This is why word inflation is a problem: You can try to change reality by redefining words, but it won’t work – it just stops you from dealing with it.
(Originally Published September 2016)
It’s the kind of story that echoes citations of postmodernist linguistic maneuvering in the decades-long battle over the politicization of language. (See more at MRCTV’s BLOG)
An excellent definition incorporating the old Webster’s and the Safire Political Dictionary:
- Webster’s says this: a. belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
So we see that Webster’s main definition are based on a belief in a genetic superiority of one ethnicity (falsely called race) over another. A more in-depth definition comes from Safire’s Political Dictionary, and reads (in-part):
Note also that the above started to get into what Hitler thought. See more via my letter to a teacher at Arroyo Seco [my sons school] many years ago:
Is it fair to say that atheism is simply a lack of a belief? Or is there some positive content to this alleged non-belief? Andy Bannister in episode 18 of SHORT/ANSWERS encourages our atheist friends to think a little more deeply about the need to test and defend what it is that they do believe.
Below is an excerpt from Frank Turek’s recent book, Stealing from God which deals well with the oddly new definition of atheism, which simply stated is a “lack of belief.”
This excerpt from the recommended book is preceded by William Lane Craig explaining how this definition merely is a statement of an immediate psychological state, and is not a position on anything. If this is a definition, then Dr. Craig’s cat is an atheist. Enjoy:
Dr. William Lane Craig answers the typical charge by atheists (like Dan Barker, George H. Smith, Michael Martin, Gordon Stein, etc. who define atheism as a “lack of belief in God”) who say literally everybody is an atheist.
(Originally Posted In February 2017)
I just wanted to update the below a bit with a great explanation of how theists view evidential propositions about God as compared to agnostics and atheists. Tim Stratton makes a great short example of what is being discussed in the below — but clearer: “ATHEISM: LACK OF BELIEF OR BLIND FAITH?“
I reside when discussing apologetics with persons in category two. If I feel moved to pray a sinners prayer with a person, I am speaking from category one, and the person who is inviting the Holy Spirit into their life is falling into that category as well. “… fundamentally, the way we know Christianity to be true is by the self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit.” Tim’s whole post is worth reading
HOW ATHEISTS VIEW CHRISTIAN’S FAITH
LETTING CHRISTIANS DEFINE FAITH
- Challenging Atheism’s Definition of Faith
- The Definition That Will Not Die! (Transcript)
- Reason & Faith (an old debate updated)
- Atheistic Origins Cannot Account For: Love, Reason, Truth, or Justice
- Peter Boghossian vs Tim McGrew
Click To Enlarge
Here is the response to Russell’s position:
Here is the response to Logicel’s position:
Here is the Comment from Professor Gray:
CNS-NEWS notes that,
One of the new Merriam Webster words is “safe-space” – I will comment quickly after this Free Beacon excerpt:
You see, our country was firmly steeped in “Reformational thinking,” for most of it’s life. Our Founders and many since (including the general public) knew that if there was two people gathered, a safe space is an impossibility.
B-e-c-a-u-s-e of mankind’s fallen nature. Having a space that is “free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations” is impossible.
Marriage is an earthly example of grace and love being used daily… not because of my spouse ~ although that as well ~ but because of myself.
- Martin knew his patience was hard to find at times. He once said, “All my life is patience. I have to have patience with the pope, the heretics, my family, and Katie.” [Katie was Luther’s wife.] But as Bainton rightly observes, Martin “recognized that it was good for him.” Again, marriage and family was a school of character. (Martin Luther on Marriage)
I bring all my nature that I have to allow Christ to concur daily into the place where the people I love the most are. This realization and having the “unsafe” conversations between spouses and learning to control all sorts of emotions and how one should express them in healthy ways by losing control of them when dealing with children and a spouse. All of this maturation, growth, and the like come by seeing my reflection through the mirror known as my wife.
Safe-spaces do not compensate growth. They do not maturate the human. In short, they end up being the most dangerous place for the future dealings of young persons.
Remember, where two-or-more believers are gathered, Christ is present. Where two-or-more people are gathered, marginalization occurs, naturally. The difference is we are convicted of our nature when Christ is present. When he is not present, people try to hide from their nature, and thus hide from God, trivializing “themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life” (The Message, Romans 1:21c-23a).
I look forward to the day when my Creator glorifies FULLY the work He has evidenced in my new birth. Why do I look forward to this? Because I ache like all of creation (Romans 8:22). However, I especially groan when I see the potential God has for people, unrealized. You see, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
I hear this depth of agony in fallen creation and the hope of what is promised in one of the greatest of examples for Christ to come quickly — really, it is a plea of sorts:
- He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20).
Amen, and Amen.
Here is the text of the above:
Firstly, for the sake of good conversation and clarity… we need [actually, Dr. DiLorenzo] to define socialism:
Here are some article headlines that will help encapsulate the quote:
Another example from a few years ago is the Fairness Doctrine. Just listen to Ed Schultz admit something in this radio excerpt (below-right ~ from an OLD POST).
You see, all this is a power play. In a society becoming increasingly more-and-more socialist… power and control over every aspect of life becomes more-and-more natural. Almost a necessity [inherent] on the part of the politician. Democrats think they are for freedom, but in fact they are the root cause for the constant attacks on freedom. That is, progressive liberalism… not classical liberalism.
And as a Christian I am concerned, ultimately, for truth [Truth]. Truth is what a free society strives for… and often getting to it means discussing all options. “Options” are anathema to socialism, to wit:
Worth your while as well is this commentary by Ezra Levant on Venezuela a little over a year ago.
So with all that in mind (one should familiarize themselves with the first part of this), can we then define what we mean by biblical inerrancy, of course my favorite definition comes from the main text I used at the seminary I attended. I will also give definitions from some other main text that other seminaries use as well.
In case you didn’t catch what that sentence meant is “that the Bible always tells the truth, and that it always tells the truth concerning everything it talks about.”
In the index in the back under “inerrancy” you find some of the following topics under that heading: allows for free quotation; allows for ordinary language; allows for round numbers; allows for textual variants; allows for uncommon grammar; allows for vague statements; human language doesn’t prevent. I will choose one example from this list so you can get the “gist” of what Grudem is saying:
Another definition comes from a newer systematic theological 4-volumn set, it reads as follows:
Another popular text in seminaries defines inerrancy in this way:
One of my favorites comes from large theological treatise, I will here only put his definition, however, the author goes on for about four pages defining some of the ideas and words used in that smaller definition:
One must also keep in mind the psychological foreboding that all of us have. The question is thus: in order to suppress our biases as much as possible, is there a construct and model in which one should view any literary work with in order to test it internal soundness? Besides what I will again post as some rules all persons should follow in order to limit his or her preconceived values and biases they bring to the table, C. Sanders, a famous military historian, in his Introduction to Research in English Literary History, lists and explains the three basic principles of historiography. These are the bibliographical test, the internal evidence test, and the external evidence test.
The bibliographical test is an examination of the textual transmission by which documents reach us. In other words, since we do not have the original documents, how reliable are the copies we have in regard to the number of manuscripts (MSS and the time interval between the original and the extant (currently existing) copies?
Internal Evidence, of which John Warwick Montgomery writes that literary critics still follow Aristotle’s dictum that “the benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not arrogated by the critic to himself.” therefore, one must listen to the claims of the document under analysis, and do not assume fraud or error unless the author disqualified himself by contradictions or known factual inaccuracies. As Dr. Horn continues:
Do other historical materials confirm or deny the internal testimony provided by the documents themselves? In other words, what sources are there – apart from the literature under analysis – that substantiate its accuracy, reliability, and authenticity?
Of course there will be people who refuse to use the tools that literary critics and legal scholars have devised to keep as much prejudice out as possible. My final story I wish to share with the reader explains what this looks like better than I ever could:
And I would be remiss to note how the Christian world looks at what “the inspired Word of God” means to the individuals involved in the writing of Scripture. Do these lose their person-hood? Do they become automatons? Losing all ability to self, or control like automatic writing in paganism or the occult? These are important questions:
A really good article chronicling various theories on this is here: Who Wrote the Bible: God or Man? Another great post on the matter that does a bang-up job on bullet pointing the issues of textual transmission is this post: History of the Bible: How The Bible Came To Us.
All this defining and understanding above is key for any person to start dissecting Scripture (or as some would view it, scripture) on a level playing field with others who come to this conversation as well.
Here is an often heard MANTRA that Credo House deals with nicely: “You Can’t Use the Bible to Prove the Bible”
 For the seminary student:
The significance of the distinction between inerrant autograph and errant apograph may be seen from another angle. What difference would it make, some have asked, if the autographs did contain some of the errors that are present in the copies? Is not the end result of textual criticism and hermeneutics by both nonevangelical and evangelical essentially the same? As far as the results of textual criticism and hermeneutics as such are concerned, the answer to this last query is yes. By sound application of the canons of textual criticism, most by far of the errors in the text may be detected and corrected. And both nonevangelical and evangelical can properly exegete the critically established text. But the nonevangelical who fails to make a distinction between the inerrancy of the autographs and the errancy of the copies, after he has done his textual criticism and grammatical-historical exegesis, is still left with the question, Is the statement which I have now reached by my text-critical work and my hermeneutics true? He can only attempt to determine this on other (extrabiblical) grounds, but he will never know for sure if his determination is correct. The evangelical, however, who draws the distinction between inerrant autograph and errant apograph, once he has done proper text-critical analysis which assures him that he is working with the original text and properly applied the canons of exegesis to that text, rests in the confidence that his labor has resulted in the attainment of truth.
Some critical scholars have suggested that the distinction between inerrant autographs and errant apographs is of fairly recent vintage, indeed, an evangelical ploy to minimize the impact of the “assured results of textual criticism” upon their position. This is erroneous. Augustine’s statement, which represents the opinion generally of the Patristic Age, is a sufficient answer to demonstrate that the distinction is not a recent novelty:
I have learned to defer this respect and honor to the canonical books of Scripture alone, that I most firmly believe that no one of their authors has committed any error in writing. And if in their writings I am perplexed by anything which seems to me contrary to truth, I do not doubt that it is nothing else than either that the manuscript is corrupt, or that the translator has not followed what was said, or that I have myself failed to understand it. But when I read other authors, however eminent they may be in sanctity and learning, I do not necessarily believe a thing is true because they think so, but because they have been able to convince me, either on the authority of the canonical writers or by a probable reason which is not inconsistent with truth. And I think that you, my brother, feel the same way; moreover, I say, I do not believe that you want your books to be read as if they were those of Prophets and Apostles, about whose writings, free of all error, it is unlawful to doubt.
Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, 2nd ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 91-92.
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 90.
 Ibid., 91.
 Ibid., 91-92.
 Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology: Introduction: Bible, vol. I (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2002), 498.
 Gordon R. Lewis and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology: Three Volumes in One, vol. I (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 160-161.
 Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books/Academic, 1998), 259.
 Taken primarily from, Bill Wilson, ed., A Ready Defense: The Best of Josh McDowell (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1993), 43.
 R.C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley, Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 69-70.
 John R. Rice, Our God Breathed Book – The Bible (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Word Publishers, 1969), 72-74.
See more on the Canon here.
Extended Video Presentations
Did the Ancient Church Muzzle the Canon?
Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then? Part 1
This next video is a very interesting video in that it is an argument on a Temple Library and the transmission of Scripture. Great presentation… shows that there are breakthroughs in Biblical history waiting to be correlated.
The Gospel Coalition (Januray 2015) – Lecture by John Meade. Meade speaks on the authenticity of the Bible. This video is part of ‘The Bible: Canon, Texts, and Translations’ playlist: YouTube Playlist.
This next video is a lecture from Masters Seminary, Theology I Lecture 08 “Authority and Canonicity of Scripture”
And a greatr study is with R.C. Sproul, and he makes a point that has eluded me a bit until now, and they are:
“Big Government refers to a government that is very influential in the everyday lives of citizens, often due to its far-reaching agencies.” In other words, the growth of centralized government. Pat Buchanan once put it well:
- The mammoth government we have today is a result of politicians rushing to solve ‘crises’ by creating and empowering new federal agencies.
Thomas Sowell says of this in a recent book he wrote:
- Big Government damages trust rather than enhancing it, by making it more difficult for people to voluntarily cooperate for mutual profit.
Installing new powers for existing departments of government that create more legislation that straps the common man and business owner with more regulation and less freedom (an example would be the EPA and its new powers over more private property). Creating new departments and growing government in it’s scope and regulating powers (for instance, the ACA).
This is why “Dubya” always rated low in polls of people with differing political views. The left didn’t like him because he was on the opposite side of their viewpoint. The right didn’t like him because he teamed up with Kennedy and reinforced the idea of the Dept. of Education in joint legislation to increase its scope and influence WHEN it should be abolished all-together.
✦ Thomas E. Dewey stated the case against Big Government in 1950: “All-powerful, central government, like dictatorships, can continue only by growing larger and larger. It can never retrench without admitting failure. By absorbing more than half of all the taxing power of the nation, the federal government now deprives the states and local governments of the capacity to support the programs they should conduct … it offers them in exchange the counterfeit currency of federal subsidy.”
✦ Dwight Eisenhower deplored what he called “the whole-hog mentality,” which “leans toward the creation of a more extensive and stifling monopoly than this country has ever seen … you don’t need more supergovernment.”
✦ Republican House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, in 1966, blamed it all on the Democrats, labeling them “the party of Big Business, of Big Government, of Big Spending, of Big Deficits, of Big Cost of Living, of Big Labor Trouble, of Big Home Foreclosures, of Big Scandals, of Big Riots in the Streets and of Big Promises.”
✦ “The truth about big government,” said John F. Kennedy in 1962, “is the truth about any other great activity: it is complex. Certainly it is true that size brings dangers, but it is also true that size also can bring benefits.”
✦ A favorite Ronald Reagan line was “Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” President Bill Clinton astonished some followers and delighted some critics with “The era of big government is over.”
(Quotes are from William Safire, Safire’s Political Dictionary (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008), 52, cf. big government.)
Professor Thies notes “what conservatism is” in a short numbered way, that defines well what the base of the GOP stands for (or doesn’t stand for):
Three question the left rarely [if ever] ask:
1) compared to what?
2) at what cost?
3) what hard-evidence do you have?
If you think Bernie Sanders is a hero, harm yourself. He is, in fact, a fascist with bad hair. Worse than Trump’s by the way. So Trump has that going for him. Which is nice. Aside from his tax plan which we’ve already thoroughly debunked, my biggest beef is how Sanders is selling himself. He’s telling everyone he’s “for the people.” But that is, in fact, a giant lie.
“Fascism” is a pretty fun catch word in today’s politics. Usually applied to extreme “right-wingers”, allow me to make a case for why Bernie Sanders is the most fascist candidate of them all…