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Volume 14, Issue 2: Meander

Chonklit Cake

Douglas Wilson

A new publishing outfit down southeast of here, way past Idaho Falls, called Reformed University Press, (how's this for a sentence?), has released a good book on the priority that Christians should give to the Church. Entitled The Enduring Community, and written by Brian Habig and Les Newsom, it is addressed primarily to college-aged kids whose natural inclination is to neglect their duties as church members. The book does an outstanding job of anticipating objections to "church" and answering them in a way helpful to such folks. Ordering information can be obtained from RUP, 618 Briarwood Drive, Suite A, Jackson, Mississippi 39211.

We have a regular temptation to sacrifice one portion of our required obedience for the sake of another. Fathers neglect their families so that they can stay at work to all hours to provide for them. Mothers deal sharply and impatiently with their children over a messy room, because a messy room is not honoring to God—as though Mother's irritation were not equally messy. Children obey one command from their parents when they were given three, and they defend themselves with what they did do. But we must never forget that partial or selective obedience is disobedience. Saul killed some of the Amalekites, but that is not what he was told to do. To obey is better than sacrifice.

Instead of setting obedience against sin, we set obedience against obedience. We profess with our mouths that we honor God, but actually in our hearts we are simply making room for our preferred sins.

The push is already on. In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, and in the wake of the impressive American military action in Afghanistan, we are hearing different voices calling for a domestic intolerance of every form of "intolerance." Conservative Christians will find themselves under increasing pressure to deny the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. We will be allowed to keep a tiny jesus, but not permitted to affirm that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Any claim to uniqueness on behalf of the Christian faith will be called (as it has already been called) an American form of Talibanism. The reasoning goes this way: the thing which made these Muslim fanatics so dangerous is not that they believed a lie (as we would hold), but rather that they thought they knew the truth. To these folks, truth is clearly the enemy. Truth is the adversary. Truth flies planes into skyscrapers.

What would our nation do if a man came to us, claiming to be the Truth? We would do the same thing we did the first time—crucify Him.

If your tastes in music are truly eclectic, let me recommend an album of contemporary artists doing covers of old Hank Williams songs. The album is named Timeless, and the price of the CD is worth the experience of hearing Sheryl Crowe yodel. Which she does well.

Theodore Beza was born in 1519 and died in 1605. He was a friend and associate of John Calvin at Geneva. He was trained for the law (like Calvin) but preferred literature. Because he adhered faithfully to the doctrines of grace recovered in the Reformation, he is consistently characterized as a narrow, tight-lipped theological engineer. But in reality he was one of the most urbane men of Europe. He was one of that century's great poets, and before his open embrace of the Reformation in 1548, he published a volume of erotic Latin poetry which established his literary reputation. Before this is dismissed as a youthful indiscretion, it should be noted that he had it republished again near the end of his life in Geneva, in 1597. We need many more men like Beza today. While we certainly need a recovery of the great truths of the Reformation, we need them in a certain way. We most emphatically do not need a resurgence of pietistic Calvinism.

I have profited greatly from Pat Buchanan's latest book, The Death of the West. For anyone who can do math, the book presents a clear-headed and frightening prospect ahead of us. The population bomb, it turns out, is the kind that implodes. A long generation of a narcisstic use of contraception and ready abortion has decimated us. The peoples of European descent are steadily committing sexual suicide. In 1960, we were one fourth of the world. In 2000, we were one sixth. In 2050 we will be one tenth, and we will be the oldest tenth.

A number of years ago, Credenda did an issue we called "Bad Moon Rising" on the coming crack-up of the U.S. For a number of reasons, we have no reason to change our tune. Right on schedule.

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