Chronicles of Diversity


The Audacity of Reality
October 25, 2006, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

25 October 2006; Volume 8, Issue 31

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf

The Audacity of Reality: A Path to Make Hope Happen.

For those of you familiar with the recent book by Barack Obama, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,” you will notice some similarities between the book title and the title of this week’s commentary. I have not read Barack’s book, so anything in this piece that takes the Senator’s book to task, or gives it high marks is merely coincidence.

I do think the title to Audacity of Hope is outstanding, but I just don’t think the senator’s “Thoughts on reclaiming the American Dream,” has much real traction. What this country and the world needs is not thoughtful dreams about hope, but concrete methods to make hope happen. As I wrote last year, Hope is always in the middle (http://www.wondersprings.com/2005pdffiles/hopeinmiddle7-20-5.pdf). What is really needed in the world is not Audacious hope, but audacious completion. Notice I said world, I just don’t want to say America, the problem is much greater than any American hope problem, it is a world hope problem that need some solutions.

In a Post Modern, self relativistic world, the concept seems to be, ”If we just give people hope, then all the good forces of karma, or positive thinking, or self esteem, will bring this into reality and the person will live happily ever after (and I can continue to do my thing and feel smug in my delusive concern for others.)”

For those of us who haven’t been so blessed with the ability of self realization, we are looked upon as “lacking faith, morally inept, just plain losers.” But what the self adept fail to realize is that they had help. When we are talking about economics, we are talking about people with access to capital. You can only carry yourself so far and then you must find someone to help you to that next level. While I have used economics briefly here, that is true in any type of personal achievement. That person may be a business mentor, a coach, a parent, or just someone you met sort of by happenstance.

Primarily however, hope becomes real through leadership. The job, calling, and mandate of leadership is to make hope happen in reality. The fundamental principle of that empowering is not your degrees, money, contacts, or political power. The fundamental principle of leadership is your understanding of reality. We have lost our way because reality has been dumbed down to the point that it is subjectively relative to the individual. There we must begin the rebuilding process.

All politics have lost their sense of reality. As a consequence America is basically without leadership, ergo there goes the rest of the world.

This week we will start with the Democrats. They don’t seem to like anyone very much. Since the election of George W. Bush, the Democratic Party’s mainstream has died of drought. But don’t they ever get tired of bashing everything the Republicans propose? I mean only the true Republicans seem to think that they are the only sinless Americans, especially if that description comes from a self righteous, far left liberal.

The illusion of sinlessness (except for, or in spite of former Congressman Foley) by itself should be grounds to throw the bums out of the majority. With that change of power however, is required the need for an agenda, hopefully well beyond acting like mommy is taking your pacifier and you are going to snivel, cry, moan, and carry on until mommy gives it back.

So back to the Republicans, without fault or blemish. The religious right is doubly right in their own eyes, hence they, not Jesus Christ are the saviors of the world. Well, maybe I need to be a little more graceful. Let’s see they have appointed themselves the moral changers for the Halls of Congress. Couple them with the free market libertarians who really are the money changers for the conservative side of Congress and again reality has departed from the political spectrum.

What we need in this country is not who’s right and left, who’s right and wrong, what we need in this country and around the world are leaders who can at least somewhat understand reality. Really, reality is the first step.

Then the conversation proceeds somewhat like the following, “Well that’s OK for you to say in your worldview, but my worldview is different than yours! Your worldview means reality is centered around the God of the Bible, mine is based upon my understanding evolution. You are an idiot to believe that the world is only six thousand four hundred years old, when the old fossils say differently.”

I was actually told the six thousand four hundred years situation last week, but the point is, by what basis can so called rational people begin to agree on reality?

Well, I might propose that five days in the wild wilderness, alone with just the clothes on your back and 10 pounds of gear to take with you. With that amount of gear, some training, and with the proper view of reality you should be able to survive somewhat comfortably in all but winter extremes. Even with the perfect gear, and knowledge of how to use it, without the proper understanding of this current reality, you might be eliminated from the gene pool in the first night.

Same five days, you and five companions set out to row a Yorkie Batteau about 50 miles, camping along the way. A Yorkie Batteau is a 20 foot rowboat descended from the first Scottish and French boats to come to North America in the 17th and 18th century and served as river and lake transport until the coming of steam vessels. The refined development of this small craft have given us today, the dory and the river drift boat. The most famous of these is the York boat of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Yorkie is about half the York boat’s length and about half the crew.

This trip with pretty much modern equipment is designed to teach basic leaderships skills again in the natural world. Your boat will be in a flotilla of 5 or 6 other boats with rotating group leadership. The goal is for all of you to finish the course, and to make the trip enjoyable for all parties to the extent possible. That enjoyment pretty much will again rest upon your understanding of your current reality and your sense of humor.

Again five days for the old and aging duffers, completely independent of natural age. A nice bed in a somewhat modest log home. A bath down the hall, meals in an adjacent community center. This chalet is located on a hobby farm where you can get a taste of farm life without getting in the way of any serious farm production. Most of your time is free to work in the garden or other tasks, wander the fields and woods, watch the birds and wildlife, maybe go fishing in the local pond, or try your hand in a nearby lake or that reservoir the leadership class is trying to navigate. Some might even enjoy a trip to do the local antique shops, thrift stores, and tourist traps.

No matter what your background or age, all of these will give you an altered sense of the reality of nature or creation. You may differ with those you meet and learn to cherish (or tolerate) on this journey, but you all have shared a reality truly beyond your ability to comprehend in a short time period.

Only creation presents us all with the reality of not only common beauty that all can see and enjoy, but also a reality of common natural law, which demonstrates itself differently in the three scenarios described above. This reality perception is unlimited by the complexity of the human personality, its education and training, and its willingness to learn new things. Creation unites people like no man designed program can accomplish. All man can do is set up some situations and get out of the way.

That is true whether you believed that you evolved from an amoeba several billion years ago, or whether you believe that God created everything on the evening of October 23rd, 6010 years ago. Notice that both of these worldviews are dependent upon your education. or brainwashing in the case of the other guy. However, none of them trump the reality of creation or nature, and none of your training overrides your bonds to the rest of humanity. Whether that humanity being the slow evolution of humanity over time, or the creation of an infinite God of mankind in His image. We are all on this incredible ball together, taking part in something called a lifetime, whether that be a few years or a century.

This reality is the basis of which I am now calling a Rural Institute. The three scenarios plus a number of others will be run out of this headquarters. In the last few weeks I have come to believe that this should be a farm, with a focus on being somewhat self sustaining so as to be able to feed and care for more people in the case of some stupendous change, either human or natural that may occur in this country.

Over my pilgrimage I have talked with a number of rural people at various times about a current vision for such a facility. I would say that without exception all have agreed with me in at least the need to allow people to slow down and smell the roses, get really dirty, and maybe even to perspire. Many have added greatly to my understanding of our collective human nature.

Today fear has a lot to do with what remains of western culture, both rural and urban. That fear of impending severe trouble is now beginning to be seen in some of my more astute friends. What we are also seeing however, is a sickness of not wanting to face the true reality of the present world. Hope has disappeared because the means to achieve it has vanished.

The truth of the matter is that the Audacity of Hope might be a beginning, but without the real reality to carry it through places, stuff, and things, hope only adds to delusional behavior. Getting America back in touch with creation, natural law and common grace, is the only absolute reality that exists outside our relativistic presuppositions.

As I have said in earlier writings, the true power of Islam does not come alone from its evil nature, it also comes from its worldview of this world as a desert you have to cross to get to the oasis Paradise on the other side. That is just the application of extreme natural law, of the land of Islam’s birth. We in western culture just don’t get it because to us, changing the world through discussions over a spot of afternoon tea, is the way the world really is supposed to work. To think otherwise would be uncivilized, my goodness!

Given the choice I personally would rather become accustomed to existing with that 10 pounds of survival gear than bow to Islamic conversion principles. That is a decision but by the grace of God we may not have to make, but it starts with the fact that afternoon tea, or a pizza party is not going to change human nature, only God’s grace (common and specific) does that.

This Rural Institute requires an irrigation project to bring it into existence. Not tapping the water running from the mountains to irrigate its crops, but tapping the liquidity of urban financial resources to fund an enterprise that can help to begin to irrigate rural America with the crop of realized hope. That is an audacious plan to bring real reality to a few lonely pioneers, who understand the reality of creation, the temporal nature of life, and the common humanity of the human species. These are absolutes by which all culture must function to be sustainable. Very basic absolutes, which post modern culture has discarded.

I personally believe that rural America, it’s people and natural created environment, are the greatest opportunity for continued economic prosperity of this country. That however is a different article. Fundamentally for anything positive to happen in this country, or even in the world, we must begin to look at reality as it is, not as we wish it to be. That must start, as it has over all the time of human existence, not in the university or the halls of government, but out of the absolutes of the dust of the ground, or the ooze of the pond, making us into a people with a destiny.

I can buy a 200 acre farm in NE Washington State for a million bucks. There are other farms in other locations that could be used for this rural institute. You can’t make payments on a million dollar asset with the income you can derive from farming. The goal is not to make it pay for itself by farming the people that you can bring in either, but to train them as members, of a new American infrastructure. A million dollars will not buy a commercial lot in Seattle or Bellevue anymore. That’s probably why you can’t buy a working farm and make it pay for itself, but again that is a different essay.

This million dollars is an investment in human infrastructure. Human infrastructure with their feet on the ground, facing an unsure future. It will take more money to make it truly work, but that is what the future is all about. Within our current world situation, I can not punch the numbers into my financial calculator and get a positive ROI. I suppose in a less fractured world, infrastructure development is supposed to be the place of government. With the chance of our new legislative bodies being more polarized, they more than anyone need an infusion of natural reality.

This farm is different to me than other farms however, this is where my grandfather lived and raised most of his family from sometime in the 1930’s to perhaps the early 1950’s. I don’t know the dates for sure, but I could find out. I don’t recall the place, I have some recollection of an old house, but I don’t know if that is true reality or not. What I do have is a picture of me there, as probably a terrible two year old sitting on Old Duke, the family horse. What this means to investors, and more importantly probably to God, is if things get really difficult I will not cut and run.

If I could buy the place and fund it until I could write enough grants and other proposals to retire the debt I surely would, but that is not possible, I do not have those financial resources. It is my calling to create this type of enterprise, and to develop a team of reality builders, each contributing what they can, some money, some time and talent. The first step is to secure initial (cheap or free) financing, which will allow us to begin to raise the grant money and to begin to train those first leaders in the natural law and common grace of the audacity of reality.

At this time I simply ask for your help to the extent by which you desire to again live in a world that is based on the audacity of reality. That hope is as hard core as it gets around here.

Our Recent Chronicles:

Building sanctification, Part I; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctI8-9-6.pdf
Building sanctification, Part II; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctII8-16-6.pdf
Welcome shade; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/welcomshade8-23-6.pdf
No Safe Egypt; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/nosafeegypt9-20-6.pdf
Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf
Beyond the good;PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf
What’s up? PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf

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What’s up!
October 18, 2006, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

18 October 2006; Volume 8, Issue 30

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf

So what’s up, that seems to make your today?

Well, I read earlier this week that again another Muslim leader told is fellow followers of Mohammed that they should leave the United States because during the Holy Month of Ramadan terrorists attacks will be carried out on US soil. Ramadan this year begins on October 23 and continues to November 22. What’s up, in this case seems to center pretty much around the American elections, all not good news. I wonder if the attacks will come before or after we go to the polls, or if the attacks will come at all?

What’s up in this country of basically good people of all faiths, that we might even be having thoughts of such nightmares? I mean, after all, the crusades were a thousand years ago.

For some historical context, how about the fact, the Middle East as we see by the lines on the map, really didn’t exist before the close of World War I. France, England, and to a lesser degree we Americans parceled up these countries to tribal chiefs, without regard to actual and Biblical tribes and nations, but rather on the evolutionary concept of race. I know that is a generality, but did we really care about the long term consequences of these actions?

Then there was the little opportunity of the Balfour Declaration from 1917, which gave Jewish Zionists the right to form communities in Palestine. Just because this would eventually become the state of Israel after WWII, does not mean that a Biblical based country should exist on the shore of the Middle East desert! Especially, if those Jews would turn that worthless ground into an oasis of prosperity and personal freedom. Western civilization where none had existed before, not a good idea to make peace with Isalm.

Oh, the jihadists are also upset by the American invasion of Iraq. I was recovering from my heart surgery, laying on a hospital type bed in my living room as Shock and Awe took place, so I really had little else to do but watch a lot of the coverage. Impressive I must admit. But again we were attempting to change the power structure, on the predating lines on a map, and it was even apparent at the time, that the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunni residents of the area were going to be happy with their western style democracy or else. Well, three and a half years later, the “or else” is a real and present danger.

Thank God my vote only counts once. I have not had a very good success rate in my voting for President. Besides voting for Jimmy Carter, and Bush senior, my two votes for GWB, seem not to be my best insight. At least I have an excuse, we both share GWB initials, very few of the conservative members of the Christian right have that excuse.

How quickly we forget, one of the reasons that Dubya is our Commander and Chief, is that the illustrious Democratic Party ran a self inflicted war hero, and a mediocre senator and now famous save the earth documentary film producer. I guess I don’t really know how that salvation is supposed to work, I haven’t seen the film. Saving the world by controlling green house gases, that is surely something we can carry out, if we all work together and have good thoughts.

Too bad some of us have a different definition of what saving the earth is all about.

I will have to admit, I did have some reservations about my vote for George, I thought he lacked discernment, just like most of the rest of the religious right. True to form he is definitely passionate in his beliefs, and to that end I guess he still has not made any mistakes in the very hard work that his administration is carrying out. As a consequence, it looks like the political party that hasn’t had a positive idea at least in this century, may again, take control of the Congress of the United States.

Well, should George have fired Donald Rumsfeld? The book by Bob Woodward seems to think so. Would that have solved the problem? I think not, perhaps the more important question may be should Rumsfeld have been appointed Secretary of Defense in the first place? All water down the road, and the wash out, we will have to deal with for a generation of more down the road. Should those radical Islamists set off the seven bombs in our homeland in the next month, the problems will last much longer.

Books, and other writings, sometimes should be read more widely. As was pointed out to me this last week, a book by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson, may have pointed to the major problem of this administration, in the book, “Blinded by the Might.” Here is a quote from the Amazon.com Editorial Review of the book:

“Ed Dobson, who helped draft the Moral Majority platform and served as personal assistant to Jerry Falwell, offers a particularly compelling chapter in which he compares the U.S. to Northern Ireland, where Dobson grew up as a Protestant. ‘We have politicized the gospel with our agendas,’ he writes. ‘To be part of the Christian right is to be part of the Republican party. For some, this means to be a real Christian, you must be a Republican. That is heresy and is only a short distance from the extremism of my Irish counterparts.’”

It just so happens that that bastion of liberal media, CBS also promoted a similar book on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction” by David Kuo was released Monday by Free Press. So you can buy on Amazon this new best seller together with Woodward’s “State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III” for only $32.05. Together they qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping.

According to “60 Minutes”, the White House staff dismisses the leaders of evangelical Christendom as buffoons. Brother Jerry (Falwell), brother Pat (Robertson) and brother Jim (Dobson), could it be that these men of the cloth have forsaken the gospel of Christ crucified, for the power of politics.

If you skim down the current reviews in the Amazon list for “Tempting Faith” you might find the term Mayberry Machiavellis (MM) and a Esquire article. While the article does not currently exist in total that I can find, there is an excerpt that you can locate by doing a internet search for MM, which also includes on the same page a link to and “on the record letter” from John DiIulio, the person who coined the MM term. That letter is worth reading.

Back to what’s up. Last week I wrote about worldviews, that Islam is a worldview unto itself that needs to be recognized, and we of the western culture must be aware of Islam’s worldview agenda. However, how is Islam supposed to be able to discern the difference between the Christian worldview of the so called Christian right and the Christian worldview of the Christian gospel?

Truthfully, probably Isalmists don’t care, unless we convert to their particular sect of Islam, we are all infidels. Consequently, if the bomb or bombs go off we will all have to pay the price. However, bomb or no bomb there are changes in the landscape that we shall all have to cope, should the Lord tarry.

One of the things I have found interesting in an academic sort of way is that the power and money behind the religious right comes from almost exclusively pretribulation rapture enthusiasts, not from the preterist camp. Why if the rapture can happen before Ramadan begins, does it make any difference whether the bomb goes off, or the Republicans win the election, or don’t lose control of the Congress?

The Post mil people should be the real leaders of this movement. I mean if the millennial reign of Jesus Christ is taking place and will take place until the second coming, as the whole world is slowly being converted to Christianity, it seems like a strong political stand would be required now and as time unfolds hence forth. Could it be the Post mil folks, with all their shortcomings, tend to preach another gospel instead? However, this political drive comes from those who know in their heart of hearts, that at any moment they will be one of the billion or so people, not left behind. It just doesn’t seem to compute.

Over the years books have been written, again mostly by pretrib rapture people, explaining why the United States does not seem to be evident as a major player in end of time events. But books aside, they are right, while a lot of the world is mentioned, the world’s current only super power can not be found in the natural eschatology of the last of the last days, before the Day of the Lord. Basically one must assume that the American model ceases to function.

One model for that could be the secret rapture of the church, as the mark of the beginning of the Great Tribulation. However, that is pretty much the circular reasoning evolutionary explanation for the fossil record and the geological column of sediments. By definition the Great Tribulation begins when the church disappears. This does not take into account the possibility of a Mid Trib, or Post Trib rapture, or no literal secret rapture at all. More importantly it shows very obtusely that the Christian life on this earth is supposed to be without trouble once you turn and give your heart to Jesus.

That is just not true, biblically or empirically, by anyone who has lived outside the suburban evangelical bubble. More importantly however than the individual, are the bigger cultural and community applications. A dirty bomb, or a real Richter 9 earthquake, another natural or man made disaster, and your eschatology will quickly be revisited, not just as an individual case, but in the larger stage of the whole Christian community.

What would be the consequences of such a revival of reality? Again the Bible speaks about a great turning away, or great apostasy in the last of the last days. Now if you have lived your whole life in a church were the gospel is really not the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for your sins and raised from the dead for your justification, your whole world and worldview is going to be destroyed in an instant. The parson, no matter his political and economic standing within the community, will quickly come to know, deeply and personally, Paul’s admonition to Timothy about being spiritual leaders.

That could be a good thing. Through out it all we have the promise of Jesus Christ to build His church, persecution and stupendous change is what she can handle like no worldview religion. In fact, as we have stated here before, the power to become all that God wants you to be, does not come by your desire and efforts to be a good person, it comes by simply trusting in the finished work of God through Christ alone by faith. Once you truly live outside your personal religious reason, in that faith promise, you become truly aware of the peace of God’s grace and the natural praise that flows from that total revelation.

When faced with difficult times only Christians can sing praises to their Redeemer simply because the final breath of this life is not all there is, but only the beginning. While countless hymns have been written to express this joy, one comes to mind written by Edward Mote (1797-1874) an English Baptist preacher. When is beloved congregation offered him the title to the church building, he is said to have remarked, “I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.”

May we all live to see that again in Christ’s church, not only American soil, but also all over God’s green earth, no matter what life’s tribulations may bring.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking san
d.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Also available as a weekly email: Please send a comment to subscribe.

Our latest Chronicles:

Building sanctification, Part I; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctI8-9-6.pdf
Building sanctification, Part II; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctII8-16-6.pdf
Welcome shade; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/welcomshade8-23-6.pdf
No Safe Egypt; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/nosafeegypt9-20-6.pdf
Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf
Beyond the good;PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf



Beyond the common good
October 11, 2006, 6:48 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

11 October 2006; Volume 8, Issue 29

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf

In recent years, months, weeks, and days, two related terms are increasingly in the thoughts and conversations of much of western civilization. Those terms are worldview and Islam. I started out to say all thoughts, then most, but then realized that most conversations are exclusively about us, and the present and future stuff to which we link our security.

Most westerners no matter where they may be stationed in the world, are too insecure in their materialistic worldview, to truly look at this present reality. Why can’t the world just live in peace and harmony?  All we really want; that goodness will fill the world. We have been brainwashed that good thoughts, actions, and words will create a good world.

Truthfully, these lofty goals do not come from evolutionary dogma. Perhaps in Dispensationalism, where that fly away mentality saves us from evil might we find some solace, but linking goodness with global materialism seems also distinctively wanting.

The truth about Islam is that jihad is the prescribed conflict by which the whole world will be converted to the religion of Allah. That is, if Allah so wills it to be. If that does not come about, then that is not Allah’s will, but Allah may still bless his warring soldiers chosen to attempt to carry out his perceived jihadist will. Allah only promises paradise to those who die as martyrs in the cause, in which the best things of this world are given to self justified dead heros.

I have been studying the concept of worldviews for a number of years, but it is only recently that I have realized that no matter how you dissect these philosophies, religions, and their implementations in the lives of the individual, the larger community, and culture, Islam has been completely ignored as a distinct worldview in our western intellectual nirvana.

This is made all the more interesting by the fact that over it’s 1400 year history, the soldiers of Mohammed have been a bigger threat to the demise of western culture than all the serious and petty tyrants the post Islamic world has ever known. Hitler, Stalin and others were after all products of western civilization and no matter their evil works, they were still trying to reform or remake western culture within their sick image. Islam is a very different threat.

Contrasted with all the other major worldviews, Islam is the only one without any concept of grace. Allah’s unknowable will is all that is, and he is absolute in that nescience. All other worldviews, except for Christianity, grace is achieved through works, but it is achievable within the worldview paradigm in some absolute goal. Even in pure naturalism, where everything can be explained as having a natural, rational, cause and effect, man’s reason and time are those absolutes.

What this means is the current War on Terror, has little to do with lines on a map and political choice, it has everything to do with the actions within a particular sect of the Moslem faith, all others being infidels in the final outcome. The civil war, as it is now politically correct to call the war in Iraq, is really not civil at all, but just an extension of that final jihad.

I recently read some articles about how both Calvin and Luther viewed the Turks, or the Islamic invaders of their day. Both saw a similarity between the papists (Roman Catholic church) and the Turks. In their view both, must be converted to Protestant Christianity as the Lord Jesus Christ builds His church before His return. Interestingly Calvin found Islam, not Rome as the prime actor in much of the prophetic writings of Daniel and Thessalonians. Perhaps Dispensational writers could find new elysian fields of fame and fortune, redrawing the papacy and the revived Roman Empire of the Great Tribulation in the guise of Iran, or Saudi Wahhabism.

Western culture in a Biblical worldview must be based upon the blessing given to Japheth and his brother Shem by Noah in Genesis 9:24-27. In this regard the Islamic troubles with western culture including Israel, stems from the curse given to Ham and the blessing of God to Abraham’s son Isaac, but withheld from Ishmael.

Call it common grace, but western culture, throughout its history, and especially in our day, really can not comprehend the concept of evil. The common good is really the essence of western culture. Just as this good cannot be understood within the  intellectual worldview of Islam, neither can true evil be grasped within the intellectual framework of the west, except as a short term aberration.

Democrats, Republicans, Christians, atheists, Jews and even western Moslems are infected with this disease of maybe not love, but at least peaceful coexistence.  Bigots of all shades and descriptions come and go, but even in their self centered view of right, right exists as a good thing for them and their followers, this is if they have any converts.

Modern Christianity is really a western phenomena. Even in its worldwide influence it has been promoted and financed by western culture, and heavily by the United States. This does not mean that the United States was founded nor has ever been, or ever will be a Christian theocracy. However, for lack of a better term theocracy is the basis of all of Islamic society. Human theocracies don’t have to be good, because by definition they are right (meaning not wrong). Secular society allows for a diversity of goodness, hence using genetic terms, goodness can be bred or hybrid, and is not subject to man’s limitations, but the Biblical God’s grace toward all humanity.

Do you know of someone who doesn’t want to be a good person? There may be a few in western society, but goodness in the west is pretty much synonymous with normal. However this goodness in the short term, no matter how benevolent it might be is not and will not be a counter force in the march of Islam. In fact, tolerance and goodness, are looked upon as weaknesses by Islam, only accentuating their resolve and determination to eliminate that weakness by forced conversion to a disciple of Mohammed.

That goodness however, is over the long term more powerful than hate and evil. Maybe just because it is more energy efficient. Hate takes an incredible amount of energy to indoctrinate and to stay focused, and after all most people are basically lazy. The west has the laws of entropy on it’s side.

Discipline however, is not one of the west’s strong suits, to keep it up we need more than just the hope of the wide screen TV to get up and fight the battle everyday. Materialism is only capable of feeding our desires of life, but is unable to deal with life’s true reality. Why am I here and what am I to do? The true great questions of mankind are not capable of being addressed by the great trade deficit from China.

What about the nuclear attack, or the hurricane, or the earthquake, or the cancer, or the car wreck, or the —? Some material stuff is useful here, but most just gets in the way.

The common goodness of the west’s blessed people will help prepare the way for the doom of Islam, but it will come with an externally applied discipline, and without true moral absolutes most so called good people can be just as evil as the self appeasing jihadist. However, common western goodness, is part of the blessing given to a people by the God of the Bible, not the god of the Prophet Mohammed. That common goodness is evident in the catastrophic, or as I call it the stupendous  change event.

There is also a remnant of a deeper kind of goodness however. That is a goodness not of universal blessing, but of a specific act of God’s will, performed by God on the behalf of all evil men. Even those who are so evil that they compare themselves naturally on a par with God himself, are the beneficiary of this grace, by an act of faith. How does this take place? It is a miracle, beyond the nature of the natural or what we call the supernatural.

What can mankind do to receive this gift of holiness. Nothing for it is ultimately a gift of God’s grace alone. Through the gospel of Jesus the Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice on the cross of Calvary 2000 years ago, it was finished. Death and evil were defeated forever. What remains is an intervening period of time where the Bible says, Jesus of Nazareth will build his church and the gates of hell, or the wishes of Islam, or other man made worldly religion will not prevail.

Church building, through the gospel message, is the high calling of mankind. It is not so much done, as lived. For if we do it, then it is not grace at all, but merit in some degree. Both Calvin and Luther would be appalled of the doctrines of men, more worldly and wicked than the papist could ever have dreamed, are part and parcel of modern Protestantism. But they too were but fallen men saved by grace.

Islam will not prevail against the west, just as it has tried and failed over the last 1400 years, not by our armies, though we may write our histories in such fashion, but by the grace of God alone. That does not mean however, that the refining fires and stupendous changes brought about by a religion without a God of grace, will not change perhaps significantly the worldliness of western culture.

What it does mean is that God’s church will emerge from the chaos as the only place of hope and goodness in an evil world. I suppose even Calvin and Luther would call that The Rapture. The times in which we live, using the terminology of  Augustine, will demonstrate to the whole world, not just Islam, that the City of God, is truly unique and different than any city of man.

The Old Testament speaks of the cities of refuge in Israel, those cities were build and maintained on the basis of Mosaic Law. The New Testament gospel City of God is based on the grace and will of the Triune God of Christianity. Hence, the residents of the City of God are there by legal adoption by the city’s creator, not by their works. All this based upon a Biblical worldview where the covenant of grace has always superseded, the requirements of religious observance and piety.

Beyond the common good, is the gospel of the Christian God, nothing more, nothing less. No other worldview has this absolute power associated with it. Not because it is based upon God’s almighty power to create or recreate the world, but on God’s sovereign grace imparted to mankind through Jesus, mankind’s Messiah. Grace takes a little longer, and is infinitely more difficult to understand than shear power, but grace shall prevail, to those God has given the grace of faith alone.

Again the true gospel message is our only hope beyond common goodness, and it shall prevail against all the evil this world desires to bring its way.  Amen.

Our latest Chronicles:

Building; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/building7-26-6.pdf
Walls & ceilings; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/wallsceilings8-2-6.pdf
Building sanctification, Part I; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctI8-9-6.pdf
Building sanctification, Part II; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/buildsanctII8-16-6.pdf
Welcome shade; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/welcomshade8-23-6.pdf
No Safe Egypt; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/nosafeegypt9-20-6.pdf
Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf