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MFOL_Hogg

Student leader David Hogg speaks at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C., March 24, 2018.

They came, the saw, they marched. On Saturday, March 24 2018 approximately 200,000 people filled the streets of Washington D.C. to call on Congress to pass anti-gun legislation which the marchers claim is the only solution to solving the problem of school shootings / mass shootings in the US.

On their website, the marchers list three demands: 1) A ban on the sale of assault weapons, 2) A prohibition on the sale of high-capacity magazines, and 3) Requiring background checks to ensure dangerous people can’t buy guns. Let’s look at them.

According to March For Our Lives (MFOL), “Our elected officials MUST ACT by,” in the first place, “Passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, to kill 17 innocent people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” We are told that “No civilian should be able to access these weapons or war.”

This statement is propaganda. The problem is its central term, “assault rifle,” is never defined, yet we’re told they are “weapons of war” to which civilians should not have access.

But the rifles that were used in the various mass shooting are not “weapons of war.” That is to say, they are not machine guns or the sort used by soldiers in combat. Here, I’m talking about guns such as the Vietnam era M16 or the more recent M4. These are fully automatic rifles, what are often referred to as “machine guns,” which are designed to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.

The AR-15s used in the mass shootings listed on the MFOL website were semi-automatic rifles, not fully automatic. This is not to say that the AR-15 – and just to be clear the “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for “assault rifle,” it stands for Armalite Rifle, the name of the company that developed the particular style of rifle in the 1950s – but they are not “weapons of war” as the MFOL website claims. By calling the AR-15 a “weapon of war,” MFOL is attempting to confuse the public to advance their political agenda. In other words, they’re propagandists.

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Devin Nunes

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. speaks with reporters outside the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Among the biggest stories in the press so far this year has been the dust up over the FISA memo.

The memo is the work of the House Intelligence Committee and its Chairman Devin Nunes. For several weeks, Americans were treated to the suspense, not just concerning what was in this mysterious memo, but also whether it would be released to the public at all.

After two weeks of wrangling, the go-ahead to make the memo public finally was given by President Trump on Friday, February 2.

The memo, as it turned out, showed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were less than forthcoming when they presented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) with evidence to convince the court to authorize electronic surveillance of one of then-candidate Trump’s volunteer advisors, Carter Page.

The evidence supplied by the DOJ and the FBI to get the FISA warrant – the application was presented to the FISA court on October 21, 2016, just weeks before the presidential election – was a dossier put together by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. The dossier contained allegations about Carter page and Donald Trump. The ones concerning Trump were of a particularly salacious nature.

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2018

As once again we find ourselves at the end of one year and the start of another, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to serve him and his church through this blog.

In March 2018, I will celebrate nine years in the blogosphere, and that’s a pretty long time in blog years. That raises an interesting question, So just what is the average lifespan of a blog anyway? Well, as is often the case, it depends on whom you ask.

According to one post, most blogs die after 100 days. Yikes! That makes Lux Lucet something like 1000 in human years! Another post puts the average blog lifespan at 33 months. Whatever the actual average number is, it appears that this space has continued to be active well past the time when most blogs have become internet history.

And that’s a credit, not to the skill or to the perseverance of the blogger, but God who has graciously provided the opportunity, the desire, the knowledge, the wisdom and the strength to continue.

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The Annunciation_Fra Angelico_15th c.

The Annunciation, Fra Angelico, 15th cen.

 

One of the many reasons I have long admired the work of John Robbins was his insistence on holding, and skill at handling, question and answer sessions after his talks.

As brilliant as his lectures were, some of his best recorded comments came in the discussions that he had with audience members after he was finished speaking.

A few years ago, Tom Juodaitis was kind enough to send me recordings of a number of sermons preached by Dr. Robbins at Reformation Chapel in Unicoi, TN.

Among the sermons was a two part series on John 3:1-17. At the end of part 2, there is a discussion among Dr. Robbins, an individual whose identity I don’t know, and Tom Juodaitis concerning the incarnation.

In this discussion, Dr. Robbins explains Gordon Clark’s teaching on the incarnation. Clarks mature thinking on this subject is found in the final book he wrote just before his death in 1985, The Incarnation. Clark’s work was at the time, and continues to be, controversial. For at its heart is the idea that Jesus of Nazareth is not, as is commonly taught, one person in two natures, but two persons in one individual, one a divine person and the other a human person.

This really shouldn’t be controversial. Just recently I heard a preacher say, correctly I would add, that Jesus is 100 percent God and 100 percent man. If this is the case, and it is, then we are logically driven to the same conclusion Clark reached.

Yet many people are offended at Clark’s thought, dismissing it as Nestorianism while ignoring the logical force of his argument.

John Robbins was one theologian was persuaded by Clark’s argument and had no problem saying so. In the discussion below, Dr. Robbins is at his best, brilliantly, simply and persuasively summarizing Clark’s argument.

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Jack Phillips_SCOTUS

Mary Torres holds up a rolling in in support of cake artist jack Phillips outside the Supreme Court n Washington on Dec. 5.  (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

In perhaps the biggest story of this past week, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The case involves the Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, who in 2012 refused to make a custom wedding cake for a same sex married couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. This set in motion a legal battle that saw Mr. Phillips, a Christian, dragged before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which did not look kindly on his appeals to free speech and the free exercise of his faith.

“I can believe anything I want,” said Commissioner Raju Jaram, “but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.” According to this same article, Phillips was ordered to stop discriminating against gay people, document any customers he refuses to service, provide antidiscrimination training for his staff, and report quarterly for two years.

One commissioner likened Phillips’ actions to those of the Nazis.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Jack Phillips, argued this week before the Supreme Court that the baker’s First Amendment rights were violated by the Commission’s ruling. According to her, the Commission also violated Phillip’s religious liberty by attempting to force him, “to sketch, sculpt, and hand-paint cakes that celebrate a view of marriage in violation of his religious convictions.”

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