The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Author Archive

What’s your vector, Victor?

by Marc Hays

Usually sanctification comes as a steady rain.  Drop after drop after drop until the ground of your conscience has been saturated and you’re different than you were before.  As the Spirit is prone to move like the wind, we don’t see where He comes from or where He goes.  Sometimes sanctification comes like a flash flood.  Life was dry and sunny and then “boom”!  You’re not even sure what hit you, but you’re soaking wet and you’re no longer the same person you were before.  I had one of these flash flood, sanctifying moments as G.K. Chesterton unfolded the “Ethics of Elfland” in his book Orthodoxy.  Here’s a paragraph that changed me forever:

The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. Read more…

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The Porn War, by Toby J. Sumpter

commendation by Marc Hays

In this post I’ll be commending to you an article and a man. Said man wrote the commendable article. In fact, he writes many commendable articles, hence the commendation.

On April 30, Toby J. Sumpter published an article on his blog entitled, “The Porn War”. He reminds us that the war against sexual sin must have a strong defense, but that simply having a defense will never win a war.  He begins,

Defensive warfare is not a winning tactic, but it is a necessary tactic. And usually, when the Spirit has sacked a man, and he comes to his senses, repents, and wants to get out the prison cell of lust and pornography, the defensive angle has to be emphasized first. You need to get real accountability (pastor, parent, wife, godly roommate), change jobs, stop traveling so much, throw away your computer, put Covenant Eyes on your smart phone, cut off your hand or eye causing you to sin (Mt. 5:28-30). Jesus prescribes amputation, so don’t expect this to be very fun. Read more…

This Year, Vacation in Narnia

Mr. Tumnus and Lucyby Marc Hays

It finally happened.  I could hardly believe it myself, but I was there when it happened. No, I didn’t win the lottery. (You actually have to buy a ticket to do that.)  And besides, this event was way more exciting than a few million Federal Reserve Notes.  This was a moment I had been anticipating for years.  Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. After reading three chapters of Prince Caspian to my children, they asked me to read another one, and then another.  I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but I tell you the truth, I am not lying.

Maybe you experience this beautiful moment nightly.  I hope that you do, but usually, at the end of reading to my children, I hear encouraging comments like, “So, are we done now?”, “Can I go play?”, or, worst of all, “Can we watch a movie now?”.  But not that day. That day they wanted more, so I gave it to them.  Read more…

The Romeikes and the Myth of Secular Education

by Marc Hays

Today in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Romeike family’s case will be heard in open court.  They have been granted asylum in the United States on the grounds that they were being persecuted for their religion by refusing to enroll their children in Germany’s government schools.  Prior to 1938, homeschooling was legal in Germany.  Adolf Hitler decided it should be otherwise.  I wrote a brief post about that here.  Today the status regarding their asylum in the United States will be determined.

LogoOver the past week I have continued to read HSLDA’s articles about the Romeikes, other German homeschoolers, German law, United States law, and international law.  I am not an expert in these matters, which is why I help to pay Mike Farris’ electric bill each month and am happy to do so.  As much as I enjoyed reading HSLDA’s articles, I remembered that everyone seems right until another comes along with a challenge (Prov. 18:17), so I looked up some opposing views as well.  You can read one of the better opposing arguments that I found here. Read more…

Romeike v. Hitler

by Marc Hays, homeschooling father of six.

Romeike_family_outdoorsNext Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be hearing arguments in the Romeike v. Holder case.  The Romeikes have fled Germany and found asylum in the U.S. in order to avoid persecution by German government officials.  Based on a 1938 Nazi German law, parents are denied the fundamental human right to educate their children according to the dictates of their religion.  Read more…

Lily Stepped Out of the Boat

Marc Hays is a father of six, all of whom are being inducted into an ancient civilization with an eye for the future through faithful obedience in the ever-fleeting present.

And ne’er shall April 10th go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remember’d. We few, we happy few, we band of home-schoolers. For he (or she) who competes in mock trial this day shall be my brother (or sister), be they ne’er so vile (or rather fearful), this day shall gentle their condition.  And other students in other tutorials will think themselves accursed they were not here. And hold their rhetorical skills cheap, whiles any speaks, who tried a case with us on April 10th. Read more…

Alfred, Calvin, and Tolkien

hillside

On a recent journey from our little hamlet in middle Tennessee to the bustling metropolis of Nashville, I was accompanied by my 10-year-old son, Calvin.  The journey takes about an hour, which gives ample time to listen to a lecture en route.  Dr. George Grant willingly rode in the mp3 player on the dashboard, while Calvin was happy to have the whole backseat to himself.  I asked Dr. Grant if he would tell me about Alfred the Great again, and he obliged. Read more…

Slavery, Polygamy, and the Bible

Guest Post by Tim Gallant
Non-Christians (and increasingly, those who self-identify as “Christians”) frequently dismiss biblical ethical norms with a quick “Oh, but the Bible condones slavery and polygamy!”

With, of course, the obvious implication that the Bible’s morals are awfully unreliable. Because it “condoned” things that we find offensive, and that even Christians seem embarrassed about. (We Christians, after all, seem agreed by now that both polygamy and slavery are bad.)

And then, having cast aside the Bible as a reliable guide, we enlightened moderns can take on that role of deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong.

Now, there are several answers to that line of argument, one of which is that the Bible does not simply condone either slavery or polygamy; it regulates them, which is not the same thing.

Moreover, the slavery the Bible countenanced was never based on kidnapping, an offense which in fact carried with the death penalty under the Mosaic law (Exodus 21:16). “Slavery” among fellow Israelites was a form of indentured servitude, and “perpetual slavery” was only countenanced in connection with prisoners of war. Even in their case, the Mosaic law did regulate things to avoid their mistreatment. If a slave ran away, other Israelites were forbidden from assisting in his return (Deuteronomy 23:15); and if a slave’s master seriously harmed him, the slave was automatically authorized to go free (Exodus 21:26). Even a slave wife (concubine) was to be granted freedom if her husband ever diminished her marital rights (Exodus 21:10-11).

But there is much more involved in understanding the Bible’s position regarding both slavery and polygamy than scouring the Mosaic law and ensuring a balanced and proper interpretation of these situations through its case laws—as important an exercise as that indeed is. Read more…

Rhetorical Hit, Theological Miss

A couple months ago, Mary Elizabeth Williams posted a column at Salon.com entitled, “So What If Abortion Ends Life?”  The vitriolic nature of the piece prevails from the title to the final phrase, designed to enflame the most seasoned of post-Roe veterans on both sides of the debate.  Her flippant handling of what’s often considered a sacred issue does its job.  The article was low on fact and high on accusation, but it is still able to accomplish its goal of engendering strife and perhaps, even a little bit of nausea.  However, as acerbic as the article is, Ms. Williams makes two salient points.  The first is about the use of language in public debate and the second about the arbitrary philosophical distinction in the “life-begins-somewhere-other-than-conception” camp.

Her immediate use of the phrase “diabolically clever” is diabolically clever, because it automatically brings to mind thoughts of a red-clad, pitchfork-wielding imp, mostly drawn from religious allusions.  Comparing the religious-right with the devil will certainly get folks stirred up in a hurry.  Then they’re not seeing straight when she gets to her arguments later. But her use of rhetoric is not as prominent as her analysis of how rhetoric is used.  Her opening paragraph begins,

Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word ‘life’.  Life!  Who wants to argue with that?  Who wants to be on the side of…not-life?

Then with all the hubris she can muster, she boasts, “that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me.  I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life.  And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.” Read more…

My Big Fat Greek Education

In Ephesians 6, the apostle instructs fathers to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Paul did not speak English, so instead of ‘nurture’ and ‘admonition’, he said paideia and nouthesia.  These Greek words carried the weight of their culture in their meaning and usage, just as ‘nurture’ and ‘admonition’ hold a cultural connotation for us.  Off the top of my head, ‘nurture’ reminds me of ‘promoting life and growth via food and warmth’.  It reminds me of gardening just as much as child-rearing.  The word ‘admonition’ comes across as stern and rigid.  When I’ve been ‘admonished’, no one has to be there holding a dictionary for me to know it.

Since God did not reveal himself in English, we have to translate, and that’s not a problem in and of itself.  God likes translation.  Jesus taught in Aramaic, so I’ve been told, and the gospel writers wrote in Greek.  Therefore, the original texts of the gospels are themselves translations.  Some translations are simple, like when Jesus was called ‘Rabbi’ and the gospel writers had to tell us that meant ‘teacher’.  The translation requires very little work when it comes to ‘common stuff’ like: dirt, fire, water, or donuts. “This means that” and the translator could point to it. However, some words require a little more background to understand, not merely because they’re antiquated, but because the meaning is not as superficial. Read more…

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