Archive for June, 2016

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

In our last installment, we discussed opportunity cost using the example of the four lepers at the gate of Samaria (2 Kings 7:3-5).


The prospects facing of these gentlemen were all seemingly poor. They could remain where they were and die, they could enter the city of Samaria and die, or they could defect to the Syrians and maybe die or maybe live. Choosing any one of the three options meant forgoing the other two opportunities.

Quite rationally, the lepers elected to forgo the opportunity of dying in Samaria, either outside its gates or within the city itself, for the outside chance that they might survive among the Syrians. The two options of dying in Samaria, we concluded, represented the opportunity cost to the lepers of their decision to go over to the Syrians.

The Samaritan Consumer Price Index

At the same time the lepers were reasoning among themselves about their opportunity cost, inside the city walls of Samaria another discussion was taking place.

By this point, King Jehoram of Israel had had quite enough of the whole siege business and was ready to take it out on someone. The most obvious scapegoat in his mind was the prophet Elisha. Such was the king’s anger with Elisha that he had dispatched one of his high ranking officers to take off the prophet’s head.

This came as no surprise to the prophet, who, apparently forewarned by God that a plot had been hatched against him, told those with whom he was sitting, “Do you see this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” (2 Kings 6:32).

When the king’s messenger arrived, Elisha had a message for him. Said Elisha, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria’ ” (7:1).

Incredulous, the officer responded, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” To which Elisha answered, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it” (7:2).


Read Full Post »


In 1940, newly elected Prime Minister Winston Churchill rallied his countrymen to the looming Battle of Britain with the words, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and it Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”

I’m certainly not here to argue with Churchill’s assessment of his country’s finest hour. But if yesterday’s vote by the British to leave the European Union didn’t quite rise to the level of their stand against the Nazi war machine, it was, nevertheless, a most impressive feat. One I never thought I would see.

The globalists and oligarchs threw everything they could at the Brexit partisans, including their usual tired mix of fear mongering, dire warnings of economic catastrophe, and bogus charges of racism.

And it failed. All of it.

Likely, this won’t be the end of the issue. Globalists aren’t the sort to go quietly into that good night.

But for those who love liberty, this was a sweet victory. It proves that ordinary people can see the corrupt establishment demagoguery – the constant siren song wooing them trade their precious freedoms for a mirage of bureaucratic security – for the lie that it is. And it gives hope to others who seek to do likewise.


Read Full Post »

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

My goal in this series is to demonstrate that many of key concepts of economics are either explicitly or implicitly taught in Bible’s account of the siege of Samaria as found in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20.


In Part One, we looked at 2 Kings 6:25 and what we could learn from the exorbitant prices people were paying for undesirable food under siege conditions. In Part 2, we looked at the relationship between two economics and politics. Especially, we considered how economic hardship is frequently brought on by the ill-conceived policies of politicians, who, being loath to take the blame themselves, often will attempt to find a scapegoat to divert public dissatisfaction away from themselves.

Today, I would like us to look at another important economic concept demonstrated in 2 Kings: opportunity cost. But before diving into that, perhaps it would be advisable to offer a definition of economics.

Economics, What is it?

In his lecture series on economics, John Robbins offered the following definition of economics: it is the study of the logic of choice.

That may sound a bit surprising to many people. It is common to think of economics as news about what the stock market did today, but that is history. Some may think of economics as mathematics. Still others, when they consider the subject at all, hold very negative views about economics. For example, 19th century Scottish thinker Thomas Carlyle famously dubbed economics “the dismal science.”

But starting with the axiom of Scripture, the idea that the Bible has a monopoly on truth, Robbins makes a strong case for his definition. He starts with four principle statements about man taken from Scripture:

  • Men are rational creatures made in the image of God.
  • Men always act purposefully.
  • Men always act in their perceived self-interest.
  • Only individuals choose/make plans/act.

From these concepts, Robbins provides us with the following chain of reasoning: To be human is to be rational > To be rational is to have purposes > To have purposes is to plan > To plan is to arrange ends and means (in other words, to choose). And economics, as Robbins defines it, is the study of the logic behind the choices we make.


Read Full Post »

meltdown-620Today we may apply the Apostle’s words first to those (rulers) who without cogent cause inflict exorbitant taxes upon the people, or by changing and devaluating the currency, rob them, while at the same time they accuse their subjects of being greedy and avaricious.

    – Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans 2:2, 3

Now, if the laws of buying and selling are corrupted, human society is in a manner dissolved; so that he who cheats by false weights and measures, differs little from him who utters false coin.

    – John Calvin, Commentary on Leviticus 19:35

But if life is an equal value to all, there is something strange, when war comes and large military expenditures are necessary, in requiring the person who has saved for a life insurance policy to lose half its buying power by inflation, while the spendthrift loses nothing and enjoys high wages to boot.

    – Gordon H. Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things, pp. 101-102

Read Full Post »

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

In the first installment in this series, we looked at some of the economic concepts taught in the Bible’s account of the siege of Samaria recorded for us in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20. In particular we looked at 2 Kings 6:25 and found that quite a bit of economics is packed in just that one verse. Today, we’ll continue the discussion of economic implications of Syria’s attack on the capital of the Northern Kingdom.

Politics, Economics and the Blame Game

As a kid, one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was Scooby Doo. The episodes were pretty formulaic, especially the ending where, as the bad guys were being hauled off to the paddy wagon, they inevitably would blurt out, “And I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” They never blamed their downfall on their own criminality. It was all the fault of the interlopers.

Well, politicians are a lot like this. While being separate disciplines, politics and economics are closely related such that to talk about one often means brining up the other. This is especially common when a nation is struggling with economic difficulties.

And when economic troubles begin, so too does the blame game shuffle. Suppose the citizens experience a sharp upward spike in the cost of living, or wages stagnate or wave after wave of layoffs take place. Do the powers-that-be blame themselves? Of course not! Economic difficulty is NEVER related to the policies of the current president or Congress. No, not one bit.

The political class, and the academics whose ideas the politicians implement make it all very clear that they had nothing to do with the mess. We’re made to understand that our economic pain is always the fault of the intransigence of opposing party, or greedy market speculators, or bond vigilantes, or budget cuts, or lack of sufficient federal regulatory oversight, or not enough government spending, or cheap imports from China.

This blame game, this shifting of responsibility, is nothing new. In fact, we can say with confidence that it started six thousand years ago with Adam himself. As he put it in his own words, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). “It’s your fault, not mine!” That’s the gist of Adam’s argument to God.


Read Full Post »

ready for oligarchyWell, there were no gorilla shootings in Cincinnati this week. Or for that matter, giraffe, hippopotamus or hyena shootings either. And we can all be thankful for this. I know for my part I just really can’t take another week of listening to animal rights activists talking nonsense. Perhaps the most egregious offender in this regard was a gentleman from Cincinnati, who was quoted in the local paper referring to the departed gorilla as, “a fellow Cincinnatian” and a “400-pound person.”

Nope and nope. Animals are not people. People are not animals. See Genesis 1 for details.

Now then, let’s move onto the scintillating stories from this week.

Oligarchy and the American Jezebel

As the old saying goes, I was shocked but not surprised Monday night, a night when not a single Democratic primary vote was cast, to hear that Hillary Clinton had achieved the necessary delegates to seal the Democratic nomination for president.

It just so happened that scheduled the following day were primaries in California primary and New Jersey, and several other states. In the week leading up to the vote, polls in California indicated that Bernie Sanders and Hilary were neck and neck. And a loss there would have been a YUUUGE embarrassment both to Hillary and her supporters in the Deep State. In fact, a loss in California may very well have been the end of Clinton’s hopes to take the White House. And such things simply cannot be allowed to happen.

And they weren’t.

After Monday’s surprise announcement, Hillary went on to win California by a margin of 55% to 43% over Sanders.

No sooner had the polls closed but the MSM began its hagiography of Mrs. Clinton. And among the worst offenders in this regard, predictably, was CNBC. Their business and financial reporting, the networks raison d’être, is a pathetic mix of stock market cheerleading, Keynesian propaganda, and Federal Reserve worship. I stopped watching years ago. And given the networks ratings in recent years, so has nearly everyone else.

Nevertheless, I do admit to visiting CNBC online several times a day to check the markets. And what did I see there on Wednesday but the headline, “Trump’s going to get demolished by Clinton; Here’s why he needs to drop out now.” Yep. The Donald’s on the wrong side of history, according to the sages at CNBC. Just give up. Go home. It’s over.

I’m not here to flack for Trump, but the man just set a record for the highest vote total EVER in the Republican primaries. Somehow I doubt he’s going to listen to the advice of incompetent journalists at a dying cable network.

But back to Clinton. One thing that is almost never discussed regarding her campaign, even among Christians, is whether it would be Biblical to elect a woman as president. Questions of this sort are never asked by the MSM. Even a survey of blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels will show that almost no one, Christian or not, questions whether a woman could properly fill the role of Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The only question is whether she is qualified intellectually and ideologically to take the helm in the Oval Office.

But at least one Christian author has undertaken to answer that question. Paul Elliott wrote a piece a few years back titled Deborah & Esther: Are They Precedents for a Female President? And his answer to this question would likely shock and offend many, even many in the evangelical community. Elliott concludes,

The Bible tells us clearly that God has ordained male headship, and female submission to that headship, in the home, in the church, and in government…Because this is God’s ordained order, Christians must not seek to put a woman in the place of national rulership, no matter how much we may agree with her ideologically. To do so is, in fact, sin in the eyes of God.

Yes, Hillary is an appalling individual and will make a horrible president if elected. She was a disaster as Secretary of State. She’s an obvious felon. And she will continue Obama’s full-court press to further push the immoral LGBT agenda. In short, she will prove to be an American Jezebel.

But the answer is not for Christians to seek a better qualified woman to run against her. As with all areas of life, we must reason and act according to what Scripture teaches, and not according to the wisdom of this world.


Read Full Post »

This just in, “Clinton Hits “Magic Number’ of Delegates to Clinch Nomination,” according to CNBC.

In sports, a team that loses but still makes the postseason is said to “back into the playoffs.” But what do we call what Mrs. Clinton just did?

On a night when no primary was held, mirabile dictu!, somehow she just magically accumulated “over a dozen new superdelegates” to help put her over the top. And this the night before the big California primary, a race, which much to her embarrassment, she very well may lose.

Doubtless the timing of this new superdelegate surge was purely coincidental. And thank goodness there’s no reason to suspect any election rigging by the Deep State.

As they say, move along, nothing to see here…

Read Full Post »

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege.jpg

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

The Bible has a monopoly on truth. This simple idea is basic to the entire Scripturalist enterprise. Yet while the idea itself is simple and ought to be taught and understood by every Christian, it’s one that often is denied.


Speaking for myself, many times I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that the Bible is good for learning about God and salvation, but it’s not a textbook on economics, or politics or history. Revelation alone is the source of all knowledge, but my belief that Bible is not a textbook on fill-in-the-blank was a sinful denial of this premise.

I mention this by way of introduction to today’s post on Biblical economics. and for today’s lesson, I’d like to look at the siege of Samaria as related in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20.

The Siege of Samaria

Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom and had come under attack by Ben-Hadad, king of Syria. Sieges in the ancient world were horrific events, and doubtless left survivors deeply scarred both physically and emotionally. For example, when the Assyrians were threatening to besiege Jerusalem, the commander of their army told Hezekiah’s representatives and all the people who were assembled on the city wall, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste [during the coming siege of Jerusalem] with you” (Isaiah 36:12). And this leaves unsaid the lack of sanitation, disease, stench and death that would all be part of the package deal.

Regarding the siege of Samaria, the Bible tells us, “And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they [the Syrians] besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver” (2 Kings 6:25).

There are a number of important economic ideas packed into this verse. Let’s take a look at them.


Read Full Post »


Harambe the gorilla with the four year old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, 5/28/16. 

Stories of interest for scripturalists can pop up anywhere. They can be on the other side of the world, or right in our backyard. And it just so happens that this week there were two noteworthy items right here in river city. Let’s kick off this week’s This ‘n That with…


The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

Unless you spent this whole last week in a cave or out protesting Donald Trump, you’ve probably heard a little bit about the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Just to recap, last Saturday a four year old boy climbed into the Zoo’s gorilla exhibit, fell ten feet into a moat, and quickly found himself a person of interest to Harambe, the Zoo’s 450 pound, alpha-male lowland gorilla.

While the boy’s mother frantically watched, the animal grabbed the boy and dragged him about. When things appeared to become life-threatening, the Zoo have the go-ahead for a sharpshooter to put an end to the standoff.

The episode ended with a dead gorilla and a living boy.

Only it really didn’t end there.

As news spread, it didn’t take long for the animal rights crowd to start up with an irrational two minutes hate directed at the Zoo and the mother of the boy. Check these sample tweets from the compassionate man-haters on Twitter,

It didn’t take me long to find these, so doubtless there’s plenty more nonsense out there. And from these comments it is abundantly clear that not a few members of my own species lack the discernment to understand the vast difference in value between a brute beast and a person made in the image of God.

The Scriptures tell us that God made man a little lower than the angels and set him over the works of his hands. It was God himself who gave man dominion over the earth.

We could wish that things had turned out better for the gorilla. But when it comes to the life of a person or the life of an animal, it’s the animal that goes every time.

The Bible tells us that no man yet ever hated his own flesh. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder how the social media shriekers would react if it were their lives that were on the line and not that of another. Not that I can prove it, but I rather suspect they’d be singing a different tune.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: