You Can't Spell Billy with Two Ks

Our Pennsylvania correspondent sent an email with the poster (the image used here) attached. The text, which appears with a close-up of Billy Graham, old but still looking good, runs as follows:

The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

Graham, who has always been vulnerable for consorting with Republican presidents and presidential candidates, threatens to go out of this mortal life with another questionable. This advertisement comes in various formats and can be downloaded and printed for bulletin inserts, bulletin boards, and is even filling up billboards. It also follows on the heels of news that Graham met with Mitt Romney and that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has removed Mormonism from its list of cults, which would appear to make safe the way of Graham’s endorsement.

Since Graham has a complicated (at best) relationship with presidents and has exhibited (in all about my estimation) a remarkable naivete about U.S. politics, I am not inclined to conclude, as some have, that Graham may be ruining his legacy. As a preacher of fairly crass decisionism, Graham has not impressed this “vinegary Old School Presbyterian” (how one colleague puts it) as having made the greatest contribution to Protestantism. I have admired his ability to avoid the kind of personal failings that seem to go with the baggage of itinerancy. It is also hard not to be impressed by the longevity and strength of his organization. At the same time, since Graham has a history of sidling up to political candidates — without apparently considering whether he is actually the one being used — I am not going to throw a flag or raise a card. Billy is what he is.

But the language used in this poster does deserve some comment. First, support for the nation of Israel may be a responsible foreign policy for U.S. presidents, but it hardly follows from the teaching of Scripture since the church, which transcends national borders, is the new Israel. But old habits of dispensational premillennialism die hard. Second, biblical teaching on marriage is hardly a uniform call to the God vote since Protestants and Roman Catholics have pretty different understandings of the relations between man and wife, at least whether marriage is a sacrament, not to mention the kind of instruments spouses may use to enhance or restrict the fruit of their womb. And that leads to the third problem in Graham’s message — how would he or his supporters feel if Muslims sponsored billboards that called upon Americans to vote for candidates who upheld marriage as defined by Sharia Law?

Rather than clarifying dilemmas confronting voters, the introduction of religion only makes matters more confusing. That’s not to say that deciding on a candidate in this election should be all that hard. Looking at the political philosophies of both parties, instead of their religious affirmations, should provide a clear choice. Then again, those FroPo Cons have a habit of making even a simple political decision difficult.

On the bright side, at least one of the figures identified in my book is making a splash this electoral season. Thanks for nothing Sarah.

67 thoughts on “You Can't Spell Billy with Two Ks

  1. DGH: “Looking at the political philosophies of both parties, instead of their religious affirmations, should provide a clear choice. Then again, those FroPo Cons have a habit of making even a simple political decision difficult.”

    Jeremy: I think I can articulate an idea of what a good thriving America might look like along the lines of FPR or Red Tory, but “how to get there” is pretty complicated even if you think that’s a good end. One person might say we use the state to reign in big business to protect small communities from homogenization, provide a safety net so that women won’t seek abortions, and cut defense spending or raise taxes on the rich to balance the budget. Another person might say we should cut the state because that’s what keeps big business reckless, scale back the safety net because it removes the burden from intermediate institutions, and we need to cut taxes so that all these cuts have to happen.

    Both people could have the same ideal political philosophy. In other words, I’m not really sure the clarity of the choice comes from where you want to end up. I’d love to cast my vote for someone who followed Planet Money’s “ideal candidate” platform: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/19/economists-design-their-dream-candidate-but-could-he-ever-get-elected/.

    Like

  2. “The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has removed Mormonism from its list of cults.”

    Let’s see if it’s back on there next Wednesday…

    Just watched the Errol Morris documentary “Tabloid” yesterday. As weird as Mormon theology is, they came off looking far more sane than Joyce McKinney. Morris’s stuff is interesting (“The Thin Blue Line”, and “The Fog of War” are two of his good ones).

    Like

  3. Well, I suppose there might be a less crass decisionism, such as that of those who teach that covenant infants born to married people can “later choose to erase their names from the book of life.”

    But I certainly agree that Billy Graham has always preached a false gospel.H is more “inclusivist” stance now toward Mormons and other “anonymous Christians” is merely another version of the same old self-righteousness. A propitiation which does not propitiate is not a real propitiation. A redemption which pays the price but does not redeem is not a redemption.

    Many of the young and restless “Calvinists” assume that the default interpretation of John 3:16 is what Billy Graham says, that Jesus loves everybody that He died to give everybody a chance. John 3:16 teaches that only as many as believe in Him will not perish. It does not teach that Jesus died to condemn anybody. It certainly does not teach that God loves those who perish.

    Anybody who denies that the death of Christ is what makes the difference between saved and lost will self-righteously add something else to the equation, something other than Christ’s death, to make the difference between saved and lost., Anybody who teaches that Christ died for every sinner but also denies that every sinner will be saved, is thereby conditioning salvation on something in the sinner being saved, even if they give God the credit for putting that something there.

    Isaiah 53;11—”out of the anguish of his blood he shall see and be satisfied, by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”

    The gospel is not simply about the extent of the cross; it’s about the nature and necessity of that death. God’s “justice” demands salvation for all for whom Christ died : John 17:2 “You have given the Son authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given Him.” The Lord Jesus asks for the elect( not for the world , not for the non-elect, not for everybody) based on the fact that “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work you gave me to do.”

    Like

  4. Is this crass or un-crass sacramentalism? Daniel Hyde: “The water of baptism is more than mere water. The water is so bound to the promise of God that the physical cleansing becomes, if not the instrument, at least the occasion for the spiritual cleansing.” Banner of Truth, May 2008

    Hyde is simply being confessional, if by that we refer to the WCF or the second London Baptist confession (1689), not the first London (1642).

    But if we add into the equation that one of the married persons has had to have made a decision to make a profession, what does that do to the status of marriage as a “sacrament”? If a “sacrament” is that which has the efficacy to mediate “saving” grace, and if marriage is one factor in determining who receives this efficacy, is not marriage “sacramental”?

    It seems to me that those who deny the sacramentality of marriage might be gnostics who hate God’s material reality. Or even anabaptists who share their wives in common like the eskimos. This is why we need a state based on natural law which which assure Mormon and Muslim men that they won’t have to share their wives.

    Like

  5. “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.”

    That phrase in the context of supporting Romney short circuits my mind. This is a call to support some vague notion of “biblical values” that is not biblical so that America will be ruled by a “god” who is not the Christian trinitarian God of the Bible. I have to ask to what god does Billy want us to pray or does it even matter?

    Like

  6. Amen, Billy! He, like DGH, Erik Charter, other OLT fans and all the rest of us, is not perfect. But he is right about some things, like our USA being not our hope of heaven but a great 200+ year gift from our Creator. Yeah, Mitt too and Manhattan Declaration and signers J.I.Packer, D’Souza, (Great movie, 2016! ) Pete Lillback. (High Wall of Misconception.) Great! If one 2012 candidate is for Life issues, Biblical marriage, free speech for Christians, let’s vote for Romney and not worry about whatever he is wrong about. Now I have to tell my dear wife Elaine that i sinned again by going to OLT! Broke my word again that I would stop wasting my time here. Erik, do you do anything about witnessing for our Lord and reading good stuff like what Bill Bennett writes and listening to what he says? (Good AM America). I don’t see why you write so much echoing Darryl. How do you do it? Surely you know what Scripture says about God’s gift of time? Sorry to be so cranky, like Obama! Yea, Billy! Love (honest), Old Bob

    Like

  7. Old Bob – What do you think about D’Souza heading for divorce and spending the night in a hotel with his young fiancee before they are married? He’s the President of a Christian college.

    Isn’t Bill Bennett a (former) gambling addict?

    I’ll stick to reading stuff by Hart, Machen, Van Drunen, Ahlstrom, Michael Kruger — these are the books by my nightstand. I’ll leave the pseudo-religious political hacks to you. Packer is o.k.

    If I approach a non-Christian (who isn’t already politically conservative) and lead with the authors you are talking about they are likely to run in the other direction. This is one of the main problems with your approch to Christianity that you don’t seem to realize. Why make the gospel more of an offense to people than it is already?

    We probably all waste too much time online but this is pretty much the only place I post. It keeps my mind thinking about theological issues from Sunday to Sunday.

    I think Darryl’s all wet regarding “The Master” so we don’t agree on everything. I am grateful to his Penn State team for whipping Iowa this past weekend.

    Like

  8. Old Bob, so how do you do the math in calculating errors. Billy is not perfect. DGH isn’t perfect. So you have to choose imperfection. On what basis do you choose? Calvinism? Politics? Celebrity?

    Like

  9. Bob – And if you are so lenient with Graham, Romney, D’Souza, and Bennett why are you hard on Hart & Charter? You seem to have an inconsistent double-standard in how you judge people.

    Like

  10. Bob Morris: Broke my word again that I would stop wasting my time here.

    RS: So you leave us with two alternatives. Either you are a repeat offender at lying or your time here is not really wasted. I prefer the latter. If your time here is not wasted, then you didn’t break your word to your wife about wasting your time here.

    Like

  11. Erik Charter: Bob – And if you are so lenient with Graham, Romney, D’Souza, and Bennett why are you hard on Hart & Charter? You seem to have an inconsistent double-standard in how you judge people.

    RS: Erik, show some respect for your elder. He is not really being hard on you guys by just asking a few questions and making a few points.

    Like

  12. D. G. Hart: Old Bob, so how do you do the math in calculating errors.
    Billy is not perfect.

    RS: Amen

    DG Hart: DGH isn’t perfect.

    RS: Amen

    DG Hart: So you have to choose imperfection.

    RS: No, you don’t have to choose imperfection. Jesus was and is Perfect.

    DG Hart: On what basis do you choose? Calvinism? Politics? Celebrity?

    RS: Maybe his formulation is based on Scripture.

    Like

  13. Richard, if Old Bob chooses Scripture, then he chooses neither Graham nor Hart. Put no confidence in princes (or celebrity evangelists or those who pose as philosophical theologians).

    Like

  14. Richard – So I should give Old Bob a pass on his lack of consistent reasoning because he is old? How are Bennett, D’Souza, etc. on giving people passes? If you play here you play by the same rules as everyone else. I’m not claiming he was mean to me. Not everyone views things through your emotional Puritan lenses.

    Like

  15. Richard – I did read Sydney Ahlstrom’s chapter on Edwards last night. The man was a first class intellect. I’ll say good things about him in Sunday School this upcoming week. He was kicked out of his church after 20-some years with a wife and seven kids to support over the issue of fencing the table. Don’t know enough about what he wanted to say if he was right or wrong, but that took some guts. It sounds like he did his best work after that, though, so perhaps it was for the best.

    We actually lost an elder over that issue a few years ago. He quit being an elder and quit attending the church. Most elders favored stricter fencing, he favored less. He came from an OPC background into the URC. I think he might have joined (or at least worshipped at) a Methodist church after that. I’m always amazed at the places people go when they leave a conservative P&R church (if it’s not another conservative P&R church).

    Like

  16. Darryl, it’s striking how much the Reformed position on Israel is in the minority among Christian. Similar, I guess, to holding to the 5 points or to non-literal views of Genesis. It’s odd that I seem to have more common ground based on a political conservatism than on my theology.

    As to whether any of this is based on the Lordship of Christ…I think my political views are rooted in my Christian worldview, but because there is no clear Biblical ought, other Christians, say Jim Wallace, end up in a difference place, although still influence by a Christian perspective. Since politics is in the realm of Christian liberty, I see no problem with these sort of differences although each individual will point to aspects of their faith to lead them in the politics.

    Like

  17. I know many who think that “holding the five points” is a mere denominational preference (sure helps to take the offense out of “false gospel”) for more evolved Christians, but who at the same time will judge you severely if you refuse to vote for the “lesser evil”. You need to know which antichrist is worse, because if you have an opportunity to vote, then in that situation it becomes your duty to vote.

    And if new technology gives us the ability to go on tv and be more like the world in order to attract the world to our churches, well, that also is our obligation. And if the “anxious bench” can be replaced with sacraments which give grace to those who decide right, well that too might be one way to go.

    Like

  18. “I think my political views are rooted in my Christian worldview, but because there is no clear Biblical ought, other Christians, say Jim Wallace, end up in a difference place, although still influence by a Christian perspective. Since politics is in the realm of Christian liberty, I see no problem with these sort of differences although each individual will point to aspects of their faith to lead them in the politics.”

    Terry, I get your ultimate conclusion, but, if differences are not a problem, it does seem like a problem to call your worldview “Christian.” It seems far less problematic to use terms rooted in political or social philosophy. “Christian” sounds a lot like “biblical” and “necessary.”

    Like

  19. Keep in mind we are talking about Jim Wallis, not Mike Wallace, Lew Wallace, Seneca Wallace, Ben Wallace, Wallace Stegner, Wallis Simpson, O.J. Simpson, O.J. Mayo…

    Like

  20. MM, the worldview is Christian, my conclusions on a particular matter is not necessarily “the Christian view” (but for me it is “a Christian view”) and I readily recognize differences among Christians. For example, both 2K and Kuyperianism are Christian views.

    Erik, mea culpa. Thanks for the correction.

    Like

  21. But, Terry, don’t you think it better to reserve describing a view as Christian those which the confessions-creeds-catechisms take up? So there is a Christian view of the Bible, Jesus, the sacraments, the magistrate, the church and its marks and polity, faith, grace, providence, sin, sanctification, final judgment, all of which implies that whatever isn’t in accord isn’t Christian. But not so much a Christian view of political governance, immigration, rate of taxes.

    My sense of it is that often worldviewry begets the reverse, as in a tolerance as Christian for non-Christian views of baptism but an intolerance as non-Christian for particular political views. And it’s an equal opportunity affliction: Jim Wallis talked about the Arizona immigration policy the way Falwell talked about, well, anything:

    The law signed today by Arizona Gov. Brewer is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation. It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited – it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. Enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. This law will make it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona, and will force us to disobey Jesus and his gospel. We will not comply.

    Like

  22. Erik Charter: Richard – So I should give Old Bob a pass on his lack of consistent reasoning because he is old? How are Bennett, D’Souza, etc. on giving people passes? If you play here you play by the same rules as everyone else. I’m not claiming he was mean to me. Not everyone views things through your emotional Puritan lenses.

    RS: Do as you please, I am not your judge. It just seems that Bob drops in on occasion and has an interesting post or two and goes on. I am not sure that he is old though he calls himself that. Bob seems to long for peace and unity and things like that. Of course he was not mean to you, but the context of his irregular (in terms of time) posts here might be helpful.

    “Emotional Puritan lenses”? Sigh, and here I thought I fought the idea of emotions with the Edwardsean distinction (he did not invent it, but used it well) between the affections and the passions that we have confused and now make one word (emotions) work for both. When that happens, people tend to divide into Rationalism and then Feelingism. Now you have really hurt my feelings on that one.

    Like

  23. Erik Charter: Richard – I did read Sydney Ahlstrom’s chapter on Edwards last night. The man was a first class intellect. I’ll say good things about him in Sunday School this upcoming week. He was kicked out of his church after 20-some years with a wife and seven kids to support over the issue of fencing the table. Don’t know enough about what he wanted to say if he was right or wrong, but that took some guts. It sounds like he did his best work after that, though, so perhaps it was for the best.

    RS: Take the time to read Edwards himself. Most people (like those in your class) have only heard his Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, though most likely they misunderstand that as well. Below is a link that you could read the sermon online for free. It truly is an amazing sermon.

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/charity16.htm

    Erik: We actually lost an elder over that issue a few years ago. He quit being an elder and quit attending the church. Most elders favored stricter fencing, he favored less. He came from an OPC background into the URC. I think he might have joined (or at least worshipped at) a Methodist church after that. I’m always amazed at the places people go when they leave a conservative P&R church (if it’s not another conservative P&R church).

    RS: At the risk of incurring your wrath, perhaps his real heart came out in the differing views of fencing the table and then was shown even more by going to a Methodist place. Yes, fell free to call me a hyper-C if you please, but I would strongly doubt that the Gospel of God was preached at a Methodist place. If a person can be satisfied where there is no truth and no true God preached, then you have to begin to question something.

    Like

  24. Zrim, nope. Why limit things to the confessions when I’m called to do everything to the glory of God and as if I’m doing it unto Him! I don’t mind saying that my piety may not look like your piety (even at the voting booth), but to deny all-of-life-ism seems to strike at the heart of the Lordship of Christ.

    Like

  25. Terry, I know, but it’s not. It’s simply a way of assuming the Lordship of Christ but also wanting to make distinctions about how it works. More of the institutional emphasis on the institutional/organic distinction from 2k. Jesus has gifted his church to speak and bind, and when I say church I think institutional. The upshot is being able to bind consciences on what a Christian view of baptism or justification is, something the organic emphasis just can’t do without sounding Jim Wallis-y or Jerry Falwell-ish (and then sounding narcissist by insisting that neo-Calvinist worldviewery is legitimate in ways eeeevangelical worldviewry isn’t because, well, they’re them and we’re us. Meh).

    Like

  26. Zrim – I think the only precedent we have for “comprehensive immigration reform” in Scripture is Israel wiping out the inhabitants of the promised land. Wallis might have a hard time citing that as Bibical precedent…

    Like

  27. Richard – I agree with your observation on Edwards & our former elder. Much more to Edwards than the “Sinners” sermon.

    I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings (if you are being serious), I only meant to say Bob hadn’t hurt my feelings. Why do I now feel like singing the old song “Feelings”?

    Like

  28. Erik Charter: I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings (if you are being serious), I only meant to say Bob hadn’t hurt my feelings.

    RS: I wasn’t being serious, I was just trying to be an “emotional Puritan” for you.

    Erik: Why do I now feel like singing the old song “Feelings”?

    RS: Lack of sleep?

    Like

  29. DGH: “In other words, what does the Lordship of Christ have to do with it?”

    Jeremy: In politics? Not much by way of specifics. Sometimes I can’t believe that Christians would support the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, indiscriminate drone strikes in Waziristan, or the targeted killing of an innocent 16-year-old American boy from Colorado. That’s what gets me all mad and prophetic, channeling my namesake. I would like those things to end, and for me it has something to do with my faith, but as far how to end Drug Prohibition? How to protect the USA without murdering kids sitting around a campfire? I certainly have my ideas, but they aren’t from the Bible, except my duty not to hate brown people or pursue policies that destroy their lives.

    Like

  30. Jeremy – You raise good points with the War on Drugs. If anyone should understand human frailty it is Christians. The current way we deal with drugs seems only to ramp up the violence attached to it. If drugs are legal and if we try to treat drug addiction it would perhaps cost us less and result in a lot less killing. Prisons aren’t cheap. There is also something to be said for scaling back the welfare state and letting people deal with the consequences of their bad choices (like taking drugs) more than we do now.

    Like

  31. I would laugh at Mexican drug kingpins trying to undercut the Feds in a legalized drug trade. Not a lot of violence connected to the black market in alcohol & cigarettes these days.

    Like

  32. Jeremy, why can’t you believe that Christians wouldn’t support a war on drugs or mass incarceration? They have supported such things historically (and worse).

    It seems like you do think Christians should not support some policy matters — that you have a Christian grid for viewing politics — as opposed to one that might be more realistic (and Augustinian) about the earthly city.

    Like

  33. Hi, Brothers, Seems to me that Richard Smith is among the few @OLT who read my rare comments really carefully. Many friends and kin convince me that I have something worthwhile to contribute on Jesus’ saving message AND our involvement in His Creation, including His priceless gift of our USA. When folks ask me what I think of OLT, my shortest story is that y’all seem to tirelessly point fingers at the real or suspected faults in OTHER brothers, and seldom, if ever, urge any careful and honest examination of YOURSELVES. Little said about the most important matters like the Great Commission. Very common Scriptural admonitions! Need I give chapter and verses urging self examinations to such experts as y’all? I mean this “expert stuff” with a mixture of seriousness and jest. Doggone, I sinned again! In Christ, Old Bob (Yep, RS, 84 1/2)

    Like

  34. How ’bout OLT biting into something really urgent like ( http://www.TrueTolerance.org )? I guess Elaine and I having God’s gift of 25 grandchildren, 7 of ’em married, 4 ggrands cause us to be more interested in things like this than OLT sayings. Help, you experts? Love, Old Bob

    Like

  35. Darryl, do you always wait for other folks to do the right thing before YOU do? Maybe we should go back to E-Mail? Love, old BM 🙂

    Like

  36. Bob, no. I just thought it odd that you do exactly what you criticize me for. Why not engage the substance? Why not defend Graham instead of saying — in a passive aggressive way — that people are unChristian to criticize Christians (except when Christians criticize Christians for criticizing Christians).

    Brain freeze!

    Like

  37. dgh a winner despite not being picked to be a winner by the nation-state? Difficult to believe. But I am glad for a promise of a nation-state which does not pick between zionists and Iran, the kind that does not pick iraq against iran and then decide to pick against iraq, and so on.

    Like

  38. Bob – Don’t worrying about who is criticizing whom, just make winning arguments. That’s what it’s all about here — not being on one “side” or another. I’ve had my views changed by good arguments put forward by others. Even blind squirrel Richard finds a nut every so often.

    Like

  39. Mark – But our nation building in Afghanistan is going so well, except when the guys supposedly on our side shoot and kill our soliders and CIA agents. Is that place going to fold like a house of cards when we get out or what? Iraq seems more stable, but I don’t think anyone is going to impose a foreign system of government on the Afghans, not the Soviets and not us. If people are serious about Islam a totalitarian government is what follows. Asking them to do otherwise is like declaring the U,S, to be a Christian nation and then having the theology of the United Church of Christ or the Episcopal Church reign. It just doesn’t work.

    Like

  40. So, was DGH government-built or self-built? I mean, Hart won.. And why make a distinction between Hart the winner and Hart’s winning?

    Those who win at the money game give evidence in that way that they are not losers or parasites. Those who are less morally virtuous talk about equality. They even commit the heresy of accepting the idea of a smaller trickle down pie

    Like

  41. I’m wanting to try not being the policeman for the world for awhile. Let’s just try it and see what happens. We don’t exactly have a lot of extra money.

    Like

  42. Darryl, Must you humiliate Old Bob? I called myself a sinner. Here I am @ OLT again, in spite of my sweet wife of 60 years fervent pleas. (Dutch, Kuyperian ancestory, OPC Pastor, Dad, John Verhage, Oostburg, WI 1946-1962. He fought and won a battle to have WCF and SC included in our Trinity Hymnal!) More explicitly about my sins rather than your many wins. I am SO slow— I am still on your 10/23 posting about Billy Grahams’s sins. And now you have more postings and scads of comments on postings made 10/24, 25 and 27! Can’t DO it! Besides being slow, I am so busy with leaving our home of 40 years in ATL for a senior residence, Alexian Village, near Chattanooga. Run by Roman Catholics! Naughty, naughty! Hope to be settled there by Nov.10. Packing, leaving friends, neighbors, OPC church, is a tear jerker! Also I study worth while things, try to help young and old friends with their various discouragements, try to fight evils which have come into Father God’s and his Son’s fallen Creation— in the interest of futures of countlesss descendants I have spoken of often. Hey, maybe I am no worse sinner than many OLT enthusiasts? Oh, Richard S. Thanks for your support! My main reason for sinning this time— Darryl, what does “woot” mean? Another sin of mine for not keeping up with the world? I still don’t enjoy stogies and strong drink. NOT sins! But not very wise! In Him, Love, Wise 🙂 Old Bob

    Like

  43. Dr Bob got there way before Billy. So what’s the difference? Both billy and bob are Arminians with a false gospel. Both are Constantinians. Neither one is speaking for a church but only as a private (natural law, common sense) Christian. But billy’s endorsement is perceived as being a positive. And Bob doesn’t want to endorse the shape-shifter if Bob’s endorsement would hurt Romney. I mean the primaries are over, and this is the time for a different set of lies.

    http://decoded.nationaljournal.com/2011/11/bob-jones-iii-unplugged-on-rom.php

    Like

  44. Actually, Darryl, rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s is part of all-of-life Lordship if that’s what Christ commanded. 5th commandment and all that. That’s where you guys (at least Zrim) seems inconsistent. If 2K is what the Bible teaches, then practicing it is part of all-of-life Lordship. You guys still are Kuyperian in that sense.

    Like

  45. Terry, is this a neo-Calvinist haiku: “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s is part of all-of life Lordship” of Christ? Seems like Christ is saying somethings are his, some are Caesar’s. Why is that so hard?

    Lots of students of Islam insist that this is what makes Christianity different from Islam. Now you seem to want to take away that difference and turn us into Christian Muslims.

    Like

  46. But does it make us jesuits if we ask which is which? Don’t we all (even zrim) make a distinction between submission and obedience? If we disobey but then submit to the consequences, not attempting to replace the emperor with our city council (Geneva or Zurich), is that one way for us to give to God what is God’s while at the same time giving to Caesar what God has given to Caesar?

    Like

  47. I think the biggest point Jesus was making (in everything he did, but specifically in Romans 13), was to point out the superiority of the values of his kingdom and our citizenship therein, to the values of temporal kingdoms and our citizenship therein. So much of electoral politics is about maintaning our rights, our values, our wealth, etc. Jesus seems to minimize these concerns. I know I am all about asserting my rights and I probably need to do it way less of it as a Christian. I need to be more concerned about extending grace & forgiveness to people. Watching Hitchens debate Craig today. Hitchens was an amazing debater. He asked Craig why Christians are so concerned about this life if they really believe there is a better, much more important life to come. It was a good question. Hitchens answer, of course, is that deep down Christians didn’t really believe there was a better life to come any more than atheists do. Challenging.

    Like

  48. Terry, who’s inconsistent? Jesus is Lord of all but rules in different ways. But what all-of-lifers always seem to miss is why they were so amazed in Mark 12. Do pious Jews really gasp at the teaching that every square inch is the Lord’s (or to file taxes honestly and on time)? Or could it be that what was so breathtaking was the teaching that while the Lord is sovereign he has set perfect pagans as his minister over his people and that they are to submit as unto him as opposed to transform or take over? If the presumed virtue is the latter than the former will tend to amaze and confound.

    Like

  49. Erik Charter: Bob – Don’t worrying about who is criticizing whom, just make winning arguments. That’s what it’s all about here — not being on one “side” or another. I’ve had my views changed by good arguments put forward by others. Even blind squirrel Richard finds a nut every so often.

    RS: Yes, I found Erik.

    Like

  50. Old Bob is OFF! Before any OLT buddy says, “Wow! That is the understatement of the year!”, let me quickly ad that my sweet wife of 60 years and I are OFF to a TN retirement center next week. I will be closing down my E-addr. here at our Public Library in a few days. My occaisional (sp?) comments will soon end if they haven’t already with this latest “sin”. I will be spending lots of spare time at nearby Covenant College, hearing a few of son Dr.Tim’s Biolectures, (Guys, Please get his and Dr. Don Petcher’s “Science and Grace”, Crossway). I will be reading in the library there, and chatting with students and faculty— folks who, in general, have far better Scriptural balance, I say, than OLT guys. 🙂 Richard, I wouldn’t go so far as to call Erik a NUT (even though he has been unkind to you. And me). But as my sharp 100 year old Mama said to me in 2005, after I asked her, “Mom, how does it FEEL to have a 77 year old KID?” “Bobby” (She called me that from infancy on) “Being your Mom is much like it ALWAYS was; YOU have a LOT to learn!!!” So Right she was! I think young Darryl (57?), Erik, and many other OLT fans probably have much to learn as they mature. 🙂 Love, Old Bob

    Like

  51. Bob Morris: Richard, I wouldn’t go so far as to call Erik a NUT (even though he has been unkind to you. And me).

    RS: The word “nut” can have different connotations. I was, however, just taking a little shot all in humor. I hope you don’t mean “off” as in you will never be back. Your comments are thought provoking, which includes your point to certain others that they don’t discuss Scripture very much. However, if you may take a word from one much your junior, chatting does not always lead to knowledge. Sometimes it is just chatting. The truest knowledge is always to know Him.

    Like

  52. Darryl, huh? But even you say that Caesar is Christ’s when you say that the secular kingdom is subject to God’s “natural” law, right? I don’t get what you’re getting at when you talk about Christian Muslims. I think you still confuse Kuyperianism with theonomy.

    Like

  53. Terry, natural law isn’t supposed to be away for Christians to come out on top in political debates. It’s supposed to be a common frame of reference for believers and unbelievers living in a created order where natural laws still apply (whether people recognize them or not). The world does belong to God, as the old CRC creed has it. But God delegates authority to Caesar that Christians can’t usurp or resist simply because they believe in Christ and the emperor doesn’t.

    If I associate Kuyperianism with theonomy it is because Kuyperians insist on no neutrality and oppose secularism the way that political Islam does. If there is no common realm and if everything must be done for explicitly and self-consciously Christian reasons, how is that different from everything must be done for explicitly and self-consciously Muslim reasons?

    Like

  54. Darryl, doesn’t Kuyper recognizes a state that protects the interests of all religious groups (principled pluralism)? It is akin to your common, secular realm. So a Christian position about the state does not advocate a Christian state (as in theonomy) but Christians acting according to Christian principles in a society where there are other religions as well. Those governing govern people of all beliefs not just the Christians in the society.

    Like

  55. Terry, fine, but principle pluralism is not biblical. The Bible only knows polities (Israel or church) that are one Lord, one faith, one baptism, etc. I’m all for pluralism. I’m also for honesty about where we derive our politics.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.