23 December 2005

Hallelujah, He has come!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6-7).”

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS (Matthew 1:18-25).”

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:14).”

Merry Christmas from the Militant Pacifist!

22 December 2005

The Religion of the State

Wow! Can he really say that? To read an agnostic's analysis of how recent attempts to discredit "intelligent design" reveal the government's claim to "godhood," - click on the link in the posting title above.

13 December 2005

Death Penalty – For, or Against?

As far back as the Militant Pacifist can remember, he has supported the “death penalty.” As he considers his thought, the Militant Pacifist has (in his "memorable memory") always supposed that the “death penalty” was the appropriate penalty in cases where what was taken could not be “restituted” (e.g., murder and rape). The recent high-profile execution of Crips founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams demands that the Militant Pacifist reconsider his position.

Previously, as he has pondered the death penalty, the Militant Pacifist has always approached the matter in a philosophically idealistic manner (i.e., he has assumed a righteous state mandating punitive action against an evil law-breaker).

But the Militant Pacifist exists “existentially” in the “real world!”

What if reality is not “philosophically idealistic” at all? What if the state under consideration is a kind of modern “Sodom?” What if the state under consideration has sanctioned (and continues to sanction) the killing of millions of innocents? What if the state under consideration has sent its citizens on foreign military adventures in which thousands (perhaps millions) of human lives have been squandered under such pretexts such as “saving the world from communism,” or “defending our freedom” or “fighting a war on drugs,” or “fighting a war against terrorism?” What if the state under consideration has stolen (at gun-point) the hard-earned money of its citizens to do immoral, unwise, and wicked things? What if, rather than a “philosophically idealistic” state, the state that is to administer the “death penalty” is the wretched, sodom-like state described in the sentences above? What if the state under consideration is wicked, wicked, wicked.

Should the Militant Pacifist existentially “support” the death penalty when it is to be administered by such an immoral entity?

The Militant Pacifist confesses to a philosophical quandary – but he is leaning towards “carte-blanche” opposition to the death penalty in the United States of America (i.e., 21st century Sodom) - though he may maintain a theoretical (logical) support for the notion (the Militant Pacifist acknowledges that the "argument" above is not a logical but an emotional argument).

If you have wisdom to share with the Militant Pacifist – please comment!

08 December 2005

On the Virtues of a Sharpened Axe

The Militant Pacifist stayed home today. The icy roads in the DFW metroplex resulted in a 2.5 hour commute home yesterday evening (past many ditched SUVs), so wisdom prevailed and the Militant Pacifist "worked from home."

In the afternoon, the Militant Pacifist retreived his axe "blondie," for a little personal interaction (its been sooo long baby). What a joy! How did I ever let this slide? There's definitely something other-wordly about a sleek axe, a cranked amp, and blues licks!

Hey hey, my my - thank God for rock-n-roll. (Yea, that's my axe)!

Bad Influence

The Militant Pacifist needs to curb his enthusiasm for pointing out the obivious (i.e., the severe case of LIS* suffered by the current el presidente of the United States of America). The Militant Pacifist realized this recently when he came across the following essay - written by the Militant Pacifist's daughter to fulfill a requirement of her English Grammar class.

My family likes freedom but not George Bush. Mostly my daddy
doesn't like him. Daddy is happy that we are free to worship as we please
but Mr. Bush and him don't get along. He prays for Mr. Bush since the
bible says that we should pray for the people in power over us and for our
enemies. One reason that my daddy doesn't like George Bush is that he
started an unnecessary war. George Bush's men killed dozens of people and
thousands of military men were killed in the process. Here's my
conclusion, my daddy does not like George Bush!

* LIS - Low IQ Syndrome

07 December 2005

Christianity - Revealed Religion

The Militant Pacifist receives periodic criticism for linking to other articles / rants rather than writing his own (if you are one of those who have offered this criticism – thank you for visiting my blog!). In his defense, the Militant Pacifist must say that he has very limited “blogging” time, and he believes (in general) that others do a better job.

That said, here goes…

The epistemological quandary raised when one embraces a doctrine of total human fallen-ness (depravity) is monumental. The noetic effects of the fall are rarely discussed and clearly underappreciated by the mass of professing Christians (even by those who claim the moniker “reformed”).

Clearly, the laws of logic are unaffected by the fall. The laws of contradiction, identity, and excluded middle exist above and apart from humanity and reflect the very working of the mind of God.

Though logic is uncompromised, the ability of humanity to think (reason) properly has been thoroughly compromised by the fall.

The corruption of the fall has so damaged and defaced humanity that it is now considered “natural” that men die (after all, isn’t that the course of nature). This physical consequence of the fall (death) is amplified in the unseen dimension of human consciousness, perception and reason. These human faculties are now fundamentally unsound (partially dead) because of the taint of original sin.

Either Descartes did not understand this, or he did not believe it. Not understanding / believing it, he had confidence in the soundness of his own ability to properly reason. He never realized he was performing metaphysical surgery with tainted (fallen) instruments. Therefore, from the Christian perspective, cogito ergo sum is extremely suspect (as is the entirety of the Enlightenment project).

If your mind is corrupt (fallen) because of the fall – where are you left? Use your fallen mind and think! You are left in a state of extreme uncertainty. You are left wondering – what is real? Am I thinking rightly (even now)? If I can’t trust my own mind, what can I trust? Do those I respect and love really have a grasp of truth? What is truth anyway? Why is it that? I’ve only been here a few years – and I’m on my way out now – how can I figure this all out?

How depressing! How disconcerting! Is there any solution to all of this?

The Christian affirmation is that there is. There is a solution! The solution is found in the Christian doctrine of Divine Revelation. The Christian doctrine of Divine Revelation teaches that God Himself has revealed truth to men in the very person of His Son. Via the incarnation God Himself has entered the human sphere - a sphere filled with fallen creatures – and because He is the maker of humans He has communicated propositions understandable (even in their fallen-ness) to them.

His word (λογος) to men, is His son - Jesus Christ – and everyone that God reveals Him to can understand this Word.

Bow before him!

06 December 2005

Second Thoughts and Moral Culpability

All wise men (except the God-man) were once not (wise). It is a great mercy of Almighty God that He enables proud men to change their minds - but consequences always follow. To read an interesting analysis of the pro-war ship jumping that has escalated recently, click on the link in the posting title above.

02 December 2005

Signs of Empire

The truth is not what you want it to be. What you want does not affect the truth. Truth is truth, whether you like it or not. The experiment is winding down. The experiment is almost over. Click on the posting title above.

01 December 2005

Dostoevsky Didn't Say It

The best novel that The Militant Pacifist has ever read (bar none) is the existential masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Mikhail Dostoevsky. If you've never read this book, The Militant Pacifist recommends that you get it and move it to the top of your stack!

The Militant Pacifist is such a fan of the work that as a part of his graduate studies he read The Grand Inquisitor (a novella/poem within The Brothers Karamazov) through the philosophical lenses of various philosopher's and rhetoricians (e.g., Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Paul DeMann) and wrote analytical essays on the various readings.

The Militant Pacifist is well aware of the quotation frequently attributed to Doestoevsky's novel - "If there is no God, all is permitted."

Having read the novel deeply, the Militant Pacifist was motivated to locate such a lively quotation - but alas - even with hours and hours of pouring over the text in search of the quotation, The Militant Pacifist was never able to locate it in Constance Garnett's English text (and unfortunately, The Militant Pacifist cannot read Russian).

Certainly, the idea contained in the quotation is found in the novel - but the precise source of the quotation remains elusive. How interesting then (to The Militant Pacifist) to find that someone else on the planet has experienced this difficulty.

You can read a deeper analysis of this (scholarly) problem by clicking on the posting title above.