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Posts Tagged ‘John Robbins’

Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

Due to time demands at work, it has been some time since the previous installment of my series Immigration, Citizenship and the Bible. Those circumstances now ended, it is my hope, Lord willing, to complete the final postings this spring.

But before moving on to break new ground, it seems good to me to circle back and review the topic of the Roman Church-State (RCS) and immigration. I say this in the first place, because an honest inquiry into the current problems surrounding immigrants and refugees in the United States finds their source in the theory and practice of the RCS..

In the second place, the RCS has conducted its immigration campaign, a campaign with the ultimate goal of furthering its globalist agenda by undermining the sovereignty of the United States, with almost no scrutiny from the press or from Protestants. It is high time someone pointed out the treachery of the her prelates.

Third, a recent speech by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy laid bare the corrupt theory that lies behind Rome’s immigration policy. This post is a critique of McElroy’s speech.

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WIPFSTOCK_TemplateDoug Douma’s recently published biography of Gordon Clark titled The Presbyterian Philosopher has garnered a lot of positive attention.

I’ve just started reading it, so I’m not in a position to write a review. For reviews of the entire book, please see here for David Engelsma’s, here for Sean Gerety’s, and here for Tom Juodaitis’.

But having just read through the Introduction, I was very favorably impressed with Douma’s summary of Scripturalism, the name given to Clark’s philosophical system by John Robbins. Writes Douma,

The philosophy of Gordon Clark has been called Scripturalism because of his reliance on the truth of Scripture as his fundamental axiom or presupposition. Stated simply, his axiom is “The Bible is the Word of God.” Scripturalism teaches that the Bible is a revelation of truth from God, who Himself determines truth and is the source of all truth. In this theory, the prepositions of Scripture are true because they are given by inspiration of God, who cannot lie. For Clark, the Bible, the sixty-six books accepted by most Protestant churches, is a set of true propositions. All knowledge currently available to man are these propositions along with any additional propositions that can be logically deduced from them.”

Among the key terms in this paragraph is “axiom.” An axiom is an unproven first principle. All systems of thought, including Christianity, have unproven first principles. Both Clark and Robbins held that the axiom of Christianity is, “The Bible alone is the Word of God.”

Some Christians may be disturbed at that thought that one cannot prove the Bible is true. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite right to say this. It almost seems tantamount to casting doubt on the Scriptures and denying the entirety of the Christian faith.

I asked John Robbins about this once in an email, which (unfortunately!) I no longer have. But I recall quite well the gist of what he told me.

He explained that all thinking – this includes every philosophical system ever devised, secular or religious – must begin somewhere. That is to say, all systems of thought must have first principles, axioms, and that these axioms, because they are the starting point from which a system of thought is deduced, are by definition unproven and unprovable.

A moment’s reflection reveals why this is so. If one could prove an axiom, a first principle, then it would no longer be a first principle, whatever argument used to prove the original axiom would take over in this role.

Getting back to the axiom of Scripture, if we attempted, as some do, to prove that the Bible is the Word of God, the Bible would not be the foundation of our faith, but our own argument used to prove the inspiration of Scripture.

We would be lending more credence to our own ideas than to God’s revelation. And to do this would be impious, for there is nothing more sure than a word from God, who cannot lie.

In the end, the Christian’s belief in the inspiration 66 books of the Bible does not rest on any argument devised by man. But rather, as the Westminster Confession puts it,

[O]ur full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness, by and with the Word, in our hearts.

In other words, the Christian’s belief in the Bible is the product of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit who causes us to understand and agree with the propositions – a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence – in the Bible.

This is not to say that the inspiration of the Bible cannot be defended. Clark wrote quite extensively in defense of the inspiration of Scripture. See God’s Hammer
for Clark’s devastating critique of various modernist theologians who sought to deny the doctrine of Scripture.

But what it does mean is that as Christians we do not have the burden of proving our first principles to unbelievers. Instead, we assume the truth of the Scriptures and use them to tear down the many high things in our day that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.


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CIA“Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WiiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named ‘Vault 7’ by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.” Thus begins the press release on the Wikileaks website.

In light of the “Vault 7” release, and in light of the many other revelations from WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and others, it seemed good to evaluate the covert activities of the US federal government in light of the Word of God.

This is a pressing issue, because more and more it is becoming obvious that we’re living Orwell’s 1984 in real time. What once was the stuff of dystopian fiction is now our day to day experience. According to the Vault 7 release,

  • “Weeping Angel” a hack developed by the CIA and the UK’s MI5/BTSS is targeted at Samsung Smart TVs, placing “the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode” while recording conversations in the room.
  • The CIA can hack your Android or Apple smart phone. According to WikiLeaks, “Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.”
  • The CIA can make their hacks appear as the work of foreign intelligence agencies.
  • The CIA has hoarded, rather than disclosing, knowledge of serious vulnerabilities to US-based tech manufacturers as was agreed upon in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations.
  • “The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.
  • The U.S. consulate in Frankfurt Germany is a covert CIA hacker base.

For my part, none of this seems terribly surprising. There long have been rumors that the CIA and other government agencies had capabilities of this sort. But now we have reliable confirmation of it.

But Government spying doesn’t end here. For example, in 2013 Glenn Greenwald penned an article that appeared in the Guardian, in which it was revealed that the US government is capturing “every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant.”

In that same article, Greenwald quoted a 2010 Washington Post piece stating, “Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency [NSA] intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.”

Greenwald also quotes former NSA official William Binney to the effect that the US government has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about US citizens with other US citizens” and that “the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want.”

Ah, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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david-stockman

David Stockman

This time last week it was 75 degrees and sunny. Today? Well, let’s just icy roads and accidents made the morning commute a little more exciting than usual. How can the weather change so much in seven days?!

 

Well at least one thing hasn’t changed over the last week, and that’s the dicey state of the nation’s economy. With the stock market hitting records level, that may seem like an odd thing to say. But the economy is not the same things as the stock market.

In fact, the past several years have seen an almost inverse relationship take hold between the performance of the Dow Jones and S&P indices and important economic indicators. In a normal, rational economy, if corporate earnings decline or unemployment spikes signaling a economic slowdown, the stock market should decline.

But in today’s Keynesian casino markets, bad economic news is good news from the markets perspective. Why is this? It all has to do with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. You see, bad economic news means big money speculators believe the Fed will continue its policy of suppressing interest rates to near zero to stimulate economic growth. On the other hand, if the economy appears to be doing well, the market starts to think the Fed may hike interest rates, making stocks a less attractive opportunity. Thus the stock market goes down.

In short, it’s a stupid economy that rewards fraud and punishes success.

And after over eight years of stupidity such as near zero percent interest rates, we are now faced with simultaneous Fed created bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate, which will all at some point burst. And that leads me into today’s story…

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separation-church-and-state

“We have the same vocabulary, but a different dictionary,” was a saying coined a hundred years or so back. It was used by Bible believing Christians to describe liberals who were surreptitiously working to undermine the churches of the day.

The liberals didn’t like a fair fight. Instead of openly declaring their unbelief in the Bible, liberal ministers and scholars were wont to cloak their liberalism in the language of Scripture. The social gospelers would speak of the “divinity of Christ” and for all the world appear to be sound Christians. But instead meaning that Jesus was fully God, they meant only that Jesus, as do all men, had a spark of divinity within him. This is not Christianity. It is a humanist lie.

But old-school social gospelers are not the only people to redefine words to suit their agenda. One prominent example of this is what some atheists and liberals have done to the term “separation of church and state.”

If you’re like me, you probably grew up thinking that 1) these words are found in the Constitution and 2) they mean Christian ideas are legally prohibited from having even the smallest influence in matters of government. Both ideas are false.

But their falsity doesn’t stop many people from passionately believing them. Take a look at this video of a recent Town Hall held by Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.


When minister steps up to pray, some in the audience scream “Prayer? Prayer?” A man can be heard loudly repeating “separation of church and state, separation of church and state.” Another says, “He’s [the minister] not supposed to be up there [at the lectern].”

When the minister ends the prayer in Jesus’ name, the crowd again explodes.

Now for all I know, the loud mouthed protesters may have been dupes paid by George Soros. Perhaps they were expressing an honest, albeit mistaken, opinion. At any rate, they would be better served taking time to learn a thing or two about the Constitution before getting so worked up a minister doing his job.

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rinkeby-riots

A policeman inspects a burned out vehicle following the riots in Rinkeby, Stockholm.

Some things seem to naturally go together. Peanut butter and jelly come to mind as a natural pairing. Baseball and summertime? I’m in. Even the terms “blowhard” and “politician” evoke a certain warmth of familiarity within me.

 

But riots and Sweden??!! Surely, you jest! Nevertheless, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction…

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Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

Having observed the ongoing European migrant crisis from afar for these past several years, I’ve been tempted to think that even government officials whose policies caused the disaster in the first place would have by now woken up to the fact that things are not working out, admitted the error of their ways, and sought to change course. But such is not the case.

 

In an apparent attempt to secure her reputation as the second worst leader in German history, on Saturday, with US Vice President Mike Pence in attendance, German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her refugee policy that has allowed 1.1 million migrants into Germany since 2015, argued that Islam is not a source of terrorism and indicated that the European Union (EU) has an obligation to accept even more refugees.

These are astonishing claims, and one wonders how anyone with even a passing acquaintance with events throughout Europe in recent years could make them, let alone the Chancellor of Germany, whose nation has been among the hardest hit by the migrant crisis.

Consider the following headlines related to migrant issues in Germany taken from over just the past year.

It would take a strange definition indeed of “Islam”, “source” and “terrorism” for anyone to deny the connection between the religion of the Prophet and these horrifying acts of Islamic terrorism in Germany.  What part of “Allahu Akbar” do they not understand?

Is it not just obvious that letting millions of Muslims into your country, at taxpayer expense to boot, is a bad idea? The ideas held by the people of a nation determine the course of that nation. When you import a million Islamizes, you’re going to get Islamization on an industrial scale. Commenting on the United States, John Robbins wrote,

When we apply these insights to the United States, we notice several things. In the beginning all America was Protestant – 98 percent of the people. The numbers we have for church affiliation in seventeenth and eighteenth century America show that three-fourths of Americans were Calvinists of one flavor or another: Puritan, Pilgrim, Presbyterian, Baptist, German Reformed, Lutheran, Congregationalist, and Episcopal. There were few Catholics, almost no Jews or Methodists, and no Muslims, Mormons, Moonies, Buddhists, Confucianists, Hindus, or atheists. Had there been any large numbers of these groups, there would have been no America as we have known it, not because the people who hold these views are somehow inferior, but because the views themselves are inferior: They are logically incapable of creating and sustaining a free society (Rebuilding American Freedom in the Twenty-First Century, emphasis added).

Rejecting mass, taxpayer subsidized Muslim immigration is not, as some have charged, racism. Islam is not a race, it’s a religion. And as a religion, it is accompanied by certain tenants, certain doctrines. And if those doctrines conflict with the maintenance of a free society, and they do, Westerners have very good reason to be concerned about the Islamization of their countries and are well within their right to oppose it.

But if Islamization is so obviously a problem, why is it that Merkel and others cannot see this? Apparently they lack the discernment necessary to grasp the fact that their policies are destroying the very nations they were elected to serve.

And why do they lack discernment? “The fundamental answer” to why men lack discernment, as John Robbins reminds us, is “the will of God.” Robbins quotes several Biblical passages in support of this idea. Citing just one as an example, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold I will fill all the inhabitants of this land – even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem – with drunkenness! And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,’ says the Lord. ‘I will no more spare nor have mercy, but will destroy them’ ” (Jeremiah 13:13-14).

It is God who both gives and withholds discernment from the hearts of men. And given the extreme state of ignorance of even basic politics in the West – according to the Bible, the task of the government is to punish evildoers, not invite them into your country to prey on your citizens and then tax the people for the privilege of being shot, bombed, and raped – it is fair to wonder whether it is God’s intention to destroy the West.

It is my prayer that this is not the case. But if he does intend to bring an end to Germany and other Western nations, it’s not as if he would be without good reason.

What we call Western Civilization is the result of the widespread preaching of,, and belief in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ beginning at the time of the 16th century Reformation. Yet for the past 200 years, the West has been in the process of rejecting Christ and embracing secular philosophy. As a result, the West is in the process of collapse. And the ongoing Islamization of the nations that were the cradle of the Reformation is one of the consequences of that collapse.

But perhaps God isn’t done with the West. Perhaps he is graciously warning us of what may happen if we stay on our current course. But if the West is to be saved, it will not happen as a result of political activity, but once again as the result of the widespread preaching of, and belief in, the Gospel of Justification by Faith Alone.

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