The Liar FDR & His Shaping of the World at Tehran

At the Tehran conference FDR, agreed with Churchill, that Stalin should have 15 nations that would serve as a buffer zone against the West. Some of those nations would be  satellite states of the USSR while some of them would be constituted as “Soviet friendly” nation states. This is bad enough but when you compound it with the reasons given by FDR for the war (Atlantic Charter) wherein it was said that the war was being fought for self determination for peoples (a residual hangover from Wilsonian “reasoning” from WW I) the consequence of this turning over to Stalin of millions of people is incredible incredulity at the brazen and outrageous hypocrisy of FDR and his administration. This decision was a decision to be an accomplice to  mass murder.

The Atlantic Charter, which FDR was forever thumping as the reason the USA was fighting WW II, guaranteed, as the ideal goals of the war among other things,

1.) No territorial aggrandizement
2.) No territorial changes made against the wishes of the people
3.) Restoration of self-government to those deprived of it
4.) Global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all
5.) Freedom from fear and want (This one is a real Utopian Hoot)
6.) Abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations.

In the giving of 15 nations and millions of people to the blood thirsty Stalin, FDR violated every one of his putative cherished principles. In doing this FDR proved himself a liar and a mountebank. He is to be despised as a criminal President. 

In these action one can only conclude one of two thing. Either FDR was a Communist himself (goodness knows many of his close advisers were later found out to be) and so desired the ascendancy of Communism or he was even then working to set up a bi-polar Statist global hegemony arrangement (USA vs. USSR) that would satisfy the requirements for citizens all over the globe, to need the Mega-Government States which were the USA and the USSR. In brief, FDR was organizing job security for Government by dividing the world in two.

Celebrate Presidents Day? Memorial Day? Independence Day? I curse those days.

Inspired by reading from

Freedom Betrrayed
Herbert Hoover
Chapters on the Tehran conference

Man as Homo Sapien vs Man as Homo Liturgicas

“… Before we articulate a worldview, we worship. Before we put into words the lineament of an ontology or an epistemology, we pray for God’s healing and illumination. Before we theorize the nature of God, we sing His praises. Before we express moral principles, we receive forgiveness. Before we codify the doctrine of Christ’s two natures, we receive the body of Christ in the Eucharist. Before we think we pray. That’s the kind of animals we are, first and foremost: loving, desiring, affective, liturgical animals who, for the most part, don’t inhabit the world as thinker or cognitive machines.”

James K. A. Smith
Desiring the Kingdom; Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation — p. 34

What is being advocated by Smith is the idea that doxology precedes theology. Smith casts this as an approach that is contrary to what he styles as an enlightenment approach where humans are seen as biological idea containers. Smith prefers what he styles as an “embodied approach” where a person’s loves and desires serve as the foundation for subsequent acquirement of a knowledge base. He styles his approach as “pre-cognitive.” Smith’s interest is to move education from a collection of information in the interest of a proper world and life view to a pursuit of pre-cognitive character formation that will result in a proper world and  life view. Smith contends that we are hearts before we are minds and as such the Church should be more concerned with right worshiping practices that satisfy the desires of the heart. Consistent with this is Smith’s appeal that worship should go after the imagination before it goes after man’s rationality.

There could well be truth in this, especially as applied to children growing up in the Church. Certainly covenant children, immersed in Biblical Christianity from the tenderest of years, may well have caught Christianity before they were explicitly taught Christianity.  For covenant children I think that we would have to admit that there is an embrace of Christianity that is pre-cognitive in the sense that they are Christian before they are epistemologically self conscious Christians.

Also, I agree that there is much to be said for capturing the imagination of the saints as well as their rationality. I do agree that imagination is a powerful tool for shaping character formation.  Too often Reformed Christians have let their imaginations atrophy in favor of the syllogistic and the linear logic.

Having said that though I do have some observations concerning the quote above.

1.) Is it really the case that we worship before we have a worldview? Without a worldview how do we know who or what we are worshiping? How can one worship if they don’t know who or what they are worshiping?  Is it really the case that we sing the praises of a God we know not the nature of? If we do not know His nature then what kind of praises could we possibly be singing? If we do not have an ontology why would we pray at all, never mind praying for healing and illumination? If we do not have a Biblical epistemology why would we think that this ontologically unknown God could illumine us?

2.) Why would we think we have the need for forgiveness unless we first had some kind of structure that informed us of moral principles? Doesn’t the asking of forgiveness presuppose an already existing moral principle paradigm?

3.) Why would we even come to the Eucharist to take the body of Christ if we didn’t first have some kind of understanding that the body of Christ we are partaking in is distinct, in some sense, from the body of Christ in heaven? This sense of distinctness would imply some kind of nascent understanding of two natures.

4.) “Before we think we pray?” Really, I can’t even come close to making heads or tails of that statement.

I agree with Smith that men can not be reduced to thinking or cognitive machines. Man is a modified unichotomy so that his body and soul, imagination and rationality, his being part of what he is doing and yet observer of what he is doing, enters together into everything he does. But I do not agree with Dr. Smith when he suggests that, when it comes to knowing, our pre-cognitive self precedes our cognitive self. I do not agree that doxology precedes theology. This is to say too much. Neither would I agree with anyone who suggested that our embodiment is secondary to our thinking. Clearly that would be to say too much in the other direction since all our thinking happens as embodied beings.

I understand that Dr. Smith is warning us against a hyper-rationality that does not have the capacity to understand that an idea must be examined in its embodied context. I appreciate Dr. Smith’s, Polanyi like exhortation for us to dwell in our knowing pursuits. I am slow though to give this postmodern feel its head to quickly lest one loses one’s head to a irrational and un-examined experiential ooze.

We shall see where Dr. Smith goes with this idea in the rest of his book.

Upper Room Discourse — Promised Spirit

John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning.

John 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go My way to Him that sent Me, and none of you asketh Me, ‘Whither goest Thou?’ But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment: concerning sin, because they believe not in Me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to My Father and ye see Me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath are Mine; therefore I said that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.

“The term “collect” is traceable to the word in Gallican sacramentaries collecta, and even earlier to the Latin word collectio.  Some have suggested that the term reflects the function of the prayer it described, namely that of gathering the people together for worship.  In the Roman Use, the collecta is called the oratio.  The Roman Use appears to be the source of the collect, as its style is Roman in its conciseness and clarity. ”

Introduction

Jesus speaks these words concerning the coming “Spirit of Truth” who is also designated as the “Comforter. ” to his disciples just prior to His looming Crucifixion. He is seeking to console their sense of abandonment and fear, while at the same time suggesting that the Holy Spirit will sustain them in the context of fierce opposition.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is often expressed by the English Word Whitsunday or White Sunday. This has reference to the White garments worn by the newly baptized or to the gift of Wisdom by the Holy Spirit. This feast was a popular time for baptism especially in the Northern European Churches where climate led them to prefer Pentecost to Easter as the season for baptism. The liturgical color is Red as a reminder of the tongues of fire and the blood of the martyrs, the seed of the church. So this Sunday: Happy White Sunday!!

As we come to the text we are reminded of the greatness of the Holy Spirit. A 17th century Theologian once offered,

“The work of the Holy Spirit for the elect is as great as those of the Father or the Son. Why? Because all that Christ did would have profited us nothing, if the Holy Ghost did not come into our hearts and bring all home to us…. Christ leads us to the Father (as it were) with one hand, the Holy Ghost with the other. Christ showed His love for the elect by dying for them; the Spirit shows His love for the same people by indwelling them.”

Thomas Goodwin
17th Century Puritan

I.) The Outward Work Of The Spirit — To The World

He is the Primary Witness to Christ. One might say He is “God, the Evangelist.”

The context here in which the Spirit is spoken about is one of opposition by the world to the Disciples of Christ.

1.) So we might say that one of the outward works of the Spirit to the World is to sustain the Disciples as they bear up under the hatred of the World.

In vs. 26 we get the sense that they would be able to endure the world’s despite because the Holy Spirit testifies with us. Those first Disciples were not alone in their bearing witness work (27) but were sustained and strengthened by the Witness of the Holy Spirit in the Evangelism project.

Indeed the word here translated as “Comforter,” is the Greek Word “Parakletos.”  It is often translated as “Advocate.” When used of the Holy Spirit the word is defined  in the widest sense, as a helper, one who gives succor, and aide. The Spirit is One who has been summoned or called to the side of another–literally,  as an “advocate,” or, by extension, a helper or legal representative in a trial or other arena of judgment.

As the Holy Spirit was ordained to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), it was His work to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom.

As you read the book of Acts it is clear to see the opposition to the Disciples witness to Christ and yet the word of the Kingdom of God and the Resurrection of Christ went forward because of the witness of the Holy Spirit.

This reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity associated with the successful spread of the Good News of Christ providing reconciliation for all those who would surrender to God’s love, dominion, and authority as placarded by Christ.

We need to take comfort when we are opposed by men, both within and outside the Church, that the Holy Spirit is greater than opposition arrayed against us. Because of His witness we can witness and we can be confident that the Spirit of God will triumph. We needs remember when we are opposed by the most vicious of men that if the Holy Spirit could turn the heart of Saul who loved to breathe out threats against the Church and persecute the Church, that the same Holy Spirit can overcome all opposition today.

On this Whitsunday we esteem the Spirit of Christ for the Holy Spirit is why you have an interest in Christ (Eph. 1:14).

He is the One who gives you confidence concerning being approved by God (Romans 8:15-16).

He is why you have an interest in bearing witness of and to Christ.

He is the reason that you have not folded to the opposition of the World.

He is the One who gives you understanding and fits you with resolve to press on so as to be always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Were it not for the Spirit of Christ you would have no interest in esteeming God’s commands. No interest in marrying in the Faith. No interest in staying in Christian marriages.

He will be the one who will sustain your faith in your dying moments, thus preparing you to meet the Lord Christ whom He is the Spirit of.

2.) Another outward works of the Spirit to the World is to do the work of Evangelism

According to the text, the promised Spirit will bring the world to the recognition of the meaning and reality of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  Another way of saying this is that the Spirit will expose to the outsiders, to those who do not believe, the error of their unbelief.

Not to believe is the greatest sin according to John’s Gospel, and that sin keeps one outside the community. The Spirit, thus, has the function of continuing to confront the world (outsiders) with the presence of Jesus after his ascension.

(a.)In pursuit of making Christ known to the world the Spirit of Christ is said in the text to be one who convicts the world of sin (8).

The verb here in the Greek means to literally ‘to show someone his sin and summon him to repentance’ (TDNT). The English word “expose” captures some of what is intended here. The Spirit will expose the world’s sin.

Of course moderns don’t like the notion of “sin.” It is considered one of those “cringe” words that we try to avoid. Sin reminds us that there is a standard. It reminds us that truth is not person or cultural variable.  And yet we hear our Lord Christ saying that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of Sin.

We see this activity operating immediately upon the consequence of the Holy Spirit’s arrival at Pentecost.

Peter begins to speak of, “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God … as you yourselves know. Peter tells them his Jewish audience that they, via the Romans had crucified the Messiah. Acts then tells us that the listeners,  “were cut to the heart.”

The Holy Spirit as witness, empowered Peter’s witness, and convicted Peter’s listeners of their sin.

We should note already at this point that it is only the Holy Spirit who can open blinded eyes. He alone can convict of sin.

Ours is to bear witness to the Truth, but it is the Spirit of Christ’s work to cause men to see that of which we are witnessing.

Those outside of Christ are like blind men sitting in a darkened room. We can and must shine the word of God’s light but a light turned on, while dispelling the darkness of a dark room will not help blind men to see. Only the Spirit of the living Christ can open blind eyes to see the light of our witness and yet His opening of blind eyes normatively happens in the context of the light be flicked on.

This reminds us, in the context of his Johannine passage, that if our witness is to be to successful to the end of moving people towards Christ it is dependent upon the Spirit’s witness.

Too often in the Church today we have forgotten this. We have thought it our job to do the converting. But that is a job only the Spirit of Christ is qualified to do.

We have employed techniques to convict. Lowered lights. Psychological pressure. Raised hands. When those didn’t have the desired results we began to dumb the message down in order to make it easier for people to accept.

Puritan Wm. Gurnall reminds us

“God never laid it on thee to convert those he sends thee to. No; to publish the Gospel is thy duty.”

Likewise Puritan Joseph Alleine,

“Ministers knock at the door of men’s hearts, the Spirit comes with the Key and opens the door.”

We do serious and long lasting harm when we see it as our role to convict of sin. We cannot convict of Sin. Only the Spirit of Christ can do that. Ours is to, like the sower in the parable, to cast the seed. The Spirit’s job it to convict the world of sin.

We can not force people to convert. This is readily seen when after an Evangelism effort with Mormons Anthony was told, “Yeah, we see the contradictions in what we are saying but we don’t care.”

(b.) The Spirit will do the work of convicting regarding righteousness

This conviction regarding righteousness is in relation to Christ going to the Father (10)

The Jews had insisted that Jesus was unrighteous. A criminal worthy of death. The work of the Spirit is to convince men that the Lord Christ was, not only the righteous one, but also that He was the essence of the righteousness of the Father.

Again, men will not be convinced of this outside of the work of the Spirit.

I was viewing a documentary yesterday titled “Marching to Zion.” In it there were several Rabbis interviewed and the hostility towards Christ remains palpable. Clearly they remain unconvinced of Christ’s righteousness.

But not only is it the Spirit’s work to convict demonstrate that Christ was the righteous one but also the Spirit works to convince men that it is the Righteousness of Christ that they need for their righteousness. The Spirit alone shows men that their righteousness before God depends not on their own efforts but on Christ’s atoning work for them.

This conviction of sin and righteousness then go together. What good would it do to be convicted of sin if there was not an answer for that sin one is convicted of? No, not only does the Spirit convict the world of sin but He convicts it also of the answer to sin … the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

(c.) the spirit will do the work of convicting of judgment

The judgment has to do with the triumph of Christ over Satan. Satan, as the prince of this world, has been judged and condemned. The Spirit in testifying to the Gospel reveals that the one judged on the cross was Satan. This is significant in the Gospel presentation because inasmuch as Satan has been judged and condemned so it is the case that all those who belong to “their Father, the devil” are judged along with the prince of this world.

Conclusion

It is significant that all three of these (sin, righteousness, and judgment) are all to be understood because of they relate to the finished work of Christ. This is why we must preach Christ when we speak of these matters.  When we speak of sin we must emphasize that its greatest (though not only) expression is in the refusal to believe on Christ. When we speak of righteousness we must speak of the Righteousness that can only be given by the Christ who was vindicated as righteous before the Father. When we speak of a judgment to come we must speak of the judgement of Christ that will land on all men if they remain in the one who has been already judged.

II.) The Inward Work of The Spirit — In The Church (13-15)

R. J. Rushdoony Contra Fredrich Engles on the Dissolving of Nationalities

“Q22. What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities?

The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be ~~compelled to mingle~~ with each other as a result of this association and ~~thereby to dissolve themselves~~, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.”

Engels,
“Principles of Communism” (1847) – https://goo.gl/pL9VqT

“For him [Freudian writer Dr. J.L. Moreno] mankind is “a social and organic unity,” and mental health is harmonious integration into that unity. But what of those who deny that mankind is the standard, and who hold that biblical faith requires separation and division? The prophets of mental health of this religion of humanity know the answer: they are mentally sick. God’s hell is outlawed, but a new hell has opened up for apostates: mental sickness, with its many mansions.”

Rousas John Rushdoony,
“Freud”

RJR speaking against proposed reparations in 1967. He is protesting in this statement and is being sarcastic.

“In other words, white America must pay a heavy tax for some time to come because of its initiative and superiority.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 615

“In any case, the goal is, whether directly or slowly, total destruction of Christian civilization.Some have called for … a long period of chaos and revolution, of anarchy, racial amalgamation, and the total destruction of civilization.

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg, 618

“The demand of humanism (and of its child, socialism) is for a universal ethics. In universal ethics we are told that, even as the family gave way to the tribe, and the tribe to the nation,so the nation must give way to a one-world order. All men must treat all other men equally. Partiality to our family, nation, or race, represents a lower morality, we are told, and must be replaced by a ‘higher’ morality of a universal ethics.

Rousas John Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 574

“The only logical conclusion of the present concept of civil rights is communism. It demands ‘full equality.’ And where does equality stop? Economic, political, cultural, racial, personal, and every other kind of equality is demanded….

‘Full equality’ means that no differences can be tolerated with respect to race, color, creed, economics and all things else. This means the planned destruction of the very elements of society who have made our civilization.” 

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 581
____________________________

Note here that in this quote RJR’s Kinism contra Cultural Marxist theory comes shining through in white hot intensity. One simply can not deny that RJR was, at the very least,  proto familialist.

True, he may have been inconsistent at times but these quotes contra the Marxist Engels puts him squarely in the familialist camp. Those who deny this have the burden of proof that he wasn’t and must find a way to somehow make RJR unsay what is said repeatedly above.

 

Random Thoughts On Escondido Republication

“… the doctrine of Republication cannot be harmonized with the teaching of the Westminster Standards.”

Robert B. Strimple
President emeritus & Professor emeritus of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, CA

Recently a prominent Reformed Lawyer, on a social media cite, posted a hypothetical in order to continue the conversation with the Escondido Republicationists.  Our Lawyer friend posited this hypothetical proposition,

“the Passover was in some sense a Republication of the Covenant of Works. Israel’s obedience to the command (“put blood on the doorpost and live — fail to to do this and you die”) congruently merited the reward of deliverance from Egypt.”

Of course this hypothetical could arises due to Escondido’s insistence that the Mosaic covenant was at the same time both a covenant of Grace and a covenant of Works. This is accomplished by introducing language of “upper” and “lower” register into the Mosaic covenant while insisting that the idea of typology sustains that “in some sense” the Mosaic covenant was a covenant of works for Israel.

Of course, one can use this reasoning not only in the Mosaic covenant but also in any of the other covenants which represent the continual maturing and flowering of the one covenant of grace.  For example, one could go back to Genesis 17 and say much the same thing about God’s command/stipulation to Abraham to “walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1 ). Given that stipulation language in Genesis 17 one can’t help but wonder, given Escondido predilections for a hyphenated Mosaic covenant,  how is it that the Abrahamic covenant also is not an example of a mixed (hyphenated) covenant? In point of fact Dr. Meredith Kline taught that that Noah and Abraham were themselves under a legal-works covenant?   One thus wonders, if, according to Escondido, whether the covenant of works was republished to Abraham and Noah as well?

In all this I wonder if there isn’t some covenant confusion that was articulated by a Baptist named Philip Cary in 1640 in a debate with John Flavel and other Reformed luminaries. This debate surrounded the issue of the validity of infant Baptism but some of Cary “reasoning” sounds a great deal like Escondido reasoning on covenant republication.  Cary treated Genesis 17 (Abrahamic), Exodus 20 (Mosaic) and Deuteronomy 29 (Mosaic) together under a covenant of works. In doing so, the Baptist, Cary, could treat all these passages as discontinuous in nature, purpose and extent with the covenant of Grace. For the Baptist Cary, no commands from the covenant of works could affect the covenant of grace. For the Baptist, Philip Cary, this meant that Abraham, as well as all the elect in the Old Testament were in both covenants at the same time. This sounds strangely familiar to some of the writings of Escondido adherents.

Keep in mind though that if covenant are both law and gracious at the same time, it is also the case that people living under those hyphenated covenant arrangements lived and moved  by both law and Gospel at the same time. Escondido would have us believe that the Mosaic saints earned, via congruent merit, their stay in the land while at the same time those same saints were saved by unmerited grace. This seems to me to be a “Glawspel” arrangement. If so, it is ironic that the very people (Klinean republicationists) who complain that those who don’t accept their republicationist paradigm are guilty of not distinguishing properly “Law and Gospel,” with the consequence that “Glawspel” obtains are themselves guilty of not properly distinguishing “Law and Gospel” so that “Glawspel” obtains.

Think about it. If you’re living under the Mosaic covenant how do you determine if your obedience to God’s law is motivated by earning congruent merit in order to stay in the land as opposed to an obedience that is motivated by gratitude for God delivering your from your enemies and putting you in the land?

Second, in light of the constant disobedience of Israel under the Mosaic, how can we speak of going back under a covenant of works in the Mosaic when the covenant of works required absolute perfect obedience? If the Old Testament saints under the Mosaic covenant were put back under a covenant of works it was a very different covenant of works then what Adam was under in the Garden where one violation was all that was required to be cast out of the garden. Are we to believe, per Escondido, that the covenant of works was more gracious in the Mosaic covenant then it was in the garden?

________________

For some reading that might kick start thinking on this matter I recommend chapter 45 of Beeke and Jones, “A Puritan Theology; Doctrine for Life.”

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