Sunday, March 18, 2018

Southern Baptist Convention Undermined By Russell Moore's Propensity Towards Compromise

Granted, in response to what was seen as encroaching apostasy and unbelief eroding both strong moral and sound doctrine, Fundamentalism at times presented a militant brand of conservative Protestantism that could could occasionally be construed as a bit gruff around the edges. In such circles, a soft answer was not necessarily perceived as turning away wrath as admonished by Proverbs 15:1 but rather as a sign of spiritual weakness and, even worse, possible compromise.

In what is categorized as the nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention serves as an interesting sociological barometer in terms of what direction ideological winds tend to be blowing. For example early in the twentieth century, the ecclesiastical association nearly succumbed to the temptations of liberalism and modernism only to be pulled back from this brink by a conservative resurgence that coincided with the ascent of Reaganism on through the Republican Party taking both houses of Congress in the 1990's.

Now it seems the tide might once again be receding. Those that have in a sense grown up in an environment characterized as overwhelmingly religious are tempted to surrender the ground gained as a form of repentance in their minds for certain admitted excesses and as a way to promote the peace and toleration always being yelled about in one's ear.

In his early 40's as of this writing in late 2017, Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Theological Seminary and now the Ethics and Public Policy Commission is often fawned over as a prominent young leader who could very likely shape the Southern Baptist Convention throughout the course of much of the twenty-first century. If that is the case, conservative Baptists mind end up finding themselves betrayed on what could very well be a sinking ship.

Without a doubt, Russell Moore professes those fundamentals of the faith necessary to assure the individual of salvation in Christ and eternity in Heaven. But it is in those areas where it is easy to compromise for broad approval and applause that Dr. Moore presents the greater spiritual danger.

I Corinthians 9:22 counsels to be all things to all men. By this, it is believed that the Gospel message can be adapted within certain parameters or presented in such a way that addresses individuals in the particular circumstances in which they find themselves.

The problem with Russell Moore and an increasing number within Evangelical Christianity in general and the Southern Baptist Convention in particular is the growing conviction that, in order to appeal to what is perceived as untapped demographics, professional religionists must go out of there way to publicly denigrate those expected to financially sponsor these outreach efforts. And in so doing, one is expected to turn one's back on much of the foundation that was laid as the foundation that got us to where we are today.

This is particularly evident in Russell Moore's response to the Trayvon Martin incident. As someone that presents himself not only as a clergyman but as someone that also makes his comfortable living as such, one might think Russell Moore would have endeavored to remain above the fray in regards to such an issue by calling for cooler heads to prevail or to point out how quickly individual lives can be lost.

Instead, Moore came out quite publicly in favor of Trayvon Martin and against George Zimmerman. The mouthpiece of Southern Baptist public policy is quoted in the 7/16/13 edition of the Washington Post as saying, “Regardless of what Trayvon Martin was doing or not doing, you have someone who was taking upon himself some sort of vigilante justice, even by getting out of the car. Regardless of what the legal verdict was, this was wrong.

Perhaps we really should consider what transpired and especially what it was that Trayvon Martin was doing the moment his life ended.

From what the judicial process has been able to establish, Trayvon Martin was beating George Zimmerman and delivering blows to the head that could have resulted in permanent injury and even death. Why does the criteria Moore invokes to defend Martin not apply to protect Zimmerman in this incident as well?

For example, according to Moore, the chain of events began when Zimmerman disembarked from the vehicle. That may or may not have been the wisest course of action. However, that was probably more legal and less suspicious than Martin zig-zagging late at night in and out of people's yards like a drunk or reefer addict up to no good.

So if Zimmerman committed a great wrong by laying his hands on Martin, why should Martin be exonerated for attacking Zimmerman who was doing nothing worse than perambulating over a public thoroughfare? However, it is apparently not enough for Moore to simply side perhaps with the party that did not have access to a fire arm in this altercation.

One can barely find a piece of direct mail promotional newsletter propaganda these days that does not go out of its way to denigrate White people for simply being white. A considerable number of these ecclesiastical functionaries have adopted a rhetoric of White guilt more typically emanating from the likes of Phil Donahue and Woody Allen that from behind a Dixie pulpit. One of the foremost practitioners of this victimization narrative is none other than Russell Moore.

To the analysis of the Trayvon Martin issue, Russell Moore added, “And when you add this to the larger context of racial profiling and a legal system that does seem to have systemic injustices as it related to African Americans with arrests and sentencing, I think makes for a huge crisis.” Moore further observes, “Most white evangelicals...are seeing [the Martin case] microscopically and most African Americans are seeing it macroscopically. Most white Americans say we don't know what happened that night and they are missing the point.”

As dumb as Whites are depicted now by the hierarchs of the Southern Baptist Convention, it's a wonder they are able to drop their tithe into the collection plate. But perhaps it is because of such stupidity that Whites so flagrantly mocked don't take their religious dollars elsewhere.

Notice that nowhere in those comments did Moore ponder that Trayvon Martin might have been as high as a kite or that George Zimmerman might have taken the only course of action that would have preserved his own life. If Moore is going to be this discombobulated over matters of race and ethnicty to the point where in matters of law enforcement and civil adjudication that the primary concern is not so much that of an individual's guilt or innocence in terms of committing a certain act but rather on the basis of the individual's membership in certain demographic categories, Russell Moore should be asked just what is he himself willing to sacrifice in terms of comprehensive social equity.

For example, if Russell Moore on a proverbial dark and stormy night found himself confronted by a Black assailant that proceeds to perpetrate violence against this seminarian naive to how the world actually exists, is he going to do what he expected of George Zimmerman and allow himself to be pummeled either to death or into a state of permanent mental imbecility as a result of brain damage received for the good of the cause? More importantly, is Dr. Moore willing for his wife or daughters to be raped in order to balance out what Southern Baptist functionaries such as himself now consider the scales of ethnic justice?

Just as important, should these kinds of tragedies befall Rev. Moore or his ecclesiastical allies and the scumbag is apprehended by law enforcement, are these theologians then going to parrot the fashionable liberal drivel about disparities in sentencing should the perpetrator of the crimes against them be one of the minorities the denomination has come to coddle and fawn over these past few years? For in his praise of Trayvon Martin and condemnation of George Zimmerman, Moore went out of his way to emphasize this issue.

In 2013, the Convention went out of its way to enact a resolution condemning incarceration with little mention as to whether or not those tossed in the slammer might actually deserve to be there. Perhaps the denomination would instead prefer to come out in favor of more explicitly Old Testament punishments such as floggings and public executions.

The Convention also condemned former chairman of the Ethics and Policy Commission and eventually forced into retirement Richard Land for merely verbalizing what it was that the vast majority of Americans were already thinking that President Obama was “trying to gin up the black vote” and that allied racemongers “need the Trayvon Martins to continue perpetuating their central myth --- America is a racist and evil nation.”

It is not only in the area of race relations where Russell Moore falls pitifully short of the kind of leadership Baptists need if the denomination and that particular theological perspective is to not only ride out the waves of the looming cultural collapse but possibly even rescue the nation from drowning in these overwhelming historical tides.

In coverage of the 2013 convention in which Russell Moore was installed as the chairman of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, an observer gushed in one press account that his election brought a more moderate tone. As it was explained, “The new generation is less ideologically motivated.” However, is it that the new generation is “less ideologically motivated” or simply that it decided to collaborate in implementing a more leftist ideology?

It seems Brother Moore is quite adept at implementing a don't do as I do, do as I say mentality. For on an episode of the Albert Mohler Program broadcast sometimes around 2006 probably around the first time I had ever even heard of Russell Moore, he confessed that, while thoroughly enjoying Halloween himself as a youth, it is now wrong for contemporary Christian children to participate in Halloween. And the point of raising this issue, some are probably asking with perplexity? After all, such a viewpoint is no doubt common among a variety of theologies found among Independent Baptist, conservative Southern Baptist, and even Pentecostal or Charismatic churches.

Indeed it is. However, the example is brought up to point out that Russell Moore and the young Turks advocating his style of social engagement are not quite of the live and let live mindset those unaccustomed to fully parsing phrases such as “less ideologically motivated” might be led to believe. If anything, it would seem Russell Moore has something of a tendency to crackdown in those areas where individual preference should be allowed to flourish while allowing things to get a bit out of line where, if one slacks an inch, assorted subversives will take a proverbial mile.

How does this represent a more moderate wind being blown into Baptist sails? I can assure you, I know first hand the sort of message has been pounded into the minds of Christian youth for nearly thirty years.

I remember back in my day that, along with whether or not you watched “The Simpsons”, you would speak in hushed tones about celebrating Halloween for fear of bringing the wrath of the more religiously fanatical teachers in Christian day school down upon you. It often seemed that some would even go out of their way to assign extra homework or schedule a test for the next day as a way to punish those that might succumb to the temptation of masquerading for prepackaged nocturnal confections.

This hypocrisy aside, it is not the only issue regarding which this new breed of seemingly less ideological Southern Baptist leader may actually be more ideological than ever before. Baptists might be mocked with the mantra of “Don't drink, don't chew, and don't go with girls who do” in terms of the rigorous behavioral codes many adhere to in the attempt to differentiate themselves from those considered worldly and in an effort to adhere to a lifestyle that they believe would be pleasing to God. However, if there is one area in which Baptists are noted for a spirit of liberation it is in the area of food.

However, Russell Moore and his allies would likely impose an additional set of regulations upon those in their congregations and within their respective spheres of homiletical influence in regards to this aspect of existence in no way derived from Biblical principles such as those regarding booze.

On 1/2/2006, Russell Moore posted an entry on the blog of the Henry Institute at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary titled “Crunchy Cons and Veggie Tales”. The brief essay is a review and elaboration of an emerging ideology known as crunchy conservatism coined by Moore's “Touchstone Magazine” colleague Rod Dreher.

In the post, Moore describes crunchy cons as, “...conservatives who are religious traditionalists and political conservatives but who are deeply suspicious of the materialism and consumerist assumptions of the reigning culture.” However, the materialism denounced here goes beyond that requiring the latest iteration of the I-Phone when the one acquired last year still works perfectly fine or having to acquire an entirely new wardrobe every year irrespective of whether or not the duds from the previous season have worn out

Rather, it is of the variety of how we mere working slobs are expected to willingly embrace with deliberation and aforethought a harsher and less convenient lifestyle because doing so makes detached intellectuals like Russell Moore that have not gotten their hands dirty in years or even decades feel so much more satisfied with themselves because they know more about how you ought to spend your miserable existence better than you do.

In the TimesOnline article referenced by Moore titled “Mr. And Mrs. Crunchy”, his “Touchstone Magazine” colleague Rod Dreher begins, “We had come to believe that the family, not the individual, is the basic building block of our society.” It depends upon what the writer means by that.

Bravo if by that he is expressing a realization that, upon having children, his wellbeing and that of his wife takes a backseat and their needs play second fiddle to those of the children. However, to those such as Rod Dreher and Russell Moore, the notion likely goes considerably beyond that.

For example, often those of this mentality having procreated believe that they are entitled to an ever-increasing percentage of the income and accumulated resources of those that do not have children, especially if such people are single. This confiscatory compensation can take on a number of forms.

The first is in the form of traditional taxation. Those of a communalist mindset believe that each additional child that they parent into the world should grant them a larger piece of the economic pie to be siphoned off as form of punishment from those not having produced children or not having produced by what in their standard is an acceptable number. One radical homeschooler has even insinuated that those not having at least four (the particular number he just happens to have) of harboring an insufficient love of children. It is about time to end manipulation of the tax code as a kind of mind game to trick supposedly free people into engaging in predetermined behavior of any kind.

In expanding that the family and not the individual is the building block of society, Rod Dreher expounded, “I heretically came to realize that Hillary Clinton was right: it really does take a village to raise a child. We conservatives, with our exaltation of consumer choice and the sovereign individual, were dismantling the village as effectively as the statist libertines we opposed.”

This notion of the village goes beyond simply perhaps curtailing the amount of smut broadcast on television. Rather, it allows for the COMMUNITY often in the guise of government authorities to have final say over decisions regarding your existence that might not really be based upon any principle clearly delineated in the pages of Scripture.

Dreher further elaborates regarding free market principles, “But they were based on fundamentally materialist assumptions about human nature which conservatives ought to have known were inaccurate and which would lead to a loss of purpose, of community, or idealism.”

But is it really the place of government (because that is ultimately what is meant by COMMUNITY to these neo-beatnik types) to police these matters in the lives of individuals and families? For what if these are at variance with what communal elites decide constitutes prevailing values and acceptable citizenship (for lack of a better term for those advocating for the elimination of traditional borders).

For example, what ought to happen when the COMMUNITY decides you as a professional baker you will provide your particular goods and services for gay weddings? Better yet, in such circumstances, what happens when the COMMUNITY decides that its vision of marriage not being limited between a single pair of heterosexual partners but rather open to any combination of consenting adult partners is the view to be taught to your children?

Granted, it is doubtful that a good Baptist like Russell Moore would applaud such social decay. In fact, overall the Southern Baptist Convention has stood for the God-ordained traditional heterosexual family even if a number of the association's spokesfolk have been hoodwinked into public forums and dialogs where the attendees mired in that specific inclination are not so much looking to be delivered spiritually from that particular sin but are instead attempting to lure the well-intentioned but somewhat naïve Baptist into a state of ever-increasing compromise.

Russell Moore could be one of the most prominent Baptist leaders of the twenty-first century with the possibility as many as five additional decades of theological productivity before him if he is blessed with mental vitality and a long life. As such, American Evangelicals need to be cognizant where his accumulating compromises undermine what little remains of the nation's conservative values and influence upon America's cultural institutions.

Most would agree that a progressive licentiousness pervades much of the Western world's media landscape. However, one of the few remaining areas in which conservatives of varying stripes have been able to hold their own has been talk radio.

Yet, if Russell Moore had his way, conservatives ---- particularly of the Evangelical variety --- would relinquish the ground that they hold in the media or at least moderate their tone to the extent that such voices would be indistinguishable from any other variety of broadcaster.

At the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's 2014 Leadership Summit, as that body's president, Moore said that if all he knew about Christianity was what he heard on Christian radio in the Nashville area while driving to that particular conference, he would hate Christianity too. Such an allegation, in and of itself, might have merit. The thing of it is that, since then, Moore has been disturbingly vague and elusive regarding the nature of these criticisms.

In this particular tirade, Moore said, “There are some people who believe that fidelity to the gospel simply means speaking 'you kids get off my lawn'. That is not the message of the gospel. If the call to repentance does not end with an invitation that is grounded the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus we are speaking a different word than the Word that has been given.”

Such a statement is accurate if the venue and/or media under consideration is the pulpit on Sunday morning. However, talk radio (even Christian talk radio) can have a slightly different methodology dependent upon the particular program under consideration.

For example, in his tirade Russell Moore said, “If all you and I are doing is standing and speaking a word, including a truthful word, about sexual immorality...the world does not need us for that. The devil is able to do that on his own. We have not been called simply to condemn. We have been called to reconcile.”

It seems that increasingly in Dr. Moore's homiletical repertoire that “reconcile” has become a euphemism for capitulation and pandering. There is indeed more to repentance than condemnation. But in order for someone to admit that they are wrong and want to do something about that situation, doesn't the individual need to informed that they have done something wrong?

Apparently in his attempt to garner the approval of religious leftists, Russell Moore insists that the world does not need us to stand and speak against sexual immorality. But if not Christians and conservatives of various persuasions, who will be left to do so. In light of the Duggar and Bill Gothard scandals most prominently and to a lesser extent R.C. Sproul Jr's confession to his own carnal temptation, it seems this variety of compromise is even coming to grip those uplifted among us as supposedly the best that Evangelicalism has to offer.

For how long did Russell Moore listen to talk radio during the day in question? Shouldn't he be required to listen to a station's entire weekly program rotation before rendering a somewhat objective verdict that the complete Gospel message is not being presented?

Russell Moore dismisses Christian talk radio as little more than the rhetorical equivalent of “you kids get off my lawn”. But if certain people are deliberately somewhere they ought not to be doing something they definitely shouldn't be, why shouldn't they be told about it? Professional religionists and clergy such as Moore certainly don't mind letting this be known when the tithes and offering slack off.

In the effort to protect their stations and privileges placing them on a rung on the social ladder higher than that of the average pewfiller, a number of ministers like to emphasize the passage found in Ephesians 4:11 stipulating that some are called to be teachers, some pastors, and other evangelists.

So why cant this also apply to the various ministries and programs features on an average Christian radio station? Some shows might emphasize family life and personal relationships. Others such as Moore seem to prefer, according to his remarks, to focus upon explicitly evangelistic outreach. Others might be a bit more hard hitting (in a way that seems to turn off Dr. Moore) by exposing the doctrinal deficiencies in systems in competition with Christianity or the moral controversies eating away at the heart of American society or Western civilization.

Russell Moore is partially correct in that if all we know of Christianity came from the assorted radio programs broadcast in the faith's name one might very well not want anything to do with this particular religion. Does the theologian articulating such scathing remarks intend to repent of the role he has played in such a development surprisingly not always so much the result of an excess of conservatism but often times as a result of his desire to curry favor with religious leftists?

For example, as previously stated, where in the pages of Scripture is the pastor or evangelist instructed to berate the Christian for acquiring provisions from large chain retailers such as Target or Walmart? Likewise, what self-respecting White person is going to want anything to do with your religion when you rhetorically flog them for things that happened nearly half a century ago when it is often the minorities that these self-loathing Caucasians go out of their way to pander towards destroying property and threatening the innocent in the blighted urban areas?

It might be one thing to strive for the Biblical admonition to be all things to all men. However, in the way in which they attempt to do so, Southern Baptist functionaries such as Russell Moore would do well to remember that those having been loyal members all along are just as much worthy of respect and admiration as those attempting to be brought into the fold.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #106

Technically, referring to some of these countries as excrement holes would be an actual improvement as to their actual conditions.

Regarding the tolerancemongers and diversity fanatics outraged that President Trump would invoke blunt earthy language to accurately describe a number of countries.  Would these outraged voices continue to reside in neighborhoods with noticeable influxes of migrants from these particular regions continuing to adhere to the second rate standards of conduct sparking the decline of these respective homelands in the first place?  Would those placing multiculturalist dogma over survival either vacation in or retire to these particular countries?

In Venezuela, it is claimed that the starving are feeding upon flamingos and anteaters in an attempt to satiate gnawing hunger.  But the true outrage would apparently be to insinuate that this particular country is anything less than a first rate place in which to live or vacation.

For articulating earthy language to accurately describe the countries for which some of the most questionable immigrants originate, Donald Trump has been accused of taking the country to a new low.  Shouldn’t the lowest point be viewed as the moment when those that govern this nation decided not to enforce immigration law with the utmost vigor and those that guide the culture decided to allow Third World squalor to take root.

Fascinating how multiculturalists are tossing a bigger fit over Trump articulating a blunt assessment to describe certain countries than that significant numbers from these places are allowed to enter or remain here for the purposes of dragging the quality of life in this country down to Third World standards.

So was the $1000 bonus granted to many WalMart employees provided from proceeds retained from Trump tax cuts or from eliminating the positions of those having lost their jobs as a result of layoffs in the company’s Sam’s Club division?

Senator Dick Durbin has said, “I cannot believe that in the history … of that Oval Office any President has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our President speak yesterday.”  And are we to assume that when Monica Lewinsky was underneath the desk in the Oval Office and her head between the legs of Bill Clinton that he only spoke to her using terms found in Grey’s Anatomy or in Elizabethan love poetry?

So since the media has declared that we must only speak of other countries in the most glowing of terms, does that mean that the only thing that can be said of Nazi Germany is that the regime excelled at chemistry and the moving of large numbers of people by railway? Ironic that some no doubt complaining the loudest about President Trump articulating an earthy term for digestive effluent are part of the media elite slipping the term more and more into the dramatic dialog of their television and cinematic productions.

Religionists opposed to Donald Trump’s alleged articulation of an earthy term to describe certain countries is one thing.  Because at least these folks are usually consistent about it an eschew such language in all circumstances. However, the hypocritical ones are those that any other time insist such lignuistic formulations are merely words or downplay their use in such urban or ghetto artforms, instead celebrating such as expressions of the unique truth as embodied by the artists bold enough to convey them.

An U.N. spokesman has denounced President Trump’s categorization of certain countries as excrement receptacles as “shocking and shameful”.  Perhaps U.N. elites would be willing to surrender the organization’s prime New York real estate and instead set up headquarters in one of these lovely locations the foreign policy establishment apparently feels compelled to deny the prevailing conditions of.

Charlie Daniels is correct in reflecting upon the Taco Bell commercial spoofing concerns regarding the globalist conspiracy that the Illuminati is no laughing matter.  So does this often insightful country singer refute the frivolity of his classic “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” suggesting that a mere human could best the Old Deluder at Satan’s own game?

In the President’s Martin Luther King Day proclamation, Americans were told to use the day off to perform acts of service.  Given that the employed will be serving the public the other four remaining days of the week, how about directing that imperative at the deadbeats on public assistance that never get off their rears to do anything productive?

Lindsey Graham has denounced President Trump’s characterization of certain Third World nations as  “blank hole” countries. Yet in 2013 Senator Graham referred to similar places as “hellholes”. Is one acceptable because some do not even believe that the modifier describing one type of hole doesn’t even exist while proof for the other presents itself whenever someone drops a proverbial number two in the toilet?

Regarding the pastor that got up on his moral high horse regarding what the minister characterized as Trump’s “dehumanizing and ugly” remarks pertaining to certain Third World nations while Vice President Pence was in the audience.  Interesting that the church (and most likely the pastor’s residence) is located in the part of the county celebrated the world over for higher than average minority income rather than the part of the county where immigrant squalor and gang infestation predominate to the point that it rated recent coverage by the Washington Post.   

The White House website on Martin Luther KIng Day featured an essay the title of which characterized the civil rights figure as a “Model Of An American Patriot”.  Will those that regularly get jacked out of shape about President Trump’s past praise or associations with questionable entities of the AltRight pitch a hissy fit just as loud about this?  It must be admitted that King’s philosophy of judging by character rather than color is admirable. However, can someone without reservation be celebrated as a “model patriot” if there are documented instances of him working in close affiliation with people and organizations agitating on behalf of Marxist upheaval?  

Outcry has erupted over the deportation of a 39 year old father of two residing with his family in Detroit who has been living in America as an illegal since he was 10 years old.  This raises a number of questions. First, if his family is not accompanying him by choice, doesn’t that mean that they love the American standard of living more than their father?  Do religionists such as Russell Moore and even James Dobson have anything to say about that? They certainly don’t mind invoking alleged Hispanic family values when these can be invoked to bash the rest of us over the head as supposedly being morally superior to those of the average American.  Second, if it is not the American legal system that will not allow his family to accompany him back to his homeland, shouldn’t humanitarian and related bleeding heart types be as vocal in their condemnation of Mexican immigration law as they usually are of that of the United States?

A Christianity Today article is titled, “What Student Ministry Really Needs? Homework”.  Maybe so. But how is a church or youth ministry going to compel such? If students don’t do the homework assignments of their formalized schooling, they will fail which will prevent them from entering college or even obtaining a desirable job.  But if church gets too pushy about assignments, the student is simply not going to return to the church.

According to the Federalist, actor Kevin Sorbo  --- best known to genre fans as Hercules from “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”  and as Captain Dylan Hunt in “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” and to Christian audiences from the film “God’s Not Dead --- has been preemptively banned from East Coast ComiCon.  Interestingly, this is news to the actor as he revealed to the Federalist that he had no plans on attending that particularly convention in the first place. In the article, others claimed to have been similarly blacklisted by Marvel over matters of ideology.  Seems the company has more in common with Hydra than Captain America. Perhaps it is about time for conservatives of assorted varieties to organize their own pop culture conventions or even zine and small press festivals.

In an article titled, “Moralism Is Not The Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is), Southern Baptist Theologian Albert Mohler points out this important observation.  But there is no self-reflective criticism in this essay where he points out where his own ministry has fallen short of this noble realization. For nowhere in the Scripture does one find the condemnation Mohler himself propagates of those not having married by the time they are 25 years of age.  What he teaches in this regard is merely personal opinion that has no place in a pulpit claiming to stand for Sola Scriptura.

In an op-ed, Senator John McCain has issued a warning about President Donald Trump’s constant attacks against the media.  It is the Senator’s concern that these will harm democracy. As if his own McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act with its own suppression of free speech raised to the level of statutory law with threats of severe punishments did not.  While concerning, about all Trump has really done thus far is to shoot off at the mouth. Like it or not, that is still an act protected by the First Amendment.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, March 5, 2018

Scanners Set To Discernment Part 1: Introduction To UFO's & Christianity

Monday, February 12, 2018

Would A Dung Pile By Any Other Name Smell As Sweet?

Responses have poured in over President Trump's use of blunt earthy language to describe a number of countries from which migrants of dubious quality have poured across the border often with little regard for various immigration laws.

A spokesman for the African Union remarked, “Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice.”

That translates as how dare a White person contradict the threatening ultimatums of a vaunted minority.

It's rather ironic that a propagandist from an organization once controlled by Muamar Qaddaffi would lecture America regarding “accepted behavior and practice”. For just how are we going to define that?

In many parts of that continent, slavery and the mass murder of religious dissidents are still considered “accepted behavior and practice”.

And the way women are treated there such as property to be bought and sold and their genitals mutilated make Harvey Weinstein look like the proverbial gentle and solicitous lover.

So when can we expect the MeToo movement to educate the public about the horrors that transpire in these cesspool nations we are threatened with retaliation regarding if we classify them as anything other than picturesque vacation and real estate investment locations?

President Trump's critical assessment of the world might be jarring to those that prefer a genteel approach where certain realities are downplayed nearly to the point of denial.

However, it was this sort of tendency pursued as regular practice by the Foggy Bottom diplomatic-industrial complex that has resulted in a global situation where America is no longer feared and regularly taken advantage of.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #103

If it is a rule that NFL players must stand during the National Anthem and a rule that players can't engage in showboating gyrations following a touchdown, on what grounds now is it legitimate to penalize a player that engages in celebratory dance?

A homily posted at SermonAudio is titled “Signs Of I Spiritual Immaturity”. A foremost one ought to be that this pastor in question went on for 92 minutes on this one topic.

Having returned from a tour of assorted Reformation sites in Europe, home school activist Kevin Swanson in a SermonAudio podcast now thinks it is his place to hand down decrees as to how you are obligated to spend your vacation. If that sort of itinerary emphasizing ecclesiastical tourism now makes him spiritually superior to other believers, how does that differ appreciably than medieval Catholic pilgrimages?

It was posted at SermonAudio by one minister having returned from a tour of religiously significant sites in Europe that many Christians leave Jesus out of their vacations. So unless you are being explicitly religious at all times as you relax, your weekend at the beach or afternoon at the local amusement park is now the equivalent of Thai sex tourism.

It was astutely pointed out in a sermon that the Christian must be careful in desiring to the point of envy the blessings God has given someone else but not intended for you. It should also be pointed out for the need of other Christians not to look down on those or to hinder the opportunities of others to whom God has not extended certain blessings that organized religion often instead views as life milestones that indicate that those having not experienced them for whatever reason are morally or spiritually deficient.

Frankly, Americans ought to be less offended about a President calling on professional athletes to stand during the National Anthem than these Presidents demanding we give back to the COMMUNITY with uncompensated voluntarism as if what we do for pay is of no public benefit.

In support of the professional athletes disrespecting the national anthem and the flag, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church in a SermonAudio podcast remarked how America is still racially divided and how 11 AM Sunday is still allegedly the most “segregated” hour of the week. So which of the all White pastoral staff is going to resign so that a minority can hired to start the racial healing that these ministers are demanding of the remainder of us?

It is being suggested that Americans should be required to pass a mental fitness evaluation up to and including a record free of depression before being allowed to own a firearm. What would then prevent such a requirement from being placed upon other constitutional liberties before a citizen would be permitted to exercise such rights?

Why do we need to ban silencers if they were not used in the Las Vegas attack? A silencer is not part of the gun that kills a person. Most really know no more about silencers than they do lightsabers. They are nothing more than something fascinatingly spooky that has been seen in a movie.

Moron pundit Joe Scarborough claims that the only reason civilians stockpile weapons is in order to kill American soldiers or the government. But isn't that the primary reason why law enforcement and military also stockpile weapons in order to coerce compliance from civilian populations?

It was said on Saturday Night Live in reference to guns, no one needs 47 of anything. Does that include the number of sex partners had by the average homosexual or even straight deviant of whom an inordinate number of entertainers rank?

Rush Limbaugh is concerned that President Trump is becoming increasingly dictatorial. In particular, the broadcasting legend is referring to Trump's ongoing remarks regarding the intentional disrespect of the flag and national anthem on the part of a number of professional athletes. But wouldn't Limbaugh's keenly analytical mind be better directed towards the hints on the part of Trump threatening the revocation of broadcast licenses over news coverage critical of administration policy?

For leaving a game amidst NFL players refusing to respect the National Anthem, Vice President Mike Pence has been accused of political grandstanding. So how is what he did any more reprehensible than the actions of the recalcitrant athletes? Why must their rights of conscience by celebrated but not those of the Vice President?

A pastor remarked that, if you don't like an opinion articulated by a pastor, you should not leave the church because the pastor is merely exercising his First Amendment rights. But what about the First Amendment rights of the mere pewfiller to find a church the matches closest with their particular understanding of doctrine and its application in the life of the believer?

Diversitymongers have condemned a group of Poles that gathered along the border of that Eastern European nation in an act of prayer. Critics opposing this event claimed that this mass invocation of deity could be construed as a deliberate refusal to accept Islamic migration into the country. So apparently Poles aren't allowed to preserve their heritage but little is apparently said when Islamic regimes execute converts in order to preserve theirs.

A church that actually tossed its support in favor of the anti-American NFL protesters remarked that there is actually nothing the NFL could do that would prevent most American men from watching football. To watch or not to watch in light of these developments is an individual decision and not exactly one where church leaders ought to be making “Thus sayeth the Lord” style proclamations.

Interesting how Michael Savage buttered up to Laura Ingraham on his 10/11/17 broadcast. I remember him at one time deriding her as “that woman that always wears a cross” as if he didn't even know her name.

Producers of the upcoming flop Star Trek: Discovery revealed that the new version of the Klingons are based upon Trump voters in that the characters are advocates of genetic purity. As if the moronic Federation and Starfleet policy that all philosophies are equal is workable and wouldn't lead to civilization's collapse. If anything, Trump would be more like a Ferengi. It is a shame that those now granted control over this venerable science fiction series understand neither current events or the backgrounds of these characters.

President Bush said White supremacy and bigotry are blasphemy against American values. And Black Lives Matter, La Raza, Islamic jihadism, and Jewish supremacism are not?

Soon one will need an ID or even a passport (if one's home state is not in compliance with the Real ID Act) to travel between domestic airports within the United States (but apparently not to vote). Mark these words. Just as it is now against the law to withdraw an amount from the bank less than the amount that now triggers the scrutiny of revenuers if for the purposes to evade these reporting requirements, citizens will be subjected to criminal penalties if it is learned they selected a mode of transportation other than flight in order to avoid this form of intrusive surveillance.

If these actresses were so appalled to find out what Hollywood producers were really like (something known since the middle decades of the past century), why didn't they return to lives of relative obscurity such as Walmart cashiers? Some of what has been exposed is akin to going on American Idol and being shocked when Simon Cowell proceeds to berate you for a shoddy performance.

Even if not himself guilty of any direct incident, in regards to sexual harassment and the verbal mistreatment of WOMEEEENNN, isn't Howard Stern the equivalent of Tokyo Rose or Jane Fonda in Hanoi?

Donald Trump has Tweeted: "Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened." That means secret society elites will have the final say as to whether or not this information is released. And if it is, what proof will we have that it is complete or not doctored?

Regarding those wanting to ban Civil War reenactments. If that form of free speech and right to assemble can be infringed upon, why not also ban Antifa and Black Lives Matter while we are at it? There is nothing in the First Amendment about those wanting to assemble on public land being required to meet a specific ideological threshold.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, January 8, 2018

You Wouldn't Want To Live At The Time Of Christ's Birth

A line of narrative in a Christmas cantata described the time in which Christ was born as “simpler”.

One could legitimately say that era in question was certainly less technologically advanced.

However, a case could be made that life then was actually much more complex and complicated to navigate.

Most today might want to get away from the ubiquitousness of their gadgets for a time.

However, would anyone from today really want to remain in such a setting?

It's doubtful most of us would survive for very long, but that is nothing to be ashamed of as we were not meant to be in that time.

The infrastructure of Bethlehem, and probably even the most advanced cities of that day such as Rome or Athens, was so lacking at the time that Mary had to give birth in a barn.

Statistically, just think how many other women had children that night traveling to fulfill the requirements of the census with less of a guarantee that the child was going to survive until adulthood.

Most of the discerning distrust the government now.

But despite the shortcomings of these agencies, have any of us faced the military or law enforcement deliberately killing all of the babies of a particular town just for spite?

IRS requirements to file taxes are burdensome and frustrating enough; however, at least we are not required to return to our respective hometowns in order to do so.

The celebrations of Christmas beautifully announce to the world that the Savior entered into it so that we might be redeemed from the consequences of our sin.

However, we also need a reminder that the world into which the Messiah willingly entered ultimately to die at the time was neither all that joyful or beautiful.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, November 27, 2017

Corporatists Profit From Christmas While Subtly Mocking It

Over the past couple of decades, the cultured despisers of religion have attempted to undermine celebrations primarily Christian in nature through outright bans of the symbols commemorating a particularly beloved time of year.

However, such efforts have proven largely unsuccessful.

Americans have resisted with such vehemence that the nation elected a President that raised the issue of referring to December 25th explicitly as Christmas nearly to the level of a plank in his campaign platform.

As masters of psychological warfare, secularists now seem to be pursuing a strategy where, if one cannot outright ban Christmas, one can at least insert messages disrespecting the holiday into the advertising pervasive throughout ubiquitous media.

In one advertisement, instead of a baby Jesus figurine resting in the manger, a British bakery replaced the Christ child with a partially masticated sausage role.

Given that sausage is often composed of swine parts that cannot be consumed as other cuts of meat, would this business if its executives desired continued existence portrayed Muhammad in a similarly flippant manner?

And speaking of Muslims, adherents of that particular faith are utilized in another marketing endeavor on the part of a business wanting to brand itself as slapping Christians across the face.

In a commercial produced by a British supermarket chain, those depicted are asked what it is that they like to eat for Christmas.

One of the families asked is not simply Muslim but there is no denying such as they are depicted in the head garb distinctive to hardline interpretations of that faith.

One might legitimately respond that the beauty of Christmas is that anyone is free to celebrate the joy of that particular season.

After all, Christmas is big business in Japan with the majority of the population there being Shinto and/or Buddhist.

However, the obliteration of Western civilization has not been a particular goal of the Japanese since the end of World War II.

It has been admitted that a number of Muslims do not so much wear these outfits out of a sense of piety or modesty but rather as a way to explicitly articulate their animosity towards Christendom and to do their part to see that that particular way of life is replaced with a global caliphate.

As in the case of the sausage role advertisement, could a similar commercial be produced where the roles are reversed where a Saudi Arabian grocery asked Christians residing there how they enjoy Ramadan with the Christians responding with a nice succulent pork chop or a crispy piece of bacon?

Corporate media is so deliberate in nature that nothing within the messages it propagates is an accident or mere coincidence.

As such, if an aspect of such can be construed as disrespectful of either Christmas or Christianity, it is pretty safe to assume such was the intention of the mind composing such a sentiment.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 5

Sadly though, this is the age of extremes. On the one hand, there are Christians that no doubt find Disney classics such as “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Pinocchio” too racy for their tastes. And on the other, there are those professing to be Christians that cannot adopt quickly enough the popular fads and affectations of any particular moment. One prominent example of overeager accommodation to the spirit of the time is the Emergent Church movement.

If one is to chastise the Evangelical and Fundamentalist wings of Christianity for overly embracing social conservatism as epitomized by the Republican Party, to remain consistent one would also be required to enunciate an admonishment against the Emergent Church’s headlong rush into what could probably be described as countercultural liberalism. Realizing the sway postmodernism has over Western society and the power of its methodology to expose potentially hidden hypocrisies and inconsistencies, advocates of the Emerging Church believe that the wiser course may be to surf the postmodern wave on a Christian board than to firmly plant one's feet and fight against the tide.

Emergent Church leaders such as Brian McLaren hope that the postmodernist impulse to examine and in most cases set aside the cultural assumptions often below the surface we are not aware of will assist believers to get back to the earliest expressions of the Christian faith that existed before it was institutionalized as a socio-cultural edifice. McLaren views the impact of modernity upon the Church as having been especially deleterious.

Fundamentalists not that familiar with the direction in which McLaren takes his analysis might initially think they have found an ally in McLaren. However, in many respects, McLaren is harder on those one might categorize as conservative Evangelicals than he is on the shortcomings of the contemporary world.

According to McLaren, modernity in the West has fostered the desire to conqueror and control all of the structures of reality from the physical to the epistemological through the process of scientific analysis and classification. The result has been to mechanize all of existence (including human beings) to the point where the souls encountered by the Christian and the resulting relationships are not seen as ends in themselves worthy of care and nurture but rather as strategic stepping stones simply along the path to accumulating conversion statistics (230).

Concerns raised by McLaren regarding authenticity are quite valid. Even for those that have been Christians for years and even decades, it is easy in a megachurch setting to feel like little more than a statistic used to justify the next phase of the building expansion while in a small church it is easy to come away with the sense that one is not welcome unless one is in complete enthusiastic agreement on nonessentials if one is an average pewsitter. However, there are a number of dangers that result from the Emergent Church's posture against dogmatism.

According to McLaren, the modern age was marked by a quest for certainty and absolute knowledge (230). In the Church, this has manifested itself in the tendency to insist upon an exclusivity of belief that points out the deficiencies of competing faiths and emphasizes the superiority of Biblical revelation. Of this approach to matters of theology and religion, R.Scott Smith writes, “In that tends to be treated as a rigid belief system that must be accepted instead of a unique, joyful way of living, loving, and serving (230).”

Ideally in a world accepting of and at peace with the Gospel, that would be how Christ would be introduced to those hungering to have their sins forgiven and life more abundantly. And though the Christian must always strive to show as much respect and kindness to the unbeliever as possible, neither can it be ignored that the world has been so warped by sin that Satan is always on the prowl seeking those whom he may devour. There are those out there that are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing seeking to infiltrate the church for the sole purposes of destroying it.

There are things that are just plain wrong. Both clergy and possibly even more so the laity must be on guard against them.

If the Christian does not possess an existential certainty that makes the leap of faith from the ledge of high factual probability, though one does not attend to secure salvation one can think of a number of more enjoyable ways to spend Sunday morning. A number of these would include remaining in ones nocturnal raiment rather than slipping into the most uncomfortable garments likely hanging in one's closet. More importantly, if one is to be of the mindset that it is improper to point out where other faiths and creeds do not measure up to Christianity, how are the young to protect themselves when these competitors attempt to lure them away? For especially when (as in the case of Islam) these outlooks have no qualms about insisting upon the superiority of their own practices and dogmas.

To the Christian fatigued by some of extremist Fundamentalism's rules which in some circles extend to no facial hair on men despite there being no Biblical mandate for such a grooming preference, the care free times of the Emergent Church with its disdain for systematized doctrine may sound like a relief. However, once the prospective adherent delves deeper into the movement, disillusioned Fundamentalists may discover they have merely exchanged one form of excessive control for another.

R. Scott Smith writes in his analysis of the Emergent Church that Brian McLaren believes, "modernity has emphasized inordinately the autonomous individual ... Likewise the church has perpetuated this individualism to the detriment of the body of Christ (230).” This assumption is itself in need of careful examination.

If by this McLaren means that under the banner of modernity that many an individual has abused the freedoms of the contemporary world to ignore those behavioral restrictions given to us that a percentage find stifling or inconvenient, he could very well be correct. Yet in a Time Magazine profile naming him one of the nation‘s most prominent Evangelicals, McLaren did not seem all that concerned about the growing support for gay marriage and homosexual intimacy. To McLaren, lamenting the advance of individuality means something else entirely.

For example, in an interview broadcast in June 2010 on Issues Etc. with Todd Wilken, McLaren kept emphasizing that Jesus did not so much come into the world to live the sinless life that we could not, die in our place as the penalty for our sins, and rise from the dead so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him in Heaven. To McLaren, the traditional Christian emphasis of Christ’s work of reconciling the individual to God in preparation for eternity is secondary to establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth.

To McLaren, the transforming power of Christ is not so much about the changing of the human heart one individual at a time on a level imperceptible to merely human eyes. McLaren believes that such shifts in consciousness or perception (to borrow New Age and postmodernist phraseology) need to be societal or planetary. However, such a revolution would not so much turn the world into one giant campus extension of Bob Jones University or Pensacola Christian College campus with well intentioned busybodies armed with rulers measuring to see if young men's haircuts are short enough, young ladies' hemlines long enough, and a respectable distance kept between the two sexes as they perambulate down the street.

Things would, more likely, come to resemble a form of religious socialism where the morality of an economic decision would not be determined by how well it benefited the individual or by how closely it adhered to the explicit dictates of Scripture but instead by the criteria of how it benefited the overall group, predetermined oppressed classes such as ethnic minorities, and whether or not the decision adhered to the consensus of the community. McLarenite Emergent Church types have often condemned how those on the Evangelical Right have long served as the dupes of the Republican Party; however, those enunciating such criticisms have turned right around and snuggled up with Christian leftists such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo who have little problem with homosexual domestic partnerships or professed Communists such as the Sandinistas of Nicaragua.

In every direction the Christian turns, he finds adherents of every conceivable worldview gaining ground throughout Western civilization and around the world. Constantly bombarded by these competing perspectives, after a while the mentally fatigued believer can grow so weary that it is easy to throw up one's hands wondering what is the point in even trying anymore. Often it is concluded that the best strategy would be to cordon ourselves off in a Christian subculture in the attempt to preserve sound doctrine and their family's spiritual purity.

Though that might be a noble sounding justification, it is often not the case. Often on the grounds of aspiring to a simple "just give me Jesus" kind of faith, many believers shut down their minds all together to the point of where they do not only fail to familiarize themselves with the knowledge of their adversaries but also fall into appalling ignorance of Christian things as well.

William Lane Craig points out in the essay "In Intellectual Neutral" that, on tests of generalized knowledge (think of the Jaywalking segments from the Tonight Show), Christian young people faired little better than their unbelieving counterparts. Of these findings, Craig concludes, "If Christian students are this ignorant of the general facts of history and geography then the chances are that they...are equally or even more ignorant of the facts of our own Christian heritage and doctrine...If we do not preserve the truth of our Christian heritage and doctrine, who will learn it for us (5)?"

Thus, when the Christian disengages from what are snidely referred to these days as the "Culture Wars" as if our way of life was somehow not worthy of preserving or fighting for, he does not succeed so much in keeping himself from deeds he considers impure such as heated disagreement and argument. Rather the result of such surrender is ultimately the erosion of our civilization if Christians do not rise to the challenge in a variety of venues ranging from government, academia, and even the new social media such as blogs and podcasts. If such happens, those trapped by the blinders of secularism may never otherwise be exposed to these ideas and concepts.

As a neglected discipline in many Christian circles, it becomes an easy temptation for those enthusiastic to promote a more intellectually rigorous and vital expression of the faith to downplay more existentialist manifestations of it. However, if anything, one thing that can be adapted from the Emergent Church movement is the need to be consistent and authentic in regards to how our lives should reflect closely the things that we say.

In Ecclesiastes 1:9, scripture assures that there is nothing new under the sun. Sean McDowell in the essay “Apologetics For An Emerging Generation” insists that, despite the complexities with which the issues dress themselves when confronting the inhabitants of the contemporary world, the young continue to ask the same but profoundly deep questions that they always have (260).

Therefore, it remains essential for the Christian to remain grounded in the foundations of the faith as well as familiar with the assorted challenges always arising to undermine the faith once delivered unto the saints.

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 4

Western religions following the close of ancient history are perhaps best categorized as monotheistic in nature where the deity is a singular entity personally distinct from its creation and where the adherents of these respective faiths hope to obtain a blissful afterlife as distinct individual beings by gaining the favor of their respective deity following the conclusion of their corporeally linear existence. Though it would be intellectually dishonest to flippantly dismiss all Eastern religions as the same, but as with their counterparts in the Western division, those in this category also share a number of characteristics with one another. For the most part, Eastern religions tend to believe that individuals are continually reincarnated into this plane of physical reality as they attempt to achieve a sense of detachment so that they might achieve what amounts to an enlightened obliteration of the self through a merger with the cosmic unity (158). These concepts are such a stark contrast with the Christian worldview that the Christian will need to compare a number of the ideas fundamental to a Biblical understanding of reality with those advocated by the Eastern outlook.

One of the most profound differences between Christianity and Eastern religious is how each believes truth is arrived at. Christianity believes that God has revealed Himself through the word of His propositional revelation and the Incarnation of His Word in the from of His Son Jesus Christ. Of the Eastern religions, on the other hand, Harold Netland writes, "In attaining religious truth, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism give priority to mystical or introspective experiences based on rigorous meditative disciplines which are said to provide direct unmediated access to ultimate reality (163)."

In other words, Christians focus outward to gain understanding whereas the adherents of the great Oriental traditions look inside themselves. This is especially evidenced by the two foremost figures these respective faith groupings are roughly organized around: the Christ and the Buddha.

The purpose of Buddha was to get the individual to realize that the individual has within themselves the wherewithal to bring about their own enlightenment and to detach themselves from the states of being that bring about their own suffering. The purpose of Christ, on the other hand, was to get the individual to realize that they were so stained by sin that there was nothing that the individual could do to achieve his own salvation and that individuals had to look outward from themselves towards a savior, that being none other than Jesus Christ.

Since Christianity is focused outward in its offering of a solution to the travails in which each and every one of us finds ourselves, as a system it corresponds better to both the objective and existential aspects of reality. In his journey to Japan, theologian Paul Tillich learned that, should an historian ever persuasively make the case based on research findings that Gautama Siddhartha never actually existed, such a discovery for the most part would not adversely impact Buddhist teaching (165). However such would not be the case regarding Christianity, which is so linked to the existence, actions, and nature of its founder that if He did not do what the accounts of Him claim, we of all men would be the most miserable according to I Corinthians 15:19.

Despite standing in contrast to many of Christianity’s most basic assumptions, the objective student and observer of religion (even if standing within a Christian framework of belief) must admit that the most devoted adherents of the respective Eastern creeds practice a rigorous form of self-discipline as they attempt to master the urges that exert an undue influence over the individual throughout the earthly life. Though many are opposed to the idea of relying solely on a savior for their salvation and find an allure in the Eastern notion of looking for the answers to the mysteries of life and the cosmos within themselves, they do not necessarily find the idea of rigorous self denial all that appealing (at least for themselves anyway with pleas of sacrifice for the greater good something to rather motivate and govern the lower classes of the less-spiritually inclined by).

Thus in a process not all that dissimilar to the operation of the Hegelian dialectic where two competing or even diametric ideas are brought together and melded together to form a synthesis incorporating aspects of each, Eastern and Western outlooks have formed a coalition perspective in what since the 1960's and 1970's has come to be known as the New Age movement.

Like the Eastern worldview, the New Age outlook essentially sees the totality of reality as a singular unity with the individual in a sense being akin to a single cell in the comprehensive cosmic mind (175). As in the case of the Eastern faiths, L.Russ Bush writes, "...the New Age movement emphasizes the human problem as ignorance with salvation coming through enlightenment and self-effort (176)."

However, in the New Age movement, the approach and outcomes of this awareness are a bit more decidedly Western in their appearance. For example, in Eastern brands of yoga the purpose is more about detaching the soul from the body in preparation for spiritual states such as nirvana. To Westerners, however, yoga is packaged not only as about the quest for inward universal truths but also about improving one's body and success in life.

Thus, for at least those in the movement's elite, there is a considerable emphasis upon the self. L. Russ Bush categorizes the emphasis upon the here and now rather than a future heaven as "This worldliness”. Of this state, he writes, “...the New Age is focused on the here and now; it is not a pie-in-the-sky sort of faith; it is belief that the New Age is itself the here and now and for this world and its people; it looks forward to an earthly transformation, not a heavenly one (180).” What is not as often brought out to the gullible along this worldview’s outer fringes is the number that those in the higher echelons believe must be eliminated or perhaps “deliberately progressed” to more advanced levels of disembodied consciousness in order for this utopia to be brought about.

The New Age has become so ingrained throughout American society that it no longer seems as novel as at the time when its name was coined. Now, certain interpretations of this brand of spirituality quietly just about serve as the respectable backdrop of establishmentarian popular culture. For example, Star Wars is no doubt one of the most beloved movie epics of the last 50 years. However, to a percentage of its viewers, it is far more than an invigorating afternoon’s diversion. It has been reported that a number of “Jedi churches” have popped up among fans that have taken enthusiasm for the films to the next level of adoration and devotion.

Those grounded in the real world will think those taking entertainment this seriously have sniffed too many musty comic books. However, beneath the dramatic adventure and impressive special effects, Star Wars was not created solely for entertainment purposes. George Lucas, who considered himself something of a student of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, created Star Wars to serve as a mythology for the contemporary world.

This claim can be substantiated in regards to those scenes from the films where the nature of the Force is expounded upon. For example, of the Force, Yoda (the primary exponent of these teachings) ruminates, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

And like New Age conceptions of the essence that runs through the universe, the Force is not a conscious person concerned about the distinctions between good and evil as evidenced by the Dark Side’s primary devotee Darth Vader who it turns out is actually the saga’s focal character as the tale centers around his embracing of the Dark Side and reentering into the Light when he saves his son Luke from Vader’s Sith Master Emperor Palpatine. This act was cast not in terms of the triumph of good over evil but rather as merely restoring balance in an almost Taoist manner.

The extent to which these various worldviews have permeated contemporary culture as to the extent Star Wars has has forced the Christian to walk a precarious tightrope. On the one hand, there isn’t a person in the United States today that hasn’t had some kind of negative encounter with those that could be classified as stereotypical legalistic Christians.

Enthusiastic believers are to be commended for the seriousness with which they take their Christian walk if it is ultimately in Christ’s redemptive and free offer of salvation that they are truly trusting rather than in a rigorous adherence to a body of systematized rules, some of which are interpretations of certain Biblical injunctions rather than explicit Scriptural commands. However, in doing so, are such believers really equipping themselves to reach out to others that have become mired in these deceptive worldviews? Furthermore, by cordoning themselves off to such an extent in relation to things such as Star Wars, Stargate, and Star Trek, these Christians are denying themselves what amounts to an innocent good time and are not doing as much as they initially think to protect their children by failing to teach them how to sift the wheat from the chaff in relation to cinematic and literary productions.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Country Church

A Country Church. Photo by F.B. Meekins

A post shared by F.B. Meekins (@issacharbiblechurch) on

Photo by Frederick Meekins

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 3

It could be argued that the primary perspective allowing so many of the other outlooks to take hold that would have seemed downright silly, bizarre, and even inimical to human liberty to previous generations of mainstream Americans is none other than Postmodernism. Modernism held that man --- through observational science and objective reasoning --- could on his own without reliance on God's revelation derive truths roughly equivalent to those once deduced from religion and even improve upon those areas in which credentialed experts had concluded ecclesiastical authorities had fallen short. Postmodernism holds, in the words of J.P. Moreland, that "...there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason, and so forth. All of these are social constructions, creations of linguistic practices, and, as such, are relative not to individuals but to social groups that share a narrative (208)."

The average person may not be aware of the obtuse and technical debates that go on in academia regarding the nature of history or whether or not there is a definitive interpretation to a classic work of literature or even if there are works of literature worthy of distinction as such. However, on some level just about everyone (with the exception of those in a persistent vegetative state whose lives are actually endangered as a result of the amoralism Postmodernism advocates) is familiar with the perspective of ethical relativism.

Francis Beckwith defines moral relativism as, "the view that when it comes to questions of morality, there is no absolute objective right and wrong; moral rules are merely personal preferences and/or the result of one's cultural, sexual or ethnic orientation (211)." This sounds quite enlightened philosophically, but as Beckwith points out, in such a system the belief that unjustified killing is wrong is reduced to the level of individual predilection such as one might have for one variety of ice cream over another.

The relativism upon which Postmodernism rests is undermined by its own assumptions and is ultimately held in place only by the sheer power of those that profess it. The unfortunate thing is it is through this mindset that such elites tend to propagate themselves and to marginalize those failing to embrace a form of diversity where everyone is compelled to espouse the same set of principles.

Inherent to Postmodern relativism is the assumption that no objective standard exists. Beckwith observes, “If the mere fact of disagreement were sufficient to conclude that objective norms do not exist, then we would have to believe that there is no objectively correct position on such issues as slavery, genocide, and child molestation; for the slave owner, genocidal maniac, and pedophile have an opinion that differs from the one held by those of us who condemn their actions (215)."

Yet especially in regards to the issue of child molestation, unless one has been severely traumatized oneself or deliberately decided to wallow in humanity's basest perversities, one recoils in horror at the prospect of there being no higher justification protecting the innocent from such horrors. Beckwith assures, however, the fact that objections can be raised regarding such practices itself lends credence to moral standards existing above the fray of human affairs. For to insist that there are no absolutes is itself to invoke an absolute.

The human tendency to formulate moral codes, even when those cultures and individuals deriving these fall short of the aspired ideal, is a powerful tool in the hands of the apologist to point the seeker towards the existence of God. If nothing exists beyond the physical realm, man is the highest authority with the state being the highest of his institutions. In such an environment, “what is” becomes “what ought” with the nation possessing either the largest army or the nation most willing to use force in extending its policy objectives both within and beyond its borders determining this for the greatest percentage of the world’s population.

Thus for standards to exist against horrors such as slavery and genocide beyond human preference and circumstance, they must be rooted in a source existing above, beyond, and yet accessible to human beings and their institutions for the purposes of reflection and implementation. Paul Copan writes, “The existence of a good personal God, who created humans in his image, offers a simpler and less-contrived connection, a more plausible context to affirm human value and rights as well as moral obligations (87)." Since human beings posses conscious personhood, the source of the standards we are to live by must also possess this quality.

Sexual debauchery and drunken carousing might provide a shallow satisfaction for a short while; however, after awhile the typical soul longs for something it perceives as having a more solid foundation. Indoctrinated now since nearly the first day of school as to the shortcomings of Western civilization, many young skulls full of mush as Rush Limbaugh once categorized naive students are turning to what are described as Eastern religions or systems of belief in their pursuit of purpose and meaning.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, July 3, 2017

Leftist Theologue's Animus Towards America Extends To Nation's Very Name

Sometimes a notion or a concept can seem insightful upon its initial articulation, but after additional consideration it seems rather vapid or out of touch with reality. For example, published in the December 2016 edition of “Christianity Today” is a column titled “Christianity Without An Adjective”.

On the surface, such a goal seems laudable as it is a reminder not to sublimate Christ to any particular ideology or social philosophy. However, such an admonition fails to take into consideration why many today feel the need to articulate a modifier when describing their particular brand of Christianity and how this admonition to avoid doing so just as easily plays into the hands of the adversary.

“Christianity Today” began in the second half of the twentieth century in order to defend sound Biblical Theology in an intellectually respectable and rigorous manner before a public whose institutions of thought had already turned markedly hostile towards religiously orthodox ideas and perspectives.

In particular, “Christianity Today” was intended to stand as an alternative to more leftist publications such as “Christian Century”, “Commonweal”, and “Sojourners Magazine”. These publications often tended to promote a more liberal outlook on a variety of social, cultural, and theological issues to the point where the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith were denied but the Christian terminology retained as a way to understand reality even if these definitions were reconceptualized in compliance with the radical fads of any given moment of the lengthy print runs of these respective publications. Coming briefly to mind was an article published a few years ago suggesting in violation of Hebrews 9:22 that the shedding of blood really wasn't all the necessary for the remission of sins after all.

Those holding to a more traditionalist understanding of the faith once delivered unto the saints were not the ones that attempted to alter the rules in the middle of the game or the very game itself. As such, why are we obligated to be the ones verbalizing a flagellating remorse in order to differentiate ourselves from those that deny essential doctrines such as the Incarnation of Christ, His Resurrection, and heterosexual marriage as the only valid form of carnal relations between human beings?

From the article, the discerning reader also comes away with the impression that this crusade against descriptive modifiers is also a front through which to ensnare Evangelical Christianity in the leftist fads of White privilege and racial guilt.

K.A. Ellis writes, “A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive for good reason.” That means that, .by tying Christianity to any one particular understanding, one ends up feeling guilty when making common cause with universalists, moral subversives, and any number of garden variety unbelievers.

The author continues, “...As I mentioned in a previous column, that is why some are calling themselves 'Christian Americans' rather than 'American Christians'.” In other words, the truly pious or devout (those truly “sold out to Jesus” as they used to say hoping to manipulate prospects into “surrendering” to full time missionary work) have severed all meaningful ties with an identity other than their Christian one.

Yet while this is praised with one hand, the author turns around and ignores this ideal with another. What the writer probably intended to convey was that this condemnation of Christians identifying themselves in part by their particular nationality is only to be applied to those that invoke the term to signify a sort of benevolent sternness that, while desiring to advocate as much goodwill as possible to the external world, when the time comes is not going to be passively kicked around by the advocates of malevolence and tyranny.

For example, K.A. Ellis referred to Stanley Hauerwas as an “American theologian” and not as a “theologian from America”. It should be pointed out that Hauerwas is noted for markedly leftwing views.

Those that like to pat themselves on the back by playing word games in the attempt to trip people up but in the process expose just how devoid of actual wisdom and commonsense those whose primary purpose in life is to put on display just how broadminded they think themselves to be will no doubt make a fuss that in this particular instance the word “American” was paired with the word “theologian”. As such, this new standard being advocated does not apply.

However, this was not the only instance it was violated in this particular article. Ellis writes, “...we are more in concert with the orthodoxy of the two-thirds world Christians, especially those in the underground church.”

Shouldn't Ellis have formulated the phraseology as “Christians in the two-thirds world”? So if we are to so despise America that we get jacked out of shape upon hearing the linguistic combination “American Christians” why ought those living elsewhere get an easy pass?

Worthy of note is the admonition to be “in concert with the orthodoxy of two-thirds-world Christians, especially those in the underground church.” Just what exactly does that consist of?

Does Ellis mean the strong stance against homosexuality and similar carnal lifestyles that have prompted a number of ecclesiastical functionaries to take a bold position against the wanton licentiousness allowed to fester in certain branches of the Anglican Communion by seeking their apostolic oversight under a select number of African bishops rather than traditional Western prelates? Or instead, is this sentiment articulated more in solidarity with the tendency of some in these less developed lands to prefer a less than free market and more communal distribution of resources where profit does not so much accrue to those that earned it but rather to those that shout their grievances the loudest or are perhaps the most proficient at acts of violence?

It is imperative that Christianity be articulated in such a way as to grab the attention of those that are spiritually adrift. However, their eventually comes a point where those attempting to reach the lost by adopting much of the way that the lost view the world around them become virtually indistinguishable from the lost and end up losing much of their way as well.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Those Denying God's Existence Should Forsake His Cash As Well

An article titled “Christian School Teacher Fired After Deciding To Live 2014 As An Atheist” attempts to place the onus for such a state of occupational limbo on organized religion. But isn't it even more the fault of the educator in question for attempting to turn his crisis of faith into some kind of theological publicity stunt?

According to the article, Ryan Bell was a Seventh Day Adventist minister and adjunct professor whose leftwing support of gay marriage and variance with his denomination's eschatology resulted in his resignation from the Hollywood congregation he pastored. He was forced from his teaching positions from Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University when Bell publicly announced his intentions to live as an atheist for a year to see if that particular worldview more accurately reflected his spiritual state where disillusionment caused him to question a number of his most deeply held beliefs.

The press account puts the blame for the hardship Bell would have to endure on these respective institutions of higher education. After all, Bell pointed out in the article, he has utility bills to pay and children to feed.

But shouldn't these employers be applauded for assisting Bell in taking his experiment in atheism to its logical conclusion? For Bell is not a minister in the Unitarian or Episcopal Churches so wishy washy in their core doctrines and beliefs that they are at times willing to keep outright unbelievers on their respective payrolls.

According to the article, Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University both require faculty to adhere to a statement of faith seemingly quite broad in terms of Christian specifics if these institutions of higher education claiming to be Evangelical openly embrace Seventh Day Adventism. What Dr. Bell has said is that, at the time this all came to a head in 2014, he no longer believes the bare bones required by these schools.

As such, if Bell for the time being no longer believes that there is an all powerful being sustaining the universe and providing a means whereby fallen men might be brought back into fellowship with Him, why shouldn't Bell also forfeit the salary provided by those that do believe in such in a context that already doesn't sound all that picky or particular regarding what are commonly referred to as secondary theological matters? After all, when the unbelievers are holding the administrative reigns and catch a whiff of doctrinal content they aren't particularly fond of they aren't exactly all that magnanimous either.

For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, popularizer of Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson chronicled the case of a Biology Professor that suggested that the complexity of even the simplest lifeforms pointed in the direction of a designer. Whom or what that might be was left up for the student to decide as the professor made no suggestions as to whether that designer was God in yonder Heaven or little green men zooming about the cosmos in a flying saucer. For engaging in the free exchange of ideas in an environment supposedly priding itself on such intellectual dynamism, this professor was booted out the door.

Adherents of Intelligent Design have faired little better in other settings. For example, a scientist lost his job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for simply expressing an interest in Intelligent Design.

Yet that very same facility explicitly stated in its public propaganda how its administrators supposedly appreciate innovative perspectives. Apparently believing that a Higher Power is behind the grandeur of the universe has little to do with building better rockets with the exception, of course, of boosting the esteem of Muslims in regards to that civilization's developments in mathematics from nearly a millennium ago. President Obama was quite explicit in making that an aeronautical agency funding priority despite their being barely a cent available for manned extra-atmospheric travel in the form of a space shuttle or lunar expeditions.

Did the atheists that got all worked up on behalf of Ryan Bell rush to meet the material needs of the occupationally displaced adherents of Intelligent Design or flagellate themselves in shamefacedness over the way the establishment media expects Christians to upon hearing of the hardships caused by the failure to at first compromise and then ultimately set aside these minimal standards derived from a set of very rudimentary beliefs one would think nearly anyone even wanting to be employed in a Christian setting would agree to? After all, it is not like Fuller Seminary these days enforces a no movies under any circumstances rule.

Proponents of the decision to impose penalties upon the bakers refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings insist that we ought to be willing to accept such punishments with little comment as the price for standing for convictions at variance with established social norms. In the case of those professing some manner of public unbelief such as itinerant academic Ryan Bell, this is to be yet another of the expanding network of exceptions and double standards.

by Frederick Meekins

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 2

Academics get the ball rolling on a more widespread denial or misunderstanding about the divine existence of Jesus by first calling into question and raising doubts about the validity and accuracy of the Biblical accounts pertaining to the life of the Messiah. Often such efforts are commenced under the banner of an epic endeavor such as "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" or "The Jesus Seminar" where professors with impressive scholastic credentials such as John Dominic Crossan claim to be doing the truly devoted a service by scraping away centuries worth of theological barnacles to get at the simple Jesus that existed before the executors of his reputation elevated the compassionate Nazarene handyman to religious superstar status. However, closer examination of the actual historical record reveals scholars advocating such a viewpoint are as mired in fiction and fantasy every bit as much as Dan Brown.

Throughout political and religious history, one of the most time-tested tactics to undermine one's opponent is to attack the credibility of his messengers or heralds. That is why the so-called "cultured despisers of religion" have spent so much of their effort to drag the Bible in general and the Gospels in specific into disrepute. For if one begins to doubt the authenticity of these ancient documents, it is often not long until one begins to question the claims of and about the Savior Himself detailed within those pages.

First and foremost, the apologist must show that the Bible can go toe to toe with what is considered established, factual history. In his essay, Quarles compares the New Testament with the Roman Annals of Tacitus (106). Of this work, Quarles points out no complete sample of the manuscript survived from the time it was written around AD 115 to 117, with only two fragments known to exist and the earliest complete manuscript of the text dating back to the ninth century. Regarding the New Testament, the earliest surviving manuscript, the Vaticanus, is dated at AD 325, several centuries closer to the time of the New Testament Autographs.

However, the superiority of the New Testament as an authentic historical document does not end here. For whereas only two ancient fragments of Tacitus have been discovered, numerous portions and segments of the New Testament have been discovered that are believed to date often just a few decades from the time the originals were believed to have been written.

One could easily conjecture there would have been more of an opportunity to perpetrate some kind of forgery in regards to the writings of Tacitus. Yet we find no clever professor having academic laurels bestowed upon his furrowed brow for bringing into question our entire understanding of the Classical World or Ron Howard producing from such speculation a summer blockbuster bringing in sufficient box office receipts so he can finally afford that realistic toupee or hairweave he has desperately needed for so many years.

More importantly, how many (other than the most enthusiastic of historians) would really have their epistemological and moral worlds shattered if it was eventually discovered that the likes of Tacitus, Julius Casear, or even Plato and Homer were frauds? Thus, the documents of Scripture are not only historically authentic, but so is the account of an individual whose meaning and significance far transcended the ordinary.

The Christian can be assured of this because not only are the Biblical documents historically authentic in terms of their mechanics in how they came down to the contemporary world but also in terms of being reliable in regards to the credibility of the internal content. For example, if the Bible was nothing more than propaganda literature, in all likelihood those compiling the documents would have taken considerable care to downplay the faults of the movement's earliest leaders. However, this clearly did not happen.

In Church History, Christ's handpicked Apostles are considered the closest any human beings can come to epitomizing the ideal qualities of leadership. However, before being imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament is rife with instances where the pillars of the Church were closer to the human rather than ideal side of the lofty concept.

For example, John's mother is depicted as a social climber who wasn't fully aware of what she was getting her sons into when she went right up to Christ demanding that her sons be placed at His right hand in the coming kingdom. And though many view Peter as the unyielding rock upon which Christ built the Church, given his bumbling and cowardly nature, he seems no more competent than any of us and certainly neither a figure militant nor triumphant.

Thus, from such attention to the details that could have easily been brushed over if those penning the New Testament had been out to perpetrate either a religious fraud or to craft an inspirational but still a nevertheless fictional narrative, the believer gains a confidence that the Bible may be just as truthful in regards to its much more majestic claims as well.

Since the Bible itself teems with historical respectability, those serious about considering its claims ought to examine what is said about the text's central character, Jesus Christ. Certain skeptics wanting to pat themselves on the back just how broadminded they can be claim they applaud the so-called "ethics of Jesus", insisting that He was a good man but did not claim to be deity.

However, the Bible tells us otherwise. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

And since we have no reason to disbelieve the legitimacy of the account, Jesus did indeed rise from the grave. Secondly, at no time did Jesus condemn those that claimed He was God despite the rigorous monotheism of ancient Judaism. Of special interest to the skeptic will no doubt be Thomas who, like his counterparts in contemporary academia, was reluctant to accept the reality of the risen Jesus without more tangible proof. Upon examining Christ's wounds first hand, Thomas declared in John 20: 28, "My Lord and my God."

In previous eras, such would likely bring us to the end of an evangelistic apologetic discourse since respect for (though perhaps not always adherence to) Scripture was ingrained throughout the culture. However, today there are so many worldview alternatives to select from that the believer must not only state what Lee Strobel has termed "the case for Christ" but also begin to plant the seeds that will assist the seeker to disentangle themselves if they so desire from the webs of deception in which they are entrapped. The Christian cannot assist in this process unless they themselves are familiar with at least the basic tenets of their own faith's most prominent competitors.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 1

Here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Apologetics as an evangelistic endeavor and intellectual theological outreach finds itself in something of a paradox. When the West thought of itself in terms of resting on broadly Judeo-Christian assumptions, the discipline was not as desperately needed while most within the church at least knew of the field's existence as a subject. At the time, the less practically inclined among the membership dabbled in the subject by contemplating abstract questions and topics. However, as society moves away from Biblical assumptions and the church finds itself in desperate need of the discipline to prevent both individuals and nations from sliding into the abyss, it seems very few even know what Apologetics is and those that do are often contemptuously dismissive of this kind of scholastic undertaking in favor of a more pietistic or even mystical approach to the Christian faith.

In the anthology “Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses On Christian Apologetics”, Paul Copan and William Lane Craig have assembled a number of essays rallying the faithful as to why Apologetics is necessary and tackling head on a number of the greatest challenges to the Christian faith prevalent in the world today.

Renowned futurist Alvin Toffler has remarked that the changes sweeping over society are akin to waves that can be so unsettling that they leave those they have rolled over in a state of shock while leaving those still riding the crests of previous conceptual epochs dumbfounded as to how to address the changing situations around them. Particularly hard hit has been the humanities, of which the areas of study such as philosophy, religion, and thus ultimately apologetics happen to be a part. Unlike previous eras of world history in which the average individual often dealt with a limi

ted space in terms of both mental and physical geography, today even the poorest resident of the twenty-first century West finds himself bombarded constantly with opposing worldviews. These come at us in the forms of an omnipresent media establishment, the swarms of people pouring over our borders from every conceivable corner of the globe, and the shocking number of our own countrymen willing to abandon the worldview this civilization was built upon in favor of any number of alternatives that turn out to be less than solid upon closer inspection.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The confusion characterizing the spiritual scene today would not have come about unless there had been a widespread abandonment of what Francis Schaeffer termed the “Christian consensus”, what C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity”, and what those wanting to cast the most ecumenical net possible might characterize as the Judeo-Christian belief system. G.K. Chesterton is credited with observing that the problem that arises when we abandon orthodox theology is not that we won’t believe in anything but that we will believe in anything.

The pillar or keystone of Christianity setting it apart from all other religions and philosophies is that Jesus as the only Begotten Son of God and second person of the Trinity came to earth by being born of the Virgin Mary to live the sinless life no man could, to die on the Cross as payment for our sins and to rise from the dead so that all that believe in Him might spend eternity with God in Heaven. This is what is known as the Gospel message.

All excursions into error (no matter how seemingly ancient or modern) begin as either an outright denial of or failure to recognize these fundamental truths. This can be seen in terms of both popular and academic culture.

In terms of his own theory of Apologetics, Ravi Zacharias has postulated that there is a highest refined level of philosophy that eventually filters downward to the general population in the form of mass media and entertainment. This is true of other academic humanities as well and is not a phenomena confined solely to technical philosophy.

The first decade of the twenty-first century, renowned primarily for its advances in electronic entertainment, experienced a publishing phenomena that gripped the public imagination like few things else in the form of a novel titled “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. Underlying the suspense of this thriller is the conjecture that Jesus was not divinity in human form but rather simply an outstanding human teacher no different than anyone else but elevated to godhood for political purposes at the Council of Nicea.

Provocative as those heresies might be, what really set the book off like wildfire was the assertion that among those otherwise mundane things Jesus did as an ordinary human being was to father a child by Mary Magdalene. It was through this lineage, rather than through any organizational church structure, that true Christian teaching was passed down through history through the intermarriage of Christ's descendants with the royal houses of Europe, especially the Merovingian of France. Of these astounding claims and their alleged justifications, Charles Quarles writes in the essay “Revisionist Views About Jesus” in “Passionate Conviction”, “This fact coupled with the enormous popularity of the book and the film require thoughtful believers to respond intelligently to the claims of the Code (96).”

It seems odd that so many --- both Christian and non-Christian alike --- would allow a popular novel to either so shake their faith or to allow it to justify what they already believe. Quarles writes, “Those whose faith is shaken by Dan Brown’s claims lose their faith far too quickly. If they will take the time to investigate Brown’s claims, they will find that his statements about biblical and historical Christianity are a comedy of errors and lack historical evidence (108).” Thing of it is though, Christianity has been maligned and discredited for so long in the halls of higher learning that the average person thinks such radical skepticism is the default position of the open, educated mind.

By Frederick Meekins