03 November 2011

Dominionism: Part 5

The Unassailable Philosophical Wall

Are the Dominionist Blueprints, their models for transforming the spheres...Christian? Biblical? Are they providing us with a Biblical Worldview?

While coherent with the philosophical systems they've created, in many, maybe even most cases they're not in accord with Scripture, and this is usually pretty clear by just comparing what they're suggesting with the Pilgrim ethic of Scripture. Just reading through the Gospels or Epistles in most cases quickly resolves any doubts. I'm afraid their systems are man-made and many of them have reached a point in which it would seem they can no longer see the forest through the trees.

These are the same folks that are often very careful to think through presuppositions but then suggest models that are far more rooted in tradition and cultural norms than anything else. Their philosophical models for argument and discourse (mostly in Reformed circles) have not saved them from the perils of their own cultural biases. They are being so careful to analyze culture through Biblical spectacles, they don't realize they are viewing the Bible itself through the cultural lens, distorting their analysis and solutions.

None of us are exempt from this, but certainly a non-Sacralist understanding of culture is rather liberating when it comes to analysis. The person who has nothing invested in the culture, and has a take it or leave it attitude toward his place of residence is more likely to think and speak with candor, and leave the cultural lens aside. Again, this is all subjective and opinions will vary. I have often found that those on the Left are more honest about the cultural issues, they ask the right questions...they just have bad answers. The Right does not even possess enough integrity or courage to ask the real questions. Again my opinion, but the Left is a constant mode of self-examination and critique...perhaps destructive in the end. But Conservatives, the Right, rest upon a narrative concerning what's gone before. Much of their ideology in fact rests on the particulars of that narrative. It's not very conducive to honest probing or investigation, let alone reflection or reassessment.

The Sacralist having frankly made an idol out of his own nation or culture will not readily listen to external critiques, nor consider the possibility that others have done some things better and that his own nation or culture might be deficient in some or many areas. For them, this is akin to blasphemy.

Rather than expounding all their energies on mastering cultural systems, they ought to work on mastering Scripture, for in many cases they are representing thought and models that are explicitly in contradiction to the teaching of the New Testament.

The questions they ask and the false dilemmas created by these questions exhibit the fact that they're treating Scripture as a data mine or sourcebook rather than a Redemptive History revealing to us the Theanthropic Christ. Examples of this kind of thinking in Reformed circles are particularly noticeable in the Theonomic camp with their 'Theonomy v. Autonomy' and 'By what standard?' discussions, which are not generated by Scripture, but by the philosophical issues surrounding their understanding of Dominion and Culture War.

Since the present desires to look to the past as a time in which Christendom (the complex of these ideas applied to culture) was much stronger, there is a definite tendency to romanticize the past and paint a rosy picture of what it looked like. Honest historical assessment destroys the narrative, the myth, and tarnishes the idol.

There is a strong reductionistic tendency in how they frame cultural questions of the present as well. The agenda is supreme and they don't want to get bogged down by complexities and nuances. We see this very strongly at present in Conservative American politics. The candidates of choice paint broad brush strokes and appeal more to general ideological principles and supposedly morally driven emotions rather than deal with any specific technical issues. So called 'gut instinct' rooted in the superior character of the candidate seems to be enough. Many grounded their trust in George Bush with such arguments and hundreds of thousands of people are dead as a result.

It's no surprise that the most popular political leaders of the Christian Right Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were not 'hands-on' type leaders. They put forward big ideas, picked someone to take care of it and left it there. Leadership is about the 'gut instinct' and the big picture.

We see this same type of thinking and argument framing in Kuyper's famous Stone Lectures. He came over to the United States in 1898 and delivered a very famous series of lectures at Princeton on a variety of topics. He was trying to stir the American students to think in terms of Dominion and cultural conquest. These lectures have had a huge influence in Reformed circles and now because of Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson and others the core of ideas from these lectures have been disseminated on a large scale.

I read through the Stone Lectures back in the 1990's and I remember being really disappointed. At that time I had not yet formulated my present ideas and would have probably hesitantly and reluctantly identified with the Dominionist mantras, but Kuyper's lectures were just (to my mind) a lot of fluff. His history was bad, romanticized and naive. I remember on several occasions throwing the book down in frustration and disgust. His views of culture and history were not rooted in truth, but a narrative. The legacy lives on among his spiritual descendants.

Just the other day I was listening to a Christ the Center podcast with Vern Poythress. He's just written a book on 'Redeeming Sociology' and in it he invokes the Kuyperian heritage and even points specifically to the Stone Lectures as a key component in the formation of his ideas.

Again, we can approach topics like Sociology as Christians. We can wrestle with the complexities of demographics and social forces in a fallen world and the Bible tells us how to think about these things.

That's not what Poythress is doing. His purpose is to re-work and re-think the issues surrounding the science of Sociology and to specifically formulate it in Christian terms. Why? Because if we're going to transform society then we have to provide models for every facet of culture as well as the mechanisms by which it is measured. His primary critique of secular sociology is that it fails to take God into account.

Of course. As stated above, the unbeliever (not being born again) cannot grasp spiritual things. Formulating sociological models to guide statistics and interpretation will do nothing to help lost people understand social issues.

What they need is the Gospel.

Sociology is primarily dealing with human relationships. As Christians our human relationships are affected and defined by our relationship with God. Think of marriage for example. We would be wrong to expect the unbeliever to grasp this or benefit from it. The true typology is far beyond them. Their imitations will be only vague shadows of the true understanding we are given.

What often happens is when Christians try to formulate what they believe to be specifically Christian approaches to these types of topics they usually let ideology drive the interpretation of the facts. The conclusions are already held, so their approaches, their investigations are not really very sincere. They are often nothing more than tools to help them in self-affirmation.

For example in reaction to the recent Wall Street protests I hear Dominionist Christians pull out the old 'envy' charge. They're protesting because they're envious of the rich. This provides a theological basis for condemning the motives and goals of the protest, denouncing it as sinful desire. The Bible tells us this, they claim, and so....the Bible teaches that economics should be governed by Free Markets.

But that's a gross oversimplification. If you look at the signs and listen to the people...there are some who might be charged with envy, but many believe they are opposing specific criminal activity. There are many who believe the current system is a racket, a moral evil. They are motivated by indignation and a desire for justice and reform. Many have no problem with markets and entrepreneurial endeavour, they are protesting large scale corruption and crime, a system in which the wealthiest have essentially bought control. 

The reality is the issues are complex as well as the motivations of the protestors...and even the motivations of those in business and positions of power. We have a mix of sin as well influences of Natural Law. Even the lost have a sense of right and wrong and when egregious crimes are committed, even the lost cry out.

The Bible is complex enough that you can argue many positions...if you take a really simplistic and narrow view in its application or if you go specifically looking for certain things. I'm afraid many Dominionist Worldview tools are nothing more than a hermeneutical grid that allows them to come up with the conclusions they want and interpret the world through this same grid. It's system-driven and after awhile the system takes over and provides the answers...and without realizing they radically stray from the text.

In does not do justice to the flow of the text, nor the facts on the ground.

Envy? This isn't a conclusion generated by an honest investigation. It's a conclusions reached by clinging to this particular socio-economic narrative. This has to be the solution, because otherwise.... we might have to engage the protestors, we might have to address some of the issues they raise. And that might cast doubts on our system.

They have taken some Biblical concepts concerning hard work and reward, prudence and stewardship and combined them with non- or at the very least extra-Biblical notions. Doing this actually changes the definitions of the Biblical terms they use. Giving suddenly doesn't really mean giving...it's qualified to death. Stewardship is a term they've loaded with so much baggage that it has become a sort of umbrella term which allows them to behave like privileged Americans rather than Biblically minded Christians.

The arguments of the lost are dismissed because...they're not allowed to make any valid points. Unable to possess a valid comprehensive worldview, their arguments are discredited. This system has incredible defense mechanisms and most of the time...people are arguing against what must be called an unassailable philosophical wall.

And suddenly, Adam Smith and Corporate Capitalism become Biblical positions and the protestors...they're not only lost people, they're insincere and sin motivated...evil.

This is but one of a myriad of examples where we find Dominionist minded people embracing what are really philosophical and sociological arguments, not Biblical ones, and allowing them to interpret what's happening at present. The Bible has something to say to both the Wall Street Bankers and the protestors. American Dominionists have in this case allowed Adam Smith and John Locke to shape their thought rather than Scripture.

And yet the wicked part is....I hear every day people like Al Mohler say, "Let's respond to this with a Biblical Worldview," and then often provide an answer that has little or nothing to do with either the Bible or the facts.

While I'm not suggesting we have to be morally relative in order to be relevant, is our worldview a Biblical one when it leads to fail to interact with temporal realities? Can we just ignore what's happening and what people are saying because of a philosophical presuppositions? This seems to me a road to detachment from reality, an Ivory Tower mentality. I see this on a regular basis when I read Christian and Conservative commentators. They speak of the poor and what motivates them, but it is painfully obvious they've never talked to anyone who is poor and understand little or nothing of what the poor deal with. In fact their ideology often leads them to invalidate many of these categories.

While we're all subject to this as well, a more objective approach might be more honest and helpful in dealing with data. Let's see what's happening yesterday and today, and deal with it honestly, even if it means we have to sometimes re-examine our thinking. We might even find that sometimes ideas we held to be Biblical are based on cultural and historical fallacies rather than the Text itself. Dealing objectively with these issues will (if we're regenerate) drive us back to the Bible, not away from it as so many fear. Of course for most of these Reformed folks since objectivity is philosophically impossible it ought not to be even attempted.

I'm not suggesting for a moment the Bible message must change in light of the facts. I'm saying we need to honest and keep going back to the Bible. Sometimes we'll find that maybe we were reading something...that wasn't really there.

What I'm also saying is...their drive for worldview often leads to bad interpretations and ones that will automatically discount data which doesn't match up with the presuppositions. For example if the sociological data doesn't support their views of economics or government...then the method of data collection is questioned rather than the ideology. We'll have to come up with a more 'christian' method of data collection. We need...yes, Christian Sociology which will give us a Biblical Worldview? Or simply validate our already existing models?

Well we can't question the Bible. Agreed. But here's the danger...Dominion Theology coupled with their theological method leads them to believe their views of say...economics and government are indeed THE Biblical view.

Perhaps you can see the blind spot? From my standpoint they're in a vicious trap. I was there too for many years. It was a massive undertaking, under guidance of the Spirit I believe, that led me to question, question, question, and keep going back to the Bible. I knew a lot of history, but now I felt driven to revisit history, economics, politics, and the rest.... For me, it meant disavowing the so-called Conservatism I was raised to believe in. Did that make me a Liberal? No, it led me to reject the social and political models given to us. I care not for their labels. I'm not interested.

In their case, Westernism or more specifically Americanism has been substituted for Biblical Christianity and when Al Mohler and Chuck Colson claim to provide Biblical Worldview commentary, what I'm often hearing is Americanist commentary. Sometimes it might sound Biblical or overlap with Biblical teaching, but it's a counterfeit and thus more dangerous than blatantly false teaching. Even when we agree...it's often for different reasons and with different emphasis.

The reality is the unbeliever has much to say and we can learn much from them...with discernment. Sociology is actually quite fascinating but it is of limited value. It has no part in the Kingdom. We don't use it to build the Kingdom, but it is helpful to know something about why people do what they do and how they interact with the world around, and certainly what is shaping their view of us.

To expound massive amounts of energy trying to develop Christian models of analysis is bound to be fruitless and largely a waste of time. If you listen to the podcast, you'll see what I mean.

Transformationalism and Dominion drive this and these are but a handful of examples of issues that really have almost no bearing on the church that have been made into not only important issues but part of an ever-narrowing orthodoxy.

The wall seems unassailable. For me it was the Text of Scripture that led me early on to recognize their theology was in error. I couldn't argue against it, but it just wasn't there.

In time I began to understand the system. I swam in the Theonomist well for a long time but I did not drink. I was fascinated by it, and at times almost persuaded...but I couldn't escape the Bible.

Eventually I started to see the problems. What looked like an unassailable wall is really paper thin, or to put it another way...it's massive but it's built on sand. Attack the foundation and the mortar (the philosophical driving questions) quickly crumbles.


11 comments:

Cal said...

"I swam in the Theonomist well for a long time but I did not drink. I was fascinated by it, and at times almost persuaded...but I couldn't escape the Bible. "

This sort of reminds me when I started becoming convicted of my want of a military career and pairing it up to the reality of the Scriptures. Yeah, I began to shift focus from American Revolutionaries and Green Berets, to Crusaders and the Dutch fighting for liberty from the Spanish. Yeah, there were even theologians among the generals.

But, I could not escape Christ, I could not escape the Scriptures. I quickly realized, being born again that no matter the systems I had flirted with in the process of coming to the Lord Jesus, I had to stick to Him.

I never went through possibly as much battle as you, but I certainly understand the feeling that Scripture will not justify, that the voice of the Spirit of the Lord calls us back to Him, and refuses to allow us to dream vainly, being worldly.

Protoprotestant said...

The notions of nationalism and heroism, being somebody, doing something for the cause and being recognized for it...powerful stuff.

The Theonomic agenda is powerful. It's a programme. We've got a mission and we're going to do it. Success is measurable...get the law changed, get the sign changed, get this person fired, this person hired.

The problem is the Kingdom does not come with observation. People cannot say 'lo here or lo there'... our victories, usually look like defeats. Monetary success? I don't think so. Not if you follow the teachings of the New Testament.

I'd read and listen to Bahnsen, Schlissel, Wilson, Gentry, North, Chilton, and many others. Very persuasive, nicely packaged arguments. But then all astir I'd read my Bible and find...the opposite.

Kline said it best....a largescale misreading of the Bible. They've read it but they have not understood it. Hey let's face it, the flesh rejects the doctrine of the Kingdom. Being More than Conquerors while being slaughtered like sheep...doesn't sell.

The Biblical methods of Kingdom building won't take back America and won't fill Joel Osteen style congregations.

American Christians have little interest in the doctrine of the Kingdom. Of course thanks to Dispensationalism, most think it doesn't exist yet. So in the meantime we'll come up with a substitute....America.

I'm glad you didn't join the military. I'm sorry I did, but at the same time the lessons I learned and the things I saw were profoundly educational. I'm glad I was able to get out well before any of the lunacy of post-9/11 world. The 90's was a time of Imperial Expansion but the military was running in a low gear. The Cold War had just ended and a lot was being cut and overhauled.

Daily life was pretty routine and dull. It wasn't flashly like a Tom Clancy novel and there sure weren't any Cromwells or Gustavus Adolphus' running about. The culture is pretty filthy and anti-christian. I hear Evangelicals go on about all the Christians in the military. I saw a lot of people who were religious in times of stress and when they were lonely and away from their families. But I remember after a few of my friends left and returned to the US, I spent the last six months largely alone. I couldn't find any other Christians to fellowship with. There were a couple of churches if you can call them that, but the one had already run me and my friends out because we didn't sign on with the Arminian Dispensational model.

I felt like Lot, vexed by the wicked words and deeds that surrounded me. It was awful, but looking back it was a time of great spiritual exercise. I found myself thirsty for Scriptures and fellowship...not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

The questions they ask and the false dilemmas created by these questions exhibit the fact that they're treating Scripture as a data mine or sourcebook rather than a Redemptive History revealing to us the Theanthropic Christ.

I heard David Barton on AFA radio this week telling his hosts and the audience that capital gains tax is a “biblical issue” not a political issue. Apparently, he uses the Parables of the talents and minas to claim that Jesus was against capital gains tax.

Uh….yeah right.

Thanks for your articles.

Janet

Cal said...

Haha, its actually funny about the military. None of my immediate family was apart of it, closest was grandparents who served in WW2. And I had no initial interest in it, but I was grown reading and watching stories both history and fiction. All the sword swinging, spell slinging of fantasy. I had a period when I was caught solely in all of that (via videogames, books, and movies) and when I started trying to re-interact with the world my eyes were caught by a documentary on Alexander the Great. Wow! He carved an empire out by the age of 26.

Now as time passed and I was in my last year of school, I had sort of dulled all my 'childish' dictates of fantasy. I was interested in philosophy, girls, and patriotism to my republic, but deep down the driving mechanism was Alexander. I was going to enlist in the Marines and after that got scrapped, was going to military college to be an officer.

I wonder, in reality, how long it took for all my fake virtue of patriotism would've fallen through and I became a glory-hungry legionnaire. How quickly would I, a brave and stoic Roman, would've said damn the republic, and cross the Rubicon. Or would I've become washed up and cynical to all the blood and drink myself into a coma at a strip club?

I don't know, and it doesn't matter really. But it all gives me great perspective on the Grace of God and the thanks for my Lord Jesus Christ for calling me out of it.

Cal said...

Also,

Just as an interesting bit of thought. In my period where I was starting to reinteract and get washed over with all the glorious military past of antiquity (I have an extreme fascination with ancient Rome, Greece, Persia etc.), I actually happened across 'Left Behind' and read the first 3 books before I got sick of the writing and dragging of the plot. My curiosity was extremely peaked, all the plots and intrigue and the blood, it made my heart race for such action and battle.

I was not a Christian, though I considered myself one by the nominal, conservative filth that I was inculcated with. My first thought when I finished the book, "This sounds so interesting. I don't want to be raptured, but stay through all of this".

Curious that this dispensational thinking actually encouraged me to focus on "more important things" and put ever interacting with the Gospel off.

Protoprotestant said...

Janet,

Thanks for that example. Yeah, David Barton, he's one of my favourites!

Now we could argue about Capital Gains tax and its merits and demerits, but Barton is assuming that the Bible is providing a specific type of government by which the Church conquers the world. And not only do we supposedly find this political model from Scripture, but we're even given yes, a tax code, zoning laws and the rest.

Israel is not America. The typology of Israel belongs to Christ and his body...not a common nation. It's sacrilege when they apply redemptive typology to...Babylon, for that's what all nations today are.

Though I'm fascinated with ancient civilizations, I don't know much about Babylonian tax codes but I do know there's no evidence that the Jewish exiles cared or did anything to try to shape Babylonian tax policy. Maybe they said...hey, that canal tax is a bummer...or hey, I'm going to see if I can move up by Nineveh, there's better taxes there, but no one tried to say...Hey Nebuchadnezzar, the Torah says this is how you have to do it. Why? Because the Torah didn't apply to Nebuchadnezzar unless he became a Jew. The fact that his tax policies may have been unjust were the least of his problems.

David Barton has confused America-Babylon with Zion-the Kingdom of Heaven. He's warped Christianity and as I keep saying and thankfully people like you also see it...he and others are harming the Church by focusing it on the wrong battles and wrong issues.

I swear sometimes...do these people really love the Lord is it all politics to them. That's all I ever hear on AFR...politics. What's that show...Today's Issues or something like that? Awful stuff. Just wicked.

I'm getting worked up. Thanks for the encouragment. It's a blessing to see that others are honing in on that kind of stuff. Once you see it...it's everywhere. In fact you're hard pressed to find a Church on Sunday morning that isn't overrun with it.

Peace.

Protoprotestant said...

Cal,

I too was always quite taken with the sword swinging stuff. I still enjoy it somewhat. I have mixed feeling regarding the LotR, which I started reading when I was about 11. Earlier I had been quite enamoured with Narnia and Prydain. Those books played a big part in my life as I was growing up.
Somewhere in an earlier post I talked about some of that. My oldest son has read them…he’s 12. Of course at that age, everything is kind of simple and it’s just awesome. And as much as enjoy the stories and know them quite well, they’re not above critique. Tolkien of course is glorifying the West. The Shire is Merrie Olde England with all its unrealistic romanticism…something very akin to how many Christians want America to function. It doesn’t work in a fallen world and though in some regards simpler times could be more pleasant, let’s not kid ourselves. Much in Medieval England was not pretty.
You could also talk about some pretty racist-type elements in LotR. While I love the ‘northerness’ that Tolkian and Lewis were so fond of…I also find much in Tolkien’s accursed east that is of interest and cause for wonder and delight. While I disagree with his geo-politic which seems to be set in a parallel to Late Antiquity….Rome/Byzantium v. Huns or something like that… I love his backdrops, the mood, and his commentary on power centered on the Ring is awesome. Gollum of course is the most intriguing character in many ways. I see a myriad of Gollums and Saruman’s running about in Christian circles chasing the power they lust for and not understanding that it only destroys.

Alexander is a fascinating character. Though he is categorized among the other Beasts of Daniel, he’s always seemed a bit different. Seemingly less sinister in the end he’s looking for the deification (Bestializing) that you find Tiglath-Pileser, Nebuchadnezzar, Cambyses, Julius Caesar, Justinian, Charlemagne and so many more.

What I saw in the military (and that was pre- 9/11) was a lot of people who just wanted to keep their heads down, get the benefits, and the grand prize…the pension. If you’re were a patriotic zealot, you would have been disappointed in the people around you. Again, that’s probably changed over the last ten years.

Once you’re in…you’re in this kind of parallel universe. You’re all Americans but you kind of view yourself as this elite. Even within the military there is a definite caste system between the officers and enlisted. Not just a hierarchy…it’s more than that. The enlisted think of the officers as otherworldly beings and the officers (if you catch them when being candid) often look at the Enlisted as mud-people.

Regardless, I found a lot of folks that almost look down on the civilian population…they’re not ‘of us’ as it were. The military has its own language, idioms, values, and culture. And so it’s easy to see how when things go down, the soldiers often just follow those who are over them. You’re also heavily propagandized, starting at boot camp where they literally are trying to brainwash through a kind of death/re-birth process. It’s fascinating to see some of the people really fall for it.

Protoprotestant said...

Anyway, if Caesar says it’s time to cross the Rubicon for the good of Rome, most likely you’d go along with it. And even if you had your doubts, are you going to risk everything to stand against it? Few would. It’s not easy.

With regard to carousing in the clubs…I’ve often wondered why that’s so prevalent in the military. Conscience? Is it the brainwashed mind that can’t deal with idleness? Is it being locked into an indentured-cultural mode that drives people to wild libertinism when they can? I don’t know. But there are definitely a lot of messed up folks wearing the uniform.

I remember talking to a lot of ‘normal’ people…and in many cases they weren’t all that keen on it. They wanted to get out or planned to. They certainly didn’t want to make a career of it. In the officer corps it can be a little different. They live quite different lives and sit atop of vast population.

Protoprotestant said...

Cal,
In response to your ‘also’…
I’m right with you. I love all of history but Ancient history really draws me. Good night if you want drama and adventure look no further than wars and schemes of the Diadochi. I’m also really fascinated by Mitanni, Elam, the Kassites, and the Hyksos period in Egypt. And you want to talk about worlds of wonder…the Greco-Bactrians, Indo-Greeks, Mauryans and Kushans. Great stuff.
Have you ever read any Harold Lamb? I have a whole shelf of his books on Alexander, Hannibal, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Omar Khayyam, Cyrus, etc… one of my all time favourites and the history is every bit as fascinating as Tolkien’s Middle Earth. He also wrote these Cossack adventure stories…Khlit the Cossack. They take place in the early 17th century in Eurasia. The overlap of Central Asian Tibetan ascendancy, Moghul India, late Ming China, and the remnants of Tatary….make for a world that almost seems like a fantasy.
Your comment about want to stay after the Rapture made me laugh. It’s true though, those segments seem almost more fascinated by the Tribulational period than anything else. Hey, it’s like reading Science Fiction novel. Hey, Left Behind is a Science Fiction novel!
I remember as a kid being just utterly fascinated with Hal Lindsey. I remember having a rather wounded conscience as a young man and I also recall sitting in Church and the pastor going about how the antichrist is definitely alive. He’s out there somewhere right now…getting ready to take over. (Of course with Israel and 194) everyone believed this was all going to start happening by the late 80’s early 90’s. Now, they want to push it 1967 and that allows them to focus on the right now. Later they’ll come up with something else)… Anyway, I’d listen to him going on about how the antichrist was probably a kid being groomed and prepared for what he would do. As a typical self-centered kid I would think….it’s me. I don’t want it to be me…but it’s me.

Back to the other thing...ever read any Mika Waltari? The Egyptian or The Roman? They made The Egyptian into a movie back in the 60's.
Not historically correct, but if you love the era you can't help but enjoy it.

Wilbur Smith is the same with his Egypt books. His treatment of the Hyksos doesn't square with history, but he can tell a story.

I've got a couple of books I've written that I've never been able to get published. Eventually I'll probably look into cyper-publishing them. Maybe they're no good, but regardless they're not very marketable. The audience would be restricted to people like you and me. You have to be a bit of Fantasy-History geek to like them...oh, and a Christian to get it. I know who to contact if I'm ever looking for an opinion.

Cal said...

Proto,

Yeah, I get the whole military system and the ins-outs. Though I never got in officially, I had hung out with enough of the guys. Enough friends of mine followed through while I fell off the highway to 'glory'. Yeah, I was already getting a splash of the 'death/rebirth' process when I was training to join. I was in the DEP program for awhile, had all my paper work signed. But it don't mean a thing until you step onto that bus for Paris Island. Haha, yes, I understand the elitism!! I was already starting to look at the 'civilians' as either dandies or spineless cowards.

I always get a chill up my spine when I realize where I've been, where I was going, and now, with open eyes, where I am right now. To the world, they may mournfully agree with my first prognostication, "I am a loser and a failure, if I don't get back on the horse quickly, I'm a waste". To those blind, I'm losing, yet there is a small spark that the Spirit causes that first notion to be doubted. "If he/she is a failure, why is he/she so filled with joy and peace?". The next step, only the Grace of God gives us any ability to make.

Yeah the wild libertinism is the result of being turned almost into a beast. Work hard, play hard. Something of that sense. Very sad really.

Haha, yes! Left Behind is all nonsense, a gnostic work that tries to sculpt a twisted tail, making the Grace of God into nothing. All we see is something akin to paganism. Cruel and powerless deities trying to play a game of checkers against eachother. It may as well be the gods and the titans, the gods and the frost giants. It's all rather a Christ-less, pagan piece of science fiction. And poorly written to boot!

I'd love to see any works you think about putting forth. With the breakthrough of the Kindle and the popular boost in e-books, publishing becomes much easier. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll definitely take a look into some of these.

Protoprotestant said...

That 2nd paragraph was great. That is not something a lot of people get. Everyone including Christians seems to forget that Christ said that which is esteemed by man is an abomination in the sight of God. We have to learn to think differently about...well, everything.

That's what I mean about Biblical Worldview. Of course we're supposed to have a Biblical Worldview, but what I often hear that's labeled that way is nothing more than the world re-packaged...Christ + Power. That's not it at all.

Failure, loser...by whose standard? What's the standard we employ to even make such a judgment?