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Ecocide

Wesley J. Smith: Ecocide: a Crime Against Peace?

Environmentalism is growing increasingly antihuman. Having left Teddy Roosevelt-style conservation and Earth Day consciousness-raising behind, the cutting edge of the movement is pursuing utopian “save the planet” agendas while angrily castigating mankind for supposedly sucking the life out of Gaia.

Such environmental misanthropy used to be confined to the fringe. For more than three decades proponents of Deep Ecology have urged “environmental egalitarianism” and radical depopulation to beat back the human “invasion” of nature. Alas, in recent years such advocacy moved from the flanks toward the center of environmentalism—to the point that some of the world’s leading global warming warriors now echo the radical depopulation agenda as an urgent imperative to protect polar bears and keep glaciers from melting.

Read the rest here.

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Most Brilliant

College Crunch lists The 20 Most Brilliant Christian Professors.

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The Flight II

IPT reviews The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman.

Twenty years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini called for the assassination of Salman Rushdie—and writers around the world instinctively rallied to Rushdie’s defense. Today, according to writer Paul Berman, “Rushdie has metastasized into an entire social class”—an ever-growing group of sharp-tongued critics of Islamist extremism, especially critics from Muslim backgrounds, who survive only because of pseudonyms and police protection. And yet, instead of being applauded, the Rushdies of today (people like Ayan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq) often find themselves dismissed as “strident” or as no better than fundamentalist themselves, and contrasted unfavorably with representatives of the Islamist movement who falsely claim to be “moderates.”

How did this happen? In The Flight of the Intellectuals, Berman—“one of America’s leading public intellectuals” (Foreign Affairs)—conducts a searing examination into the intellectual atmosphere of the moment and shows how some of the West’s best thinkers and journalists have fumbled badly in their effort to grapple with Islamist ideas and violence.

NYT review is here.

You can read an excerpt here. (pdf)

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Contempt

Gary Andres: The Politics of Contempt.

Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress didn’t invent the politics of vilification, and they will not be the last to practice it. The president and his political allies, however, have refined the practice to an art form – they say they abhor vilification, yet consistently demonize when promoting their legislative aims.

But will it work?

More here.

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Grace

Her.meneutics reviews What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp.

Perhaps the most challenging truth that Tripp encourages us to embrace is that our greatest marital problem is ourselves. The Bible continually warns us of our own self-deception and requires us to accept that we do not see ourselves the way God sees us. We will always rise to our own defense and succumb to blaming someone else and believing the best about ourselves. Not surprisingly, God specifically uses the marital relationship to reveal the sin of self-righteousness. A marriage that is doomed to fail can be transformed when even just one person begins to see themselves in this light and confesses with genuine humility the ways they have damaged the relationship. Grace is available in full measure when we recognize this and let God examine our hearts so thoroughly that we are willing to accept whatever it is he reveals to us.

What Did You Expect? is a discourse on the transforming power of grace, offered to anyone who has come to the end of themselves. Whether you are just now realizing your need for help, your marriage is full of conflict and riddled by anger and bitterness, or you are living in silent cohabitation, Tripp’s work will open your eyes to the redeeming work that God desires to accomplish in your life. Most of us didn’t expect marriage to be as hard as it is, but God’s sovereign plan includes such difficulties for the purpose of aligning our hearts to his big-sky kingdom and rescuing us from our own.

You can read an excerpt from the book here. (pdf)

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Through the Heart

Here’s the Preface to The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction by J. Budziszewski.

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CAIR II

CAIR Fools Unsophisticated Elites and Ill-informed Academia by Manda Zand-Ervin.

Islam is synonymous with the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, presently the Saudi Arabian Kingdom, where Islam began 1,400 years ago. As many people now know, it was then spread onto several continents through the force of brutal military campaigns.

It has been the policy of the Saudi Kingdom, since its inception in September of 1932 by the British government, to ensure that they would establish a new authority and influence of Islam, but as the continuation of the original 7th century kingdom of Islam; and that further, they would establish the Saudi Khalifat (Caliphate) throughout the world, but this time not through victorious military campaigns but through economic and political influence. They are succeeding.

Read the rest here.

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Historical Jesus

The So-called Historical Jesus. See here.

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False Statements

CT: “Liberty’s Ergun Caner accused of false statements in his testimony about converting from Islam.”

Liberty University’s board of directors has declined to take public action against Ergun Caner, president of the university seminary, as bloggers raise doubts about Caner’s account of his childhood as a Muslim.

Read more here.

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Omniscience and Omnipotence

Omniscience and Omnipotence: Is God’s Nature Contradictory? See here.

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God in Dispute

Here’s an excerpt (pdf) of God in Dispute: “Conversations” among Great Christian Thinkers by Roger E. Olson.

This volume creatively explores the history of Christian thought by imagining a series of twenty-nine dialogues and debates among key figures throughout church history. It traces the history of theology via such conversation partners as Augustine and Pelagius, Calvin and Arminius, Barth and Brunner, and Bultmann and Pannenberg. Each imagined dialogue includes a brief summary that introduces the figures under consideration and places them in the history of theology, a more detailed assessment of the thinkers and theological issues presented, and a guide for further reading. This approach offers readers an entertaining, informative, and concise history of Christian thought.

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Intolerance

From Babalu.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon on the new Arizona law: “this opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement.”

“Jose Ramos, 18, of El Salvador said the extortion (by Mexican border police) occurs at every stop in Mexico, until migrants are left penniless and begging for food.

Maria Elena Gonzalez,said female migrants often complain about abusive (Mexican border) police officers. “They (Mexican border police) force them to strip, supposedly to search them, but the purpose is to sexually abuse them,” she said.

Others said they had seen migrants beaten to death by (Mexican border) police, their bodies left near the railway tracks to make it look as if they had fallen from a train…”If you’re carrying any money, they (Mexican border police) take it from you,” said Guatemalan migrant Carlos Lopez in the same story, “federal, state, local (Mexican) police–all of them.” Lopez had been shaken down repeatedly in 15 days of traveling through Mexico.

“If you’re on a bus, they pull you off and search your pockets, and if you have any money,” added El Salvadoran migrant Jose Ramos, “they (Mexican Border police) keep it all and say, ‘Get out of here!'”

In May of 2002, 18 Americans–though holding perfectly legal Mexican visas–were unceremoniously booted out of Mexico. “And stay out!” yelled the Mexican immigration authorities while shaking their fists.

More.

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Best Advice

The best advice? Don’t give any.

The worst part of dispensing advice is that NO ONE actually follows through with it. When most people ask a question, they already have an answer in mind-which is usually, the answer they would like to hear.

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The Good Man

Slate reviews Philip Pullman’s “strange” new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

Like many atheists, the novelist Philip Pullman has emphatic and complicated religious beliefs. Pullman used His Dark Materials, his masterpiece trilogy, to deliver a savage beating to the Catholic Church (the thinly disguised “Magesterium” in the novels) and lay out a fantastically appealing humanist theology based on angels and a supernatural force called “Dust.” To condense the belief system of His Dark Materials into a few sentences: Human souls and angels are made of the Dust that binds all living things together. There is no God, just a presumptuous first angel who called himself God. Wicked angels exploit the idea of God to rule the world. The Magesterium is their instrument of evil on earth—authoritarian, secretive, and murderous. Pullman’s theology is simultaneously crushing and ecstatic. Who can forget his depiction of God as a decrepit angel, locked in a crystal prison? Or his image of Dust, golden, hazy, flowing in and out of our bodies, a personal aurora borealis?

You can read an excerpt of Pullman’s new book here.

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Interpreting Genesis

Ernest Lucas: Interpreting Genesis in the 21st Century.

This paper suggests that the early chapters of Genesis should be read as a theological text expressed in symbolic stories addressed to ancient Hebrews, and not as a scientific text. When read in this way the narratives become highly relevant to us today. Far from being incompatible with the findings of modern science, Genesis provides us with a framework within which we can pursue our science and technology for the positive benefit of humankind and the rest of creation.

Read more. (pdf)

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New Atheism

Philosophy Now‘s latest issue, “Is God really Dead?”, deals with “the new atheism.”

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The Blueprint

Here’s an excerpt of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency by Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski.

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Proselytism

Proselytism and Religious Freedom by Gerard V. Bradley. See here.

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Man-Made Drought

When environmentalist are in charge.

It started with a 2008 federal court order that stopped water flowing from northern tributaries on a supposed need to protect a small fish — the delta smelt — that was getting ground up in the turbines of pump stations that divert the water south. The court knew it was bad law, but Congress refused to exempt the fish from the Endangered Species Act and the diversion didn’t help the fish.

After that, the water cutoff was blamed on “drought,” though northern reservoirs are currently full. Now the cry is “save the salmon,” a reference to water needs of the state’s northern fisheries.

Whatever the excuse, 75% of the fresh water that has historically irrigated California is now being washed to the open sea. For farmers in the southwest part of the valley, last year’s cutoff amounted to 90%.

More.

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The War

And the war against Christian beliefs marches ever on.

Christianity deserves no protection in law above other faiths and to do so would be “irrational” , “divisive, capricious and arbitrary”, a senior judge said today, as he rejected a marriage guidance counsellor’s attempt to challenge his sacking for refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples.

In the latest clash between the judiciary and Christian believers, Lord Justice Laws said that laws could not be used to protect one religion above another.

I’d like to see this judge make some of the same comments regarding Islam. I won’t hold my breath, however.