The Better Romans

Romans 6:18
By noxesh
Romans 12:21
By noxesh

Just as there is a better Jerusalem, there is a better Rome.

The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven above. The Rome that matters also comes from heaven above… and still stands today, long after the Rome of emperors and legions became but dust.

Koch says the most important leader he wrote about is the Apostle Paul. He thinks Paul was the greatest of all leaders. He changed the world more than any other leader. I agree with him. I agree with him to such an extent that I have decided to write an appendix on Paul’s career for my book on leadership, which has been typeset. This is the crucial point: Paul’s time perspective stretched into eternity. He had the most long-term time perspective of anyone who ever influenced Western civilization directly.

[…]

When I write my appendix on Paul next week, I am not going to have nine points. I am going to have five: mission, service, teamwork, mastery, and inheritance. I recommend them to you.

Gary North, Nine Characteristics of Super-Successful People

The Apostle Paul is the Roman citizen that matters.

Not the First Citizens Julius or Augustus Caesar.

Social Media and Scientific Heterodoxy

Evolution News: From Matt Ridley, Smart Remarks on Scientocracy — and a Howling Irony
by David Klinghoffer@d_klinghoffer

—<Quote begins>—

There were some excellent comments about science and scientocracy from Matt Ridley in a weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal — but also a howling irony. Ridley, a self-professed “science critic,” distinguishes science as a “philosophy,” a way of seeking knowledge with roots in the Enlightenment, from science as a self-promoting, self-protecting “institution,” a “global guild.” 

Isn’t This the Truth?

No one in the intelligent design research community could have said this with greater punch:

Conformity,” Mr. Ridley says, “is the enemy of scientific progress, which depends on disagreement and challenge. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, as [the physicist Richard] Feynman put it.” Mr. Ridley reserves his bluntest criticism for “science as a profession,” which he says has become “rather off-puttingly arrogant and political, permeated by motivated reasoning and confirmation bias.” Increasing numbers of scientists “seem to fall prey to groupthink, and the process of peer-reviewing and publishing allows dogmatic gate-keeping to get in the way of new ideas and open-minded challenge.”…

In Mr. Ridley’s view, the scientific establishment has always had a tendency “to turn into a church, enforcing obedience to the latest dogma and expelling heretics and blasphemers.” This tendency was previously kept in check by the fragmented nature of the scientific enterprise: Prof. A at one university built his career by saying that Prof. B’s ideas somewhere else were wrong. In the age of social media, however, “the space for heterodoxy is evaporating.” So those who believe in science as philosophy are increasingly estranged from science as an institution. [Emphasis added.]

Isn’t that the truth? Science as a “church” policing its members for their obedience to “dogma,” pursuing and “expelling heretics and blasphemers.” That’s the experience of ID proponents in academia, tracked and punished by the Darwinists, in a nutshell. See more on that on the Free Science website.

A Dig at ID; Why?

And yet…Ridley needs to put in a dig at intelligent design, right in the middle of some smart remarks about what’s worrisome about the hankering of scientists to be put in charge of everyone, as in the present pandemic.

He asks: “If you think biological complexity can come about through unplanned emergence and not need an intelligent designer, then why would you think human society needs an ‘intelligent government’?” Science as an institution has “a naive belief that if only scientists were in charge, they would run the world well.” Perhaps that’s what politicians mean when they declare that they “believe in science.” As we’ve seen during the pandemic, science can be a source of power.

What Does He Mean?

I’m not sure what that even means. Because, in the evolutionary perspective, brilliant invention emerges from mindless material processes, therefore brilliance in a societal context will emerge readily even if unintelligent people run the government? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the worldview, the values, of those in government more than on their IQ. People of low, average, or high intelligence, if they’ve got a faulty picture of reality projecting at the back of their thoughts, can do a lot of damage if you put them in charge.

What is the function of the dig at ID, though? It seems to me it is to provide self-protection. Science is a “global guild” and this “critic” is assuring readers that despite sounding like a “heretic” or a “blasphemer” — perhaps even like one of those intelligent design rascals — he’s really quite safe and tame. He is a member of the “church” in good standing…well, maybe not perfect standing, but good enough for a hearing by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, that undercuts the cogency of much of the rest of what he has to say.

—<Quote ends>—

Actually, I would have tagged the hunger for an Enforced Scientific Consensus to Rockefeller’s drive for college and university accreditation boards. All from Gary North:

If anything, the shift from State-backed Guild Control managed by the best and the brightest to online mob intimidation from the overeducated and underemployed is a sign of the weakening power of Our Betters.

“Stay tuned.”

From Evolution News: An ID Prediction for CRISPR Gene Editing

From An ID Prediction for CRISPR Gene Editing by William A. Dembski

—<Quote begins>—

In 1998, I published a piece in First Things titled “Science and Design.” In it I offered the following prediction about junk DNA:

But design is not a science stopper. Indeed, design can foster inquiry where traditional evolutionary approaches obstruct it. Consider the term “junk DNA.” Implicit in this term is the view that because the genome of an organism has been cobbled together through a long, undirected evolutionary process, the genome is a patchwork of which only limited portions are essential to the organism. Thus on an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function. And indeed, the most recent findings suggest that designating DNA as “junk” merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. For instance, in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, John Bodnar describes how “non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes encodes a language which programs organismal growth and development.” Design encourages scientists to look for function where evolution discourages it.

Even when I wrote this in 1998, biologists should have seen the writing on the wall that junk DNA wasn’t really junk, as my reference to the JTBarticle shows. So I saw this statement less as prediction and more as simply describing how things seemed to be unfolding. But in the first decade of the new millennium, evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins (The Greatest Show on Earth, 2009) and Francis Collins (The Language of God, 2006), along with many fellow Darwinists, doubled down on junk DNA being a proof of Darwinian evolution and a refutation intelligent design. 

Then came ENCODE, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, with its 2012 announcement that even though much of our DNA doesn’t code for proteins, such non-coding genetic material is nonetheless overwhelmingly functional. By the second decade of the new millennium, what could be considered junk DNA had shrunk precipitously, and evolutionary biologists were trying to retell history so that it didn’t reflect badly on Darwinism and didn’t reflect well on intelligent design (as Casey Luskin recounted in his article “Post-ENCODE Posturing: Rewriting History Won’t Erase Bad Evolutionary Predictions.”) John West even explicitly cited ENCODE as vindicating my 1998 prediction (see his “Darwin and ‘Providential Design’”). 

No Good Evolutionary Story 

The biggest thing in biology in the last decade has been the discovery of CRISPR gene editing in bacteria (used by bacteria to disable viruses) and the ability of biologists to harness these bacterial editing tools to edit the genes of eukaryotic cells, and thus the cells that make up humans. There’s no good evolutionary story of how the CRISPR system arose by Darwinian processes (even though, in deference to Darwin, the language of “bacteria evolving the CRISPR system” is everywhere in the biological literature). Much less is there a good evolutionary story for why this system should be so readily repurposed for eukaryotic gene editing (such “foresight” in nature could readily make a new chapter in Marcos Eberlin’s  Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose). I suspect a good case can be made for the intelligent design of the CRISPR system, but that’s best left to biologists with the specialized knowledge to make such a case.

The prediction I want to offer here, however, concerns what we are likely to see if we start using CRISPR to edit the germ line of humans (and other animals, but I’ll focus on humans). Once it became clear that CRISPR gene editing (especially with the Cas9 enzyme) could be used to edit the genes of humans, and in particular the genes in the germ cells of humans, scientists working in this area began to voice moral qualms as well as hushed enthusiasm. 

Directing Human Destiny

Such changes would give biologists the power to direct human destiny. Heady stuff. But the power to play God has dangers. Such changes could become permanent, locked into the human germ line. That may not seem like a bad thing for therapeutics and prevention, as in eliminating sickle cell disease or Huntington’s disease, where the genetic mistakes are clear and correctible. But that would only be the beginning, not the end.

What about gene edits designed not to eliminate disease but rather to enhance existing traits and functions? Such traits and functions would be perfectly normal and yet might be preferred in an enhanced form, such as height or intelligence. Therapy/prevention is one thing, but enhancement is another. CRISPR biologists such as Jennifer Doudna, Feng Zhang, and George Church thus began to raise red flags about enhancement. Yet the line between therapeutics and enhancement can be blurry: is a male who would be 4 feet 10 inches without some sort of genetic intervention being cured of a disease-like condition or being enhanced by adding six inches to his stature? What about someone who is 5 feet 6 inches getting an extra 6 inches? What about someone who is 6 feet 2 inches getting an extra 6 inches? 

Given the human impulse to control nature with technology (an impulse especially evident in our age), it’s hard to imagine CRISPR not being used to produce enhancements in humans (consider militaries who want more effective soldiers, parents who want smarter and more beautiful children, governments who want more pliable citizens, etc.). One also sees the language of “taking charge of evolution” everywhere in discussions of CRISPR gene editing. Thus, we are told that CRISPR gene editing will for the first time give humans the power to take control of the evolutionary process. 

Most who use such language see this newfound genetic power of CRISPR gene editing as a way to accelerate evolutionary change, making us bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, prettier, etc., and doing so much more quickly than the pokey pace of evolution by natural selection would allow. This is an interesting attitude because pokey-paced Darwinian evolution is also said to have produced the CRISPR gene editing system in the first place. So is natural selection smarter than we are, able to move evolution forward more effectively than we can (whatever it may mean for an undirected form of evolution, which is not supposed to have any telos, to move us forward)? Or are we, if not smarter than evolution as a whole, in a position to take a handoff from evolution and now, with CRISPR gene editing, do a better job than natural selection, at least from our place in natural history?

An Intelligent Design Perspective

As it is, intelligent design has always regarded the creative potential of natural selection as minimal. At the same time, CRISPR gene editing, because it is a genetic technology used by human biologists to achieve specific ends, will always be an example of intelligent design. The big question, then, is whether CRISPR gene editing will allow for huge improvements of human and other animal forms via genetic enhancements. My prediction is that it won’t. Specifically, I predict that attempted enhancements of the human germ line using CRISPR gene editing will (1) quickly hit an “enhancement boundary” beyond which enhancements are no longer feasible and (2) prove self-canceling in the sense that intended benefits will be undone by unintended deficits

From an intelligent design perspective, the human genome represents a holistic design that is a constrained optimization involving various tradeoffs. Like a car or house, one can only make so many changes before one undoes the original design and renders the thing one is tinkering with a gothic monstrosity. Take a VW bug. You can put a Ferrari engine in it, but now you have a chassis that can’t handle the strain of all the torque that the engine is putting out. Also, the new engine will now be sticking out in a strange way. 

Sure, you can now change the chassis. And you can modify the body to reduce the wind resistance. And you can make the suspension tighter. And you can change the wheel rims to accommodate high performance racing tires. But before long you no longer have a VW bug. Perhaps the more radical CRISPR gene editing biologists see in this analogy not a refutation of unbridled CRISPR enhancement but an invitation to use CRISPR to create a new species of humans. But there’s no evidence for this pipedream.

Instead, it seems that CRISPR gene editing will simply tinker with existing human traits, pushing them in various directions, and staying within certain bounds, just as a custom auto-body shop can only do so much to an existing automobile. Now it might be argued that within those bounds quite a bit could still be done. But even here I have my doubts, and my prediction is that any step forward is likely to be countered by a step backward. Sure, there are genetic diseases, such as Huntington’s, that can rightly be regarded as genetic mistakes and that CRISPR gene editing may do us the service of removing (which would be wonderful). But with enhancements, we’re talking about improving traits and functions that on their own terms are doing just fine (they are not malfunctioning). 

From an intelligent design perspective, however, if humans represent a good design by a competent designer (much more competent or skilled than we are, even armed with CRISPR), then attempts to improve this design are destined not just to hit an enhancement boundary but also to backfire by leading to unexpected deficits. For instance, what if adding 6 inches to height leads to circulatory problems or a lack of coordination? What if increasing intelligence (if genes that make for greater intelligence even exist or can be identified) leads to greater obsessive-compulsiveness? What if improving creativity leads to bipolarity?

Monkeying with Nature

I’m not saying that, in nature, increased height is correlated with increased pulmonary problems or intelligence with OCD or creativity with bipolarity. I don’t know. But I am saying that when we monkey with nature by doing CRISPR gene editing, we may see such correlations so that one step forward here leads to one step backward there. This is the prediction, and we’ll see. Also, I’m not saying anything about the societal impact of CRISPR changing the distribution of traits in the human population, which may also lead to unexpected and unhappy consequences (immediately, perhaps, because CRISPR enhancements will first go to the rich, exacerbating concerns over inequality and privilege). 

I therefore frankly doubt that CRISPR gene editing (and indeed all gene editing technologies) in the hands of humans will lead to benefits unhampered by deficits. This doubt, however, hinges not just on the view that a designer of immense intelligence has created us, and so we, with our very limited intelligence, will be hard-pressed to improve on this design, even with such gene editing technologies. This doubt also has a more principled basis in that, from an intelligent design perspective, when designs are implemented by intelligent agents, they almost always involve multiple coordinated changes.

Coordination vs. Incrementalism

Coordinationis the watchword of intelligent design in the same way that incrementalismis the watchword of (Darwinian or unguided) evolution. With evolution, advantages need to be accumulated incrementally so that, at each point in the evolutionary process, additions of new structures entail improvements in existing functions or benefits from some newly emerging functions. Applied to biochemical systems, Michael Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity shows that such incrementalism is spectacularly unsuccessful. The point to appreciate in the present discussion, however, is that all that talk of humans building new and improved humans with CRISPR gene editing is simply an application of this incrementalism from evolution. 

The reason CRISPR gene editing is stuck with incrementalism rather than the much more powerful coordination is that we don’t understand the genome holistically, and thus can’t implement the coordinated changes needed to significantly advance the design of humans. This is not a failure of CRISPR gene editing technology, but rather a failure by us to understand the holistic design of our genetic code, and our resulting inability to implement it in ways that can change us substantially for the better. 

Right now, when one reads about CRISPR gene enhancements, it’s as though one is reading a menu at a restaurant: I’ll take one female, at least 5 foot 8 inches, with an IQ of 130 or more, a great metabolism, a strong musculature, and blond hair. To which CRISPR gene editing, at the hands of our best scientists, both now and into the future, would say: here’s a female embryo into which we substituted a gene for greater height, another gene for higher IQ, etc. But all such changes will be isolated and incremental. Absent the coordination that is the hallmark of intelligent design, this can never work. 

To sum up, from an intelligent design perspective, there is no compelling reason to think that CRISPR gene editing will constitute an enhancement tool for building superior humans. Quite the opposite: there are compelling reasons to think that CRISPR gene editing will fail as an enhancement technology. Leaving off clear genetic defects, which can be viewed as genetic accidents that occurred over the course of natural history, I predict that CRISPR-based genetic enhancements will backfire, with deficits counterbalancing or perhaps even outweighing benefits, so that people at the end of the day will avoid them because of the uncertainty and ill effects they bring.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published at Dr. Dembski’s blog, BillDembski.com.

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An interesting, clear-eyed, and testable hypothesis. Seems correct intuitively correct to me, but of course only time will really demonstrate the validity of it.

The reason CRISPR gene editing is stuck with incrementalism rather than the much more powerful coordination is that we don’t understand the genome holistically, and thus can’t implement the coordinated changes needed to significantly advance the design of humans. This is not a failure of CRISPR gene editing technology, but rather a failure by us to understand the holistic design of our genetic code, and our resulting inability to implement it in ways that can change us substantially for the better. 

If the scientific establishment insists that there is no holistic design, they will never crack the code. You can decipher a message if you decide that there is no message to decipher in the first place!

Interesting things will happen when — I would guess 50-to-100 years from now — Darwin is finally dumped. That does not mean that scientists will become Creationists in the slightest: they would have merely left a sterile dead-end delusion, and returned to the same basic assumptions that everyone in the world held 200 years ago, East and West, North and South.

In the West, I suspect some mix of Deism, Pantheism, and Buddhist beliefs as the future intellectual driver of Western thought. Most Christian thinkers, philosophers, and theologians will meekly follow the lead of their secular betters, as they have always done: “It’s the safe and respectable thing to do.”

Once Christian Reconstructionists definitely drive off the Enlightenment-inspired racists in our midst — and not before — we will be able to forge a better road. The road that originates in and glorifies God, the road that upholds His Law-word as the definer of reality.

And not some baptized version of whatever the world’s philosophers say.

COVID-19: Big Science Demands the Trust It Isn’t Getting

An excellent article from Creation Evolution Headlines has been published.

I would have copy-n-pasted it here entirely for posterity’s sake, but I was asked not to do so, so I won’t. (But you can at least save it to your own archives!)

I am allowed to copy a bit, though. After a long list of articles regarding COVID, Coppedge notes the following:

—<Quote begins>—

QUIZ Time: What do all the articles listed above have in common?

ANSWER: The are all authoritarian. They are elitist. They are totalitarian. Information flows down from experts to peasants. No questions allowed. The only concern is how to get the peasants to submit, because many of them are wallowing in “misinformation.”

Other odors emanate from these articles:

  • All of them support the Democrat party and its policies.
  • Wherever Republicans or conservatives are mentioned, they are put in a bad light.
  • Lies and blunders from leftists and Democrats are rarely mentioned. When they are, their shifting policies are excused.
  • None of them show any concern about the flood of Covid-infected aliens being allowed into the country.
  • No legitimate conservative sources are ever consulted. It is all from Big Science and academia.
  • There is only one right position. The question is how to get everyone to agree with the consensus.
  • Each one justifies restrictions on individual liberty on the grounds of science.
  • Non-vaccine options, like therapeutics, are mentioned only to debunk them, especially if President Trump spoke favorably of them.
  • President Biden (Democrat) can do no wrong.
  • None of them accuse the Chinese for covering up data and starting the pandemic.

—<Quote ends>—

Coppedge places a higher value on the danger of COVID that I do, seeing it as a reason to fear otherwise perfectly-healthy migrants entering the US. I dispute the entire business of barring immigrants who aren’t military invaders, criminals, or plague carriers1 from entering the country, but that’s another story.

Excluding that one point, I agree with Coppedge. This entire mania is nothing but a political exercise in gaslighting the general population – with certain temporary exceptions for Democratic minorities – into obedience.

Regardless of any evidence, and without discussion or debate, or consideration of law, or legal precedent. You get no voice, only they are allowed to speak.

But they want you to trust them.

The answer, of course, is no.

Power, they have. But legitimacy?

That’s dying off, good and fast.

Alleluia!


1And no, COVID-19 isn’t nearly as dangerous as the plague. Or even the “Spanish flu” of 1918. As I would not punish Americans who have a particularly nasty variant of the flu — just as they were not punished during the Asian Flu epidemic of the 1960s, a demonstrably more lethal disease than COVID-19 — so I would not punish immigrants who have it. “One Law for All.”

And yes: all these novel and untested COVID restrictions regarding masks and restrictions and bans have nothing to do with evidence-based disease control, were never used nor necessary before the current mania, and were never supported by scientists before the Gates/Bush II drive for maximum control from about 2005.

All of this repulsive lust for more arbitrary and scientifically unnecessary police powers is about the need of the Politically Superior to punish the Politically Inferior.

A Repent Thief, and Every Jot and Tittle

From The thief on the cross, the comma & Christ, by Bibleinfo

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Let’s take a look at several verses in Luke 23 to find the meaning of this phrase: “Then one of the criminals who was hanged blasphemed Him, saying, If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise’” (Luke 23:39-43).

One of the thieves, after joining with the other thief in mocking the Lord (Mark 15:32), recognized that Jesus was the Son of God and decided to ask for mercy and pardon. He offers up the simple prayer, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus accepts His repentance and gives him the promise that the thief on the cross will be with him in paradise. Is Jesus promising that the repentant criminal would be with Him that day in paradise? It would appear so on the surface, but let’s take a deeper look.

[…some good stuff snipped: check the original!]

The Thief On the Cross & the Comma

It makes a big difference where the comma is placed. There is a story of a wealthy man whose wife sent him a telegram asking if she could buy a very expensive item. He sent the reply, “No, price too high.” Unfortunately the telegraph operator left the comma out of the message. When the wife received the message, “No price too high,” she happily went and bought the expensive item. This story illustrates the importance of correct punctuation. If the punctuation is off by even one word it can mean something entirely different.

As we compare scriptures one with another we will find apparent contradictions, but if we look carefully at the clearest texts and the overwhelming evidence in the scriptures on a certain subject, we will find the truth (see Isaiah 28:10). Often it’s our preconceived ideas that lead us to think a certain verse means a specific thing. We must be careful never to take a verse out of context. The question now is, how can we harmonize this verse with the rest of the Bible?

Is the Comma Inspired?

Is the punctuation in the Bible inspired? In the original Greek text of the New Testament there was no punctuation, in fact, there was no spacing between words. Here is a quote from the Greek language expert Michael W. Palmer. “The ancient Greeks did not have any equivalent to our modern device of punctuation. Sentence punctuation was invented several centuries after the time of Christ. The oldest copies of both the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament are written with no punctuation” (https://www.greeklanguage.blog/?p=657).

When the translators of the English Bible translated this verse and others they had to decide where the punctuation should be. The translators themselves were not inspired. God definitely helped them translate the Bible, but the punctuation is not inspired since there was no punctuation in the original manuscripts. Translators made the simple mistake of placing the comma in the wrong position, perhaps because of their traditional beliefs about what happens when you die.

Is the Paradise that Jesus Referred to in Heaven?

This may seem like a surprising question to include, but there is a theory that paradise is not heaven but another place altogether. People generally come up with this theory to clear up the apparent contradiction between what Christ said to the thief on the cross and what He said to Mary two days later.

Where does the Bible say paradise is?

Christ promises to the faithful in the church of Ephesus: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

So where is the tree of life? The answer to this question will help us know where paradise is. In Revelation 22:1-4, we learn that the tree of life is in the New Jerusalem. So we can know for certain that paradise is in the New Jerusalem where God reigns. It is not some place in the underworld or in the subterranean regions. Paradise is the garden of God, which is in heaven.

Conclusion

The Scriptures are clear that Christ had not ascended to the Father on Sunday morning. Therefore, He could not have been with the thief in paradise on Friday. This means that the Bible translators incorrectly placed the comma before the word today instead of after it.

—<Quote ends>—

A good sample of good Bible scholarship, here.

The Traditions of Men I

An interesting example of how a tradition of men gets started is shown, working to place Paradise as not heaven but another location. I am inclined to be forgiving of this from folks who just don’t know the facts, or are missing some of the puzzle pieces.

But once you know the facts, you have to place Paradise in Heaven, nowhere else. We are judged according to knowledge: the more we know, the more God rightfully demands of us.

Interesting, how American Christians dismiss knowledge of the creeds, the historical record, the Law… indeed, everything that involved logic, rules, the intellect, and limits. “No mental effort desired… or tolerated.”

Not so surprisingly, how drastically the intellectual heft of American Christians fell… and also, their influence and pull in society.

The Traditions of Men II

When the translators of the English Bible translated this verse and others they had to decide where the punctuation should be. The translators themselves were not inspired. God definitely helped them translate the Bible, but the punctuation is not inspired since there was no punctuation in the original manuscripts. Translators made the simple mistake of placing the comma in the wrong position, perhaps because of their traditional beliefs about what happens when you die.

When traditional beliefs clash with the actual word of God staring at you in the face, it’s time to set the traditional belief aside.

I am still not inclined to judge the translators harshly. Still, we know that they made the wrong call here, and it’s time to fix it.

Age does not sanctify, justify, or protect. Only the actual word of God counts.

Every Jot and Tittle

Details matter. Logic matter. Punctuation matters.

Commas matter.

Truth matters.

Happiness

I am glad that Christ welcomed the repentant thief to Paradise.

Divine mercy shown to a scoundrel opens the door for Divine mercy for me…
…. assuming that I am also repentant before the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

That’s the right way to go.

Living, and Changing, The Real World

We have a world today in rebellion against God. Such a world is an evil and unsafe place: there are penalties for living in such a realm. We have a duty under God to bring this world into captivity to Christ. If we fail to do so, the problems and penalties only increase.

Our goal is defined throughout Scripture. Revelation 11:15 reveals the end result must be the glorious proclamation of victory: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Until then, the Lord will not allow this world to be a safe haven or an easy heaven for fallen man. We have locks on our doors because this is a fallen world, not heaven. There are thus risks in living here. More important, there are responsibilities to our Lord. Are you meeting them?

A World in Rebellion, by R. J. Rushdoony
Taken from A Word In Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Vol. 3,  pp. 11-12.

Let’s get that money shot in focus:

We have a duty under God to bring this world into captivity to Christ.
If we fail to do so, the problems and penalties only increase.

Note the distinct lack of some kind of mystical escape from evil.

Welcome to the real world.

Magic and the Dark Ages

From the forward of Gary North’s 1968 edition of Marx’s Religion of Revolution
Written by R. J. Rushdoony.

Basic to the modem mentality is the belief in magic. Magic is the attempt by man to gain autonomous power, to gain control over the world of man, nature, and the supernatural. In magic, man sees himself as his own god and creator, and total power and control becomes his goal. By means of this total and autonomous power, man expects to govern reality by his 6wn prediction and planning.

This is not a bad definition of magic, but I like the more pithy definition: “Something for nothing”.

“Power from below” is sometimes useful, when dealing with the more mystical forms of magic. But most Western professionals today prefer to chase the dream of Total Planning by the power of bureaucrats, rules, projections, models, and numbers (with the occasional wall-to-wall media campaign, as per COVID), instead of officially calling on demons with chants and ceremonies.

The popularity of the Greek mentality to the men of the Renais­sance and Enlightenment has been due to the fact that the Greeks combined, it was believed, a scientific technique with a magical faith. A classic example of this Greek perspective is Archimedes, who, to illustrate the power potentially in the principle of the lever, said to Hiero II, monarch of Syracuse, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.” This remark has become famous to generations of schoolboys as illustrative of the “genius” of Greece and of the potentialities of “science.” The remark, however, is in essence magic, refined and technologically aware magic, but magic nonetheless. “Give me a place to stand!” The assumptions in this presupposition are enormous. Make me a god, and I can move the world. Give me the power to create gold, and I can buy the world. It is one thing for a man to make a lever, and to realize the human possibili­ties with this mechanism at man’s command, but it is another for man to assume unlimited potentialities as the human condition. The scientific achievements of Archimedes were real, but they were set in the context of Hellenic magic.

Scientist-as-engineer is fine.

Scientist-as-subcreator has its advantages, so long Divine Justice and Divine Law (as opposed to the will of powerful men, governments, and corporations) is upheld, and as long as the ego and the quest for power over others is tightly reigned in.

Scientist-as-definer of reality has no place in the actually-existing cosmos.

The Renaissance and Enlightenment restored magic to the world, The Christian centuries, deeply infected by neoplatonic and Aristotelian thought, were thereby also deeply imbued by magic. The Christian centuries, however, recognized the difference which separated them from antiquity, and the term Dark Ages was given to the classical, pre-Christian era. As Peter Gay points out in The Enlightenment, “Petrarch removed the label Dark Ages from classical, pre-Christian times and fastened it instead on the Christian era” (p. 74).

Our Betters truly do love to steal and lie, don’t they?

As for mass murder… not to worry, we’ll get to Karl Marx soon enough.

The modem world saw itself as the era of light, and, not surprisingly, it called itself finally ”The Enlightenment.” The move­ment redefined philosophy; it denied the validity of system-making, since man, as his own god, is beyond systems, beyond good and evil. Philosophy for the world of the Enlightenment is, as Peter Gay indicates, “the organized habit of criticism” {p. 130). This criticism is of Christianity in essence: the critique is directed against every­ thing which is hostile to the magical perspective. The critique assumes the reality of the natural world only, denies the Biblical revelation, and posits the autonomy of man.

Karl Marx applied the Enlightenment conception of philosophy with especial consistency. As Marx pointed out, in his Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of the Right, the “criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism.” This criticism is from first to last an attack on the sovereignty of God in the name of the sovereignty of man; it is an attack on revelation in the name of, not reason as such, but the concept of autonomous reason. It is an attack on Biblical religion in terms of magic and the philosophy of magic.

No wonder Darwin’s “things make themselves” nonsense was so quickly and eagerly accepted by the European intelligentsia!

(And some yummy racial flattery to bring delight to the eyes,
as the Race and Fitness
replaces God and Justice.)

The philosophy of magic has so deeply entered the modem mind that its insanities pass unnoticed. A classic example of this appears in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). The facets of Hemingway’s personality which appear clearly in his writings are to a mild degree recognized even in A. E. Hotchner’s Papa Heming­way (1966). In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway’s concept of passionate, romantic sex is magical. For the ancients, magical sex ensured the fertility of the earth. For Hemingway magical sex moves the earth. Pilar declares, “When I was young the earth moved so that you could feel it all shift in space and were afraid it would go out from under you. It happened every night.” In several important passages, Hemingway rings the changes on this magical theme. In a passage on Robert Jordan’s sexual experience, Hemingway wrote,

For him it was a dark passage which led to nowhere, then to nowhere, then again to nowhere, heavy on the elbows in the earth to nowhere, dark, never any end to nowhere, hung on all times always to unknowing nowhere, this time and again for always to nowhere, now not to be borne once again always and to nowhere, now beyond all bearing up, up, up and into nowhere, suddenly, scaldingly, holdingly all nowhere gone and time absolutely still and they were both there, time having stopped and he felt the earth move out and away from under them.1

This passage, and others like it, should have provoked nothing but laughter from the millions- who read it. It has nothing to do with any man’s experience, and its magical sexual mysticism borders on insanity. But it was read with rapt attention, because the readers shared Hemingway’s magical view of sex.

Men surrender to the enemy in private many years, even decades, before their surrender becomes obvious in public.

Every evil that is publicly dominant today was implicitly accepted by the masses decades before.

But evil always lead to disgrace, poverty, death.

“So Satan is proven to be a liar… again. Who knew?”

But the acceptance of this insane bit of magic is not surprising. The greater magic of revolution is accepted, by Hemingway and the modem world. It is a belief that destruction can be creative, that progress is through chaos, that the principle of social power requires social suicide. The theory of revolution as the means of social progress is pure magic. Criticism of religion is carried to its ultimate meaning in the revolutionary destruction of religion and the world of Christian faith. This is the essence of “Enlightenment” faith, and it is pure magic. It is not producing Enlightenment but is rather increasing the darkness of the new Dark Ages.

And Karl Marx was a leading architect and planner of the new darkness. The two governing passions of Marx’s life were, first, a hatred of Christian society, of Biblical law and order, and, second, a magical belief in the efficacy and power of destruction. The con­tradictions in his system of economic order are impossible to recon­cile. As an economics, it has no future. As a philosophy of magic, Karl Marx’s system is impervious to attack, once its presuppositions are granted. The implications of humanism and of anti-Christianity are carried to their logical conclusion, to pure magic. The Marxist belief in the creative power of revolution now extends far beyond the frontiers of Marxism: it is a part of the humanist legacy.

To the astonishment of Our Betters, destruction does not magically bring rebirth.

The bones merely continue to rot, and the shattered ruins only continue to crack and break apart.

There must be an actual repentance – public and private – before hope, life, joy, justice, growth, and peace returns.

When Hemingway’s silly fornicators swore solemnly that “the earth moved” because of their passion, they were in a class with those who expect to move the earth forward by their revolutions. But the earth does not move for either the fornicators or the revolu­tionists. It responds, not to the magicians but only to the sovereign decree of the triune God. The absurdities of Marx and Hemingway are both amusing and serious. They cannot be met or answered by more humanism, by more magic, but only by Christian scholarship firmly grounded on the Biblical revelation.

Christian scholarship firmly grounded on damnable lies and straw-men – as per Voddie Baucham’s book, Fault Lines – is not going to cut it.

We need real scholarship, scholars with integrity.

God will accept and bless nothing less.

“The NHS Owns Your Child”

From Summit News (as relayed by ZeroHedge)

The Sacred Order of the White Smock

—<Quote on>—

Watch: NHS Nurses Demand To COVID Test Newborn Baby, Claim It’s Not Mother’s Property Once Outside Of Womb

A video out of the UK shows NHS nurses demanding to COVID test a newborn baby, claiming it’s not the mother’s property once outside the womb and then threatening to report her to social services for refusing.

The shocking video, which was posted to Twitter, shows a heavily pregnant mother in a hospital bed being lectured by nurses about how it’s mandatory for the baby to be given a COVID test immediately after birth.

“It is my property,” states the mother, to which one of the nurses responds, “so you will…while the baby’s in your abdomen.”

“So you’re saying once the baby comes out it’s not my property no more, yes it is, I gave birth to it, it’s got my blood running through it,” the mother asserts.

The nurse then continued to insist she “explain” why the baby needs a COVID test, which only serves to stress out the pregnant woman.

Twitter:

“Do you really think I need this bullshit about COVID when I’ve got a risk of losing my baby?” the woman asks.

The father of the baby then suggests the pair leave the hospital, stating, “They’re not COVID testing my baby – end of.”

“You can’t tell me that you get to give me the say of what happens once my baby’s born – I don’t think so, you can’t do nothing to my baby without my permission,” says the mother.

The nurse then responds by saying the mother’s refusal to have her baby COVID tested will be documented and passed on to social services (the Safeguarding team), essentially meaning that the mother will be investigated for neglect and possibly face authorities trying to remove the baby from her care.

“You’re so good aren’t you, you people?” the mother sardonically states at the end of the clip, perhaps in reference to how nurses in the UK have been deified as a result of the pandemic, with people at one point being asked to participate in weekly applause sessions to show gratitude to the NHS.

—<Quote off>—

A few comments.

Cheap and effective health care that you pay for should be the Christian goal. Health care given free by private charity is acceptable, but only until that man can stand on his own two feet. (Obviously, it’s OK for the church, the family, or other voluntary association to give lifelong care to those who truly need it.)

[And if something is wrong, you can always go to the courts to get compensation for the harm a private party has done. Ever tried to get justice from State wrongdoing? Where the same people who make the laws, run the courts, AND control medical care get to decide if your case has merit?)

Not free health care from the State. Everything that the State gives comes with strings, power plays, and men with badges and guns. This is acceptable in criminal and military matters — assuming that the State doesn’t get to define the laws — but should not become part of everyday life.

It is not acceptable for the State to give lifelong care to anyone. First, it’s always using resources stolen from someone else. Second, the State has a certain eagerness in exploiting/crushing the weak and vulnerable. The phrase “Useless eaters” comes to mind, as well as the medical practices of a certain large economic power vis-a-vis it’s prisoner population.

Note the worship service tied to the priestly – but intensely atheistic/secularist – NHS:

…people at one point being asked to participate in weekly applause sessions to show gratitude to the NHS.

Atheists always claim that they are above religion.

No, they aren’t. They merely adore a different, strictly naturalist God than Christians do.

Usually some kind of Dear Leader with plenty of guns, no accountability, and redefines the law as he pleases. But in this case, a government priestly service with easy access to police powers, no accountability, and redefines the law as he pleases.

The Grin of Baal

The term “Baal” means king, the political power. Baal-worship is strictly forbidden.

And never trust promises of Free Stuff form grinning wealthy, politically powerful men.

Black Americans and White Englishmen have suffered, and continue to suffer, for such Free Stuff foolishness. Each in their own bitter way.

Christians must forge a better way of living. For everyone, believer and unbeliever, regardless of race.

The Sneer of Moloch

And don’t forget the worship of Moloch, where the child is killed for “good reasons”. When the mother insists that it’s her property to dispose of as she pleases – and not a life that belongs to God, entrusted to her care – the stench of Moloch is obviously in the air.

When people are enslaved to the State, they should find out who gave the slave chains into the hands of their Betters.

You only have one set of knees: and it’s far better to kneel to God, than kneel to your Betters of whatever priesthood they belong to. Unlike the cant of our Secular Priests, God’s promises are reliable, and His word is true.

“Whites are incapable of righteous action on race…”

…is a damnable lie.

Not from Critical Race Theorists, who never said such a thing.

But from Voddie Baucham’s book, Fault Lines. It’s a phrase Baucham put into their mouths: specifically, into the mouth of Richard Delgado.

It is clear to me that Voddie attributed fake quotations to Richard Delgado, that he intended to present the fake material as quotations of Delgado (not his own words), and that he engaged in plagiarism in the process. Now the question is, what will be done about it?

Some people expressed anger and frustration at me for pointing these things out to begin with. Now that there is even more bad news, I suppose that may increase. But why shoot the messenger here? Why not focus attention and effort on the actual infraction and the guy who committed it?

Many, many online reacted to my first revelation of Voddie’s fake quotations solely by calling me woke, liberal, and Marxist—not dealing with any of the substance of which I wrote. I was, for example, silently blocked (without notice or notification) from one of the largest Reformed (adult-beverage-themed) groups on Facebook because its leader deemed me too dangerous to let stick around. When someone posted my vids in there, I have been informed the comment section was about 100-to-1 name-calling over any substance.

I wonder what these devout Christians, staunch Reformed folk, think their 99% mindless, knee-jerk reaction says to the world in terms of a witness for Christ in the intellectual realm. And about the moral failures of the great, favored leaders in their midst?

Some expressed anger that I would “pick on” Voddie, who after all is just trying hard to do his best as a faithful pastor. Or, some said, why hold a pastor up to academic citation standards? Folks, seriously.

Voddie Baucham is the Dean of Faculty and Dean of Theology at a Christian University for crying out loud! Whatever pastoring he may do, his is an academic position through-and-through. A dean is supposed to be a top or senior academic, a teacher of teachers, an academic’s academic. This very credential is written on his bio for the book in which he put these fake quotations and plagiarism. He must own it.

I realize that by calling this out on these terms, I am also putting the academic reputation and integrity of his post and thus his academic employer, African Christian University, on the spot. True, they now have to take cognizance that their senior academic and biggest-named faculty is responsible for fraudulent quotations and plagiarism. If they remain silent, people may wonder why. They will also know that the academic standards of the institution are as low as those of their plagiarizing Dean.

I also realize that by revealing these things, I implicate Voddie’s publisher, Salem Books, which is a division of the conservative book-publishing standard, Regnery. I realize that it is incumbent upon any publishing house with a reputation to weed out plagiarism (usually pulling plagiarized works from publication), as well as potential libel and fraud—fundamental falsehood at the very least. I understand that this means Salem/Regnery should examine Voddie’s book in these areas, and take action, and that if enough people, or the right people, brought it to their attention, they probably would.

Yes, I also realize that by revealing these matters that I also implicate Voddie’s friends and compatriots in the broader anti-Social Justice crusade against “CRT,” etc. This probably stretches to all the broader support group like Tom Ascol, John MacArthur, James White, Michael O’Fallon, and many more. I realize that presenting undeniable evidence of lies and plagiarism on Voddie’s part means they should now all be obligated to speak up, or at least counsel him privately to confess and repent. I don’t expect a single one of them to do anything. I expect silence.

But you, dear reader, you can see the evidence for yourself. You can draw your own conclusions from the evidence, which should be easy for you to do. It should afterward also be easy to determine what conclusions to draw from the baseless, without-substance name-calling against this author (and others), as well as about the many silences that will probably follow among Voddie’s friends and institution. That should all be easy.

More difficult will be the moral decision you personally have to make about what to do with that knowledge.

Voddie’s Fault Lines worse than before: fake quotations AND plagiarism
by Joel McDurmon

Christians simply must do better than this, if they plan to win any intellectual (or spiritual) battle at all.

Now, political battles may on occasion be win with lies. For a time. But the lies fall apart under stress, and our position will be worse than the first if we do not repent of our filthy, vicious, and evil ways.

God will not protect a willfully evil congregation.

Remember Ezekiel 9?

Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”

And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”

Ezekiel 9, English Standard Version

This judgement did not fall on some idiot mass-murdering atheistic human sacrifice culture somewhere.

It fell on a Christian, God-fearing culture. (“Pre-Christ Christians”, but still, God’s people.)

And the destruction started in the church. God’s sanctuary.

God will not protect a willfully evil congregation.

But… He will protect individual men, women, and children who publicly stand against — or even privately sigh over/pray against/weep over — such evil.

Don’t die like some rebel in the desert, like the vast majority of Israel did in their journey to the Promised Land.

Repent, and separate yourself from the damned.

And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Luke 12:47-48, ESV

If you know, you must act.

Privately for sure, and preferably publicly as well.

“The Opposite of Love…

….is not hate. It’s indifference.”

Christian societies must be more caring and compassionate – especially to the weak, the vulnerable, and the stranger – than non-Christian societies.

Also, note what is not seen: the videographer expects the Chinese common folk to help each other at need.

But the Chinese common folk only look out for blood relatives. Everyone else is on their own. And it is the State (or the clan) that is supposed to control relations between each other, not the individual.

The common decency of shared ethics, rather weak in any opportunist/pragmatic/non-Law based culture, is simply so much dust after the shredding of the old Confucianist/Taoist ethic during the Cultural Revolution (and the decades of civil war/race-hate Japanese invasion beforehand.)

Our Betters today in the West work hard to destroy the common sense of shared decency, law, and behaviour within the West: and they have succeeded in many ways.

No limit to State Power!” the sophisticated voices of Western money and power demand.

Just like in China.

The success of these men is not because they are so great, but because we Christians have chosen to be weak, and do nothing, in order to protect our own comforts (see: government checks to European clerics) and our own social status (see: White American Christian unconcern to injustice done to Black American Christians.)

If we are going to take out the speck in their eye, we must get rid of the log in our own. We know more about God than they do, so we are rightly held by God to be more responsible for changing our lives and our nations, and leading the other nations by example…

…and not by imperialism. Nobody needs Christians — of any colour! — invading their country, waving guns around, and stealing everything while shouting about Our Undying Love For The Lesser Breeds.

It’s time to walk another way.

The hard, self-sacrificial, but victorious way Christ showed us, long long ago.