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Archive for June, 2017

Nye_UndeniableThis post in a continuation of Unbelievable:
A Quick Look at Bill Nye’s Views on Evolution, Science and Creation, Part 2
published on 5/28/2017. In that post, I began to examine Chapter 2 of Nye’s book Undeniable, Evolution and the Science of Creation. That post went through page 10 of the book. This week will pick up my review starting on page 11.

The US is lagging in science, and it’s the creationist’s fault

Bill Nye seems to be very worried about the state of US science education and achievement. He writes, “[W]ithout young people entering science fields, especially engineering, the country will fall behind other nations who do educate their kids in real science rather than the pseudoscience of creationism” (10).

This is one of many manifestations of Nye’s unspoken, fundamental, and flawed assumption that one cannot be a Christian and at the same time a scientist. Nowhere does Nye offer any proof of this contention. He simply asserts is expecting his audience to swallow it without question.

But in truth, Christians accept that the very Logos, the Logic, of God spoke the universe into existence. And not only that, this same Logos, and the Gospel of John tells us, is the light which lightens every man who comes into the world. The very logical architecture of our minds is what is it as a result of the creative work of Jesus Christ.

As such, not only is there no inhibition preventing Christians from studying the sciences, but it is the Christian alone who has sound reason to expect the universe to exhibit regularity and rationality, being, as it is, the creation of a rational God.

Further, a Christian scientist doesn’t need to waste a lifetime of research attempting to explain the origin of the universe or of life. He already has these answers revealed to him and can go about his work secure in the knowledge that he has a correct understanding of the universe.

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F18

An F-18 takes off from a US aircraft carrier.

My apologies for the rather bland headline this week. I just couldn’t think of a catch title for this edition of the Review. Well, I’ll try to do better next week. And without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s stories.

Syrian Crisis Escalates

Perhaps the biggest story this past week was the downing of a Syrian government SU-22 jet by US F-18s from the aircraft carrier George Bush. The incident, which occurred Sunday 6/18, is said to represent the first time a US jet has downed a foreign manned aircraft since 1999.

The US has claimed that the jet was attacking fighters of the US backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), but, as Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams reported this week, this clam has been contradicted by the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, which stated “sources confirmed that the warplane did not target the Syria Democratic Forces in their controlled areas.”

As Daniel McAdams pointed out, the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights is generally considered to be pro- US backed rebels. The group has even been cited the US government. As such, it is surprising for this group to contradict the storyline put out by the US.

The Syrian government claims that the jet, rather than attacking the SDF, actually was going after ISIS at the time it was shot down. If what Damascus says is true, it would be another piece of evidence backing the contention that the US, in fact, supports ISIS.

Although this may sound like a shocking claim, the logic of it is simple and compelling. The US and ISIS have a common goal in Syria, both want to overthrow Syrian president Bashar Assad. And if they have this common goal, would it be such a stretch to believe that the US would shoot down a Syrian government jet that was attacking ISIS?

Syria’s ally Russia reacted angrily, announcing it would no longer us a communication channel designed to prevent the targeting of US aircraft operating in Syrian airspace.

The big takeaway in all this is that the US and Russia took another step closer to war in the middle east, a place where the US has no legitimate security interests, but which could serve the powder keg that sets off a major regional or world war.

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IMG_0681

Dad and I at the Reds game, 6/17/2017.

“See that yellow foul pole,” dad said to me. “Yes,” I replied. “When Johnny Bench hits his home runs,” dad continued, “they have to stay inside of it.”

Memory is a funny thing. It’s strange what we forget, and perhaps even stranger what we remember with crystal clarity, years or even decades later.

That snippet of a conversation between dad and me took place over 40 years ago. The year, I think, was either 1973 or 1974. I was just a kid and was at the ballpark for my first ever major league game. It was the Reds versus somebody at Riverfront Stadium.

I recall a couple of other things from that day. I remember we sat in the blue seats, just a few rows behind the Reds dugout. I also recollect a foul ball coming pretty close to us, but not quite close enough to catch.

They say baseball has a way of uniting fathers and sons in a way different from other sports. That certainly was true in our case.

Growing up in Cincinnati in the 70’s as I did, I had the privilege of watching the Big Red Machine at its finest. All of us in my family naturally were big Reds fans. So there was that.

Further, there was little league. My dad was either a coach or manager of my team for several seasons, and we spent a lot of time together practicing, especially pitching.

I wasn’t a great natural talent, my brother has all the real athletic talent in the family, but dad taught me how to throw strikes and spot my pitches where I wanted. With his help and patience, I managed to be one of the better pitchers in my league for a few seasons. To this day, I still remember the rush of striking out hitters.

And although my baseball career, such as it was, ended long ago, one thing hasn’t changed. Dad and I are both still big Reds fans.

But baseball lessons we’re the only thing dad taught me. You see, dad was Tim the Toolman long before there was a show called Home Improvement. And as you would expect from any good do-it-yourselfer, he was constantly in need of a gopher. My labor was cheap and available, so as you can probably imagine, I was constantly involved in one of his projects or another.

When I was helping him build a piece of furniture, I remember the painstaking effort he put in to making sure the legs of the table he was building were strong and stable. He expertly cut the joints in the wood, glued them in place and clamped them together so they would dry n place.

But then he did something that puzzled me. He had me help him drill countersunk holes for woodscrews and put in crews to hold the legs along with the glue.

So I asked him, “Why are you bothering to put screws in to hold the legs in place when you’ve already glued them in.” Replied dad, “Because the screws make the joints stronger, and I don’t want this table just to look well-made, but actually to be well-made.”

That made a big impression on me.

To have true quality, it wasn’t enough for something just to look good on the surface, but it had to be thoroughly good, possessing quality both where it is seen and where it is not.

It was no accident that dad believed as he did about his carpentry and other pursuits. For his philosophy of craftsmanship really was just an extension of his faith in Christ.

As the apostle Paul teaches, God’s people are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. And great master craftsman that he is, God is not satisfied with a surface morality that appears good on the outside but is full of rottenness on the inside. No. But when God calls his people to saving faith, he effects a radical change in them from the inside out.

In Christ, God’s people are pronounced righteous at the bar of his perfect justice through faith in Christ alone and sanctified by his Word and Spirit. Christians are not just to look good, but to be good.

So thanks, dad, for a lifetime of lessons. You taught me to throw a fastball and to hammer a nail. Most of all, you taught me in word and in deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Happy Father’s Day.


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Hodgkinson Shooting

The baseball field where James T. Hodgkinson carried out Wednesday’s attack.

Shots fired! Whither America? I refer, of course, to the latest violent outrage committed by a representative of the political left and what it means for America’s future.

By now, you’ve doubtless heard about how the former Illinois home inspector James T. Hodgkinson walked up to a Washington D.C. baseball diamond, asked if it was the Republicans out there, and upon being told yes, opened fire, wounding four and dying in a shootout with the D.C. police.

While liberals sought to deflect blame, putting the onus for the shooting on conservative support for Second Amendment gun rights, a more likely cause can be found in the violent rhetoric and actions of the left itself.

For more than a year, liberals and progressives have engaged in a hate campaign against Donald Trump and his supporters that brings to mind the sort of violence committed at the hands of the Nazi Brownshirts of yesteryear.

And the violence has come, not just from fringe elements of the left such as Antifa, but remarkably enough from the DNC itself.

In fact, given the shrill, over-the-top, non-stop, anti-Trump, anti-Republican vituperation from the left lo these many months, Wednesday’s attack seems less a surprise and more an unavoidable consequence.

Just days before the shooting, reports were circulated about Free Shakespeare in the Park’s staging of Julius Caesar, in which an actor playing the part of Caesar, dressed as Donald Trump, was stabbed to death.

It’s hard to view an outrage such as this as anything other than the expression of the heartfelt wish of many progressives. Whether it’s Snoop Dog taking a .38 to the head of a Trump-like clown, Madonna openly admitting she often thinks about blowing up the White House, or the profanity laced rants of washed up actor Robert De Niro, the entertainment community has done much to incite the sort of violence seen Wednesday.

One might even say these individuals have blood on their hands.

And in case anyone has doubts about just how far beyond the pale the left’s rhetoric has become, just substitute Barack Obama for Donald Trump in any of the above examples. Said one attendee at the staging of Julius Caesar, “To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful. If this had happened to any other president – even as recently as Barack Obama or George W. Bush – it would not have flown. People would have been horrified.”

Indeed.

Whither America? I wish I knew. Progressives love to boast about their tolerance, lover and compassion. But those who are on the receiving end of their vitriol may not be so convinced of their goodwill.

As Christians, let us seek the peace of the city, let us pray for our country, and let us not be afraid to condemn those who seek to achieve by violence and threats of violence what they could not at the ballot box.

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Sanders and Vought

Bernie Sanders questions Russell Vought in Senate confirmation hearing, 6/7/2017.

Tolerance. It may be the single dominate buzzword or out time. Everyone has heard of it. Progressives claim to have it. Conservatives are berated for lacking it. All must bow down to it. Yet rarely does anyone attempt to define it.

There is a Christian sense to the term “tolerance,” one to which any believer in Jesus Christ would readily affirm, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” As Christians, we are to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated, “for this is the law and the prophets.”

Negatively, tolerance in the Christian sense does not mean agreeing with everybody, saying that all ideas about God, ethics, politics or economics are equally true. There is truth, and there is falsehood. There is darkness and there is light. The prophet Isaiah condemned those who put darkness for light and light for darkness. As Christians, we are called to proclaim the truth and expose the lie.

Aye, and there’s the rub, at least as far as 21st century progressives are concerned. These folks have infinite patience for every idea under the sun, no matter how irrational or destructive it may be, just so long as they can use it as a weapon to smash what little is left of Western civilization.

For the cultural Marxists, if an idea or action doesn’t shock and offend the Protestant bourgeoisie and serve to tear down their civilization, it is by definition intolerable.

Barak Obama gave voice to this notion a few years ago with his “bitter clingers” remark.

Hillary Clinton showed her contempt for ordinary Americans last fall, labeling a large swath of the American population as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic…they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Not only does Mrs. Clinton think Americans, her present company excepted, are a bunch of bigots, but she adds that they are irredeemably so. And by stating “they are not America,” it appears that the thinks of these individuals, not as fellow Americans who deserve her respect, but as animals who must be controlled.

And she wonders why she lost the election.

All of which brings me to Bernie Sanders and his remarks in a Senate confirmation hearings this past week. If you haven’t seen the video yet, please take a couple minutes to review it.


The terse exchange between potential deputy White House budget director Russ Vought and Senator Bernie Sanders is packed with theological, legal and political implications. Let’s look at a few of them.

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Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress. 

I’m sick unto death of hearing about James Comey. But no more than I’m sick of hearing about Russian collusion, FISA warrants, special prosecutors and impeachment. Enough already! Anybody with me on this?

 

After watching Democrats and the mainstream media – I know, they’re substantially one and the same thing – work themselves into a tizzy about supposed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, I just can’t take it anymore.  They had high hopes that their new found fair-haired by James Comey would deliver a death blow to the Trump presidency, but that appears not to have happened. 

Even liberal commentator Chris Matthews (no relative) admitted as much.  Said Matthews, “But the big story has always been the assumption of the critics of the president…that somewhere along the line in the last year, the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians…And yet what came apart this morning was that theory.” So for you Democrats, take it from one of your own and just stop it with the Russia, Russia, Russia thing, ‘k?

Here’s the deal: you guys lost the election, not because of the Russkies, but because you had an epically horrible candidate. And you had an epically horrible candidate because the epically corrupt DNC epically rigged the primaries to ensure Hillary was your nominee, paving the way for the Trump administration, the very thing you hate the most in all the world.

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Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. – Isaiah 1:7

 

London Bridge Terror Attack_3

Police respond to the terrorist attack on London Bridge, June 3, 2017.

 

 

Dear Britain, we need to talk. I know, I know, talking about sensitive subjects, that’s the very sort of thing we’d all prefer to avoid. And yet, sometimes the very things that are most difficult to discuss are the very things that most need to be discussed. In this case, the uncomfortable subject I have in mind is your ongoing, painful-to-watch civilizational collapse.

For my part, I’d rather not bring up the topic. It would be much more comfortable to keep my nose to the grindstone and carry on as if nothing were happening. And yet, after watching news of the third major terrorist attack in Britain in less than three months, I simply cannot hold my peace any longer. In the words of Isaiah, strangers are devouring your land in your presence. But for all that you do nothing. How can this be?

But in truth, your response is worse than nothing. For not only are you failing to address the collapse of your civilization, each new disaster seems to strengthen your leaders’ resolve to hasten the day when Great Britain, at least as it has been understood for centuries, no longer exists.

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