Today All Whites are Racists

In his “Dear White America” letter to The New York Times, Emory University Professor George Yancy wrote, “If you are white, and you are reading this letter, I ask that you don’t run to seek shelter from your own racism. Don’t hide from your responsibility. Rather, begin, right now, to practice being vulnerable.”

He also reminds whites, “Being neither a “good” white person nor a liberal white person will get you off the proverbial hook. …  Don’t tell me that you voted for Obama. Don’t tell me that you don’t see color. Don’t tell me that I’m blaming whites for everything. To do so is to hide yet again.”

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The Story Behind Astros’ First Base Coach Rich Dauer’s Amazing Recovery

During the Houston Astros parade celebrating their first World Series title, something was terribly wrong with their first base coach Rich Dauer. No one knew it at the time, but he was suffering from an acute subdural hematoma, caused by a blow to the head when he had fallen the night before.

Dauer didn’t realize he was injured and did not tell anyone about his fall. So when he started to exhibit symptoms, everyone assumed it was the result of exhaustion and dehydration. Instead, Dauer barely escaped death.

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Egalitarianism and the PCA’s Debate over the Role of Women in the Ministry in the Church

The discussion of the role of women in the ministry of the church dominated much of the proceedings of the Presbyterian Church of America’s 2017 General Assembly. Despite numerous disputes over the findings and recommendations in the report from the GA’s committee on this issue, it was ultimately adopted. The details of these recommendations and the debate have been widely covered. Less attention, however, has been paid to the context of the debate.

The PCA’s debate over this issue comes in the midst of a cultural war, a war that has existed since the fall but has become highly visible of late in the United States. By focusing more on the details of the report rather than on the war setting in which the debate was taking place, the GA seems to have lost sight of the forest for the trees. Pondering issues like how to “affirm and include underprivileged and underrepresented women in the PCA” in the midst of the cultural and ecumenical collapse on sex and the distinctions between men and women places the PCA in a situation where it is unlikely to be able to discern the scriptural role of women in the ministry of the church, much less be able to speak prophetically into the world on this subject.

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The Swamp Wins in Alabama

Mark Steyn is one of the two best political commentators in the English speaking world today.

Here is an excerpt of his thoughts on the swamp’s victory in the Alabama Senate race yesterday:

Roy Moore was the nominee only because the smart guys over-invested in Luther Strange (just as in 2015 they over-invested in Jeb Bush). In the first round of primary voting, Mitch McConnell’s priority was to prop up Strange by taking out what he regarded as his principal threat, Mo Brooks. Congressman Brooks would have made an excellent senator, and would have been elected in a walk, and he can also claim more plausibly than Moore to be a populist conservative aligned with the Trump agenda. But McConnell didn’t want him in the Senate and, as he saw it, once Brooks was gone, Luther Strange would have no trouble walloping Moore in the run-off.

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Patience until the Coming of the Lord: A Homily on James 5:7-11

James 5:7–11: [7] Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. [8] You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. [9] Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. [10] As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. [11] Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (ESV)

How many of you struggle with impatience?

I know I do.

I struggle with impatience at work. I have a great job and am blessed in what I get to do and who I get to do it with. Yet things don’t always go my way at work. Sometimes others make decisions that I disagree with—even decisions about me.

I struggle with impatience at home. Being married and being a parent is a wonderful thing, a calling from the Lord with great blessing. But there are many challenges contained within these blessings, such as regarding managing our home and finances and parenting our son and directing his education.

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Egalitarianism and the Role of Women in the Church

“The central disease in the sexual revolution is the egalitarianism that drives everything else. Because it begins by setting aside portions of the plain Word of God, it ends by us discovering that the hidden intent the entire time was to dispense with the entire Word of God. And when that happens, there is no law to convict and no gospel to save.” — Douglas Wilson

From the beginning, the enemies of God have not directly attacked God Himself, but instead have attacked His subjects, using deceit to convince them that Scripture is not true, that God is not who He says He is. They do this in order to foment rebellion against Him. Satan sought to convince Eve that God was not good and that He was a liar (Genesis 3:1-7). The medieval Catholic Church sought to convince people that salvation rests not in God but in the church. The Deists of the 17th and 18th centuries sought to convince people that God was a benevolent but distant creator who has left us to fend for ourselves. All of this was geared toward making humans believe, like Eve, they can be like Him.

More recently, the enemies of God have become bolder by proclaiming that God does not exist at all.  Now, humans don’t need to strive to be like God; since He doesn’t exist, they can strive to be Him. Continue reading

Feasting on Christ: A Bible Study on Love

This study is on love, the subject of the two great commandments, and the means of our salvation. It is all we are called to do. If we love God and those around us through Jesus Christ, we will be with God for eternity. My hope is that this study will help those who use it to “love loyally” with “hesed,” the steadfast love of God, as we are called to do in Micah 6:8. Here is the link to the study: Feasting on Christ: A Bible Study on Love

The Son of Man is Given His Kingdom

May 25 was Ascension Day, where we remember on the church calendar the ascension of Jesus recorded in Acts 1:6-11:

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (ESV)

This is what it looked like from earth, with little explanation offered to the apostles by the angels, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

However, back in Daniel 7, we get to see what this looked like from heaven, and get a much fuller explanation of why Jesus was ascending. First, the scene is set by Daniel with God the Father seated on His throne in heaven:

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.

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Truth through Simplicity

The opponents of freedom thrive in an environment of complexity. One of my favorite examples of this is when Politifact labeled as half true a statement by Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams “Gas prices have gone up $2 since Obama took office.” Politifact looked at the facts, determined that gas prices had in fact gone up $2 dollars since Obama had taken office, but after a long, complex analysis of things that had nothing to do with the statement in question still labeled it only “Half True.”

Our job as free market conservatives is to cut through the false complexity of the left and the big government moderates and simplify the issues so that people can see the truth. It is very hard to do this, because, as R.C. Sproul points out below, we have to have in-depth knowledge of the very complex issues ourselves before we can simplify them without distorting the truth. It is also hard because any errors we make will be attacked by opponents of liberty.

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Why I am Not Voting for Trump

I am not going to vote for Donald Trump for president of the United States. This has caused consternation among some of my friends stuck in the binary choice paradigm that voting for anyone besides Mr. Trump or not voting at all is essentially a vote for Hillary Clinton.

I am comfortable with the decision to support and vote for Trump by those who believe that there is at least the possibility that our country will be better off with Donald as president because with Hillary we know what we will get—and it won’t be good. However, this is not a position we should attempt to impose on the consciences of others; the deliberation of both conservatives and Christians over who to vote for should be informed by a broader perspective than the “Clinton or Trump” paradigm the political and religious moderate elite want to trap us in.

America’s contributions to liberty and prosperity are unparalleled in human history. Today, however, we are best described as the “greatest failure in self-government.” We murder over 1 million of our children every year, trailing only China, Russia, and Vietnam—countries that have made every effort to eradicate God from the culture. Not to be outpaced by the communists, America is rapidly moving toward replacing God with government as the supreme authority in the land. Along with this has come the inevitable anathematizing of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the public square and denial of the existence of inalienable, i.e., God-given, rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Amid this decline, many Republican and Evangelical moderates tell us that if we don’t vote for Trump we will be throwing our vote away, increasing Clinton’s chances of being elected, and contributing to the decay of our nation.

Does any of this sound familiar?

It should, because this is essentially what conservatives and Christians have been told every four years since 1984 when we last voted for Ronald Reagan. The bottom line has always been: “Vote Republican because Republican X is better than Democrat Y.”

Unfortunately, the difference has often been marginal at best; one must look closely at times to discern that there have been any Republicans in Washington during the last 28 years. Our votes for moderate Republicans within the binary choice paradigm have led us to a choice for president between two life-long supporters of liberal Democratic politicians and policies. Yet the moderate elite tell us if we follow their advice this time the outcome will be different.

Perhaps a more credible perspective would be, as Doug Wilson puts it, that this is “the least important election in our lifetime.” Where will electing Trump over Clinton make a difference? Not with abortion. Despite his proffered list of Supreme Court nominees, as a longtime pro-abortion supporter Trump is unlikely to appoint someone who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. And even if he does, our previous votes for president guarantee that Trump’s appointee will not be able to find four allies on the bench to join him. Can you imagine Roberts or Kennedy voting to overturn Roe v. Wade? Neither can I. The same will be true whenever Trump is persuaded to overcome his liberal beliefs to do something conservative; it will all be around the margins.

Taking a different tack, other Republican and Evangelical elites have exposed their ideological and theological weaknesses by announcing they are going to vote for Hillary, or by insinuating that their constituencies or congregations should be comfortable voting for her—much like they did with Barak Obama in 2008.

Before taking their advice, though, remember that both factions disliked Trump in the Republican primary and had a chance to derail Trump when it became obvious that Ted Cruz was the only candidate with a chance to beat Trump. Yet they refused to rally around Cruz. They decided that it was better to turn the Republican Party over to Trump—or the United States of America over to Clinton, than it was to let a conservative win the Republican nomination.

Both the pro-Trump and the anti-Trump moderate elite are stuck in a secular binary trap. Though they may have different political and theological beliefs, when confronted with the problems of the world today they too often turn to government for a solution. When dealing with the economy, the culture, or the poor, they can’t cope with what they see as the chaos of voluntary association outside the control of government. This is true even for many Evangelical leaders who still hold to Christian orthodoxy but have been enticed into supporting the progressive social gospel.

Much of this is born out of a lack of toleration of pain and suffering. None of us like pain and suffering and we want to relieve it in ourselves and in others, whatever the cost—for many even if the cost is more oppressive government. Yet while Scripture tells us time and again that we must suffer, it also informs us that suffering isn’t the end: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” Instead, there is a purpose in our suffering. We suffer for Christ’s name’s sake because it is “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” and “reign with Him” in eternity. Sometimes, despite our objections, suffering is the pathway to prosperity and hope.

It certainly was in the case of Israel. God’s chosen people found themselves in a long-term cycle of sin, misery, repentance, and deliverance that spiraled down to the point of no return. God finally brought his judgment upon Israel on the day of the Lord in 70 A.D. by destroying it and its system of worship though the Roman devastation of Jerusalem and the temple.

Yet the hope of all of us grew out of this suffering. Through the destruction of the nation of Israel and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the people of God have been reborn as the New Israel, the church, citizens of God’s kingdom in heaven and on earth with Christ enthroned as our King. God used the sin and suffering of Israel to advance His kingdom and ease the suffering of His children. And the Father calls to everyone to come join Him in His kingdom.

We don’t know what path God has chosen for America. It might be marginal improvement in our civic institutions or it might be the total collapse of liberty. Because of this uncertainty, and the failure of both candidates to meet biblical or moral standards of leadership, it is wrong to press others to vote for either candidate. It should be a matter of individual conscience.

We do know one thing, however; God calls us to repentance and to trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. What we can do together, then, is issue a call to repentance. Americans as individuals must repent. America as a nation must repent. We must repent of idolatry. We must repent of abortion. We must repent of fornication and adultery. We must repent of theft through government taxation and regulation. We must repent of despising our neighbors—particularly our black and poor neighbors—through welfare and various “consumer protection” laws.

It is unclear to me how electing Donald Trump is going to move this country toward repentance. In fact, there might be a clearer path toward repentance with Hillary Clinton as president. Perhaps the suffering she and her administration impose on Americans will be enough for us to stop pretending there is no King in the land so that we can do what is right in our own eyes. Perhaps it will be enough that we will stop whoring after other gods and bowing down to them. Perhaps it will finally be enough that we will cry out to the Lord.

Of course, we don’t know this either. That is why I am fine with anyone campaigning, supporting, or voting for Donald Trump because the alternative is Hillary Clinton. But we are not restricted to a binary choice between the two; we can choose based on our understanding of a future that is not determined by the outcome of this election.

So vote for The Donald. Vote for a third-party candidate. Vote for a write in. Or, for president, don’t vote at all. However, please don’t vote for Hillary, especially out of the belief that she is somehow better than Donald or that she will serve as an adequate placeholder until we can replace her with the latest crop of moderate Republicans; in this you would be sorely mistaken and misguided.

This is not a call to disengage from the political process. Just the opposite. It is a call to engage the culture and the political process by refusing to operate within the parameters of the elite. While the presidency, Congress, and the federal courts have violated biblical precepts, natural law, and the United States Constitution, these standards are still available for the states, local governments, and people to make use of. Our hope for the future doesn’t have to be constrained by the lawless elite.

What we are constrained by is the call of God on our hearts. So, please, join me in praying that God would work in my heart and your heart and the hearts of all Americans a revival that would spread throughout our country “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

In the end, we all have only one binary choice: we will either worship God the Creator or we won’t. May He move our hearts and minds so that we all make the right choice. Amen.