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The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

Author: Garrett Ashley Mullet

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Christian, husband, father of seven;

Author of 'And This Is Why We Homeschool,' available now in paperback and Kindle E-reader from Support this podcast:
183 Episodes
"Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene." When we look at these words from the Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy, we should do an inventory of our attitude toward the truth and communication. Do we bicker about semantics? Do we present ourselves to God in a way which we would not be embarrassed by were the instant replay brought up on the jumbotron?  Paul tells Timothy to avoid irreverent babble. What is that but the working out in language of our lack of wisdom because we do not fear God? Forgetting our Creator, we conclude that there is no Judge. We then become nihilistic and frivolous. We say things flippantly which we either know are not true, or else do not care whether they are true. And who gets hurt by that? Who cares? Yet Paul tells us that irreverent babble leads to more and more ungodliness. What we say, then, is the precursor to what we do. So if we are going to wrongly handle the word of truth, not be studious, and quibble about trivialities in definitions and grammar, or be godless in our expectations regarding the spoken and written word, what will come next is that we live like the truth has no bearing. We treat one another and ourselves in a contemptuous, callous, careless way.  By God's grace, we can study to show ourselves approved workmen who need not be ashamed. We can be more intentional in our speech and conduct. We can do good instead of evil, and speak truth instead of falsehoods. And by God's grace, we can bring the effects of disinfectants into corrupt, polluted, gangrenous situations. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
My oldest son Josiah turned 14-years-old yesterday, and we celebrated in part by watching the movie Gladiator. The film opens with an epic battle between Rome and the barbarian hordes. Then secret meetings are called by the emperor.  Commodus soon casts Maximus as the rebel. Yet it is Commodus who murders his father, Marcus Aurelius, and usurped the throne. So long as everyone around affirms the madman as the rightful ruler, Rome is doomed. It is not a question of whether, but when. Excepting the proper and needful defiance of Maximus, the whole empire descends into chaos, poverty, and starvation. "Fear is the mind-killer," as Frank Herbert famously put it.  So long as Commodus is able to terrorize everyone into affirming him and treating Maximus as the traitor, the truth will not win out. Neither will justice. But insofar as Maximus is given a free hand to stand on principle, he is maintaining the best of what the tradition of Western Civilization affords. Who knows what Marcus Aurelius told Maximus in private about restoring the Republic prior to the suffocation of the hoary-headed philosopher king at the hands of his immoral son? None save Maximus until the end. So Maximus is to be taken outside the camp and executed for refusing to kiss the hand of Commodus. And not only he, but also his wife and son are to be killed by the dutiful soldiers of Rome. This is not to punish Maximus still further, but to serve as a warning. Whoever would dare to oppose Commodus can expect the same. Whatever faithful service they rendered to the wise, good king who preceded this pretender is now forgotten or even resented. Meanwhile, Senators Gracchus and Gaius work behind the scenes, meeting with Lucilla in secret to discuss the situation. Rome will starve in two years because all the stores of grain are being sold to finance the bread and circuses designed to win a fleeting, temporary love for Commodus. They settle on waiting until Commodus has more enemies than friends. That is when they will strike. Only that day will never come so long as all are too afraid of personal loss to risk meaningful, manful opposition. Does all of this sound familiar? It should. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
One of the consequences of being an honest non-conformist is that people who love standardization and so-called normalcy have their attention drawn to me, often with less-than-harmonious, happy effects. I am not anti-authority, per se. But being a non-conformist who comes by it honestly on both my father's and mother's side, popular and typical ways of relating to authority are a puzzle to me. When someone tells me to jump, I do not necessarily ask how high I should jump. Rather, the question which comes first to mind is whether this person actually in fact has the proper authority to be making this particular request in this particular situation. And if they do not, or if it is not clear that they do, the mere fact of raising the question is more often than not enough to produce conflict. Growing up, my Dad especially impressed on me the importance of Romans 12:2, which says " not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Now it is worth noting that the very next verse should contextualize. "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith." What Paul is getting at here is the need for humility even amidst our God-ordained non-conformity. Where this gets sticky is at precisely the point when non-conformity leads to pointed questions of just who do we think we are that we would dare to do things differently than others do them.  It is admittedly hard to answer that we are trying to maintain integrity and excellence whatever everyone else is doing without being accused of lacking humility. What is more, it is admittedly difficult to remain patient when the very fact of non-conformity, or of questioning conformity, is taken as proof that we are arrogant, stubborn, or rebellious. Hear me now, then, and mark this well. Christians ought not to be rebels without a cause. Moreover, we ought not to be rebels at all. But it is easy to be mistaken for rebels when we question whether lower authorities are acting in accordance with higher precepts and principles derived from greater authorities. Therein lies the rub. However much the larger body politic needs non-conformists to question why everyone is going about things in a certain way, the non-conformists are historically the ones who get the pointed questions first of where they get off doing things differently.  And when the cause of standardization and normalcy becomes an end unto itself, the clipping of wings and rounding off of square pegs follows close behind. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” So says Alexander Pope, 18th century poet in his rare poetic essay, ‘An Essay on Criticism: Part 2.’ Most essays are written prosaically. Hence, our expectations so disturbed, we might fault Pope for having surprised and confused us. Transferring the embarrassment of surprise from ourselves to him has some advantages. But greater advantages are had from embracing rather than criticizing this work regarding criticism. That really is the point, after all. For every single writer, ten critics wait in the wings. And too often, those critics – joyless in their outlook – rob joy from others even as they criticize for the sake of criticizing. So what if Pope wrote his essay in poetic form? Perhaps that is not a mistake, as Bob Ross would say, merely a happy little accident. And where is it written that persuasive essays have to be prosaic rather than poetic, mathematical rather than artistic? In every man, woman, and child there is both a head and a heart. Some live the life of the mind, while others are carried along by the wind wherever their emotions take them. But if we – as writers and critics – can endeavor to show up as the whole person, both head and heart, in whatever our hand finds to do, as unto the Lord, that is much better than half-heartedness and half-baked ideas. Once upon a time, before my wife Lauren was Lauren Mullet, back when she was Lauren Duff, she had a Yahoo email address. ‘’ is where I sent my letters to her when I did not handwrite them. And when I first asked her to be my girl in high school, it was over Yahoo Messenger, and it was to Entiercoeur that I messaged. That was her name, and that was how I knew her. And that was, whether I knew it at the time, a large part of why I loved her. If I had taken French instead of Spanish as my second language, and if I had tried to dress to match her after a fashion, I might have called myself ‘Entieresprit’ – Whole Mind – for I was living the life of the mind, and I still am. But how much better am I to be completed, challenged, encouraged to a full heart in addition to a full mind? “It is not good that the man should be alone,” the Lord God says in Genesis when first a thing that is not good is commented on by the Supreme Judge and Creator of the universe and mankind. “I will make a help-meet suitable for him.” Just so, I imagine that God looked on a young Garrett Mullet much the way he looks on this now older self of mine, commenting in High Heaven that it is not good for me to be alone and that a help-meet suitable for me has been fashioned and provided. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Remember those commercials on Saturday mornings when we were kids. The crime dog came on the screen and told us all to stay in school and not do drugs. And what was the simple strategy for how to accomplish this? "Just say 'No'" is what the crime dog taught us. Now here we are. The ability to "Just say 'No'" is as important as ever, but we may not recognize it in this form just yet. Mask mandates, vaccine mandates - they may seem like no big deal to most folks. But they are a very big deal for what they represent, and for what will come after them if we acquiesce against our better judgment and interests, and regardless our legitimate health and safety concerns. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Ten-year-old humorist and all-around charming guy, Daniel Joseph Mullet joins me on this episode of the podcast to talk about what he has learned driving a big rig in American Trucking Simulator, the state of the world today, our favorite colors and numbers, and more. Stay tuned until the end to hear Daniel's advice for cold-call sales of grass-mowing services. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
What is going on with David Platt and McLean Bible Church? ran a story July 22, 2021 titled 'David Platt and McLean Bible Church Elders Sued After Recent Elder Vote Exposes Major Problems.' Christianity Today came out with a similar piece the same day, titled 'Platt’s McLean Bible Church Hit With Attempted Takeover, Lawsuit from Opposition.' For footage and a breakdown of what happened at the church service and congregational meeting in question, check out A.D. Robles video from July 21, 2021 titled 'Chaos at McLean Bible Church Business Meeting/Worship Service.' The long and short of it seems to be that the increasing Wokeness of many evangelical Christian leaders in America - notably including David Platt - is receiving impassioned pushback from lay Christians. At first blush, it may seem as though the laypeople objecting are the ones out of order. And they no doubt are sometimes. But then that is to be expected when the leadership is itself also out of order, presuming to write Progressive politics into God's Word and present it as a new and better orthodoxy. As Proverbs 18:17 tells us, "The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him." And whatever is really going on at McLean Bible Church, a team of security guards escorting a member from the building rather than allowing for a cross-examination of leadership does not speak to an abundance of integrity in the process or paradigm of those leaders. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Kwon and Thompson have struck once more their hammer blows against DeYoung's review of their book. Publishing 'Distinctively Christian? An Additional Response to Reverend Kevin DeYoung' at The Front Porch, they get more into the substance of DeYoung's criticism this time. Mercifully, they are more succinct. Yet tragically, they are not more correct than they were before. Consider again the poem by 18th century Englishman Alexander Pope, 'An Essay on Criticism: Part 2.' "A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." For our part, perhaps reading the entirety of that long poem would be a better use of our time than studying overmuch the tired and very old complaints of Kwon and Thompson. Like the house of Israel to which the prophet Ezekiel delivered the word of Yahweh, they contradict the justice of God and say that "The way of the Lord is not right." And what is it that Ezekiel 18 says? "Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD." Even if Kwon and Thompson were correct that we, like the 18th century bishop Tillotson arbitrarily reasoned, should limit restitution for theft to one generation, they wrongly claim that only one generation has passed since Jim Crow laws were struck down in America.  A quick search of the internet for how long a generation is tells us simply enough that it spans 20-40 years. And even if we take the upper range value and judge the White American Church with the same strictness with which God judged the children of Israel who grumbled against him on the edge of Canaan, we are now more than a generation removed from 1965 - over 50 years ago. So their argument fails here too. Yet they persist in accusing and condemning the White American Church in the present unjustly on these grounds. And even God himself would seem to be guilty of White Supremacy, in their view, where God gives the Promised Land to the next generation of Israelites after their grumbling generation - save Joshua and Caleb - died in the desert. Social Justice apparently recognizes no statute of limitations, nor does it respect individual guilt and innocence. Whatever their protests to the contrary, their argument is as simple as all White Americans being guilty merely by virtue of being born White. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
The phrase "err on the side of caution" annoys me. Subtly baked into it is the foreknowledge that a course of action is error, and we are accepting that. Given the fact that a double negative makes a positive, I make a concerted effort to push back on cautious errors. We should err on the side of caution when it comes to erring on the side of caution.  That is to say, why err at all if it can be helped? "To err is human; to forgive, divine." So says the poem by Englishman Alexander Pope in 'An Essay on Criticism, Part II' published in 1711. By God's grace, there is forgiveness in Christ for our errors. Yet we should endeavor to not err, by God's grace. And where we see an error we are about to commit - whether one of caution or brashness - we ought to ask of ourselves and God how to do what is right and proper in light of the circumstances and God's Word. Consider this: Christ our Lord never erred on the side of caution. We know this because we know that he never erred at all. Yes, "he was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin." And Hebrews 4:15 comforts us with the reminder that we do have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness.  But what do we find? When caution was warranted, Christ took care. And when boldness was required, Christ was direct and aggressive in the best senses of those terms. It inescapably follows that we should study the actions and reactions of our Lord to discern better when caution is correct and when boldness is. In so doing, we will ourselves better master when we ought to be cautious and when we ought to be bold. "The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion." So says Proverbs 28:1. And, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  What the Apostle Paul is getting at with his disciple Timothy is that teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness has as its end our completion and equipment for every good work. This means we adopt a position of humility, yes. But we also speak and act in boldness. And the truly difficult maintenance is in living, working, and relating from a depth of both humility and boldness. Christ was tempted in all the ways we are - both to be cautious when boldness was necessary, and to be brash when gentleness was appropriate. But he deftly maneuvered between these two sets of sharp rocks. And by God's grace, so can we. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
The idiots need to be told what to do says the arrogant rich man brought on as a guest by Joe Scarborough. "You don't have a choice." But of course not. And I suppose you do, Mr. Hubristic Know-it-all. But let us all celebrate our fearless leaders in the Senate sub-committee voting this week that our daughters must sign up for selective service - also known as "the draft." Here is that much vaunted "equality" we have heard so much about. This individualist is not having it, particularly where his own daughter is concerned.  If we cannot say that America has become totalitarian just yet, we must be close.  Whether renewed discussion of whether to impose lockdowns and mask mandates produces one result or the other, the underlying premise is the same. You and I get to do what the centralized authority explicitly permits, and nothing more. We have rights only so far as they are granted by our government, and nothing more. That is what totalitarians believe. For our part, we need to study diligently where the line is, and be ready to hold it.  Though many may say - wrongly, I would add - that individualism is just another word for selfishness, it is actually collectivism which creates the ideal growing conditions for the worst and most pernicious kind of selfishness. When all our life choices must be filtered and strained through the collectivist rubric, nothing whatsoever about our lives is sacred. For that matter, neither is anything about the lives of those around us. In a totalitarian society, there is no God either to fear or to love. And while the wicked may celebrate being free from the constraints of the Lord of the universe, they will not celebrate long.  Horror vacui - nature abhors a vacuum. And in the absence of the Lord God Almighty, one strong man (or woman) after another will strive to sit on his throne and fill his shoes. We may all be made in God's image, but we are very poor substitutes for him, especially when we have no knowledge or fear of him or his ways. In a totalitarian state, you have no right to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Nor are you truly free to love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are free only to love the state as a representative and embodiment of all your neighbors. Pay your taxes and obey uncritically. That is the whole duty of man. Fortunately, the laws of the universe which God instituted in eternity past will not sleep forever. Indeed, they are not sleeping now. There will come a reckoning for this folly, and we ought to pray that it comes swiftly if there will not be repentance and renewal first. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
A fault line in American evangelical Christianity is increasingly apparent. As Exhibit A and B, consider two articles of the past three months: one ‘Reparations: A Critical Theological Review’ published by Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition on April 22, 2021 dealing with the book ‘Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Renewal’ by Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson; the other, ‘Sanctifying the Status Quo: A Response to Reverend Kevin DeYoung’ by the authors of that book DeYoung reviewed and critiqued, published July 19, 2021 at The Front Porch. Wrapping up an examination of these two pieces, let us turn our attention more fully to the response of Kwon and Thompson to DeYoung and see it for what it is. While assuring us all that they do not believe DeYoung to be in any way, shape, or form a racist or White Supremacist, the authors nevertheless also insist over nearly 10,000-words that DeYoung is doing the dirty work of White Supremacy. This they do by attacking his methodology as being White-centric, excluding black voices, minimizing White Supremacy, and prioritizing White comfort. The argumentum ad hominem is strong with this one. And it has an all-too-familiar feel to it for me which I recognize from many painful interactions with old friends and family who have embraced Woke ideology, particularly when wedded with a form of Christianity. Smiling, friendly, and complimentary, they nevertheless bury the rhetorical knife deep between the ribs repeatedly and without mercy as they carry out their revolutionary work.  In sum, Kwon and Thompson demonstrate in their response that the truth is malleable. We should all come away from their piece with a renewed appreciation for the importance of Western civilization even as they make an all-out assault on its foundations. Like sappers digging subterranean tunnels to plant petards beneath a besieged city's walls, these two pastors need to be called out as the traitors in our midst they truly are.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
In our last episode, 'An Interesting Back and Forth About Reparations,' I introduced a pair of links regarding the book 'Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Renewal' by Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson. The first link is a review of that book at TGC by Pastor Kevin DeYoung. In this episode, I want to talk about DeYoung's review.  To give a review of a review may seem like an odd thing to do, but I think we can learn a lot from examining closely DeYoung's treatment of this work. DeYoung is well-spoken for the most part, but he is like us in this one key regard. We can all get better at communication. And though I agree with all of DeYoung's concerns stated in the nearly 6,000 word piece he published, he does pull his punches and send mixed signals. How is it possible for a work from two pastors to be presenting a competing worldview and Biblical framework, to be wrong in so many key and foundational ways, and for those two pastors to still be publicly affirmed for loving Jesus, the gospel, and the church? Why compliment them for their work while at the same time calling out that same work for being dangerous, misguided, and antithetical to orthodox Christian life and practice? Perhaps it is not necessary to or helpful to attack them personally. But what about describing them clearly? Are we still trying to wrestle with what precisely to make of Critical Race Theory and anti-racism, and proving indecisive and muddied as a result? Are we afraid of being decried as a "White Supremacist" and racist, and consequently pulling our punches to the greatest extent possible? If so, the concerns are not unfounded. Caution is warranted. All the same, we need to steer well clear of flattery and ambiguity. The truth of where the new brand of Woke Christians are coming from is, just like the subjects they often prefer to talk about so confidently, a bit complicated. Nevertheless, the complexity of the whole business is more a reason to be clear and direct rather than a reason to be less clear. And so, in the interest of encouraging greater clarity and boldness, I contend that we who care about doctrinal purity and faithfulness to God in every facet of life need to be more bold ourselves even as we refrain from affirming a twisted kind of boldness on the part of men like Kwon and Thompson where their aggression should be more rightly called brashness. Either this is false teaching or it isn't. Either these truth claims are compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ or they aren't. And if we are not quite sure one way or the other, perhaps we do well to examine the source and origin of these "analytical tools" as being what they are - Cultural Marxism, plain and simple. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Today my neighbor JP Chavez shared with me "an interesting back and forth," as he put it, in the form of two links. One 'Reparations: A Critical Theological Review' published by Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition on April 22, 2021 dealing with the book 'Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Renewal' by Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson. The other, 'Sanctifying the Status Quo: A Response to Reverend Kevin DeYoung' by the authors of that book DeYoung reviewed and critiqued, published July 19, 2021 at The Front Porch. Time at present does not permit me to do full justice to either, much less both. But you should make time to read these two pieces and prayerfully and studiously consider them. Consider also this YouTube video of Voddie Baucham addressing why the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution affirming Critical Race Theory instead of roundly condemning it as Marxist infiltration of Christ's Church. For now, let me just point out the low-down dirtiness of smearing a critic for being a racist supporter of "White Supremacy" merely for having the temerity to disagree openly and at-length with some measure of authority a pseudo-theological, pseudo-historical, pseudo-psychological, pseudo-economical, thoroughly political attempt to argue for reparations being paid by white Americans generally and the white churches in particular. Kevin DeYoung, Kwon and Thompson assure us, is not a white supremacist and racist - per se. But his methodology is thoroughly racist and white supremacist. And if we were not such racists and white supremacists we would have the wisdom, godliness, and maturity to take their word for that. If only we could get a non-racist word in edgewise, maybe we could talk about Antonio Gramsci. Alas, wisdom is too high for the fool. And civil discourse is the last thing on the minds of proponents of CRT. Indeed, the whole notion of civil discourse is merely a product of that very "Whiteness" which we are being ceaselessly called to repent of. Grace? What grace? Don't change the subject to salvation. And don't you dare go pleading the cause of anything which might even sound like innocent white people having their lives and livelihoods destroyed in the name of anti-racism. We don't countenance that sort of talk around here where the new Woke gospel reigns supreme.  Heaven help us. With all this talk of reparations, it will take a miracle to repair the damage being done in the pursuit of naked self-promotion, virtue-signaling Leftism. And pay heed to the example of Pastor DeYoung. Being gracious scores you no points - not really. Surrender or die. Agree wholly or be cast out into utter darkness where there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth. Those are the rules. Or perhaps there is another way. And maybe, just maybe, we should try a little more clarity and directness, and a little less of trying to be winsome with wolves in sheep clothes. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
In Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson delivers the follow-up to his 2018 best-seller, '12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.' And liking most of what Peterson has to say though I sincerely do, there are points of concern which bear mentioning. But first let us talk about the good in this book. Ecclesiastes 7:16 comes readily to mind. "Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?" That admonition of wise old King Solomon pretty well sums up this book, Peterson's personal anecdotes and musings on psychology, philosophy, and religion considered in sum. And we do need to hear that, particularly if we read 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and came away realizing we needed badly to make our beds in all the symbolic, metaphorical, emotional, intellectual, and relational senses of that phrase. Yet I cannot help feeling concerned for the author, genuinely and without affectation. And I cannot help worrying about his audience of many desperate, drifting young men especially who - if they are straight, white men living in the ruins of Western Civilization - have been told that they are the villains of the world's story. They are the oppressors. They are what's wrong with the world. There is a form of godliness in Peterson's ample references to Biblical stories. Yet does he affirm their power fully and truly when he treats them as only psychologically useful? I am not convinced they have staying power - personally or culturally - if we refuse to believe they are literally true, pre-eminent, necessary, and essential. What prevents us from going down the same path pre-Nazi Germany went down in its insistence academically and theologically on a merely "historical Jesus"? Backing up a few decades on the number line and having another go at it, why are we not going to end up in the same place? But that is just it. We cannot. And insofar as we cannot have it any other way, perhaps this book and its attendant enthusiasm - sympathizing with that hungry reception though I do given the circumstances - bears remembrance of another saying of King Solomon. "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Our third son Solomon is only 11 years old, but already has demonstrated a remarkable artistic talent. If it were up to him, I think he would work on art all day for the rest of his days. The trouble comes where he still has math to finish up from last year. As he tells us often, "I just get so distracted. I can't focus." Though we try to be patient and work with him in this, I tell Solomon that he has to learn to focus. He has to learn to control and discipline himself to do what he needs to do even when he would rather be doing something else. In short, Solomon needs to learn what all of us must learn - to want to do what we must do. Of course, that does not mean Solomon needs to grow up to be a mathematician. And we do not want him to abandon art. But this country and Western civilization needs more artists who believe in math, conveying through their mediums the fact and truth that reality must be transcendent and knowable by virtue of God having created us in his image, and by virtue of God giving us the Scriptures to know as much as we do about his character, deeds, promises, and plans. But so much art in the past century has been a war on objective truth. To post-modern philosophy and its attendant artistic expression, truth is subjective. The only truth we can truly know and tell is what we feel. No wonder American society is in the mess it is. For more on the history of art and philosophy, read Francis Schaeffer's 'Escape From Reason.' And for more on the need for transcendent, knowable truth pervading the visual cues which society has come to depend on for people to get and develop their ideas and lives, read Charles C. Mann's 'The Wizard and The Prophet,' as well as Edward Bernays' 'Propaganda.' Two plus two equals four and will always equal four. And we need more artists who are able to convey that in all the possible ways to a people who have lost the ability to be reasonable. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Fox News reported yesterday, July 15th 2021, that the Biden administration is consulting with Facebook to flag and censor user content critical of, or contrary to the official government talking points on, COVID vaccination. Critics are in a tizzy, and rightly so. There is no freedom left in this country if we are not free to talk openly and critically about the government's handling of a crisis - past, present, and foreseeable future. We have no freedom whatsoever if we cannot even talk freely with our friends and family about our concerns with the policy of our mayors, governors, legislators, and president where our liberty, livelihood, and health are concerned. But then these folks don't believe that truth is an objective, universal, transcendent, and knowable thing anyway. So why not suppress your truth and allow only for their own truth if that's what can be sold as "the greater good"? The more distant we are from the Protestant Christian ideas and ideals which founded the United States of America, the less distinctly we appreciate the original reasons freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms were originally enshrined as inalienable and God-given rights in the first place. And now we are very distantly removed indeed. COVID is just an accelerant. All the components and necessary pieces of this implosion and self-immolation were already there in increasing measure. One may be called crazy for suggesting the political establishment in the U.S. fostered the release and spread of COVID-19 from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. At a minimum, however, there is no denying that the political establishment - whether Democrat or Republican - has exploited COVID-19 in mercenary, self-serving fashion to ram down all our throats a great many things they wanted but couldn't excuse before. And, yes, an open partnership with social media giants like Facebook was on that list. Claiming an imminent public health need to co-opt our freedom of speech is the excuse of the moment, but it'll stick around forever if we let it. See also concerns about massive, wide-spread, decisive, and coordinated fraud in the 2020 Election, as well as any number of other topics which the Biden administration wants to control your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and influence on. The bigger their power grab and the smaller our response, the less we will be able to ever again in our lifetimes challenge them. Give a mouse a cookie, and he'll ask for a glass of milk. "It's just not that simple I'm not trying to save it all I just want to create a ripple And even if one individual is affected it's monumental with an unusual perspective That's beautiful in essence traditional thinking won't suggest this Is life really that precious well yes it is" - Chapter 1, The Boy Vs The Cynic by John Reuben --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Cuba rejecting communism at the same time the United States of America increasingly embraces it is surreal to say the least. Oh, the irony.  For several generations, Cubans have fled their communist dictatorship off our coast to come to America, yearning to be free. Happily, many of these Cubans have been the most outspoken voices for conserving American ideals in the face of an onslaught in recent years of naked Marxism. No wonder the Biden administration is drawing an uncharacteristically hard line when it comes to a new wave of Cubans fleeing their government's brutal crackdown on protest and dissidence. If these refugees could be relied on to vote for Democrats, they would be welcomed with open arms. Make no mistake about that. But we in America do well to pay close attention to the images coming out of our southern island neighbor now. Do not be naïve, ignorant, or evasive. Take a good, long look. And realize that this is what our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will suffer if we do not find the strength of character and conviction to oppose the present darkness trying to envelope our own homeland. Despite growing efforts to infuse Woke Christianity into the Left-Right debate in America, we need to be Bereans. Search the Scriptures - particularly Romans 13 - more diligently. See that the responsibility is not for us to blindly, dumbly, passively validate and affirm every action taken by a supposed authority.  Yes, we are to submit to governing authorities. But there is a limit to the acquiescence which God requires us to achieve and maintain - and that limit lies where the supposed governing authority punishes those who do good and rewards those who do evil as a matter of course. God is slow to anger, but his judgment does not sleep and wait forever. In the meantime, we do well to look to our own affairs. Mind your own business, but understand more fully and completely what actually is your business. There might be more to it than you have been led to believe. So also, let us strive to be content with whatever is our lot in life, and whatever the Lord ordains for us to endure or overcome. May we love and lead our families well, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And may we pray that God would have mercy on us and save us from the godless, covetous enemies of our souls, preserving us forever in his truth, wisdom, mercy, and loving kindness. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Jocko Willink's 'Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual' (2020) is a helpful follow-up to his other co-authored works - 'Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win' (2015), and 'The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win' (2018). In it, he drives home and further explains concepts which bear repeating and emphasis. For instance, consider the phrase "discipline equals freedom." Why would that be true, and what can we do about it? Or for another example, how important is keeping our own selfish pride in check to being able to work together and collaborate with others on projects and in teams? The short answer is that whether we lead or are striving to understand better those who lead us, these are worthwhile books to add to the library in pursuit of greater faithfulness and effectiveness. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
Continuing our discussion from Episode # 97 of Season 3 - 'War Crimes and Genocide in the Old Testament,' I eluded in that episode to Deuteronomy 20 and the laws concerning warfare which God gave to Israel. It is entirely too easy in our present context as Americans living in the 21st century, to see this passage and hear what it says, and to come away with a kind of latent disgust at the brutality and harshness of what is prescribed. Again, though, we have to be very careful not to suppose we are the ones who are more righteous, just, and fair than God is. If we have a different standard, where did it come from that we are so confident in its greater holiness or utility? Believe it or not, there is a remarkable amount of mercy in Deuteronomy 20. We just have to know where to look for it, and we have to be looking for it. Besides that, though, there is the critically important matter of not being embarrassed of anything which God has commanded or instructed. We may not always understand what he was, is, or will be doing. Nevertheless, our aim should be to trust that the ways of the Lord are just and pure and perfect. So if this passage gives us some difficulty and challenge in that regard, let's lean in rather than ducking out. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
What does the Bible say about the rules of war? Or can we say there are any rules for war in the Bible when God not only permits but commands the total annihilation of certain of Israel's enemies? An anonymous reader of my works published at On The Rocks Blog contacted me back in January to ask these and related questions. A Chinese university student in America, he came to faith in Christ about 2-years ago after having been a Democrat and Progressive up to that point. Now he is grappling with thorny problems like what the Bible has to say about war-time atrocities - for instance, the Rape of Nanking in World War II by Imperial Japan. Honored though I am that Mr. Pseudonymous Chinese University student contacted me - "Internet Man," as he calls me - to answer these questions, I nevertheless have procrastinated until now to even begin to answer with more than a pledge that I would answer.  In short, let us begin by recognizing that "All is fair in love and war" cannot be true. As surely as there is a God in heaven who rules and reigns over the affairs of men, there must also be a standard of righteousness in the waging of war. And operating outside of this standard should not cease to be called wickedness just because "war is hell." But let's take a closer look at the way war is waged in the Old Testament. Is God guilty of "War Crimes," and ancient Israel complicit with him? When taking certain cities occupied by certain people groups of the inhabitants of Canaan, God commanded that no creature be left alive - not men, women, or children, and not even the livestock.  Elsewhere, God commands that when other cities are made war against besides those singled out for complete destruction, the cities are to be given an opportunity to surrender. If they surrender, they are to be taken peacefully. But if the men of those cities insist on fighting, all of the men are to be killed and all the women and children taken as slaves.  However we might feel about this, this way of war does not comport with modern international legal codes. And if a nation today were to conduct war in this way, we would say that nation's government and military was guilty of war crimes and "crimes against humanity."  But we have to take a step back - intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually - and consider the specific context which Israel operated within as God's chosen people in the Old Testament.  Furthermore, we need to recognize that God not only establishes the standard of what is good and right. He is the standard. And consistently - in war or any other sphere of human activity - we are in very real spiritual and moral danger if we try to impose on God our own standard of righteousness, particularly when we then say that God has been weighed, measured, and found wanting. We are not more righteous than God. And if we think otherwise, we are the ones in error. In short, this is a complicated business. But there are a great many threads that need to be pulled on and followed if we are going to understand some things which are a mixture of clarity and mystery. So let us begin to do that if we have not yet. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
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