22 January 2014

The Venetian Refuge

My kids and I were going through a lesson about the rise of Venice and the unique role it played in the Middle Ages...not to mention the outrageous Fourth Crusade. (As if the Crusades weren't already outrageous enough!)

And I was reminded of the brief section in Fox's Book of Martyrs dealing with Venice and the Inquisition of 1542. There are a couple of moving tales. Antonio Ricetti and Francesco Spinola died defending the doctrines of Christ. If you have a copy, give it a read. If you know Christ you will meet them someday.

12 January 2014

Perchik's Hermeneutic and the Politicization of Everything (3 of 3)

As Christians we are to die to ourselves. We are in the process of putting to death the old sinful nature and living as those who are already seated in Heaven with Christ.

We view everything through regenerate eyes but we never seek political power. We had better be aware of it, quick to expose it and critique it. The world's devices are both clever and seductive. But the world's goals concerning power and the lust can only create a Pseudo-Zion a Pseudo-Eden... that's the last thing in the world we want.

And for all the Church's efforts to manifest the Kingdom through civilizational and political power, that's all they will end up with. A cheap imitation, a counterfeit, and there's nothing more dangerous than that.

Perchik's Hermeneutic and the Politicization of Everything (2 of 3)

The state has nothing to do with us. We don't go to their courts. We don't seek its approval. We obey the laws, pay the taxes. We interact with it at times and to some degree are glad that it's there. But the relationship is always a bit uneasy. We belong to different worlds and have different goals. The state will use power and the threat of violence for its own ends. But in God's Providence it inadvertently helps us by creating an environment that (hopefully) allows us to live our quiet, peaceful God centered lives.

Perchik's Hermeneutic and the Politicization of Everything (1 of 3)

I was attempting to explain the anti-abortion movement to my kids and trying to help them understand why on the one hand I am completely against abortion but on the other hand I'm not overly keen on what the anti-abortion movement is trying to accomplish.

While that may seem nonsensical and contradictory, the reason I say this is because I believe the anti-abortion movement isn't just about stopping abortion. It's a political movement.

What's the difference? Perhaps I can explain.

11 January 2014

Spinning the Reformation: The Propaganda Mill and Christian Media (2/2)

As regular readers will know I am not an Anabaptist, but when it comes to issues regarding the Kingdom, Christian ethics and the Church's relation to culture the Anabaptists are correct and essentially perpetuate the view of the Medieval Dissidents with which I would identify. While there are many similarities between the Waldenses, Chelcicky and the Anabaptists, I stand with the pre-Anabaptists and embrace the inclusion of the children of believers within the context of the visible covenant, the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Trueman in this interview chose to largely ignore the role of the Magistrates. He mentions them commissioning catechisms and creeds but fails to mention that politics did in fact play a great role in the Reformation and the reason Luther and the Reformation succeeded (at least on a human level) was due to political power... and the potential violence that backed it.

Spinning the Reformation: The Propaganda Mill and Christian Media (1/2)


One of the few figures in Reformed circles that I genuinely respect is Carl Trueman. Generally I appreciate his historical insight and balance. He comes across as non-partisan which is a rare thing in politicized world of denominational and factional scholarship and commentary.

06 January 2014

Answering Questions #22- American Church Histories

Can I recommend any books on American Church History?

That's actually kind of a difficult question. There aren't really any histories that I would recommend without qualification. Every history has its good and bad aspects.

The Role of Conservative Think Tanks (3/3)

Heritage also used organizations like Citizens for America to move money around. This is one of the many shell games played by these organizations. Create multiple entities...it's all the same people...but use them in different ways to obfuscate what you're doing, We also see a similar tactic used by many well known 'ministries' in creating a 'for-profit/taxable' activist wing and using the non-profit to support it.

05 January 2014

The Role of Conservative Think Tanks (2/3)

The Reagan Doctrine and Rollback
Heritage's policy was to reject the Cold War doctrine of Containment and certainly reject Nixon and Kissinger's Detente. They called their doctrine Rollback and singled out numerous countries for this doctrine to be implemented. At this point a quick rundown of the list would be helpful. These are the specific countries Heritage targeted for Rollback and a few comments amount the goals and results.

The Role of Conservative Think Tanks (1/3)

Think tank policy and influence is pretty public. It's just slightly out of the mainstream. The influence easy to find but you'll have to turn to articles and books. You're not going to find the mainstream media explaining the system. They never do that. But for example just listening to a more serious news outlet like NPR you will constantly hear references to groups like Heritage and of course the liberal Brookings Institution (which Colson famously wanted to bomb). Many scholars from Heritage, Hudson, Hoover, AEI, CATO and other groups are regularly interviewed and consulted. The think tanks are in many ways the voice for policy and ideology. They tend to be more candid than politically minded officeholders.

03 January 2014

Propaganda Mills- Think Tanks and the Ivory Towers of the Christian Right (2/2)

Mohler's guest Mary Eberstadt has researched the demise of the family, the Church and the rise of Secularism. By the end of the interview it's pretty clear what Eberstadt wishes to do and that's attack the Welfare State. This is not a surprise considering she's affiliated with the Hoover Institution another Right Wing Think Tank which has produced the likes of Thomas Sowell and other very popular pseudo-intellectual propagandists. Their purpose is not intelligent discussion but the advancement of an agenda... funded by some of the largest military, financial and industrial entities in the United States. The list of current and past corporate sponsors includes ARCO, ADM, Boeing, Exxon, JP Morgan, Rockwell and Transamerica. Hoover represents serious financial and political interests and that has to be taken into account.

Propaganda Mills- Think Tanks and the Ivory Towers of the Christian Right (1/2)


The Danger of Believing Your Own Propaganda

I listened to this podcast awhile back and wanted to share a few thoughts. This is Albert Mohler's interview programme where he sits down with a fellow intellectual and conducts about a 45 minute interview with some of his commentary along the way. Sometimes it's interesting, but often I find it to be not only intellectually dull but often misguided. But that assessment would go for most things Mohler does. As a leader of the Christian Right I believe he is completely misguided with regard to history, theology, politics and most of all, the Bible. That may sound like a harsh and needless insult but since I believe he (and many like him) are a great danger to the Christian Church... I feel the denunciation to be more than warranted.

01 January 2014

Allies and Enemies: The Power of the United States.

America can even thwart and in some cases betray its own allies and has a long record of doing so.

This story dates back to July when an American CIA official, wanted by the Italians for participating in the Rendition programme and accused of snatching a man off the streets of Milan was arrested in Panama. There was an international warrant for his arrest issued by the Italians.

The agent Robert Lady was picked up at the Panamanian border and presumably would have been extradited to Italy. But then suddenly, he's released and put back on a plane for the United States.