Showing posts from October, 2010

The Extremists are Coming!

This  Klavan on the Culture is classic.

What does it mean to be born again?

What does Jesus mean when he tells Nicodemus, “You must be born again”? What exactly is the new birth? To begin let me say that instead of “born again,” the original Greek might have been better translated “born from above.” “Unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God.” There is another very common Greek word that means “again” but it’s not the word used here. The word used here has the primary meaning of “from above,” or similarly “from the top,” and this is how it is translated in its every other occurrence in the Gospel of John (3:31; 19:11, 23). Not only in the Gospel of John, but in every other occurrence in the New Testament, the word most naturally means from above, or from the top. This seems to be how it should be understood in the passage, “Unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). The coming down of Jesus from heaven is a prominent theme throughout the Gospel of John. No one has ascended into heaven except him who d

On Resolving Conflict

As Christians, how should we go about resolving conflict with a neighbor? The first thing you should do when someone does something to offend you is to go tell a bunch of other people about it. Or if it’s a really serious offense, you should punch him in the nose, right on the spot. Of course I’m teasing. This is what we might want to do; but not what we should do. What we should do is follow the Bible’s instructions. The Bible is a very practical book and gives us instructions about how to deal with offenses in a godly manner. The first option, of course, is simply to overlook the offense. Good sense makes one slow to anger,      and it is his glory to overlook an offense (Prov. 19:11) Jesus speaks of this also, when he says, You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:38-39). In other words, absorb the shoc

The gist of the argument

More than half of Thomas E. Woods' book, Nullification:  Resisting Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century , consists of historical documents explaining and defending the right of states to nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government. One of these documents is "An Exposition of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798" written in 1833 by Judge Abel P. Upshur. He sums up the argument in five points: 1.  The Constitution of the United States is a Compact between the States, as such. 2.  The Government established by that Compact, possesses no power whatever, except what "the plain sense and intention" of that Compact gives to it. 3.  Every act done by that Governement, not plainly within the limits of its powers, is void. 4.  Each State has a right to say whether an act done by that Government is plainly within the limits of its powers or not. 5.  The States are not bound to submit to, but may resist, any act of that Government which it shall so decide t

A reflection on heroes

Some good words from my son, James. Heroes are not made in a moment, but often heroes are defined by a moment. Often a moment where all others abandon hope. Heroes are not born into greatness but often greatness follows them. Heroism is never thrust on someone, though often trying events are thrust on a hero. It is never events that create a hero, though it is often events that allow someone to be heroic. Heroes are always looking out for the good of others even when others are not looking out for them. Heroes are not arrogant or proud, though many will be proud of a hero. Not everyone is a hero, but everyone could be a hero. It's not every day you see or meet a hero, but many heroes are everyday heroes. A wise son makes a glad father (Prov. 15:20).

A dangerous compromise

In August the general presbytery of the Assemblies of God backed away from a commitment to uphold the Scriptural teaching of a recent six-day creation by issuing a wavering statement that reveals the denomination has made a dangerous compromise with the spirit of the age. The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. The "lack of precise details" is no reason to reject what is clearly revealed. We should not be dogmatically  more precise than the creation accounts themselves (Gen. 1-2), but we most certainly shouldn't be less precise either. This is true of other portions of Scripture as well. Shall we say that because Scripture d

Benefits of reading the classics

There are a number of benefits to reading the classic works of antiquity. One is simply our natural delight in things beautiful--and there is something truly beautiful about a well-written work. Another is the fact that what passes for a classic work usually achieves that status not only on the merits of the writer as a writer, but on the merits of the writer as a thinker . Classic works deal with grand themes and timeless truths about human nature. As a result of this, for good or ill the works have served as a formative influence on the development of western thought. One simply doesn't understand the modern world as well as he should if he doesn't know how we got here. For the Christian, perhaps the greatest benefit of reading the ancient classics is the ability to "inhabit" the world of the Bible. Reading the classics helps us to experience the historical and cultural context in which God revealed himself to the prophets and apostles. I have had the opportuni

Go figure

Here is another example of the tortuous twisting of the Constitution:  Federal Judge George Caram Steeh ruled yesterday that Obama Care's requirement that everyone purchase health insurance passes Constitutional muster. Under what provision of the Constitution is this requirement justified? Why the "Commerce Clause," of course--one of three clauses, as Thomas Woods points out in his recent book, Nullification, which have been used by the federal government to justify all manner of unconstitutional tomfoolery. (The other two are the "General Welfare" clause and the "Necessary and Proper" clause). The Commerce Clause of the Constitution is found in Article I, Section 8:  "The Congress shall have Power To...regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." It is the part about regulating commerce "among the several States" that has been used to cause so much mischief. Woods explains t

Obama's Ideology

Dinesh D'Souza gives the best explanation I've ever heard of President Obama's ideology.

Let's hear it for the states!

You may have noticed that I have added a feature (below left) entitled “Now reading…” If you check it out you will see that I am currently reading Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century , by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. He’s an author for whom I have a growing appreciation. Last year I read his, Who Killed the Constitution , and the year before that his, Politically Incorrect Guide to American History . Good stuff all. The current book, published earlier this year, has the potential—if enough state officials read it ( and have the courage to take their responsibilities seriously )—to make a huge difference in the way the federal government and the states relate to each other by reducing the federal government’s power to its Constitutional limits. “Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. It is void and of no effect. Nullification simply pushes this uncontroversial point a step further: if a la