What’s Wrong with the World

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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

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July 2017 Archives

July 2, 2017

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

One of the few attempts to cross the pons asinorum of Republican presidencies that the current administration has made was its rescinding a 2016 overreaching Obama administration policy requiring public schools (and other schools receiving Title IX funds) to let boys use the girls' bathrooms and shower and locker rooms. That was in February.

But if you thought it was over, you were wrong. Now the Trump administration has issued a new memo to Office of Civil Rights field officers stating that they should treat it prima facie as a case of "gender-based harassment" if a Title IX-receiving school "refus[es] to use a transgender student's preferred name or pronouns when the school uses preferred names for gender-conforming students...." Don't you just love the insinuation that calling a real girl student "she" is just using a "preferred" pronoun of the real girl, as if when you call little Sally "she" you're just going along with what she prefers? Hence, you're harming little Jimmy and harassing him on the basis of sex if he thinks of himself as female and demands that you call him "she" as well, and you refuse, since you used Sally's preferred pronoun but won't use Jimmy's. Cute, huh?

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July 9, 2017

Fretting is my spiritual gift

New post up at my personal blog on the spiritual discipline and theological issues surrounding worry.

July 15, 2017

Stewardship as The Blob

In 1958, Steve McQueen starred (if it can be called that) in the movie “The Blob”. It was the typical 1950s new-kind-of-monster movie. All you need to know about the Blob is that, like its name implies, it had no integral parts or structure, but its appetite was voracious and universal. Now you know exactly how the movie plays out.

In the modern Church, if you pay attention to the right issues, such as property and charitable giving and use of resources, you run into the concept of “stewardship”. It is a perfectly good word, with perfectly good meaning and application in the Church, with perfectly good provenance, no less than St. Peter:

"As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Pt 4:10).

Unfortunately, because in the modern Church you are hard pressed to find anyone who stewardships* his mind, the concept has become like The Blob: without any internal structure, and of universal and voracious appetite. EVERYTHING good is “stewardship”.

(*Beware nouns, especially nouns in the universal / conceptual form, that become verbs).

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July 19, 2017

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

A new case of leftist totalitarianism bears watching. The city of East Lansing, Michigan, gerrymandered a sexual orientation discrimination ordinance specifically for purposes of banning a farmer from a farmer's market in East Lansing, even though his farm is not located in East Lansing and even though his real or hypothetical acts of discrimination--refusing to host same-sex "weddings" on his farm--would take place in Charlotte, a different town.

In August, 2016, farmer Steve Tennes stated on Facebook that he would not host a lesbian "wedding" at the farm (though he does sometimes rent the farm for weddings) and affirmed his view that marriage is between one man and one woman.

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July 21, 2017

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

In I Kings 15:25-27 we learn that, in the time of Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, the Israelite city of Gibbethon belonged to the Philistines. Nadab was besieging Gibbethon, trying to get it back, when he was attacked and killed by another Israelite named Baasha, who then reigned in his stead.

J. J. Blunt, from whom I borrowed this coincidence, raises the question as to why Gibbethon had fallen to the Philistines in the first place. He admits, of course, that it may be impossible to find out. There were Philistines around. They probably sometimes took cities. Maybe that's the end of the story as far as we know here about three thousand years later. But Blunt has an idea worth considering.

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July 27, 2017

New NT undesigned coincidence: Witnesses from the Beginning

This new undesigned coincidence was inspired by a passage in Richard Bauckham's book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, chapter 6, though Bauckham does not cast it in terms of an undesigned coincidence.

I received the idea in e-mail recently from a correspondent who has given me permission to cite him: Shane Rosenthal, producer of the national radio program The White Horse Inn and Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, MO, sent me this coincidence. The presentation here and the emphases are my own.

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