Why churches need confessions of faith

Union University is leaving the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an organization of evangelical schools, because some of them have decided to embrace gay marriage.  Other schools are considering doing the same.  This has raised the question of what evangelicals and their institutions must be expected to believe.  If everything is left to the interpretation of the individual believer, on what grounds can a church say that the interpretation is in error?  The problem is, if you don’t have doctrinal confessions–the rejection of which many evangelicals pride themselves on–how can you make a doctrinal stand?

Westminster professor Carl Trueman, after discussing the immediate issues, concludes that if churches are going to be able to withstand the secularist onslaughts, they really need to have a specific theology worked out in their confessions of faith, as Lutherans, among others, do. [Read more...]

How Donald Trump uses the government to seize private property

Critics of Donald Trump’s business practices have focused on his bankruptcies.  But what is far worse, especially from a conservative point of view, is his history of using eminent domain laws in his real estate developments.  That is, he gets government officials to use laws designed for the buildings of roads to seize private property!  Not for public use but for to build his casinos, limousine parks, and hotels.  David Boaz, of the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, tells the tale. [Read more...]

Euthanasia keeps expanding

The Netherlands and Belgium legalized euthanasia a number of years ago.  Originally, the idea was to let terminally ill patients put themselves out of their misery.  But once the basic taboo against physicians killing their patients was surmounted, euthanasia in those countries has expanded to the mentally ill, to the depressed, to children, and to those who are just “tired of living.”  Belgium would not dream of carrying out capital punishment, but it approved of euthanasia for a convicted murderer who asked for it, though he later backed out.

Charles Lane gives the details about how euthanasia keeps expanding to include more and more people, including those who cannot give meaningful consent, such as children and the mentally handicapped.  Read his whole article for the details.  I excerpt his conclusion after the jump. [Read more...]

Unburden’d crawl toward death

’tis our fast intent

To shake all cares and business from our age,

Conferring them on younger strengths while we

Unburden’d crawl toward death.

(Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I. scene 1. lines 38-41)

Have any greater lines ever been written about retirement?  OK, it didn’t work out very well for King Lear.  I’m hoping that it will work out better for me.  Like Lear, I have two daughters that I hope to spend more time with.  I’m hoping they won’t turn me out into the storm, though I’ll be moving to a land of thunderstorms.  Unlike Lear, I have a wife who is good company and a whole passel of grandchildren.

[Read more...]

Donald Trump and the Führerprinzip

A strong leader will rise up to solve all of our problems by sheer force of his will.  We easily succumb to that kind of promise in businesses and even in churches.  And even in national governments.  This trust in an all-powerful leader is called Führerprinzip.  Yes, it was refined in Nazi Germany, but it has manifested itself ever since in popular movements that hand over power to a dictator.  But also in kinder and gentler forms of authoritarians and in a particular kind of political superstition that puts the person of the leader over any particular policies, ideologies, Constitutional processes, or limits on government.

The leader that people are looking to today is Donald Trump.  Is he that kind of leader?  Jeffrey Tucker is arguing that “Trumpism” is a revival of fascism.  Not the insult that the left freely throws around, but an actual return of the political and economic ideology that was rampant in the 1930s, not just in Germany,  Italy, and Spain but with advocates in virtually every European nation.  (I’ve written about what those fascists believed.  There is more to it than Mr. Tucker gives here, but it’s true that fascism is not just a shorthand term for evil, but an actual thing, which did not disappear with the end of World War II.)

Another article applies the Führerprinzip in another, though related way, arguing that Donald Trump is America’s Vladimir Putin (who has also been described as a Russian fascist).  See excerpts from the Fascism and Putin arguments after the jump.  Do you think Trump rises to the level of that kind of leader?  Those of you who like Trump, how would you defend him from these charges? [Read more...]

The new Planned Parenthood video

“Hey Holly, come over here, I want you to see something kind of cool, kind of neat.” [Read more...]