The Suicide of the West

Fin de Siecle
Suicidal ennui: when the best lack all conviction, and are therefore no match for the invading hordes of those who are full of passionate intensity. “What’s that tiresome noise at the gates? Somebody send Sadie to go see.”

The massacre in Paris has brought two things, already obvious, into high relief once again. We are observing, in slow motion, a collision between two very diseased cultures. The diseases are quite different but seem, in some respects, to be made for each other. One disease is listless and the other aggressive. One has no organizing principle, no arche, and the other has the wrong organizing principle. One is idolatrous and polytheistic and the other is idolatrous and monotheistic. One believes that no gods should be honored in the public square while the other believes that only one should be, but that is a false one. One used to be Christian, and must become Christian again, while the other must become Christian.

Our sympathies and prayers are obviously for France in this, but those sympathies operate on two levels. The first is  the obvious humanitarian one, and applies to many more assaults than just this one. But the second has to do with what the West used to stand for, what West used to be, and the fact that we share in the (ignored) heritage that is under assault. This is the reason why the slaughter in France is headline news, while comparable atrocities committed by jihadists in Africa do not make headlines in the same way.

Once you have accepted the mindset that sees appeasement as a noble thing, it is awfully difficult to determine where to draw the line and start doing things differently. It actually requires repentance, and once you start repenting, you might find that it goes all the way down.

Our elites are not defending the West, but they are defending their notions of what the West ought to be. They are defending their ideals about the West, which is actually a hollow shell of what the West once was. Not only are they doing so, they are doing so against overwhelming odds. Their ideal, a cosmopolitan and multicultural secular state, is in fact under siege, and they are defending that “diversity ideal” against the forces arrayed against it. This is tough because what is arrayed against their secularism is God’s Grand Reductio.

For those who are committed to the naked public square God has raised up a rod of chastisement — radical jihadis who insist that Allah is god of the public square, and in that very same square, Muhammad is his prophet. These jihadis believe in Allah all day every day. They believe in him whether they pick up a knife and fork, or whether they pick up a rifle. If you tell me they shouldn’t believe in Allah that way, I quite agree with you. But if you think that such hard idolaters are going to be fought off by a civilization of lotus eaters, then you want something that has not yet happened in this world.

The secularists meanwhile are certainly refusing to stand up against this Islamist threat in any effective way, but they are trying to stand up to the threat posed to their precious system. This is why Islamists can go on a killing spree in Paris, and the tolerance police come out in force . . . to make sure nobody says anything rude about Islam on the Internet.

So what we are seeing is a collision between two diseased cultures. The disease of Islam is a fanatical desire to impose dhimmitude West. The disease of the West is an impotent and lame desire to include everybody in a group hug photo without having a clue how many suicide bombers are crowding into their happy picture.

There are certainly practical things to do on a practical level in response to this attack. Some of them would be lawful and some of them not. Some of the responses are obligatory, some prudent, and others just stupid. But whatever is done, all the responses will be utterly and completely ineffectual apart from an invocation of Jesus Christ, Lord of the nations. We do not just need a revival in the church — although we do need that, as faithful Christians have long known. We also need a revival in the West, and by this I do not mean a generic revival of some vague spirituality gas. I mean a self-conscious abandonment of our moribund secularism, and a sincere and heartfelt confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ.

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jigawatt
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jigawatt

One has no organizing principle, no arche

They have an arche; they just don’t recognize him. In Eph 2:1-3, Paul calls him the prince of the power of the air.

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

New movie idea for you; “How the West was Wasted.”

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

What we are witnessing the belief in a deity put to action. We are seeing the consequences of faith. These jihadists are convinced of the righteousness of their actions and were assured that a place in heaven waited for them.

jesuguru
Guest
jesuguru

Point being? Every day, believers put their faith into action by working for and contributing to charities and good causes of all types. You’ve chosen to focus on the atrocities of one segment of one religion’s (evil) concept of deity, and painted with a brush broadly dipped in the blood they’ve spilled.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

It would take a college term paper to enumerate the positive contributions made to mankind and civilization by Christianity and Christians. Many of those contributions are embraced by the casterati of the left today.

adad0
Member

“We are seeing the consequences of faith.”
Ok, I surrender, Soviet Gulags, Maoist 5 year plans, communist proxy wars and Justin Beiber are awesome! ; – ) Guess I’ll have to gussy up my faith in them.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And Hitler was Catholic. Your point is?

wtrsims
Member

My, my, my…. Nothing like a hearty serving of intellectual dishonesty to start my week off!

adad0
Member

Not to mention it sounds from the above like Randman and Krychek_2 are the same guy, aka “double evil twins”!
Or possibly the Blog and Mablog version of Dr. Evil and mini me! ; – )
And they would have gotten away with it too!
If it wasn’t for us meddling kids! ‘ – )

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

What’s intellectually dishonest? Hitler was Catholic.

wtrsims
Member

Christopher Hitchens was Jewish (and I think raised Catholic).

Charles Darwin was Anglican.

Well… What a mixed-up world we live in.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

OK, but you’re missing my point.
I was responding to a comment that said that the consequence of a lack of faith was Soviet gulags. My reference to Hitler being Catholic was to point out that at worst, atheism behaves no more badly than religion does. And as a side note, Hitchens doesn’t belong on the list because he abandoned Judaism and Catholicism. Neither Darwin nor Hitler ever left the Christian church, at least not to my knowledge.

wtrsims
Member

Well, perhaps I jumped too many steps at one time and I need to go back and show my progression of thought. Maybe I can start here with this statement of yours: “My reference to Hitler being Catholic was to point out that at worst, atheism behaves no more badly than religion does.” Perhaps one of your arguments can be distilled to: P1: At least one Christian dictator committed atrocities. P2: At least one Atheistic dictator committed atrocities. C: Christianity and Atheism are on relatively equal footing when it comes to committing atrocities. I’ll grant body counts, assuming they to… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

Actually, Hitler’s actions would have been entirely consistent with the theology of the Catholic church during the Inquisition, at which time Jews were being burned at the stake, driven out of one one Christian country after another, and tortured for heresy. That’s not the theology of any Christian church today that I am aware of, but he would have fit in just fine with Torquemada. And what you’re really doing is stacking the deck. Christians who do nice things, do them because they are Christians. Christians who do bad things are renegades who are acting on their own. It’s not… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

“Hitler’s actions would have been entirely consistent with the theology of the Catholic church during the Inquisition” The Inquisition was a tribunal that prevented the killing of accused heretics helter skelter. According to HuffPost, there were actually rules set out by the RCC that limited any torture used to extract confessions. Torquemada may have been an evil man, but to liken him to Hitler seems silly and a distortion of history. And it’s kinda anachronistic, like bringing up Luther in Nazi talk. “And what you’re really doing is stacking the deck. Christians who do nice things, do them because they… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You’re seriously defending the inquisition?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You bet. Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms.

wtrsims
Member

Masterful use of deflection and distraction! You should run for office!

wtrsims
Member

But for real.

You said that Nazism and its associated atrocities are not so far apart from the Catholic church of the Inquisition. Even as a Protestant I’ll defend the RCC from such an absurd and silly claim.

To reference HuffPost again (as liberal media, surely THEY’D post the toughest info against the RCC) the death toll from the Inquisition is perhaps in the tens of thousands over a span of 700 years. Not even remotely close to Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, or Planned Parenthood.

adad0
Member

Wow Checkers, you missed my initial point. Soviet and Maoist socialism (and Bieber awesomeism) are a consequence of mis-placed faith in those ideas, not a consequence of lack of faith. People placed their faith in those ideas in order to force them on the world, not un-like islam.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

It’s Dawkinism.

adad0
Member

​Wow Checkers, you’re defending yourself with regard to atheism and Hitler, two things I made no mention of. Must be the Spirit of God working on your heart and mind! Anyway, if you said “Hitler was a Catholic”, and I said “Hitler was a Nazi”, we would both be right! If you said “Hitler behaved like a Catholic”, and I said “Hitler behaved like a Nazi” you would be wrong and I would be right. If you said “Krychek_2 is always reasonable”, and I said “Krychek_2 is often unreasonable”, you would be wrong and I would be right again. Considering… Read more »

jigawatt
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jigawatt

With apologies to xkcd: https://xkcd.com/385/

[An atheistic materialist murders somebody] — “Wow, he’s a ruthless killer!”

[A Christian murders somebody] — “Wow, Christians are ruthless killers!”

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

See my response to Wesley Sims above. However, it’s not an apples to apples comparison anyway because religion is a positive belief; atheism is not.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

religion is a positive belief; atheism is not.

But materialism is. That’s the problem isn’t it? An atheist isn’t just floating among the clouds with no convictions and no beliefs about the world. He has answers in his head about how and why things are as they are. This is called a worldview. I have one, and you have one.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The only postive statement required by materialism is that beliefs require evidence. Materialists are all over the map on how that evidence gets intrepreted.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

The only postive statement required by materialism is that beliefs require evidence. Cool. So I’m a materialist too then, right? I have lots of evidence for God, but you just don’t accept it, you meanie. More seriously, that’s about as silly as me defining Christianity as simply “the true truth”. Somebody is eventually going to go all No True Scotsman on us. I challenge you to provide any credible source that defines materialism that way. Here’s the dictionary definition: http://i.word.com/idictionary/materialism 1 a :a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

As I’ve said before, I will be happy to look at any evidence you have for God. And the dictionary definition you cite is the conclusion to the premise that evidence is required.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

the dictionary definition you cite is the conclusion to the premise that evidence is required.

But suppose someone said “I believe that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter, BUT I REJECT ALL EVIDENCE that would lead to such a belief. I just believe in materialism on blind faith.” This frightfully honest person would fulfill the dictionary definition of a materialist, but not your definition.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

He would be in the same position as the person who says, “I believe Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War because the goat entrails told me so.” By which I mean that even though he managed to stumble onto the right conclusion, it was purely by accident rather than by anything even remotely approaching the correct way to do things.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I will be happy to look at any evidence you have for God I may be disappointing some of my friends here, but I would point you toward resources like “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by McDowell or the books by Lee Strobel like “The Case for Christ”. A more philosophical treatment would be “Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey. (Now, that said, let me regain those erstwhile friendships) If you haven’t read these kinds of books, by all means do so. But most importantly, read the best evidence there is – the Bible itself. (I’d recommend the New International Version)… Read more »

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

I spent a quarter century doing all of the above and it didn’t provide a convincing case. You’re right that it was a lot of work, though.

Katecho
Member

Is evidence required or not? Krychek_2 seems to be vacillating. The search for such an imperative continues, I guess.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

The only postive statement required by materialism is that beliefs require evidence.

What evidence does Krycheck_2 have for his belief in the imperative that “beliefs require evidence”? What do imperatives look like in materialism? What color are requirements? How much do they weigh?

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Your questions are, of course, rhetorical, but I find myself in the mood to respond today… Krycheck_2, as any longtime reader of this blog knows, has no evidence. All he has are bald assertions and a philosophical shell-game that seems to keep him sufficiently placated. What I find myself hoping for is that some day he will realize (and he likely has to actively fight against this at some level because God has put eternity in his heart) that the only true and consistent end to his philosophy is nihilism, and that the day will come when the dark abyss… Read more »

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Had a long lunch with K2 recently. While there is hope he may one day abandon atheism, if that ever happens it won’t be due to nihilism. In fact, I predict your argument that “the only true and consistent end to his philosophy is nihilism” will only intensify his conviction to stand pat.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If I ever abandon atheism it will be because someone finally shows me some evidence to the contrary. Moor’s argument that I am doomed to nihilism and Katecho’s rhetorical questions are such complete nonsense on stilts that they barely merit a response, and the only reason I keep responding is I’m not that good at resisting the temptation to take the bait.

Kelly, I did enjoy our lunch and conversation very much.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Maybe it’s because I’m just another “broadly compromised” Methodist, but Moor’s and katecho’s arguments simply aren’t correct. Unlike you, I still am a Christian, but my faith doesn’t prevent me from noticing when the cross-hairs have not fallen on an offset.

Katecho
Member

Rather than tell me that my arguments are not correct, why won’t Haggar or Krychek_2 show me the fault in the arguments?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You mean like the couple dozen times I already have? And saying that your arguments aren’t correct is like saying the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground.

Katecho
Member

Saying is not the same as making the case.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

What is your intuition regarding why he might give it up?

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

He brought up the “evidence” point right away. My hunch was he was expecting me to provide some; perhaps a classic such as the “watchmaker” argument. But in my very limited experience with personal evangelism, despite having a very low spiritual quotient and a high “thinking” score (63 out of 70; the score sheet says I’m very badly out-of-balance), I don’t think logic or quoting Scripture works. That song lyric from the 60s: “Jesus became a fisherman when he realized only drowning men could see him.” I think people come to faith when things go to sh_t and they realize… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Keep in mind Kelly that the Lord may have somebody besides Eric The Red in mind when He uses katecho as He does.

I do hope and pray that any approach will lead EtR back to the Lord.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Trust me on this one . . . B-52 pilots absolutely understand the concept of “collateral damage.” The only reason I’ve stayed on this board as long as I have is for the “lurker” concept. From time to time I get “ups” or private notes from people who read much more than they comment. If those folks find my observations on, say, 1st Ad law, worthwhile then remaining here may – – MAY – – be a good use of my time. Ping-Pong with katecho (or, for example, with “you’re a baby killer” Dave) obviously fails that test. Again, for… Read more »

Jane
Member

But materialism also requires “evidence” to mean that which is tangible and subject to physical means of measurement.

Things like reliable testimony are right out.

adad0
Member

Wow! So Justin Beiber is a killer, ruthless, Christian?!?!

I just knew it! Now we have “proof”!

What a great blog!

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

You realize this is pretty much the opposite of what’s going on? That despite a history of violence in the name of every Abrahamic cult, we’re pretending only Islam has any blood on its hands? Doug’s post explicitly condemns anyone who would defend Islam as a whole against the actions of the fanatical few.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

We already had this conversation did we not? Got Mitt Uns? Nein?

adad0
Member

Yes, and I think I was forced to take the blame for Justin Beiber being “awesome”, even though he is just a Canadian, more than a Christian.
But where we might actually agree is that a person claiming:
A. God.
or
B. The dictatorship of the proletariat.
Does not mean that they “own” either. Correct?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Pol Pot was a pastry chef in France. Obviously the butter-cream did it.

Andrew Lohr
Member

And only went to church once in his life (for Pilsudski’s funeral) after he joined the Party? And made, and broke, a concordat with the Pope rather than just obeying him? BAD Catholic.

CraigL61
Guest
CraigL61

^ Godwin’s law.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

Hitler may have been born into a Catholic family but he was not Catholic. Religious denominations are not races or ethnicities. Are you the local brain trust for your chapter of Atheists for Irrational Thought, or just a plant trying to make them look bad.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually, let me clarify. Stalin did not believe in God. He also did not believe in unicorns, palm reading, predictions from goat entrails, or weather predictions made by groundhogs on February 2. And none of that had a thing to do with his actions, because people take action based on what they do believe, not on what they don’t believe. And what he believed in was communism, a philosophy not espoused by most atheists. Atheism is no more a positive philosophy than disbelief in astrology or Easter Bunnies is a positve philosophy. It describes what I don’t believe, not what… Read more »

Carson Spratt
Member

True enough. And no person operates in the faith vacuum some call “neutrality.”

Atheism is lack of belief in God, but it’s usually replaced by a strong faith in man’s ability to conquer, rule, and make his own standards of right and wrong. And THAT is what ends up with millions of people killed: believing in yourself, rather than God.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Nah. A Soviet Union run by atheist libertarians would have looked far different.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

Don’t forget the joys of Pol Pot’s killing fields, Naziism, Mao, etc. Etc. Back to Napoleon and forever. Then we have the secular idols of the Kartrashian/Jenner family and the rest of Hollyweird.

insanitybytes22
Member

“What we are witnessing the belief in a deity put to action.”

Even with a purely secular tone, the logic here eludes me. Is your plan to now deconvert all the Muslims who are currently lopping off the heads of non believers?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Did I jump to a plan to address that particularly virulent religious belief? i assume they are as resistant to reason in this area as most christians are, if not more. My observation stands. They shouted ‘Allahu Akbar!’ as they murdered innocents. Not ‘stop this political and racial oppression!’ or ‘atheism is great!’.

insanitybytes22
Member

“i assume they are as resistant to reason in this area as most christians are, if not more.”

Well that’s something anyway. At least you notice all things are not equal. Like, Christians are likely to go to church or try to pray at a football game, while Muslims tend to just chop off people’s heads.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Christian’s also have a nasty history of trying to enforce their beliefs on others. Thankfully we had The Enlightenment. Now most christians are able to cherry-pick their book and ignore some of the more immoral dictates of their god and allow for reasonable modern ethical advancement: no more killing of witches, homosexuals, raping and murdering etc. (cue the TAG police.)

This needs to happen with Islamists. Islam needs to be pulled into the 21st century- so for them, only 14 more centuries to go.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Its in the NYT so it must be true, because secular:

Sacks emphasizes that it is not religion itself that causes violence. In their book Encyclopedia of Wars, Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod surveyed 1,800 conflicts and found that less than 10 percent had any religious component at all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/opinion/finding-peace-within-the-holy-texts.html?_r=1

RandMan’s assertion is not true in the least. By a 90:1 margin the abscense of religious faith is the warmongering worldview. Of that < 10% and honest mind wonders what percentage was Islam and what percentage where other religions.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

We are witnessing the consequences of the belief in a particular diety. Belief in theocracy and in unquestioning obedience to one of two streams of doctrine, Shiite and Sunni. Ikd say nice try but it was pretty transparent…….Hey, is that you Dawkins?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

There is nothing to see through. These Islamists believe in their text. They say why the do it as they do it. They act based upon their belief not with evil intent, but with thorough confidence in their righteousness.

If you are a christian, the there is not much difference in their faith and yours except to the degree with which each of you does or does not cherry-pick the scripture. And of course what you are willing to do to satisfy it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

If you are a christian, the there is not much difference in their faith and yours There is the not-so-minor issue of the object of that faith. You consistently use terms like “These Islamists believe in their text.” This is a clue to your delusion as to what the object of our faith is. God is the object of our faith, not the Bible. God loves me, not the Bible. God saves me, not the Bible. God sanctifies me, not the Bible. God is the object of my faith, not the Bible. The Bible is a tool that helps me… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Then replace my use of text with god. I stand by that as well.

timothy
Guest
timothy

It is just like you to stand by one error as you embrace another. It is a testament to your willful ignorance on these matters.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Thoughtful rejection of a bad idea is different than willful ignorance of the same. But believe as you like.

timothy
Guest
timothy

You have repeatedly refused to think. Specifically when Tim R (?) brought up the concept of ‘reasonable faith’ using the greek word as the starting point for the discussion, you bailed like the shallow coward you are.

Put up or shut up, troll. You are boring. .

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

This is going to be fun to watch you (Wilson) try to disentangle yourself and your beliefs in practice from Islamism. Have you yourself not called for a biblical republic? What makes your desire to impose political religion on others different from theirs? You believe in your god with no evidence and interpret your text- so that it that bites back. Theirs just bites back harder. I will agree with you that liberals have fully dropped the ball with regard to calling a spade an spade here. At this point they either a) do not understand what the nature of… Read more »

duellsquimby
Member

Guess you don’t read too much, too busy venting. But that’s what you have to do when you have gas.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Perhaps we could spare a few thoughts for those poor, unfortunate 72 virgins. What a miserable job they have. I mostly consider myself a progressive, but I do not understand my fellow progressives’ love affair with Islam. It is misogynistic and homophobic. It hates science and thinks chopping off a limb is an appropriate punishment for participating in an election. It is deeply hostile to free speech. In short, it is a mix of KKK and Nazi ideology that, if it were flying under any other banner, would be roundly condemned in the harshest of terms by progressives everywhere. And… Read more »

adad0
Member

“I think the real message here is beware of theocracy.”

As Wilson noted in “Principalities, Powers, and Pecksniffs”

Drew
Guest
Drew

Every society is a theocracy, even the really cool, progressive, open-minded ones. You know, the ones that attack conservatives for calling homosexual practice a sin. Those societies worship their protected people groups and condemn the blasphemers — they just don’t talk about it in terms of god-worship and blasphemy.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Replied to K2 off line.

Note for readers here – – I went off line to avoid the Nth repeat of the “Psalm 2 // lunch counter sit-in // Gettysburg” comment cycle.
Unless and until someone thinks of something new to say, I’m not falling into that rut again.
OTOH, if K2 thinks my comment to him merits the attention of the blog, I’ll post it here.

ashv
Guest
ashv

OK, I’ll bite.

What did Christian theocracies look like?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Well, if you don’t like the obvious examples of the Inquisition and the Crusades, to say nothing of the Divine right of kings that impoverished the European peasantry for almost a millenia, you can look at the Puritans hanging Mary Dyer for being a Quaker, the Presbyterians hanging Thomas Aikenhead for blasphemy, the Church of England imprisoning John William Gott for blasphemy, the Hundred Years War, as well as less bloody but nevertheless oppressive things like blue laws, Prohibition and the persecution of gays. What are those if not Christian theocracy at work?

ashv
Guest
ashv

The Inquisition and the Crusades were both a great idea and I’m hoping to see a lot of inspiration from those in the next few decades. I’m inclined to oppose the Puritans merely on the grounds that they’re my people’s ancestral enemies but I have a hard time getting worked up over a couple isolated incidents — especially with the backdrop of 10+ million deaths as a direct result of atheist-materialist government.

Tell me what the Hundred Years’ War had to do with “theocracy”? Also, medieval kings impoverished European peasants compared to… what?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You’re seriously defending the inquisition and the crusades? The hundred years’ war was a drawn out war between different groups of theists fighting over which particular brand of theism would be the official state church. And the medieval kings came along and told the peasants that God had given them the right to seize most of their income to support wars (religious and otherwise), build cathedrals, and keep the church wealthy. Those European cathedrals we American tourists love to visit are indeed beautiful; they were also built on the backs of peasants subject to confiscatory taxation to build them, who… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Uh… no. The Hundred Years’ War was started over conflicting claims by the French and English royalty to French fiefs. Both sides were Catholic. (I recommend Barbara Tuchman’s excellent book A Distant Mirror on the topic.)

Your understanding of economics of the period seems about on par with your understanding of its history.

Bob French
Member

Please explain how the Inquisitions were a great idea, from a Christian perspective.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The Inquisition was an arm of church discipline; without an Inquisition or something very much like it, you won’t be able to keep your church from being controlled by heretics and apostates.

(A recent article gave a good discussion of this topic: Why Methodists don’t go to heaven)

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Read the same thing about the Inquisition many years ago but can’t recall where. That it was a damper and a quality control, not an exciter.

And I’ll at least skim your URL. ;).

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

“Imagine for a moment that we conducted science the way we conduct theology.” 1. Actually, that is PRECISELY how we conduct science today, except that the audience is mostly GS-12s. Few today recall the other warning in Ike’s 17 Jan 61 farewell address. It was the capture of science by gummit (and an elite). Try getting a grant today if you even tiptoe around the edges of thinking driving SUVs does not drive climate change. 2. The Methodist laity is in a revolt of varying degrees against our clergy; over gay marriage. Even the pro-SSM (same sex marriage) folks acknowledge… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

“Few today recall the other warning in Ike’s 17 Jan 61 farewell address.”

Ah yes, the military-industrial complex. Ike was in a unique position to talk about this. The older I get, the more people there are who have never heard this warning or, if they have, can’t place it in context.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Take a bow! Very few today recall anything but that warning, although I run into people all the time who can repeat the phrase but can’t place who/when/where.

BTW, they hardly ever recall the qualifier; “sought or unsought.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

Very true about the capture of science by government; I’d argue Eisenhower was too late on that

and that it was established at least by FDR’s time, with the Brain Trust.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I don’t understand progressives’ love affair with Islam either but here are a few hypotheses. They’re cowards who would love anyone who threatened to cut their throats. They really hate Islam but they hate Christianity more and so root for the underdog. Um, that’s all I got.

Katecho
Member

As a utilitarian, I’m not seeing that Krychek_2 has any objective grounds for anything but admiration for the efficiency of Islam. Terrorism is highly efficient in terms of force multiplication, as is the steady demographic displacement of the inefficient secularized Europe.

I’m not interested in all of Krychek_2’s irrelevant sentimental nonsense, and Western cultural prejudices. In what way are we not witnessing, in real time, the utilitarian superiority of Islam over secularism? Krychek_2?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You obviously slept through the earlier discussion about how not only the means, but also the goals, have to be utilitarian.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 seems to be assuming that materialism supplies us with goals. He assumes that there is a purpose and a telos to existence. But he gives no rational foundation for such ideas in his materialism. It’s all just a big accident, without any goals or intent.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

EDIT: K2 – I suggest you ~ DO ~ take this “utilitarian superiority” bait.

EDIT: Changed my mind. Take the bait. Heck, get a front-end loader and make sure you scrape up every crumb. “Knock yourself out” as someone used to say a lot.

Katecho
Member

Bait? I suppose that Haggar thinks that Kyrchek_2 is just here for tea. What does Haggar think of Krychek_2 comparing Christianity to Islam? No bait there, right?

Anyway, is Haggar suggesting that Krychek_2 should get a free pass, without any concern to defend his worldview on its merits? Does Krychek_2 just get to lob his accusations at us without any challenge to be consistent?

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Changed my mind.

You and K2 make as many endless loop laps of the same repeated argument as either of you can stand.

Katecho
Member

If Haggar wants to switch sides and argue in defense of atheism, that’s his choice. But I’m still not seeing an answer to these moral and ethical problems from either Krychek_2 or Haggar. If Haggar really thinks it is possible to ground a consistent moral prescription on nothing but reactionary matter, then he should present and defend his solution. I don’t think he has any better chance than Krychek_2. Regarding theocracy, we live in it already. God has installed His King on His holy mountain. Christ has ascended to the throne of the Father, and rules the nations with a… Read more »

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

“If Haggar really thinks it is possible to ground a consistent moral prescription on nothing but reactionary matter, then he should present and defend his solution.” Loads of people have easily managed to “ground a consistent moral prescription on nothing” at all, forget even needing any reactionary matter. It’s child’s play easy to do that. Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, the cry-bullies at Yale and Mizzou, Gloria Steinhiem, Lois Lerner, on-air staff at MSNBC, Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and Anthony Kennedy have all done that – – in varying degrees of course – – in written history. The easiest route is… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I think Hagar just conceded the point. I was not asking him whether people can invent moral compasses for themselves. I acknowledge anyone can do that. People can invent gods too. It doesn’t make the fabrication of such things prescriptive, or authoritative, or rational. Moral compasses will naturally point in arbitrary and accidental directions without a magnetic field. This field is what is missing from materialism. My question for Haggar, and for Krychek_2, is how reactionary matter can be the basis for prescription. Here are some of the problems that Hagar and Krychek_2 have not addressed: 1) Ethics that has… Read more »

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

“Ethics that has no prescriptive authority is not ethics, it is just mere preference, like a flavor of ice cream.”

It’s a real shame that Alex in W dropped off this blog. He’d have a field day with a low hanging curveball like that one.

Katecho
Member

Haggar wrote: I don’t dismiss Ps 2 out of hand. I dismiss YOUR read of it out of hand. This is simply false. Actually, it’s a bald lie. Haggar was responding to a direct quote of Psalm 2 when he wrote: No scripture of ANY faith is binding on ANY secular “magistrate.” Notice that Haggar did not say that “no reading of Scripture is binding”, he said “No scripture of ANY faith is binding”. That is a broad claim that covers all scriptures and all readings of Scripture. As such, it is in direct contradiction to Psalm 2, and sets… Read more »

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Heck, if your read is right, it doesn’t come “close” at all. It’s an absolute denial.

If, IF, you’re right. But your view isn’t even a majority among just Protestants, much less all Christians, much less all believers in any faith.

P.S. Oh, and disagreeing with katecho = liar; that’s a handy tool. Wish I had one.

Katecho
Member

The lie was in Haggar’s claim that he was just dismissing my reading. Haggar was categorically dismissing any possibility of binding application of Psalm 2 (or any other scripture) to the secular magistrate, regardless of anyone’s reading.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Fine. katecho is infallible. Trust me on this one; I’ll never contradict you again.

Katecho
Member

I’m certainly not infallible, but I do appreciate not being stabbed in the back by fellow Christians.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Try to keep that thought in mind before the next time you call a fellow Christian a liar because you’re a believer in inerrant literal infallible when the vast bulk of Christians are not. Try to keep that in mind before you next complain about being stabbed in the back whenever someone disagrees with your take on a verse. Try to keep that in mind the next time you try to persuade K2 to return to the fold. After all, Christianity is such a warm, loving place. It’s where one beggar tells another beggar where the bread is. But I… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Once again, Haggar did not disagree with me because of my take on a verse. He disagreed that any “scripture of ANY faith is binding on ANY secular “magistrate.” That claim is completely independent of my “take on a verse”.

Haggar now writes:

you’re a believer in inerrant literal infallible when the vast bulk of Christians are not

I assume that Haggar counts himself in the vast bulk of Christians who don’t believe in the inerrant literal infallible. It would seem that Haggar’s problem is not with me, but with Scripture. That explains a lot.

Dave
Guest
Dave

K2 will see the difference after passing through death’s door. Face to face with Jesus is entirely different than just typing on a blog.

Remember Abraham, the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Based on this blog, I’m predicting there will be a lot of surprised people on that day.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

There’s a significant difference between Christianity and Islam: Christianity had a Renaissance that defanged its worst parts. Maybe someday Islam will too.

wtrsims
Member

And what parts were those?

drewnchick
Member

Wilson said: “The disease of the West is an impotent and lame desire to include everybody in a group hug photo without having a clue how many suicide bombers are crowding into their happy picture.”

Perhaps they are “photobombing”? ;-)

adad0
Member

OK, I can see how you could not resist, but dark humor is an acquired taste.
Dark puns? Try and substitute some of that pie! ; – )
On a lighter note, lots of Justin Beiber content down below!

jesuguru
Guest
jesuguru

That was dynamite!

ashv
Guest
ashv

I recommend y’all read Peter Leithart’s essay “Mirror of Christendom” about Islam: https://marshillaudio.org/downloads/Mirror-of-Christendom.pdf

To summarize: In the Old Testament, to judge Israel God raised up adversaries for them whose stories were a reflection of Israel’s (an Edomite who fled to Egypt and later became king, for example). Similarly, Islam can be viewed as a twisted reflection of Christendom. Which raises the question: where would we be if our allegiance to Jesus Christ was as strong and pervasive as the Muslim allegiance to the demon Allah?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Say you are the devil. Doesn’t it make sense to create as much confusion as possible? to muddy the waters ? To create false religions to distract from God?

In my opinion, multiple false religions makes perfect theological sense.

drewnchick
Member

I have long thought that, ashv. Muslim devotion is perverted, twisted, and evil because it is devotion to the demon Allah…but it is also an indictment upon the flaky, self-centered, flim-flamming “going to Church” that passes for taking up one’s cross daily. Muslims exhibit devotion; Christians have “devotions.” Muslims stop all of life to pray five times daily; we stop praying because of daily life. Muslims enslave their women and wrap them in black cocoons; we let our women run free and naked. Muslims chop off the organs of sodomites; we make them organists. I could go on…as Ishmael paralleled… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’m not sure how much credence we should give to the Muslim claim of descent from Ishmael, either. (I have actually heard it suggested that Mohammed was a Monophysite Christian and Islam was developed later, since strong evidence for the existence of the Koran can’t be found until more than a century after his death.)

Laura
Guest
Laura

“Muslims enslave their women and wrap them in black cocoons; we let our women run free and naked.” Yeah, you Christians need to start controlling your women. Let me explain how this is offensive. A Christian may be a woman. When you write this way you are assuming that “Christians” are men, and it’s y’all’s job to “let” or “not let” “your women” do this and that. You’d use the same language to talk about letting a dog run loose. There’s no room here for women being Christians, and having standards for ourselves and responsibility for how we act. I… Read more »

feliciasimo
Member

I don’t think he is talking about Christian men controlling their women. He is talking about that brand of Christianity that produces a particular mindset. Even the fact that you would take offense with his statement, shows that there are some people more preoccupied with their freedom to do what they want, than being preoccupied with submitting to God’s Word and to those that should oversees them. Or you think that nobody has any right to tell you how you should live your Christian life?

Laura
Guest
Laura

“Or you think that nobody has any right to tell you how you should live your Christian life?”

Felicia, who has the right to tell me how I should live my Christian life?

feliciasimo
Member

I believe those who teach you the Word of God. I know that each of us is responsible to study it and submit to it. But why would God appoint teachers and pastors in the church if they don’t have the right to tell us how we should live?

Laura
Guest
Laura

They can teach, mentor, encourage, rebuke. But they’re just people too. I can read my Bible just as well as they can. I suppose my attitude comes from my Southern Baptist roots, with the concept of soul competency. The Holy Spirit can speak to me just as he can anyone.

I certainly don’t look to anyone to keep me from running free, or running naked.

Matt Bell
Member

“There’s no room here for women being Christians.”

This is your own mistaken invention. Christian women must also participate in not letting _their_ women run free and naked. Look how many times cloth and clothing are mentioned in Proverbs 31 – clearly the purview of a godly woman.

Laura
Guest
Laura

We are supposed to police each other?

I really don’t see anyone running free and naked, male or female, Christian or non, past the age of toddlerhood. Let me go out on a limb and say that you don’t either.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Is this supposed to be what passes for prophecy these days? I think I could do better on Elijah List….

Jack Bradley
Guest
Jack Bradley

“But whatever is done, all the responses will be utterly and completely ineffectual apart from an invocation of Jesus Christ, Lord of the nations.”

Direct hit, Douglas!

Francis Foucachon
Guest
Francis Foucachon

Amen is wonderfully the same in French, so i say in both languages, AMEN!

Nate
Guest
Nate

Ain’t no such thing as “a revival in…” anything but the Church. The particularizing of “the West” here, as the supposed object of some needed God-intervention is positively destined for spirituality gas. This is low-church theology at its American worst. God doesn’t care about “the West” in some distinct way. His people are the church, and the nations within which the Church exists are the Church’s mission. Period- There’s no other distinction to be made. Those nations will tolerate or even come into the church…or they won’t. But the West and its nations is not the goal of the Church,… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

If post-millenialism is true and God is bringing the entire world under His jurisdiction, then it is entirely reasonable that some parts of it become Christian before others. Ergo, the Christian West is a thing soon to be followed by the Christian East, North and South..

Nate
Guest
Nate

Not a post-millenialist, and if the author is, he’s probably more of a crank than I thought. There is no end to the hubris of dominionism. The Church is God-space, and yes, that space will expand to cover the earth with the consummation. For now it lingers wherever the Church is, and is evidence elf the coming world. But there is no Biblical precedent at all for the Christianizing of existing governments. The pagan world is pagan, and lucky us if their values overlap with ours occasionally. they did so more than usual for a fleeting moment in the precious… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Fair enough, it is now a theological discussion of opposing camps..

With that clarified, I will leave it to the scholars on the board.

Katecho
Member

Nate seems to be equating the Kingdom with the Church, and in that view, anything that is not the Church must be outside the Kingdom, and therefore outside of Christ’s claim and jurisdiction. But we need to understand that Christ taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”. He did not teach us to pray, “Thy will be done, in Church, as it is in Heaven”. Whether some think it is hubris or not, the whole earth is His dominion. Nate is free to linger, but Jesus has commissioned His… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

The church is the citizenship of the Kingdom. “Kingdom” refers to the authoritative rule of God, the Church is the population of the Kingdom. They are two perspectives on the same thing. If you want scripture for that, 1 Peter 2:9 does it. “Thy Kingdom come one earth as it is in heaven” indeed- may the church be the ever-expanding presence of God through Christ on the earth, so that the nations may know that the Church’s God is King, and that the church is his distinct people. “The nations” don’t have the option to become God’s nation, or to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I agree with Nate that believers within the Kingdom are members of the Church body. But we can also continue to be members of nations, and members of families, etc. These relationships don’t dissolve just because we become members of the body of Christ. Nate wrote: “The nations” don’t have the option to become God’s nation, or to submit to the rule of God, without being subsumed into the Church. By equating the Kingdom with the Church, Nate suggests that the only way that a nation can come to Christ is if it stops being a nation and becomes the… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Not quite. It’s the opposite, actually. By keeping the church fundamentally and easily distinguished from nations, we let the church be the church without saddling it with political power over, say, the USA, and without hitching its operations to the approval of a secular power. Since the church IS a nation, it does not need nations to become more Christian. Rather, its mission results in people becoming disciples of Jesus. The nation will remain the nation, and people will simply give up their primary citizenship for citizenship in Christ. In the ideal scenario, the nation allows the church to flourish.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Nate wrote: The nation will remain the nation, and people will simply give up their primary citizenship for citizenship in Christ. In the ideal scenario, the nation allows the church to flourish. It cannot become Christian however, because the church is the only Christian nation. This doesn’t reconcile with Christ’s commission to disciple the nations and baptize them. Nor does it reconcile with Daniel’s vision where the Son of Man is given the nations as His inheritance. Nate also wrote: To varying degrees, this is administered by the Church, but it’s not as if the Church is wresting power or… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

The commission is to baptize disciples from all nations. This gives them a new nationality. The gentile nation doesn’t then become Christian. The gentile nation plays host to the church

Katecho
Member

Nate wrote: But there is no Biblical precedent at all for the Christianizing of existing governments. The precedent is established even back in the Old Testament, for example, Psalm 2: 1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Yes, God has always been the authority of authorities and the whole earth is his jurisdiction. Christ is the ruler of all nations, as they come into the singular nation called the church. The church is the multinational nation in Christ. That is the fulfillment of this Psalm. The nations are indeed subject to God, but they do not simply remain as they are and receive an Israelite for head of state. Rather, they are called to become members of Christ, which is a renunciation of national identity. If we weren’t so consumed with pietistic “personal experiences with God,” we… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Nate and katecho, I’m late to the game here. Would this be a transformationalist/2 kingdoms debate? Wondering if that lingo fits here, as I try to understand it. thanks.

Katecho
Member

I think radical two-kingdom would be an accurate description of Nate’s position. My position could be called a one kingdom view, I suppose, since Christ is Lord and King, and is asserting His claim over all, and has not declared a truce with any square inch of creation. He will inherit all things, and all kingdoms of the earth are His.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Even the exiles in Babylon were told to ‘seek the peace of the city’. Why shouldn’t the church concern itself with the well-being of the nations its congregations are in? Why shouldn’t a pastor in Idaho have particular concern for his nation and the nations of his ancestors?

Nate
Guest
Nate

The Church should indeed seek the peace of the city. There are lots of ways for the church to interface with the world around it, in influential and constructive ways, that do not include the colonization of its power structures with Chrstianity. That’s what’s ludicrous, not to mention it’s a low view of the church.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Why’s it ludicrous? What’s the appropriate response of the church to a Constantine?

Nate
Guest
Nate

The proper response is to stand aside from the power of a Constantine, and critique his Christianity. If he does in fact belong to Christ (and it ought to be evident in word and deed), well that’s nice, and may good things come of it, but that is a completely different scenario than one in which the nation of the church politically rules Rome. Or worse, is confused with Rome.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury…I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Yes, thank you everyone for explaining to me that “the nations” are in the Bible, and God has something to do with them. OT: Israel is God’s chosen Son. The Gentiles ought to ‘recognize….’ or else they rejecting whom God has chosen, and God will be angry, because God loves Israel. And most likely that means, in OT vocab, Israel will militarily conquer your gentile butts. Now read it (and all the Psalms) as if Jesus is the fulfillment of it. NT: Because Israel failed, a Messiah was needed. Jesus becomes Israel in person. The True Nation. Jesus is the… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

“Jesus is the fulfillment of it.” I do not see many if not all here on this site at odds with that premise, so I am not sure where you might have gathered otherwise. I also think that it is a stretch to say that “The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together…” is simply or primarily “ethnicities or cultural identities”. If that were so the command “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.” would become a difference without a distinction. You also say “For now, that means he rules… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

I just finished reading Peter Leithart’s Defending Constantine and think you’d enjoy it. (Specifically, he points out how the fourth century church managed to neither rule Rome or be confused with it.)

In another post you said “‘The nations’ don’t have the option to become God’s nation… without being subsumed into the Church.” Do families have the option to become part of God’s family without undoing the natural relations between their members?

Nate
Guest
Nate

well yes, they certainly do. But they can’t hold on very tightly to their former identity. Sometimes this doesn’t present a big problem. But I imagine a convert from, say, a mob family would say it can be a problem.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Nations are extended families. If the church can include families, why not nations?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree that nations are extended families, held together by ties of common blood, history, language, and so on. But isn’t there also a definition of nation that means people from many different backgrounds choosing to live under a common love of liberty and a common commitment to justice? I always think of nineteenth and early twentieth century America as typifying that kind of nation. People came from the ends of the earth because of what America stood for: freedom from oppression, equal justice under law, the right to seek happiness and prosperity.

ashv
Guest
ashv

No, that is not a nation. It is a multicultural empire. It can be a reasonable form of government but it’s not in the same category as “nation”.

Daithi_Dubh
Guest
Daithi_Dubh

We have repeated the mantra of “one nation under God, indivisible . . . “, that we have actually come to regard this empire – an empire since 1865 – as a nation! It never was and it most certainly isn’t now!

Nate
Guest
Nate

That sounds like a good read.

Katecho
Member

Agreed that the goal of history is not particular to the West, but is all things in subjection to Christ, and God’s will being done in all the world, as it is in Heaven. So our prayer should be that it start with me first, then with my family, with my church, with my city, with my state, with my nation, and with the world. We can have a high ecclesiology and still call for repentance and revival to begin in our circles before calling for it in those coming from outside our circles. This seems to go along with… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Well said.

Something I wish people would remember, not all Muslims are like that, but not all Germans were Nazi’s either. The fact that 80% of the world’s people do not agree with a particular ideology has never protected us from any form of mass slaughter. People who operate under an ideology of might make right seldom sit around asking for down twinkles and a consensus.

ashv
Guest
ashv

You can’t be a Muslim and not believe in the righteousness of jihad. You can’t be a Christian and not believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. You can be a German and have any manner of opinions about Nazis.

Al Simmons
Guest
Al Simmons

What about Hindus, Jews, Buddhists etc…?

Julian Raven
Guest
Julian Raven

I just wrote this and then saw your post….interesting! The intense rising tide of Islamic devotion to its creed, their conviction level and the level of their faith in their rewards awaiting them in the afterlife make them intimidating giants compared to the godless, immoral, atheist, Christ rejecting West man. Desperate Muslim men, impoverished by their oppressive regimes, are now roaming towards the prosperous Christian nations seeking their share of the wealth of others at any cost. One wonders why they do not flow eastwards towards Mecca and the wealth of the Saudi Kingdom? The moral and spiritual weakness of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I hope that Christians in Europe will surprise Muslims by not turning to the easy answer of simply trading violence for violence. Unfortunately, it’s the secularists who hold sway in Europe these days, and I don’t put much confidence in them, particularly given France’s response against “ISIS headquarters”. They all look like neocons to me. Islam is clearly failing its own people, which is why they are fleeing by the millions. If secular Europe wasn’t so impoverished with debt and socialism, those European nations might have had resources to offer some refuge and charity. As it is, all they can… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

Your sentiment is well intended, but I wonder, given the ancient history between Israel/Christians and Ishmael/Muslims if a peaceable solution is possible. Should it be desired? Certainly we Christians would rather see the salvation of Muslims vs. their deaths! I don’t think they share that notion, however, which is ultimately why the violence continues. Long after we stopped fighting them, they continue to wage war, as if picking a physical fight is all they know. Maybe it is. And so maybe, instead of fanning at the fly all the time we should go get the flyswatter. Maybe we should recognize… Read more »

Katecho
Member

It’s very likely that Christianity and Islam will come to violent conflict again, but I believe that God likes surprises. I think it would be a glorious miracle and surprise to see Muslims convert to Christ in large numbers without violence. I think we should be very reluctant to close the door on such a possibility. At the very least, if it comes to violence, we Christians need to have wrestled with the principles of just warfare, and proceed with very very clear and limited objectives that, though severe and decisive, are also strategically defensive and without unnecessary provocation. Islam… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Tribal structure isn’t just an adopted mindset, clannishness is associated with inbreeding — and the Arab nations are the most inbred in the world. Pursuing open communication requires the will to suppress the public manifestations of their culture. (According to a Pew Research study, nearly half of the world’s Muslims believe that the death penalty for converting away from Islam is appropriate.)

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

They all look like neocons to me.

Never thought I’d hear that said about France.

Dave
Guest
Dave

“One wonders why they do not flow eastwards towards Mecca and the wealth of the Saudi Kingdom?” Because jihad is to move outward and impoverishment is only an excuse. The very nature of Islam impoverishes its followers. In Jerusalem, the Jewish and Christian sections are orderly and clean. The Muslim section is disorderly and dirty. In the major cities of Islamic countries, the tourist areas are clean, but as soon as you leave those areas, you step backwards into disorder and filth. On the outskirts of Kuwait City, I observed a beautiful road, with nice shops bordering it, stop as… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

A modest proposal. Every time Doug posts something about ethics, someone shows up to say that Doug can’t talk about ethics because of the way he handled the Sitler matter. And Katecho shows up to say that I can’t talk about ethics because I’m not a theist. I just realized that the two of them are mirror-image trolls. They’re both basically making the same argument; just pointed in different directions. They’re saying that only people with their presuppositions have a basis for an opinion, and that they really don’t care about the actual subject of the thread because it’s all… Read more »

Katecho
Member

This is false. I’ve never said that Krychek_2 can’t talk about ethics. On the other hand, Krychek_2 (eric the red) has said that Wilson should not talk about various subjects on his own blog. I actually wish that Krychek_2 would talk about ethics. Instead he just runs away from the substance of each challenge. Krychek_2 wants to talk about our ethics without anyone questioning the empty chasm under his feet. Krychek_2 calls me a troll, but I’m simply responding to his ideas, critiquing the logical inconsistencies and implications of his materialistic worldview. This is no less than what Krychek_2 would… Read more »

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

The 3rd person thing is kinda annoying…

Laura
Guest
Laura

That is why he does it.

Katecho
Member

Use of the third person is certainly more formal, but it’s not unusual or original in any sense. It’s still the dominant form for publicly contesting ideas in a debate, for example. Debate societies even require it. I believe the direction of address helps to keep the substance of the issues in better focus, even when I’m talking in a public forum with someone I agree with, but I don’t say that others have to do like I do. Still, we live in very informal times. I knew a young man who was annoyed when people called him “Mr.” This… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

katecho continues to educate and edify. I thought that the third person was a bit of local patois-of-the-mind, yet here we learn it has a pedigree.

I have noticed that katecho’s comments are disciplined in their focus on his interlocutor’s ideas; the technique is very helpful in keeping them, and not the person, at the fore.

Yet, it feels very weird to wield it. (:

I knew a young man who was annoyed when people called him “Mr.”

How is Mr. Jenner doing?

RFB
Guest
RFB

katecho’s observations of “very informal times” is something I have also observed for quite a few years. I was raised, then inculcated by all of my professional experiences to use titles. Mr., Mrs., Sir, Ma’am, Doctor, Ranks Held, etc.

The place where I have seen the most frequent resistance to the formality is from two loci: rural “salt of the earth” who angrily demand “stop calling me sir!” and younger (less than sexagenarian) females of the more “liberated” persuasion, who usually resort to a facial expression reserved for the sour owl-dung chewing gum flavor.

timothy
Guest
timothy

“Dude!” (no discussion of informal times would be complete without it)

RFB
Guest
RFB

I was not even fond of the expression when used by (one of the newer mediocre groups) Mott the Hoople.

Jane
Member

I’ve been right all along! I have always thought you use it to make your comments more general, less personally conversational. While you may be directing your thoughts as a response to a particular person, you are addressing the whole group, not going off in a corner and holding a private conversation in full view of everyone else, so to speak.

And I have never thought it off-putting; I have always appreciated the attempt at keeping the conversation general and including everyone.

Katecho
Member

Thank you, Jane.

(See, I am too capable of small bursts of second person.)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think you should suppress those bursts. I have grown used to your prose style, and would be much happier had you written: Katecho presents Mrs. Dunsworth with his compliments, and asks her to accept his gratitude.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi Jane,

I tried the technique with my responses to JP and I highly recommend it; it focuses the mind on the persons actions, ideas, behaviors rather than on the person qua person. On efficiency grounds alone, it is a wonderful tool.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

Fair enough!

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Nice post, but I still think the better idea is simply to not respond to him. If Pastor Doug were concerned about either the attacks on himself or the endless looping by, for example, katecho, he’d have spoken up long before now. Doesn’t matter why he hasn’t. Maybe he approves? Maybe it’s too minor to care about? Maybe he wants to let us hash it out amongst ourselves? Maybe it attracts others who would not otherwise stop in? Anyway, it’s his blog and he can do as he likes . . . at least for as long as we still… Read more »

Evan
Guest
Evan

“But I’ve settled on “don’t respond” position.”

We’ll see. :) You don’t have a good track record of keeping your new year’s resolutions (if I remember correctly.)

Anyways, it’s a shame you feel that way. I’ve found Katecho to be one of the most level-headed commenters on this blog. His comments have been a great encouragement to my faith. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him trade insult for insult which can’t be said for most of us here. Oh well, your loss I guess.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Perhaps you should compare notes with jillybean?

Evan
Guest
Evan

Why, does she have a record of your new years resolutions?

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

EDIT: see further below. ” . . . how ‘level-headed’ katecho . . . ” is NOT in her answer to me; it’s in the post here, above. That phrase did NOT come from her.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Sorry for the confusion. I meant her take on how “level-headed” katecho was.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Well I appreciate Jillybean’s comments as well, and I guess I would be surprised if she didn’t agree with my comment about Katecho.

Evan
Guest
Evan

For what it’s worth, I also like your comments (even though I don’t agree with what I’ve seen of your theology) which is why it’s sad for me to see you take the posture of “taking your ball and going home”.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

That’s not my posture; I’m not going home. I’m instead being more particular about which threads I comment on and to whom I reply. For example, I just chimed on Judas in the most recent thread.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Kelly, I am confused by the quotation marks. Did I use the word level-headed? I thought I said that I was frustrated by Katecho’s persistence about the ultimate source of ethics, that I thought it had become unproductive, and that I recognized that it might be for him a matter of conscience that should respected. I also admired his intelligence and deep faith. I am concerned that your statement and the use of scare quotes might lead someone who had not read my post to believe that I was saying something I did not say.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Sorry for the confusion. The “level headed” is not a scare quote; it’s a phrase in the post I was answering.

Moreover, I quoted NOTHING from your answer to me. I only vectored him to you, and on this blog, not off-line. If there was to be any follow-up, I expected him to write to you for a second opinion, as I had done.

If that does not clear the event sequence, let me know, and I’ll try again.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That is fine, Kelly. I was concerned that someone who had not read the whole thread might have thought I was sniping at Katecho. All is clear.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Occupational hazard? Some threads are quite long plus this one had a cross feed.

Glad the shinny side is up again.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You bet.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I can scarcely keep track of my own, except that they’re typically broken by the time the tree comes down.

Jane
Member

So restart them! It’s not constructive to make a resolution that is useless if you break it. Just start over when you do.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Unconstructive it is, but I take a certain pleasure in the loftiness of my resolutions, the Johnsonian cadences, and the aura of Plain Living and High Thinking. After that it’s all down hill!

Evan
Guest
Evan

Ha! I’ve gotten so bad at keeping them that now I just look down my nose at it and call it “legalism”. I guess it makes me feel better about myself that way. ????

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

No one is saying you can’t talk about ethics. Many are wondering about the basis for your ethics. When an individual invokes an ethical “ought,” he does so by appealing to some authority. To what authority do you make your appeal? Why should that authority be seen as authoritative? These seem like fair questions.

Laura
Guest
Laura

Tim – are you asking because you want to know? Or to get a handle on a weapon you can use against K2?

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Neither. I do not desire K2, whoever he is, to burn forever in hell. Out of compassion for his impending fate, I would seek to persuade him of the inconsistency of his worldview so that he might better understand the logical choices which are available to him. I understand that God in both His mercy and His judgment prevents most people from fully embracing an evolutionary worldview. In other words, we don’t all end up like Hitler. But why shouldn’t we do exactly as he did? What is our basis for calling Hitler immoral? This is an important question. Having… Read more »

meyer.daniel.s
Member

>>> We also need…a self-conscious
abandonment of our moribund secularism, and a sincere and heartfelt
confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Love,

Tom Wheeler
Guest
Tom Wheeler

“The disease of the West is an impotent and lame desire to include everybody in a group hug photo without having a clue how many suicide bombers are crowding into their happy picture”. Love it. When you get down to it all behaviors are within the strength of the framework of an individual’s faith, ergo, an individual’s behavior reflects their ethical makeup with regard to their faith basis. As regards various religions, there are malignant narcissists on the extreme ends of of any group – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Jim Jones, Osama Bin Ladin, Sun Myung Moon, various “racial purist… Read more »

Scott Tenerman
Guest
Scott Tenerman

Excellent post. The transformation of Europe has horrified me for the last couple of years, but thought of it as Islam being hyper-masculinized, while the decadent West hyperfeminized. A match made in Hell.

Katecho
Member

I take Scott’s point that it is a sorry match up, but, on second look, what the West is doing is hardly a representation of true feminine character. It’s a perverted femininity. Likewise, a Muslim blowing himself up in a crowded market or theater is hardly masculine.

Scott Tenerman
Guest
Scott Tenerman

Agreed. It’s a twisted perversity on several levels. The Bible makes clear what constitutes masculinity and femininity, and what’s happening in Europe is a funhouse mirror version of it.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The only thing that will wake Europe from its spiritual coma is the Holy Spirit bringing life and repentance. But how would that go, exactly? I don’t believe the author of this piece is a Christian but he has some practical ideas about what pulling back from the abyss would look like: http://www.socialmatter.net/2015/11/14/a-letter-to-france/

Scott Jacobsen
Guest
Scott Jacobsen

Christians in the West must compare their murder numbers through abortion with that of ISIS, through war, and then repent in shame (if God grants repentance).

We have to stop thinking of ourselves as “the good guys.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

Or radically redefining who “we” includes.

Scott Jacobsen
Guest
Scott Jacobsen

Very good point.

Samantha Butler
Guest
Samantha Butler

“The disease of the West is an impotent and lame desire to include everybody in a group hug photo without having a clue how many suicide bombers are crowding into their happy picture.”

As a Christian, don’t you think that’s a dangerous sentiment to get behind? Jesus’ expression of God’s love made room for Judas to be in his closest circle – sometimes to get the group hug you put your arms around 11 world changers and let God deal with anyone else who crowds in the picture.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jesus’ expression of God’s love was a plan for our redemption that involved Jesus being betrayed to His death. He knew it was coming and knew who was going to betray Him. Now to make the comparison fit you would have to go beyond not having a clue, to actually knowing you are acquiescing to the inclusion of suicide bombers who are going to kill people.

ExHelot
Guest
ExHelot

My first read of this blog. I’m a subscriber now. Thanks for turning me on to this son.