About those Canaanites . . .

The word genocide gets thrown around a lot when people try to criticize God and the clearing out of the Promised Land.  Richard Dawkins particularly likes it, especially when trying to dodge debates with William Lane Craig.

That term fails on a couple of levels, not the least of which is that these people were thoroughly guilty.  They had done all sorts of things such as sacrificing their children on super-heated metal images of their gods (see Leviticus 18 for a laundry list of things these charmers had done for 400 years).

I highly recommend this link for an overview of the Canaanite issue: We Don’t Hate Sin. So We Don’t Understand What Happened To The Canaanites.  Too many Christians try to apologize for God and rationalize away the meaning of the text.  I remember one guy teaching a Bible study who insisted that God didn’t really say that, but the Israelites made it up to rationalize taking over the land.  This is far too common.

The question that remains is what do you think of God for commanding such a thing? Does God have a right to do with His creation as He pleases? If you have a problem with the selective judgment of the Canaanites then how do you feel about the almost complete destruction wrought by God of the whole world during the Flood? And how do you feel about the impending destruction of everything at Armageddon?

Too many people made themselves god and the arbiters of what is good and evil, and even those standards are flexible and incoherent.

We need to look to God for what is truly holy.  He is the Lord of the universe, and He sets the terms and conditions.  His terms of surrender are wildly generous, but you must come to him on his terms, not yours.

P.S. Speaking of God’s holiness, you can currently get a free Kindle version of The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul!  (You don’t have to have a Kindle to read it — you can use the PC Version of the Kindle).

Some good ideas for the college loan problem

Hey, if you want to get a degree in a field with little or no demand* then don’t be surprised if you end up with a lot of debt and no job.

The government has been the problem here, not the solution.  The part in bold is a must-read, as it gives a simple explanation of how the government has wreaked havoc with the student loan crisis and the housing crisis in typical “ignoring human nature and the law of unintended consequences” style.  Via Glenn Reynolds: Let’s put colleges on the hook for loans that their students can’t repay:

How do you solve the problem of young adults earning worthless degrees and a truckload of debt? Three ways. One: The Chinese way, which, while characteristically direct, is probably too authoritarian for most Americans’ tastes. Two: End federal student loans. Let kids take their chances with private lenders, who’ll need assurances up front before they lay out the cash that they’ll get a return on their investment after graduation. This idea would, I assume, die a grisly death after the first round of “all Jimmy/Sally wanted to do was go to State but he/she couldn’t get the money” stories. Three: The Reynolds way.

This is a simple case of inflation: When you artificially pump up the supply of something (whether it’s currency or diplomas), the value drops. The reason why a bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor’s degrees.

There’s something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers…

For higher education, the solution is more value for less money. Student loans, if they are to continue, should be made dischargeable in bankruptcy after five years — but with the school that received the money on the hook for all or part of the unpaid balance.

* that is, degrees such as Lesbian Astrology (it is possible I made that up) or Women’s Studies (sadly, I didn’t make that up).

Do you read the Old Testament?

If you have never read all of it — and I mean all  of it — then you really should.  I’m reading through it chronologically this year, which is a nice change from reading it straight through.  For example, as I’m going through 1 Samuel it mixed in some Psalms related to those passages.

Here are some good reasons from Got Questions?

Question: “Why should I read the Old Testament?”

Answer: The Bible is a progressive revelation. If you skip the first half of any good book and try to finish it; you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. In the same way, the New Testament is only completely understood when it is seen as being built upon the foundation of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament. If we only had the New Testament, we would come to the gospels and not know why the Jews were looking for a Messiah (a Savior King). Without the Old Testament, we would not understand why this Messiah was coming (see Isaiah 53); we would not have been able to identify Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah through the many detailed prophecies that were given concerning Him (e.g., His birth place (Micah 5:2); His manner of death (Psalm 22, especially vv. 1,7-8, 14-18; Psalm 69:21, etc.), His resurrection (Psalm 16:10), and many more details of His ministry (Isaiah 52:13.; 9:2, etc.).

Without the Old Testament, we would not understand the Jewish customs that are mentioned in passing in the New Testament. We would not understand the perversions the Pharisees had made to God’s law as they added their traditions to it. We would not understand why Jesus was so upset as He cleansed the temple courtyard. We would not understand that we can make use of the same wisdom that Christ used in His many replies to His adversaries (both human and demonic).

Without the Old Testament we would miss out on numerous detailed prophecies that could only have come true if the Bible is God’s word, not man’s (see the major and minor prophets) (e.g., Daniel 7 and following chapters). These prophecies give specific details about the rise and fall of nations, how they will fall, if they will rise again, which powers would be next to emerge, who the major players would be (Cyrus, Alexander the Great, etc.), and what would happen to their kingdoms when those players died. These detailed prophecies are so accurate that skeptics charge they had to have been written after the fact.

The Old Testament also contains numerous lessons for us through the lives of its many fallible characters. By observing their lives we can be encouraged to trust God no matter what (Daniel 3), and to not compromise in the little things (Daniel 1) so that we will be faithful later in the big things (Daniel 6). We can learn that it is best to confess sin early and sincerely instead of blame-shifting (1 Samuel 15). We can learn not to play with sin, because it will find us out and its bite is deadly (See Judges 13-16). We can learn that we need to trust (and obey) God if we expect to experience His promised-land living in this life and His paradise in the next (Numbers 13). We learn that if we contemplate sin, we are only setting ourselves up for committing it (Genesis 3; Joshua 6-7). We learn that our sin has consequences not only for ourselves but for our loved ones around us and conversely that our good behavior has rewards not only for us but for those who are around us as well (Genesis 3; Exodus 20:5-6).

The Old Testament also contains vast quantities of wisdom that the New Testament does not share. Many of these are contained in the Psalms and Proverbs. These bits of wisdom reveal how I can be wiser than my teachers, what various sins will lead to (it helps us to see the hook that the bait is hiding), and what accomplishments in this world hold for us (nothing!). How can I recognize whether I am a fool (moral fool, that is)? How can I inadvertently turn people off without trying? How can I open doors to lasting success? How can I find meaning in life? Again, there is so much there that is just waiting to be found by one who truly wants to learn.

Without the Old Testament, we would not have a basis for standing against the error of the politically correct perversions of our society in which evolution is seen to be the creator of all of the species over millions of years (instead of them being the result of special creation by God in a literal six days). We would buy the lie that marriages and the family unit are an evolving structure that should continue to change as society changes, instead of being seen as a design by God for the purpose of raising up godly children and for the protection of those who would otherwise be used and abused (most often women and children).

Without the Old Testament, we would not understand the promises God will yet fulfill to the Jewish nation. As a result, we would not properly see that the Tribulation period is a seven-year period in which He will specifically be working with the Jewish nation who rejected His first coming but who will receive Him at His second coming. We would not understand how Christ’s future 1,000-year reign fits in with His promises to the Jews, nor how the Gentiles will fit in. Nor would we see how the end of the Bible ties up the loose ends that were unraveled in the beginning of the Bible, how God will restore the paradise He originally created this world to be, and how we will enjoy close companionship with Him on a personal basis as in the Garden of Eden.

In summary, the Old Testament is a mirror that allows us to see ourselves in the lives of Old Testament characters and helps us learn vicariously from their lives. It sheds so much light on who God is and the wonders He has made and the salvation He has wrought. It shares so much comfort to those in persecution or trouble (see Psalms especially). It reveals through repeatedly fulfilled prophecy why the Bible is unique among holy books—it alone is able to demonstrate that it is what it claims to be: the inspired Word of God. It reveals volumes about Christ in page after page of its writings. It contains so much wisdom that goes beyond what is alluded to or quoted in the New Testament. In short, if you have not yet ventured in depth into its pages, you are missing much that God has available for you. As you read it, there will be much you do not understand right away, but there will be much you will understand and learn from. And as you continue to study it, asking God to teach you further, your mining will pay off in brighter treasures still.

Roundup

Adam Carolla’s R-rated — but right-on — rant — This comes with a language warning, but it is interesting to hear his perspective on the OWS crowd.  They are the Sticker Generation, who grew up with an outrageous sense of entitlement because they were always told how wonderful they were, whether those assessments matched reality or not.

They aren’t succeeding in life so they covet and want to destroy those who have succeeded.

Wow, this was stupid 50 years ago and hasn’t gotten any smarter: KENTUCKY CHURCH BANS INTERRACIAL COUPLES FROM BECOMING MEMBERS & LEADING WORSHIP. As Glenn points out, there is only one race in the Bible, the fallen human race.  Skin color is morally neutral.

An extreme Green guy found that living out his worldview was tough and irrational, such as when he spent 5 hours traveling to do what would have taken 40 minutes in a car.

There are those who question the point of this exercise to begin with. “Why make your life harder when it won’t make a difference anyway?” they ask, adding a virtual eye roll that would make even the most jaded 14-year-old proud. “Policy is the only solution to the world’s climate crisis, not individual action.” To them I say: Well, yeah.

He admits how awful it is but welcomes the government forcing everyone to do it that way.  Sadly, he doesn’t see the unintended consequences that will come with the government control, not to mention that the bureaucrats themselves won’t be obligated to follow the rules they make.

Sadly, Ohioans are finding out that they were misled by the unions on Issue 2. Being persuaded by multi-million dollar ad campaigns and fear-mongering won’t help when these cities have to balance their budgets.  Paying extravagant union wages and benefits will mean the loss of jobs and services — the very things the unions said would happen if they lost!

Newsweek admits the obvious: America is in the grip of sex addiction — They even concede that not all homosexual participants were not “born that way.”

Shockingly, the Newsweek article does acknowledge a reality that is normally unthinkable for the liberal mind: that homosexual behavior might be related to a sex addiction. A sex therapist tells Newsweek, “We see a lot of heterosexual men who are addicted to sex and, because culturally and biologically women aren’t as readily available to have sex at all times of the day, these men will turn to gay men for gratification.”

I imagine the LGBTQ community is up in arms over that.

Although Newsweek admits that the “digital revolution” has much to do with the situation through the provision of easily-accessible hard-core pornography, it fails to state another obvious point: that the culture of the United States and other western countries is saturated with a “softer” porn that is potentially just as deadly.

Americans are bombarded, day in and day out, with insidious messages about human sexuality. Movies, music, television shows, video games and advertising glorify a superficial, hedonistic, promiscuous, and selfish concept of sexuality. Quite often, these themes are accompanied by overt acts of violence and rape.

Newsweek however, doesn’t seem to notice a connection between the false concept of human sexuality pushed by the entertainment business and advertisers and the nation’s increasingly destructive obsession with carnal pleasure.  Instead it takes a more “moderate” approach, parroting the American Psychiatric Association’s insane notion that sexual perversion is only a problem if it violates your personal standards of normalcy.

Lots of bad things happen when people make up their own standards.  It reminds me of the theme of the book of Judges: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

How many World AIDS Day presentations talked about how incredibly risky gay sex is?  If you really love people you’ll at least warn them that their odds of contracting syphilis or HIV are over forty times higher than average.

The best pro-life site I’ve found

Abort73.com / Abortion Unfiltered

If I could only recommend one pro-life site it would definitely be Abort73.com.  They have thorough, accurate, eye-catching, easy to follow layouts and content.

I use their medical testimony page often, especially when encountering those who claim that we don’t know when life begins.  They list quotes from many mainstream embryology textbooks pointing out that a new human being is created at conception.

Please check out the site if you haven’t already, then bookmark it and share it!