What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 16, 16:58:

Or it could simply mean that Paul was better acquainted with Rufus or that Alexander was not living in Rome at that time and that Paul knew that he was not there. Lots of possibilities. An interesting point concerning the long ending of Mark. It is fairly restrained, I agree. More or less a compendium of the earlier appearance accounts. There are some unique things, such as Jesus' words about handling serpents. One could argue that, if it was a replacement for a lost original ending, the intent would have ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Mark P. on Dec 16, 15:46:

Dr. McGrew, I just finished (and enjoyed and learned very much from) your book on Undesigned Coincidences. The mention of Rufus in Mark and Romans was interesting to ponder: if indeed Romans refers to the same Rufus as in Mark, it is curious that Alexander is NOT mentioned in Romans. Perhaps he had passed on by then, or fallen away otherwise. But since only Rufus is greeted in Romans, and not Alexander as well, that could possibly point to a writing of Mark prior to 58AD (or so) when Romans is most gener ... [More]

Death for the New Natural Lawyers

Comment posted by M&M on Dec 16, 14:18:

I just stumbled across this site. Very interesting. I want to respond to the Ed.'s comments regarding the death penalty, and specifically the first two reasons he cites in support of DP. 1. "First, we have the direct and explicit testimony of the Scriptures, where God repeatedly takes the lives of humans as punishment..." What God can do and what we, as his creation, are allowed to do are not identical. God brought forth life can end it without having to answer to us. As Ed. rightly points out, examples of ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Mark P. on Dec 15, 21:54:

One thing I always found curious is that scholars generally seem to agree that the last 12 verses of Mark were not original and were added sometime in the early 2nd century - well after all of the Gospels had been completed. Yet many of these same scholars also claim that all of the evangelists subsequent to Mark embellished his original. But if that were the case, why is the "longer ending" of Mark so plain and simple compared to the rest of the Gospels? Wouldn't the early 2nd century have allowed anoth ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Mark P. on Dec 15, 21:42:

In one Craig Keener lecture I listened to, he commented that modern Biblical scholars like to simplify things that are complicated, and more often complicate things that are simple. So, since 2 Thessalonians says it is from Paul and sounds too much like him, then naturally to the modern liberal scholar this most certainly means that Paul didn't write it, for instance. And they act like Mark was a struggling reporter who happened to leave a draft of his Gospel on a coffee table, then somebody snatched the c ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 14, 20:18:

Yes, especially given the improbability that an undesigned coincidence was deliberately designed in so hidden a way that nobody noticed it for about 2,000 years. Designers are usually more obvious than that. ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Nobody Spetial on Dec 14, 11:49:

I was thinking a bit about those last comments. It seems to me that some oversimplified sceptical principles can be given regarding hermeneutics of the gospels. If a gospel author has somethimg unique in his account, he made it up (or took it from a made up tradition). If he has something that can be found in the other gospels, than he took it from them (depending on cronological priority). And if something seems to be an undesigned coincidence, it is probably designed bazed on other gospel accounts. Now ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 14, 11:16:

I think that "Mary the mother of James and Joses" wasn't meant to indicate Mary the mother of Jesus. There were a lot of Marys floating around, but that would be an incredibly roundabout way to indicate Jesus' mother. I say this as a Protestant. I think Jesus had literal brothers. I just don't think Mary, Jesus' mother, was intended by "Mary the mother of James and Joses." As for the idea that somehow John "developed" the idea that *Jesus* was pierced from the prophecy in Luke that *Mary's* soul would be p ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by The emperor is naked on Dec 14, 08:32:

Hi. I'm "the Emperor is naked" again. I have been through some very busy days in my life. Tony and Lydia, thank you very much for your tips. I think I can practice all of them, except the Latin mass (I live in a small country with no Latin mass). Lydia, I apologize for confusing you with a Catholic. Anyway, all Christians are united in these difficult times. Thanks. ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Edward T. Babinski on Dec 14, 06:04:

Added thought, the author of the fourth Gospel seems to use the term brothers and disciples interchangeably in this passage: 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. And in the fourth gospel at the cross it almost looks li ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Edward T. Babinski on Dec 14, 05:42:

Correction to my comment above. The Synoptics could definitely have in mind that Mary, Jesus’ mother was at his crucifixion, since “Mary the mother of James and Joses/Joseph” could most likely be the mother of Jesus per Mark, who mentions that Jesus had “brothers named James and Joseph as well at Judas and Simon, and sisters too.” Though Catholics might not be convinced since they argue that Jesus’ mother had no further children after Jesus, and that the phrase “brothers” wasn’t to be taken literally but ha ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Edward T. Babinski on Dec 14, 03:19:

Yes, the idea that Jesus was pierced could come from the earlier Lukan Gospel and have been built up into a literal piercing in John, the only Gospel that mentions Jesus having been pierced. Also note this trajectory or story development over time: In Mark, ostensibly the earliest, the story goes that the disciples ‘all left him and fled’ in the garden. A young man following Jesusʼ captors was seized and escaped naked. Peter is afraid to admit to knowing Jesus. While at Jesusʼ crucifixion, only women are m ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 13, 15:13:

I'm not sure if this is the same thing as what you're saying, but here's what I do think: The methodology of redaction criticism (in particular) and also form criticism has become fairly *fixed* over the last century or two. It is *highly* creative (to put it kindly) and proceeds on a host of invidious assumptions against the normal reliability of the texts. These assumptions include unstated things such as, "Nobody ever just varies wording in a casual way. It's always done in a deliberate, redactive way." ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 12, 23:21:

Would it be overly nasty to suggest that these biblical scholars pretty much just 'make it up as they go along', using literary devices, compression, time-lapse photography, brownian motion, fictionalization, and mirashes in their explication of the texts? No, I don't mean asserting all these things are in the text, I mean using these to create 'meaning' out of whole cloth. ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 12, 17:31:

Thank you, Paul. They are great fun to notice, and what I hope to encourage is a real-world imagination in thinking about the events of Scripture. Such an imagination is a great inoculation against the vagaries of scholars and is worthy more than rubies. ... [More]

Undesigned coincidence: A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Dec 12, 13:44:

Lydia: Excellent, as usual. I wish my feeble mind could store all these details. A few is all I have. But your work to encourage respect and reliability for Scripture is truly the Lord's work. ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 8, 17:46:

Scott, thanks. I will have to review Fernandez' article to see if that helps me make sense of it. ... [More]

Elizabeth Goudge's novels

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 8, 16:42:

All of that is not to say that profound thoughts necessarily make for a great novel. They certainly don't automatically. I think that The Heart of the Family is much too talky, and sometimes awkwardly so. But it would be a mistake to think that the problem is that Goudge's ideas are narrow, limited, too Christian, etc. In many ways several of her novels are better devotional reading than they are novels, and I treat them and even recommend them as such. Moreover, she knows how to write a good story, so the ... [More]

Elizabeth Goudge's novels

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 8, 14:12:

Actually, I'd be inclined to say that a lot of her Christian "moralizing" is the best part of what she has to offer. I suspect that we disagree with that because I am a serious Christian. There is serious profundity in much of her "moralizing," an example being the preachy but very theologically valuable portions of The Heart of the Family. There is certainly profundity in her emphasis upon faithfulness in marriage. The romance between Nadine and David in The Bird in the Tree is portrayed as very believabl ... [More]

Elizabeth Goudge's novels

Comment posted by G. K. Nedrow on Dec 8, 10:05:

Most of the comments and criticisms on this blog site regarding Elizabeth Goudge seem to me just. Her children's books are by far the most popular and best-loved of her books, perhaps because they lend themselves best to her recurrent Christian themes and fabulist storytelling style. Green Dolphin Country (Green Dolphin Street in the USA) is perhaps her best-known adult romance, remembered largely because of the movie based on it. It has all of the technical flaws of that genre -- over-blown melodramatic ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Scott Smith on Dec 8, 01:51:

Tony, Following your prompt the other day, and sorry the delay in getting back to you, I have now had a chance to read your take on ++Fernandez. While it will not eliminate your concerns, I do think I can explain one aspect which you have identified as puzzling. In essence, as I understand him, Fernandez discusses two different approaches to the question. The first is his own personal view, which though he admits the Pope didn't accept it, he continues to think is licit to ask about. This view is basic ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Dec 6, 17:21:

Responsibility is dependent on ones theory of politics. Mine holds that where matters are clear for any rational person a vote can constructively be for a person one would never actually cast a ballot for should one not vote or one votes for a candidate who has no chance. I have no idea what that second sentence means. But the key point is that this drive-by "elections have consequences" stuff has got to stop. Leave aside the question of voting; as I pointed out above (though my date was off -- January 201 ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 5, 20:13:

Like you I wonder why this case was even prosecuted in the way it was or at all for that matter. I don't consider it to be rocket science. The prosecutors involved on the ground level were determined to send a message that Janet Jenkins had full parental rights and that, to show everyone how seriously the federal government takes these rights, the legal fiction whereby the acts of Ken Miller, Timo Miller, and Philip Zodhiates are regarded as assisting in an international kidnapping (with all the horror suc ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by al on Dec 5, 19:33:

Paul, you really need to up your game on reading comprehension. The "collateral damage" POV is from those who would normally be sympathetic to a white Christian pastor esp. when gayness is involved. If a policy that is mainly going to affect "those people" happens to grind up a few other folks - well, too bad. As I disapprove of draconian sentences and counter-productive budget cuts - something I made clear - your construction makes no sense. That someone is registered as a Democrat is immaterial when t ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 5, 18:25:

However, on the glass half full principle I will say that at least Al is willing to apply his "more lenient on crime than those mean conservatives" principles to pacifist Mennonite pastors and admit that the sentence was excessive. ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 5, 16:15:

What's really, really odd is that the decision to go all Inspector Javert on Ken Miller, Timo Miller, and Philip Zodhiates was made during the Obama admin., and Al, who is always Mr. Cynical when it comes to the politicization of various facially neutral decisions is surprisingly silent when it comes to *those* decisions. Ken Miller wouldn't be in prison now to be affected by "get tough on crime" budget cuts to halfway house programs if he hadn't been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sentence ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Dec 5, 16:03:

Al's odd insistence on trying to pin us with the old "elections have consequences" taunt suggests a certain degree of unexpurgated guilt. Flynn, Kushner -- both lifelong Democrats; probably both deserve prison time. Really bad idea to run a Manhattan grifter as President. But of course, Al knows Trump isn't on us, not here at W4; and in fact we put our money (blogging) where our mouths were in spring of 2016. Yet we're taunted like Trumphumpers. Go pound rocks, man. For the record, despite being conservat ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 5, 15:56:

A family lawyer with whom I've exchanged e-mail on the case says that she is unaware of any other case in the U.S. where those who merely assisted the principal party in a "parental kidnaping" were prosecuted. I find it difficult to believe that no other international "parental kidnaper" has ever had assistance from friends in getting out of the country. Technically it's possible to be prosecuted under kidnapping laws for such assistance, but there is something extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented about ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 5, 15:18:

27 months, actually, is what I believe he was sentenced to, http://millercase.org/home/updates/94-jail-on-march-22.html and there is some kind of reduction for good behavior. His time began on March 22, 2016, and if this halfway house thing doesn't go through, he'll be out on March 6. So, two years to the month. ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by al on Dec 5, 14:58:

"Perhaps true, but it is entirely possible for it to have been both political and "a cog in the machinery". The allocation of budget funds is driven by political agendas, of course, but below a certain level it ceases to get the attention of the politicos." "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" is how the world works. The budget decision is going to be wholly political. These programs involve contracts with various governmental, for profit, and not for profit entities so a competently run shop ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 4, 18:35:

They were often writing long after the fact, so yes, evidence was often long-gone. OTOH, one example I've seen from Tacitus looks like he wasn't trying too hard at an approximation (indeed, he probably had no reason to think a speech was even made) but more or less letting his imagination roam over what he thought it would have been cool for Calgacus (the Scottish chieftain facing the Romans) to have said under the circumstances. Like a movie. ("Freeeedom!!!!") I don't think we have the slightest reason to ... [More]

Licona gospel examples V: Making things complicated

Comment posted by Callum on Dec 4, 17:18:

When you mention ancient Roman writers inventing speeches, was this in absence of sources and so the writer's best approximation of what they would have said, or regardless of the evidence they have at hand? If the former, that seems question begging to me. The whole point is to try to see whether Luke feels free to fictionalize or not and to what extent. Especially whether he would have fictionalised and edited what his sources have given him. Appealing to authors who fictionalised *when their sources coul ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 4, 15:14:

Actually, Lydia, this is a very good point. I had a discussion about this sort of thing with my parochial vicar (i.e. assistant pastor) back about 25 years ago, and have since had (relatively) confirming comments by other priests: There is nothing in canon law that specifies that a person must attend mass at his local parish. Canon Law does provide that the pastor has definite obligations to the members of the parish, and those are (usually, except for "personal prelatures") determined by geographical ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 4, 09:36:

I'm not Roman Catholic, just to clarify (I'm a low-to-medium-high Anglican), but if I were Roman Catholic (I know it's presumptuous to give any advice) one thing I'd definitely do is parish-shop. I know that some Catholics believe that that is wrong, not in a "mortal sin" sense but in some more vague sense--that not going to your nearest local parish somehow reflects a lack of faith in the validity of the Sacrament there, or too much individualism, or a Protestant attitude, or something. But very traditiona ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Lydia on Dec 4, 09:21:

Obviously I don't mind being tough on *real* crime. The problem here is that Miller is a *completely* harmless guy who has ended up in the criminal system being treated as a very serious criminal. ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 4, 07:45:

I doubt this was the decision of some cog in the machinery. Sessions has indicated that he wants harsher sentences. This was almost surely a decision at the political level. Perhaps true, but it is entirely possible for it to have been both political and "a cog in the machinery". The allocation of budget funds is driven by political agendas, of course, but below a certain level it ceases to get the attention of the politicos. I remember (this was at least 20 years ago) a friend of mine who was a staffer ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 3, 11:19:

Emporer, what you point out is a very real problem. It gets to me sometimes too, and I am not sure that there is a good solution, but I do have a few things that I would suggest. First, there have been times in the past when the pope was terrible - sometimes when he had despicable morals, and sometimes when his orthodoxy left something to be desired. The Church weathered those times, so presumably (with God's grace) she can do so again. It must have been terrible for Christians at the time of Arian he ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by The emperor is naked on Dec 2, 20:46:

Completely off-topic: Don't you get tired of being Catholic (and, in general, Christian) in a time like ours? Because I'm more than fed up and exhausted. Every day comes with another chunk of bad news. It's not only that the world becomes more and more insane. That would be bad enough. Nobody in 2000 years of Christian history has had to deal with something like that. Even Christian heresies (or Judaism or Islam or Buddhism) seem sensible enough when compared to the monster anti-Christian ideology we are ... [More]

Will Ken Miller be home for Christmas?

Comment posted by al on Dec 2, 15:12:

"(the bureaucratic budget cut)" I doubt this was the decision of some cog in the machinery. Sessions has indicated that he wants harsher sentences. This was almost surely a decision at the political level. Elections have consequences. ... [More]

Laying Bare the Thought Behind the Defense

Comment posted by Tony on Dec 2, 12:32:

Kevin, I think you hit the nail on the head. In AL itself (but ambiguously), and Fernandez's defense (more clearly), there is this proffer of a notion that morel "laws" don't ever actually apply in real life concrete conditions, all they are is something like approximations of what you would usually do if you were a person of good will. I.e. more like a statistical average than an actual law. In that context, hard cases are what show that there is no law: because Jane is in a difficult spot, her knowingl ... [More]