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).

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:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part VI

The White Whale

Justin Taylor


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

R.C. Sproul (Drs, Free University of Amsterdam) is chancellor of Reformation Bible College, co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, and author of numerous books, including Everyone’s a Theologian.

moby-dick-or-whale-charles-feidelson-paperback-cover-art

If your goal is to write the Great American Novel, I have bad news for you. Herman Melville accomplished that feat more than one hundred and fifty years ago when he wrote Moby Dick.

The greatness of Moby Dick is in its unparalleled theological symbolism that is sprinkled abundantly throughout the novel. For example, consider its use of biblical names for characters such as Ahab, Ishmael, and Elijah, and ships such as Jeroboam and Rachel.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

September 20

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website


Trust Him for everything

I once heard a man use a phrase which affected me very deeply at the time, and still does. I am not sure that it is not one of the most searching statements I have ever heard. He said that the trouble with many of us Christians is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that we do not believe Him.

He meant that we believe on Him for the salvation of our souls, but we do not believe Him when He says a thing like this to us, that God is going to look after our food and drink, and even our clothing. He makes such statements as ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’, and yet we keep our problems and worries to ourselves, and we are borne down by them and defeated by them, and get anxious about things. He has told us to come to Him when we are like that; He has told us that if we are thirsting in any respect we can go to Him, and He has assured us that whosoever comes to Him will never thirst, and that he that eats of the bread that He shall give shall never hunger.

He has promised to give us ‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ so that we shall never thirst. But we do not believe Him. Take all these statements He made when He was here on earth, the words He addressed to the people around Him; they are all meant for us. They are meant for us today as definitely as when He first uttered them, and so also are all the astounding statements in the Epistles. The trouble is that we do not believe Him. That is the ultimate trouble.

‘Little faith’ does not really take the Scripture as it is and believe it and live by it and apply it.

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 128–9

A Disease of the Soul

Universal Acid of Resentment

The leftist mindset is fixated over money.  The origins of this addiction can be traced back to Marx's materialistic belief that capital (i.e. money/wealth) ruled the world.  The oft-leaned upon excuse for leftist electoral failure is that "lesser-leftist" politicians have lots of money and they effectively steal elections by paying for the manipulation of the electorate, and, to compound the problem, the genuinely-leftist parties do not have sufficient money to spend and manipulate the electorate to keep pace.  So the competition is unfair from the get-go.

The lack of money is the leftist's stock-in-trade excuse for electoral failure.  Given the vaguest chance that someone might provide some money, the leftist politician will be like a rat up a drainpipe.  When multi-millionaire German, Kim Dotcom arrived on the shores of New Zealand it became immediately obvious that he intended to use his millions "earned" through the Mega file sharing website to buy himself some influence.




Kim Dotcom during the press conference that followed his "Moment of Truth". Photo / NZ Herald
Kim Dotcom during the press conference that followed his "Moment of Truth". Photo / NZ Herald

He played the part of an unscrupulous, venal, self-seeking capitalist with more realism and panache than a Hollywoood A-lister.  He initially contributed to the campaign of right-winger, John Banks for the Auckland mayoralty.  When Banks failed to support him in his skirmishes with the law, Dotcom turned on Banks like a vengeful Fury.

The Left screamed "dirty politics".  But, true to form and type, they then began to form their own line-up outside the door of Dotcom's mansion.  Every one of them had their caps out.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Letter From Europe (About Complicit Silence)

European “Humanists”: Embarrassment or Silent Sympathy

Dawkins’ attack on disabled persons


Posted on September 5, 2014 
By J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Following the world-wide astonishment and outrage over British “humanist” Richard Dawkins’ rant that mothers giving birth to children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome are acting “immorally”, we are surprised to find that neither the British Humanist Association (BHA), nor the European Humanist Federation (EHF), nor the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) have found it necessary to clarify whether they agree or disagree with this statement.

Mr. Dawkins is not only a well-known evolution biologist, but also pontificates as a promoter of “humanism”, “reason”, and a “scientific world view”. It is for this reason that BHA gave him their ‘Services to Humanism’ award in 2012. In fact, it seems that Mr. Dawkins is getting the same award every other year, given that already 2009 one could read that BHA and IHEU had jointly awarded him a prize for his merits in promoting reason and science across the world.

Daily Devotional

6 Things It Means to Be in Jesus

[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. (2 Timothy 1:9)
John Piper

Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ.

If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you:

  1. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. 2 Timothy 1:9, “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

  2. In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

  3. In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  4. In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”

  5. In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed to you. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

  6. In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Galatians 3:26, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

Prisoners and the Vote

Sensible Sentencing

A career criminal and (now) jail-house lawyer is taking a case to the High Court attempting to overturn legislation which denies prisoners the vote.  The case has been inspired by the European Court of Human Rights which has infamously ruled that denial of suffrage to prisoners violates their human rights.  New Zealand's own Bill of Rights--a piece of statutory law--declares voting to be a, you guessed it, human right.

The argument being made amounts to question-begging of the highest order.  Point One: denial of suffrage to prisoners is a prima facie violation of the NZ Human Rights Act.  Point Two: denial of suffrage is cruel and unusual punishment, since it does not contribute in any meaningful way to the rehabilitation of prisoners. Point Three: the European Court of Human Rights ruling is a fantastic precedent, which has all sorts of implications for antediluvians in the Antipodes.

The question begged is this: does incarceration represent any removal or diminution or denial of any human rights--declared and ostensibly protected in the NZ Human Rights Act--at all?  One would imagine so.  Being told when to rise, when to comply with "lights out", when to eat, what to wear, where to go, where not to go, and how to conduct oneself at all times, with retributive punishment for non-compliance, violates just about every freedom right imaginable.  So, if the argument that denial of suffrage for prisoners amounts to a breach of the NZ Human Rights Act is deemed correct, all incarceration of convicted criminals must also breach that Act. But if incarceration of prisoners in this country does not breach the NZ Human Rights Act, then neither can withdrawing suffrage from them. 

We are aware that some folk philosophically oppose retributive punishment of any kind for criminals.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading, Part V

Gene Veith: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 09, 2014 

GEV

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

Gene Edward Veith Jr. (PhD, University of Kansas) is the provost and professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk. He is the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity and culture, including Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature and Imagination Redeemed: Glorifying God with a Neglected Part of Your Mind (releasing in November). He blogs at Cranach (hosted by Patheos) and can be followed on Twitter at @geneveith.


huck


“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” said Ernest Hemingway. “All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

The book, published in 1884, was the first novel written in a distinctly American dialect, featuring an epic journey through the American physical and social landscape, written from a particularly American sensibility, and exploring uniquely American problems.

Unlike some classics, which a contemporary reader approaches out of a sense of duty and reads with great difficulty, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn brings back all the pleasures of reading. Mark Twain combines a tale of suspense, adventure, and melodrama with unforgettable characters, profound themes, and devastating social satire. Twain is not only a great novelist, he is a great humorist. He is one of the few authors who can be serious and funny at the same time. Readers of Huckleberry Finn will find themselves laughing out loud, even as they are moved to tears.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

"Have mercy upon me, O God."
Psalm 51:1

Charles Spurgeon

 When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, "If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?" He replied, "Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.'"

In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:--
William Carey, Born August 17th, 1761: Died - -
"A wretched, poor, and helpless worm
On thy kind arms I fall."

Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honoured of the saints approach their God.

Inglorious States

Too Busy

One of the rotten fruits of statism is the failure to get the fundamentals right.  The modern idolatrous state is too busy running around hectoring citizens over what they are to eat and drink that it fails in its proper responsibilities such as preventing and detecting murderers.

Michelle Malkin provides us with a case study of rotten fruit--the US Federal Air Marshals Service.  These folk are supposed to ride incognito on aircraft to prevent or intercept airplane hijackers in action.  Not any longer.  Statism has deflected the attention of Sauron away to other, bigger things--such as golf, and fundraising.
. . . 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.  Listen to Robert MacLean. He’s a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.

In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights — just two days before the anticipated hijacking.

How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. “TSA chose to send the unlabelled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message,” MacLean recounted to Congress this week. “We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority.”

A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department’s inspector general hotline and was warned he would be “cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further.” Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.

More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. God bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.

“I blew the whistle because I had to,” he testified this week. “I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer.”
Whistleblowing and the cursed idolatry of statism do not mix.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Idiocies and Inanities

Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic
 
By Daniel Pipes
September 10, 2014

In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.” 

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: As non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “It is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.”

Daily Devotional

Forgiven for Jesus’ Sake

For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

John Piper


The righteousness of God is the infinite zeal and joy and pleasure that he has in what is supremely valuable, namely, his own perfection and worth. And if he were ever to act contrary to this eternal passion for his own perfections he would be unrighteous, he would be an idolater.

How shall such a righteous God ever set his affection on sinners like us who have scorned his perfections? But the wonder of the gospel is that in this divine righteousness lies also the very foundation of our salvation.
The infinite regard that the Father has for the Son makes it possible for me, a wicked sinner, to be loved and accepted in the Son, because in his death he vindicated the worth and glory of his Father.

Now I may pray with new understanding the prayer of the psalmist, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Psalm 25:11). The new understanding is that Jesus has now atoned for sin and vindicated the Father’s honor so that our sins are forgiven “on account of his name” (1 John 2:12).

The Father’s infinite pleasure in his own perfections is the fountain of our everlasting joy. The fact that the pleasure of God in his Son is pleasure in himself is not vanity. It is the gospel.

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

Not What We Meant

Secular Marriage is an Empty Vanity

One of the arguments used to confront homosexual "marriage" is that it makes true marriage meaningless.  Just as the concept of the family has been so degraded over many years of secularism--to where two women living together with a budgie is regarded as a family--so the secular form of marriage is now null and void.  True marriage, actual marriage as defined and delimited and ruled by Holy Scripture continues.  But the secular state has lost its moral warrant and integrity to rule over it and administer it.  Marriage, in the secular realm, has been eviscerated and rendered meaningless.

Homosexual marriage advocates, who declared they wanted to enjoy the special and enduring bond of marriage, based their argument on human rights and anti-discrimination laws. The upshot is they have inadvertently destroyed the secularist notion of marriage itself.  Or, to put it another way, they have inadvertently clarified the inanity and insignificance of secularist "marriage".  This, we believe, is good news for Christians and the Christian Church in a tactical sense, because it widens the dichotomy between belief and unbelief.  The true face of Baal is revealed even more clearly.  The Kingdom of Christ is made more glorious.  The profane has become more profane; the Church is forced to make a clear stand upon Scripture.  Epistemological and spiritual self-consciousness of both secularists and Christians consequently is growing.

What is the latest fruit of secularist "marriage"?  The NZ Herald tells the story:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Novels Every Christian Should Consider Reading--Part IV

Philip Ryken: A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading

Sep 06, 2014

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

rykenP




cry-the-beloved-country-paton
Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College and has served in that capacity since 2010. Prior to his appointment at Wheaton, he served as senior minister at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
His newest book is Loving Jesus More (which releases on Monday), and he is the co-author (with Leland Ryken and Todd Wilson) of Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry from World Literature.

Cry, the Beloved Country is widely regarded as the definitive novel of the South African experience. Although the book was written more than half a century ago and published before apartheid was established as a system of racial segregation, its hopeful yet honest treatment of social issues has ongoing relevance for South Africa and the world. Alan Paton invited his readers to embrace this global perspective when he described his novel as “a song of love for one’s far distant country . . . the land where you were born.”


Daily Devotional

Jesus Will Trample All Our Enemies

John Piper

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:24)

How far does the reign of Christ extend?

Verse 25 says, “He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” The word ALL tells us the extent.

So does the word EVERY in verse 24: “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.”

There is no disease, no addiction, no demon, no bad habit, no fault, no vice, no weakness, no temper, no moodiness, no pride, no self-pity, no strife, no jealousy, no perversion, no greed, no laziness that Christ does not aim to overcome as the enemy of his honor.

And the encouragement in that promise is that when you set yourself to do battle with the enemies of your faith and your holiness, you will not fight alone.  Jesus Christ is now, in this age, putting all his enemies under his feet. Every rule and every authority and every power will be conquered.

So, remember that the extent of Christ’s reign reaches to the smallest and biggest enemy of his glory. It will be defeated.

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

Seven Easy Steps

The Islamic Caliphate

In 2005, Jordanian journalist and researcher, Fouad Hussen published a piece entitled al-Zarqawi - al-Qaida's Second Generation. A synopsis of his book was published in Der Spiegel in August 2005.  The introduction to the synopsis read:
There must be something particularly trustworthy about the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. After all, he has managed to get some of the the most sought after terrorists to open up to him. Maybe it helped that they spent time together in prison many years ago -- when Hussein was a political prisoner he successfully negotiated for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be released from solitary confinement. Or is it because of the honest and direct way in which he puts his ideas onto paper?
Fouad Hussein had spent time with key terrorist figures, including al-Zarqawi, who has now been killed by a US drone strike.  Prison conversations amongst prison comrades are often truthful.  What is there to lose?  In any event, Hussein has outlined the "Seven Steps" set out by the idealogues of an Islamic Caliphate to take over the world.  Back in 2005, it may have sounded wacky stuff to Western ears.  Now, maybe, not so much.  (Remember, as you read below, this was published in Der Spiegel in 2005; the resemblances to what is now unfolding in Iraq and Syria are striking.  Back in 2005, it must have seemed pretentious and boastful--which the Der Spiegel article reflects.)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

What Became of the Witty Pirate Then

Douglas Wilson
Blog and Mablog
September 6, 2014

Because taxes can be a form of theft, and because taxes need not be theft at all, a reasonable question to ask is how we can tell the difference.

The baseline, the starting point, is that property belongs to the individual. He is the one that Thou shalt not steal applies to. He is the one with the house, the vineyard, the lawn mower, the wallet, the smart phone, and so on. Whenever the Bible talks about property, it always talks about it two categories. The first is God’s absolute ownership of all things (Dt. 10:14), and the second is the relative ownership that you and your neighbor enjoy (Dt. 8:18). When we talk about the state possessing things, this possession is derivative. The state extracts value from the taxpayer, the appointed steward of God’s wealth, and this extraction can also be divided into two categories. This value can be extracted lawfully, or the state can play the role of the thief. So how are we to tell the difference?

Daily Devotional

The Weed of Unbelief

Charles Spurgeon

"How long will it be ere they believe me?"
Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out that monster unbelief. It so dishonours Christ, that he will withdraw his visible presence if we insult him by indulging it. It is true it is a weed, the seeds of which we can never entirely extract from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be abhorred.

Its injurious nature is so venomous that he that exerciseth it and he upon whom it is exercised are both hurt thereby. In thy case, O believer! it is most wicked, for the mercies of thy Lord in the past, increase thy guilt in doubting him now. When thou dost distrust the Lord Jesus, he may well cry out, "Behold I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." This is crowning his head with thorns of the sharpest kind. It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted.

Talking Heads

The Sixth Opinion

The jokes about economists are legion.  It's all in good fun, but as with most jibes, there is usually a bit of truth in each.  Economics has not been called the "dismal science" for nothing.  Was it not Winston Churchill who growled one day, "if you laid all the economists in the world face down, head to tail . . . well, that would be a good thing to do"?  And was it not Winnie who also grumbled that he would give half his kingdom to meet a "one-handed economist"? And some long forgotten sage observed that if you meet two economists you will always be blessed by at least three opinions.

So, we are regaled by the pronouncements of one Shamubeel Eaqub, rated as one of the country's top economists.  Entering into the spirit of the discipline of economics, we wish to give him the two handed salute.

On the one hand, Shamubeel Eaqub hit the nail right on the head when he opined recently on the state of politics in this current election season:

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Letter From the UK (About Consequences of Perverse Multi-cultualism)

Islamic Rape Gangs

Rotherham is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

James Delingpole
7th September 2014

If you haven't yet listened to the latest Radio Free Delingpole podcast I urge you to do so: but first you'll need a strong stomach.

In it, I talk to George Igler of the Discourse Institute who has been following the Rotherham child rape gang story closely for the last three years. The full story is more shocking than you can possibly imagine, not just because of the ugliness of the abuse itself (redolent of that horrible scene from the movie Taken where smack-addled girls are serially abused in a filthy dive by countless grubby men) but also because of the extent of the cover-up by the left-liberal establishment of social workers, local government officers, child welfare charities, diversity co-ordinators, not to mention the regional police forces and even imams.

Truly this is one of the biggest scandals of our time. And it's going to get bigger.  Here are some of the disturbing revelations in the podcast.

Daily Devotional

Shadows and Streams

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:31–34)
John Piper

God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself.
God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for its own sake. He means for us to look at his creation and say: If the mere work of his fingers (just his fingers! Psalm 8:3) is so full of wisdom and power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in himself!

These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself! Not his works! A billion galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul’s end.

The Visible Reign of Christ

Well Done

An issue which bubbles to the surface from time to time concerns the form and shape of Christendom.  What does a society look like when it becomes thoroughly Christianised?  More and more evangelical Christians appear to be thinking seriously about such a question.

One aspect of Christendom--the visible reign of Christ over a particular society or nation--is that Christianity has become culturally "thick" in the sense of pervading, influencing, controlling, and shaping everything.  It encompasses the small and the great, the least to the most significant, the weak and the powerful.  Because the Christian faith involves the regeneration of human souls and the progressive conformity of men, women, and children, and their families and households, to the image of Christ Himself, Christendom thereby encompasses the depth and breadth of human culture.

Every so often we are given a glimpse of what this might look like.  A recent obituary published in the Washington Post provided just such.  Probably few people have ever heard of Truett Cathy, who has just passed away, aged 93.  Millions of people, however, will be familiar with the business he founded--Chick-fil-A.  What is instructive in the life and ministry of Cathy--and in the business he founded--is the insight it provides into how Christendom takes shape.  Mr Cathy was a Christian and he wanted to build a Christian business.  What form did it take?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Age of intolerance

The War on Religion

Barney Zwartz
November 2, 2013

As Christian villager Asia Bibi languished in a Pakistani jail awaiting death by hanging for drinking water from a Muslim cup, two suicide bombers killed 85 worshippers in a Peshawar church.

For Egypt's Copts, who risk having the small cross-tattoos many wear on their wrists burnt off with acid by militant Muslims, the Arab Spring has been wintry. In August it got worse: Muslim Brotherhood supporters, blaming them for the army's removal of president Mohamed Mursi, attacked more than 100 Christian sites - 42 churches were razed.

In Somalia, al-Shabab, which slaughtered scores of people at a Kenyan shopping mall in September, has reportedly vowed to kill every Somali Christian.


In northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has butchered thousands of Christians, as well as Muslims they consider inadequately ideological - such as those seeking an education.

Four of every five acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians, according to the Germany-based International Society for Human Rights. The secular US think tank the Pew Forum says Christians face harassment or oppression in 139 nations, nearly three-quarters of all the countries on earth.

Daily Devotional

C. S. Lewis

Today's Reading
TO GENIA GOELZ, who had asked Lewis for a prayer in her struggle to believe: Lewis’s prayer for a daily increase in obedience and faith.

18 March 1952

Don’t bother at all about that question of a person being ‘made a Christian’ by baptism. It is only the usual trouble about words being used in more than one sense. Thus we might say a man ‘became a soldier’ the moment that he joined the army. But his instructors might say six months later ‘I think we have made a soldier of him’. Both usages are quite definable, only one wants to know which is being used in a given sentence.

The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.’

Would something of this sort be any good?: Almighty God, who art the Father of lights and who has promised by thy dear Son that all who do thy will shall know thy doctrine: [John 7:17] give me grace so to live that by daily obedience I daily increase in faith and in the understanding of thy Holy Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Family Letters 1905-1931. Copyright © 2004 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Sourced from BibleGateway

No Surpises There

Media and Used Car Salesmen

Phil Goff has been a Labour politician since Noah was a lad.  His party has been jumping up and down demanding that an inquiry be constituted to investigate "leaks" from the Security Intelligence Service (otherwise known as NZ Spooks Incorporated) to a right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater (otherwise known as the Enemy).  These events allegedly took place six years ago.

So Phil Goff, who was leader of the Opposition at the time, and who, consequently, received regular briefings from the SIS upon any clear and present dangers to New Zealand, has been summoned to appear under oath.  The back story is this: Goff was briefed on a possible threat to NZ security, which he subsequently denied ever knowing about.  Clever Cameron Slater, smelling a malodorous dead rat, put in an official information request to the SIS, to secure the contents of the briefing.  This material would eventually expose Phil Goff in a deliberate lie. 

Phil Goff, huffing and puffing with indignant sanctimony, wanted to know why the SIS "colluded" with a private blogger by releasing information under the Official Information Act.  Was there a deeper and darker conspiracy between the Prime Minister's office--which is ultimately responsible for the SIS--to discredit Goff, using the services of Slater?  Now, Goff, under oath, has been caught out once again.  No Right Turn, a left-wing blog, has reported:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Best Political Speech So Far

The Least of All Evil Options 

We are in the midst of New Zealands tri-ennial general election campaign.  In our view, Dr Jamie Whyte, leader of the libertarian leaning ACT party has delivered the best speech of the campaign so far.  It rips his opponents, but not in the crass manner of meaningless insulting slurs, but in a way which manages to make clear points on his party's philosophical and political positions.  This is a clever, classy roast.

Daily Devotional

The Greater Glory of Jesus Christ

Charles Spurgeon

"The people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him."
Mark 9:15

How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of his countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to him they saluted him.

The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with his purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to him amazed at his goodness, fascinated by his love; they salute him, become his disciples, and take him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life.  Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories.

Exemplary Western Civilisation

Modelling Democracy

There is an intriguing parallel to be drawn between the secession of the Southern states from the Union of the United States in 1861 and what is now taking place in Scotland.  It appears as though, if the voting intentions are being counted correctly, Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.  This will be accomplished peacefully, by the will of the people.

Since Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for three centuries, unwinding the two will be quite a task.  But, it is achievable.  Will Scotland be doing the "right thing"?  Yes.  If the majority want it, then they are welcome to it.  (One caveat might be that a simple majority of fifty percent for such a huge change is a bit light.  Amongst the time-honoured principles of sound governance is the need to have constitutional changes achieve a larger majority support than a mere fifty percent because they are changes of such a profound import.)

The Scots have been a redoubtable people.  Their world-wide influence has been far, far greater than their relatively small population.