A Reformation Prayer

O God of Kirk and Clan
provide now in our want
Holy Worship in this land
And children for your font
Our sacraments are ashes
Our families are torn
And Christendom now crashes
In the justice of thy scorn

From all that ‘clever’ teaches,
From all the ‘truth’ so close,
Wrapped all in shallow speeches
That excite the shallow hosts,
From trust in the Molech god,
of circus, bread and sword,
who rules us with an iron rod,
Deliver us, Oh Lord

Breathe a Reformation
On Kirk, and King, and Clan
Awaken now a nation
One weapon in your hand
A single sword, all for thee
Your purpose as our end
Aglow with zeal, and free,
Your Kingdom to extend

The Huckster

huck·ster (hkstr) — (n.) One who uses aggressive, showy, and sometimes devious methods to promote or sell a product.

“Huckabee is on a roll, he has gotten an enormous amount of publicity and he is doing very well with conservatives, who at least for now appear to have found a candidate.”

John Zogby

Captain Obvious here reporting that Mike Huckabee is no conservative. Huckabee is just another neo-conservative, big government, tax and spend, pro-immigration, pro-global warming, felon loving politician, who embarrassingly enough is an ex preacher who ‘loves Jesus.’

Huckabee is a piece of work who is to clever for his own good. First, he ‘innocently’ asks, ‘aren’t Mormons the ones who believe Jesus and Satan are brothers(?),’ thus sending a subtle message to all the Jesus people that they don’t want to vote for a Mormon stupid guy when they can vote for a Christian stupid guy. Following that number he runs a Television add where in 30 seconds he mentions Christ or God or Christmas four times while a cross is subtly displayed in the background, thus, once again shouting to people, “I’m the Jesus candidate, I’m the Jesus candidate.”

Would anyone mind telling me how this guy gets counted as a conservative, never mind a ‘Christian?’ Ok, Ok … I can accept that he is a really immature Christian who doesn’t yet realize that biblically speaking the State has the unique role of providing Justice and not subsidizing the poor, releasing rapists, or stopping carbon emissions.

Quite beyond the problems of Mike Huckabee would anyone care to further explain why Christians get taken in by this pablum? Some guy rolls into town, proclaims he is a former Baptist minister, and suddenly his poll numbers spike because many of the local yahoos — I mean ministers — return back to their churches telling the pew sitters they should vote for the Jesus candidate. It’s all very depressing.

Finally, to top things off you have an organization like HSLDA who is supposed to know better come out and endorse the Huckster. I still can’t figure out why this organization would do that and makes me sad that I’ve paid good money to support this organization over the years. Don’t all home-schoolers teach that Big Government is bad? Don’t all home-schoolers teach that government isn’t the solution but rather government is the problem? Can’t HSLDA connect the dots between what might be best for them short term and might not be what is best for the country long term.

Please don’t vote for Huckabee because he is the Jesus candidate. Give Jesus a break and find some other nonsense reason to vote for the Huckster.


My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed.

In Genesis it is Eve who is the main actor of the epochal event named the fall. In God’s recreation that is redemption the second Eve, Mary, is front and center. Mary, is the antithesis of Eve. Mary bows to God’s word (Lk. 1:38) where Eve questioned God’s word (Gen. 3:6). Eve bears sin into God’s garden temple, while Mary is the Christ bearer in God’s work to re-make His garden temple. Eve’s action leads to curse for all who belong to Adam while Mary’s actions leads to blessing for all who belong to the second Adam. The first Eve was taken out of the first Adam and was the source of life for all Adam’s seed. The second Adam is taken from the second Eve and is the source of life for all His people.

It is also interesting as we examine the Magnificat that Mary understands all that is happening as the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham (vs. 55). Hence we see that there is covenant continuity between Genesis 12, 15 & 17 and what is happening to and through Mary. Mary, like Zechariah, does not see discontinuity between old covenant promise and new covenant fulfillment.

Finally, a brief word regarding Mary herself. Protestants typically don’t do the saint thing and for good reason. Still, Mary should be esteemed no differently then any other saint in the Scripture. Certainly she is no co-redemptrix as some Roman Catholics believe and praying to Mary (or any other saint) would be sin but respecting and honoring Mary for her faith is perfectly fitting and proper.

** — An interesting ‘for whatever its worth’ observation.

Most scholars believe it very likely that Mary was very young (between 14-16) when all this happened. Obviously Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s Mother, was well advanced in years (Lk. 1:7). It must have been quite a study in contrast to see this young girl and this older matron both pregnant at the same time. God takes a child who has never known a man and a dried up prune who is past child bearing and takes the things that are not and makes them to bear the greatest prophet in the Old Covenant and the Messiah who gives life to the world.


It is interesting that Luke bookends a similar idea in his gospel. In Luke 2 Luke records Zechariah’s prophecy and in verse 70 Zechariah can say, in reference to the advent of the Messiah, ‘As He (God) spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the World began.’ Clearly Zechariah is teaching us here that the Scriptures of the Old Covenant spoke of and taught Jesus the Messiah, and that from the very beginning.

Luke makes this same observation again at the end of His gospel (24:27) when he records Jesus, following His resurrection, leading a bible study on the road to Emmaus with two disciples who had missed how the redemptive events were spoken of in the Old covenant Scriptures.

It is obvious that Luke is telling us that the old covenant Scriptures, were, in the phrase of the Puritans, ‘the cradle where one would find Christ.’ All the Scriptures, from Genesis 3:15f are first and foremost about Christ and tell God’s story of how He does all the work in redeeming a people of His own choosing to be their covenant faithful God. We do a great disservice to Scripture when we use it to cram God into our story instead of seeing that God uses Scripture to tell His story — a story that the redeemed are swept up into as so many leaves are swept up into a tornado. God’s story is objective but as men, in each generation, are placed into its storyline by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, that objective story continues to change everything in its path in each generation.

Zechariah was part of Redemptive History. His prophecy was part of God’s objective story of God’s raising up a horn of salvation for His people (2:69). His recognition that all of Scripture was teaching the story of Christ is our good news. BUT Zechariah also understands that this good news is done for a couple of purposes. The first purpose was so that God would be seen as faithful to His promises and covenant (vs. 72). The second purpose was that God’s people might serve Him without fear (vs. 74).

In God’s story when God provides salvation, one purpose of that provision is that God’s people might live in a covenantal faithfulness that echos back God’s covenantal faithfulness to His name and His people. When God’s elect are swept up into His story it is always with the consequence of having been freely saved they will now freely serve according to God’s standards.

Calvin can say at this point on this idea,

“Zechariah’s point was, that, being redeemed, they might dedicate and consecrate themselves entirely to the Author of their salvation. As the efficient cause of human salvation was the undeserved goodness of God, so its final cause is, that, by a godly and holy life, men may glorify his name.”

Calvin then goes on to talk about our responsibility to live a life of service to God, citing the abundant scripture that teaches this truth and ends by saying,

Scripture is full of declarations of this nature, which show that we “frustrate the grace” (Gal. 2:21) of Christ, if we do not follow this design.”

So Zechariah’s Benedictus (Luke 2:67-79) teaches us that God does all the saving but also that those who are saved serve God in every area that God has dominion over. We do disservice to this idea when we do one of three things,

1.) Forget that the Scriptures are first and foremost about God’s work of doing all the saving.

2.) Forget that Scripture do not end with souls saved but rather speak clearly of what the redeemed life looks like in every area of life.

3.) Invert the order so that we do not realize that #2 is always the consequence of #1 being rightly set forth and so speak as if #1 is dependent upon number 2.

There is no ‘I’ in Ego

“Plagued by anxiety, depression, vague discontents, a sense of inner emptiness, the ‘psychological man’ of the twentieth century seeks neither individual self-aggrandizement nor spiritual transcendence but peace of mind, under conditions that increasingly militate against it. Therapists not priests, or popular preachers of self-help or models of success like the captains of industry, become his principal allies in the struggle for composure; he turns to them in the hope of achieving the modern equivalent of salvation, ‘mental health.’ Therapy has establish itself as the successor both to rugged individualism and to religion; but this does not mean that the ‘triumph of the therapeutic’ has become a new religion in its own right. Therapy constitutes an anti-religion, not always to be sure because it adheres to rational explanation or scientific methods of healing, as its practitioners would have us believe, but because modern society ‘has no future’ and therefore gives no thought to anything beyond its immediate needs. Even when therapists speak f the need for ‘meaning’ and ‘love,’ they define love and meaning simply as the fulfillment of the patient’s emotional requirements. It hardly occurs to them — nor is there any reason why it should, given the nature of the therapeutic enterprise — to encourage the subject to subordinate his needs and interests to those of others, to someone or some cause or tradition outside himself. ‘Love’ as self-sacrifice or self-abasement, ‘meaning’ as submission to a higher loyalty — these sublimations strikes the therapeutic sensibility as intolerably oppressive, offensive to common sense and injurious to personal health and well being. To liberate humanity from such outmoded ideas of love and duty has become the mission of the post-Freudian therapies and particularly of their converts and popularizers, for whom mental health means the overthrow of inhibitions and the immediate gratification of every impulse.”

Christopher Lasch
The Culture Of Narcissism — pg. 13

Several things to note regarding this quote,

1.) Lasch’s point denying that the triumph of the Psychological, while replacing religion, is not a religion, is based upon the observation that Therapeutic man has no teleology. Whereas religions and ideologies speak of future conditions to which man is moving (be it Heaven, or Nirvana, or Utopia, etc.) therapeutic man embraces a substitute religion whose goal is not some future state, but rather, teleologically speaking, only has the modest goal of making its worshipers properly adjusted to the here and now. Now, Lasch is correct about Therapeutic man having no teleology, classically speaking, but He is wrong in suggesting that the absolutization of the Therapeutic is not a religion or is, in his words, an anti-religion. Lasch would have been more correct to note that ‘Psychologicalism’ is the anti-religion religion. Because it has no transcendent, its teleology is completely imminent with the results that man needs not to move towards a higher and better destination because this life is the higher and better destination. Teleology has not been removed from the religion of Psychologism, but rather it has been realized. Psychologism is the religion of modern man, it’s Priests, as Lasch notes, are the ubiquitous therapists, it’s Temples masquerading as local Schools, Universities, Corporate Headquarters, area Churches and Government buildings, it affords its sacraments in its confessional booth and in its personality tests, it provides catechism sessions to countless Freshman orientation classes across the country, as well as the employee meetings that corporate Human Resources organizes for its company employees, and its salvation — the same salvation that the serpent offered to Eve, is found in the ascendancy of the sovereign self.

2.) Lasch subtly suggests that Psychologism is not as rational nor as scientifically grounded as it holds itself to be. Indeed, Psychology is a faith discipline that originally, in its modern embodiment, was developed in order to provide insights into the individual quite apart from the reality of God. The denial of God is the presupposition that it was originally rooted in, and any rationality that it aspires to, is only the rationality of a system that defines the beginning of rationality as being apart from God. Except in a few rare cases, Psychology remains a anti-Christ discipline, to often propped up as legitimate in the Church by Christian practitioners who have not understood the anti-theistic basis of their chosen discipline. The real danger of Psychologism is that it is ever seen as being ‘scientific.’ It’s lifeblood of existence is its sundry personality tests which by their very design makes man, in his corporate expression, the measure of what is normal, which is a most curious thing for any Christian to accept. The Science of Psychologism amounts to taking subjective surveys and turning those subjective results into objective measuring standards by reifying the abstract numbers and pretending that they have concrete existence and that they mean something. In short, the tests and their results become the transcendent point of reference by which Psychologism measures people. This is nothing but finding truth by counting noses, and it is an embarrassment to God’s people that the church has so readily glommed on to this idolatrous humanistic methodology as seen by the introduction of Psychologism into the ordination process and the missionary candidate schools. Lasch was correct to hint that Psychologism is neither rational nor scientifically driven. It remains today as legitimate as it was when it started with phrenologists feeling the bumps on peoples heads in order to gain personality insights.

3.) It’s ascendancy, as Lasch hints at, is to create a culture of self-centered, childish, whiny and weak people whose greatest goal in life is to be seen as a victim. Out of its concern for personal health and well-being it has contributed to our culture of political correctness where the apex of propriety is to be sensitive and so not offend anybody by saying anything that anybody would find offensive for any reason. Those who will not play by its rules will discover that like all Worldviews it will destroy others in order to protect itself.

Anyway … I have only finished the first few chapters of Lasch’s work, and already I would recommend it for those who desire insights into our current culture. I have read several of Lasch’s work, and I have not found him yet to be disappointing.