A Worldview/RPT Rant On a Reasonable Zuby Quote

I think the below is applicable to many things. Like masks, mandatory vaccines for colds. etc. But I can also see how the below will be used to counter life and the freedom the Founding Documents of this nation afford. This is to say I like the quote, but can see it being misused as well.

That is the reason for the post — just to counter what I can see others using it for.

So, how does this play out with the Left? [Or, strict Libertarians.] Below I will use some personal experience as well as some legal interpretation and thought experiments – with a dash of religious philosophy to get us started.

WORLDVIEWS IN THE MIX

Before we begin, many who know the site know that I speak with informed knowledge in my Judeo-Christian [theistic] worldview to those of other adopted worldviews [known or unknown] to change hearts and minds. Often people do not know what a worldview is or if they hold one, or that knowing of it even has purpose. Nor do they know that higher education just a couple generations ago thought it educations purpose to instill it. A quote I came across in seminary that I kept discusses this:

Alexander W. Astin dissected a longitudinal study conducted by UCLA started in 1966 for the Review of Higher Education [journal] in which 290,000 students were surveyed from about 500 colleges.  The main question was asked of students why study or learn?  “Seeking to develop ‘a meaningful philosophy of life’” [to develop a meaningful worldview] was ranked “essential” by the majority of entering freshmen.  In 1996 however, 80% of the college students barely recognized the need for “a meaningful philosophy of life” and ranked “being very well off financially” [e.g., to not necessarily develop a meaningful worldview] as paramount. [1 & 2]


[1] Alexander W. Astin, “The changing American college student: thirty year trends, 1966-1996,” Review of Higher Education, 21 (2) 1998, 115-135.

[2] Some of what is here is adapted and with thanks to Dr. Stephen Whatley, Professor of Apologetics & Worldviews at Faith International University… as, they are in his notes from one of his classes.

I wish to highlight the “a meaningful philosophy of life.” This is known as a worldview, or, tools to dissect life and define reality. So the question becomes, what then is a worldview? Why do we need a coherent one?

WORLDVIEW: People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently based on these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize.  By “presuppositions” we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world.  Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists.  People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world.  Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions.  “As a man thinketh, so he is,” is profound.  An individual is not just the product of the forces around him.  He has a mind, an inner world.  Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it.  People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who “lives in the mind” and who therefore is the true actor in the external world.  The inner thought world determines the outward action.  Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles.  But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after careful consideration of what worldview is true.  When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, “not many men are in the room” — that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions.

— Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1976), 19-20.

So, even if one isn’t necessarily aware they have a worldview, they operate as if they do — borrowing from what they perceive as truths but are often a patchwork of interpretations that if questioned on, the self-refuting nature of these personally held beliefs are easy to dissect and show the person is living incoherently. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “worldview” this way:

1) The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world; 2) A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.” 

What are these self-refuting aspects people find themselves moving in-between? What are the worldviews? Here are some listed, and really, that first list of seven is it. That is as broad as one can expand the worldview list:

  1. theism
  2. atheism
  3. deism
  4. finite godism
  5. pantheism
  6. panentheism
  7. polytheism[1]

Others still reduce it further: Idealism, naturalism, and theism.[2] C.S Lewis dealt with religious worldviews much the same way, comparing: philosophical naturalism (atheism), pantheism, and theism.[3]


[1] Doug Powell, The Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics (Nashville, TN: Holman Publishers, 2006); and Norman L. Geisler and William D. Watkins, Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers);

[2] L. Russ Bush, A Handbook for Christian Philosophy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991).

[3] Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Macmillan Inc, 1943).

Knowing what “rose-colored-glasses” you are wearing and if you are being internally coherent in your dissecting of reality is important because of the cacophony of what is being offered:

Faith Founded on Fact: Essays in Evidential Apologetics (Newburgh, IN: Trinity Press, 1978), 152-153.

Joseph R. Farinaccio, author of “Faith with Reason: Why Christianity is True,” starts out his excellent book pointing a way to this truth that a well-informed public should know some of:

  • This is a book about worldviews. Everybody has one, but most individuals never really pay much attention to their own personal philosophy of life. This is a tragedy because there is no state of awareness so fundamental to living life. — (Pennsville, NJ: BookSpecs Publishing, 2002), 10 (emphasis added).
  • “A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our well being.” — James W. Sire, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2004), 122 (emphasis added).

Is this part of the reason so many today, especially young people, do not have “well-being”?

(More on worldviews can be found in my first chapter of my book titled:INTRODUCTION: TECHNOLOGY JUNKIES” — PDF | As well as my WORLDVIEW POST on the matter)

The Law of Non Contradiction

I bet many reading this will have used the phrases or ideas below without realizing it was incoherent at best. I link to my chapter above, but here is an excerpt from it to better explain why a person’s worldview should be internally sound:

The law of non-contradiction is one of the most important laws of logical thought, in fact, one textbook author goes so far as to say that this law “is considered the foundation of logical reasoning.”[1]  Another professor of philosophy at University College London says that “a theory in which this law fails…is an inconsistent theory.”[2]  A great example of this inconsistency can be found in the wonderful book Philosophy for Dummies that fully expresses the crux of the point made throughout this work:

  • Statement: There is no such thing as absolute truth.[3]

By applying the law of non-contradiction to this statement, one will be able to tell if this statement is coherent enough to even consider thinking about.  Are you ready?  The first question should be, “is this an absolute statement?”  Is the statement making an ultimate, absolute claim about the nature of truth?  If so, it is actually asserting what it is trying to deny, and so is self-deleting – more simply, it is logically incoherent as a comprehensible position[4] as it is in violation of the law of non-contradiction.  Some other examples are as follows, for clarity’s sake:

“All truth is relative!” (Is that a relative truth?); “There are no absolutes!” (Are you absolutely sure?); “It’s true for you but not for me!” (Is that statement true just for you or is it for everyone?)[5] In short, contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible.[6]

Many will try to reject logic in order to accept mutually contradictory beliefs; often times religious pluralism[7] is the topic with which many try to suppress these universal laws in separating religious claims that are mutually exclusive.  Professor Roy Clouser puts into perspective persons that try to minimize differences by throwing logical rules to the wayside:

The program of rejecting logic in order to accept mutually contradictory beliefs is not, however, just a harmless, whimsical hope that somehow logically incompatible beliefs can both be trueit results in nothing less than the destruction of any and every concept we could possess.  Even the concept of rejecting the law of non-contradiction depends on assuming and using that law, since without it the concept of rejecting it could neither be thought nor stated.[8]

Dr. Clouser then goes on to show how a position of psychologist Erich Fromm is “self-assumptively incoherent.”[9] What professor Clouser is saying is that this is not a game.  Dr. Alister McGrath responds to the religious pluralism of theologian John Hick by showing just how self-defeating this position is:

The belief that all religions are ultimately expressions of the same transcendent reality is at best illusory and at worst oppressive – illusory because it lacks any substantiating basis and oppressive because it involves the systematic imposition of the agenda of those in positions of intellectual power on the religions and those who adhere to them.  The illiberal imposition of this pluralistic metanarrative[10] on religions is ultimately a claim to mastery – both in the sense of having a Nietzschean authority and power to mold material according to one’s will, and in the sense of being able to relativize all the religions by having access to a privileged standpoint.[11]

As professor McGrath points out above, John Hick is applying an absolute religious claim while at the same time saying there are no absolute religious claims to religious reality.  It is self-assumptively incoherent.  Anthropologist William Sumner argues against the logical position when he says that “every attempt to win an outside standpoint from which to reduce the whole to an absolute philosophy of truth and right, based on an unalterable principle, is delusion.”[12]  Authors Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl respond to this self-defeating claim by showing that Sumner is making a strong claim here about knowledge:

He says that all claims to know objective moral truth are false because we are all imprisoned in our own cultural and are incapable of seeing beyond the limits of our own biases.  He concludes, therefore, that moral truth is relative to culture and that no objective standard exists.  Sumner’s analysis falls victim to the same error committed by religious pluralists who see all religions as equally valid.[13]

The authors continue:

Sumner’s view, however, is self-refuting.  In order for him to conclude that all moral claims are an illusion, he must first escape the illusion himself.  He must have a full and accurate view of the entire picture….  Such a privileged view is precisely what Sumner denies.  Objective assessments are illusions, he claims, but then he offers his own “objective” assessment.  It is as if he were saying, “We’re all blind,” and then adds, “but I’ll tell you what the world really looks like.” This is clearly contradictory.[14]

Philosopher Roger Scruton drives this point home when he says, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely negative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”[15]


[1] Manuel Velasquez, Philosophy: A Text with Readings (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2001), p. 51.

[2] Ted Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (New York, NY: Oxford Univ Press, 1995), p. 625.

[3] Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies, 46.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 40.

[6] Ibid., 38.

[7] Religious Pluralism – “the belief that every religion is true.  Each religion provides a genuine encounter with the Ultimate.” Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 598.

[8] Roy A. Clouser, The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press, 2005), 178 (emphasis added).

[9] A small snippet for clarity’s sake:

Fromm’s position is also an example of this same dogmatic selectivity. He presents his view as though there are reasons for rejecting the law of non-contradiction, and then argues that his view of the divine (he calls it “ultimate reality”) logically follows from that rejection. He ignores the fact that to make any logical inference — to see that one belief “logically follows from” another — means that the belief which is said to “follow” is required on pain of contradicting oneself. Having denied all basis for any inference, Fromm nevertheless proceeds to infer that reality itself must be an all-encompassing mystical unity which harmonizes all the contradictions which logical thought takes to be real. He then further infers that since human thought cannot help but be contradictory, ultimate reality cannot be known by thought. He gives a summary of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist expressions of this same view, and again infers that accepting their view of the divine requires him to reject the biblical idea of God as a knowable, individual, personal Creator. He then offers still another logical inference when he insists that:

Opposition is a category of man’s mind, not itself an element of reality…. Inasmuch as God represents the ultimate reality, and inasmuch as the human mind perceives reality in contradictions, no positive statement can be made about God.

In this way Fromm ends by adding self-referential incoherency to the contradictions and self-assumptive incoherency already asserted by his theory. For he makes the positive statement about God that no positive statements about God are possible.

Ibid., 178-179. In this excellent work Dr. Clouser shows elsewhere the impact of logic on some major positions of thought:

As an example of the strong sense of this incoherency, take the claim sometimes made by Taoists that “Nothing can be said of the Tao.” Taken without qualification (which is not the way it is intended), this is self-referentially incoherent since to say “Nothing can be said of the Tao” is to say something of the Tao. Thus, when taken in reference to itself, the statement cancels its own truth. As an example of the weak version of self-referential incoherency, take the claim once made by Freud that every belief is a product of the believer’s unconscious emotional needs. If this claim were true, it would have to be true of itself since it is a belief of Freud’s. It therefore requires itself to be nothing more than the product of Freud’s unconscious emotional needs. This would not necessarily make the claim false, but it would mean that even if it were true neither Freud nor anyone else could ever know that it is. The most it would allow anyone to say is that he or she couldn’t help but believe it.  The next criterion says that a theory must not be incompatible with any belief we have to assume for the theory to be true. I will call a theory that violates this rule “self-assumptively incoherent.” As an example of this incoherence, consider the claim made by some philosophers that all things are exclusively physical [atheistic-naturalism]. This has been explained by its advocates to mean that nothing has any property or is governed by any law that is not a physical property or a physical law. But the very sentence expressing this claim, the sentence “All things are exclusively physical,” must be assumed to possess a linguistic meaning. This is not a physical property, but unless the sentence had it, it would not be a sentence; it would be nothing but physical sounds or marks that would not) linguistically signify any meaning whatever and thus could not express any claim — just as a group of pebbles, or clouds, or leaves, fails to signify any meaning or express any claim. Moreover, to assert this exclusivist materialism is the same as claiming it is true, which is another nonphysical property; and the claim that it is true further assumes that its denial would have to be false, which is a relation guaranteed by logical, not physical, laws. (Indeed, any theory which denies the existence of logical laws is instantly and irredeemably self-assumptively incoherent since that very denial is proposed as true in a way that logically excludes its being false.) What this shows is that the claim “All things are exclusively physical” must itself be assumed to have nonphysical properties and be governed by nonphysical laws or it could neither be understood nor be true. Thus, no matter how clever the supporting arguments for this claim may seem, the claim itself is incompatible with assumptions that are required for it to be true. It is therefore self-assumptively incoherent in the strong sense.

Ibid., 84-85 (emphasis added).

[10] Metanarratives, or, Grand Narratives – “big stories, stories of mythic proportions – that claim to be able to account for, explain and subordinate all lesser, little, local, narratives.” Jim Powell, Postmodernism for Beginners (New York, NY: Writers and Readers, 1998), 29.

[11] Alister E. McGrath, Passion for Truth: the Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism (Downers Grove, IL: IVP,  1996), 239.

[12] William Graham Sumner, Folkways (Chicago, IL: Ginn and Company, 1906), in Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Planted firmly in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), 46-47.

[13] Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), 47.

[14] Ibid., 48

[15] Modern Philosophy (New York, NY: Penguin, 1996), 6.  Found in: John Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists? (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2000), 172.

This is part of a larger audio piece on Relativism:

Okay, that should get us all prepped for the next section…

….which is slightly more historical.

THEISM & AMERICA’S FOUNDING

Theism was the basis for our Founding Documents that undergirded our nations birth. For instance the phrase in the Declaration of Independence,Law of Nature and Nature’s God.” AMERICAN HERITAGE EDUCATION FOUNDATION discusses this phrase a bit, of which I excerpta portion of:

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 tells much about the founding philosophy of the United States of America.  One philosophical principle that the American Founders asserted in the Declaration was the “Law of Nature and Nature’s God.”  This universal moral law served as their moral and legal basis for creating a new, self-governing nation.  One apparent aspect of this law is that it was understood in Western thought and by early Americans to be revealed by God in two ways—in nature and in the Bible—and thus evidences the Bible’s influence in America’s founding document.

The “Law of Nature” is the moral or common sense embedded in man’s heart or conscience (as confirmed in Romans 2:14-15).  It tells one to live honestly, hurt no one, and render to everyone his due.  The law of “Nature’s God” as written in the Bible and spoken by Jesus Christ consists of two great commandments—to love God and love others (as found in Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31, and Luke 10:25-28).  The first commandment, first found in Deuteronomy 6:5, is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.”  The second commandment, often referred to as the Golden Rule and first found in Leviticus 19:18, is to “love your neighbor as yourself” or, as expressed by Jesus in Matthew 7:12, to “do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Thus the content for both the natural and written laws is the same.

The law of Nature and God can be traced through the history and writings of Western Civilization.  This principle is found, for example, in medieval European thought.  In his 1265-1274 Summa Theologica, published in 1485, Italian theologian Thomas Aquinas acknowledged a “two-fold” moral law that is both general and specific:

The natural law directs man by way of certain general precepts, common to both the perfect [faithful] and the imperfect [non-faithful]:  wherefore it is one and the same for all.  But the Divine law directs man also in certain particular matters….  Hence the necessity for the Divine law to be twofold.[1]

Aquinas explained that the written law in the Bible was given by God due to the fallibility of human judgment and the perversion of the natural law in the hearts of many.  In the 1300s, medieval Bible scholars referred to the “Law of Nature and God” as a simple way to describe God’s natural and written law, its two expressions.  The phrase presented this law in the same order and timing in which God revealed it to mankind in history—first in creation and then in Holy Scripture.

During the Reformation period, French religious reformer John Calvin affirmed this two-fold moral law in his 1536 Institutes of the Christian Religion, observing, “It is certain that the law of God, which we call the moral law, is no other than a declaration of natural law, and of that conscience which has been engraven by God on the minds of men.”[2]  He further explains, “The very things contained in the two tables [or commandments in the Bible] are…dictated to us by that internal law whichiswritten and stamped on every heart.”[3]  Incidentally, Puritan leader John Winthrop, who led a large migration of Calvinist Puritans from England to the American colonies, identified God’s two-fold moral law in his well-known 1630 sermon, A Model of Christian Charity, delivered to the Puritans as they sailed to America.  He taught,

There is likewise a double law by which we are regulated in our conversation one towards another:  the law of nature and the law of grace, or the moral law and the law of the Gospel….  By the first of these laws, manis commanded to love his neighbor as himself.  Upon this ground stands all the precepts of the moral law which concerns our dealings with men.[4]

During the Enlightenment period, British philosopher John Locke, who was influential to the Founders, wrote of the “law of God and nature” in his 1689 First Treatise of Civil Government.[5]  This law, he further notes in his 1696 Reasonableness of Christianity, “being everywhere the same, the Eternal Rule of Right, obliges Christians and all men everywhere, and is to all men the standing Law of Works.”[6]  English legal theorist William Blackstone, another oft-cited thinker of the American founding era, recognized the two-fold moral law in his influential 1765-1769 Commentaries on the Laws of England.  This law, he believed, could be known partially by man’s imperfect natural reason and completely by the Bible.  Due to man’s imperfect reason, Blackstone like Aquinas observed, the Bible’s written revelation is necessary:

If our reason were always, as in our first ancestor [Adam] before his transgression, clear and perfect, unruffled by passions, unclouded by prejudice, unimpaired by disease or intemperance, the task [of discerning God’s law and will] would be pleasant and easy.  We should need no other guide but this [reason].  But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience, that his reason is corrupt and his understanding is full of ignorance and error.

This [corruption] has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of divine providence which, in compassion to the frailty, imperfection, and blindness of human reason, has been pleased, at sundry times and in divers manners, to discover and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation.  The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures.[7]


[1] Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province, pt 2/Q 91, Article 5, trans Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Benziger Bros., 1947) in Christian Classics Ethereal Library, ccel.org <https://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/home.html >.

[2] John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 3, bk. 4, trans. John Allen (Philadelphia, PA:  Philip H. Nicklin, 1816), 534-535.

[3] John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion:  A New Translation, vol. 1, trans. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh, Scotland:  Printed for Calvin Translation Society, 1845), 430.

[4] John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, 1630, in Puritan Political Ideas, 1558-1794, ed. Edmund S. Morgan (Indianapolis, IN:  Hackett Publishing, 2003), 75-93.

[5] John Locke, First Treatise of Civil Government, in Two Treatises on Government, bk. 1 (London:  George Routledge and Sons, 1884), 142, 157, 164.

[6] John Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scriptures, Second Edition (London:  Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil, 1696), 21-22.

[7] William Blackstone, Blackstone’s Commentaries in Five Volumes, ed. George Tucker (Union, NJ:  Lawbook Exchange, 1996, 2008), 41.

The researcher may benefit from my “The Two Books of Faith – Nature and Revelatory

I also wish to commend to you an article by James N. Anderson (Professor of Theology and Philosophy, at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte) in the Reformed Faith & Practice Journal (Volume 4 Issue 1, May 2019).

Abraham Williams preached a sermon where he drilled down on the idea at an “election day sermon” in Boston Massachusetts’s, New-England, May 26. 1762.

  • “The law of nature (or those rules of behavior which the Nature God has given men, fit and necessary to the welfare of mankind) is the law and will of the God of nature, which all men are obliged to obey…. The law of nature, which is the Constitution of the God of nature, is universally obliging. It varies not with men’s humors or interests, but is immutable as the relations of things.” 

Amen pastor.

A good resource for resources on this topic is my bibliography in a paper for my class on Reformation Church History in seminary — and I steered the topic to the Reformations influence on America. The paper is titled, REFORMING AMERICA (PDF), the bibliography is from pages 16-19. I commend to the serious reader Mark Noll’s book, America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln.

Moving on from the “do you even worldview bro?” section to the application process.

One area I see the Left saying YES! to Zuby is on Same-Sex Marriage (SSM).

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

SSM, I argue, flouts Natural Law in many respects, and becomes an utennable special right.

The “potentials” in the male-female union becoming a separate organism is not found in the male-male or female-female sexual union. Nor is this non-potentiality able to be the foundation [pre-exist] for society (Is Marriage Hetero?). The ideal environment – whether from Nature or Nature’s God – to rear children, sorry Hillary. Etc. Or religious: No Religious or Ethical Leader in History Supported SSM (does wisdom from the past matter?). [I would add until very, very recently.] Even gay men and women oppose SSM being normalized LIKE hetero-marriage:Another Gay Man That Opposes Same-Sex Marriage #SSM.

Another Example via Personal Experience.

Many Gays Reject Court Forced Same-Sex Marriage

For some time, a few years back, I and about 10-20 gay men and women… and at times their extended family would meet monthly. All were lovers of the Constitution — what brought us together was the website GAY PATRIOT (gaypatriot[dot]net – now defunct, sadly) and admiration of what Bruce Carroll and other gay writers boldly forged in countering current cultural trends.

Some of these people I met with and have communicated with over the years [friends] held the position that same-sex marriage should not be placed on the same level in society as heterosexual marriage, as, the family pre-dates and is the foundation for society. All, however, held that what is not clearly enumerated in the Constitution for the federal government to do should be left for the states. And thus, they would say each state has the right to define marriage themselves. Speaking out against high-court interference – as they all did about Roe v. Wade. (All were pro-life.)

As an aside, we met once-a-month at either the Sizzler in Hollywood or the Outback in Burbank, exclusively on Mondays. (All coordinated by “GayPatriotWest” – Daniel Blatt). Why? Those two CEOs gave to Mitt Romney’s campaign. And on Mondays because the L.A. City Council asked people not to eat meat on Mondays to help the planet.

A joint hetero [me]/gay [them] “thumb in LA City Councils eye.” Lol.

What I respect are men and women (gay or not) who protect freedom of thought/speech. Like these two-freedom loving lesbian women I post about on my site.

Here is a Christian, conservative, apologist — Frank Turek — making a point (in an article titled: “Freedom: Another Casualty of the Gay Agenda”):

  • …. Imagine a homosexual videographer being forced to video a speech that a conservative makes against homosexual behavior and same sex marriage. Should homosexual videographers be forced to do so? Of course not! Then why Elane Photography?”

Now, here is a gay “Conservatarian” site, Gay Patriot’s, input (in a post, “New Mexico Gets It Wrong” – now gone in the ether of the WWW):

  • it’s a bad law, a law that violates natural human rights to freedom of association and to freely chosen work. It is not good for gays; picture a gay photographer being required by law to serve the wedding of some social conservative whom he or she despises.”

However, I also live in a Constitutional Republic — even if by a thread. So, items not clearly enumerated in the Constitution are reverted to the States to hash out. So, I get an opportunity to vote on items or influence state legislatures to come down on, say, marriage being between a man and a woman. So, as a Conservatarian, what I call a “paleo-liberal,” I get to force my morals on others for lack of a better term. (See my Where Do Ethics Come From? Atheist Convo | Bonus Material | and Norman Geisler and Frank Turek’s book, Legislating Morality: Is It Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible?”)

What those freedom loving gay men and women and I have in common is the rejection of Judicial Activism. We all agreed that in California, the H8 bill passed by a slight majority of Californians should have been law defining marriage as between male and female. Why? Because this is what the Constitution in the 10th Amendment clearly stated:

  • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

And that like Roe v. Wade, the courts interfering with the body politic hashing these things out on the state level. This Court interference created more division and lawfare down the road. As well as bad law. Some examples of this rather than just my statement:

Roe v. Wade — which ruled that the U.S. Constitution effectively mandates a nationwide policy of abortion on demand — is one of the most widely criticized Supreme Court decisions in America history.

As Villanova law professor Joseph W. Dellapenna writes,

  • “The opinion [in Roe] is replete with irrelevancies, non-sequiturs, and unsubstantiated assertions. The Court decides matters it disavows any intention of deciding—thereby avoiding any need to defend its conclusion. In the process the opinion simply fails to convince.”

Even many scholars sympathetic to the results of Roe have issued harsh criticisms of its legal reasoning. In the Yale Law Journal, eminent legal scholar John Hart Ely, a supporter of legal abortion, complained that Roe is “bad constitutional law, or rather … it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” He wrote:

  • “What is unusual about Roe is that the liberty involved is accorded a protection more stringent, I think it is fair to say, than that the present Court accords the freedom of the press explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment. What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure. Nor is it explainable in terms of the unusual political impotence of the group judicially protected vis-a-vis the interests that legislatively prevailed over it. And that, I believe is a charge that can responsibly be leveled at no other decision of the past twenty years. At times the inferences the Court has drawn from the values the Constitution marks for special protection have been controversial, even shaky, but never before has its sense of an obligation to draw one been so obviously lacking.”

Below are criticisms of Roe from other supporters of legal abortion.

  • “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” — Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard law professor
  • “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose.Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.” — Edward Lazarus, former clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun
  • “The failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations. Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.” — Archibald Cox, Harvard law professor, former U.S. Solicitor General
  • “[I]t is time to admit in public that, as an example of the practice of constitutional opinion writing, Roe is a serious disappointment. You will be hard-pressed to find a constitutional law professor, even among those who support the idea of constitutional protection for the right to choose, who will embrace the opinion itself rather than the result. This is not surprising. As a constitutional argument, Roe is barely coherent. The court pulled its fundamental right to choose more or less from the constitutional ether.” — Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania law professor
  • “Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the Court. Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • “In the Court’s first confrontation with the abortion issue, it laid down a set of rules for legislatures to follow. The Court decided too many issues too quickly. The Court should have allowed the democratic processes of the states to adapt and to generate sensible solutions that might not occur to a set of judges.” — Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago law professor
  • “Judges have no special competence, qualifications, or mandate to decide between equally compelling moral claims (as in the abortion controversy). … [C]lear governing constitutional principles are not present [in Roe].” — Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor
  • “[O]verturning [Roe] would be the best thing that could happen to the federal judiciary. … Thirty years after Roe, the finest constitutional minds in the country still have not been able to produce a constitutional justification for striking down restrictions on early-term abortions that is substantially more convincing than Justice Harry Blackmun’s famously artless opinion itself.” — Jeffrey Rosen, legal commentator, George Washington University law professor
  • “Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference.” — William Saletan, Slate columnist, writing in Legal Affairs
  • “In the years since the decision an enormous body of academic literature has tried to put the right to an abortion on firmer legal ground. But thousands of pages of scholarship notwithstanding, the right to abortion remains constitutionally shaky. [Roe] is a lousy opinion that disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply.” — Benjamin Wittes, Brookings Institution fellow
  • “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching.” — Michael Kinsley, columnist, writing in the Washington Post.

Abortion and Gays… Why Manny Are Pro-Life

Some gay men and women oppose abortion for religious reasons. Other view this as a life issue. Here is an example of what I am thinking of:

“If homosexuality is really genetic, we may soon be able to tell if a fetus is predisposed to homosexuality, in which case many parents might choose to abort it.  Will gay rights activists continue to support abortion rights if this occurs?”

— Dale A. Berryhill, The Liberal Contradiction: How Contemporary Liberalism Violates Its Own Principles and Endangers Its Own Goals (Lafayette, LA:  Vital Issues Press, 1994), 172.

THE BLAZE has a flashback of Ann Coulter saying pretty much the same thing: “The gays have got to be pro-life. As soon as they find the gay gene, guess who the liberal yuppies are gonna start aborting” — yep

Ann Coulter has a penchant for making controversial statements that often lead to snickers, jeers and plenty of other reactionary responses. In an upcoming episode of Logo’s “A List: Dallas,” the well-known conservative pundit told Taylor Garrett, a gay Republican and a cast member on the show, some things about liberals and abortion that will surely get people talking.

The general premise of her words: Gays and lesbians should become pro-life, because liberals may start aborting their unborn gay children once a homosexual gene is discovered.

“The gays have got to be pro-life. As soon as they find the gay gene, guess who the liberal yuppies are gonna start aborting,” she said. Watch her comments, below: ….

“All Gays Should Be Republican” | Ann Coulter Flashback

The rule of nature in this situation would be to always promote and protect innocent life. Once you start deviating from that rule that is the foundation of our Constitution found in the Declaration:

  • We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

You start to create “special rights,” and these “special rights” are then put under the jurisdiction of politicians and special interest groups. And we all know what happens to the integrity of an issue or topic when that happens. Here is one example:

Feminists, Gays, Abortion and Gendercide | Ezra Levant Flashback

So as much as the quote by Zuby at the outset is a good one in a universe governed by reason and natural law and Nature’s God…. the progressive Left will always destroy what it touches… life and family being two issues exemplified above. So to adopt a quote wrongly is on the easier side of the Left ruining an idea.

From the Boy Scouts to literature, from the arts to universities: the left ruins everything it touches. Dennis Prager explains.

An example of the BOY SCOUTS via PRAGER:

…. Take the Boy Scouts. For generations, the Boy Scouts, founded and preserved by Americans of all political as well as ethnic backgrounds, has helped millions of American boys become good, productive men. The left throughout America — its politicians, its media, its stars, its academics — have ganged up to deprive the Boy Scouts of oxygen. Everywhere possible, the Boy Scouts are vilified and deprived of places to meet.

But while the left works to destroy the Boy Scouts — unless the Boy Scouts adopt the left’s views on openly gay scouts and scout leaders — the left has created nothing comparable to the Boy Scouts. The left tries to destroy one of the greatest institutions ever made for boys, but it has built nothing for boys. There is no ACLU version of the Boy Scouts; there is only the ACLU versus the Boy Scouts.

The same holds true for the greatest character-building institution in American life: Judeo-Christian religions. Once again, the left knows how to destroy. Everywhere possible the left works to inhibit religious institutions and values — from substituting “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas” to removing the tiny cross from the Los Angeles County Seal to arguing that religious people must not bring their values into the political arena.

And, then there is education. Until the left took over American public education in the second half of the 20th century, it was generally excellent — look at the high level of eighth-grade exams from early in the 20th century and you will weep. The more money the left has gotten for education — America now spends more per student than any country in the world — the worse the academic results. And the left has removed God and dress codes from schools — with socially disastrous results.

Of course, it is not entirely accurate to say that the left builds nothing. It has built vast government bureaucracies, MTV, and post-1960s Hollywood, for example. But these are, to say the least, not positive achievements.

In his column this week, Thomas Friedman describes General Motors Corp., as “a giant wealth-destruction machine.” That perfectly describes the left many times over. It is both a wealth-destruction machine and an ennobling-institution destruction machine.

How the Reformation Shaped Your World

Can one man change the world? The life and work of Martin Luther prove the answer to that question is an unqualified, “yes.” Stephen Cornils of the Wartburg Theological Seminary details the rebellion that fractured a centuries-old religion and changed the course of history.

Doctrinal Differences Still Matter Between Catholics and Protestants

Difference Between

Going to Heaven?

Do you want to see some theological white-washing (postmodern approaches to the Bible) of important issues facing the Church… that is, salvation through Christ Jesus… here Josh C. posted the following:

If faith without works is dead, and if works are acknowledged as a necessary result of faith, then quite frankly, what does it matter when God “justifies” us? This to me seems a matter of pure theory, in some ways unknowable by human beings. And yet it has divided masses of Christians who could otherwise be joining hand in hand to obey Jesus’ commandments in a world that needs such things. Real Christians have been stymied in the doing of real works for the sake of purely abstract mental constructs of which no man will ever have full knowledge. I find this an insult to the very spirit of Christianity. Jesus’ clear and unavoidable command of obedience, and his clear and unavoidable wish and prayer for unity, has been disavowed in favor of defeating other Christians on the battlefield of metaphysical abstractions! Nonsense.

I responded simply by saying: ‘I hope your OP was not about Catholic doctrine compared to Protestant.”

Stephen C. commented later by noting that,

Fighting 16th century debates that no one cares about any more is an utter waste of time and a slanderous representation of our Lord and his intents for his church and its testimony in the world.

To which Josh C. thumbed up (Facebook ya’ know). Here I responded with the following:

Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was to merely remove Adam’s sin from us. And now they work towards building up their salvation through good works (differing levels of heaven for LDS or an opportunity to serve on a new earth for J-Dubs). Apologists and theologians rightly show that this is a misrepresentation of salvation in the Scriptures. So while I will invite these theological and dangerous cults into my home and discuss these issues… I cannot point out that infant Baptism in the Catholic Church removes Adam’s original sin and now Catholics get the opportunity to work towards lessening of time in Purgatory? That is an unimportant theological issue?

Josh clarifies a bit…

I think there are people on all sides who get it wrong. The point isn’t “there aren’t issues.” The point is people claiming to know with absolute certainty what I do not believe, even with the Bible, they can know. Even worse, and my main point, is the using of these debate points to divide people and break fellowship.

I respond to the above

My wife’s whole family is Catholic (accept for her dad). A person I admire greatly for his authorship converted (I posted on it here many years ago)

I understand about not dividing in issues of policy, politics, and relations. I also understand there are “Evangelical Catholics” who reject Mariology and the like. Fine. I treat everyone as individuals.

BUT, as an organisation, if a person were to believe doctrine as taught by the Roman Catholic Faith, or Eastern Orthodoxy… I would be as adamant as the Reformers that this doctrine is in the spirit of anti-Christ, as, it opposes the finished work of Calvary.

And?

Grace is another word for salvation and our status in sight of God being clothed with Jesus righteousness. Mary is not full of grace to be able to share with sinners. That is Christ’s (God’s) position alone to fill.

Am I suppose to not be able to express what the Bible teaches? Or how Jerome in the Latin Vulgate mistranslated a word and a pillar of Catholic doctrine is build on that false edifice (that the Greek corrects).

If that truth[s] divide, then so be it, but I am still close to my wife’s family ~ and her uncle, Father Joe, still asks me to convert at every family gathering (of which my wife is the oldest of about 44 grandkids/great-grandkids).

But on essential doctrine I do not budge. Sorry. 

  • In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love

BTW, I have a whole chapter (my largest) in my book on Evangelicals the get it wrong.

Mariology

Purgatory

Is Roman Catholic Views of Tradition, Biblical?

This is from a larger debate between Ken Samples and Fr. Mitch Pacwa . I think this intro does it’s due diligence in explaining many of the false views I have heard from people as of late. In other words, one should not define Protestants as believing Sola Scriptura wrongly, and then responding to this false view.

The below is from an excellent book by William Webster:

  • William Webster, Salvation, The Bible, and Roman Catholicism (Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 13-20

AUTHORITATIVE STATEMENTS OF ROMAN CATHOLIC TEACHING ON TRADITION AND THE WORD OF GOD

The Documents of Vatican II

Hence there exist a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit . . . Consequently, it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of devotion and reverence. Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church.[1]

The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism

59. Where do we find the truths revealed by God?

We find the truths revealed by God in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

60. How does Sacred Scripture compare with Sacred Tradition?

Both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are the inspired word of God, and both are forms of divine revelation. Sacred Scripture is divinely inspired writing, whereas Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of inspired persons.[2]

89. Why is Sacred Tradition of equal authority with the Bible?

The Bible and Sacred Tradition are of equal authority because they are equally the word of God; both derive from the inspired vision of the ancient prophets, and especially from the infinite wisdom of God incarnate who gave to the apostles what he came down on earth to teach, through them, to all of mankind.[3]

TRADITION AND THE WORD OF GOD – SUMMARY OF NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING

The first issue to be addressed in any discussion of spiritual truth is that of authority. To say something is true or false implies an authoritative standard by which we can make such a judgment. But is there such an authoritative stand­ard by which we can judge whether a particular teaching or system is true or false? The answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’. That authoritative standard is the Word of God, the Bible. Jesus Christ himself said of the Bible, ‘Thy word is truth’ (Jn. 17:17). In settling issues of spiritual controversy the Lord Jesus always appealed to the Word of God as an authoritative standard by which to judge truth and false­hood.

Mark’s Gospel records an incident in which certain Sad-ducees came to Jesus to question him. The Sadducees were the religious liberals of Jesus’ day and they rejected many of the teachings espoused by the more orthodox sect of the Pharisees. They did not believe in angels or in the resurrec­tion of the dead. A number of these men came to Jesus to ask him a trick question about life after death. Jesus demolished their trick question but went on to say this:

Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God?… But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken (Mk. 12:24,25-27 NASB 1963).

Twice in this passage Christ tells these men they are greatly mistaken in their views. The reason is that they do not understand the Scriptures. He appeals to those Scriptures to correct the false concepts these men held. He points to the Word of God as an authoritative standard by which to judge truth and error. These men are greatly mistaken because the views they hold and the doctrines they teach contradict the Word of God.

Here you have two opposing views of truth. One says there is no resurrection from the dead, the other says there is. How do you determine which is true? You go to the Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God in human flesh and therefore whatever he teaches is absolute truth. And according to him the Word of God is the final and authoritative standard by which all claims to truth are to be judged.

This principle obviously has a direct bearing upon the whole issue of tradition. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that tradition as well as the Bible constitutes the revealed Word of God. It teaches that the teaching of the Church Fathers, the Church Councils, and the Traditions of the Church are all ‘one sacred deposit of the Word of God’.

John Hardon S. J. makes the following statements in his Question and Answer Catholic Catechism:

Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of God that the prophets and apostles received through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, under His guidance, the Church has handed on to the Christian world.[4]

Both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are the inspired word of God, and both are forms of divine revelation. Sacred Scripture is divinely inspired writing, whereas Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of in­spired persons.[5]

Jesus Christ had some interesting things to say about tradition:

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, ‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them, `And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, “Honor your father and mother”… But you say, “Whoever shall say to his father or mother, ‘Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God,’ he is not to honor his father or his mother.” And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”‘ (Matt. 15:1-9).

In a parallel passage in Mark 7:5-13 much of the same teaching by Jesus is recorded. The Pharisees ask why the disciples do not walk according to the tradition of the elders. In response Jesus denounces the scribes and Pharisees and their observance of tradition which is in violation of the Word of God. In effect they have elevated the teachings of men above the Scriptures. The following sums up Jesus’ evaluation:

  1. You teach as doctrines the precepts of men.
  2. Neglecting the commandment of God you hold to the tradition of men.
  3. You set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
  4. You invalidate the Word of God by your tradition which you have handed down.

We should note that Jesus is not condemning tradition simply because it is tradition. All tradition is not wrong. What he is condemning is the elevating of tradition or the teaching of men to equality with the Word of God. He condemned the scribes and Pharisees for following tradition which violated and invalidated the Word of God. And then he rebuked them for so teaching others.

Tradition is not necessarily wrong, but tradition is not the Word of God, and for tradition to be acceptable to God, it must never contradict or violate the clear teaching of the Bible. All tradition must be judged by the truth of Scripture, including traditions which have their original roots in Scripture. The traditions that the scribes and Pharisees adhered to, but which Jesus denounced, were traditions which had their roots in mistaken interpretations of the Bible.

There is one obvious and definitive test which we can apply to all teaching and tradition to determine if it is true. That test is this: if the tradition or the teaching, even though it arises from the interpretation of a passage of Scripture, contradicts the clear teaching of another portion of Script­ure, then that particular tradition or teaching is incorrect, for Scripture never contradicts Scripture.

The Word of God alone is our final authority, never tradition. We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16,17 that ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.’ All Scripture is inspired and is therefore authoritat­ive. And because it is inspired, that is, because it is the Word of a self-consistent God, it will never contradict itself.

Consequently, we can judge whether or not a particular teaching or tradition is true by comparing it to the Word of God. If it is consistent with the Word of God, then we can accept it as truth. However, if it clearly contradicts the teaching of the Bible or makes the Word of God contradict itself, then we know that it is error, and is to be rejected. Otherwise we shall fall into the same condemnation which Jesus uttered against the Pharisees.

One question this whole issue brings up is this: can the true church of God fall into error? The answer to that question, based upon the history of God’s people in the Bible is ‘yes’. It is possible for the church leadership to fall into error and be led astray from the truth. For example, the apostle Peter was publicly rebuked by Paul for the hypocrisy of which he was guilty (Gal. 2:11-14).

On an earlier occasion the apostle Peter was rebuked by Christ because he tried to hinder the Lord from going to the cross. ‘But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”‘ (Matt. 16:23). The Lord Jesus actually addressed Peter as Satan, for Satan was using Peter to try to divert him from the will of God. This all transpired after Peter had been told that he was to be given the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:18-19).

Of course, the example of God’s chosen people, the Jews, during the time of the Lord Jesus himself, shows us clearly that it is possible for the church’s leadership to be deceived. Jesus’ words about tradition were spoken against the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leadership of God’s chosen people and the true church of that day. They had fallen into error and had become so blind that they failed to recognise

Jesus as the Messiah. They fell into the error of misinterpret­ing the Word of God and of elevating tradition and the teachings of the elders to a level equal in authority to the Scriptures, even though those teachings contradicted the Word of God. In addition to this Jesus claimed that the religious leadership of his day, because of their adherence to tradition and misinterpretation of Scripture, were actually responsible for hindering people from entering the kingdom of God: Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered’ (Lk. 11:52). ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in’ (Matt. 23:13). If this was true of the religious leadership of God’s chosen people in the day of Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no guarantee that a church leadership will not fall into error and mislead people.

Were the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ day intentionally trying to deceive people? Not necessarily! Many of them were doing what they sincerely felt was right. But they were wrong and consequently they were deceiving people and leading them astray. Sincerity is no guarantee against error. A man can be sincerely wrong. In the final analysis, as Christ taught, the Word of God is the final authority for determin­ing what is truth and what is error. Any teaching which contradicts the Word of God must be rejected: ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Is. 8:20, A.V.).

Luke records that when Paul came to Berea, and preached the gospel in the local Jewish synagogue, the Bereans ‘were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so’ (Acts 17:11). The Bereans compared Paul’s doctrines with the Word of God to see if his teachings were consistent with the teachings of the Word of God. Only then would they accept the gospel he was preaching. They knew that any teaching that truly originates from God would not contradict what he had already revealed in his Word.

It is in this spirit that we shall examine the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church….

[1] Walter M. Abbot S.J., The Documents of Vatican II (Westchester, IL: Follett Publishing Co., 1966), 177.

[2] John A. Hardon, S.J., The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism (New York, NY: Image Books, Doubleday, 1981), 37.

[3] Ibid., 41.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., 41.

Is Christianity Bad News for Women? (Amy Orr-Ewing)

Center for Public Christianity (2017) – Amy Orr-Ewing delivers the 2017 Richard Johnson Lecture at NSW Parliament House.

Q & A

A Man Named Martin Luther – The Movement

Lutheran Hour Ministries (2017) – From Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517 to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, God was at work in the Reformation. Fierce debates over Scripture, church doctrine, and late medieval church practice led to theological positions articulating salvation as God’s grace in action, with man being left to add nothing to his own salvation. In A Man Named Martin – Part 3: The Movement, viewers will see how the Reformation transformed European society and, eventually, left a profound impression around the globe.

The Protestant and Roman Catholic View of Justification

Many members of the Protestant church today do not understand properly their origins and the nature of their predecessors “protest” against the Roman Catholic Church. When asked about the respective differences, they may respond with some stereotypical answers such as, “I don’t worship Mary,” “I believe in justification by faith, not works,” or “The bread and wine of the Lord’s supper don’t really turn into the body of Jesus.” In this lesson, Dr. Sproul explains the real, serious points of doctrine at stake during Martin Luther’s timeframe and the Reformation, paying careful attention to the doctrine of justification and its place in Roman Catholic thought.

Would it surprise you to learn that current Roman Catholic doctrine declares all Protestants accursed? Remarkably, if probed, most Protestants would respond in disbelief to this proposition. Yet, it holds true, and the Roman church maintains the same stance today as it took in the sixteenth century at the Council of Trent. The major area of dispute at the council regarded the doctrine of justification, notably the role of faith in it. A thorough, clear understanding of justification remains imperative for a proper understanding of the differences between historic Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, and Dr. Sproul provides this clarification in today’s lesson.

Many people in contemporary culture shrink at the idea of double imputation inherent in the Protestant understanding of justification. That God would place others’ sins on His own Son while simultaneously declaring the guilty righteous on account of the merit of Christ defies reason and creates a form of “cosmic child abuse,” they say. Yet, this position demonstrates a serious flaw in reasoning, for the Father does not abuse His Son. On the contrary, our own wrongdoing rests upon Christ’s shoulders at the cross, and He bears this burden willingly for the sake of His flock. Furthermore, a position against double imputation seriously underestimates the love of God for His children. As Dr. Sproul will show in this lesson, it is a love that delivers sinners from the place of despair, and brings them into salvation.

Secular culture and even some professing evangelicals often describe God as an all-forgiving, cuddly being intent on accepting all people from all walks of life into his ever-accepting arms. As such, it advocates freedom to act in whatever way feels right, for if God is a god of love, surely He will never discriminate. This picture misses the mark absolutely. On the contrary, the heavenly Lord of Hosts demands rigid moral discipline from His creation. Although God alone acts in the justification of His children, after they enter into a state of grace He requires that they cooperate and fulfill his mandates and laws. Dr. Sproul explores the consequences of entering into a state of grace by the process of justification in this final lesson on Luther and the Reformation.

This is part of the “LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION” playlist.

The “Office” of Marriage and Love in the Reformation

The reformers’ early preoccupation with marriage was driven, in part, by their jurisprudence. The starting assumption of the budding Lutheran theories of law, society, and politics was that the earthly king­dom was governed by the three natural estates of household, Church, and state. Hausvater, Gottesvater, and Landesvater; paterfamilias, patertheologicus, and patapofiticus— these were the three natural offices through which God re­vealed Himself and reflected His authority in the world. These three offices and orders stood equal before God and before each other. Each was called to discharge essential tasks in the earthly kingdom without impediment or interference from the other. The reform of marriage, therefore, was as important as the reform of the Church and the state. Indeed, marital reform was even more urgent, for the marital house­hold was, in the reformers’ view, the “oldest,” “most primal,” and “most essential” of the three estates, yet the most deprecated and subordinated of the three. Marriage is the “mother of all earthly laws,” Luther wrote, and the source from which the Church, the state, and other earthly insti­tutions flowed. “God has most richly blessed this estate above all others, and in addition, has bestowed on it and wrapped up in it everything in the world, to the end that this estate might be well and richly provided for. Married life therefore is no jest or presumption; it is an excellent thing and a matter of divine seriousness.”

The reformers’ early preoccupation with marriage was driven, in part, by their politics. A number of early leaders of the Reformation faced aggressive prosecution by the Catholic Church and its political allies for violation of the canon law of marriage and celibacy. Among the earliest Protestant leaders were ex-priests and ex-monastics who had forsaken their orders and vows, and often married shortly thereafter. Indeed, one of the acts of solidarity with the new Protestant cause was to marry or divorce in open violation of the canon law and in defiance of a bishop’s instructions. This was not just an instance of crime and disobedience. It was an outright scandal, particularly when an ex-monk such as Brother Martin Luther married an ex-nun such as Sister Katherine von Bora —a prima facie case of spiritual incest As Catholic Church courts began to prosecute these canon law offenses, Protestant theologians and jurists rose to the defense of their co-religionists, producing a welter of briefs, letters, sermons, and pamphlets that denounced traditional norms and pronounced a new theology of marriage.

Evangelical theologians treated marriage not as a sacramental insti­tution of the heavenly kingdom, but as a social estate of the earthly kingdom. Marriage was a natural institution that served the goods and goals of mutual love and support of husband and wife, procreation and nurture of children, and mutual protection of spouses from sexual sin. All adults, preachers and others alike, should pursue the calling of marriage, for all were in need of the comforts of marital love and of protection from sexual sin. When properly structured and governed, the marital house­hold served as a model of authority charity, and pedagogy in the earthly kingdom and as a vital instrument for the reform of Church, state, and society. Parents served as “bishops” to their children. Siblings served as priests to each other. The household altogether — particularly the Chris­tian household of the married minister — was a source of “evangelical impulses” in society.

Though divinely created and spiritually edifying, however, marriage and the family remained a social estate of the earthly kingdom. All parties could partake of this institution, regardless of their faith. Though subject to divine law and clerical counseling, marriage and family life came within the ,jurisdiction of the magistrate, not the cleric; of the civil law, not the canon law. The magistrate, as God’s vice-regent of the earthly kingdom, was to set the laws for marriage formation, maintenance, and dissolution; child custody, care, and control; family property, inheritance, and commerce.

Political leaders rapidly translated this new Protestant gospel into civil law. Just as the civil act of marriage often came to signal a person’s conversion to Protestantism, so the Civil Marriage Act came to symbol­ize a political community’s acceptance of the new Evangelical theology. Political leaders were quick to establish comprehensive new marriage laws for their polities, sometimes building on late medieval civil laws that had already controlled some aspects of this institution. The first reformation ordinances on marriage and family life were promulgated in 1522. More than sixty such laws were on the books by the time of Luther’s death in 1546. The number of new marriage laws more than doubled again in the second half of the sixteenth century in Evangelical portions of Germany. Collectively, these new Evangelical marriage laws: (1) shifted primary marital jurisdiction from the Church to the state; (2) strongly encouraged the marriage of clergy; (3) denied that celibacy, virginity, and monasticism were superior callings to marriage; (4) denied the sacramentality of marriage and the religious tests and impediments traditionally imposed on its participants; (5) modified the doctrine of consent to betrothal and marriage, and required the participation of parents, peers, priests, and political officials in the process of marriage formation; (6) sharply curtailed the number of impediments to betrothal and putative marriages; and (7) introduced divorce, in the modern sense, on proof of adultery, malicious desertion, and other faults, with a subse­quent right to remarriage at least for the innocent party. These changes eventually brought profound and permanent change to the life, lore, and law of marriage in Evangelical Germany.

John Witte, Jr., Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 200-202.


God’s Ideal Should Be Mine


Persons should accept marriage not only as a duty that served society, but also as a remedy against sexual sin. Since the fall into sin, lust has pervaded the conscience of every person, the Lutheran reformers insisted. Marriage has become an absolute necessity of sinful humanity, for without it, the person’s distorted sexuality becomes a force capable of overthrowing the most devout conscience. A person is enticed by his or her own nature to prostitution, masturbation, voyeurism, homosexuality, and sundry other sinful acts. The gift of marriage, Luther wrote, should be declined only by those who have received God’s gift of continence. “Such persons are rare, not one in a thousand, for they are a special miracle of God.” The Apostle Paul has identified this group as the permanently impotent and the eunuchs; few others can claim such a unique gift.

This understanding of the created origin and purpose of marriage un-dergirded the reformers’ bitter attack on celibacy and monasticism. To require celibacy of clerics, monks, and nuns was beyond the authority of the church and ultimately a source of great sin. Celibacy was for God to give, not for the church to require. It was for each individual, not for the church, to decide whether he or she had received this gift. By demanding monastic vows of chastity and clerical vows of celibacy, the church was seen to be intruding on Christian freedom and violating scripture, nature, and common sense. By institutionalizing and encouraging celibacy the church was seen to prey on the immature and the uncertain. By holding out food, shelter, security, and opportunity, the monasteries enticed poor and needy parents to condemn their children to celibate monasticism. Mandatory celibacy, Luther taught, was hardly a prerequisite to true service of God. Instead, it led to “great whoredom and all manner of fleshly impurity and… hearts filled with thoughts of women day and night.” For the consciences of Christians and non-Christians alike are infused with lust, and a life of celibacy and monasticism only heightens the temptation.

John Witte, Jr., From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), 50.