blogbait 13 july-8 aug A.D. 2013

To GreenBaggins re paedocommunion, 8 Aug:
@63/64: Gillespie’s careful study may be one thing and his offhand remarks another. I glanced thru a 3-vol set of his works from Still Waters Revival Books years ago, and recall a series of about 110 notes to himself on various things. One was to the effect that Jesus prayed separately over bread and wine, but we need not follow His example. Well, need we deviate from it? I agreed with Gillespie maybe 80% of the time or more (been awhile), but this didn’t impress me. I don’t think he faced any paedocommunion challenge, so he probably assumed the status quo was right.

@61: No, I’d baptize and commune on assumed faith, as per J.C. Ryle in KNOTS UNTIED on assuming the baptized to be regenerate, but the saints persevere and the non-saints don’t, and we’ll find out later which was which. Surely your baptizing or communing is open to the same objection: if any fall away (and some adult professors do), have you denied the P in TULIP? No, you’ve baptized on presumed faith, not on saving faith. Same here.

Thanks for the remarks on Venema and the other book.

Bedtime issues here. Let me highlight “PC advocates need to take exception to the entire way the sacrament works in the WS” as a key point or condensation of the argument for future reference. WCF on baptism seems to assume it works the was PCers see PC working: we grow into it. No wonder CCers build a wall of separation between baptism and supper. (Pardon the good line; adjust its prosaic meaning as you need to.)
To NR online, Kat Lopez, 8 Aug:
Would it have hurt if the pope had specified “the beauty and truth of sexuality between husband and wife”? I can see people outside of holy marriage taking “beauty and truth of human sexuality” and running with it. Indeed, I wish he’d issue an encyclical saying simply “Fornication is sin. Repent or perish. This includes clergy.”
To NR, re O’care blame (Goldberg):
Really wanna stop it? Just put its “tax” on Form 1040 with the welfare for Presidential candidates, as a voluntary payment. See how many choose to pony up.

Does the GOP House really trust the people this much? If they did, would the liberal bureaucrats, from the b-in-chief on down, dare refuse? What would they look to be if they did?

And/Or: let the House declare that this tax originated in the Senate (which as legislative history is true), and ask the Supremes to strike it down on that basis.

To Doug Wilson’s blog (Fredericka), 8 Aug, re evolution, + slavery
Hey Freddy baby, is it OK if we mildly criticize Pastor Wilson when he needs it yet not throw his babies out with his bathwater? (By the way, he and a black pastor named Thabiti Anybwhile blogged back and forth respectfully–respectfully–over Black and Tan not too long ago.) Doug is not a racist, and repudiates racism as sin. Hallelujah! He’s right that some blacks fought for the south (an old issue of his Credenda Agenda magazine said, as I recall, at one point 5% of Lee’s army was black, and in the 1920s over 200 black CSA veterans applied for pensions in Tennessee. Blacks included at least one sniper, a skilled combat position. Blacks drove Bedford Forrest’s supply wagons.) He’s right, surely, that some slaves and some masters got along OK. And the South may’ve made some good points: I think God/Bible favor small government (“Jesus is libertarian,” tho Doug dislikes the “l” word), and the Civil War enlarged US government (including Confederate govt while it lasted: Davis had more clerks than Lee soldiers.)

Two main criticisms, tho. (1) In the Bible, OT slavery featured freedom with supplies after 6 years as a routine feature. Neither OT nor NT Roman slavery had any problem with manumission nor with slaves learning to read. So Bible “slavery” was a different thing from US “slavery,” which discouraged manumission and literacy. Anecdotes about loving or vicious situations, and statistics (collections of anecdotes), tho true, can be quoted both ways; but slavery as done here was at least sub-Biblical re manumissions and literacy. (2) The Civil War was, I think, centrally about slavery (secession was over slavery), and the South was wrong about slavery/race, and Pastor Wilson admits the South was wrong and the the North’s victory was God’s providential judgment–yet Mr Wilson would’ve fought for the South? Shouldn’t he at least have kept out of the way?

To NY Times on Diversity and Dr Who, 7 Aug:
If Dr Who is one of several Time Lords, could they diversify by adding one who is female/black/Asian etc as a series regular (depending on appeal) while leaving the original in a white British line? (No objection in principle to changing THE Dr.)

Does the diversity you favor extend to conservatives, devout fundamentalist Christians, and ex-gays? Do you want us as people (actors) and as favorable characters in drama, and in media newsrooms and faculty lounges? Do you reach out to us with affirmative action? (“Us”: I’m two of the three.)

Does diversity extend not just to individuals but also to groups? It’d be one thing to stop sending the police after drug users. It’d be another to start sending the police after churches, businesses, landlords, etc who want to draw the line against drug use in their own spheres. Likewise with other groupings that draw lines.

Our President has made clear he’s Trayvon Martin’s President, but is he not also George Zimmerman’s?

Re Mark Thomason’s comment, one way politics divides us is by enriching small groups at the expense of everyone, earmarking instead of benefiting the general (not particular) welfare. A much smaller government would be less divisive; we’d get along better if we weren’t always groping each others’ pockets. Jesus Christ, President of presidents, is rather libertarian, generous Himself rather than sounding a trumpet before him as he gives other peoples’ money to his cronies.

To Chatt Times, 7 Aug:
AndrewLohr said…
ALL standardized testing is an emergency?
Is Mr Bennett being fired for insulting all testers and test advocates? For insulting all baseball players yesterday? For insulting Congress two cartoons ago? Not saying he should be; just asking. Have Maureen Dowd, Tom Teepen, Gail Collins, and Paul Krugman been barred from the Times-Free Press for similar nastiness? Or do too many (not all) liberals like to wallow in this kind of vomit?

To NY Times, Krugman, 5 Aug:
Krugman lies: denial of O’Romneycare is denial of health care. Emergency rooms have to treat whoever comes in, and this came from Ronald Reagan and a GOP Senate in A.D. 1986. It does cost $ 50 billion a year, but that’s cheaper than O’Romneycare.

Krugman lies: the House equals the GOP? GOP governors have managed to govern. Yeah, the House might better declare that O’Romneycare is a tax and originated in the Senate, and hence is unConstitutional, than vote again to repeal. Yeah, the House hates real cuts (tho a GOP Congress gave us the only balanced budgets since A.D. 1969, once President Clinton dumped Hillary and shacked up with Newt.)

For real cuts, create a new tax form on which taxpayers can vote in cuts and vote ourselves a cut of the money saved. The one item we do get to vote on (and don’t get any of), welfare for Presidential candidates on Form 1040, gets voted 89% no last I read. We people are used to making money choices. We might get some serious cuts voted in, since most programs benefit particular small groups (not “the general welfare,” but particular interests), so enabling the majority to push back against each limited special interest is long overdue.

Jesus is the truth, and He’s rather libertarian. Follow Him.

To National Review (Ranesh Pommoru) 1 Aug:

To give us time to sort this out, schedule the primaries as follows: Iowa one week, New Hampshire the next, then three states a week, no more than two of which adjoin, and no more than one of which is among the ten most populous. Draw names from a hat, or reverse the alphabet, and let states exchange with each other as long as the two rules remain followed. Start the primaries as early as need be. (One non-state primary each week).

To Leonard Pitts Jr 28 July
Sir?

(1) We have racists, but George Zimmerman isn’t one of them. If Trayvon Martin had been white, and everything else had happened as it did (however that was) up to the point of pulling the trigger, would GZ have pulled it? If GZ as well as TM had been black, would he have pulled it? So this case, though used or abused to illustrate racism, is not a case of racism. (Everything as it did except that when asked the race of the man he was watching, GZ had said “He looks white.”)

(2) Did the prosecution do anything you wouldn’t want done to you if you were on trial? (Evade a grand jury, affirm dubious things, conceal exculpatory evidence, spring a long-planned second charge at the last minute…)

By the way, under the law of Moses a false witness was to be treated as if s/he were guilty of whatever they tried to have done to the target of their lies. Should the prosecutors be jailed for life, and Al Sharpton treated as a racist as well as a rapist (rapist re Tawana Brawley case)?

(2) Imagine that space aliens offered to stop either the killing of blacks by blacks (93%) or the killing of blacks by whites (7%), but not both. Which would you choose? If the former, would you agree that–though racism and racist killing are real problems–what blacks do to blacks is a worse problem, deserving more attention? Was this case overblown relative to worse problems?

(3) If GZ is a “white Hispanic,” is our President a “white black”? (I’ve voted for Alan Keyes.)

(4) Do you object (I often miss your column) to the stereotyping which says “Everyone in this part of the country, their main objection is that he is a black man.” (A Democrat said this about critics of President Obama, who plans to visit Chattanooga shortly.) I have no objection at all to a black President, only to one who (whatever he wishes) consistently pursues wrongheaded destructive policies. If President Obama were to see Jesus in a dream saying “I’m a libertarian: be thou likewise,” and to obey Him, I’d be delighted. (There is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents.) Are the critics of Thomas Sowell and Allan West racist, and the critics of Sarah Palin and Phylis Schlafly sexist? I suppose some people may dislike our President’s skin color, but to call all his critics racist is slander. Eh?

Yours,

Andrew Lohr

To Chatt. Times ed 27 July:

Why do voters tolerate fornication/adultery? Because so many voters do the same things. But sin remains sin: one holy triune God, one Vote. Repent or perish–there is joy in Heaven when one sinner repents. The blood of Jesus Christ…washes us from all sin.

Improve Tennessee election law–I’m thinking of DeJarlais, but also a good general rule–by holding runoffs in which, rather than hold a whole new election, the candidates who got votes the first time get to cast as many votes as they got. Say DJ gets 40,000 votes in the primary, Smith 35,000, and Jones 25,000. Then they meet the next day with the election commission, on camera. Most likely Jones and Smith vote for Smith, giving Smith 60,000 votes out of 100,000, a majority and a win. If no majority appears in a couple rounds, whoever has the fewest votes may no longer vote for him/herself; if they do, their votes disappear from the total. (Jones’s votes disappear and DJ has 40,000 out of 75,000 and wins.) People who got write-in votes need not show up in the room, but in a very close election (we just saw one here) their votes count, if they are real unique eligible people. (Littlefield can cast his 3 votes, but Mickey Mouse cannot.)

“War on Women” article”: http://cb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/24/cb.cbt019.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=eeLsdXtmFOqMaUg
To Chattanooga Pulse, article The Tragedy of Willful Ignorance by Janis Hashe, 26 July
There’s racism worldwide (not just here), but George Zimmerman seems not to be a racist. If Martin had been white or Zimmerman black, would Martin be just as dead? And if most of the local crime had been committed by blacks, wasn’t special attention to blacks justified? Special attention to Arabs/Muslims might’ve stopped 9-11.

Is black-on-black crime an outrage? Blacks do 93% of the killing of blacks. An outrage? Did the prosecution do anything against Zimmerman you wouldn’t want done to you? (Dubious affidavit, suppressed favorable evidence? Under the law of Moses, false witnesses get punished as if they’d committed the crimes of which they accused another. Prosecutor to jail for life, please?)

Is “rage” the right response? Jesus Christ includes judgment in His repertoire, but He came to set things right by suffering and by rising from the dead, not mostly by condemning. Measured and just “wrath”, yes, in due course; flailing “rage,” no.

Does Detroit have enough blame to go around? Yeah, management goofed. Yeah, government goofed. Did unions ever do anything stupid (demand too much) or wrong (violent)? I suspect most union leaders of being more politically liberal than most union members. Enlarge the pie, and all the slices can be bigger. Fight too hard over slice size, and the pie will look as if my babies had gotten into it.
(Andrew, husband of Wendy)

To Bennett cartoon 25 July:
d…

Weimer still thinks he’s a hot dog?

Much more inventive cartoon than usual. (Not trying to draw people who mostly look alike). Feel free to run it again with DeJarlais instead of Weiner; such a repeat’d still be above average.

Clinton was impeached for perjury, not adultery, and Congress considered allegations that he had committed rape awhile back.

Back to race, I see New City Fellowship church is doing a conference this weekend, 25-28 July, on multicultural worship. Link to interview with conference leader/CCM/New City chief musician James Ward: http://www.raanetwork.org/2013/07/at-the-center-of-my-life-talking-with-james-ward-on-multicultural-worship-past-present-and-future/#.UfC6H6wUuSo What’ll bring diverse people and races together in love is receiving the love of triune Jehovah, under whose aegis 🙂 there’s plenty for us all.

To Bennett Cartoon, 16 July:
(The cartoon showed a nervous black newspaper deliveryman.)
AndrewLohr said…
Well, this young man is obviously working and going about his business.

And from what I’ve read about George Zimmerman–that he volunteered his own time to help young black people, and also to keep an eye on a neighborhood suffering from crime–I suspect a nervous newsfellow could ask GZ to keep an eye on him, and GZ might well do so.

Does this cartoon make for peace? Does it make for correction of something wrong? Does it pour balm on a tragedy? Not that I can see. What would? The grace, including the law, of a somewhat dark-skinned Asian Jew named Jesus. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The church I’m in now (Holy Innocents Cathedral) includes black and white people; Chattanooga Bible Chapel included Indians (and I was born in Pakistan); of New City Fellowship I call myself a friendly alumnus.

To Paul Krugman, NY Times, 15 July:
Dr Krugman diagnoses tens of millions of people all at once: “one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness,” Freud called himself a shrink? “Orc” Krugman and his commenting groupies ooze hate; slaves of Satan who need to repent and be saved lest they get what’s coming to them. C’mon, guys, Jesus shows the standard of love: personal giving!

The Bible warns against favoritism to the rich (often); also against favoritism to the poor. So kill subsidies to rich farmers. Do what for the poor? Gleaning laws, as in the book of Ruth. Make each business leave 2% or so of its income for whatever workfare program it devises (e.g. picking cigarette butts off the parking lot for $3/hour).

I have no job, one wife, two full-time kids, 4 part-time kids, and about $1200 a month in food stamps. Our pantry shelves are overflowing, so’s our fridge; we keep throwing out leftovers. We could get by with less. If Snap was mostly replaced by a few staples, we could get by with a lot less; Bill Buckley of blessed memory estimated 40 years ago that the cost of food stamps could be reduced by three quarters.

If I compare Wall St under President Obama with Main St, record highs with the great recession, the GOP looks good; the Tea Party and libertarians even better. The US economy grew faster A.D. 1840-1860, when the cabinet had six departments and banks printed their own money, than it has grown in any 20-year-period since.

To Bennett cartoon 14 July:
Ha. Well, the military has a fair bit of US influence (nominal Christian heritage), so it’s one of the less bad influences in Egypt, along with the Copts and other Christians. Separation of Islam and state is a good idea (along with separation of atheism and state). The military may–no guarantees yet–improve on Mr Morsi. It might even, if it uses sensible economics as General Pinochet did in Chile, do quite a bit better for many Egyptians.

President Obama encouraged Mr Mubarak to step down, with the likelihood of more extreme Muslims coming to power, and he subsidized the Morsi government with our tax dollars. Anti-Morsi Egyptians tended to give Mr Obama and his ambassador some blame.

(From this distance, reasonable doubt about George Zimmerman’s guilt seems reasonable, and “reasonable doubt” equates with a verdict of “not guilty.”)

To Kevin Williamson on Draco, Nat Rev online, 13 Jul:

Moses wrote down God’s laws abound 1400 B.C.–Jews get around; maybe Draco took a hint or two–and Al Sharpton still hasn’t read the one that punishes false witnesses as if they had committed the crimes of which they falsely accuse others (Dt 19:16-21). Another forbids favoritism for either powerful or poor (Lev 19:15). Another says coveting is sin (Ex 20:17). And Solomon noted that because crimes aren’t punished quickly, everyone commits them (Eccl 8:11).
Re PC to greenbaggins, 13 Jul, perhaps not posted:
First, a big-picture point. The PCA broke off from another denomination about 42 years ago, and uses a WCF modified from the original, so Scripture, not current standards, must be final, and can correct current standards, which may err. Allow for this. Your piece presupposes the standards right. They might be wrong.
You, the Westminster Assembly, and CCs assume infants cannot meet the standards’ standards. But start at the other end. Are there some theologians compared to whom you are “ignorant”? Have you always remembered “all the benefits” of Christ’s death–“all”–as per WLC 170? At Heaven’s gate, will you say “I perfectly understood the Supper” or “Jesus died for me”? So I think you must allow that the standards allow for some imperfection of knowledge; indeed they call for growth. So PCs allow for less knowledge than you require. This is a difference from the Assembly and from CCs, but not necessarily from the theology of the standards if we say children, like ourselves, are doing it according to their capacities.
Again, can a newly baptized infant improve his baptism as WLC 167 requires? Yet we baptize infants at a less capable age than most PCs would commune them. So we let the improve their baptisms later, or according to their capacity, despite the explicit wording of 167? By applying this standard theology to communion, we can commune infants.
So what can an infant do? My sub-3 Sophie says “Jesus loves me best”–a clause she came up with; I don’t think she heard it–and facing a Bible story book she asks for “Jesus on the cross.” She trusts me; she knows I trust Jesus; so I consider that she has learned to trust Him according to her capacity. Doug Wilson tells of a 1-year-old (grandchild of his?) patting his head and his neighbors’ heads to indicate baptism, and, as I recall, making some other sign for Jesus, as the plate or cup drew near. John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s belly. Infants can hear the word, and trust it, beyond their ability to articulate it. We’re showing Christ’s death. Did he die for them? If so, the showing must include them. How are they saved? By faith, or else what of sola fide? (Why is this irrelevant when the standards speak of believers partaking?)
So I think PCs can agree with the standards’ theology but apply it differently. I agree they should be open about this difference.
Besides the theology involved, do you have a personal reason to care as much as you seem to about this on the side you do? The Bible must control (as it, not his hormones though they make him care, must control a young man’s sex life), but I care partly because I recall being thoughtlessly denied communion (after having been admitted at least once?), and I think this conveyed to me that I was not a Christian, or did not measure up, and conveyed this in a harmful way.
https://andrewlohr.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/infant-communion-paedocommunion-feed-gods-babies/ gives my take at length, including 19 or so reasons for PC and responses to 30+ objections, including the PCA’s official objections in the A.D. 1988 majority report. (And since PCs have answered all those objections, and advanced unanswered reasons for PC, and WCF forbids binding of consciences, I think CCs owe PCs answers, or else permission to do as they think right; they are forbidding PC by sheer force, not by Biblical reason.)
Yours in Christ Jesus, from
Andrew Lohr (Covenant College ’84; are you a son of J.C. Keister who was teaching math and science there in those days)?

RE PC:
First, a big-picture point. The PCA broke off from another denomination about 42 years ago, and uses a WCF modified from the original, so Scripture, not current standards, must be final, and can correct current standards, which may err. Allow for this.
You, the Westminster Assembly, and CCs assume infants cannot meet the standards’ standards. But start at the other end. Are there some theologians compared to whom you are “ignorant”? Have you always remembered “all the benefits” of Christ’s death–“all”–as per WLC 170? At Heaven’s gate, will you say “I perfectly understood the Supper” or “Jesus died for me”? So I think you must allow that the standards allow for some imperfection of knowledge; indeed they call for growth. So PCs allow for less knowledge than you require. This is a difference from the Assembly and from CCs, but not necessarily from the theology of the standards.
Again, can a newly baptized infant improve his baptism as WLC 167 requires? Yet we baptize infants at a less capable age than most PCs would commune them. So we let the improve their baptisms later, or according to their capacity, despite the explicit wording of 167? By applying this standard theology to communion, we can commune infants.