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.

26 January 2016

Evangelical Compromise and Wheaton College

While not a fan of Wheaton, this is one of those moments where the divide between Christians and the world becomes all too clear. The world is not going to understand the stance of an organisation like Wheaton in retaining 'statements of faith' as criteria for employment. Of course there are tensions present in the Christian College which attempts to maintain epistemological antithesis with the world and yet operate within it. Evangelical schools like Wheaton also seek to synthesize Christian beliefs with the world system in a way that Christians can be educated (as the world reckons the concept), but also maintain a distinct Christian identity.

02 January 2016

Ghosts of Trieste

When poking around in the 19th century the name Trieste often comes up. Today situated in the northeast corner of Italy it was the Habsburg's chief port for many generations and the fourth city of their empire.

01 January 2016

Biblicism, Transgenderism and Epistemological Chaos

While many conservative and Christian cultural commentators will speak of the dominance of postmodernism I would argue that particular category and the relativism that goes with it is really limited to sociological questions, hermeneutics and ethics. When it comes to most interpretations of reality, Scientific Realism and Modernism still reign. The postmodern thinker will most certainly subjectivise the interpretation of that reality but the scepticism rooted in postmodernism is largely shared with Scientific Realism (Materialism) and its commitment to inductive epistemology.

31 December 2015

Inbox: Why don't I write a book?

I've been asked this several times. I would love to but I don't have the time to do it and in the end the means of publication would be such that circulation would be low and overpriced. I would sell very few copies as the market for such a book would be very restricted. Conventional Christian publishers will not be interested either in me or my topics.

26 December 2015

Inbox: Media Sources

I've received various emails both in the past and as of late that request assistance with regard to what media sources I utilize. Where do I go for news?

25 December 2015

Christmas: Dan and Bethel Revived

The embrace of Christmas is a rejection of Scripture as the ultimate authority and arbiter of all matters concerning the faith and Kingdom. Christmas is perhaps the perfect example of syncretistic religion and worldliness wedded to the Church. There is no better way to bear witness to our culture than to categorically reject Christmas. This will say more to people you know than any attempt to 'keep Christ' in something that He was never part of to begin with.

14 December 2015

Observing Two December Deaths and Putting Them into Context

Eliason 2015 and Bahnsen 1995

This is a somewhat sombre and unpleasant reflection. Read it, or not. Perhaps by the end the reader will understand the contrast, conflict and both senses of bitter gratitude and denunciation I wish to communicate.

02 December 2015

A Most Wanted Man (The Myth of Principled Power Part II)

The movie industry is producing some of the most debased and worthless films ever made and yet at the same time there are a very small number of excellent and thoughtful films out there. Generally they're not big hits at the box office but should we expect any different?

What I appreciated most about this John le Carre movie was the lesson in the nature of power and what happens when someone tries to apply it in a principled and ethical manner.

26 November 2015

The Myth of Principled Power

What of Principled Power? We hear of many Christian leaders who argue that our society would be improved and the Church's cause aided if leaders would simply apply Christian principles to society. If Christian leaders would govern as Christians, if they would act in a principled manner, then power can be utilized for the cause of good, it can assist the Church in its mission to manifest the Kingdom of God on Earth.

19 November 2015

Narratives and Villains in Kruse's: One Nation Under God

I recently finished Kevin Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. It was a worthwhile read and I certainly would recommend it. Like all secular writers he does not fully understand the nuances of Christian theology and thinking but in terms of the political narrative and some of the back-story, he does a fine job. Some have argued the book is something of a non-sequitir, that he doesn't really prove that Corporate America invented the Christian Right narrative. Admittedly there are problems with this kind of cut and dry explanation and yet he raises the question within the book itself and admits that there certainly was a 'Christian' identity prior to the 1930's. Yet, he demonstrates a shift occurred in light of the New Deal and the subsequent Cold War that re-cast and re-infused the whole notion of a 'Christian America' and that the movements worked to tie in these somewhat romanticised narratives in with specific economic policies and an expression of civil religion that was not previously seen.

I don't wish to review the whole book but there were a few points that were of particular interest to me.

07 November 2015

Baptist Polity, The American Flag and Idols in Worship

A local Baptist Church recently and perhaps unknowingly called a Calvinist to occupy their pulpit. He's a good man and I've enjoyed conversing with him. To my very pleasant surprise he also revealed to me that he had removed the 'flags' from the front of the auditorium. The flags of course would refer to the American and so-called Christian flags that are almost ubiquitous in American Churches.

02 November 2015

Mohler's Sacralist Commentaries

As I've mentioned before Mohler represents just the kind of Christian leader that I am opposed to. This does not mean that there aren't many theological points we find in common. We would ostensibly agree on the basics of the gospel and many a point of historical theology.

23 September 2015

Inbox: If Sacralism is in error, why bother studying the world system?

Why write about news and discuss dark secrets of history etc...? 

Why do I spend so much time writing about events in history and the news? Why probe into the inner workings and dark secrets of power and those who would seek to wield it? Isn't this is a distraction, a waste of time?

It can be. This is the battlefield, and spending all of our time and energy on these things can crush us and wear us down. There are times when we need to set this aside and focus exclusively on the Word, relish in a commentary or theological work and wrestle with profound doctrines. These things are done doxologically, in a spirit of worship. We never seek knowledge just for the sake of acquiring it. It all serves a purpose, it must have an end goal in sight. We are to glorify God even in our thought-life and the knowledge we seek to obtain.

14 September 2015

Sins More Grievous Than Sodomite Marriage and Why Kim Davis Misses the Point When it Comes to Enforcing God's Law in Kentucky

 or The Travails of a Babylonian Bureaucrat Pt. 2
There are other considerations with regard to the clerk in Kentucky that are not being discussed.

The Travails of a Babylonian Bureaucrat

This of course is a reference to the County Clerk in Kentucky who has chosen to refuse all marriage licenses in light of the Supreme Court decision in June 2015. She was found to be in contempt of court and imprisoned for several days. Further confrontations are expected. She has been trumpeted as a hero/martyr by the American Evangelical community. Secular society views her as a nonconformist bigot and villain.

01 September 2015

The Church in a Time of Endless War, Imperialism and the Destruction of Societies

The recent Al Jazeera verdicts in Egypt are an exclamation point on the total collapse of the Arab Spring. They represent a final expression of the perversion and subversion of this vast regional movement which five years later is all but over and must be reckoned a failure.

20 August 2015

The Corrupt System and the Distraction of Wrangling Over Subsidies and Taxes

How many Christians rail against subsidies and condemn those who benefit from them and yet these same people will support them not only in the realm of business and in terms of deductions, so-called refunds and credits but will also happily accept grants for their children to attend universities?

10 August 2015

Reflections on Evil in the World

Recently while discussing child vaccinations with an acquaintance I tried to point out to him that these medical people whether right or wrong are trying to do what they think is right. They aren't dreaming of harming your children while rubbing their hands together with a sinister laugh. He didn't agree. He believes there's a conspiracy to poison children motivated by control and profits. While I may believe a pharmaceutical company will allow something to go on to maintain profits I do not believe there is a deliberate orchestrated plot to harm the public.

That kind of ended the discussion for me. There is a lot of evil in the world and many overtly evil people but his view is more akin to Hollywood or a children's novel than reality.

22 July 2015

Criticisms of Klinean Republication

GPTS president J. Pipa acknowledges there is some historical precedent in the Puritan tradition which understood the Mosaic epoch as containing elements of Edenic symbolism. Meredith Kline and others have argued there is, on a typological level, a replication of the Edenic administration in Israel's presence in Canaan. Israel, a type of the Second Adam was placed in the land of milk and honey and given commands to keep that would determine whether or not Israel would be permitted to stay in the 'holy place'. A failure to do so would result in expulsion and exile.

19 July 2015

Signs and Symbols: Israel and Covenant in Romans 9.6

In Romans 9 Paul launches into a discussion regarding Israel and brings up the very important question regarding the fate of the Jewish people. Were these people so long in covenant with God now simply abandoned? With the inclusion of the Gentiles into the New Covenant were the Jews no longer part of God's plan? Paul addresses these questions by probing the plan of God throughout history and unveiling another layer essential to understanding both the Old Testament and the nature of salvation in general. He expands on the message he's already been discussing, that salvation has always been by faith in Christ even before Christ came upon the scene. There is a grand uniting story but it is told in two very different ways and historical settings.

26 May 2015

Are we (New Testament) Christians?

Sometimes this charge is made and the implication is that to be labeled a New Testament Christian is a negative thing, it is to neglect the whole testimony of Scripture. The charge is common among those who in particular wish to implement aspects of the Old Testament with regard to law and government. Dominionism which undergirds both Roman Catholic and the vast majority of Protestant thought rests on such an assumption.

14 May 2015

The Law-Gospel Hermeneutic and The Great Commission

Recently I heard what I considered to be an extreme example of the Law-Gospel hermeneutic at work. It struck me in the same way Hyper-Calvinist readings of John 3.16 or 2 Peter 3.9 can. It was a clear case of system taking precedent over the text.

06 May 2015

John MacArthur, Romans 13 and Christian Attitudes Regarding Law Enforcement Officials

John MacArthur's latest newsletter addresses the current rash of protests and the growing complaint with regard to the police. Citing Ferguson as an example, MacArthur felt compelled to address the issue of obedience to the government and the important role played by the police.

He cites Romans 13 as the passage which delineates the role and responsibilities of government and how God uses it to administer justice and righteousness on earth.