Presuppositionalism and the Trivium

“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Two children learn the trivium. One is a covenant child who presupposes God in all his thinking. The other is a pagan child who presupposes man in all his thinking. The result are two trivium educated people who couldn’t be anymore different in terms of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. So much so that the second child, though trivium educated, is a fool.

The Trivium by itself is not the means by which wisdom is attained.

Crony Capitalism … Then and Now

“The mainstream (liberal) historians make much of the working class crisis of the 1870’s – 1890’s, saying that during those decades the federal government was obviously being run to satisfy the selfish interests of the Northern capitalists — and the workers subsequently endured cruel working conditions and bare subsistence. Further, the economy was grinding to a halt because workers and farmers weren’t earning enough to buy the vast array of products being manufactured. And all of that is quite true.

But then historians trot out the Progressive movement cited here to prove that the intrusive, unconstitutional, industrially-oriented big government created by Lincoln and the Radical Republicans in the 1860’s had been justified after all, because under Theodore Roosevelt it could and did react to the needs of the country after the turn of the century by haltering the capitalists. Those historians then have gusty editorial sighs of relief: the system worked! Big government did right, and thereby prevented the class warfare revolution of the poor which otherwise would surely have destroyed the United States. Therefore, they argue, the liberal’s socialistic government of today has precedent and is equally necessary and justifiable.

But in fact, those reform measures from 1887 onward were carefully designed to do very little to restrain the capitalists, even though they expanded the power of the federal government considerably. Viewed close up, they were mostly worthwhile-but-token measures…. None of that (what really turned the US economy around during the early progressive era) resulted from the socialist movement, or from big government per se.”

Frank Conner
The South Under Siege; 1830-2000 — pg. 237-238

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A few observations

1.) These united States have been living with Corporatism to one degree or another for over a century and a half now. The “haltering capitalists” that Conner speaks of is the Gilded Age Robber Barons like Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie et. al. These men made their fortunes by being in bed with the Federal Government and manipulating it to pass legislation favorable to them at the expense of any potential competition. In point of fact these men were not “haltering capitalists” but “haltering socialists of the Corporatist variety (Crony Capitalism).

The Corporatism that we have today is merely a continuation of the Corporatism that gripped this Nation as a consequence of the War against the Constitution. This war was funded by Northern Crony Capitalists as they funded Lincoln’s war in order to turn the South into a colonial farm to be milked to the profit of the Crony Capitalists of the Railroad, Textile Mills, and Shipping variety.

2.) Note the pattern. The Feds create the problem. Then they decry the problem blaming the problem they created on Capitalism. Then they offer solutions that will enrich themselves and their Crony Capitalists – Socialists partners. Finally, when the Fed’s solution does not work and only magnifies the problem they again raise a hue and cry about the problem blaming their failed policies that have enhanced and magnified the problem to be the fault of Capitalism, when in point of fact, the fault is that free markets have not been allowed the opportunity to address the problem. This program of blame is being repeated right now with Health Care. Health Care has not failed because of Capitalism. Health Care has failed because the Government involved itself. The solution that the Government has created now (Obama-care) is designed to fail so that the Government can come back and blame somebody in the Capitalist tent with the purpose of finally arriving at the Socialist Single payer program.

Which itself will not work.

3.) Court Historians are epic liars. Our court Historian liars are as responsible for this Corporatist cycle of failure as much if not more than the Feds and the Crony Capitalists. The lying Court Historians keep blowing smoke so that the American public never wake up to the fact that the liberal-progressive-leftist-cultural Marxist-Centralized-Omnipresent Government has never succeeded in “fixing an economy.” Naturally, the court Historians always give credit to the Feds for coming through but the credit inevitably really goes to some free market aspect that survived and flourished despite the repeated attempt by the Feds and the Crony Capitalists – Socialists to choke it out.

4.) All of this suggests that today the people exist, as cattle, for the Government and the Crony Capitalists to milk at their leisure. Those who are not of the Politician and the Elite mega Corporatist class exist as grist to enrich them.

The answer to all this is to smash both Centralized Government and the Elite mega Corporatist class because they are both Marxist to the core in their economics. The failure of the rank and file American is that they tend to see one of the other of these players as the problem instead of understanding that they are both the problem. Consequently, some Americans see the Mega Corporatists as a problem and so they offer the answer of bigger Government to control the Corporatists but these Americans don’t realize that the bigger the Feds are made the better it is for the Corporatists. Similarly, other Americans get ahold of the other end of the stick and suggest that the way to end the problem is to empower the Mega-Corporatists as “Capitalists” and to shrink the Feds. However, empowering the Mega-Corporatists as Capitalists is to, at the same time, empower the FEDS. Both the Mega Corporatists and the FEDS have to be broken at the same time.

Charles Hodge — 19th Century Old Princeton Theologian On the Failure of Government Schools

“As children are bound to honor and obey their parents, so parents have duties no less important in reference to their children” (352).

The “Bible does require that education should be religiously conducted…(Deut.6:6,7 11:19 Ps.78:5-7 Prov.22:6 Eph.6:4)…These are not ceremonial or obsolete laws. They bind the consciences of men just as much as the command, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ If parents themselves conduct the education of their children, these are the principles upon which it must be conducted. If they commit that work to teachers, they are bound, by the law of God, to see that the teachers regard these divine prescriptions…This is an obligation which they cannot escape…Christianity requires that education in all its departments should be conducted religiously” (354,355).

“If a man is not religious, he is irreligious; if he is not a believer, he is an unbeliever. This is as true of organizations and institutions, as it is of individuals. Byron uttered a profound truth when he put into the mouth of Satan the words ‘He that does not bow to God, has bowed to me.’ If you banish light, you are in darkness. If you banish Christianity from the schools, you thereby render them infidel…This controversy, therefore, is a controversy between Christianity and infidelity; between light and darkness; between Christ and Belial” (355,356).

Charles Hodge (1797-1878)
Systematic Theology, James Clarke and Co., 1960, Vol.3, pgs.352-356.

“Children are not to be allowed to grow up without care or control. They are to be instructed, disciplined, and admonished, so that they are brought to knowledge, self control, and obedience. This whole process of education is to be religious, and not only religious, but Christian. It is bring[ing] them up in the training and instruction of the Lord which is the appointed and the only effectual way of attaining the goal of education. Where this means is neglected or any other substituted for it, the result must be disastrous failure. The moral and religious element of our nature is just as essential and as universal as the intellectual. Religion, therefore, is as necessary to the development of the mind as knowledge. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ the only true God, the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord…it is infinite folly for men to assume that they are wiser than God or to attempt to accomplish a goal through any means other than those which he has appointed.” (Comments on Eph.6:4).

Charles Hodge (1797 – 1878)
Commentary on Ephesians, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1994, pg.204.

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It needs to be said here that homeschooling is not the magic bullet that cures the failure of Government schools. Homeschooling that is done outside the context of an epistemologically self conscious curriculum and teachers will inevitably result in not being a whit better than the curriculum and teaching that is offered in Government schools.

Further successful homeschooling will require a dearth of modern entertainment forms in the home, at least until such a time as the child is old enough to reinterpret the entertainment through a Biblical gird. (And by that time that takes place there likely will be little desire for modern entertainments.) It will require a extremely careful selection of playmates for one’s children. It will require pain staking care regarding what church is selected. It will require a close monitoring on the worldview that is adopted by one’s children. Most of all it requires casting all upon the mercy of the Lord Christ to have grace upon our children. Even when parents have been as faithful as they know how to be we must all end by admitting that “we are unprofitable servants.”

Too often I fear that people think that homeschooling is a magic bullet that by itself will rescue our children from the evil one. It won’t. It may me a better means of education than Government schools but I’ve seen to much homeschooling to think that by itself it is going to impact the culture.

Charles Hodge on Hart, Horton, VanDrunen, Fesko, Berry, Gordon and R2K

The demands of those who require that religion, and especially Christianity should be ignored in our national, state, and municipal laws, are not only unreasonable, but they are in the highest degree unjust and tyrannical. It is a condition of service in connection with any railroad which is operated on Sundays, that he employee be not a Christian. If Christianity is not to control the action of municipal, state, and general governments, then if elections be ordered to be held on the Lord’s Day, Christians cannot vote. If all the business of the country is to go on, on that as on other days, no Christian can hold office. We should thus have not a religious, but an anti-religious test act. Such is the free thinker’s idea of liberty. (A free-thinker is a man whose understanding is emancipated from his conscience. It is therefore natural for him to wish to see civil government emancipated from religion.) But still further, if Christianity is not to control the laws of the country, then as monogamy is a purely Christian institution, we can have no laws against polygamy, arbitrary divorce, or “free love”. All will demand that we yield to the atheists, the oath and the decalogue; and all the rights of citizenship must be confined to blasphemers. Since the fall of Lucifer, no such tyrant has been made known to men as August Comte, the atheist. If, therefore, any man wishes to antedate perdition, he has nothing to do but to become a free-thinker and join in the shout, “Civil government has nothing to do with religion; and religion has nothing to do with civil government.”

Hodge,Charles.
Systematic Theology, Vol III (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Pub, 1982) Page 346.

CRC Listening Tour

Recently the CRC mandated committee to provide guidance on applying the denomination’s policy on homosexuality has been conducting a “listening tour,” and that “Listening Tour” touched town in the Classis of which I am a part. Never mind that it is not possible for someone to “listen” unless someone is speaking, the “Listening tour,” as it is officially sold, is intended to get people talking (and Listening) and to unofficially poll the denomination on its views on sodomy. In my estimation the purpose of this “Listening tour” is to get the denomination talking about sodomy so as to put a “human face” on it to the end of making sodomy more acceptable.

Alexander Pope wrote of this technique in the 18th century when he wrote,

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Of course, as the Dutchman Abraham Kuyper hinted at, given his doctrine of the antithesis, that neutrality is impossible and so the facilitators of the listening tour were anything but neutral though I do believe that in their own minds they were seeking to be as neutral as possible. I also think though that their presuppositions were driving their own attempt at neutrality. At one point of the Listening Tour one of the Facilitators said that the discussions that were taking place in the break out groups was not to include our Reformed Theology. He was quickly called out on that statement by one of the participants and immediately attempted to walk his comment back. Another facilitator ended the meeting by telling a sentimental story that was intended to make the participants feel sorry for homosexuals, though the story was given the cover of being an example of how and why the CRC needs the committee to provide guidance on applying the denomination’s policy on homosexuality.

The story that was told and which officially ended the “Listening tour” went as follows.

“There was a Pastor who had an Elder who had a son who was ‘marrying’ another man. The Pastor had determined to go with his Elder since the Pastor had determined, ‘I wasn’t going to let my Elder go alone.'”

Immediately the natural response of the Modern to this story is to feel sorry for both the Pastor and the Elder in this situation and so the climate is created for a positive disposition towards what is being called “hommosexual marriage.”

Why couldn’t the Pastor, instead of giving a tacit endorsement of homosexuality and perverted marriage instead of told the Elder that both of them are commanded to, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them, for it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret”(?)

You see the facilitators are supposed to be facilitating and being neutral and yet we can see that, as much as they might try not to, they have an agenda. It is not possible that they wouldn’t.

The way the “Listening Tour” started is that we gathered at separate tables of 8. The funny story there, that I was later told by someone who had the inside skinny, is that the biggest supporter of homosexual “marriages,” a respected octogenarian, waited to choose his seat until he saw where I was going to sit. Upon my seating he then joined the table I was at. He did this because he apparently believed there needed to be a strong voice to counteract my own voice on the issue. He was successful at being irrational in his support for his perversion.

Some dialogue between us,

Don — “Here we have two people who desire to be married and what does the Church tell them? What does the Church say? The Church says ‘no.'”

Bret — “Homosexuals and Lesbians are allowed to marry anybody they want who fits the definition of marriage — Men go with Women. I’m not saying ‘no’ to them. I’m telling them to find the correct matched set. Homosexuals and Lesbians are allowed to marry anyone they like who allows their marriage to fit the definition of marriage.”

Don — “Can you believe that the Culture and Corporations are fully invested in giving homosexuals “marriage” rights and yet the Church is lagging so far behind.”

Bret — “Why not get ahead of the curve then Don and have the Church advocate Necrophilia Marriage or Bestiality Marriage? Now there’s a church of which one could be proud.”

Don — “Do you use that word ‘sodomy’ whenever you talk about this issue?”

Bret — “Yes, and I use the word “Necrophiliac” whenever I talk about living people who have a sexual fetish for dead people and I use the word “Incest” whenever I talk about two people in the same family having a sexual tryst and I use the word Bestiality whenever I talk about people who have sexual liaisons with animals. Yes, I always refer to sodomites as sodomites. Are you suggesting that there are people who don’t? And if they don’t why wouldn’t they?”

Don — “You are so unloving.”

Bret — “I’m trying to warn people of the consequence of their sin, both temporally and eternally, while you’re encouraging them to recreate God in their own image and I’m the one who is unloving? You’re trying to normalize what God calls vile behavior while I’m pleading with them to give it up and I’m the one who is unloving? I’m thinking about a social order where children grow up thinking sodomy is normal and consequently those children will potentially be more easily be drawn into that lifestyle and so out of love for children I warn against this and you accuse me of being unloving?”

As the conversation rolled on and as I was pressing for the necessity to agree with God’s word on the issue another Pastor at the table piped up and made the following statement which was intended to mute my observations regarding the necessity of obeying Scripture,

“I think one of our problems in the CRC is that many of our Pastors belong to the intellectual class and they have this overwhelming necessity to be right. They sense that being right is of ultimate importance. They are always studying, always reading and so being right is important to them. And I think we must agree that is poisonous to the Church.”

There was a brief awkward silence since this was obviously aimed at me. Finally I said,

“So, tell me Robert, are you insisting that you are right about that observation?”

And in true post-modernist fashion he said, “I don’t know.”

You see, the modern churchmen cannot even be certain regarding his observation upon the dangers of certainty. He must even be uncertain when decrying certainty.

Some might ask, what are your greatest concerns, if any, concerning same-sex marriage?

Here are my concerns.

1.) the sodomite agenda is about destroying heterosexual marriage.

see — http://salvomag.com/blog/2013/03/five-gay-marriage-myths/
see — http://www.peter-ould.net/2012/12/07/gay-marriage-and-the-effect-on-heterosexual-marriage/

2.) People will begin to believe sodomite marriage is possible. Sodomite marriage is no more possible then being an accomplished rider of a two wheeled unicycle can be accomplished. Sodomite marriage is no more possible then the drawing of a square circle. Sodomite marriage is not possible given the very definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Are we forgetting the Scripture by even talking about the possibility that sane Christians can subscribe to “sodomite marriage?” Will we advocate next that Christians subscribe to the reality of Fairies and Goblins?

3.) I am greatly concerned that the Church is going to rebel against God on this matter by normalizing sodomy and sodomite marriage and so diminish His glory among men and incur His wrath.

4.) I am greatly concerned for the souls of sodomites, that are precious to God, will end up being confirmed in their sin and be told that God loves them “just the way they are.” I am concerned over how hateful and cruel any action that “normalizes sodomy or sodomite marriage would be to sodomites.

If I have any great hopes, concerning same-sex marriage it would be that it will be seen as an absurdity and will be recognized as always characteristic of a social order about to flame out.

Resources recommended for those who want to become informed,

Homosexuality; A Biblical View — Dr. Greg Bahnsen
Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation & Political Control — Dr. E. Michael Jones
Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior — Dr. E. Michael Jones
Redeeming the Rainbow — Scott Lively
The Born Gay Hoax — Ryan Sorba

On the “Listening Tour” we were asked to discuss these questions. I have put my responses beneath the question

1. What are the pastoral priorities should a same-sex couple begin attending your church?

It should be noted first that “same sex couple” is as an euphemistic term as ever existed and a phrase that supports the advocates of this program since is it not possible for two people of the same sex to be a “couple” the way the word “couple” has always been used. By using this phrase repeatedly and the phrase “same sex marriage” the facilitators are prejudicing the conversation from the outset in the direction of their agenda.

a.) We have to think of the children and do all we can to make sure that the children are not given the idea that what God calls “sin” is normative.

b.) We need to realize that the “same sex couple” have eternal souls and have a need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, as the Heidelberg Catechism teaches that Gospel begins with the law as the hot needle that pulls through the crimson thread of redemption. As such, out of love to them, we must at some point preach God’s law to them which informs us that such behavior is sinful and must be repented of. This is the same way we deal with anyone who shows up to Church and is outside of Christ.

c.) We should, as Van Til used to say, always be willing to buy them the next cup of coffee. That is to say, as long as they are willing to engage the conversation we should be willing to go the extra mile to engage them.

d.) So, if a “same sex couple” shows up at church we treat them the same way we would treat any other person who is outside of Christ. We call for them to repent and we offer the Gospel.

It was interesting that one breakout group seemed to suggest that “if a ‘same sex couple’ became members they would have to realize that they would not be able to work with the children and they would not be able to be leaders.” I found myself wondering, “If they are actively involved as a “same sex couple” why would a orthodox church ever bring such a “couple” into membership?”

2. What do you need most from the CRC to help you navigate questions that arise in response to same-sex marriage?

I merely need the CRC to stand by Scripture and to encourage other of their Churches to stand my Scripture.

3. The survey the committee sent out is revealing very diverse perspectives within the denomination. What would you see as implications arising from this reality.

Implications

a.) The church has not been teaching our undoubted catholic Christian Faith.

b.) The church has not been practicing discipleship and discipline.

c.) If there really are diverse perspectives on this issue then that would be promissory of an eventual split.

I must say that the asking of this questions bothers me. It is, as if, the committee is suggesting that we come to truth by counting noses. Further, one might also see in this question the desire to muffle all disagreement with the committee by suggesting that their eventual report was trying to be sympathetic to all sides, when in point of fact if the committee reports are favorable to “same sex marriage” (an eventuality that has to occur if the committee is committed to be sympathetic to all perspectives) it is obvious that those who are opposed to the Church condoning sodomy will not be pleased with the committee work.

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