Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sound thinking on government spending 

Here is some sound thinking on the real implications of government spending.

D'Souza, Darwin and God 

Dinesh D'Souza, a writer and thinker for whom I normally have a good deal of respect, got the relationship between evolution and Christianity exactly backward, and effectively, though inadvertently, demonstrated an important point I have tried to make many times in the past.

D'Souza's point about Charles Darwin is that his theory of evolution did not cause him to lose his faith, though he does assert that it has caused others to lose their faith. D'Souza bases this on the fact that Darwin was already angry at God for the death of his daughter at age 10, and also Darwin's refusal to believe that good men such as his grandfather who were unbelievers could be in hell. Darwin therefore was already moving away from Christianity when he started to formulate the theory of evolution. Therefore, says D'Souza, Darwin's loss of his faith and his belief in evolution are unrelated events.

I would posit instead that they are closely related, as Darwin himself said, though D'Souza has the proposed cause and effect backward. Many Christians who believe in evolution make this same mistake, and think that we creationists are just blindly holding onto ignorance out of fear of losing our faith if we realize the truth of science. No, instead we recognize that evolution was simply intellectual cover for what logically did indeed come prior, the rejection of the God of the Bible. If one rejects the God of the Bible then one must find a way around one of the most common and compelling arguments for the existence of that God, which is the nature and existence of the things we see around us. So Darwin is rejecting God, and being of a scientific mindset, he must answer the question of how everything came to be, and he hits on this idea, the theory of evolution. As some of D'Souza's own quotes of Darwin shows, he regarded any divine involvement in science as the death knell of his theory:
When Darwin's co-discoverer of evolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, wrote him to say that evolution could not account for man’s moral and spiritual nature, Darwin accused him of jeopardizing the whole theory. “I hope you have not murdered too completely your own and my child.” Darwin's ultimate position was that it was disastrous for evolution to, at any point, permit a divine foot in the door.

So Darwin certainly saw a connection between the two. But D'Souza merely says that it was "complicated", like the way people talk about their relationships on Facebook when they don't want to explain it more clearly. D'Souza likewise says that we have to distinguish between Darwin the unbeliever and Darwin the scientist. Why? Darwin didn't distinguish. To him, evolution was necessary to avoid the God of the Bible, and evolution serves this same purpose for many other scientists, as D'Souza's own quotes again demonstrate:

According to Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

Biologist E.O. Wilson writes, “If humankind evolved by Darwinian natural selection, genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God, made the species.” Douglas Futuyma asserts in his textbook Evolutionary Biology, “By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of life superfluous.” Biologist William Provine boasts that in the modern era, “evolution is the greatest engine of atheism.”

Darwin’s most ardent champion, Thomas Henry Huxley, took a different view. Huxley was vehemently anti-Christian, and he was attracted to Darwin’s theory precisely because they saw it as helping to overthrow the Christian case for divine creation. Huxley noted that evolution’s “complete and irreconcilable antagonism” to Christianity constituted “one of its greatest merits in my eyes.”

Christians or theists who believe in evolution are very anxious not to see this point, as some of my own interactions with them in the past demonstrate. They want to believe that they're just separate issues, but they're not. Evolution is one of the many tools, and one of the handiest tools for the scientifically minded, to avoid the truth about God. And those quotes above just demonstrate that without the theory of Darwin, one has little choice but to believe in a God who created everything. None of D'Souza's handwaving can change the fact that there was the very closest of relationships between Darwin's unbelief and his science. D'Souza never even attempts to examine whether the event that came before (anger at God over the death of his daughter) had any influence on the event that came after (the formulation of the theory of evolution). He simply assumes the wrong cause-and-effect relationship is what we theists believe and then disproves an argument that we don't make.

Now this doesn't mean that everyone who believes in evolution is trying to avoid the truth of the Bible. But this is the purpose of the theory, and the way it functions in most of our secular world. Peter didn't recognize that the Judaizers were trying to steal the faith, and he was led astray. Many Christians are likewise led astray by those trying to destroy the faith. Belief in evolution doesn't necessarily turn one into an atheist. But it sure helps a lot if becoming an atheist is what you're trying to do anyway.

So the point is not that we creationists are afraid of being turned into atheists if we believe in evolution. It's just that we recognize that the major engine promoting evolution is the atheistic impulse, the desire to avoid the truth of God's word, and we see no reason to go along. I see no reason to carry water for people who hate God and the Bible. I see no reason to justify their attacks against my Lord and Savior and call the theory something other than what it is. I see no reason to disbelieve Scripture's clear teachings in favor of this atheistic attack on God. And I see every reason to warn other Christians, like Paul warned Peter, not to fall prey to these deceptions. The evidence may seem compelling and the arguments may seem overwhelming. Satan has always been good at what he does. But their real intention is clear. And God's word is clear. He made all things by the word of His power in six days, some six to ten thousand years ago. Let God be true and every man a liar.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 09, 2009

Not under law but grace 

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Why is it the fact that being under grace instead of law has the effect that sin no longer has dominion over us?

Because, as Paul makes so clear in chapter 1 of Romans, sin is the consequence of our rebellion against God and our refusal to worship Him as God. We are "given over" to sin as a consequence. So far from being able to work our way out from under the covenant of law, the very sins we commit, part of the consequence for Adam's rejection of that covenant, continue to condemn us under the terms of that covenant, resulting in more punishment, which includes more sin. So it's hopeless.

We recognize then that grace, forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ, is the only way to get out from under that. And part of the result then of accepting the grace of Jesus Christ is that we will be released from the penalty of the covenant of Law, which means that sin will have no more dominion over us.

The believer continues to struggle with sin all of his life, as he realizes and lays hold of the effects of this salvation. The Holy Spirit applies the results of this salvation to us and the result is sanctification. Sin no longer has dominion over us.

And this shows the great foolishness of any that would say that the doctrine of justification by faith alone results in more sin; that statement demonstrates a complete failure to understand what sin is. On the contrary, any attempt to accomplish righteousness by works will result in more sin, since trying to accomplish righteousness by works is to operate according to the covenant of works, which requires perfection. And the failure to keep the covenant of works results in the penalty of that covenant being applied, part of which is being given over to vile affections.

Paul goes on to make this point in Romans 6. We are the servants of whom we obey, either of righteousness unto life, or of sin unto death. Being bought out of the covenant relationship of law, we are freed from obedience to that cruel taskmaster, which because of our failure would have destroyed us in sin and death. We are now bought into the relationship of grace, enabling us to begin to live righteously as we move toward eternal life in that covenant, which is characterized by perfect righteousness. Obeying our new master, grace and forgiveness, results in righteousness and life.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Gay marriage and the media 

I stumbled across this excellent article reacting to a Newsweek piece on gay marriage and the Biblical witness. I really have nothing to say against it. I think that we Christians are going to have to deal with an increasingly hostile media and popular culture on this and many subjects. This article is a good example of how to do it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama and Religion 

My good fried Lee has written a post about Obama on his blog that is for the most part correct. But he says something that I don't believe is quite accurate-
Thus, I was right earlier about his new language just being a new attempt to keep religion out of politics. I did fail to see that he wants to keep religion out of everything. Now I know.

Obama, however, is not against religion. He is against competing religions.

From Liberal Fascism, p. 336-337:

...It is the progressive priesthood- not churches or synagogues- that must sanctify the quest for meaning and spirituality. Independent sources of moral faith are "divisive" and need to be undermined, walled off, excluded from our "common project." This means that liberal churches are fine because they are perceived- rightly or wrongly- to have subordinated religious doctrine to political doctrine. As John Dewey put it in his brief for a secular religion of the state: "If our nominally religious institutions learn how to use their synmbols and rites to express and enhance such a faith, they may become useful allies of a conception of life that is in harmony with knowledge and social needs." Hitler was more succinct: "Against a Church that identifies itself with the State... I have nothing to say."

Conservatives are fond of scoring liberals for their cafeteria Christianty, picking those things they like from the religious menu and eschewing the hard stuff. But there's more than mere hypocrisy at work. What appears to be inconsistency is in fact the continued unfolding of the Social Gospel tapestry to reveal a religion without God. Cafeteria liberals aren't so much inconsistent Christians as they are consistent progressives.

Jonah Goldberg is very perceptive politically. But his religious understanding doesn't go far enough. Fortunately, we have an even deeper analysis available to us:

Revelation 13:11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

Obama is not against religion. He surrounds himself with the trappings of religion constantly. I remember getting into a discussion with a fellow conservative about whether or not Obama was a secret Muslim. My argument was that it didn't matter. Whether his external trappings were Muslim or Christian, his true religion was the religion of the state, the worship of the beast. He does false signs and wonders to convince people to worship the power of man, which ultimately is the power of the dragon, the power of Satan.

Therefore, religion which serves the interest of the state is just fine with him- a useful ally. And it won't matter at all whether it's Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Wiccan in outward appearance. The only thing that really matters is that it not compete with the ultimate power of the beast. Any religion can be an instrument of deceiving man to worship the state. Obama chooses to use the trappings of Christianity since most people in this country identify themselves nominally as Christian. But it is deceptive.

The various religious leaders who were used by Obama to prop up this image of himself as Christian then are just being used. When Obama said he never really heard Jeremiah Wright say these racist, anti-white, anti-American things in his sermons despite sitting in his church for 20 years, I happen to think that might just be true, because Obama was not there to listen to sermons. He was simply using Wright to further the power of the state, the power of his own political ambitions, just as he used Rick Warren and Gene Robinson and the rest. The false prophet in Revelation, just like the great Whore, use their deceptive powers to convince men to worship the beast.

Am I saying that Obama is the AntiChrist? No, but he is an antichrist, which means a substitute Christ. He is one of the manifestations of that belief that only the power of the state can solve our problems, and that all must be in allegiance to the state. All interests must be subordinated to the public interest, the needs of government, since only government can save us. Which is to say, that we must all worship the power of the state. When Obama attacks divisiveness, says that we all must unite in this time of crisis, that we must put politics aside and our petty personal interests aside to further the common good, this is what he is saying- that we must subordinate all, including our religious beliefs, to the needs of the state.

We worship Christ. He is our only king. He is our only hope. And therefore we will always be a threat to those like Obama, and they will exclude us as much as possible because we will always have a higher allegiance than our allegiance to the state, to the power of the beast. It's not because we're religious that he will exclude us from the body politic- it's because we're of the wrong religion. Ultimately then there are only two religions, and everybody belongs to one or the other. We are either sealed to Christ and worship Him alone, or we are sealed to the beast, and fall under the sway of the false prophets. I believe that in the coming years this choice will become all the more stark and obvious to the faithful Christian.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Google Analytics Alternative