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

Things are getting serious in Russia

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Jul 1, 15:55:

Tony, While I'm a big fan of subsidiarity and using "exit" rather than "voice" to solve seemingly intractable political problems when they are related to first principles of how different communities want to live under different moral rules, your proposals raise some obvious questions: 1) What constitutes a lie? Should Protestants be allowed to argue that Luther was (broadly conceived) correct? Catholics (and most Orthodox) would obviously consider many of Luther's theological innovations some manner of ... [More]

Things are getting serious in Russia

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 1, 15:55:

My immediate concern about your #3 (or perhaps a use others might make of it) is that parents can consent, and even tacitly consent, to their children's being proselytized, and it's not anybody else's business to try to stop that from the outside. (Obviously I'm _not_ including here offering sex to 14-year-old boys or anything like that, which should be illegal on statutory rape grounds in any event.) Here's what I mean by "tacitly consenting" to having one's child proselytized: Susie's mom and dad don't pa ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Tom Gilson on Jul 1, 15:38:

Jayman, I'm just now reading a marvelous introductory exposition on Natural Law. But really it's just an exposition of another set of works I've read over and over again: _The Chronicles of Narnia._ C.S. Lewis was steeped in Natural Law. So are his stories. They're filled with great examples of virtue and vice, duties fulfilled and unfulfilled; and it's clear on which side he stands at all points. The exposition I'm reading is in Part II, Chapters 6 through 13, of _The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy ... [More]

Things are getting serious in Russia

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 1, 14:03:

While formalizing the concept is admittedly not an exact science, there is such a thing as reasonable religious flexibility and freedom as far as purely religious tenets are concerned. You're right, but I am afraid the nut-cases will come out in force to prove you wrong. One problem, as I see it, is that the fuzzy edge of that "not exact science" runs directly into the fact that government can do and does many things that promote or discourage various things without actually mandating them or proscribin ... [More]

The extreme improbability of one's own life

Comment posted by Jeffery Jay Lowder on Jul 1, 13:59:

Hi Lydia, Thank you for the time spent looking at my stuff. It appears, then, that we are in broad agreement, which is encouraging. The main disagreement, if there is one at all, seems to be, at root, over semantics. I define an argument from silence as an argument which argues that the silence about X makes it more likely than not that X never happened. So defined, simply dealing with the Bayes' factor isn't sufficient. The prior probability(ies) must also be considered. I take this to be axiomatic, follo ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Joshua on Jul 1, 13:40:

You may, of course, think of it any way you choose, but the one I've proposed seems to me a better explanation--not that it's better because it's mine, but that I'd propose it because it seems better. Notice that my reading gives a more complete picture, while yours requires them to stay in Bethlehem "for some reason," and there is no error, good faith or otherwise, in Luke that has to be explained. You stated that Matthew gives us more information, but I think it is probably the other way around: Matthew ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jul 1, 13:39:

Speaking of entering the darkness: http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/07/01/mississippi_hb_1523_blocked_by_judge_carlton_reeves.html Im not sure what the implications of this are, but it cannot be good. If no part of that law is now constitutional exactly what Constitutional protections for Christian churches and their related organizations exist? Mississippi should just tell that judge to pound sand and enforce their law anyway. I am not sure what else they can do. ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Jonathan on Jul 1, 12:12:

What would be a good country to emigrate too? Maybe some country in Africa. Maybe even China... the light may be darkening in the West, but small sparks in the East? GW, "Trump is the strongest candidate we've had in years on immigration, terrorism, and trade" This is a ridiculous statement. Cruz was a much better candidate on every issue here (unless of course you buy into that protectionist garbage by the orange guy who says he "loves" free trade!). And your comment about not electing a theologian is a ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 1, 09:45:

That's an interesting conjecture about the visit of the Magi, though I'm inclined to *think* that they just settled in Bethlehem for a couple of years for some reason after the baby's birth and returned to Nazareth only after being in Egypt. I suppose as what we would now call a contractor, Joseph had a fairly portable profession. I completely agree that the extreme puzzlement over the obviously complementary accounts of the infancy is completely misplaced. As I pointed out in a recent update to one of my ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Joshua on Jul 1, 01:28:

I see what you mean, Lydia. There's a lot of begging the question and shifting the burden of proof going on there. I had seen similar claims about ὤφθη elsewhere, but I'd never seen anyone respond with the counter example of Acts 7:26-30, so I just wanted to get it down. I tend to have trouble letting go of an argument, but since it is off-topic, I'll do so--with the final statement that I'm not dropping the subject because I have no response to bob's points (as failure to reply is often taken in online ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by GW on Jun 30, 14:45:

Julia, Do you apply the same standard when politicians use environmentalism to seek votes? What makes a person's religious beliefs so different from his beliefs on environmental issues that he shouldn't vote for a candidate whose views most closely match his? Who said anything in favor of "harboring hate" or blanket "discrimination" against non-believers? This is a false description of Christians commonly given to us by enemies who wish to see our faith weakened and influence diminished. Why buy into this ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 30, 12:00:

NT Wright's work has amply answered all this balderdash about Paul's view of resurrection. The stuff about the "earliest reports" referring to "visions and revelations" is not only a bizarrely tendentious reading of Paul but is also based on baloney sausage about "gradual development," which I eviscerated above. Bob, you have threadjacked long enough. I told you to stop. If you don't stop, your further comments will be deleted. If you have something _specific_ to say about Dr. Licona's use of genre in ref ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by bob on Jun 30, 11:49:

To Joshua, //"So, your claim is that Paul clearly indicates that the appearance to him was the same kind as those others."// He certainly makes no distinction in the nature of the "appearances" so why are you assuming they are different? Are you just reading in later secondary (or worse) reports into Paul's firsthand testimony? //"Your proofs are: 1) the meaning of ὤφθη. But look at Acts 7:26ff. for an example where ὤφθη refers to an unquestionably physical appearance in v. 26, then a visionary one in v. ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Julia B. on Jun 30, 10:08:

I have often warn many about political leaders using religion as a tool to seek votes. What is an abomination in.biblical context (in my opinion & understanding) doesn't mean to harbor hate against people our discriminate against them. I strengthen my spirituality in acceptance of a person in hopes of drawing someone closer than they were to God. I do not always agree with the workings of our vast society but stand strong in my faith. We can not turn or backs or bury the ills of what is going on around us. ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 30, 09:50:

Thanks, Joshua, you're doing a good job. However, Bob is clearly a time-waster, energizer-bunny, infidel-o-sphere type who will go on and on and on making unsupported baloney statements. I'm not inclined to let him waste all our time answering him point by point. The bare assertions he makes have all been answered times without number by many Christian authors writing elsewhere. I have never been one to go out debating Internet infidels, who are widely acknowledged to be impervious to reason. I will just s ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Joshua on Jun 29, 23:31:

You've also never made a case for "resurrection to heaven," merely asserted it. And, conveniently, your development schema prevents us a priori from determining Paul's meaning for the resurrection by comparison to the rest of the NT, which is suspect ("oh, well, none of that stuff you want to count as evidence is actually evidence, because legendary development") I'm a little puzzled how an extended set of physical examples of bodies--seeds, plants, humans, animals, planets--makes the case for a non- ph ... [More]

New post on "genre" in the gospels

Comment posted by Joshua on Jun 29, 23:15:

So, your claim is that Paul clearly indicates that the appearance to him was the same kind as those others. Your proofs are: 1) the meaning of ὤφθη. But look at Acts 7:26ff. for an example where ὤφθη refers to an unquestionably physical appearance in v. 26, then a visionary one in v. 30, with no distinction made. So, ὤφθη does not require the kind of over-explaining you posit in order to refer to two different kinds of appearance in the same context. 2) Paul doesn't add any additional explanation to ὤφθη ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 29, 21:09:

They know they own the courts and in the end any legislation passed that opposes their cause (DOMA for example) will end up helping their cause. Actually, DOMA was really good for its time. Heck, it was passed something like twenty years before it was struck down. We should never sneer at holding actions. They can be truly great things. (Though I almost hate to say that about DOMA, since was signed by the despicable William Jefferson Clinton. But hey, it was what it was.) The citizens of Mississippi had n ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 29, 17:52:

I believe Sherif Girgis just recently pointed out that there are people arguing that religious grounds should count against people because somehow making religious claims against another's choices harms that person. Which seems to me the direction things are going in the baker, photographer, pharmacist, SB1146, etc. cases as it is. It is perfectly fine for a baker to be too busy to bake the cake, but not fine if he is too religious. "But passing legislation, waiting for an inevitable ACLU lawsuit, argui ... [More]

California's SB 1146

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 29, 15:55:

Douglas, for many years now Christian organizations have been emphasizing, _partly_ correctly, that an "orientation," meaning by that inclinations only, toward same-sex relationships is not inherently sinful. I intend to write a new post about this issue soon, either here or at my personal blog. In our increasingly messed-up world there are a sad number of people who are Christians, let us assume even sincere Christians, who have same-sex attractions. Now, in my un-PC opinion, this _still_ creates big probl ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by GW on Jun 29, 15:25:

Jeffrey: 1) Thanks for the correction. 2) We've been passing laws for decades now (often with great success-see the votes on state marriage amendments which occurred circa 2004), but eventually the democratic process gets overturned by increasingly insane legal reasoning and we've been conditioned to accept Supreme Court rulings as final and the worst the leftist media says about us as a good-faith critique. The point is the game is rigged and social conservatives need to try something different than what ... [More]

California's SB 1146

Comment posted by Douglas on Jun 29, 15:20:

Why would someone with a sexual orientation that is not in harmony with the Christian or faith-based educational institution want to go there in the first place? ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 29, 14:32:

Jake, you'd have even more potential legal trouble if you were a reasonable atheist and held those same views. I've always held that, if you _do_ accept a particular religious tradition, and if that religious tradition _does_ endorse/require a particular set of views, it is not at all acting in bad faith to try to claim religious exemptions where those exist. One just has multiple lines of support for the same views. So if you were harmed in some way because of those views, and if there were a way to claim ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Jake Freivald on Jun 29, 14:10:

I am anti-gay-marriage, think that homosexuality is a sexual dysfunction, and am anti-abortion. One of the great dangers I see for myself is that my beliefs aren't simply religious. Yes, they comport with my religious views, but they're based on reason, not revelation. And that means that, in America, I may someday be punished for something because my views aren't based in religion enough. This is the rock and the hard place: Your views are religious and therefore not something that America will allow you ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 29, 10:44:

Thank you, Jeff S. Your comment on not just designating your views as religious is really encouraging! ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 29, 09:26:

Jayman, on the homosexual issues, I would encourage you to Google and browse what has been written by Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George. J. Budzisewski's _The Revenge of Conscience_ and other books by him are also useful. In general, the Catholic natural law tradition, represented by various arguments in, for example, John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae (though I disagree with him strongly about the death penalty) is very good on abortion and on issues like in vitro fertilization. There are many pro-life ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Ken Wolgemuth on Jun 29, 08:53:

[Totally OT comment on the subject of, of all things, Noah's Flood, deleted. LM] ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Scott W. on Jun 29, 07:12:

That is an interesting question, funny thing is that I have just been wondering what would happen if Texas (or another state) just completely deregulated the abortion industry so that people without medical licenses could perform them. Making evil a vocation. I recall when news media started calling prostitutes "sex workers" and someone mused, "What's next? Calling Mafia hit-men 'end-of-life technicians'?" ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 29, 00:20:

Yes, I was not meaning at all to suggest that the court denied that abortion is a medical procedure, I was only suggesting that their ruling that regulating abortion like a medical procedure is unconstitutional is consistent with abortion not being a medical procedure. That is an interesting question, funny thing is that I have just been wondering what would happen if Texas (or another state) just completely deregulated the abortion industry so that people without medical licenses could perform them. Even p ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 28, 23:43:

AFAIK, the court didn't deny that it's a medical procedure. But since it's also supposed to be a "constitutional right," they ruled that regulations must be struck down if they make it too much of a burden to obtain. One can't help wondering what would happen if there were fewer and fewer doctors willing to perform abortions. Would the court simply strike down requirements that abortions be performed by a doctor, so that less and less qualified people could perform them and so that women wouldn't have to dr ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 28, 23:40:

it is incoherent to try to regulate a non-medical procedure as it if were a medical procedure. It is a non-medical procedure in relation to the child, but it is undeniably a (harmful) medical procedure in relation to the woman. Once the murder of the child is denied in law (as, wickedly, it is), the fact remains that the woman's body is being acted upon in a way that would be considered a medical procedure under all other circumstances. So I don't regard this as incoherent. What would be true would be to s ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 28, 23:16:

Come to think of it, the Supreme Court may have managed to get part of the decision about the Texas law right. Texas wanted to regulate abortion facilities much like other medical facilities, but by ruling that Texas can't do that, the court ruled consistently with the fact that abortion is not a medical procedure (even if they did not intend to). As much as what Texas was trying to do with their law is good in light of the legal predicament, it is incoherent to try to regulate a non-medical procedure as ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Tony on Jun 28, 23:12:

Someone who knows more about this can tell me if I'm wrong, but I think that in such a constitutional crisis, what the court could _make_ the state of Texas do would depend on what the guys with the guns do. (To put it bluntly.) I _doubt_ (but could be wrong) that there is a way for the court to make Texas give money to the clinics _other than_ by threatening to send federal marshals to put someone-or-other in jail, My general sense is that this is right. After all, there is usually VERY broad immunity fr ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Jayman on Jun 28, 21:44:

Lydia (or others), what are the best resources for teaching the natural law? ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 28, 21:28:

That would be something, if it works that way, I imagine Texas could threaten to arrest those Federal Marshalls too. For better or worse, this seems like a path to some sort of civil war. Which is admittedly tough to swallow, but so is effectively being ruled by the court...and a court in particular that increasingly holds abortion and lgbt "rights" above all. ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Jun 28, 21:25:

Lydia, I hate to just be your cheerleader all the time, but this really is a great post and resonating with me personally. I live with a lot of liberals (family and friends and co-workers) and while I have let me beliefs be known to people who get to know me, I will at first talk about my politics in a joking manner by saying something like, "yes, I'm one of those right-wing religious nut-jobs." I do it to 'break the ice' but I think I'm going to stop -- it sends the wrong message and your post explains ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 28, 19:47:

would it be shutting down abortion clinics who dont meet the standards that Texas holds them to despite the court? Yes. Does it matter that, in the end, the court will probably make the state of Texas give those clinics millions of dollars? Someone who knows more about this can tell me if I'm wrong, but I think that in such a constitutional crisis, what the court could _make_ the state of Texas do would depend on what the guys with the guns do. (To put it bluntly.) I _doubt_ (but could be wrong) that t ... [More]

The extreme improbability of one's own life

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 28, 19:38:

JJL, I've looked _briefly_ at your posts on arguments from silence concerning Christianity, specifically. (I haven't had time to look at the ones outside of that, such as Mormonism and evolution.) Since you are generally _criticizing_ as insufficiently justified arguments that I would _also_ reject, to that extent you won't be surprised that I agree with you, and I find it somewhat refreshing to see a skeptic criticizing such arguments. In fact, I _think_ I would give a different formal modeling of Kirby's ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by DR84 on Jun 28, 19:29:

Good for those hospitals. It would be wonderful if Texas would defy the court, but I just cannot imagine that happening. I am not even sure what that would look like, would it be shutting down abortion clinics who dont meet the standards that Texas holds them to despite the court? Does it matter that, in the end, the court will probably make the state of Texas give those clinics millions of dollars? In the moral calculus, how much should that be weighed, knowing that by defying will mean your opponents prof ... [More]

Entering the darkness: The dousing of the natural light

Comment posted by Lydia on Jun 28, 19:02:

We need to shame and stigmatize the pursuit of making living murdering babies as much as we can in the hopes this will reduce the numbers of people willing to purse that path. That's what Texas was trying to do. One of the laws said that late-term abortionists have to have admitting privileges at a hospital. And guess what? That's hard for abortionists to get, because some of the mean ol' hospitals are stigmatizing them and won't give them admitting privileges. And that was part of why the justices struck ... [More]