Monday, October 31st, 2005
Some time ago, I posted an article on the main Old Solar site about the decision of three local Episcopal congregations to leave the jurisdiction of the ECUSA (Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.). Upon the consecration of a non-celibate and openly gay bishop, these churches decided enough was enough and put themselves under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Luweero in Uganda. A property fight ensued.
I had lost track of this story until last Friday, when a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach attended a gathering of local Lutherans who had met to discuss outreach. We were told about how their church had won their property fight (Yes!), and that they would be hosting a speaking engagement with John Warwick Montgomery as speaker this fall. Both of these items were good news. Today I looked into the lawsuit.
In the past, hierarchical denominations have tended to win property fights by citing denominational polity. But in 1979, the Supreme Court modified its position which had granted hierarchical denominations sole determination in property disputes. California grants less status to canon law than other states do. They attempt to be more neutral in their rulings, giving weight to other factors besides canon law.
In the case of St. James, the denomination had sold the deed for the land to the church for $100 in 1950. (If you knew Lido Island, you would know just how magnificent a deal this was!) The church owns the title deed, and has paid for all its improvements. In California, that is enough reason to recognize the congregation's right to its land.
In addition to retaining its property, St. James won a ruling in September, which requires that the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles pay $81,000 to cover legal fees incurred by St. James in the fight.
This ruling could have wide repurcussions not only for other Episcopal congregations, but for those in other denominations as well.
12:08 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 8 comments ]
Thursday, October 27th, 2005
I have had two people recommend Pärt to me recently. My brother in Florida, who heard a theology professor from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando praise Pärt as a modern Bach. And Jeremy Abel, who told of his love for Pärt's "Litany".
I was in Barnes and Noble bookstore looking at music when I remembered to check out Pärt. I didn't remember Jeremy's specific recommendation, so I tried samples of several CD's. The one I settled on is called Sanctuary.
Pärt shows an Eatern Orthodox influence that can also be found in Tavener, whom I also love. (Though I listen even more to the classical Eastern Orthodox composers like Chesnokov and Archangelsky than their modern progeny.) The music is meditative. One simple idea can be worth great exploration. This is a good thing in a consumer culture which imagines more, more, more to be the only direction worth pursuing. Though in another way, Pärt's minimalism finds many other examples in both modern music and the broader culture.
I think I have heard "Fratres" played before. It would have been more memorable to me if I had not heard it the same night I heard the Anonymous 4 sing part of their "Mass for the End of Time." This is a great example of the bright sadness Jeremy mentioned.
"The Beatitudes" offers the first half of each Beatitude in a manner which gets across the difficulty of each thing being blessed, and the second half in a happier manner that suggests blessedness. The beginning of each new beatitude seems to draw from the end of the last one, perhaps suggesting a reading of the Beatitudes where they are a progression, each building on the one before it. This arrangement brought out something I had missed seeing explicitly before. While all the other beatitudes offers a virtue and then a reward, the last one offers the promise of an unnamed reward, and then a reason (you are like the prophets when you are mistreated by men). Coming in the second half like this, there is half a hint that being like the prophets is a reward in itself. The prophet's reward is ahead, but you may find it easier to bear up under this treatment if you know that it is a sign of greatness.
When I took my music up to the counter for purchase (I had come in to buy a new recording of Sibelius's second symphony, and ended up buying Bernstein's. I'm still deciding what I think. Right now I thing it is brilliant, but I would not want it as my sole recording.), the young man behind the counter (appeared 20-ish) was pleased to see someone buying Pärt. He said he had sung Pärt's "De profundis" in a choir. That made me happy. To know that there is more quality singing going on out there and that some younger people appreciate it.
10:57 am Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 7 comments ]
Monday, October 24th, 2005
A recent poll asked Americans to pick among the following options:
How were humans created?
By God in our present form.
By evolution, with God's guidance.
By evolution alone.
The article I read stated in the title that the "Majority of Americans Reject Theory of Evolution." When I read something like this, I marvel. Even if the majority chose the first option, would this necessarily mean that they rejected the theory of evolution?
I remember once when our fifth grade science teacher flared up at a student, "Evolution does not mean man from ape!" She was right. Too many people imagine that the theory of evolution is solely or even primarily about our own origins. It is first and foremost a theory about how biology works. When I read works by evolutionists, they often point out how in the early years, there was a tendency to write as if evolution happened in order to give rise to the most highly evolved creature, man. They note that evolution is blind to values. It is about adaptation. Those creatures best adapted to their environments tend to survive. So a fish that has evolved little in the last 500 million years is likely a superior adaptation. Why call it lower?
Now I must admit that "evolution" is a blanket term for most scientists. It refers to the theory of natural selection. It refers to the fact that they believe that natural selection and other random processes are responsible for all life. And it refers collectively to the individual lines of descent they believe in on account of fossil records and other data. But I do have a problem with the idea that the term be used narrowly for the descent of man idea. That narrows the idea to a theory of a natural history of man. The theory is much broader than that. And evolutionists are right to point this out. It has implications that reach into drug manufacturing. If Americans reject the theory of evolution, they might want to be more choosy about from whom they purchase their drugs, as if the theory is false, then many of their drugs shouldn't work.
Given the broad meaning of the term evolution, the article title I cited is wrong for the following reason. Logically, it is perfectly possible for the theory of evolution to be true and for a miracle to be responsible for the origin of a species any species. In such a case, evolution still has a lot to say about our biology from the point of origin on.
I am undecided about the natural history of the world. I believe in an old earth and an historical Adam. I believe in an old earth because the scientific dating methods are plausible to me. I believe in an historical Adam because St. Paul and Jesus do. Any number of possible histories are compatible with those two positions. But since I don't know how literal the early chapters of Genesis are, I don't feel a need to rule out most scientific conjectures. I may say, with Treebeard, that I think many are a bit hasty. But as to the reading of Genesis, I think there is likely a wide spectrum between pure literalism and pure metaphor where we may find possibilities that we have not considered. When real events are clothed in symbolical language, as they are in the Revelation, we know that much of what is said is literal, and much symbolic, but we don't know where the exact edges lay. So it isn't always easy to determine when certain empirical claims contradict Scripture. It is quite possible that evolution as a broader theory could be true, while many of the conclusions drawn from the theory as to natural history are false because they assume our data is more complete than it is. I suspect that if we knew everything, it would be a much stranger picture than most people on either side have ventured to imagine. History tends to be like that. In any case, I'm frustrated when I'm only given the options of accepting or rejecting the mainstream scientific picture in toto.
The article did mention that 30 percent of those surveyed believed in some mixture of creation and evolution. But even there, the statement of the position was ham-fisted. Humans were created "by evolution and God's guidance." If I bought into both creation and evolution for man's origin, I would not have God's guidance as a category. Providence would be a better description. He created the world in which evolution would work out as it did, and not another world. "Guidance" suggests direct intervention. Not impossible, mind you. But if I'm going off the tracks from a more direct creation of man, why not remove direct interventions altogether?
From the poll, I'm not sure whether we really know much about how Americans think of human origins. It may be that many made the choices they did not because those choices accurately reflected their beliefs, but because certain choices seemed to imply things they strongly disbelieved.
12:51 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 2 comments ]
Wednesday, October 19th, 2005
It has been claimed that perhaps the reason the controversies over what books to read in Western Civilization courses is so heated is that most involved in the debates recognize that for many students, the reading they do in that class will be the only substantive reading they ever do. Therefore what is read in that class takes on an importance out of proportion to what it would have if those who graduated were all voracious readers. The writer who suggested this also suggested that in a nation of readers, most would end up running into Toni Morrison whether or not her work was assigned.*
I wonder if much of the fight over Intelligent Design is not similar. If our students came out as voracious readers of scientific literature, would there really be such need for controversy? If most students would end up reading both Richard Dawkins and Michael Behe on their own, would it matter so much whether they were assigned reading?
If there is a flaw in evolutionary teaching, it is that it expects high schoolers to reach conclusions in a few weeks on matters that take many months or many years to understand. The conclusions are accepted on the basis of authority. The kinds of arguments for evolution that I have found to be most powerful were not the kind I read in high school. We didn't have time to go that deep. Only the accessible arguments were offered. Much like the arguments you find in infomercials. Whether or not the products are good, the buyer is not warranted in believing the claims have been proved. No, a plausible case has been made, but the proof, if there is one, is not the kind of thing that would be accessible to the viewers of an infomercial. Likewise, high schoolers are not warranted in believing in evolution based on what they are presented with, even if evolution is true. At best it has been made to look reasonable.
At other levels of education, I'm sure this is different. There are surely many people out there who are warranted in believing what they believe. But if this is not what is offered to elementary and high school students, then what is the justification for teaching what we teach? I think the best justification is that some of them will be better equipped later to do the kind of reading and research that will lead them to warrented beliefs. This is something that would be worthwhile.
The big guns on this subject seem to forget at what level high school science is taught, and offer arguments that are inapplicable to it. Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne claims that the ID side is merely the old creationism in new dress (a charge I find false), and says that one big problem with it is that there are real controversies in Darwinism that themselves are more worth our discussion time. He lists them as "neutralism versus selectionism in molecular evolution; adaptationism; group selection; punctuated equilibrium; cladism; "evo-devo"; the "Cambrian Explosion"; mass extinctions; interspecies competition; sympatric speciation; sexual selection; the evolution of sex itself; evolutionary psychology; Darwinian medicine and so on." I happen to think he is right about these being interesting topics for discussion. I think he is wrong if he imagines that any of these is likely to make it into a discussion before the university level, even if Intelligent Design is left out of the curriculum. How much background in evolutionary theory is necessary before students are ready for these topics? Do Dawkins and Coyne assume that most high schools reach this level? Are they worried that time is being taken out of the curriculum without having a clear idea as to what kind of time is in the curriculum to begin with.
Dawkins and Coyne also offers some examples of cases where we rightly don't allow equal time in the curriculum. They include: alchemy in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class." Even more scary is the idea of allowing equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened. But the interesting thing here is that in none of these cases do you have a sizable minority of students believing in these theories when they walk into class. If, say, half the students did not believe the Holocaust had happened, would he suggest that it would be best to ignore that fact? Offer a version of European history that mentions the Holocaust but doesn't seek to persuade the unpersuaded, since there is so much other history to cover? I am not a proponent of equal time. But some kind of coverage is called for. Coverage would mean that where there were many Holocaust deniers, the arguments of the Holocaust deniers were covered in class. It would not mean that a teacher would have to be sympathetic to the position. I would expect that most teachers in such a case would likely argue pretty vehemently on the side that it did happen. And the students would not leave class thinking that the subject had been ignored because the arguments on behalf of the Holocaust were weak, as students who have heard of ID likely leave high school biology when it skirts the issue. In the long run, the greater allotment of time would mean less cultural controversy. Now, we don't have to do this in our culture with the Holocaust, because the truth of the Holocaust is broadly accepted, thank heaven. But I think Dawkins and Coyne miss the point that it is not only the truth or falsity of a theory that we take into account when alloting time in the curriculum, but how much persuasion is called for given the population being taught. Is it not possible that part of the reason that the same arguments against evolution appear over and over again is that they were not successfully taught against? So why would not covering the arguments be the best approach, even if you wanted to see evolution finally triumph?
When I read about the controversies over what can be taught in school, I find that both sides seem concerned about the wrong things. They seem to think that if only they can influence what is taught in one hour (if that), then all is well with the world. I am a bit undecided on the theory of evolution myself. I would actually like to see a lot more class time devoted to it. Both arguments for it and against it. What is odd to me is that everyone gets heated as if the battle were important, but then settles for such a limited allotment of time for discussion. I won't believe that either side really cares about how well the students understand the world if they don't spend at least as much time ensuring that there is time for these discussions to happen. Both sides should treat the current level of scientific understanding in the high school students who believe in evolution, as much as those who do not believe in it, as a scandal.
* Katha Pollit in The Nation, quoted by Sven Birkerts in The Gutenberg Elegies, page 124.
12:37 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 6 comments ]
Friday, October 14th, 2005
When I was young, I ran into the famous passage in Matthew about what people label "The Unpardonable Sin." Somehow I got myself convinced I had committed the sin. I think it started because some blasphemous words went through my mind. I wondered whether perhaps I had mouthed the words one time when I had thought them.
This really tortured me for a while. I was what the evangelicals would consider a spiritually sensitive kid. My sense of being loved by God was everything to me. And now it seemed cut off.
Now as a child, this was much harder to deal with than you might imagine. What resources did I have? We were in a large church where I would not have considered talking to the pastor. I tried talking to the junior high leader. She was well-intentioned and good-willed, but in a way that didn't deal with the passage in question directly. I felt better for a short time, but when the matter came up again later, I still didn't have answers.
I went off to summer camp wrestling with this and the fact that my dad had Hodgkins disease and was going through radiation treatment. This camp was of a conservative evangelical persuasion. Much of it was just fun, and there was some decent teaching over the course of the weeks. But at the end of camp, they had their "come to Jesus" meeting. We were on what was known as Star Rock for a campfire. One of the campfire songs was Larry Norman's "You've Been Left Behind." One of the counsellors made a plea for decisions for Christ that ended with "I hope not one of you is left behind." Well, I feared I was stuck. It felt desolate.
I got more hopeful for a while, but remember being stung a bit when we were reading Dante's Inferno in my freshman year high school English class. The words "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" resonated with me on a deep level that I think few other students could relate to. On the other hand, the teacher also told us about the story of Tristan. Tristan despaired of salvation, and that was considered unpardonable by medieval theologians. The teacher mentioned that after the Reformation, due to a change in theology, the story was rewritten, and Tristan was restored. This was no arcane piece of literary knowledge to me. It gave me hope.
At some point in the middle of this, my dad got frustrated with me. One thing that I should mention is that as I went through this, hope started to feel dangerous. You didn't want to start hoping again that you could be saved if you thought it might just be dashed later. I got to where when I started thinking that one thing I did was not unpardonable, I started to manufacture other sins that would qualify. What about that time I said so-and-so looked like the devil? But if he was filled with the Spirit, wasn't that blaspemy against the Spirit? It got ridiculous. My dad called me on it. He said I was being nitpicky like the pharisees. At first I thought he just didn't see it. God took these things seriously. After all, we were talking blasphemy. If I had crossed the line then I had crossed it. But my dad's suggestion began a thought process that made it clear to me just how far off I was in my thinking. My conception of how salvation worked was almost like grace was easy to receive on the way in, but God wanted to weed people out. (The dark side of Arminianism.) I hadn't been very aware that that was how I thought until this point. And I could see something was screwy.
Now I ran into the warning passages in Hebrews. This took less imagination. Hadn't I sinned wilfully at some point? Just decided, "Yeah, that's sin. And I'm doing it anyway!" Oops. I was done for.
After a little over a year of Calvary Chapel, I was exposed to Calvinism. My brother let me borrow some books, and point by point, I converted. I had a new problem, though. If Calvinism was true, then how did I know if I had ever been a Christian? My experience with the Unpardonable Sin question had gotten me to question the reality of my entire Christian experience, since much of the sense of God's presence came after whenever I imagined I committed the sin. Once you are able to question experience, it ceases to be self-authenticating. So as a new Calvinist, I couldn't get the practical syllogism to work. I couldn't count past experience. And my present state was fairly bitter. It didn't look like sanctification to me.
Thankfully, I ran into some Lutherans. Dr. Charles Manske headed the Lutheran Campus Ministry at UCI, where I was a student. They advertised that they would be showing Francis Schaeffer's "How Shall We Then Live" film series. I showed up. There was perhaps one or two other students, Dr. Manske, and a woman volunteer. They showed the first two segments, and had a discussion. There was mention of the distinction between Law and Gospel. Hmmm. I came back the next week. Rod Rosenbladt was invited in to host. He got to lead discussion on the Renaissance and Reformation segments. He pointed out Schaeffer's talk of receiving salvation freely with the empty hand of faith. I knew this was solid, and that it was not what I had been hearing enough of at Calvary Chapel.
I started doing a lot of theological reading at the UCI library. They had a fine theology section. I read tracts from the sixteenth century about how Sunday is no Sabbath. I read in Calvin's Institutes. I read in Luther's works. I grazed everything.
One thing I distinctly remember was reading Luther on Monastic Vows. In addition to the Unpardonable Sin obsession, I had gotten into a quandry over whether I had made certain promises to God or not. If a vow was a vow, I was bound to keep one if I had made one. But what if I had been unclear about this? To some, this sounds very odd. But as an evangelical, the line between talking to oneself and praying was rather thin. It got to where I felt bound to do anything I had made a resolution to do. This got to be burdensome. Luther's tract gave me another perspective. God had a plan for human life. He invented it. He wanted it to have a structure. And my vows were not to get in the way of that structure. That was to put too much power into my hands. This was very liberating.
Luther's theology really was a Copernican revolution for me. What looked like a laundry list of questions that needed solutions began to dissolve. Just getting a few categories in place tended to make so much confusion disappear. Before discovering it I thought I would be some smorgasborg Christian who would have to say something like, "I'm a charismatic covenantal Calvinist with a Lutheran view of the Law and a dispensational view of the End Times." This proved false. A coherent theology makes that unnecessary.
Looking back, I think that a lot of what I was struggling with may have been emotionally motivated. But I didn't have a very good vocabulary for that. The one thing I'm happy about, however, is that the experience drove me to clear out the bad theology that made me so vulnerable to these questions. Granted, I probably had a temperamental predisposition to this. But that is a bit one-sided of a view. I have an innate optimism that tends eventually to overcome anxiety in most cases. Part of this problem stemmed from the shape of the faith I had been given. It might have been comforting for those who find inner experience to be unquestionable, but I was not blessed or cursed to be one of those people. I was forced to clear out the areas where my obsessiveness was given a free ride by my faith. As terrible as a few years were working this out, long term, it has given me something I can much better live with.
The distinction between Law and Gospel is really what was missing all along. Law is stated categorically. And when we don't notice that Law tends to be stated as if there were no Gospel hope, we haven't understood the Law. Or the Gospel. The Gospel on the other hand is stated so categorically, it looks as if the Law were an easy matter to solve. This is not a simle matter of "In which category do I best fit?" The answer is both of them. One curses you and the other removes the curse. On the Last Day, idle words that had been forgotten by the speaker will send people to hell, and great blasphemies will be forgiven. I do believe that the warning in Matthew probably speaks to a real spiritual condition. The pharisees that Jesus warned may have said something of a nature that the Holy Spirit would no longer work conviction within them. But I am also convinced that if someone wishes to be forgiven, the Holy Spirit has worked that, and their sin can be forgiven. In The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, C.F.W. Walther gives a good account of why the Sin Against the Holy Ghost is not unforgivable on account of its magnitude. If people are left unforgiven in the end, it is because they died unrepentant. Perhaps they did something to cause that condition. But nobody who feels the burden of the Law here need remain under that burden.
12:36 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 11 comments ]
Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
I've been invited by David Wayne (A PCA pastor, and like me, a fan of the 1938 "Adventures of Robin Hood" with Errol Flynn) to participate in WorldMag's new Theologica blog. I've posted my bio and been added to their sidebar.
Thanks to Jeremy Abel first for suggesting they get a Lutheran and then for suggesting me.
This particular blogging community has some interests that I think will be very worth pursuing. One that is listed is the Federal Vision theology. I have little exposure to this, but am interested in learning more about it. It sounds like an older Calvinistic church culture, but mixed with New Perspective on Paul material. But that's probably a hasty generalization based upon a first impression. It remains to be seen exactly what it is.
3:48 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 5 comments ]
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
In a move that surprised all speculators, President Bush nominated Henrietta Mears to fill the vacancy left by Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation. Media sources say that their mistake was to assume that his list only included those who had visited him at Camp David. But President Bush had visited Mears at her own camp, Forest Home.
When questioned about his appointment, Bush said that what the court needed was an outsider. "Too many people are bored with the law. How many Americans actually watch C-Span? I chose Henrietta because she believes it is a sin to bore people."
James Dobson was quick to support Bush's choice. "I didn't even know Henrietta was still alive. If I had known that, you could be sure I would have had her on my radio show. But I support any choice that will have this much appeal to our youth."
Meanwhile, feminist spokeswoman Patricia Ireland was not so sanguine. "Those hats she wears will set back women's progress several decades. At this rate, it will be another two decades until we reach the sixties. And we'll be landing on the moon again. This is a concerted effort by the Bush administration to turn back the clock. No doubt his next plan is to deny retiring women their social security benefits by claiming it's 1948 and they won't be collecting for a long time....I wonder if they will let me wear gogo boots in the nursing home."
Bush has also been accused of croneyism, especially given the fact that he attended one of Mears's camps as a boy. Bush rejected that interpretation. "Ms. Mears has a sharp legal mind. I chose her for her ability to make fundamental distinctions. Why, when I was at camp, mixed bathing was absolutely prohibited. What our nation needs is someone who can draw the line."
It remains to be seen whether the senate will vote to confirm Ms. Mears. But if she is confirmed, she will be one of many who have not previously served as judges. When qustioned about the lack of a paper trail, Bush responded, "Her book What the Bible is All About is a long book. I haven't even finished it. And it does have a chapter on the book of Leviticus, which should prove to legal scholars that she is capable of interacting with the Law." Bush added that Ms. Mears' originalist reading of the Bible is a good sign that she will follow the same principles in interpreting the Constitution.
10:25 am Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 4 comments ]
Saturday, October 1st, 2005
A friend's posting a few weeks ago on Volume 11 angered me the more I thought about it. Not at the post, but at the occasion of the post. The quote from the Daily News was:
While a videotaped threat against Los Angeles was ominous, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton said today said there were no specific credible threats against Los Angeles and the goal was only to spread fear.
I agree with Volume 11. In what kind of a world do they think we live that this is not a credible threat? Do we have to find direct physical evidence before we believe there is a will to harm our city?
But that is not my deepest cause of anger. My deepest cause of anger is that there are no city officials whose job it is to protect the city against such a threat. Yes, there are policemen. Yes, there are probably contingency plans. Perhaps good ones. But our defense is considered a national matter. That is no doubt appropriate to a point. But I think there needs to be some kind of a local response as well.
CPA's Three Hierarchies blog derives its title and inspiration from a Luther quote. And the Luther quote finds its source in Psalm 127.
Except the LORD build the house,
They labor in vain that build it:
Except the LORD keep the city,
The watchman waketh but in vain.
The part about the watchman is what I would like to focus on. The watchman is the concrete expression of a government duty. This is force that the public has commissioned for the safety of the populace.
What I want to focus on is that it is the city that is the paradigm case in the Psalm. Not the nation. The city. And it is a watchman, not the government in its other roles, that receives the attention. If this passage is a paradigm of a properly ordered society, then it makes sense that whatever adaptations and embellishments we may add to this as society becomes more complex, we would still see this role fulfilled somehow. Our own government was designed for a certain scale of population, and a certain understanding of from whence a threat could arise. Many of these assumptions are outdated, while certain ancient ones prove again relevant. The Catholics have a doctrine of subsidiarity that states that you should not have a function performed by a higher level of government that could be performed as well by a lower level. Whether or not a city is in the best position to perform all acts in its defense, a certain number of responsibilities should never be delegated. It should be able to ensure its survival whether or not the State or Federal levels wish to help it to that end or take threats against it seriously.
But instead of having a watchman for the city, we have a kind of overseer who fears an upset populace more than the threat that causes the upset. This is not a good thing.
I would feel much better if we had some kind of a city leader who made his own credible threat back to those on the videotape. I discussed this with a good friend a couple weeks ago, and the discussion went into a problem-solving "How could we do this?" mode. But that wasn't really my chief concern, as much as it interests me. My first concern is that nobody seems conscious of the problem we have when no elected official from Los Angeles feels compelled to give reasons, verbal or physical, to those who made the threats.
If they made good enough threats, I'm sure the threateners would feel compelled to choose another city. "But how does that solve anything?" It solves something for Los Angeles. And any other city on down the list with the same will to survive. Any city without that will can serve as an example of the danger of electing on the basis of lesser priorities. Life and death are the primary categories here.
Some will wonder how I got this from Psalm 127. Aren't we supposed to be trusting God here? Yes. Ultimately. Even if Los Angeles gets nuked, Our LORD has the power to resurrect people from the dead. But in the meantime, I still think watchmen are his intended means to keep the peace. They are not supposed to be in the business of ignoring threats. They are to make it possible for us to pursue our lives in peace. If they cannot do that, then perhaps their office is unnecessary in the first place.
1:40 pm Pacific Standard Time
[ posted by Rick Ritchie | 10 comments ]