VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669


493 Years ago today...

Oct. 31, 2010, 493 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Saxony, Germany, thus starting the Protestant Reformation.

Just wanted to commemorate that brave act.


How and Why the Nazis Went Green

How and Why the Nazis Went Green

How and Why the Nazis Went Green
Posted By Mark Musser On October 28, 2010 @ 3:40 pm In Guest Column |
Albert Speer’s [1] defense at the Nuremberg trials [2] oddly concluded with a warning about the potential destructive powers of science and technology.  He strongly pointed out that such a technology could easily be used to dominate people—as was the often the case in the Third Reich, especially with regard to the spread of propaganda.  Sounding like a preface to the entire modern environmental movement which sprang into worldwide action in the 1960’s, Speer thus managed to deflect some sense of responsibility away from himself and the German people by shoving blame upon Western man’s technological prowess to dominate “helpless” people.  Thus, Avatar was at Nuremberg some 60 years ago.  Even stranger still, Speer’s defense worked.  He eluded the death penalty.
More troublesome is how so many have naively followed in the footsteps of Speer’s defense, always blaming Nazi technology, industry and the economy for the holocaust.  Leftists in particular are eager to paint “right wing” modern industry and Capitalism with Nazi blood.  In fact, thanks to Marxist propaganda and Nazi compromises with German industry, it is not well known that the Nazis loathed Capitalism just as much as Marxism.
The Nazis attacked both of them as an unnatural Jewish rebellion against Nature and her Social Darwinian laws.  Communism and Capitalism were considered international Jewish heresies where Marxist universal values and superficial capitalistic commercialism posed a serious threat to the natural biology of the German race.  This was rooted in Ernst Haeckel’s ‘scientific’ evolutionary ecology [3] of the 1800’s and was further buoyed by Richard Wagner’s wild revolutionary Romanticism [4].  It was this romantic belief in an Aryan cultural superiority based on Nature’s laws, all dressed up in modern scientific biology, that was the ideological bread and butter of the Third Reich.  As such, surprisingly enough, Speer’s defense at Nuremberg was thus a continuation of this Nazi ‘green’ ideology.
The Nazis, of course, needed money to fund their national regeneration program.  With a very fragile German economy to draw from, they were thus forced to make some important concessions to big business and industry that many Nazis considered a betrayal of their values.  Moreover, the Nazi economy [5] was flying by the seat of its pants throughout the 1930’s and 40’s.  Nazi hatred for international Jewish capitalism placed them on a suicidal path of national autarky, economic isolation and destruction.  Weighed down with war reparations, a weak economy, and lacking natural resources that had to be imported from abroad, the Nazi economy became an ersatz economy. Synthetic substitutes produced locally at home had to be found to fill in the gaping holes.  That the chemical giant IG Farben [6] was at the heart of the Nazi economy should come as no surprise.  Producing synthetics became vital to make up for their import restrictions.  Their Aryan biology/ecology thus created a government controlled ‘local only’ economy that was doomed to fail.
The Nazis further survived by placing severe government restrictions on imports.  They also subsidized their exports.  While both actions became extremely profitable to the big industrialists, the Nazi economy was mostly guns without butter [7].  Sound financial decisions were routinely ignored in favor of revving up the war economy.  By 1942, Germany itself was on the verge of severe food rationing. This shortage, however, was relieved by stoking up the gas chambers on the Eastern Front.
Nazi isolation from international trade only intensified their Malthusian natural resource [8] math problem.  As the Nazi economy was severely limited by its own living space with too many Germans and too little land, the drive eastward into Poland and Russia became a matter of racial survival.  The Nazi doctrine of Lebensraum (a German word for “environmental living space”) thus merged geopolitics with a tribal Social Darwinism that would not be undone until all the smoke cleared from the battlefields of World War II.  Rather than try to overcome their natural resource deficits through competitive commercialism and international trade, which was all deemed a corrupting international Jewish-American conspiracy, the Nazis decided to subjugate the European continent for their own hegemony [9].  As such, the Third Reich headed East in a massive blitzkrieg that the Nazi hierarchy knew had no chance of success unless the Russians were defeated within the first year of the war.  Many knew that the lack of natural resources would doom the Wehrmacht if there was a long war of attrition.
More to the point, with their own Lebensraum in the East, this would allow the Nazis to compete with the American-Anglo industrial complex without having to resort to the corrosive effects of Jewish capitalism.  More importantly, they could become self sufficient with plenty of land to spare.  Lebensraum could be used for growing food and for sustainable development under Nazi state control that could later be extended throughout the entire Reich.  Dam building would be drastically scaled down in Germany itself and moved to Norway.  Poland would become Germany’s “green” Ireland. Ukraine would become the frontier agrarian bread basket of the Reich.  All of the East, including Belarus and western Russia, would be depopulated and enslaved.  It would be converted into a massive ruralized countryside where Aryan cultural development, model towns, forests and nature could all live sustainably together.
Heinrich Himmler would even become the leading industrialist of the East [10].  This oxymoron, however, would be used to finance and construct a green garden park for the natural health of the German race in the occupied territories that would take some 200-300 years to build.  Himmler, Darre and the SS obsessed over what they called “land flight.”  People were corrupting themselves and their biological systems by moving into dirty, international towns away from the clean, rugged countryside which would make them strong and healthy.  Lebensraum could thus be used to help alleviate this national crisis.
The Germans would thus develop their newly acquired territories, yet this would all be done with a certain respect for the natural world—something very important to SS environmental planner Konrad Meyer [11].  Had it not been for the fact that he was an SS Nazi professor [12], Meyer might have been considered one of the original gurus of the cult of sustainable development and environmental planning.  In the early years of the war, Nazi landscape planners were salivating at the wide open opportunities that would be afforded them in the East where crowded areas and private property would no longer interfere with their grandiose plans.
In a word, the Nazi quest for Lebensraum in the East was an early pioneering attempt at what is today called the Green Economy.  It was a backward eco-imperial plan of Aryan sustainable development, all at the expense of Jews and Slavs, and all dressed up in the latest scientific vocabulary of the day.  To fixate on Nazi technology, industry, and the economy, therefore, as the explanation for that all that was evil about the Third Reich, is to subvert the means of holocaustal murder with the motive.  The Nazi economy was merely the means by which the holocaust was paid for.  The Russian Front provided the opportunity for murder.  However, the motive of the holocaust was an Aryan environmentalism [13] rooted in a romantic, evolutionary philosophy of man and nature, notwithstanding Speer’s defense at Nuremberg.

Article printed from Accuracy In Media:
URL to article:
URLs in this post:
[1] Albert Speer’s:
[2] Nuremberg trials:
[3] Ernst Haeckel’s ‘scientific’ evolutionary ecology:
[4] Richard Wagner’s wild revolutionary Romanticism:
[5] Nazi economy:
[6] the chemical giant IG Farben:
[7] guns without butter:
[8] Malthusian natural resource:
[9] the Nazis decided to subjugate the European continent for their own hegemony:
[10] the leading industrialist of the East:
[11] Konrad Meyer:
[12] he was an SS Nazi professor:
[13] the motive of the holocaust was an Aryan environmentalism:


Pop Went the Climate Bubble

Pop Went the Climate Bubble
The New York Times’ editorial writers have apparently spent the last 11 months in a Rip Van Winkle-like state of unconsciousness when it comes to climate change.

Monday‘s lead editorial, “In Climate Denial Again,” railed about the 19 of 20 or so Republican Senate candidates who do not “accept the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming.” The Times contrasted those deniers with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2007 report, the group’s “most definitive statement on the human contribution to climate change,” and a 2000 promise by George W. Bush to cap carbon dioxide emissions

But nowhere in the editorial did the Times recall Climategate or the other related global warming-related “gates” that the November 2009 scandal touched off—all of which, no doubt, helped make skeptics of 95% of Republican Senate candidates. So here’s a quick recap of what happened over the past year to the legendary scientific “consensus” on global warming.

Last November, a host of private and candid e-mails between climate alarmist-scientists stored at the University of East Anglia (UK) somehow made its way into the public domain and history. Like a shot heard around the world, the e-mails instantaneously validated what the climate skeptics had been saying for more than a decade about the alarmists — that they had cooked the books on global warming science and then conspired to silence and belittle their critics.

Most famously, the e-mails revealed that the alarmist community was aware and, indeed, even proud of the scientific fraud known as the “hockey stick” — a graph purporting to show that global temperatures had been stable over the last millennium and then had spiked upwards during the 20th Century, impliedly due to human activities. All this was expressed in an e-mail that featured the infamous Climategate phrase “Mike’s trick… to hide the decline.”

As it turns out, the reason a “trick” was needed to “hide the decline” was that, in reality, the hockey stick data used to show global temperatures spiking during the 20th Century actually showed a decline in the later part of the 20th Century — the precise opposite phenomena that the alarmists claimed to have occurred. But the inconvenient data was intentionally deleted and replaced with other, more cooperative data.

This fraud is what prompted Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli to launch an investigation into whether Virginia taxpayers were defrauded by hockey stick inventor and former University of Virginia researcher Michael Mann.

Perhaps the real significance of Climategate is that it opened the floodgates of pent-up global skepticism. Climategate was followed in rapid succession by glacier-gate, rainforest-gate, Pachauri-gate and NASA-gate.

Glacier-gate exposed the much-repeated and IPCC-official falsehood that global warming was going to cause the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035. This myth was used by Sen. John Kerry to whip up frenzy about Himalayan melting leading to regional water shortages and, ultimately, war between India and Pakistan.

As it turns out though, there never was any scientific study or evidence that the glaciers were going anywhere soon. The IPCC claim about the glaciers was based on a mere 1998 telephone interview with an obscure Indian scientist that was reported in the New Scientist magazine, which by the way, is not anywhere close to a peer-reviewed science journal.

Amazon-gate involved another IPCC claim that global warming was going to destroy 40% of the Amazon rainforest. Once again the sourcing of the factoid was dubious. It came from a report put together by the World Wildlife Fund, a radical green activist group. The report had not been independently peer-reviewed or validated.

Glacier-gate and Amazon-gate opened up the IPCC and its chief Rajendra Pachauri to a great deal of criticism and made Pachauri vulnerable to inquiries about his various conflicts of interest.

Though he positioned himself as the impartial head of the Nobel Peace prize winning IPCC, in reality Pachauri has had ties to many energy companies, including companies that planned on profiting from carbon trading. Reminiscent of another major UN scandal — oil-for-food — Pachauri-gate helps explain how glacier-gate and Amazon-gate happened.

The still ongoing NASA-gate involves the systematic distortion of global temperature readings by the U.S. government. As revealed by a team of skeptics riding the Climategate wave, NASA researchers were exposed as improperly manipulating temperature data to produce claims such as “2005 was the warmest year on record.”

The researchers showed how NASA had been gradually trimming the number of temperature stations (from about 6,000 in the 1970s to about 1,000 now) and then averaging temperature data in such a way as to produce synthetically warmer temperatures. The 2005-warmest-temperature-claim was, in fact, based on a temperature “data base” that had no original temperature data.

A fascinating aspect the past year’s meltdown in climate alarmism is that most of the facts underlying the developments weren’t newly discovered — at least to climate skeptics.

Glacier-gate, for example, was flagged at my web site in 1998 when the claim was first made. The hockey stick had been publicly exposed and debunked in 2006, including in congressional hearings and by the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council. NASA’s skewing of temperature data was also a familiar topic of concern among skeptics.

Climategate was the straw that broke the alarmists’ back. The rapid-fire succession of glacier-gate, Amazon-gate and Pachauri-gate left global warming alarmism reeling. It now seems that the deniers are those who insist that Climategate and its progeny have not smashed the public confidence in the 50-year-old climate alarmism hypothesis.

But there is one lesson in physical science that the New York Times and its fellow alarmists will learn when they wake up from their stupor of denial — it takes a lot less time to pop a bubble that it does to create one.

Birth Control?

Interesting approach, which this bachelor, naturally, is hesitant to be dogmatic about...

Christians Reexamine Morality of Birth Control

Kristen Moulton

Religion News Service

July 28, 2010
(RNS) -- Is contraception a sin? The very suggestion made Bryan Hodge and his classmates at Chicago's Moody Bible Institute laugh.
As his friends scoffed and began rebutting the oddball idea, Hodge found himself on the other side, poking holes in their arguments. He finished a bachelor's degree in biblical theology at Moody and earned a master's degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Now, more than a decade later, he is trying to drive a hole the size of the ark through what has become conventional wisdom among many Christians: that contraception is perfectly moral.
His book, "The Christian Case Against Contraception," was published in November. Hodge, a former Presbyterian pastor who is now a layman in the conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church, realizes his mission is quixotic.
In the 50 years since the birth-control pill hit the market, contraception in all its forms has become as ubiquitous as the minivan, and dramatically changed social mores as it opened the possibilities for women.
No less than other Americans, Christians were caught up in the cultural conflagration. In a nation where 77 percent of the population claims to be Christian, 98 percent of women who have ever had sexual intercourse say they've used at least one method of birth control.
The pill is the most preferred method, followed closely by female sterilization (usually tying off fallopian tubes).
"People are no longer ... thinking about it," says Hodge, 36, who had to agree with a Christian publisher who rejected his book on grounds that contraception is a nonstarter, a settled issue. "People don't even ask if there is anything possibly morally wrong about it."
For more than 19 centuries, every Christian church opposed contraception.
Under pressure from social reformers such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, the Anglican Communion (and its U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church) became the first to allow married couples with grave reasons to use birth control.
That decision cracked a door that, four decades later, was thrown wide open with the relatively safe, effective birth-control pill, which went on the market in this country in the summer of 1960. Virtually every Protestant denomination had lifted the ban by the mid-1960s.
Even evangelicals within mainline Protestant and nondenominational churches embraced the pill as a way that married couples could enjoy their God-given sexuality without fear of untimely pregnancy.
"It was a reaction to that whole Victorian thing where sex was seen as dirty," says Hodge, who lives in Pennsylvania.
There remains one massive holdout among major Christian churches -- the Roman Catholic Church, which expressed its opposition in no uncertain terms in Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae.
To separate the two functions of marital intimacy -- the life-transmitting from the bonding -- is to reject God's design, Paul VI wrote.
"The fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life -- and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman," Humanae Vitae proclaimed.
Janet Smith, a Catholic seminary professor whose writing and talks have been influential for two decades, puts it this way: "God himself is love, and it's the very nature of love to overflow into new life. Take the baby-making power out of sex, and it doesn't express love. All it expresses is physical attraction."
The church's ban on contraception stunned many, including one of the doctors who created the pill, Harvard's John Rock, a Catholic. By and large, Catholics went with the culture rather than the church.
A 2005 Harris Poll found 90 percent of adult Catholics support contraception, just 3 percentage points lower than the general adult population.
"The ban on contraception is completely irrelevant to Catholics," said Jon O'Brien, president of the group Catholics for Choice. "We know the position the hierarchy has on contraception is fundamentally flawed, and that's why it's ignored en masse."
The Rev. Ken Vialpando, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden, Utah, places much of the blame for Catholics' disobedience on priests who are reticent to talk about church teachings on marriage and sex, or who bought into the 1960s notion that one's conscience was a sufficient guide.
"What if our consciences are not fully informed?" Vialpando asked. "How can we fault the people if they haven't heard about it and recognize the purpose or meaning of marriage?"
Smith, whose recorded 1994 talk "Contraception, Why Not?" has sold more than 1 million copies, says young adult evangelicals and Catholics, including men studying for the priesthood, seem more open to the possibility that contraception is a sin.
The pendulum may yet swing, she said.
"They are going to have a huge impact," says Smith, who holds an ethics chair at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. "They already are."
The Rev. Greg Johnson of Sandy, Utah, who is on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, says most evangelicals remain firmly in the contraceptive camp, even if some stress that it should not be used frivolously or to avoid children altogether.
A recent Gallup poll of the association, and another of its board, found 90 percent support for contraception.
Such statistics are disheartening for evangelicals such as Hodge and James Tour, a renowned chemist specializing in nanotechnology at Rice University in Houston, who believe contraception is not biblical.
Rather than heeding Christian theology to be "agents of life in the world," Christians have largely adopted culture's philosophic naturalism, which considers sex an itch to be scratched, Hodge said.
"They have the same view of conception that atheists have."
Evangelicals' dearth of understanding about sexuality and marriage explains why they have trouble arguing against gay marriage, he contends. Contracepted sex, in his view, is no different from gay sex: It's not life-giving either way.
Tour, a Jew who converted to evangelical Christianity as a teenager, like Catholics endorses "natural family planning" -- avoiding intercourse during the woman's monthly fertile cycle -- but wonders if Christians ought to forgo even that measure of family planning.
He says young lustful men who have had unfettered access to their wives actually welcome a message of self-restraint.
"The women are looking for relief. The men are looking for relief," Tour says. "They're like, 'I want that. I want to live in peace. I want to live in fulfillment.'"
Throwing out contraception "is more trusting in God. It ultimately lets him decide what is the right number (of children)," Tour said. "Protestants in 30 or 50 years are going to say, `My God. What were we thinking in those generations?'"
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Do we have 3 parts?

One statement often made with total confidence, is that humans, reflecting the holy Trinity, have 3 parts, Body, Soul, and Spirit.

The scriptural reference usually relied upon is: "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thess 5:23)

 God said it, and I believe it, and that settles it, right?

Not so fast scripture needs to comment on and be compared to scripture, in order to get a balanced full orbed view.  One of the first principles of biblical interpretation is that whenever possible, let the bible interpret itself--that is, look up ALL relevant passages on a subject, particularly important is letting the New Testament interpret the Old Testament before settling your opinion on something.  It's not that we don't take the bible literally....but we MUST take it how it was intended, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, as a whole--for us today.

For example, Exodus 22:18 says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."  So that settles it right?  We need to kill witches? (Salem Mass. Puritans thought so...)  NO.  As the New Testament, while also condemning necromancy and witchcraft, never calls on the people of God to execute anyone--execution, and other civil penalties, were part of the law written for the ancient theocratic Kingdom of Israel--which ceased to exist centuries before Jesus walked on earth.  Still, we CAN know from Ex 22:18, as well as passages such as "Let no one be found among you who ... practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead." (Deut 18:10) that God doesn't approve of occultism, affirmed in the NT in Galatians 5:19. 20: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft;"

But by letting the New Testament (NT) interpret the Old Testament (OT), we know we should not apply the civil law penalties of the theocratic government of ancient Israel today--as today the Kingdom of God is NOT a civil-political system, it is "not of this world." (Jesus to Pilot in John 18:36).  And nowhere in the New Testament are Christians ever called on to use force to establish or advance God's Kingdom.  Therefore, I can know for sure, it is morally wrong to kill witches today, just for dealing in the occult.  It's not that I don't take the bible literally--it's that I take it as interpreted by itself--and seen through the lens, as it were, of the New Testament.

The same principle applies to New Testament teachings...they need to be compared to other New Testament teachings, (and OT teachings, if possible) in order to, as much as possible, let the Word of God interpret the Word of God....

So lets get back to the initial question:  Doesn't  I Thess 5:23 PROVE people have 3 parts, body, soul and spirit?

No. Not when we look at other passages relating to human nature.  Here's why:

  • The lists of parts varies:    "Jesus replied: ' "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."'" (Matt 22:37) "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut 6:5)
  • Other passages indicate two parts only:   "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt 10:28) "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Rom 8:10) "Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit." (I Cor 7:34b)                    
  • Or maybe even 4 parts:   "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."(Mark 12:20 and Luke10:27)                                               
  • Or possibly,  7(?!) parts:       "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." 

So the neat and tidy system, taught in many bible schools, seminaries and pulpits, of humans having exactly 3 parts, body soul and spirit, is NOT established in scripture,  and may be properly said, (as with the the 4 or 7 part examples) to be a figure of speech, listing elements of who we are as people, but not as any form of an exhaustive, scientific definition.

It's safe to say we are what we appear to be:  Bodies, and (much) more than bodies, descendent from Adam, who was made in the image of God.


Covenant Theology is Not Replacement Theology

Another good one by R. Scott Clark
Covenant Theology is not Replacement Theology

Recently I had a question asking whether “covenant theology” is so-called “replacement theology.” Those dispensational critics of Reformed covenant theology who accuse it of teaching that the New Covenant church has “replaced” Israel do not understand historic Reformed covenant theology. They are imputing to Reformed theology a way of thinking about redemptive history that has more in common with dispensationalism than it does with Reformed theology.
First, the very category of “replacement” is foreign to Reformed theology because it assumes a dispensational, Israeleo-centric way of thinking. It assumes that the temporary, national people was, in fact, intended to be the permanent arrangement. Such a way of thinking is contrary to the promise in Gen. 3:15. The promise was that there would be a Savior. The national people was only a means to that end, not an end in itself. According to Paul in Ephesians 2:11-22, in Christ the dividing wall has been destroyed. It cannot be rebuilt. The two peoples (Jews and Gentiles) have been made one in Christ. Among those who are united to Christ by grace alone, through faith alone, there is no Jew nor Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).
At least some forms of dispensationalism have suggested that God intended the national covenant with Israel to be permanent. According to Reformed theology, the Mosaic covenant was never intended to be permanent. According to Galatians 3 (and chapter 4), the Mosaic covenant was a codicil to the Abrahamic covenant. A codicil is added to an existing document. It doesn’t replace the existing document. Dispensationalism reverses things. It makes the Abrahamic covenant a codicil to the Mosaic. Hebrews 3 says that Moses was a worker in Jesus’ house. Dispensationalism makes Jesus a worker in Moses’ house.
Second, with respect to salvation, Reformed covenant theology does not juxtapose Israel and the church. For Reformed theology, the church has always been the Israel of God and the Israel of God has always been the church. Reformed covenant theology distinguishes the old and new covenants (2 Cor. 3; Heb. 7-10). It recognizes that the church was temporarily administered through a typological, national people, but the church has existed since Adam, Noah, and Abraham; and it existed under Moses and David; and it exists under Christ.
Third, the church has always been one, under various administrations, under types, shadows, and now under the reality in Christ, because the object of faith has always been one. Jesus the Messiah was the object of faith of the typological church (Heb. 11; Luke 24; 2 Cor. 3), and he remains the object of faith.
Fourth, despite the abrogation of the national covenant by the obedience, death, and resurrection of Christ (Col. 2:14), the NT church has not “replaced” the Jews. Paul says that God “grafted” the Gentiles into the people of God. Grafting is not replacement, it is addition.
It has been widely held by Reformed theologians that there will be a great conversion of Jews. Some call this “anti-semitism.” This isn’t anti-semitism, it is Christianity. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The alternative to Jesus’ exclusivist claim is universalism, which is nothing less than an assault on the person and finished work of Christ. Other Reformed writers understand the promises in Rom. 11 to refer only to the salvation of all the elect (Rom. 2:28) rather than to a future conversion of Jews. In any event, Reformed theology is not anti-semitic. We have always hoped and prayed for the salvation, in Christ, sola gratia et sola fide, of all of God’s elect, Jew and Gentile alike.
Here is a resource for getting to covenant theology.
Here are Lig Duncan’s lectures on covenant theology.

...the Sabbath?

Do Reformed Christians Confess the Sabbath?
by R. Scott Clark

Justin Taylor has posted material by Tom Schreiner, from a forthcoming book, who argues, “I do not believe the Sabbath is required for believers now that the new covenant has arrived in the person of Jesus Christ.” He considers the sabbath purely as a Mosaic institution. This is evident when he says, “We would expect the Sabbath to no longer be in force since it was the covenant sign of the Mosaic covenant, and, as I have argued elsewhere in this book, it is clear that believers are no longer under the Sinai covenant.” If we granted the premise, that the sabbath is a Mosaic institution, Schreiner might be correct. He wants to do to the sabbath what Baptists do to circumcision and infant initiation into the visible covenant community: make it purely Mosaic and thus expired with the Mosaic (old) covenant. Unfortunately for the Baptists, circumcision/infant initiation into the visible covenant community is not purely Mosaic. God instituted infant initiation under ABRAHAM, the father of all New Covenant believers (Rom 4; Gal 3).
A similar issue exists with the attempt to make the sabbath purely or even primarily Mosiac. It isn’t. 
It is interesting that the same lot of people who are going to the mat for 6-24 creation (I’m thinking of Al Mohler here) seem to miss the primary message of Gen 1: God sanctified (i.e., made holy) one day out of seven as a matter of creational order. The creation narrative culminates in the Sabbath, which was a testimony to Adam of his eschatological heritage should he fulfill the probation. The Mosaic law itself, in Exod 20:8, testifies to the creational origin of the Sabbath principle. God worked six days and “rested” the Sabbath. On the basis and example we too are to work and rest.
Schreiner  anticipates this problem briefly by writing, “Some argue against what is defended here by appealing to the creation order. As noted above, the Sabbath for Israel is patterned after God’s creation of the world in seven days. What is instructive, however, is that the New Testament never appeals to Creation to defend the Sabbath.”
Well, one has to be careful as to which sorts of hermeneutical swords one wields since they do cut both ways. On this approach Schreiner should give up believer’s baptism since there’s no explicit command to baptism only professing believers. Of course his conviction that only believer’s should be baptized is an inference. So it is with the Sabbath in the new covenant.
Here are some points to consider:
1) Jesus does not abrogate the creational sabbath principle. He does renew the creational order in marriage. We (confessional Reformed folk) infer that the entire creational order is renewed. It’s true Jesus didn’t specifically say “I’m renewing the creational Sabbath.” It’s also true that he didn’t say, “Look, that was then, this is now” as our nine-commandment predestinarian Baptist friends would like us to assume. Indeed, most of the the rest of Schreiner’s argument is question begging, i.e., it assumes what it must prove. If one doesn’t accept Schreiner’s premises then we don’t have to accept his conclusions.
2) Is there any evidence for a pattern of creational renewal in the NT? Yes, of course there is! As Schreiner notes, Jesus re-instituted the creational pattern for marriage (Mark 10). Paul appealed to creation regarding sexual ethics and for other purposes (Rom 1-2) and he  appealed to the creational pattern regarding females and ecclesiastical leadership (1 Tim 2). The question is whether these appeals are isolated or whether they create a pattern. The Reformed say that they create a pattern and our nine-commandment Baptist friends want us to take them in isolation. So, if a creational element is not specifically, invoked then it doesn’t exist? Is that the hermeneutical principle we’re to follow? Can we live with this? The Reformed have ALWAYS said “No, we can’t live with this.”
Schreiner begins to acknowledge that there is a “new creation” pattern in Scripture. Doesn’t the new creation renew the old creation or does it, as the Anabaptists said, obliterate the old creation? The Reformed understanding of nature (creation) and grace is that grace restores creation. This is a semi-eschatological age, not the eschaton. The renewal is begun but not consummated. Jesus’ resurrection inaugurated the new creation (Col 1; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). Does the new creation have no work/rest (Sabbath)? Is there no place for anticipating the consummation? Perhaps our 9-commandment Baptist friends don’t see the point of anticipation?
3) What is the nature of the moral law? Is it such that the principle of the law, the essence of the law can be treated the way Schreiner treats the Sabbath? He wants us to make the Sabbath purely internal, purely symbolic, with no external, necessary, behavioral modifications. Let’s try that with the other commandments. Can we do it with the first or the second. May we set up a Hindu god and use it to facilitate our approach to Jesus in prayer? I guess we would all agree that we can’t do that. May we keep the seventh commandment in the way that Schreiner wants us to keep the fourth commandment? I doubt that he would be satisfied with such an approach. No, ordinarily we expect that adherence to the seventh commandment will be reflected in our outward behavior. It’s not enough to think of one’s wife while one is committing adultery. One must actually refrain from committing adultery in heart, mind, and body. Why not also a bodily obedience to the Sabbath principle by setting aside one day in seven for rest, worship, and acts of mercy?
4) Underlying Schreiner’s approach to both the Baptism and Sabbath questions is a very large but often unstated a priori conviction about the nature of the new covenant. More on this later. If this conviction about the new covenant fails then not only does Schreiner’s view of the Sabbath fail but so does much of the Baptist argument.
5) The history of the sabbath is more complicated than Schreiner lets on. See the chapter on this in RRC.
6) It’s interesting to see where the Young, Restless, and Reformed fellows depart from the Reformed confession. What exactly in the Reformed confession animates them? So far as I can tell the only aspect of the Reformed confession that they really like is the doctrine of divine sovereignty (predestination and providence). Everything else seems to be negotiable. They don’t accept our hermeneutic (covenant theology). They don’t seem much animated by our Trinitarian doctrine of God, our anthropology (do they even think about the covenant of works?), our Christology (two natures, federalism). They seem divided over the Reformed doctrine of justification (even though the confessions are unanimous), and certainly they reject our ecclesiology (including our confession of the sacraments). So it shouldn’t be surprising to see them rejecting the Reformed confession of the law of God.
The YRR are (less) young (than they were a few years ago), and certainly restless (perhaps it’s their amnesia?) but what exactly qualifies them as “Reformed?” The Reformed churches all confessed and practiced the Christian Sabbath. The Germans, the French, the Dutch, the English, the Scots all set aside one day a week on the basis of the creational pattern and on the basis of the resurrection of our Lord on the first day of the week. This is a significant difference. Is the adjective “Reformed” endlessly elastic? Can it be made to say any and everything that the YRR fellows want to say? What happens if they decide that the Bible teaches that Jesus had only one nature or that God is one person or some other heresy against the holy catholic faith? Will that then become the new “Reformed” orthodoxy?
Of course, the way many ostensibly “Reformed” churches practice the Sabbath today one cannot be entirely surprised that our erstwhile “Reformed” revisionist friends are confused. Perhaps if we were more faithful to what we confess, our evangelical friends might have a better example to follow? After all, the Westminster Standards are unambiguous about this as was the Synod of Dort but hey, what did they know about being Reformed?
Perhaps no one needs a Sabbath rest more than our Young, Restless, and “Reformed” friends?

Freer Is Better :: The Atlasphere

Freer Is Better :: The Atlasphere
 (by John Stossel.....plain common sense)

Freer Is Better

Opinion Editorial by John Stossel - Oct 13, 2010
21 ratings from readers
The exceptional economic prosperity of America was the result of exceptionally free market conditions. So why do some want the US to emulate the restrictive policies of far less successful nations?
The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations — behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada.
Don't say it's Barack Obama's fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush's final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem.
For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world's countries on the basis of their economic freedom — or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption.
The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile.
The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.
The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.
Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, which compiles the index with The Wall Street Journal, says the index defines "economic freedom" to mean: "You can follow your dreams, express yourself, create a business, do whatever job you want. Government doesn't run labor markets, or plan what business you can open, or over-regulate you."
We asked Beech about the U.S. ranking. "For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the 'totally free' to 'mostly free' group. That's a terrible development," he said. He fears that if this continues, productive people will leave the United States for freer pastures.
"The United States has been this magnet for three centuries. But today money and people can move quickly, and in less than a lifetime a great country can go by the wayside."
Why is the United States falling behind? "Our spending has been excessive. ... We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries ... these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries. ..."
Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there's more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn't Canada practically a socialist country?
"Canada might do health care the wrong way," Beach said, "but by and large they do things the right way." Lately, Canada has lowered tax rates and reduced spending.
China is an interesting case. It ranks 140th out of 179, but its economy is on fire. How can this be?
"They have a complex economy," Beach says. "Around the edges of the mainland are rapidly growing city-states, like Hong Kong, which are pockets of enormous prosperity (and) economic freedom. But within the mainland is a very different economy. It's heavily controlled by the state. If you look at the growth rates of these two regions, you'll see one hardly growing."
And look at France. It ranks 64th, behind Mexico, Peru and Latvia! Yet France is a much wealthier country.
"France is doing their best to fall out of the index," Beach explained. "That's a country that says, 'We'd rather not be economically free if we can be economically secure.'"
Which countries should we keep an eye on in the future? Beach says parts of Central and South America are awakening. "Brazil has pretty much broken through after years of doing the right thing and is on the verge of serious sustained economic growth."
And Mexico is improving: "If Mexico could fix its drug war problem, we'd see the good things happening there."
If we want to reverse America's decline, we'd better get to work. There's a lot of government to cut.

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at


The word "Stammtisch"

Stammtisch is a terrific German word I first heard from the late Dr. H. O. J. Brown, a seminary professor and mentor of mine, someone for whom I have a deep love, respect and admiration.  It was at the beginning of a course I took from him, my first through RTS Charlotte, mostly lectures in Wittenberg, Germany--on his famous "Reformation tour" course given for something over 10 years during the summer, from the '90s up to 2006, when I first took it in 2004.  Anyway, Brown in his usual kind but serious, instructive way, cheerfully growled, "Well, err, ummm, 'Stammtisch' is an old German word, which can't quite be translated into English.  It is related to the English 'stem' or 'stump'  and means something like, 'a regular meeting with friends at a reserved table at a restaurant or pub to get back to your roots.'"   I've since confirmed this with native Germans I know--while chatting at Stammtisch with them, no less.

An Apology

Folks have told me I should start a blog, as they find my ideas, or really my postings and musings of others ideas, interesting--and after all, Facebook really isn't designed for serious blogging and discussion--and you can lose friends you otherwise may want to keep socially, by being too serious on a social networking site. 

Anyway, the name "AnalogReigns" is a name I've personally used since the '90s on a popular political blog-site, and it stems from the digital/computer revolution of our time:  Namely that real life is truthfully analog, and digital representations of it are, at the most detailed level at least, and really, at the most general level too, simplifications of black and white, 1's and 0's, polarizations actually.  Real life, visually speaking, (and by every other sense really), is much more subtle, a combination of blacks, greys, and light, along with the spectrum of color, which is, after all, pure light when divvied up.

The name is also a bit of a play on words, in that analog reigns (as the real world, being analog, does reign over the digital/imaginary world of order imposed by man...) but also analog reigns in, as with a horse, the excesses of the digital imagination.  I'm a firm believer in absolutes, or else I could not be a Christian, but, I'm afraid too many of us like to lazily take short cuts and force things into digital  yes/no, black/white, 1's and 0's categories, when, in the field of human events things usually are not so easy.  The English Reformation would be a good historical example--a good thing or bad, brought about by a good thing (the Bible), or a bad thing (King Henry's marital problems...)? (The answer is of course, "Yes...")  The answers as to the causes, and the results are quite complicated, and, as far as we can tell, resulted in blessings, yes, but mixed ones has  nearly everything historically speaking.   One of my great frustrations in the study of history is how scholars nearly always try to narrow down causes to ONE (big) thing...and that's not how complex humans, in complex social relationships work.  Life is analog, not digital, and even though there really is pitch black darkness, and blindingly pure light, we on this earth live somewhere in between.  The direction we are moving is more important than the brightness of the light shining around us.

Primarily this blog will involve Religion (that would be Christianity, which I firmly believe is true truth--that is objectively true) and Politics, along with miscellaneous other subjects (usually in History, Art and Science) which I find "excellent or praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8) and I want to share with friends, or acquaintances, that we may "think on these things" (again Phil. 4:8).

Of course I reserve the right to edit, delete, or close any and all postings, as this is MY site, or to put it in biblical terms, this is a place God has allowed me the stewardship His glory!

Sola Deo gloria!