About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!

Not Truth, but Power

On Our Laughing Masters, and their casual dismissal of reason and logic… when it gets in their way of their thirst for power over you and me.

Atheists and secularists argue that the vast majority of “intellectuals” and scientists are atheists or agnostics, thereby appealing to the “authority” of I.Q., academic position, and the societal favor of science and technology in order to disgrace those who disagree. But this simply commits a fallacious Appeal to Authority. Atheists employ such a fallacy, not to answer a legitimate inquiry, but to shame Christians as unintelligent, dim-wit- ted, and uneducated. Shame is the key factor. In fact, recent atheist Sam Harris openly called upon the use of “embarrassment” as a tool to fight religious faith: “I think we should not underestimate the power of embarrassment.”2 In these comments, Sam openly confesses to the use of the fallacy of an Appeal to Authority (or more clearly in this case, Argument to Shame) in order to further his agenda:

So public embarrassment is one principle. Once you lift the taboo around criticizing faith and demand that people start talking sense, then the capacity for making religious certitude look stupid will be exploited, and we’ll start laughing at people who believe the things that the Tom DeLays, the Pat Robertsons of the world believe. We’ll laugh at them in a way that will be synonymous with excluding them from our halls of power.

Of course, laughter is the ultimate diversion tactic from actual argument. It is the ultimate Appeal to Authority, in which a certain position is assumed to be so authoritative that to argue against it makes one an object of ridicule. The problem arises when the subject in dispute—religion in this case—becomes the assumed basis for ridicule. This again Begs the Question, and leverages emotion and shame in order to persuade (really, to bully) instead of using reasons and argument. If one can incite laughter against a position before proving it wrong, they have committed the fallacy. They may prove victorious in public, but they will have done so at the cost of intellectual integrity. Sam even admits this when he mentions “excluding them from the halls of power,” which exposes the agenda of those who rely on fallacious Appeals to Authority: they are not interested in truth, but power. — Josh McDurmon, Biblical Logic in Theory and Practice, page 249-250

There is a belief system that values Truth over Power: and atheism isn’t that belief system.

Obviously.

What is Essential is Invisible

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

— The Fox, in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince

To the regret of random-noise-loving, information-hating materialists everywhere.

From Uncommon Descent’s FFT: The worldviews level challenge — what the objectors to design thought are running away from

[P]erception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception.

There is no recognition of meaning, no perception, no purpose, just blind cause-effect chains externally arranged to yield the solution to certain differential equations. GIGO, and all that. Likewise, the old Pentium chip neither knew nor understood nor cared about the wired in errors that led to the early recall. And, a neural network is not in principle any different. (BTW this points to serious design inferences on the relevant hardware and software in bio-cybernetics systems, but that is a secondary point.)

The primary point has been highlighted by Reppert:

. . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as [C S] Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

In short, a physicalist account of mindedness (much less, guidance by light of conscience) faces an ugly, impassable gulch.

In effect, rocks — even refined and carefully organised rocks — have no dreams; computation is not intentional contemplation.

At this point, evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers — and nope you cannot properly, conveniently open up rhetorical daylight between some vague agnosticism and full-blown evo mat to deflect this — face an impassable gulch.

One, that brings out what was already highlighted: mindedness, consciousness, reasoned inference and conscience’s compass-pointing alike are all reduced to grand delusion on evo mat premises.

Grand delusion would collapse responsible, rational freedom and so falls into irretrievable incoherence and absurdity. Thence, the necessary falsity Pearcey and others have pointed to.

But in reality, rational, responsible, conscience-compass bearing consciousness is our first undeniable empirical fact. The fact through which we perceive all others.

This is the familiar extraordinary phenomenon, the pivot on which the project of building a sound worldview turns. In effect, unless a worldview is compatible with our being responsible, reasonable, conscience-guided and significantly free beings, it cannot even sit to the table for a discussion of comparative difficulties. It is silenced by being inconsistent with rationality. It is patently, irretrievably absurd and necessarily false. (Evo mat and fellow traveller ideologies, I am looking straight at you.)>>

A long series of self-serving lies are slowly being ground into dust.

Without most Christians doing much for the cause of Truth, Justice, and Reason, by the way.

Hey kids… Marriage is really really cool!

From Rob Slane, at American Vision

Now if I were a young person (not that I’m terribly ancient, but if I were younger than I am) I think I would start to smell something fishy going on here. “Why is it,” I’d be asking myself, “that after being told that marriage is outdated, pointless, stifling drudgery by the media and the state all our lives – why is it that suddenly they’re all telling us that marriage is a really really great idea. Why is it that having engineered a situation where the numbers of people getting married have steadily fallen, the numbers of divorces have reached epidemic proportions, cohabitation is the norm, and where we have been taught to scorn marriage as “just a piece of paper”, why is it that they’re suddenly telling us: “Hey kids! Marriage is really really cool?” Something doesn’t quite add up.

Well just in case you are a young person who has been told all your life that marriage is outdated, pointless, stifling drudgery by the media and the state and you can’t quite understand how they’ve suddenly all become very keen supporters of marriage, here is the answer:

The state and the media have not suddenly become all enthusiastic about marriage. It’s all a ruse and if you believe it, then you’ve been duped. If they had suddenly become pro-marriage, their campaign wouldn’t look much like it currently does. Rather than campaigning for the diluted, legally insignificant institution they have allowed marriage to become to be extended to a group of people for whom marriage was never intended, they would instead be campaigning for the repeal of all the easy divorce laws and for proper sanctions for those who commit adultery. But they’re not doing that, are they? Maybe there’s another reason then. Is it at all possible that they do still believe that marriage is outdated, pointless, stifling drudgery, and that they are just using the homosexual cause to bring about its demise?

Well, this is true in part: but the greater reason is more along the lines of underscoring Who Has Power, and Who Shall Obey.

With the enemies of God with the power, and the Christians doing the obeying.

Now, lots of people may now start howling about the (broadly successful) hidden homosexual agenda, while neglecting to notice exactly why that evil conspiracy was so successful.

The reasons for their success has little to do with the cunning and strength of the openly perverted, and has everything to do with the weakness, corruption and willful disobedience of the Christians (aka, the secretly perverted).

Evil conspiracies and secret agendas don’t succeed without at least substantial support from the general population.

And, with Christians sending their children to be taught in public schools by secularists of various stripes; with the abortion industry counting numerous Christian women as clients; with the pointed refusal of Christians to abandon their adulteries and their divorces: they can expect little else from God except continued punishment and humiliation for their rebellion.

When Christians repent, then they will win.

Not a moment before.

Theory and Practice

From the Fire-Breathing Christian:

What if God was not only real, but had lovingly provided us with the information and understanding by which we might tackle every important subject and challenge that could come our way?

What if He, in His infinite wisdom and matchless grace, had given us such detail as to the nature of every realm of human experience, culture, and civilization that we were equipped not only to survive those challenges, but conquer them and thrive?

What if?

Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

Well, I have some good news and some bad news…

First, the good: God has done just that very thing for His people. He has revealed His nature in His Word in such a manner that we actually, really, and truly have access to everything that we need to thrive in every realm of creation – politics, economics, art, education, and everything else – all in accordance with the Gospel-fueled Great Commission that he has given us (see: Matthew 28).

Now, the bad news: Most professing Christians in America will have none of it.

They will not submit to the loving, life-gloving, and civilization-building commands of Christ the King. They will not have Him to rule over them in practice.

And that’s the point: “We will not have this King over us” in the real world.

But Christ insists on ruling over us in the real world, with the alternative being punishment, pain, death, and hell/the lake of fire.

With sin rightly understood as “failing to do what God has commanded, or doing what God has forbidden”, and God has clearly commanded a certain, particular, and well defined approach to the instruction of the children of His obedient people, then not only could openly rejecting this command be characterized as sin, but it must be characterized as such. These realities – the proper definition of sin and the clear teaching of Deuteronomy 6 – combine in the minds of men to commonly inspire several discomforting thoughts, including:

  1. Recognition of the inherent and extreme personal unpopularity that comes with identifying cherished contemporary approaches to children’s education as sin.
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  2. Recognition of the inherent and extreme personal discomfort that comes with even considering whether or not one’s own past or present approaches to their own children’s education has been or is, in practice, sinful.
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  3. Recognition that the mere presence of anyone actually striving to obediently apply the clear proclamations of this passage where the education of their children is concerned presents a clear and present danger to the credibility of anyone aiming to dismiss or avoid the legitimacy or viability of such pursuits.

Unless the Lord graces one with repentance and a quick dose of personal reformation when these ideas begin to take root, the discomforting thoughts listed above tend to go on to inspire a series of defensive, destructive actions, including:

  1. The out-of-hand dismissal of whole swaths of Scripture. This is often done by way of ridiculously vague, watery, and weak “justifications”, the likes of which naturally sound much more pagan than Christian. (Think of the “But that’s in the Old Testament” and “But that was written for Israel” examples cited earlier.)
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  2. The active suppression of group or congregational Bible study on the subject. Scripture study aimed at addressing the specific issue of children’s education is something that must be suppressed in order to avoid even the possibility of exposing certain cherished beliefs and approaches as sinful. With that rational in place, avoidance of serious corporate study of the subject in light of the Word is suppressed and avoided at all costs…often, ironically, in the name of “Christian unity” and ” Christian peace”.
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  3. The persecution of obedient believers. Since their mere presence is convicting and their active pursuit of obedience in the realm of children’s education exposes all variants of the “it just can’t be done” line to be nothing better than lame excuses and lies, then these obedient believers must, at the very least, be silenced (suppressed to the point that their views on sin and obedience in this area are not aired openly). If they cannot be pressured into silence, then they must be more openly persecuted until they are driven out of the local body…often, both ironically and disturbingly, in the name of “preserving Christian unity”.Believers who strive for obedience to the Word in this area will also, and as a part of the rationalization of their persecution, be painted as “unloving” when they dare to openly apply their views, because the open, public display or presentation of their obedience is inherently convicting and, as such, cannot be tolerated. So it is that, in response to the convicting clarity of Deuteronomy 6 on the subject of Children’s education, and the convicting witness of obedient Christians who, by the grace of God, seek to actively apply the truth of that passage in their families’ lives, many professing Christians and churches will openly:
  • Suppress corporate study of the Word on the subject in the name of peace.

  • Persecute obedient believers in the name of love.

  • Drive out obedient believers in the name of unity.

Such rebellion brings down the wrath of God: but the hearts of many are hardened enough that even increasingly painful, even humiliating, punishment does not bring repentance.

But I am writing to those who want to live, to repent from their ways of damnation and death, and who will kneel to Christ the King for salvation.

To kneel… and to obey.

Modern Sunday School

I don’t care much for today’s version of Sunday School.

Originally, it was a good idea, a 19th century English way to teach pagan children to learn to read, learn about God, and away from crime. As such an evangelical tool, it still has value.

Even adult Sunday school has value… if used in a similar way, to reach pagans.

But too often, it’s misused as a tool for lazy Christians to do less for the children God gave them to raise, an “hour of freedom” so far as they are concerned.

BUT

As a tool of evangelical outreach, it still has value.

That’s why I like the video above: It’s part of the Bible Project, and aims to teach interested viewers on the basics of Christianity.

Admittedly, I also like it for another reason: it’s a high-quality production.

For entirely too long, Christians have been comfortable with doing third-rate work, on the job and directly for the Lord.

This must end: and I trust that the Bible Project is a sign, that it is coming to an end.

Alleluia!


For additional information on the subject, let me point out that Gary North has a selection of articles on the subject:

The Crown Awaits the Conquest

Lead on, O King eternal,
The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King eternal,
We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy
The heavenly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal,
We follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks like morning
Where’er Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted over us,
We journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest;
Lead on, O God of might.