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By In Politics

The One With the Squished Head

UnbelieversComingSoon

“That’s what I get from these guys–the permission to question everything.”  Thus ends the new trailer promoting Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss’ film “Unbelievers”.  It is scheduled to be released sometime in 2013.

If you’ve ever seen Douglas Wilson’s “Collision”, then you’ll recognize the trailer for “Unbelievers”.  Apparently, the “Unbelievers” folks appreciated what Gorilla Poet Productions created a few years ago with “Collision” and have attempted to create their own anti-theistic version.  The camera work, the music, the transportation scenes–all very reminiscent of the fantastic work by Darren Doane, Aaron Rench, Nate Wilson, and the folks at Gorilla Poet.  Congratulations to them on being copied.  It is the best form of flattery.

And how about that title? Did they intend to prove everything Douglas Wilson said in “Collision” all in one word?  The only reference point they have is the truth.  All they can do is oppose the God who created them by being UN-believers.  As Wilson so aptly states,

“Atheism has two tenets: 1.) There is no God, and 2.) I hate Him.”

In the death throes of their leader–the one with the squished head–the atheists must continue to rely upon the only foundation that there is available, i.e. that God created them, as He did all of us, rational, moral image-bearers of Himself.  Every word they speak speaks a  word against themselves.  Every beautiful image they capture on film displays the glory of their Creator.

So watch “Unbelievers”.  Watch “Collision”.  Work hard.  Sleep well.  The mustard seed continues to grow.<>аудит а раскрутка

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By In Politics

The Medium is Nearly as Vital as the Message

“The reality is that sometimes the packaging really makes a difference in what you can take away from the book.  I remember when Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose first came out in the 80’s.  I was just blown away by it.  I was captured from page one.  As William of Baskerville wanders up the trail toward the monastery and begins to notice clues that wow everyone.  He out-sherlocked Sherlock.  And then through the labyrynthine theology that takes you to the great climax at the end, I was hooked.  I told every pastor friend of mine; every theologian; everybody I knew teaching at seminary, ‘You have to read this book!’  Several of them, having become accustomed to such messages from me, put it off until it came out in paperback.  And then I started to get this trickle of voicemails and emails…well, I guess it was faxes back in those days.  Anyway, a trickle of messages from folks saying, ‘I can’t get into this.  It’s obtuse.  It’s dense.  I’m not getting anywhere.’  And then I discovered that they’re reading it in a mass-market paperback!  On paper that would have been rejected for USA Today for heaven’s sakes!  Not even worth printing factoids on it.  So I told them, ‘Go to Crown or Barnes and Noble.  Go to the remainder table.  Buy yourself a hardback, and read it properly.’  Now that may seem silly, but in point of fact,  prose that is dense and difficult needs an appropriate architecture to contain it.  Aesthetics matter.  Aesthetics always matter.  We, who think the height of American architecture is some tin shed on a highway, actually believe that aesthetics don’t matter.   But when you walk into a stone cathedral in the middle of Stephansplatz, a block from Mozart’s home, you realize, ‘you know–tin sheds aren’t all they’re cracked-up to be.’  And neither are crummy paperbacks…  Medium is nearly as vital as the message.”

George Grant (the one in Franklin, TN) from the lecture “Shelf Life: Reading, Thinking, and Resisting the Tyranny of the Urgent”.  You can purchase it here.

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By In Books, Politics, Pro-Life

Abortion and Rights, by George Parkin Grant

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“Behind the conflict of rights (between the mother and the fetus MH), there is unveiled in the debate about abortion an even more fundamental question about rights themselves.  What is it about human beings that makes it proper that we should have any rights at all?  Because of this the abortion issue involves all modern societies in basic questions of political principle.

These questions of principle were brought out into the open for Americans, when the Supreme Court of that country made it law that no legislation can be passed which prevents women from receiving abortions during the first six months of pregnancy.  In laying down the reasons for that decision, the judges speak as if they were basing it on the supremacy of rights in a democratic society.  But to settle the case in terms of rights, the judges say that the mother has all the rights, and that the foetus has none.  Because they make this distinction, the very principle of rights is made dubious in the following way. In negating all rights to the foetuses, the court says something negative about what they are, namely that they are such as to warrant no right to continued existence.  And because the foetus is of the same species as the mother, we are inevitably turned back onto the fundamental question of principle: what is it about the mother (or any human being) that makes it proper that she should have rights?  Because in the laws about abortion one is forced back to the stark comparison between the rights of members of the same species (our own), the foundations of the principles behind rights are unveiled inescapably.  What is it about our species that gives us rights beyond those of dogs or cattle?

The legal and political system, which was the noblest achievement of the English-speaking societies, came forth from our long tradition of free institutions and Common Law, which was itself produced and sustained by centuries of Christian belief.   Ruthlessness in law and politics was limited by a system of legal and political rights which guarded the individual from  the abuses of arbitrary power, both by the state and other individuals.  The building of this system has depended on the struggle and courage of many, and was fundamentally founded on the Biblical assumption that human beings are the children of God.  For this reason, everybody should be properly protected by carefully defined rights.  Those who advocate easy abortions in the name of rights are at the same time unwittingly undermining the very basis of rights.  Their complete disregard for the unborn weakens the very idea of rights itself. This weakening does not portend well for the continuing health of our system.” —George Parkin Grant, Technology & Justice 1986

“George Parkin Grant, 1918-1988, has been acknowledged as Canada’s leading political philosopher since the publication of Philosophy in the Mass Age 1959.  He was the author of Lament for a Nation, Technology & Empire, and English-Speaking Justice.  He taught religion and philosophy at McMaster University and Dalhousie University.” (from the back cover of Technology & Justice)<>правила написания продающих текстовопределения позиции а

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By In Culture

Virginity: Christianity’s Main Idol?

Last October my daughter turned 13, and my wife and I took her out for her “promise ring” event.  The evening was a blast, the food was terrific, and the conversation was over-the-top.  We presented her with a ring to commemorate the event.  It was beautiful; she was beautiful; my wife was beautiful; the whole evening was just… beautiful.  During the conversation we focused in on the fact that she was becoming a woman and boys were probably going to start to notice.  The promises that were made that night concerned keeping lines of communication open about whatever may be going on in her life over the next few years. We want to rejoice with her as things go well, and help her through any times when things might not go so well.  We promised to talk about whichever boy that may show an interest, or that she might take an interest in when he comes calling.  The issue of virginity may have come up at certain points in the conversation, but that ideal is not one that is new to her.  Scripture is replete with references to God’s desire for sexual purity, so we did not wait until she was 13 to introduce them.  True love does not wait until your children are 13 to tell them that “true love waits”.

Attached to this post is a link to an article concerning the “downside” of the “True Love Waits” movement.  Perhaps that is the downside–that it is a movement of a Christian bookstore instead of the modus operandi of Christian families in the church.  The downsides referred to in the article concern “damaged goods” and “virginity as a commodity”.  The “damaged goods” issue comes into play since virginity can only be “lost” once.  After it’s gone, by definition, it’s gone.  The article raises some valid questions about how the emphasis on mass-marketed virginity can ostracize the young ladies who are no longer virgins and cannot possibly retrieve it.  They can be forgiven, but not be really “pure” like a girl who is still a virgin.  Is this loving to our neighbors?  Is this how we would want to be treated?  These are questions the article addresses.

I wouldn’t trade the evening with my wife and daughter last October for anything.  I do not plan on changing the general direction of how I am approaching my own daughter, but I appreciate the issues raised in this article.  I love my daughter enough to instruct her in righteousness and be there with her as she matures. Do I love my neighbor’s daughter enough to be careful with my words?  Are we wise and loving enough to preach “as far as the east is from the west” right alongside “you reap what you sow”?

Fare Forward » Virginity: Christianity’s Main Idol?.<>как делать оптимизацию а

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By In Culture

The Role of Heretical Christianity in the Rise of Islam

Although North Africa enjoyed the blessing of the presence of Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo, the impact of these great Catholic leaders was unable to maintain a long-lasting effect. The influence of Vandal Arianism supplanted Trinitarian Catholicism to the point that when the Muslims invaded from the East, there was no sufficient, theological base in the North Africans to resist the new Islamic heresies. Through a series of events, over a couple of centuries, the Byzantine people, and their Catholic culture, had become undesirable to the North Africans. When Vandal Arianism arrived on the scene, the North Africans were emotionally and psychologically prepared to have their Catholic dogma replaced. They did not specifically seek it out, but they were unprepared to repel the Vandal Arian heresy. Upon the acceptance of Vandal Arianism, the North Africans rejected Chalcedonian Christology and therefore, had no problem with the Islamic idea that Jesus was only a great prophet and that Mohammed had come as an even greater, and final, prophet. It was this religious difference between North Africa and the rest of Europe and southwest Asia, rather than any economic or socio-political differences, that opened the door for Islam to nearly eradicate Christianity from northern Africa.

Vandal Arianism developed in the Teutonic regions of northern Europe where Christ was viewed as a step above the average man, rather than a “second degree” God as he was viewed in Hellenic Arianism.  Jesus was a hero, a commander, or king, but not God like the divine All-Father.  This is as clearly heresy as the Hellenic version, albeit distinctive in the details.

In the early 430’s, the Teutonic general, Geiseric moved down through the Iberian Peninsula across the Straits of Gibraltar into North Africa.  By 439 he had conquered North Africa from present-day Mauritania to Tripoli in Libya.  He had become “master of North Africa”.  As surely as modern politicians show favors to those who will be favorable to advance their campaign, Geiseric, a Vandal Arian, promoted his religion in all the cities of his dominion.  Things were much easier for adherents to Vandal Arianism than for those who maintained the Trinitarian Catholic faith. Many clerics were exiled to Italy and the treasures of the local churches confiscated for Arian use.  To portray Geseric and his successors as merely religious zealots would be to oversimplify the matter, for politics played an important role in establishing their rule over the Berber people of North Africa.  With little to no religious allegiance to Rome or Constantinople, a North African ruler could count on that much more fidelity from his constituency. These anti-Catholic moves by the North African leaders, as well as some dumb moves by the Byzantines and Catholics themselves, solidified the shift from Trinitarian Christianity to Vandal Arianism.

Mohammed crafted his vision in 610 A.D., and within 80 years of his death in 632 A.D., his followers had spread the Muslim religion and kingdom throughout the Middle East, Egypt, North Africa and Spain.  Although the Byzantine generals and troops put up a fight every step of the way, the Arian predisposition of the Berber peoples in North Africa made them prime candidates for conversion to the Muslim faith.  This predisposition to a subordinate Christology aligned them more closely with an Islamic view of Jesus than a Catholic one.  The Quran refers to Jesus as a Prophet and the son of the virgin Mary but also says that Mohammed was a greater servant of God than Jesus. The Vandal Arian heresy had primed the pump for the next greater one than Jesus to come along.  As C.J. Speel surmises,

“Conversion from Teutonic Arianism, the faith of the bulk of North Africa’s population from ca. 450 to ca. 670 A.D., to Islam was an easy step.  In Teutonic Arianism Jesus was not God; neither was He the “Second degree” God of Arius, a philosophical logos.  He was a great tribal leader, or healer, or commander, an historical figure, a man who was manifested as the Son of God. Islam did not seriously alter this picture of Jesus; it simply added another and even more distinguished figure—the Prophet of Mecca to whom was revealed in most recent times the will of God.”

By 698 A.D. Carthage had fallen to Muslim invaders and has not yet risen from the ashes.  This is not simply an accounting of things that happened a long time ago on a continent far, far away.  We are not only concerned for the conversion of North Africans to Christianity, but we must take note of the current state of Christianity in our own land.  If a shift from the Trinitarian Catholic Faith of the historic creeds of the church is a tell-tale sign of what is coming, then we need to hang on tight.  This ride is about to get a lot bumpier.

For example, we are not too far removed from the Republican Mormon that was offered to us for consideration last November.  He was weighed in balances and found wanting, but the sobering thing is that he accomplished being the last “conservative” on the scale.  What are conservative Americans attempting to accomplish if a Mormon is the man for the job?  Trinitarian Christianity cannot be anywhere but on the fringes of American culture if Mitt Romney made it as far as he did.  Not to mention the support he received from overtly Christian organizations like Billy Graham’s, who removed Mormonism from its list of cults on their website a few months before the election.  “Christian” leaders like Joel Osteen, the pastor of a Houston church, with about a million members, says that “Mitt Romney is a believer in Christ like me.”  If Osteen was the exception rather than the rule, it would be different, but American Christians bought it hook, line and sinker, and sent Romney up against Obama.  As least the Vandal Arians imposed the rule on the North Africans as their conquerors, as opposed to the GOP, who has willingly traded Nicaea and Chalcedon for some golden plates found buried on a hill in New York.

This is not meant to be a harsh judgment of folks who view the General Election as a zero-sum game, and therefore felt compelled to vote for one of the two options, however abhorrent the choices were.  It’s not the individual’s vote in November that is as disconcerting as the fact that Romney was ever considered viable by the conservative populace.

I did not intend for this to end up being a rant about last November as much as a recognition that America is following in the footsteps of the North African culture, which has not known Christendom for over 1300 years.  She walked away from orthodoxy and God let her keep walking.  America is just a flash in the pan compared to many cultures, and we’ve already walked away.

Speel II, C.J. “The Disappearance of Christianity from North Africa in the Wake of the Rise of Islam.” Church History 29, no. 4 (1960): 379-397. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3161925. Accessed February 1, 2013.<>dobavitоптимизация страницы а

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