Thursday, 8/7/14

  1. What greedy people want is good enough for creation
  2. Well-educated, ill-catechized
  3. What color is 2 + 2?
  4. “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress” wins his primary

1

You are of more value than many sparrows, buddy. Thus saith the Lord.

300px-Buddy_christ

[Wayne] Grudem, a professor at Phoenix Seminary and past president of the Evangelical Theological Society,  … speaking at a fundraising dinner ostensibly focused on the stewardship of creation, … smilingly advocated the extinction of a species to satisfy human appetites.

The delta smelt … now teeters on the brink after the government dramatically re-engineered the delta. Giant pumps can now reverse the flow of rivers and move water uphill to arid land farms that have become key cogs in our nation’s not-so-local industrial food system. The Endangered Species Act means those pumps run less frequently, helping smelt and salmon that have also been decimated. This makes some farmers and pundits mad and some environmentalists, Native Americans, and commercial fishers a bit happier.

For many it is a complicated situation, but Grudem knows what Jesus would do. Noting that Christ told his disciples they were “of more value than many sparrows,” an upbeat Grudem declared, “I think Jesus would say you are of more value than thousands of delta smelt as well.” Not many others in the audience gathered by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation were taken aback. Though its website features pretty pictures of the outdoors, Cornwall’s primary focus is criticizing the Christian “creation care” movement and environmentalism in general, which they literally demonize as “the Green Dragon.”

(John Murdock, Noah and the Smelt – emphasis added) You’ll have to read it to see where Noah fits in.

The title of Grudem’s talk, by the way, was “Politics According to the Bible.” (His honorarium, I conjecture, was 30 pieces of silver.)

Jesus facepalm

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

(II Timothy 4:3)

2

I’ve written for adults. My conviction in 1978, when I was getting started, was that the people who were the column’s primary audience were the best-educated Catholics in history (if not necessarily the best-catechized Catholics in history). And it seemed to me then, as it seems to me now, that they ought to be treated as intelligent adults who can follow an argument and wrestle with it. Too much of the Catholic press, I fear, thinks low when it imagines its readership. I determined at the outset to think high, and to write columns for the Catholic press that were crafted at the same level of argument and language as the columns I’ve written for papers like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

(George Weigel, reflecting on his 1000th column since 1978) He obviously has more respect for his audience than does Wayne Grudem.

3

God is precisely the type of thing for which one cannot demand empirical proof. For example, suppose I were to ask you: “What is the length and width of the smell of cider?” or “How much does the color white weigh?” or “What is the color of 2 + 2?” And so forth. These questions make no sense. Similarly, the demand that one show empirical proof of God’s existence is equally incoherent because God is not the type of thing that is susceptible to empirical investigation.

(Carlos Flores, fortifying people against flamers functioning at the atheist equivalent of a Wayne Grudem audience)

4

Freshman Congressman Justin Amish of Michigan, “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress”  and what passes for a bright and independent rising star (which means I’m hedging my bets, having been made an ass too often by believing “this one’s different”), won his primary Tuesday over scurrilous attacks like, well, calling him “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress” – and not just from talk radio, but in an actual, shameless ad.

His opponent must think Michigan voters are as dumb as – Oh, heck; I’m on a roll – a Wayne Grudem fan.

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.