)
You mean to say that you actually have evidence that the universe wasn’t created? That would be monumental. Can you point us to this evidence? (Puritan Lad: Team CS and the clash of the worldviews!; July 07)