Archive for July, 2016


Title page from John Knox’s famous, shocking and politically incorrect essay, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.

In 1558, John Knox wrote was is still to this day perhaps the most politically incorrect tract in history, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. The proximate object of Knox’s blast was the reign of Mary Tudor in England, but in targeting Bloody Mary, the Scottish reformer also took aim, “against the very principle of female government itself” (Roger A. Mason, John Knox On Rebellion, xv)

Over the following centuries, the political theory and practice of Protestant nations generally was ikn agreement with Knox. But with the rise of secular feminism in the 19th century and its subsequent influence on the evangelical church, that consensus began to fracture.

Today, not only does Great Britain have its second female prime minister, but Germany in headed by Angela Merkel. France is likely to find itself under the sway of a woman as soon as next year. And here in the United States, the Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton for president.

Much has been made of Hillary Clinton’s nomination. The mainstream press is fond of describing it as “historic” as indeed it is. The reaction of the New York Times was typical of mainstream reporting on Clinton’s nomination, with the paper featuring the headline “Democrats Make Hillary Clinton a Historic Nominee.”

As the story itself went on to report, “The Democratic convention formally nominated Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday, making history by choosing a woman to be the first standard-bearer of a major political party, a breakthrough underscored by a deeply personal speech by Bill Clinton calling her ‘the best darn change-maker I have ever known.’ ”


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Crooked Hillary

Hillary Clinton

Fairness. Such an innocent sounding word. So why do I always loath to hear politicians speak of it?


Very likely my trepidation has something to do with the way political hacks abuse the English language. Our public discourse has reached what could be called peak dishonesty. Whatever words our public servants use, if you understand the opposite you’re probably pretty close to catching their drift. And so it is with fairness. If some wanna-be office holder starts using that word, think “mega-ripoff” and you won’t go far wrong.

Hillary Clinton, to no one’s surprise, is the latest politician to use the oft-exploited term “fairness” as cover for more theft by government. One need only look at her proposed “fairness” tax to see this principle in operation.

According to the factsheet Investing in America by Restoring Basic Fairness to Our Tax Code,

There is essentially a “private tax system” for the wealthiest Americans that lets them lower their tax bill by billions, while working families play by the rules and pay their fair (sic) share. In 2013, the 400 highest-income taxpayers – those making more than $250 million per year on average – paid an effective tax rate of just 23 percent, in part because of tax gaming and sheltering to reduce their tax bills. Some multi-millionaires can pay lower rates than their employees.

Now there is much here that is true. The US tax code is hopelessly complex and provides ample opportunity for those who can afford top-notch CPAs and tax-lawyers to take advantage of legal loopholes to shelter vast wealth from the tax man. Ordinary Americans, on the other hand, are not so positioned. Most of us dupes on Main Street end up forking it over big-time to the IRS.


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epic-failNow that convention season is upon us and the thoughts of many are tuned politics, specifically to the party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, it seemed good to discuss the relationship between Evangelical Christians and the political process.

For some time now, really since the end of WWII and the rise of the neo-evangelicalism, American Evangelicals have worked assiduously to influence the culture, oftentimes through the political process.

Growing up, I recall the rise of the Christian right during the 1970’s. Led by such figures as the Moral Majority’s Jerry Falwell and Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, the Christian right promised to push back on the radical cultural changes that had rocked the nation during the 1960’s.

And now after several decades of Evangelical politicking by these and other groups, it’s fair to ask, Just what have they accomplished? Is our nation more moral, or better still, is America more Christian than it was forty years ago? Is there greater respect in 2016 for the rule of law, for private property, for public morality than before the rise of the Christian right?

The answer to these questions is, I believe, obviously no. In fact, it seems to me, that not only has the religious right failed to reverse the tide of national decline – and make no mistake about it, the US and the entirety of Western Civilization is in the midst of what appears to be terminal decline – but that things actually are far worse now than they were before the term “religious right” entered the mainstream of public discourse.


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The Religious Wars of the 21st Century by John W. Robbins – http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=53101448594

Conservatism, An Autopsy by John W. Robbins – http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=115

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Freedom_CapitalismFreedom and Capitalism: Essays on Christian Politics and Economics by John W. Robbins (The Trinity Foundation, Unicoi Tennessee, 650 pages, 2006), $29.95 (E-Book $10.00).

“Brevity, clarity, and profundity are three virtues missing from the modern world,” wrote John Robbins in the introduction to his commentary on Philemon, (Christianity & Slavery, 7). But while these admirable qualities are missing from the works of most contemporary writers, such is not the case with Robbins’ work.

This reviewer has long been of the opinion that one can get more sound theology and philosophy from reading a single short essay by the late Dr John Robbins that he can get from entire shelves full of books by other authors. In Freedom and Capitalism, Robbins once again displays his remarkable talent for presenting profound ideas in a compact and readable package.

Robbins, who is likely well known to followers of this blog as the founder and former president of The Trinity Foundation, held a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University and worked on the staff of Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, serving as Paul’s Chief of Staff from 1981-1985.

He was also an active lecturer and writer. Concerning the latter, Robbins commented in his introduction to Capitalism and Freedom that, “Over the past 40 years, as a student (high shcool, college, and graduate) and adult, I have written hundreds of essays, articles, and letters-to-the-editor” (9). This book represents a collection of thirty-one of articles, all but four by Robbins, on the subjects of politics and economics.

The essays presented in Freedom and Capitalism concern a variety of topics within the broad fields of politics and economics and were written over a period of thirty-four years. But for all that, there is a common theme that runs through them, the Scripturalism of Gordon Clark. Robbins nicely summarizes Clark’s Christian system of thought as follows:

Epistemology: The Bible tells me so.

Soteriology: Justification is by belief alone.

Metaphysics: In Him we live and move and have our being.

Ethics: We ought to obey God rather than men.

Politics: Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.

Economics: Laissez-faire capitalism: Have I not the right to do what I will with my own? (9)


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Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

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


When beginning the Siege of Samaria series on Biblical economics, I never intended it to go on for more than two or perhaps three posts. Due to an embarrassment of material and positive response from the readers of this blog, the series stretched into five posts.  In no small part the success of this series has been due to the generous support of Sean Gerety over at the God’s Hammer blog, who has been kind enough to republish my posts.

It’s certainly been an encouragement to me to see so many people interested in what the Bible has to teach us about economics. Most of the economic talk one hears in the mainstream media is misleading, and, I suspect, it’s designed to be that way. After all, if too many folks were to get wise to the economic evil troika of central banking, fiat currency and demand-side Keynesian economics, it would be a lot harder for the financial masters of the universe to loot the poor and middle class of the world for their benefit.

The lies of the statists enslave, but the truth of God’s Word makes men free. And it is to the end of furthering this truth that I have presented the series on Biblical economics.

And because Biblical economics is both a fascinating and worthwhile study, it seemed good to me to take this opportunity to share with others the intellectual ammunition I’ve found helpful in developing my understanding of the subject. Below is a list of resources along with my comments.


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ready for oligarchy

I was shocked but not surprised. Shocked, because it’s so patently ridiculous. Not surprised, because it fits the same pattern we’ve seen time and again. I’m referring, of course, to the decision of FBI Director James Comey not to recommend charges be brought against Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified emails.

In a case such as this, it’s tempting to launch into writing some doom and gloom post proclaiming the end of the republic and, for that matter, the world as we know it too.

Ten years ago, John Robbins wrote a must read essay he titled The Religious Wars of the 21st Century, the basic thrust of which was that the ongoing civilizational collapse West, a collapse brought on by its rejection of the Gospel of Justification by Belief Alone, would lead to a terrible century of religious wars. Wars that would be all the more terrible because they would be fought with modern weapons in the name of the false medieval religions Islam, Judaism and Roman Catholicism.

Robbins had this to say about the collapse of the West,

The West has been in collapse for more than a century. The Biblical theology that created the Western civilization five hundred years ago has all be disappeared in the West. The rejection of Christianity in North America and Europe, and the rise of several false religions – including Arminianism, Romanism, Pentecostalism, atheism, and mysticism – have led to the collapse of the West. That collapse is marked by, or, more accurately, is the dissolution of the Biblical family (husband, wife, and children), the economic and political regimentation of the individual and business enterprises; government ownership and control of most educational institutions; the growth of crime; the waning of civility; the acceptance of public profanity, obscenity, and homosexuality; and the resurgence of brutality.

Robbins’ citation of the growth in crime is particularly apropos here. The sheer audacity of Hillary Clinton’s fraud – not just what Andrew Napolitano termed “her grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue,” but also the obvious manipulation of the justice system and the news media effected by her and her supporters – is breathtaking. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Woodward and Bernstein? Deep Throat? Forget ’em. Nobody needs those guys. Not when the Deep State oligarchy and its minions have gotten so brazen with their criminality that they hardly even both to hide it anymore.

According to Comey, he elected not to indict Clinton because there was no sign that Clinton meant to break the law. “We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information, beyond a reasonable doubt, to meet the intent standard,” Comey is quoted as saying.

But as Andrew Napolitano points out, “The espionage statue that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep states secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.”

But beyond that, what part of setting up an unsecured server in her bathroom fails to rise to the level of intent? As former CIA Operations Officer Scott Uehlinger put it, “The fact that she set up a private server, in and of itself, means she is guilty of a felony right there. Obviously, by having a private server, she was conspiring to evade her signed sworn statements that she would uphold secrecy agreements. The fact that she simply established that (private server) regardless of what was on it, she intended to go around and circumvent the law.”

The FBI’s failure to recommend charges against Clinton is a travesty. One is reminded of Isaiah’s lament over Judah’s collapsing civilization. Wrote the prophet, “How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers” (Isaiah 1:21).

So, is this the end of the republic? It’s tempting to say yes. But the truth is, none of us knows the future. When Isaiah wrote his lament, things looked pretty bleak for Judah. But not long after those words were penned, Hezekiah, one of the best kings ever to sit on the throne of David, would lead the nation to spiritual renewal. Has God’s arm been shorted that he cannot do the same in our time?

While we cannot say for certain that Hillary Clinton’s preternatural ability to dodge indictment represents the end of the republic, it is clear that the failure to charge her is a severe blow to the rule of law in this nation. If she’s allowed to get away with these crimes while a candidate, what she will attempt once in the Oval Office I care not to think about.

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Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

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


Inflation – What it is and what it isn’t (continued)

In the last installment of this series, I mentioned that the big takeaway point was the definition of inflation. As you may recall, we defined inflation a bit differently than is commonly understood. Most people, when they talk about inflation, mean to say that prices – the amount we pay for items such as gas or bread or rent – have gone up.

The most common statistic used to report rising prices is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures the cost of a representative basket of goods and services, comparing the average price of these items in one period with their average price in the following period.

When the CPI shows average prices going up from one reporting period to the next, the rising prices are reported in the news as inflation. Occasionally, average prices fall. When this happens, we are told that deflation has occurred.

But the definition of inflation that was presented in Part 4 of this series did not rely on measuring the average cost of goods. Instead, inflation was defined as the increase in the supply of money. Conversely, deflation was not defined as decreasing prices, but rather the decrease in the supply of money.

But even though inflation and deflation are not the same thing as rising and falling prices, there is a relationship among them. When the money supply increases, assuming the amount of goods and services in the economy remain the same, prices go up. Conversely, when the money supply falls, prices go down. As Peter Schiff puts it, “The money supply expands and contracts. Prices go up and down. Inflation and price increases are not the same thing. One is cause. The other is effect” (Crash Proof, 69).

Now you may be asking yourself why I bother to define inflation as I do. Isn’t the common definition of inflation good enough as long as we all agree that inflation is rising prices? Why confuse things be bringing in the concept of money supply?

The best argument for defining inflation as the increase in the supply of money is that it clearly identifies the cause of rising prices: central banks creating too much money, usually in response to governments spending too much money.

If we are satisfied with the usual definition of inflation, government officials can easily fool us into thinking that prices are going up for reasons that have nothing to do with their own policies. Bad weather, profiteering by greedy speculators and lack of sufficient governmental regulations are common scapegoats for rising prices, even though prodigal politicians and the central bankers that fund their wasteful spending are the real culprits.


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