I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Various

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Some very important information on North Carolina real estate.

I’m fiddling with Asher’s and Charlotte’s Rubik’s cube this afternoon and had to lookup my cheat sheet. I can solve two thirds of the cube from memory, but that last slice is hard.

I’m a preterist, and I think this number refers to the Herodian high priests leading up to AD 70. However, I still got a kick out of this mask design. In order to buy and sell, you know:

An inspiration to authoritarian leaders and Karens everywhere:

Read this man. He is underappreciated.

Remember the potency of saying “I love you.”

Don’t let the Marxists distract you from the matteringness of Chinese churches. Remember your Psalms.

A word to princes: if you cut off your people, you are cutting off your own hands and feet (Proverbs 14:28). Long live the deplorables, and may God send as many or more church planters to serve them as to serve The City™:

Lots of things are out of kilter right now in the world. We seem to have trouble knowing the purpose of babies, boys and girls, skin pigment, magistrates, corporations, history, the church. You might say this is a dislocation of everyone’s worship and loyalty, and that is true. But there is more to be said.

G. K. Chesterton may not have actually said that “I am” what is wrong with the world, but we can all believe that he might have said it. And it is true. This is especially a dislocation of the evangelical church’s worship and loyalty. It is a principle that judgment begins with God’s house (1 Peter 4:17) and that when a man’s ways please God, his enemies are at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Worship is the best national defense, and you can see the counterexample repeated throughout the book of Judges. Joshua 24:14 springs on us the surprise that our fathers fell into idolatry in Egypt. Now we understand how and why we became slaves in Egypt!

Some thirty years ago now, James Jordan had some helpful things to say about this. He reminds us that wisdom is a precondition for dominion, the church is the real shadow government of the world, and offers some very practical thoughts on how the greater evangelical church has failed and can recover. Peter Leithart has some complementary (and complimentary) thoughts on additional practical things pastors can be doing.

Wilson also reminds us that we have an easy way to identify the sons of Issachar in this moment; did they see it coming? Think about this: happy warrior Wilson has a chapter on fruitfulness in his marriage book, while Tim Keller does not, giving instead a tithe of his book to singleness! Keller might be solid on matters of first importance, but in spite of his winsomeness (rather, because of it) he is not the tip of the spear. Our culture’s center will not hold because Jesus is not at the center. While we are full of gratitude for the gift of our roots, we can’t spend our greatest energy trying to help keep it all together, or be mollifying partners with the culture as men like Keller and Greear do. That failing strategy is partly why we are here now. Instead we remember the antithesis, declaring unapologetically that Jesus is the center. God has fixed a day on which he will judge the world by this man. Hear him!

Written by Scott Moonen

June 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm

That aged well

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Better to be the happy warrior. “Be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling!”

Written by Scott Moonen

June 25, 2020 at 7:52 am

Posted in Christ is Lord

Quantitative tightening

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Thesis: inflationary policy is one way of devouring widows’ houses.

Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’”

Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel the LORD also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’ Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.” (1 Kings 21:17–24 ESV)

Written by Scott Moonen

June 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Christ is Lord

Witness

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If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19:16–21 ESV)

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. . . . Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” (Mark 14:53–58 ESV)

As James Jordan says, AD 70 was a public vindication of Jesus Christ.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 21, 2020 at 3:20 pm

A confusion of terms

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Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

Frederic Bastiat, The Law

Written by Scott Moonen

June 20, 2020 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Quotations

Why beauty matters

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I do remember the source of this video. Thanks to the Theology Pugcast crew for recommending it on the passing, early this year, of Sir Roger Scruton:

Written by Scott Moonen

June 18, 2020 at 8:03 pm

A cruciform foundation

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I have been saving this video for a listen for so long that I can’t remember anymore who recommended it to me. Thank you, whoever you were. Please accept my recommendation:

Written by Scott Moonen

June 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Wiser than God

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The world scoffs at how God’s word makes allowance for any kind of slavery whatsoever. But there are still about half as many slaves now in the United States as there were at the time of the American Civil War.

The world professes to care about black lives, and chides the church for its supposed lack of love. But there are still about half as many black babies murdered annually in the United States [1] [2] as the annual death rate of Hitler’s concentration camps.

To the world, justice is not as important as getting one over on God. Since God’s justice is perfect and complete, this is a bigger and more pressing problem for the world than it realizes. God has no case to answer for either his justice (Romans 1–2) or his love (Romans 5).

In God and his law, we finally have a proper foundation that allows us to talk about all kinds of things, including police and prison reform; red and yellow, black and white; quantitative easing; just war; and so much more. There are six things Yahweh hates, seven that are an abomination to him; and one that never entered into his mind.

We may even discover that God’s law is more freeing than man’s.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Commentary, Miscellany

Principalities and powers

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C. S. Lewis’s book, That Hideous Strength, describes a cosmic battle between good and evil played out on the stage of a small British college, with a revived Merlin thrown in for good measure. In Lewis’s story, demonic powers have enthralled many men and women through their various vices. These have been organized in a seemingly good and helpful way, but with the ultimate goal of overpowering and destroying all that is good, true, and beautiful, including and especially the church. The book is an extraordinarily prophetic picture of our time, but it is obscure, and thus underappreciated.

You can see this process at work in how corporate America and our media, including social media, have largely responded to the two great crises of 2020. We see messages being proclaimed that are a combination of true things that the church is normally eager to affirm and protect; yet mixed together with great falsehoods, inconsistencies, and unbelief; and then leveraged with powerful social appeal and pressure.

We love to affirm and preserve and cultivate God’s gifts of life and health, but we refuse loudly to accept that Jesus’s worship is a disposable accessory to modern life. Rather, the church and her worship are the very wellspring of the world’s life. We love to affirm and treasure the image of God in all men and their equal standing before God; but we refuse loudly to accept that human rivalries and pride and history are simplistic; in particular, that the rank evil of abortion can be factored out of the equation; or that men and women can experience any enduring healing, unity, peace, or joy apart from Jesus. (As usual, Doug Wilson has outstanding thoughts on this.) Enduring brotherhood requires a sacrifice for sin, and until we look to Jesus as that sacrifice, we are going to keep on sacrificing one another. The current moment is proof of that demonic cycle.

This does not mean that we cannot have a fruitful public discussion about foolishness, sin, crime, and the lines between them. But it does mean that apart from Jesus and his objective word, this discussion will be hopelessly subjective and muddy. Even the best intentions will lead men to grave mistakes without the proper foundation.

If principalities and powers lie behind an unholy alliance in the world, then we know that they have the goal of enslaving humanity and destroying God’s church. Zeitgeistheim is a prison. It has been amazing this year to watch the emails and tweets of corporate America as they line up for their daily serving of gruel. But the church despises the world’s approval, knowing that whoever is not for Jesus is against him. We cannot have common cause with this world, or even common language: in Jesus, even these words like unity, peace, love, righteousness, justice, and equality take on different meanings than the world perversely assigns to them. But we do warmly and urgently invite the world to experience the unity, peace, and joy that can only be found by coming to Jesus. In coming to Jesus, we repent of our sins and receive genuine, enduring justification for them. But we also repent of the thought that we had anything virtuous in ourselves to commend us to God or to one another.

What is the cash value to our people in recognizing that the current battles are not battles with flesh and blood? First, it gives us insight into Satan’s moda operandi: he seeks to sow suspicion and division, stir up our various lusts, and distract us from simple faithful living; he wants to get our “trust” and “obey” out of order. Second, when the force of this is turned against the church, as it will be, it equips us so that we will not be surprised “that the world hates you,” or surprised “at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you.” Rather, we will “count it all joy.” Third, it spares us from the regret we will experience at that time for having entertained the principalities and powers rather than withstanding them. Fourth, it reminds us that their end will be to bite and devour one another, which gives us both a hope of victory but also a warning of the dangers of dallying with the spirit of the age. Fifth, it directs us to the primary way to wage such battles: the spiritual warfare of worship and prayer in the common life of the church. Sixth, it renders us immune to the world’s attempts at guilt manipulation: our justification is secure in Jesus. Finally, it equips and reminds us to minister the one gift that the world needs: true justification in Jesus from all guilt and sin.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 6, 2020 at 7:34 am

Social justification

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Every time a like flies across the screen, a soul from purgatory springs!

Written by Scott Moonen

June 3, 2020 at 8:26 am

Posted in Current events