Interesting Times


Hat tip to Know Thyself Blog .
 
I just read a very erudite opinion on the Mohammedan cartoon issue over at The Belmont Club blog entitled "Interesting Times."

The essence of the post is that there is a lack of mutual understanding between Mohammedans and Western culture. An underlying point is that we do not consider ourselves at war with Mohammedanism because of our striving for multicultural tolerance; however the Mohammedans view themselves at war with the West as "their religion" versus our way of life. As long as we do not grasp an understanding in what we as Westerners represent, the Mohammedan will continually view the West as something that is able to be overcome. Hence, the Mohammedan will possess a rabid obsession to battle until they have done that which they view as inevitable – crush the corrupt.

When the West grasps the Mohammedan understanding of this conflict they will arise to actively confront the aggressors; i.e. if it is not too late to wake up from a Western deep sleep.

Go to the link in this comment and read The Belmont Club post. It is lengthy including the huge amount of comments in response to the post, but it well worth the read.

EVANGELICAL INFLUENCE ON THE RISE IN THE MIDDLE EAST


Here is a hat tip to the Joel C. Rosenberg Blog. He is reporting that Mohammedans are converting to Christianity. In the Sudan in particular a million former Mohammedans have converted to Christianity because of the violence and atrocity of Islamofascist Arabs. Posted from SlantRight Blog .
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**Below is the relevant information. To read the entire post of Joel C. Rosenberb the link is HERE.


Did you know there are at least ten different evangelical Christian satellite TV networks now beaming their programming into the Middle East? Or that evangelical Christian websites in Arabic and Farsi are springing up by the hundreds and being visited by thousands every day, including Saudi sheikhs and Iranian mullahs? Did you know that more than one million Sudanese have become followers of Christ just since 2001. Not despite of the genocide, but because of it.

"People see what real Islam is like and they want Jesus instead," one Sudanese leader told me. Indeed, the church there is growing so fast new pastors are having to be trained in make-shift seminaries held in caves!

I just got back from three months in the Middle East, working on a non-fiction book about the future of the region, including a chapter on the future of Christianity in the lands of its birth. Many in the U.S. and European media erronously report that Christianity is dying in the lands of its birth. But I found just the opposite to be true.

I had the privilege of meeting with some three dozen Arab and Iranian evangelical leaders from all over North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Their message was unanimous: more Muslims are turning to Christ today that at any other point in human history.

It is a story the Western media isn’t reporting but the Muslim media is beginning to. Stories are popping up throughout the region quoting Islamic leaders alarmed by the growing number of Muslim converts to Christianity, and the growing influence of evangelicals.

A leading Saudi cleric, appearing on Aljazeera, tried to sound the alarm back in December of 2000. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity," warned Sheikh Ahmad Al Qataani to a stunned audience. "Every year, six million Muslims convert to Christianity."

Those numbers are wildly exaggerated, but he’s got the trend right. And all of the evangelical leaders I met with say the numbers of Muslim converts to Christianity has only accelerated since 9/11.

In Cairo, I visited the largest "church" in the Middle East. It is held in an enormous cave, just below an Egyptian military facility. Some 10,000 new and growing followers of Christ worship there every weekend. More than 20,000 assembled there in May for an entire day of prayer — all asking God to turn Muslims to Jesus. What’s more, the sermons and worship services were broadcast by SAT-7, the leading evangelical satellite TV network, allowing millions more from Casablanca to Kabul to hear the gospel, some for the first time in their lives.

Perhaps, then, it should not be so surprising that for the first time in the 54 year history of the National Prayer Breakfast, a Muslim King was the keynote speaker. Jordan’s King Abdullah II not only gave brief remarks at yesterday’s breakfast, he later delivered the main address at the luncheon for some 3,000 clergy members and political leaders. It was an intriguing sign, I believe, of the influence evangelicals are having in the Middle East these days.

"We behold with horror and disgust the recent targeting of Christian churches in Iraq, breaking with a 1,400 year tradition of Christian-Muslim friendship and mutual acceptance amongst the Arabs of the Levant," said King Abdullah. He quoted from Psalm 34:14, saying we must all "Seek peace and pursue it," and the words of Jesus urging all men to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves.

"September Eleventh; the train bombings in Spain; the underground and bus bombings in London — these outrages have led some to believe in a ‘Clash of Civilizations,’" said the King. "Nothing could please extremists more; that is their view of reality. Its falsity is made clear to all by the extremist bombings in the Islamic world — in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and more. Almost every day Muslims are killed by extremists in Iraq. Their targets are not Christians, not Jews, not Americans or Europeans, but indigenous innocent Muslims."

"Extremists, of any religion, who teach intolerance and violence, mutilate Scripture to advance their cause," he went on to say. "Together, we have a duty to this generation and many to come, to witness to the positive role of faith in public life. Humbled through that faith, strengthened by that faith; we can, with God’s help, create a more just and peaceful future. It begins by standing together — and upholding the principles transgressed by those who oppose us. As the Bible says: Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)"

When was the last time you heard a Muslim King quote the Apostle Paul?

Aslan really is on the move.

A New Creation: Approximations of the Consummate Decree


David Bryant writes of the "Consummate Decree." My take on that decree is this: I am a new creation in Christ Jesus (you are too), behold all things have become new and old things have passed away. The "Consummate Decree" is that you are (or can be) Saved! Christ, the innocent God-man, was crucified to death that we can exchange our dead nature (a nature separated from God) for a living nature. When Christ arose bodily from the grave, if we have faith in that occurence, our dead natures become exchanged. In Christ’s new life, we have new life. Share that good news with all you know!
 

A New Creation: Approximations of the Consummate Decree (Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7)

By David Bryant
DavidBryantDirect.com
Bryantdirect@aol.com

 

It’s a curious thing. Throughout the book of Revelation each one of God’s decisive judgments explodes on the world scene amid hymns, doxologies and acts of worship. Singing and supremacy surface together. But believers are invited into similar celebrations every day. That’s because in union with His Son we have already passed through the Final Judgment. Already we stand victorious on the other side of His Reign of Fire. How did this happen?

THINK WITH ME …
How Has God Applied the Future to Our Relationship with Christ Today?

QUOTABLE QUOTE

He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Now God has to where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus …. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! (Ephesians 2 — The Message)

Despite the dramatic increase in life expectancy over the past one hundred years, no one has yet made claims to immortality — except One. Nonetheless, people in every culture continue to seek it. Some have their bodies frozen at death, ready to be reactivated when a cure for mortality is found. Others grasp for a place in eternity through mystical convergences with a Higher Power.

But to Christians, Romans 5 declares that “just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 20-21), meaning that even in this world believers are declared “immortal” already and called to live like it! Throughout the New Testament Christians are identified as those currently dead, alive and ascended with Christ (Rom. 6; Eph. 2; Col. 3). It is as if we were already transported to the time of the Consummation, strolling through the New Jerusalem.

Obviously, something unusual has happened. It has to do with the positioning of believers even before the Consummation. Surrendered to our Sovereign, entering into an intimate union with Him, we have a solidarity with Him that replaces forever our identity with fallen Adam and his race. The Old Creation has been disqualified. God decrees that we now have an exclusive identity with the Son, allowing the Father to label us as His New Creation (Rom. 5 and 2 Cor. 5).

Christians aren’t simply on a road to “the sweet by-and-by”. Instead, the Bible invites Christians to reckon themselves ascended into Heaven, serving Christ in the power of His Spirit as re-created beings. In other words, God invites us to act as if we currently stand on the other side of Judgment Day. Jesus assured all believers, we will never come into judgment because we have already passed from death to life (Jn. 5 with 1 Jn. 3).

The moment I was born again (as a freshman in college), God decreed me to be eternally alive. Christ’s future has become my future. The Father was free, in His justice, to treat me as if I were already raised and reigning in the Consummation. This was His consummate decree. As far as He was concerned, from that moment (and even long before that moment) I was not only foreknown, called and justified, but also glorified (Rom. 8). All of it was as good as done.

If I may borrow Luther’s words: God created a “happy exchange”. This placed me, in His eyes, within the Consummation drama as if it were unfolding here and now. This exchange transpired when Christ took upon Himself who I was in my sin and bestowed on me who Christ is in His righteousness. In response to the Gospel, I was united to Christ by faith, as both Savior and final Judge-of-all. Heaven’s Supreme Court decreed that everything Christ is and has — as well as everything He experienced by His own death, burial, resurrection and ascension — was now transferred to me. From that hour, the Father has treated me as if Christ is me and I am Christ.

Separated from Him eternally, dead to God in my sin, at one time I faced no other prospect but His dreadful wrath. It rendered me hopeless. Only if someone else could bring me alive from the dead, therefore, setting me free from the charges against me, could I ever hope to see my precarious condition reversed. No religion, no philosophy, no moral resolutions of my own could ever avail.

Then one day, the Gospel came. I believed. Immediately, from God’s perspective, I was raised with His Son from the dead. My destination became identical with His. God reckoned me to be crucified two thousand years ago with Jesus, at the very time He bore the judgment for my sin (and for all sin) on Calvary. That way, the judgment my Lord experienced became my primary judgment, too.

Since I am permanently abiding in Him (Jn. 15), I could be disqualified only if Christ Himself could ever be disqualified from full participation in the Age-to-Come (which will never happen). There is no future judgment that will ever expel me from the glories of the New Jerusalem. In the most profound sense, my “day in court” has passed. The Cross was it. The Cross was final. The Cross put behind me the life-threatening consequences of my incalculable rebellions against the Almighty One.

Long before a New Heaven and Earth ever takes center stage, God has already decreed that I may walk before Him as if I were Christ Himself, and thus as if I were a fully resurrected inhabitant of eternity. Therefore, at no time should I ever be surprised that my life in Christ incorporates many other kinds of “approximations” of the impending Regeneration of the universe. Such foretastes may be preliminary, but they are substantial. They create genuine experiences of what it will be like when His supremacy has final sway.

Space will not allow us to explore key doctrines emphasized in Scripture (and by Christian theologians of all persuasions) that describe various dimensions of our current participation in this consummate decree of God. Maybe you’ve heard some of the concepts, such as:

· Justification

· Acquittal

· Reconciliation

· Redemption

· Propitiation

· Remission

· Forgiveness

· Adoption

Lumped together, these terms constitute two great realities about our hope in Christ. They speak about our destiny in Christ. They speak about our identity in Christ. Consider:

Destiny refers to our future. One day soon we will stand vindicated, with absolute confidence, before a just and holy God. When the Consummation breaks upon us, we will face it unafraid, alive with every promise in Jesus, because our final judgment climaxed at the Cross long ago (Jude 1). That’s our destination under His consummate decree. This is one _expression of Christ’s supremacy in our lives.

Identity, on the other hand, has to do with our current status before God’s Throne. As we’ve just seen, today all believers can live as if the Day of Judgment had come and gone. Our sins have not simply been disregarded for the moment. They have been permanently eliminated by the blood of Christ. God’s wrath for us fell on Him instead. Because we abide in Him, from the moment of salvation forward God decrees us newly created. We provide a preview of how He will renovate the heavens and earth at the Second Coming (Rev. 21). Now, all we need to do is take the initiative to reckon (decree) for ourselves what God proclaims (decrees) about us (Rom. 6). This, too, expresses how Christ’s supremacy touches us everyday.

THINK WITH ME …
What Does the Word “Justification” Tell Us about the Fullness of Christ’s Supremacy?

Using one of the more technical words listed above, justification, let’s take one example. Theologians call justification a “forensic” work of God. This means that by divine decree (as described in His Word) God has thrust His decisions about our final fate into the present. He declares Himself fully satisfied with who we are in Jesus. He accepts us point blank as His own children.

QUOTABLE QUOTE

In the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father hands all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone here who believes what I’m saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, and has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting light and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living. It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived — I mean right now! — when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and hearing, will come to life. (John 5 — The Message)

Biblically speaking, the idea of being justified has always included the sense that God treats me “just as if I’d” [justified] already entered into the Consummation. To my utter amazement, Scripture teaches that the Father declares I have an intimate relationship with Him, right now, that mirrors what His eternal Son has enjoyed with Him from ages past and will enjoy for ages to come. He assures me unlimited, unhindered access into everything Christ has for me at this moment. On more than one level, I can start enjoying immediately many blessings of the Kingdom-That-Waits-to-Appear.

As Paul shows us in 1 Corinthians 1, we are not simply made wise or righteous or holy through Christ. Rather, Christ has been made for us all the wisdom, and righteousness, and holiness we will ever need. That means we do not just take His help for where we have failed. Rather, we take Him. We also take all that He brings with Him. He encompasses the everlasting favor of God toward us. In Him, the Father forgives our sins, sets aside His wrath and treats us brand new.

So it follows: Justified, I can rightfully claim to be liberated from all fear toward the Righteous Sovereign, released to start life all over again before His face. Justified, I can act as if there never was a reason for His holy fury, at least where I’m concerned. Justified, I am as fully vindicated as Christ was the day God raised Him from the dead. Justified, I remain accepted before the Judge of the universe, forever, because of my unassailable union with the Judge’s Son — with Who He is and with all He inherits. Justified, I’ve become partaker of His holy nature (2 Pet. 1). This includes being incorporated into a people born again by His Spirit (Jn. 3). All of this is an approximation of the Consummation.

When the Last Day finally arrives with unquenchable fury for unrepentant sinners, all will find that long ago Christians passed through the same examination. It happened when, by faith, we were decreed to have been crucified and buried with Christ, and then raised and ascended with Him. Long before Christ returns in eternal glory, every believer draws from His well of eternal life. Our life in coming ages will essentially be the same life God invites believers to share in right now. At both points in time, the sum total of our existence takes its cue from the person of our Savior, supremely sufficient for all the saints, “world without end”. With Him as my hope, the Father treats me “just as if I’d” exited the tomb and was currently walking the streets of gold! Talk about experiencing the fullness of His supremacy!

Oxford University theologian and author Alister McGrath puts it concisely for us when he concludes: “Justification language appears in Paul with reference to both the inauguration of the life of faith and also its final consummation. It anticipates the verdict of the final judgment, declaring in advance the verdict of ultimate acquittal. The believer’s present justified experience is thus an anticipation, an advance participation of deliverance from the wrath to come, and an assurance in the present of the final eschatological verdict of acquittal” [emphases mine] (Rom. 5:9-10).

That’s a mouthful! But it deserves careful reflection. Are you a follower of Jesus? Is your hope in Him based on His supremacy over all things? Then McGrath is talking about you. He’s describing one facet of the fullness of life that Christ’s reign guarantees to you today.


Imago Dei: The Transcendent Basis of True Liberty and Just Authority


This is one of the best essays I have ever read. It is a little surprising I found it on Acton Institute Blog, for they are a bit Libertarian. You know, socially liberal and fiscally conservative kind of people. This essay (which I will post in entirity below) relates to there not being any true Liberty or Just Authority without the Image of God.Image of God, for clarity sake, is the Latin translation for "Imago Dei." Well without further ado, here is one the most awesome politcal essays you will ever read:
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Imago Dei: The Transcendent Basis of True Liberty and Just Authority 
By Koni Kim
 

The United States Declaration of Independence affirms that all men are divinely endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; the signatories of this document sought to establish a government whose task would be to secure these rights.[1] In invoking the language of natural law, our nation’s founders purported not to create rights anew, but to uphold those recognized as inherent in the human condition and as independent of any human institution. Human dignity was the acknowledged premise of our democratic order: political authority was to derive from and defer to this transcendent reality.

In light of the principles at the heart of our nation’s inception, it is difficult to justify our legacies of slavery, segregation, and discrimination; it is scarcely easier to account for the persistent prevalence of conflicts between the exercise of liberty and the interests of equality and security. Paradigmatic are “hate speech” disputes, in which claims to expressive freedom clash with demands for equal opportunity; similar tensions arise in debates over abortion and euthanasia, which pit the vindication of autonomy against the preservation of human life. These controversies reinforce a growing perception of the state as antagonist rather than advocate of rights and liberties. For when a court upholds one claim, it essentially discounts its opponents, and such pronouncements require justifications that “neutrality” cannot provide.

Our democratic order, meanwhile, has come to distrust transcendent rhetoric. An ascendant view, as articulated by one skeptical pundit, is that any “normative guidance” we have for conflict resolution “has been fashioned (and refashioned) in the very political struggles over which it then presides.”[2] Liberty as a bare ideal is an inadequate guide in these struggles; for, as legal philosophers admit, “The principle of ‘the more freedom the better’ doesn’t tell us whose freedom must give way.”[3] Absent shared normative premises, then, judicial decisions seem arbitrary and orderly coexistence becomes a zero-sum game; and legal practice, rather than upholding rights and liberties as principled norms, apparently undercuts their integrity.

This situation is the outworking of an atomistic anthropology, born of the Enlightenment, which rejects the traditional premise of man’s transcendent telos and instead equates personhood with possession of finite faculties. On this view, human identity is an artifact of choice and contingency: man authors his life by designating his own ends and executing his will using whatever means he deems proper. Accordingly, the notion of an objective truth based on natural law is replaced by a subjective conscience which is elevated to supreme status, so that each individual becomes, by the power of his reason, the arbiter of his own morality.[4] Liberty, then, amounts to the unconstrained pursuit of one’s desires; rights are social constructs to stake out and defend against neighbor and state.

The corollary of this view is what George Cardinal Pell calls a secular democracy, a “democracy without transcendence,” whose key reference point is the supremacy of the individual and his unconstrained will.[5] Here the quest for autonomy is the reigning ethical paradigm, and the state favors no moral vision, offering only a procedural mechanism for addressing conflicts.[6] True to this scheme, our Supreme Court has declared an inviolable right “to define one’s own concept of existence, of being, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”[7] as well as a fundamental “right to privacy,” establishing regulatory immunity for a rather flexibly defined sphere of self-regarding activity.[8] Thus, within the procedural dictates of our democracy, individual activity enjoys presumptive legal privilege insofar as it reflects individual choice.

Granted, civil liberties, especially the freedoms of conscience and religion, are integral to a thriving polity. Unchecked by shared principles, however, the radical pursuit of autonomy reduces social relationships to power struggles—and when individual pursuits clash, generating antagonistic appeals to constitutional guarantees, the secular state’s adjudicative resources amount to “a sea of rhetoric about individual rights.”[9] Unless political authority rests on a defensible perspective of the rights and liberties at stake, the state’s task becomes not only oppressive but incoherent: if the secular democracy cannot define the “common good” for its citizens, neither can it use that notion to justify judicial decisions, let alone the positive law that should constrain these decisions.

History indeed testifies that regimes not grounded in a premise of human dignity will resort to suppression or manipulation to defuse tensions, catering to the powerful at the expense of those whose rights seem too costly to uphold. This has been the case in Nazi Germany, communist China, and segregationist South Africa; it is no less the destiny of any normless regime that, despite bearing the title “democracy,” promotes tyranny of the will. For, as Samuel Gregg observes, “if rights are ultimately grounded in people’s ever-shifting preferences, they lose all the absoluteness that the word ‘rights’ entails.”[10] Our secular democracy, insofar as it endorses no moral vision, can prescribe no remedies for social fragmentation and no safeguards against political oppression. As such, the widespread rejection of the idea of natural law constitutes a threat to basic rights and liberties in our society;[11] for “without truth claims, there is nothing to which we can morally appeal in order to defend freedom.”[12]

There is hope for redirection, however, in the tenets embodied in our founding Declaration, namely in the transcendent dimension of human existence and the ethical precepts that flow from it. Such are the elements of an imago Dei conception of man which, unlike the atomistic view, both resonates with the conscience and urges it toward ethical excellence. For while the atomistic anthropology equates personhood with faculties, associating human worth with efficacy of will, an anthropology based on man’s divine image-bearing status recognizes each person as inherently, transcendently valuable and as teleological in orientation: to be human is to bear the divine image not only physically but ethically in the context of a commission to love God and neighbor, to be fruitful and multiply, and to steward earthly resources.[13]

Man is uniquely suited for this commission—reason, choice, and will render him able to discharge duties—yet possession of faculties does not exhaust his personhood.[14] It is receipt of ethical responsibility in which dignity inheres; it is satisfaction of this responsibility, conformity to the divine archetype, in which fulfillment lies. Man, then, is not sovereign over morality: as he is created for a transcendent end, he must be directed thereto by a transcendent law, which is specially articulated in divinely inspired scriptures and generally accessible by divinely endowed reason.[15] This reason, in turn, is not to be exercised autonomously but in the service of proper ends, illuminating man’s moral duties and directing his actions accordingly.[16]

Hence, the moral law, as divinely revealed, is the source of true freedom: it prescribes the way to glorious fulfillment of the image-bearer’s commission. It is not mere ignorance but sin—denial of dependence on God, refusal to love one’s neighbor, willful indulgence of self—that hinders the way to human flourishing. It is the radical quest for autonomy that destroys freedom, severing creature from life-giving Creator. Against the modern mindset, freedom exists in harmony with voluntary submission, through wholehearted service to God and to neighbor: liberty is not license to satisfy every desire, but freedom to desire what one ought,[17] in accord with the unique human ability to reorient one’s desires and to pursue them conscientiously. Indeed, creaturely obedience is to the glory not only of God who deserves worship; it is to the glory of persons whose liberty tastes sweetest, whose dignity shines brightest, when they fulfill the calling that distinguishes them as image-bearers.

Accountability, not autonomy, is thus the key to true liberty and the crucial context for nourishing dignity. Therefore, human dignity grounds the rights codified in positive law: rights to be respected, treated justly, and protected from harm. These rights imply corollary duties; as each is entitled to receive respect, justice, and protection, so he is called to exercise respect, to deal justly, and to protect. All these precepts enjoy transcendent status as part of the Creator’s commission. Indeed, human rights are inalienable precisely because the dignity that grounds them is neither reducible to autonomy nor susceptible to subjectivity, consisting rather in dependence upon God, the creative source of human liberty.[18]

But the secular democracy, as based on an atomistic anthropology, seeks to maximize liberty by effacing constraints, leaving self-interested appetites to devour each other in bitter contests for state-defined rights. Hence the dilemma of our political order: the state, ostensibly in the name of liberty itself, forswears the transcendent principles necessary to uphold a robust scheme of protected rights and liberties, thereby invoking the very social strife it is ill equipped to remedy. In the trenchant words of a postmodern critic, “freedom is a coherent notion only in relation to a goal or good that limits and, by limiting, shapes its exercise,”[19] and the absence of such a telos necessarily renders authority arbitrary, setting freedom and submission at odds.

The state’s proper task, in fact, is neither to claim authorship of rights and liberties nor to subordinate them to temporal interests, but to uphold them as reflecting a transcendent reality; legal and judicial practice must acknowledge human dignity, safeguard the rights this dignity entails, and preserve the liberty to pursue noble ends. Thus, undergirding any humane political order is a robust conception of man’s ethical nature and teleological orientation, according to which duty derives from dignity, dependence enhances liberty, and interpersonal respect sustains harmonious coexistence. An imago Dei anthropology, in affirming these tenets, furnishes an objective basis for political authority and a principled guide for judicial decisions—as well as a transcendent motive for the mutual service that is the lifeblood of a free and virtuous society.


[1]Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, opening lines.

[2] Stanley Fish, There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 115.

[3] Joel Feinberg, “Limits to the Free Expression of Opinion,” in Philosophy of Law, edited by Joel Feinberg and Jules Coleman ( Belmont: Wadsworth, 2000), 312.

[4] Alberto Piedra, “Natural Law and the Age of Reason,” in Natural Law: The Foundation of an Orderly Economic System (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004), 19.

[5] George Cardinal Pell, “Is There Only Secular Democracy? Imagining Other Possibilities for the Third Millenium,” Journal of Markets & Morality, 7:2 (Fall 2004): 327.

[6] Samuel Gregg, “The Drama of Human Freedom,” in On Ordered Liberty (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2003), 33.

[7]Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992); cf. reference in Pell, 327.

[8]Roe v. Wade (1973); cf. Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Eisenstadt vs. Baird (1972).

[9] Pell, 323.

[10] Gregg, 37

[11] Piedra, 26.

[12] Gregg, 31.

[13] Cf. Genesis 1:26-30, 9:6-7; Matthew 22:37-40.

[14] Michael Horton, Lord and Servant: A Covenant Christology ( Louisville: WJK Press, 2005), 104.

[15] Cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 1:18-20, 2:14-15.

[16] Piedra, 24, 25.

[17] Cf. Lord Acton: “ Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.” Selected Writings of Lord Acton: Essays in Religion, Politics and Morality, edited by Rufus J. Fears (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund , 1988).

[18] Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, “ Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” First Things, 76:10 (October 1997): 39.

[19] Fish, 108.

 

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Kony Kim will complete her Masters of Arts in Theological Studies at Westminster Seminary California in May of 2006. She is also a Children’s Ministry Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at Jubilee Presbyterian Church.

Psycho Leftist Mom Arrested Prior to State of the Union


Some dimwitted Represenative in Congress gave the psycho Leftist Mom – Cindy Sheehan – a ticket to the State of the Union Address. What kind of thinking was that? Rep. Woolsey (Dim I mean Dem. from CA) gave a ticket to the woman that belittles her sons memory by near treasonous acts. Yes, the same woman that has been hanging with America’s enemies in effort to discredit her President was given a ticket to the Address. It was moronic by the Representative and hubris by Sheehan in light of her anti-Bush and anti-American actions.
 
Thanks for the heads up to Exposing Democrats.

Microsoft to set rules for gov’t blog complaints


Old Bill caved in to the Communist Chinese for the almighty buck. Guilt must have crept in due to criticism because Microsoft is going to make big buck foreign clients happy while brown nosing the Civil Rights activists of Free Speech. No matter how critical one is of the Gates hegemony, this is smart business. It might sound weak kneed but business is for making money. China is not exactly a Civil Rights stalwart; however it is a sovereign nation that calls the shots within its own borders. If the last bastion of huge Communism is making Capitalistic deals their society is transforming albeit all so slowly. The Capitalistic bottom line: It is China’s sovereignty and it is Bill’s property and money. Capitalistic globalization moves on.  Tracked back to Slantright.com.
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Reuters: Internet Report
Tue Jan 31, 1:11 PM ET

LISBON (Reuters) – Microsoft has pledged to create rules on how it will deal with government complaints about Web sites and blogs hosted by the U.S. software giant.

Following concerns on how Microsoft pulled the blog of a critic of the Chinese government, Microsoft said that in the future it will only block access to diaries on its MSN Internet portal when it is presented with a court order or another legally binding decision.

But the blog will only be banned in that particular country.

"Going forward we will have a policy of removing access for the country where the blog was issued, but not outside that country," Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief counsel, said at a Microsoft conference.

Microsoft will find a technical solution to make sure the blog will still be viewable in other countries.

"We want to formulate a new framework and new principles. Principles need to emerge," said Smith, adding that the need for clear guidelines became imperative after MSN took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing last month.

Smith defended Microsoft’s decision by saying it …

had received an order from the information authorities in Shanghai, which Microsoft found to have legal authority to decide what can be published in China.

"That was one of the things that made us sit and think. (Now) it will be transparent what is happening and why," Smith said.

Around 3.3 million bloggers in China publish their Web diaries on the Spaces pages of Microsoft’s MSN service.

Microsoft is not the only company struggling with China’s censorship rules.

Last month the country’s propaganda chiefs closed the outspoken supplement Freezing Point of respected newspaper China Youth Daily, and Web search leader Google announced restrictions on a new service for China to avoid confrontation with Beijing.
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Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

Hamas Ascendant


Anti-Chomski Blog

I agree with Benjamin of the Anti-Chomski Blog. It is irrelevant who won the Palestinian Authority election. As long as Palestinians only reason to exist is to destroy Israel, those paritcular Arabs are irrelevant.

 

The only relevance for the West is how to respond Islamofascism. It is time to dip into reality and end the violence of the terrorists. It is time for the West to respond to Jihad with a 21st Century Crusade. It is time to force an open society by terminating Mohammedan Islamofascists once and for all.

 

If there truly are any so-called moderate Mohammedans, let us replace the Islamofascists with the moderates. I hear all the time that moderate Mohammedanism is the rule not the exception. I personally doubt it, so let us put political correctness to the test. Terminate appeasement, devastate Islamofascism and prop up the Moderate Mohammedan.

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Benjamin

Anti-Chomski Blog

1/28/06

 

Hamas Ascendant

Several people have written to me asking my opinion of the Palestinian elections.  I hate to be the odd man out of the general hysteria, but I don’t think they make much difference whatsoever.  I have always held to the same position regarding the possibilities of peace between us and the Palestinians.  In my opinion, for what it’s worth, I believe peace is impossible between us at the moment.  What is not impossible is a status quo in which two states live side by side in mutual hate and enmity with a minimum of violence on both sides of the divide.  With the passing of a generation or two, this may or may not lead to a rapprochement of sorts.  I frankly don’t know.  I also don’t think it particularly matters.  Israel has spent far too long hinging its future on the possibility of Arab acceptance.  It is time for us to return to ourselves and to concentrate on the future of Israel and Zionism.   Peace is not the fulfillment of Zionism.  A living, prosperous, culturally creative and nationally proud Jewish state is the fulfillment of Zionism.  Neither peace nor acceptance is a requirement for this.  What is a requirement is our disengagement from the Palestinians and our setting of permanent borders.  This can only be done, at the moment, if ever, by unilateral Israeli action.  Who rules the Palestinians is, frankly, no concern of mine except to the extent that it threatens Israel and Israelis.  From this point of view, the difference between Hamas and Fatah is minimal to non-existent.  The only possible distinction I can see is that Hamas actually comes out and says what Fatah clouds in diplomatic doublespeak.  We now have an enemy who looks us in the face and says what he means.  So be it.

Iran Ready to Step in if EU, US Withdraw Funds from Palestinian Authority


The origin of this article is an International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Email List. This yet another moment of saber rattling by Iran. Apparently Mohammedan hatred for Israel and America is crossing the divide for the dislike between Sunni and Shi’ite in the Middle East. Below Sunni Saudi Arabia is picking a tab for the terrorists of Palestine and Shi’ite Iran is offering to do so.

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 HAMAS WIN THREATENS JORDAN, PROMPTS SAUDI CASH PLEDGE
Shin Bet: Iran Ready to Step in if EU, US Withdraw Funds

Hamas Logo (www.intelligence.org.il)Radical Islamic movements throughout the Middle East are lifting up their heads after Hamas’s election victory with Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood demanding "true democracy" and threatening a popular uprising if the government continues to ignore "the will of the people," Jonathan Halevi writes on Israel’s popular NewsFirstClass web portal. 

Speaking to the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin warned ministers that Iran was considering giving financial aid to the Palestinians if Europe and the US withdraw funds.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has offered the cash-strapped Palestinian administration $100 million to bridge the shortfall in the January salary budget, giving donors in both western and Arab donors a little more time to consider how they propose to adjust to the emergence of a Hamas-run Palestinian regime.

The Saudi statement came after the White House announced on Friday that it is reviewing all aid packages to the Palestinians.

"To be clear, we do not provide money to terrorist organizations," US government spokesperson Sean McCormack told the press.

POPE: DEMOCRACY WITHOUT VALUES IS TOTALITARIANISM


(AGI) – Vatican City, Jan. 27 – "A democracy without values can easily turn into an open or hidden totalitarianism as history teaches us" said Pope Benedict XVI reiterating the basic concept of John Paul II’s "Centesimus annus". This way, he once again invited the Associations of Italian Christian Workers to "make sure that consensus grows for a number of shared values". Otherwise, "our call for democracy risks turning into a mere formality stressing differences and exacerbating problems". Explaining that "democracy alone can ensure equality and rights for all" Pope Ratzinger stressed that "democracy and justice are somehow interdependent": "justice is a benchmark for democracy". Finally, the Pope said that "our search for the truth leads to a real rather than superficial democracy".
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I appreciate this word from Pope Benedict XVI. It is timely in light of the recent pseudo-Palestinian elections. Hamas is not an wherein Justice is its benchmark. The values of Mohammedans are violence and death. How does that sustain a legitimate democracy. Nay, a death cult democracy is a democracy of Tyranny. It is tyranny to the deluded that vote for a death cult and it is tyranny to any neighbor nation sustaining a democracy of justice and values that benefit all its citizens.

Iran Nukes? Islamic Radicalisim? North Korea? Nope; Clinton Calls “Climate Change” Worlds Greatest Threat!


Old liberal Bill Clinton on the greatest threat to civilization: Is it Islamofascist terrorists? Mohammedan rogue States such as Iran? or maybe N. Korea – threatening to nuke everytime it does not get it’s way?
 
Nope none of the above, it is environmental climate changes. Mr. Clinton has the inside scoop, climate will ruin the earth before nuclear war. Ideological psychos will have to take a back seat to those allowing the earth to die.

Recent AP Story: this is where to go for the details.

Here is what the Matrix says over at Neocon Express:

 

 

With radical Iranian Mullah’s on the verge of achieving nuclear armaments; with Islamo-fascists mixing suicidal martyrdom, WMD’s and ruthless international terrorism; with a North Korean nutcase armed with Nuclear weapons; with Western resolve and strength weighted down by self-hating liberals; the world seems rapidly headed in a very dangerous direction.

 

But Bill Clinton has a different take. To him, as announced loudly from that five-star resort in Davos Switzerland, where Yuppies like to go to harmonically converge, the greatest threat to the world at this time is….climate change. Yep, you heard that correctly folks, CLIMATE CHANGE is the real enemy. Of course, how does one argue with that? Maybe the climate is changing, maybe it’s not; and if it is, maybe it’s partially human caused, or completely a natural process, there is no real scientific consensus on any of that one way or the other. But climate change at this critical moment in history is the greatest threat to civilization as we know it?

 

How in the world will the West find the resolve to confront the rise of real evil emerging in front of our noses, at this very moment, when folks like Clinton obsess over a theoretical thereat which conveniently does not require any life threatening action or real bravery? Now there’s an enemy liberals can love. Unfortunately, the rest of us are burdened with facing the real threats, in the real world, in the here and now.

 

 

    Another place for a conservative perspective: Slantright.com and The SlantRight.