Pretty Sure It Is Not You

Flannery O'Conner wrote that everything that rises must converge, but this must also be said of everything that is circling the drain. The shared worldview of our chattering classes appears to me to be nothing more than a vast epistemic sinkhole. This is the kind of thing that could make Turretin exclaim, were he present with us, something like zut alors! which when translated means something like holy smokes. You know, a little inside term of art from one of the great scholars of the Reformation. In order to be cast as a radical and/or a crazy these days all you need do is say something like "a man should be judged by the content of his character, and not by the color of his skin." Total wingnuttery. If you insist on equal weights and measures, no thumb on the scale, whether that thumb be black like Al Sharpton's or white like David Duke's, or Daisy Duke's for that matter, if you maintain something along the lines of "all thumbs matter," as in, keep any kind of thumb off the scale, … [Read more...]

A Coalition of Dust Bunnies

Casual-Conversations-Confederate-Flag-Heritage-or-Hate

If you have a moment, you might want take a look at this video, starting at about the 45 minute mark. In the course of a panel discussion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a point I had made about the American and Confederate flags came up. My guess is the point they were likely dealing with was the third point in this post. Being always grateful for a chance to interact with various saints, let me join in on this discussion, albeit somewhat belatedly. In his response, Dr. Akin said that the two situations were different. His reasoning was this -- he said that when the average person looked at the Confederate flag, he would simply think "slavery," and that there is no comparable reaction when people looked at the American flag. There are two responses to this that I would like to offer. First, we could round up quite a few people who do in fact have a visceral negative reaction to the American flag. They do exist, and there are quite a lot of them. It is not … [Read more...]

50 Livers a Week

The eighth video is now out. The entire thing takes place over lunch -- over one of the most cold-hearted meals you will ever witness. Take note of the academics who are dismissed because they want to suppress within their own consciences what it is they are doing. But this means that Cate Dyer, the woman in the video, knows what she is doing. She is trafficking in the sale of dead babies, and she knows it. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cz1gRNPgMvE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> … [Read more...]

Their High Altar

The way of death is ancient . . .

There is quite a dramatic difference between "pardon me" and "forgive me." We say the first, for example, in cases of inadvertent error, as when we bump into someone accidentally. We need to say the latter when we knew what we were doing, did it on purpose, knowing full well that we ought not to have. If we bump into someone in a crowded hallway, we ask for pardon. We say "pardon me" or "excuse me." But if that other person was the only one in the hallway, and we lowered our head and ran straight into him, then "pardon me" would be taken as sarcasm. The only thing required is repentance and "please forgive me." Now through the death of Christ on the death, we are offered full and free forgiveness for our sin, confessed as such. We are not offered anything as a supplement to our excuses. When John tells us that God will forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9), he places a conditional upon it -- "if we confess our sins." The word for confess is homologeo, which literally means to … [Read more...]

If the Day of Judgment Had a Little Brother

The problem with such images is the understatement.

In one sense, of course, nothing can compare to the great Day of the Lord. Nothing compares to it, and yet Scripture repeatedly compares things to it. But the Bible does this in such a way as to show that nothing can compare, which is what gives the comparisons such force. “The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; And they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; And to the hills, Fall on us” (Hos. 10:8; cf. Luke 23:30). So if you want one sort of image for the Day of Judgment, here in the Pacific Northwest we have multiple forest fires to choose from. The flames can get 300 feet high. Use your imagination. . In another sense, there is second  aspect to the Day of Judgment that seems much quieter and less lurid, and yet is far more terrifying. Bu it is only actually terrifying if you think about it, which is what these Planned Parenthood videos are making us all do. These videos are a tiny … [Read more...]

Not What Scissors Are For

The seventh Planned Parenthood video comes pretty close to Dante's seventh circle. That's not what scissors are for. But one of the first things I thought of after seeing it was the ninth circle, the circle dedicated to the treacherous. And that is what this is -- treacherous, horrific, appalling, heinous, and cold as Hell. Holly O'Donnell is the technician who worked for StemExpress, and who is testifying in the most recent of the sting videos. And, by the way, when I googled StemExpress to find out if it was two words or one, I was helpfully informed by Google through their suggested sub-directory searches that I can still buy fetal liver if I want, and at the very end of this macabre list was the "wish list" option. What do I wish they could put in my shopping cart for me? The fact that Planned Parenthood is being evil, and is committing indecencies that are beyond vile, does not mean that they are guilty of every evil. They are murderous, but that does not make them … [Read more...]

Carve Outs and Ghettos

What are you looking at?

So as I sat down at the computer this morning, I was wondering which particular box in my attic I should unpack and bring down. And one of the first things I encountered was an email from a friend with some links, in case I was looking for something to jump in on. Well, I was, as a matter of fact. Guidance, I call it. A minor dust-up involving complementarianism outside marriage and the church has arisen. John Piper started it here by answering a woman who wondered if she could become a police officer. Aimee Byrd responded, as did Carl Trueman  a couple ways, and we should not neglect mentioning Scot McKnight. What I want to do here is agree with John Piper on the fundamental issue at hand, and to do so in a way that emphasizes how important this is. John Piper is on to something here, and to let it go is to fall into a conservative complementarian neo-orthodox retreat to commitment. I hope explain that shortly. But first, I think some of Piper's particular criteria for … [Read more...]

Ann Coulter and the Disease of American Conservatism

Ann Coulter

Before I say anything critical, let me start by saying that Ann Coulter has made a lot of good sense over the years. I have read some of her books, and they were generally well-written and researched, and contrast somewhat markedly with the blonde brassiness that does the yelling heads television gigs. Having said that, she recently said something theologically atrocious, and it was something that revealed the disease that afflicts contemporary conservatism. Here it is: "I don't care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper. http://bit.ly/1EvT3Ja" By the way, I do understand that Coulter is anti-abortion, and that this statement was hyperbolic, intended to praise Trump's immigration stand. It does not represent what she would be willing to do. Of course not. But it does represent what she is willing to say, and what she is willing to say represents the central confusion of American conservatism. What are we conserving? … [Read more...]

7 Questions for Those Who Want Money for People With Minds That Hate . . .

Boxes

Let me get this straight. 1. You are the group that wants drivers working for FedEx and UPS to be unknowingly carrying around boxes with baby parts in them, babies who were killed for the sake of those parts, AND you want to be the enlightened, progressive group? 2. You are the party that wants lab workers to dump baby parts into pie plates, in order to sort through them carefully looking for the valuable bits, AND you want to be the liberals? 3. You are the faction who wants to keep us from showing mothers an ultrasound of their child, in order to keep that child alive, and you want to prevent those same mothers from seeing how you use the ultrasound (to avoid damaging the product), AND you want to be known as the ones in favor of the free flow of information? 4. You want to tell one group of people that we are just dealing with nondescript tissue and such, and you want to tell another group that you have livers, hearts, lungs, and limbs for sale, AND you want to be the … [Read more...]

Liberal Like Me

Liberal Like Me

The next video is up. No graphic images this time -- just more chilling testimony. I have been saying that one of our central tasks in the unfolding Planned Parenthood mess is to make defenders of the indefensible try to defend it. This can go one of two ways -- either they back away from the position (or start to back away), or they double down. An example of the former can be found here. This is something we welcome because it presents an opportunity to show that blood guilt cannot be removed with a long shower and lots of soap. It can be removed, but not that way. But an example of the latter can be found here. What I would like to do is just take a moment to break out what this woman is actually saying, and take it apart. Hidden cameras are not necessary. "Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, … [Read more...]

Got No Secrets to Conceal

Lamborghinis

We are not that far into the Planned Parenthood calamity, but I think we are far enough into it to ask the secularists how they like being on the wrong side of history. And as Dylan once put it in Like a Rolling Stone, "you got no secrets to conceal. How does it feel?" It has been a few days since I have been able to post on this, and there have been many developments, so it is time for a brief tactical round-up. Remember how crucial pursuit is as a principle of war. We don't want to win "this round," we want to win the fight. And that means pursuit. 1. There will be a national protest at PP clinics all over the country. The web site for that protest is here.  Check it out and see if there is a protest near you, or if there should be. 2. At these protests, or in conversations with friends and coworkers, the question may come up: "What are you trying to accomplish? What do you want?" Divide the answer in two. "First, ultimately, we want to end human abortion." But what … [Read more...]

3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable

Self Identifying

Thus far two states have cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Only 48 to go. In addition, we had a close vote in the Senate on whether to cut them off at the federal level. This vote was taken after just a third of the videos had been released. The current amount of pressure, continued for just a little bit longer, is going to get increasing results. Incidentally, speaking of which, we really need somebody to start one of those petitions at the White House web site, where they promise to respond to x number of signatures. We should ask them to pick someone at the White House to watch the videos, and then give us a response. That said, here are three basic reasons why we should see this campaign as one that is preeminently winnable. Planned Parenthood can go down the same way that ACORN did. Cold Blood, Not Red Blood The most potent aspect of these videos has been the juxtaposition of the reality of abortion over against the cucumber cool demeanor of the doctors involved, … [Read more...]

Just Watching

All Livers Matter

A few days ago I wrote, in that lucid and penetrating way I sometimes have, that we ought not be tying other political or cultural issues to our pursuit of Planned Parenthood. As much as within us lies, we ought to keep the focus and attention on the indefensible conduct of Planned Parenthood, and the outrageous behavior of those politicians who are covering for them. All well and good, but at least one astute observer noticed (and thereafter mentioned to me) that I have been spotted, within the precincts of this abortion issue, horsing around with the Confederate flag, and Bruce Jenner's predilection for girly stuff, and so on. What's with that? There are two ways to reply to this, but they actually reduce to the same point. We must notice, first of all, the particular way in which God has served this collation of issues up to us. As I wrote previously, we ought not try to cobble our pet projects to this issue (e.g. #DefundPP and #FlossDaily), but that is quite different from … [Read more...]