Presuppositional vs. Evidential vs. Classical Apologetics

People are different… and in being different I think a false dichotomy is made between the schools and one should be well versed in the main schools of apologetics so adaptation can occur in a real-world conversation. Here R.C. Sproul talks about the three main schools of thoughts in this regard (although he is not a fan of the first two he mentions).

  • [Key] People have been swayed into the Kingdom by all three of the above, and the many in the video at the bottom. All by the WORK of the Holy Spirit. 

I recently came across an article that gave a couple examples of people being persuaded by the evidential aspect of Christianity. This is just a short list of examples via Dr. Norman Geisler:

There is a common misnomer among many Christians that apologetics never helps to bring anyone to Christ. This is a serious misrepresentation of the facts.

1. The Conversion of St. Augustine

There were several significant rational turning points in Augustine’s life before he came to Christ. First, he reasoned his way out of Manichaean dualism. One significant turning point here was the success of a young Christian debater of Manicheans called Helpidius.

Second, Augustine reasoned his way out of total skepticism by seeing the self-defeating nature of it.

Third, were it not for studying Plotinus, Augustine informs us that he would not even been able to conceive of a spiritual being, let alone believe in one.

2. The Conversion of Frank Morrison

This skeptical attorney set out to disprove Christianity by showing the resurrection never occurred. The quest ended with his conversion and a book titled Who Moved the Stone? in which the first chapter was titled “The Book That Refused to be Written”!  More recently another unbelieving attorney had a similar journey.

3. The Conversion of Simon Greenleaf

At the turn of the century the Professor of Law at Harvard, who wrote the book on legal evidence, was challenged by students to apply the rules of legal evidence to the New Testament to see if its testimony would stand up in court. The result was a book titled The Testimony of the Evangelists in which he expresses his confidence in the basic documents and truths of the Christian Faith.

4. The Results of Debates

Many people have been led toward or to Christianity as a result of debates we have had with atheists and skeptics. After debating Berkley University philosopher Michael Scriven on “Is Christianity Credible?” the University of Calgary audience voted three to one in favor of Christianity. The campus news paper report read: “Atheist Fails to Convert Campus Christians!”  Following a debate on the rationality of belief in Christianity with the head of the philosophy department at the University of Miami, the Christian student leadership held a follow-up meeting. The atheist professor attended and expressed doubts about his view expressed at the debate. It was reported that some 14 people who had attended the debate made decisions for Christ.

After a debate on the Moonie religion at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, a Moonie girl asked some questions about Christianity. I could see that she had been convinced that the Unification Church was not teaching the truth. After talking with her briefly, I introduced her to a female seminary student who led her to Christ.

When sharing the gospel with Don Bly, he informed us that he was an atheist. After reasoning with him from atheism to open-minded agnosticism, he agreed to read Frank Morrison’s book. The evidence for Christ’s resurrection convinced him and we had the privilege of leading him to Christ. He has subsequently raised his family for Christ became a leader in a church south of St. Louis.

May I also posit here Dean H. Kenyon, who received a book by A.E. Wilder-Smith from one of his students where Dr. Wilder-Smith challenged his [Dr. Kenyon’s] widely accepted book by evolutionists of the day. After reading it Dr. Kenyon could not refute the critique of his work by Dr. Wilder Smith:

The following interview was held with Dean Kenyon, the professor of biology at the University of San Francisco, who was for many years a staunch evolutionist, wrote the book Biochemical Predestination (McGraw-Hill, 1969), which was the best-selling advanced level university textbook on chemical evolution during the decade of the 70s. One of Dean Kenyon’s students gave him a copy of a book written by Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith (who holds three earned doctorates) entitled The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution. In this book by Dr. Wilder, Dr. Kenyon’s book is critiqued.

Instead of Kenyon saying Well, Dr. Wilder is just a creationist, who would listen to him? Dr. Kenyon read the book and tried to answer the arguments in it against his own book. When he couldn’t, he began to investigate where the evidence led to. It ended up leading outside of his previously held naturalistic presuppositions commonly known as evolution.

So evidence brought him to the stark truth of his starting point. A combined one-two-punch.

MSNBC Screws Up Its Narrative

You can see the disappointment on the MSNBC anchors face when a black Donald Trump supporter is played… when she really wanted some crazy red-neck on to support Trump in a clip:

David Corn asked why David Duke would endorse Trump? Did he ask that when David Duke cut a video on his YouTube to endorse Charles Barron (Democrat) for Congress?

Muslim Nanny Decapitates 4-Year-Old Child In Her Charge

CAUTION, this is the uncensored version of the video below.

Pamela Geller notes that the Russian “media cited authorities as suspecting it was a case of mental illness rather than a terrorist incident.” Miss Geller continued to point out, “This woman was motivated by religion whatever her mental state.” Breitbart reports more on the story (addition of uncensored video is by me, not Breitbart):

A woman has been detained in Moscow after brandishing a severed child’s head at police and allegedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

The woman, who has been named locally as Gyulchekhra Bobokulova – a 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan – was working as a nanny, with some reports suggesting she was “drugged” as she held the head in her hands.

The victim is believed to be a four-year-old child she was looking after. She had also been caring for another child, but the parents had taken that child away before the incident.

[….]

Yulia Ivanova, a spokeswoman for Moscow’s Interior Ministry, said the suspect “had waited until the parents left with the older child, and for unknown reasons committed murder of the child, set the apartment on fire and left the scene of the crime.”

Authorities are not treating the incident as terror-related, despite the woman reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “I am a terrorist”.

This Muslima terrorist is noted as yelling also that she hates democracy. More on this can also be found at Jihad Watch.

Failed Predictions About Polar Bears

Here are 5 or the 10 failed predictions regarding Polar Bears via What’s Up With That?

Prediction 1. Western Hudson Bay (WHB) polar bear numbers will continue to decline beyond 2004 due to ever-earlier breakup and ever-later freeze-up of sea ice.

FAIL – An aerial survey conducted by Seth Stapleton and colleagues (2014) in 2011 produced an estimate of about 1030 bears and their report stated:

This figure is similar to a 2004 mark–recapture estimate but higher than projections indicating declining abundance since then.”

This 1030 figure is the one being used by the IUCN PBSG and Environment Canada for WHB, as a limited mark-recapture study conducted the same year (Lunn and colleagues 2014) did not survey the entire WHB region and therefore not comparable to the 2004 count.

Prediction 2. Breakup of sea ice in Western Hudson Bay (WHB) will come progressively earlier and freeze-up dates progressively later (after 1999), as CO2 levels from burning fossil fuel increase global temperatures.

FAIL – Researchers Nick Lunn and colleagues (2014) determined that there has been no trend in breakup or freeze-up dates between 2001 and 2010. While no analyses of breakup or freeze-up dates for WHB since 2010 have been published, this pattern seems to have continued to at least 2015.

Prediction 3. Chukchi Sea polar bears will be the most harmed by summer sea ice declines because they experience some of the largest sea ice losses of any subpopulation (and thus, the longest open-water season each year).

FAILA recent study of Chukchi bears (2008-2011) found them in better condition than they were in the 1980s when summer open-water seasons were short – indeed, only Foxe Basin bears were fatter than Chukchi bears. They were also reproducing well (Rode et al. 2010, 2013, 2014), with some females raising litters of triplets (see lead photo), a rare sight outside Western Hudson Bay.

Prediction 4. Cannibalism will increase as summer sea ice extent declines worsen.

FAIL – Cannibalism is a natural phenomenon in polar bears and none of the few incidents reported recently have involved obviously thin or starving polar bears (even the most recent example, filmed in mid-August 2015 in Baffin Bay when sea ice levels in the region were high), despite the fact that 2012 recorded the lowest summer ice extent since 1979. Incidents of cannibalism cannot be said to be increasing because there is no scientific baseline to which recent occurrences can be compared.

Prediction 5. Drowning deaths of polar bears will increase as summer sea ice continues to decline (driven home by a high-profile incident in 2004).

FAIL – There have been no further confirmed reports of polar bear drowning deaths associated with extensive open water swimming since that contentious 2004 event, even though the two lowest extents of summer sea ice have occurred since then (2007 and 2012). A more rigorous study of swimming prowess found polar bears, including cubs, are capable of successfully making long-distance swims.  Indeed, challenging open-water swims don’t happen only in summer: in late March 2015, a polar bear swam through open water from the pack ice off Newfoundland to the Hibernia oil platform well offshore.

(…read the other five…)

A Madison Quote Debunked

Wikiquotes records a person asking if the above quote is authentic. As with other quotes I have dealt with in the past, this one too seems a little too self-serving to be Madison. Here is the question and answer to the above:

I have come across this quote, attributed to Madison, in several blogs, and would like to know if it is authentic.

….I don’t know that De Leon meant that as an exact quote. It appears that he was speaking extemporaneously, not from a prepared statement. The whole convention was “stenographically reported by B. F. Keinard.”

Earlier, in 1889, De Leon had written an essay, The Voice of Madison, discussing what Madison had written about suffrage and property. De Leon’s essay is a little vague, but I believe that he is talking about remarks that Madison made at the Federal Constitutional Convention and later elaborated upon in a series of notes. Madison is talking about whether the right to vote should be limited to landholders, a restriction he opposed.

There is some similarity in theme between the purported quote and Madison’s discussion of suffrage. Madison does say that, as the population increased, the proportion of the population with property, especially farm land, will decrease. And he discusses the inherent conflict between the rights of those with property and those without. But I don’t see anything about our republic being an impossibility.

De Leon’s essay “The Voice of Madison” was reprinted, along with an essay about Karl Marx, in a small book in 1920, prefaced by the quote in question. De Leon had died in 1914, so he didn’t have the chance to proofread this book, so is not responsible for it appearing there. As I said earlier, I’m not sure that he meant it to be taken as an exact quote.

I hope that helps.

[….]

The purported quote looks more like it is De Leon giving his own quick summary of what Madison had to say in the essay which can be found here.

The question then becomes, who Daniel De Leon, and why would he twist Madison so? The answer is that he was a Marxist (propagandist):

Daniel DeLeon (1852–1914) was an American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of his death.

Here is an excellent background to this communist/anarcho-leftist movement in Chicago in the late 1800s that included De Leon:

  • Theodore Draper, The Roots of American Communism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003), 13-17.

Also transferred across the Atlantic was the bitter feud between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the son of a Russian nobleman and the father of modern revolutionary anarchism. Bakunin’s ideas and methods became the stock in trade of the nineteenth century’s revolutionary underground—the conspiratorial form of organization, the cult of violence, the loathing of all authority, the quixotic vision of liberty and equality through destruction and chaos. A Revolutionary Socialist party was organized in Chicago in 1881 by an extremist faction which split away from the Socialist Labor party. The arrival in New York the following year of a German Bakuninist, Johann Most, gave the anarchists a mordant spokesman. Most spread the gospel of the “propaganda of the deed,” “expropriation” of the rich, and the beauty of a well-placed stick of dynamite. The “Revolutionary Socialists” and the anarchists united at a convention in Pittsburgh in 1883 and drew up a platform proclaiming that “there is only one remedy left—force.” By 1885, this organization claimed about 7000 members, over twice as many as the politically minded Socialist Labor party.

In a well-ordered society, this sort of agitation might have been dismissed as the ravings of madmen. But the United States of this time was not a particularly well-ordered society. Thousands of immi­grants poured into the country from Europe each year—almost 9,000,000 from 1881 to 1900. The relations between labor and capi­tal were largely undefined and uncontrollable except by sheer force on both sides. Employers fought labor organizations by every possible means. Strikes were ruthlessly crushed by armed guards, police, sheriffs, militia, and federal troops. Court injunctions tied the hands of unions on the mere threat of a strike. Working conditions often ranged from the primitive to the abominable. Bad times followed good times with monotonous regularity.

In this inflammable social climate, socialism, trade unionism, and anarchism were not the only panaceas. When the A.F. of L. was formed, the Knights of Labor boasted three times the membership of the trade unions. The Knights, founded in 1869, came out of a period when labor organizations were compelled to work in secrecy

to overcome the lockouts, blacklists, and forcible resistance of em­ployers. Originally conceived to promote education, mutual aid, and cooperation, it came to spend most of its energy on strikes and boycotts. In one respect, its struggles differed from those of the trade unions: the Knights organized the unskilled and semi-skilled, the trade unions the skilled workers. The decline of the Knights in the period 1886-1900 signified the ascendancy of the skilled craft labor of the trade unions, but the tradition of industrial unionism, which finally prevailed, goes back to the Knights of Labor.

The status quo was challenged from other directions. Henry George attacked land speculation as the source of all social evil and sought to stamp it out by taxing all profits from land equal to the full rental value—the “single tax.” In the great American utopian tradition, Edward Bellamy’s tremendously popular novel, Looking Backward, appeared in 1887. Bellamy’s hero awoke in the year 2000 A.D. to find a world of perfect virtue and virtuous perfection because the state had peacefully expropriated all private industrial enterprise and taken charge of the entire economy on a basis of equality and cooperation. Bellamy’s genteel and ethical vision of socialism ap­pealed to many more native Americans than did Marx’s analysis of the class struggle, but some of those who started with Bellamy ended with Marx. The Christian Socialist movement arose in the late 1880s. Some Protestant thinkers and ministers fought sin in the guise of capitalism and sought salvation in the form of socialism. The essential ideals of socialism were scattered far and wide, and in­corporated into many different systems of thought.

The official Socialist movement, however, was little more than a small, moribund, foreign-language sect until the Socialist Labor party was taken over by that imperious, eccentric, and magnetic personality, Daniel De Leon, in 1890. A lecturer on international law at Columbia University, De Leon had supported Henry George’s candidacy for mayor of New York in 1886 and had passed through both the Knights of Labor and the Bellamy movement. De Leon could not make the S.L.P. into a mass movement but he could give it an unprecedented theoretical vitality. The convert to Marxist doc­trine quickly became its outstanding American interpreter and even went on to do his own thinking in order to fill the gigantic vacuum left by Marx on the nature of the future socialist state. De Leon was a doctrinaire, but a creative one, a combination rarely encountered in Marxian dogmatists. When the future Communist leaders were growing up, De Leon was already a force to be reckoned with, and he initiated some of them into the mysteries of Marxism before that other creative doctrinaire, Lenin, came along to replace him in their affections.

Industrial unionism and Bellamyite utopianism served Eugene Victor Debs as stepping stones to socialism. A former railway fire­man born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Debs organized the American Railway Union on industrial-union lines in 1893. After a turbulent strike against the Pullman car company the following year, a sweeping court injunction, the intervention of government troops, and a debacle for the union, six months in jail for defying the injunction gave Debs the enforced leisure to start studying socialist literature. After this strike setback, Debs devoted himself to a scheme for the cooperative colonization of a sparsely settled Western state. Disap­pointed again, he announced his conversion to socialism in 1897. In­stead of joining forces with De Leon in the Socialist Labor party, how­ever, Debs formed a rival organization, the Social Democratic party, in 1898.

At about the same time, a rebellion began to erupt in the Socialist Labor party. The rebels, led by Morris Hillquit of New York, op­posed De Leon’s domineering personal rule and his anti-A.F. of L. trade-union policy. After much negotiation and maneuvering, the forces behind Debs and Hillquit combined to form the Socialist party of America in 1901. It brought together Christian Socialists and orthodox Marxists, immigrant workers and native intellectuals, trade-union officials and millionaire social reformers. Only a few of the delegates at the first Socialist party convention “had more than the haziest intellectual acquaintance with theoretical Marxism,” writes David A. Shannon. “Certainly the anticapitalism of many of the delegates derived more from Edward Bellamy’s Looking Back­ward than from Das Kapital.”

Those who were looking for a militant, extremist movement, however, were no longer likely to find it in socialism. The most excit­ing new phenomenon in the labor movement in the first decade of the twentieth century—the most impressionable early years of the future Communists—was syndicalism. It arose in the Western states where the craft unionism of the A.F. of L. could not or would not penetrate. The original impulse came from the Western Federation of Miners, formed in 1893 with William D. (Big Bill) Haywood as secretary-treasurer. The mine federation, an industrial union, had stormed out of the A.F. of L., charging lack of support, and had retaliated by setting up independent Western Labor centers, first the Western Labor Union, then the American Labor Union. Finally, a conglomeration of anti-A.F. of L. elements, including those in the American Labor Union, the Socialist Labor party, and the Socialist party, met together to form the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) at Chicago in 1905. At the outset, it was big enough to hold Debs, De Leon, and Haywood—but not for long.

Though most of the organizers of the I.W.W., including Haywood, were avowed socialists, they did not agree on the road to socialism. The fundamental dispute hinged on the old problem of political versus economic action. Should political parties or trade unions or both make the revolution? The orthodox Marxists put their faith primarily in revolutionary parties; the syndicalists, in revolutionary trade unions. The original preamble of the I.W.W.’s constitution referred to a struggle “on the political as well as on the industrial field.” This phrase did not go far enough for those who believed in revolutionary political activity and went too far for those who believed solely in revolutionary trade unionism. Debs left the I.W.W. in 1906 because he felt that it underestimated the importance of po­litical activity. De Leon was ousted in 1908 in a coup executed by an I.W.W. group more sympathetic to anarchism than to socialism. In that same year, the preamble was changed to eliminate the reference to political activity altogether. The I.W.W. developed into an American variety of anarcho-syndicalism whose battle cries were “direct action,” “sabotage,” and the “general strike.”

The Left Wing of the American labor movement before World War I had its deepest roots in two movements—socialism and syndicalism. Therefore it did not have a single home. It was in the main divided in its loyalties among three organizations—the Social­ist Labor party, the Socialist party, and the I.W.W. But that elusive and yet indispensable term—the Left Wing—cannot be fully under­stood organizationally. There are usually a number of rival groups within the Left Wing, each claiming to be the only true Left. The Left Wing of one period differs from the Left Wing of other periods. This instability is characteristic of a term which does not stand for a party or a program but rather for a relative position, and often only for a vague state of mind.

Nevertheless, there has been something like a historic Left in the American labor movement. As one Left Wing has followed an­other, a number of basic issues have recurred again and again. Since the Left Wing was less an organization than a fluctuating body of attitudes and ideas, these issues, more than anything else, gave it an enduring character.

Gay Patriot Notes the Deafness in the GOP (+ Dr. Sommers)

Gay Patriot, after posting some of Peggy Noonan’s article posted the above tweet — then followed that by potin gthe above Tweet by Christina Hoff Sommers (more of Dr. Sommers below), ventured into some erudite commentary on the whole Trump Train direction of the electorate. (And as you read he is dismayed as I as to Trump being the apparent nominee for a party that has conservatives as it base):

…Colleges seems to be hellbent on nursing any little pimple of an “offense” which appears to go against the Progressive agenda.

Therefore, “feminist dance therapy” wins out because it is part of the great cultural purge of the “impure” thinking which must be stomped out in order to reach the ideological purity that undergirds the glorious revolution of Progressivism.

It is Noonan’s “protected class” which is weaving the narrative. Their gated community lives do not want to mix with the hoi polloi on any terms which they do not control.

But now, much to their shock and awe, a vox populi is rising against the establishment and it scares the living bejesus out of the protected class. For them, it is Donald Trump who must be silenced. He is reckless. His brashness might throw the whole protected class in with the common trash. Think of it. Hillary and Bernie and lapdogs among the Repugnants are part of the passing scene for the establishment. Trump doesn’t play by any of the rules. If you look through the establishment looking glass, Trump is narcissistic. He is a bully. He is brash. He is a boor. He is histrionic. He is asocial. He lacks remorse. He is self-absorbed. He is shameless. He is self-serving. He plays by a different set of rules.[Note: does this remind you of Obama?]

Yeah, maybe so, but the “unprotected class” hears him and they smell an entirely different rose. So, maybe Trump is responding to the psychological state of his supporters. So, maybe a huge chunk of the population is nuts in the eyes of the establishment. Maybe the establishment knows it is losing its control of the little people. Maybe the welfare and the speech codes and the whole manipulation of the culture has suffered a transmission breakdown. Maybe the emperor establishment has no clothes and they have no place to hide. Maybe this is how actual revolutions begin.

What can I add to this??  I don’t know because the rest of Noonan’s column is behind a subscription wall, and I don’t feel like going to the trouble. But the thing about the Protected isn’t just their isolation, it’s their arrogance. The Republican Party was too arrogant to pay attention when voters were demanding that illegal immigration be stopped. It was like some bizarre Far Side cartoon where voters were screaming, “You have got to stop this illegal immigration. It’s killing us! Our kids are losing out on jobs to illegal workers. Illegal aliens are overwhelming our schools, our health care facilities, and our welfare systems. Illegal alien gangs are coming into our communities and committing crimes. You have got to stop this problem.” And what Republicans heard was, “So, we should sign on with the Democrats and make illegal immigration legal.”

It was arrogance that led the Republican Party to write off Donald Trump as a joke before the primaries; repeatedly predicting that he would rise and fade like Herman Cain or Sarah Palin, and once voters “came to their senses,” they would nominate someone “electable” like Jeb Bush or John Kasich….

(read it all)

Disjointed Conservatives Frustrate Dennis Prager

I have been listening to Prager for a long time. This is the most defeated I have heard him. And it is because he is realizing why we lose elections… and why the first political cartoon of our budding nation — “Join or Die” — was so important.Cartoon Join Die

Many calls are included, the first one is the most frustrating to me. Enjoy the audio, and pray that we can pull it together in the end.


For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/ ~ see also Prager University: http://www.prageruniversity.com/

What Was the Civil War Over? (Updated)

First-things-first:

  • “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

What are we to make of this first part of the quote often ripped from it’s context (both in the letter as well as from the complexity of history) by leftist historians and unsuspecting persons. The first thing to do is to quote it in a fuller context:

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. (Read the whole letter)

The most important thing to remember is when this letter to Horace Greely was written, the Emancipation Act was on Lincolns desk.

  • Lincoln first discussed the proclamation to free the slaves with his cabinet in July 1862… the letter to Horace Greely was written in August 1862.

Again, President Abraham Lincoln informs his chief advisors and cabinet that he will issue a proclamation to free slaves, but adds that he will wait until the Union Army has achieved a substantial military victory to make the announcement, BEFORE writing to Greely. [Context is King.] Let us add some flavor to the obviously hard decisions on the Executive level in keeping both sides happy while tacking like a sailboat through choppy waters towards the big goal:

…Tugging him in the other direction were abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Horace Greeley. In his editorial, “The Prayer of Twenty Millions,” Greeley assailed Lincoln for his soft treatment of slaveholders and for his unwillingness to enforce the Confiscation Acts, which called for the property, including slaves, of Confederates to be taken when their homes were captured by Union forces. Abolitionists saw the acts as a wedge to drive into the institution of slavery.

Lincoln had been toying with the idea of emancipation for some time. He discussed it with his cabinet but decided that some military success was needed to give the measure credibility. In his response to Greeley’s editorial, Lincoln hinted at a change. In a rare public response to criticism, he articulated his policy by stating, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.” Although this sounded noncommittal, Lincoln closed by stating, “I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”

By hinting that ending slavery might become a goal of the war, Lincoln was preparing the public for the change in policy that would come one month later with the Emancipation Proclamation.

(History Channel)

Remember, history is complicated, as President, his position on slavery was initially less enlightened and more pragmatic (perhaps in an effort to keep the border states from seceding). Lincoln’s official position from his candidacy through the early years of the war was that he opposed expansion of slavery into new territory, but believed it could continue to exist in existing slave states. Even as the war went on, he grew into the role of “The Great Emancipator” rather than arriving as a finished product. At one point,

  1. he advocated for compensated emancipation (i.e. the government would buy slaves and free them)
  2. He also advocated for “re-colonization” back to Africa

Both those early fixes floated around as options to a problem that men-cannot-own-men would have ended slavery. Something he believed in ending, personally, all-the-time. [See his notes for the debate with Douglas below.] But it took a while to implement it in the the Union as official policy. Something this generation does not understand with their one-hour photo, half-hour pizza, email vs. snail mail… there is no understanding of the time [times] being discussed.

Put another way (trying to break this down “Barney Style“):

When he wrote that he had the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation in his desk drawer and had already presented it to his cabinet. He was responding to Greeley’s request for presidential action on abolition and apparently wanted to establish a basis in the public mind for accepting the Emancipation Proclamation. That basis was that he was trying to save the Union.

In other words, Lincoln was part of — in the end — the eradication of slavery. It is simply that one’s view of Lincoln depends on whether he gets credit for the destination he ultimately arrived at or not.

This same idea applies to discussions about ancient texts as well.


What caused the Civil War? Did the North care about abolishing slavery? Did the South secede because of slavery? Or was it about something else entirely…perhaps states’ rights? Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, settles the debate below:

Dennis Prager interviews Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Colonel Ty Seidule, about the recent Prager University video on the reasons for the Civil War (video at top). The idea that the war was over other reasons like states rights is true… the right for the Southern states to practice slavery. All one has to do is read the “Ordinance’s of Secession” from the seceding states:

A good place to touch base on these ordinances is here. Another great thing to do is read the debates between Lincoln and Douglas. Another resource are three videos found on a page on my site, dealing with some of these myths.

Two books I recommend on the issue are:

What This Cruel War Was Over ~ With letters from the soldiers themselves and battlefield communiques, what did the men on the ground think the war was over;

Half Slave and Half Free ~ One of the best books combining the time from our founding to the roots of the Civil War.

Here is a graph of the main grievances the states who left the union had… and the text is all the Reasons for Secession documents with the highest percentage of grievances, of which I will focus on the top six:

In other words, when the reasons for seceding were written the states wanted their own right to have slaves.

When the documents are broken down, Slavery is the main reason:

1) Each declaration makes the defense of slavery a clear objective.
2) Some states argue that slavery should be expanded.
3) Abolitionism is attacked as a method of inciting violent uprisings.
4) Mississippi and Georgia point out that slavery accounts for a huge portion of the Southern economy.

When it shifts to States Rights, it is still about the choice to keep slavery:

1) The states argue that the Union is a compact, one that can be annulled if the states are not satisfied with what they receive in return from other states and/or from the federal government.

[…sounds reasonable… but the above is qualified with the below…]

2) The states argue that the North’s reluctance to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (mandating that fugitive slaves be returned to the South) means that the compact is no longer satisfactory.

These are the top SIX reasons for secession. The economy was another reason… but these concerns hinged on slavery. The election of Abraham Lincoln was a concern as well, this again was mainly because of slavery. 

Are you getting the picture?

Moving on…

Here is the History Channel:

In the mid-19th century, while the United States was experiencing an era of tremendous growth, a fundamental economic difference existed between the country’s northern and southern regions. While in the North, manufacturing and industry was well established, and agriculture was mostly limited to small-scale farms, the South’s economy was based on a system of large-scale farming that depended on the labor of black slaves to grow certain crops, especially cotton and tobacco. Growing abolitionist sentiment in the North after the 1830s and northern opposition to slavery’s extension into the new western territories led many southerners to fear that the existence of slavery in america–and thus the backbone of their economy–was in danger.

In 1854, the U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which essentially opened all new territories to slavery by asserting the rule of popular sovereignty over congressional edict. Pro- and anti-slavery forces struggled violently in “Bleeding Kansas,” while opposition to the act in the North led to the formation of the Republican Party, a new political entity based on the principle of opposing slavery’s extension into the western territories. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Dred Scott case (1857) confirmed the legality of slavery in the territories, the abolitionist John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry in 1859 convinced more and more southerners that their northern neighbors were bent on the destruction of the “peculiar institution” that sustained them. Lincoln’s election in November 1860 was the final straw, and within three months seven southern states–South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas–had seceded from the United States….

In a discussion on the Civil War, I was challenged with a couple points, the first being that Lincoln didn’t care much about slaves/slavery and merely wanted to win the war for other reasons. And the other challenge was if the South was sooo racist, why did the South offer freedom to slaves who fought for them. Here is the comment:

I posted an article about Lincoln knowing it was “morally wrong,” but not even wanting to free the slaves, right? Lincoln wanted to win the war, and since the South offered freedom to slaves who fought for them first, then you kinda have to understand that Lincoln only wanted to win the war by following suit.

I first merely note some notes Lincoln had on him during his famous debate with Stephen Douglas in 1858, BEFORE the war. He wrote:

“If A can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right, enslave B — why not B snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A?

You say A is a white, and B is black. It is –color–, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be the slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.

You do not mean color exactly? — You mean the whites are –intellectually– the superiors of the blacks, and therefore, have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.

But, say you, it is a question of –interest; and, if you can make it your –interest–, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.”

[go back]

Doesn’t sound like his views were an afterthought? These thought pre-dated the war. And if anyone reads that debate you will see slavery was foremost in the discussion.

Another point I make is from James W. Loewen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont, is the author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me” and “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader,” notes that this idea of blacks fighting for and being offered freedom was three weeks before the end of the war (via Live Science):

The argument over whether blacks took up arms to fight for the government that enslaved them is a bitter one, but historians have busted this myth, Deaton said.

“It’s just balderdash,” he said.

Loewen agreed.

“It’s completely false,” Loewen said. “One reason we know it’s false was that the Confederacy by policy flatly did not allow blacks to be soldiers until March of 1865.”

The idea had been brought up before, University of Tennessee historian Stephen Ash wrote in 2006 in the journal Reviews in American History. In January of 1864, Confederate Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne proposed enlisting slaves. When Confederate President Jefferson Davis heard the suggestion, Ash wrote, he “not only rejected the idea but also ordered that the subject be dropped and never discussed again in the army.”

About three weeks before the Civil War ended, however, a desperate Davis changed his tune. By that point, the war was lost and few, if any, blacks signed up.

White officers did bring their slaves to the front, where they were pressed into service doing laundry and cooking, Loewen said.

Fact #9: The Emancipation Proclamation led the way to total abolition of slavery in the United States.

With the Emancipation Proclamation, the aim of the war changed to include the freeing of slaves in addition to preserving the Union. Although the Proclamation initially freed only the slaves in the rebellious states, by the end of the war the Proclamation had influenced and prepared citizens to advocate and accept abolition for all slaves in both the North and South. The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed on December 6th, 1865

Fact #10: Lincoln considered the Emancipation Proclamation the crowning achievement of his presidency.

Heralded as the savior of the Union, President Lincoln actually considered the Emancipation Proclamation to be the most important aspect of his legacy. “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper,” he declared. “If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”

(SEE MORE: CivilWar.org)

Jennifer Garner’s Return to “Faith”

May I say, not only is the movie about a miracle, but the miracle continued on in Jennifer Garner’s life and kids life. I just hope it is a church that can guard their walk in their faith by teaching them the completeness of God’s Word and our worldview.

Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

THAT BEING SAID, if that is T.D. Jakes sitting next to her (in the below video)… and that is the church she is going to… well, good luck. There are some well founded concerns about his teachingsto say the least.

This comes by way of NewsBusters:

….During a Q&A, Garner admitted that Los Angeles, her current home, is a difficult place to openly discuss faith.

“[Faith] has become very political,” she said. “If you’re a person of faith, you are so on the outside, that there’s no way to bridge to somebody that’s ‘normal.’”

But, she stressed, this movie was different: people would discuss faith on set constantly. Besides that, the film itself normalizes faith.

“[I]t’s a normal, wonderful family who happened to have leaned on their faith, to guide them through the hardest thing in their lives,” Garner pressed.

Those aspects of the film led her and her family back to church.

I will say that being around this community, and while I’ve always gone to church back home in West Virginia, when we got back to Los Angeles… I was talking to my kids about the movie and they said, ‘Mom, you don’t take us to church,’ and we went that Sunday, and we – they went today without me. I mean, they – that, that decision – and that was a direct gift from this movie and so, for that, I’m very grateful.

[….]

Garner wanted a part in the film as soon as she read Beam’s best-selling memoir, the movie’s inspiration.

“I stayed awake all night after reading Miracles from Heaven,” Garner told People magazine last year. “There was something about this family, this mother and daughter, and this telling of the story that I felt I just had to be a part of.” …