Sunday, May 22, 2005


Christian Left can't convince its own students: "Professor David Hoekema couldn't believe his ears when news spread in April that President George W. Bush would deliver the commencement address at Calvin College. He's thankful for the national attention focused on the 4,300-student Christian liberal-arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But that doesn't mean he's happy with the visit.... Hoekema and about 100 other Calvin professors plan to publicize their protest of Bush administration policies with a letter to The Grand Rapids Press on the date of his visit, Saturday, May 21. Roughly one-third of the college's full-time faculty endorsed the letter. In addition to the Iraq war, the signatories fault Bush for burdening the poor, fostering intolerance, and harming creation..... In straw polls during the 2004 election, more than two-thirds of Calvin students supported President Bush .... significant historical and theological factors at Calvin cut against the grain of popular evangelicalism. In particular, the high-church tradition of the Christian Reformed Church looks skeptically on revivalism and independent congregationalism."

Dishonest Christian Left slimes conservative Christians as anti-environment: "On Feb. 14, the National Council of Churches issued a statement "in an effort to refute" what NCC theologians "call a 'false gospel' . . . and to reject teachings that suggest humans are 'called' to exploit the Earth without care for how our behavior impacts the rest of God's creation. . . . This false gospel still finds its proud preachers and continues to capture its adherents among emboldened political leaders and policymakers." If such a body of belief exists, I would totally reject it, as would all of my friends. When asked who believed such error, where adherents to this "false gospel" might be found, the NCC turned to its theological sources, Moyers and a magazine called Grist, which had also apologized to me. I then contacted the chairman of the NCC task force and asked him about the "some people" who believe this false gospel and the "proud preachers" advancing this false gospel. He could not name such persons."

For those who take an interest in pretend-Christians, there is a good article here on American Anglicanism's senior atheist bishop -- John Shelby Spong. Spong's "ideas" (if you can call them that) are very old stuff now. They are essentially the same ideas as those of England's Bishop John A. T. Robinson, author of Honest to God, who proclaimed in the 1960s (like Nietzsche in the 19th century) that "God is dead". Robinson thought there was a sort of God called "the ground of our being" -- whatever that might mean -- and Spong is similarly vague. "Spong" is a good name though: Spong, spong, spong, spong!

Australian Anglicans try again: "A Victorian touted as someone who could heal problems created by sexual abuse in the church has been elected as Adelaide's new Anglican Archbishop. Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Reverend Jeffrey Driver, was elected "overwhelmingly" yesterday by the 280-member Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide. After the election Bishop Driver, 54, said he "hoped to be a builder of community and bring healing" to the church... "In regard to the sexual abuse issues ... there clearly are some things that have to be dealt with. "We are well on the way to dealing with them appropriately," he said as he was driving to Orange in country New South Wales for the church's 150th anniversary celebrations. Bishop Driver was elected almost 12 months after former Archbishop Ian George was forced to resign over his handling of child sex abuse allegations."

There is a very good article by David Gelernter on the historical centrality of the Bible to Anglo-Saxon culture generally and to American culture in particular.

No mention of torture by Muslims: "In a May 10 letter to its one-million members, the president and chief executive of the United Methodist Women's Division urge constituents to take a stand against United States-sanctioned torture."

More for the Methodists to ignore: "More than 300 mass graves have been excavated in Iraq so far. The most recent discovery was made by American investigators in early May when they found a grave with 1,500 Kurdish people. Recovery and identification of Saddam's victims, however, is an arduous process. The pictures are the same no matter where you go in Iraq, whether it's the northern town of Kirkuk, Al-Mahawil near Baghdad or the Kurdish town of Erbil. People digging in the dirt with crude tools, kitchen knives or even their bare hands. The more they dig, the worse the stench of rotting flesh gets. Sobbing and silent prayers accompany the gruesome process. Skulls are usually unearthed first, followed by shreds of fabric or plastic sandals as Iraqis look for the remains of their dead relatives. Earlier this month, for example, investigators discovered a grave filled with the bodies of 1,500 Kurds in southern Iraq."


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