Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Radical Problem In Brief II

I finished another work week at corporate security, followed by dinner out, a long drive home and now a somewhat mentally planned out post. Not that tomorrow is a day off with homecaring and shopping. Sunday is church and the beginning of meetings in regards to small groups and teaching.

I therefore, presently still filled with energy from my patrolling from work wish to complete my now weekly post on this blog.

With your kind permission...

I mentioned the 'Australia ISIS' story to a manager at work Friday at shift change this afternoon. I am one of his shift replacements, although he works directly for the corporation. I opined that even though terrorism is not directly related to our work it is a concern, due to the sheer size of the corporation we work for and its worldwide reach. We also had a few minor security issues Thursday-Friday, one of which I managed to discover and it is always possible a minor issue could lead to something major. The manager agreed that corporate targets could be legitimate terrorist targets and basically (paraphrased) stating that for those in law enforcement and security, having a security issue covered and actually having it covered, are two different things. In other words, I took his statement as meaning, no one is really completely secure from a radical Islamic attack.

The news story...

BBC News September 18, 2014


'Australia raids over 'Islamic State plot to behead'


'Police have carried out anti-terrorism raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence reports that Islamist extremists were planning random killings in Australia. PM Tony Abbott said a senior Australian Islamic State militant had called for "demonstration killings", reportedly including a public beheading. The raids, with at least 800 heavily armed officers, led to 15 arrests.'

''Imperative danger'

'Australian media reports said they had discussed abducting members of the public and beheading them on camera, draped in a black IS flag. In recent weeks, IS has released video footage showing the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker seized in Syria.'

'The news of an alleged plot to publicly behead a random Australian will shock many people here, including the vast majority of this country's long-established moderate Muslim community. Many Muslims are unhappy with what's going on in Iraq and Syria but would never resort to violence. These raids risk antagonising the broader Islamic community. But Australia, like many countries including Britain, is worried about the threat from Islamic State, not just abroad but at home. More than a decade on from Australia's support for the US-led war in Iraq, the country finds itself embroiled in a conflict that is far from over. Tony Abbott this week announced he is sending 600 troops to the Middle East to assist in the fight against Islamic State. Security forces clearly face a battle at home too.'

'About 200 people from Sydney's Muslim community held a protest against the raids on Thursday night. Speakers reportedly made claims of police brutality and political hysteria.'

Cited again

'But Australia, like many countries including Britain, is worried about the threat from Islamic State, not just abroad but at home.'

Two articles ago on September 6, 2014 I posted A Radical Problem In Brief

Please see recent archives

I noted...

It is mainly it seems, the radical, militant Islamists that are very much opposed to toleration of others and democracy and have the theological concept of convert to Islam or die in regard to all other groups, including other Muslims that they find objectionable. Other notable exceptions that would be opposed to toleration and democracy, not stating this is an exhaustive list, but these philosophical views are not prevalent in the West presently, would be those supporting Communism, certainly as in anything resembling that of the Marxist-Leninist, Soviet Union and those supporting Fascism as in anything resembling Nazism.

Lewis M. Hopfe admits that one of the most controversial aspects of Islam is 'Jihad' (Holy War). Hopfe (1987: 419). Pagans he writes may have been forced to convert but Jews and Christians and others were free to worship and they chose, Hopfe (1987: 419). It is admitted by Hopfe that there is a Muslim doctrine that one must do battle for God. Hopfe (1987: 419).

S.A. Nigosian states the goal of Jihad is not so much conversion but for Islam to gain 'political control over societies'. Nigosian (1994: 448). This is done in order to rule them under Islam. Nigosian (1994: 448). 


It seems reasonable that anyone holding to such radical views should be barred entrance into a Western nation. I am not stating that all Muslims should be barred from the West, but that radical Islamists that demonstrate in their public or discovered views opposition to toleration and democracy should not be allowed into Western nations. Anyone that prefers Sharia (Islamic law) to Western democracy should be barred entrance. On a practical level I suppose a burqa ban would be a deterrent for entrance for many Islamists considering entrance into a Western nation. Yes, this could be considered a decrease in liberty, but would such people if provided entry really desire to uphold Western liberty and democracy if there was a Muslim majority? Doubtful if they prefer Sharia (Islamic law).

Therefore in regard to this story from Australia, IS, ISIS, ISIL seeking to behead random Australian citizens, without scaremongering it is certainly philosophically reasonable and legally reasonable to bar radical Islamists/Muslims and I reason those that would support Sharia (Islamic law) from entrance into a Western nation.

Again, I am not seeking to eliminate within a democracy and Western nation, Islam, but any view which is by definition violently intolerant of the other views and is against the very democratic system by which a Western nation stands must be legally opposed in order to protect the security of that nation. To protect law and order, which is also a Biblical mandate (Romans 13).

I would state the same for any so called religious sect, Christian sect, or as noted political movements such as radical Communism or Fascism.

As I noted in the first related article, Biblical Christianity does not promote a Kingdom of God created by the conquest of human beings claiming to be Christian (John 18:36), but it is culminated through God and Christ, who is God and man (Revelation 21-22, 1 Thessalonians 4, 2 Thessalonians 2).

Theocracy and theonomy are not legitimate goals for the Church within a sinful, fallen realm because humanity will corrupt and politicize any such rule.

Theocracy defined:

N.H.G Robinson states that just as democracy signifies a type of government ruled by the people by elected representatives, theocracy represents government rule by God and his representatives. Ancient Israel is a primary example. Robinson (1999: 564).

M.J. Wyngaarden explains that word is derived from the Greek words for God, theos, and from kratein to rule. This represents the rule of God. and is traced back to the Old Testament concept and may have been coined by Josephus. Wyngaarden (1996: 1083).

N.H.G. Robinson and D.W.D. Shaw note that theonomy is an interpretation of a person’s life when ultimate ethical authority is found in the divine will. Autonomy would be self-imposed authority. Robinson and Shaw. (1999: 567). They reference Paul Tillich and note that he states that theonomy is a law or principle which brings together the law of people with the ground and source of all being. Robinson and Shaw. (1999: 567). For some autonomy and theonomy may be understood as the immanent and transcendent aspects of the ethics of theism. Robinson and Shaw. (1999: 567).

HOPFE, LEWIS M. (1991) Religions of the World, New York, Macmillan Publishing Company. 

NIGOSIAN, S.A. (1994) World Faiths, New York, St. Martin’s Press.

ROBINSON, N.H.G (1999) 'Theocracy' in Alan Richardson and John Bowden (eds.), New Dictionary of Christian Theology, Kent, SCM Press Ltd.

ROBINSON, N.H.G. AND SHAW D.W.D. (1999) ‘Theonomy’, in Alan Richardson and John Bowden (eds.), A New Dictionary of Christian Theology, Kent, SCM Press Ltd.

WYNGAARDEN, M.J. (1996) ‘Theocracy’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Henry Kissinger?

Today: My window screen was off and lying on the roof beyond my reach and requiring maintenance.  The backyard of my estate.

After work this morning I was downtown Vancouver at a building where apparently according to a manager of sorts, a guy by sitting on a toilet caused $160, 000 damage to three floors via plumbing and a leak. Apparently there is likely more to the story than the usual means such as unknown objects...

With my type of satirical humour I of course thought this story was very classic.

Mr. Matt and I mysteriously were both breaking guts in laughter.

But I would not want such an event to happen in my building, of course, at least near my contents.

A group of us engaged is some philosophical discussion in this building. The manager of sorts that looked like a rock star from the 1960s was intellectual and humourous.

He presented, I must admit, an hilarious curse-filled verbal tirade against Henry Kissinger, which I could not dare attempt to transcribe on Blogger.

Mr. Kissinger supposedly one of the 15 most evil and powerful persons in the world.

And after all, much of the focus of this blog is the problem of evil and theodicy...

Mr. Matt then confused Mr. Kissinger with Edward Greenspan, or someone with a similar name, although it took awhile for the name Edward Greenspan to surface, and in the end no one knew, including Mr. Matt, the person Mr. Matt was meaning because he did not know who Henry Kissinger was.

And then the after midnight saga moved on to another building minus this manager of sorts and the $160, 000 of damage, for a theological discussion.

At building two, where Mr. Matt resides, Mr. Matt engaged in a friendly theological discussion with another evangelical in regard to God's sovereignty and the works of a believer, which I briefly participated in.

There was another gentlemen at the table that was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints and we briefly discussed his religious background from childhood and his expensive venturing into The Church of Scientology at a much later day and then going back to the Latter-Day Saints.

My approach to ministry has changed over the years in that in dealing with people I am slightly more reserved theologically and philosophically and more outgoing socially.

Blogging, I realized somewhat the Satire And Theology was more popular than Dr. Russell Norman Murray pageview wise and that I needed to be somewhat less academic in dealing with persons than I was in the 1990s when I was working on my Christian degrees.

I needed to be a little more relatable and to use humour more often, when appropriate.

I therefore kept the argumentation with this gentlemen to a minimum, because I sensed he was not at a place where he wanted to seek religious truth through debate.

And he was sitting at a table on two occasions with three Christians that morning and so there was opportunity for evangelism.

To argue is to 'produce considerations designed to support a conclusion'. Blackburn (1996: 23).

I did not see that as primarily useful is this case because as noted he was not interested in debating.

Humanly speaking, acknowledging God's sovereign choice (Ephesians 1-2, Romans 8), if he was to become a Biblical Christian it would seem that an evangelistic method of simply listening and being in dialogue with Christians, which he was doing that morning would be the most effective method, most of the time.

Blackburn writes than an argument can be 'heated or protracted'. (1996: 23).

Thus would not suit the context here of having reasonable, effective communication with this person.

Premises are established from a conclusion with an argument. (1996: 23).

This gentlemen did acknowledge he held firmly to Latter-Day Saint teachings exclusively, including that he could possibly become part of the God family, when I questioned on the issue.

I did use the argument, because I thought it was at the core of his religious faith and philosophy, that Isaiah 43, 44, and 45 state that there was no God formed before the God of the Hebrew Bible, and there will be no God formed after.

Therefore there is only one God.

Isaiah 43:10-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.

Isaiah 44:6-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7 ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, [a]From the time that I established the ancient [b]nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”

Isaiah 45:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will [a]gird you, though you have not known Me;

Footnotes: Isaiah 45:5 Or arm

Other than that crucial point I basically listened to this man for the most part.

At the end he joined in the group prayer, although he did not personally pray.

As a group of persons, we Christians shared the good news, the gospel with the use of evangelism. Grenz (1999: 48). The argumentation was kept to a minimum.

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI and CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.

Chuck at the museum the other day...

The usual driving to work...
This evening. I am impressed with how new mobile devices add light to photos without flash.