Casualties of the Flood

Yes, I know that Noah kept breeding pairs for all animals: but the Flood and the aftermath — including drastically cut human lifespans, atmospheric changes (with much less oxygen), etc — means that the density of life on earth has drastically fallen.

All these animals were alive at the same time: which means that even the Amazon is a blasted desert, compared to what we lost by our own willful foolishness, wickedness, and cruelty.

I admire God for continuing to labour and sacrifice for our salvation, including my own. A sinner such as I, weary of the futility,  stupidity, and destructiveness of our own evil, would have tossed the lot of us (including myself) into the fire long ago.

It is the kindness and example of Christ that gives me hope, that draws me from the road of death

….that we all deserve, including myself….

and onto the road of life

….which is a gift that is free to us, but VERY costly to God.

For Christ and His Kingdom, then, we live… and fight… and win.


Reclaiming Deserts, Rebuilding Traveller

Below is a repost from my sci-fi blog, again based of the latest Issac Arthur video. A few concepts are tied to the Traveller science fiction game: but most can be easily applied to the real world today, or to a Christian sci-fi future.

My addendums to the post [are in italic brackets]

A Better Imperium

The Third Imperium [a corporate-feudal star empire] is grounded in corporate wealth: but I would love to create a somewhat more idealistic one, grounded in the frankly religious mission of terraforming the universe.

“We don’t govern living worlds: we just bring dead worlds to life.

And control the space between the stars: but that’s just to keep the less enlightened Imperial member worlds from turning living worlds to dead ones.”

I doubt that such an Imperium could keep its focus, once the power and the money really starts to flow in. But the core idea is good, methinks, and should outlast the various trials, revolutions, dark ages, and collapses.

And it’s a good excuse for an ageless interstellar ruling aristocracy, to

  • remember to keep the main thing the main thing, instead of being distracted by the baubles of wealth, power, pleasure, and the fickle praise of men;
  • really grow to love and nurture their gardens (be it worlds or space habitats, or something else entirely) and their people;
  • have enough time to really build up an infinite indefinite level of wealth, contacts, and know-how, to both build their gardens well, and efficiently dispose of all threats to their realm.

A real aristocracy also needs a people, to both serve and be served by. For what is the worth of a crown without subjects?

And a strong crown needs strong, loyal, and capable citizens, who can be trusted to do what’s right without close (and costly!) supervision and monitoring. A citizenry of closely supervised slaves means a stagnant and uncreative government, with lots of red tape and a fear of all change.

The fearful slave mentally seeps up to the crown itself, making it heavy, slow, fearful, rigid… and brittle. Tied to the past, and incapable of thriving in the future.


The Upper Class

It is the determination to save that marks the successful person. I am not persuaded that the successful person is made successful by a savings program. He is successful because he has determination to spend less than he earns, every month, no matter what. It is this unbreakable dedication to sacrificing a portion of the present for the sake of the future that marks the successful person. It is a mind-set. It is this self-determined, self-disciplined program — a systematic savings program — that marks the person who has the ability to become a success. This personality trait affects everything he does. He is future-oriented. He is therefore upper-class.

Your class position is established by your view of time, not the money you own today. If you are future-oriented, you are upper class. If you are present-oriented, you are lower class. Your present wealth testifies to what you are. It does not determine what you are. Don’t mistake the evidence for the cause.

A successful person is not successful because he saves. He saves because he has the personal characteristics that produce success. Saving is not the cause. It is the sign that the person has one of the crucial personal characteristics of success.

The young man who saves at least 10% of his after tax income from the day he gets his first job possesses the mark of success. This self-discipline must be taught. It does not come naturally for most people. A young man doesn’t emotionally know that if he doesn’t save for his old age, he will be in dire straits. He may become dependent on his children. To think that a 12-year-old is motivated by such a vision of the future is naïve. Ben Franklin said it best: “A child thinks that $20 and 20 years cannot be spent.” Children are not future-oriented. Present-orientation is one of the primary marks of a child. Children are also not independent. Others make their decisions for them. That is the primary mark of a child.

From Americans Live in a Fantasy World, by Gary North

If you want to shape the future, you are going to need to be strongly future-oriented. A.k.a: “Upper class”. A.k.a: “Welcome to the Imperial Aristocracy.”

Now, this isn’t how society — now, or in Traveller [the sci-fi game] — determines your class position. In today’s society, your class position is determined by your wealth, parents, profession, and socio-political position.

Class in Traveller puts less emphasis on your politics, and more on your career/wealth/Noble title. In Traveller, nobody cares about your virtue signalling. But everyone cares how much money and armed men you can raise up with 48 hours notice!

Hardly a single man in the West actually thinks along these lines. That’s because we — like children — think that someone else, someone we elect, will protect us and provide for us.

Even in the Far Future, I can see most follow the path of the responsibility-shunning child and slave, the contented subjects of a reasonably competent Noble and the post-scarcity/fusion economy. Much like in democracies, most people in aristocratic cultures think that someone else, a Noble, will protect us and provide for us.

I expect more — much more — independence from Travellers, though. I expect them to walk as men, not boys.

(In the sentence above, replace “Travellers” —  the players of the game — with “Christians”. It will then read:

“I expect more — much more — independence from Christians, though. I expect them to walk as men, not boys.”)

Greening the Deserts

This is the kind of future Christians should be building!

Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. — Isaiah 35:6, KJV

A much better use — and a very Biblical use, too! — of Christian time and energy, rather than worrying about the Rapture.

Excellence Without Virtue

From Quora: Who is a person who receives a lot of praise but was actually a terrible person?

Allen Lobo, Corporate finance executive, former physician-scientist

Napoleon Bonaparte.

I shall not be kind at all to the man here despite the fact that he remains one of my favorite historical characters and certainly in my opinion, one of the greatest and most gifted men who ever lived.

The man was as thoroughly amoral of a character as you could find, one with no ethical principles except the ruthless pursuit of power which was as absolute as it was relentless.

My favorite description of the man remains the one by Alexis De Tocqueville who said of him

Napoleon was as a great as a man could be without virtue.

Yes, he did manage to put on an elaborate charade for a few years as First Consul of France about wanting to spread the principles of the French Revolution and all of that pretentious guff.

But his precisely true power hungry nature was revealed when he declared himself Emperor of France in 1804. And in an act typical of the man, took the crown from the Pope during the coronation ceremony and placed it over his head himself. That event of crowning himself emperor thoroughly disillusioned such figures like Beethoven who in earlier days had eaten up all of that like a lot of the idealistic men then in Europe who thought Consul Bonaparte was sincere in being ‘a man of the people’.

As in the picture above with that wreath on his head, he eventually came to see himself as the “modern day Caesar”. And made no pretense whatsoever of it.

What about his famed dedication to his soldiers and love for France then?

He abandoned his entire army in Egypt to their own fate with no supplies and at the mercy of disease and starvation. And just how valuable he regarded their lives was revealed by how he once said to Austrian foreign minister Klemens von Metternich that he had no problem losing the lives of any number of men in battle so long as he could replace them. They were to him like bullets or bayonets – completely expendable.

This wasn’t merely some anecdotal momentary quote out of character of the man, you know. It was evidenced by how recklessly he went to war time and again. How could he not?

He had ascended to power by military conquests. Only keeping those conquests and then having more could keep him in that seat of power and he knew that.

And he was perfectly willing to have Paris wrecked by the Allies in 1814 by fighting right to the end under hopeless circumstances for nothing but his own ego. In that sense he was precisely as much of a patriot to France as Hitler was to Germany.

Both men were vain enough to sincerely hold that the glory of their nation and that of themselves were indistinguishable. It is not patriotism but vanity disguised as dedication.

Except that in Napoleon’s case thankfully for France, his own marshals put an end to this complete madness in 1814 by refusing to obey his orders to march on Paris. Of course he then conveniently made it look like his forced abdication was a noble act of voluntary sacrifice, which was complete rubbish because it was necessitated by mutiny.

The man acted most cruelly of all to the one and only woman who had loved him deeply and remained faithful to him to the end, the Polish countess Marie Walewska, a woman who was as stunningly beautiful in looks as she was generously kind in heart.

After having raped her the first few times (she as a young Polish countess recently widowed and famed for her beauty, was pressurized into ‘offering’ herself to him by Polish noblemen as a way to curry favor with Napoleon for the independence of Poland), he plainly refused to even see her in his later days as she then pined for him even after he was reduced to nothing but a pathetic captive. Even as everyone else deserted him, she still loved him.

It is some measure of the doom which he was leading France to that his foreign minister, the brilliant Charles de Talleyrand (arguably the greatest diplomat of not only his time but in the entire 19th century) eventually decided to betray Napoleon.

Talleyrand sincerely had the interests of France at heart and astutely saw how Bonaparte was hurting her by not only sending her sons to war as cannon fodder but endangering her interests, left right and center by making enemies of all of Europe.

How French allies were only so by force and intimidation. As evidenced as how quickly everyone turned on him when the first opportunity arose after his disastrous campaign in Russia where he managed to lose 400,000 men.

As von Metternich said to Armand de Caulaincourt (Napoleon’s personal aide) when the latter remarked that “most of Europe was French” –

Only France is French, Monsieur de Caulaincourt. The other nations are French by force. So it is temporary.”

And in one of the greatest cases of irony in history, Napoleon then gave impetus to Prussian nationalism which would play no small role first in the formation and then rise of Germany. A nation which would go on to make France bleed dry no fewer than three times in the Franco-Prussian War and then both World Wars.

Some retribution by fate it was. I’d expounded on that matter to a fair degree in one of my earlier answers.

Allen Lobo’s answer to What are the best examples of irony?

But the greatest victory by Napoleon was not in any of his battles. Not Jena, Marengo, Wagram, Friedland or even his finest military triumph at Austerlitz.

No, his greatest achievement remains in how he masterfully managed to manipulate the record of history from being a man who was willing to shed rivers of blood for his own glory and vanity, to being the wannabe ‘liberator’ of Europe.

His most successful coup of all was ironically pulled off in his final days of exile on that arid rock of St. Helena. Where he listed his memoirs and managed to spin what had been a career of bloodshed and often plain butchery into a tale of romantic endeavor to free Europe from the bonds of its monarchs.

Whatever good came of his conquests was purely a byproduct and certainly not by design. Much like the landmark (and often praiseworthy) reforms which he made in France were nevertheless borne in large part out of a desire for efficiency in imposing his rule over her.

As for the ‘freed people’ in the rest of Europe then, go and ask the Spaniards what ‘liberation’ by Napoleon meant.

How he brazenly annexed their nation with no pretense even, placed his brother Joseph on the throne and then had no compunction about having his soldiers inflict the most horrific atrocities on the discontented populace. The Spaniards of course gave as good as they got then and the conflict descended to horrific proportions in terms of no mercy show by either side (the Peninsular War is where the word ‘guerrilla’ warfare originates from).

Or of how his younger brother Louis, whom he made King of Holland was then terribly disillusioned when he got into dispute with Napoleon about not wanting to bleed that nation dry while the latter merely viewed Holland like a cow to be milked.

Or of how he wholesale looted the art treasures of Italy to then establish what is now The Louvre Museum. In case you wonder how so many priceless works of art by the Italian masters are not in Rome, Florence or Naples but in Paris? Well now you know.

Then this isn’t to say that there were no praiseworthy qualities about the man. Hardly.

He was unbelievably efficient and energetic. Incredibly brilliant and intellectually curious. There are few examples in history as Napoleon of just how far a man can rise based on sheer talent and hard work after being born into relatively humble circumstances.

And of course, he remains THE greatest military tactician in modern history, no exceptions made. The man won more battles than Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar combined. There is a damn good reason why he is nicknamed “The human god of war”.

But in terms of not his abilities but his character? Lord, no!

There is little to nothing admirable about the man’s morality. Because there was simply nothing in that domain.

The cornerstone of his character was the ability to coldly manipulate and use people for his purpose and then cast them away. The quintessential psychopath.

Much like Alexander, he was in essence a brilliant and ambitious thug.

And much like Alexander, he managed to spin an elaborate yarn about wanting to liberate the peoples whom he conquered and then subjugated for the sake of his own vanity and ambition.

Napoleon then remains one of the prime examples in history of how brilliance and even genius on the one hand versus morality on the other can have no correlation whatsoever.

Excellence in Halloween Media

Before Christians grew to fear Halloween (…and strengthened their scared-whining-loser-retreatist attitude…), they knew that the festival celebrated the breaking of Satan’s power, rendering monsters and spirits into figures of fun and entertainment, instead of powers to be feared and dreaded.

But breaking the power of Satan is only an indirect lesson of this video: it’s more about finding the lost sheep, the price of disobedience, and the power of love.

With a surprise cameo, by the Tree of Life.

This reminds us that we never forget the loved ones we lost… but the years do roll on, and memories fade.

This is why I am insistent about our need for Christ: with Him, what is good in our lives can live forever… and even grow better!

It is best if both ourselves and our loved ones live in Christ: but if it is just you, at least you can remember the best part of your family and friends. We can present it to God, hear His straight and honest ruling on the matter, and learn from His words and decision. 

What we missed, what was hidden from our eyes, God saw. We fallible Christians understood only in part today, but will get the full story in the right time.

Even family will burn and be twisted beyond recognition, if they are separate from Christ: but you will know what God intended them to be. That means something in Christ’s eyes, and our testimony and witness — rendered pure, and undimmed by time, and with perfect power of memory & recollection — matters in eternity to provide right judgement.

Yes, Jesus knows what Judas Iscariot should have been… and what Judas decided to become, instead.

This is even true of Lucifer, now a fallen, burnt out husk of what God intended for him to be. The Kingdom of Satan crumbles and cracks and falls to pieces…

We make out choices, and must live with the consequences.

Thank God for Christ, that at least some sinful men were saved from their natural destiny in hell and the lake of fire! Christ, the very Mercy Seat of God, should be held tight in the heart of every believer.

Developing the Christian Future

This is here mainly because I want to see the Christian faith developed and strengthened in the future. We can’t get the stars, until we know and honour and think like the One who made them!

Much of this video, though, is oriented in the here and now. And rightly so: we work today, for the better future tomorrow.

I love science fiction, but I am not content until the best parts become science fact. And to get there, we need Christ, in our hearts and our hands.

  • 00:00:38 – What are the top three areas that still need to be developed in Christian Reconstruction?
  • 00:10:17 – Christian courtship.
  • 00:14:03 – Christian view of climate change.
  • 00:19:20 – The life spans and fertility of the patriarchs.
  • 00:23:32 – Rushdoony’s studying habits plus tips for better study.
  • 00:30:14 – What it means to be least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • 00:33:07 – As there was no death prior to the fall, would there have been seasons as we know them?
  • 00:34:53 – Are there any reconstructionist works being done for drug and alcohol abuse?
  • 00:41:02 – How long of a time passed between creation and the fall?
  • 00:42:17 – Explanation of Exodus 4:19f
  • 00:51:50 – How do we reconcile the fact that our sinless Lord learned obedience by the things He suffered?