30 January 2011

Changes

As you can see I've made a few changes.

I've been trying to clean up things a bit. I realized that most people don't dig through the archives, so I've tried to pick out posts and place them in categories in the margins. That way they'll catch the eye a little better.

I tried to construct some welcome pages that are practical and useful because I know a lot of people come here and are a little bewildered at first.

I've tried to streamline everything to keep the site moving fast....not a lot of busy stuff that bogs your computer down.

The blogger tool throws in a lot of extra spaces at times. I've messed with the settings but haven't got it quite right. Although some readers actually like the spaces, because it makes it easier to read on screen. The paragraphs are kept separate and you don't get overwhelmed by text. Reading online is a bit different than a book. I don't usually like reading off the monitor, but there are little things that can be done to make the experience more pleasant.

I tried to pick a soft background that's easy on the eyes.

Any other suggestions?

29 January 2011

The Tools and Tactics to Re-capture the Tower of Babel

This is a longer piece dating from 2004 but is still very pertinent to the discussion at this website. For those who wish to wade through it, it's quite enlightening. It's about Dominionist Theology at work in the Church and the State, with particular attention paid to the United States Military. Some of you will already be familiar with General Boykin. I also mentioned him in a piece from December 2010 called Days in the Cult which was something of a reflection on my time in uniform.

26 January 2011

A letter from Nigeria

 Unfortunately, I now believe this to be a scam.

Apparently, there's something of a market for Bibles in Nigeria. There are reports that some of these guys get Americans to send them and they turn around and sell them.

That's too bad.

Amazing the things people will come up with to make money.

I suppose it gets Bibles into Nigeria, but if the premise of the letter is a lie, then I don't want to help them.

Live and learn.

We live in a sad world, how much  more for those who have hope only in this life?

25 January 2011

The Dominionist Machine Meddling in Uganda

Speaking of Uganda.....

In the last piece regarding Africa and many others I've mentioned how American Evangelicals often play the role of dupes and financiers for a lot of political interests.

Margolis on Tunisia, and Western Media's Failure in Africa

Another worthwhile read from Margolis.....a few comments first.

When you stop and look at Western involvement in Africa over the past two centuries, or even just within the framework of Africa post World War II, one has to wonder at some point if the people of the African continent won't turn to violence within Western nations.

Though one continent, Africa is really two entirely different worlds. The North is part of the Middle East...if there is such a thing as the Middle East. And the south or Sub-Saharan African is a vast a complex region of its own.

Though quite separate, they are not always unrelated. The Sahara is an impressive geographical divider, but we see North and South coming together...clashing, in places like Nigeria and Sudan. The line, as most is fluid and when you look at alliances and membership in international organizations, it becomes even less clear. Sub-Saharan nations are not divorced from what is happening in the north.

Africa has played the role of pawn for a long time. Maybe we could even call it the gameboard for a vast game between many players. Sadly it's no game for the people living there.

At what point will Africa say enough?

Of course we've already seen something of this coming out of Egypt, Sudan, and nations around the Horn. And a generation ago the French dealt with the blowback from their policies in Algeria. This led to a somewhat modified way in which Western powers like America deal with countries they wish to control. Client-States, Puppet Regimes, and Satellites are more practical models than proper colonies.

But with reference to the rest of Africa, when you consider the fruit of Western policies in Sub-Saharan Africa at what point will there be a backlash? If these nations and peoples are ever able to truly unify, and consolidated nationalist movements arise....it would not surprise me if they take an aggressive posture toward countries like the United States, France, and Britain.

Dictators ruling in resource dependent states don't need popular support. Their revenue is not derived from taxation but from foreign industry and interests purchasing their resources. They don't have to answer to the people...they rule them. This is true throughout much of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia...hence you end up with strong-arm regimes and basically disenfranchised people.

Answering Questions 8A- continued discussion on Confessions and Polity

 A note to those following along....

This is probably a little exasperating to those who aren't familiar with the issues. There are many who are trying to avoid the free-for-all that we find in American Christianity. We all come to the Bible with baggage. Like it or not as we read and think, we're interacting with our culture and with history. So what do we do? Do we embrace that and work within these ideas that have come down to us....or do we throw them out entirely? Even the most ardent little Independent Fundamental Baptist Church is still standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Even the hyper-hysterical pastors I've seen jumping up and down and screaming are still in some sense depending on historic formulations of doctrine and drawing from them in the terms they use.

Groups like the Campbellites, Church of Christ, have tried to divorce themselves from history. They're very interesting, but even they bring in exterior forces and ideas. American Culture and philosophy has done much to shape their doctrine. They are more Biblical on some fronts than other churches, but they also read the Bible through a lens....like it or not we all do.

For years I've been wrestling with what to do about that, and that drives some of the general doctrinal discussion that you find in this project. I'm often attacking Christian Sacralism, but I'm also interested in peeling back a layer and delving into what I think has led to it. If I'm right, then what I find is a core problem that has led to lots of other problems as well.

For many, they look back to the times of the Reformation and after as a time when groups of men studied out these matters and formulated Confessional documents which integrated what good and Biblical doctrine had come down through the centuries with their own Reformation-inspired ideas.

Even when we say, I just believe the Bible...when we describe what that means and when it comes to certain doctrines, we're standing on their shoulders.

To ignore everything that's happened before us and to suggest that no one before our day has understood the Bible. That's dangerous. That's how cults and even theologies like Dispensationalism have arisen. If the Bible teaches a specific doctrine, it's unlikely someone just came up with it in the 21st century.

But to what extent do we need to operate within the framework of past expressions and formulations of the faith? That's the issue. Rigidly? In which case, which tradition? Broadly, soberly borrowing a little from here and there? Or not at all? In which case, where do we draw the line? One need only look at modern American Evangelicalism to see where that's taken us.

Or, is there really no good solution? Does the embrace of any of these positions ultimately lead to an abuse of the principle?

That's what we're talking about if anyone is interested.

23 January 2011

17 January 2011

The New Church of the East

Here's a beautiful picture of God at work in Siberia. As bad as things are in the American Church, I am constantly encouraged by the news coming out of Russia and Eastern Europe. The Church is growing and vibrant. It's poor and struggling, but they're focused on the heavenly Kingdom.

Twenty Years in Iraq

By no means do I agree with Vance on every issue, but he's a rare...an extremely rare voice in the Evangelical world. He sees the idolatry that most American Christians engage in with regard to Nationalism and the military, and the death and destruction it has led to.

And this article is just another example.

15 January 2011

Cronkrite's Kingdom: A response

Not Walter Cronkite, but we will tell it the way it is. This article was interesting. Cronkrite is considerably more thoughtful than the famous lemming with the similar sounding last name. There's a bit of a nuance in his thought, and not a little wisdom.



So close, but yet so far. An interaction with Cronkrite

13 January 2011

National Confession and Explicitly Christian Politics sound great, but are they in accord with Scripture?

 National Confession, national repentance? How could anyone argue against that? It sounds pure and God honouring, but is it? The entire sphere of this discussion stems from a basic misunderstanding of the Bible and its teaching regarding the Kingdom of God.



The text article is below, or you can follow the link.... at Explicitly Christian Politics



My response/interaction follows.





11 January 2011

Maurina's Critique of www.proto-protestantism.blogspot.com

Sorry some of these recent posts have been so long, but rather than divide them up I've just posted them. If you're here, you know the importance of these issues.

Here's my response/interaction with DT Maurina. This was posted over at a URCNA discussion group. I thought he was pretty fair, but that does not alleviate our significant differences which were pretty clear in the GreenBaggins exchange. They will also be clear here…….

This is yet another excellent opportunity to examine One Kingdom/Dominionist/Sacralist thought and how it perceives what people like me are saying.

The Arizona Shooting pt. 2

Well, I guess Nihilist would probably be a more accurate definition of the philosophical position of this young man. Seeing the world as meaningless and essentially nothing is really the logical end of all unbelieving thought.



It's almost as if some who are lost see the world in all its cursed fallen-ness but not seeing Christ, they despair.

09 January 2011

The Arizona Shooting

My take so far.....

You've got a young man who's spouting off about the US Constitution, English language issues, but is also known for smoking pot and being anti-religion.

All over the Internet you've got the Right-wing people calling him a leftist and you've got the Left-wing people blaming FOX news, Glenn Beck, and especially Sarah Palin. During the press conference the Sheriff in Arizona kept referencing extreme rhetoric on radio and television. He referred to this as the price of free speech etc.....unmistakeably a reference to Right-wing talk radio and television.

04 January 2011

Abusing the Imprecatory Psalms

Ever heard of the Obama Prayer?

The Imprecatory Psalms, those which call down curses or Imprecations on God's enemies seemed to experience something of a revival in the 1990's. Theonomic ideology had quietly percolated for a few years and then Bill Clinton became the president of the United States.

I never heard it personally, but I knew some who heard pastors pray for God to strike him dead right in the middle of the Sunday morning service.

Clash of the Sacralisms

I wrote this on 1 January in reference to the Church bombing in Egypt….

Yet once again to we read of Christian groups coming under attack in the Middle East. Contrary to the claims of some within the Christian community, the American media devotes quite a bit of time to this. While they would prefer human interest stories and scandal, anything that supports the American foreign policy and supports the notion that Americans must get behind the 'troops' sells well….even if the message is conveyed by making the 'bad guys' look even worse. Fear sells. Sadly the fear is a reality in places like Egypt and Iraq for these Christian ethnic communities.

Two from Vance

Always interesting and in many ways a kindred spirit....here are a couple of posts from Lawrence Vance.

01 January 2011

A Strange Sense of Honour

This would be amusing if the consequences of this theology weren't so dire.

Here's a post from a pastor named Taylor Grant.

The Great Commission, Dominionist Style

Dominionism embraces the The Great Commission of Matthew 28, the message of Redemption provided by Christ for those who are born again and have a saving faith in His person and work.

But, because they also believe the Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1 is still in effect and unmodified, the Church, or at least individual Christians have an EQUALLY important commission.........to take Dominion over the earth.

Some of them will openly use phrases like: the gospel is not enough........