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Day 2 of The Trinity Foundation’s Reformation conference saw four separate presentations by two men whose work has long been associated with the Foundation.  Mark W. Evans, a minister from Faith Presbytery, the Bible Presbyterian Church presented a single paper in two sessions titled The Reformation:  Past, Present, and Future.

The other speaker of the day was Dr. Paul M. Elliott, president of Teaching the Word Ministries.  Dr. Elliott gave two separate talks, the first titled The Reformation is Not a Return to Pre-Reformation Positions, and the second The Reformation Is Not Co-Belligerence with Unbelievers.

For those interested, all four sessions from Day 2 plus the two sessions from Day 1 were recorded and will be available on the Trinity Foundation website.  The planned date of the posting is not known to this writer.

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Isaiah_Spanish Square_Rome

The Prophet Isaiah, from a monument in Rome.

“How do you know when a politician’s lying,” runs the set up to an old joke. The answer? “When his lips are moving.”

Ouch.

Now granted, that’s funny joke. But it’s funny only because it highlights vast chasm most of us have seen between most political rhetoric from most political reality.

George H.W. Bush wont the 1988 presidential election in part on his famous promise, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Not long after his election he conspired with Congress to, wait for it…raise taxes.

More recently, Barak Obama told the nation in no uncertain terms that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

And this wasn’t the only lie that was told with respect to Obama Care. After the passage of the bill, a video of Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and one of the chief architects of the Affordable (sic) Care Act, surfaced that made clear that Obama Care always was a hustle, and that those behind the bill knew it all along. Gruber’s words were, “(L)ack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting this thing (Obamacare) to pass.”

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Kim Jong Un_Missile

North Korean dictator Kim John-un and one of his missiles.

The conflict between the US and North Korea, long simmering on the back burner, has in recent times threatened once again to come to a full boil, with the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump threatening to become a war of bullets and bombs and ICBMs.

In August, Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress lent his support to the war option, saying in an interview with the Washington Post
that God has given Donald Trump the go-ahead to “use whatever means necessary – including war…to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Jeffress justified his stance by appealing to Romans 13, which, he said, “gives the government…the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jonh Un.”

What are Christians to make of Jeffress’ statements? Do they comport with what the Bible teaches about war and foreign policy or not? Before exploring those questions, a little history is in order.

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Ever notice that when something really bad happens, let’s call it “X,” the first reflex of many politicians is to demand new legislation “to prevent X from even happening again!”

Our gal Hillary C. is among the greatest champions of this hustle. Just yesterday she tweeted,

Sigh. I do grow weary of this nonsense. In the first place, she actually has the breathtaking gall to call for everyone to put aside politics, while in the very same sentence making a patently political call to action. Does she really think no one notices this?

Second, at bottom her call for further gun regulation is really an expression of an unbiblical view of criminal justice.

You see, there are really only two basic approaches to criminal justice: crime punishment and crime prevention.

Crime punishment, the biblical approach, punishes the criminal, and the criminal only, for his wrongdoing. On the other hand, crime prevention seeks to regulate – that is to say, seeks to punish – everyone in the hope of preventing future wrong doing by a few.

Crime prevention is inherently unfair. Not only does it punish the innocent along with the guilty, but it also requires an enormous, expensive, and freedom crushing regulatory state to implement.

Ought there to be more gun laws? No. Such laws do little or nothing to prevent crime, but they do make it harder for deplorables everywhere to purchase and use firearms. But then, that’s really been Hillary’s agenda all along, has it not?


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Kaepernick_Takes a Knee

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the pre-game singing of the national anthem. 

It all began quietly enough. The photo that started it all, one tweeted out by Jennifer Lee Chan of Niners Nation, wasn’t even originally about Colin Kaepernick. In fact, you have to look pretty closely at the photo even to see the then San Francisco 49ers quarterback sitting by himself on the bench during the pre-game ceremonies on August, 26, 2016.

After the game in an interview with NFL.com’s Steve Wyche, Kaepernick explained the reasoning behind his protest. He said,

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL network, this was not the first time Kaepernick had protested during the national anthem, it’s just that no one had noticed it before.

On August 28, Kaepernick stated that he would continue his protest until he felt that the flag represented what it was supposed to represent and the country represented people the way it’s supposed to represent them.

From there, it became almost a commonplace to see football players, not just in the NFL but even those on the high school and college level, take a knee during the pre-game singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The protest movement, having simmered for over a year, was given new life with Donald Trump’s comments at a rally in Alabama last week, saying players who knelt during the national anthem should be fired.

This prompted angry reactions from many NFL players as well as from players in other sports. Remarkably, the uproar this past week following Trump’s comments has been so loud that it even managed to drive North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s threats of nuclear war from the headlines.

Such an explosive story deserves at least some commentary. So here are a few thoughts of my own.

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