ContraCelsum Backup

Dear Reader: Although Google professes to have a policy of free speech, there are now disturbing examples of Google peremptorily shutting down blogs on the Blogger platform espousing views which (presumably) Google wants to censor. Therefore ContraCelsum has set up a mirror blog via WordPress (http://contracelsum.com/). We update the latter weekly. If this site should suddenly go dark, you will find ContraCelsum alive and well at the above address. You may want to bookmark it now (just in case).

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Borg Has Completely Assimilated the United Nations

Committee on the Rights of the Child Intent on Promoting Abortion

Posted onSeptember 25, 2014 
By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
Below is one of the worst recommendations to ever come out of a UN committee. See the full report here.
Adolescent health
  1. The Committee welcomes the consolidation of the National Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the new protocol on adolescent health. It also notes the programmes undertaken to prevent and deal with unplanned teenage pregnancies. However, the Committee is deeply concerned that the State party has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancies in the region and that many of them result in maternal deaths.  It is also concerned about the lack of access to safe abortion procedures due to a restrictive law on abortion and the lack of information on the actual impact of the programmes to reduce these pregnancies.

  2. In the light of its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a)      Collect disaggregated data on the number of deaths among pregnant girls and adolescents and undertake a study on the scope and root causes of these deaths;

(b)      Review its legislation on abortion and provide for additional exceptions in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, when the pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the adolescents and when abortion is in the best interests of the pregnant adolescent so as to prevent her from resorting to unsafe abortion. The State party should ensure in law and in practice that the views of the child always be heard and respected in abortion decisions.

(c)       Increase efforts to reduce maternal mortality among adolescents by implementing the existing protocol and providing adequate sexual and reproductive health services, including emergency contraception and ante-natal, delivery, post-natal and post-abortion services. In this endeavor, the State party is encouraged to consider the OHCHR’s technical guidance on the application of a rights based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity (A/HRC/21/22). The State party is also encouraged to seek technical assistance from UNICEF.

Daily Devotional

7 Reasons Not to Worry, Part 1

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
John Piper

In Matthew 6 we have the example of anxiety about food and clothing.

Even in America, with its extensive welfare system, anxiety over finances and housing can be intense. But Jesus says in verse 30 that this stems from inadequate faith in our Father’s promise of future grace: “O men of little faith.” And so this paragraph has at least seven promises designed by Jesus to help us fight the good fight against unbelief and be free from anxiety. (In Part 1 we look at Promises 1 and 2; then the rest in Parts 2 and 3.)

PROMISE #1: For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25).

Since your body and your life are vastly more complex and difficult to provide than food and clothing are, and yet God has, in fact, created and provided you with both, then surely he will be able and willing to provide you with food and clothing.

Moreover, no matter what happens, God will raise your body some day and preserve your life for his eternal fellowship.

PROMISE #2: Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26).

If God is willing and able to feed such insignificant creatures as birds who cannot do anything to bring their food into being — as you can by farming — then he will certainly provide what you need, because you are worth a lot more than birds.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

Advocates Posing as Academics

Propaganda and The Anti-Smacking Shills

The fallacy of false cause is pretty much universal amongst academics these days--which is to say they cannot think straight.  We have had presented to us one of the more hyper-ventilated examples recently.  In the NZ Herald an Australian academic breathlessly informs us that parental smacking of children to discipline them is utterly terrible.  The academic in question, Bernadette Saunders is introduced to us as follows:
Bernadette Saunders is a Senior Lecturer Social Work at Monash University. She has received two separate funding grants from the Australian Research Council and the Legal Services Board Grants Program to pursue research on the physical punishment /lawful correction of children.
Our academic expert has received money to "pursue research" into the "physical punishment/lawful correction of children".  This is a thorough misdirection.  Mz Saunders is an ideological advocate, a shill, not an objective researcher.  She is being funded for purposes of propaganda.  She is not an honest trader.  How do we know this?

Firstly, the piece published in the NZ Herald was based upon an article by Saunders published in The Conversation  otherwise known as The Diatribe.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Letter From America (About a "Miracle Baby" in the UK)

This Woman Refused to Abort

Doctors Said Her Unborn Child Only Had a One Percent Chance of Survival 

Billy Hallowell
TheBlaze
Sept 25, 2014

After her waters broke at just 16 weeks, Katy Evans said doctors recommended that she abort her unborn child. But rather than comply, she continued on with her pregnancy, ignoring claims that the baby would only have a 1 percent chance of survival.

Evans, 35, who lives in Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England, told the Daily Mail that she began attending support groups and reading about similar cases after being diagnosed with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, a condition that leads to the loss of essential amniotic fluids.It was in her research that she found the hope she needed to continue on with her pregnancy.

Daily Devotional

How to Repay God
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I shall pay my vows to the Lord. (Psalm 116:12–14)
John Piper

What keeps the paying of vows free from the dangers of being treated like a debt payment is that the “payment” is, in reality, not an ordinary payment, but another act of receiving which magnifies the ongoing grace of God. It does not magnify our resourcefulness. We can see this in Psalm 116:12–14.

The psalmist’s answer to his own question, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits?” is, in essence, that he will go on receiving from the Lord so that the Lord’s inexhaustible goodness will be magnified.
First, lifting up the cup of salvation signifies taking the Lord’s satisfying salvation in hand and drinking it and expecting more. This is why I say that “paying” back to God in these contexts is not an ordinary payment. It is an act of receiving.

Second, this is also the meaning of the next phrase: “I shall call upon the name of the Lord.” What shall I render to God for graciously answering my call?

Another Military Misadventure Coming Up

How to Put Stars on the Banner of ISIS

There are few things more dangerous than when politicians get smitten with nationalistic hubris, replete with lumps in throats and tears on cheeks, whilst they are deciding or voting on military affairs.

In the US House of Representatives a recent vote was taken as to whether the Congress would approve the arming of "moderate" Syrian rebels.  Despite all the evidence and experience of disastrous outcomes of decisions to arm such groups in the past, the House duly voted to approve the action.  Can politicians really be this dumb?  Yes they can.

But not all.  Some of those who voted "no" explained their reasons.  Their justification for voting against the resolution to arm the "moderate" Syrian rebels shows up their yea-saying colleagues to be dumb, dumber and dumbest.  Here are the words of Justin Amash, a so-called Tea-partying congressman:

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Property and Love for the Poor

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
September 23, 2014

I have written a great deal on how the framework provided by biblical ethics honors and preserves the institution of private property. The argument is not complex. Just as “thou shalt not commit adultery” presupposes and honors the institution of marriage, so also “thou shalt not steal” presupposes and honors the institution of private property.

The private property that is honored is that which comes to a man through the ordinary processes. “Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Cor. 9:10). God is the one who gives us the power to get wealth (Dt. 8:18), and it comes up to us from the ground. It does not float down upon us from the state.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

The End is Nigh

Fashionable Nutters

The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has tossed up more than its fair share of nutters.  If you stupidly, but genuinely, believe that "the end is nigh" for the human race, let alone the planet, then such desperate times call for desperate measures.  We can understand the logic, just as we grasp the logic of those who have believed that the world will end at midnight on the 13th of June, 2001 (or whenever) and who have traipsed out into the desert to set up survivalist compounds, thereby avoiding the worst of Armageddon.

In each case, the logic is sound; it's the premises that are false.  The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has  this one distinction from apocalyptic forbears, however.  It has managed to capture the fears and febrile imagination of the chattering classes and the Commentariat, normally too urbane and sophisticated to get taken in by Doomsday cults.  Here are a couple of examples of the elites having been suckered.  First, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, as reported in BreitbartNews

Monday, 29 September 2014

Moral Bankruptcy of Utilitarian Calculus

Thank you, Professor Dawkins!





Who said nothing ever happens in August! Just as we were looking forward to a quiet bank holiday weekend, up pops Prof Dawkins with a disturbing tweet. Responding to another Twitter posting by a woman admitting she would face a ‘“real ethical dilemma”’ if she became pregnant and found she was carrying a baby with Down’s syndrome, he suggested she should simply abort and try again, and that it would be ‘“immoral”’ to bring into the world a child with Down’s syndrome if you had the choice. He attempted to justify himself further here.

So, there we have it. Knowingly giving life to a child with Down’s syndrome is immoral, terminating its life is commendable. On what grounds would an intelligent person say such a thing, you might ask?
To prevent the child’s suffering – the compassion argument?

Truth is, people with Down’s syndrome don’t ‘suffer’ from their condition, they live with it. And in general the lives they live are more joyous than most.

So might it be the struggles faced by the parents that the professor has in mind?

Daily Devotional

How to Fight Anxiety

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
John Piper

Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee.”

Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes, and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike.
For example, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” It does not say, you will never feel any anxieties. It says, when you have them, cast them on God. When the mud splatters your windshield and you temporarily lose sight of the road and start to swerve in anxiety, turn on your wipers and squirt your windshield washer.

So my response to the person who has to deal with feelings of anxiety every day is to say: that’s more or less normal. At least it is for me, ever since my teenage years. The issue is: How do we fight them?

Pederasty's Easy Facilitation

Evil is Never Static

The Sydney Morning Herald has carried a piece about pederasty facilitated by misuse of the Internet.  The core of the piece reveals not just the extent of the crime, but the sophistication of its perpetrators. 
A special police taskforce has discovered the number of sex offenders who target children in in Australia has been wildly underestimated and local paedophiles have set up secure online sites to share intelligence on how to trap victims.  Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton says police are shocked at the number of active offenders operating in Victoria. "There are hundreds and hundreds. We have found some terrible stuff that would keep you awake at night," he told Fairfax Media.

He said Taskforce Astraea is conducting 120 separate investigations and has rescued 40 children in Australia and offshore who had been targeted by paedophiles.   The taskforce began by using computer software to identify encrypted child pornography images but soon discovered many offenders move quickly from "passive" observers to aggressive molesters.
Astraea has found:

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VIII

Russell Moore: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 17, 2014 



RDM-square

Russell D. Moore (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns.

He blogs frequently at his “Moore to the Point” website, and is the author or editor of five books, including Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, and The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective.

ts

Imagine Left Behind if what were raptured were not persons but inhibitions. That still wouldn’t be this novel. You would have to further imagine the book showcasing zombies with nothing much left of their humanity but their appetites, combated by a physician with a tendency toward witty asides about culture, religion, and human psychology. And you’d have to further imagine the novel written by an Old Testament prophet with literary superpowers peering into the future set before us. Then you’d start approaching what Walker Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome is like, and why you should read it.
 
Walker Percy (1916-1990) was the heir of one of Mississippi’s most powerful political and literary families. He was medical doctor in Covington, Louisiana (round about New Orleans) with expertise in philosophy and semiotics. He was also a keen observer of popular culture. When visiting with the literary genius Eudora Welty, it’s reported that they were overheard discussing not Faulkner or Chekhov but The Incredible Hulk.

He was a Christian deeply immersed in the thought of Augustine and Søren Kierkegaard. And he was estranged enough from American culture to be able to watch it, as though from afar.

The protagonist of this novel, Percy’s last, is an alcoholic physician who’s done some jail-time, and has now returned home to find that the cast of characters is the same as he left them, but they seem to be reading from a different script. He discovers that his neighbors are being pharmaceutically engineered in a way that removes their human troubles, their human fears, their human reluctances, but, with all of that, it seems, their humanity itself.

Daily Devotional

The Goal of Christ’s Love

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” (John 17:24)
John Piper

Believers in Jesus are precious to God (we're his bride!). And he loves us so much that he will not allow our preciousness to become our god.  God does indeed make much of us (adoption!), but he does so in a way that draws us out of ourselves to enjoy his greatness.

Test yourself. If Jesus came to spend the day with you, sat down beside you on the couch, and said, “I really love you,” what would you focus on the rest of the day that you spend together?  It seems to me that too many songs and sermons leave us with the wrong answer. They leave the impression that the heights of our joy would be in the recurrent feeling of being loved. “He loves me!” “He loves me!” This is joy indeed. But not the heights and not the focus.

Following An Inglorious Example

Not a Slow Learner

We confess we could not resist the belly-laughter when we came across a piece in the NZ Herald about Australia's version of the Gunpowder Plot.  Islamic cadres have apparently been plotting to attack the heart of Australia, which, as every Australian knows, is Canberra, the home of the federal gummint. 

Congratulations and thanks need to go to the Australian authorities, the espionage agencies, and the police for sniffing out the plots in advance and being able to take preventative action.  It must be a relief to every Aussie--Australian Islamists excepted.
Security at Parliament House in Canberra is being ramped up amid reports of a planned terrorist attack.  Senior intelligence sources confirmed to News Corp Australia that spy, police and counter-terrorism agencies had intercepted information regarding a possible attack on Parliament House, and there are concerns the prime minister and other senior officials could be targeted.  The news report said there were fears the building had been "scoped out" for a "Mumbai-style" attack using automatic weapons.
But the article went on to consider more general issues.  Apparently, Western governments are perplexed that they can no-longer effectively curtail the ability of ISIS to raise money to fund its operations.  Al Qaeda relied upon donations.  Once donors had been identified, it was relatively easy for Western governments to target them and neutralise them.  But ISIS represents a very different fund-raising strategy.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Deconstructing an Elitist Liberal Green

Naomi Klein On A Good Day

James Delingpole
Breitbart London
16 September, 2014

Green activist Naomi Klein has a new book out today. If past form is anything to go by - No Logo; The Shock Doctrine - it will become an instant bestseller and will be informing liberal arguments for months and years to come. Here's what you need to know about her latest, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

1. It's all about Naomi.
"At some point about seven years ago I realised I had become so convinced we were headed towards a grim ecological collapse that I was losing my capacity to enjoy my time in nature."
Bomb the global economy back to the Dark Ages right now! We cannot, under any circumstances, allow Naomi's feelings, mental health or picnics to be jeopardised by prosperity!
 
2. Even the BP spill is really about Naomi.
"After more tests, my doctor told me my hormone levels were much too low and I'd probably miscarry for the third time. My mind raced back to the Gulf - the toxic fumes I had breathed in for days and the contaminated water I had waded in. I searched on the chemicals BP was using in huge quantities and found reams of online chatter linking them to miscarriages. I had no doubt that it was my doing."
(Though a bit later Naomi is forced to admit that, no, it was just an ectopic pregnancy which had nothing to do with the sins of Big Oil).

Daily Devotional

Turning the Other Cheek

C. S. Lewis

There are three ways of taking the command to turn the other cheek. One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances. Another is the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientally hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view. The conflict is therefore between the Pacifist interpretation and a third one which I am now going to propound. I think the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told. . . . . That is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands the absolute mortification of that desire. No quarter whatever is given to the voice within us which says, “He’s done it to me, so I’ll do the same to him.”

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

Life in the Beeb-Hive

Islamophobia: the Greatest of All Evils

We have been following the scandal of Rotherham in the UK.  Thousands of young girls were preyed upon by predatory Pakistani men.  They did it not only to feed and satiate their own lusts, but because their religion, Islam both condones and commends such acts.  Virtually any depravity is permissible in the conduct of jihad, or holy war.  And jihad against infidels is a perpetual state of Islam.  But the scandal has been exacerbated by the authorities having a very bad case of Nelson's eye.  They saw no evil.  Why, one asks?  Were the police and welfare authorities in the pay of the Pakistani/Islamic gangs?  No.  Were they too busy elsewhere?  Only by their own design.  Were they understaffed?  Not at all.

Why did the authorities turn a blind eye?  And, why did the media hush the whole thing up by a "hear no evil, see no evil" editorial stance?  It turns out that the ideologies of multi-culturalism and political correctness saw a greater minatory evil threatening to consume all.  The evil of a right-wing fanatical reaction.  Therefore, it was better to ignore the plight of the young girls, the rape, and the murders, lest the right-wing hear of it and be provoked to the most horrible of all evils--Islamophobic discrimination and intolerance, which, it turns out, are cardinal, blasphemous violations of the cult of multi-culturalism.

James Delingpole, writing in Breitbart News, provides a case study of an actual evil stalking the land, an evil which matches that of predatory Islam, as manifested by the Beeb.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Islam and Sexual Predation


Muslims Sexually Enslaving Children: A Global Phenomenon

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
September 3, 2014

As shocking as the Muslim-run sex ring in Rotherham, England may seem to some—1,400 British children as young as 11 plied with drugs before being passed around and sexually abused in cabs and kabob shops—the fact is that this phenomenon is immensely widespread. In the United Kingdom alone, it's the fifth sex abuse ring led by Muslims to be uncovered.

Some years back in Australia, a group of "Lebanese Muslim youths" were responsible for a "series of brutal gang rapes" of "Anglo-Celtic teenage girls." A few years later in the same country, four Muslim Pakistani brothers raped at least 18 Australian women, some as young as 13. Even in the United States, a gang of Somalis—Somalia being a Muslim nation where non-Muslims, primarily Christians, are ruthlessly persecuted—was responsible for abducting, buying, selling, raping and torturing young American girls as young as 12.

. . . we must call it Muslim rape since Islam is the common denominator in all these cases from otherwise diverse nations that have little in common except for large numbers of Muslims.
The question begs itself: If Muslim minorities have no fear of exploiting "infidel" women and children in non-Muslim countries—that is, where Muslims themselves are potentially vulnerable minorities—how are Muslims throughout the Islamic world, where they are dominant, treating their vulnerable, non-Muslim minorities?

The answer is a centuries-long, continents-wide account of nonstop sexual predation. Boko Haram's recent abduction and enslavement of nearly 300, mostly Christian, schoolgirls last April in Nigeria is but the tip of the iceberg.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon


"Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have."
Leviticus 19:36

Weights, and scales, and measures were to be all according to the standard of justice. Surely no Christian man will need to be reminded of this in his business, for if righteousness were banished from all the world beside, it should find a shelter in believing hearts. There are, however, other balances which weigh moral and spiritual things, and these often need examining. We will call in the officer tonight.

The balances in which we weigh our own and other men's characters, are they quite accurate? Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness into pounds, and other persons' bushels of excellence into pecks? See to weights and measures here, Christian.

The scales in which we measure our trials and troubles, are they according to standard?

The Ground of Civilisation

Hell Hole of the South Pacific Waits in the Wings

Human civilisation is skin deep.  It can only be sustained in a society by a majority of families who live, believe, and practise the values of a civilised society in their homes and communities. This reality was caught most powerfully by William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

The law, its enforcement agencies, the rules and institutions of state, the courts, the schools, and the institutions of trade and commerce--all these can only continue to exist in any society by warrant of a majority of civilised families. After all, the law and justice are intangibles, grounded in ideas and concepts believed and respected in the heart of a community.  

We have had yet another illustration of these truths.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VII

As I Lay Dying

Sep 11, 2014 


fant
Gene C. Fant Jr


I am doing a blog series on Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading.

Gene C. Fant Jr. (PhD, University of Southern Mississippi) serves as provost and professor of English at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida.

He is the author of The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide and God as Author: A Biblical Approach to Narrative.

faulkner

Occasionally American literature students are assigned William Faulkner’s 1930 novel As I Lay Dying. The choice is somewhat pragmatic, as Faulkner is one of the 20th Century’s great fiction writers but his masterwork, The Sound and the Fury, is incredibly difficult to read.

As I Lay Dying is brief and the plot is intriguing (a backwoods family’s preparations for the matriarch’s burial, stymied by a difficult journey to the family plot). One chapter is composed entirely of one sentence (“My mother is a fish”), which has led to many a perplexed and exasperated student. At least there is now a film adaptation directed by uber-cool James Franco.

For Christians, As I Lay Dying offers a bonanza of theological discovery, not in terms of devotional affirmation of orthodoxy but in terms of its sober reminders of the necessity of faith. Faulkner adored the Old Testament but was less enamored of the New, believing that the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures were more compelling. My sense is that he was a crypto-Calvinist who believed the atonement to be so limited (and God to be either so holy or so cruel) that no one is elect. God is a just Judge who rightly sentences everyone to death. Each of us, then, lives on a constant trajectory toward death; vultures circle each of our corpses, at least metaphorically.

Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon

"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."
John 4:48

A craving after marvels was a symptom of the sickly state of men's minds in our Lord's day; they refused solid nourishment, and pined after mere wonder. The gospel which they so greatly needed they would not have; the miracles which Jesus did not always choose to give they eagerly demanded.

Many nowadays must see signs and wonders, or they will not believe. Some have said in their heart, "I must feel deep horror of soul, or I never will believe in Jesus." But what if you never should feel it, as probably you never may? Will you go to hell out of spite against God, because he will not treat you like another? One has said to himself, "If I had a dream, or if I could feel a sudden shock of I know not what, then I would believe."

Thus you undeserving mortals dream that my Lord is to be dictated to by you! You are beggars at his gate, asking for mercy, and you must needs draw up rules and regulations as to how he shall give that mercy. Think you that he will submit to this? My Master is of a generous spirit, but he has a right royal heart, he spurns all dictation, and maintains his sovereignty of action.

Wabbling Back to the Fire

Western Hollow Men

It is quite a while since the West was racked with self-doubt.  It is now.  Jimmy Carter's presidency was probably the last previous occurrence.  But periods of self-doubt are likely to become more frequent.  The West has tossed away its Christian foundations.  Secularism reigns.  Atheism is its established religion.  There is no dominant ideological narrative to give direction and the appearance of certainty.

The last fading hope has been represented by the ante-diluvian "hawks" who believe that if people are freed from oppressors, democracy--with an attendant rule of law, respect for liberty of conscience, freedom, and inalienable human rights guaranteed by the Creator--will magically break out everywhere.  Drop a few bombs in Libya.  Arm a few rebels in Syria.  Strafe a few jihadis in Iraq, and overnight everyone will transmogrify into effete Western liberals.  Take a bow John McCain and Hillary Clinton.  They are a dying breed.  Nothing is there to fill the vacuum.  Consequently, self-doubt rises like panic up the throat.

Roger Cohen has caught this emerging new reality in an OpEd for the New York Times:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Stuff Inviolate

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
Sept 13, 2014

I have been arguing that property rights are human rights. I have been insisting that it is not possible to love your neighbor without respecting his stuff. I have been saying that the commandment thou shalt not steal presupposes the institution of private property in just the same way that the prohibition of adultery presupposes marriage. And in the same way, I cannot honor the command not to covet my neighbor’s wife if I cannot come up with a definition of “wife.”

But there has been some surprising pushback on this simple idea, so let us dig a little deeper.

Daily Devotional

Devastated and Delighted

The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:6)
John Piper

What would the doctrines of grace sound like if every limb in that tree were coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight (that is, what I call “Christian Hedonism”)?
  • Total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to God’s beauty and deadness to the deepest joy.

  • Unconditional election
    means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed as the overflow of God’s joy in the fellowship of the Trinity.

  • Limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the new covenant.

  • Irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights.

  • Perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God not to let us fall into the final bondage of inferior pleasures, but to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of fullness of joy in his presence and pleasures at his right hand forevermore.

Unconditional election delivers the harshest and the sweetest judgments to my soul. That it is unconditional destroys all self-exaltation; and that it is election makes me his treasured possession.

This is one of the beauties of the biblical doctrines of grace: their worst devastations prepare us for their greatest delights.

What prigs we would become at the words, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6), if this election were in any way dependent on our will. But to protect us from pride, the Lord teaches us that we are unconditionally chosen (7:7–9). “He made a wretch his treasure,” as we so gladly sing.

Only the devastating freeness and unconditionality of electing grace lets us take and taste such gifts for our very own without the exaltation of self.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

New Zealand's "Interesting" Election

Crypto-Anarchists and Easy Dupes

This election season in New Zealand has been historic, unlike any previous election.  It had been distorted by a multi-millionaire German seeking to take control of the national political process to benefit his own voluminous pockets and to keep himself from incarceration in the United States.  We have not seen the like in New Zealand since Baron d'Thierry came to Hokianga in late 1837 on the Nimrod attempting to start a French colonial outpost in the face of British interests.  Herr Kim Dotcom is a latter day Baron d'Thierry, equally megalomaniacal.

And then we have had the hard left joining Dotcom in a madcap party which has combined capitalists in their most greedy, exploitative, and egregious manifestation with weird Maori and hard-left radicals deeply into Marxist ideology.  The chutzpah of the constituent  elements of this new Potemkin party has been breathtaking.  Their followers consist of the duped, the desperate, and the gullible. 

And, not to be outdone, we have had the hacking of a privately owned website and the theft of thousands of e-mails and private communications, followed by a breathless book authored by New Zealand's leading conspiracist once again publishing stolen information.  The book, Dirty Politics has the author's normal new-maths fingerprints all over it.  In Nicky Hager's world two plus two makes seventy-five.

Most of the media have been agog and aghast, unable to calm their febrile pens and stuttering tongues for a moment so as to make sense of it all.  Except for one or two scribblers.  Fran O'Sullivan, writing just before the election, had this to say:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Sure. Let’s Call It a Contribution.

Friday, September 12, 2014
Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog

So I have distinguished the payment of taxes that are owed, and the payment of taxes that is rendered out of a principled prudence. In the former instance, paying taxes is a matter of conscience and in the latter it is a matter of intelligence. When I give my wallet to the mugger, I am not granting him authority over my wallet, and still less am I giving him authority over any future wallets that I might come to possess. I am simply doing a cost benefit analysis, and his gun trumps my five dollars.

Now some want to argue that all taxes whatever are illegitimate. While this makes life simple on the conscience front, making every decision of whether to pay taxes or not a prudential one, the simplicity is, ironically, too easy. A good example of such an approach to the argument can be found here. While Joel and I would agree on a great deal on this general subject, we do differ at this particular point. It is an important point, so let me deal with it briefly.

Daily Devotional

Pleasant Inns Along the Way

The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why.

The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Sourced from BibleGateway.https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=cattle+thousand&qs_version=ESV

Industrialised Crime Meets Multi-Cultural Self-Loathing

Let God Arise

A retired senior policewoman involved in the Rotherham crime scandal in the UK has gone public, exposing more of the terrible state of affairs which permissively tolerated the rape and slavery of thousands of young girls.  Yes, this is the UK we are speaking about.  (A couple of pieces addressing this evil can be found here, and here.)

There are two main points which come out of this new piece.  The first is the potential of police targeting to be perverted by venal, time-serving, careerist police bureaucrats.  The second point she makes reinforces one already made in the media--that is, the terrible fruits of political correctness and the political and social ideology multi-culturalism.  In this light, the worst thing we could do is shrug our shoulders at the outrage and conclude that Rotherham is an extreme outlier, not an avatar of a perverse trend. 

Firstly, the background: