Quotes and Illustrations PQR

 

Pagan World

The fact is that the heathen world has always been sad and weary and frightened.  Matthew Arnold wrote a poem describing its bored weariness.

On that hard Pagan world disgust

And secret loathing fell;

Deep weariness and sated lust

Made human life a hell…. Quoted in William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter (Louisville KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976), p. 128.

Archibald Lang Fleming, the first Bishop of the Artic, tells of the saying of an Eskimo hunter: “Before you came the road was dark and we were afraid.  Now we are not afraid, for the darkness has gone away and all is light as we walk the Jesus way.”  William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter, p. 128.

Pain

On a T-shirt of a college basketball player were the words:

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”   Stephen Mansfield, ReChurch: Healing Your Way Back to the People of God (Tyndale, 2010), p. 82.

[On Dr. Jesse Brand]  Dr. Brand’s career centered on perhaps the most problematic aspect of creation, the existence of pain.  I was writing the book Where is God When it hurts; he invited me to consider an alternative world without pain.  He insisted on pain’s great value, holding up as proof the terrible results of leprosy- damaged faces, blindness, and loss of fingers, toes and limbs – all of which occur as side-effects of painlessness.  As a young doctor in India, Brand had made the groundbreaking medical discovery that leprosy does its damage merely by destroying nerve endings.  People who lose pain sensation then damage themselves by such simple actions as gripping a splintered rake or wearing tight shoes.  Pressure sores form, infection sets in, and no pain signals alert them to tend to the wounded area.  I saw such damage firsthand in Brand’s clinics. Philip Yancey, Soul Survivor, How My Faith Survived The Church (NY: Random House, Inc., 2001), p. 71.

Paradoxes

However, the New Testament, like all ancient near eastern literature, is highly figurative and often dualistic in presenting truth in tension-filled pairs. In this context we are saved (eternal life) by God’s word, but we must also act on God’s word daily (Old Testament saved or delivered). This combination of faith and works is James’ central message, faith and works! They are covenant twins!  Bob Utley, James, The Study Bible Commentary Series, 1996, p. 28. http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/pdf/VOL11.pdf

21 These paradoxes are painful to our cherished, simplistic traditions!

  1. predestination versus human free will
  2. security of the believer versus the need for perseverance
  3. original sin versus volitional sin
  4. Jesus as God versus Jesus as man
  5. Jesus as equal with the Father versus Jesus as subservient to the Father
  6. Bible as God’s Word versus human authorship
  7. sinlessness (perfectionism, cf. Romans 6) versus sinning less
  8. initial instantaneous justification and sanctification versus progressive sanctification
  9. justification by faith (Romans 4) versus justification confirmed by works (cf. James 2:14-26)
  10. Christian freedom (cf. Rom. 14:1-23; I Cor. 8:1-13; 10:23-33) versus Christian responsibility (cf. Gal. 5:16-21; Eph.4:1)
  11. God’s transcendence versus His immanence
  12. God as ultimately unknowable versus knowable in Scripture and Christ

Bob Utley, James, The Study Bible Commentary Series,  Commentary on James 1:21, p. 29.

Parousia

Two advents of Christ have been announced.  In the first one, he is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonored, and crucified.  However, in the other advent, he will come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy…speaks strange things.  [Justin Martyr (c. 160)], Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, Eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956), p. 253.

All the prophets announced his two advents….In the second one, he will come on the clouds, bringing on the day which burns as a furnace. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, Eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1,  p. 506.

Oecumenius: whoever denies his second coming has denied his first coming also. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Vol.  XI  (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 236.

Passover and the End Times

The rabbis also have a saying that “the last redemption will be like the first redemption.” By this they mean that the coming of Messiah in the end times will be similar to the story of the Exodus from Egypt. In Revelation: the Passover Key, Dan Juster describes many parallels between the book of Revelation and the book of Exodus. The two witnesses (Revelation 11) are parallel to Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh is parallel to the Antichrist. The plagues in the Tribulation are parallel to the plagues of the Exodus. Israel remained in Egypt in the land of Goshen during the Ten Plagues. The Lord protected them. By that protection God demonstrated his holiness and power as a witness to the Egyptians. So will it be in the Tribulation: we will stand protected by God’s grace as a witness of the truth of the gospel to the whole world. There will be “light in Goshen” (Exodus 8:23) in the midst of the darkness of this world.  Asher Intrater,  Revive Israel Ministries, Apr. 7, 2009.

Pastors

Of the 500,000 paid pastors serving churches in the US

94 percent feel pressured to have an ideal family.

90 percent work more than forty-six hours a week.

81 percent say they have insufficient time with their spouses.

80 percent believe that pastoral ministry affects their family negatively.

70 percent do not have someone they consider a close friend.

70 percent have lower self-esteem than when they entered the ministry.

50 percent feel unable to meet the demands of the job

80 percent are discouraged or deal with depression.

More than 40 percent report that they are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and unrealistic expectations.

33 percent consider pastoral ministry an outright hazard to the family.

33 percent have seriously considered leaving their position in the past year.

40 percent of pastoral resignations are due to burnout.   Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2002, 2008), p. 138.

In the third century, Cyprian of Carthage was the first Christian writer to mention the practice of financially supporting the clergy…but it did not become widespread among Christians until the eighth century Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, p. 176.

As far as clergy salaries go, ministers were unsalaried for the first three centuries. Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, p. 179.

Patience

The school of patience never produces any graduates, and it never grants any honorary degrees.  Warren Wiersbe, God Isn’t In A Hurry: Learning to Slow Down and Live (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), p. 10.

Peace

In the US, 2.4 billion prescriptions are written each year.  118 million or these, or the largest group, are for anti-depressants.   July 31, 2007, ABC News

The War Atlas, a military study, concluded that the world has not known a single day since World War II without some nation waging war or engaging in a form of armed conflict.  Despite thousands of negotiations and peace treaties, the twentieth century was truly the century of war. David Jeremiah, The Coming Economic Armageddon (New York, Boston, Nashville: Faith Words, 2010), p. 43.

Persecution

[A pastor from Uganda] In Uganda we experienced a nationwide revival as a result of severe persecution.  The suffering of the people was beyond description, and no one came to our rescue.  But God used the opportunity to wake a nation from its spiritual coma.  What we learned is that revival will come either through devastation or desperation.  So my question for you in America is, What are you doing to make sure the revival comes through desperation and not devastation? Edwin W. Lutzer, The Cross In The Shadow Of The Crescent (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers,2013),  p.212.

Freedom House, a human rights group, report that 11 countries continue to practice systematic persecution of Christians: China, Pakistan, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.  Prophecy Today Nov/Dec 1997, p. 20.

In 1982, the communists overthrew the government of Ethiopia and persecution of the church began.  Along with other groups, the Mennonite churches had all their buildings and property confiscated.  Many of the leaders were imprisoned and the members were forbidden to meet.  The church went underground without any leaders, without buildings, without the opportunity to meet together publicly or use any of their public programs.  While underground, they could not even sing out loud for fear someone would report them to the authorities.  Ten years later, the communist government was overthrown, allowing this church to come out of hiding.  The church leaders were amazed to find that their 5,000 members had grown to 50,000 in that ten-year period.  Carl Moeller and David W. Hegg, The Privilege of Persecution (And Other Things the Global Church Knows That We don’t), (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2011), p. 58.

[Lutzer’s visit with Sam Solomon, a Muslim convert to Christianity]  I said, “I guess we will also have to prepare the next generation for martyrdom…we will have to teach them how to die for the faith.”  Sam then pointed his finger at me and said, “That is exactly what God has called you to do.  Train your people to become martyrs!” Edwin W. Lutzer, The Cross In The Shadow Of The Crescent (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013), p. 164.

There may come a day when we are forced to become a Jesus movement that exists in small, relational groups rather than in structured denominations and ecclesiastical buildings. Edwin W. Lutzer, The Cross In The Shadow Of The Crescent, p. 128.

[A pastor from Uganda] In Uganda we experienced a nationwide revival as a result of severe persecution.  The suffering of the people was beyond description, and no one came to our rescue.  But God used the opportunity to wake a nation from its spiritual coma.  What we learned is that revival will come either through devastation or desperation.  So my question for you in America is, What are you doing to make sure the revival comes through desperation and not devastation? Edwin W. Lutzer, The Cross In The Shadow Of The Crescent, p. 212.

Kenneth Meyers has written that the “challenge of living with popular culture may well be as serious for modern Christians as persecution and plagues were for the saints of earlier centuries.”  David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), p. 359.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago memorably expressed where he believes Western society is heading in 2010: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians (New York: Image, 2013), p. 9.

Christians are the target of 80 percent of all discrimination. John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 33.

Three-quarters of the world’s population, meaning 5:25 billion people, live in countries with significant restrictions on religious freedom. John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 35.

While all sorts of different religious communities suffered in these countries, according to the report, only one group found itself under attack in all sixteen of the world’s worst offenders: Christians. John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 35.

In 2011, the consortium [START] concluded that in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Christians outpaced all other groups in terms of the frequency with which they faced terrorist attacks…In 2003 The consortium found, Christians were explicitly attacked by terrorists in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East eleven times, while in 2010 Christians faced forty-five such assaults. John L. Allen, Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 36.

Though this estimate is now sixteen years old, conservative religious freedom advocate Paul Marshall concluded in 1977 that there were two hundred million Christians at that time suffering “massacre, rape, torture, slavery, beatings, mutilations, and imprisonment,” as well as “pervasive patterns of extortion, harassment, family division, and crippling discrimination in employment and education.” John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 37.

At his November 29 funeral, someone recalled Munzihirwa’s [A Jesuit priest who protected the people in Rwanda in 1994] favorite saying: “There are things that can be seen only with eyes that have cried.” John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians, p. 49.

In June 2010, for instance, A Christian teenager named Bilba Abdalfadil Anglo was kidnapped by a gang of extremists and subjected to a series of physical and sexual assaults, including gang rape.  Her attackers called her family “infidels” for being Christians, insisting that she needed to become a Muslim. The fifteen-year-old eventually played along and convinced her abductors to relax, allowing her to escape.  When she went to the police to report her abduction and abuse, she was told she couldn’t file a report unless she formally converted to Islam. John L. Allen Jr., The Global War on Christians (New York: Image, 2013), p. 60.

More Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than in all previous centuries combined.

It is illegal to be a Christian in North Korea, and some fifty thousand Christians have been sent to labor camps there. Christians are persecuted in more than 65 of the world’s 193 countries.

In Nigeria, nearly 300 churches were destroyed, and 612 Christians were killed in 2013.

Since 2010, the treatment of Christians has rapidly worsened in Iran.  The regime monitors church services, bans Farsi-language services, and arrests converts.  In India, anti-conversion laws have been adopted in five states, and these laws are frequently used as a pretext to disrupt church services and harass Christians.  Pastors are frequently beaten or killed, church buildings are destroyed, and converts are forced to flee their homes.  More than one million of the 1;5 million Christians in Iraq have fled the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein, due to increasing persecution.  In August 2013, thirty-eight churches were burned down and twenty-three others were damaged in an upsurge in violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt. “World Watch List,” Open Doors, www.world watchlist.us/world.watch-list-countries.

Perseverance

Two Frogs In Cream

Two frogs fell into a can of cream,

Or so I’ve heard it told;

The sides of the can were shiny and steep,

The cream was deep and cold.

“O, what’s the use?” croaked No. 1.

“Tis fate; no help’s around.

Goodbye, my friends! Goodbye, sad world!”

And weeping still, he drowned.

But Number 2, of sterner stuff,

Dog-paddled in surprise,

The while he wiped his creamy face

And dried his creamy eyes.

“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said-

Or so I’ve heard he said;

“It really wouldn’t help the world

If one more frog were dead.”

An hour or two he kicked and swam,

Not once he stopped to mutter,

But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked,

Then hopped out, via butter!

Paul Lee.Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (1996, c 1979).

Not Finished Yet

Lucille ball was sent packing from drama school with a dismissal letter that read “You’re wasting your time.”  Michael Jordan broke down crying in his room after being cut from his high school basketball team.  Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for failing to exhibit “imagination” and “original ideas.”  Talk about defying the odds!  When you fail, don’t be so quick to count yourself out…God’s not finished with you yet!  “Be strong, all of you put your hope in the Lord.  Never give up.” (Psalm 31:24). Brooke Keith, War Cry of the Salvation Army, Nov. 7, 2009.

Theologian Louis Berkhof remarks: “It is, strictly speaking, not man but God who perseveres.  Perseverance may be defined as that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer, by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart, is continued and brought to completion.  It is because God never forsakes his work that believers continue to stand to the very end.”   Quoted in Herbert W. Bateman IV, Gen. Ed., Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007), p. 173.

A schoolteacher told a seven-year-old boy he should drop out of school because he wasn’t creative and was virtually unteachable.  The boy’s name was Thomas Edison, and he went on to create tremendous technologies, inventing such things as the light bulb and the phonograph….After the first performance of The Marriage of Figaro, the Emperor Ferdinand told Mozart that it was “far too noisy” and had “far too many notes.”…A Dutchman gave painting a whirl, only to have someone remark that his work would scarcely be remembered.  The painter was Rembrandt…A boy was told he was a poor student, especially in mathematics.  Because of his perceived mental slowness and inability to perform, there was an effort to remove him from school.  A Munich schoolmaster even went so far as to say the ten-year-old would never amount to much.  Albert Einstein’s mother was glad they let her little boy stay in school anyway…In 1962, the Decca recording company told four young lads named John, Paul, George, and Ringo that they didn’t like their sound and that groups with guitars were on the way out. James Emery White, Life-Defining Moments (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2001), p. 55.

The popular writer Debbie Macomber tells of submitting her first manuscript to the editor:  “She leaned forward, pressed her hand on my arm, and said, ‘Honey, throw it away.’”  Debbie kept on writing and today has more than 140 million copies of her books in print. Debbie Macomber, One Perfect Word, One Word Can Make All The Difference (New York: Howard Books, 2012), p. 22 & flyleaf.

Pessimism

A pessimist is someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks. – Michael Levine

Philosophers, Their Hidden Lives

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Similarly, every criminal who pleads that he is the victim of society, rather than responsible for his own crime, is echoing unconsciously Rousseau’s own views that an individual, with his amour de soi (self-love), is inherently virtuous and that it is only wrong environments that lead to wrong doing. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly (London & Chester Springs: Peter Owen Publishers, 2005), p. 15.

He met Therese Levasseur, the one woman with whom he established a long-lasting, if intermittent, relationship…Although they never were married legally, they quickly had five children, all of whom Rousseau insisted on abandoning… “I did not even keep a record of their dates of birth,” he admitted. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 20.

Rousseau passionately shared and helped to propagate, the eighteenth century’s growing admiration for the Noble Savage, that paragon of primal virtue to be found somewhere far removed in space and time from the corrupt present. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 22.

The heroic republics that Rousseau held up for approbation would later inspire the French Revolution. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 22.

Rousseau’s paranoia grew ever worse as he wandered from town to town, at times encountering difficulties with the authorities, although he was never arrested. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 35.

Bertrand Russell…went further, claiming that “Hitler was the outcome of Rousseau.” Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, pp. 38-39.

Rousseau’s life was a disastrous mass of contradictions and inconsistencies. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 39.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

He was the very first to appreciate Hinduism and Buddhism and among the first to reject the dualism of mind and body axiomatic in Western philosophy since Plato.  This led him, among other things to recognize, with a startlingly modern honesty, the centrality of sex in human life. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 41.

He swore dreadfully at his housekeeper if he thought she had moved or even dusted anything of value. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 43.

“Whenever there was a noise at night, I would start from my bed and grab my sword and pistol, which I always kept loaded.”  Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 44.

Even worse than his opinion of himself was his opinion of others, especially women: “Women are suited to being the nurses and teachers of our children precisely because they themselves are childish, silly and short-sighted,..” Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 44.

While many philosophers’ lives have been troubled, it is still surprising to discover that the author of such enlightened, honest books was a selfish, gloomy boor, whose treatment of others, not just of women, would disgrace any man, let alone a philosopher. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 48.

He got along especially badly with his mother, whom he did not see for the last twenty years of her life. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 48.

[Seamstress Caroline Marguet]…Marguet, who was then forty-seven years old to Schopenhauer’s thirty-three, claimed to have been thrown down the stairs by him and hurt so badly that she could not continue her trade…the legal battle lasted for five years….Schopenhauer was finally found at fault, being obliged to pay her sixty thalers a year for the rest of her life. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 60.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Whether or not Nietzsche returned to that particular brothel, he almost certainly contracted syphilis around this time…This meant, most importantly, that he could never honorably marry for fear of infecting his wife. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 69.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

By the mid twentieth century Bertrand Russell had become for many people around the world the philosopher, just as Einstein was the scientist. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 93.

Russell was propounding a social and ‘moral’ (that is sexual) revolution that has, since his death, come about. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly (London & Chester Springs: Peter Owen Publishers, 2005), p. 94.

Rational, enlightened ideas did not prevent Russell, who greatly wanted children, from being as disastrous a father and grandfather as he often was a husband or lover. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 95.

Russell looked down with noble condescension on humanity. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 95.

[Uncle Willy committed to an asylum] Fears that such madness might prove hereditary haunted Russell all his life. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 97.

Helen Dudley a 28 year-old graduate of Bryn Mawr and Oxford and the daughter of his hosts in Chicago, fell in love with the priapic philosopher. They slept together, and Helen believed they were engaged, although Russell was still married to Alys…Helen finally returned to America where she suffered a breakdown that left her paralyzed and then insane. “I broke her heart,” Russell noted briefly in his Autobiography. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  pp. 107-108.

In 1952 he had married, for the fourth and final time.  Edith Finch, an American whom he had known for years, provided the stability and support he much needed…Russell’s life ended peacefully on 2 February 1970, but the misery he had created lived on.  Behind him he left two bitter ex-wives, a schizophrenic son John, who was never again fully sane, one granddaughter, Sarah, who was classified as schizophrenic, and another, Lucy who…developed emotional problems…Lucy was effectively homeless.  A life of confused wandering, with spells in mental hospitals, ended in her horrific suicide in 1975. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, pp. 122-123.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

Indisputably, Ludwig Wittgenstein was a seminal figure in modern philosophy, probably the twentieth century’s greatest and most radical thinker, but he was also one to be approached with extreme caution. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 125.

Suicide was often to be in the forefront of Wittgenstein’s mind, stemming in part from anguish over his sexuality…Wittgenstein was homosexual at a time when this was not an accepted option. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 130.

Before 1914 he was deeply attracted to a young, middle-class, cheerful, very English undergraduate called David Pinsent, taking him off to Iceland with him in 1912 in the greatest luxury available. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 133.

Wittgenstein seems to have offloaded his own ambivalence about the intellectual life on to his star-struck followers, with often disastrous results for them. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 141.

Wittgenstein repeatedly behaved in ways arguably unacceptable in a philosopher. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 148.

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

Paradoxically, Heidegger, who personally owed so much to German Jews (the most assimilated, the most cultured, the most brilliant in all Europe), was to become an ardent, indeed messianic prophet of Nazism. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 151.

Clearly, for Heidegger, Hitler was in a deep sense the personification of Germany.  He concluded his lectures with “Heil Hitler!” Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 165.

At the end of 1946 the University of Freiburg stripped him of his professorship. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 168.

To endorse an anti-Semitic political ideology after enjoying the benefits of a Jewish mistress and a Jewish mentor, however, smacks of the worst form of ingratitude. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 177.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80)

The fact that he was French, brilliant, prolific and opinionated, and that he disliked both children and animals, may be enough for some to condemn him. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly), p. 181.

His autobiography Words (Les Mots), published in 1964…also illustrates the roots of his neurosis and ambivalent attitude towards women. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 182.

[Simone de Beauvoir]  They established the basis of their life-long relationship.  They would not marry (far too bourgeois!) but agreed that their relationship would take precedence over others and that they would spend times apart….Each would remain free to take lovers. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 186.

However, there were complications.  Be Beauvoir was bisexual, and enjoyed a wide range of lovers.  She was not above sharing some of her friends with Sartre, and the most intense of these was the relationship with Olga Kosakiewicz. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 186.

Sartre seems to have managed a number of lovers simultaneously. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 187.

Being and Nothingness contains clear indications of Sartre’s sexuality and the fact that he sees the love relationship as leading either to sadism or masochism, never a balance of equals. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 190.

Clearly from a conservative viewpoint, Sartre was seen as a corrupter of youth, preaching a new and dangerous philosophy.  In 1948 all of his works were put on the Index…by the Catholic Church. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 193.

From 1952 to 1956 he appeared to have become a mouthpiece for Soviet propaganda and highly critical of the USA, at exactly the time when others were becoming aware of the labor camps and other extremes of the Soviet regime. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 196.

In the 1960s Sartre became a political globetrotter, visiting the Soviet Union many times. For years his massive output of work was maintained by a cocktail of stimulants, cigarettes and red wine, and when the day could no longer be prolonged by coffee and whisky, it was time for sleeping pills. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, pp. 199-200.

Michael Foucault (1926-1984)

Michael Foucault, Professor of the History of Systems of Thought at the prestigious College de France… died of AIDS. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 205.

Lecturing at Berkeley but also frequenting the S&M parlors and bathhouses of San Francisco,  where anonymity allowed him the freedom to explore sex at its most impersonal and brutal. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly , p. 205.

Short-sighted, brilliant, violent and sexually voracious, his work spanned the disciplines…of philosophy, psychology, sociology and history, bringing an entirely new flavor to philosophy, a flavor that may not have been quite to everyone’s taste. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 206.

His student days were marred by depression, probably brought on by guilt over his compulsive sado-masochistic sexual needs and by increasingly frequent psychosomatic illnesses.  He once slashed his chest with a razor and in 1948 may have attempted suicide by taking an overdose.  Much more given to drink and drugs than was fashionable immediately after the Second World War, he could become violent and had to be restrained. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 207.

We also know at that time Foucault became fascinated with suicide, dreaming of death as the fulfillment of existence. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly,  p. 210.

In an interview in 1982 he said, ‘After having studied philosophy, I wanted to see what madness was: I had been mad enough to study reason; I was now reasonable enough to study madness.’ Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 211.

Establishing himself on the eighth floor of a block of flats, his voyeuristic inclinations were helped by the use of binoculars to spy on young men in other flats. Neil Rodgers & Mel Thompson, Philosophers Behaving Badly, p. 217.

Philosophy

Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze.  But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed.  It is written in the language of mathematics.  – Galileo Galilei, Il Saggiatore (1623).

[Darwin’s Diary 1972 reprinting]  Sullivan is accurate in saying that the diary led to “the most revolutionary change that has ever occurred in man’s view of himself.” Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), p. 24.

Rousseau…inventor of the “noble savage,” the idea that man was free and virtuous only in his natural state, since the world that he had created merely fettered and corrupted him. Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (New York: Encounter Books, 2010), p. 266.

For much of the twentieth century, European philosophy was dominated by anti-intellectualism and subjective, intuitive ideas that turned reason upside down…This deep demoralization made the West vulnerable to ideologies derived from a revolutionary cocktail of cultural Marxism and nihilism, which themselves drew deeply upon the antirational, anti-modern thinking of the German Romantic movement. Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power, pp. 272-273.

[René Descartes] He is widely held to be the Father of Modern Philosophy… Descartes thus went on to construct a system of knowledge that largely discarded perception as unreliable and admitting only deductive reasoning as a method of thinking or knowing…What is real is only what is in my mind. The actual “is-ness” of things is no longer the basis of reality. Now, it is just my thoughts that are real. Reality is not “out there” but it is only in my mind. It is what I think that matters…This leads to a lot of the absurdity of modern times where we tend to overlook reality and reduce everything to opinion…[for instance] Cartesian retreat into the mind allows many to continue to think of abortion abstractly and as an issue. And the mind, detached from reality can do some pretty awful rationalizing. Msgr. Charles Pope, On the Cartesian Anxiety of Our Times and What Faith Can Offer, http://blog.adw.org/2011/04/on-the-cartesian-anxiety-of-our-times-and-what-faith-can-offer/

Descartes, with his dictum, “I think, therefore I am,” had shifted the basis of authority from revelation to man’s reason. Although Descartes was a dedicated Christian who was attempting to defend the faith against skepticism, he helped to set into motion a rationalistic approach that eventually ended in atheism three centuries later. Richard Riss, Christian Evidences, The Process of Secularization, http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/evidences2/02pro.html.

Furthermore, there is no compelling reason to conclude, as Aquinas does, that man has retained his complete rational abilities after the Fall. Jonathan Shelly, Aquinas on God Law and the Order of Creation, http://www.academia.edu/533964/Aquinas_on_God_Law_and_the_Order_of_Creation.

It was Rousseau’s followers who prevailed in the French Revolution, especially in its destructive third phase. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, (Tempe, AZ: Scholarly Publishing, 2004), p. 100.

Plato said philosophers should rule the world, and they do – hundreds of years after they die. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p.  25.

Kant’s philosophy overlapped neatly with the by-then familiar Cartesian dualism that had split the human being into a “ghost in the machine.”  Because the “ghost” could not be observed empirically, it soon proved easy to exorcise. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 92.

Instead of teaching that we live in a world structured by God, Kant proposed that we live in a world structured by human consciousness. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 95.

What do we learn from this highly telescoped view of the crack-up of Western thought?  After Kant, philosophy split into two opposing streams: heirs of the Enlightenment versus heirs of Romanticism.  In twentieth-century philosophy, these two streams were labeled the analytic versus the continental tradition. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 96.

The end result was that Aquinas retained the dualistic framework of Greek philosophy while changing the terminology.  In the upper story he put grace, and in the lower story he put nature. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 78.

But what happens when someone overemphasizes Creation:  That’s what Aquinas did, and it led to a truncated or incomplete view of the Fall. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 92.

We must never forget, however, that the same dualism permeated the Protestant denominations nearly as thoroughly as it did Catholicism.  Because the Protestant Reformers did not craft an alternative philosophy to scholasticism…many of their followers slipped back into the same medieval nature/grace dualism. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 94.

Most of the ideologies that bloodied the twentieth century were influenced by Rousseau. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 137.

Free Speech Movement and Dirty Speech Movement …Soon after it became the platform for the political New Left which followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse…a German professor of philosophy. Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?  The Rise and decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 1976),  p. 208.

Today there are almost no philosophies in the classical sense of philosophy – there are anti-philosophies.  Men no longer think they can get rational answers to the big questions. Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason, A Penetrating Analysis of Trends in Modern Thought (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), p. 50.

Now let us go back to the period immediately after Rousseau, to Immanuel Kant, and Hegel, who changed the whole concept of epistemology.  Before this, in epistemology, man always thought in terms of antithesis…if this is true then its opposite is not true…So he set up his famous triangle- everything is a thesis, it sets up an antithesis, and the answer is always synthesis.  The whole world changed in the area of morals and political science, but it changed more profoundly, though less obviously, in the area of knowing and knowing itself.  He changed the whole theory of how we know. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), p.46.

Young people today live in a generation that no longer believes in the hope of truth as truth…After Kierkegaard, rationality is seen as leading to pessimism…Man is only a machine; man is only a zero, and nothing has any real meaning…So man makes his leap “upstairs” into all sorts of mysticism in the area of knowledge – and they are mysticisms, because they are totally separated from all rationality. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent, p. 47.

[Nietzsche] I believe that it was not just his venereal disease in Switzerland which caused him to become insane.  I believe that Nietzsche made a philosophic statement in his insanity.  He understood that if God is dead, there are no answers to anything and insanity is the end.  This is not too far philosophically from the modern Michael Foucault, for example, who says that the only freedom is insanity.  What one is left with in such a situation we must never forget.  If we do not begin with a personal Creator, eventually we are left (no matter how we string it out semantically) with the impersonal plus time plus chance. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church At The End Of The 20th Century (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1970), p.15.

A little philosophy, as Francis Bacon observed, “inclineth man’s mind to atheism.” David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion (New York: Crown Forum, 2008), p. 2.

Occam’s razor, the idea that, all things being equal, the simplest, most elegant explanation tends to be true. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p.46.

C.S. Lewis wrote: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” Paul Copan “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong? (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2005), p. 11.

Philosophy, Plato

Plato asserted that what we see around us in our physical world—trees, chairs, horses, plants and people—everything we see, touch, taste and smell is not actually real. Only the idea behind a thing is real…Plato asserted that the realm of ideas was far superior to this physical world we live in…Not surprisingly, Plato’s heaven is one in which man is free from the imperfect physical, material world. Plato believed that man is primarily made up of soul, and that man’s soul is trapped in a body, much like being trapped in a prison.  Shawn Nelson, February 2013,  http://geekychristian.com/christianitys-platonic-heaven/

For many Christians today, heaven is seen as an ethereal, ideal, otherworldly place where disembodied perfected spirits roam. It’s largely an unfamiliar, non-Earth like environment where everything remains the same. It’s seen as a purely spiritual place without time and space, where there’s nothing to do but float around and gaze at God…According to the Bible, heaven is actually a restoration of our physical universe, one which includes a new, resurrected Earth. Instead of dwelling in an abstract, otherworldly place, this newly resurrected Earth will be familiar to us, only much better. Shawn Nelson, February 2013, http://geekychristian.com/christianitys-platonic-heaven/

Many Christians today would be surprised to learn that they hold a Platonic view of heaven which is not Biblical. Shawn Nelson, February 2013,http://geekychristian.com/christianitys-platonic-heaven/

Physical fitness

75 percent of today’s young people cannot qualify for the armed forces due to being overweight, or failing basis tests. Fox News, Nov 12, 2009.

Physics

“When I first started studying, I saw the world as composed of particles.  Looking more deeply I discovered waves.  Now after a lifetime of study, it appears that all existence is the expression of information.” John Wheeler Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 179.

Some physicists now “regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals…And where does information come from?” In all of human experience, information is generated not by blind material forces but only by an intelligent agent. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 246.

Metaphysics has entered mainstream, peer-reviewed, university-approved physics, though of course not by that name…After 2,350 years, modern physics has lifted itself from the erroneous quagmire of materialist Greek philosophy which promulgated the concept that if you can’t touch it or see it, it isn’t there. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 40.

To grasp the full meaning of Psalm 90, we need a deeper understanding of the universe than casual observation reveals.  The twelfth-century commentator Moses Maimonides advised that we study astronomy and physics if we desire to comprehend the world and God’s management of it.  A superficial understanding of the former leads to misconceptions in the latter. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, (NY: The Free Press, 1997), p. 43.

Physics, Quantum

Special divine action, including miracles, is by no means incompatible with QM [Quantum Mechanics]…QM doesn’t constrain special divine action in anything like the way classical deterministic mechanics does. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 94.

On the “new picture,” therefore – the picture presented by QM- there is no question that special divine action is consistent with science; and even the most stunning miracles are not clearly inconsistent with the laws promulgated by science…Rudolph Bultmann, Langdon Gilkey, John Macquarrie, and their friends rejected divine intervention in the name of an eighteenth-century picture of science… Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism, p. 96.

There is nothing in current or classical science inconsistent with special divine action in the world. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism, p. 125.

With the advent of quantum mechanics it has become harder yet to find conflict between special divine action and current physics. Alvin Plantinga, Where The Conflict Really Lies, Science, Religion, and Naturalism, p. 130.

Because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, when we try to look closely at the microscopic world, it starts to get fuzzy, like a newspaper picture that has been over-magnified. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 41.

The fact that the laws of nature permit something to come out of nothing has not escaped cosmologists, people who think about the origin of the Universe. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 51.

There is a ghostly web of quantum connections crisscrossing the Universe and coupling you and me to every last bit of matter in the most distant galaxy.  We live in a telepathic universe. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 59.

The faster you go the slower you age…Space and time are both relative, lengths and time intervals become significantly warped at speeds approaching the speed of light.  One person’s interval of space is not the same as another person’s interval of space.  One person’s interval of time is not the same as another person’s interval of time… Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 93.

When we see the world from a high-speed vantage point, we see neither space nor time but the seamless entity of space-time. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 103.

The farther across space we look, the farther back in time we see.  If we look far enough across space we can actually see close to the Big Bang itself, 13.7 billion years back in time.  Space and time are inextricably bound together.  The Universe we see “out there” is not a thing that extends in space but a thing that extends in space-time. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 103.

Not only is mass a form of energy, but energy has an effective mass.  Put crudely, energy weighs something…When you warm up a pot of coffee, you add heat-energy to it.  But heat-energy weighs something.  Consequently, a cup of coffee weighs slightly more when hot than when cold.  The operative word here is slightly. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 109.

The destructive power of a 1-megaton hydrogen bomb- about 5 times greater than the one that devastated Hiroshima-comes from the destruction of little more than a kilogram of mass.  “If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker!” said Einstein, reflecting on his role in the development of the nuclear bomb Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 114.

The equation E=mc2 encapsulates this fact.  The physicists’ symbol for the speed of light, c, is a big number – 300 million meters per second.  Squaring it- multiplying it by itself- creates an even bigger number.  Applying the formula to 1 kilogram of matter shows that it contains 9×1016 joules of energy- enough to lift the entire population of the world into space! Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, pp. 114-115.

You really do age more slowly on the ground floor of a building than on the top floor. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 118.

Gravity is acceleration!  This realization, which Einstein later called “the happiest thought of my life,” convinced him that the search for a theory of gravity and for a theory that described accelerated motion were one and the same thing. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2006), p. 121.

Einstein’s novel take on gravity is now clear.  Masses- for instance, stars like the Sun- warp the space-time around them.  Other masses- for instance, planets like earth- then fly freely under their own inertia through the warped space-time.  The paths they follow, called geodesics, are curved because these are the shortest possible paths in warped space.  This is it.  This is the general theory of relativity. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, pp. 128-129.

Another prediction of Einstein’s theory, so far passed over without comment, is the bending of light by gravity.  The reason for this bending, of course, is that light must negotiate the warped terrain of four-dimensional space-time. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 132.

To salvage the idea of a static Universe, Einstein had to resort to mutilating his elegant theory.  He added a mysterious force of cosmic repulsion, which pushed apart the objects in the Universe…the cosmic repulsion kept the Universe forever static….Einstein’s instincts turned out to be wrong.  In 1929, Edwin Hubble- the American astronomer responsible for discovering that the Universe’s building blocks were galaxies- announced a dramatic new discovery.  The galaxies were flying apart from each other like pieces of cosmic shrapnel.  Far from being static, the universe was growing in size.  As soon as Einstein learned of Hubble’s discovery of the expanding universe, he renounced his cosmic repulsion, calling it the biggest blunder he ever made in life. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 144.

As John Wheeler said: “Einstein’s description of gravity as curvature of space-time led directly to that greatest of all predictions: The Universe itself is in motion.”  It is ironic that Einstein himself missed the message in his own theory. Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo, A Tourist’s Guide to the Neverending Universe, p. 144.

Over succeeding years quantum physics became the most successful theory in the history of science.  It consistently is verified in experiment and has given us transistors, lasers, semiconductors, PET scans, and a host of useful products that, on balance, have made substantial contributions to contemporary society. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p. 75.

Stapp and other highly regarded physicists criticize their colleagues for being content only to apply quantum mechanics without considering its ontological significance…He believes that quantum physicists will have a near-unanimous agreement that reality is informational, not material, at its core. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God, p. 86.

Every time scientists try to observe the quantum world they disturb it. F. David Peat, From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century (Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2002), p. 13.

Quantum theory introduced uncertainty into physics; not an uncertainty that arises out of mere ignorance but a fundamental uncertainty about the very universe itself. F. David Peat, From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century, p. 24.

New Physics and New Age? What’s all the fuss about?  Since 1975, enthusiastic advocates of “mystical physics” have claimed that the New Physics (especially Quantum Physics) lends scientific support to a pantheistic worldview of New Age beliefs about “creating your own reality.”  But these claims, which are not scientifically justifiable, are based on nonscientific interpretations leading to implausible metaphysical speculations that are rejected by most scientists.  Craig Rusbult, Ph.D, Common Sense about Schrodinger’s Cat and Quantum Physics, Principles & Interpretations, New Age Speculations and Judeo-Christian Theology. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/qm-cr.htm

[Religious Implications for Judaism and Christianity] Nothing in the science of quantum physics — including its probabilistic abandonment of natural determinism — is a problem for Judeo-Christian believers, and all of its scientific principles can be easily integrated into a Bible-based monotheistic worldview.  But quantum physics can be expanded, using nonscientific speculation, into mystical physics and a pantheistic worldview claiming that “the quantum-connected whole universe is god” and a New Age belief that “each of us is part of the unified whole so each of us is god” and “we create our own reality.”  This pantheistic new-age worldview is not compatible with a monotheistic worldview based on the Bible. [In pantheism, the universe creates god.  In theism, God created the universe.] Craig Rusbult, Ph.D, Common Sense about Schrodinger’s Cat and Quantum Physics, Principles & Interpretations, New Age Speculations and Judeo-Christian Theology. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/qm-cr.htm

QM [quantum mechanics] is not only the graveyard of determinism, it has restored the concept of free will to its status as a respectable topic among the intellectually enlightened.  The biblically inclined had never questioned it. Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, (NY: The Free Press, 1997), p. 33.

The quantum leap is the tiny but explosive jump that a particle of matter undergoes in moving from one place to another. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap (Grand Rapids: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 1.

Quantum physicists discovered that every act of observation made of an atom by a physicist disturbed the atom. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap, p. 2.

Heisenberg recognized that observation, as we actually experience it, does not allow us to analyze motion on to infinity.  Sooner or later we see that our activity introduces discontinuities in whatever we are observing.  These discontinuities are fundamental to the new physics of the twentieth century…Heisenberg’s Principle of Indeterminism (or Principle of Uncertainty, as it is often called) reaffirmed Zeno’s objection that “an object cannot occupy a given place and be moving at the same time.” Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap, p. 21.

Political Correctness

This explains why there is so much pressure for political correctness – because there is no other form of correctness.  If moral knowledge is impossible, then we are left with only political and legal measures to coerce people into compliance. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 41.

Politics

In 2007, the Campbell Public Affairs Institute’s Maxwell Poll sifted through the data regarding welfare use and politics.  Eighty-one percent of voters who received government-subsidized housing voted for Democrats, as did 80 percent of food stamp recipients, 79 percent of those receiving unemployment compensation, 78 percent of those on welfare, 75 percent of those on disability benefits, and 74 percent of those who use Medicaid. David Harsanyi, Obama’s Four Horsemen(Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2013), p. 49.

Pollution

Most individuals in industrialized nations now carry hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their body from air, water, and food.  Traces of 232 synthetic chemicals have been found in the umbilical cord blood of infants at birth.  And the vast majority of these chemicals have not been adequately tested for health effects. David Perlmutter, MD., Brain Maker (New  York: Little Brown and Company, 2015), p. 168.

Population

Here is a snapshot of what that global village would look like:

Out of 100 people

60 would be Asian

14 would be African

12 would be European

8 would be Latin American

5 would be American or Canadian

1 would be from the South Pacific

51 would be male; 49 would be female

82 would be non-white; 18 white

67 would be non-Christian; 33 would be Christian

Richard Stearns, The Hole In Our Gospel (Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010), p. 121.

Pornography & sexual addiction

40 percent of clergy have acknowledged visiting sexually explicit websites according to a 2000 survey conducted by Christianity Today and Leadership magazines. Newsweek, Apr 12, 2004, p. 52.

The most recent studies available suggest that one out of every two people-that’s fifty percent of the people sitting in our pews-are looking at and/or could be addicted to Internet pornography. Michael Reagan with Jim Denney, Twice Adopted (Nashville: Broadman  & Holman Publishers, 2004), p. 210.

N2H2, a software publisher specializing in Internet filtering products, says that, as of September 2003, there were 260 million pornographic Web pages in the company’s filtering database.  That is an 1,800-percent increase over the 14 million pages N2H2 had in its 1998 database.  The company reported that more than 28 million new porn Web pages appeared on the Internet in the month of July 2003 alone.  N2H2 also reported that a Google search of the word porn yielded more than 80 million pages, and a search of the term XXX returned more than 76 million pages. Michael Reagan with Jim Denney, Twice Adopted, p. 210.

Companies like General Motors, AOL Time Warner, and Marriott earn revenue by piping adult movies into Americans’ homes and hotel rooms, but you won’t see anything about it in their company reports. Michael Reagan with Jim Denney, Twice Adopted (Nashville: Broadman  & Holman Publishers, 2004), p. 211.

Wherever I go out and speak, I’m conscious of the statistics that one-third of all girls and one-fifth of all boys will be sexually molested during their lifetime. Michael Reagan with Jim Denney, Twice Adopted (Nashville: Broadman  & Holman Publishers, 2004), p. 320.

Israel: Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the Ramat Gan Yeshiva, estimates that 80 to 97 percent of Internet users in the modern Orthodox community have fallen victim to the porn epidemic. He maintains that the temptation is so great to look at forbidden material that a person should not sit down at a computer alone. The renowned Rabbinic leader Rabbi Shmuel HaLevy Vozner issued a Jewish legal ruling forbidding males to surf the internet in a room alone. Arutz 7 Sep 18, 2007.

In 2007 a quarter of all internet searches were related to pornography. The Nielson ratings in 2010 showed more than a quarter of internet users in the US visited a porn site (almost 60 million people).  Males make up 2/3 of all porn viewers  The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2011, “Hard core-the new world of porn is revealing eternal truths about men and women,” by Natasha Vargas-Cooper, pp. 97-99.

Aids in Africa.  Swaziland- nearly half of women 25-29 are infected with HIV.  Average life expectancy has dropped from 61 to 47…Studies in Kenya and Uganda show that men are 60% less likely to get AIDS after circumcision.  Swaziland is now doing mass circumcision.  The Atlantic, Jan/Feb. 2011,  p. 23.

It is estimated that over 60 million people in the US are addicted to Internet pornography at some level and that nine out of ten children between age eight and sixteen have been exposed. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 113.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 4 percent of cell-phone using teenagers aged twelve to seventeen say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging.  Fifteen percent say they have received such images of someone they know via a text message. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 118.

One of the real dangers of sexting is the legal implications.  Sending sexually explicit pictures of people under the age of eighteen is a felony in all fifty states, even if the sender is the subject….Sexting carries the possibility of being charged as a sex offender or child pornographer. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 119.

Postmodernism

[Steward and Blocker] “Postmodernism challenges the fundamental epistemological assumption of modern philosophy and science – the possibility of discovering the truth about anything….”

David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), p. 254.

Generation X or the “baby busters,” is now growing up in a post-Christian America.  They are the first generation to bring postmodern assumptions to all aspects of life…This new generation can be characterized by chaos.  They are children of divorce, with 50 percent coming from broken homes… No longer do we have the luxury of a fixed framework…David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement, p. 15.

In one fell swoop postmodernism wipes out all previous philosophies – Platonic epistemology with its trust in intuition and reason, Aristotelian trust in logic and reason, Christianity’s trust in revelation and reason, and modernism’s trust in sense-preempted reason.  What is left?  Only the word itself; nothing “out there” to write about, even no self, only the word. David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement), p. 282

If words no longer communicate meaning, why do postmodernists continue to publish?  And if there is nothing to know, how do they know there is nothing?  . David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement, pp. 288-89.

The irony in the new situation is that while postmoderns are more open to spiritual reality and cosmic meaning than moderns, they have no place to plant their spiritual feet.  What Francis Schaeffer said about moderns, “that they have both feet firmly planted in mid-air,” is even truer for postmoderns.  David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement, p. 328.

At its heart postmodernity is the removal of all foundations. David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, an Evangelical engagement, p. 359..

Whereas modernism sought human control over nature, postmodernism exalts nature at the expense of human beings. Gene Veith. Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler, The New Tolerance: How a cultural movement threatens to destroy you, your faith, and your children (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1998), p. 65.

Gene Edward Veith says in The Postmodern Times: “Whereas modernism sought human control over nature, postmodernism exalts nature at the expense of human beings…The Finnish Green Party activist Pentti Linkola…goes so far as to say that he has more sympathy for threatened insect species than for children dying of hunger in Africa.” Josh McDowell, The New Tolerance, How a cultural movement threatens to destroy you, your faith, and your children, p. 65.

[Dennis McCallum in The Death of Truth]: “At its core, postmodern culture is profoundly lonely.” Josh McDowell, The New Tolerance, How a cultural movement threatens to destroy you, your faith, and your children (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1998), pp. 170-171.

The names of the postmodern vanguard are now familiar: Michael Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Richard Rorty. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, (Tempe, AZ: Scholarly Publishing, 2004), p. 1.

Our most strident voices tell us that “Truth” is a myth.  “Reason” is a white male Eurocentric construct.  “Equality” is a mask for oppressions.  “Peace” and “Progress” are met with cynical and weary reminders of power-or explicit ad hominem attacks. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 20.

The postmodern movement contains many people who like the idea of deconstructing other people’s creative work.  Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 199.

Kant’s innovations in philosophy were thus the beginning of the epistemological route to postmodernism. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 28.

Thus Kant, that great champion of reason, asserted that the most important fact about reason is that it is clueless about reality. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 29.

Hegel’s place historically is to have institutionalized four theses in nineteenth-century metaphysics.  1. Reality is an entirely subjective creation; 2. Contradictions are built into reason and reality; 3. Since reality involves contradictorily, truth is relative to time and place; and 4. The collective, not the individual, is the operative unit.  Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, pp. 50-51.

By the late 1960s, the pro-objectivity, pro-science spirit had collapsed in the Anglo-American tradition. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault,  p. 78.

In Postmodernism we find metaphysical antirealism, epistemological subjectivity, the placing of feeling at the root of all value issues, the consequent relativism of both knowledge and values, and the consequent devaluing or disvaluing of the scientific enterprise. Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 81.

All four of these postmodernists were born within a seven-year span.  All were well trained in philosophy at the best schools.  All entered their academic careers in the 1950’s [Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida and Rorty].  Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, p. 172.

The reality is that modernism remains firmly entrenched in the fact realm – the hard sciences, finance, and industry.  No one designs an airplane by postmodern principles. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 28.

Postmodernism seemed plausible because of changes within science itself.  In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Western thought was shaken to the core by two scientific revolutions, which raised questions about the very nature of scientific truth: non-Euclidean geometry and the new physics (relativity and quantum physics). Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 228.

A different geometry – Riemannian geometry – works when dealing with surfaces that have a positive curvature. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 229.

The fall of Euclidean geometry was too esoteric to affect popular culture, but it shook the foundations of academia….The crisis in geometry became a metaphor for the shattering of established truths across the board. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 229.

Even American schoolchildren are now taught this postmodern view of math.  A popular middle school curriculum says students should learn that “mathematics is man-made, that it is arbitrary, and good solutions are arrived at by consensus among those who are considered expert.” Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 43.

If math is arbitrary, then there are no wrong answers, just different perspectives. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 44.

We might say that it’s because modernism is in the lower story that postmodern skepticism has taken over the upper story. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 110.

Praise of Man

There’s a violation of our spirit when someone serves up inordinate praise.  No wonder celebrities get so messed up. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 90.

When we worship someone, whether it’s a movie star or our spouse, we are, in effect, robbing them of this precious relationship with the real God…As I said, humans don’t make very good gods.  Worship destroys us, and drives us mad. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, p. 92.

Prayer

We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer…To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. Oswald Chambers, The Purpose of Prayer (for Aug. 28) My Utmost For His Highest.

“Prayer” said Robert Law, “is not getting man’s will done in heaven.  It’s getting God’s will done on earth.” Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersby Bible Commentary, NT (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), p. 887.

In one 1969 triple-blind study, a prayer intervention group prayed for ten children with leukemia (the children were not aware they were being prayed for); another eight children served as a control group, for which the intervention group did not pray.  (A number of critics have raised ethical issues about such studies, with reason).  After a fifteen-month period, seven out of ten children in the prayer group were alive; only two of the eight in the control group were alive.   Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World (Rocklin CA: Prima Publishing, 1997), p. 90.

As the Jewish Rabbis told their disciples: “They pray best together who first pray alone.” William Barclay, The New Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of Mark (Louisville, Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, 2001), p. 120.

[Rodney Dangerfield]  “I put a seashell to my ear and got a busy signal.” Donald W. McCullough, The Trivilization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a manageable Deity (Colo. Springs, Nav Press, 1995), p. 55.

[Regarding prayer] Modern anthropologists say that verbalization more than anything else distinguishes man from non-man. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1969), p. 138.

A Christian Confederate Soldier’s Prayer

(Anonymous – alleged to have been found on a CSA casualty at the Devil’s Den, Gettysburg)

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things.

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all people, most richly blessed.

http://historyaddict.com/CSPrayer.html

In order to ascend form earth to the throne of God’s authority, our prayers may have to pass through a territory occupied by our enemy. Derek Prince, War in Heaven (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2003), p. 111.

Prayer is not a lovely sedan for a sight-seeing trip around the city.  Prayer is a truck that goes straight to the warehouse, backs up, loads, and comes home with the goods… – John R. Rice

Around the middle of the 19th century Jeremiah Lamphier was converted to the Lord.  He was such an eager servant that he soon became a full-time lay evangelist.  Since Lamphier was a man of prayer he soon felt the need to establish a prayer meeting in his city of New York.  He decided that a one hour prayer meeting from twelve o’clock to one o’clock would be beneficial for businessmen, many of whom would normally take that hour off from work. This would initially be a weekly prayer service and folks could drop in for any amount of time during that hour. On the first day there were six people. The following week there were twenty and the next week forty.  By October 8, 1957, there were one hundred and the meeting was so large that they had to move it downstairs to the main meeting room of the North Dutch Church. Soon all three of the church’s meeting rooms were filled and John Street Methodist Church was opened to receive the overflow. Then the prayer meetings began to spread to other cities nationwide.  It appears that this prayer meeting along with the many others like was responsible for a great wave of awakening that occurred in the US.  In the two years (1857-59) a million souls were added to the churches (the US population was only 28 million at the time). Peter Marshall and David Manuel, Sounding Forth The Trumpet (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1997), pp. 416-432.

Prayerlessness

In her book A Place of Quiet Rest, Nancy Leigh DeMoss says: “I am convicted that prayerlessness …Is a sin against God (1 Samuel 12:23).Is direct disobedience to the command of Christ (“watch and pray,” Matthew 26:41).

Is direct disobedience to the Word of God (“pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Makes me vulnerable to temptation (“watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation,”  Matthew 26:41).

Expresses independence—no need for God.

Gives place to the Enemy and makes me vulnerable to his schemes (Ephesians 6:10-20;  Daniel 10).

Results in powerlessness.

Limits (and defines) my relationship with God.

Hinders me from knowing His will, His priorities, his direction.

Forces me to operate in the realm of the natural (what I can do) versus the supernatural (what he can do).

Leaves me weak, harried, and hassled.

Is rooted in pride, self-sufficiency, laziness, and lack of discipline.

Reveals a lack of real burden and compassion for others.

Preaching

Unless you preach everywhere you go, there’s no use to go anywhere to preach – St Francis of Assisi

First we may say that there is a time, and ours is such a time, when a negative message is needed before anything positive can begin. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1969), p. 79.

Anyone who is unwilling to speak of the wrath of God does not understand the Christian faith. Francis A. Schaeffer, Death In The City, p. 93.

John Wesley preached 42,000 sermons. He averaged 4,500 miles a year. He rode 60 to 70 miles a day and preached three sermons a day on an average. When he was 83 he wrote in his diary, “I am a wonder to myself. I am never tired, either with preaching, writing, or travelling.” That was the work of the all-sufficient grace. William Barclay, Commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/2-corinthians.html

Preparation

Don’t expect to philosophize in the morning, if you orgy in the evening.  As Louis Pasteur observed, chance favors the prepared mind. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 161.

Prescriptions

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2011 alone a staggering 254 million prescriptions of antidepressants were dispensed to the American public. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry (NY, London: Pegasus Books, 2013), p. x.

Solid scientific research now shows clearly that antidepressants don’t actually work, or at least not in the way people think. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p. 46.

Kirsch [Irving Kirsch] pointed out, that about “85 percent to 90 percent of people being prescribed antidepressants are not getting any clinically meaningful benefit from the drug itself.” James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry p.54.

Once Kirsch published his second analysis showing that antidepressants worked no better than sugar pills for the vast majority of patients, it immediately became front page news in the most respected papers in the UK. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry p. 54.

But for mildly\moderately depressed patients,” said Brown earnestly, [Walter Brown, professor of psychiatry at Brown University] “our results confirm that antidepressants offer no advantage over placebos, alternative therapies, or even moderate exercise.” James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry p. 56.

Pride

Moreover, after philosophy, or intelligence, pride was the core virtue of the classical philosophical outlook, the “crown of the virtues.”…In the classical understanding, the strong, the beautiful, the intelligent, the rich were not just better off but morally better than the weak, the poor, the meek, the downtrodden. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World (Rocklin CA: Prima Publishing, 1997), p. 155.

If you read the life of Adolph Hitler you discover that, as a young man, there were many admirable things about him. He was intelligent, knowledgeable about life; he had good morals, respect for the church, all these things, but he was an egotist. He always had to be dominant; he had to be in charge of everything he had anything to do with. Ray Stedman Ray Stedman, 1 Timothy, The Pastor’s Primer, Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:1-5. http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/timothy

Priesthood

Recently the tradition that many Kohanim are descended from a common male ancestor has gained support from genetic testing. Since the Y chromosome is inherited only from one’s father (women have no Y chromosome), all direct male lineages share a common haplotype. Therefore, testing was done across sectors of the Jewish and non-Jewish population to see if there was any commonality among their Y chromosomes. The initial research by Hammer, Skorecki, et al. was based on a limited study of 188 subjects, which identified a narrow set of genetic markers found in slightly more than 50 percent of Jews with a tradition of priestly descent and approximately 5 percent of Jews who did not believe themselves to be Kohanim [23] Over the succeeding decade, Hammer, Skorecki, and other researchers continued to collect genetic material from Jewish and non-Jewish populations around the world. This led to the classification of a broader set of genetic markers, now termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). The most recent results suggest that 46 percent of of those who have a family tradition of Priestly descent belong to the Y-DNA haplogroup identified as J-P58, and that at least two-thirds of that 46 percent have very similar Y-DNA sequences indicating comparatively recent common ancestry.[24] A further 14 percent of Kohanim were found to belong to another lineage, in haplogroup J2a-M410.[24] In contrast, the original CMH is found in only 5 percent to 8 percent of Jews who have no family tradition of being Kohanim, and only 1.5 percent were found to have the closest match to the most detailed sequence.[24] Amongst non-Jews the CMH can be found among non-Jewish Yemenites (13%) and Jordanians (7%), but none were found to most closely match the most detailed sequence.[24] Thus, peer-reviewed studies in the scientific literature document certain distinctions among the Y chromosomes of Kohanim, implying that a substantial proportion of Kohanim share some common male ancestry. Since the religious status of a Kohen is contingent upon being the male biological descendant of Aaron in conjunction with numerous other variables that are not subject to genetic testing (the wife of a Kohen cannot have had relations with a non-Jew, be a divorcee etc…) the possession of a common haplotype does not provide sufficient evidence to confer or maintain the religious status of a Kohen, which depends on more than simple heredity. This loss of priestly status over time may account for the 1.5% of non-Kohen Jews who very closely match the Y chromosome sequence that is most common amongst Kohanim.  Kohen genetic testing (source Wikipedia) Main article: Y-chromosomal Aaron.

On one occasion R. Simeon ben Gamaliel (c. 10-80 C.E.) vigorously protested because the price of a pair of doves had been raised to one gold denar, a price some twenty-five times the proper charge (m.Ker 1:7). James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (NY: Doubleday, 1992), p. 238.

The Tannaitic rabbis also preserve traditions, in part corroborated by Josephus… that the office of high priest was often secured through bribery… It is likely that this tradition particularly had in mind the Herodian and Roman periods, for some twenty-eight priests (only two of which were from families that had any legitimate claim) held office in little more than one century (from 37 BCE to 70 CE).  James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 239.

The four principal high priestly families are remembered for their violence and oppression. James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 240.

Private Property

The great economic divide in the world is simply between those countries that respect private property and encourage individuals to accumulate wealth and those countries that make it difficult for individuals to accumulate wealth and property. David Archibald, Twilight of Abundance, Why Life In the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2014), p. 76.

Failure to respect private property is fatal to prosperity. David Archibald, Twilight of Abundance, Why Life In the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short, p. 77.

Problems

Someone told me about two planes landing at the Jackson, Mississippi, airport.  The tower had radioed to Delta flight 202 that they were cleared for landing on runway B.  Then the controller told the pilot of Eastern flight 467 that he was also cleared to land on runway B.  The Delta pilot heard the transmission and radioed back to the tower: “Hey, wait a minute, you just told Delta flight 202 and Eastern flight 467 to land on the same runway.”  The tower was dead silent.  Finally, the controller’s voice came on the air: “Well, yeah, y’all be careful now.”  Steve Brown, Overcoming Setbacks (Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn., 1993), pp. 71-72.

Property

Property rights – To solve all the “shortcomings” of capitalism, professors advocate a new definition of property.  Property rights must be abolished, they say, to make the system more equitable for everyone.  This is communism. Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed (How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth), (Nashville: WND Books, 2004), p. 34.

There is a concerted movement within universities to revive the “glory” that was once socialism… They do it by glorifying communist dictatorships like China and Cuba…Marxism is dying globally.  But it’s alive and kicking in America’s universities.  Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed (How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth), (Nashville: WND Books, 2004), p. 35.

Providence

“Back of the bread is the snowy flour,

and back of the flour the mill.

Back of the mill is the field of wheat,

the rain and the Father’s will.” Ray Stedman, 1 Timothy, The Pastor’s Primer, Commentary on  1 Tim. 4:1-4.

http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/timothy

The president’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, had declined the invitation to attend that evening’s production, but he was by his fallen father’s side minutes after a messenger delivered the news.  Robert would be no stranger to death, having the unfortunate distinction of witnessing two other presidential assassinations.  He was serving as secretary of war under President James A. Garfield when Garfield was gunned down by Charles Guiteau at a train station in Washington, DC, on July 2, 1891.  The second incident happened at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, on September 6, 1901.  Lincoln attended at the invitation of President William McKinley, who was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.

While it seems Robert Todd Lincoln had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, one such brush with death was far more fortuitous.  Just months before his father’s assassination, Robert was standing on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Jostled by the large crowd, he fell off the platform just as a train started moving down the tracks.  In a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine, Lincoln recounted the events of that fateful evening.  While he hung helplessly over the train tracks, life in the balance, a bystander seized his collar and pulled him to safety.  Lincoln immediately recognized his rescuer as none other than famed actor Edwin Booth, older brother of John Wilkes Booth.  Coincidence or providence?  Mark Batterson, The Grave Robber, How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014), p. 66.

Provision

In Exodus 16:33-34 Moses commanded that a pot of manna be placed in front of the ark of testimony to be kept for generations to come.  This tells us that miraculous provision is a part of the covenant with God.  – Jim Gerrish

Psychology

A 1972 poll showed that a mere 1.1 percent of psychologists were believers…For example, B.F. Skinner, a founder of the behaviorist school, was a militant nonbeliever.  Albert Ellis, the founder of rational-emotive therapy, wrote extensively on religion as a cause of disease. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World (Rocklin CA: Prima Publishing, 1997), p. 58.

While understanding is in short supply today, the mental health establishment is great at naming syndromes and conditions – maybe to give the rest of us the impression they know more than they really do. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 105.

Psychology has become big business.  It is simply no longer accurate to speak of it as a science and it is unscrupulously misleading to call it a profession. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, (Montreal, Toronto, Paris: Robert Davis Publishing, 1996), p. 13.

By and large, psychology is neither a science nor a profession but rather an industry focused on self-interest and propelled by financial incentives. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 13.

What is news is that psychology is itself manufacturing most of these victims, that it is doing this with motives based on power and profit, and that the industry turns people into dependent “users” with no escape from their problems. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 16.

Americans who have become users of psychology: had seen a professional.

1960s 14 percent of US population

1976   26 percent

1990   33 percent

1995   46 percent

Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, pp. 18-19.

The Psychology Industry is separating people from their families, promoting stereotypic and hostile views of men and women, degrading friendship and generally promoting distrust and suspicion. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 98.

What is now called “psychology” is, to use Huber’s term, “junk science”, rooted in neither, with no soul or science, no boundaries and no method; swept along by the shifting ground of popular belief and ephemeral demands for expert opinion. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 138.

As disquieting as this may be, in the Psychology Industry scientific principles are violated, research is ignored, and in some cases, data is misinterpreted or even fabricated to fit the need. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 139.

As the number of psychologists has increased in the past three decades so has crime, poverty, homelessness and anxiety increased… Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 173.

46 percent of the U.S. population now report having seen a mental health professional at some point in their lives. Dr. Tana Dineen, Manufacturing Victims, What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, p. 195.

In 2005, forty years after this uncanny anticipation of reality television, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton conducted a long investigation into the religious lives of American teenagers, and discovered exactly the kind of therapeutic theology that Rieff had seen coming.

Therapeutic theology raises expectations, and it raises self-regard.  It isn’t surprising that people taught to be constantly enamored of their own godlike qualities would have difficulty forging relationships with ordinary human beings…The result is a nation where gurus and therapists have filled the roles once occupied by spouses and friends, and where professional caregivers minister, like seraphim around the throne, to the needs of people taught from infancy to look inside themselves for God. Ross Douthat, Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics (New York: Free Press, 2012), p. 241.

This song by Anna Russel characterizes the influence of Freudian psychology in America:

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed
To find out why I killed the cat and blackened my wife’s eyes.
He put me on a downy couch to see what he could find,
And this is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind:
When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in the trunk,
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.
When I was two I saw my father kiss the maid one day,
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania.
When I was three, I suffered from ambivalence toward my brothers,
So it follows naturally, I poison all my lovers.
I’m so glad that I have learned the lesson it has taught,
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault!

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. The Spoiling of Christianity By Psychology, 1998.http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Counseling/spoiling.htm

Freud and Jung were two such individuals from their generation. They boldly rejected the authority of the Word of God. But did not stop there. They developed a theory that claimed offered an alternative solution for the sin problem and the problems of life. It was called it psychology. Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. The Spoiling of Christianity By Psychology, 1998. http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Counseling/spoiling.htm

Man needs to be saved from his own wisdom as much as from his own righteousness, for they produce one and the same corruption. – William Law

The faith once delivered to the saints was displaced by a substitute faith disguising itself as medicine or science, but based upon foundations which are in direct contradiction to the Bible.Psychology, Science or Religion?, http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/psych.htm

The Greek word “psyche” was also the name of the Greek god of the soul. “Eros” and “psyche” were lovers in Greek mythology. Who wants that?  Andrew Wommack, Psychology vs. Christianity.http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/psychology_christianity.

[Dr. Robyn Dawes] Evaluating the efficacy [effectiveness] of psychotherapy has led us to conclude that professional psychologists are no better psychotherapists than anyone else with minimal training—sometimes those without any training at all; the professionals are merely more expensive. Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! (Santa Barbara: EastGate Publishers, 2011), p. 40.

[Sharon Begley in her Newsweek article] “What is remarkable about psychotherapies, though, is that few patients have any idea that ‘just talking’ can be dangerous to their mental health” Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! p. 45.

[Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, M.D] They “reject therapism’s central doctrine that uninhibited emotional openness is essential to mental health” and say, “Recent findings suggest that reticence and suppression of feelings … can be healthy and adaptive” and “an excessive focus on introspection and self-disclosure is depressing.” They note that “Trauma and grief counselors have erred massively in this direction.” Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! p. 47.

People do not have to be told that malaria and melanoma are diseases.  They know they are.  But people have to be told, and are told over and over again, that alcoholism and depression are diseases.  Why?  Because people know that they are not diseases. Thomas Szasz, The Medicalization of Everyday Life (Syracuse: The Syracuse University Press, 2007), p. xxiii.

We must reject the use of psychiatrists as policemen, judges, and jailers. Thomas Szasz, The Medicalization of Everyday Life, p. 9.

The fact that not a single textbook of pathology recognizes depression and schizophrenia as diseases has not in the least dampened popular and political enthusiasm for their diagnosis and treatment. Thomas Szasz, The Medicalization of Everyday Life, p. 24.

More than ever, the profession of psychiatry is determined to ground its medical legitimacy on creating diagnoses and pretending that they are diseases. Dr. Thomas Szasz, The Medicalization of Everyday Life), p. 27.

Psychologists like other despots do not tolerate disagreement.  If the person who disagrees with them is a mental patient, they punish him with ever more demeaning diagnoses and destructive treatments.  If the person is a fellow professional testifying in a court room – where he is safe from the psychiatrists’ direct retribution- they punish him by slander and declaring his conduct “unprofessional” and “harmful for patients.” Dr. Thomas Szasz, The Medicalization of Everyday Life, p. 114.

Psychiatric drugs cause nearly 90,000 US adult visits to the Emergency Room each year. Fox News July 10, 2014, from Associated Press.

Why has psychiatry become the fastest growing medical specialism when it still has the poorest curative success?…And why does psychiatry, without solid scientific justification, keep expanding the number of mental disorders it believes to exist – from 106 in 1952, to 374 today? James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry (NY, London: Pegasus Books, 2013), p. x.

Because the “outers” were in the majority, homosexuality ceased to be a mental disorder in 1974 and was therefore not included in Spitzer’s DSM-III. [Dr. Robert Spitzer Columbia Medical School] James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry p. 9.

According to a study published in the journal Psychiatry in 2007 that asked a group of psychiatrists whether they thought psychiatric diagnosis was now reliable, a full 86 percent said that reliability was still poor…Spitzer found that after his reforms, psychiatrists were now disagreeing around 33 percent to 46 percent of the time- results indicating the very opposite of diagnostic improvement. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p.12.

Most people did not know that the fundamental changes Spitzer brought to global psychiatry only required the consensus of an extremely small group of people. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p. 25.

If we add up the prevalence rates for all childhood disorders, for example, it is estimated that between 14 percent and 15 percent of children now suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year….the National Institute for Mental Health in the United States now claims that about 26.2 percent of all American adults suffer from at least one of the DSM disorders in a given year…in the 1950s it was more like one in a hundred, and at the beginning of the twentieth century a meager one in a thousand. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p. 30.

[Spitzer interview with Adam Curtis] Spitzer admitted that the DSM-III wrongly reclassified large parts of normal human experience –sadness, depression, grief, anxiety – as indicators of mental disorders that required medical treatment. James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p.35.

[Thomas Szasz] “in one sentence and my statement is not original, our age has replaced a religious point of view with a pseudoscientific point of view.” James Davies, Cracked, The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, p. 230.

Quitting

“The Quitter”by Robert W. Service
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it’s so easy to quit:
It’s keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten-and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight-
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try-it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

Rapture

Why oil the wheels of a machine that will soon plunge over a cliff? N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: Harper, Collins, 2008), p. 26.

“Thy kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.” That remains one of the most powerful and revolutionary sentences we can ever say. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 29.

But before we look at the truly Christian alternative, we must briefly examine the other myth, the negative myth, the story that tells us the world is a wicked place and we’d do better to escape it altogether. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church,  p. 87.

Having gone out to meet their returning Lord, they will escort him royally into his domain, that is, back to the place they have come from. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 133.

There is no scriptural basis for the two-phase Second Coming taught by the pretribulationists. Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible And The Future (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), p. 170.

Rationalism

Decartes helped to establish a form of rationalism that treated Reason not merely as the human ability to think rationally but as an infallible and autonomous source of truth. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 39.

Reality

This is so important for us to know these days, as postmodernism batters us with the opposite idea – that there are no absolutes.  This view came to the West from philosophers of the nineteenth century, but the East has believed the same thing for thousands of years.  Most Asian religions teach that truth changes and that you can’t know it anyway.  The Mahayana Buddhists in Nepal have a saying: if you are asleep, dreaming you are a butterfly, when you’re awake how do you know you’re not a butterfly asleep, dreaming you’re a person? Loren Cunningham, The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible To Change Any Country (Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 2007), p. 134.

In A Grief Observed, CS Lewis says that “All reality is iconoclastic…”

“Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you” – author Alex Haley

Reason

The great error of the Enlightenment – for which the worst horrors of modern history are themselves the evidence – was the idolatry of reason, the belief that reason could replace God. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World (Rocklin CA: Prima Publishing, 1997), p. 167.

What we all have “upstairs” is a “slow CPU” that cannot grasp the whole truth, which exists a priori in a spiritual realm and which has been revealed to us at moments of extraordinary interpenetration of the divine with the human world. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, p. 167.

The French Revolution was the world’s first attempt to found a society upon reason rather than religion. David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying Too), (Washington, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2011), p. 134.

Rebellion

We’ve become like Martians who, arriving on Earth for the first time, encounter a Ford Mustang convertible.  Not having any idea what it is or its maker’s intended use, the Martians mistakenly conclude it must be a hot tub and proceed to fill it with water and bathe in it.  And, then, when you come along and tell them they’re ruining this valuable car by their misuse of it, they become angry and accuse you of attempting to deny them their rightful pleasure. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010), p. 39.

The first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America, p.241.

Reconciliation

The last time I was in Israel we were invited to a worship night.  What I didn’t know, though, was that it was an unadvertised secret worship night with come of the most influential Palestinian and Jewish Christians in the area.  It has to be during a certain part of the year because that was the easiest for everyone to get through the border crossing and past the checkpoints.

At the top of their lungs grown men in both Arabic and Hebrew were shouting the praises of Jesus.  I would have taken pictures or video, but it was strictly forbidden.  Many people could’ve lost their jobs or even lives if others knew they were there with their supposed enemies.  But it didn’t matter I couldn’t take pictures – I’ll never forget it.

Hearing Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) and Isa (Jesus in Arabic) proclaimed in a room where most people had siblings or parents lost in the wars and intifadas was nothing short of amazing grace.  Toward the end of the night, they began dancing.  I got taken up front with some of the adult men, and we formed a circle with our arms over one another’s shoulders and began dancing and singing.  I didn’t understand one word they were saying except Yeshua, but I do know they were excited and couldn’t contain their love for brothers or for Jesus I remember looking to my left and to my right and seeing a highly influential Palestinian man and then a highly influential Israeli man, both singing and dancing and locked arm in arm.

I believe this is what heaven will look like.  It’s no wonder in Revelation the end of time is described as a “marriage supper of the Lamb.” Jefferson Bethke, It’s Not What You Think (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2015), pp. 184-85

Redemption

The total work of Christ is nothing less than to redeem the entire creation from the effects of sin. Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible And The Future (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), p. 275.

Both in 2 Peter 3:13 and in Revelation 21:1 the Greek word used to designate the newness of the new cosmos is not neos but kainos.  The word neos means new in time or origin, whereas the word kainos means new in nature or in quality….Rev. 21:1 means, therefore, not the emergence of a cosmos totally other than the present one, but the creation of a universe which, though it has been gloriously renewed, stands in continuity with the present one. Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible And The Future, p. 280.

If God were to end history and reign forever in a distant Heaven, Earth would be remembered as a graveyard of sin and failure.  Instead, Earth will be redeemed and resurrected. Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Tyndale House Publishers, 2004), p. 145.

Rebuke

Lord, help us in love

To rebuke and exhort

Always remembering

That the time is short.  –Jim Gerrish

Reformation

Pillars of the Reformation:

  1. ‘Sola Scriptura’ – By Scripture Alone
  2. ‘Sola Gratia’ – By Grace Alone
  3. ‘Solo Christo’ – By Christ Alone
  4. ‘Sola Fide’ – By Faith Alone
  5. ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ – Glory To God Alone

Relationship

“Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).  Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service-rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ… Oswald Chambers, Usefulness or Relationship? My Utmost For His Highest (for Aug 30).

Research shows that human connection is one of the keys to happiness. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 92.

Technology can help us connect with extended relationships, but it also disconnects us from our most intimate relationships…Real conversations are hard work, messy, challenging, unpredictable, and time consuming, but they are worth it. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 93.

Unfortunately many today are not flourishing in their lives, but languishing.  Statistics indicate that only about 18 percent of people meet the criteria for “flourishing well,” while 17 percent are languishing.  Others fall somewhere in between. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 152.

Relativism

[In speaking of Einstein] Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism. Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), p. 111.

So it was that the popular interpreter of Einstein in his day found himself quickly saying, “All things are relative.” Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, p. 112.

Thus was created the era in which absolutes faded and eventually disappeared in the minds of many and in which relativism became the prevailing spirit of thought and action. Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, p. 112.

So it was that at the cocktail parties, on the streets, and especially in the academic circles the relativity of Einstein developed its social application in relativism. Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, p. 114.

Einstein developed an enormous respect for the universe and for the God who stood behind it all.  He certainly could not be called a conventional atheist, but rather an honest Jewish theist. Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, p. 119.

Many will remember that the doctrine of relativism was presented in something of an “official version”…it took the form of a book entitled Situation Ethics, written by Joseph Fletcher. Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from The Grave, p. 119.

People may claim they are relativists, but they don’t want their spouses, for example, to live like sexual relativists. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 174.

[George Barna] Almost half of “born-agains”- 45 percent- teach their children there are no absolute values….Barna said….For years we have reported research findings showing that born-again adults think and behave very much like everyone else. David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010),  p. 211.

Though many people imbibe its morally relativistic language, it fails to match the way they actually live. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 43.

The public had little idea what relativity meant scientifically, but they eagerly interpreted it as support for moral and cultural relativism, the denial of all absolute truths. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 230.

Relativists aren’t interested in finding truth but in preserving their own autonomy.  Paul Copan, When God Goes To Starbucks (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), p. 15.

Relativity

Some may object that the word “relativity” in such interpretations is confused with the term “relativism,” which indeed is widely used to denote the denial of the objectivity or absoluteness of ethical or religious values. Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion, (Princeton: Princeton University Press,1999), p. 33.

“The term ‘theory of relativity’ is an unfortunate choice,” wrote Sommerfeld, “its essence is not the relativity of space and time but rather the independence of the laws of nature from the viewpoint of the observer.  The bad name has misled the public to believe that the theory involves a relativity of ethical conceptions, somehow like Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.” Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion, pp. 33-34.

[Preceding the Theory of Relativity as told by Einstein’s wife] I asked him what was troubling him. “Darling,” he said, “I have a wonderful idea.”  And after drinking his coffee he went to the piano and started playing.  Now and again he would stop, making a few notes then repeat: “I’ve got a wonderful idea, a marvelous idea!”  I said: “Then for goodness’ sake tell me what it is, don’t keep me in suspense.”  He said: “It’s difficult, I still have to work it out.”  She told me he continued playing the piano and making notes for about half an hour, then went upstairs to his study, telling her that he did not wish to be disturbed, and remained there for two weeks.  “Each day I sent him up meals,” she said, “and in the evening he would walk a little for exercise, then return to his work again.  Eventually,” she said, “he came down from his study looking very pale.  ‘That’s it,” he told me, wearily putting two sheets of paper on the table.  And that was his theory of relativity.” Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion, p. 56.

Religion

The current trajectory of the country and its culture is so bad, the conditions of modern life so awful, that belief is breaking out again.  Hugh Hewitt, The Embarrassed Believer (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998), p. 11.

In an interview I conducted for my Los Angeles program, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, perhaps the greatest Talmud scholar in a few hundred years, asserted that the problem with spirituality in the United States was that Americans wanted “a good five-cent religion.”  On the cheap, he was saying.  Immediately. Overnight. Fast-food mysticism to go with our fast-food culture. P92 Hugh Hewitt, The Embarrassed Believer (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998), p. 92.

I hate religion, yet I love her.

Religion is the fleeting warmth of dying embers.

Still there is the hope that these crusty coals may again become a flaming fire. – Jim Gerrish

Reverence and awe have often been replaced by a yawn of familiarity.  The consuming fire has been domesticated into a candle flame, adding a bit of religious atmosphere, perhaps, but no heat, no blinding light, no power for purification. Donald W. McCullough, The Trivilization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a manageable Deity (Colo. Springs: Nav Press, 1995), p. 13.

We are more like those described in a novel by Charles Williams who prefer “their religion taken mild- a pious hope, a devout ejaculation, a general sympathetic sense of a kindly universe-but nothing upsetting or bewildering, no agony, no darkness, no uncreated light.” Donald W. McCullough, The Trivilization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a manageable Deity, p. 18.

[Arthur Miller] During the filming of the Misfits he watched Marilyn descend into the depths of depression and despair.  He feared for her life, as he watched their growing estrangement, her paranoia, and her growing dependence on barbiturates.  One evening, after a doctor had been persuaded to give here yet another shot, Miller stood watching her as she slept. “I found myself straining to imagine miracles,” he reflected. “What if she were to wake and I were able to say, ‘God loves you, darling,’ and she were able to believe it”! How I wish I still had my religion and she hers.” Donald W. McCullough, The Trivilization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a manageable Deity, p. 20.

It was religion that gave the world the concepts of progress and reason in the first place…But the fact remains that religion was the wellspring of reason, order, progress, human dignity and liberty…And it was not just any religion that created reason and progress but very specifically Christianity, and the Hebrew Bible from which it sprang. Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (New York: Encounter Books, 2010), pp. 394-395.

The dichotomy has grown pervasive…Martin Luther King Jr. – “Science deals mainly with facts: religion deals mainly with values.”…Albert Einstein – Science yields facts but not “value judgments”; religion expresses values but cannot “speak of facts.” Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 27.

A new book titled American Grace: How Religion Is Reshaping Our Civic and Political Lives reports that young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historic rate (30-40 percent have no religion today versus 5-10 percent a generation ago).  Many of them harbor an image of Christians as angry, unloving and moralistic.  Before the church can hope to win over the surrounding society, it must first win over its own youth. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, p. 69.

Religion and Health

A large scale 1972 study found that persons who did not attend church were four times as likely to commit suicide than were frequent church attenders. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World (Rocklin CA: Prima Publishing, 1997), p. 63.

Numerous studies have found an inverse correlation between religious commitment and abuse of drugs…One study found that nearly 90 percent of alcoholics had lost interest in religion in youth…Religious people recover from surgery more quickly than do their atheistic and agnostic counterparts. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, pp. 63-64.

Moreover, modern research tends to bear out the observation that sin breeds misery…

The crowning irony is this, even if their beliefs were to be proved illusions, religiously committed people lead happier and healthier lives, as numerous studies show. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, pp. 75, 77.

The effort to give a complete account of the workings of the human mind without reference to God or spirit- has crumbled. Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, p. 77.

As Harvard Medical School associate professor of medicine Herbert Benson puts it, contemporary medical research is showing that the human mind and body are “wired for God.” Patrick Glynn, God, The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, p. 80.

Religion in Europe- A 2004 Gallup poll fopund that just 3 percent of Danes attend church at least once a week.  Only 5 percent of Swedes and of Finns do so.  Weekly attendance at religious services is below 10 percent in France and Germany, and hovering between 10 and 15 percent in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom.  Spain, an old bastion that many still (inaccurately) view as a cornerstone of European Catholicism, claims weekly church attendance of 21 percent, and much less in major cities like Barcelona. (Some estimates place it under five percent.). One of the longest holdouts to this secularizing sweep was Roman Catholic Ireland.  In 1984, nearly 90 percent of Irish Catholics still made it to Mass every week.  But inevitably, Ireland fell as well, and it fell hard.  By 2011, that number had plummented to just 18 percent. Arthur C. Brooks, The Conservative Heart (New York, Broadside Books, 2015). p. 121.

Religions, Eastern

For when Alexander took over the Persian Empire (which itself had taken over the Babylonian Empire) and pressed on towards India he made a breach in the barrier separating East and West through which (in the words of S.B. Frost) there ‘came flooding back the lore and “wisdom” of the east…a Greek-philosophized blend of Iranian esotericism and Chaldean astrology and determinism’ (Old Testament Apocalyptic, 1952, pp. 75 f.).  Prominent ingredients in this highly syncretistic culture were such things as occultism, magic, astrology, demonology, angelology, cosmology, anthropology, and eschatology.  These left their mark on the life and thought of the Jewish people as a whole… Russell, D.S., From Early Judaism to Early Church, (London, SCM Press Ltd., 1986), p. 4.

Religious observance

Spiritual aspirations are doomed to failure when we try to cultivate deeds at the expense of thoughts or thoughts at the expense of deeds.  Is it the artist’s inner vision or his wrestling with the stone that brings about a work of sculpture?  Right living is like a work of art, the product of a vision and of a wrestling with concrete situations. Fritz A. Rothschild, ed., Between God and Man, An Interpretation of Judaism, from the writings of Abraham J. Heschel, (NY: The Free Press, 1959), p. 156.

Repentance

How did R. Nachman of Bratzlav say it? “There is none more whole than one with a broken heart.”  Jerusalem Post Hanukkah Section p. 6, Dec 6, 1996.

Billy Graham relates the following in his book Just As I Am. One night a friend of ours noted two men who came in and sat near the back.  They apparently did not know each other but within minutes had loudly agreed on two things: they did not like Americans, and they especially did not like American evangelists.  They had come to see the show, they agreed, just so they could make fun of it.  But the Holy Spirit spoke to them both.  When the Invitation was given, one of them turned to the other and said, “I’m going forward.”  The other one said, “I am too.  And here’s your wallet back – I’m a pickpocket.” Billy Graham, Just As I Am, the autobiography of Billy Graham (NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997), p. 230.

Reproduction, Human

At birth two million pre-eggs are waiting in the ovarian wings, each with a double set of chromosomes- forty-six homologous pairs.  Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 74.

Clearly we cannot wait for the egg to reach the uterus if fertilization is to be successful.  The sperm fortunately are up to the task.  The life of a sperm is about two days, and they are built for traveling. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 75.

Approximately three hundred million sperm enter the vagina.  They die in droves as they traverse the chemically hostile environment of the fallopian tube.  But though hostile, these same harsh chemicals strip the sperm head of its protective coating, preparing it to penetrate the egg. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 77.

What tells the mother’s body she is mothering an embryo?  With this message comes a command to terminate her menstrual cycle… Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth,  p. 79.

Respect

Are you familiar with the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield?  IN addition to stand-up comedy, he was in some outrageously funny movies like Caddyshack. Rodney’s classic line was “I get no respect.”  On his tombstone in Los Angeles it says, “I still get no respect.”  Cal Thomas, What Works, Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), pp. 198-199.

Rest

We would perhaps all agree that happiness is more about being that about having; we might say it’s about the heart resting in the right place. Father Jonathan Morris, God Wants You Happy (New York: Harper One, 2011), p. 5.

Resurrection

Frankly, what we have at the moment isn’t, as the old liturgies used to say, “the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead” but the vague and fuzzy optimism that somehow things may work out in the end. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: Harper, Collins, 2008), p. 25.

For almost all of the first two centuries, resurrection in the traditional sense holds not just center stage but the whole stage. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 42.

I have argued elsewhere, if after his death he had gone into some kind of non-bodily existence, death would not be defeated. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 99.

As we know, we change our entire physical kit, every atom and molecule, over a period of seven years or so…and yet, I am still me. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 151.

Dust we are and to dust we shall return.  But God can do new things with dust. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 158.

We will discover that everything done in the present world in the power of Jesus’ own resurrection will be celebrated and included, appropriately transformed. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church,  p. 294.

It is Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedo, who offers the first known argument for life after death.  Socrates argues that our bodies are mortal because they are made of perishable materials, but our souls are not subject to those constraints. Dinesh D’Souza, Life After Death, The Evidence, Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009, p. 43.

Retribution

Though the mills of God grind slowly,

Yet they grind exceeding small;

Though with patience he stands waiting,

With exactness grinds he all.  –  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Revelation

There’s an ancient tradition that when Divine revelation comes into the world, only one part is given as prophetic writings.  The words are only a part of the message.  The other part is placed within nature, the wisdoms inherent in the creation.  Only when we understand those hidden wisdoms will we be able to read between the prophetic lines and fully understand the message.  With the help of science, we are learning to read between the lines…When we look below the surface, we discover a world made of a mix of identical particles that are actually waves and then realize that the waves are massless expressions of information.  Physics has exposed the metaphysical basis of existence. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 173.

Never is our mind so inadequate as in trying to describe God.  The same applies to the idea of revelation.  When defined, described, it completely eludes us. Fritz A. Rothschild, ed., Between God and Man, An Interpretation of Judaism, from the writings of Abraham J. Heschel, (NY: The Free Press, 1959), p. 78.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C.S. Lewis

Revival

The Argentine Revival – Dr. Miller told me that those students wept and cried day after day.  He mentioned that one young man leaned his head against a concrete brick wall and wept until, after four hours, a trail of tears had run down the porous wall.  After 6 hours had passed, he was standing in a puddle of his own tears.  These young intercessors wept day after day, and he said it could only be described as unearthly weeping…Dr. Miller said that on the fiftieth day of continuous intercession and weeping before the Lord, a prophetic word came forth that declared, “Weep no more, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed over the prince of Argentina.”

Eighteen months later, Argentines were flocking to evangelistic healing services in soccer stadiums that seated 180,000 people, and even the largest stadiums in the nation weren’t big enough to contain the crowds.”  I’ll never forget what he told me: “If God can get enough people in an area to reject the rulership and the dominion of Satan, if enough of His people will reject Satan’s dominion in the right way – God will slap an eviction notice on the doorway of the ruling demonic power of that area.  And when He does, there is a light and glory that begins to come.”

Quoted from Edward Miller, peaking of a revival in the 50s.  He tells how 50 students in his Argentine Bible Institute began to pray and had an angelic vision.  Prior to the revival Dr. Miller said he knew of only 600 spirit filled believers in the entire nation of Juan Peron.   Tommy Tenney, The God Chasers (Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.,1998),  pp. 52-53.

Around the turn of the twentieth century the United States was swept with a great outbreak of revivalism.  One revival leader was a fiery little woman by the name of Maria Woodworth-Etter.  She relates concerning one of her services in Tipton, Indiana in the year 1885: “I never saw such demonstrations of the Spirit and power as at this meeting.  Many of the leading church members were struck down or stood held, not able to move, under the power of God, their faces shining with the glory of God.  The fear of the Lord was so felt that the fear of the Lord fell upon all the people.  For twenty miles around men and women were struck down in their homes, in business places, and on the roads and streets.  Some lay for hours and had wonderful visions.  Many went into the ministry or became evangelists.” Michael L. Brown, Whatever Happened to the Power of God (Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 1991), pp. 70-71.

The Welsh revival in 1904 also transformed culture, as was chronicled by historian J. Edwin Orr.  During the 1905 New Year celebration, the Swansea County Police Court- for the first time ever – reported not a single arrest for drunkenness.  Police complained they had nothing to do; converted gamblers reformed their ways; thieves returned stolen goods; the courts had no cases to try.  Orr reported that it “even affected work, but in a surprising way.  So many men had given up foul language that the pit ponies which dragged the coal trucks in the mine tunnels did not understand what was being said to them.” Charles Colson, The Sky Is Not Falling, Living Fearlessly In These Turbulent Times (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2011) pp. 182-183.

Riches

A funeral was held for a man named Armand Hammer.  At the age of ninety-two, Hammer was chairman of Occidental Petroleum Company.  A billionaire industrialist and philanthropist, he was called by USA Today a “giant of capitalism and confidante of world leaders.”  It wasn’t until his death that his story came out.  Harvard-educated political scientist Edward Epstein wrote Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, in which he reported that Hammer got his start by laundering money for the Soviet government, then hired ghostwriters to write fictitious autobiographies of his life.  He got more money through a string of broken marriages.  He allowed his father to go to prison for a botched abortion Hammer himself had performed.  He neglected his only son and hid himself from an illegitimate daughter.  He had no friends at Occidental where “he fired his top executives as though they were errand boys.”  When his brother Victor died, he filed a claim of $667,000 against the $700,000 estate rather than disbursing it to Victor’s children and nursing home-bound wife.

When Hammer died, his son Julian did not attend the funeral.  Neither did the members of his two brothers’ families.  And neither did almost anyone else.  Within days of his death, Occidental distanced itself from him (the company’s website doesn’t mention him in its history).  His pallbearers were his chauffeur, his male nurse, and other personal employees.  John Ortberg, When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), pp. 94-95.

Righteousness

Endeavor to live so that when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry.  – Anonymous

Roman Cruelty

The visible and practical sign of the Roman will to power was Roman cruelty.  This found expression in savage, primitive floggings often resulting in death; crucifixions, tortures, burnings and buryings alive, hurlings from the Tarpeian Rock, revengeful massacres of prisoners, drownings in sacks, brutal punishments by heads of families and school-masters.  It was not for nothing that the axe and rods (fasces) were the emblems of Roman authority.  Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 119.

Contests between gladiators formed an integral part of the program of food and amusements which emperors felt obliged to offer the people of Rome.  Augustus’s own enumeration of his efforts in this direction quotes a total of 10,000 combatants…  Michael Grant, The World of Rome,  p. 120.

Contests between wild animals were also very popular: in a single day of Titus’s reign 5,000 were massacred. Michael Grant, The World of Rome, p. 123.

Roman Religion

Innumerable people all over the Roman Empire believed passionately in Cybele.  But even more believed in the Egyptian goddess Isis.  From the first century BC onwards until the triumph of Christianity four hundred years later, hers is the dominating religion of the Greco-Roman world, the only pagan religion which might have become universal. Michael Grant, The World of Rome (New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1960), p. 171.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Over the past two hundred years the influence of intellectuals has grown steadily.  Indeed, the rise of the secular intellectual has been a key factor in shaping the modern world. Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (Harper & Row, 1988), p. 1.

For the first time in history, and with growing confidence and audacity, men arose to assert that they could diagnose the ills of society and cure them with their own unaided intellects.  Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 1.

The inquiry begins with Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), who was the first of the modern intellectuals, and their archetype and in many ways the most influential of them all.  Paul Johnson, Intellectual, p. 2.

[Rousseau] He died a decade before the French Revolution of 1789 but many contemporaries held him responsible for it… Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 2.

He quarreled ferociously and usually permanently, with virtually everyone with whom he had close dealings, and especially those who befriended him; and it is impossible to study the painful and repetitive tale of these rows without reaching the conclusion that he was a mentally sick man. Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 14.

In Turin, as a young man, he roamed the dark back streets and exposed his bare bottom to women.  Rosseau was a natural exhibitionist, in sexual as in other respects, and there is a certain relish in the way he narrates his sex life.  Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 17.

Of Therese Levasseue, the twenty-three-year-old laundress whom he made his mistress in 1745 and who remained with him thirty-three years until his death, he said he “never felt the least glimmering of love for her…the sensual needs I satisfied with her were purely sexual and were nothing to do with her as an individual.” Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 19.

[Children] The first was born to Therese in winter of 1746-47.  We do not know its sex.  It was never named.  With (he says) “the greatest difficulty in the world,” he persuaded Therese that the baby must be abandoned “to save her honor.”  She “obeyed with a sigh”…Four other babies he had by Therese were disposed of in exactly the same manner…Rousseau did not even note the dates of the births of his five children and never took any interest in what happened to them… Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 21.

By a curious chain of infamous moral logic, Rousseau’s iniquity as a parent was linked to his ideological offspring, the future totalitarian state. Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 23.

Rousseau thus prepared the blueprint for the principal delusions and follies of the twentieth century.  Paul Johnson, Intellectual, p. 26.

He is best summed up by the woman who, as he said, was his only love, Sophie d’Houdetot.  She lived on until 1813 and, in extreme old age, delivered this verdict: “He was ugly enough to frighten me and love did not make him more attractive.  But he was a pathetic figure and I treated him with gentleness and kindness.  He was an interesting madman.”  Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, p. 27.

 

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