Campo, Spain (photo from trekearth.com)
My comments on recent political hype in the media led to someone suggesting I favoured a theocracy.
Politically the hype is predictable, yet so many are influenced in major ways, time and time again.
What needs to happen in both Canada and the USA is an overhaul of political systems, but society is not ready for a purge for truth, as society does not yet see the failure of overly secularized government.
My second comment:
No, you are reading too much into what I stated. I never stated such...please be careful. But the Western world at this point is liberal and secular at an extreme. The United States is more conservative than most.
I am not suggesting theocracy, but the need for more rational common sense ways of looking at humanity and therefore how government should be run.
Government debts are too high, spending is too high, and there is too much reliance on government to do this and that for the people. Also, there is a liberal morality which fuels abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and a weak legal system (here in Canada).
I would not desire for one religion to be favoured as those citizens outside of the religion could face persecution, and in the extreme case of a state church be considered to be committing treason.
There needs to be a conservative movement which pushes for overall human liberty, but also realizes that certain things are bad for society and should be prohibited.
N.H.G Robinson states that just as democracy signifies a type of government ruled by the people by elected representatives, theocracy represents government rule by God and his representatives. Ancient Israel is a primary example. Robinson (1999: 564).
M.J. Wyngaarden explains that word is derived from the Greek words for God, theos, and from kratein to rule. This represents the rule of God. and is traced back to the Old Testament concept and may have been coined by Josephus. Wyngaarden (1996: 1083).
All human beings are presently sinful.
I do not support any primarily human attempt at establishing theocracy.
A primarily human attempt at theocracy does not guarantee Biblically based rule through the guidance of the true God.
Serious religious error can develop within a theocracy as political power can influence theology.
Persons with views differing from the theocratic rule can be unfairly persecuted and even killed, as ones committing treason.
In the present age, I favour democracy over theocracy.
God and Christ are stated in Revelation, Chapters 21-22 to eventually establish the supernaturally culminated Kingdom of God. Human beings that are at all involved in ruling will be resurrected and sinless.
ROBINSON, N.H.G (1999) 'Theocracy' in Alan Richardson and John Bowden (eds.), New Dictionary of Christian Theology, Kent, SCM Press Ltd.
WYNGAARDEN, M.J. (1996) ‘Theocracy’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.
Anyone who knows me and/or reads my material should realize that I would be a fool to support theocracy on a person level. As Chucky states, although I am orthodox, I am subversive. I do not use that word, but I certainly am a non-conformist. I would probably be blacklisted by any theocratic government as their theology would likely become corrupted politically in sin.
No, thanks, I have no interest in supporting a political system that could lead me to martyrdom! Life is hard enough already.
Bugs Bunny: Eh, he don't know me very well, do he?
Didsbury Village (Greater Manchester)
Practical theological lessons from the United Kingdom 1999-2001
I lived in Manchester from 1999-2001, and began my MPhil/PhD research degrees. I lost my academic appointment in the PhD program at Manchester as my advisor was away in Germany for a year, and his replacement stated that I had to change my theological views from Christian to secular in order to pass. In order to pass I basically would have had to stop writing that God was completely sovereign and yet the problem of evil existed.
I attempted to transfer to a Nazarene Christian college affiliated with Manchester, but that was forbidden to occur by Manchester. I soon quit and signed with Wales, Cardiff and started my MPhil thesis, but then eventually moved back to Maple Ridge in Greater Vancouver, from Manchester, to save money.
At Manchester, I was persecuted for my theological, philosophical, academic beliefs, and yet by God’s leading, I did not cave in, in order to eventually pass at Manchester. One must realize that there was no guarantee that another University such as Wales would sign me on. I eventually had to transfer from Wales, Cardiff to Wales, Bangor when my new advisor changed jobs, and then to Wales, Lampeter with a new advisor for my PhD, as my MPhil advisor was too busy to assist me any further. I have had a second new PhD advisor as well.
It is very difficult to find both a University and advisor to work with at a PhD level.
In the end, I have been able to write MPhil and PhD theses that state a belief in the sovereignty of the Biblical God through a sovereignty theodicy, and that the atoning work and resurrection of Christ and his culminated Kingdom is the remedy to the problem of evil. Even though the theses do not contain everything I would like to state, the theses essentially represent my views.
I learned that although God has given me the intellectual ability to pass MPhil and PhD theses, my passing or failing is primarily up to God. If God would not have found me the right advisors after Manchester, no amount of God given theological, philosophical, and Biblical academic intellect would have allowed me to be in the position of almost having a PhD as I do now.
I remain God’s child.
A less than fully supportive academic advisor at Trinity Western University had stated that Britain had basically abandoned the Christian faith. Although this is basically true, I was surprised how many Christians I met in Manchester. I made some Christian friends that were a great moral support to me, and I am thankful.
I became quite depressed in Manchester, not suicidal (AT ALL), but depressed. I would pray sometimes eight hours a day. I had no work to do, no daily relationships, no suitable Christian women to meet (to perhaps have an opportunity of a fuller social life with family potential) and unknown health problems, one of which was undiagnosed sleep apnea, which can lead to depression. I learned that I would to do further research on romantic relationships and that many women (and men) within the evangelical church take a rather secular approach to dating, and I would need to learn the 'game' . Basically I reason, for most evangelical women, having studied and dedicated myself to the Lord means zero in regard to romantic consideration.
The serious sleep apnea I have was not diagnosed until 2004. Here is another lesson, two good friends, both with Master’s degrees suggested I be medicated for my depression, but that would have been a major mistake, as my depression was not likely primarily caused by my circumstances, but by my serious sleep apnea remaining unknown and untreated. I refused to consider drugs and prayed through my problems to a large degree. As well with my severe allergies, which my British GP refused to treat with injections stating they were too dangerous, my fatigue level was high, but apnea was the main factor with fatigue. I have been on injections since 2002 here and they helped me moderately.
sleep apnea can cause depression
Sleep apnea can cause symptoms of apparent clinical depression which may respond quickly to treatment of the sleep disorder. A knowledge of the intellectual and emotional impact of sleep apnea may be important in making a correct differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, many physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists may be unaware of this connection which may lead to apparent symptoms of depression. If there is a possibility that a patient's depression is caused by sleep apnea, they should undergo evaluation and, if necessary, receive treatment for their sleep disorder. In addition, people with sleep apnea may need support in addressing emotional aspects of treatment and recovery. Informed, trained therapists can provide essential therapy and support to the patient and the patient's family in the recovery process.
sleep-disorders and depression
Sleep Apnea and Depression
The National Sleep Foundation press release reports that:
People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people, according to a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study is the first to show a link between depression and sleep apnea along with its related disorders.
Which comes first?
The report tells us:
It remains unclear whether depression occurred before or after sleep apnea, and to what extent sleep apnea contributes to the maintenance or aggravation of depression. Ohayon said the link between treating sleep apnea syndrome and the evolution of depressive disorders needs further investigation. He hopes physicians will consider the association between the disorders and depression when treating depressed patients. "Once people have their sleep apnea recognized, there is a lot we can do to help them," he said.
People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people, according to a study at the School of Medicine. The study is the first to show a link between depression and sleep apnea along with its related disorders.
Although it remains unclear how the conditions are linked, Maurice Ohayon, MD, PhD, said his study should encourage physicians to test depressed patients for this type of sleep disorder.
I hope to have my jaw moved forward 12 mm, which will cure my sleep apnea 99%.
However, I first need to find a way to cover an $8, 000 orthodontic bill, as I need to wear braces for one year prior to having my mandible and maxilla bones moved forward 12 mm.
Certainly, my depression in Manchester would have been substantially less if my sleep apnea and allergies had been properly treated. As of yet, my sleep apnea has never been properly treated. The CPAP breathing machine I purchased has helped somewhat in providing energy and helping me to trim down slightly.
I remain God’s child, as God is in control. I will only be healthy if God wills it.
Theologically, I learned practically concerning the problem of evil and theodicy. Theodicy is defined as:
The aspect of theology concerned with defending God and his goodness and omnipotence, in a world where suffering and evil exist. Blackburn (1996: 375).
Robert M. Adams notes that the word theodicy is from the Greek, as theos is God and dike is justice. Theodicy is a defence of the justice of God in the face of objections arising from the problem of evil in the world. Adams (1996: 794).
Contrary to what many would assume, my academic findings concerning the problem of evil and theodicy, paralleled my practical theological findings in life. My sovereignty theodicy not only made sense to me academically, but also practically, and it still does. Suffering still exists, but at least as I am an educated child of God, I have a reasonable general concept of my suffering. I have written on the problem of evil on this blog, but mainly on thekingpin68 blog. Please check out my latest article:
I also learned that I really do enjoy watching football/soccer live, very much. It was very enjoyable and relaxing to attend Arsenal matches with Simon, and the Manchester United matches were very good, even though I went to most of them by myself. In life, escapism and entertainment in moderation, can be a gift from God.
ADAMS, ROBERT. M (1996) ‘Theodicy’, in Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
My satirical take?
Manchester is a great place to visit, but I would not want to live there. I put my time in for two years, and miss my friends there. I look forward to visiting for a second time since leaving, this October after my PhD defence.
Manchester at the time, had the largest amount of University students in Europe. On a Friday and Saturday night there were students all over the city core and nearby. Although, Britain is a home of much fine culture, some of the diction of the students and local Mancunians, was absolutely horrid when they were drunk. Chucky came to visit, as he was working in Belgium, and one weekend night/early morning perhaps, we looked through one of my flat windows and watched a man try to hit a woman as another man intervened. Howard and I could not understand a word of the dialogue. It sounded as if the persons had shoved their mouths full of marbles and then went on a night on the town.
There is the England of wonderful artistic diction, and then there is the mouth full of marbles (and booze) England!
Manchester, Oxford Road
Manchester (photo from trekearth.com)
I am not a political scientist, but the terms 'I told you so' come to mind.
The United States and West needed to respond to the horrific and immoral 911 attacks, and invading Afghanistan was seemingly the most reasonable move. Iraq remains a much more questionable military operation. All along I have thought that although terrorism is a threat to Western safety, the greatest external human (we may self-destruct) potential threats to our Western freedom are from Russia and China. Seemingly more from Russia, as the country has not integrated as a fully democratic country into the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Europe is a buffer between North America and Russia and the East. China has historically, under communism, not been as interested in invading other countries.
The country of Georgia did apply for membership in NATO previously:
NATO: Georgia Must Improve Ties with Russia Before Entering Alliance
By VOA News
17 October 2006
A senior NATO military officer says Georgia must improve relations with Russia and work to resolve its internal conflicts, if it is to gain entry into the Atlantic alliance.
Canadian General Raymond Henault's comments came Tuesday in Moscow, where he met with top Russian military and political officials.
Russian-Georgian relations are expected to be a key topic later this week, when European leaders meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
Georgia applied for NATO membership after reformist President Mikhail Saakashvili assumed office in 2004.
Tensions between Georgia and Russia increased sharply after the Georgians last month briefly detained four Russian army officers on spy charges. The arrests prompted Moscow to close some Georgian-owned businesses in Moscow, and to begin expelling Georgian nationals from the country.
Georgia, for its part, announced plans to block Russian efforts for Word Trade Organization membership.
Georgia accuses Russian peacekeepers of backing pro-Russian separatists in its two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The areas declared independence after fighting in the early 1990s. Georgia vows to bring both areas back under its control.
I am not claiming to be expert on the Georgia-Russia war, and am not taking Georgia's side. But, when I see Russia's further move into Georgia today, I wonder if Russia is not interested in reestablishing dominance in Eastern Europe. I realize there is a dispute and it is not a clear-cut case. This is from CNN.
The French-brokered deal allows Russian peacekeepers to "implement additional security measures" until international security can be put in place.
That could be interpreted by Russia as operations outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two disputed border regions at the heart of the conflict. Russia had peacekeeping troops in those regions before last week.
There are reports of Russian troops advancing into Georgia rather than following a ceasefire agreement. From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
In a day of conflicting news, there are reports that Russian troops are advancing rather than pulling back in parts of Georgia, hanging on to the key central city of Gori and sending forces to the Black Sea oil port of Poti.
"At the moment, Georgian territory remains occupied by Russian armed forces," Irakli Alasania, the Georgian ambassador to the UN, told reporters in New York. "Georgian cities remain to be subject to the hostile and aggressive behaviour of Russian military."
He said Russia is violating the ceasefire agreement and accused Russian troops of "looting, murder and destruction."
A French-brokered ceasefire agreement called for both sides to pull back to positions they held before the fighting started last Friday. When Georgia sent troops to try to retake the Russian-dominated breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russia pushed them back and advanced far into undisputed Georgian territory...
At the Pentagon, a U.S. general said the Russians seem to be moving back to positions from which they can start to make an orderly exit. But a U.S. diplomat in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, said reports on the ground are contradictory...
In another development, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that "one can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity" in South Ossetia and another Russian-dominated separatist region, Abkhazia, suggesting that Russia might absorb them...
In Washington, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, rejected the idea that Washington emboldened Georgia to defy Russia by pushing for Georgian membership in NATO.
A list of NATO members:
...the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
It appears NATO did not want to battle Russia in war over Georgia and therefore did not allow Georgia into NATO, where NATO would be legally obligated to offer military resistance to Georgia in this current conflict. I wonder if with this current Russian move into Georgia, NATO member countries and the United States in particular, will see Eastern Europe as less secure than thought and focus more on defence closer to home and less on Middle Eastern exploits.
The former Soviet Republic of Georgia. The Georgia under attack.
Georgia, USA. Not under attack.
I have decided that for the long term growth of this blog it will become an academic blog as is thekingpin68. This has already taken place with the last five articles. I find it easier to write sillier theological articles than academic ones, but more difficult to find material. It is better career wise for me to write articles within the disciplines of theology, philosophy, Biblical studies, empirical theology and statistics. With me looking for work I wish to present two fully academic blogs. This blog will feature more satire and less citations than thekingpin68 blog. This blog will stay satire and theology. Please continue with the funny comments!
If I lose links that is unfortunate, but thekingpin68 is now seven links ahead of satire and theology and I reason academic writing is my future, but the two blogs will not be identical, as I have already explained. I reason I will gain more blog links in the future for satire and theology with this slight change.
I shall present an argument against the annihilation of unregenerate post-mortem persons. This is not exhaustive and is an argument, not the argument. I have used Erickson as a source to support my premises and conclusion.
God is perfectly holy.
-Erickson writes that God is totally separate from his creation. Erickson (1994: 284).
-Erickson lists Exodus 15: 11, 1 Samuel 2: 2 and Isaiah 57: 15.
-God is absolutely pure and good; God is not evil. Erickson (1994: 285).
-Erickson lists Job 34: 12, Habakkuk 1: 13 and James 1: 13
Human beings are sinful.
-Jeremiah 17: 9, Romans Chapter 1-3, Romans 3: 23, Romans 6: 23.
Sin must be atoned.
-God is the administrator of justice and cannot justly simply forgive sins. Erickson (1994: 816). God is equally the God of love and justice. Justice is therefore not ignored for the sake of love, as a holy God must be just.
Christ as infinite God outlasted finite sin in the atonement.
-As God, Christ’s death has infinite worth. Erickson (1994: 804). As God he can atone for all finite human sin.
Christ as a perfect man was sacrificed for imperfect persons in the atonement.
-As a human, Christ could redeem other humans. Erickson (1994: 804). Christ redeemed all of human nature through the atonement. Erickson (1994: 804).
Those outside of Christ cannot justly be annihilated as their sins are never atoned.
-Biblically, all persons exist port-mortem (Revelation, Chapter 20). Unfortunately, it could be reasoned that everlasting punishment exists as finite unregenerate persons continue to attempt to atone for their sins in hell, but can never fully cover their sins without Christ. Therefore they cannot justly be annihilated. Earthly sins are not covered, and post-mortem sins (rejecting God and related) in disembodied and resurrection states also remain uncovered.
ERICKSON, MILLARD (1994) Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.
Durham Cathedral, England
Recently I joined a brand new on-line Christian group for persons that have walked away from church, although I have not left church, and have no intention of leaving church. I joined this group at the request of the blogger that is a link. This group has an associated blog. On the blog an article was written suggesting that in the United States there is a tendency to obscure the simple teachings of Jesus with doctrines and theological systems.
I noted in comments:
I am a member of a Presbyterian Church of the Reformed tradition. I have not walked away from church, but do reason that in many ways an understanding of Biblical theology has led me to accept that Reformed theology usually provides greater understanding than does evangelical, for example. I would prefer not to call myself evangelical, although there is overlap between Reformed and evangelical views.
The link and blogger answered by noting that theology was a human construct and therefore was prone to error.
I then commented:
There is theological error because there is sin and God has not yet purged us of all sin. We are close to Christ as our theology concerning Christ is correct and as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. We cannot properly focus on Christ without a proper theological understanding. Now this theology may be more practical than systematic in the beginning but a proper understanding of Biblical theology is important or else we risk having an understanding of Christ which is heavily influenced by the ideologies of persons which will be subject to error.
Theology is not just a human construct, but was revealed through the teaching of Old Testament writers, Christ and his New Testament writers.
The blogger stated his disagreement with my view. He deduces that I do not think theology is a human construct
What I had stated was:
Theology is not just a human construct, but was revealed through the teaching of Old Testament writers, Christ and his New Testament writers.
I then added:
Biblical theology is God working through human means, and so the theology is both divine and human.
I also noted in regard to the idea that theology is not simply the study of God:
No, theology is also studying the philosophy of God. This can be seen in the disciplines of Biblical theology, systematic and philosophical theology, and philosophy of religion. The theology/ philosophy of God, was revealed by the prophets, Christ and the apostles. Therefore theology is certainly not just a human construct without understanding that theology is revealed by God to persons in Scripture, and understanding this theology being led by God, the view of Christ can largely be a human construct. This is a reason why there are so many religious groups that claim to know Christ (Eastern Religion, LDS, and others) and yet do not understand or know who the Biblical Jesus is.
The blogger then mentioned that the disciples were not educated in contrast to the Pharisees that were theologians:
And then there was Paul too, regenerated and educated, the scholar.:)
The blogger then comments that Paul left the things of the law behind for Christ.
Agreed, good point. And the Lord used Paul and his abilities to teach corrective theology in contrast to the teaching of the Jewish leaders.
Romans for example, is a cornerstone of Christian theology.
I have received some very important emails recently!
I am a lawyer and legal representative to a high profile client within the international community that requires your experience and assistance in the investment of her inherited funds,should this transaction be of interest to you contact me for more.
5-1, Kita-Aoyama 2-chome
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8077, Japan
Good day to you? I am Mr Eizoko Bayashi. I represent ITOCHU Corporation based here in Japan.
Our company exports cement, sugar and textile materials for world trade. We are searching for a representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our customers in Europe, America,and Canada as well as making payments through you as our payment officer.
Most of our customers pay out in check and we do not have an account in your country that will clear this money. It is upon this note that we seek your assistance to stand in as our representative in your country.
Note that, as our representative, you will receive 10% of whatever amount you clear for the company and the balance to be paid to us.If you are interested in this business transaction,forward to us the information below:
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
These information should be forwarded to the President and Chief Executive Officer;
Mr. Eizoko Bayashi.
Thanks to Jim and Vicki for the photos.