09 July 2016

Evidence and the Rule of Law

As the years march on post-2001 we're still only beginning to grasp the full implications of the Patriot Act and the fundamental changes that have swept through our society.

04 July 2016

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

There is an oft-repeated but utterly fallacious argument that Democracy and Capitalism go hand in hand. Capitalism is about 'voting' for what goods and services you want and is thus an extension of the democratic system.

02 July 2016

The Day of Lies

This Sunday will effectively be the July 4th Sunday, the day in which the National holiday is commemorated. In the Patriotic liturgy that has overtaken American Evangelicalism we might call this a high holy day.

But in truth it is a day of darkness, a day of evil, a day of lies.

28 May 2016

Memorial Day: A Lamentation

Memorial Day was born out of the US Civil War. All wars deal heavily in propaganda but a civil war can be the most vicious in this regard and perhaps the most emotional and subject to future sentimentality. The US Civil War and its many myths is no exception. It was only a lesson in what was to come.

Obama the Sociopath, Human Rights and Nuclear Weapons

The Right-wing media assails Obama for his 'apology tours' in places like Cuba, Vietnam and Japan.

The reality couldn't be more different. He's not apologizing. His tours are exercises in smug triumphalism and obfuscation of the historical record.

11 May 2016

Zuckerberg

The world is a crazy place. Black is white and white is black, evil is good and good evil.

Mark Zuckerberg is esteemed, a tech-sage, an icon to be emulated and listened to. Zuckerberg is the man who made social media part of the warp and woof of daily life. Zuckerberg, the man who helped society flourish through connectivity.

07 May 2016

Inbox: Finance Capital and Why I Don't Have a 401K or an IRA

This is not meant to condemn those that do or those who invest in the market. You must form your own convictions but I will briefly explain why I do not own investments or a retirement account.

01 May 2016

Solomon's Basilica: Church Buildings and Confusion

This is not a comprehensive piece on Church buildings. I could easily put together a book-length piece on this but for now I'll only raise a few points spurred on by something I saw recently.

We could debate over when Church buildings appeared. There's some evidence to suggest they began to appear during the interlude in persecution that occurred in the 3rd century between Decius and Diocletian.

23 April 2016

Materialism, Nihilism and the Subjective

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCVRrybYWNE

This 4 minute video while both humorous and repugnant reveals more than it intends. Like it or not this is the social trajectory and it is a path of self destruction. Both dominant secular models that of the Scientific Materialist relying on sceptical inductive empiricism and that of the Subjective Individualist resting in existentialism have led the culture to epistemological chaos and can offer no remedy.

14 April 2016

Pakistan: Imperial Blowback and the Shapur Effect

In 1757 the British defeated a joint Mughal-French army at the Battle of Plassey. This set them on a course to dominate the whole of the Indian Subcontinent forever changing its history.

09 April 2016

Arlington Cemetery: Tribalism and Idealism, Propaganda and Reflection

It always impresses me when you cross the Arlington Bridge over the Potomac. After whipping around the Lincoln Memorial and skipping the right turn to Foggy Bottom and Watergate you cross the bridge and if you look up there's Robert E. Lee's house looming over you and overlooking Arlington Cemetery.

02 April 2016

Psyops and State Idolatry

My wife and I are always struck by the security in places like Philadelphia and Washington DC. We remember these places in the 1990s and in many ways these cities have from our standpoint been all but ruined. Security now dominates every museum and historical monument. Streets are closed, buildings blocked and its all for naught.

25 March 2016

Imperial Narratives, Urban Planning and Architecture

The movie Downfall (Der Untergang) contains many fascinating scenes but there's one in particular that recently came to mind. In the movie Hitler is pondering a magnificent scale model of the Berlin he imagined, the Berlin that he dreamed up with his architect Albert Speer. This Berlin was not just the Berlin of Bismarck and the Hohenzollerns but a new Ultra-Imperial Berlin, the "Welthauptstadt Germania" the city of not just a European power but a world empire. It was a city that would exhibit art and culture from around the world.

19 March 2016

Dispensationalism, the Restrainer and the NKJV

As much as I appreciate the New King James Version for both its textual basis and philosophy of translation I was disappointed to find a theological insertion. At this particular point they deviated from principled translation protocols and made a judgment call. The judgment favours a certain type of theology but is without substantial textual basis. It is therefore misleading and ought to be corrected.

14 March 2016

Paul, the Cretans and Addressing Social Sins

Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons (Titus 1.12)

This quotation taken from Epimenides and utilised by the Apostle Paul is used by some to argue that Paul was 'taking on' the evil forces at work in the culture. He was challenging the culture of Crete and therefore those Christians who argue for Two Kingdom theology, those Christians who reject Dominionism are necessarily in error.

10 March 2016

Imperialist Wars, Conscription and Democracy

If you're listening to the second season of the Serial podcast then you're learning about Bowe Bergdahl and the circumstances of his capture and the swirl of events that surrounded it.

I'm mildly interested in the story but if you're listening there's a lot more that you can glean. There's something to be learned about these modern wars, how they're fought and it leads one to reflect.

07 March 2016

Inbox: Lutheranism, Kuyper and the Two Kingdoms

In terms of the differences between the confessional Lutheran position and my own maybe I can shed a little light, but I will be brief and paint with a broad brush. I'm also throwing a variant of Reformed Theology into the mix because I think it's pertinent and may shed a little light for some readers on a seemingly obscure point of dispute in contemporary Reformed circles.

26 February 2016

The US Fifth Republic

This is a subjective exercise to be sure but it is certainly in keeping with the frameworks imposed by many others on the American narrative and its historical development.

Many countries occasionally will replace their constitutions, re-write their laws and effectively re-create themselves. This can be occasioned by a huge political shift, a coup, a war or something along those lines.

21 February 2016

The False Narratives of Meese, Scalia and Originalism

Recently former Attorney General Ed Meese was interviewed on LPR's Issues Etc. and asked to comment on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the coming battle over a replacement for him.

Meese consistently expressed concern for the Constitution, praised Scalia for his stances, values and defense of the document. In addition Meese also identified himself as a devoted Lutheran.

The entire interview was a fraud.

14 February 2016

The Razor's Edge: Covenant Faithfulness and Apostasy Part III

When you break with a group like the Brethren you have taken a wholly different path and it's no surprise that some who have done this end up working out the implications.

For many years I've often thought about someone like Garrison Keillor, host of the radio show 'A Prairie Home Companion'. He's retiring this year and has recently been making the news. Many people mistake him for being a Lutheran as his show based on a fictional town in Minnesota often pokes fun at Upper-Midwestern Christian and thus Lutheran culture. But Keillor was raised Plymouth Brethren and he's mentioned it many times in the show and done pieces about how his family didn't celebrate Christmas etc...

The Razor's Edge: Covenant Faithfulness and Apostasy Part II

The antithesis requires that our children will grow up knowing that it means something to be a Christian and this affects the whole of life and the decisions and plans that we make.

But it also means that they will realise it's not the 'both-and' of mainstream Christianity but the definitive 'either-or'.
There are plenty of issues and questions that can be addressed and answered by the incorporation of 'both-and' thinking, and can even be done so in a non-accommodationist way. We can widen the question, embrace types of multi-perspectivalism and thus to a degree embrace and entertain a reduction in certainty without giving in to absolute extremes.

13 February 2016

The Razor's Edge: Covenant Faithfulness and Apostasy Part I

When the antithesis is heightened, so is the risk. The Plymouth Brethren represent not only a more conscientiously separatist form of Christianity but their antithesis in this case also extends to the Christian narrative as a whole.

08 February 2016

30 January 2016

Saudi Arabia and Iran: 1979 and the Islamic Narrative

In 1979 a group of Salafis overtook the Grand Mosque at Mecca. This group deliberately associated themselves with the Ikwhan movement from the days before the Saud family formally took over the reins of the new kingdom. As ultra-conservatives they believed the Saud family had been morally and theologically compromised. They had become too friendly with the West and were no longer worthy of being the guardians of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The house of Saud was illegitimate.