Is it true just because it’s scientific consensus?

The National Center for Science Education said [science teacher John] Freshwater should never even have mentioned creationism or the theory of intelligent design [in a public school classroom].

[As said by the NCSE] “The theory of evolution is universally accepted by scientists and Freshwater’s ‘alternatives’ to evolution are religious beliefs, not science.”

If an idea is “universally accepted”, does that mean it must be true?

Quote source

Duigon, L (2014). ‘Fired Christian teacher seeks U.S. Supreme Court hearing’ in Faith for All of Life. Chalcedon Foundation. July/August 2014, p. 25

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The importance of hard preaching

Preaching has an important place in God’s purpose, and it is basic to the life and health of the church. If the church is faltering or straying, the preaching is clearly at fault. If the church is lukewarm, sterile, or dead, the preaching again is at fault. True preaching cannot leave men unconcerned: it will either arouse them to repentance and godly action, or it will arouse them to ungodly hostility as they see themselves in the light of God’s word.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1975). “Contemporary Preaching: Biblical Preaching vs. Obfuscation” in Faith for All of Life, September/October 2009, p. 2

The link between theonomy and Christ’s kingship

The alternative to theonomy as God’s law is either a denial of theocracy and the “rule of God” or to propose that Christ’s Kingship is as a figurehead or at best a spiritual one. The first position renders the image of the King misleading, as there were no such monarchs in the ancient world; the later renders it weak because it means the King and His Kingdom are limited in jurisdiction.

Quote source

Rushdoony, M (2013) “Kingdom Men and Kingdom Law” in Faith for All of Life, September/October 2013, p. 2

Ford Schwartz’s powerful example of Biblical marriage

It was December 1984 and I was pregnant with my second child. The dealership where my husband worked at the time had a Christmas party for the sales people. After the salesmen’s dinner, before the men got their Christmas bonuses, the management provided “entertainment”. It involved strippers.

My husband was faced with a dilemma. He knew he didn’t want to have anything to do with this, but was concerned that if he left, he might forfeit his bonus which totalled almost $2,000—money that we could immediately put to good use. Because he was a student of God’s law, who had been practicing its application, he knew that he could not stay. So, he got up and left as soon as he realised what was about to take place…

He found the nearest pay phone (that was before the cell phone revolution) and called me up quite frazzled. he was talking so fast that all I could gather was that he was sorry that he gave up the $2,000 bonus but he couldn’t in good conscience stay. When I finally heard the story, tears came to my eyes. I told him that I was grateful God had given me a husband who valued his Savior and his marriage enough to do the right thing…

After he got off the phone, there were two other salesmen waiting to talk with him. Each explained that they were uncomfortable with what was happening and knew it was wrong but didn’t want to anger their boss and decided to stay put and not leave. However, when they saw my husband exit, it gave them the strength to do the right thing…

As it turned out, the next day at work his bonus was waiting for him.

Quote Source

Schwartz, A. (2013). “Learn It; Live It; Teach It” in Faith for All of Life, November/December 2013, p. 19

No answer to clergy abuse—until R.J Rushdoony was read

For some years I’ve been collaborating on a major book project that was set in motion when a famous (and still active) missionary initiated an attempted sexual exploitation of the victim nearly ten years ago. As bad as the original incident was, the aftermath involving the handling of the situation by churches, counselors, and parachurch organizations made it worse. One of my tasks was to work through the exhaustively-documented evidence prepared by the victim and to extract the dominant patterns embedded in that mass of ugly details.

The victim, no slouch in respect to researching such behavior after the incident, had purchased and read 121 books on the issue of clergy abuse, totaling 27,949 pages of material. You can see that mountain of books in the accompanying photo. In addition to those books, the victim had meticulously annotated several thousand pages of journal reprints. This one person had arguably researched, written, and edited enough material to earn two, if not three, doctorates on this one topic. The source material identified the problem clearly enough, but until the victim encountered the writings of Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, no actual solution was evident because everyone else, without exception, adopted either antinomian or humanistic assumptions.

Quote source

Selbrede, M (2014). “Liberty From Abuse” in Faith for All of Life, January 2014. Available http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/liberty-from-abuse-3/. Last accessed 12th Jul 2014.

The Christian view of rationalism

Reason is limited by man and his experience. Aside from his creaturehood and sin, man is limited by his finitude. Man cannot experience all the potentialities of his world and there are certain realms he cannot experience at all. Rationalism ascribes to man’s reason unlimited responsibility with limited ability. If reality is at all what Scripture says it to be, however, reason is a valid but limited tool.

Rationalism limits understanding by effectively denying there is a mind greater than man’s…All the collective minds of men of all time could not understand all reality, yet rationalism demands that we limit our thinking to the parameters of human experience and exclude as illegitimate the revelation of God in Scripture.

One’s view of the place of reason is based on one’s view of man. If man is seen in subordination to God, reason will be seen as subject to faith in Him and His revelation of truth and knowledge. If reason is not so limited by faith and revelation it will be seen as superior to both. Any approach which places such an undue reliance on reason will rewrite both its theology and its anthropology to give man preeminence.

My two cents

I couldn’t have put it better myself. While one could read a philosophical journal or encyclopaedia to get similar insights, this quote puts it in easy-to-understand terms for normal people.

I sometimes hear about this philosophical perspective that its proponents label as freethought; it’s a darling of rationalists, skeptics, and so on. It is purported to be free from authority/dogma etc. While it vacates that rented house (and landlord), it then moves to the comfortable circular-shaped prison ward of, well, self-imposed epistemological restrictions.

Seen from that angle, faith offers a wider gamut of both freedom and thought.

Quote source

Rushdoony, M (2013). “Rationalism: The Sinner’s Big Head” in Faith for All of Life, July/August 2013, p. 3

Selbrede: Government is ministerial, not messianic

It’s important that the statist era in which we live, for us to understand the nature of the doctrine of grace as held by statists. Until we understand that, and the kind of problems that the statists think they’re solving (which are all environmental ones: economic, social, personal, psychological environments—never sin but just environmental things) we’ll never understand that they manufacture the false doctrine of grace, which takes the form of social change by government edict.

Therefore we have to set against that the doctrine of grace, that scripture points it out. And this means that the Christian view of government and the statist view of government are very different. It is messianic if your doctrine of grace involves social change to alter the environment to perfect man. But, if we take the Christian point of view that man is redeemed by the work of Christ and that grace is God’s work, then government is not messianic, but ministerial, and its focus is not social change but restitution and justice.

Setting these two things against each other, [R.J.] Rushdoony makes very clear what the Christian calling is, in that we need to confront man’s true problem—which is not his environment, but his sin, his rebellion against God. This puts us on the proper ground for rebuilding and restructuring our culture: calling men to repent, not to change the environment—which is a false solution to a false problem.

My two cents

I like this summary from Martin Selbrede. He shows how in today’s era especially, people tend to look at government as a saviour, perhaps the only saviour in their lives that can solve their problems. I’d like to know how people ever got to this point, because a century ago, I doubt the mainstream thought like that; the reach of the state was much smaller. (I think the media plays at least some part in shaping this.)

In the workplace, I overhear statist people talking about some government program. I think to myself, “but that’s not the role of the state”, but I don’t think that possibility has been considered seriously by them—and maybe it never will.

If there are four main units of society, being (1) the individual (2) the family (3) the church, and (4) the state, then the humanistic/messianic state continues planing away at the autonomy of the family and the church. What’s more, this act is often egged on by the electorate. Pushed to its logical conclusion, it will be the individual relying on the state—or rather, the state capriciously dictating and micromanaging increasingly more aspects of the individual’s life. That’s not very Biblical.

Quote source

Selbrede, M. (2013). Faith for All of Life ~ January/February Issue Summary. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ9PgQlLiYw. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.