Feeds:
Posts
Comments

you-are-what-you-thinkMost of us have probably hear, and maybe even used, the saying “you are what you eat.” From a strictly physical standpoint, it would seem hard to argue with this. Our bodies are composed of nutrients we take in.

But there is another, more profound way of defining our identity. One that goes beyond the physical, touching on who we really are. And on the authority of the Word of God it is this: You are what you think. Proverbs 23:7 puts it this way, “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”

And it is for this reason that God is supremely concerned with the thoughts of our heart, the things we believe, the things we say.

Continue Reading »

 

zedekiah_is_chained_and_brought_before_nebuchadnezzar

Zedekiah is chained and brought before Nebuchadnezzar, from Petrus Comestor’s “Bible Historiale.”  

Traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, Lamentations recounts the author’s reflections on the ruins of Jerusalem in the aftermath of the city’s fall to the Babylonians.

 

When a city, when a nation, falls, it is natural for people to ask why it happened. Chapter One of Lamentations provides the following succinct summary of the sorry state of Jerusalem.

Her uncleanness is in her skirts;

She did not consider her destiny;

Therefore her collapse was awesome.

Now that’s what I call getting right to the point. Jerusalem, which was really a part standing for the whole of Judah, had become morally unclean. God sent prophets to warn the people, but they did not heed, they, they did not consider their end, therefore judgment befell them.

Now I’ve always been a history buff. And, in particular, I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of civilizational collapse. That sounds pretty depressing, I know. But I don’t say that, because I’m rooting to see a contemporary collapse myself.

Continue Reading »

 

jehoiakim-burns-the-scroll

Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll, Caspar Luiken 1672-1708.

What to write?  That’s the question all bloggers must face.  Sometimes the answer comes quickly.  Sometimes it doesn’t. 

With campaign season hitting its big crescendo last week, my mind’s been focused on the election. But now that it has passed, where do I go from here? There’s the series on immigration I’ve been writing. I haven’t forgotten about it. Lord willing, I plan to finish it sometime later this month. But today didn’t strike me as a day to write about immigration.

So back to the question of what to write about. Perhaps due in part to the recently concluded election, the specter of national and civilizational decline is often at the forefront of my thoughts.

Perhaps another reason for this is my Scripture reading. Recently, I’ve been focused on the prophets, Jeremiah in particular. And I never get very far in the prophets before I find myself saying “This could have been written yesterday about America!”

And it’s true, too. Edward Gibbons’ masterpiece of history The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is often cited by writers who want to advance some reason or another for the obvious, ongoing collapse of Western Civilization in our own time.

But there is a far better text to use if we want to gain insight on the problems we face in 21st century America. Of course, I’m referring to the Bible. And in particular the historical books of I and II Samuel,
I and II Kings,
I and II Chronicles and the prophets. Taken together, they could almost be subtitled The Decline and Fall of the Hebrew Republic.

Samuel was the last of the judges and the anointer of the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. It was during Samuel’s judgeship that Israel made the critical error in asking for a king (big government) in place of the limited, constitutional republic set up by God in the law of Moses.

If we were to summarize the history of Israel under the kings, we could say that the kingdom rapidly grew in power under the rule of David, hit its peak under his son Solomon, then split in two – the northern and southern kingdoms – under Solomon’s son Rehoboam. From there, the two kingdoms followed a centuries long trajectory of decline with the northern kingdom falling to Assyrian in 722 BC, and the southern kingdom to Babylon in 586 BC.

What makes the history of this decline and fall so relevant today is that the reader is not, as he is with secular history, left to decide for himself the reasons behind the disasters that befell Israel and Judah. The Word of God tells him explicitly: the people of Israel refused to heed the Lord and suffered the covenant curses pronounced in Deuteronomy 28.

Continue Reading »

election-2016Alright all you Social Justice Warrior snowflakes, listen up! I’m about to discuss a certain election that was recently held in the US, and you’re probably not going to like what I have to say. So consider this your trigger warning. Proceed at your own risk

For the rest of you, I trust you’re all adults who can hear the name Donald Trump without breaking into a cold sweat and the sudden urge to flee to the nearest safe space.

To all of you, congratulations on surviving the 2016 presidential election. As has been noted by many others, this was an election unlike any we’ve ever seen. For my part, I tried to avoid writing about it.

Some of my reticence was the result of not quite knowing what to think. As a constitutionalist out of the Ron Paul mold, I had significant differences with all of the candidates. It was tempting at times to pronounce a plague on all their houses and try my best to ignore the whole thing.

But since one of the main purposes of this blog is to bring the light of Clarkian Scripturalism to bear on contemporary issues, keeping silent on the election was not really a viable option.

Neutrality was an option as well. But the obvious establishment propaganda campaign on behalf of Hillary coupled with a remarkably vicious elite jihad on Trump and his supporters – most of Trump’s backers were regular, hard-working Americans, people like me who had had it with the arrogant, lying, globalist oligarchy that had by means of bogus trade deals, unconstitutional foreign wars, Federal Reserve money printing, bail-outs, etc. run the nation into the ground – went a long way to pushing me, even if somewhat reluctantly, into the Trump camp.

In the end, I wrote far move about the election than I had ever intended. And in retrospect, I’m glad that I did. The 2016 campaign challenged me to think carefully about issues – for example, in light of all Donald Trump’s obvious moral shortcomings, could a Christian in good conscience still vote for him? (in case you’re wondering, I came down on the “yes” side of that question) – that I otherwise would have preferred to leave alone. For that I am thankful.

All that said, here are a few items that strike me as key takeaways.

Continue Reading »

As the current presidential election cycle draws to a close, it seemed good to me to put down in writing what I see as the big issues at that will be determined by the November 8th vote.

It’s not uncommon to hear the upcoming election described in superlative terms such as “the most important ever,” or “the most revolting ever.” For my part, I try to steer clear of such statements, if only because I’m not sure how prove that they’re true.

But if I hesitate to say that the 2016 election is the most important ever in American history, I am willing to go on record and say that it may very well be the most important election of my fifty-year lifetime. I do not recall any previous election in which there were so many major issues at stake, issues, which depending on how the vote goes, that very likely will determine the course of our nation for a long time to come.

With that in mind, today’s post is intended to be more high-level, addressing the major overarching themes of this election, which I have cast in these terms: Oligarchy vs. the Rule of Law, Feminism vs. Patriarchy, and Globalism vs. Westphalian Sovereignty.

Continue Reading »

Reformation Day 2016

 

Wittenberg-1536.jpg

Wittenberg as seen from the Elbe, 1536.

October 31 is known to much of the world as the pagan holiday of Halloween. But for Christians, October 31 represents something quite different. It’s what we call Reformation Day.

 

For it was on that date in 1517 that Martin Luther’s nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door and forever changed the world for the better.

The Gospel of Justification By Faith Alone – the idea that sinful men are saved, not by doing good works, but solely by faith in Christ Jesus – once again shone forth in all its brilliance after a millennium of suppression by the Roman Church-State and millions were saved as a result.

But Luther’s rejection of church tradition in favor of the objective, written Word of God did not revolutionize the church only. It resulted in a whole new civilization, what we now call the West, coming into existence.

Ideas such as the sanctity of private property, honesty in exchange, the rule of law, capitalism, written constitutions, secular work as pleasing to God all found their origin in the Protestant Reformation that began with Luther.

Though it is not commonly understood by Americans, our nation owes its very existence to the Biblical ideas recovered at the time of the Reformation.

Most of us are taught to trace the foundations of our republic to Greece and Rome. But limited, constitutional government did not begin with Greco-Roman civilization. It began with the Hebrew Republic as recorded for us in the Old Testament. Thus the Bible is foundational to our political system.

In like manner, our economic system of capitalism or free enterprise finds its origins, not in the writings of pagan philosophers, nor in the thought of medieval scholastics, nor in the principles of the Renaissance, but in the propositions of the Word of God, the 66 books of the Bible.

To put it another way: No Protestant Reformation, no United States of America. To quote John Robbins,

One of Luther’s most brilliant followers, John Calvin, systematized the theology of the Reformation. The seventeenth-century Calvinists laid the foundations for both English and American civil rights and liberties: freedom of speech, pres, and religion, the privilege against self-incrimination, the independence of juries, and right of habeas corpus, the right not to be imprisoned without cause. The nineteenth-century German historian Leopold von Ranke referred to Calvin as the “virtual founder of America” (Civilization and the Protestant Reformation).

Continue Reading »

It’s ten days to go until the big election, but to me it feels a bit like fourth and goal with the clock ticking down.

On the one side you have the establishment interests desperate to shove Hillary across the goal line.

On the other side of the ball, you have the American people, at least the ones who have enough sense not to support a criminal for president, seeking to push back against the onslaught of lies and fraud to make the big defensive stop.

It’s do or dies time.

So how’s this going to play out? Do the American people make the big stop, or does the Evil Empire win the day.

My Scripturalist convictions prevent me from making knowledge claims apart from Scripture and for that reason I tend to shy away from predictions. There’s that, plus I really just don’t like setting myself up to look foolish.

That said, I’m going to take a baby step out on a limb on offer an opinion, not a knowledge claim, but an opinion, and say that come Friday January 20, 2017 we’re going to bear witness to the inauguration of President Trump.

Why do I say this? Well for starters…

Continue Reading »

%d bloggers like this: