Jack, my “Calvinism Redux” entry deals with your concerns. Thank you for posting and for providing me with material for another entry.
Brilliant Post. I have no doubt I will re-read numerous times so that, when faced with similar questions, I will be able to respond as adeptly.
However, I am again frustrated by your critique of Calvinism. On this one, I am more inclined to agree with you, but my frustration stems from my belief that you are writing from a set of assumptions about Calvinism to which I have not stipulated - or am even aware. I would love a thorough post sometime discussing your fundamental views of what you think Calvinism states, your sources, and why the implications of those beliefs are so disastrous according the laws of reason as well as biblical theology.
I find your criticism of the Calvinist tradition here to be unsupported by the evidence you present. How does a complete lack of emotion in their worship service indicate that they have turned “faith into propositional assent and the Christian life into social morality”? Is is not possible to strive for an authentic faith, spurn the cultural draw of “social morality,” and yet still resist a charismatic form of worship? I think you betray your general disdain for Calvinism. Perhaps it is justified, but I believe that your reference to it here was more of a cheap shot than a thoughtful critique.
But please, convince me otherwise. I am always looking for reason to rag on Calvinists.
Also, what exactly about the crowd makes you believe that they have swung too far the other direction than Calvinists? It seems that you are ascribing a moral standard to a matter of personal preference: Joseph would like his worship services to be slightly more active than the Calvinists, and slightly more subdued than the Pentecostals. “Greek Orthodoxy Rocks!”
Jack, your opinion approximates my own as expressed in my previous post on Gaza. You cannot reason with the Palestinian terrorists, and I fear that a majority of the Palestinian population might be counted among the the invincibly deluded. Future recruits for Hamas are plenteous in the hellholes of the “Arab street.” The Middle East Media Research Institute covers the Palestinian media, and you can see on that site some of the endless stream of hatred toward Israelis that the Arab population ingests every day. Something akin to our lengthy and intense denazification program in postwar Germany would be needed to “re-educate” the Arab world, and that, of course, won’t happen.
I agree with your analysis, though regret your mention of Ann Coulter. Surely there is a more credible source than her who has advocated the blanket destruction of Muslims? Ok, maybe not. So perhaps it was a necessary citation. We delude ourselves if we ever think that such an option is not on the table. Perhaps Ann Coulter is the only one who would ever say it out loud, but if any Muslim State were to launch a serious attack on Israel, her proposed strategy would not only be on the table but might be actually be used.
As long as the West maintains its historical support of Israel, however, that won’t be necessary. Israel has a way of fending off the aggression of states by shamelessly killing those it deems as a threat to its security. The recent aggression in Gaza is a perfect example. Such aggression tends to keep “wipe Israel off the map” rhetoric to, well, rhetoric.
The loaded nature of my choice of words - “shameless killing” and “aggression” - is not lost on me. It is the language of the raving left, and in my view, is generally used inappropriately in reference to Israel. But the sheer scope of the death and destruction wrought on Gaza recently makes such terms appropriate. Contrary to the raving left, however, I do not object to this tactic. For that’s what it is, a tactic. A thousand eyes for one. To reason with the unreasonable is madness. The only way to deter the kind of violence perpetrated by Hammas is to disregard the humane. Is it evil? Certainly. But as the left’s favorite President, Jimmy Carter, once said, “All war is evil; but sometimes, it is a necessary evil.” When the premise of a group’s existence is that it’s wants your destruction, even the most ineffective attack must be dealt with in a dramatic way.
Israel is our best ally because they are the only ones who are willing to do evil against our nation’s biggest enemies. They take a lot of heat for it, too. They don’t ask that we help, they merely ask that we stay out of their way (and lend a supporting statement every now and again.) I think it’s the least we can do.
This is a stark example of the non-suicidal nature and inherent conservatism of Russians juxtaposed against the suicidal tendencies of liberals in other parts of Christendom.
Thank you for your thoughtful entry. Since earliest philosophic memory I have struggled with the idea of “necessary” darkness and it soon struck me that it is a cosmic and inescapable certitude. How can light exist without dark, or one side of a coin without another? It baffles me how this logic (or whatever it is) is lost on many, mainly idealistic people.
When I first saw “Arimathea” I confess I laughed out loud for it instantly reminded me of a dialogue in a Monty Python movie. A bit of learning won’t dilute the vast catalogue of MP humor…
Moshea, it is strange how life—and minds—can be coincidental. After I posted, I looked at your blog and saw your King post. Funny. I remember reading that article before and thinking how right she was and how sorry the British public has become. Anyway, thanks for the findarticles hint.
findarticles.com also has many of Miss King’s essays. She has been a favorite of mine for many years.
Thought you might like to know that I linked you.
FemMis, thank you for your comments. Kevin, there has to be more of us around, and James, I’m glad to know that not every B&S fan is a leftist. I’ve been to Georgetown, before—you are not that far from the Horse Park. Lovely country down there . . .
Tanstaafl, I do not think that you are being fair here. From what I have seen, Auster appears to have a rather balanced assessment of rabbinical Jews. The comments section in Solzhenitsyn and the struggle for Russia’s soul; and Solzhenitsyn and the Jews features some frank but thoughtful discussion about the issue.
I plan to write about Jews in future posts, as I have been very fascinated with them since I was a child. However, let it suffice for now to say that human beings belong to different group sets based on many things—religion, family, clan, ethnicity, class, occupation, political community, political philosophy, hobby interests, pet interests, and so on. Occasionally, these groups’ interests—and the groups’ claims upon their members—conflict. The complicated history of Jacob’s descendants has to do with this simple truth about men. Israel has ever been a peculiar people, and rabbinical Jews, thinking that they are the true Israel and that Christians are but goyim, have set themselves apart wherever they have gone. Being a minority committed to that minority’s interests above all else has often made them unwelcome elements in their semi-adopted societies, and this is the “Jewish Problem.” As you likely know, several solutions have been proposed and attempted, from Spinoza to the Wannsee Conference to Herzl’s Judenstaat. None has been successful in securing a living and peaceful existence for the children of the rabbis.
Update: Tanstaafl’s comment inspired today’s entry, “Those Jews.”
You put your finger on it Joseph. Auster doesn’t consider the political or psychological benefits to conducting family business in a genial manner because he is not family. Last year I became interested in and ultimately critical of Auster’s view. You or your readers may be interested to read it in the links below.
Auster and Anti-Anti-Semitism
Something Unspeakable This Way Comes
We’re White, We’re Indigenous, Get Used to It
What We Cannot Do
Criticized by Auster
To my knowledge, only Lady Ann and Auster have suggested that female suffrage might be a mistake,
Not at all. There is a growing body of Men’s Rights Activists who question this, myself among them. At my male chauvinist blog, one of the link lists in the sidebar points to articles and essays illustrating why women’s suffrage was such a bad idea.
I am glad to have found your website and that you have found VFR.
A fellow Belle & Sebastian fan,
Joseph, welcome to our rebellion! As you have just found VFR, I have just found your site. I hope this is the beginning of a very fruitful discussion for all of us, all 100,000 of us, left on the Right.