Volume 14, Issue 2: Meander
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 Godas
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 timecrucify 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.