July 05, 2016

"With friends like the CBMW, biblical marriage needs no enemies."

I'm not completely writing off the CBMW because I think they still have a lot of good to offer. However, I think this critique is on point. The good folks at CBMW remind me of pro-lifers who balk at calling abortion murder. In this increasingly hostile and immoral culture, the church should not be softening her tone and ceding ground. She should instead be more forceful than ever in her proclamation of biblical truth.

Brothers and sisters, it's time to stop coddling sex perverts, rebellious feminists, black racists, and social-justice warriors. The truth is not politically correct, and that's exactly why it's more needed than ever.

June 30, 2016

White Guilt Is False Guilt

Corporate repentance only makes sense if all the individuals in the group are actually guilty of the sin or sins in question. When denominations like the PCA and the SBC apologize for the racist actions of their long-dead forebears, it strikes me as nothing more than an exercise in self righteous virtue signaling.

I'm not sorry about slavery because I wasn't a slave holder. Don't expect an apology. Who would I even apologize to, anyway? All the former slaves are long dead as well. 

Institutional racism is a myth. Institutions are not moral agents. Institutions don't sin. It's the people within the institution who are guilty of sin, and those individuals must answer to God for their own sin

And don't expect an apology for the mistreatment of homosexuals either. I've never done that either. 

June 28, 2016

Another Name Change

The last name didn't sound quite right to my ears, so I changed it. I reserve the right to continue renaming the blog until I'm completely satisfied. Sorry for any confusion.

June 26, 2016

Debunking the Patriarchy

Feminists claim that straight white men run the world. Government, industry, entertainment, etc. are all controlled by heterosexual white males. 

Nope. Not true. Speaking as a straight white male, I can tell you that there are plenty of us with very limited spheres of influence. It doesn't follow that just because so many captains of industry and heads of state happen to be straight white guys that the rest of us are somehow in on it. Straight white men as a group are not involved in some sort of grand conspiracy to keep down women and minorities. I demand to be treated as an individual rather than be mistreated solely because I happen to belong to a minorty (yes, men are a minority, strictly speaking, since women make up a slightly higher percentage of the population). 

June 25, 2016

I Believe in Religious Liberty

Like most Baptists, I believe in religious liberty. In fact, as a Rothbardian libertarian, I go even further than most because I understand religious liberty to be a subset of a much greater principle of liberty called the non-aggression principle.

However, I'm not going to lift a finger to help Muslims build mosques. The fact that I believe they have a right to build their houses of false worship doesn't mean it's incumbent upon me to help them do so. There are better ways to fight for liberty, ways that don't conflict with the Great Commission. 

June 24, 2016

First Brexit, Then Texit?

As a libertarian, the only thing I find more troubling than nationalism is globalism, so I believe the British exit from the EU (which will almost certainly result in the complete dissolution of the EU) is a good thing. Smaller governments are better than bigger ones, so I'm all for secession and decentralization. Let's hope Texas stops playing around and follows the British example. And someday, Lord willing, maybe my own home state of Mississippi will finally tell the Feds to take a hike as well. 

June 23, 2016

More on the Trinity Debate

Over at Triablogue, Steve Hays lumped in Sam Waldron (the systematic theology professor of yours truly) with the Trueman/Golligher faction in the current dust-up over the Trinity (link). This confused me, since I remembered Dr. Waldron's comments on this issue from his Systematic Theology Overview lectures. I don't have a transcript in front of me, but, if memory serves me, he said basically the same thing in class that he writes in this blog post

In response to those who have "expressed fear that those who defend the eternal functional subordination of the Son are opening a path to Arianism for their spiritual descendants," Waldron says:
this . . . confuses two very different kinds of subordination. To put this another way, those who foster this rumor assume that there are only two kinds of subordination discussed in relation to the Trinity, when actually there are three. All Christians . . . believe that there is subordination in the economy of redemption. We may call this economic subordination. Their mistake is that they think there is only one other kind of subordination—subordination of essence or essential subordination. While they correctly see this kind of subordination to be wrong and false, they do not realize that this is not the kind of subordination implied in the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed actually teaches a third kind of subordination. It is neither economic nor essential subordination. It is the subordination of the persons of the Son and Spirit to the Father. Since the Greek word used to describe a real, personal distinction in the Trinity is hypostasis, we may call this personal or hypostatic subordination. . . . Furthermore, since this distinction between essence and person is vital to the Trinity, there should be no logical problem for any Trinitarian in denying a subordination of essence while affirming a subordination of person. It is a subordination of person and not essence that the modern defenders of the eternal functional subordination of the Son (like Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, and John Piper) intend to teach. They are emphatically not guilty of the Subordinationism of Justin Martyr and Origen.
Seems like Dr. Waldron is (on this point at least) on Team Grudem/Ware. Unless Dr. Waldron has recently retracted or somehow clarified his earlier statements, Steve Hays has misrepresented him.*

*It wouldn't be the first time. When Reformed Baptists were debating the merits of John Frame's theology a year or two ago, Hays lumped Waldron in with the anti-Frame bunch. What Hays doesn't realize is that Dr. Waldron regularly quotes Frame approvingly and even assigns several of his texts. He differs from Frame on occasion but he certainly shouldn't be lumped in with Tom Chantry and the rest of the anti-Frame crowd.

June 21, 2016

Welcome to "The Calvinistic Capitalist"

I decided to rename the blog to better reflect its content. When I initially started the blog back in late 2012, I intended to write almost exclusively about theology and church issues, but, as anyone who's been reading the blog over the last year can tell, my interests in libertarian politics and free-market economics have played an increasingly large role in shaping the direction of the blog formerly known as Faith Seeking Understanding. I'll probably update the links, reading lists, etc. to better reflect the new direction as well.

June 20, 2016

Grudem Lays the Smack Down on Trueman and Goligher

Wayne Grudem has responded to recent accusations that his teaching on the Trinity (a view shared by dozens of other respected theologians throughout the history of the church) is heretical. Read Grudem's response here.

And, in case you were wondering, I'm on Team Grudem.

June 10, 2016

Presidential Propaganda

When many Americans learn about the nonsense that some foreigners believe about their leaders/history (e.g. Japanese holocaust deniers or North Koreans who believe their leader is a demigod) they wonder "How could anyone believe that?"

Pot, meet kettle (link).

June 09, 2016

Tattoos: Yay or Nay?

This article by Doug Wilson really didn't sit well with me, so I'm glad Joel McDurmon took the time to respond to it (link).

For the record, I don't have any tattoos (and I actually find them quite distasteful, though not sinful), so I have no skin in this game. (See what I did there?). 

June 01, 2016

Pentecostal Paganism

While there are many orthodox, Bible- believing Christians within the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, the movement seems increasingly defined by elements that can hardly be considered "Christian" (at least not in any meaningful sense of the term).

Two recent examples:

May 31, 2016

May 28, 2016

May 23, 2016

I'm Back, By the Way

I'm not making any promises, but I intend to begin posting regularly again. I'd love to have a new post (mostly short ones like my previous post) every weekday. I'm also seriously considering rebranding the blog. Again, no promises. We'll see how it goes. 

Anti-Immigration = Far Right

Apparently, anyone who questions the wisdom of government-subsidized mass-migration is a "far-right" wacko. At least, that's the case if one believes everything he reads in mainstream (i. e. progressive) news sources. Have anyone else noticed this recent trend? Here's a recent example: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3603512/Is-Europe-elect-Far-Right-leader-Second-World-War-Early-projections-place-gun-toting-Norbert-Hofer-track-claim-Austrian-presidency.html

March 04, 2016

I Love Al Mohler Despite the Fact That He Is Terribly Wrong on Occasion

Albert Mohler is an intelligent, well-read man. He knows a lot about a lot. Having said that, he really shouldn't comment on Libertarianism because his knowledge of the subject is woefully inadequate.

January 20, 2016

Why You Should Boycott the Oscars

Some are calling for a boycott of the Oscars due to a lack of "diversity" among this year's nominees. 

I, too, am calling for a boycott of the Oscars. Not for any perceived lack of diversity, however. I think the Oscars should be boycotted because they are run by a bunch of mush-minded social justice warriors who are taking the egalitarian critiques of a bunch of spoiled children seriously. 

January 11, 2016

Review: Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament by Walter Kaiser

Kaiser Jr., Walter C. Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (Kregel, 2015), 176 pp.

Christianity's critics are increasingly less likely to offer serious, rational objections to the existence of God or the accuracy of Scripture. Instead they are much more likely to make an emotional appeal, claiming that the God of Scripture is a homophobic/sexist/racist/genocidal tyrant. Frankly, I don't have much patience for that sort of nonsense. If the critics want to make an actual argument, I'm happy to respond, but if all they're capable of doing is pointing and shrieking, I'm not particularly interested in listening.

However, someone has to answer these objections, and in Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (henceforth TQ), author Walt Kaiser attempts to do just that. The book consists of ten chapters, each one answering a common question about the character and/or behavior of the God of the Bible. The book is short (under 200 pages) and well-written. Each chapter also contains discussion questions, making TQ an ideal choice for group study. 

Kaiser does an able job responding to these tough questions, though I doubt he'll convince many skeptics (since, as I've already mentioned, I believe these objections often have more to do with feelings than facts). I don't always agree with the approach he takes (I especially disagree with the egalitarianism of chapter 9). Others may not share my disagreements with the author, but for me personally, they are enough to dissuade me from widely recommending the book to other members of my church. However, those interested in apologetics and/or Old Testament studies should find TQ to be a welcome addition to their libraries. 

Recommended, but not without reservations.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

January 01, 2016

Thinking Clearly about Immigration

Laurence Vance:
Libertarian advocates of “open borders” sometimes maintain that there should be no difference between an American traveling across a state border and a foreigner traveling across the U.S. border. But if this is what characterizes “open borders,” then that in and of itself is reason enough to reject “open borders” because, carried to its logical conclusion, “open borders” would then mean that if armed soldiers from any country in the world landed on America’s East or West Coasts, or massed at the Canadian or Mexican borders, and said that they were tourists coming to the United States to do some sightseeing, they should not be refused entry. And not only that, they could not be refused entry without violating their freedom to move, travel, migrate, or seek refuge. And if that weren’t ludicrous enough, foreign soldiers should be invited and welcomed just like everyone else in the world. If this conclusion is wrong, and not what certain left-libertarians envision as possibly happening with “open borders,” then perhaps they should use a different analogy or explain their position a little better.
. . .  
I have not argued against admitting Syrian refugees to the United States. I have not argued that immigrants take American jobs. I have not argued against admitting Muslims to the United States. I have not argued that immigrants commit crimes disproportionate to their numbers. I have not argued against immigrants. I have not argued that some refugees might potentially be terrorists. I have not argued against lawful immigration. I have not argued that some immigrants don’t want to assimilate. I have not argued against unrestricted immigration. I have not argued that some immigrants don’t want to learn English. I have not even argued against “open borders.”

I have merely pointed out some differences that libertarians can and should be recognizing—even if they are sympathetic to “open borders.” (link)

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