Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An Observation

It actually tickles me pink when Western countries like America, Canada, France or Britain interfere in the affairs of foreign nations. Why?

1. The West is, quite simply, superior to the east in everything (those who are angered by my thoughts should ask themselves why they do not move to the precise place that they find BEST).

2. The East has such a pitiful track record of doing anything other than chaos, that we must continually ask ourselves the question whether they truly have a right anymore to the land they have been befouling.

3. The ability to interfere successfully entails a sign of political health at home. Only the absolute fool will go to war in a condition of instability.

4. It is the mandate of every country to expand its sphere of influence. The doctrine of "live and let live" effects nothing and helps no one. We owe everything; from technology to medicine, from scientific exploits to mail delivery systems (perfected by the Persian Empire), from the spread of sophisticated language to architecture...we owe all of this to EMPIRES.

5. Argue my points all you wish. NO ONE can deny that countries like Syria or Haiti would be infinitely more peaceful and developed if the West stopped latching onto a useless post-colonial conscience and had the balls to formally and materially assimilate these regions into itself. Proper colonialism would be effected: ie. white people would settle the shit out of those places until insurgents can no longer hide.

Popular consciousness would consider these tenets to be KKK-esque, bigoted, racist etc...

Yet popular consciousness seems to be willfully blinded to the fact that ALL of these tenets are being implemented, in one way or another, by EASTERN countries (China, Iran, previously Iraq etc....) albeit very poorly and without method. China quietly took command of Taiwan decades ago and the UN has scarcely uttered a peep about it. Iraq formerly effected genocidal campaigns against the ethnicities within its Northern fringes under Sadam....we are still shedding tears over the fact that America displaced him. Popular consciousness LOVES the East, but HATES it when the West does the very things that the East LOVES (albeit more peaceably and efficiently). This is a blatant contradiction.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bibliolatry is a strawman

Those with deficient views of scripture often accuse those with a high view of scripture of bibliolatry or worship of the bible rather than God. What childish feculence!! In point of fact none of those who stand accused by these lip-smacking liberals have an appreciation for scripture that even REMOTELY comes close to the appreciation and adoration of God's decrees as found in Psalm 119, and yet the man of God who wrote these words is not judged. Even granting the foolhardy notion that the law of God or his decrees are something perfectly distinct from scripture, the liberal still must admit that God's decrees and laws are not God Himself but things which issue from his being. Why have they not turned their wrath against the Psalter and its supposed idolatry? Why do they strain out the gnat of the modern fundamentalist and swallow whole caravans of camels as found in sacred history? I'll tell you why: because they are thoughtless and stupid.

The Newpies on Paul never get it.

"Circumcision has value if you observe the law." -Paul

Yet the NPP swine are adamant that the Gospel shrugs off these "covenant boundaries" and strips them of all value. Nonsense. The Gospel never shrugs off the law, not even its so-called "peripheries" (let any brigand call circumcision a boundary with a straight face and I'll call him a stinker). The Gospel upholds the whole law and asserts its comprehensive value by presenting us with a God-man who vicariously fulfills all of it. As for us, apart from this God-man and in ourselves; we stand just as much judged by the law of circumcision as we do the law of love....the gospel has not "changed" the meaning of the law, discarding certain commands and instating others, spiritualizing a few here and casting off a few there. In point of fact circumcision would be of IMMENSE value if we kept it along with the rest of the law, which is the interpenetrative point of every command. We may even take circumcision as a sort of sign of induction; not as it separates Jew from Gentile but as it commends the whole man to God and his righteous obedience. "If we keep these commands, they will be unto us our righteousness" as Moses puts it in Deuteronomy. This is not a sociological factum but a spiritual one; both Jew and Gentile are equally commanded unto circumcision, for God summons the world unto himself by means of Abraham (and cf. Is. 56:4).

Is this to fall into the Judaizing error? Not at all. Rather we free ourselves in Christ of EVERY command; we are no longer obligated by God unto anything for anything. We are not slaves. This is not some peculiar anti-nomianism but a precise acknowledgment that everything God has ever demanded of us he has already fulfilled in us by a man other than us. Let no one accuse us of anti-nomianism. Anti-nomians forget that the law in fact must be fulfilled, that it is holy. We disavow this forgetfulness and insist upon Christ.

Homosexuality is a choice

"Genet's early states of sexual agitation- those he experienced before entering the reformatory- must be regarded as rehearsals, experiences and experiments, not as manifestations of a bent. Can any man maintain that he never dreamed, in childhood, of caressing a playmate? And what of it! And even if there were an actual exchange of caresses, would that be a reason to speak of homosexuality? It is only afterward that these tentative efforts take on meaning. When the individual definitely takes one path rather than another, "the retrospective illusion" then detects in them the premonitory signs of disorder or decides to regard them only as inconsequential deviations. Inversely, our inventions are mainly decisions and clarifications. What we think we discover in a moment of special insight is what we have been inventing for years, bit by bit, absent-mindedly as it were, without being completely involved."

-Sartre (Saint Genet, p.78)

For Sartre, homosexuality is merely one among billions of ways in which an individual consciousness (what he would call a being-for-itself) manifests its relations with the world. But as a manifestation of this consciousness, it is strictly a manifestation of freedom. Sartre insists (rightly, I believe) that there is no being which is capable of acting on consciousness, since consciousness has no outside to be acted upon. It can be limited only by itself. Thus the homosexual in his very homosexuality is a choice, and nothing but a choice. This was not thrust upon him by some pre-determined nature or βιος, neither by parents nor society.....nor did education force him into it, nor the circumstances of his life (for Sartre, the circumstance, even if it be as great and as vast as a world war, is authored by the individual). The homosexual is RESPONSIBLE for his homosexuality.

This will enable Sartre to say quite simply: "A person is not born homosexual or normal." (ibid.)

It is interesting that we learn of this from a sodding godless atheist, but the church will not speak for fear of having its toes stepped on! Even those of the fundamentalist right will usually concede that there is a sort of pre-embryonic sin nature that will determine the future acts of the homosexual. Mind that Sartre doesn't stand up on the day of Christ and condemn this generation of post-Christendom Christians for saying what their own cowardly minds and souls refuse to say, though their own scriptures insist that they say it! The homosexual is responsible. His refusal to admit this only proves that he is utterly ashamed of himself, like the child who under question will say that his older sibling made him do it.

In the vast literature of Sartre, the homosexual usually becomes the object of comedy and satire. Not, mind you, because Sartre believes that homosexuality is wrong. "Where's the crime? Where's the enormity? Human relations are possible between homosexuals just as between a man and a woman. It's surely better to get into bed with a boy friend than to go travelling in Nazi Germany when France has been defeated and strangled." (ibid., p. 225) Sartre rather pours his disdain on the homosexual because, "...acknowledging all the facts which are imputed to him, he refuses to draw from them the conclusion which they impose." (Being and Nothingness, p.107) The homosexual becomes, in the paragon and man-loving exemplar Marcel Jouhandeau, a "phony soul." He will acknowledge each of his acts but insist that Another is doing them.

I have maintained in the case of Africa and our local Indians that ethnic collectivities can never recover the dignity they so ardently desire for themselves so long as they place the weight of their history's failures into the arms of a foreign oppressor. To be sure, this post-colonial method of masking a failure is VERY impressive and catching, but it is for all that a mask...and qua mask quite pathetic for the considerations of sincere philosophy. The same problem lies with the homosexual. If he is not willing to be the author of his own deeds, nay, his own nature, then he has already admitted to the world that he is sub-human.

Friday, August 23, 2013

God anoints unto violence.

"Jehu son of Nimshi...whom the LORD had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab." -2 Chronicles 22:7

This important factum is elucidated in 2 Kings 9, where the LORD says to Jehu: "I anoint you king over the LORD's people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets etc.."

Jehu's anointing is special; it is not only a general mandate towards kingship but a particular mandate towards revenge. Vengeance is indeed the LORD's, and it pleases him at times to use humans in meting it out, without their having any proper claim to it. Nor can it be said that this use is always omnibenevolence working good through evil. Let no one say that the sacred act of anointing someone unto a task is profane. The anointing confers holiness and purity on the individual; they and their task are SET APART by God for His own RIGHT ENDS. This means, quite simply, that humans might kill and destroy in utter holiness.

Pacifists must be reminded of this. They must also be continually reminded of the passages in the Gospel of John which identify- without mediacy- Jesus with YHWH (12:42 in particular).

It is the historical Jesus who anoints people for purposes of killing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Elisha the Lord.

That's what the men of Jericho call him (according to the Septuagint): "ο κυριος" (2 Kgs. 2:19).

The widow at Zarephath refers to herself and her dead husband before Elisha as δουλος σου (your servant), as does the commander of the armies of Aram (5:15), as do the whole host of Yahwistic prophets (6:3). The King of Israel calls him πατερ or father, and so on and so forth.

Even if all of these phrases are mere formalities, we must bear in mind that formalities are significations, and as significations they refer to a reality, in this case a political one. The monarch of Israel and all of the holy ones who wander his environs are effaced before the power of Elisha and must pay him heed. Fascinating and intriguing!!

These theological data are already bursting with Christological import. It is the prophet of YAHWEH who properly leads Israel.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

To exist in a world of human relations is the nearest thing to treading barefoot on broken glass. I am responsible for my perpetual quality-judgments of ALL who dwell in my world, and others are responsible for their repeated judgments of me. We create death and misery for each other, and the church of God is by no means exempt. It is in fact in the church that Paul turned against Peter, that Barnabas turned against Paul, that the disciples turned against Jesus and one another (Lk. 9:46). It is in the church that weeds are sewn in by the devil (which may be taken in the hamartiological sense of sin and discord among brethren and the more literal sense of false brothers infiltrating and destroying), that the family unit breaks down and we learn to "hate father and mother," that a sword of betrayal comes between relations most dear. It is in the church that confessing Christians are judged in the flesh by their elders to the point of death; which can hardly be taken as an example of family discipline. It is in the church that Jesus comes to fight against us with the sword of his mouth and strikes sinners among us dead (Rev. 2:23). So we see the Divine Hand come to place its seal upon this discord and violence, overturning our humanism and love at every turn and plunging us again and again into anguish before our deeds.

"Wretched man that I am!! Who will rescue me from this body of death?!!"

I do not believe in love anymore. I have never seen it. Ever. I have never felt that a Christian truly loves me as himself; therefore he does not love at all. "A half heart is no heart" in the words of Spurgeon. Then again, I am speaking in so many fine words already. There is a Christian love, for the Word of God not only commands it; it acknowledges its existence, recognizes it in action, and promises more to come. Yet I am thrust by mine very own eyes to discard all that is seen as temporary and foolish and evil, to testify in faith to the fact that this love is hoped for above all else rather than FELT or EXPERIENCED.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It matters little how second-temple Jews viewed the law.

Whether rightly or wrongly, whether as a gift of grace or as a taskmaster, second-temple Jews and their theologies form a part of the collective known as ISRAEL, which sought after a law of its own righteousness and used the commandments of God as a means for boasting (Rom. 9:32).

Actually, what matters is not how historic Jews viewed the law in relation to salvation but how GOD viewed the law in relation to salvation. And here is how God in the flesh, also a historical jew, viewed it:

ει δε θέλεις εις την ζωην εισελθειν, τήρησον τας εντολάς·   (Mt. 19:17)

If you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.

There is Jesus' soteriology of law. You are not first graciously given life by god in order that you might keep the commandments as a sort of grateful response. The commandments appear first to someone without life (ie. life eternal, so 19:16), and he then must keep them in order to enter it.

The role of works at the Final Judgment made simple:

Zip. Nada. Nothing. Not ever.

According to Mt. 7:21, the determining factor on the final day (or the purpose of the judgment therein) is entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. The criterion of use by the LORD is whether or not a person has done the will of the father.

Since no one, to date, has done the will of the Father, it is necessary to trust on the bare fact of Christ's death and resurrection (that Christ has done the will of the Father FOR US and FOR OUR SALVATION). Or rather, it is necessary for the Christian to expect GRACE and MERCY on the final day (Jd. 21, 1 Peter 1:13). But if grace is to be given on the final day, it cannot be given on the basis of works, for then it would be a payment. And if mercy is to be delegated unto us, it would be foolish and meaningless to speak of JUST REWARDS. Mercy is given to the wicked, not the righteous. The righteous have need neither of mercy nor grace.

It is confounding and disastrous to place a role for works in the final judgment. To do so strikes at the very core of God's gospel and swallows it up in the law. For who will not immediately turn his attention towards the final day, forget the promise of the resurrection, and start working double time to earn a place in the heavens if this is precisely the way that God will deal with us? In short, the gospel will be lost forever in all of our glorious deeds.

Christians may be perfectly confident on the final day, perfectly confident, because they have for their very own badges the complete and total fulfillment of the law effected in Jesus Christ once for all. They need look nowhere else, indeed they would be knaves to do so. For what right-thinking man, after gazing on the blood of the lamb which bespeaks perfect righteousness, would turn aside and start trying to fulfill the law on his own? And who would trade in the very righteousness of God for his own paltry deeds?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Is James the word of God?

Yes. Provided that we understand it as a praeparatio evangelium, as pure speech about Christ, as that which turns us away from the royal law which brings freedom to Christ who fulfills the law that we might be free. If we understand by the phrase "όρατε ότι εχ εργων δικαιουται ανθρωπος και ουκ εκ πιστεως μόνον" that deeds which fulfill the royal law of love JUSTIFY a man, that Christ in doing precisely that has won a way for us to be justified, inasmuch as HIS DEEDS become OUR DEEDS (1 Cor. 1:30), then James is in perfect accord with the rule of faith. If, on the other hand, I am wrong in my reading...that the meaning of the above verse is that man will be justified by various concrete deeds which he will effect in this temporal sphere out of obedience to God's law (such as giving money to the poor, tithing to the local parish, praying for his enemies etc...) then James really is "an epistle of straw," worthy of the condemnation spoken of in Galatians 1:8, placed in the canon by a childish misunderstanding of the early church and maintained there by successive ages for fear of subtracting from the word of god. As of yet I see no need to go that route, yet I am baffled by the mindlessness of neo-evangelicals who attempt to synthesize both James and Paul by a sort of semi-pelagianism, which would see our final justification as merited by a cooperation between Christ's grace and our good deeds. These buffoons (Ben Witherington III, N.T. Wright etc...) are worthy of nothing but contempt for their willful abandonment of grace.

It is possible also to see in this epistle an "authorial intent" of judaizing but an inspiration in spite of this intent. The gospel is never bound to the psychological desires or motives of those who proclaim it. They may intend  their words for evil whilst God is superordinately using them for good.

Stick that in your eschatological pipe and smoke it!

"No one knows what is coming- who can tell him what will happen after him?" -Ecc. 10:14

Even the most subtile eschatologian, who may limit himself to saying such floosy things as, "Scriptures become the word of God eschatologically" or "the Kingdom of God is now but not yet" or nearly the whole of the absolutely worthless gibberish of Jurgen Moltmann's "theology of hope"...cannot escape from this sharp judgment of scripture. Before the future we are trembling leaves, and it would be better for us to remain taciturn as such.

The Fear of the Lord.

"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." -Ecc. 12:13-14

It has often been supposed that Solomon here renders an entirely new light on his previous treatise, like a resolved chord does to the entire melody of a song, or Amneris' prayer for peace at the end of Aida does to the whole of Verdi's tragedy. Peter Enns, like a good delusional Mennonite, suggests that this verse is in fact an editorial gloss provided to cast the reader out of the sinkhole of Qohelet's thinking. To him we may well quote Luther, who responded to the detractors of Ecclesiastes by saying:

"Does the Holy Spirit like to indulge in loquacious and foolish babble?"

This is apparently what most of the church thinks when it comes to Ecclesiastes, and it will do nearly everything to thrust this book into the attic of scriptural inquiry.

I have a practical rule which I apply faithfully to my canonical doubts: those pieces of scripture which are most ferociously hated and discarded the most frequently by the largest groups of religious individuals are most likely the Word of God. They must be doubted and questioned the least, for there is scarcely a word of prophecy that hasn't sent Israel and the church a-reeling into fanatical contempt for it.

The fear of the Lord, his commandments, and the duty binding on man does not provide man with an escape out of his meaningless condition. It is rather the commandment itself, which provides a duty for man, in which fear is enjoined, that creates a global situation of meaninglessness.

Paul sums up this argument quite well when he says: "When the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died" and "the law was added so that the transgression might increase" and "the power of sin is the law." Ecclesiastes already suggests that the source of meaninglessness for the "wise" man is that he, like the fool, must DIE (2:16). In fact death throws all of our deeds and our accomplishments into disarray and vacuousness (9:6).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

An Observation

The myth of historical female oppression was invented by woman in order to find some objective grounds for hating man. The order commonly assumed (woman discovers that she is subjugated by man, woman decides to hate man) must be reversed if we are to gain true insight into the problem: it is woman who created a situation of oppression in order to subjugate man. This situation itself is a work of bad faith, for even in those moments where women succeed in half-believing their myth, they are required by a twofold leap to attach an gratuitous ethical value to this history (what man did was evil) and a practical application (we are justified in responding in kind). The latter, to those precious few among the female intellect who possess clarity, is particularly troubling, for it bears within itself the seeds of the whole destruction of woman's machination. If certain historical situations justify contempt and vitriol for the male sex, is there not then the possibility that certain historical situations could justify contempt and vitriol for the female sex? And what if the myth, taken from the point of view of its assumption in bad faith, is precisely one of those situations? 

Naturally there will always be cases in history where the man got the upper hand over woman and used his victory to torment her. It is odd, however, that these cases (really, however many) have morphed into a universal rule. Be wary of universal rules applied to history in the realms of thought which we may call controversial.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Who teaches THIS?

"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they [Israel] did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." -Hebrews 4:2

In an important, eternal, bounteous sense, Israel HAD the gospel. Not merely an abstract message of an abstract God and an abstract kingdom. Israel had the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST. This is the significance of the following passages of scripture:

"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing MY (εμήν) day; he saw it and was glad." -John. 8:56

"Isaiah...saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him." John 12:41

"[Israel] drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." -1 Cor.10:4

Israel had Christ, for the gospel is bound up in Christ and cannot be preached without Him as the center and the foundation of the proclamation.

Scholarship has renounced this way. Accordingly, scholarship must be renounced.

Das Problem: Thomas Schreiner

"My goal is to read the message of the OT in its historical context. At the same time, I try to read the OT as the NT authors read it. The historical voice of the biblical writer is attended to and respected, but at the same time the canonical voice of the divine author is also heeded. I don’t limit myself to what Leviticus means within the ambit of the Pentateuch but also ask what it means in light of the revelation that has come in Jesus Christ. In other words, how does the coming of Jesus reshape and reconfigure our reading of Leviticus? Such an attempt does not nullify the historical meaning of the book. In fact, I spend most of my time on the former, while also considering the contribution the book makes now that the Christ has come." - (emphasis added)

Yet another "evangelical" scholar who demonstrates his disinterest and embarrassment in the Christian confession that Jesus is God. Let me put this clearly, even though it should not have to be argued: if Jesus is God, then He is God. This means that He pre-exists the New Testament. He is the God of the Old Testament, for the God of the Old Testament is the One true God. Therefore, when we read the Old Testament and unfold its truths, we read about Jesus Christ and unfold the truth about Jesus Christ. This is child's play; this is milk rather than meat. It takes all of two seconds to realize the fucking connection, yet to this date be damned if a confessing Christian scholar will own up to the weightiness of this point!! I am petrified at the order of Schreiner's concerns, as if the Gospel and its implications are of less significance than "the historical meaning" of the OT, to which he devotes all of his time.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Have you seen a Christian scholar of Paul ever teach THIS?

"May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever." -Rom. 11:9-10

Paul cites this as an imprecation against the nation of Israel for its rejection of the gospel. "May their backs be bent forever...." holy cow. The oaths and imprecations of the Psalms are curses that God has sanctioned, and be they taken in the Christological or the Davidic (the lesser) sense, they are BINDING. God heard the prayers of David, how much more those of Christ?!!!

The modern scholar of Paul, preoccupied in making romans a palatably jewish document, a narrative of Israel's supposed right to boast before God, has to trip neatly by nearly the whole freaking book to arrive at his favorite verse: "And so all Israel will be saved." This is to him or her the only factum of weight. I am not so sure. Romans pledges this irrevocable promise on the basis of FAITH IN CHRIST (ie. Israel's acceptance of the gospel; Rom. 11:23!!!!!!!). So long as this is not the case with Israel, it is damned and lost, and finally not the true Israel. Oh that Christians would cease their unbelieving dialogues with modern jews, stop trying to twist this text into some sort of post-holocaust apology letter, and finally read the whole thing as it stands.

Are women made in the image of God?

"ανηρ μεν γαρ ουκ οϕείλει κατακαλυπτέσθαι την κεϕαλην εικων και δοξα θεου ύπάρχων· ή γυνη δε δoξα ανδρός εστιν" (1 Cor. 11:7)

This is no more nor less scripture than Galatians 3:28 or Genesis 1:27, and it takes on a provisional acuteness on account of its being vehemently rejected and scoffed at by this wicked and perverse age. Nevertheless, it remains no more nor less true than the rest of the words that God, who is truth, speaks. In it we learn that the honorable dignity of bearing the εικων θεου belongs properly to man, not woman. If it belonged to woman, Paul's argument that man ought not to cover his head would fall utterly to the ground. Conceive of this passage in any other way and it loses all rhetorical significance. An egalitarian gloss would look like this: "A man ought not to cover his head because he is the image and glory of God, but women are equally the image and glory of God yet they must cover their head. The because in the first clause is meaningless." One can see how foolish and absurd these snakes are when they handle the scripture.

I find no evidence which would suggest that women have the imago dei, and this scripture stands solidly against the idea. The best argument one may proffer is an appeal to Genesis 1:27 which states:

"God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Yet this verse does not anywhere say that women were created in the image of God. It only says that man was. The egalitarian has to devise a retroactive conclusion based on the fact that the last clause is placed in parallel with the others (leading her to suggest that male and female are both the "man" in question). There is no justification for this. A verse placed in parallel with another by no means signifies that the meanings of both collapse into each other. This is a very puerile notion indeed! Scripture abounds in synthetic parallelisms, where the final line adds to the contents of the first. This is quite naturally the case here, and the reading flows smoothest when it is taken in this way.

What we learn from Balaam.

This man of wickedness spoke the very words of the living God under a legitimate call and command. Woe betide King Balak of Moab should he refuse to listen!!

The canon of scripture is closed. I do not believe it possible for new "words of God" to be spoken because it seems to be the case that God wills to be silent. That being said, there is such a thing as wisdom and truth, to which God in his grace appoints certain men to have a share in. They can even be godless men; atheists, libertines, Adolf Hitlers, jews, pagans, homosexuals etc... God has given them wisdom to speak. It would be an error to make of this a principle; such would be the turning of godlessness into a call or an office. Yet woe betide those who are proffered wisdom from such as these and spurn it.