Southern Baptist Legend John Broadus Against R2K

“We live not only in a world of persons but of powerful social organizations and institutions, which exert constant and relentless pressure upon the moral and spiritual life of individuals. The preacher cannot be indifferent to these wider and more complex areas. He must pass unflinching judgment upon the wrongs of society; he must voice the Christian principles of righteousness and justice and good will; he must stir the consciences of men to meet the conditions and practices of social order with unselfish devotion to truth and honor and common humanity… But what shall he propose in a practical way? Devise strategies and programs for labor or for capital? Write platforms for the political parties? Propose and advocate particular statutes for legislative bodies? Agitate for particular solutions of the race problems? Turn expert in international procedures? Obviously, such things are beyond his ability and outside his function [note, he is speaking directly to the minister in terms of structuring a sermon. So, in developing a sermon, creating detailed social policies are not his purpose]. He is not an expert social planner. He is a prophet, a seer, and critic, and voice of high conscience in the name of God. He should not be complacent in the belief that society is impersonal organization and natural process. Society is composed of men, women, and children. the forms of society are created and managed by persons. The human factor is determinative of many things, including principles and goods. Human responsibility for the social order is, therefore, real, and the preacher must not permit complacency in himself or in those who hear him… But he must ask in knowledge, not ignorance, speaking out of an understanding of conditions and problems won by diligent study. With such understanding, he will be able to affix blame where the blame lies and to propose with boldness the ways and means that brotherhood, honesty, high motive, and reverence for God will suggest. Such is the preacher’s function. It is within his province and responsibility to bring every kind of evil, individually and corporately upheld, to the light and judgment of Christ’s moral principles, and then to insist that men put these principles to the test where they are, making adventure along paths which an enlightened conscience can choose.”

Dr. John Broadus (1827 – 1895)
Southern Baptist Minister

R2K Evening Wear — The Sequel

Dr. Hart, over at Oldlife blog, continues to try and rescue himself from his latest comment recorded here yesterday.

Dr. D. G. Hart says:
January 13, 2017 at 3:05 pm

“Robert, the question wasn’t whether Nero should light up his gardens with Christians. It was whether Nero executed Christians.

That is what God ordained the magistrate to do, right? Just because a believer has a special relationship with God doesn’t let the believer disobey the magistrate’s laws. Christianity is not a license for civil disobedience.

That’s why the debates about resisting a tyrant were so intricate. The best the Reformers could come up with was the doctrine of a lesser magistrate. A citizen could not disobey. But a magistrate might be able to.

If a law is unjust or if we must obey God rather than men, then we suffer the consequences of disobedience. That’s what the apostles did. They didn’t form political action committees to overturn Roman laws.”

Bret responds,

1.) Dr. Hart’s comments are not informed as to what “the best the Reformers could come up with.” Here is one of the greatest Reformers,

“In ‘The Appellation’ John Knox denounced the orthodox doctrine of (that required) Christian obedience (to wicked rulers) as sinful. He declared blind compliance to a wicked command to be sin. God has not required obedience to rules when they decree impiety. To say that God does is no less blasphemy than to make God the author of sin. Moreover, if the nobles and people comply with their sovereign in manifest wickedness, they will be punished along with him.

In “The Appellation” Knox also laid the foundation for the theme of his “Letter to the Commonality,” which declared “None provoking the people to idolatry ought to be exempted from the punishment of death.” The personal status of such an individual was of no consequence, be they monarch or commoner. Moreover, the punishment of idolatry and blasphemy does not pertain to only kings and rulers. Rather, it relates to all persons according to their Christian vocation and the opportunity afforded to them by God to administer vengeance. CITING DEUTERONOMY 13, KNOX ISSUED THE CALL FOR REVOLUTION — HE DIRECTED MOSES’ COMMANDMENT TO SLAY IDOLATERS TO ALL PEOPLE, NOT JUST THE NOBLES.

Yet Knox never called for indiscriminate slaughter. He distinguished between the treatment to be accorded idolaters, who had never known ‘true religion,’ and those who had known it but has forsaken it.”

Kyle & Johnson
John Knox; An Introduction to his Life and Work — pg. 104

2.) When Dr. Hart offers that “this is what God ordained the magistrates to do right?,” one is left saying, “no, God has not ordained the magistrates to execute those who obey God’s law.” Romans 13, contrary to Dr. Hart, clearly teaches

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

We see here that God has ordained rulers to praise those who do good. Good is not defined by any standard except God’s Word. So, when a Magistrate executes Christians for doing good, as informed by the standard of God’s Word, then those Magistrates are doing the very opposite of what God has ordained the Magistrates to do. Dr. Hart is in grave error here.

3.) Biblical Christianity at times is indeed a license for civil disobedience. The Hebrew wives knew that fact. Daniel and his friends knew that. Ehud, the left-handed Hebrew Ninja knew that. John Knox knew that.

4.) Finally, on the point of forming political action committees to overturn bad laws, once again, Dr. Hart is just in error. Dr. Hart needs to realize that the very fact that they were disobeying the law was itself the formation of a political action committee to overturn Roman laws. The disobedience is itself political action by committee.

Is Dr. Hart saying that it is un-Christian and / or not Biblical to form political action committees to overturn bad law?


The Latest In R2K Evening Wear

“Nero did not violate God’s law if he executed Christians who obeyed God rather than man. If Paul continued to preach after the emperor said he may not, then Nero was doing what God ordained government to [sic] do. Christians don’t get a pass from civil law just because they follow a higher law. John Brown is no Christian hero.”

Dr. Darryl G. Hart
Comment timestamped — January 12, 2017 at 10:52 am
OPC Elder

R2K Heterodox Maven
Doing his best John Knox impersonation

1.) Dr. Hart is now in the position of holding that Nebuchadnezzar did okay when he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace. After all, he was just doing what God ordained government is supposed to do.

2.) In Exodus 1 the Hebrew Midwives who disobeyed Dr. Hart’s God ordained Government in Egypt are rewarded for their following a higher law. Now, If Dr. Hart were serious about his statement, and if he were consistent, Dr. Hart would have to say that those Hebrew Midwives were disobedient to God’s ordained order. How will Dr. Hart explain that “God rewarded them with houses” because they did obey a higher law?

3.) When St. Peter says “whether it is better for us to obey God or man, you decide,” thus implicitly appealing to the higher law that Hart so detests, Hart answers, “Christians must obey man over God.” Even the Pharisees knew better than to answer the matter in that way.

4.) One of the doctrines of the church that was recovered in the reformation was the doctrine of the lesser magistrate with its insistence on resistance to tyranny in the name of a higher law than civil law. Both civil and church authority need to be resisted if they become tyrannical. The best proof of this is the protection offered Luther as well as the battle at Magdeburg right after Luther’s death. See, Christopher Goodman’s, “How Superior Powers Ought To Be Obeyed By Their Subjects And Wherein They May Lawfully By God’s Word Be Disobeyed And Resisted.”

5.) Dr. Hart is correct in offering that John Brown is no Christian hero but the reason that John Brown is no Christian hero is that John Brown was not following a higher law but was following anti-Christ Jacobin law. Surely Dr. Hart is not suggesting that the disobedience of John Brown was of the same nature and same character as the disobedience of the Hebrew midwives before Pharoah, the disobedience of the Hebrew children before Nebuchadnezzar, or the disobedience of Christ before Pilate?

Or … maybe he is?

6.) Now, to be sure, Christians who disobey man’s law must be prepared to suffer the consequences such as prison, loss of social standing, or even death. These are all possibilities. However, to intimate that authority figures get some sort of pass, simply because they carry some kind of illegitimate authority is just ludicrous wrapped in ridiculous as stuffed inside preposterous.

But this is the kind of heterodoxy where R2K inanity takes one.





Theology & The University

“War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

General Carl Von Clausewitz
German war theoretician 

As RJR notes in the quote below the same is true of Theology and all other disciplines. Every other discipline that can be named among the Humanities is just the continuation of theology by other means. This is why Theology was once understood to be the Queen of the Sciences. Our forbears understood that conclusions arrived at in the other humanities were only as good as the theology from which they were drawing.

Indeed, this understanding of Theology as the “Queen of the Sciences” is where we get our whole idea of “University.” The word “University” etymologically derives from the idea of “the whole,” or “the aggregate.” The idea was, in the midst of the various multifaceted disciplines offered and studied at a University there was a “Uni” that bound all the disciplines together. That “Uni” in “University” is Theology. Without theology as “Queen of the Sciences,” one no longer has a “University” but only a “Multiversity.”

The fact that we have given up Christian theology as “The Queen of the Sciences” goes a long way towards explaining the irrational age which we inhabit. Since we have no unifying glue to hold us together all that is left is the bizarre and the irrational.

Consider also, how modern Western man’s habit of compartmentalized thinking also is derivative of the refusal to have Christian theology be the “Queen of the Sciences.” Modern man is schizophrenic. He is a centripetal being. There is nothing that keeps him from the most strange and queer contradictions in his life. For example, modern man will, at one and the same time, espouse evolution and then turn around and attend church on Sunday. Modern man will complain about the Government and then keep on voting as if his vote will change what it has not changed for over a century. Modern man will see the modern woman for the feminist being she currently is and yet will still propose marriage. Modern man is a contradictory mess and that is largely accounted for, by the fact that he refuses to take Christian theology as the “Queen of the Sciences.”

What is interesting, though despite all the above being true, is that theology is an inescapable category, which means, that when man flushes Christian theology as the “Uni” in his “University” he doesn’t by doing so get rid of theology. Instead, he embraces something else has his theology. Marxists embrace Economics as their theology. Many moderns embrace “Science” as their theology, not realizing that that Science is only as good as the theology it is pinned upon. Cultural Marxists have, perhaps more insightfully than the rest, chosen culture as their theology. (More insightfully, I offer, because of the tight nexus that exists between culture and theology.) The point is that one never completely evacuates some kind of theology as the adhesive that is the sticking agency for something that passes as a pastiche of coherence for all the particulars.

As an aside all of this underscores again why R2K is such a stupid incoherent theology, arguing as it does, that there is no such thing as Christian law, or Christian Education, or Christian culture, etc. R2K strips Christianity of its fixative social order functioning and replaces it with the irrationality of a social order based on a “natural theology” that has only successfully existed when Christianity has dominated the culture.

Sociology, Literature, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Law, … all of it is just so much the continuation of theology by other means. If and when people ever come to grips with that truth, it will make conversation a good deal easier.

We end with the great Rushdoony making the same point.

“An abstract theology is only formally or technically systematic. Systematic theology must of necessity deny because God is sovereign, that there are any neutral facts or any areas of neutrality. All factuality is God-created and God-governed and interpreted. All facts are therefore theological facts, and every area of life, thought, study, and action is a theological concern.

Education, politics, science, the arts, the vocations, the family, and all things else, are theological concerns. A theology which does not involve itself in every area in terms of the sovereign God and His infallible law-word cannot be systematic: it is only abstract.”


Trying to Explain the Trump Phenomenon Among Christians

“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” 

Donald J. Trump
Interview with Esquire, 1991

In this piece I’m seeking to explain the popularity of Trump among otherwise conservative Christians. One would think quotes, like the one above, would be enough to be off-putting to biblical Christians in terms of voting for Trump, not to mention the chameleon like character of Trump that finds Trump saying just about every thing imaginable under the sun regardless of how contradictory it all is to what he is saying now. However, Trump’s record, flowery quotes, and ethic of a Tomcat are irrelevant now to many Christians who insist that God may use Trump like God did Cyrus of the Old Testament to accomplish His purposes to change the trajectory of America in a more God pleasing direction.

That there is little evidence to believe that is quite out of the question for those Christians who have arrived at the point of admitting that they don’t care what policies Trump may or may not pursue as long as he keeps making the right people angry.

So what is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man who is currently married to a former porn magazine centerfold, and who was married twice before this current marriage? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for building casinos where risque entertainment for men  (Strip clubs) is provided? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for boasting about his sexual conquests? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for saying “I don’t think I’ve ever asked God for forgiveness”? What is it that explains Trump’s popularity among those whom one would think would have scruples regarding voting for a man legendary for saying he has no problem with sodomites in the Military and who is on record as resigning himself to the fact  that sodomite marriage is the law of the land?

What I offer below is an attempt to explain why it is that otherwise good Christian people continue to support Trump despite the fact that Trump is the antithesis of everything they say they believe. Just so everyone understands …. this is intended as an explanation of why otherwise good people support Trump. It is not an endorsement of Trump or of thinking in this manner. Personally, I think such “thinking” that ends up supporting Trump is, at best, anti-rational.

1.) Trump has become symbol.

Trump, for many many people, has Transcended being merely human, and has now become the incarnation of a symbol of resistance and defiance. Trump hit a never with his anti immigration talking points and his anti political correctness stance. Symbols don’t have to be rational or consistent. They don’t have to explain or justify themselves in light of past utterances. Symbols are intuitive to people. When people want to identify with their symbols it is stupid for someone to expect an explanation. Symbols are trans-rational (which is different from irrational). Now that Trump has articulated an anti immigration stance it no longer matters that he chastised Republican during the Romney 2012 campaign for being too “mean spirited” concerning immigrants. Now that Trump has articulated an anti immigration stance it no longer matters that Trump has as recent as July of 2015 supported a form of amnesty. Trump is a symbol and one simply does not try to ratiocinate with those who are symbol minded.

So, much as Obama and Palin became symbols in 08, so Trump has become a symbol in 16. It isn’t rational and it’s idiotic of people, like me, to expect it to be rational. People are looking at Trump the same way that patriotic Americans look at Old Glory. It is an emblem of something that moves them deeply in their psyche and emotions. Trump has become intuitive for people and as intuitive the facts no longer matter.

2.) Trump as become hope for the hopeless.

Other Trump supporters who are Christians do not fall into the “Trump as symbol” category, but are those who are seeking to grasp any slim ray of hope they can find. They know that Trump has been all over the map in his rhetoric and in his positions. They know of Trump’s unseemly and sometimes even slimy character but out of desperation they are putting all their chips on Trump to keep his word.

For these folks I often use the old Charles Schulz comic strip “Charlie Brown,” as analogy. In Schulz’ series Schulz would return periodically to a theme where Lucy promises to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick. The problem was that every time that Charlie Brown approached the ball to kick it, Lucy would pull it away at the last second, resulting in Charlie Brown falling on his backside. Over and over again, through Schulz’s series, Lucy would promise that “I’ll really hold the ball for you this time Charlie Brown, and, after some initial skepticism on Charlie Brown’s part, Charlie Brown would try again, only to have Lucy, despite her varied promises, pull the ball away yet again. It didn’t matter how many times Lucy had played Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown was all about the hope of one day kicking that ball out of the cosmos.

Those who insist that Trump is a real hope are like Charlie Brown. Despite all the evidence of past disappointments with lying politicians … despite all the evidence, as seen in his plethora of contradictory positions, that Trump is not the man who is really going to deliver … despite all the pulled footballs of the past the “Trump as hope for the hopeless” supporters still cannot bring themselves to reality. They seem to not have the capacity to realize that, any reason for hope regarding Trump’s current position on anything must have as a presupposition that he is a man of character who will actually do what he says.

The problem is here though that beyond Trump’s constantly changing positions, this presupposition is most obviously false to anyone who looks at even the most recent history of the man. This praise of Trump by people who should know better that he’s an opportunistic charlatan is perhaps what should be expected from people who need the illusion of hope.

3.) Trump as the anti-Obama

David Axelrod, in a recent New York Times piece, put forth the idea that Trump is attractive to people because he is the antithesis of the departing man who has been serving with the title of “President.” Whereas Obama is creepily detached and lacks passion, Trump is just the opposite full of vim and vinegar. Whereas Obama is seeking to destroy America by his immigration policies, and his policies with Iran and his policies to push America into a Internationalist order, Trump desires to “Make America Great Again,” desires to build a wall on the Mexican border, and desires to let the International order go pound sand in order to concentrate on America’s needs.  Trump is the anti-Obama.

Like #1 above this is more of a psychological point than a rational point. (Yes, I consider Psychology “irrational.”) The idea here is that just as people get tired of the feel of an old car and can’t wait to get a new one that is different than the one they are “finally getting rid of,” so voters, on a psychological level, get weary with old Presidents and desire, when switching, to upgrade to another model that has a feel that is very different from what they are getting rid of.

4.) Trump as pragmatism

Many Christians will insist on voting Trump, despite knowing his checkered past and despite agreeing that he has been all over the map regarding his positions because they affirm that “at least he’s saying the right things and so you take the coin toss, if for no other reason than to advance the position itself.”  This is pure pragmatism where the end (the hope of a restored America) justifies the means (voting for a man who himself has said, in the past, that he is a Democrat). That Trump’s past character is what it is and that Trump has repeatedly articulated a progressive worldview is irrelevant as long as there is a hope (see #2) that, against all odds, Trump will advance anti-Internationalist agenda. In my estimation this is voting for wickedness that good might come, merely because the one with the known wicked track record has, only recently, begun warbling a different tune. In my estimation this is like voting for Hugh Hefner to restore family values, merely because in the last 5 years or so he has begun to talk about the importance of family. In the Christian faith, pragmatism of this variety is eschewed and the Christian does what is right and leaves the consequences with God. Can it really be right to vote for a man who has taken positions so contrary to Biblical Christianity just on the pragmatic basis that it could end up well after all?

5.) Trump and R2K

There are those in the Christian community who will suggest that as the 2016 general election lies in the common realm therefore we are not bound to apply a Christian moral template to these matters.  For these folks we are to live with the fact that there is no such thing as Christian voting or Christian politics and so we may vote for just about anyone.

Others will arrive at this position by noting that “we are voting for a President, and not a Pastor,” as if we are relieved of having Christian standards for a President. These people forget that the only other position, besides the position of Elders, which are referred to as God’s servants in the New Testament, are magistrates. In Romans 13 the magistrate is  “not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Now, if the Magistrate as God’s servant (“The Magistrate is the minister of God” — Romans 13:4)  is not to be a terror to good works then should we not be voting for men who have demonstrated themselves to be workers of good works?

R2K, whether of the Lutheran or Reformed variety, is a sure recipe for doing the devil’s work when it comes to election cycles.

6.) Trump as the bulwark against illegal immigration

Actually, this is the one that almost pushes me into the Trump camp. I agree with many experts who contend that if we lose on immigration we lose on everything. One this issue I  have become a “one issue voter.” I am convinced that the International Money interest has determined, in pursuit of a New World Order and in the pursuit of eliminating biblical Christianity that America’s historic Christian and ethnic character must be destroyed. I am convinced that mass immigration is being done to the end of leveling America’s ability to resist the control of the International Money interest. I am convinced that the program of mass third world immigration into the West is pursued to the end of creating a have vs. have not Marxist social order. If I really believed that Trump was going to be a bulwark against this, I might consider voting for him. Alas, I am convinced that Trump is not to be trusted.

I can only adjudicate a man’s intent to keep promises based on his past ability to keep promises. Trump’s failed promises in his previous two marriages suggest to me that I have no reason to believe he will keep his promises to us now. If a man cannot keep his vows as taken publicly before God and man how can I trust him to keep his vows to a nation?

Next on this point, Trump has said, as recently as July of 2015 that his plan to clean up America’s illegal aliens problem is to send them all back so that they can come back legally. Now, Trump wouldn’t let them all return. He has made it clear that the criminal class will not be allowed back. Still, any plan that allows huge numbers to return to America remains an amnesty plan. Such a plan does not answer the intention of the International Money interest plans to assimilate the globe into a New World Order.

I wish Trump were a bulwark to oppose immigration. I do not believe his record or words demonstrate that he is.

7.) Trump as Punishment to the GOP

Of the all the previous one’s I’ve mentioned this one comes the closest to making sense. The GOP, has not, for decades now, represented its conservative base. The likes of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, George H. W. and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, FOX News, National Review, Red State, Talk Radio, Hillsdale College, the Claremont Institute, Cato Institute, David Frum, Glen Beck, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer etc. (what is commonly referred to as “Conservative Inc.) have been the recipients of conservative largess all the while hijacking the Conservative movement and being traitors to Conservatism original intent of regionalism, limited and diffuse Government, and respect for common law and the age old traditions of Biblical Christianity. These Trotskyite neo-cons have slipped the blade to the older conservatism and have successfully reshaped conservatism into their image. They are a loathsome brood of spiders and snakes and if anyone group ever deserved the rise of Donald Trump these people do.  This is why, if Trump is elected, there will remain a part of me that rejoices that these people have been anguished.

These people, who are really Fabian progressives, have never been conservative in any meaningful sense. They are Conservative the way that Marilyn Monroe is conservative when compared with Miley Cyrus. They are the Montagnards to the Girondists of the French Revolution. Their only goal has been to retain power. They have never intended to break up the Jacobin worldview predominating in Washington.

Of course, Trump just doesn’t solve this. I suspect that Trump will end up being just another form of dictator that will serve just another expression of the left.

The hatred of genuinely Christian conservative people for Conservative Inc. is understandable and to be applauded but voting for Trump, while burning down Conservative Inc. will not rebuild the fortunes of America.
The only thing that can do that is Reformation and a return to Christ in our families, our Churches, and our Civil realm.