Presuppositional Methodology

Bret,

“I have the humility and wisdom to avoid imposing my faith and beliefs on others. You have neither virtue. You are an absolutist.”

John Rolfe

John,

And yet here you are trying to impose your faith that all men should have a faith that allows for all kinds of faiths in the public square and further per your faith you are saying that no faith but your faith (which has a god who demands his followers to squash the impulse of other faiths to be ascendant) be ascendant. AND you are doing so absolutely. Go figure.

You’re a confused man John.

__________

Note here in this exchange,

1.) I did not allow the conversation to be carried on, on the basis of Mr. Rolfe’s presuppositions. Mr. Rolfe presupposed that he was not imposing his faith and beliefs on others when in point of fact that is exactly what he was doing. The presuppositional methodology forbids reasoning on the ground of your opponent’s presuppositions.

2.) I demonstrated that Mr. Rolfe was guilty of the very thing he was accusing me of… being an absolutist. Of course being an absolutist is inescapable. Even if one is a relativist one is an absolutist about his relativist position.

3.) We have to understand that “freedom of religion” is a myth. All social orders organize themselves under the umbrella of a singular religion. The singular religion of America is pluralism but it is a pluralism which insists that its tenets of plurality in the public square be ascendant vis-a-vis the tenets of any other religion being ascendant. So, our singular religion has the one god who says that all gods are welcome in the public square as long as none of the gods and their commands are taken more seriously than the god of pluralism and its commands. As such we are back to Rome where any god was allowed in the public square except those gods whose adherents refused to offer up incense to Caesar. In a pluralistic arrangement, it is the god who limits the other gods who is the god of the public square and it is that god’s religion that is followed in defiance of all the other religions. That god is the State in who we live and move and have our being. This is where pluralism always ends up. Pluralism is a myth.

In the end John, all faiths and belief systems are absolutist in nature. Those which feign to be absolute in their inclusion of all other faiths and beliefs are simultaneously absolute in their exclusion of Christ and His exclusive claim of Lordship and His exclusive law-order and His demand for a faith that excludes the presence of all other faiths.

The Magnificent Seven & It’s Politically Correct Cultural Appropriation

Bloggers Warning — This article commits the sin of noticing. If you are offended by the sin of noticing you will not want to read this post.

Increasingly we are told that “cultural appropriation” is, at the very least, in bad taste and at the very worst exploitative. White people wearing cornrows, white people twerking, white people wearing black face are all considered in bad form. Team names like the “Cleveland Indians” or the “Washington Redskins” outrage some people and brings the accusation of cultural appropriation. Recently, “Victoria’s Secret” sent model Karlie Kloss down a runway in a fringed suede bikini, turquoise jewelry, and a feathered headdress—essentially a “sexy Indian” costume—many called out the underwear company for insensitivity to Native Americans.

Now, while I personally would not be disappointed if nobody did cornrows, twerked, or went around in blackface (this not being in keeping with my fashion tastes) it is considered a sin on the part of white people to culturally appropriate in this fashion. Just up the road from me in Lansing, Michigan students recently protested because of the cultural appropriations of the Native-Indian dress on the Michigan State campus.

However, moving in the opposite direction does not seem to be a problem. Increasingly minorities are culturally appropriating Western Culture and I read only a few people pointing out the inconsistencies. In 2014 we had a remake of “Little Orphan Annie” that found the role of Daddy Warbucks and Annie being played by Minorities. The 2017 release of a new King Arthur film finds the presence of Minorities sprinkled throughout the Ancient Arthurian Kingdom, including the mentor of the future King Arthur and the noble leader of the resistance to wicked King Uther. A third example of this cultural appropriation moving in the opposite direction was the remake of the Magnificent Seven.

In this remake, the hero role is played by Denzel Washington who is given the name “Sam Chisolm.” Of course, the name “Chisum” was a minor American Western white cowboy hero of the 19th century. “Chisum” was also the name of a 1970’s film with the title role of “Chisum” being played by John Wayne. Denzel Washington would be culturally appropriating both an American Western legend and a film legend known for his Westerns if it were possible for cultural appropriation to move in a direction contrary to whites culturally borrowing from minorities. Denzel Washington is the new John Wayne.

So, in the new “Magnificent Seven” we have white sheeple townsfolk looking to a black law officer for redress of grievances against a White evil Robber Baron. How often do you think that this would have occurred in the 19th century Western America?  Keep in mind here that in the original “Magnificent Seven” it was a community of Mexican sheeple who were appealing to the Magnificent Seven for help against bad guy Mexican Bandoleros. We have gone from the incarnation of evil being a Mexican Bandolero to a white Robber Barron and we have gone from a community of Mexican peasants being sheeples to the American farmer and merchant Christian white people playing the sheeple.  We need to throw in here that the cowardly white sheeple are led by one brave soul out for justice but settling for revenge. This brave white soul is a woman homesteader whose husband was killed by the bad guys as the film opens. This character (Emma Cullen) played by amply endowed Haley Bennet who’s breasts and cleavage is credited with a co-star billing.

Just a brief word on our white Robber Barron villain. I do believe that the modern Corporatist is a major villain in our culture but the Left’s narrative tends to cast anybody who makes money as being an evil capitalist. That holds true for this film.

In this latest version of the Magnificent Seven, we have four minority members. We have already mentioned Denzel Washington’s lead role as Sam Chilsom. Likewise, we have an outcast American Indian (Red Harvest), a knife-wielding Oriental (Billy Rocks), and an outlaw Mexican (Vasquez).  Of the three white Magnificent Seven, we have the coward Southerner, (Goodnight Robicheaux) the slightly nutty and Scripture-spouting Mountain man (Jack Horn) and cheating gambler (Joshua Faraday).

Of the four Magnificent Seven who are killed as heroes in the end in the battle against the bad guys (who are all white except one Indian) only one is a minority (the Oriental knife wielder). The rest are all the White guys. The coward is cast as the lone Southerner. In the end, the White Southerner redeems himself but he still plays the coward.

In the end, all the bad guys are white people except for one Indian played by Jonathan Joss as Denali, an exiled Comanche warrior. However, we are relieved by the film-makers decision to have the good guy Indian (Red-Harvest) be the one who kills the bad guy Indian after the bad guy Indian kills the God-talk spouting Mountain Man. Can you imagine the outrage if a white Magnificent Seven good guy had killed the bad guy Indian? And what a coincidence that the particularly Christian good guy Mountain man who the film reveals was no friend of Indians in his life is killed by the heathen Indian.

The film repeatedly slights the white man beyond what I have already noted. When the good guy Indian (Martin Sensmeier) shows on the scene all the white Magnificent Seven are pensive and apprehensive but the minority leader of the Magnificent Seven reaches out and makes friends and asks the Indian to join their hero-posse. The character played by Chris Pratt (Joshua Faraday) mocks the Mexican for being Mexican. The film reveals that the character played by Lee Byung-hun (Billy Rocks) has been mistreated by white men. Ethan Hawke’s character (Goodnight Robicheaux) informs the viewer that a bar “didn’t want to serve Billy’s kind.” Billy, the diminutive Oriental cowboy, is taunted to fight by a white cowpoke with “come on you scum sucking runt of a man.” Billy himself tells us that his friendship with the Southerner Goodnight Robicheaux is one where “Goodnight helps me navigate the white man’s privileges.”

As the film progresses this multicultural crew is able to set aside their natural cultural, ethnic, and racial animosities and congeal together to be a force who is stronger than a thousand white hired gun bad guys.

There is also a subtle subtheme in this film regarding Christianity. When the film opens the sheeple townsfolks are meeting in a Church to discuss the problem of the Robber Barron Bogue who wants to cheat them of their land. Robber Barron Bogue shows up and in this opening scene, the Church is burned with a shell of it remaining.  That shell of a church provides an inclusio for the end of the film where the lone female kills the bad guy (Bogue) under the cross as he is being forced to pray for forgiveness by the Sam Chisolm character. So, as the film opens the Church is the place where the cowardice of the white townspeople is revealed and in the closing, the Church is the place where a white man not interested in asking for forgiveness is being forced to beg for forgiveness for his sins by a minority and finally being killed by a white woman as he is, in an underhanded sneaky fashion, trying to kill the minority who is choking him to death for his past sins against Chisolm’s people. In the opening, the Church fails to provide resistance from white people. In the end, the Church failed to provide any solution for the redemption of the white man’s sins.

All of this worldview malfeasance crammed into a delightful Western. It really is a classic Western on the surface complete with gun fights, quick draw exhibition, the gambler theme, the lone cowboy heroes, and the plucky Western homesteader wife. However, scratching below the surface this is yet another piece of both cultural appropriation and an attack on the heroes and history of the Christian white man.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Short Critique On Eastern Orthodox’s Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option”

Rod Dreher with his call for cultural withdrawal via his “Benedict Option,” keeps saying “politics will not save us,” and as such Christians should give up on Washingtonian politics.

A few points,

1.) Whoever suggested that politics will save us?

2.) It is true that politics will not save us but it is also true that not doing politics will not save us either. So, what’s the point Rod?

3.) Where in Scripture do we find the authority to give up the antithesis in any area of life?

4.) Whatever happened to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” Rod?

5.) The answer to lousy saltiness is to become exceptionally lousy in our saltiness?

6.) One can not isolate and cordon off areas of life like this. Life is lived as an integrated whole. Because that is so if Christians were to retreat from Politics the consequence would be that pagan politics would go on the attack seeking to increasingly circumscribe the Christian witness in every other area of life.

We have to find a name to live by besides “Christian” because the way the “Christian” is used now is something God certainly abominates.

A Few Observations — Matthew 28:18-20

In the Great Commission, we see that the Christian, per marching orders from the Lord Christ, is required to be future oriented, message-oriented, and nation oriented.

Future-oriented because we have been given a teleology that requires us to be constantly looking to the future extension of the Kingdom. Message-oriented because we have been given a set core of truth that is required to be transmitted. Nation oriented because we are tasked with discipling nations as nations.

In the Great Commission Christ created in His people a future orientation. He left them a task that gave them a teleology … a goal. With that goal of seeing the present Kingdom ever expanded they were oriented towards the future. They were not to be past- oriented nor present-oriented. They were to be future-oriented

As Harvard Scholar Banfield put it, “[T]he individual’s orientation toward the future will be regarded as a function of two factors: (1) ability to imagine a future, and (2) ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice present for future satisfaction.”

The Great Commission fulfills these two requirements. In assigning the Great Commission there is an imagined future when the Nations bow to Christ and secondly God’s people have decidedly modeled an ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice for the future.

A future orientation can manifest itself in many ways.

1.) Entrepreneurs forgo short term pleasure spending so they can plow their profits back into the business.

2.) Students being trained in highly skilled abilities will eat Macaroni and cheese or live in less than ideal housing so they can reap the larger benefits down the road.

3.)  Trustee families forgo present splurging looking to benefit future generations.

4.) In this text, the future orientation implied is connected with the Missionary endeavor to see Christ’s Kingdom expand. What we see in Scripture is the enduring of hardships so the future would be characterized as the Nations bowing to Christ. The willingness to undergo present hardship so that the future would look increasingly Christian.

I.) With the great Commission, Christ ensures that His people will be a future-oriented people.

This past week I’ve been working through a book that deals with the history of Communist Revolution. One thing that is clearly seen starting with Robespierre and Babeuf and working through Chernyshevsky, Tkachev, and Lenin is that though they were loathsome people they were future oriented. They gave up everything in the present in order to work towards a utopian future in which they believed.

This future orientation used to be characteristic of Christians. They envisioned the swelling of Christ’s future Kingdom and sacrificed in the short term to see that future become the present.

Of course future orientation, that identification marker once characteristic of Christians is no longer seen.  The modernists, not being able to ever have enough golden eggs, finally kills the golden goose in hopes of getting more. The instant gratification of materialism and of sexual license that bespeaks a presentism, ever beckons us to be unfaithful to our wives, unfaithful to our children and unfaithful to God.

Christians are to be future oriented and the future orientation is tied to leaving a godly inheritance to subsequent generations. That godly inheritance includes discipling our children so that they can be future oriented so that they will disciple their children.

Without Christ man is characterized by a sin and guilt that works in him a presentism that says, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye die.” In Christ death which paid for our sin and guilt we’ve been released from our inherent presentism to be future oriented and so to work for the extension of the Kingdom in being hearlders of the Great Commission, first to our covenant children, then to our extended Kin and then to our nation and then to the Nations. Our own Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.

II.) Message Oriented

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;”

And what had Jesus commanded them? Well, only what the Father had ever commanded His people and that is to walk in terms of God’s gracious Covenant Law Word.

Jesus Himself had said,

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

So, when Jesus gives the Great Commission here he is reaffirming the standard and normalcy of God’s law. The Nations would not be regenerated or Justified by observing God’s law but upon being regenerated and Justified …. having been made right before God they would now be a people who would love God’s law and delight in it both day and night.

Jesus did not come and give a new law as if He were a new God. When Jesus tells those disciples to teach the Nations to observe all that He commanded them He was authorizing them to be Champions of God’s law.

There would yet remain many Nations but each of those nations were to be ruled by God’s One Mediator and God’s One Law. Here we see, in microcosm, the idea of unity in diversity.

III.) Nation Oriented

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them

If all the Church had was this one passage it would be enough to suggest that Christianity is a religion that affirms nations and so a biblical Nationalism. Of course, this idea of Nations coming into the Church as Nations has lost its luster and has been replaced by a kind of Christian Cosmopolitan Internationalism where the first requirement for being Christian is that we forgo our National identity. We seem to be agreeing with enemies of the Church like Adam Weishaupt who could say,

“Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth, the human race will become one family and the world the abode of reasonable men.”

-Adam Weishaupt, quoted in Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (London: Orion Books Limited, 1993), p. 32

Contrary to Weishaupt, and all New World Order types, Rev. Hugh M’Neile could properly offer,

“We cannot agree in that cosmopolitan view of Christianity which undermines the particularities of our National Establishment, any more than we could agree in such a cosmopolitan view of philanthropy as would extinguish domestic affections, in all their vivid and constraining peculiarity of influence.”

Rev. Hugh M’Neile, M.A.
Sermon — Nationalism in Religion
Delivered — 08 May, 1839

Christ here affirms Nations. It is the Nations as nations to which we are to Teach, Baptize and convert and as we learn in the book of Revelation it is Nations as Nations which are found in the New Jerusalem.

“Nationalism, within proper limits, has the divine sanction; an imperialism that would, in the interest of one people, obliterate all lines of distinction is everywhere condemned as contrary to the divine will. Later prophecy raises its voice against the attempt at world-power, and that not only, as is sometimes assumed, because it threatens Israel, but for the far more principal reason, that the whole idea is pagan and immoral.

Now it is through maintaining the national diversities, as these express themselves in the difference of language, and are in turn upheld by this difference, that God prevents realization of the attempted scheme… [In this] was a positive intent that concerned the natural life of humanity. Under the providence of God each race or nation has a positive purpose to serve, fulfillment of which depends on relative seclusion from others.”

-Geerhardus Vos,
Biblical Theology

The way the Nations are gathered is by Baptism,