Culture, politics

Pro-Family Abortion?

Carle Zimmerman has observed that the ancient Roman Empire supported abortion and infanticide precisely because it was so aggressively pro-family, just the opposite of the rationale for their support today. What he terms the trustee family placed life-and-death authority in the hands of the father or clan or kin, which could kill their preborn and children at will.

In radical contrast, today‘s abortion and infanticide is undergirded by radical individual autonomy, not radical familial autonomy as in the ancient world.

The church countered the trustee family with the domestic family, and subordinated the family to the church.

Biblical faith opposes both individual autonomy and familial autonomy (as well as ecclesial autonomy, for that matter), and forbids all abortion and infanticide.

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Culture, Family

CCL’s 23rd Annual Symposium: The Family

Join us in San Francisco for an illuminating, inspiring, and equipping conversation.

In our time of unrelenting assault on the family and marriage, this year’s symposium will provide spiritual and intellectual ammunition to combat the diabolical, contra-creational forces confronting us.

This event will be especially suited for spouses, as well as high school and college students. I urge them in particular to attend.

The symposium is a discussion, not a conference, and everyone, not just the presenters, will have an opportunity to contribute.

There are no recordings of any kind for these CCL symposia.

This event is free of charge, but it is not open to the public. You must be invited. Please contact me privately if you wish to reserve a space.

It includes a continental breakfast and gourmet lunch. Hotel rooms are available for early registrants.

The venue is a four-star, Bayside hotel a short shuttle ride from the airport.

I’m eager to see many of you there.

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Culture, politics

Against “Post-Liberalism,” Left and Right

Memo to U. S. conservatives:

1. We should be standing boldly for Jesus Christ, the Bible, marriage, the family, preborn children, the elderly, two sexes and two sexes only, patriotic conservatism, and respect everywhere for God’s moral law.

2. We should be standing boldly for liberty — classical liberalism: religious liberty, political liberty, economic liberty; free markets at home and abroad, a multi-party system, negotiated politics, severely limited government, checks and balances, and the God-given right of every God-imaged human to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We should grasp that culture, not politics, is the great vehicle for social change.

3. We should be standing boldly, for both 1 and 2, simultaneously.

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Culture

My 10 Favorite Modern Novels

The Straw Men, by Michael Marshall — They are brilliant and bloodthirsty elite nihilists who are convinced they’re the next stage in human evolution. They have lots of money. They live on huge, rural estates. They like to experiment. WARNING: don’t read alone at night.

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt — Classical humanism has never been more macabre.

The Snowman, by Jo Nesbø — Scandinavian thrillers are chillers: literally.

Dune, by Frank Herbert — If you can read only one sci-fi novel in your life, read this one.

The Charm School, by Nelson DeMille — In the old Soviet Union a young American tourist in a Trans Am picks up a fellow American hitchhiker on the run. The story he tells the driver is staggering. Soon, both are dead.

Hannibal, by Thomas Harris — If the good doctor is terrifying behind bars, what would he be like roaming around a free man?

Spy Line, by Len Deighton — A British intelligence agent gets into East Germany to exfiltrate a double agent. She happens to be his wife.

The Broken Shore, by Peter Temple — An Aussie detective hunting down a wealthy sexual fiend.

The Leopard, by Jo Nesbø — Why does the deeply flawed detective Harry Hole (WHO-lu) get stuck investigating the most pernicious serial killers on the planet.

Red Leaves, by Paullina Simons — Such close-knit school students. The red boots of one are found standing alone in the snow. The wearer is not.

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Culture

What I Do

It occurred to me that I often take for granted when I post on social media that everybody knows what I do.

I’ve been leading the Center for Cultural Leadership for almost 23 years now, and I assume everybody knows that. Apparently, they don’t. So here’s a quick summary of what I do:

I lead CCL, about which you can learn more at the link provided. It’s a Christian educational foundation designed to influence Christians to influence culture in distinctively Christian ways. It is Reformational (Kuyper, Bavinck, Dooyeweerd, Van Til); conservative (theologically, socially, and politically); and classically liberal (pro-liberty, free society).

We have a number of distinguished senior fellows and a cooperating board, and you can read all about that at the website too.

You can access the numerous CCL resources at the end of the web post.

Dr. Brian Mattson and I are the two full-time scholars, and we have several part-time scholars. You can subscribe to his superior weekly e-newsletters and his other resources.

We’re intellectuals, and we make no bones about it, though we’re not eggheads, I hope! We’re part of what has been called the “adversarial intelligentsia”: relying on our Christian presuppositions, we try to go toe to toe with the reigning secular and neopagan intelligentsia.

Ideas have consequences, bad ideas have bad consequences, and bad theological ideas have the worst consequences of all. We try to specialize in the very best ideas.

A root distinctive of CCL is that the Christian Faith is designed to apply beyond the four walls of the church, the family hearth, and between anybody’s two ears — to the entire culture.

We try to be firm, uncompromising, biblical, and appropriately confrontational while avoiding insulting, incendiary, junior-high, scorched-earth rhetorical antics.

CCL relies for support on a faithful donor base.

I’ve been happily married 40 years to the most faithful wife God could give a man, with five children, four grandchildren, and too many great friends that I don’t deserve. I pastored two churches (11 years each), served as an executive at two other Christian foundations, was headmaster at a Christian day school, and have been involved in the Christian ministry at almost every level. I was reared in a devout Christian family and started preaching when I was 16 years old. I hope nobody still has copies of those cassette tape sermons.

That’s a summary of what I do.


The CCL website is here.

My Amazon author page (print and digital) is here.

Subscribe to “CultureChange,” my weekly e-newsletter here.

You can find my sermons and lectures at my YouTube channel.

Sign up to get my blog updates here.

Here’s my Twitter feed.

If you want to get the free exclusive hard copy publication Christian Culture, please send me a Facebook private message.

The CCL phone number is 831-420-7230.

The mailing address is:

Center for Cultural Leadership

P. O. Box 100

Coulterville, CA 95311

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Church, Culture

The Character of Christ’s Kingdom

He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (Is. 42:2, 3)

A principal theme of the Old Testament prophets relating to Messiah’s glorious kingdom is the manner in which it was to contrast with merely human kingdoms. The kingdoms of man arrive with and feature great pomp, pride, and power, crushing all who dare oppose them. They constitute visible manifestations of man’s glory, and are usually attended by an arrogance toward both God and man.

Alternatively, Christ’s kingdom was predicted to arrive in humility, far from the centers of human power (Mic. 5:2). When we examine the gospel accounts of Christ’s birth, life, and death, we discover that the Old Testament prophecies were infallibly fulfilled: Christ was born in poverty and humility, attended not by royal heralds but humble shepherds. The kings of the earth did not hail him; the principal ruler in Israel at the time tried to murder him. Our Lord was reared by a humble, God-fearing family in relative obscurity. His adult teaching and healing ministry, while attended by thousands, did not bear the character of earthly royalty. His ignominious and cruel death in punishment as a common criminal was the most humiliating execution known in the ancient world.

Truly, if we consider his life on earth, the kingdom of Christ bears little resemblance to human kingdoms.

There is a good reason for this. The kingdom of Christ is not chiefly a political kingdom. Nationalist Jews at Christ’s first Advent expected that this Man who claimed to be King and Messiah would fulfill the old covenant Scriptures which prophesied that God’s Chosen would break the yoke of Israel’s Gentile oppressors (Jer. 23:5-9; Ez. 34:24-31; Mic. 5:5,6). In this assumption they were absolutely correct. They were grossly mistaken, however, in their assumption of the manner in which Messiah would do this. They presumed—like the dispensationalists of the modern era—that Christ’s is a cataclysmically induced, centrally enforced political kingdom. They somehow missed those old covenant Scriptures which foretold that the Messiah-King would accomplish his will through regenerative, humble, non-coercive means (Is. 15:14, 15; 42:1-7; 52:13-53:12; Zech. 9:9). Christ indeed will crush his opponents (Ps. 2); but he will not crush them in the manner of a merely human king.

The principal amillennial error is in holding that Christ’s kingdom is limited to the Christian family, church, or the intermediate or eternal state. It does not recognize all the promises of the Messianic kingdom which pertain to the Godly Golden Age of the entire earth, including politics and the state (e.g., Ps. 2; 22:27; 47:2, 3, 7; 72; Is. 2:2-4; 11:1-10; 42:1-4; 65:17-25; Mic. 4:1-5).

A central error of all dispensationalists, most premillennialists, and even some postmillennialists, on the other hand, is in supposing that Christ’s kingdom is a fundamentally political phenomenon. The first two foresee Christ returning physically to earth accompanied by the deceased saints with, as it were, guns firing and eyes blazing, intent on mowing down the Antichrist and his wicked disciples in cold blood. Some mistaken postmillennialists, though, trip into a similar error. They seem to think that if Christians can just capture state power they will be poised to usher in an intensified millennium by imposing Biblical law, punishing God’s enemies, and creating a Christian state. While their sincerity may be impeccable, their agenda is unthinkable.

The earthy Kingdom of Christ begins in the hearts of regenerate man (Lk. 17:21; Col. 1:13). Under the power of the Holy Spirit, as the Christian reorders his life, family and all other areas he influences in terms of the Christian Faith and Biblical law, God gradually rolls back evil and its effects in all of human life and society. Politics is one such—but never the chief—area. It is a fatal flaw of those suckled on the heresy of the ultimacy of political solutions to suppose that Christ’s kingdom will progress mainly by means of politics. It will not. It will advance mainly by the operation of the Spirit in the lives of increasingly sanctified, law-keeping Christians who practice their Faith in family, work, school, church, and all areas of their lives.

Fathers inculcate the orthodox Christian Faith into their families. Pastors lead their flock into greater obedience. Educators instruct their pupils in terms of a comprehensive Christian life-system. Churches revive the diaconate and care for the sick, the needy, the widow, the orphan. Christian doctors practice the godly craft of natural (sometimes, perhaps, supernatural) healing by following God’s law and the products of God’s common grace. Entrepreneurs create wealth by starting new businesses that benefit others. And on and on in all spheres.

Make no mistake: politics (like medicine, the arts, the media, technology, economics, etc.) is a legitimate area of principled Christian action. To surrender politics, or any other legitimate sphere of Christian activity, to the Devil and his disciples is an evil tack. But establishment of an explicitly Christian state will be the effect of broadly based Christian faithfulness beginning with the regenerated individual and family and reformed church. It will not be the effect of electing a few Christian politicians (though they are needed), nor even a Christian President (as beneficial as such an election would be). Elect a Christian President and Congress in November, 2024, and appoint an all-Christian Judiciary, and the nation’s most vexing moral problems would not evaporate. It is as Christ’s kingdom progresses among men—by means of Christ’s gospel and individual submission and obedience to the law-word of God—that politics and the state will enjoy Christian redemption.

Christ’s kingdom is less externally spectacular than earthly kingdoms, just as his birth was less externally spectacular than merely human kings’ births. But the small mustard seed and pinch of leaven of Christ’s kingdom (Mt. 13:31-33) will not fail ultimately to dwarf other kingdoms in its profound efficacy in the earth.

Christ’s is a quietly and unobtrusively advancing kingdom.

But it cannot fail.

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Church, Culture, Uncategorized

Thoughts on Self-Respecting Manhood and the Use of Public Language, by Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is Pastor of Lifespring Church, Crosby, Minnesota

I Corinthians 16:13….”act like men”.

There is something which has struck me over the past couple of years, as it relates to men in our culture. That is, the jettisoning of manly self-respect in what is said and what is not said public-ally. I think, by both common grace and saving grace (as a Christian has received), there is a distinction in the language of manhood on how we see ourselves and the world around us. There are things which are unmanly, necessarily including both the tone and content of our speech.

Over the past generation, through the unrelenting assault upon men, the result has been an increasing men who seem to be willing to public ally emasculate themselves in their talk. There seems to be a void of self-respect as related to being a man, in our dress but also, particular to this post, in our language. For example, here are some types of statements and tones I have noticed that my conscience recoils against and will not allow me to mimic or pass on in any way.

  1. I cannot give public “COVID” safety lectures (as written by the safety czars) beyond the basic reiteration of “use common sense.” I cannot lie nor repeat manipulative narratives regarding love or safety.
  2. I cannot make generalizations based upon a person’s ethnicity.
  3. I cannot use straw-men to gain authority, particularly when clarity is called for.
  4. I cannot make general public apologies according the law and language of the culture.
  5. I cannot use therapeutic language of “brokenness” “Lament,” “trauma,” or “toxic masculinity” to describe problems and solutions
  6. I cannot, as a pastor (and as a man) virtue signal via using the language of “weeping” or “lament” or “mourning” about general cultural situations in which I am not directly involved.
  7. I cannot use and will not sing effeminate, breathy songs in public worship.

Call me a product of toxic masculinity. There is woke-type of language which I, fundamentally, as a man, recoil against and cannot participate in, and when I see other men (particularly pastors) doing these things public ally, it screams as phony, insincere, and deceitful. Conversely, I have noticed that when a man turns to Christ Jesus and begins to willingly and consciously take real responsibility, facing his fears, his language changes to simple, clear, bold, nuanced; in summation: Manly.

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