Friday, March 02, 2012

Hither and thither 3/2/12

Little 'un, maybe, but fun.
  • "Hey! You guys! SHHHHH! It's Hither and Thither!"
  • Of course, one of the nice big things of my week was pastor Doug Wilson making The World-Tilting Gospel his Book of the Month, and writing such a kind and enthusiastic review.
  • PS, a favor: email me about any Gospel Coalition or other blogs you see remarking on or linking to Doug's review, please. Thanks.
  • Sorta relatedly: you can win a copy of God's Wisdom in Proverbs.
  • Don't mess with TexansOf any age.
  • My Js will like this title a lot.
  • Say, remember that time I sued the Roman Catholic Church for not ordaining me as a priest just because I was a five-Sola-affirming Bible-believing Christian who thinks it preaches a false Gospel? No? Yeah, that'd be because that never happened. Because I don't believe in RCC dogma! Why would I want to be an RCC priest? That'd be nuts.
  • But an unrepentant lesbian is barred from "Mass" by a priest and she's shocked, shocked, and wants him removed from the priesthood. Because... what? She had no idea what the RCC teaches about homosexuality? She didn't know that the RCC is a totalitarian church that boasts of the unity of practice among all its satellites? She really-really believes RCC dogma and, well, at the same time really-really doesn't believe it?
  • Psh. People.
  • Here are some tweets you might have missed if you don't "follow" me: "Is 'I Surrender All' the theme-hymn of Biologos?"
  • And "Christ said the 'second' commandment is to love neighbor as self; not 'second and third commandments' (Mt 22:39)."
  • And "Whatever your burden to bear today, at least you don't have that everyone knows you got Alan Rickman's Oscar #UnlessYouAreChristopherPlummer."
  • Caption That GIF.
  • Oh boy. I may wish I'd saved this for a Music Monday, but Kerry Allen has found just a crackin' piece of music from our coming robot overlords. You will not want to miss it.
  • This unfolding story about possible first-century and other early NT manuscripts just reminds us, among other things, that it is not impossible that the autographs will one day be discovered. They existed. They could still exist.
  • Tone-shift warning: from the happy to the appalling, and then even worse: in three... two... one...
  • Aw Isn't That Sw... Wait, What? Alert: pro-abort Slate writer says in effect, "Gee, wish I coulda killed my imperfect kid, like Mom probably wished she coulda killed imperfect me." What tortured thinking. What magic happens in the birth canal, that transforms from killable to non-killable?
  • Well, turns out some are asking and answering that question — but not ending up where you would think. An article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is titled "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" You want to think it is a gag, but it is not. In the abstract, we learn that "the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled." Again, in the conclusion, we find this: "the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn." In other words, they take the point I just made, but push it in the other direction. No magic happens in the birth canal. Therefore, if a child is killable this side of the canal (and he is, they argue), then he is killable on the other side as well.
  • "Slippery slope fallacy," pro-aborts used to insist. Seems to me we're gaining speed and the incline is sharpening. Romans 1:18-32 describes the slope, and it plays itself out over and over again outside of Christ's redemption.
  • So here's the good news: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). Pro-aborts, like all of us, are sinners. Christ Jesus can save them.
  • Tone-re-shift: back to lighter fare.
  • There may be only one thing to like about Ron Paul, but it's a good 'un: he doesn't need Secret Service protection.
  • Kerry Allen thinks this could feed all HT readers at one sitting. I have my doubts.
  • Someone has to do it. It's time to "out" mild-mannered Calvinistic SB Tom Ascol:
  • Ah-ha!
  • [Yes, ladies and gentlemen; that is how rumors are born.  (c:  ]
  • Ahh, I miss the classroom. I was a... different sort of professor. Surprised to hear that?
  • With these lovely parting thoughts:


Robert said...

Robot music was great...those people have a lot of time on their hands.

The article by the lady at Slate doesn't make much sense to me. Of course it's all about what I want in her reasoning. She pretty much assumes that anybody who is against murdering unborn babies is a restrictive authoritarian who hates women.

Wow...journal of medical ethics, eh? When I read this in the abstract, it almost made me throw up in my mouth:

(1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant

Morally irrelevant? Not actual persons? Hippocrates would be spinning in his grave over the way the Hippocratic oath has been mangled in the current day. He said abortion was wrong and his followers put that into the oath...the doctors these days have now removed that part.

Homeschoolers and private schools not allowed to teach the Bible? Because the Bible says that homosexual acts are sin...whether or not people want to deal with it. I fear that it is only a matter of time before that happens in the US.

So unless your club is affiliated with a church, it can not be a religious group? I guess that means that teampyro isn't really a Christian blog? Is there something I'm missing here?

Marla said...

The last picture about the squirrel reminds me of "Diary of a Cat/Diary of a Dog".

I think since more and more people are pro-life these days, the pro-death people are getting more and more shrill (and make the case against themselves more plain).

Brian said...

A bird in the hand is worth a tooth in the brush?

Merrilee Stevenson said...

You know, I was really enjoying today's little H&T, until I read parts of that journal suggesting "after birth abortions" are morally acceptable. And this is their conclusion:

"However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford."

I wonder how that conclusion would hold up if used in other contexts. I was caught speeding in a school zone? I shouldn't be forced to pay the fine because I cannot afford it, besides I have a list of excuses for speeding. Decided to try flying by jumping out a 2nd story window? Not gonna pay the hospital! It's not my fault, plus, I can't afford it! Took some groceries from my local ShopRite because I was hungry, but I cannot possibly afford for it! So what's it to ya?!

I kind of thought it was a modern-version of A Modest Proposal. But no. The truth is scarier than fiction. The more H&Ts I read, the more obvious it becomes that our world needs some real TILTING!

Although The frozen Nutella pops look heavenly.

DJP said...

Right, Merrilee. And we Christians sometimes use the (perfectly valid) slippery slope argument, in the expectation that unbelievers will say "Oh my, I see now where that leads. I'll back off." And sometimes they do.

But this reminds us that the autonomy experiment begun in Gen. 3 has no self-appointed bounds. If each individual is "as God," there is no reason why (s)he should not say "Hm, good point. I'll just go all the way, then."

Like these moral monsters.

Kerry James Allen said...

Heretical comment warning: I only though the 11 pound Nutella jar could feed all the H/T readers because many of us wouldn't want any!

DJP said...


Kerry James Allen said...

Redemption statement: I don't care for Nutella but I bought three copies of Proverbs. I guess that makes me a curious contradiction. I do like black licorice and black jelly beans which my whole family despises. Hugs all around...

David Regier said...

GIF caption:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. . .

DJP said...

That's very nice of you. And it means your copy won't have those nasty brown smudges other HT readers' might.

But it may have black smudges, though, eh?

Robert said...


The really creepy thing about that article is that it is in the Journal of Medical Ethics (emphasis mine). I'd like to know how they define ethics and what basis they are using.

Stephen said...

Two points: 1) Well if nothing magic happens in the birth canal, maybe a "potential person" will become an actual "person" at the magic moment of the 1st birthday. No? How about 2nd? How about when the kid can say his first complete sentence? Or when he can run a whole mile? Or when he can beat mommy up?

None of those forward moments are magical? Well maybe we could look backward to see when personhood begins...

2) The ethical absurdity hit a high point for me when they said we could kill babies because we also kill criminals with capital punishment. I didn't see where they argued that capital crime committers somehow lost their personhood (even in their convoluted, subjective definition). The ironies are just too great.

The Squirrel said...

Hehehe @Common_Squirrel

Yep, I had to follow...

You knew I would...



DJP said...

Too great, and increasing exponentially.

Stephen, this is the conversation Biblical Christians have with atheists. Because they know it's one of their fatal flaws, they table-poundingly insist that they don't need God to be moral people. In saying this, they either are historically ignorant or bank on the historical ignorance of their audience. That marker is in continuous motion. In 1973, anyone who said "Look, this rationale means that no child is safe, at any point!" would have been scoffed at.

Yet they would have been right.

Because here we are. It's just a matter of time.

Ditto, already, homosexual "marriage." That line of progression may vary its speed, but it's inexorable.

Kerry James Allen said...

The Robot Overlords are slipping something into Nutella as they plan world domination. I will sit safely by eating black jelly beans as they do:

Another difference between Nutella in North America and Australia and in the rest of the world: the containers. While glass containers are the norm around the world, plastic containers are used here in the States, along with Canada, Mexico, and Australia.
The Ferrero company seems to be very similar to Willy Wonka’s factory – they’ve never held a press conference and does not allow the media to enter the factory, leading it to be both the most reputable company, according to Forbes, and one of the most secretive, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Jack said...

Silly me! I always thought that a potential person was a sperm and egg cell that had yet to meet. Now I find out that newborns are still not potential persons. What is next? Can we have immature people declared non-potential persons? Seems that the imagination is the limit - the sick, twisted depraved imagination of man.

CleanFlea said...

I guess you have to find something to do with a toothbrush when you don't have teeth.

FX Turk said...

I just found your blog and think it's great. Eat mor chikin

DJP said...

Blasted trolls.

Kerry James Allen said...

If you feed them black jelly beans they'll never come back.

Dave said...

So, the decision to kill a "potential person" is based on whether I can afford it? My son just started college this year, and I can't afford that. So, I'm morally right to have him killed?

Marla said...

On Beiber & Grylls:

“Most Americans tend to see Christian faith as intensely personal,” said Craig Hazen, a religion professor at Biola University. “Joining a community or congregation of believers is valuable only insofar as the group enhances the individual’s inner, personal experience.”

So basically, It's All About Me. Sound American, but not Christian.


Don said...

Brother Dan Phillips,

Please permit me to get off subject, for my comment is not about this article, but about one years ago, of which the comments were closed, specifically

I wanted to thank you for this article, as I am of like belief and conviction, and have been feeling like I'm "under fire" from many of my Reformed friends at local men's Bible Study/Prayer meetings I've been attending lately.

I, like you, am more concerned about being "Biblical" than I am about lining up under a particular "Label"...After doing a google search for "Reformed, Calvinist, Dispensationalism" etc., I came across your article.

I was greatly encouraged to know that I'm not alone in embracing the "Doctrines of Grace", while rejecting other areas of "Reformed Theology", such certain aspects of its Eschatology, Ecclesiology, etc.

I am in 100% agreement with your post, and am thankful the Lord led me to read it for encouragement.

Your brother in Christ,
Don D

Marie said...

I left off reading WORLD when they started stridently advocating for full on enlistment of female soldiers. All my arguments were dismissed as archaic, sadly, even by those in charge. And they continued, editorially, to advocate.

Bill Honsberger said...

Dan I had the mixed blessing of having a Epistemology class at CU Boulder under Dr. Michael Tooley - whom I call 'the nicest evil man I have ever known". He was advocating for infanticide way back even before Roe V Wade. His paper is online and is entitled "In Defense of Abortion and Infanticide" written in 1972. He made this direct connection - there was no slippery slope fallacy going on - it was already present in 1973. I beat up my ethics class each year with Tooley's argument. To the pro aborts what difference is there to make with timing and geography? Why not kill them?
I confronted Tooley in his office one day and pressed him on this - he is a major animal rights advocate (as is his buddy - fellow infanticide fan Peter Singer) and told me how he wished he could be a Christian but just not enough evidence, blah blah blah. I asked him since he designated 2 as the age when human beings become "persons" (Singer says 5!). Since that was a completely arbitrary number then (even worse now) why not blondes or left handed people or why not just cut right to it and kill Jews? He was pretty shocked at how emotional I was at that point - as I have a handicapped son and his argument more than opens the door to the voluntarily killing of my son. Of course as modern history has shown us, what is voluntary somehow can magically become obligatory in just a short time. (Hitler and the handicapped being on example.)
Tooley has been quoted repeatedly in law journals, dissertations and the media. I am almost surprised it took this long for more "ethicists" to come out of the closet.
Maybe Soylent Green and Logan's Run were prophetic after all.
Pagans doing what pagans have always done.
God bless and pray lots!

DJP said...

Thanks, Bill; powerful.

DJP said...

Yep, Don, that caused quite a stir.

Check this, and that whole blog. Brother's a Calvinistic Dispensationalist who's published on the topic. Hope he does a whole lot more.

Unknown said...

I saw the medical ethics journal article last night and was more than a little disturbed. Kind of turns STR's SLED test on its head.

I think what's most striking about it is that we can so readily agree on its central premise (in this case that there is no substantive difference between the pre/postnatal child) and yet come to diametrically opposed conclusions.

Just goes to show that if your presuppositions are wrong then your conclusions most certainly will be too no matter what kind of reasoning you have in between.

Certainly we should do what we justifiably can to prevent this kind of lawlessness, but will that really change the culture? It would seem the only way to do that is to attack the presuppositions themselves which can only be accomplished through a world-titling gospel.

Working back to the specific, the fact that murder is illegal is a good thing, but doesn't change the fact that men still hate one another. Laws against theft are similarly good, but it does little to alter that fact that people remain coveteous. Certainly any honorable deterence to abortion is also a good thing and ought to be celebrated, but it doesn't change the fact that those who wish to practice it are still serving the god of self even if they now have to possibly do it in different ways.

So now I'm asking myself - did I just make the case that our culture has been given over to its practice of abortion as a judgement? (Rom 1) And further that it hasn't only been given over to it but is now unrestrained in its practice of it in order to store up further wrath (Rom 2) and yet Christ still stands ready and willing to save those who practice it and other equally detestable sins if they will only yet repent and believe the gospel? (Rom 3:21ff.) If so, then THAT is world-titling amazing.

Aaron said...

Moral monsters. As was I before I was saved by the grace of God and only by his grace. These people need the Gospel desperately because the punishment that waits is terrifying.

I'm all for homeschooling, but it is unlikely that homeschooling will even be allowed in 20 years if not much sooner. I, of course, am pleased to suffer for my Saviour but I fear it is my children who will do the suffering. I pray that God will pour out his grace on them as he did for me, saving them and strengthening them for the times ahead. (or Jesus returns, which would be my preference).

Solameanie said...

I have always been perplexed by "believers" like Bieber, Grylls, Hanson, etc. who proclaim their faith, and then think living in disobedience to the Lord is somehow a witness of their faith. But then, I'm slow.

Jay said...

I don't understand the Slate writer at all. I remember that she once wrote a passionate and beautiful piece about loving her son despite knowing that he would die an early and painful death. She even was able to sneak in a bit about redemptive suffering in there, even though she was obviously non-Christian. Now this new article totally undermines it. I understand wishing your child would never know suffering or pain, but how in the world is death a positive alternative? When is death a positive alternative to anything?

Furthermore, I call shenanigans on the fact that she would have been okay with being aborted. I really do. Genetic screenings aren't always accurate. Doctors were convinced that I would be Down Syndrome, and I wasn't, but I'm glad my mother wouldn't have aborted me in either case. What a poor, sad, confused mother.

Solameanie said...

It's often said "don't feed the trolls." But I'd like to modify that rule a bit. Down South, there used to be a licorice-flavored laxative called Black Draught. They don't make it anymore but wouldn't be hard to concoct. Mix that up with James Caan/Mississippi's little elixir from "El Dorado," which had croton oil, asafetida, hot mustard, cayenne pepper and gunpowder.

I think that's perfect troll food. Wouldn't you agree? ;)