Substitutionary Atonement: The Satisfaction of the Wrath of God? (Long Read)

Many, who give Christianity a go, so to speak, do so on the basis of emotive appeals and/or yearning. And many, who eventually and effectively fall away, do so because Christianity seems incoherent. This may manifest itself as outright rejection, as neglect, or in wayward departure from essential verities and their application. Application is an entailment of genuine faith; much as technological applications entail genuine faith in underlying principles of scientific theories.

Proponents of Christianity can do little in regard those who honestly cannot reconcile Christianity with perceived realities; or those who exalt their own reason and/or psyche as the ultimate arbiters of Truth and the Good, especially whenever the counter-intuitive wisdom of the God of Scriptures comes into conflict (which shall inevitably occur); or those who were never sufficiently serious.

However, proponents of Christianity ought to, at least, ensure that the Gospel and Full Counsel of God that is transmitted is scripturally faithful and thereby rationally coherent. It is cause for deep grief and great disgust when it is the errant teachings of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, which prove contrary to Biblical orthodoxy, which are the reasons for initial or eventual rejection. It is cause for deep frustration when more time is required disabusing what Christianity is not, perpetuated by those self-identified and supposedly Christian, than in explaining what Christianity is.

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The Atonement of Christ, as the sating of the wrath of God unto our Justification, is one such ecclesiastical orthodoxy, deserving of such disdain. Continue reading “Substitutionary Atonement: The Satisfaction of the Wrath of God? (Long Read)”

Reclaiming Natural Law (Excerpt)

Virtually all of my Evangelical life, I have operated upon the belief in the existence of Natural Law. Or so I thought. Of late, I discover a subtle but substantive difference from how the larger part of Christendom, including Reformed Protestants, has understood the concept.

The form of Natural Law, upon which I have always operated, is ontological. The purpose behind natural laws is to provide experiential benefit and prevent experiential harm to the cosmological and psychosocial order in natural cause and effect fashion. This ontological understanding of Natural Law allows for the theoretical possibility of epistemologically ascertaining those ethical principles and their ontological effects through natural human faculties (e.g. reason and empirical evidence), although this can be quite difficult even with highest commitment to intellectual integrity. This enables genuine social discourse between all members of society regarding the nature of the Good, while being realistic as to the success of that project.

Nevertheless, just like the law of gravity, natural moral laws operate at the objective level of being, existence, and actuality; quite independent of the (subjective) knowing. Continue reading “Reclaiming Natural Law (Excerpt)”

Biblical Inerrancy

Christian faith has appeared to many an easy thing; nay, not a few even reckon it among the social virtues, as it were; and this they do because they have not made proof of it experimentally, and have never tasted of what efficacy it is. For it is not possible for any man to write well about it, or to understand well what is rightly written, who has not at some time tasted of its spirit, under the pressure of tribulation; while he who has tasted of it, even to a very small extent, can never write, speak, think, or hear about it sufficiently.[1]

It is not my current desire to formulate a comprehensive framework of understanding concerning biblical inerrancy. But in encountering some on the Internet who have likewise suffered under the tyranny of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI) creedal understanding, I feel it incumbent to make some interim comments. Continue reading “Biblical Inerrancy”

Spineless Christianity

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

In an article, selected by an Evangelical magazine which is going the way of the United Church Observer; a missionally-minded blogger serves as proxy to reflect that magazine editors’ disdain towards those who advocate and join a boycott of Target; a retail outlet, which is spearheading a campaign for transgender rights in the use of their public bathrooms. The essence of Aaron Wilson’s argument is that taking a firm, public, and meaningful ethical stand in this manner will undermine efforts to “engage our culture with conversations that gracefully illuminate the reason for our hope.”

Continue reading “Spineless Christianity”

Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent

Imputed Injustice

Imputed Injustice – Calvin Against the Calvinists

It is my empirically justified belief that modern Protestant Evangelicalism, and particularly its seminarian elite, have little comprehension of the nature and principles of Justice, including that of due process. In this, the seminarians have seriously failed to uphold the triumvirate of concerns that Christ Jesus deemed primary: judgment/justice, faith, and compassion (Matt 23:23). And if one does not comprehend the nature and principles of Justice, one cannot comprehend the Justice in the Justification in the Atonement.

A, if not THE primary argument deployed to validate the notion of humanity’s collective guilt in Adams’s sin is proof by blackmail. If one repudiates the imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt upon all, neither can one subscribe to the imputation of Christ Jesus’s work on behalf of those who put their faith in Him. We would thereby still be hopelessly dead in our sins. Continue reading “Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent”

Charlie Hebdo – 21st Century Sans-Culottes


The Zenith of French Glory - The Pinnacle of Liberty

The Zenith of French Glory –  The Pinnacle of Liberty

by James Gillray

Publisher: Hannah Humphrey (London)
Date: February 12, 1793

American Exceptionalism?

I agree with you. The United States of America is awesome. We are awesome.

It may only be a matter of time before the American news media puts The Comedy Channel out of business. For, which SNL comic could deliver that line above with such sincere fervor and straight face? It is a tribute to the dazzling success of the self-esteem movement, which applauds a child’s accomplishment, regardless of the number of feet away from the baseball, he swings the baseball. Yes. We incarcerated, and tortured, and anally raped, and trampled on their religious sentiments. Yes, Many of them were completely and knowingly innocent. But we did it in an awesome manner, and for awesome cause. We are awesome!

Should we sit down in ashes and wail in jeremiad lament? Nay. It’s time for another Anderson Cooper giggle fit!

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And yet there was a time when America was awesome; when American Exceptionalism had some recognizable validity. And that Exceptionalism had less to do with a “benevolent global hegemony” and material success; but with uniquely distinctive understandings and principles. One of these American eccentricities came to mind during all those NSA exposes last year.

After the expose of the PRISM program, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, a previous leader of the Conservative Party, declared.

The net effect is if you are a law abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear; nothing to fear about the British state or intelligence agencies listening to the content of your phone calls or anything like that.

It was that expansive expression of posh condescension, inculcated in this son of Dandelion and Burdock manufacturers, declaring you have nothing to fear; which provided that magic moment; one, which I doubt, American parodists could out-parody. Had someone scripted and produced those lines in a movie drama, the thespian would have been mocked for ham acting; the scriptwriter lampooned for creating such a stickman caricature.

I can imagine Herr Doctor Hague greeting with wide smile and sweeping assurance for those naked Juden, trudging towards those shower stalls.

If you are an obedient and healthy inhabitant of this camp, going about your assigned tasks and routines, you have nothing to fear; nothing to fear about these soldier’s protrusions or oversized easy bake ovens.

Herr Hague might be a persona who could probably get away with it.

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It was this if you are a law abiding citizen of this country, you have nothing to fear attitude, distinctive of British Toryism, and one with which I was familiar here in Canada of my youth, which reminded me of the Exceptionalism of the historical small-r republicans of the American political heritage. In America, there was always acknowledgment that that propensity towards mendacity, vice, self-aggrandizement and tyrannical impulses in humanity did not magically terminate upon election or appointment to civic offices. The watch guards needed to be vigilantly watched and occasionally resisted.

The ability and license to “collect it all”, acquired by the NSA or GCHQ, in the name of protection against criminal and foreign elements, is not merely a matter of an inconvenient invasion of privacy. Rather, that information could enable the use and abuse by these watch guards to violate the life, liberty and welfare of its citizenry or even of the foreign elements! That point is rarely raised.

The good will and motivations of the governors are too readily assumed by the governed nowadays. This shows up in the U.S. by the all too easy acceptance of porn photography and genital groping by the TSA, roadside shakedowns of vehicular occupants, pre-trial exoneration of corrupt and/or incompetent cops, warrantless collection of private information, quick dismissal of military and intelligence travesties or the expansion of Presidential discretion in the execution and de facto legislation of laws.

The roots of this devolution from American Exceptionalism are theological/philosophical. A Puritan or Non-Conformist version of Calvinism, which stressed the radical propensity and enslavement of human nature to evil, including in that of the governors, founded this republican impulse, which maintained healthy skepticism of civic officials and structures to check corruption and tyranny. However, with the dilution of this skeptical perception of the virtue of human nature comes a dilution of that healthy skepticism and perceived need for citizens to protect themselves from their leaders.

In this regard, America is no longer Exceptionalist.

The Sixth Tenet of the Calvinist Faith

Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.1

I am a 6+ point Calvinist, or Spurgeonist, taking a cue from Paul Washer. This self-identifying label is spoken mostly tongue-in-cheek, in order to disabuse the creedalist version of the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Five Point Calvinism or T.U.L.I.P. shares all the inherent problems, when humanity attempts to encapsulate an interconnected framework of Biblical understanding into bullet points; whether creeds are called by that name, or confessions of faith, catechisms or whatever.

Continue reading “The Sixth Tenet of the Calvinist Faith”

Current Events Repeat Itself

It is an old adage that history repeats itself. I much prefer Mark Twain’s variation that “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Many individuals pay exceeding heed to the particulars of a specific development and are obstinately oblivious to parallel dynamics in other similar events.

But when is history is history? Technically, it is the nanosecond following the event itself. However, there is a more realistic if subjective opinion that if events occur in one’s ancestors’ time, it is history. If it occurs while within conscious memory of one’s own duration on the earth, it is current events. It is still immediately real and likely retains a direct impact on one’s psyche and thought to varying degrees.

With this in mind, I proceed.

While Greenspan was declaiming the irrational exuberance in 1996, his monetary policies were affording its opportunity. And waves of asset bubbles and bursts ensured throughout his Fed reign.

With the Fed-induced current monetarist environment of low interest rates and attempts to spur the economy through encouragement of further indebtedness; and in the light of continued organic restraints on wage labour to prevent wage and price inflation that is normally associated with loose monetary policy; the hot air of extremely cheap money must find some outlet, some weak lining to bulge. It is not rocket science to predict more asset bursts on the way. The trick is to determine which asset class will be the instrument of the next financial tsunami.

In other news, the Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available1 to people with weaker credit.

Yet in other news, Wall Street is resurrecting many of the same financial instruments2 that were catalyst to the market crash of 2008. The banks are churning out some of these structured products at rates greater than the peak in early 2005.

It seems that in these days of folly, it is not history that repeats itself, but current events.


1Conor Friedersdorf, “Team Obama to Banks: Issue Home Loans to Riskier Borrowers”, The Atlantic Monthly, April 4, 2013,

2Nathaniel Popper, Alchemists of Wall Street at it again: Arcane-sounding names hide big risks, The New York Times, April 19, 2013,