Catholicity: A Paradigm Shift

•November 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

As a confessional Presbyterian committed to a Two Kingdoms approach to matters of Christ and culture I have gone through somewhat of a paradigm shift as I continue to work on my novel The Damned May EnterI have found that while my fundamental convictions have not changed, my perspective on them has changed somewhat. This has come as I have taken a closer look at the history of God´s work in bringing about the salvation of his people, which I am dealing with in my book. This has been somewhat eye opening as I have delved into the biblical text and found the universal scope of God´s unfolding plan of redemption for all who are recipients of the promises made to Abraham by faith, which has finally been accomplished in Christ.

I am all for being committed to a particular expression of the Church, I am still happy to be a son of the Protestant Reformation, as expressed in the Reformed confessions and catechisms. However, as someone who also confesses the Apostles Creed, and holds to the belief in ¨the holy catholic Church,¨ I must also confess that I have so focused on the particularity of my own Reformed heritage that I have lost sight of the fact that before I am Reformed, I am first and foremost a Christian. This places me in a Body of believers that encompasses those who have gone before me and now make up the great cloud of witnesses who now watch the drama of salvation unfold in the presence of our Lord. It also means I belong to a vast community that presently calls upon the Name of Jesus Christ in faith for their salvation – this is far bigger than my relatively small community in North America. It also means that I am part of the Body that Christ is building in the future as he draws individuals and families to himself.

So while I am perfectly comfortable with my own Reformed convictions, I do not need to hold a posture of suspicion or hostility to other Christians who believe differently than I do. Of course I will be happy to defend my own views and explain why they are worth serious consideration, but no debate is worth tearing down another brother or sister in Christ. Sadly I have done this at times, and can see the dangerous folly in such an approach. Certainly it is a repulsive as opposed to an attractive approach to others and can do much damage to them, but it is also personally destructive, inhibiting me from seeing and rejoicing in the fellowship of the saints as well as God´s work in their lives and mine.

This should be a no brainer, but in practice it is very difficult to put into practice. We should all hold fast to our convictions and when appropriate contend with them. Debates get heated as we collide with competing viewpoints. But, there is a vast difference between contending for a conviction and going after a fellow Christian. As I continue to contend for the truth as I understand and confess it, I must consider the fact that the universality or the catholicity of the Church factors into all discussion and debate in the arena of ideas. I hope to gain wisdom as I further contemplate this approach, believing it will open more doors than it shuts.

New Book Project – New Blog Site

•November 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I am in the process of writing a book entitled The Damned May Enter, you can read an extended excerpt of the first section of my book over at St. Jude’s Tavern

Sen. Rand Paul: I Will Stop the Illegal NSA Spying

•May 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Rand nails it…

TIME

Sunday, I will continue my fight to end the illegal collection of American phone records. The Second Appeals court has ruled the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records illegal. We should not be debating modifying an illegal program. We should simply end this illegal program.

How will we defend ourselves if the Patriot Act expires? Well, perhaps we could just rely on the Constitution and demonstrate exactly how traditional judicial warrants can gather all the info we need—and how bulk collection really hasn’t worked.

We have all the tools we need to preserve both security and liberty. What we now need is a president with the will to do just that.

I have fought for several years now to end the invasive and illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans. I am ready to debate how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty.

Let me be clear: I…

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Response to Kevin DeYoung @ The Gospel Coalition

•November 11, 2014 • 11 Comments

My response is as follows to the latest post by Kevin DeYoung @ The Gospel Coalition

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/extra-ecclesial-gospel-partnerships

Sorry Kevin, still seems like a tightly formulated articulation of the party line. TGC allows no dissent, before deleting comments, or twitter feeds. The fact of the matter is you guys get huge $$$ in publishing contracts, which the base only happily buys up. You all pull in healthy honorariums from your speaking engagements, and score immeasurable points from the TGC mutual admiration society. Can you give us any concrete examples of how TGC is actually advancing church ministry on the ground?

The fact of the matter is that TGC wouldn’t be viewed with as much suspicion if it were simply an aggregate of content (e.g sermons, articles, blog posts) from the broadly Reformed world. However, TGC has taken upon itself the presumptuous role of promoting what they view as “reformed” and “orthodox” (e.g. the sanctification debates with Tullian), when you have not gone all the way to make yourselves into an actual denomination with meaningful church courts.

At the end of the day, TGC seems to want to have it’s cake and eat it too. None of the ecclesiastical responsibilities to determine what is actually in/or out of bounds and why, with all of the clout to say who does and does not have influence in the conservative evangelical world.

BTW – I sincerely doubt that A) my comments will actually be heard and actually responded to, and B) that any response will candidly outline TGC’s actual position.

Lectures on the Origin and Development of Austrian Economics

•January 4, 2012 • 4 Comments

A few days back Zerohedge posted a couple of lectures by Israel Kirzner on the origin and development of the Austrian School. Among a few salient points is how Austrian Economics are founded on the notion of subjectivism. That is to say that at the bedrock level of all economic activity is the individual and individual preferences that determine demand, and subsequently what is supplied to meet the demand. If you want to kill some time in a way that doesn’t involve your favorite sitcom, this might be a worthwhile pursuit if you are interested in how the Austrian school came to be.

Two Lectures on the History of Austrian Economics

On Campaign Finance Reform

•December 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The other day my father-in-law, and all together decent guy, Bill were busy solving the worlds problems, and while we made little actual progress, we did touch on the topic of campaign finance reform. And what do you know, one of my favorite blogs, Jesse’s Cafe Americain posted and summarized a lecture by Lawrence Lessig entitled “Republic, Lost“, which summarizes his new book of the same title. Lessig’s ideas if put into practice might give the so-called 99% in America a voice in government that has been silent for quite some time. The lecture given in Berkeley is almost an hour long. If you want a quicker synopsis, Lessig was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the daily show not too long ago:

Lawrence Lessig 12/13/2011 – The Daily Show

While my own Libertarian party is generally against all limitations to personal or corporate liberty, I must break with this commonly held assumption when it comes to the issue of corporatism and its parasitical symbiosis with American government. If the fundamental axiom of the Libertarian movement is “life, liberty, and property rights”, we must concede that for but a fraction of 1% of the US population, the role of corporate finance in the election process actually serves to inhibit, and in some respects utterly snuff out our national pursuit of these ideals.

Brent Budowsky on Ron Paul’s Big Moment

•December 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Progressive columnist, Brent Budowsky has put together a fair piece entitled Ron Paul’s Big Moment on Ron Paul’s ability to seize the political moment in the upcoming primaries. He raises some very interesting points:

1) Budowsky sees Paul as the frontrunner for the Iowa caucuses. This will constitute Paul’s first key victory

2) He also sees Paul’s ongoing success in the primaries predicated on Paul’s ability to distance himself from some of the fringe, and even racist supporters of his campaign.

3) Budowsky does not see see Paul winning the GOP nomination for a few reasons, if you read some of his archives over at The Hill, it will become clear that even if Paul comes close to winning a majority of delegates the nomination could still be taken out of the hands of the voters and decided in the fabled “smoky back rooms” of the GOP convention. However Paul would be a dangerous 3rd party candidate, as he has broad appeal across the political spectrum.

On all three accounts I agree with Budowsky, but not so strongly on the 3rd. While GOP candidates are directing so much focus on Paul’s purported weaknesses in the area of foreign policy,  the situation on the home front continues to deteriorate both socially and economically. For this reason, American voters who are weary of a decade of war and fear mongering from the political elite may opt for a candidate who will opt to set our own house in order, as opposed to a candidate who will again make foreign policy a priority and continue to beat the drums of war. However, Budowsky is right, Paul does need to distance himself from the charges of racism hurled at his campaign, whether or not such accusations are warranted (which I don’t think they are), they do tend to stick in the psyche of the public, especially those who are dependent on traditional forms of media for their information. A good place to start would be to see more ads like this: