21 July 2012

No Time

It's been a frustrating week. I've been going to work quite early, in part to deal with the heat and often getting home late. I'm exhausted and disappointed that I haven't had time to get to my writing.
I still want to finish the articles on the issues surrounding Kirk Cameron's movie...I've got a couple more parts to finish.

15 July 2012

A Few Clarifications Regarding Philosophy and Christian Theology

This is an update/revision of an article originally published in July 2010

For years I grappled internally and with others over theological issues. As time progressed I became convinced most theological debate was basically fruitless due to fundamental differences regarding reason itself, and accepted or assumed thought categories.

We bring this baggage with us when we read the Bible and we run the risk of two extremes.

12 July 2012

Kirk Cameron's Monumental Part 5: The Enforcement of Original Intent and The Road to Oligarchy

From the standpoint of non-Sacral Christianity, a composite society is highly desirable and allows for maximum freedom. In the end that's not what we're supposed to spend all of our time and energy looking for, but, if it's a possibility we ought to support it in the civil sphere.
And yet at this point, I cannot in good conscience support the American Establishment in any sense. America's economic and foreign policies promote violence and bloodshed and so like a Christian living in Rome I go about my business, but I will not worship Caesar nor will I support the legions or the machine that empowers the empire.
Unlike many of my ancestors, I wouldn't have supported the Rebellion of 1776, but once the new American state was established I would have been content to live within it.

Kirk Cameron's Monumental Part 4: Common Law, The Puritans, Composite and Monistic Views of Society

Did the Founders belong to a time when a Sacral Christian consensus still reigned? Of course. And yet, they were of many different stripes and persuasions and a jumble of ideas came together in what they produced. The Sacral consensus of the Middle Ages and Reformation was beginning to crumble and the Founders were men of their day. They imbibed (as we all do) from a variety of sources of worldviews, everything from English Common Law to Locke and others.
Interestingly Jefferson detested the famous Blackstone commentaries on English Common Law, which is often something Christian America advocates point to when trying to build their case for the Founders attempting to establish a Christian state. While it may work with someone like John Adams, they won't find an ally in the author of the Declaration of Independence.

08 July 2012

Kirk Cameron's Monumental Part 3: Foundations of Law, Theonomy, Social Consensus/Contract and The Problem of Democracy

In addition to questions concerning 'rights' and the 'state' and how these concepts are read (by many Christians) back into the Bible, there is the whole question of democracy itself. America is of course a Republic, which by definition has a public or democratic element, and yet foundationally rests in the notion of rule by law. There are many forms of Republicanism, but in the United States we have specifically a form of Democratic Republicanism.
So though we're ruled by law, our legislators (our lawmakers, law proposers, law givers) are selected democratically. These legislators have a dual obligation. They are to forge laws compliant with the 'static' foundational document of the Republic (the Constitution) but they also are to represent the 'dynamic' needs of their constituents, dynamic in that they (the needs of society) change with the cultural and historical context.

06 July 2012

Kirk Cameron's Monumental Part 2: The Theology of Nationalism and Historical Narrative

Cameron brings along Marshall Foster to help him interpret the monument's symbolism. Foster is a popular 'historian' in these circles. I've listened to him lecture on numerous occasions and find myself rarely agreeing with much of anything he says. Even when gets something correct, it is framed in a misleading or manipulative manner. History has a narrative to it, and it's amazing how it seems to perfectly match the Theonomic Reconstructionist and Christo-American cultural and political agenda.
Providence guides history, but history isn't complete and unless God has specifically laid out a historical narrative, which he hasn't for any nation in the New Testament but the Church...it is a dangerous thing to impose one upon the annals of history. History is messy and complicated and imposing these narratives (like God's hand was on America) on history is a dangerous business, can be self-deceptive, have a tendency to whitewash and mythologize, promote unbiblical pride and bigotry, and can blind people to the evils their nation commits. Assyria was used by God in Isaiah 10, but then Assyria was crushed and punished by God for her wickedness. America and the Americanists would do well to take heed. They think of themselves as a North American Israel...but how do they know they're not an Egypt?

05 July 2012

Kirk Cameron's Monumental: Initial Considerations

Dominionism is the idea that says we must seek to transform society and culture. Among the myriad of Christian sects almost everyone would agree that Christianity brings a set of ethics and values to the table, it has something to say regarding human conduct and behaviour.
Protestants in particular have laid an emphasis on the new life, being 'born again' as Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3. As New Creatures, we approach all ethical tangles differently than the nonbeliever. In addition our entire focus is different, we seek heavenly wisdom, we are to lay up treasure in heaven where are our hearts, our hopes are.
Dominionism says we must go further. Based off their reading of Genesis 1.26-27 they believe we are to subdue the earth. This combined with Paul's injunction to 'bring every thought captive' launches them on what seem to them to be a clear programme to transform all of culture and society. To them this is Kingdom work, this is bringing the Kingdom of God to earth and making it manifest.