Which Sword?

Several new MP3s from John W. Robbins have been published at the Trinity Foundation (under Miscellaneous Lectures at the bottom of the page). I found John’s answer to a question at the end of one of his lectures to be very powerful, especially considering John’s background.

It’s very tempting and it’s very deceptive for conservatives to go along with a guy like Pat Buchanan because he says some things they like. But his theology and his philosophy is pure poison.

So the question you have to ask yourself is – and this applies to all sorts of things in the political arena. Anti-abortion for example – Am I going to work together with people who deny the gospel in order to accomplish a political end? Which is more important? Is it more important to be faithful to the gospel, to be faithful to Christ, or to get a law passed regarding something desirable? Which is more important?

The religious right has made the wrong choice for decades. They say, yes, we can work together with Jews. We can work together with Roman Catholics. We can work together with unbelievers of various sorts. You know, Mormons are strong on the family, so we’ll work together with Mormons – which is a real joke if you read about Mormon theology. We can work together with them all in order to accomplish our political ends.

So they compromise on everything important in order to accomplish something that is going to be temporary at best. They don’t realize that the free societies we have came about precisely because of the preaching of the gospel. That’s why we have this free society, or what’s left of it. And if that preaching of the gospel is muted or compromised or ended altogether, there is no hope for any political action.

If you’re going to take political action that is going to compromise the gospel, then you are sealing your own doom. Over the past 50 years, conservatives have spent tens of billions of dollars lobbying, trying to elect candidates, trying to organize in various ways. When I was a kid, I was out passing out literature for Barry Goldwater, back in 1964.

And what has it gained? Are we any better off, to borrow a campaign slogan – are we better off today than we were 50 years ago? What have all those conservatives and libertarians done with those billions of dollars that has shown any improvement in the political or the moral climate of the country?

Now, if that money had been put into the preaching of the gospel – the uncompromised, unvarnished, pure gospel, perhaps there would be something completely different to show for it. But it was put into compromised political action, and there’s nothing to show for it. Absolutely nothing. Tens of billions of dollars – when you think of all the campaigns, all the organizations.

And I’ve been involved – my [PhD] degree’s in political theory, political philosophy. I’ve been interested in politics all my life and have been involved from time to time, working on Capitol Hill. And I learned a very good lesson on Capitol Hill – that what happens there is of little consequence. That if one is interested in changing society, you don’t go to Capitol Hill, you preach the gospel.

If anybody is operating under the illusion that political action is going to make a significant change in society apart from a sea change in the beliefs in the American people, then they’re condemned to futility. They will waste their lives.

John W. Robbins, former Chief of Staff for Ron Paul: The Religious Wars of the 21st Century

God the benevolent Scientist

Modern Two Kingdoms theology has never, ever made sense to me.  In very short summary, the position of Two Kingdom advocates (spearheaded by David VanDrunen) is that there is no such thing as a Christian worldview.  They are emphatic that the Bible is only supposed to be used in the church and that it must not be used in issues of civil government, work, or even family.

The most absurd part is that they argue everything that is not governed by the Bible, which is everything except church, is to be governed my natural law.  It does not matter if you point out to them that natural law is simply the law of God written on the hearts of all men, the same law that has been clarified for us in the Bible.

When I attempted to point this out to a Two Kingdoms advocate recently at Darryl Hart’s blog, they insisted that natural law provides us with all kinds of information necessary to live life.  Because this person was a plumber, his example was plumbing:

Anyway, Christian plumbing is my turf here, your talking to a 4th generation plumber (I worked on the business end mostly though). I would argue that observation and natural revelation and all true domains of human knowledge are inextricably linked. General revelation functions to point to a Creator who sets up a functional cosmos; it also informs us on how the cosmos functions. All cosmic functions necessarily operate within the laws of nature whether they are moral or amoral. Plumbing is entirely dependent on natural revelation/natural law even though it is amoral. Let me explain…

There are many laws of nature that have to me navigated in even the most simple plumbing process such as soldering copper pipe which has taken mankind a few thousand years to master. It takes a understanding of the metallurgical properties of copper that make it desirable as a potable water delivery system: copper is malleable and resistant to corrosion and relatively abundant and easy to extract (which makes it inexpensive in relation to other non corrosive metals). Soldering itself requires an understanding of welding, which in this case requires the binding of two different metals to form a seal sufficiently tight so as to be impenetrable by water molecules, which again is governed by fundamental laws of chemistry. I could go on to explain how hydro-mechanical principles govern waterflow, but I won’t bore you with more details. I am sure though that nearly every vocational discipline, including the justice system interact so much with natural law that it would be staggering to draw out the processes in entirety.

When I pointed out that the “law” of gravity is something completely different than the law of God, and advised not to confuse the two, I received the following reply:

We must be using different dictionaries. I am really not sure how you can maintain that functionally physical laws and moral laws operate on different planes. They can be violated, but there are consequences. Yes, I do agree that natural law includes the moral code written on the human heart, but that is simply because these exist in a larger cosmic system where God created a good universe that worked just as he designed it to. It is precisely because of this that governments operate off of general revelation even if imperfectly and/or unknowingly. Why else would we have similarities in Hammurabi and Moses, Roman law and American law. Discontinuities are a given, but the commonality of law, and prevasively political nature of human history even in the absence of special revelation testifies to the sufficiency of natural law in the political arena.

I’m not making this stuff up. I suggested we go ahead and look at the dictionary, naively thinking it would help clarify things with this man:

law: 1a: a rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe
synonyms law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority

Precept: 1 : a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action
2 : an order issued by legally constituted authority to a subordinate official

That is what law means when we talk about the law of God and natural law. Way down in definition 6 is a different definition for things like the “law” of gravity:

6 a : a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions

synonyms: see in addition hypothesis

God’s law is not God’s law because God saw what would naturally occur if we committed adultery and he wanted to protect us from those natural consequences. It is God’s law because He sovereignly imposed it on those bearing His image as a rule for what ought and ought not to be done.

Furthermore, are you suggesting that the “law” of gravity is just a statement of what ought to be done? Are you suggesting that we should all obey the law of gravity, meaning we should not violate it by floating around? I didn’t think so.

In sum:
one definition is prescriptive, the other is descriptive.

The response?

The prescriptive nature of moral law is something that I believe flows from the descriptive nature of natural law…

…The prescriptive command: “Don’t jump off of a cliff” presupposes (the is) gravity. Assuming a person values his life, the moral implication of the isness of gravity is that one ought not act out in a way where gravity becomes a life-threatening reality. I would argue that the Decalogue extrapolates its prescriptions from the ises of God’s character and from the world he creates.

How else can the psalmist claim that the heavens tell of the glory of God if there is no revelatory value in nature itself that cannot be extracted from even cursory observation?

So the Decalogue is really just a hypothesis about nature. Maybe God should have submitted it to a peer review journal?

See related: Karl Popper and the Emperor’s Clothes

Nazi Counterfeiters and the Fed

I started reading Tim Challie’s “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” last night. It starts out with a story about how the Nazi’s used Jewish printers to make perfect counterfeits of the British pound. Their plan was to print millions of counterfeit pounds and then introduce the new money supply into the system and they called it Operation Bernhard. They decided the most effective method would be to drop it from airplanes over Britain.
What’s the point of that you might ask? Why wouldn’t they just use it to buy stuff? The goal was not to fund their war (as a new film might lead you to believe http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony/thecounterfeiters/trailer/). The goal was to destroy the British economy, and the U.S. was next. How would counterfeit money destroy the British economy? Inflation. The Nazis wanted to introduce so much counterfeit money into the money supply that the British pound would be worthless. It was a fairly brilliant strategy, but they ran out of time to drop the printed counterfeits over Britain.

The reason I bring this up is because the Nazis are condemned for such an idea, but here in the homeland, the same strategy is praised as genius. The vast majority of Americans believe that the President and his minions have the power, and the duty, to manage the economy for the benefit of the people. The Federal Reserve is called upon to help in this scheme. They control the amount of money in circulation by altering the rate at which they print money and issue central bank notes.

The problem is that for some reason, people don’t see what the Nazi’s apparently did. If you just print more paper currency, you will destroy its value. Apparently its bad when Nazis do it because Nazis are evil, but its a saving grace when Bernanke does it, because the United States Government is good.

Coming Soon: Indiana Jones V: Return of the Counterfeiters
co-starring Ron Paul

A Nazi Counterfeit in the National Bank

Ron Paul Update

Just wanted to give everyone an update on Ron Paul.

Debate 1: May 3

Highlight Reel

According to the polls, he one that debate:

However, MSNBC didn’t bother to check their own polls. They declared Mitt Romney the winner. Ron Paul received a 38% positive vote and Mitt Romney received a 27% vote. Anyone see a problem here?

ABC News also held a poll following the debate. First, ABC DID NOT EVEN INCLUDE RON PAUL in the poll. http://alaskaintel.blogspot.com/2007/05/net-shoves-ron-paul-right-down-abcs.html
Supporters called and forced ABC to correct the poll. After doing so, Ron Paul won by a landslide. I can’t show you the results because they are no longer on ABC’s website.

ABC answered with the following article:
The Ron Paul Effect which claims that Ron Paul’s success in the polls is because of internet manipulation, not because anyone actually supports him.

Supporters stormed the article, posting 300 comments to the article in support of Paul. ABC RESPONDED BY DELETING THE COMMENTS.

Here is a screenshot of a users post with a total of 278 comments to the article

Here is a screenshot with the comments deleted down to 15!

Here is the digg article http://digg.com/2008_us_elections/ABC_Now_Removes_ALL_Posts_From_Ron_Paul_Story
Do a google search for “ron paul abc” to read more reports of the incident

Washington Post
The most coverage Ron Paul got was from a Washington Post article called Building a Better Debate which said:

IF YOU TUNED IN to the recent Republican and Democratic presidential debates, you may have had the same reaction as many viewers looking at the crowded stages: Who’s that? The Democratic debate in South Carolina featured eight candidates, while 10 crammed into the GOP debate in California last Thursday. Voters trying to sort out their presidential choices aren’t helped by debates cluttered with the likes of Mike Gravel (hint: he’s a former senator from Alaska) on the Democratic side and Ron Paul (hint: he’s a libertarian House member from Texas) among the Republicans. If the standard is that any declared candidate is entitled to a podium, we’re going to end up with even more crowded stages in 2012.

One possibility would be to allow viewers to vote off one candidate after each debate; it seems to work well for other TV programs.

Keep in mind the fact that viewers did vote, and far from voting Ron Paul off the stage, they declared him the winner. Anyone think he deserves a little more interest from the media?

Here is an article talking about the blackout. The author copied and pasted all of MSNBC’s user comments in fear that they would be deleted as well. Media Blackout of Ron Paul

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. summarized the media’s reaction to the debate and to Ron Paul in Defeat the Media Clones
I’m not eager to jump on the wagon claiming “the evil media is censoring my views,” but just read the article and decide for yourself

Here is a summary of what Ron Paul talked about in the debate:
Ron Paul and the MSNBC Debate

Debate 2: May 15

Highlight Reel

Ron Paul winning the poll again

FoxNews Video
FoxNews claims the only reason people are supporting Ron Paul in this poll is because Guiliani “slapped” him in the debate. “There’s still much more spinning to do” as the reporter says. This video also shows Ron Paul’s discussion with Sean Hannity.

Following the second debate:
Michigan GOP leader wants Paul barred from future debates

More responses to the second debate:
Ron Paul 1, Establishment 0
John McCain Withdraws; Endorses Ron Paul (SPOOF)
Why Are They Lying About Ron Paul from Accuracy in Media

Various Articles about Ron Paul:
Who Would the Founders Endorse?GREAT QUIZ YOU SHOULD TAKE
Principled Paul
Guilty Blue Pleasure
The Foreign Policy of Ron Paul
Ron Paul Said It
Ron Paul Violated the Rules
Qualification for the Job?
Giuliani’s Attack on Ron Paul Falls Flat
Do Conservatives Hate Their Own Founder?
But Who Was Right – Rudy or Ron?
Ron Paul Rocks!
From Neoconservative to Libertarian in One Year
The Neocon Reaction to Ron Paul
Conservatives and the Settling Question
Ron Paul on Blowback
War Without Consequence? Absurd.

and finally…


These are all videos of Ron Paul speaking for himself
Educating Rudy
Feisty Rep. Ron Paul Discusses Economy with Neil Cavuto
Ron Paul 0wnz the Federal Reserve
Texas Republican slams Bush “demented philosophy of conquest
Congressman Ron Paul Visits My Dorm Room
Ron Paul on CNN talking about the debate

Ron Paul also writes books:
A Foreign Policy of Freedom


The Idolatry of Political Christianity

“Ironically, we turn to the state to enforce the values we can’t seem to advance in our own churches. We’re rightly concerned about our collapsing families, internet pornography, decadent movies and music, and the weakening of sexual morality. But we often can’t seem to prevent the encroachment of these problems in our own Christian families and congregations. As if in response, we keep trying to change our nation’s laws.”



Anyone else think its time for some REFORM? http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/fivesolas.html