Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On being an autodidact and listening to the Holy Spirit

I recently said something about being self-taught, or an autodidact. I do have one Person that has been guiding me this entire time: The Holy Spirit.

He has been my greatest teacher. I didn't put those books in my hands. And it has been a blessing seeing all of these things come together.

It ain't all about me. I'm sorry for making it about me sometimes. 

Reading is Fundamental, but ...

"Reading is fundamental, but misreading is fundamentalism." @TweetofGod

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ghost Protégé

One of the top Christian libertarian writers in the world has now written two articles prompted by and mentioning me – seven and a half pages on a Word Document, single-spaced, and about 3,613 words.

This is ghost apprenticeship, as they were written to guide my professional and entrepreneurial endeavors, and I am the ghost. Or maybe I should call it “distance apprenticeship.” Think letters to a Young….self-taught economist, self-taught philosophical theologian, writer, and Reformed Christian, wrapped all in one – and through a computer.

He said of my Maryland-based project, which will remain unnamed, that it “is a very good project.” Elsewhere, he wrote that he hopes I have something to say.

For this I am thankful.


The Ghost Protégé

Sunday, October 26, 2014

John Owen on bringing the body into subjection

"A man can have leanness of body and leanness of soul together." ~John Owen 

Sermon Notes: Functional Atheism -- not atheism proper -- is what Psalm 53 is all about

The sermon's text Psalm 53:1-6 (NRSV).
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
 there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.

They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon God?

There they shall be in great terror,
 in terror such as has not been.
 For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly; they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When God restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
  • This text is not about atheism proper i.e. what Richard Dawkins spends time thinking about and what Christian apologists think about refuting; rather, it is about functional atheism.
  • Functional atheism says "omniscience [God] does not see sin."
  • Every sin presupposes a functional atheism.
  • Paul quotes Psalm 53 in his indictment of the whole human race. Paul's point was that Jews and Gentiles are estranged from God.
  • "Not the village atheist, and not the village priest" does good (Psalm 53:1).
  • Functional atheists end up hating the people of God (Psalm 53:4). 
  • "Atheists devour ex-atheists," that is, atheists in the functional sense, which would include atheists proper.
  • Atheists proper are very tiny in proportion to functional atheists.
  • Living in sin is living with functional atheism.
  • Sins happens in the presence of God.
  • Sin is always personal with God.
  • The atheist -- the unrepentant sinner -- would kill God if he could. The incarnation, when God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, made that possible.
  • This [our murder of him] revealed our nature, and it revealed God's loving nature.
  • "Salvation Grace is shaped like God." 
  • Yes, there should be a difference in the lives of believers and non-believers, functional atheists and functional believers, but the difference is in knowing what God is like.
  • We should confess our sins because we messed up our relationship God -- not because we messed up our slate of good deeds that we wanted to perfectly present to God on the Day of Judgment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Onion gets the 2014 elections -- and all elections -- right

The Onion gets the 2014 elections -- and all elections -- right:
WASHINGTON—Expressing dissatisfaction with the current course the country is taking, voters across the nation told reporters Monday that they are eager to use next month’s midterm elections to help put the United States back on a different wrong track. “We’ve been going down the wrong path for the past few years, and now it’s time to get some new people in there who can lead our country astray in a different direction,” said North Carolina voter Lisa Berkland, adding that Washington D.C. needed an influx of new misguided politicians with their own terrible visions for the country to change the manner in which the nation is veering off course. “It will take a lot of work to turn the country around and ensure a different type of horrible future, but I believe there are candidates out there who have the awful principles and ideologies to march into Washington and do it.” According to recent polls, the majority of Americans believe they can have the biggest influence over changing the wrong direction of the country by not voting.
Voters Excited To Use Midterms To Put Country Back On Different Wrong Track 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Where I went wrong in my last post

"He knows better than that."

I do.

So I'll make a correction. The U.S. got out of the Great Depression by drastically cutting spending; so implementing that very Christian policy brought relatively prosperous times. We eventually had the #1 economy.  But it was temporary.

Christian Policy? Yes.

Christians are urged not to get into debt and the government is prohibited from stealing property--money in this case--for their own uses. Cutting spending is the economic equivalent of the King stealing less property and allowing it's citizens to freely do business.  As Douglas Wilson once put it, "Free markets are the economic expression of the apostolic teaching that we are to serve one another in love."

Even if you couldn't find any exegetical wiggle room to interpret the commandment as applying to the government, thou shalt not covet would still apply to the individual; therefore, and individual king (president) could not covet it's constituents properties.

Imitation of Christians -- a form of behavior modification that doesn't get to the root cause of social ills -- even when secularists don't realize they are imitating Christians, in political policy or personal ethics, will only bring a temporary fix. But it will be a fix.

Lasting prosperity will come when there is a sustained spiritual revival combined with a return to God's law in economic policy. Imitations of it will be temporary. But at least it will work for a while.

That's the part I missed out in my last post. So if you wanted to poke the ultimate hole in my last post, you could easily have pointed out that there was no spiritual revival, I think, or at least another "Great Awakening" in the mid-1940s in the United States.

How President Obama Can Be Elected a Third Time

President Obama can be elected a third time in one sense: if enough people who promote his deleterious agenda -- both his maintenance and expansion of the Keynesian status quo in economic policy and the Bush foreign policy -- are elected, then the current president will "in effect" be re-elected.

In other words, George W. Bush could be elected a fifth time if not much changes in the upcoming elections in this year and the years ahead.

But now that I think about it, this might actually be encouragement to the wrong people.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Ultimate Problem in the World and Why I Was Part of the Problem

The Ultimate Problem in the World

Sure. I'll drop a political status now and then. But I withdrew from making them because I knew that the ultimate problem in our society is neither a politician nor a system of thought (say, Socialism).

The problem is sin; and public enemy #1 is Satan himself (1 Peter 5:8), who keeps us in his grip (his kingdom) by sin itself.

We live in a society that loves sin and brags about it (Romans 1:32).

All those things that bring us down--antinomianism (lawlessness), to sum up the countless other "isms" that arise from that like liberalism, conservatism, relativism, libertarianism, socialism, secularism, etc. -- spring from the human heart. It's going to take a lot of people recognizing the seriousness of sin, and a lot of regeneration of human hearts by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, for nations to collectively prosper again (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Editor's Note: I make a correction in a later post to note that a return to God's law in economics is necessary. See here.

Why I'm Part of the Problem

I take blame because I served sin and was not in a position to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus says that anyone who commits sin becomes a slave to it (John 8:34). But that's not the case for me anymore.  No, sir. And it's so liberating turning your life over to Jesus Christ, having faith in resurrection, and being justified by his blood (Romans 5:9).

And the thing is, even if you are doing great in all other areas of your life, and obeying God in all other areas of your life, but denying him and rebelling against him in one, like I did; when you are allowing a "little yeast" to "leaven the whole batch of dough" (1 Cor 5:6); you are violating the whole law (James 2:10), giving up potential conquest of kingdom territory, and allowing territory to remain in the Enemy's hands. 

So when I didn't obey God years ago, in that one area of life, it slowly grew into all areas of my life.  I gave off the veneer of being righteous; when really I was pretending. Because my hypocrisy moved through the whole batch of dough slowly, I came off as a very righteous person for a while.

And so what goes for the layman (myself) also goes for politicians. 

When we deny God's law in one area, say, sexual ethics, we end up denying him in another, say, monetary policy.

I remember during the Michael Brown-Harry Knox debate a few years back when Knox (a gay Christian), once blurted out something to the effect of "why don't you spend your time criticizing all those people who are ruining the economy?"

Ahh, but if Knox doesn't stand on the Word of God in his sexual ethics, why should the financial manglers stand on the Word of God in their finances?

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

WCF Chapter One "Of Holy Scripture" Sunday School (Sept.-Oct. 2021)

Our text for Sunday School (also "The Confession of Faith and Catechisms") Biblical Theology Bites What is "Biblical Theology...