Fallout from the election continues. Garry Wills, author of numerous books and articles on America’s cultural mood, has entered the debate over what went wrong when most voting Americans rejected John Kerry and elected George Bush. Here’s how Wills states it in his New York Times article “The Day the Enlightenment Went Out” (Nov. 4, 2004): “Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?”
One distraught voter drove to Ground Zero and killed himself after he learned that John Kerry had lost the election. He was only 25. It’s a shame that government has become a god to so many. The disillusionment that comes when your god turns out to be a well-constructed fiction can be devastating.
In yesterday’s web article, I issued a call to action to put the brakes on Arlen Spector’s elevation to the head of the Judiciary Committee. Apparently others had the same idea. Spector has backed off his comments, even denying that he ever said them. There is a new day in Washington as the media pundits are falling all over themselves trying to figure out the "values vote." Democrat spinners are claiming that their message needed better packaging.
Surveys conducted after the election show that morality topped the list of important issues that brought voters to the polls. This astounded the press in England. Europe no longer has a moral center. In time, if population trends continue, Eurabia will be a reality in 30 years.
As I write this, Ohio, Nevada, and New Mexico are still too close to call, at least that’s what the news guys tell us and the Democrats pray is true. The numbers are against John Kerry. He should concede, walk away with dignity, and save the country another agonizing post-election fiasco.
Election day is here! I have been criss-crossing the country teaching, debating, doing radio interviews, and answering emails on the road by Christians who want to know what to do in this election. Some are pushing third-party candidates claiming that this is the only "righteous" way to vote.
Franklin was not known as orthodox in his religious beliefs, but there is no doubt that he understood what made nations great. It wasn’t geography, natural resources, or monetary prosperity. The self-taught candlemaker’s son, author of Poor Richard’s Almanac, world traveler, inventor of the lightning rod and bifocals, knew that the key to national success was the acknowledgment that God establishes empires, and He requires that they be built in a certain way.
For decades, Christians have been reluctant to get involved in politics. These Christians either don’t vote or when they do vote they do so in terms of what government can do for them. Government is seen as their earthly savior. They are more concerned about where their next flu shot is coming from rather than the appointment of judges who with one vote can turn the Constitution on its head.
As with most theological positions, there are a variety of interpretations of this passage: (1) The salvation of every racial/ethnic Jew. This is an impossible interpretation.
God established civil government to be an avenger who brings wrath upon those who practice evil. The civil government’s power to use the sword is legitimate in certain limited cases. The Bible has mandated that the power of the sword is to keep the peace, to protect those who do what is right.
The Bible is opposed to centralism, whether it’s political (United Nations) or religious (World Council of Churches). The tower of Babel and God’s scattering of those who were involved in its design were judged because of the potential corruption that is inherent in religious and political centralism.
Many Christian organizations and churches exist exclusively as spiritual fire houses. When they see a fire, they send a fire engine to douse it. They then return to the fire house to polish the fire engine awaiting another call.
Can a biblically-based government (including the civil sphere) operate within the conceptual framework of pluralism? While it depends on the definition of pluralism, let me say that the modern concept of pluralism is one of the most pernicious inventions of the twentieth century designed to eliminate the Christian religion.
The debate in Columbus’ day was not over whether the Earth was flat or round. Rather, the width of the ocean was the crucial factor; the distance between continents determined the cost and feasibility of an expedition. "The issue was the width of the ocean; and therein the opposition was right." Columbus had underestimated the circumference of the Earth and the width of the ocean by a significant number of miles.
The modern mind cannot bear the thought that people who lived far before the twentieth century could have gotten anything right about science. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica perpetuated the myth of a flat-earth cosmology: "Before Columbus proved the world was round, people thought the horizon marked its edge. Today we know better" (1961). The people of Columbus’ day knew better.
How and why did the flat-earth myth get started? The legend was popularized by Washington Irving in his three-volume History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828). Irving, best known for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," used his fiction-writing skills to fabricate a supposed confrontation that Columbus had with churchmen who maintained that the Bible taught that the Earth was flat. No such encounter ever took place.
The Bible does not engage in speculative scientific descriptions about the earth’s external foundations. It simply states that God "stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:7). Those who accuse the Bible of teaching a flat Earth point to how the Bible speaks of having "four corners" (Isa. 11:2 and Rev. 7:1) and "four winds" (Jer. 49:36 and Matt. 24:31).
Medieval science as practiced by Christians went astray when "the Bible was . . . read through `Greek’ spectacles." Certainly the Greeks were right in many of their observations, but it was an almost religious attachment to Greek cosmology that was the West’s greatest impediment to further discovery and scientific advance.