More Radical Two Kingdom Theology

Some people may wonder why I keep returning to this radical two kingdom virus. The reasons I do so are multifaceted. First, I want to show that whatever this R2Kt virus, it isn’t Calvinism. I hope my series of posts from Witte, Jr’s book as aided in the dismantling of their delusions that they are Calvinists except in a very constrained way. I guess I would say that they are Cavlinists the way that the Beatles would have been the Beatles without Lennon and McCartney. Second, I want to expose its profound but enduring vacuity. Third, I want to let them shoot themselves by allowing for a large public reading of their own words. Fourth, I want to prevent people from being infected by the virus they carry. Fifth, I want them to repent. I could go on but you get the idea.

I lifted these comments from a thread where the recent documentary ‘EXPELLED’ was being discussed. Our friend from Grand Rapids, Zrim, is the one who comes up with such brilliant insights. It is interesting that even Dr. R. Scott Clark, the Typhoid Mary of the R2Kt in academia, can’t even go along with Zrim in some of Zrim’s comments. If you want drop into the conversation go here,

http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/the-furor-over-expelled/#comment-1302

“What I liked about that TIME piece was the old-school Calvinism: “The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.”

Calvinism cuts through the crap of 21st century American pop- and partisan-politics, red and blue.”

It is true that humans, because of the fall, will find all kinds of ways to be destructive. However, their spiritual condition is not unrelated to the thinking which they pursue. Scripture clearly teaches that, ‘as a man thinketh in his heart so he is.’ When Zrim reasons the way he does he implicitly abjures this idea preferring instead to seemingly think that men behave the way they behave quite apart from intellectual, theological, or philosophical paradigms. So while it is true that we don’t need Charles Darwin to be lustily fatricidal, it is not true that we don’t need to have a thought system that gives us putative reasons for our fatricidal-ness. Before Darwin men were fatricidal but you could still draw a line between whatever belief system they had and their fatricidal actions.

Zrim’s comments suggest that there is gnosticism going on in his thinking. Men are spiritual entities who act the way that they do for spiritual reasons and these spiritual entities act according to spiritual reasons quite apart from any concrete thinking or an anti-biblical contrarian thought system. Further, he seems to suggest, that we shouldn’t be concerned about tracing out the consequences of bad ideas since all we need to know is that men are spiritual fallen.

“While I think a substantial link between *Social* darwinist theory, eugenics, Nazism, and Planned Parenthood is pretty straightforward to address, mere Darwinism itself does not produce these evils. Refusing to view man as being made in the image of God and thus morally accountable to his Creator is the root of these evils, not the mere idea of natural selection.”

Really, Zrim only needs to spend some time in a library with Herbert Spencer to see the connection between Darwinism and *Social* Darwinism. The first sentence of the statement above only reveals Zrim’s lack of training in the history of ideas.

Second, Zrim cuts corners by suggesting that Darwinism is about ‘natural selection.’ Nobody disagrees with natural selection as a way to explain long beaked finches vs. short beaked finches. This is not the problem with Darwinism. Again, I humbly submit that Zrim go to the library and this time spend some time with T. H. Huxley (Darwin’s Bulldog) and learn that Darwinism was not offered as a mere theory of Natural Selection but rather as a comprehensive Worldview that was offered as a way to explain reality quite apart from the God of the Bible.

Still, we want to credit Zrim where he is correct. It is true that the refusal to view man as being made in the image of God and thus morally accountable to his Creator is the root of these evils. What Zrim doesn’t seem to know is that is exactly what Darwinism teaches. The truth of the matter is that Zrim’s real problem is that Reformed people are actually contending for King Christ in his common realm where no such overtly Christian contending is supposed to take place. Zrim doesn’t want Christ in this realm except in a most indirect way and Christians who take their faith into that realm trouble him deeply.

In this next section, Dr. R. Scott Clark had taken Zrim to task for going a little bit to far with their shared viral thinking. Zrim responds to Clark by noting that Christians have been just as wicked as pagans,

“Then how does one explain the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials, to name but a few examples of those who “view man as being made in the image of God and thus morally accountable to his Creator” and yet perpetrate evil? The implication of the above comment seems to be that if we can just get over the imago dei evil would be substantially reduced. Yet history is littered with those who embrace such a doctrine yet violate it.

It is quite true that -ism’s do not produce evil (since sinners are at the root of evil), but I find it ironic how straighter lines are drawn from the other guy’s -ism to evil.

Again, put another mark in the column for good old-fashioned Calvinism. That is one -ism that no man can escape.

First, we should note that Zrim really is a cultural relativist. No culture can be considered superior to another culture because all cultures show sin. Pagan Darwinist cultures show sin by perpetrating evil in eugenics and Christian cultures show sin by perpetrating evil in Crusades, Inquisitions, and Witch Trials.

Again, we need to ask Zrim to go to the library with us. Without arguing that the historical events that Zrim notes weren’t blemishes on the face of Christendom we need to keep in mind that the Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression and so were defensive in measure. Now, to be sure, in the Crusades sin abounded but to draw a moral equivalence between the Crusades and the Death Camps is just vile and putrid thinking. Christians should freely admit and publish their sins as warnings to future Christians but to suggest that the comparatively small number of deaths of Witches and inquisitorial victims to the millions upon millions who have been slaughtered since the advent of and on account of atheistic Darwinist thinking is just plain irresponsible.

I will be glad to put a mark in the column for good old-fashioned Calvinism — a Calvinism that built Christendom in the West and gives us the ability to distinguish good from evil.

So while Christendom may have a vested interest in reducing the culpability of something like the Crusades, Christianity seems to have no such interest. It is the meta-message that I find more compelling than in the more immediate one which tries to navigate around whose “system” is more/less evil. That WE are evil really changes the conversation.

Evil and forgiven. Zrim spends so much time on Christians as sinners that he forgets that Christians are saints, resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life. It is true Christians continue to contend with the old man, but it is also true that Christians continue to put off the old man and put on the new man created in the image of God. Because that is so we can expect sanctification to progress not only in the lives of individual believers but also in their cultures as believers who are increasingly being conformed to Christ jointly build a culture that likewise partakes in sanctification.

As it pertains to the Crusades I would be satisfied if Zrim visited the library and at least read the Christian side of the Crusade account instead of ignorantly buying into the Muslim pagan account.

Still, Zrim is right that Christians do need to be reminded that they remain sinners. Without this reminder we run the danger of believing that the culture we build needs to constantly be Reformed. In short if we don’t remind people that WE are evil the odds increase dramatically that we will not be able to see the blind spots that keep us from going on in Christ both individually and culturally.

“Propaganda (The movie EXPELLED) helps nothing along. And it seems to me that what tends to inform most moderns is the stuff of sensationalism, including what we know about the Holocaust (from theories that it never happened to it was the greatest evil ever exacted). Sensationalism subsumes beneath “Sicko” as much as “Expelled.”

Unfortunately this is true. But we have arrived at the point that if one wants to change the dynamics of the game one has to play the game and the way one plays the game in this culture is by making a sensationalist Propaganda film that slightly begins to counterbalances all the sensationalism propaganda that the minions of the devil are pumping out. Would that we lived in a world where sustained and informed debate would inform most moderns but most moderns are idiots and the only way they are moved is by cheap sensationalism. We can thank our government education gulag for having arrived at this point.

“That said, even if you peel away the sensationalism you still have deal seriously with the notions that certain theories lead to certain phenomenon. And I am not so sure that “survival of the fittest” leads to gas chambers anymore than the “cultural mandate to subdue the earth”: they both depend on sinners who can parlay former into a box of Wheaties and the latter into mass destruction–or vice versa.”

Once again it is the library to which Zrim must go. If he doesn’t have time for the library today the link below will allow him to see the connections between ‘survival of the fittest leads to gas chambers.’

http://ironink.org/index.php?blog=1&cat=36

Also note the cultural relativism again. Darwinism is not better or worse then submission to Christ’s command to pursue Christ honoring dominion. Humble Christians seeking to honor Christ by building Christian culture are equivalent to Darwinists who only want to make a better box of Wheaties.

“The danger, it seems to me, is in trying to formulate any theory either betters or worsens the human condition. Christianity is not a system to improve the human condition but to save it; that “the Bible is not a handbook for living” works just as against those who are polyanna as those who seriously want to construct political, economic, social, scientific, educational theory from it. The implication of “Steinian” sorts of critiques (sensationalism aside) is that if one system leads to destruction another leads to redemption. Christianity does, but just not the way you’d think.”

This is a perfect reflection of a-millennial thinking. A-millennialism teaches that good and evil grow together till the end. As such, while we may look for periodic cultural lift in history we must also look for periodic cultural decline. In the end though nothing changes in terms of mankind’s conditions. Indeed, most A-millennialist will insist that things will get substantially worse before Jesus returns. Anyway, given this kind of macro eschatology where the teleology builds an expectation that good and evil always grow together in commensurate proportions we shouldn’t be surprised to find an adherent teaching that Christians shouldn’t bother in trying to formulate any theory that either betters or worsens the human condition. Since, according to a-millennialists human betterment is a-priori locked out then naturally theories are arrived at that teach we shouldn’t try to think in ways that will improve the human condition.

Further, the amillennial presuppositions are in flying full mast when Zrim offers that Christianity is supposed to save the human condition without improving it. Amillennialism holds that final salvation is catastrophic and comes from the outside in. As such it only stands to reason that Zrim would offer us teaching that has no intent offer human improvement. Only a catastrophic inbreaking by the returning Jesus will bring improvement. All other improvements are, at best, illusory. Humans are sinners and even the salvation given them to Jesus only offers a betterment in the sweet by and by.

Nobody needs to look at the Bible as a handbook for living who wants to understand the implications of total depravity in the realms of educational, political, economic, social, and scientific theory. It is just plain ignorance on stilts to suggest that sin doesn’t affect these areas of thought and it is ignorance on stilts wearing high heels that believes that Redemption can’t ameliorate the effects of sin on redeemed thinkers who are seeking to think God’s thoughts after Him in these areas. Zrim’s bible is a gnostic bible that saves men’s souls but leaves their bodies under the ravages of sin.

Pathetic.

Christian High School Teachers Teaches That

Allah and God are the same God and that Muslims and Christians are serving the same God who goes by different names.

Of course this has become cutting edge thinking even among some current missiologists. The thinking goes that the word ‘Allah’ is the Arabic word for God and in light of the fact that Muslims believe that God is one there is no reason to think that the Jehovah of the Scriptures is the same as the Allah of Islam. Missiological reasoning also contends that such an approach makes evangelism either. If missionaries can approach Muslims by allowing that Allah and God are different names for the same God then it is supposedly easier to make progress in evangelistic conversations. It is difficult to imagine Raymond Lull, Henry Martyn, or Samuel Zwemer taking this approach but why should we be concerned about that?

The teacher at this ‘Christian High School’ used C. S. Lewis’s ‘Tashlan’ to support her cockeyed theory. The reasoning was that sincere Muslims, because of their noble intent, are really worshiping the God of the Bible when they worship Allah. Lewis was brilliant but on the whole Tashlan thing his boneheadedness is unmatched.

Some of the covenant children in the church I serve related to me this account while I was teaching the worldview class. They said they had protested this understanding with their friend who had embraced this ‘understanding.’ Now what is interesting is that the parent interjected that her child must of misunderstood because the teacher would have never taught that.

Well, my money is on the fact that the teacher did teach that since this idea has become so prevalent in some putatively Christian circles.

Let this be a warning about ‘Christian’ private schools. All because you slap the word ‘Christian’ on a high school doesn’t mean that it is Christian anymore then a wine bottle full of urine is wine just because the label on the bottle says ‘Wine.’

Hillary’s Argument

A look at some of Hillary’s victories during this Democratic primary season.

State — Electoral Votes

California – 55
Texas – 34
New York – 31
Florida – 27
Pennsylvania – 21
Ohio – 20
Michigan – 17
New Jersey – 15
Massachusetts – 12
Tennessee – 11
Arizona – 10
Oklahoma – 7
Arkansas – 6
New Hampshire – 4

Total Electoral Votes – 270

Clearly if Hillary were to seize the Democratic nomination she couldn’t count on winning all the states that she has won in the primary. Just as clearly if Obama were to get the Democratic nomination he would win some of those states in the general election that he lost to Hillary in the primary. Stipulating all that, what Hillary has done in her victories is that she has shown that she can win where Democrats need to win in order to be elected.

Hillary Clinton’s argument for the Democratic Presidential nomination thus becomes a bit more believable after last night’s sizable victory in Pennsylvania. Hillary needs to argue that even though she is behind in the delegate count she has won the states that a Democrat needs to win in order to be elected in November. With her wins in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Hillary can argue that she can hold the Democratic New England stronghold. With wins in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey she can argue that she can hold the rust belt. Ohio is particularly important since in 2004 Ohio was the state that made the difference in that Presidential election. With a win in Florida Hillary can make the case that her chances are greater in another key battleground state that Democrats need to win if they harbor hopes of the White House. With wins in California and Texas she can argue that she has shown the ability to capture large percentages of the Hispanic vote (a key minority constituency for Democrats) AND she can boast of showing muscle in states with huge electoral power. Hillary needs to pull out the Electoral maps from 2000 and 2004 and show that she has carried those regions that Gore and Kerry carried.

Further Hillary needs to delicately continue to emphasize that Obama isn’t winning the White vote which any candidate must win if they desire to live in the White House. In Pennsylvania yesterday Obama lost every White vote age bracket – almost all of them by convincing margins. If Obama can’t carry the White vote in a Democratic contest it is difficult to see how he gets enough White votes to win in a general election. As I have been saying all along, America, under normal conditions, is not ready to elect a Black Marxist who disregards hard working White people.

On this point a major newspaper of questionable trustworthiness reported,

The results of exit polling, conducted at 40 precincts across Pennsylvania by Edison/Mitofsky for the television networks and The Associated Press, found stark evidence that Mr. Obama’s race could be a problem in the general election. Sixteen percent of white voters said race mattered in deciding who they voted for, and just 54 percent of those voters said they would support Mr. Obama in a general election; 27 percent of them said they would vote for Mr. McCain if Mr. Obama was the Democratic nominee, and 16 percent said they would not vote at all.

Hillary, also needs to continue to argue, as she has been, that despite Obama’s huge financial advantage, and despite the Democratic machine and the major media doing everything they can to nudge her out of the race she still continues to do something that Obama can’t do in key Democratic states and that is WIN.

Further, Hillary needs to argue that in many of the places where Obama has won there is no way in hades that Obama can repeat that victory in November. For example, the Red states in the deep south that Obama has won will not be won again by a Democrat in November. Hillary needs to argue that those Obama victories are irrelevant. (This is why an Obama win in North Carolina will be irrelevant.)

If someone would have told me at the beginning of the primary season that some Democrat would be easier to beat in the general election then Hillary Clinton, with her huge negative approval numbers, I never would have believed it, but Barack Obama clearly is a candidate that cannot win the general election short of a Republican implosion. The Clinton’s know this and have been saying it within their inner circle for some time.

If the Democrats swallow Barack Obama as their candidate only a implosion by John McCain (a real likelihood by my estimation) in the general election will save them from a landslide of the proportion of Bush over Dukakis in 1988.

Now, keep in mind that I’m handicapping this as someone who loathes all three candidates of the major parties that are left in the race. I really don’t care which socialist wins the White House. My fondest hope would be that a way might be found for all of them to lose.

I Went To A Pro-Life Supper This Evening

I was pleased to say that I only heard one thing that set alarm bells off. The speaker was an elderly Doctor who has been a pro-life champion all his life. He was a big fan of former (and recently deceased) Congressman Henry Hyde, who was himself a pro-life champion during his whole career.

Anyway… the speaker closed with the following quote from Henry Hyde. I was burdened that the speaker found the quote so meaningful and that the gathered group were so seemingly moved by the quote.

Here it is,

“When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, “Spare him because he loved us,” and God will look at you and say not, “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”‘

I gave the closing prayer, shortly after the main speaker had finished with this quote. I thanked God that in Christ the eschatological judgment was already finished and that it is not lonely nor full of terror because Jesus is our advocate and pleads for us before the Father. I thanked God that we are saved because of Jesus living and dying for us and that not one whit of our effort has anything to do with making it past judgment.

I seriously doubt that anyone noticed that I was making a conscious effort to contradict the final quote.

It really does saddened me that Bishop Sheen, and Henry Hyde thought and that the speaker tonight thinks that judgment has anything to do with our trying.

I was conflicted tonight. On one hand I was ecstatic that this medical doctor had given so much of his life to the pro-life effort and yet on the other hand I was saddened that he apparently had attached his efforts in pro-life to the eternal destiny of his soul. I was saddened that he thought the chorus of the voices of the unborn would have a leverage with God that the voice of Jesus didn’t.

There has been a great deal of work lately in some quarters to suggest that Roman Catholicism isn’t as extreme as many Reformed types make it out to be. Tonight I heard a professional who has spent his life in the Roman Catholic Church and it was crystal clear that Roman Catholicism is everything that the Reformers rose up against. If anybody tells you that there is no difference between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity don’t you believe it.

One Of Those Little Incongruities

“It’s not news to anybody these days – not if they watch any television or glance at the covers of the magazines lining the checkout counters at the grocery stores – that we live in a sex-saturated society where supposedly the majority of young people are “doing it,” more often than not without “benefit of marriage.” The Playboy Philosophy and its derivatives are trumpeted by a thousand voices that glamorize casual sex, while most of the shrinking mainline churches present pitifully watered-down messages about morality that confuse rather than clarify.

Academic institutions, particularly the women’s studies programs, promote the idea that marriage is optional and young people are advised to “just do it!” The secular mantra, heard from middle school on up, is that sex will make you popular and happy; it’s great recreation that is free and fun.

There is a mountain of media out there promoting a phony philosophy about the joys of casual, risky sexual experimentation; one need look no further than the junk advice featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan to see just how pernicious it is. Even the relationship advice columns in many daily newspapers spread the expectation of sexual activity even for the youngest of our teens.”

Straight Talk About Casual Sex
Janice Shaw Crouse
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/04/straight_talk_about_casual_sex.html

So, on one hand we have more sex going on at younger ages then you can find in the pages of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ Furthermore, in the government schools we teach the children about sex at increasingly younger and younger ages and in doing so push sex. The culture has given its imprimatur of approval on such adolescent coitus.

But on the other hand when teen sex putatively breaks out in the context of polygamy and communal living among consistent Mormons in Texas (FLDS) suddenly pop culture is abhorred and just can’t get over the indecency of it all?

Somebody help me out here.

Naturally, as a Christian, I am foursquare against both the scenarios painted above but to be perfectly honest if I were forced to choose between the kind of fornication that is being pushed among and pursued by adolescents in our schools and the kind of polygamous marriages that might be being pushed among and pursued by adolescent girls in a FLDS commune I could see an argument being made in favor of the FLDS commune. Think about it. In the former scenario you have children contracting STD’s, or you have pregnancy out of wedlock with the eventuality of either unprepared single parents, marriages between unprepared children, or abortion. However in the polygamous FLDS compound I would bet good money you would find few STD’s, you’d find a community that is going to support the marriages and you find older men who are likely more able to support their family (even if augmented by Welfare checks) then the average teenage adolescent boy.

Now remember, I think both scenarios reprobate but if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to choose one of the two illicit sex scenarios for adolescent girls to enter into there is a part of me that would lean towards choosing the FLDS.

I find myself wondering if the real reason that our sex crazed culture is piously agog over consistent Mormons having sex is not because 15 year old Mormon girls are having sex with older men but rather it is because the same 15 year old girls are not having sex in the context of the predominant pagan culture with adolescent boys.

After all, if abnormal illicit sex is going to be the cultural norm, any abnormal illicit sex that isn’t abnormal according to the culture norms of abnormality must be seen for the abnormality that it is.