Trump, Pence and Compromise
I think the part about Obama not having any sex scandals was intended to convey that whatever your disagreements with him on abortion and gay marriage, there’s never been any suggestion that Obama is personally anything other than a faithful, loving husband and father, unlike the current occupant of the White House. And the basic question here is whether the possibility of scoring political gains is worth the cost of aligning ourselves with a man no father would want within a mile of his teenage daughter. And the alliance between evangelicals and Trump is reminding me more and more of the alliance between Jehoshaphat and Ahab. There is plenty of biblical precedent for making strategic alliances with the devil, and it never ends well. Someday Trump will no longer be president, but the damage done to the reputation of the evangelical church by aligning with him will continue to stink for generations. (And by the way, whenever Trump opens his mouth, I hear, “I will be like the most high.” Someone needs to tell him that pride goeth before destruction, that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.) And someday abortion and gay marriage will both be gone but not because Christians made an alliance with the devil.
Mike, thanks for the input, and there is much in what you say. I am planning to work through all of this stuff soon.
Gillette’s Close Shave
RE: “approved blacks” Were you aware that Gillette edited their original version of the ad to remove a black rapper who was seen objectifying women onscreen? Their new version has only white antagonists and black protagonists. Here’s the original ad that CBS was using in a news story. They were using the original video uploaded by Gillette to their YouTube page. You can see the rapper there: And here’s the rapper-less version on the Gillette youtube channel. The conspiracy theory here is that YouTube allowed Gillette to surreptitiously upload the even woker ad without affecting the view count or upload date. More info in this guy’s video:
[Re: Wokescold Gillette] I have to admit, when I watched the Gillette ad, my initial response was closer to “this does not deserve such an extremely negative response!” Sure, it had its problems, but as you said, there’s nothing wrong with “Gillette’s desire to get men to stop being pigs.” But your post gave me a much better angle on it. The problem lies, of course, in their standard by which a man is declared a pig. They’re not afraid to attack the “approved sins,” the ones the culture deems reprehensible. Where’s the ad calling men to fight real sins? Where’s the ad calling men to throw away their porn and stop sending their unborn kids to the butchers? The last place we should look for a definition of manhood is a razor commercial.
Paul, yes. Exactly so.
You wrote in “Wokescold Gillette and the Misplaced Antithesis” that “The Gillette ad indicates that we are very close to the ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ stage of all this.” Are you able to explain the expression for me? From context is it something like arbitrary distinctions will eventually be removed or simply unable to bear the weight of responsibility they were employed for? Blessings
Marty, the expression is an allusion to Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was the propaganda that was being used to demonize humans.
I’ve always preferred Schick products anyway.
John, I have a beard. Not really up on such things.
Re : “Wokescold Gillette” What is partly so funny about all of this is that even the most woke feminists have never condemned a man for controlling his emotions too much. I mean, do they look at Trump and see a man who just demonstrates too much emotional control? No! They make fun of his outbursts and his temper. Do they honestly think that men commit rape because they are just too in control of their own feelings and desires? Of course not. They look at Kavanaugh having what was actually a very understandable emotional response (being sad and angry) to being publicly accused of being a serial gang rapist, and they conclude: See! He’s yelling and crying! That proves he’s the type of man who would do that! These women drink their coffee out of their “ironic” White Male Tears mugs and then claim the problem with men is that they don’t cry enough. And it’s just sad and kind of funny until the APA starts listening to them.
Lori, exactly. We are learning that just because something is really crazy, that doesn’t mean folks won’t buy it.
Wet Behind the Ears about Young Earth?
Greetings in Christ from an Anglican in Seattle! Though we come from different traditions, I greatly appreciate your comments, counsel, and lively means of expression.
I am curious about your approach to the biblical creation narrative in Genesis. Books I have read, including Blomberg, Can We Still Believe the Bible?, Provan et al., A Biblical History of Israel, Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, and Halpern, The First Historians, persuasively advance the view that, contrary to criticism of the Enlightenment and after, much of the Old Testament (to say nothing of the New) should be regarded as history rather than myth or folktale. None of them, however, regards the creation story as historical. I think there are at least two reasons for this. First, creation of the earth and heavens a few thousand years ago would be contrary to the evidence of physics, geology, and paleontology. Doubtless God could have done it, but in that case he made an earth and heaven that look like they are millions if not billions of years old. God could have created the heavens and earth yesterday and given us false memories too, but it would seem an odd thing for God to do. Equally odd, I think, would be to make the heavens and earth a few thousand years ago but plant marine fossils in the rocks on mountain tops. Second, the Genesis creation narrative appears to be written for a philosophical rather than a historical purpose. It celebrates God’s omnipotence and explains the possibility of evil despite that omnipotence. This is explained in an interesting way in Reno’s commentary on Genesis (Brazos Press). I gave a brief summary in my occasional blog series called “Who Is God?” at the website for St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Shoreline (you have to look back a few months). St. Augustine, I believe, wrestled with the creation story, noting (among other things) there could be no solar days until the sun was created on the fourth day, which suggested that the author’s intent was not to present a history of 24-hour days.
Anyway, I know you are a smart guy. Can you please direct me to a publication that explains the basis for your view of the creation story?
Thanks and keep up the good work!
Karl, thanks for the question. It is obviously too big an issue to address adequately here, but let me say just a few scattershot things about it. Marine fossils on mountain tops indicate flood geology to me—catastrophic formation rather than uniformitarian formation. And when Jesus fed the multitudes out of the five loaves and two fish, how old did the food seem to the folks in the back rows when they got it. Anything that is created ex nihilo is going to automatically have the appearance of age. On a book recommendation for a young earth approach (this from my brother the scientist), try The New Creationism by Paul Garner.
History of Law
First, I would like to say thank you for your ministry. I consider you one of the most insightful cultural commentators of our day, as well as an insightful exegete of the Word of God. So, thank you pastor! I have a question for you in regard to justice. What are some good and helpful works on the history of western jurisprudence? Are their works out there that show from history the biblical foundation of western law? If so, which ones have found the most helpful? Thanks!
Jon, thanks for the kind words. Huge subject, but why don’t you start with Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law?
This has nothing to do with Karen Pence, because there really is nothing to say other than, “Attaboy!” And maybe throw in a hardy “Amen!” for good spiritual measure. But a subject that is almost equally appropriate to biblical law. What’s the problem with Nationalism, when grounded on the standard of biblical law? And can the utopianism of Globalism be consistently applied from biblical law? Is “Kingdom First” an appropriate response and opposition to Nationalism, or is that a misapplication of Christ’s Kingdom and His Law-Word? Maybe a longer form primer of a blog post is more appropriate to answer these three questions. Thank you!
Trey, I think I will be writing some about nationalism in the future, but the principles I would appeal to I have written on before. Try the search bar and patriotism.
Regarding this statement re Higgins in short 1/18 article: “At the Q Talks in Denver (in 2016), she was actually willing to share conference space with a noted slavery apologist.” Sometimes I think you take it too far. (smiley-face)
Nathan, no, no. Maybe a little far, but not too far.
Since the root cause of the wicked is to destroy the created order of God by redefining words and other forms of outright rebellion (Psa. 2: 1-3), the “Has God indeed said” tactic of Satan in the Garden, you best be careful unless you be accused of using fissiparous in a hateful way. Soon, you will be accused of being sissyparous: the act of being divisive in causing harm to the great march of societal progress. Since the American Church long ago cast off God’s Word as the transcendent, final standard for the whole of man for the whole of life, it is now screaming down the slopes of cultural collapse in a desperate race to be “politically correct and relevant”” in today’s pagan culture. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do . . . only one thing, to repent and turn back to the Lord (2 Chr. 7:14) in breaking their unequally yoked fellowship with paganism (2 Cor. 6:14-18) and turning back to His Word as their standard for life (Neh. 10:28-29) in living out the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom, as the salt of the earth and light of the world. Thank you for your bold stand.
As always, thank you for your work. One sentence in this post caught me up short and I am looking forward to how this gets fleshed out in future posts (please?): “The evangelical establishment has its own version of the deep state . . .” I will grant that we have the suit$ and haircut$ machine humming away, and the seminaries are too often producing appalling and risible ministry candidates. But are we at the evangelical Elite vs. Evangelical Deplorables stage? How do rank/file fight back? How does the use of the tithe come into this if at all? I recall somewhere someone based in Moscow Idaho with an admonition to not forget one’s place in the story. So if there is an evangelical deep state . . . are you like Donald Trump? Pax,
Dave, in our evangelical circles I do believe that we have an elite leadership that is largely 1. Unaccountable, 2. Incompetent, 3. Proud, and 4. Vulnerable. That is what I was referring to as our version of the deep state.
Re: Yellow Vest Presbyterians. You make a good case that rank and file Presbyterians should push hard enough against the embrace of liberalism in the PCA so that there is “a controversy that the courts of the church cannot bury under the determinations of a semi-somnolent study commission.” I’m in agreement, having just written about the role of the PCA’s laity in this context: http://www.excellentthought.net/the-role-of-the-laity-in-the-pcas-battle-against-the-nations-part-i/. But here is my question. What if a session responds to the rabble rousers by telling them that such a debate belongs (only) in the church courts in the interest of the peace of the church? All of a sudden the issue changes from liberalism of the PCA, and perhaps the local church, to a question of how to faithfully submit and even perhaps a fear of contumacy if one continues to make a ruckus outside the courts.
Bill, that is a legitimate concern. But the main thing to remember is that there is a time when it is our duty to be contumacious.
Christian Ed, Special Ed
I write as a father of a profoundly disabled daughter and one who sat for some time on the school board of a mature, Christian school. Wouldn’t it be nice if a Christian school had the dollars to dedicate to a trained, special-ed teacher and aides to teach the diverse population of physically and cognitively disabled children? Unfortunately, in the vast majority of places that is a dream left to future generations. That money would be better spent on paying teachers fairly and building infrastructure first. In addition, a large portion of the disabled children (including my daughter) will also never be able to discern the difference between a Christian and secular education. We elected for our able-bodied kids to go to Christian school and our daughter to be in public school. Home school? Go for it if you have the ability, but school outside of home for many is the only respite they will get from year-in and year-out, 24/7 care, and that burden, just like home schooling falls most heavily on the moms. The burn-out potential for the women is extraordinary.
DC, the force of your point is understood. May God bless your family richly.
Your response to the “tough question” submission . . . just wanted to say well done. We often can come across high minded and rigid and I read such love and grace responding to that mother. My heart was hurting for her and your words were such pastoral and kind. Well done. May our Lord bless you and keep you.
[For Tina] One avenue that may be an option is relocation. Rocky Bayou Christian school in Niceville Florida has a pretty darn good special-needs program, and their superintendent is an elder in the CREC church which I am a member of. Having taught at the school myself, from a family of teachers there, I’m kind of biased. But our special needs program has been the trigger for folks in your shoes to move here. We have some of them in our church. I would be happy to connect y’all with them.
B, thank you.
I probably won’t be the only one to point this out. The Lower Lights is a Mormon music group. I enjoyed their music very much until I learned this about them. I then sadly deleted them from my Spotify playlists. I don’t have the time or even ability to analyze their lyrics to be sure they are theologically sound so I figured this was the best choice for me. I’ve heard that the Mormon hymnal takes our hymns and alters them to fit their theology. For this reason I also don’t listen to music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Did you know this band is Mormon and if not would you have shared the link? Thank you for your time. I really appreciate your ministry.
Amy, congratulations. You are the only one to point that out, and no, I didn’t know that.