Archive for September, 2009

Turner Publishing is holding a contest and it’s a pretty good one. If you win, you get free books (your choice of their publications) for an entire year. Not bad, eh? If you go to their web site, you can check out their publications and there’s some pretty good stuff there. Go here to enter. The deadline for entries is October 31.

Ain’t I nice to let you know about all this?

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For a number of years the Liberty Fund has published beautiful books at incredibly reasonable prices. And over the past few years, they have made nearly all their books available online. Now they are offering “The Portable Library of Liberty” free to all who write to request it. It’s a DVD filled with over 900 books (click on the link and check out the titles) and some 27 hours of audio (interviews with some of the “classic liberals” of our day: Jacques Barzun; Raoul Berger; James Buchanan; Milton Friedman; M. Stanton Evans, etc). The books are the books are in EBook PDF format (text based) and fully searchable . . . and, did I say it is FREE?

This looks like a great resource. I just requested my copy and you may want to do the same.

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This is a man who is respected by many in the PCA and the conservative Reformed world in general. And yet, he has many questions about whether Adam was a real, historical figure. What? Where are the fierce and fearless Reformed “warriors for truth” when you really need them?

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Andrewes discussion

If you have been following the discussion that has been on-going here, you’ll want to go over the Steven Wedgeworth’s blog where it continues with a new post from Peter Escalante.

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The MP3s of the talks given at the Bucer Institute on “Romanism and Orthodoxy” are now ready and you can go here to download them.

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Just a thought

Today is the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution and I was just wondering what the Founders would think about the use of taxpayer money to help fund prostitution rings. I have no idea why that popped into my head . . . strange.

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Here’s some shocking news: a new study has just concluded that spanking children is bad for them and can have long lasting effects. I know. Don’t worry. I’ll give you a few moments to catch your breath.

The study found “spanking may have detrimental effects on behavior and mental development.” This conforms to the findings of previous studies which have confirmed that “parents who spank are more likely to be younger, less educated, single, and/or depressed and stressed.” But wait, there’s more:

“Spanking is most commonly used among parents who were spanked themselves, who live in the South, and/or who identify themselves as conservative Christians. These parents also tend to believe in the effectiveness of spanking or believe the child is at fault in a given situation, the study said.” Imagine that, people who spank their children actually believe the child is “at fault in a given situation.” AND . . . that spanking will actually be effective! Is that crazy or what???? Wow. What is this world coming to?

But did you catch it? All this is another problem that roots itself in the South and/or among those “who identify themselves as conservative Christians.” There it is. They even used “and/or.” Damning evidence if I’ve ever seen it. Southerners AND/OR conservative Christians = child abusers.

And I say: You’re being redundant. It’s all very obvious. I knew it already. You’re boring me.

[and if you’re tempted to believe this study, give me a call]

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Athanasius Press has announced a pre-publication sale on its next two books and it’s a one of those things you don’t want to miss.

The first book is another installment of the “Through New Eyes” Commentary series, Peter Leithart’s study of the Epistles of John titled From Behind the Veil. Go here to order.

The second is a new edition of Jim Jordan’s Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future. Order it here.

Can’t beat this, can you? Two great books for the price of two movie tickets. Buy now, go to the movie next week.

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Give a listen

We had a great time at the Bucer Institute this past Saturday, studying the theology and development of the Roman and Orthodox Churches. Let me encourage you especially to listen to Steven Wedgeworth’s three lectures:

“Lost in the Shamayim”
“The Eternal City and the Seven Councils: Just Who is the Church?”
“What’s a Reformed Catholic to Do? Toward a Equilibrium of Christendom”

They were very helpful. These lectures should be available in MP3 format soon from AA Media — and when they’re ready, be sure to check em out.

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“God was merciful to me.”

I never heard the full story until today (read Gentry Estes’ column from the Mobile Press-Register). Brandon Deaderick (defensive end for Alabama, he’s the one with the white bandages on his left arm) was shot by a robber Monday night, August 31, while waiting for someone in his car in a parking lot. The robber approached him and demanded, “Give it up.” Poor guy didn’t realize that he’d just chosen one of the largest human beings in the South as his intended victim. Brandon is 6’4, 310 pounds and when he got out of the car and charged the robber, understandably the guy panicked and ran. Unfortunately, before he ran he fired his gun and hit Brandon. The bullet went through Brandon’s arm and hip and exited out of an area near his groin. He was rushed to the hospital and received treatment. The fact that Brandon survived is a great story. But that’s not all the story.

Not only did Brandon survive, amazingly, he was released from the hospital on Tuesday, came to practice on Wednesday (wearing the “no-contact” jersey), practiced at full-speed on Thursday, traveled to Atlanta on Friday, and played in the Virginia Tech game last Saturday night — and made one tackle.

Here’s Brandon’s take, “It is a testament to how good God is. I could be in a wheelchair or in a funeral home right now. God was merciful on me and he gave me a second chance at life, I just want to take advantage of every opportunity I get every day because nothing is entitled to you.”

Amen. God is good. I wasn’t shot a week and a half ago. I’ve never been shot in my life. And God has been just as merciful to me as He has been to Brandon. And if you’re alive, the same goes for you. Now Brandon and all of us have the obligation to live faithfully, taking advantage of every opportunity we get, and doing it with gratitude to the Lord for His goodness in preserving us each day.

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Knock yourself out

Watch closely. This is not as easy as it looks:

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Camille Paglia on Democrats:

“[A]ffluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it’s invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote “critical thinking,” which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms (“racism, sexism, homophobia”) when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clichés that it’s positively pickled.”

And on Republicans:

“What a backbiting mess the GOP is! It lacks even one credible voice of traditional moral values on the national stage and is addicted to sonorous pieties of pharisaical emptiness. Republican politicians sermonize about the sanctity of marriage while racking up divorces and sexual escapades by the truckload.”

the nail has been hit soundly on its head.

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September Bucer Class

Y’all coming? Steven Wedgeworth and I will be doing a class on “Romanism and Orthodoxy” this coming Saturday at the Bucer Institute (starts at 9:00 a.m. in the Jackson House). It should be fun as we consider these two communions and the problems that they face in their doctrine and practice. Wedge will be carrying the main load giving three of the four lectures on the peculiar attractions of Rome and Constantinople; the peculiar teachings of each; and what the future holds for us who are happily Reformed. Ought to be very helpful, so come if you’re in the area and can make it.

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John Barach pointed me to this article by Naomi Wolf on the effect of pornography on modern sexuality. Wolf argues that rather than whetting men’s appetites for sex, the effect of porn has been to dampen their interest in the “real thing.” Real women can’t compete with their cyber counterparts in the porn industry. Real women have feelings, desires, and interests — i.e. are far more complicated than the porn princesses that can be dialed up over the phone or on your netbook. Real women want real love and not merely momentary fireworks. Real women require sacrifice, devotion, commitment. And this is all frightening and unattractive to our modern porn boys.

But another side effect of porn is how it trains men (and women) to think about sex. Sex is merely a bodily action for the purpose of satisfying one of your basic drives. It’s for personal chills and thrills; the main point is “fulfilling me.” Which is another way of saying that sex is no longer an expression of love. And that means, it is no longer a “mystery.”

Wolf mentions a conversation she had with a student at Northwestern after she had given a talk on the effects of porn on relationships. The male student was explaining why it is now the practice to have sexual intercourse immediately when you meet a girl, rather than waiting until you know one another:

“Why have sex right away?” a boy with tousled hair and Bambi eyes was explaining. “Things are always a little tense and uncomfortable when you just start seeing someone,” he said. “I prefer to have sex right away just to get it over with. You know it’s going to happen anyway, and it gets rid of the tension.”

“Isn’t the tension kind of fun?” I asked. “Doesn’t that also get rid of the mystery?”

“Mystery?” He looked at me blankly. And then, without hesitating, he replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sex has no mystery.”

Indeed. To talk about the “mystery” of sex is to speak gibberish to modern man. “Mystery? What mystery? Take your clothes off and let’s get it on. No mystery here!” True. There isn’t.

And it is just at this point that we see the true evil and wickedness of porn. It demystifies one of the greatest mysteries of all: the mystery of how two become one. It’s truly Satanic. Porn comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Lose the mystery and you lose everything.

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The Butterfly Circus

This is an example of what we can do with film.

The Doorpost Film Project

[HT to Joe Thacker]

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