A textbook example of applied Christianity

[Neal] Frey runs Educational Research Analysts…and works to privately pressure [school textbook] publishers before they submit books to the state [educational] board for consideration.

While many of his victories are small, Frey said they add up to something substantial: textbook content better aligned with a…Christian worldview…

David Anderson, a former vice president at textbook publisher Holt, Rinehart & Winston and a Texas Education Agency official from 1997 to 2003, said Frey…has influence with publishers.

When I was with the Texas Education Agency, I did see publishers make changes as a result of information from Frey,” Anderson said…

Most days, he arrives at the office at 11 a.m. and recites two Bible verses; one of them, James 1:5-7, reads: “You must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Quote source

Savage, J. (2016). Longview man is on crusade to stop ‘liberal bias’ in Texas school textbooks. Dallas News. Available http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2016/10/07/longview-man-crusade-stop-liberal-bias-texas-school-textbooks. Last accessed 14th Oct 2016.

Relations between Christians and heads of state

Notwithstanding their [the 1st century Christians of Asia Minor’s] loyalty to the head of state combined with adherence to Christianity, the principle—one must obey God rather than man—was understood by them in concrete situations as meaning that the Church is superior to the state any time a claim dangerous to the fundamentals of the Church demands such a decisive delimitation of authority.

“God is greater than the emperor”, was the claim of the Church of the martyrs as she courageously faced the threat of death.

[Chruch Father] Ambrose [of Milan] said frankly, before an imperial tyranny even when it had become Christian, in a phrase that was never forgotten in subsequent centuries and which became a classic formula:

“The emperor is in the Church, not above her. A good emperor seeks to help the Church not to combat her. We say this with a humility equal to our determination, even when threatened with torture, execution, or exile. As servants of Christ we put aside all fear.”

Quote source

Rahner, H., translated by Davis, L.D. (1992) Church and State in Early Christianity [ebook]. Ignatius Press, San Francisco. Location 71 of 5067

The New Testament stands alone in textual reliability

For example, virtually everything we know today about Julius Caesar’s exploits in the Gallic Wars (58 to 51 BC) is derived from ten manuscript copies of Caesar’s work The Gallic Wars. The earliest of these copies dates to a little less than a thousand years from the time the original was written.

Our modern text of Livy’s History of Rome relies on 1 partial manuscript and 19 much later copies that are dated from 400 to 1000 years after the original writing. By comparison, the text of Homer’s Iliad is much more reliable. It has an estimated 1757 manuscript copies in existence today, with a mere 400-year time gap between the date of composition and the earliest of these copies.

The textual evidence for Livy and Homer is considered more than adequate for historians to use in validating the originals, but this evidence pales in comparison to what God performed in the case of the New Testament text. Using this accepted standard for evaluating the textual reliability of ancient writings, the New Testament stands alone. It has no equal. No other book of the ancient world can even approach its textual reliability.

Nearly 25,000 manuscripts or fragments of manuscripts of the New Testament repose in the libraries and universities of the world in languages such as Coptic, Latin, and Armenian. Among these are nearly 5,800 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, which is over three times as many as for the Iliad. The earliest of these discovered so far is a fragment of John’s Gospel, located in the John Rylands Library of the University of Manchester, England; it has been dated to within 50 years of when the apostle John penned the original.

Quote source

McDowell, J & McDowell, S. (2013). The Bible Handbook of Difficult Verses [ebook] Harvest House Publishers, Eugene. Location 298 of 5679.

Humanist Manifesto II snookered by Lee Duigon

Humanists, in their manifesto, promise what they can never perform. Consider the goals listed in the Preface:

“Control our environment” — but Earth’s environment is largely affected by the behavior of the Sun, which is beyond our reach. Humanists also believe that the continents drift, clumping together, tearing apart, reconfiguring the flow of ocean currents. How do they propose to control that? With tugboats?

“Conquer poverty”? Our leaders have poured trillions of dollars into a “war on poverty,” yet constantly complain that poverty is still with us. Admitting that their efforts have failed, they can only recommend more of the same.

If by “poverty” we really mean economic inequality, then someone is always going to be in the bottom 20 percent — unless the government tries to level the field by radical, coercive redistribution of wealth, which we know from historical experience throttles economic growth and suppresses the creation of wealth…

How are all these humanist marvels to be achieved? Don’t ask. Put your blind faith in science and technology and in the wisdom of man without God, and all will be well…

The Humanist Manifesto II is a faith statement opposed to the Christian faith, in which man — sinful, fallible, and self-deluded — and the works of his hands are offered up as a replacement for God. Why we should continue to trust in man, after the tumults and atrocities of the last century, is not explained.

And to think a few years back, that some guy on YouTube suggested I refer to Humanist Manifesto II (instead of the original manifesto) in one of my posts. Fat lot of good that did!

Quote source

Duigon, L. (2006). The Humanist Manifesto II, An Atheist Faith Statement. Chalcedon Foundation. Available http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/the-humanist-manifesto-ii-an-atheist-faith-statement/. Last accessed 18th Sep 2016.

The righteous approach to God’s law and duty

And if I want to talk about duties in marriage, one of the first things that comes up, is people say,

Oh, I don’t like that word duty..I’ve heard that Christ Church isn’t that really into grace. It’s all about law, it’s all about do, do, do; it’s all about ‘these are your duties, this is what you’ve gotta do.’

Now, of course, duties can be approached as though you were eating gravel; you can just say “here’s your bowl of gravel, this is what you need to do, choke it down“, and that’s what people think of when they think of duty, or Law, or commands. But the Law of the Lord is perfect, it says in Psalms, converting the soul; sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb.

There’s a way of approaching Law that condemns, and there’s a way of approaching Law rightly, where you encounter it as one of the sweetest things God ever did for us. The law of liberty, James tells us, is the law that, in by its very name, liberates us; it sets us free.

There is an approach to duty that will choke you; there is an approach to duty that will kill you. There’s an approach to obeying commands that will bring you under bondage. There is an approach to law, there is an approach to command, there is an approach to duty that is going to slay you; it’s a bad business, stay far away from it.

But it does not follow from that, that because there’s a way of approaching duty that’s suffocating, that you must go over and do whatever you want, whenever you feel like it, however you feel like it, as though the life of grace were a life of obeying your spontaneous impulses. The life of grace is not obeying spontaneous impulses. The life of grace is having your heart set free, such that you understand the grace of God in the Law, the grace of God in your duty.

So consequently, as we talk about duty, one of the things we need to assume is that there’s a way of approaching this where it’s like milk and honey; there’s a way of approaching your duties that liberates.

There’s a way of approaching your duties that sets you free, and if it’s not that way for you, you’re doing it wrong.

Quote source

Wilson, D. (2016). Sermon Audio: Reforming Marriage #4 | Biblical Duties in Marriage [sermon]. Christ Church, Moscow. Available http://www.canonwired.com/sermons/1961.mp3. Last accessed 18 Sep 2016.

Just keep clinging to abiogenesis; that’ll do!

According to the evolutionist Gary S Hurd:

However, faced with mounting evidence in support of evolutionary biology coming from scientific fields from genetics to paleontology, the origin of life has become an obsession with creationists who assert that science’s failure to create life de novo is “proof” of supernatural creation…

Do we know how life originated on earth? No. Is every one of the innumerable chemical and geological events that led to the origin of life preserved? No. Is this “proof” of a supernatural origin of life? No. Nevertheless, the origin of life will be the last refuge for “God of the gaps” arguments in decades to come.

But that came across as thinly-veiled rhetoric. It assumed that abiogenesis is true, and invoked red herrings to avoid its own scientific shortfalls.

Instead, Peter M. Murphy made a better view of the situation, when discussing a conference called Open Questions on the Origin of Life [OQOL]:

For example, the OQOL of ‘where did life begin?’ attracts advocates for deep-sea thermal vents, extraterrestrial sources (panspermia), and Darwin’s ‘warm little pond’. Each group provides valuable and valid critiques of their rivals.

Creationists should wisely use all these criticisms to leave no credible abiogenesis scheme. Since divine creation did not proceed through a long evolutionary history of intermediate chemical and biochemical transitions toward living creatures, all naturalistic explanations for the OoL [origin of life] will ultimately be proven untrue by the standard of being consistent with known scientific laws.

Quote sources

  1. Hurd, G. (2007). Review: Origins of Life” in Reports of the National Center for Science Education. Available https://ncse.com/library-resource/review-origins-life. Last accessed 5th Sep 2016.
  2. Murphy, P. M. (2014). Open questions on the Origin of Life in 2014. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/origin-of-life-questions. Last accessed 5th Sep 2016.

No conversation with progressive ideologues

In contrast, all liberals, especially Hillary Clinton, live in a world of ideology completely unmoored from reality. This is inherently dangerous. We can see it in their desire to create a marriage out of two people of the same gender and their belief that gender is a choice instead of a matter of biology. When leaders start trying to conform society to principles against reality, you end up with totalitarianism because you need the force of the state to try to continually change a reality that will not change. We saw it in communist Russia and we can see it in the [Catholic] Church since Vatican II…

With a progressive ideologue, there is no conversation. Because that person rejects all of the reality based premises you are starting from. They work off of the false premises that white people are all oppressors and have “privilege”, all men are sexists, there are no differences between genders, gender is a social construct, following one’s religious teachings upholding the natural law is discriminatory and prejudiced. There is no compromise with such an individual because they are living in an unreal world of their own construction.

Quote source

Jackson, C. (2016). Catholics 4 Trump: The Catholic Case for Donald Trump. The Remnant Newspaper. Available http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/2646-catholics-4-trump-the-catholic-case-for-donald-trump. Last accessed 5th Sep 2016.