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Showing posts from October, 2009

Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Question: Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden if he didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat of it? In other words, why make something that is not allowed in the first place? We are told that God does not tempt man to sin, so we know that’s not why.

It appears that God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden to serve as a test of simple obedience.

This does not contradict what we read in the epistle of James: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (Jas. 1:13).

Testing is something quite different from tempting. God tested Adam and Eve, but he did not tempt them. He put the sincerity of their faith and obedience to the test, but he did not allure them to do evil—which is the essence of temptation.

They were tempted by Satan, as well as by their own desires. James tells us, “Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. T…

Why No Celebration?

Mark Steyn, always an insightful read, had this to say almost as an aside in his NRO column this week.
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.

Just a Few to be Saved?

The road to hell is wide and many go there, according to the Bible, and the road to heaven is narrow and few go there. Why wouldn’t a merciful God reverse that?

I assume the question is a reference to what Jesus said in the 13th chapter of Luke’s Gospel when someone asked him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”

It’s important to note that Jesus actually uses the present participle, which is more accurately translated by the NASB like this: “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” Not, “who will be saved,” but “who are being saved.” The focus is on the speaker’s contemporary situation. In other words, the person who asked him this had his own generation in mind. No doubt he noticed that relatively speaking Jesus had very few followers. The great majority of the Jewish people at the time did not regard Jesus to be the Messiah. And the one who questioned Jesus was concerned about this. Can it really be that there are just a few who are being saved?

And Jesus’ answer addresse…

Barack Obama and Neville Chamberlain

Check out Bill Whittle's Warmongers or Peacemakers: Who will be Responsible for Scorching the Earth. It's well worth the ten minute investment.

The Liberal Slave Ship

Race baiters, beware! Alfonzo Rachel is on to you!

The video is especially good from about 2:00 to the end.

Why did no one think to bail out the buggy industry?

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. Skimming the headlines over at Newsmax.com, my eyes alighted on this: Report Urges Bailout to Preserve Journalism.

"Yikes!" methinks to myself. "Could it really be?" And so I clicked the headline to read the story:
NEW YORK -- Journalism is at risk and American society must act to preserve it, according to a report co-authored by The Washington Post's former executive editor.

In a paper commissioned by the Columbia University Journalism School, the ex-Post editor, Len Downie, and Michael Schudson, a Columbia professor, argue the government, universities and nonprofit foundations should step in as newspapers suffer financially.

The authors recommend that the Internal Revenue Service or Congress ensure the tax code allows local news outlets to operate as nonprofits. Downie and Schudson also urge philanthropic organizations to support local reporting. They suggest the Federal Communications Commission establish…

Is it ever permissible to lie?

Question: In 1 Samuel 16 God tells Samuel to go see Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the new king (David). Samuel responds by saying that if Saul finds out why he is going, Saul will kill him (v. 2). God then tells Samuel to go to sacrifice and to give that as his reason for going (v. 2). Isn’t this deceptive?

Yes, it is. Samuel held back the main reason for his going to Bethlehem, and thus deceived Saul. Furthermore, he did this at God’s command.

Many Christians are a bit squeamish about this. But this is not the only instance of God approving the use of deception. One need only think of the two Hebrew midwives lying to Pharaoh and being blessed by God on account of it (Ex. 1:15-21), or Rahab hiding the two Hebrew spies and lying to the men of Jericho (Josh. 2:1-7)—not to mention the fact that the spies themselves, by virtue of being spies, were practicing deception—or Ehud’s deception of Eglon (Jud. 3:15-23), or Jael’s deception of Sisera (Jud. 4:17-22), or Elisha’s deception of the Syr…

Good Interview

Dr. Jerome Corsi was interviewed on Hannity last night about his new book, America for Sale, and he confirmed my suspicions. Recently I've been thinking that Obama is too smart to be acting so stupidly. If someone wished to undermine the strength of the dollar and weaken the U.S. economy he couldn't do any better than what Obama and other leading Democrats are doing. At first I thought it was just economic incompetence. But recently I've come to the conclusion that it's intentional.

While you're checking out the two part interview. I'll be buying the book.

Global Cooling?

The British Broadcasting Corporation is not particularly friendly to a conservative point of view, but apparently it is at least open to facts (unlike some American media outlets).
Despite a massive campaign involving the United Nations and most of the world’s industrialized nations and establishment media, the globe is not warming but in fact may actually be cooling, according to new research detailed by the BBC." (more)

Does God Hate?

Pastor, I have a question. In Psalm 5:5 it says God hates all who do iniquity. How can that be if God is love?

There are actually quite a few passages that of Scripture that speak of God hating the wicked, and these passages often cause his people to feel a bit squeamish because they don’t seem to fit our understanding of a loving God.

This is largely because our idea of love tends to be derived more from 19th century Romanticism than from the Bible. Therefore, the language of Scripture often proves troublesome for modern Christians. However, if our understanding of God doesn’t allow us to use the language of Scripture, then our understanding of God must change. Scripture always speaks truly and we are required to bring our thinking into line with it.

The passage you refer to says,

You are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evil doers (Ps. 5:4-5).
And David goes on to say,
You destroy those who speak li…

How's that again?

So, let me get this straight. We need a public (read: government) option in healthcare to keep private insurance companies honest, to make sure they don't deny anyone coverage. But it's Medicare, the government-run health insurer for seniors that currently leads the way in the denial of coverage?

Is it just me who's having trouble following the argument?

Conversations with the Fed

Chapter 6 of Ron Paul's End the Fed is entitled "Conversations with Greenspan", and chapter 7 is, "Conversations with Bernanke". In these chapters he recounts a few conversations he's had with these two chairman (one past, the other current) of Federal Reserve. Both chapters are quite interesting.

I was surprised to learn that Greenspan had written a 1966 article "Gold and Economic Freedom" in Ayn Rand's objectivist newspaper. In it, he gave a brilliant defense of the gold standard.
In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. [This is a reference to FDR's confiscation of gold and the outlawing of ownership of gold in 1933]. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits as silver or copper or any other good and thereafter de…

Humor as a Weapon

I've just recently learned about a website that I plan on adding to my list of sites to visit regularly. It's Steven Crowder's pjtv.com. Check out this video on celebrity advocacy of government run healthcare.

Ron Paul, Meet the Austrian Economists

Chapter three of Ron Paul's book, End the Fed, is entitled "My Intellectual Influences." In it he describes how he came to embrace the free market and sound money ideas he advocates in the book. He starts with the work ethic that was instilled into him by his father as he worked as a small boy in the family's dairy business during the Great Depression. The scarcity of money caused him to value the virtues of hard work and saving, and led him to explore how money "works." (It's my experience that children who grow up having to earn their own money, rather than receiving an unearned allowance, come to understand economics better.)

Later he came across the proponents of the Austrian school of economics. Of course, he mentions Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and Hans F. Sennholz, as formative influences. He had the most personal interaction with Rothbard.

In was an event that occurred on August 15, 1971 that led him to enter the political f…

Muhammad's Harem

In a previous post I mentioned the fact that the Koran allows a man to have four wives and to own sex slaves, women either captured in war or purchased with money. Muhammad, however, occupying the exalted status of Allah's prophet, was permitted to have as many wives and sex slaves as he wanted.
O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father's side and the daughters of thine aunt's on the father's side, and the daughters of thine uncles on the mother's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother's side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage--a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers--We are aware of that which We enjoined upon them concerning their wives and tho…

"Funding His Fantasies"

David Patten over at Newsmax.com has broken down what the president's proposals are going to cost and how he's planning to pay for them. See his article here.