Wednesday, March 31, 2010
We've heard a lot of yelling over the past few weeks over who is worse at protest rallies, i.e. the left or the right. The guys over at Pajamas Media made an effort to answer that debate with visual evidence. Warning -- one of the photos drops the "F" bomb.
Note: Thanks to Dan Phillips for the Debt Star photo. It's hilarious!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
For those who regularly stop in at Phil Johnson's Pyromaniacs blog (see the Friend of Sinners link on my sidebar), you will know that he regularly posts clips from the Charles Spurgeon archives, usually on weekends.
Taking my cue from that, I am going to introduce a weekly feature here at The Seventh Sola, which will feature clips from the classic multi-volume series on Christian doctrine called "The Fundamentals." The hyperlink will take you to an article from Wheaton College giving a bit of the history of this work, which originally came out in the very early 1900s as a 12-volume set. Later, Dr. R.A. Torrey supervised combining most of the original essays into a four-volume set, which is available very reasonably through Christian Book Distributors.
This new feature will usually be posted on Saturdays or Sundays, but I'll give you a clip today just to show you what you're in for. It's really a treasure trove. The following is from Volume 1, and the essay "Life in the Word," by Philip Mauro . . .
Many unspiritual teachers in these last days, and many superficial readers of Scripture, deem it incredible that salvation, which is the beginning of the life of the risen Christ in the soul of a perishing man, should be wrought through an operation so apparently simple as that of receiving God's Word, through faith, into the heart.
The clear declarations of God's Word on this subject are indeed frequently ridiculed in pulpit utterances. But to such minds the germination of a seed by merely casting it into the ground would be equally incredible. These spiritually-blinded ones, wise in their own conceits, miss altogether the teaching of the Bible concerning the wonderful process of spiritual conception and generation, which, in view of the equally mysterious process of natural conception, should not be deemed "a thing incredible." "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20).
The passage in 1 Peter 1 sets forth, moreover, the fact that spiritual regeneration through the Word of God conforms to the great biological law stated with such emphatic iteration in the first chapter of Genesis, namely, that the life imparted is the same in kind as that of its source, all the characteristics of the latter being reproduced in it. Emphasis is laid on the fact that the seed is incorruptable, and that the Word, which is its source, is eternal. Moreover, as in John's Gospel, the new, incorruptable and eternal life, which proceeds from spiritual conception by the Word of God, is put into direct contrast with the natural life, or "flesh." "For," continues the Apostle Peter, "all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass." The prominent characteristic of grass is that it withereth, and of the flower of grass, or of plant life, is that it falleth away. "The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but "—in direct contrast with this—"the Word of the Lord endureth forever." So it does, and so do all they who are begotten of the incorruptible seed of the Word.
The passage closes with the unmistakably plain statement, "And this is the Word which, by the Gospel, is preached unto you."
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The following was posted by a friend on Facebook. It's worth pondering on this Palm Sunday as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday . . .
Palm Sunday- the same crowds cheer the Messiah they think is there to meet their desires, then trade Him in for a thief and murderer, more to their liking. Today we have churches for "Liberator Jesus," "Prosperity Jesus," and any number of political messiahs. And the Risen Christ stands, on the outskirts of our lives, waiting
May we not keep our Lord on the outskirts of our lives. He bought and paid for us with a huge price. We owe Him our all.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I haven't been in the mood to post too much these days, as you can probably see. With the ongoing tussle over so-called health care reform, I find myself alternating between hilarious amusement and stroke-producing fury.
One of the things bringing out such wild mood swings is the sheer hypocrisy of the left over the alleged violence and "hateful rhetoric" aimed at Democratic lawmakers and their acolytes. I've been around awhile, and from what I and many others have witnessed, few can match the radical left in hate, venom, invective and Goebbels-like propaganda. They'll rail at conservatives for supposedly engaging in it, with loving help from a fawning media, and even with confronted with concrete, provable examples of their side doing it, they'll look right into the camera and lie, denying that they do it. Oh, some of them might come close to admitting that it happens on their side, but for the most part they keep parroting the talking point like automatons.
Other Democrats look mystified. They just can't admit that the American public is really, really angry at them. With hectoring tones, they disdain the public and their anger, and make the false connection that voicing such anger at protests is tantamount to inciting violence. They're supposedly afraid of things "getting out of control."
I am certainly no advocate of violence. We shouldn't have to make this point, but because of the left's love of false moral equivalence and demagoguery, we must -- loudly and repeatedly. The media certainly won't help bring any balance. I don't think things have gotten to where that is necessary. However, I think it would behoove the Democrats -- and for that matter, all elected officials -- to remember a bit of American history.
What provoked the American Revolution? Was it not a growing sense among the Colonists that the British parliament (elected lawmakers) was not listening to them? Did not the British government of the day insist on ramming legislation and taxes through and imposing them on the Colonies without heeding the "will of the people?"
The Democrats today say they don't want violence. They don't want a societal explosion. They certainly don't want a revolution, at least we hope not. As an aside, there are some radicals in the government who would probably love a serious social explosion, because that would permit draconian steps to suppress it that they can't justify right now. But that's my ultra-suspicious side talking.
The lesson for the Democrats is this. If you don't want the pressure cooker continuing to build and eventually explode, learn the lesson that the British parliament should have learned. Don't give the American people the middle finger when they're trying to tell you something. Elected officials are public servants, not masters.
If Congress keeps blowing off the American people, then the American people are going to get madder, and madder and madder, and madder. Then one day, boom!
I hope and pray the Rapture of the Church takes place before then, because I don't want to have to go through such a nightmare. And there's something else to ponder about any potential "revolution" touching off.
The painting I used to illustrate this post is the famous "Spirit of 1776." I am afraid that very little of that spirit exists in the country, i.e. devotion to our founding principles and a Judeo-Christian consensus. Decades of lefty indoctrination in schools, the media and theological decay in our churches has done more damage than people realize. We might indeed get a "revolution," but the country that rose up from the ashes might be much, much worse. Think of the days of Noah before the flood, or Sodom and Gomorrah before judgment fell.
Maybe I'm overly pessimistic, but I don't like what I'm seeing. Not by a long shot. We'd better pray for our country.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Today, we hear from the always astute Dr. Al Mohler on "tolerance." This is an issue that will likely trouble many Christian organizations as state-sanctioned immorality continues to grow like a cancer.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Actually, this World Magazine column by Janie B. Cheaney is entitled "Abetting the Clueless." Even so, I chose to title this post a bit more strongly, and when you read Ms. Cheaney's editorial, you'll see why.
Ms. Cheaney is discussing the recent death of author J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye." The book is required reading in many high schools across the country, and has been for years. To be honest, the book bored me to tears. But I think Janie is on to something in her column. I love this quote especially . . .
Why do some adults romanticize a time of life that almost no one wants to revisit? Though youth has its joys, those years might best be summed up as "Clueless in the Universe": cruelly self-aware but without perspective. Society seems equally confused about teens, allowing them to drive at 16 but not to rent a car until 23, encouraging sexual activity through entertainment and dress while discouraging it through abstinence programs, celebrating youthful alienation in literature but deploring it in the classroom. The idealization of adolescence does it no favors. Psalm 103 offers a better attitude: "As a father shows compassion to his children . . . "
Ms. Cheaney also records a line from the novel King Dork, which excoriates the "Holden Caulfield cult" among educators . . .
They're looking over your shoulder with these expectant smiles, wishing they were the ones discovering the earth-shattering joys of The Catcher in the Rye for the very first time. Too late, man. I mean, I've been around the . . . block. I've been forced to read it like three hundred times, and don't tell anyone but I think it sucks."
There is so much there to ponder if you just let yourself for a while. The damage done to our society and country -- not to mention to the next generation -- by a whole slew of 1960s liberals who have deified adolescence with all of its narcissism is incalculable.
We've just seen a sliver of it in the health care debacle this past weekend. The entitlement culture and mindset will be the eventual ruin of the United States.
We're just too adolescent to see it.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
In case you don't remember who Alcee Hastings is, he is a current Congressman who was formerly a federal judge -- a judge who was impeached and removed from office for perjury and corruption.
I think you'll find some hilarity in this video clip. Hastings basically confirms what we all knew about the Democrats in Congress these days. "There aren't any rules. We make them up as we go along."
God help us.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
If you'd like an interesting article to read today, let me recommend this one by David Kupelian.
In this WorldNetDaily post, Mr. Kupelian spells out how leftists gin up endless "crises" to further their political aims. After so many years of pulling stunts like this, you'd think people would catch on.
Monday, March 15, 2010
With the so-called "new atheism" making the rounds in recent years and getting a lot of media attention, it's been necessary for Christian apologists and scholars to take up the gauntlet. It would be necessary regardless, but even more needed right now because of how aggressive this new crop of atheists has been.
Enter James S. Spiegel, professor of philosophy and religion at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. On the radio program I co-host, Perspective Underground, we recently had the privilege of interviewing Jim about his new book, The Making of an Atheist," released in the United States by Moody Publishers. In his book, Professor Spiegel makes a very strong case that atheism, especially the aggressive "new atheist" variety, has its roots more in a fallen will and moral compass rather than skeptical objections.
The moral argument has been made in the past by other Christian scholars of history, to be sure. However, Jim's book makes a fresh, compelling case for the 21st Century. In The Making of an Atheist," he reviews several different areas in a very user-friendly fashion. He opens by looking at some of the actual arguments used by the New Atheists, and then in subsequent chapters, deals with atheism's irrationality, causes and obstinacy. The book concludes with the very real blessings of theism, or belief in the God of the Bible.
Here is a little clip of the introduction to set the stage for the following chapters . . .
The candid remarks of atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel are telling:
I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God, and naturally, hope that I'm right about my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that."
These comments by Nagel . . . reveal strong emotions. Could it be that their opposition to religious faith has more to do with the will than with reason? What if, in the end, evidence has little to do with how atheists arrive at their anti-faith? Perhaps we should consider the possibility that skeptical objections are the atheists' facade, a scholarly veneer masking the real causes of their unbelief—causes that are moral and psychological in nature. That is precisely my aim in this book. Atheism is not at all a consequence of intellectual doubts. Such doubts are mere symptoms of the root cause—moral rebellion. For the atheist, the missing ingredient is not evidence but obedience.
Jim Spiegel's case certainly resonates with a key passage in Scripture, namely Romans chapter 1, which says that men "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." God's Word goes on to say . . .
. . . because that which is known about God is evident within them, because God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22).
Romans 1 goes on in a similar vein, but you get the idea. Man doesn't believe because he has suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. It's not because God has hidden Himself under a bushel basket.
Certainly, the New Atheists will object vociferously to such a depiction and insist that their skepticism is based on science. If they are truly objective and rational, then they should read Professor Speigel's new book and consider what he has to say with an open mind and honest self-criticism.
Who knows. Maybe they'll have a change of heart.
Late note: To go hand in hand with this book review, check out this column by Vox Day on the New Atheism's passing day in the sun.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sola's Note: I received this from a friend today. Thought I'd post it, as it will make for the next round of headlines. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The Tea Party movement calls for a return to the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights as explained in the Federalist Papers. They stand for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market.
On the other hand, the new Coffee Party is much less clear about what they stand for. But the following items should give you a good idea that it doesn't stand for the same things as the Tea Party movement.
1. The organizer is Annabel Park---a former Strategy Analyst at the NY Times who was one of organizers and operators of the United for Obama video channel at YouTube.
2. She doesn't like the Pledge of Allegiance or the flag or "Under God" being in the pledge,
3. However, she has put together a Coffee Party "civility pledge".....
"We the People demand: Reason and civility in public affairs; A government accountable to the People; Liberty & Justice for All."
4. As opposed to the Tea Party movement, the Coffee Party appears to be looked on favorably by the press.
5. But the behind the scenes contribution links are pointing toward far-left zealot/financier George Soros, ACORN, and Senator Chuck Schumer.
5a. The contribution landing page for the Coffee Party says that it partners with Democracyinaction.org, a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning contributions to the latter are tax-deductible.
5b. Democracyinaction.org is affiliated with for-profits Salsa Enterprise and Wired for Change. Wired for Change lists its "political organization" clients to include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and ACORN. Its candidate clients include Chuck Schumer and Jerry Brown.
5c. The About Page for Democracyinaction.org states that it gets funding from Open Society Institute, George Soros’s organization.
So, don't be fooled..and pass the word along.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This article from Life News is an excellent example of why many of my fellow conservatives are uncomfortable with Mitt Romney.
I do hope Romney doesn't run for president again and dilute the field for true conservatives.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sola's Note: This review has been reposted with the kind permission of Lighthouse Trails Publishing.
by John Lanagan
(free-lance writer and researcher)
In Brian McLaren’s latest book, A New Kind of Christianity, the reader is cordially invited to join the author in a heretical assault upon God and the Bible. Indeed, as McLaren enthusiastically demonstrates, it is not possible to attack one without attacking the other.
Acknowledging the work of fellow emergent travelers such as Phyllis Tickle, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt, McLaren tells us “something is trying to be born among those of us who follow Jesus Christ.” (pg.13) In fact, writes McLaren, “what is trying to be born today echoes the Great Reformation in many ways.” (pg.257)
But does McLaren’s paradigm vision really echo the Great Reformation? From the Reformation came the freedom of Sola Scriptura—the Word of God alone. The chains of a false religion were cast off. From the Reformation came men and women who were willing to die for the right to believe and proclaim Truth.
What does McLaren’s “reformation” offer? An errant eschatology. A New Age “christ.” The ascent of homospirituality into the temple. (2 Kings 23: 7) All made possible, of course, through creative misinterpretation of God’s Word. The author has brought us his Great Deformation, a theology that plays to the flesh even while being portrayed as a spiritual journey.
One of the major themes in A New Kind of Christianity, homosexuality, cleverly defines Christians who speak out against the homosexual lifestyle as suffering from “fundasexuality.” (Pg.174-5) However, you are only a “fundasexualist” if you speak out loudly against this sin.
McLaren decrees, “The term does not apply to the quiet, pious, respectful fundamentalism of straightforward, sincere people, but rather to the organizing, angry, dominating fundamentalism that declares war on those who differ.” (pg. 174-5)
In other words, when it comes to homosexuality, a good Christian is a silent Christian.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
As my wife and I have both repented of this particular sin, it is difficult to comprehend Brian McLaren’s smiley-faced rebellion. But make no mistake: McLaren and others are being used to facilitate homospirituality, which may even assume an elevated, even sacred, status.
Ridiculous? Simply look to the Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians. This is just the beginning. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Like Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren believes Christians are trapped in a “Greco-Roman” understanding of the faith. “Now the god of this Greco-Roman version of the biblical story bears a strange similarity in many ways to Zeus,” he tells us, which “is a far different deity from the Jewish Elohim of Genesis 1…” (pg. 42)
Yet, no matter what name his god is given, you will not find this redesigned deity in the Old or New Testament. The only way to promote the existence of this “god” is to radically change biblical interpretation—which is exactly what the author spends much time and many pages seeking to accomplish. “There will be no new kind of Christian faith without a new approach to the Bible,” he opines, “because we’ve gotten ourselves into a mess with the Bible.” (Pg. 67-68)
In his chapter, ‘What is the Overarching Storyline of the Bible?’ McLaren notes he and others have “dared to tweak” the content of the Word of God. “We might question conventional theories of atonement or the nature and population of hell or whether concepts like original sin or total depravity might need to be modified.” (pg. 35)
McLaren does indeed “modify.” He modifies with a vengeance. Thus this emergent “Jesus” was never sent by the Father to die in our place for our sins. There is no substitutionary atonement. There is no original sin.
The Bible tells us, “I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.” (Psalm 119: 145)
McLaren believes traditional understanding of the Word of God has made Christians a nasty, dominant bunch. We apparently have difficulty with religious pluralism because of this flawed understanding. On top of that, Christians “currently control most of the world’s wealth, consume most of the world’s resources, produce most of the world’s waste, and sell and use most of the world’s weapons.” (Pg.215)
As in his other books, in A New Kind of Christianity McLaren exhibits his ability and talent to write well and draw readers with his conversational tone, seemingly measured, with humorous comments sprinkled in here and there. He gives the impression of allowing much room to disagree with him. He invites us on a journey, which he portrays as part of the natural “evolution” of Christianity.
“The old paradigm falls away behind us like a point of departure, and we are won over to new possibilities, caught up in a new way of seeing, looking toward a new and wide horizon.” (Pg.30) But since the author does not comprehend the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:14), what practices does he engage in to gain wisdom and knowledge?
Interestingly, McLaren identifies himself as a “contemplative/reflexive.” (pg. 226) He writes, “In the tradition of Julian of Norwich and St. Teresa of Avila and all the other mystics, we can learn to render ourselves vulnerable to the “favors of God”—those indescribable experiences that mock our dualisms and so saturate our imagination with abundance that they transcend our ability to convey joy and wonder. In the tradition of St. John of the Cross, we can learn to survive and derive benefits from the soul’s dark night.” (pg. 227) Like most leading figures in the emergent movement, McLaren advocates contemplative spirituality.
A New Kind of Christianity will serve as a lure for Bible-illiterate Christians. For believers who know the Word of God, McLaren’s heresy will sadden and astound. His book is aimed at the young, and at people who have perhaps grown up in households with little or no faith. It is aimed at the unsaved and the uncertain. It is for the disappointed and disenchanted, and for people who simply know no better. If you have a gripe against God or His people, this book will lick your wounds. But what this book will not do is provide any measure of godly hope and biblical virtue.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Vice President Joe Biden is notorious for being gaffe-prone, but his latest remarks about Israel don't qualify as a "gaffe." More like outright stupidity, almost to the level of being obscene.
Biden thinks Israel needs to "take risks for peace." What else, pray, has Israel been doing but taking risks for peace for the past several years? They've taken just about all the risks and have gotten nothing in return except more hate and bloodshed from Palestinian thugs.
Biden needs to shut up and go home. Or better yet, tell Palestinian leaders that they need to take a few risks for peace. They can start with stopping the rockets, kidnappings, mob violence and all their other shenanigans.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Congressman Paul Ryan of Janesville, Wisconsin, is a rising star in the GOP. In the latest Imprimis, the newsletter of Hillsdale College, Mr. Ryan takes up the subject of health care reform and the cancer that is progressivism. Please note that he whacks progressives in both political parties.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Sorry I haven't been updating the blog of late. I haven't been feeling too well, and we've had company this weekend. I'm headed to bed, and hopefully will have a new post later in the week.
In the meantime, please peruse some of the linked blogs on the right.
In the meantime, please peruse some of the linked blogs on the right.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
When the news first broke about Senator Jim Bunning's lone-man show against the extension of unemployment benefits, I knew that he'd be in for a shellacking from the media. I also knew that the Democrats would use it to tar the entire GOP.
At first blush -- knowing Bunning's tense relationship with majority leader and fellow Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell -- I suspected that Bunning was doing this largely for the sake of revenge. McConnell and other Republicans pushed Bunning to not seek re-election. What better way to slap back than to stage a stunt that you know full well will be hung like an albatross on the necks of Republicans -- no matter what you say is your motivation.
Larry Elder's WorldNetDaily column today is making me rethink that suspicion. I also read Bunning's editorial in USA Today, and heard him on Sean Hannity last evening. I think Bunning makes a legitimate point.
Unfortunately, the entitlement mindset has too much of a stranglehold on this country.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Lots of buzz these days about the new "Alice in Wonderland" movie by Tim Burton. Given todays' review of the movie soundtrack album by Edna Gunderson, there might well be some more buzz and not all of it positive.
The review says the soundtrack is pretty much bland fare, except for a track called "Tea Party" by someone named "Kerli." That one is, in the reviewer's words, "salty" and "innuendo-packed," and will leave many parents wondering how it got by Disney's censors.
The question ought to be why censors would even be necessary. If this is a children's project, what's the point of putting a vulgar song in the soundtrack? I'm sure the stock answer will be that they want to appeal to adults, too. But subversiveness seems more likely to me.
That brings me to another point. It's funny to me how, when this type of stuff comes up in the film, stage, music or print world, such humor or material is called "adult."
Actually, it's far from being adult and mature. It's pretty juvenile.
Monday, March 01, 2010
I've always liked Greg Laurie, although we probably differ on some theological points. In this Christian Post article, Pastor Greg hits several of the hot-button issues raging today, and makes a point that the evangelical church needs to remember. We are not to conform the church to the world, but rather call the world to repentance. No matter what the cost.