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John_C
John_C
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Recent Posts
The Jewish conservative political commentators
by Tom - Thu Apr 11, 2024 10:54 AM
Jordan Peterson ordered to take sensitivity training
by Tom - Mon Apr 08, 2024 2:46 PM
The United Nations
by Tom - Fri Apr 05, 2024 5:04 PM
1 Cor. 6:9-11
by Pilgrim - Thu Apr 04, 2024 11:44 AM
Did Jesus Die of "Natural Causes"? by Dr. Paul Elliott
by Pilgrim - Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:39 PM
Revisionist History vs. Conspiracy History by Gary North
by Anthony C. - Sun Mar 31, 2024 5:18 PM
Active Threads | Active Posts | Unanswered Today | Since Yesterday | This Week
Open Forum Jump to new posts
Re: The Jewish conservative political commentators Tom Thu Apr 11, 2024 2:54 PM
Pilgriim
That is basically my take on him and others like Jordan Peterson.
2 102 Read More
Open Forum Jump to new posts
Re: Jordan Peterson ordered to take sensitivity training Tom Mon Apr 08, 2024 6:46 PM
Anthony
I hope I did not come on too strong in my last post.
The video you provided of Peterson at the Trilateral Commission is about 5 years ago.

Did you hear anything in his speech that led you to believe he agrees with the values of that organization?
I sure did not.

A friend of mine who watched that video, believes they invited Peterson to speak, to see how the opposition thinks.

However, if you have heard/watched any of his most recent videos, he speaks at conferences that are anti-woke, and anti-WEF.
Such as the one he did in Alberta Canada, with Tucker Carlson.

Tom
17 6,571 Read More
Open Forum Jump to new posts
The United Nations Tom Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:04 PM
I was recently sent something by a fellow Amillennial; that I really do not know
a lot about.
The context was that he is suspect of anyone who holds to Dispensationalism who teaches against the United Nations.
I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the following?

Quote
“Tom Hardy I have read the UN charter and the universal declaration of human Rights, and they are just and wise documents. They are essentially international treaties that we're not going to go to war with one another out of aggression. I've heard it several times over the last few decades preached that the UN is an evil organization, and the general premise has been that any attempt by human strength to create peace must be a counterfeit. In the context of a prevailing belief in pre-tribulationism and the false doctrine that the Antichrist will bring peace helps make people see international Peace treaties as something to do with the Antichrist. The Antichrist makes war, the Antichrist is lawless and violent and aggressive. He is not a peacemaker. Those preachers who turn people's minds towards suspicion of peace, as though that's something that smells like the antichrist, are doing everyone a terrible disservice.”

Tom
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Re: 1 Cor. 6:9-11 Pilgrim Thu Apr 04, 2024 3:44 PM
I have consistently determined from your posts that is what you have been implying/stating all along. It is the same garbage and abomination and total wresting of the Scriptures which others here have used to justify deviant sexuality in all forms but specifically homosexuality. As I warned you previously, IF you prove to being condoning such things, particularly with the total contradiction of Scripture then you would be banned from this Discussion Board. Such heretical and false teaching is not tolerated here. [Linked Image]

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Matthew 5:27-28 (ASV) 27 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (ASV) 9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Genesis 19:4-5 (ASV) 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

Leviticus 18:22 (ASV) 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 (ASV) 13 And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Deuteronomy 22:5 (ASV) 5 A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah thy God.

Deuteronomy 23:17 (ASV) 17 There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Romans 1:26-32 (ASV) 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. 28 And even as they refused to have God in [their] knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: 32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (ASV) 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, 9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men, for menstealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 11 according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
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Quotes Jump to new posts
When the basis and foundation of morality and ethics is removed chestnutmare Wed Apr 03, 2024 5:28 PM
When the basis and foundation of morality and ethics is removed, and some begin to do "what is right in their own eyes" the society and nation will decline and collapse."

~ Frances Schaeffer, Death in the City, [written 50 years ago.]

Psalm 11:1-3
1In the Lord I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
2For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
3If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?


Proverbs 21:2
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the heart.
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What's New on The Highway website? Jump to new posts
Did Jesus Die of "Natural Causes"? by Dr. Paul Elliott Pilgrim Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:39 AM
So many "experts" have been giving their views on the crucifixion over the media which most spoke of their speculations concerning how/why Jesus Christ died. Some are nothing but silliness and have nothing to do with the truth. Others went into detail about the physical agony and the medical reasons why Jesus died. But we must ALWAYS search the Scriptures, the ONLY source of absolute truth in all matters of faith (doctrine) and life for the answers to such questions. Dr. Paul M. Elliott gives us a very short but salient presentation of what Scripture says concerning the crucifixion and Jesus' death.

You can read this article for April's "Article of the Month" here: Did Jesus Die of "Natural Causes"?

For later reading, just visit The Highway website and click on the "Article of the Month" logo.

In His service and grace,
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Open Forum Jump to new posts
A Default Darwinian Nation? Anthony C. Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:18 PM
My casual interest in the debate between natural law enthusiasts and christian-nationalists has concluded with the futility of a discussion that fails to acknowledge the default belief system of mainstream society and the public square (most prominently, the secularist, the practical-atheist, and the christian-nominalist)….

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Evolution's most ambitious and vocal conservative advocate..is political scientist Larry Arnhart.
… Arnhart appeals directly to Darwin himself. In Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature, Arnhart argues that conservative thought has fundamentally misunderstood Darwin. For Arnhart, Darwin is not a biological materialist but a modern disciple of Aristotle. Properly understood, Darwinism proves that morality is rooted in human biology. Indeed, Arnhart claims that Darwinism can identify twenty biological desires that are common to all human societies. The fulfillment or frustration of these desires provides universal standards for judging the morality of human social behavior. Darwinian natural right consists of the “right” to have these biological desires satisfied. Arnhart recently argued in the conservative religious journal First Things that both secular and religious conservatives currently “need Charles Darwin.” By “adopting a Darwinian view of human nature,” both groups would be able to give a rational, non-sectarian response to the prevailing dogma of moral relativism. For Arnhart, the attraction of Darwinism is essentially practical: It provides a “scientific”–not “metaphysical” or “sectarian”–basis for “conservative moral and political thought.”

One has to question, however, the wisdom of evaluating any account of human nature primarily in terms of its political utility. But this does explain why, on every critical point, Arnhart lets his political concerns shape his theoretical defense of Darwinism. Consequently, Arnhart never really confronts conservatism's original charge that Darwinism reduces human beings to clever, biologically determined animals. But he does present natural lawyers with an intriguing and, by no means, inconsequential choice: Should they embrace Darwinism and give natural law conclusions the air of “scientific legitimacy,” or should they continue to defend an unfashionable but richer account of human nature that transcends human biology?


The Biology of Morality

Essential to the Darwinian defense of morality is the belief that social behaviors are “biologically rooted” in human nature. Darwinians such as Arnhart start from the premise that human beings are “hard-wired” for specific species-preserving behaviors. Darwinism explains all human societies, ranging from families to political communities, as unintended byproducts of the evolutionary process. Social behaviors and institutions came into existence as evolutionary responses to “species-threatening” changes in man's environment. Friendships, marriages, families, and even political communities, all of which are commonly seen as vital features of a meaningful human life, have their origins outside of the moral universe. Every society came into existence in a world where “species-survival” and “species-extinction,” not good and evil, were the fundamental human categories. Darwinism views sociality and morality as part of man's genetic inheritance–the adaptive means through which the species perpetuates itself. Contrary to popular belief, morality is really instrumental to the larger goal of individual and collective preservation.

Darwin's thesis that all species, including the human species, possess a biological drive for self-preservation is not novel. Arnhart, for example, frequently observes that Saint Thomas Aquinas, the natural law's classical exponent par excellence,makes a similar claim. And as Arnhart likes to note, Aquinas even once described natural right as “that which nature has taught to all animals.” Aquinas's strongest statement on this matter, however, occurs in the context of a wider discussion of natural law. Aquinas there states that the natural law's second inclination, which man shares with all animals, directs him to preserve the species. But as Arnhart shows, Darwin extends this insight substantially further than Aquinas does. In contrast to Aquinas, Darwin believes that those behaviors that are necessary for the survival of the species gradually become woven into human biology itself. Over time, human beings eventually come to view behaviors that are necessary for survival as both meaningful and moral.

The Darwinian defense of morality characteristically points to the end of the family as illustrative of how morality is rooted in human biology. Arnhart himself traces the family back to the strong sexual drive of young men. Rooted in their “biological nature,” this drive plays an important role in the preservation of the species, yet it also fulfills “the natural desire for conjugal bonding.” Once properly channeled (Arnhart conspicuously never explains how or why this occurs), the sexual drive allows for the kind of bonding that naturally occurs within the family. The preservation of the family and, ultimately, of the species itself are the result of the “biological drive for sexual mating.” Scrutinized from the Darwinian perspective, the biological desire for conjugal bonding is revealed to perform the necessary task of stabilizing society.

While Darwinism can defend the family as a natural institution, it is not a genuinely moral or spiritual defense. Wedded to biological materialism, Darwinism necessarily reduces the good to the useful–finally viewing the family as instrumental to evolution's larger goal of the preservation of society. While family life undoubtedly helps stabilize society, this clearly is not the only thing that is good about it. Arnhart's recognition of natural desires for “conjugal and familial bonding” shows that he is aware of this fact. But the logic of his position ultimately requires him to view the family in terms of its preservation of society.

The Morality of Biology

But is this really compatible with conservatism? Is it really possible to understand family life solely in terms of its role in the preservation of society? Setting aside for the moment any sacramental notion of marriage(not mere conjugal bonding) and family life, Darwinism would have one believe that a husband's self-conscious love for his wife or the personal sacrifices that parents willingly make for their children are byproducts of a primordial desire to perpetuate the species. Viewed from the perspective of human beings' lived experience, Darwinism's appreciation of the family is even more dehumanizing than modernity's view of marriage as simply a contractual arrangement.

Part of the reason for this flattening of the human horizon is Darwinism's systematic identification of the good with the flourishing of the species rather than with the self-conscious individual. There is then something fundamentally incoherent about the effort to defend the intrinsic goodness of morality on the basis of Darwinism. This incoherence, however, explains a number of oddities about the Darwinian defense of morality. The most obvious of these is its creative effort to present Darwin as a teacher of “evolution.” As surprising as it sounds, Darwin never uses this term in The Origin of Species. Rather, he speaks of “descent with modification.” The difference between these terms is not merely semantic. Darwin realized that evolution is a teleological term. To say that something evolved is to say that it has evolved towardsomething. Evolution implies the kind of purposeful change by which something unfolds according to a prearranged plan–precisely the understanding of evolution that the Roman Catholic Church claims is not necessarily inimical to Christianity. While often popularly misunderstood, what the Catholic Church consistently has opposed, from Pius XII's nuanced 1950 encyclical Humani Generis to John Paul II's recent statements, is not the idea of evolution per se but, rather, those materialist theories that reduce psychic humanity to biological animality.

Darwin, however, eschews such teleological thinking–going so far as to note in his manuscript not to use “hierarchical” terms such as higher and lower. For him, nature is intrinsically mechanistic. Change results from “natural selection,” the process by which species adapt to environmental changes by weeding out variations that jeopardize their survival. Far from acting towards an end, nature responds to external forces of chance and necessity. It is not difficult to see why Darwinians such as Arnhart try to gloss over the harshness of this teaching. By drawing attention to the fact that nature is a blind and continuous process, they effectively undermine their political defense of the intrinsic goodness of morality.

Darwinism's teaching on perpetual modification points to another problem with the idea of Darwinian natural law. For Darwin, the process of modification is, in principle, continuous. Contrary to what they may wish to believe, human beings are not the end of the evolutionary process. The Darwinian defense of natural morality, therefore, is not to be taken too literally. Lacking the fixity of any genuine end, the goods supported by natural law are useful only over long periods of time. Like nature itself, they are transitionally good. This explains why Arnhart places so much emphasis on biology, since it offers the only real source of “temporary fixity” in the world.

Natural Law and the Humanization of Biology

What is most striking about the Darwinian defense of morality is that it argues for one of the positions that natural law traditionally has argued against. Natural law historically has opposed any simplistic identification of the natural with the biological. Contrary to Darwinism's identification of the natural with the instinctual, natural law associates the natural with the reasonable. It seeks to humanize and transcend the realm of biology by incorporating it into the realm of reason–to view the low in light of the high, not vice versa. Whereas materialist Darwinians see human nature culminating in the biological instinct to perpetuate the species, Aquinas thinks that man's natural inclination directs him to seek the truth about God and to live in society. Rather than insisting that he be completely at home in the biological world, natural law realizes that his natural desire for transcendence ensures that man can only be ambiguously at home in the world. Psychically different from other creatures, the rational creature (not merely the calculating, species-preserving animal) somehow embodies all of the aspirations of the evolved biological world.

This natural desire to know does not negate the desire to perpetuate the species but, in fact, can explain why such perpetuation is desirable. Part of the attraction of natural law thinking, therefore, lies in its ability to show that human beings are not slaves to their instincts but, rather, that they possess the psychic freedom to make sense of these instincts. Over and against Darwinism's biological determinism, natural law theory is grounded in the all-too-human experience of wrestling with matters of conscience–of trying to do what one ought to do and not merely what one instinctively wants to do. Rejecting the reality of such an inner life, Darwinian-based defenses of morality are necessarily self-defeating. They replace relativism's belief that nothing can legitimately make a claim on the human soul with materialism's belief that human beings are biologically incapable of caring about their souls.

Near the end of his essay in First Things,Arnhart celebrates the remarkable recent advances of science in the areas of neurobiology and genetics. In light of these advances, Arnhart warns that “if conservatism is to remain intellectually vital, [it] will need to show that [its] position is compatible with this new science of human nature.” But what does Arnhart think Darwinism has to say to these new sciences? If there really are no natural limits on human beings, if nature really is in a constant slow state of flux, how can a Darwinian, even a morally serious Darwinian, oppose something such as the “new science” of human cloning? A self-conscious Darwinian such as E. O. Wilson realizes that cloning is simply the next stage of human “modification.” Faithful to the spirit of his Darwinism, Wilson looks forward to the day when cloning or “volitional evolution” will allow scientists to alter “not just the anatomy and intelligence of the species but also the emotions and creative drive that compose the very core of human nature.” Less consistent Darwinians such as Arnhart choose to remain blissfully unaware of this fact. Consequently, they fail to recognize that what they offer is not so much up-to-date moral guidance as the ultimate moral justification for the “brave new world.”

https://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-11-number-4/delusion-darwinian-natural-law

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Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought

Great minds shape the thinking of successive historical periods. Luther and Calvin inspired the Reformation; Locke, Leibniz, Voltaire and Rousseau, the Enlightenment. Modern thought is most dependent on the influence of Charles Darwin…

A Secular View of Life

Darwin founded a new branch of life science, evolutionary biology…

…The truly outstanding achievement of the principle of natural selection is that it makes unnecessary the invocation of “final causes”—that is, any teleological forces leading to a particular end. In fact, nothing is predetermined. Furthermore, the objective of selection even may change from one generation to the next, as environmental circumstances vary. …

The Darwinian Zeitgeist

A 21st-century person looks at the world quite differently than a citizen of the Victorian era did. This shift had multiple sources, particularly the incredible advances in technology. But what is not at all appreciated is the great extent to which this shift in thinking indeed resulted from Darwin’s ideas.

Remember that in 1850 virtually all leading scientists and philosophers were Christian men. The world they inhabited had been created by God, and as the natural theologians claimed, He had instituted wise laws that brought about the perfect adaptation of all organisms to one another and to their environment. At the same time, the architects of the scientific revolution had constructed a worldview based on physicalism (a reduction to spatiotemporal things or events or their properties), teleology, determinism and other basic principles. Such was the thinking of Western man prior to the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species. The basic principles proposed by Darwin would stand in total conflict with these prevailing ideas.

First, Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity of the world solely materialistically. It no longer requires God as creator or designer (although one is certainly still free to believe in God even if one accepts evolution). Darwin pointed out that creation, as described in the Bible and the origin accounts of other cultures, was contradicted by almost any aspect of the natural world. Every aspect of the “wonderful design” so admired by the natural theologians could be explained by natural selection. (A closer look also reveals that design is often not so wonderful—see “Evolution and the Origins of Disease,” by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams; Scientific American, November 1998.) Eliminating God from science made room for strictly scientific explanations of all natural phenomena; it gave rise to positivism; it produced a powerful intellectual and spiritual revolution, the effects of which have lasted to this day.

Second, Darwinism refutes typology. From the time of the Pythagoreans and Plato, the general concept of the diversity of the world emphasized its invariance and stability. This viewpoint is called typology, or essentialism. The seeming variety, it was said, consisted of a limited number of natural kinds (essences or types), each one forming a class. The members of each class were thought to be identical, constant, and sharply separated from the members of other essences.

Variation, in contrast, is nonessential and accidental. A triangle illustrates essentialism: all triangles have the same fundamental characteristics and are sharply delimited against quadrangles or any other geometric figures. An intermediate between a triangle and a quadrangle is inconceivable. Typological thinking, therefore, is unable to accommodate variation and gives rise to a misleading conception of human races. For the typologist, Caucasians, Africans, Asians or Inuits are types that conspicuously differ from other human ethnic groups. This mode of thinking leads to racism. (Although the ignorant misapplication of evolutionary theory known as “social Darwinism” often gets blamed for justifications of racism, adherence to the disproved essentialism preceding Darwin in fact can lead to a racist viewpoint.)

Darwin completely rejected typological thinking and introduced instead the entirely different concept now called population thinking. All groupings of living organisms, including humanity, are populations that consist of uniquely different individuals. No two of the six billion humans are the same. Populations vary not by their essences but only by mean statistical differences. By rejecting the constancy of populations, Darwin helped to introduce history into scientific thinking and to promote a distinctly new approach to explanatory interpretation in science.

Third, Darwin’s theory of natural selection made any invocation of teleology unnecessary. From the Greeks onward, there existed a universal belief in the existence of a teleological force in the world that led to ever greater perfection. This “final cause” was one of the causes specified by Aristotle. After Kant, in the Critique of Judgment, had unsuccessfully attempted to describe biological phenomena with the help of a physicalist Newtonian explanation, he then invoked teleological forces. Even after 1859, teleological explanations (orthogenesis) continued to be quite popular in evolutionary biology. The acceptance of the Scala Naturae and the explanations of natural theology were other manifestations of the popularity of teleology. Darwinism swept such considerations away.

(The designation “teleological” actually applied to various different phenomena. Many seemingly end-directed processes in inorganic nature are the simple consequence of natural laws—a stone falls or a heated piece of metal cools because of laws of physics, not some end-directed process. Processes in living organisms owe their apparent goal-directedness to the operation of an inborn genetic or acquired program. Adapted systems, such as the heart or kidneys, may engage in activities that can be considered goal seeking, but the systems themselves were acquired during evolution and are continuously fine-tuned by natural selection. Finally, there was a belief in cosmic teleology, with a purpose and predetermined goal ascribed to everything in nature. Modern science, however, is unable to substantiate the existence of any such cosmic teleology.)

Fourth, Darwin does away with determinism. Laplace notoriously boasted that a complete knowledge of the current world and all its processes would enable him to predict the future to infinity. Darwin, by comparison, accepted the universality of randomness and chance throughout the process of natural selection. (Astronomer and philosopher John Herschel referred to natural selection contemptuously as “the law of the higgledy-piggledy.”) That chance should play an important role in natural processes has been an unpalatable thought for many physicists. Einstein expressed this distaste in his statement, “God does not play dice.” Of course, as previously mentioned, only the first step in natural selection, the production of variation, is a matter of chance. The character of the second step, the actual selection, is to be directional.

Despite the initial resistance by physicists and philosophers, the role of contingency and chance in natural processes is now almost universally acknowledged. Many biologists and philosophers deny the existence of universal laws in biology and suggest that all regularities be stated in probabilistic terms, as nearly all so-called biological laws have exceptions. Philosopher of science Karl Popper’s famous test of falsification therefore cannot be applied in these cases.

Fifth, Darwin developed a new view of humanity and, in turn, a new anthropocentrism. Of all of Darwin’s proposals, the one his contemporaries found most difficult to accept was that the theory of common descent applied to Man. For theologians and philosophers alike, Man was a creature above and apart from other living beings. Aristotle, Descartes and Kant agreed on this sentiment, no matter how else their thinking diverged. But biologists Thomas Huxley and Ernst Haeckel revealed through rigorous comparative anatomical study that humans and living apes clearly had common ancestry, an assessment that has never again been seriously questioned in science. The application of the theory of common descent to Man deprived man of his former unique position.

Ironically, though, these events did not lead to an end to anthropocentrism. The study of man showed that, in spite of his descent, he is indeed unique among all organisms. Human intelligence is unmatched by that of any other creature. Humans are the only animals with true language, including grammar and syntax. Only humanity, as Darwin emphasized, has developed genuine ethical systems. In addition, through high intelligence, language and long parental care, humans are the only creatures to have created a rich culture. And by these means, humanity has attained, for better or worse, an unprecedented dominance over the entire globe.

Sixth, Darwin provided a scientific foundation for ethics. The question is frequently raised—and usually rebuffed— as to whether evolution adequately explains healthy human ethics. Many wonder how, if selection rewards the individual only for behavior that enhances his own survival and reproductive success, such pure selfishness can lead to any sound ethics. The widespread thesis of social Darwinism, promoted at the end of the 19th century by Spencer, was that evolutionary explanations were at odds with the development of ethics.

We now know, however, that in a social species not only the individual must be considered—an entire social group can be the target of selection. Darwin applied this reasoning to the human species in 1871 in The Descent of Man. The survival and prosperity of a social group depends to a large extent on the harmonious cooperation of the members of the group, and this behavior must be based on altruism. Such altruism, by furthering the survival and prosperity of the group, also indirectly benefits the fitness of the group’s individuals. The result amounts to selection favoring altruistic behavior.

Kin selection and reciprocal helpfulness in particular will be greatly favored in a social group. Such selection for altruism has been demonstrated in recent years to be widespread among many other social animals. One can then perhaps encapsulate the relation between ethics and evolution by saying that a propensity for altruism and harmonious cooperation in social groups is favored by natural selection. The old thesis of social Darwinism—strict selfishness—was based on an incomplete understanding of animals, particularly social species.

The Influence of New Concepts

Let me now try to summarize my major findings. No educated person any longer questions the validity of the so-called theory of evolution, which we now know to be a simple fact. Likewise, most of Darwin’s particular theses have been fully confirmed, such as that of common descent, the gradualism of evolution, and his explanatory theory of natural selection.

I hope I have successfully illustrated the wide reach of Darwin’s ideas. Yes, he established a philosophy of biology by introducing the time factor, by demonstrating the importance of chance and contingency, and by showing that theories in evolutionary biology are based on concepts rather than laws. But furthermore—and this is perhaps Darwin’s greatest contribution—he developed a set of new principles that influence the thinking of every person: the living world, through evolution, can be explained without recourse to supernaturalism; essentialism or typology is invalid, and we must adopt population thinking, in which all individuals are unique (vital for education and the refutation of racism); natural selection, applied to social groups, is indeed sufficient to account for the origin and maintenance of altruistic ethical systems; cosmic teleology, an intrinsic process leading life automatically to ever greater perfection, is fallacious, with all seemingly teleological phenomena explicable by purely material processes; and determinism is thus repudiated, which places our fate squarely in our own evolved hands.

To borrow Darwin’s phrase, there is grandeur in this view of life. New modes of thinking have been, and are being, evolved. Almost every component in modern man’s belief system is somehow affected by Darwinian principles.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-influence-on-modern-thought1/
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Re: Change in NRSVue text note on 1 John 5:7 Pilgrim Thu Mar 28, 2024 3:07 PM
The controversy over 1 John 5:7 will continue to the end of time. There are good arguments for its inclusion or exclusion on both sides. In my view, it doesn't matter since the doctrine of the trinity does not depend upon this one isolated passage but rather its perspicuity obvious and thus the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly taught in Scripture throughout the OT and NT. I take the same perspective in regard to the endless debates on the TR and other textual evidences (p.s. The KJV Only argument is specious on its face and not worthy of anyone's serious consideration). NOT ONE doctrine is omitted from either source materials but they are in full agreement. What people should be far more concerned is what TRANSLATION method is used for non-original languages. There are two schools of thought; Formal Equivalence and Dynamic :Equivalence. The Formal Equivalence is incontrovertibly the one which is faithful to the Scripture itself, i.e., every jot and tittle is important and must be faithfully translated as much as it is possible to each particular language. The Dynamic Equivalence method holds that the "meaning" of a text is most important. Even the average person if the/she ponders this statement non-critically can see clearly that a "meaning" is only derived from the individual words and the grammar with which it was originally written.
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Is the church in crisis John_C Wed Mar 27, 2024 2:52 PM
I may have some understanding of why some Christians are worried about our political landscape hurting the church. I mostly poo-pawed it as coming from the progressive Christianity people. Now, maybe I think the church should not only be concern from the progressive wing, but also some on the conservative side as well.

I ran into a podcast on YouTube where the host (a pastor who left the Acts 29 group of churches) and a woman Christian reporter with the Daily Wire. They were discussing 10 prominent Christian names on whether they belong to the progressive, pietism, or preservation side. I mostly agreed with them, but the more I heard them I started to think they were more interested in them being vocal on cultural issues, than for their biblical based doctrine. Finally, when they got to the last name it became obvious to me. They gave Doug Wilson glaring reviews for his standing up for biblical truths. The host did mention that Wilson was black-listed for his views on Federal Vision, but said that is something (paraphrasing) minor in the big scope of things. The names were Keller, Piper, Ortland, MacArthur, R Moore, Chandler, Sproul, and Wilson (I forget 2 of them).

Has Federal Vision and other issues like it become non-issues theologically in today’s church? Only engaging the culture is important, even with bad theology?
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Re: Should Creeds be read in Church? Pilgrim Mon Mar 25, 2024 10:30 AM
Only the Word of God should be preached and taught in the formal worship service of God. Reading a portion of one of the historic creeds is fine, in my opinion, if it serves as an example of what the Church historically believes, which is biblically based and part of a sermon; the text of Scripture. Otherwise, I think it most appropriate that the Creeds be taught in classes outside of the formal worship. I have taught a class on the Canons of Dordt which was well received and I have attended an 'adult' class where the WCF was taught. This fulfills the biblical mandate that the members be educated through the teaching of the Word as an addition to the formal worship. Being educated in the Bible and its doctrines is mandated and which I firmly believe leads to biblical worship. (cf. Eph 4:11-15; 2Tim 2:2; 4:1-4; Heb 5:12)
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Do Christians have Dual Personalities: Peace & Wretchedness? DiscipleEddie Sat Mar 23, 2024 5:15 PM
Paul wrote that "by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ", Rom. 5:1; but Paul seems to be anything but peaceful in Romans 7. Can we have peace in Christ and also at the same time wrestle with the sinful self?

"Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me." (Rom 7:16-17 NRSV)

"Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Rom 7:24 NRSV)

"Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom 7:25 - 8:2 NRSV)

Some Christians seem able to ignore their imperfections and it takes a 2X4 up beside their head to get their attention to their/our fallen nature in our daily life. But on the other hand, there seem to be those Christians of a very sensitive nature who seem unable to have real peace with God, for they are painfully aware of every sinful tendency in their life. There seems to be three general ways this is approached by believers, who we accept are truly born from above.

The Wesley Arminian sees perfection as possible for Christians, and therefore they are always working for salvation, while claiming grace.

The follower of 'easy believism' appears to ignore totally the sin in their life, which may be gross; but they still claim assurance of salvation because of an acceptance of Christ at some time in the past.

The Calvinist/Covenant believer in viewing works as evidence of one's salvation seems to in a subtle way be akin to the Wesleyan who is always striving, and working for salvation. A sensitive Calvinist may never have the assurance promised in John's epistles, and find himself also working for salvation:

"Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him:: (1John 2:3-5 NRSV)

Thoughts or comments from the brethren? Does assurance of salvation depend to some degree on a believer's nature or personality?
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Re: The When and How of Justification DiscipleEddie Sat Mar 23, 2024 5:13 PM
Pilgrim, I'll not extend a debate on this topic itself, but in my study on justification, the question of peace with God written about by Paul brought to my mind the believer's assurance of salvation and his peace of mind. I'm going to post on this topic of the seeming dual personality of the believer who is actually born again in truth.
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Why a New Covenant Theology DiscipleEddie Fri Mar 15, 2024 1:52 PM
Examples of God's law before Mosaic Law existed; before Moses existed:

Murder: Gen. 9:5,6
Adultery: Gen. 20:3
Idolatry: Gen. 35:2-4
Theft: Gen. 21:25

Nowhere in Scripture is the Law of Moses divided into "moral", "civil" and "ceremonial":

John Gill takes the words "my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" in Gen. 26:5 and seems to describe them as: "whether moral, ceremonial, or civil and judicial" but when following these Hebrew words through the OT, that will not hold up.

The Law of Moses had a specific starting "day", a Law given to no other nation:

"And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?" (Deut 4:8, NRSV)

"When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them" (Rom 2:14-15, NRSV)
* I take it the law written on the heart came from the creation and is seen in Genesis.
** Only Israel was given the Old Covenant, with the Ten Commandments, and that was abolished at the cross.


Moses saw in the distant future when another prophet would succeed him:

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the LORD my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the LORD replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable." (Deut 18:15-19, NRSV)

Jesus Christ is the prophet of which Moses spoke:

"Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’" (Acts 3:22-23, NRSV)

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20, NRSV)

"To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law." (1Cor 9:21, NRSV)

When did the switch from Mosaic Law to Christ's Law take place?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. (Matt 5:17-18, NRSV)

"fulfill" = REB "to complete"; Weymouth "give them their completion"

When was this all accomplished?

"When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:30, NRSV)

The entire Law of Moses has been abolished or annulled at the cross.

"He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it." (Eph 2:15-16, NRSV)

"And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross." (Col 2:13-14, NRSV)

"In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear." (Heb 8:13, NRSV)
*we know the first Covenant included the 10 Commandments (words)
"He was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." (Exod 34:28, NRSV)

"Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!" (2Cor 3:7-11, NRSV)

The preceding Scriptures force me to embrace New Covenant Theology and also the First London Confession of Faith of 1646 which does not teach the "Ten Commandments" or any of the Mosaic Law, but only Christ's law in the New Covenant. This confession states in part, in its conclusion, the following statement:

"If any man shall impose upon us anything that we see not to be commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, we should in His strength rather embrace all reproaches and tortures of men, to be stripped of all outward comforts, and if it were possible, to die a thousand deaths, rather than to do anything against the least tittle of the truth of God or against the light of our own consciences."
http://grace-gospel.org/bcf1646.htm
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