Blog Archive


Friday, October 30, 2009

Last week's Law and Order episode was one of the most pro-life programs I've ever seen on network TV. Usually, the main L&O show is pretty even-handed when dealing with political issues (unlike it's retarded SVU cousin), but last week's episode was almost entirely pro-life, giving only lip service to the pro-abortion side. Here are a couple key quotes from the show (delivered by two main characters):
“I grew up thinking Roe v. Wade was gospel. Now… I don’t know where my freedom ends and the dignity of another being begins.”
"I used to think that human rights advocates would extend some to the unborn, but I don't think that anymore."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Theodore Dalrymple has a modest proposal...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"I have discovered that the so-called Christian right is much less monolithic, and very much more polite and hospitable, than I would once have thought, or than most liberals believe.
[Doug] Wilson isn't one of those evasive Christians who mumble apologetically about how some of the Bible stories are really just "metaphors." He is willing to maintain very staunchly that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and that his sacrifice redeems our state of sin, which in turn is the outcome of our rebellion against God. He doesn't waffle when asked why God allows so much evil and suffering—of course he "allows" it since it is the inescapable state of rebellious sinners. I much prefer this sincerity to the vague and Python-esque witterings of the interfaith and ecumenical groups who barely respect their own traditions and who look upon faith as just another word for community organizing." - Christopher Hitchens at
Monday, October 26, 2009
I was riding through southern Indiana this weekend and saw a billboard with this on it: "Secondhand Smoke = Child Abuse"

I wonder how many people actually believe that... unfortunately, I fear that the government's campaign to save people from themselves and limit all forms of freedom has brainwashed many to believe that the billboard is correct.

I'm of a rather different opinion. For one, the evidence that secondhand smoke has long term negative side effects is dubious, at best. Most studies have shown no clear connection to increased health risks (not that the government or media would ever tell you this). Secondly, if we start blurring the lines of what constitutes child abuse (just like the terms "rape" and "hate" have long lost much of their meaning), how long will it be before some busybody turns a parent in for buying their children candy, since candy is obviously not healthy and if abused can lead to poor health in the future? As Christians, we should fight for the freedom of our neighbors to do as they please as long as it truly doesn't do serious damage to another and always err on the side of their freedom to live as they choose and to parent as they see fit. Christians should not be about using the government to force by compulsion that which only Christ can win over by grace. THAT is what truly conservative Christians are about when they engage in politics: improving people's lives and protecting those who can't protect themselves. Conservative Christians are not about forcing the Bible on others, not about making people moral in deed while still immoral in spirit, not about foisting a theocracy onto unbelievers. The law never brings freedom; this is as true of human law as it is of God's law.

Theologian Martin Niemöller's famous poem might be appropriately modified here:
First they came for the smokers, and I did not speak out—because I did not smoke;
Then they came for the donut eaters, and I did not speak out—because I did not like donuts;
Then they came for the gun owners, and I did not speak out—because I did not own a gun;
Then they came for the parents of obese children, and I did not speak out—because my children were fit;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
See if you can get all 10 questions correct...
Friday, October 23, 2009
This looks like a good website for devotionals, something one can never have enough of.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I recently finished John Owens' book, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (found as the first of three Owens books in the linked-to book), and found it one of the most helpful and challenging books I've ever read. In it, Owens explains in depth what the Apostle Paul meant when he said Christians should be "putting to death the deeds of the body" through the strength of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). Christians tend to forget that last part: the Holy Spirit. We hate feeling guilty, so in our own strength we work to kill (or more accurately, subdue) certain sins that beguile and annoy us, rather than first repent, have God kill our flesh in Christ, give us a new heart, and then rise to abundant life. Only after having faith in Christ can we ever hope to make successful war against our flesh. But that war will never end while we exist in this life, and the victory against our flesh won't ever be fully complete while we still draw breath.

It's not an easy read (both Owens' use of highbrow English and the thoughts he propounds are difficult to digest), but one you will find both wonderfully rewarding but terribly convicting. The Church needs to read books like this instead of junk like The Shack or Your Best Life Now.
Hmm, something about this doesn't make a whole lot of sense...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Mark Steyn had an excellent piece this week discussing the new morality prevalent among the liberal intelligentsia. Instead of condemning actual evil deeds, they condemn made-up quotes.
If you say, “Chairman Mao? Wasn’t he the wacko who offed 70 million Chinks?”, you’ll be hounded from public life for saying the word “Chinks.” But, if you commend the murderer of those 70 million as a role model in almost any school room in the country from kindergarten to the Ivy League, it’s so entirely routine that only a crazy like Glenn Beck would be boorish enough to point it out.

Which is odd, don’t you think? Because it suggests that our present age of politically correct hypersensitivity is not just morally unserious but profoundly decadent.

Twenty years ago this fall, the Iron Curtain was coming down in Europe. Across the Warsaw Pact, the jailers of the Communist prison states lost their nerve, and the cell walls crumbled. Matt Welch, the editor of Reason, wonders why the anniversary is going all but unobserved: Why aren’t we making more of the biggest mass liberation in history?

Well, because to celebrate it would involve recognizing it as a victory over Communism. And, after the Left’s long march through the institutions of the West, most are not willing to do that. There’s the bad totalitarianism (Nazism) and the good totalitarianism (Communism), whose apologists and, indeed, fetishists can still be found everywhere, even unto the White House.
But don’t worry, the new Fairness Doctrine will take care of the problem.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This ought to worry us all.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In case you've had your head in the sand recently, our venerable Commander in Chief Barry Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize last Monday. The timing of the announcement came about 36 hours after Saturday Night Live had eviscerated the president in its opening skit (see here for the hilarity). As if imbued with an incredible sense of comedic timing itself, CNN quickly FACT-CHECKED the SNL routine. Oh, for the days when they would just laugh along when SNL ripped Bush. Now they're stuck defending their messiah to their own liberal brethren.

Mark Steyn had this to say about this new turn of events.
The most popular headline at the Real Clear Politics website the other day was: “Is Obama Becoming A Joke?” With brilliant comedic timing, the very next morning the Norwegians gave him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Up next: His stunning victory in this year’s Miss World contest. December 12th, Johannesburg. You read it here first.
Given the [CNN's] ever more exhaustive absence of viewers among the non-flight-delayed demographic, perhaps Wolf could make it a regular series.
Reflecting the new harmony of US-world relations since the administration hit the “reset” button, The Times of London declared the award “preposterous” and Svenska Freds (the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society) called it “shameful.”

There’s something almost quaintly vieux chapeau [old hat] about the Nobel decision, as if the hopeychangey bumper stickers were shipped surface mail to Oslo and only arrived last week. Everywhere else, they’re peeling off: The venerable lefties at Britain’s New Statesman currently have a cover story on “Barack W Bush”.
In a recent speech to the Manhattan Institute, Charles Krauthammer pointed out that, in diminishing American power abroad to advance statism at home, Obama and the American people will be choosing decline.

There are legitimate questions about our war aims in Afghanistan, and about the strategy necessary to achieve them. But eight years after being toppled, the Taliban will see their return to power as a great victory over the Great Satan, and so will the angry young men from Toronto to Yorkshire to Chechnya to Indonesia who graduated from Afghanistan’s Camp Jihad during the 1990s.

And so will the rest of the world: They will understand that the modern era’s ordnungsmacht (the “order maker”) has chosen decline.

Barack Obama will have history’s most crowded trophy room, but his presidency is shaping up as a tragedy — for America and the world.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Bring on the Yankees!

The Wall Street Journal points out just how idiotic the Cash for Clunkers program ended up being (not that any conservatives are surprised, we all predicted this).
Monday, October 05, 2009
This is such a great picture...

Friday, October 02, 2009
Dalrymple wrote an excellent piece this week regarding one effect of the hate-crime legislation (and the accompanying idea of protecting certain groups ahead of others).
[T]he seriousness of an offense committed in Britain now depends upon who the victim is. If a person is not of an identifiably protected group, he or she is not entitled to police intervention against abusive stone- and bottle-throwing youths. He is not entitled to protection at all.

The Guardian’s article appears to accept that such behavior, so long as it targets a member of an unprotected group, is merely undesirable—“anti-social” rather than obviously criminal. The rule of law is fast evaporating in Britain; we are coming to live in a land of men, not of laws.
Or is he just a Christian who sees things in a unique way? Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs attempts to answer that question based on a recent interview that Rob Bell did for the Boston Globe. In it, Bell says the following:
Q: OK, how would you describe what it is that you believe?
A: I embrace the term evangelical, if by that we mean a belief that we together can actually work for change in the world, caring for the environment, extending to the poor generosity and kindness, a hopeful outlook. That's a beautiful sort of thing.

Q: Is religion a part of that?
A: At the heart of the Christian story is resurrection, the belief that this word is good, and that, as a follower of Jesus, a belief that God hasn’t abandoned the world, but is actively at work in the world. Even in the midst of what can look like despair and destruction there is a new creation present.
There you have it, the gospel to Rob Bell is rank moralism, nothing more. Al Mohler recently wrote this on the false gospel of moralism:
In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this -- the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.

Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.
The seduction of moralism is the essence of its power. We are so easily seduced into believing that we actually can gain all the approval we need by our behavior. Of course, in order to participate in this seduction, we must negotiate a moral code that defines acceptable behavior with innumerable loopholes. Most moralists would not claim to be without sin, but merely beyond scandal. That is considered sufficient.

Moralists can be categorized as both liberal and conservative. In each case, a specific set of moral concerns frames the moral expectation. As a generalization, it is often true that liberals focus on a set of moral expectations related to social ethics while conservatives tend to focus on personal ethics. The essence of moralism is apparent in both -- the belief that we can achieve righteousness by means of proper behavior.

The theological temptation of moralism is one many Christians and churches find it difficult to resist. The danger is that the church will communicate by both direct and indirect means that what God expects of fallen humanity is moral improvement. In so doing, the church subverts the Gospel and communicates a false gospel to a fallen world.
The Gospel is not "come be a better person and save the environment while doing so." The GOSPEL is "come die to yourself and self-wrought mortification and put your trust in Jesus, that you might truly live." Rob Bell denies this gospel and thus denies Christ.

He also denies God's sovereignty and omniscience:
Q: What have you learned from thinking about suffering?
A: For a lot of people, dominant questions center around, ‘Why is this happening? Why me? Why now?’ Unfortunately, the religious voice often enters into the discussion at an inappropriate time – ‘God just planned this.’ Really? Your God planned this, not mine.
This is just more of the Open Theism that is so rampant among today's Christians. "God doesn't control every little detail, He just adjusts to changing circumstances on the ground." Deism is what I call it. Or, as Phil Johnson says in his post:
Bell has no agenda to "restore the true meaning" of the term evangelical, much less encourage a revival of true evangelical belief. In fact, Bell has made a career of attacking historic evangelical convictions—laying siege to the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the wrath of God against sin, the authority and perspicuity of Scripture, the necessity of the virgin birth, the coherence of the biblical testimony about the Resurrection, the exclusivity of Christ, and whatever other historic Christian doctrines Bell finds politically incorrect.
If any popular figure "in the evangelical movement" (or on its copious fringe) deserves the label "heretic," it is Rob Bell. The guardians of evangelical politeness don't like that kind of candor, but when a secular newspaper like The Boston Globe is publishing pieces implying that the best, most promising alternative to right-wing civil religion is a mish-mash of Open Theism and performance art—and that whatever "evangelicalism" is, it must be one or the other of those two abominations, it's time for people with historic evangelical convictions to speak up clearly and make the biblical message heard again.
Here's a bit more from pastor-blogger Jared Wilson. The highlights:
The problem with Bell's definition [of evangelical] is not that it outlines a practical faith or that anything he's highlighting is bad or wrong, only that what he outlines contains no object of faith and highlights work to do rather than work completed. And I don't know about you, but work completed is always better news than work undone.
Jesus doesn't need you or me to be embarrassed for him or his followers. He doesn't need our help. We don't have to butter people up before we bring him out. He's not a time share or Amway or something.

If I get hit by a bus just after preaching a Jesusless exhortation to hold hands and be sweet to change the world with positivity, you have my permission to wish the bus had hit me before I preached.

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! And woe to you too, Rob Bell.

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »