Random Thoughts

“(Man) is a ‘belief-ful’ creature; he does not and cannot live in a faith vacuum. The decisive question is not whether faith is a necessary condition of human life but rather in whom or in what that faith reposes. If he does not trust the living God, false gods and fake divinities preempt Yahweh’s place. It is the same with society, the human collectivity. The cultural enterprise rests invariably on a secret or explicit faith. Behind every socially entrenched morality some underlying life-and-world view presumes to identify what reality is, and what aspects of reality are considered sacred. Such collectively held beliefs and values establish the coherency of any culture. Shared convictions are what give a cultural enterprise its stability. Widespread loss of confidence in its integrating frame of commitment and action is a signal that a given society is culturally ailing, perhaps even terminally ill. Any generation lacking convictional assurance about the nature of reality is not only snared in its doubts but drifting towards nihilism and despair. The times of social breakdown are those in which the populace defects from what it has long thought to be ultimately real and sacred, and is unsure what if anything to put in its place….When society as a whole lacks consensus on what is true and sacred, then that culture is surely staggering toward intellectual chaos, spiritual deterioration and moral ruin.”

Carl F. H. Henry
God, Revelation and Authority — Vol 1 pg. 156

Some observations,

1.) God and Faith are inescapable categories. Every individual you meet and every culture you could probe has some kind of faith in some kind of God or god concept at the center of their understanding of reality and the nature of things. Debate with pagans, sophisticated or otherwise, must endeavor to locate their god and their faith. Every Evangelical and apologetic encounter is thus not only a call to the God of the Bible but at the same time is a demand to flee from the god who holds are conversation partner(s) captive.

2.) All cultures are inherently religious. Cultures are produced by some cultus replete with all the kinds of categories one expects to find in standard religions. Somewhere in all cultures resides the faith practitioner (whether he is called the Priest, Shaman, Medicine Man, Psychologist, or Guru). Somewhere in all cultures you will find the Church where the initiates are indoctrinated (whether they’re called the government schools, the re-education camps, the Temple, or the local lodge). Somewhere in all cultures there will exist the taboo and the sacred as informed by the cult that drives the culture. Somewhere in all cultures you will find sacraments, Holy Days, Holy writings, and means of atonement.

All of this is evidence that man can’t get away from God. The counterfeit exists as a means in order to distort the real and so avoid man’s accountability to God. The counterfeits owe their origin to the real and are the consequence of man’s rebellion against God. In point of fact their existence which mocks God’s reality is a tribute to the reality they can’t escape.

3.)All cultures are coherent or else they couldn’t exist as viable cultures. Incoherent cultures only exist where one finds civil unrest as varying coherent cultures all vie for preeminence. Not to beat a dead horse but this is why multi-culturalism is really a plan for a mono-culture. True multi-culturalism would result in the war of all against all until one culture put all other cultures down. Since in order for cultures to survive their must be unanimity individuals that don’t subscribe to the cultural collectively held beliefs and shared values will be ostracized. This may mean closed doors for professional advance. In some cultures it means bearing a heavier tax burden (think jizya tax). In some cultures it may even mean incarceration (think of the gulags).

4.)In our culture the dangers of cultural Marxism brought in by the Frankfurt school continue to work to undermine confidence in the historic roots of Western Culture. This program has been aided and abetted by existentialism and its steroid offspring called post-modernism. All of these continue to cause a widespread loss of confidence in the integrating frame of commitment of Western Culture.

5.)A close look at American Universities will reveal that we currently are in a state of intellectual chaos. A close look at our churches and seminaries will reveal that we currently are in a state of spiritual deterioration. A close look at much of our high profile leadership will reveal that we are in a state of moral ruin. All of this is evidence, as Henry notes, of a society that lacks consensus on what is true and sacred.

6.)People don’t like to talk about Metaphysics, ontology, or epistemology but there is nothing more important in any culture then the way a people answer questions about the nature of reality and the source of authority.

7.)Because all these things are true, if God doesn’t send Reformation the West is toast.

The tears and the Clown

Given the speed of todays news cycle this next observation is already well past old news but it reminded me of something that I read about 25 years ago and I couldn’t resist recalling.

On Monday Hillary Rodham Clinton was giving a Political speech somewhere in New Hampshire when some adolescent kid stood up towards the front of the auditorium where she was speaking and interrupted her speech by waving a sign that said “Iron My Shirt” while chanting the same. After a few seconds of this Hillary paused, asked for the lights to be turned up (presumably so everyone could see her heckler and his sign) and then after he was very speedily removed said,

“Ah the remnants of sexism alive and well…”

“As I think as has been abundantly demonstrated I am also running to break through the highest and hardest glass ceiling for our daughters, for our children, for our country, and really for women around the world…”

This response brought the house to their feet.

Since then it is been widely observed on the net that fat boy who was waving the sign and chanting was likely a Hillary plant which I believe makes abundant good sense.

Consider that this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. About 25 years ago I read an account Richard Nixon’s biography about Jack Kennedy campaigning in the Wisconsin primary. (This is all from recall so some of the details could be wrong) where Bobby Kennedy had handbills made up and passed about different venues in Wisconsin calling into serious question Jack Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism. Nixon believed that that voter backlash over this ploy, in sympathy of Kennedy, helped Kennedy win the Democratic Wisconsin primary.

So if Hillary’s campaign did pull of this stunt it has historical precedent. In both cases the campaigns created a situation that would appeal to one of the more noble American instincts — identifying with and standing up for the underdog.

Now, if you combine this campaign ploy with the ploy of Hillary’s very public forced tears in New Hampshire (what Husband has not caved to his wife’s tears?) with the great likely hood that the Clinton’s bussed in supporters to vote in a loosey goosey New Hampshire voting environment maybe all that starts to explain how wrong the pollsters were in New Hampshire.

You got to give her campaign credit … they really know how to pull all the right strings.

What Makes A People A People

“Democracy and free markets do not a country make. Constitutions, no matter how eloquent — abstract ideas no matter how lovely do not create a nation. A nation writes its constitution. A nation drafts its own birth certificate. What makes a people and a nation is a common and unique homeland and people, history and heritage, language and literature, song and story, traditions and customs.”

Pat Buchanan
Day Of Reckoning

You cannot import thousands of Muslim Somalians into Lewiston Maine and expect them to become Americans all because they wanted ‘Freedom.’ You can not import tens of thousands of Laotian Hmong to Minnesota and expect them to fit into American culture. You cannot allow millions of illegal immigrants from Hispaniola and expect that they will reinforce Americana. A nation is not defined by its propositions but by the shared participation that its citizenry has in its historical tapestry.
Generational participation in a nations Historical tapestry is to civilized society what memory is to individual identity. Nations are built on what Abraham Lincoln referred to as the ‘shared chords of mystic memory.’ These shared chords are made up first and foremost by a shared religion which produces a common culture that expresses and reinforces itself through societal institutions. When aliens are introduced in overwhelming numbers into the life of a nation without time to assimilate and with only marginal cultural touchstones the result is not diversity that strengthens but rather diversity that divides and balkanizes.

Those who suggest that these United States are a propositional nation should well consider how other nations have lately done who were formed by means of cobbled together nationalities and religions trying to live as one Nation. Yugoslavia is now five nations going on six. Czechoslovakia divided itself between its Czech people and its Slovak people. Quebec does all it can to distinguish itself from British Canadians. Nations are not formed by shared economic interests. Such an arrangement may be a means of building alliances but it is not a means of building cultures or peoples. Nations are not formed by assenting to a set of abstract propositions. Proposition nations are only as deep as the fortunes of economic prosperity, whithering with the advent of national misfortune. Nations are formed first by a common faith, and then by years of sharing the land together informed by that shared faith as it produces a shared culture that results in shared literature, song, legal structures, economic paradigms and family relationships.

Those who are insisting that nations are made by people from different religions and cultures having only in common the desire to own the latest technological gadget are in for a rude awakening when something happens to turn the market upside down. Shared mystic chords of memory can sustain and carry a people through difficult and adverse times. The absence of those shared chords will result, when adversity arrives, in the different nationalities and religions splitting along their natural lines just as they have been doing in the nations already named.

New Hampshire Votes

Well, the results from the New Hampshire primary are almost complete. By all accounts, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has defeated Barak Hussein in the politically correct contest of two representatives of two victim groups. Voters in Democratic primaries are now reduced to showing their pc sensitivity by voting for the victim of gender discrimination or they can show their pc sensitivity by voting for the victim of racial discrimination.

The victory for Clinton will now reverse all the talk, since her loss in Iowa, about how her candidacy was on the verge of oblivion. Not only the talking heads but also the pollsters were telling us that Hillary was going to get soundly trounced in New Hampshire. I don’t know why anybody gives any of these political soothsayers any credibility.

On the Republican side war hero John McCain revived his Presidential aspirations with Mitt Romney running second. This means in the first two Republican primaries Republican voters have given a victory to men who are big government, tax hiking, immigration loving politicians. The difference between McCain and Huckabee is that the former doesn’t blame Jesus for his policies while the latter can’t say ‘Jesus’ enough. It looks like the Bushes have effectively destroyed the party of Reagan and have redefined conservative to mean ‘globalists who steal the taxpayers money to use it for Republican extension of Empire internationally and the destruction of America through immigration at home.’

As I have said countless times the two parties are offering us candidates that differ only in details. The big picture of both parties is Big government championing international socialist globalism. The effect of the pursuit of these policies over the long haul will be to create an economic equality among the nations that flattens out the prosperity of the citizens of the world so that all will be equally miserable. The exception will be the economic aristocracy which will be comprised of both the Government class and the International Corportist class who are currently working together to forge the chains of globalist socialism.

The only man who offers an alternate vision to this evil melange is Dr. Ron Paul who received about 8 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Dr. Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates is for sound, hard currency. Dr. Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve (something similar to what President Andrew Jackson did once upon a time). Dr. Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates wants to eliminate the IRS and the Federal Income Tax. Dr. Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates wants to end America’s role as Globo-cop. Dr. Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates wants to deconstruct the Welfare State. Congressman Paul in contrast to ALL the other candidates wants to eliminate the incentive for illegal immigration.

Is the small turnout for Paul in the first two primaries indicative that Americans are no longer for genuinely limited government at home, restricted involvement overseas and a national identity at home that is protected by a sane policy on immigration?

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.”

1.) Note that at the beginning of God’s revealed word that God is presupposed. There are no elaborate arguments given for the existence of God. No ontological, cosmological, teleological, moral or Historical arguments for the existence of God. God cannot be proven unless He is first presupposed and when He is first presupposed then everything proves and demonstrates the reality of God. Indeed nothing can be proven unless God is presupposed. Genesis 1:1 reveals that the reality of God is a necessary precondition for intelligibility.

2.) God is a creator God. The fact that God has created the heavens and earth reveals that pantheism is false. Since God is a creator we know that He is distinct from His creation and any teaching that runs God and His creation together without recognizing the proper distinction between Creator and creation is heresy. Genesis 1:1 is thus the death knell for all forms of process Theology that hold that God along with His creation is becoming. Likewise all Hegelian notions of God being universal spirit are out of bounds because of how it tends to put God in constant process. Further the idea that God is a creator God distinct from His creation implies the creator creature distinction that is often forgotten by modern Christians. God is the thrice awesome Creator. Worship that contained a little awe and respect would be a welcome relief in most American worship services.

3.) Likewise Genesis 1:1 teaches that the creation is not totally separate from God. Creation is totally dependent upon the Creator. If God did not uphold His Creation it would cease to be. Therefore Genesis 1:1 reveals that all forms of Deism are heresy. God remains intimately involved with His creation. All that happens (all historical events, all natural happenings) remains personal because God remains not only the creator but also the sustainer and governor of His creation.

4.) Christian Theology must continue to take into account God’s work in creation as well as God’s work in redemption. In some sense Redemption serves the work of God’s creation by restoring creation to its original intent. God’s work of Redemption returns God’s work of Creation to the status of ‘very good.’ Creation provides the context where Redemption happens and Redemption in return brings Creation to all that it was intended to be and Creation groans for the fullness of Redemption that is yet to be. Creation and Redemption while distinct can never be divorced. They have an incipient relationship.

5.) On the question of origins we see the Christian Worldview demands a supernatural answer. The Cosmos was created by a personal Creator. This stands in sharp contrast to the Humanist Worldview where all happens by time + chance + circumstance and where all starts by impersonal materialistic process. According to the Christian the Heavens hold a listening and watching God and all life has meaning because this personal God has placed His fingerprint on it all. According to the Humanist the Heavens are brass and all of life is meaningless — a mere chasing of the wind. Which Universe would you prefer to inhabit?

6.) If God is the creator and man is the creature then man is responsible to God. Man is not an end in Himself. He is now accountable to the Creator God and will one day give an account for his actions to the creator God.

7.) Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of Revelation where God reaches down to make Himself known to fallen man. All other religions stand in contrast to Christianity on this point. All other religions are mythologies where man seeks to ascend to God. The god or gods of all other religions are ‘man’ said loudly. Only in the Christian religion does God descend to man in order to make Himself known. We come to know God because He has made Himself objectively known. Orthodox theology thus distances itself from all forms of existentialism where that which is subjective precedes and destroys all notions of that and He which is objective.

8.) Genesis 1:1 implies God’s aseity. The doctrine of divine aseity holds that God is not dependent on anything outside himself for his being and nature. The Creator is not dependent upon the creation for His existence but rather the creation is dependent upon the Creator. If a tree fell in the woods it would still make a sound even if nobody heard it (if only because God would hear it) and If there was no creation to hear God, God would still be God. God did not create because there was some kind of lack in God. God did not create because He was lonely for fellowship. God did not create because He had some kind of unfelt need going un-met that was met by us (lucky for God He made us — blech!). God has eternally been the eternally happy God. God’s creation was the spill over of His eternal satisfaction in His triune self.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”