Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

After several years and more than 2000 entries ...

After several years and more than 2000 entries, this blog is coming to an end. With the culture apparently descending into a new dark age and much of a Laodicean church increasingly impotent, Augustine's words after the barbarian conquest and destruction of Rome have a remarkably contemporary ring. In response to the fall of Rome, Augustine began writing "The City of God" which for 1,500 years has been the truth of history in a fallen world.


Timothy George has some words of wisdom and truth for us in this age,


There are two major (and regrettably common) mistakes Augustine wants us to avoid. One is the lure of utopianism. This is the mistake of thinking that we can produce a human society that will solve our problems and bring about the kingdom of God on earth. This was the basic error of both Marxism and 19th-century liberalism.


The other error, equally disastrous, is cynicism. This creeps up on us as we see ever-present evil. We withdraw into our own self-contained circle of contentment, which can just as well be a pious holy huddle as a secular skeptics club.


Fragile World, Strong Faith


How can we avoid such reactions? Perhaps another great Christian of the past, Francis of Assisi, can help. One day when Francis was riding to Assisi, he saw a leper on the road. He reached out to embrace the leper and actually gave him the kiss of peace. While embracing this filthy, diseased outcast, Francis said, he was overcome by a dual sensation. One was nausea. The other was a sense of sweetness and well-being. Like Francis, we need both.


If all we experience is nausea, we will become cynics. We will give up on the world and turn away. But if all we have is sweetness, then our faith will amount to little more than sentimental fluff.
Genuine Christian faith, and true ministry, takes place on the thin line between nausea and sweetness. Feel-good Christianity, so common in our popular culture, actually masks the suffering and pain of the world for which Christ died.


George goes on to remind us that C. S. Lewis spoke at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Oxford on October 22, 1939. Less than two months earlier, Hitler invaded Poland and Britain was about to face the demonic Nazi onslaught. This is what Lewis told the assembled students:


It may seem odd for us to carry on classes, to go about our academic routine in the midst of a great war. What is the use of beginning when there is so little chance of finishing? How can we study Latin, geography, algebra in a time like this? Aren't we just fiddling while Rome burns? This impending war has taught us some important things. Life is short. The world is fragile. All of us are vulnerable, but we are here because this is our calling. Our lives are rooted not only in time, but also in eternity, and the life of learning, humbly offered to God, is its own reward. It is one of the appointed approaches to the divine reality and the divine beauty, which we shall hereafter enjoy in heaven and which we are called to display even now amidst the brokenness all around us.


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Amen.


Blessed be the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. (Ps 31:21)

Dating Spiritual People


Monday, June 18, 2018

Prominent psychiatrist - 'Demonic possession is real'


A Princeton-and-Yale-educated mainstream psychiatrist believes demonic possession is indeed very real. Read about it here.

With 25 years experience in a private psychiatric practice and as a professor at New York Medical College and Columbia University, Dr Richard Gallagher has a rare vantage point to observe human behavior. And then there is the inhuman.  

He is also a sought-after psychiatrist for discernment, the initial step in determining the need for exorcism. Dr Gallagher has evaluated hundreds of cases of possible possession and, in a wide-ranging and rare interview with the Telegraph, explains why he believes the phenomenon is genuine.

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Earlier I wrote about him here. As I wrote then,

The gospel is light by nature and suppresses the darkness of demonic activity; this is why demonic activity became much rarer in western civilization as the gospel spread (in contrast to pagan geographical regions). But now as the culture largely rejects the gospel and darkness descends like a wet blanket, demonic possession is becoming more widespread particularly as it is fueled by uncontrolled drug use, blase' prevalence of human sacrifice (abortion), rampant growth of the occult, gender identity confusion, skyrocketing homosexuality, escalating sexual immorality and hyper-sexuality.

From the early church writings, we know the early church fathers believed mental illness was distinct from demonic possession. John Chrysostom wrote, “Physicians, when they are kicked, and shamefully handled by the insane, then most of all pity them, and take measures for their perfect cure, knowing that the insult comes of the extremity of their disease …. If we see persons possessed by devils, we weep for them; we do not seek to be ourselves also possessed” (St. John Chrysostom, 1978, p. 127).

As I concluded,

With our culture descending into darkness and once-rare demonic possession becoming widespread, only the true gospel can restore sanity and light. The church is empowered by Christ to free those in demonic bondage, but must be willing to act as needed and use the gospel with love, wisdom, discernment, maturity and above all - faith.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Any evidence that points to special creation will always be refuted or reintepreted


Afforming the Biblical account of creation, a new study on evolution here concludes that 90 percent of animals appeared on the Earth virutally simultaneously and at the same time as humans.

The study's most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

"This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could," Thaler told AFP.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?


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Most telling is the final statement in the article - "The absence of "in-between" species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said." Committed evolutionists will always grasp at any straw that refustes creation allowing them to retain their worldview. Evidence that points to special creation will always be refuted or reintepreted.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

500 years ago the same thing happened


Eric Metaxas in his masterful biography on Martin Luther, writes the following,

“So Luther was using the new technology of printing to do an end run around the cultural elites who formed the previously impenetrable wall of ecclesiastical power. Suddenly history—via Gutenberg—had provided options that had not hitherto existed, and Luther would master this new way of reaching the people and fomenting a widespread uprising against the distant, out-of-touch taskmasters.”

Excerpt From: Metaxas, Eric. “Martin Luther.” Penguin Publishing Group, 2017-10-03. iBooks.

It's interesting that 500 years ago the cultural elite of the time were blindsided by the new technology of the printing press which dramatically reduced their control over the people by forging new avenues of communication that could easily bypass those in power.

The same thing is now happening in our lifetime with the advent of the Internet.

Prior to the Internet, the cultural elite controlled the media for the most part, determining what "truth" would reach the common people. And where/when necessary, the "truth" would be modified before dissemination. All that changed in 1998 when the extramarital affair of then-President Bill Clinton was publicly revealed on the Internet. Since then, the Internet has offered access to information heretofore unavailable to the public at large - so much so that the cultural elite are alarmed. Recognizing their loss of authority, we increasingly see proposals for controls over the available information on the web. Of course, the curbs would be designed and implemented by the cultural elite themselves - hopefully returning them to their self-appointed rule.

But it may be too late as the cat is already out of the bag. The Internet has the potential to exert a much more powerful and far-reaching effect on the world than did the invention of the printing press. And that doesn't sit well with those in power who often seek to shield the truth from those they rule over.

Just as the truth set many free 500 years ago with the Reformation, may the same thing happen now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Solzhenitsyn’s Prophecy


Robert George (the brilliant McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University) offers us a powerful and timely reminder here of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's sobering prophecy at Harvard in 1978.

I suspect that some Harvard officials regretted their decision to invite him to speak.

..... Many Americans—particularly young Americans—had lost faith in their country, its institutions, its principles, its culture, its traditions, its way of life. Some proposed communism as a superior system; many suggested what came to be known as “moral equivalency” between American democracy and Soviet communism. By 1978, to suggest such equivalency had become a mark of sophistication—something to distinguish one from the allegedly backward hicks and rubes who believed in the superiority of the American to the Soviet system. There were many such “sophisticated” people at Harvard. And Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn came to Harvard to confront them and others.

..... it was a severe critique—one might even say a prophetic rebuke—and a warning. Of course, Solzhenitsyn did not argue for the moral equivalency, much less the superiority, of the Soviet system. He hated communism in all its dimensions and he loathed the gangsters who ruled the Soviet empire. What he faulted America (and the West more generally) for was its abandonment of its own moral and, especially, spiritual ideals and identity.

He viewed the West’s weakness, including its weakness in truly standing up to Soviet aggression, as the fruit of the materialism, consumerism, self-indulgent individualism, emotivism, and narcissism—in a word, the immorality—into which we had allowed ourselves to sink. Solzhenitsyn, the (by then) legendary human rights activist, warned America and the West that we had become too focused on rights and needed to refocus on obligations. We had come to embrace a false idea of liberty, conceiving of it as doing as one pleases, rather than as the freedom to fulfill one’s human potential and honor one’s conscientious duties to God and neighbor.

At the heart of this moral confusion and collapse, Solzhenitsyn argued, was a loss of faith, and with it the loss of a particular virtue—the virtue of courage.

Here are Solzhenitsyn’s own words:

"A decline in courage may be the most striking feature, which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life."

.... We live at a time of great moral confusion. If anything, our situation is worse today than it was when Solzhenitsyn visited Harvard in 1978. There has been, to borrow a concept from Friedrich Nietzsche, a “transvaluation of values” in many spheres. What is good—such as marriage considered precisely as the conjugal union of husband and wife—has been redefined as bad. What is bad—such as sexual immorality of a wide range of types—has been redefined as good.

..... To speak moral truth to cultural power is to put at risk one’s social standing, one’s educational and employment opportunities, one’s professional advancement; it is to place in jeopardy treasured friendships and sometimes even family relationships. And the more people, in reaction to these threats, acquiesce or go silent, the more dangerous and therefore more difficult it becomes for anyone to speak the truth out loud, even if they know it in their hearts. Anyone who succumbs to the intimidation and bullying—anyone who acquiesces or goes silent out of fear—not only harms his or her own character and fails in his or her Christian duty to bear faithful witness to truth, he or she also makes things harder for others. We owe it not only to ourselves to be courageous, but to our brothers and sisters too. And because we owe it to ourselves and others, we owe it to God.

.... we fall into the profound moral and philosophical error of imagining that the human good consists in the satisfaction of human desires.

.... The Christian story is all about self-giving, self-sacrificial living—and dying. God himself sends his only begotten Son to us, in our sinfulness, to be our Redeemer and Savior by a supreme act of self-sacrificial love. We, as disciples of Jesus, are to model our lives on his, emptying and sacrificing ourselves for others. Bearing witness to truth, no matter the cost.

.... Solzhenitsyn saw a connection between the decline of courage and a loss of faith. Five years after his Harvard address, in a 1983 speech accepting the Templeton Prize in Religion, he stated this in the most explicit terms. The title of the speech could not have made the point more clearly. That title was “Men Have Forgotten God.”

Here is its opening paragraph:

"As a survivor of the Communist Holocaust I am horrified to witness how my beloved America, my adopted country, is gradually being transformed into a secularist and atheistic utopia, where communist ideals are glorified and promoted, while Judeo-Christian values and morality are ridiculed and increasingly eradicated from the public and social consciousness of our nation. Under the decades-long assault and militant radicalism of many so-called “liberal” and “progressive” elites, God has been progressively erased from our public and educational institutions, to be replaced with all manner of delusion, perversion, corruption, violence, decadence, and insanity.
Thirty-five years later, who can deny the truth of Solzhenitsyn’s lament?"

.... According to Solzhenitsyn, the moral decline of the West has behind it the same factor that produced the horrors of communism, namely this: “Men have forgotten God.” People worship themselves, deify their own desires, fall into an idolatry of the self, because they have forgotten that there is something—indeed someone—higher. They have forgotten God.

.... Fear is a powerful emotion—a very powerful emotion indeed. Faith alone can overcome it.

.... What has fallen into decay can be renewed. What has been lost can be rediscovered.

.... By the example of your lives, as well as by the words of your mouths, you must be the salt and light that repairs what is broken and points the way to true freedom for those who have fallen into forms of slavery that are all the more abject for masquerading as liberation.

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Amen! This is a powerful and brilliant exhortation for us today. We may not be able to repair the world-at-large. But we can certainly repair our respective little part of it and point the way to true freedom for those that surround us.

"But this is the broken world we live in"


A father has shared a heartbreaking photo of his son comforting his four-year-old daughter before she passed away from cancer.

Adalynn 'Addy' Sooter, from Rodgers, Arkansas, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in November 2016 after her parents noticed she was having some difficulty walking.

She underwent 33 bouts of radiation that initially killed the cancerous cells, but they returned. 

The family then tried their luck with an experimental chemotherapy treatment in Mexico, spending more than $200,000 for transportation and medical expenses in Monterrey - but the tumor continued to spread.

In the photo, Sooter's son, six-year-old Jackson, is seen stroking his sister's head and giving her his other hand to hold.

'A little boy should not have to say goodbye to his partner in crime, his playmate, his best friend, his little sister,' Sooter wrote on Facebook. 'This isn't how it's supposed to be. But this is the broken world we live in.'

Story is here.

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He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev 21:4, NIV)

Monday, June 11, 2018

A perfect storm for widespread mental illness and demonic possession


Theologian Chad Ripperger in his book "Introduction to the Science of Mental Health" makes an excellent point. Technology is of course morally neutral; it can be used for either good or evil. Ripperger argues that in a technocratic society - when people tend to abuse and/or overuse technology - it subsequently becomes the prism through which reality is then perceived. In such cases, those individuals often lose the ability to navigate life according to reason.

This is precisely what is happening to so many today (particularly young people.) The recent spate of fatal accidents involving the technologically advanced Tesla car is an example. You have a number of foolish drivers who falsely believe the car can literally drive for them while they do something else (like pay attention to their phone instead of the road.) An increasing number of young people who engage social media too much, cultivate a warped understanding of human relationship. More than few people who interact too much with the virtual world, walk away with the false notion that they can bend reality to their whims. Such dangerous thinking is the seed for mental illness. I've written before on the contemporary explosion of mental illness (i.e., here.) In 2012, Psychology Today recognized the problem here, noting for example that "serious risks to health can also occur when texting goes unregulated day after day." The conjunction of a technocratic culture where technology abuse/overuse is commonplace and combined with exponentially increasing drug abuse - provide a perfect storm for widespread mental illness and demonic possession.

Only the light of the gospel shared by a Spirit-empowered church can drive back the darkness and restore sanity. Everything else is futile.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The first step towards Islamization


John Stonestreet at Breakpoint calls out the truth here in his posting entitled "Life, Safety, and the TSA: Where Do We Draw the Line?"

Americans have decided to trade liberty for security. Well, at least we think we have. As one CNN reporter, who was “patted down” wrote in an open letter to TSA, America is not safer because TSA grabs women’s private parts.

In fact, the failure rate of the TSA is stunningly high. During random tests, government agents posing as passengers have been able to sneak weapons through security successfully anywhere from 80 to 95 percent of the time.

Americans are spending literally billions of dollars—and foregoing our 4th Amendment freedom from unreasonable search and seizure—for the illusion of safety.


It’s an illusion Chuck Colson predicted long ago to which Americans would consent. Government’s legitimate, God-given authority to promote order has overstepped into the individual’s God-given and constitutionally guaranteed rights.


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The Israeli's properly regard TSA security as a joke. Instead of catching would-be terrorists, the TSA routinely does stuff like this. Political correctness prevents the implementation of the kind of effective security employed at Tel-Aviv airport. The terrorists got what they wanted all along as the first step towards Islamization - the curtailment of American liberty. Amil Imani lays out the Muslim authoritarian mentality here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The rich and powerful have adopted the LGBT agenda as their most beloved cause


Theologian RR Reno posted a thought-provoking essay online this week here entitled "The Supreme Court Punts".

Only an ignorant person could fail to see that over the last half-dozen years it is the opponents of sexual liberation who have become the outcasts. The rich and powerful have adopted the LGBT agenda as their most beloved cause. Corporate America lends its wealth and power. Higher education does as well. Just days before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, the FBI and CIA announced June 2018 as “LGBT Pride Month.”

This triumph has given the most ardent advocates license to express punitive sentiments toward the unrepentant rabble on the “wrong side of history”—the deplorables. In advance of what he assumed was Hillary Clinton’s inevitable victory, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet speculated about “how to deal with the losers” in the battles over sex. He recommended taking “a hard line”—which he noted had been a winning strategy with defeated Nazis after 1945.

.... It was inevitable that the institutionalization of the sexual revolution would be carried forward by appeals to the postwar anti-discrimination tradition. And that tradition is loaded with explosive moral condemnation of any who dissent.

.... As Charlotte Allen has documented in our pages, the LGBT anti-discrimination skirmishes are very different from the battles of the 1950s and 1960s, when powerless black Americans fought against powerful interests to gain their rights. Now, those claiming discrimination are almost always well-to-do, well-educated, white-collar white men and women. Those who they claim discriminate against them are lower down the social ladder. In today’s anti-discrimination battles, the great and the good bring their power to bear on the little people who haven’t gotten the progressive memo.

.... That two gay men in Denver can bring to bear the full power of the state against a baker who does not wish to bake them a wedding cake is the height of absurdity. The gay couple do not belong to a vulnerable class of Americans. IRS data show that male-male married couples filing jointly have dramatically higher family incomes than other married couples, to say nothing of the disintegrating working-class families who don’t enjoy the benefits of marriage. Empowering a segment of the upper class to beat up on those who don’t approve of their sex lives is a recipe for social fragmentation.

How To Be An Atheist


Friday, June 8, 2018

It Never Ends


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1, ESV)

With predictable regularity, NASA is again trumpeting the discovery of apparent signs of alien life (see here).

The "building blocks" for life have been discovered in 3-billion-year-old organic matter on Mars, NASA scientists announced Thursday.

Researchers cannot yet say whether their discovery stems from life or a more mundane geological process.  However, “we’re in a really good position to move forward looking for signs of life,"  said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a NASA biogeochemist and lead author of a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

 For some historical perspective see what I wrote here a year ago.

In my lifetime, I've seen multiple claims to have finally "proven" the existence of extraterrestrial life. All of which were front-page news. And all of which were ultimately quietly proven false or rejected by the mainstream scientific community.

.... This raises the most interesting question - why is there a seemingly desperate frenzy within most of the scientific community to prove the existence of alien life?

There is an obvious and simple explanation - because the majority of them subscribe to evolutionary theory and reject special creation. The existence of alien life would validate their cherished belief that life can (and did) arise spontaneously by itself here on Earth. And if it happened here, then it must have also happened elsewhere in this seemingly infinite universe given the 14 billion years they currently consign as the age of the cosmos.

But what if we are alone in the cosmos and there is no alien life elsewhere? It is the death knell for their theory of origins and leaves only one other option that is devastating to their worldview - special creation by an omnipotent Creator. Thus, the stampede with ever increasing urgency to find alien life which in their minds would finally vindicate their position and prove the fallacy of a creator God.


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Ignoring the indisputable proof that "alien" life really did visit our planet some 2000 years ago in the Person of Jesus Christ who had some mind-blowing truth to reveal to us, they foolishly and futilely look for something that I seriously doubt they will ever find.

Dilbert on Climate Change


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wolves in Sheep Clothing - The joys of taqiyya


Bruce Bawer writes here about the Muslim practice of deception (taqiyya) that I've written on several times before.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest's book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what's more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

How To Be A Social Justice Warrior


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Should churches require members to sign Covenants when they join?


Some churches require members to sign Covenants when they join - a practice that was very popular among the Shepherding and Discipleship movement during the 1970s. I am increasingly uncomfortable with the practice. Why would a verbal commitment be considered insufficient? If a verbal commitment of repentance to Christ is sufficient, why should one be required to sign a commitment to join His church?

Often the real unspoken reason that a church requires a written commitment is that it reduces the church's exposure to legal liability. Shouldn't such a request be a red flag to a new member at the beginning of their relationship with a new church? As a layperson, would the knowledge that a group of attorneys crafted the church membership document (as is almost always the case) that you were about to sign give you some pause? A manipulator will often abuse such commitments to his advantage; this of course was very true of the Shepherding/Discipleship movement of the 70s.

In an ideal situation when church leadership is morally well qualified and legitimate, a written covenant might function well. But in this fallen world, no local church is ideal. (Paul had to publicly confront and rebuke the apostle Peter for his treatment of Gentiles [Gal 2:11-14].) What if church leaders are lacking in true moral character?

Make no mistake: whichever term is used for the ‘agreement’ or ‘affirmation’, these signed documents are contracts. Some of these legal documents appear quite innocent. Others make you sign away certain rights and/or force you into making specific promises. These promises are usually related to (1) the church’s authority structure (specifically, your commitment to obeying the leaders), and (2) finances (in particular the flow of money from you to the church.)

In chapter 10 of his book, Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek To Rule Over Others [ Kindle edition], Wade Burleson gives five reasons why Christians should say no to a church covenant.
  1. A church covenant makes the Holy Spirit irrelevant in my life
  2. A church covenant replaces my one true Mediator with inferior mediators
  3. A church covenant makes the institutional church equivalent to the Kingdom of God
  4. A church covenant by its nature is designed to protect an authoritarian structure.
  5. A church covenant requires something more than a simple “Yes” or “No.
– Source: Wade Burleson, Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek To Rule Over Others, Chapter 10.

Ultimately, the requirement to sign a formal written covenant prior to joining a local church should raise red flags.

The Greatest Generation Of Our Time


On the anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the Normandy coast, we pause to remember with gratitude the greatest generation of our time. A generation that is unfortunately largely ignored, all-but-forgotten and even reshaped to conform to the revisionist-history, fantasy worldview of modern progressive elites. In stark contrast to today's narcissistic, pampered spoon-fed, entitled generation - they truly were the greatest generation of our time. I was named for an uncle, Robert Bruce Sherman, who was killed in 1943 at the tender age of 18 fighting in the Pacific theater during WW2.



Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel (Prov 12:10, ESV)


The Smell of Death


Theologian RR Reno has brilliant analysis here of the ongoing societal meltdown. Entitled "The Smell of Death", he correctly diagnoses the root causes and the true architects of our culture of death.

The culture that formed the young men who have killed so many in mass shootings—or who kill themselves with drugs, alcohol, and guns to the head—cannot be blamed on the usual suspects, the “bigots” of flyover country and the “religious right.” On the contrary, it is institutions such as Harvard, Google, and the Ford Foundation that determine the mainstream. Their priorities set the tone, with the buzzwords of “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” and other omnibus terms for a post-traditional way of life. With their vast wealth and prestige, our elites sponsor attacks on the usual bugbears: heteronormativity, patriarchy, logocentrism, and racism. Today’s culture is the result of a more than fifty-year effort of deregulation, rejection of traditional norms, and denigration of commonplace pieties.

At every level, our elites oppose traditional regulation of behavior based on clear moral norms, preferring a therapeutic and bureaucratic approach. They seek to decriminalize marijuana. They have deconstructed male and female roles for children. They correct anyone who speaks of “sex,” preferring to speak of “gender,” which they insist is “socially constructed.” They have ushered in a view of free speech that makes it impossible to prevent middle school boys from watching pornography on their smart phones. They insist upon a political correctness that rejects moral correctness.

The upshot is American culture circa 2018. Our ideal is a liquid world of self-definition, characterized by plenary acceptance and mutual affirmation. In practice, the children of our elites are fortunate: Their families and schools carefully socialize them into the disciplines of twenty-first-century meritocratic success while preaching openness, inclusion, and diversity. But the rest are not so fortunate. Most Americans gasp for air as they tread water. More and more drown .....

.... In the last half-century, liberalism has focused on deregulating personal life. This, too, has been an elite priority. It makes options available to those with the resources to exploit them. But it has created a world in which disordered souls kill themselves with drugs and alcohol—and in which those harboring murderous thoughts feel free to act upon them.

It’s time for us to wake up. The Ford Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Organization for Women, Harvard and Stanford Universities: These are the pillars of today’s establishment, and the architects of our culture of death.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The College Scam


Earlier, I opined that college is often a colossal waste of time and money for most people (i.e., see here.) I'm not the only one. While college is necessary for some professions - i.e., medical fields, engineering, seminary, etc. - it's a scam for most others.