Friday, July 29, 2011

Christians like wearing blindfolds

Does a Christian have to be irrational in order to believe the truth-claims of the Bible? A step further, is it even irrational to be believe in a creator God of the universe? It all depends on the person actually. To be honest, there are irrational theists. There are those who find great comfort in saying, "It takes faith," when asked about their worldview. I will be so bold to say there are those who not only have comfort in that answer, but actually take pride in the answer of "I take it on faith," because they think they are really "spiritual" for leaving their mind in the street in matters of God and religion. 

Let's look at some examples. The following example is from an article written by Kenneth Copeland.

"You have to act by faith, not according to your feelings or reasoning. Faith is based on eternal truth and is more dependable than the evidence of your physical senses. According to 2 Corinthians 4:18, we are not to look at things which are seen,but at things which are not seen. The things which are visibleare temporal, or changeable. The things which are invisible are eternal—they never change. Don’t focus your attention on what you perceive through your five physical senses. Keep your heart fixed on the Word of God. Then what you see will come in line with the Word." 

I understand not making a decision based on feelings because a decision based on emotion is not a good move to make. However, how are you to act by faith if you abandon reason? I also must wonder what Copeland means by "Don't focus your attention on what you perceive through your five physical senses. Keep your heart fixed on the Word of God." How is one to fix his heart on the word of God if he must not perceive using his five senses? I know that's a bit sarcastic, but Copeland is promoting blind faith as if blind faith is virtuous and that irrationality is foreign to God and the Christian life. That couldn't be further from the truth. 

Consider what R.C. Sproul says in this article.

"Any discussion of faith and reason has to ask the question, “What is faith?” The biblical answer, according to the author of Hebrews, is that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (11:1). The author goes on to say that by faith we understand that the world was formed by the Word of God. The first thing we notice in this assertion is that faith is something that is substantial, not ephemeral. Secondly, faith represents a type of evidence. It is the evidence of the unseen. At the heart of the concept of New Testament faith is the idea of trust, namely, that faith involves placing one’s trust in something. In this regard all human creatures are subject to depending at one point or another on faith. I am not an expert in medicine, so I must give a certain trust to the diagnoses offered to me by experts in the field. That trust may be provisional until I find that it is not based in substance or evidence. But in the meantime, to trust what we do not see is not necessarily a matter of being irrational. Without reason, the content of biblical faith would be unintelligible and meaningless. So we say that biblical faith is not the same as reason, but that faith is rational and reasonable. The first assertion that faith is rational means that faith is intelligible. It is not absurd or illogical. If biblical revelation were absurd and irrational, it would be utterly unintelligible and meaningless. The content of the Bible cannot pierce the soul of a sentient creature without first going through the mind. It was Augustine who declared that faith without evidence is credulity. At this point we understand that though faith is rational, it is also reasonable. Biblical faith does not call people to crucify their intellect or take irrational leaps of faith into the darkness with the hope that Christ will catch us. Rather we are called to leap out of the darkness and into the light." 

Sproul accurately describes faith. Trusting in the evidence given by an object or person. I trust my mechanic to fix or service my car. I have good reason to put my faith in the mechanic to service my car with excellence. Why? Because of the track record. He has given me good reason to believe so! If faith is how Copeland explains it, i.e., wishing and speaking positively in attempt to make it true then the whole time I'm waiting on my car to be done I better look at the mechanic and speak, "You will fix my car! I know you will! I speak it and confess that it's true!" Why? Because I can't trust that my mechanic will fix my car based on his proven record of fixing my car in the past and rest easy knowing he is a good mechanic and my care is in good hands because that would be using reason and reason is a thing to be despised if you're a true Christian. What an absurd thing to believe.
I know I'm being snarky, but it's just so annoying to hear things like, "Christian, you must act on your faith by blindly wishing and speaking those things into existence, " or "Ya just gotta take those things on faith." Why? You wonder if these folks have studied church history or even read the Bible. 

Consider what Greg Koukl says here:

"Here is what Peter said. Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." There it is again. "Know for certain."

This is throughout the entire Scriptures. Exodus, Acts, Romans 1:4. Paul talked about Jesus who is the Son of God, who is declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. How do we know Jesus is the Son of God? Is that just a faith statement? Is it something we just wish were the case? Is that something we hope for in a leap of faith? Paul says he was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection. We know he was the Son of God because He raised Himself from the dead. Now, that is evidence."

In the book of 1 John we see this all brought together. 1 John 5:13, "These things," John says, "I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."

You can know it, ladies and gentlemen. Remember how John started out his book? He started out by saying those things which we have seen, those things that we know personally. "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have beheld and our hands handled concerning the Word of Life, and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life." 

Do you think he is trying to get a point across there? He is saying, we've got the goods. We've got the evidence. Therefore our faith is not vain hope. It is not simply wishing. We've got convictions. We have put our trust in God based on the evidence, and that's what Biblical faith entails."

I can guarantee you your Christian life will be lived much better living a life of true faith. I hear people all the time (I have friends and family who subscribe to the Copeland idea of faith) speak as if they can't say anything "wrong" about themselves, e.g., you can't say "I have a cold," or "I'm having hear trouble," because then you don't have "faith" in God. I cannot imagine ever that God wants us to live that way. I don't read anywhere in scripture about people speaking positively 24/7 and never acknowledging their suffering. If you have a cold, you have a cold. Speaking the contrary will not heal you or make it go away. Faith is not wishing friends, faith is trusting in God and His promises based on evidence given to us by revelation. 

What is the evidence you ask? 

Start by looking here. Wintery Knight has an abundance of Christian resources for you to know for certain God exists and is the God as described in the Bible.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I don't buy kisses anymore

*Had some time for a blog entry today. Didn't take long to write.

I don't normally give movie recommendations on my blog, but it's nice for a change.

I don't buy kisses anymore

Touching is a word that comes to mind for the movie. While admittedly a slow movie (I don't mean to be cruel using slow) it is a good movie. It's not as funny as I thought it would be, but few few movies have all the right elements. I experienced many emotions in this movie and somewhat related to Bernie, though I've never been manipulated by a woman, I can relate to being looked down on for being a fat under-achiever and not being smooth with the ladies. It's true.

The story is all about Bernie. One might think his love interest would be the star, but Bernie actually is. It's a story about a loser rising above his low self-image and actually coming out on top; socially and ethically. Personally, I didn't want him to forgive the girl, but I guess forgiveness is a part of overcoming oneself.

My rating? 7/10

It's a good movie. I would have bumped it up a point or two if it had a few more laughs. A 7 is a good score coming from me. I don't hand out 9's and 10's loosely. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Taking time off

As the title says, I'm going to take some time off. I hope this post doesn't read with an arrogant tone, i.e., I'm not saying I have so many readers and admirers that I must tell them all I'm taking time off from blogging for a while to keep them from thinking I'm dead or quit blogging all together. I just thought I would be nice and say I won't be blogging for a while.

Why? Because I want to spend more time studying for a certification exam my employer wants me to take. Blogging, believe it or not, came be a time wasting hobby and it has taken time away from my studies.

I will still respond to comments and if my buddy Mark writes anything, I'll post it, but I'm taking time off from my writing and commenting on other blogs. 

Will be back blogging again soon. Once I pass the certification exam I want to undertake a long blog series on Kant's moral argument, contrasting with Nietzsche's philosophy; that will be fun.

Google Plus will change the web

Jason Hiner predicts that Google+ will change the web, here are some of his reasons.


"Even with its rough edges and without the masses of humanity having access to Google+, the core experience is pretty powerful, and it’s easy to see where Google is going with this.

As I wrote over the weekend while diving into Google+, the most attractive part is how easy it is to find, add, and organize your friends (I cited that as the main reason you won’t hate Google+). The friend issue is the heart of all social networks, although it’s so obvious that it’s often overlooked. In fact, Twitter still isn’t very good at it, Facebook is a little better, but both of them now look like neophytes compared to the way Google+ does it.

The friend feature on Google+ is called “Circles,” and it turns out to be an intuitive mashup of friending (from Facebook) and following (from Twitter). Circles are basically sets of friends that you can drag and drop into groups, mirroring your existing social circles — Family & Friends, Colleagues, Local Techies, etc. — rather than just the one big lump of friends you have on Facebook that can result in moments of “worlds colliding,” since you have to share all of your updates with all of your friends. On Google+, you can selectively send updates to different circles, and you can quickly click between the news streams of your different circles.

You can also make circles for people you don’t necessarily know but are interested in following their updates (e.g. Tech Journalists, Famous Engineers, Web Celebrities, etc.). This is where Google+ echoes Twitter, because people don’t have to follow you back in order for you to add them to one of your Circles. At that point, you’ll see all of their public updates, and most of these folks make the majority of their updates public in order to be seen by more people (it’s the whole social media narcissism meme, and it has already transplanted itself on Google Plus).

The real killer feature to Circles in Google+ is how easy it is to find and add friends. Everywhere you see a user’s name or avatar you can simply mouse over it, click “Add to Circles,” and then select which circle to add them to. On Twitter, it took me about three years to find about 200 really interesting people (mostly in technology and the media) worth following. It took me less than three days to find that many on Google Plus. Of course, most of them are the same people, so Google+ has the advantage of speed by letting us quickly re-coagulate our existing social graph on the new service." 

I’m not predicting Google+ will replace Facebook and/or Twitter. This will definitely not be a zero sum game. Facebook has the most to lose from Google Plus, but it’s going to be years before Aunt Jenny and your plumber show up on Google+ the way they recently showed up on Facebook (and it’s possible they never will). All three of these social networks — Facebook, Google+, and Twitter — will still be going strong three years from now. People will gravitate to them for different reasons. They’ll go to Twitter for news and to cyber-stalk celebrities. They’ll go to Facebook for private networking, water cooler chats, and games." 

I have some friends who are test driving Google+ and they really like it. One said he liked it because when he goes to Google to search his social networking is right there in front of his face. I wouldn't like that, but hey everyone has different likes and dislikes. I'll definitely give Google+ a go just to try it out. I'm with Jason in that I don't think Google+ will replace Facebook or Twitter at all because none of the features are so outstanding that I want to delete my FB account and run to Google+. Some of things you can do in Google+ you can also do in FB. So, right now, there isn't anything Google+ is offering causing me to drool all over myself wanting it.
Read the rest of the post here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Common misunderstandings of cosmological argument

I don't write on the cosmological argument very much, mostly because I think I need to understand it MUCH better before I try to explain the details of it to others. I have a basic understanding of the argument so I could give the rundown of it to someone in person, but to thoroughly explain it, well I leave that to those who understand the argument in the finest of detail. 

Wintery Knight shared the post, "Ed Fiser explains common misunderstandings of the cosmological argument" and it's an excellent post explaining why certain objections to the argument fail and aren't really objections to begin with, but rather are better understood as misunderstandings. 

You can read the post by clicking here

Here are the misunderstandings Fiser lists:
  1. The argument does NOT rest on the premise that “Everything has a cause.”
  2. “What caused God?” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  3. “Why assume that the universe had a beginning?” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  4. “No one has given any reason to think that the First Cause is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, etc.” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  5. “The argument doesn’t prove that Christianity is true” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  6. Science has shown such-and-such” is not a serious objection to (most versions of) the argument.
  7. The argument is not a “God of the gaps” argument.
  8. Hume and Kant did not have the last word on the argument.  Neither has anyone else.
  9. What “most philosophers” think about the argument is irrelevant.
Be sure to read the post in full at WK's blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is hyper-calvinism?

Kevin DeYoung gives a short summary of a book titled The Emergence of Hyper-Calvinism in English Non-conformity 1689-1765 written by Peter Toon; Kevin gives three lessons within the book. I'll give an excerpt focusing on the second lesson and then if you're interested, you can click on the link I'll provide to read the other two. 

"2. Toon gives a solid definition of Hyper-Calvinism and it’s not the same as being really, really Reformed. In common parlance, Hyper-Calvinist simply means “I think you are too much of a Calvinist.” But that’s not a fair use of the term. Historically, Hyper-Calvinism has referred to a set of theological conclusions and practices, none of which mark any of today’s leading Calvinists.
Here’s Toon’s summary (with some paragraph breaks added):
[Hyper-Calvinism] was a system of theology, or a system of the doctrines of God, man and grace, which was framed to exalt and honour and glory of God and did so at the expense of minimising the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners to God. It places excessive emphasis on the immanent acts of God–eternal justification, eternal adoption and the eternal covenant of grace. In practice, this meant that “Christ and Him crucified”, the central message of the apostles, was obscured.
It also often made no distinction between the secret and the revealed will of God, and tried to deduce the duty of men from what it taught concerning the secret, eternal decrees of God.
Excessive emphasis was also placed on the doctrine of irresistible grace with the tendency to state that an elect man is not only passive in regeneration but also in conversion as well. The absorbing interest in the eternal, immanent acts of God and in irresistible grace led to the notion that grace must only be offered to those for whom it was intended.
Finally, a valid assurance of salvation was seen as consisting in an inner feeling and conviction of being eternally elected by God. So Hyper-Calvinism led its adherents to hold that evangelism was not necessary and to place much emphasis on introspection in order to discover whether or not one was elect. (144-45)
So the main tenets include: little attention to message of the cross, no free offer of the gospel to call, no summons for men to be born again, a highly introspective doctrine of assurance, and collapse of the hidden and revealed will of God. This was Hyper-Calvinism, not simply being seriously Reformed."

For the other two points Kevin identifies click here.

R.C. Sproul gives a good, short explanation of Hyper-Calvinism in his commentary on Romans. I don't have the exact quote with me, but the main point he makes is that Hyper-Calvinists teach a symmetrical view of predestination, i.e., God decreed the elect's salvation from eternity, in time intervenes in their lives and creates saving faith in their hearts by grace. Those who aren't saved, God in time, intrudes into their lives and creates fresh evil in their souls (God causes sin) enuring their ultimate damnation. That is not orthodox reformed theology.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Explaining the Trinity

I noticed in my stats tab an increase in reading Defense of the Trinity part 3, so I thought I would put all parts in one post. 

The trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. Mystery, unlike antinomy and paradox, does not mean contradiction, rather it means beyond reason, but not against reason. It is known only by revelation. The word trinity does not appear in the Bible, however, the concept is taught in the Bible. What is the concept? Simple:

1. There is one God
2. There are three distinct persons who are God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

I'm quite certain that Christian and Jew alike agree that there is one God, no problem, yet there is some disagreement on the second part of the trinity concept: three persons who are God. This is quite controversial. On the surface, one might think it's even contradictory. Before I dive into scriptural proof for the trinity, I want to focus on the logic of the trinity; a philosophical defense of the trinity you could call it. 
The Logic of the Trinity

There are principles of knowledge, one of which is the law of non-contradiction and it is the fundamental law of all rational thought. The law of non-contradiction informs us that something cannot be true and false at the same time and in the same sense. The doctrine of the trinity does not violate this law. To show this, I will state what the trinity is not. 

Taken from the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics:

"The Trinity is not the belief that God is three persons and only one person at the same time and in the same sense. That would be a contradiction. Rather, it is the belief that there are three persons in one nature...Further, the Trinity is not the belief that there are three natures in one nature or three essences in one essence. That would be a contradiction. Rather, Christians affirm that there are three persons in one essence. This is not contradictory because it makes a distinction between person and essence. Or, to put it in terms of the law of non-contradiction, while God is one and many at the same time, he is not one and many in the same sense. He is one in the sense of his essence, but many in the sense of his persons. So there is no violation of the law of non-contradiction in the doctrine of the Trinity."

So, one could say that God has one "What" and three "Whos." The three persons (Whos) share the same essence (What). Norman Geisler stated, "So God is a unity of essence with a plurality of persons. Each person is different, yet they share a common nature." God is one in his substance. The unity is in his essence, while the plurality is in God's persons, or how he relates within himself. Descriptions of this relationship are within the Bible, showing how the Son and the Father relate, and how the Father sends the Spirit as a Messenger, and the Spirit is a Witness to the Son (John 14:26). Reading descriptions like that help us to understand the functions within the unity of the Godhead. "Each is fully God, and each has his own work and interrelational theme with the other two. But it is vital to remember that the three share the same essence, so that they unify as one Being," (Geisler).

Illustrations of the Trinity

The illustrations given will be my attempt to show the unity of God while showing a simultaneous plurality. Hopefully, the following analogies will shine light on some misunderstandings. First, there is a misconception that believing in the Trinity is believing in three gods; doesn't 1 + 1 + 1 = 3? It does if you add them, but what if you multiplied one three times? Will you not get one? God is triune, not triplex. So, we can see from this that there is no mathematical contradiction to the Trinity. 

Another illustration is the triangle, probably the most popular illustration of the Trinity. A triangle has three corners, inseparable, and simultaneous to one another. This explains the Trinity well in a simple way that is easy to remember. There is also a moral illustration suggested by Augustine. *The Bible informs us that "God is love" (1 John 4:16). Love involves a lover, a beloved, and a spirit of love between lover and loved. The Father might be likened to the lover, the Son to the beloved, and the Holy Spirit to the Spirit of love. This is a strong example because it is personal, in that it involves love, which comes from persons. 

There is also an illustration based in human nature; the relation of the human mind, to its ideas, and the expression of those ideas in words. So we have mind to ideas to words. There is a unity among the three without having an identity, in that sense, the three illustrate the Trinity.* So I hope the above illustrations give a better understanding of the Trinity. In my opinion, they are great examples to share with others for their simplicity and they are also very illustrative. 

Scriptural Defense

Ah, here comes the part the critics have been salivating at the mouth for me to get to: the evidence in scripture. Are you ready? I'm ready to get into it too because there is good evidence in the Bible for the Trinity. I'm quite sure most Christians understand God as Father, there really isn't much debate on that so I'll start with the deity of Christ, or the Son of God and then end with the Holy Spirit. 

The Son is God

Jesus claimed to be Yahweh God; YHWH translated in some versions Jehovah, was the special name for God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14, the "I AM WHO I AM," scripture. Jesus declared "Before Abraham was, I am," in John 8:58. That declaration claims equality with God and existence before Abraham. Also, when you couple the verses Luke 4:8, "And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve." and Hebrews 1:6, "And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him," you see that God is the only being to be worshiped, yet the Son is worshiped in Hebrews 1:6, along with Joshua 5:13-15; Mark 5:6; John 9:38; Luke 24:52; Rev. 7:9, 10; and Phil. 2:10,11. In those verses the Son is worshiped, yet God alone is to be worshiped, so we can see that the Son is God. 

Now, it's important to note that the Son and the Father are not two separate beings, for God is one being: "The Lord our God, the LORD is one" (Deaut. 6:4). Both Jesus (Mark 12:29) and the apostles repeat this formula in the NT (1 Cor. 8:4, 6). So, there is one being and that is God. 

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is called "God" (Acts 5:3-4). Walter Martin explains the verse well, "The literal force of the Greek verb translated "to lie" is to impose a lie upon someone. In this case the someone was not men (verse 4) nor even Peter, but God in the Person of the Holy Spirit. The parallel of verses 3 and 4 clearly indicates that the Holy Spirit is a person and is God."
*The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity: omnipresence (Ps 139:7-12) and omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10, 11). He is associated with God the Father in creation (Gen. 1:2). He is involved with other members of the Godhead in the work of redemption (John 3:5-6; Rom 8:9-17, 27-27; Titus 3:5-7). He is associated with other members of the Trinity under the "name" of God (Matt 28:18-20). Finally, the Holy Spirit appears, along with the Father and Son, in New Testament benedictions (for example, 2 Cor. 13:14). 

I hope to communicate clearly that not only does the Holy Spirit possess deity, but that he also has a differentiated personality. I'll give three reasons why the Holy Spirit has a differentiated personality. 

Personal Pronouns

Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit with personal pronouns (John 14:26; 16:13). 

He Does Things Only Persons Can Do

Teach (John 14:26; 1 John 2:27)
Convict of sin (John 16:7-8)
Be grieved by sin (Ephesians 4:30).
Intercedes (Romans 8:26). 

The Holy Spirit has intellect (1 Cor. 2:10, 11), will (1 Cor. 12:11), and feeling (Eph. 4:30). 

I will close with an excerpt from an article written by John Macarthur:

In describing the Trinity, the New Testament clearly distinguishes three Persons who are all simultaneously active. They are not merely modes or manifestations of the same person (as Oneness theology incorrectly asserts) who sometimes acts as Father, sometimes as Son, and sometimes as Spirit. At Christ’s baptism, all three Persons were simultaneously active (Matt. 3:16–17), with the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending, and the Father speaking from Heaven. Jesus Himself prayed to the Father (cf. Matt. 6:9), taught that His will was distinct from His Father’s (Matt. 26:39), promised that He would ask the Father to send the Spirit (John 14:16), and asked the Father to glorify Him (John 17:5). These actions would not make sense unless the Father and the Son were two distinct Persons. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit intercedes before the Father on behalf of believers (Rom. 8:26), as does the Son, who is our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Again, the distinctness of each Person is in view.

There is only one God. The members of the Godhead are co-existent, co-equal, one in essence and yet three in person. Remember the mathematical illustration of 1 x 1 x 1 = 3, and the love illustration to help you with understanding the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a monotheistic belief rooted in scripture; not a belief in three gods in one or a belief of one person manifesting himself in three ways. Norman Geisler puts the Trinity in words as, "while God is one and many at the same time, he is not one and many in the same sense. He is one in the sense of his essence, but many in the sense of his persons."


Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics

Augustine, On the Trinity

Walter Martin, King James Study Bible

John Macarthur, "Our Triune God."

More information

My discussion with a oneness on why he doesn't hold the Trinity as true

R.C. Sproul, "Mystery of the Trinity."
William Lane Craig, "The Trinity and God's Omni-Attributes
William Lane Craig's "higher learning" article on the Trinity

Walter Martin Video What is the Trinity? 

Excellent article, "What is the doctrine of the Trinity?" by Matt Perman

The Trinity: One What and Three Whos by Ken Samples

Image taken from this website

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nietzsche, "Kant became an idiot."

This line is from Friedrich Nietzsche's book The Anti-Christ. Why does Nietzsche call Immanuel Kant an idiot? Here is an excerpt:

"A word now against Kant as a moralist. A virtue must be our invention; it must spring out of our personal need and defense. In every other case it is a source of danger. That which does not belong to our life menaces it; a virtue which has its roots in mere respect for the concept
of “virtue,” as Kant would have it, is pernicious. “Virtue,” “duty,” “good for its own sake,” goodness grounded upon impersonality or a notion of universal validity — these are all chimeras, and in them one finds only an expression of the decay, the last collapse of life, the Chinese spirit of Konigsberg. Quite the contrary is demanded by the most profound laws of self-preservation and of growth: to wit, that every man find his own virtue, his own categorical imperative. A nation goes to pieces when it confounds its duty with the general concept of duty. Nothing works a more complete and penetrating disaster than every “impersonal” duty, every sacrifice before the Moloch of abstraction. — To think that no one has thought of Kant’s categorical imperative as dangerous to life! …"

"'Duty'… impersonal and universal – phantom expressions of decline, of the final exhaustion of life… each one of us should devise his own virtue, his own categorical imperative… Kant’s categorical imperative should have been felt as mortally dangerous… What destroys more quickly that to work, to think, to feel without inner necessity, without a deep personal choice… as an automaton of duty? It is a recipe for decadence, even for idiocy…  Kant became an idiot." 1

For more on Nietzsche's moral thought check out If Morality Is Invented, Can We Complain about Immorality?


1.  Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ § 11

Image taken from this website

The conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

"The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

Such, then, are ten principles that have loomed large during the two centuries of modern conservative thought. Other principles of equal importance might have been discussed here: the conservative understanding of justice, for one, or the conservative view of education. But such subjects, time running on, I must leave to your private investigation.

The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to point out, is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal."

Taken from the Russell Kirk Center

I hope you've enjoyed the 10 conservative principles.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What is a democrat? Updated version

DISCLAIMER: The following viewpoints are not those of the blogger, but a friend of his. If this point of view upsets you, you may vent, but don’t yell at the person who posted them. Start a discussion, express and opinion, but don’t yell at the person who didn’t write it, that is just senseless… These writings are the intellectual property of me, the Author, with permission granted to the blogger who is positing them. They may not be reposted or used in any form without express written consent by either myself or the blogger of Reformed Seth.

What is a Democrat?  Boy isn't that a tough question, What IS a Democrat? As an admitted Republican, a Democrat is someone who is wrong, is clueless, and couldn't understand common sense if you stuffed it in their ears.

But I also realize it isn't easy being a Democrat. There are people who are trying to hijack your party, they are Liberals and Progressives, who all wear the Democrat hat. Unlike Republicans who only have Conservatives who claim to be Republicans, they at least have the same goal and thoughts in mind. And no, you cannot really place the Tea Party in with the Republicans, as they themselves aren't very sure what they believe in, as there are so many factions of the Tea Party.

So, what does the dictionary say is a Democrat? 

Definition of DEMOCRAT
a: an adherent of democracy b: one who practices social equality
capitalized: a member of the Democratic party of the United States

Okay, that isn't to say that Republicans aren't believers in Democracy, anyone engaged in the political system of the United States fits that description. So, let's look at the two subsets of the Democratic Party.

Definition of LIBERAL
: a person who is liberal: as a: one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways b capitalized: a member or supporter of a liberal political PARTY (see 1LIBERAL) c: an advocate or adherent of liberalism especially in individual rights

How about Progressives, what does the dictionary say about Progressives?

Definition of PROGRESSIVE
a: one that is progressive b: one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action

So, a liberal is all for change, in individual rights. That explains why Homosexuals and Potheads want to be liberals. They can do what they want, and no personal responsibility. I find it interesting that Democrats/Liberals believe in killing an unborn child, abortion, but do not, in any way shape or form accept punishment for crimes, if it involves the death penalty.

So, they believe in killing the innocent and protecting the guilty???? WTH? They accept the premise that what you do in your own home is fine. Which is kind of a good thing. But what if what you do in your own home is against the law? Incest, against moral laws. Growing and selling pot/weed/ganja/marijuana, all if it is acceptable, even if the government says no, it isn't right.  And that is where we have to decide, as a country what is acceptable behavior, both in and out of the home, as it will eventually spill OUT INTO THE PUBLIC. The child who gets mistreated, to a democrat, should be allowed to do whatever they want, including murder, they aren't responsible because they had a rough childhood, and it is owed them. HORSECRAP! I believe we have a perfect example of what a liberal is, two of them actually. Casey Anthony and Jared Loughner, who the media portrayed as a Right Wing Republican, and upon entering his house, it was found he was a liberal, and very far left leaning liberal. THAT is often left out of discussions about the heinous crime he committed... The left, or liberal media would have you continue to think that Loughner was and is a right wing nut who is big into guns and killing, not that he is actually part of the 'thinking and caring culture of the left'.

Democrats/Liberals always want to do things with your money, to make up for something you didn't do, or have anything to do with.

A good example of government intrusion is found in this article, "Should parents lose custody of super obese kids?" found here


It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital Boston, said the point isn't to blame parents, but rather to act in children's best interest and get them help that for whatever reason their parents can't provide.

State intervention "ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting," said Ludwig, who wrote the article with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health.

"Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child," Murtagh said.

This is, of course, just a simple guide to what a democrat is by a  republican, and I am sure a democrat would write something about republicans being unthinking, uncaring, socially backwards, big business drones who don't care about the people who are driven into the dirt by the overlords. And they would be wrong. 

Democrats believe in giving everyone everything they want, without actually having to do anything for it. They believe in entitlements, such as the pyramid of social security and Medicare, which has been set for failure since its inception. Currently the Republican Party wants to make the tough choices and fix it. Democrats want to spend 64% of the national Gross Domestic Product to pay for all of this fairytale that was foisted on the American Public by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Who, by the way, was a progressive democrat. So, people who never paid into the system were allowed to take from it, and now the great great great great great great grandchildren will be paying the tab for it.

So, while the Democrats like to think they are progressive, Obama thinking he is among the best progressives, they are actually hurting and slowly killing our country.

On a personal note, the reason I didn't like Obama had nothing to do with him being black, it had to do with him being an empty suit. Full of bullshit and bluster, but no ideas. I was a disgusted at the Republican party for not putting up someone to run against him other than the old guard.

At least that is how Mark C's it...

So, do you think I am right, wrong, or just don't care? Let Reformed Seth know, and trust me, he will let me know.



Conservatives perceive the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions

"Politically speaking, power is the ability to do as one likes, regardless of the wills of one’s fellows. A state in which an individual or a small group are able to dominate the wills of their fellows without check is a despotism, whether it is called monarchical or aristocratic or democratic. When every person claims to be a power unto himself, then society falls into anarchy. Anarchy never lasts long, being intolerable for everyone, and contrary to the ineluctable fact that some persons are more strong and more clever than their neighbors. To anarchy there succeeds tyranny or oligarchy, in which power is monopolized by a very few.

The conservative endeavors to so limit and balance political power that anarchy or tyranny may not arise. In every age, nevertheless, men and women are tempted to overthrow the limitations upon power, for the sake of some fancied temporary advantage. It is characteristic of the radical that he thinks of power as a force for good—so long as the power falls into his hands. In the name of liberty, the French and Russian revolutionaries abolished the old restraints upon power; but power cannot be abolished; it always finds its way into someone’s hands. That power which the revolutionaries had thought oppressive in the hands of the old regime became many times as tyrannical in the hands of the radical new masters of the state.

Knowing human nature for a mixture of good and evil, the conservative does not put his trust in mere benevolence. Constitutional restrictions, political checks and balances, adequate enforcement of the laws, the old intricate web of restraints upon will and appetite—these the conservative approves as instruments of freedom and order. A just government maintains a healthy tension between the claims of authority and the claims of liberty." 

Taken from the Russell Kirk Center

Monday, July 11, 2011

Conservatives uphold voluntary community and oppose involuntary collectivism

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism

"Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community. In a genuine community, the decisions most directly affecting the lives of citizens are made locally and voluntarily. Some of these functions are carried out by local political bodies, others by private associations: so long as they are kept local, and are marked by the general agreement of those affected, they constitute healthy community. But when these functions pass by default or usurpation to centralized authority, then community is in serious danger. Whatever is beneficent and prudent in modern democracy is made possible through cooperative volition. If, then, in the name of an abstract Democracy, the functions of community are transferred to distant political direction—why, real government by the consent of the governed gives way to a standardizing process hostile to freedom and human dignity.

For a nation is no stronger than the numerous little communities of which it is composed. A central administration, or a corps of select managers and civil servants, however well intentioned and well trained, cannot confer justice and prosperity and tranquility upon a mass of men and women deprived of their old responsibilities. That experiment has been made before; and it has been disastrous. It is the performance of our duties in community that teaches us prudence and efficiency and charity."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Freedom and property are closely linked

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.

"Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth. Economic levelling, conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.

Sir Henry Maine, in his Village Communities, puts strongly the case for private property, as distinguished from communal property: “Nobody is at liberty to attack several property and to say at the same time that he values civilization. The history of the two cannot be disentangled.” For the institution of several property—that is, private property—has been a powerful instrument for teaching men and women responsibility, for providing motives to integrity, for supporting general culture, for raising mankind above the level of mere drudgery, for affording leisure to think and freedom to act. To be able to retain the fruits of one’s labor; to be able to see one’s work made permanent; to be able to bequeath one’s property to one’s posterity; to be able to rise from the natural condition of grinding poverty to the security of enduring accomplishment; to have something that is really one’s own—these are advantages difficult to deny. The conservative acknowledges that the possession of property fixes certain duties upon the possessor; he accepts those moral and legal obligations cheerfully."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

"Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent—or else expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are neglected, then the anarchic impulse in humankind breaks loose: 'the ceremony of innocence is drowned.' The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell." 

Taken from the Russell Kirk Center.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

"They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality. The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at levelling must lead, at best, to social stagnation. Society requires honest and able leadership; and if natural and institutional differences are destroyed, presently some tyrant or host of squalid oligarchs will create new forms of inequality." 

Taken from the Russel Kirk Center. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jesus Christ Superstar and the Generation Gap

DISCLAIMER: The following viewpoints are not those of the blogger, but a friend of his. If this point of view upsets you, you may vent, but don’t yell at the person who posted them. Start a discussion, express and opinion, but don’t yell at the person who didn’t write it, that is just senseless… These writings are the intellectual property of me, the Author, with permission granted to the blogger who is positing them. They may not be reposted or used in any form without express written consent by either myself or the blogger of Reformed Seth.

Jesus Christ Superstar and the Generation Gap

I had recently asked a friend to watch Jesus Christ Super Star, wondering how it would play out, knowing he is many many MANY years younger than me.

I, as a Christian, know he is one also, and thought that maybe the words and songs would translate to him as it did generations ago. I was wrong. Not Impressed, which is kind of how I thought it would go.

I mean, come on, who was I kidding, right? Here is a musical written and produced in the early late 60's, early 70's. How could someone who is barely in their 20's relate?

Back then, the country was torn apart by a war in Asia, not like we are in a war in Asia right now, right? Oh wait, Afghanistan is considered part of Asia.
But not like we are in a country trying to help them do their best and make a better life for themselves, only to be continually back-stabbed, lied to and taken advantage of, like South Vietnam, Oh wait, Pakistan.

Okay, but not like we have a Commander-In-Chief who is distrusted and vilified for the things that he says or does, and has people calling him disparaging names, like Tricky Dickey, right? Oh wait, the Liar-In-Chief, Osama/Obama, and other things I can't write in this article, and that is from some who had voted FOR him, with his open door policy that is actually more closed and secretive then the G.W. Bush administration.

Not like this Commander-In-Chief tells his allies one thing and does another, like Richard Nixon did with Cambodia, right? Oh wait again, we tell Pakistan all the time, they will be kept in the loop, but are not. They just continue to prove to be untrustworthy time and time again.

Well, at least he has to realize that people were open, and honest with the police, and those in authority, like Bill Ayres and the Weathermen Underground,  who never did anything questionable, especially during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where it was later stated that they had the media on their side, and would throw tennis balls with nails in them at the police, and then the cameras would catch the police chasing them and beating their ignorant asses, because they deserved it... I don't think anything like that has happened during his generation... except the town hall meetings where thugs voting DEMOCRAT would shout down questions from respectable citizens who wanted answers to complex questions.

How could he relate to how the world was in turmoil because Richard Nixon wouldn't bomb above the line of demarcation between the Communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam, when doing so would have ended the war so much earlier. Oh wait, William Jefferson Clinton could have sent a cruise missile up Osama Bin Laden's ass, but instead was too busy trying to convince people that he didn't know what sex was, and that he wasn't a lying scumbag who took advantage of the position of the President of the United States with a gullible intern. And then tried to paint her as the aggressor while he was so innocent, with all those OTHER charges of being a womanizing scumbag just sitting there waiting for people to look.

Just think, if William Jefferson had done his job, 2713 lives at the World Trade Center would have still been around, 93 people in an airplane wouldn't have gone into the ground in Pennsylvania, and 413 people wouldn't have died in the Pentagon. Along with the tens of thousands who died in Iraq, on both the American side of the invasion, along with its allies, and the Iraqi people. Or the people of Afghanistan who have died due to the Taliban allowing Osama to live there, and be chased all over the country.

IF we were the occupying force that Karazi and his ilk proclaim, then we would go in an burn down all the poppy fields, instead of allowing them to produce all the heroin that they currently produce. Pay them a thousand U.S. dollars and let them live "the life of O'Reilly", which they don't do to begin with. At least the aid would be getting to the people instead of the crooked politicians, just like South Vietnam...

Maybe the guy just doesn't realize that Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote the show, the same guy who did Phantom of the Opera , that has to strike a chord there, after all, he was around for that.

Maybe he doesn't get rock opera's, or musicals, as they were a dying art form when he was being raised, to be brought back with Chicago, so he doesn't have a full movie education, the full experience. THAT can be blamed on his parents, who are around my age, they just didn't bring him up right to understand all forms of entertainment. Like my father use to say, ..."There are two types of music, Country and Western".

And it isn't like the President had a choice in doing his job, giving the order to Seal Team Six to kill Osama Bin Laden, he would have been kicked out of office and strung up if he hadn't.

Wait, Richard Nixon promised to get the U.S. out of Vietnam, or they would have voted him out of office and strung him up.

And it isn't like the time when women were screaming for equality, wanting the same rights as men, or members of the black community who wanted the same basic rights granted to all white men... Oh wait, the Homosexual lobby took the place of the women, kind of, and the Mexican's, most illegal, want to take the place of the colored brothers. (And so it is known, I stood toe to toe WITH my friends who were black, taking some butt kickings because there were those who hated them for their skin color.)

So, with him not understanding the world in turmoil, like it was way back in the late 60's, early 70's, I have to ask the question...


At least, that is how Mark C's it.

conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription

Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription

"Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time. Therefore conservatives very often emphasize the importance of prescription—that is, of things established by immemorial usage, so that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary. There exist rights of which the chief sanction is their antiquity—including rights to property, often. Similarly, our morals are prescriptive in great part. Conservatives argue that we are unlikely, we moderns, to make any brave new discoveries in morals or politics or taste. It is perilous to weigh every passing issue on the basis of private judgment and private rationality. The individual is foolish, but the species is wise, Burke declared. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for the great mysterious incorporation of the human race has acquired a prescriptive wisdom far greater than any man’s petty private rationality." 

Taken from the Russel Kirk Center

Friday, July 1, 2011

The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity

The second principle is adherence to custom, convention, and continuity. 

Kirk writes:

"It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire. It is through convention—a word much abused in our time—that we contrive to avoid perpetual disputes about rights and duties: law at base is a body of conventions. Continuity is the means of linking generation to generation; it matters as much for society as it does for the individual; without it, life is meaningless. When successful revolutionaries have effaced old customs, derided old conventions, and broken the continuity of social institutions—why, presently they discover the necessity of establishing fresh customs, conventions, and continuity; but that process is painful and slow; and the new social order that eventually emerges may be much inferior to the old order that radicals overthrew in their zeal for the Earthly Paradise.

Conservatives are champions of custom, convention, and continuity because they prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know. Order and justice and freedom, they believe, are the artificial products of a long social experience, the result of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice. Thus the body social is a kind of spiritual corporation, comparable to the church; it may even be called a community of souls. Human society is no machine, to be treated mechanically. The continuity, the life-blood, of a society must not be interrupted. Burke’s reminder of the necessity for prudent change is in the mind of the conservative. But necessary change, conservatives argue, ought to be gradual and discriminatory, never unfixing old interests at once."

Taken from the Russel Kirk Center