Clunkity Clunkity Blam

So let us speak for a moment, you and I, about Christian worldview education. Like anything else that is good, it can be done poorly, and whatever else you say about the strengths of Christian worldview advocates, they have not yet been able to shake the bell curve.

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that fully half of all medical doctors in America graduated in the lower half of their class?

In other words, there are advocates of Christian worldview thinking whose reasoning processes go clunkity clunkity blam. That is true, and I have seen it myself. Of course, I have also seen the kind of secularist who thinks that climate change is causing these extra comets to appear, and so keep in mind that the bell curve follows every social group around, like six feet of toilet paper on your shoe. And let us not leave out that congressman, a member of our Sanhedrin, who was fearful that Guam might tip over.

So what brings this up? I just got back from the ACCS conference, an organization dedicated to promoting the absolute authority of Christ in the life of the mind. And at this conference, Canon Press formally rolled out their Christian worldview guides, with many more to come. And I have noticed, over the last year, a certain restiveness among the cool kids, with a sneer or two directed at the term worldview. Some are afraid that the absolute authority of Christ in the life of the mind is a dangerous thing, and might eventually raise questions about the propriety of their skinny jeans. If we bring Christian worldview thinking to sartorial matters, who knows what the harvest will be?

And by the way, since you mentioned skinny jeans, how would I answer the objection that I—born as I was in 1953—am fixating on skinny jeans as though they were still a thing? Is this not proof positive that “Christian worldview thinking” is sometimes just a shammy cloth for shining up our own personal cultural prejudices? Well, no, actually. Having eyes in my head, I can see what the folks are still doing, and can read what they are saying about what they are doing.

And then, on top of all that, Rod Dreher was speaking at another classical Christian educators’ conference, and he wrote this piece responding to comments made by another presenter at that conference. A reasonable response to Dreher’s take was offered here, and I myself would like to add my own two bits.

Dreher took an online “worldview quiz” and came out as having a 57% Christian worldview. Inspired by his example, I went and took the same quiz, and came out significantly northwards of that. Maybe I got some extra credit for calling Nancy Pelosi names in the comments box. Just kidding. But Dreher says this about his score:

“I suspect that my deviations came partly from answers that reflected my belief that evolution and some level of government involvement in the economy are compatible with Christian belief. Disbelieving evolution comes from a certain interpretation of the Bible. It is also hard to find clear, irrefutable Scriptural support for free-market capitalism.”

My irrefutable scriptural support for capitalism would be this. “Thou shalt not steal” (Ex. 20:15). Just as the institution of marriage is assumed by the prohibition of adultery, so also the institution of private property is assumed by the prohibition of theft. “This is a strange religion you have. Tell me more.”

And it is true that disbelieving evolution comes from a certain interpretation of the Bible—let us call it the Christian worldview interpretation. Work with me here. A Christian worldview is not the sum total of what all the people who are going to Heaven think. It is the system of truth and life that is revealed to us in the Bible. We find out what that is by careful and submissive study, and not by counting available extant interpretations. Dreher is quite right that some Christians interpret the Bible to make room for evolution. But other Christians interpret the Bible to make room for Tom and Sam in the sack together. Now what? To the law and the testimony (Is. 8:20).

But here is the central difficulty.

“If I heard Joshua Gibbs correctly yesterday, he was saying that the worldview model gives a student permission to point to a text, label it, and dismiss it after only a superficial acquaintance with it. This is not real learning; this is sorting our prejudices.”

But Christian students are NOT supposed to arrive at the Christian school as blank slates. This is the point where the apostle Paul would start shaking before blurting out, “μὴ γένοιτο people!” Christian children are to be taught, from their mother’s breast, as the absolute truth, the fact of creation, Christ’s Lordship over all, His death on the cross, His resurrection, and His rule over the world. The word of God in Scripture should be so far into their bones that there is no possibility of extracting it. By some means or other, Christian children should be thoroughly catechized. And if they are, then their first encounter in their Christian school with some of the things that the world cooks up will be bewildered astonishment. “Wait. People think that?”

Imagine a grateful child growing up in a godly home. He is fed, he is loved, he is disciplined, he is read to, he is cared for, and all the rest of it. At some point, someone will have to explain to him what abortion is.

Yes, those outside the faith do things like that. Yes, they think that. And a Christian teacher leads the Christian student into a respectful and diligent interaction with the best arguments the other side has. This is so that the student may learn how to refute them completely, down to the ground. But you lead them to that place from an absolute assurance of the truth of the Christian faith. The goal should be to bring to them to the worldly philosophers and authors and poets with honest and equipped minds, not with open minds.

There were no questions about this process of education on the quiz that Dreher and I took, but I think there should have been. Underlying Dreher’s questioning of Christian worldview education is the grandest secular misconception of all, which is the myth of neutrality. Having just read his Benedict book, I do know that he has a Christian worldview in many respects. But as these questions reveal, even though he is one of our generals in the battle against secularism, he is in some significant respects a secularist himself.

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Nathan Smith
Member

First: “Wait. People think that?” I remember the first time I read in a book that dinosaurs lived millions of years before people. I ran straight to my dad. “That’s what some people think.” I was flabbergasted. Second, on skinny jeans: Great song by Andy Gullahorn called Skinny Jeans. You can listen by “googling” Andy Gullahorn Skinny Jeans. Its all about how the obvious reason he isnt a rich and famous country/rock star is because he doesn’t want to wear skinny jeans. (It has nothing to do with the fact that he writes songs about losing toes, Robert Downey Jr,… Read more »

Kat
Guest
Kat

Thank you for this response to Dreher- exactly what was needed!

MeMe
Guest

It’s a good post,so don’t take this as a complaint, it is just that “Christian children are to be taught…” does not sit well with me. I grew up under some pretty intense and devout atheist indoctrination. I began “unlearning” when I was very young and it has served me well. I passed that along to my own kids when I pulled each of them out of secular school and homeschooled, pouring as much unschooling into them as possible. So I am a huge fan of critical thinking, of that being the only kind of “teaching” we should ever be… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

How do we learn anything? Three possibilities come to mind: 1) we are left to ourselves to figure things out, 2) we are divinely inspired by direct revelation from God, or 3) someone teaches us. I don’t know how useful it is to suggest that teaching our kids is a bad choice. We teach them to read, write, do math, history, science, etc. Why wouldn’t we also teach them doctrinal truths? Why, indeed, wouldn’t this be MORE important that reading and math? I think it is foolish to “trust that all critical thinking eventually leads us to Jesus.” What if… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

The best analogy I have for my own belief in God is the fact that I didn’t meet my maternal grandmother in person until I was 15. Yet, she was as real and present to me as any other family member. I heard so many stories about her from the most trustworthy source in my life (my mother) that I formed a clear picture of her character and personality. I read her letters. I got presents from her and wrote thank you notes. I saw her in photographs. It would never have occurred to me that my mother might have… Read more »

Dave W
Guest
Dave W

MeMe, I think you’re on to something. I remember all those moments reading CS Lewis when it suddenly became impossible for me to be an atheist. The reason is he showed me what I really think, so that I was no longer believing various points because I was told to, but because I actually thought them true. The problem is this: What do you mean by critical thinking? Should we tell our kids God and Scripture need the same independent verification as anything else does? Would we tell Jesus that if he appeared and started speaking? To go back to… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

“Should we tell our kids God and Scripture need the same independent verification as anything else does? ”

Yes! But that is because I believe it can withstand challenge, it is verifiable, and to make it even better, the power and truth of The Word can be independently testified to.

Jill Smith
Member

How? How would you independently verify the Ascension of our Lord without first having to independently verify the historicity of the gospel accounts? How, other than by faith, do you get past the problem of “I believe the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true”?

melody
Member
melody

MeMe – “… a belief system built on [] sand.” Is Timothy wrong when he says, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that FROM CHILDHOOD you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 1tIMOTHY 3:14-15

MeMe
Guest

I’m pretty sure you meant 2 Timothy 3:14-15, which was most likely written by the Apostle Paul?

I think what is so awesome about those words is that they have “been assured of,” that “we know from whom you have learned them,” and that their teacher is The word “which shall make you wise for salvation.” So basically Paul is saying, know The Word and know the One who wrote it.

adad0
Member

I get what you are saying Memi. Any healthy “indoctrination” allows for some questions along the way, with the goal that self realization of the truths spoken are received and understood.
After that, over here in Christendom, a good question to ask is, “Who writes things on our hearts?” I think it is the same “writer” who convicts us of sin, the Spirit.
To some degree, Godly “indoctrination” consists of green pastures, still waters and even some dark valleys, after that, The Spirit fills in some of the blanks. ; – )

Jill Smith
Member

I agree with you that critical thinking skills are very important, and I can see how your perspective, as a child brought up in atheism, would be different from mine. The part I’m not so sure about is that ours is a faith which is based not only on correct rational apprehension but also on revelation. Left to my own devices, I might well have believed there is a God, but He might have borne little resemblance to the God revealed in scripture. And, if I had not been taught that scripture is true, I would likely have seen it… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

It is a difficult question isn’t it? There are quite a few of us who believe we came to Christ under Divine revelation. Quote simply, He made Himself known to us as children. What’s really incredible there is that we didn’t invent a pantheistic God or a playground supervisor as you would suspect we would, but rather a really sound perception of God as is revealed in scripture, scripture we didn’t even know existed back then.

Jill
Guest
Jill

Ultimately, this boils down to the status of human reason. Is our ability to reason untouched by the Fall, able to discern Truth and wisdom on its own? Or is our reason flawed from the get-go, broken by the Fall in the same way our relationship to God is broken? It also boils down to the status of Truth. Is Truth absolute, eternal, and external, or is Truth relative, circumstantial, and internal? Biblically, I don’t think one can make a case for a Fall that left our reason unscathed. It’s why we are exhorted throughout Scripture to grow in knowledge… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I think Dreher doesn’t understand. Labeling and dismissing things is a feature, not a bug. You’re not supposed to think about anything, you’re supposed to learn the script and recite it. If you ever find yourself confused, there will hopefully be a priest around to tell you what to think. It’s kind of like coming full circle back to the pre-Reformation church with all its hierarchy. Dreher knows deep down this is garbage, but finds himself inexplicably attracted to the pre-modern bling bling, hence we get the benedict option where he tries to be a traditionalist liberal or something.

Jill Smith
Member

You are sadly out of date, Matt! Telling a modern priest that doctrine XYZ makes no sense to you is more likely to result in compliments on your innovative theology.

MeMe
Guest

If only 17% of Christians have a Christian worldview, then what makes it a “Christian” worldview?

I find it somewhat funny too, I have a 100% Christian worldview according to that quiz and yet there is no way I would ever read a piece of literature with a handy dandy worldview booklet attached to it. I can’t even attend a bible study using the “Beth Moore StudyGuide” or whatever. That sort of thing just makes me absolutely crazy.

Jill Smith
Member

It makes me wonder what those 83% of Christians believe. I also got 100%, and I answered as honestly as possible–meaning that I gave responses that would strike a lot of people here as not quite orthodox! Did you see anywhere all the answers are collated and analyzed?

demosthenes1d
Member

The quiz seems broken. I agree the my worldview is 100% Christian, but I don’t expect a poorly worded quiz like that to return that answer.

demosthenes1d
Member

Doug,

You should probably acknowledge that Joshua Gibbs is a former student of yours. I think you should be very proud… but it is what it is.

Floridalaska
Guest
Floridalaska

What happened to Joshua’s post? I can’t find it in the comments. I can’t find Doug’s response either.

demosthenes1d
Member

That is part of why I thought clarification was needed. Doug is quoting Rod Dreher summarizing a point that Joshua Gibbs made in a presentation. Rod links Joshua’s CIRCE page, which has several posts about worldview (all of Josh’s stuff is quite good in my opinion), by there doesn’t seem to be a transcript of the actual talk.

From the off-hand way that Doug includes the quote you wouldn’t know about Josh’s link to Moscow pedagogy.

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

“A Christian worldview is … the system of truth and life that is revealed to us in the Bible. ”

Methinks I spy a nit to pick.
The Bible grows in that soil, and does unerringly reflect it, but shall we say it reveals much comprehensively?

bethyada
Member

In the Secret Battle of Ideas, your worldview is
100% Christian
0% Postmodern
0% New Spiritual
0% Islamic
0% Secular
0% Marxist

I answered based on what I think, and not all my choices were at extremes. But I also answered in the manner the question was being asked. I have some quibbles.

Jill Smith
Member

I got 100% also, in spite of accepting evolution and supporting mild government intervention in the economy!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

How did you all find which quiz to take? I’m thinking this might be a bit of a joke, and that your scores (and perhaps even Pastor Wilson’s) might not actually mean anything.

kyriosity
Member

I think it’s this one: https://www.summit.org/checkup1/

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Ugh, I got 100%, but was annoyed by a great number of questions.

Apparently you can believe in evolution and even say there are errors in the Bible (cause there are in every actual Bible I’ve seen), and still get 100%.

Don’t see how Dreher could have pulled 57% on the test unless he was being purposely contrarion. There were a ton of times when multiple answers were “partly right”, but it was easy to pick the on worded to be “most right”.

Jill Smith
Member

A lot of my answers were very unorthodox and I still got 100%. There is something weird in the scoring.

kyriosity
Member

I only got 96% Christian. 3.7% new spiritual, whatever the heck that means. I took it twice and can’t figure out where it thinks I erred.

bethyada
Member

It’s your charismatic streak coming through.

bethyada
Member

I redid the test with subtle changes, the biggest being that there are other gods as well as the true God. Managed to get 92% Christian; 4% Postmodern; 4% New Spiritual. It may depend on how strongly you hold to some views? A couple of questions need to be carefully read. Only the words of Jesus in the Bible should be followed completely What is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes The answer to the first is strongly-no, meaning all the Bible should be followed. The answer to the second I guess is also strongly no… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Do you think the scoring reflected, not so much how your areas of agreement and disagreement, but how firmly you hold your beliefs. The only way I could have scored 100% is that there is a common thread among my beliefs–namely, that I think truth is absolute rather than relative.

bethyada
Member

I suspect it may have been variable depending on how important the question was.

bethyada
Member

I believe God is … (Mark all that you believe are accurate.) * God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator of the universe who rules the world today God is achieving all your human potential God represents a state of higher consciousness ** There are many gods, each with different power and authority Everyone is God No one can know if God truly exists There is no god or gods I marked * but I think that ** is also correct. It just depends on how you label principalities and powers. English speakers no longer use the word “god” to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I had some of the same issues. Including Torah as a holy book was more a test of knowledge than of worldview. If you know that Torah is the first five books of the Bible, you believe it tells the truth about God. I also quibbled with the meaning of life question, although six is clearly the best answer. I think we will understand the purpose of our life only from the vantage point of eternity; we are still in the “through a glass, darkly” phase. The economics/government options gave no middle ground between Marxism and unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism. The… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Always reject Marx. He was a lazy, dishonest man whose theories have killed millions.

The history one wasn’t hard.

Which statement best describes what you believe about history? (Choose one.)
Each society must decide for itself what is the best course of history
Social progress helps humankind become better and better
There is no real direction for history—things just happen
God has worked through history for his purposes

You only get to choose one. You can hold to 4 without being an absolute determinist. For starters, God clearly directed the time of Christ and will send him back at the right time.

Jill Smith
Member

I would always reject Marx, but I would also reject Smith, Ricardo, and Malthus. Engels was good descriptively as opposed to prescriptively; I have found his “Condition of the Working Class in England” to be a valuable source for Victorian Britain.

demosthenes1d
Member

“Always reject Marx.”

I feel like this fits with the theme of the debate.

Worldview answers for the win!

MeMe
Guest

That’s really quite lovely, Bethyada. That is the faith I know,the Christ I know. He simply encourages us to question everything. Even scripture is revealed to us, “a little here, a little there, precept by precept.” Certainly we could elaborate on each of those questions, they are not totally cut and dry. But I’m reminded that that open mindedness, that willingness to ponder the wonder of it all…that is actually a Christian value,a part of that world view we are speaking of. Islam, atheism, Marxism, post modernism, they aren’t big fans of allowing anyone to question world views.

bethyada
Member

One should always encourage Christians to ask the questions they find hard.

Jill Smith
Member

All right. A website I have visited says that women are to be subordinate because (1) Eve was created second, and (2) she succumbed to the temptations of the devil. Why are both necessary? If Eve had NOT succumbed–if she had run to Adam and warned him about the serpent’s machinations–would women still be subordinate because of the creation order? If so, why is so much emphasis placed on her being deceived? If Adam disobeyed without the excuse of deception, why is Eve to blame for offering him the forbidden fruit? Shouldn’t he have said, “Eve, you have been deceived”?… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jill Smith wrote: A website I have visited says that women are to be subordinate because (1) Eve was created second, and (2) she succumbed to the temptations of the devil. Why are both necessary? If Eve had NOT succumbed–if she had run to Adam and warned him about the serpent’s machinations–would women still be subordinate because of the creation order? There was a relationship of headship and submission prior to the Fall, so I don’t believe that both conditions are necessary. Eve was created equal to Adam, in regard to bearing the image of God, but she was created… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Thank you, Katecho, that was very helpful. If you have any spare thoughts on the glory of man issue,I would appreciate them as I find that very puzzling. It makes me think of Milton’s line from Paradise Lost: “He for God only, she for God in him.” My Catholic Milton professor said that this is idolatry. And is it a description only of Adam and Eve, or is it descriptive of every woman in relation to every man? Or only of Christian marriage? I think my difficulty is with reconciling “woman is the glory of man” with both man and… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thanks for doing that – I probably had ten times as many similar issues but need to hold back for once!

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

Is Allah in the Koran the same as Yahweh in the Bible? I am told, though I have not independently confirmed this, that when Mohammed went to Mecca and smashed (or caused to spontaneously crumble by his presence) the totems of the desert tribes, the only totem remaining was that of the moon. Coincidentally (I’m sure) the moon totem was the one for the spirit to which Mohammed’s tribe was devoted. That is what Allah is – the remains of the moon spirit of the animist religion of the Arabian deserts – and that’s why the symbol of the Mohammedans… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

No

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“My irrefutable scriptural support for capitalism would be this. “Thou shalt not steal.” Since production wasn’t dominated by capitalism until the 19th century, it is obvious that you can be in support of private property (with significant limitations, as the Bible notes) without having to support modern capitalism. Even the idea that “capitalism = Christian” is primarily an American invention started first due to patriotism during the Cold War and second when establishment Republican business interests gained control over the Christian Right and began manipulating it to their own ends. Before that, the ultra-capitalists were much more likely to be… Read more »

bethyada
Member

You are going to have to state what you mean by capitalism and what you think the biblical correctives are. While you won’t fully agree with Doug, you may share more common ground than you realise.

One can hate cronyism, consumerism, and greed and be a captialist. One can think that it sinful for men to seek wealth and that men are answerable to God for how they steward his money but deny the state has a role in doling out money to the poor.

CHer
Guest
CHer

Jonathan is often disingenuous and makes up definitions that match his worldview. He did the same thing with “wealth distribution” recently. It sounds like he gets this stuff from a daily sound bite email from MoveOn.org.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

CHer, wealth and income are widely understood as different. Income is the flow, wealth is what you have accumulated. That’s not something I made up and it’s nonsensical to suggest Movein.oeg is related at all.

Jill Smith
Member

You’re right that capitalism needs a careful definition. I think that most Americans use it to mean “not socialist”. Yet, I think very few would sign on to every provision of pure, laissez-faire capitalism, and would be horrified by a genuinely unregulated marketplace. No safety checks on anything. Buy a cheap toy for your kid and take your chances that it was made with lead paint. You’ll know better next time. Child labor, because parents and factory owners have a right to enter into contracts on behalf of the child without government interference. No safety requirements for operating heavy equipment–it’s… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

It is scary the cachet the odious Rand has with Christians. I can’t tell you how many otherwise reasonable people go on and on about how great she is. The sad thing is that her fiction isn’t even readable, it’s bad neopagan, self-woshiping, self-indulgent drivel.

Jill Smith
Member

I read “The Fountainhead” at 15 and fell briefly under Rand’s spell. I decided that the comic verse I wrote to amuse my friends and annoy the authorities was a tragic perversion of my muse, and that instead I would write sonnets on the plight of the Noble Man Surrounded by Mediocrity. My friends thought they were simply awful, so I quickly reverted to my normal self. While it is true that I don’t understand why Christians are attracted to Ayn Rand, it is also true that I don’t understand why any grown up hasn’t seen through crackpot theories delivered… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

While I appreciate that, it was Wilson who was engaging with Dreher’s statement about capitalism. As Dreher is certainly not a Communist, Doug’s statement as a rebuttal of him is unhelpful without Pastor Wilson explaining how HE disagrees with Dreher on capitalism and where the Bible supports him on that. Some Biblical correctives of what many people consider essential to capitalism – land was equally distributed in Israel and families could not sell their land in perpetuity, poor people had the right to take produce from your land as they passed, you were not allowed to abuse your land (or… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

“Thou shalt not steal” is one of the foundations of Godly government. America has forgotten that commandment and steals from citizens all the time. It is good that Jonathan is learning a bit about government because not stealing means: no government welfare; no government schools; no social security; no mandate to force health insurance, no Obama phones; no property tax; no Federal Reserve with forced inflation and forced monetary policy; no food stamps; no empire building and so on. Thank you for understanding that important principle of government, Jonathan. You should work on the wealth and income portion a bit… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

“It is good that Jonathan is learning a bit about government because not stealing means: BLAH BLAH BLAH”

How does it feel knowing the right answer to every difficult question? Must be invigorating.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Demo, Jonathan doesn’t understand Godly government and doesn’t understand that our American government does not honor God and does not function in a Godly manner which causes a multitude of problems in America today. He does not think that bad government is the cause of our problems which is a major fault of American Christians. Most American Christians will say “Don’t Steal,” but they don’t understand that taking from Grandma in Iowa to pay a lazy guy in California is stealing. And that’s the Blah, Blah, Blah of it. For more information, contact the Shell Answer Man.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

If you say bad government is the cause of our problems does that mean you think we would no problems but for bad government?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Godly government relieves much of the anguish and problems of other forms of government. King Solomon reigned in peace and prosperity. Other kings who followed God also reigned in peace. Those who did not follow God brought misery and destruction to Israel. Will there be problems — of course; however, they will not be of the magnitude or nature we are faced with today.

Jill Smith
Member

Hi Dave, can you think of a government in modern history (say from the 1500s onwards) that you would consider Godly?

Dave
Guest
Dave

The original Continental Congress made a wonderful start while founding America. The individual colonies before and the states after the American Revolution were on the right path. Sadly, we drifted away from the basis of our nation. As Ben Franklin is quoted: You have a republic if you can keep it. So, America is the place to be and Christians have to get back to proper preaching, worship, prayer, teaching and daily action in order to restore America to its proper form of government. There is one true God and America needs to turn to Him and turn from our… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Dave, I get your point, but I’m not at all confident in your exposition of “Godly Government” it looks like you have ran down a list of right wing grievances rather than a list of things that can be justifiably said to violate “Thou Shall Not Steal.” Certainly each item would require argument. Indeed, what can the government do without stealing in your telling? Build highways? Provide potable water? Build and operate public transit? Run public parks (of any sort)? Provide fire protection? Subsidize mineral extraction or infrastructure expansion? Engineer and build weapons systems? Fund research? Restrict usury? Enforce zoning?… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Demo, I am confident that if America turned from our wicked ways and worshiped God and acted in a Christian manner in all walks of life, America would be blessed with peace. This isn’t right wing thinking at all, but Biblical thinking. John Adams recognized the need and said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That’s a moral and religious people rather than an ungodly one such as we have today. No, the vision of Godly government was not poorly modeled or constructed or not… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Dave, There is an enormous goalpost shift going on here. You made a claim that a host of current government functions violate “though shalt not steal.” You additionally called a government performing those functions “ungodly.” Rather than provide your rationale for why those actions are theft and “ungodly” you state “I am confident that if America turned from our wicked ways and worshiped God and acted in a Christian manner in all walks of life, America would be blessed with peace.” Which (though I generally agree as far as it goes) is tangential, at best, to the point at hand.… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

The basis for American government was argued quite extensively from the mid-1700s through the American revolution and need not be rehashed here. Those documents are available on line and in print form for individuals who did not study them in school. Those documents and the arguments for independence followed Biblical and English law and were not just a bunch of rebels coming up with quick ideas on government. Instead it was well founded and is well documented prescribing a government in a Godly fashion. This used to be a foundational teaching point in schools — even government schools. Demo, the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Dave, This is better, thanks for the effort. Though as I said in my last comment, you should bite off a small piece because this is way too much for a comment. First: I have read the constitution, a good bit of the federalist and anti-federalist papers and much of the letters of Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson; and I absolutely do not share your confidence that early American governance was well aligned with biblical principals nor that the founders were systematically trying to make it so. I am certainly not willing to simply assume that constitutional = godly. Second, now… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Demo, if my posts seem unseemly, then I will try to be more diplomatic; however, that does not mean walking away from telling the truth. American Christians do not know very much about Christian government, politics, monetary policy or home or foreign policy and now we are forced to participate in ungodly acts all the time. America can’t even follow the 10 Commandments. I find that unseemly and cowardly of my fellow Christians. “Wee, greately commending and graciously accepting of theire desires to the furtherance of soe noble a worke which may, by the providence of Almightie God, hereafter tende… Read more »

DAL
Guest
DAL

Dave: could you please address Jonathan’s points about land tenure, usufructs, and property rights? I thought they were really interesting, and deserved a substantial reply.

… though I *will* admit that I’m mostly just posting this because it gives me an excuse to say “usufructs.”

Dave
Guest
Dave

DAL, those are huge points and I don’t think that they can be well addressed in small bites like this. Most of the land issues were to preserve the inheritance of a family for generations (even if the husband died) rather than being destitute because your great, great, great grandpa sold the farm. Eating from your neighbors vineyard and gleaning were typically for poor folks and travelers so that they would not be stealing. It was not be wholesale harvesting taking the majority of your neighbor’s labor as shown in the Deuteronomy prohibitions against carrying away fruit or using a… Read more »

DAL
Guest
DAL

They *are* wonderful areas in need of more discussion — so let’s discuss! I’m an ancient Israelite. Why is it *just* that God won’t let me sell my own farm? Set my descendants to one side for a moment: don’t *I* have a right to do what I please with my own property? Is that not the very core of what property rights *are*? Yet God Himself legislates otherwise. So why? And if it enters your mind to say, “so your descendants may have an inheritance,” why can’t I sell *some* of the land to finance improvements on the *rest*… Read more »

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

But half of kids accepted to medical school are not representative of half of the general population. The acceptance pool is limited so that, hopefully in this country at least, even the bottom 10% of med students will be bright enough to be good doctors. Just as their is no education that is neutral, so no child is a blank slate. If they don’t blink at a particular evil like abortion, then they have been enculturated (either through neglect or through passive or active instruction) to accept that evil. “Open mind” is a semantic construct of social engineers, designed to… Read more »

Luken
Guest
Luken

No critical thinking starts from a blank slate. Whatever way someone analyzes information is a prior disposition. It’s not that you shouldn’t be neutral- you can’t be.

Luken
Guest
Luken

Prohibition in coveting also shows respect for private property the way no adultery does for marriage.